Dear Sir Quinton Masglou,
I hope this letter finds you well, with both your health and your prosperity at hunting in the northlands. Cecilia and I are doing most excellent on the ranch, and have but a pair of months before the harvest season begins.
I write to you concerning the most important and wholesome of activities – that of the great dinosaur hunt. Although I have been entertaining myself teaching Cecilia the finer art of pistol shooting, my mind is never far from our fateful encounter when you visited last winter. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you how stormy the night was, or the sound of that terrible roar in my furthest field. I grabbed my bolt action rifle off the mantle and you slung a musket from your pack as we ran to the door. The image of that Tyrannosaurus Rex shall forever be with me.
Although a few hasty shots scared the beast away, I have often wondered from whence it came. As you know the area surrounding Perico in Texas is not known for the larger carnivores, mainly from our horrendous heat and proximity to the dead wastes. But I spent many a day and night restlessly researching local tales and alehouse yarns and I think I have finally discovered the home of the great beast.
To this end I write to implore you to visit me no later then two weeks hence. Bring your finest firearms and equipment and we shall track the Tyrannosaurs Rex to it’s lair and destroy it. I have already taken care of hiring a guide, a strong arm, and pack dinos for the road. I know your matters in the north are of the utmost importance, but if you could but rent a flapper and visit us we shall truly have a hunt worthy of years of campfire tales.
Yours in Arms,
Setting up the Posse
So sets the backdrop for the big game hunters who will tackle the custom t-rex I created the other day. When creating this Posse I went for flavor and matching the figures instead of just raw power (which is why you don’t see a bunch of bazookas and burst rifles, haha).
The battle would take place riiiiiight on the edge of the super hot southern desert of the futuristic USA. I decided Gordon Glenbrook’s ranch would be around Perico, Texas, and the lair itself would be further south. The desert is too hot to travel during the day, even with the finest dinomounts, so it’d be a bit of a trudge for the crew.
My main priority was a believable group who would provide a cinematic battle. I opted for a full 5 members, which basically ate up my Neodollars just in recruitment costs. I decided instead to just buy reasonable weapons and equipment and hope they didn’t end up costing too much more than the T-Rex.
When I actually play this game I won’t have the figures pictured below (from Reaper Mini, but they looked perfect for a hunting group. One of these days I’ll get some hobby motivation beyond just writing rules and playing games and actually sit down and paint some cowboys. For now your imagination will have to do.
Now to the details of each member, plus their respective background information to help flesh out the characters:
I did a lot of voluntary weakness for Bravery, which had two benefits. The first and most obvious is recovering some bonus IP that could be spent elsewhere. The second subtle benefit is that Fleeing from close combat doesn’t provoke a Snap Attack in v0.9, and against a T-Rex there really isn’t a downside to getting further away. I figured if a member doesn’t get one-hit killed, they will probably Flee next turn which can set up the rest of the team for better shots. I guess the downside is it might move the Fleeing person into perfect Charge range for the T-Rex, but it’s unlikely ANYONE will survive two rounds in melee with the beast.
Gordon was once a Neotechnoist but found the adventurous lure of the outside world too much for him. He left the jungle when he was barely an adult, and slowly built up a fortune through trading, leading expeditions, farming, etc. He met Cecilia while driving some triceratops through Colorado, and they were married soon after. Now he’s getting older and a bit slower, and has settled down on a ranch in the one remaining hospitable part of Texas. The t-rex hunt is mainly a chance to relive some of his old glories and feel a little more useful around the ranch.
I wanted Gordon to be the toughest of the bunch, which was easy with his Duster allegiance and Leader benefits to HP. I matched the figure as best I could and opted for a Bolt Action Rifle as his primary weapon. In terms of stats I reduced his Bravery from 6 to 4 for +5 IP for the reasons I stated above. Otherwise the main improvement was RMC, from 8 to 6 for 25 IP (which was really 20 due to the bonus from reducing my Bravery). I figured Armor would be a waste against the T-Rex’s 4 MMC, but I definitely didn’t want to miss a shot. Besides the Bolt Action Rifle I gave him a basic 80kW Six-Shooter and a Small IRP. For a bit of benefit and a bunch of flavor Gordon took the “Big Game Hunter” Passive Trait.
20 IP, $170. MV 3, AR 0, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 4, HP 12, Big Game Hunter. Bolt Action Rifle, 80kW Six-Shooter, S-IRP
Cecilia may seem a strange match for Gordon. She was raised in a rich family near the coast, and never really knew hardship. She married Gordon at the height of his power and influence, when he was most attractive as a suitor. Now in his older years she sometimes has doubts about their suitability, especially with how taken Gordon has been with hunting. In the interest of maintaining their marriage she has started to learn to handle a gun, ride, rope, and sleep under the stars.
I went for basically the same build as Gordon for his wife. I dropped her Bravery from 6 to 4 and boosted her RMC from 8 to 6. She didn’t get a Trait, but instead I gave her the SUPER handy Stun Gun, plus a Derringer for backup and flavor. She didn’t quite match the figure (which had a shotgun), but I really like the idea of Gordon helping his wife master the Stun Gun, since it’ll be an important part of keeping the T-Rex from reaching the lines and basically rolling over the team. Anyways she ended up costing 20 IP, just like Gordon.
