Updated: Jun 15, 2021
Episode 1 - What Now? The players found themselves waking up at first light in a ruin of an old foundry on a farm not far from the polish city of Kalisz. The previous day NATO forces were smashed by Warsaw Pact forces leaving a chaotic situation with Russian forces scouring the countryside for survivors. Inside of the old ruin, a possible way for the group to get away from the area and maybe to somewhere safer, a stashed U.S. Humvee, left behind by Marine Gunnery Sergeant Mason and cared for by the local landowner Minka. The Humvee looks like a Frankenstein monster with doors and other parts obviously cannibalized from other vehicles all stuck together on one chassis. The name ‘Miserable Beast’ was painted haphazardly across the passenger side door in red paint.
There were others that called the foundry home that morning. Pavlov, a local polish boy, ex-con, and childhood friend of MInka, who recently returned to her farm, looking to see if she was still alive and if he could hide out there. Axel Mueller, a German student forced to become a soldier, trying to get back home but also guarding a young deaf girl named Zofi. Watching over both of them was the silent and dark presence of Blanco Phantasma, an Italian government assassin who had married Axel’s aunt.
The group exchanged introductions and began discussing where they can go. Going east would mean moving directly toward the Russian forces, not something that any of them were interested in, except for Zofi. Heading north seemed like a bad idea due to the expectation that most of the areas north, especially near the coast would be highly irradiated. Going west would lead them toward the retreating NATO forces but it also meant that they might get caught in the crossfire. In the end, they decided the best bet was to travel south and try to stay away from large cities. The other thing they decided was that it would be better for them to travel at night.
With that decided, they decided to spend the day consolidating their supplies, getting the vehicle ready, and searching the local area for any supplies. Minka was able to go out and get some of the crops from her fields and Axel was able to hunt a rabbit. Mason found a discarded shotgun laying in the field, its owner long gone. Pavlov and Blanco hung out at camp, looking out for trouble and it may have found them in the form of a dog. Pavlov wanted to chase the dog off, but Blanco and Minka decided to feed it, saying it might be good to have a dog around to keep watch or if things got really bad, to serve as a meal.
In the afternoon, Minka cooked up the rabbit, with Pavlov’s help while Axel, Zofi, and Mason all got some sleep, as best they could in the summer heat. Blanco continued to stand watch. The episode came to a close as the sun was beginning to make its long trek toward the horizon. They will have a few hours to make last minute preparations before beginning their night time drive through the war torn region.
Meta Game Stuff
Hunting. So we found that the hunting mechanic was far more complex than a simple skill roll. First, you have to make a survival roll, just to track down something to hunt. Then you have to make a Recon rolls to get in position for a shot. Then you have to make a successful ranged combat roll and do enough damage to take it down. That was a lot of rolls, considering the result for the player was only one rabbit and with only one person being allowed to hunt in a 10 km radius, it mean that we were brining in a lot less food than our group was going to eat. Although the mechanic is very realistic, we are on the fence as to whether it is too punishing considering that with an average party of four players (we have four and one NPC) that most animals on the list will not provide enough food for a group even if they successfully make all of the necessary rolls.
The good news is that you can also forage and/or fish in the same hex, so if you have the right skills and gear, you can potentially pick up a good amount of food in a single shift and you could potentially hunt twice in a day. Below we are going to track the food supplies for the group as we go forward and see how we fare.
Day 1 After Morning and Day shifts:
Group Supplies: Miserable Beast 1/2 tank of fuel. 1x SAW mounted on Miserable Beast with 1 belt of ammo( 100 shots)
Supplies Gained: +4 Wild Food Rations, +2 Cooked Rations, 1 Shotgun