08 May 2012

Strange Aeons "The Crypt" AAR

Got around to play Strange Aeons again, tried out one of the new Morbid Adventures scenarios with a friend. The scenario is called “The cryp” and is quite interesting.

The Threshold team is accompanied by an operative who know about a treasure of some sort being hidden down in a crypt. So he stations the Threshold team outside to guard the entrance while he tries to make it down to the bottom of the crypt. In the meantime the player controlling the Lurkers enters the table on the opposite edge and tries to thwart the good guys.

The twist in this scenario is such that the operative down in the crypt has to descend 3 levels, each level is more frightening than the next. So at the start of each turn the operative rolls 1D6 and checks his resolve (4+) to see if he dares to enter further into the crypt. The first level has no modifiers, 2nd level has +1 negative modifiers and the 3rd level has a +2 negative modifier.

Up on the surface the Threshold team can assign one member to operate a primitive radio device to calm and comfort the operative down in the crypt, adding a +1 positive modifier to all his rolls. One the operative reaches the bottom of the crypt he will start making his way back, and he doesn’t have to roll resolve checks any more. If he emerges, the Threshold team has won and escapes into the night with whatever treasures you may find. If the Threshold team up on the surface is wiped out the game is lost and the operative is also lost down in the dark crypt.

The two opposing forces looked like this:

Threshold

Character: Brewster Higgins
.45 handgun, double barreled shotgun, bowie knife
Animal handler,  Ambush

Agent: Prof. Armitage
.45 handgun
Read languages

Agent: Jack Williams
.45 handgun, hollow point bullets
Heroic

Attack Dog: Rufus
Man’s best friend

Lurker

Cult Leader
.22 Handgun

2x Cultist with crossbows (Longbow)
2x Cultist with polearms (Spears)
………………
We played the scenario two times, switching sides during game 2. The main reason for this was the abysmal misfortune that held the Threshold team in its stranglehold during the entire game 1. I have not seen worse luck in a Strange Aeons game. The operative that was supposed to go down to check out the cryp did not dare to enter it until turn 4! It was a 3+ roll that he kept failing, unbelievable. Then the operative got stuck on level 1 for the next 4 turns, only being able to descend down to level 2 on turn 9!!

Meanwhile on the surface the Threshold team had their work cut out for them. Crazed cultist appeared and started firing their crossbows and double barreled shotgun. It was a very intensive shootout that lasted several turns.

Rufus was set loose to attack the Cult leader but got removed as a minor injury as the Cult leader laughed like a lunatic and hit the character Brewster Higgins as soon as turn 2. The shootout continued in O.K. Corall fashion (the hillbilly version) until Higgins put a shotgun hole in the Cult leader who in turn dropped Higgins with another shotgun blast on turn 5.

Jack Williams was now alone out in the graveyard and facing no less than 5 cultists. Prof. Armitage was at the far back trying to convince the operative underground to haul ass. In vain. Williams did his best, using up his Heroic action and put two rounds into the Cult leader but failed to wound the man – how is this possible with the hollow point bullets!?

The demented laughter of the cult leader was only cut short with another blast from his shotgun which removed Williams as a major injury. Now the cult swarmed over the gravestones towards the lonely Prof.Armitage.  Armitage tried to hold his ground, fired at the attackers – he was finally charged by a blood crazed cultist who cut him down with a well placed thrust of a spear.

One can only imagine that the wicked cultists cut the radio cord and sealed the crypt entrance forever trapping the hapless operative still stuck down in the damp dark halls of level 2.
………..
Second game, same teams just swapping sides.
The initiative was won by the Lurker side – again. Advancing pretty much along the flank like in game 1 the cultists were a bit more careful to stay out of gun range. The operative was able to enter Level 1 on turn 1, but then got stuck for the next 2 turns not daring to venture further.

Finally on turn 4 the operative managed to reach level 4. The battle on the surface was raging. One of the cultists had been dropped and was face down in the mood trying to regain his senses and overcome the pain from his injuries while the cult leader and the crossbowmen started firing at agent Williams. Agents Higgins and Armitage were in safe cover near the crypt entrance.

Williams hit the cult leader twice on turn 5, both shots proved to be lethal and the cult leader was dropped dead. Two cultists panicked and ran away from the fight. The the operative reached level 3 of the crypt and supposedly found what he was looking for – he signaled the surface team that he was returning back towards the entrance. The cultists

On turn 6 the operative reached level 2, meanwhile Williams had retreated to join up with Higgins and Armitage behind the ruined wall and kept firing at the cultists who were fighting very inefficiently now. However one of the cultists armed with a crossbow lined up two shots and hit the leader of the Threshold team – Higgins was wounded twice and removed as a casualty. The sight was too much for Williams who fled the scene leaving professor Armitage by himself.

Armitage managed to hold his ground until turn 8 when the operative returned back to the surface and sealed a Threshold victory.
………..
Some thoughts about the scenario and the games.
I love the idea behind this scenario, but the situation can become extremely unforgiving if you have bad luck with the dice as proven by game 1. I would actually love to play this a bit more fleshed out with a bit more involvement around the underground character. I have some “dungeon tiles” from a boardgame that I may use next time. It would be fun to play that lonely operative actively on a smaller separate board while the surface team handles the Lurker assault. This would make a great participation game for conventions.

My friend thought the scenario would be too easy for the Threshold upon reading it for the first time, but it proved that it was pretty hard. The Threshold pulled off close victory in game 2. It was also funny to see the “heroes” on both sides get killed while all minions survived. Not really how pulp games usually go down haha.

I think that if you want to increase the likelihood of a Threshold victory a better choice would be to drop the hollow point bullets and buy a civilian instead. Then park the civilian near the crypt entrance for moral support while the trio of good agents take on whatever is thrown at them. I think the Threshold lost a bit too much firepower keeping one of their agents at the crypt entrance.

Unfortunately we did not have the time to try out the other scenario I was really interested in trying out "Monster hunt". Next time.

8 comments:

  1. I should stop reading these reports as each one makes me what to get this game more!

    I find your table set ups to be really evocative of the genre. Great looking stuff.

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  2. Great looking mini's and scenery. Very nice report.

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  3. Great report! I love this game!

    Chris, you may want to go check out Strange Aeons Adventures Blog I am hosting a contest there of battle reports. Very sweet stuff there, some in comic format and many in old style vintage video works. Amazing stuff!

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    1. That's a great blog, Styx. I'll add it to my 'follow' list.

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  4. @Chris,

    If you can, give Strange Aeons a try. It's a fun "small" game (even though it tends to grow out of proportion when you want every cool "pulp/Horror" mini out there :-D )

    The terrain belonged to my friend, played at his house. I only brought some boxes, the board and the Cthulhu statue.

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    1. I might give it a go then. I've got some old Indiana Jones figures from when WEG were doing the RPG. Might be an excuse to paint them up: Indy Vs Cthulhu Cultists!


      I loved your 'silent movie' game report too!

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  5. Yea, Anatoli did a great job on that movie...hell everyone did!

    Chris,
    The nice thing about Strange Aeons, is you don't need many miniatures a few gets you started...a small investment and you can have a nice collection that does not break the bank.

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  6. You could totally re-theme this scenario to include the diving suit as the operative that is "diving" down levels, while his team on the surface has to keep the breathing equipment running and fend off the attackers!

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