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Old 06-03-2022, 03:15 AM
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kcdusk kcdusk is offline
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Default AAR 1 - Gear up time

Back in 1984, when I bought the first edition of T2K. The first thing I did was march a soldier on foot overland using the random tables and encounters and tried to see if he could survive NPC meetings, radiation, water, food etc for a week. Now in 2022, having just bought T2K V4.0, I intend to do a similar thing to test out the free league rules.

This first encounter was gamed out in February 2022. Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine took place in the real world. But I used the looming conflict as a modern day background. I didnít intend for this to be tasteless now that we know the invasion took place. I remember thinking at the time that despite all the now obvious signs, the invasion wouldnít happen. It couldnít happen. It did happen.

My PC just needed a place to be, and maybe a reason for being there. And I saw Ukraine as a magical place on the other side of the world, in far away Europe (Poland being a first edition point of interest) where he could walk to Chernobyl, which is a second example of a 1980s point of interest. I didnít realise that now I am getting around to proof reading the adventure, some re-checking of rule understandings and writing this AAR up for others to read in May June 2022 that so much has actually happened in real life Ukraine. Again, no offence intended.

My PC is called Mason Geddes. My goal is to march him overland about 7 days to get from an unnamed city in Ukraine, to Chernobyl. And then see what happens from there if he survives his travels.

Obviously, this is a work of fiction.



First Meeting/kit up/lay of the land
Mason Geddes. Typical retired soldier, with formal experience overseas with the Australian Forces and, informal experience in various recent conflicts. Sensing a growing threat in Ukraine, he has flown into northern Ukraine with the intent of moving up to the expected front line of any potential Soviet invasion. A point of interest is the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the north, so that becomes my travel end goal.

Flying commercial into Ukraine, there was no opportunity to import his required survival gear and weapons needed for the conflict. Instead, using a trusted contact, Mason had arranged to meet a local ďfenceĒ or contact to provide equipment.

Feeling very much vulnerable, and like he was in a dungeons and dragons scene, Mason approached the bar given as the meeting location.

Located under a block of flats, a flight of stairs leading down into a basement was the entry point off the street. The greyness of the winter day meant his eyes didnít take much adjustment to the low light on reaching the bottom of the stairs and walking into the bar.

Was the contact really going to be here? And do an exchange of money for weapons and other survival gear in a public bar? Even by Ukraine standards, and a country on the edge of war, this felt too brazen.

But there he was. The Fence. Sitting in a booth off to the side. As arranged.
The ďfenceĒ stood up and met Mason as he approached the booth. Extending a hand shake greeting, the fence produced a knife Ė and attempted to strike Mason by surprise. Hoping to fleece him of his cash.

[As my first encounter using the V4.0 rules by Free Legion, Iíve decided to have a non-weapon/non-lethal combat encounter. Iíve decided the fence has the skills of a refugee as per page 38 of the Referees Manual, and he produces a knife. I rule he achieves surprise as Mason wasnít expecting such quick open conflict in the bar, meaning he gets a free opportunity to hit Mason without having to draw initiative.

From a game perspective, I have put my PC in a difficult position, but against a lowly skilled NPC to see how the game system plays out.]


Round 1
The Fence approaches Mason, extending his hand to shake in greeting, however he quickly produces a knife and tries to strike Mason, in an attempt to steal his money.

Task: Fence attempts to stab Mason. Slow action.
Ability Die: Strength C (D8)
Skill Die: Close Combat Nil
Modifiers: Nil
Mod. Ability Die: Strength C (D8)
Mod. Skill Die: Nil
Ammo Die: N/A
Roll:*2,na,--
Result: miss

The Fence misses his strike attempt. In response, and still surprised at the quick turn of events, Mason tries to disarm the Fence. Hoping to defuse the situation and complete their intended transaction so he can gear up and head north.

