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Old 06-17-2022, 03:18 PM
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Raellus Raellus is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 3,757
Default Encounter 7

A tremendous explosion rocks Pole Position. Vasquez is slammed face-first into the open port-side air guard hatch and falls, dazed, into the troop compartment. Instead of following SOP and continuing to drive through what is likely a kill zone, Grease brakes hard, freezing up from the shock of the blast; Honeybear (in the gunners cupola) also seem stunned. Dust and smoke fill the air.

Ref's Notes:
This Death from Below, from the random encounter deck. The shaped-charge IED fails to penetrate the SKOT's armor. What?!? Yeah, the IED is damage 4 and the SKOT's side armor is 4. No penetration. I roll the hit location die and consult the non-penetration damage table. The result is ricochet. So, basically, everyone riding exposed must roll CUF (2/4 succeed). I roll blast damage B and only one PC is injured (2 points damage). The SKOT isn't damaged at all. Thanks rules? I start the clock on the marauder force, They'll be arriving in 5 minutes.

“Dismount!” Sarge yells. Those that can, do. Deacon stays behind to attend to Vasquez.

Lying the shallow drainage ditch at the side of the road, the Diamonds face outwards, squinting as they try to pierce through the haze, searching for their attackers. Seconds pass. Aside from the ringing in their ears, it’s quiet. No incoming fire, no movement. The dust settles.

“Landmine?” Cap asks.

Sarge glances back at the APC. There’s a large scorch mark on the right rear quarter, but none of the wheels appear damaged, not even a flat tire. There’s no crater in the road either, just a smoldering bare patch just off the right shoulder, grass and other ground cover blasted away.

“Directional mine, maybe. Or IED,” Sarge answers.

A couple of minutes pass. No attack materializes. Having regained his composure, Grease inspects Pole Position for damage. He can't quite believe it, but the Polish-made PC appears to have escaped relatively unscathed. As for its human passengers, miraculously, aside from a few bumps and bruises, everyone is okay. Vasquez got the worst of it- a bloody nose and bruised ribs, but she can still fight, if need be.

“Somethin’s comin’!” Bird says, urgency clear in his tone.

Sure enough, looking up the road, the Diamonds see a slab-nosed truck, a heavy machine gun on a tall AA pintle mount poking up from behind the crew cab. It’s maybe 100m away and closing fast. Gear heads would recognize the vehicle as a GAZ-66 4x, or the Polish knock off.

Ref’s Notes:
The encounter card says PCx2 in a pickup truck technical. The pickup truck only seats a total of 6, though [did the designers assume PC parties of 3?], so I upgraded their ride to a GAZ-66 (13 passengers; leaving 3 marauders behind at their base). The marauders fail their recon role, so they assume they are approaching a soft-killed AFV and proceed with incaution.

There’s no time to discuss the next course of action. Sarge shouts, “Honeybear, hit it!”

Pole Position’s A gunner brings the vehicle’s DShK to bear and opens fire. The big gun hammers out rounds; tracers streak away and disappear into the truck’s crew cab and engine compartment. The GAZ drifts to its right (the party’s left) and crashes to a halt in the shallow drainage ditch. The rest of the Diamonds open fire, pumping rounds downrange. The unarmored truck stops very few of these and casualties quickly mount.

Ref’s Notes:
I learned that I don't want the PCs to ride in an unarmored vehicle. The GAZ is rated at armor 1 (all sides). The DShK does 4 damage. I rolled all six ammo dice. Long story short, with 22 rounds, HB kills the commander and driver and damages the engine. I roll deviation dice and determine that the out of control GAZ swerves (not sharply) right and stops abruptly in the ditch. I rule that all passengers take falling damage (the minimum possible, so 1) as inertia throws them violently forward in the truck bed. The PCs emerge from the lee of the SKOT and pour rapid fire (3-6 ammo dice) into the crashed GAZ. In short order, two passengers in the bed, including the HMG gunner, are killed (one of them slowly, after his arm is blown off). Vasquez misses 10m long with a 40mm HE round. In v2.2, this would still do some damage. In 4e, it does not- the latter is probably the more realistic outcome. As the OPFOR continue to fail CUF rolls (caused by close calls or stress from seeing their buddies killed in front of them), or spend slow actions to un-ass the crippled GAZ, the PCs continue to blast away. The engine block is pulverized by another long burst of HMG fire. Small arms rounds blow out tires and puncture the fuel tank (but the leaking meth doesn't ignite, per the rules). Another passenger cowering in the bed is killed.

