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7TV Inquisitor Part 1

Inquisiton

My 40K skirmish project has been bubbling away for a couple of years now, repeatedly spinning off into a number of sub-projects.  All of these have been fun to work on but the main goal – as always – has been to get a few games played.

Last weekend PB and I finally got around to playing a series of four games set in the 40K universe, themed around Dan Abnett style, super-spy type Inquisitorial actions.  To me the obvious choice of ruleset for improbable, covert heroic shenanigans was 7TV.

7TV

7TV is geared around playing games in 1970s TV and movie style.  Shows like The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Sapphire and Steel, The Avengers and The Time Tunnel plus a healthy dose of James Bond are the inspiration for the rule set.

I imagine that 40K Inquisitors get up to similar sorts of unlikely antics, so 7TV is well suited to modelling that.  I also enjoy the gaming attitude that a miniatures game that is trying to represent the actual filming of a daft TV show in some odd post modern way engenders.

A lot of this feel is generated with cards like Stirring Flashback and Premature Gloating which reference story elements in conjunction with cards like Reshoots and Technical Difficulties which suggest that the game actually takes place on a television set rather than actually in story.  It is perhaps a little peculiar, but this hybrid approach makes plenty of sense to me.  Its kind of like watching the behind the scenes drama alongside the stage performances in The Muppet Show.

We played the generic scenarios available in the 7TV rulebook.  We decided to restrict ourselves to the basic rules for our first session the sake of expediency.  I did flex my atrophied and self-conscious creative writing muscles to write the mission briefs in the style of a cheeseball TV script (or at least what I imagine a cheeseball TV script to look like, taking my cues from the cheeseball scripts in the 7TV book) to help set the mood.

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=][=nquisitor
A Matter of Honour – Prologue – Hold Out

01. THE WASTELANDS OF MARENGHI IV. FLAMING WRECKAGE AND BILLOWING SMOKE SURROUND A GROUP OF BATTERED, SOOT STAINED SQUAT SURVIVORS TAKING COVER IN CRYSTAL FORMATIONS. THEIR ARMOUR DENOTES THEM AS MEMBERS OF THE URSA MINER BROTHERHOOD.

EFFECT: The sound of approaching heavy vehicles. Distant but getting closer.

URSA MINER 1
(Taking cover and scanning the horizon with magnoculars) Hostiles approaching from the South West. 30 seconds to contact.

URSA MINER 2
Ive never been midships during a mass driver hit. The Valaya was ripped from bow to stern. They wont be expecting any survivors.

URSA MINER SERGEANT
Cut the chatter. Lets show these bastards what happens when you corner an Ursa Miner!

URSA MINER 1
(Incredulously lowering his magnoculars) They already know sarge…

THE APPROACHING VEHICLE EMERGES THROUGH THE DUST AND SMOKE AND SLEWS TO A HALT IN THE SAND. CLOSE UP ON THE OPENING DOOR REVEALING URSA MINER HERALDRY.

(Go to intro sequence)

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Recently shot down Ursa Miners take cover in a rock formation as their homicidal brothers approach from the West.

Recently shot down Ursa Miners take cover in a rock formation as their homicidal brothers approach from the West.

Other than a demo of the system at Salute in 2012 this was my first game of 7TV.  Although he had read the rules, PB had not played before.  Therefore the first scenario that we played was a simple “Hold Out” with each side using an identical small force so that we could get to grips with the basics.  It was also an appropriate way to set up the story premise.

PB defended with his perplexed Ursa Miner space dwarfs in open helms while I attacked with “inexplicably” fratricidal Ursa Miners wearing enclosed helmets.

PB was the pict remembrancer for the session.

One of the loyalist squats didnt survive the crash.  He will be remembered/avenged (delete as applicable).

One of the loyalist squats didnt survive the crash. He will be remembered/avenged (delete as applicable).

During set up PB used Advantageous Location to reposition the superheated lava terrain from the crash in front of my traitorous squats, thereby disrupting my advance.  He also used Built Up Area to add another couple of pieces of terrain and create some choke points.  The bastard.

Off route.

Off route.

This underhand behaviour was countered somewhat by one of the pieces of wreckage that PBs guys were hiding behind turning out to be a Dodgy Prop.  Just wobbly enough to allow one of my guys to bump it out of the way and plug a loyalist.

Before (note the triangular purple Dodgy Prop)...

Before (note the triangular purple Dodgy Prop)…

After.

After.

The loyalists held their own, but came undone after my traitor sarge lobbed his specially requisitioned Temporal Grenade.

MIND BLOWING jet pack escapes from stasis grenades!

Zap! Whoosh!

Just as the grenade went off the loyalist sergeant activated his special issue Jet Pack to avoid the radius of the chronal radiation.  It looked pretty cool, but did him little good as the sarge was unceremoniously cut down by automatic fire as soon as his short legs touched down.

Victory to the mysteriously fratricidal space dwarfs!

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The game system trundled along in a straightforward fashion familiar to toy soldier veterans like ourselves. Play time was short due to the low model count and the mirth-to-time-spent ratio was high in favour of giggles. As expected the card play was a bit of fun that helped to set the scene and added just the sort of thing that a skirmish game requires to keep it from being too “flat”.

Although I enjoy a competitive boardgame or miniature game on a grid I tend to avoid competitive elements when playing tabletop, tape-measure based games. I dont really think tournament toy soldiers works: the format is too woolly and imprecise.

The sort of tabletop games that I enjoy feel a little more RPG like, with a shared narrative experience via a fun and atmospheric rule set.  Nice toys on nice terrain and a like minded opponent are also essential.  That is a large list of caveats, but it worked out during this game for sure 🙂

Up to speed with the basics after this prologue game, we were ready to play Act 1. I will post about that over the next day or two.

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