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Old 06-15-2022, 02:13 AM
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kcdusk kcdusk is offline
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Default AAR 2 - Evening Day 1, outside city limits

Evening Day 1 Ė Just past city limits

Mason parks the car at the last visible home in the city limits, letting the occupants know it has a quarter of a tank of gas and the keys are in it. Grabbing his backpack and weapon, he trudges off away from the setting sun and towards the Soviet border further to the East.

I decide to roll for a random encounter to end Day 1. And draw 10 Diamonds, ďDrop your weaponsĒ and the Soviet Military road block. A BTR-70 sits facing the direction Mason is hiking from, there are 3 soldiers in total, with two soldiers milling about in the middle of the road.

Page 143 of the players manual discusses Keeping Watch. My PC gets to make a passive RECON roll that cannot be pushed (due to it being passive task). Itís a straight recon roll, because the enemy is not actively ambushing me. Success means I spot them first, failure means they spot me first. Having the option to shoot first, or avoid an encounter, is one of the largest decision or dice points in the game IMO. Being a solo character, I am glad Masons RECON skill is high.

Masons passive recon check is as follows;
Ability Die: Intelligence A (D12)
Skill Die: Recon A (D12)
Modifiers: none, I didnít think to spend more than 5 minutes looking for them
Mod. Intellegence A (D12)
Mod. Skill Die: Recon A (D12)
Ammo Die:NA
Result: 3 successes (rolls of 10 or higher count as two success).

Mason spots the group of soldiers smoking in the middle of the road, and the vehicle silhouetted against the advancing night sky. At this point I made a wild refereeing decision. Due to rolling 3 successes, I changed the encounter from enemy Soviet forces to friendly Ukraine forces. This also allowed Mason to barter for some other items I realised I would need but hadnít accounted for yet before moving on from the contact at the bar.

When I was much younger, I always went to long lengths to note down every item my PC caried. This was part of the fun of making up unique playing characters, but also partly due to my cousin who was always the referee being a hard arse about if I missed anything, then I didnít have it! This was both a point of torture for me and later an ongoing challenge to make sure I had it listed down.

As I got older and started running my own solo games, I moved away from the pain staking details approach. Now, I assume my PC has almost every real world item that is reasonable, but if a particular item or tool is needed then I will roll percentage die to check if he has it, or doesnít (maybe he lost it on his journey). Items you can expect him to have might be 80 to 90% likely. A harder to get item might have 10 to 20% chance of finding it in his backpack. This method introduces some honesty around the likelihood of having an item and setting the percentage chance, but the upside is that long detailed pedantic lists can be avoided for most of the time.

For this game I know my PC is marching cross country on foot, during winter conditions in Europe. As part of rolling 3 successes I changed the encounter from an enemy encounter to a friendly one. Does this affect the game too much? I donít think so. Having spotted the enemy road block I could have avoided it, so there is little harm done in my eyes.

On the morning of the 2nd day, my character marches through the woods on his way to Chernobyl.

Random encounter calls for The Orphans. A D10 is rolled and the encounter occurs at 100.

My PC sees a farm up ahead. There is smoke coming from a chimney, some chooks are pecking around the back door and presents quit a pretty scene.

A bit like myself, my PC is loath to engage with people on his journey, so takes a knee to observe before passing by. By doing so, my PC misses the opportunity to engage with some kids who are at home, and might have provided my character with some food.

Edging around the home, my PC may bump into two armed Russian soldiers who are approaching the farm house as part of the random encounter. Again this calls for a my PC to roll for passive recon to see if my PC sees the soldiers first, or is surprised.

This system places a lot of onus on the player, in that they get to perform the passive RECON roll and so the element of surprise or being surprised rests with the players die roll. If the player passes their passive recon roll then they have the element of surprise. I am OK with this, but decided in this case to perform opposed rolls to see how that changes the mechanics and if it felt more natural.
  • One party or the other may see each other.
  • Or neither party may see the other.
  • Or both parties could see each other at the same time!

I use stats for two soviet soldiers from the typical NPC table on page 37 of the Referees Manual.

Two soviet soldiers passive recon check is as follows;
Ability Die: Intelligence C (D6)
Skill Die: Recon C (D6)
Modifiers: none, I didnít think to spend more than a minute looking for them
Mod. Intelligence C (D6)
Mod. Skill Die: Recon C (D6)
Ammo Die:NA
Result: no successes.

Masons passive recon check is as follows;
Ability Die: Intelligence A (D12)
Skill Die: Recon A (D12)
Modifiers: none, I didnít think to spend more than a minute looking for them
Mod. Intelligence A (D12)
Mod. Skill Die: Recon A (D12)
Ammo Die:NA
Result: One success.

Mason hears someone approaching, and drops to the grass. Two soviet soldiers are seen walking from the woods and bursting into the farm house.

Within seconds Mason hears a commotion coming from inside the house. A friendly dog is seen bounding outside, scattering the chickens. The dog doesnít leave the home though, merely barking frantically from outside.

