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Void Pirates: The Courier

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L to R: Char’Lee Krown the Foak, Cooper the anthropomorphic arboreal versus Diplomatic Envoy Flarz and Cultural Liaison Unit 615

My buddy PB visited recently and we decided to get our pulp sci-fi on.

We each rapidly chose two of the seven premade bounty hunters from the “Void Pirates” book and selected a scenario from the companion “Blasters and Bulkheads” book, leapt into our futuristic silver jumpsuits and got stuck in.

Sector 13… crummier than the floor of a Zroobian bakers hov-pod and twice as fragrant. Pastyfaced, floppy-fringed, cosmoccino-guzzling astrojerks might eventually gentrify this cess pit, but they will never get the stains out…

Greedy eyes scan for any sign of the courier. Beenz tip-off had better been worth the expense, or he was gonna be getting a taste of root later on…

… wait just a microt, target acquired, 12000 credits here we come…

Silas the mnemonic courier (centre) appeared uncomfortable as he checked his chronometer again. Used to transporting simple data, the box concealed under reams of vellum felt clumsy and awkward. Soon he would get off this Emperor forsaken rock, and all of the cloak and dagger would be over. Silas comm unit chimed, the hopper was coming to land on the corner of King Kirby and Priestley…

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As Silas hitched up his robes and headed West, Cha’lee branched North, leaving Cooper to intercept the courier.

With all of the subtlety that the galaxy has come to expect from the Elgee-em Empire, Diplomatic Envoy Flarz opens fire in a crowded urban area. The blast beam splinters Cha’lees rapidly growing arm shield, sending sap flying and civilians diving for cover…

“Keep yer heads down ya idiots!” cries Cooper at the panicking crowd as he gorily decapitates Courier Silas with ion blaster rounds.

With Flarz distracted by the prize slipping from his grasp, Cha’lee begins to build up some momentum, heading straight for the Envoy as his damaged biomass knits back together…

Flarz spots that he is in tree-mendous trouble a fraction too late…

… and the Diplomatic Envoy is battered into bloody submission.

After failing to damage Cultural Liaison 615 with a hail of ion bolts, Cooper grabs the box that has fallen from the lifeless couriers hands and hopes to withstand the cross-border-relations of the robot… Cooper falls to the ground, wounded and unconscious.

After looping around the building Cha’lee gets his first good look at Liaison Officer 615 and hesitates, unable to bring himself to attack the machine…

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“+++ I DID NOT EXPECT TO EVER LAY OPTICS ON YOU AGAIN COMRADE CHA’LEE+++” synths 615, before overloading his gauntlet repulsors and pushing the conflicted planimal out of his path with non-lethal force…

With one last chance to stop the mechanoid with his versatile medium ranged prehensile creepers, the plant person only manages a crestfallen “I am Cha’lee…”.  Pausing only to hurl a nearby console to cover its escape, 615 accelerates from the battlefield with the couriers package held tightly in its manipulators.


That game was a hoot.  The rules were simple, lean, intuitive and a lot of fun.  The scenario special rule that resulted in the alien treeman having some sort of unknown history with the giant robot proved to be critical, exciting and genuinely hilarious.
This rule set is a keeper.  So much so that I immediately stopped working on fantasy figures for the first time in almost a year and started work on a few others.  Heres a hint:

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29 Responses

  1. “crummier than the floor of a Zroobian bakers hov-pod and twice as fragrant. Pastyfaced, floppy-fringed, cosmoccino-guzzling astrojerks might eventually gentrify this cess pit, but they will never get the stains out…”

    It’s… like reading Finnegan’s Wake.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A little more “Dead Men Dont Wear Plaid” than Joyce perhaps, but I appreciate the vote of literary confidence.

      Now I want to play a scenario called “Cloned Men Dont Wear Paisley” or something.

      Like

  2. Ooh! Nice one! I hope you can continue to enjoy your slightly more medievalesque mythic, but forgive me for saying I’m glad to see you back in space. 🙂 Great story! Sounds like you had a fun game. Maybe I need to take a look at this Void Pirates thing you mention. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Honestly, playing and painting sci-fi again feels a bit like coming home. I really am very more interested in science fiction/science fantasy than sword and sorcery.

      But a bit of variety is good and has broadened my scope and techniques etc nicely.

      The game is fun and costs under $10, certainly worth a look.

      Like

  3. Awesome – I’m gonna have to check VP out! That is an amazing looking table by the way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Alex.
      Some sort of Mega City One terrain set has been a goal since I was a juve, so I got a fair bit of it done in 2014-2015.
      I have loads more elements to add yet, but I worked on some fantasy terrain this year instead.

      VP is quick and fun to play. I hope that you enjoy it.

      Like

  4. You made me laugh here, cool report 😀
    BTW, an Oscar to the FX department!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heh, probably not an Oscar, maybe a Grammy ;D

      I’m still deciding if I like those sorts of things added in post production. I’ll see how I feel about adding them next time.

      Thanks for the feedback Suber, I’m glad that you liked it.