Plus I gave her a Medpack to try out the slower healing feature compared to an IRP.
20 IP, $225. MV 3, AR 0, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 4, HP 10. Stun Gun, Derringer, Medpack
Sir Quinton Masglou
Quinton is much younger than Gordon, and learned about the man while reading historical records inside the Neotechnoist compound. They eventually exchanged letters and met a few times for hunting expeditions. Quinton looks up to Gordon, but also finds him a bit stuffy (mainly because of their age gap). Gordon treats Quinton like the son he never had, and is very eager to entertain the youth and give him the best advantages in life. Quinton was exploring north of Haven and the Neotechnoist jungle, but flew all the way south for the chance to hunt a t-rex and see his old mentor, perhaps for the last time.
For Quinton I knew I couldn’t get his HP too high due to the Neotechnoist weakness, so I opted for a bit of armor instead. It made sense too since he’s a bit younger and bit more unsure of his abilities. Plus the figure just screams “Guy trying to be woodland-ish”. I went for a more barbaric weapon, the Blunderbuss, to try to keep the rustic image he’s been living up north. A Stick of Dynamite was a nice simple touch, and again felt like an “old school” weapon compared to lasers and the like.
For stats I weakened his Bravery from 6 to 4 for +5 IP again. Then I dropped his RMC from 7 to 6 for 15 IP, and finally gave him +1 AR for 10 IP, plus a suit of Padded Armor. I had a few points left over so I ended up giving him +2 HP for 12 IP, which counteracted his Neotechnoist frailty.
32 IP, $320. MV 4, AR 2, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 4, HP 8. Blunderbuss, Stick of Dynamite, Padded Armor
Walter has seen it all as a guide, and is very worldly as a result. He’s competent with a wide variety of weapons and is terrific at hunting, trapping, tracking, and getting out of trouble. His dashing good looks lead to a brief affair with Cecilia (of which Gordon never found out), so there is a tension between the two as a result. Gordon, blissfully unaware, considers Walter an upstanding young man, and sometimes compares his younger self to the life Walter has lead. Walter puts up with it in good humor because of the solid, steady pay Gordon offers. He feels the t-rex hunt will give him a lot of fame and further his reputation in the south.
Walter was pretty simply to make, and ended up being the least improved of my characters. I made him Bandit Allegiance to kind of simulate the knockabout life he’s lead. For guns the 400kW Six-Shooter seemed to make sense, although I still kind of like the 4-3 of the 300kW compared to 3-4 of the 400kW model. He’d take a Saber, and maybe could sneak in a desperate, heroic charge with it.
All I did for statistics was weakening his Bravery from 6 to 5 for +2 IP (he’s the bravest of the bunch from his travels, I figured), and then RMC from 8 to 7 for 10 IP.
As part of his “guide” image I gave him the Active Trait “Retreat!”, which will let him grant an additional +4″ of Movement to an ally within 8″. I figured this would help him get someone out of trouble a bit, and maybe he can charge in afterwards to cover their escape.
8 IP, $160. MV 4, AR 0, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 5, HP 8, Retreat! 400kW Six Shooter, Saber
Allen is the strong silent type, and has acted as a bodyguard for Gordon in the past. Early in Gordon and Cecilia’s marriage a rival rancher tried to use violence and intimidation to get Gordon to give up some land in the west. Allen cleaned up the problem quickly and quietly, and Cecilia was never the wiser that her husband had hired such a mercenary. Allen does not have the best attitude or morals, but he is extremely competent and a legend in a duel. Gordon has kept in contact through the years for certain difficult situations where a rough hand might be needed. Allen has a strong, yet unspoken sense of loyalty to Gordon which is his main motivation for coming on the hunt.
Finally I had Allen. He’d rock dual pistols, that much I knew. I went for a Handcannon and a Snub Pistol, so a bit of modern tech mixed with old. I made him a Duster since he seemed more like a roaming desert wanderer than a real Bandit, although I think either would have worked. I wanted him to hit a bunch so I boosted his RMC from 8 to 6. Then the usual Bravery drop from 6 to 4. To top off his equipment I gave him Cloth Armor and Tangle Grenades. Those grenades, which apply Stopped on hit, could be a real game changer. With that in mind I actually gave him the Active Trait “Speed Reload” with the intent of throwing a grenade, free reloading, and throwing another, which would keep the T-Rex locked down for 2 whole turns. Plus of everyone he seemed the most likely to fight slightly dirty like that, and also to come overly prepared.
20 IP, $510. MV 3, AR 1, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 4, HP 10, Speed Reload. Handcannon, Snub Pistol, Tangle Grenades, Cloth Armor
The last step was to name the Posse. I went for “Glenbrook’s Desert Triumphateers” because it had a fun, slightly goofy ring to it, just like most of the members (who are kind of in over their heads). With luck this expedition will be successful for the gang, and won’t just be a giant three turn buffet for the T-Rex.
All in all the Posse came out at exactly 100 IP. Due to recruiting costs of $800 I ended up waaaaaaaay overbudget. The equipment ended up being $1385, so yeah, $2185 in total. I think it’s fine though since I didn’t buy any really crazy weapons, and mostly just went for theme so it should be balanced with the T-Rex.
Anyways I’ll be playing this game through tomorrow afternoon, so expect a battle report sometime next week!