There are screams, yells and then silence returns to the woodland after the sound of gun fire dies down.

Mason drops his head. This could have been avoided. Or maybe he is being too hard on himself, the soldiers are in the wrong here shooting children and their pet dog.

The soldiers have stayed inside. Mason decides to set an ambush for their departure.

Ambush is covered on page 63 of the players manual. Mason rolls to see if he can ambush the soldiers without closing the distance to the home. Page 59 of the players handbook discusses visibility and line of sight, and theres a table of modifiers on page 60 - I donít see any modifiers that apply here. Page 139 of the players manual discusses Nordic light conditions and potential modifiers and also weather modifiers. I determine that no modifiers apply in this case.

Ability Die: Intelligence A (D12)
Skill Die: Recon A (D12)
Modifiers: none
Mod. Intelligence A (D12)
Mod. Skill Die: Recon A (D12)
Ammo Die:NA
Result: One success.

With the successful ambush, the soldiers leave the home and are unaware of Mason laying in the weeds. I decide to include the potential for the soldiers to walk towards mason or away from him (increasing the range for the encounter). I roll 2D6x10m and roll a 7 or 70m range. The soldiers have walked towards Mason. 70m is close range for the FAL when Mason open fires. Fire combat modifiers are on page 65 of the players manual. A full action is spent aiming using the scope as per rule on telescopic sights on page 63, where aiming is a slow action and so is firing. So if your using a telescopic sight you cannot aim and fire in the same round. So its Slow action to aim and slow action to fire in the following round.

Ability Die: Agility A (D12)
Skill Die: Ranged Combat A (D12)
Modifiers: +1 rifle skill, +2 scope, -2 called shot at head, -1 moving target, -1 for low light = -1 overall
Mod. Strength A to B (D10)
Mod. Skill Die: Ranged Combat A (D12)
Ammo Die:none

Result: one hit to the head. Damage 3. Technically no critical hit, but I house rule a called shot to the head will result in a critical hit. A 7 is rolled on the critical hit table, resulting in a lethal hit. One bullet fired.

Soldier B is still standing. I decide there is a 50/50 chance of remaining still or taking cover. The die roll indicates he remains standing.

Page 54 of the players handbook discusses initiative. In the last round I had the surprise and shot first. Now we are in round 2, I decide to do opposed CUF rolls.
The Russian soldier rolls a 3. My PC rolls a 5 and can fire first in round 2.

In round 2 my PC goes full auto to test out how those rules work and their impact on hits and ammo expended. The FAL has ROF of 4.

Slow action to aim, fast action to fire since Iím not using the scope
Ability Die: Agility A (D12)
Skill Die: Ranged Combat A (D12)
Modifiers: +1 rifle skill, -1 for low light = 0 overall
Mod. Strength A (D12)
Mod. Skill Die: Ranged Combat A (D12)
Ammo Die:4
Result: 2 success and 16 bullets fired.

Each bullet does 3 damage, which equates to 6 damage. IMO this is enough to put that soldier down. In hindsight this could be two separate hits or one critical hit. And 17 bullets have now been fired.

Both soldiers have been killed. It doesnít make up for the killing of the innocence kids. But its something.

Looking back on this encounter my thoughts are;
  • I made the decision not to approach the farm house, half knowing what the outcome from the random encounter would be, but my PCs generally donít interact with other NPCs. I am determined to change this going forward.
  • With my PC remaining hidden, I think my choices and random actions of the NPCs was reasonable.
  • Iím not sure how I feel using ammo dice. Theres a one in six chance of success which seems small (rolling a 6). While also increasing the chance of a weapon jam. Iíll need to read up on this more to better understand and decide if its worth it.
  • What hasnít come into play yet is ďpushingĒ a roll. This is something I havenít come across before, but seems to be a highlight of Free Legion game play. It looks like a system that can lead to more success, or greater failure! In times of need you can try again but at the risk of further failure. A case of double or nothing.
  • I was actually upset at the children dying. I know I made the decision not to enter the home where I might have been able to protect them, but if I had made the decision to enter the home knowing I was protecting them from an enemy that hadnít appeared yet, that would feel insincere and meta-gaming.
  • A hit is a hit is a hit. Weapons do the same amount of damage regardless of hit location, the only way to increase the amount of damage is with multiple successes or ammo dice success, which may then also lead to critical hits which can introduce more outcomes.
  • I rushed the road block and farmhouse encounters. I didnít spend enough time looking up rules or modifiers. I didnít concentrate on getting the process right so the mechanics Iíve detailed are likely wrong or incomplete. I was too excited to get into the action and get the game moving. Iíll need to slow down and make sure I donít develop bad habits going forward. Getting the rules right is most important when starting out!
  • Again, early stages but loving the new rules. Theres enough modifiers in play to make it feel like most things are important, but simple enough to apply that each skill check doesnít feel hard or take too long to calculate.
  • I have started my own list of modifiers on a seperate sheet to refer to which will speed up game play, and i can add too over time
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