Task: Mason attempts to disarm the fence (page 64 Players Manual) Fast action.
Ability Die: Strength A (D12)
Skill Die: Close Combat B (D10)
Modifiers: Nil
Mod. Strength A (D12)
Mod. Skill Die: B (D10)
Ammo Die: N/A
Roll:*7,3,--
Result: one success. Therefore Mason knocks the knife out of the fences hand. However, the disarm action can be blocked by the Fences remaining fast action this round.

Task: Fence tries to block the disarm action (page 64 Players Manual) Fast action.
Ability Die: Strength C (D8)
Skill Die: Nil
Modifiers: Nil
Mod. Strength C (D8)
Mod. Skill Die: Nil
Ammo Die: N/A
Roll:*5,na,--
Result: no success.

Masons single success against a one handed weapon (knife), and the failed block attempt, the knife is parried and drops to the ground between the two combatants.

Using his second and last remaining fast action, Mason strikes out at the Fence hoping to do a small amount of damage, essentially to wind him and bring the contact to his senses. The Fence has used his fast and slow actions, so is unable to attempt to block it.

[I thought this non-lethal combat would be a good introduction to the rules, and get a feel for how the D12, D10, D8 and D6 system works having never used it before.]

Task: Mason strikes Fence. Slow action.
Ability Die: Strength A (D12)
Skill Die: Close Combat B (D10)
Modifiers: Nil
Mod. Ability Die: Strength A (D12)
Mod. Skill Die: Close Combat B (D10)
Ammo Die: N/A
Roll:*3,4,--
Result: miss

2nd Round
The Fence has lost the advantage of surprise, and senses he is outclassed having been disarmed of his knife. Not expecting any mercy due to his ambush, the Fence tries to end the combat by drawing a pistol.

I house ruled the initiative here. I donít like the 50/50 nature of drawing from a deck of cards. Instead I constructed a kind of opposed roll. The Fences mobility (D6) verse Masons close combat (D12+D10).
The Fence rolled a 3 = miss
Mason rolled 7+5 = one success. Therefore gains initiative.

Mason again tries to disarm the Fence, to keep him alive and locate the survival gear he was promised.

Task: Mason attempts to disarm the fence of his pistol (page 64 Players Manual) Fast action.
Ability Die: Strength A (D12)
Skill Die: Close Combat B (D10)
Modifiers: Nil
Mod. Strength A (D12)
Mod. Skill Die: B (D10)
Ammo Die: N/A
Roll:*7,5,--
Result: one success. Mason disarms the Fence of his pistol.

To prevent this from happening the Fence can try and dodge the disarm action.
Task: Fence tries to block disarm action (page 64 Players Manual) Fast action.

Ability Die: Strength C (D8)
Skill Die: Nil
Modifiers: Nil
Mod. Strength C (D8)
Mod. Skill Die: Nil
Ammo Die: N/A
Roll:*2,na,--
Result: no success.

The pistol now clatters to the floor, and comes to rest next to the knife. The small crowd inside the bar has gone silent in shock at the attempted knifing (a semi regular event) and then the drawn pistol (uncommon before midnight).

Realising he is outclassed, the Fence runs towards the door, accelerates up the stairs and moves towards a car parked on the street.

A civilian (page 64 of the Referees Manual. I chose a different kind of NPC just for the diversity) is waiting behind the wheel with the engine running.

Mason himself gets to the top of the stairs and sees his Fence enter the car. Having taken the time to pick up the .45 pistol, Mason has had enough of being messed around and draws down on the occupants of the car. Looking to disable their get away and take possession of his promised equipment, which may be in the car.

Initiative comes into play again. I still donít want to draw cards from a deck. So I compare coolness under fire rolls (highest goes first).

The civilian has a CUF of D so rolls a D6 and gets a 4. Mason has a CUF of B and so rolls a D10, securing a 6, and thus goes first.

Mason aims his pistol at centre chest of the driver of the car, which classifies as a stationary target.

Fast action: aim
Slow action: fire called shot from the .45 pistol.
I need to know the range to the vehicle, and decide given the short time it took the fence/refugee to get to the vehicle, that it was near the door of the bar. So I roll a D6x10m to randomly determine how many hexs away it is.
I roll a 2. So 20m. Which is short range for the .45.

