Updated: Jun 15, 2021
The group of survivors found themselves alongside the dirt road near the sheep farm as the sun began to peak over the eastern horizon. Gunnery Sgt. Mason, red faced and embarrassed at his capture by mere farmers, got dressed again, swearing about the loss of his ammunition. Once he was ready, the group filled him in on their adventures in seeking him out, from Mason going missing, to the group finding his dog tags near a pool of blood near a set of tire tracks. Mason then informed the group about another prisoner that the farmers were holding, a Russian soldier that was around the same age as Gunny, with the look of a seasoned professional about him.
The group decided that, although it might be too late to help the farm that had radioed in the night that they were under attack, they should go and see if anything could be done. They chose to drive Miserable Beast, their Frankenstein Humvee, through the woods, avoiding the roads. It made the travel slower and more treacherous, but the group wanted to reduce their chances of meeting people along the way. By the time they got to the farm, the sun was fully above the horizon, giving them a good view of the black smoke rising above the farmstead nearby.
Leaving the Humvee in the woods, Zofie, the young deaf polish girl, told Axel that she would stay with the Humvee while they went forward. Pavlov almost stayed with her, but decided to go along against his (generally questionable at best) judgement. As the group approached the farmstead, they began to hear voices in several languages and see figures moving around, loading a flatbed truck. The people they saw were dressed in a hodgepodge of mismatched uniforms and civilian clothing, and they were all armed.
The group decided to approach slowly, using the dense underbrush and woods that surrounded the southern approach as cover. Blanco, Axel, and Minka all crept wide, setting up flanking positions from which to snipe in over watch. Pavlov stuck close to Gunny Mason, who swung around to the south and, immediately upon seeing one of the marauders, threw a grenade. The battle was on!
The grenade exploded, alerting the squad of marauders they were under attack. The blast knocked one of the marauders to the ground, injuring but not killing him. Pavlov, seeing other bad guys running about all armed with rifles, decided it would be best to stay out of sight. So, holding his crowbar, he took up a hiding place in the dense shrubs, hoping to be able to jump out and surprise someone.
Axel fired as one of the marauders crossed over his view, the round shattering the man’s hand and sending him to the ground with a scream of pain. His days as a hand model were over for more reasons than the war itself. From his western flanking position, Blanco took aim and shot another marauder, shattering his collar bone but not killing him. Now three of the bandits were down and in pain, but more quickly came into view.
Near Gunny Mason, another marauder appeared, running to check upon his fallen comrade. He spotted Mason and fired a burst of rounds, but they impacted on the trees, sending shards of wood flying through the air. This move exposed the marauder to Axel’s line of sight, and the sniper took immediate advantage. Axel’s round went right through the marauders cheek, shattering teeth and bone. The man fell to the ground clasping his bloodied and ruined face. The only way he would enjoy a bear claw in the future, if he survived the encounter, would be through a straw.
The battle is in full swing and the group of survivors seem to have the upper hand, but war is a fickle thing, and one can never predict how the winds of change will blow.
This was our first fight and we are still a little rusty with the combat rules. We did do one short playtest to run through a few rounds of combat before we played and that was a big help. There was one aspect of combat that we were not sure how to handle, and that was sneaking around or perception. In a lot of role-playing games, one of the stats that a character has is perception, the ability to notice things in their surroundings. Characters also often have some sort of Stealth skill that lets them move around the battlefield unnoticed. This seems to be missing from the TW2K rules, or at least that we could figure out.
So we used the ambush rules at the beginning of the encounter to see if we could get closer to the bad guys and remain unnoticed, but once the shooting started, we were not sure how to maintain that some people were still out of sight. The case in point for this was Pavlov Onajetski, who spent the fight hiding in the bushes. We were not sure if the player was supposed to roll recon each round, or, if they didn't move, would their successes from the round in which they first hid just carry over. Does the GM have to roll recon then each round for the bad guys to see if they spot the player? It was unclear.
We also decided that we would handle food and water record keeping by just having folks subtract their daily consumption in the morning shift, even if in play they eat later in the day or spread out their ration throughout the day. We did this just to make it simple. For this first morning of tracking we first consumed the wild rations and cooked rabbit (a total of 4 rations) and then two other people had to consume one of their starting rations. Each player also had to consume 1 water.
Day 2 Supplies Gained - None
Day Shift - Travel and combat.