Based on ManofTin’s few broken down wagon battle reports I was inspired to try something similar.
With the advent of The Second Gobal War on Jendar with The Jendari Collective once again facing off against House Baronor, both powers had to pull back from their various expansions and focus solely on the conflict at home. For House Baronor and the Collective this meant abandoning the Oltra Campaign, but for the Collective specifically it also meant abandoning their secret work with the Allegiance of Gnossos on the planet Gnojen.
However rather than simply leaving Gnojen to the Allegiance the Collective decided to disrupt Gnossos research and operations on the planet as much as possible. To this end they employed many mercenary groups and private militias to steal tech, bomb facilities and just generally wreak havoc in a way that the Collective government could deny any involvement in.
One such event was an attempt by a group known as ‘The Bone Carvers’ to steal a damaged Gnossian Wautomata that had broken down as it was being escorted between two military outposts Kas-Ki and Zeta-O. Standard procedure would be a larger better armed escort however Allegiance Security forces soon realised that bandits would recognise that a larger escort meant a larger prize. This usually lead to a route being mined, or heavy weaponry being deployed and the cost of life was too great. The belief in this instance by base commander Thallius Gorad was that a small escort would make it seem that the Wautomata itself was in full working order and that bandits would steer clear of facing one. Unfortunately for the three man security escort the Wautomata malfunctioned en route and was unable to move. The call went out immediately to base Zeta-O and a security squad was dispatched immediately, however the escort would still have to hold out until it arrived.
I’m using the Simple Toy Soldier Game rules I posted on this blog before although I’ll be doing simple alternate activations so I don’t have to make up cards or mark the figures in some way. I’ve got the three man escort in the centre of the board and they need to protect the Wautomata until help arrives and hopefully sees off the bandits. At the end of each turn I’ll be rolling a D12 and if I roll equal to or under the last turn number support will arrive at a random spot on the edge of the board.
All the bandits need to do is kill the original escort team and then hold the Wautomata for three consecutive turns and it is there’s.
There are seven bandits, and six security officers in the relief team.
I’ve placed D12s evenly around the edge of the battlefield and so when support does arrive I’ll roll for the location it turns up.
Additionally I’m deploying the bandits randomly too by rolling for each of them. I imagine they’ve been off keeping lookout on various things and then one spotted the broken down Wautomata and radioed in all of his mates.
So on a clock face one bandit appeared at 1 o’clock, two as 2, one at 5, one at 8 and two at 9.
I rolled off to see who would go first, and it seems the Gnossos spotted the bandits and we’re able to jump into action first.
The first security officer activates and rolls a 4, he moves two inches up to a wall on the side of the road and fires twice at the bandit at 5 o’clock and despite the bandits hard cover (hits on a 5+) he manages to put two fire markers on him.
I won’t report on every action in detail as that would take a long time to write and for you to read, so from now on just the pivotal stuff.
Turn one ended with some fire exchanged but no casualties, and support did not arrive.
Turn two began with a very successful shot from one of the officers, scoring 5 fire markers on a bandit in some trees adding to 2 he had gained in turn 1, so 7 in total. That bandit will need a miracle to survive!
The rest of the turn played out with the bandits mostly moving up and some fire was exchanged. The poor bandit in the trees activated last and very luckily rolled a 6 to activate cancelling all but one of his fire markers. Unfortunately however he failed his save on the one remaining and went down. Support did not arrive.
Turn three opened with some more incredible rolling from the security team. One officer activated with a roll of 5, put all his points into shooting, scored three hits on the bandit nearby at 5 o’clock brining him up to a total of four fire markers.
Not wanting another bandit to drop so quickly I opted to activate him next to cancel those fire markers before more could be added. Unfortunately a 1 was rolled for the bandits activation so only one was removed. The bandit then failed all three saves and died.
It was at this point that I thought the bandits were done, however on the next activation a bandit took a pot shot at one of the officers. Scored two fire markers taking him up to three, then that officer activated, rolled a 1 and failed his two saves.
Turn three ended without support arriving.
Little happened in turn four with everyone forgetting how to shoot, however the bandits were now dangerously close.
Turn five began with a bandit gunning down another security officer.
The last remaining security officer found himself in the midst of a deadly crossfire but managed to survive.
Support arrived in the nick of time at 1 o’clock. I think this will spell the end for the bandits, had they had a couple more turns maybe things would have been different.
Turn six all hell broke loose. The bandits made a run for the road hoping to finish off that last security officer but somehow he still remained. The relief force did not really make their presence known, but by just appearing had driven the bandits into a blind panic.
Turn seven opened with a relief team member flanking and then putting some serious fire into the only bandit attempting to hold the security team off.
And here was turn seven at its end.
Unbelievably the bandit that was flanked activated with a roll of 6, so he only needed one save to stay alive and failed. The last security officer activated on a 1 and so needed to make five saves to survive. You can see the dice above. My jaw dropped. What a hero!
At this point the bandits had pretty much no hope. But I thought why not play out one more turn and see. Stranger things have happened.
Turn 8 saw no bandits go down, but one relief team member did go down, and that lucky security officer got out of dodge so I moved into turn 9.
At this point I didn’t know what the bandits plan was and how holding the Wautomata for three turns would let them achieve it. so I thought rather than stealing it, they must be there to blow it up!
Turn nine and the bandits managed to shrug off a huge amount of incoming fire only losing one man. The bandit leader retreated to the relatively safer position behind the Wautomata.
It was at this point that I realised the relief forces were only likely to win if they could kill the bandits in melee, as the way turns work in the simple toy soldier game if the bandits could get all of their activations out of the way first it wouldn’t be until the next turn they’d have to roll to shrug off any fire markers, so they’d technically still be alive, even if that fire killed them. So this was going to come right down to the wire!
In a Hail Mary move the first bandit broke out and charged a nearby relief team member and killed him.
Then the relief team member behind the Wautomata activated next and fired at the bandit leader putting him up to five fire markers.
But then the bandit leader activated and immediately cancelled all 5.
The relief team member further back tried to fire at the bandit leader and failed to do anything.
Then the bandit that never made it to the road opened up hoping to score any damage, but he also failed.
Here’s where the game officially ended.
The relief team commander and the security officer both fired at the bandit leader scoring one fire marker each. The final relief team member whose job it was to charge and kill the bandit leader rolled a 1 for his activation and so couldn’t get close enough!
So officially the bandits have won. But I also realised at this point that it’s very unlikely a self serving mercenary type would blow themselves up. So I kept going to see if the bandits could escape.
One bandit made it.
The boss after attempting to exit down the road took so much fire rather than still attempting to flee I decided he surrendered, since a captured boss makes a good second scenario.
The final bandit was caught in the back by an amazing potshot from the relief team leader and went down.
After all of that I’m amazed how close the game actually was, and how much fun the simple toy soldier game can be too. It really feels like a firefight more than a game.
I’m off now to build a detention block. Since the Bone Carvers need to spring their boss!