Ability Die: Agility A (D12)
Skill Die: Ranged Combat A (D12)
Modifiers: -2 for called shots to chest
Mod. Strength A to B (D10)
Mod. Skill Die: Ranged Combat A to B (D10)
Ammo Die:2
Roll:*3,4,2,6
Result: no hits. 8 bullets expended empties the magazine. But a possible suppression for the 6 on the ammo die (page 67 of the players manual).

The driver makes a coolness under fire roll (D6) and rolls a 6, a success! Therefore he is not suppressed (my later reading of the Suppression rules on page 67 uncovered in the last paragraph that targets fully in a vehicle cannot be suppressed. Good to know this unnecessary die roll didnít impact on the result).

The driver engages first and second gear, and drives off down the street.

For round 3 Mason reloads his 45. I could have tried to reload as a fast action in hindsight, but made the call on the run to spend the entire round reloading. I arbitrarily rule the car has moved to long range for the pistol.

Round 4
Mason fires his 45 at the vehicle which is now at long range.

Ability Die: Agility A (D12)
Skill Die: Ranged Combat A (D12)
Modifiers: -2 for long range, -1 for moving target
Mod. Strength A to C (D8)
Mod. Skill Die: Ranged Combat A to B (D10)
Ammo Die:2
Roll:*4,8,2,5
Result: one hit to the driver. 7 bullets expended empties the magazine again.
Hit location roll D6 is a 2 (torso) as the bullet passes through the seat from behind. Damage is 2.

I rule that having taken a hit, the driver must pass a driving skill check to continue to drive with no incident. The drivers skill is D6 and the roll is a 2, so a fail.

The driver slumps forwards onto the steering wheel, then flops back in his seat as the car takes a suddenly left turn and crashes into a parked car on the side of the road.

As this was my first encounter, I called an end to the action there. I ruled the fence had seen enough, having been disarmed of his knife and then pistol, then seeing his mate shot. He runs off through the growing crowd.

Mason approaches the vehicle hoping his promised equipment was inside.
Having got this far into the first encounter, I decide that the car does contain most of his required items, but not all.

Thinking the main weapon is the most important item I make up a quick random table for a D6 roll to determine what weapon is left behind.
1: FN FAL
2: FAMAS
3: SVD
4-5: AKM
6: AK-74.
Die roll is a 1, so FN FAL.

A backpack containing binoculars (+2 recon), a med kit and a telescopic sight for the rifle are also found. Mason has kept the original knife and 45 pistol.

I determine at this point that Mason is going to exit the city, and head towards Chernobyl which is expected to be near the front line. City travel determines that 1km is travelled (page 149 Players Manual). And I decide that is far enough to reach the edge of the city limits.

My thoughts:
  • I enjoyed the game mechanics more than I thought.
  • My playing character is quite strong, but that was by design since I expect him to be on his own most of the time, simply because it reduces my amount of bookwork until I learn the system.
  • I created my playing character by choosing his attribute and skill levels.
  • I put my character in a couple of difficult situations by design, to see if my more skilled PC could progress. There were a couple of fails, but many successes.
  • I felt the action played out realistically.
  • The next post will cover Mason Geddes first overland travel encounter.

I would like to share two links to games that I have found inspiring and useful in transitioning to V4.0. I took some of their writing structure to help give some format to this first post of my own.


http://twilight2000solo.blogspot.com...nd-taggin.html

https://mindlands.blog/2022/01/02/es...mini-campaign/
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Last edited by kcdusk; 06-15-2022 at 05:31 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-15-2022, 02:13 AM
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kcdusk kcdusk is offline
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Posts: 428
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
Roll:*12,9,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
Roll:*5,2,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
Roll:*4,7,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
Roll:*6,2,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
Roll:*5,7,NA

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
Roll:*4,11,5,2,4,5
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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