Bird and Vasquez set up over-watch on the front and rear of the truck, respectively. The Diamonds pause to reload and come up with a tactical plan to finish the enemy. Sarge swaps weapons with Cap (his M16A2 for her M4 carbine), collars Randle, and pulls Honeybear off the SKOT's HMG (replacing him with Grease), thus forming a 3-man assault team. The plan is simple, but not without risk: cross the road, advance to within hand grenade range, and assault the covered side of the truck. With the others providing covering fire, the assault team sprints across the road into the drainage ditch. Lying in wait, Bird and Vasquez both shoot and kill marauder riflemen that appear at either end of the GAZ. The assault team starts to advance along the ditch towards the GAZ. The high volume and accuracy of covering fire, and the geometry of truck, ditch, and opposing forces, conspire to keep the assault team largely out of the enemy’s line of sight for most of the advance.

Ref’s Notes:
At this point in the firefight, I'm kind of struggling with what the six surviving marauders would do. I'm not even sure what I would do if I was in their shoes, tactically speaking. They’re pinned down and taking casualties every round. Almost all of the survivors have failed at least one CUF roll. I remember to use the Oracle. I draw a red 6 (mild boon). What does that mean? I decide that it means that some of the marauders try to retreat. I roll a d6: two is the result. Two marauders pull a runner. After playing with Google maps, any retreating OPFOR would have maybe a 10m lane where the PCs wouldn't have LOS, but then I thought about the HMG on the SKOT. It's elevated about 2m off the ground and the flatbed GAZ is in a ditch, so I decided it's likely the SKOT gunner would be able to see over the truck once any runners were 20-30m removed. I ruled that the runners’ upper bodies would be visible starting at 100m (SKOT and GAZ are 80m apart).

From his elevated perch in Pole Position’s gunner’s cupola, Grease spots two figures running away from the fight. They’re trying to use the truck to screen their flight, but at about 120m, their upper bodies are unmasked. The team driver/mechanic takes aim and squeezes the trigger. Tracers reach out towards the runners. Both targets are knocked down and out of sight by the long burst. Grease is about 90% sure he hit them.

Ref's Notes:
Grease engaged at about 120m (short range for the DShK is 150m) and rolled multiple hits. Hit location was arms for both and, since they only had 3HP each and the DShK does 4 dam (Crits!), they were both killed.

The three-man assault team closes to within 30m of the crippled GAZ. PR and Sarge prep hand grenades, while Honeybear covers them with his MAG. The Diamonds' throws are dead-on. Both frags explode close-in on the sheltered side of the truck. Honeybear swings out wide left and drops prone behind his gun while Sarge and PR rush forward to follow up the grenade attack. There's no one left to finish (in sight). Four bodies lie in various contorted positions along the starboard side of the ravaged Gaz.

Only the interior of the truck bed and the space behind the tailgate are not visible.

“Tell them to surrender,” Sarge pants.

“Poddać się! To twoja ostatnia szansa! Wyjdź z podniesionymi rękami!”

After a pregnant pause, two men emerge from behind the tailgate, hands raised, eyes filled with terror. The firefight is over.

Ref’s Notes:
I learned that hand grenades are more deadly than 40mm grenades. PR rollis a D12 and a D6, Sarge just a D6. Both hit! Roll the 2 d8s for Blast C. Half the dice hit. That's 4 damage, enough to kill both the marauders near the nose of the GAZ.

The results of the combat were great. None of the PCs were injured (after the IED). The victory did cost a lot of ammo (56 rounds of 12.7mm, alone) but the party will be able to recover 200 rounds from the unfired enemy DShK, 1/4 tank of meth, and a bunch of AKMs (with one reload each). Next up, interrogating the two prisoners...

Author of Twilight 2000 adventure module, Rook's Gambit, the campaign sourcebook, Korean Peninsula, and co-author of Tara Romaneasca, a campaign sourcebook for Romania, all available for purchase on DriveThruRPG:

Last edited by Raellus; 06-17-2022 at 03:32 PM.
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