      Like

  5. Looks like some kind of Galactic Guardians on their way…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Solar Sultans?
      Kuiper-belt Kommandos?
      Custodians of the Cosmos?

      While that project is certainly an homage to that franchise, in want to emphasise their bounty hunting elements, rather than the unlikely hero side.

      Void Venators maybe…
      Stalkers of the Spaceways…

      Out riders of Orion perhaps.

      Like

  6. Sounds like a super fun game! What kind of mechanic produced the unknown history part? Just a scenario feature or what?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The one of the three potentially applied scenario special rules used in this game was as follows.


      “Old Friend/Flame

      Two of the models on opposing sides are old friends, or perhaps even old flames!
      Before the first Round of combat begins, but after models have been placed on the table, each player should roll randomly to see who has an Old Friend/Flame among the opposition. The two models share some tie that keeps them from harming each other.
      They both must make TN3 Resolve checks to enter close combat with each other, or make ranged attacks against each other. They must continue to make these TN3 Resolve checks each turn in order to carry out any hostile action against each other.”

      What that boils down to is that the robot and the treeperson each had some sort of history and whenever they attacked each other there was a chance that the character would hesitate and the attack would be wasted.

      Cha’lee failed every attempt to attack 615 and the callous and unfeeling 615 was happey to violently remove Cha’Lee from his path as and when required, to win the game in fact.

      Very funny and very amusing in a narrative sense 🙂

      Im glad that it translated to the report.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely brilliant! Will need to look into those, they seem like mechanics easily adapted to other games.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think that I mentioned it above, but the scenario special rules in Goalsystem Games and modular and generally excellent.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ooh, sounds great. Is there a book you’d recommend checking out for optimal goodness?

            Liked by 1 person

            • That’s difficult to say.
              Although Void Pirates is the system that I would suggest for actual play, it’s lean on the scenario and scenario special rules front.
              Blasters and Bulkheads has a few more, as do Chaos on Cronos and the various Supersystem flagship titles.

              They are not all collected anywhere that I am aware of unfortunately.

              Liked by 1 person

  7. Colour me intrigued by Void Pirates. Great batrep shots too, it looked like big funs. The robot/tree conflict made me chuckle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The robot/tree thing happened mechanically in game too, rather than simply being a result of retroactive narration.

      VP is very straightforward to play, but has entertaining dice mechanics and a few other things going on that make it fun.

      We will give it a go soon I expect. You could get those Cylons painted in preparation perhaps?

      Like

  8. That was fantastic. Good to see you back in the Sci-Fi/Fan genre. What is the effects program you used on your pictures? It looks really good.

    Also.. on your recommendation, I already picked up Void Pirates. I like Pulp Alley, but the pre-game work is just too time consuming. Thanks for the info, and thanks for sharing a great batrep.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Maj. G, I thought that this might be your scene 🙂 I’m glad that you liked it.

      The SFX program that I used is rather irritating to use, but as yet it’s the best one that I have found on Android.
      It’s called “Eye Candy”. A couple of the bloody elements came from a Halloween themed seasonal add-on to Pixlr.

      I still love Pulp Alley very much, but the more involved game play, while satisfying is more time consuming.

      Like

      • Thanks for the info.
        Ran my first test game of VP and it reminds me of SOBH. Simple rules, but lots of customization.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Most importantly Will, did you enjoy it?

          SOBH is a good comparison actually, but the absence of a turnover mechanic makes a big difference.

          I do like the abilities in VP that work once and have a chance to work subsequently. It feels cinematic to me.

          Like

          • Not only did I enjoy it, I just posted a battle report with it!

            It’s a winner of a ruleset. The SOBH turnover mechanic is kind of cool, but I’m not a fan of the combat resolution.
            So the trade-off to a better,opposed die combat system is a big upgrade. Also, I really like the lethality. You shoot things, you hit things, they go down.

            Like you mentioned above, it needs scenarios. Fortunately there’s several rulesets that have several books of scenarios to tide us over.

            Thanks again for the recommendation, and I gave you due credit on the batrep.

            Liked by 1 person

  9. Great AAR, not only fab models, fab terrain, but now also with spacial effects, your skill has no limits mate.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great report! So flattered my rules could produce such brilliance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Im glad that you liked it Scott 😀

      Although too much streamlining can make a game bland, I am generally in favour of it. It worked extremely well in this case. I really do think that this evolution of the Goalsystem mechanics is the best that I have played to date.

      The game was rapid, intuitive, tense and amusing. I have been mining previous Goalsystem releases for various scenarios and scenario special rules since, attempting to creat a scenario “toolbox” with for future games. The simple and intuitive game mechanics mean that adding a little bit of flavoursome, genre appropriate complexity via the scenarios is hugely appealing.

      I hope that some VP expansions are planned 🙂

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Like

  11. Great report. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the crew painted up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks moodysadventures. I have done a bit of wpork on the crew since. I hope to have the five string version complete over the next cuple of weeks.

      Like

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