Monday, June 13, 2016

GURPS Gamma World, 20th Homeland - Session 8 - Down go the Ironmen

We played session 8 of our Gamma Terra game on Sunday.

"Fatbox" (John M) - demo/EOD
"Hillbilly" (me) - medical specialist
"Love Handles" (Vic L) - demo/EOD
"Princess" (Andy D) - cryptographer/sniper

Present but NPC'ed:
"Momma's Boy" (Tom P) - computer programmer
"Short Bus" (Mike D) - computer programmer

In reserve:
"Caveman" (Jon L) - demo/EOD
"Barbie" (Mike H) - demo/EOD (MIA)

We picked up on the island of the Triumvirate, where we left off last time.

Next up, defeat the Iron Men. (At the end of the session, we'd be reminded they asked us to try to reason with them. Oh, yeah, that.) We needed to attack them, preferably by attacking with all of our force on a single one at a time.

There were four Iron Men - Corpos, Velveteen, Bazzalt and Nogo Pain. Their allies were the four Outlaws, - Holk, Baal, 2-Iron and Psiclo.

Velveteen lived out on a barge. The rest, in town. Some in specific locations - others, like Bazzalt, tended to roam around.

After some discussion of a point of attack, we decided the barge was out. We could potentially take it, but then we'd have 3-4 miles of water to cross and then reach prepared and organized foes. Hillbilly suggested we rendezvous with the sheriff, Ajax, and gun up, then advance on one of the the Iron Men in town. If Velveteen wanted to get in on it, great, if not, we'd defeat them in detail.

We went in around 2-3 am, as things in town started to wind down a bit, in the soft glow of the never-quite-dark of this season.

We retrieved our guns from the Sheriff's office. Ajax, the Sheriff, had an old grudge with Nogo Pain, and said they'd handle him. Their flying sheriff, who we'd bribed with a watch last time, would fly cover with her pyro/cryokinetic powers. We picked the cantina as our point of attack - several of the capos were often there, and Corpos lived up on the fourth floor.

We sent Ajax and his deputies ahead, and advanced in a wedge - back left Love Handles, left center Fatbox, right center Hillbilly, trailing a distant back right, Princess. That gave us an M16A4, 12g shotgun, Scar-H, and M110 from left to right. If we needed range, the right handled it. Close-in, left. Love Handles's M16A4 is actually Fatbox's, but better 5.56mm and a 30 round mag than his dinky MP7 (or whatever it is - a H&K PDW knock-off useless for actually killing anything.)

As we moved past the mess hall, some armed finders saw us, and sent two back with the news and six rushed us. Why? Because we had illegal weapons.

They died. We shot down four right away and Princess shot one down as he ran inside. Still, some of the braver of them came out, waving weapons - something like six of them. We shot them down. A couple got to melee range and one slashed Hillbilly's arm, causing him to miss an easy shot. Princess didn't miss, though, and he went down.

Around this time someone moved into the door. Hillbilly put three rounds into him. Her? Who knows. Hillbilly didn't look or care. Move towards us with weapons, or from cover, get shot.

We basically marched down the street, shooting anyone who attempted to interfere with us.

Hillbilly showed remarkable fire discipline. Singles shots and three round bursts, not the usual "full auto." 20 round mags and a target-dense environment wasn't conducive to that.

Once we got to the cantina, trouble came to find us - some better armored and armed Finders burst out the door. We shot them down (they had armor, but not full face masks - Face is only -5, oops for them) but then the door burst open and a big thing with a tiny mount on a stalk surrounded by petals rushed us - Holk. He dodged our bullets with ease, at least for a split second, but a lucky shot or two from Princess scored on him . . . and did almost nothing. Holk put a palm on Love Handles's shoulder and opened his mouth and the flower petals around it - and spewed a yellow gas into his face. LH went down choking on lung-burning pollen or something. Holk turned on Fatbox and spewed a weakness gas on him, causing his muscles to just stop firing well (ST loss, not FP loss), which started to put him below the ST for his shottie. He kept firing. Holk dodged a lot, but took hits here and there.

LH had to choke on his lungs for a while (18 on a HT roll) and then recovered enough to stab himself with one of the recovery pens.

Hillbilly decided to make sure this fight stayed one-on-one, and raked a three-yard area with his ROF 9 SCAR-H. Shoots through schools, as it were, and pock marked the walls. A moment later, as Hillbilly ran his gun dry, part of the wall peeled off and attacked - someone, Hillbilly missed Baal, a humanoid-turned-treeman with chameleon powers and a two-handed chainsword. He luckily dodged some fire and charged LH and carved up his right quad, and then mangled his left hand, and then proceeded to beat him about the duralloy chest plate. Lucky for us, nothing could penetrate the duralloy and it also absorbs impact, so full power hits often didn't even budge the victim.

LH tried to defend, which was cute - he couldn't buy a Dodge (I think he made one all session). He'd roll well shooting, but not defending.

Meanwhile, Holk was still around. Hillbilly charged him low and tackled him, going for a double-leg takedown. It didn't budge him, but he wasted a moment prying Hillbilly off. He took some fire from Princess for that, and then Hillbilly clamped back on. Then Hillbilly pulled out Hoopslayer, his mightly glass knife. Holk spewed some green FP-sapping crud on Hillbilly, but even as that happened Hillbilly sliced Holk with the knife in close . . . and opened him up wide. Princess shot him more just to make sure, and he went down.

Baal kept beating up poor Love Handles, who refused to go down. Fatbox kept shooting his shotgun dry, then reloading, and Baal didn't seem impressed. Once again, Hillbilly went for the tackle. Baal couldn't get free, and a knife slash to the leg slowed him down more. The others shot high and gunned him down - Fatbox providing the finishing headshot with a 12g slug. Hillbilly gave him an extra slice to be sure.

We paused to take turns reloading and stick pens into ourselves for HP and FP.

Then we went into the cantina/saloon.

Inside was Bazzalt, a gigantic stone man, surrounded by Finders.

Hillbilly pulled out his torc grenade, one of the black baseballs from Session 1.

It was all ready for impact fused, max radius, etc.

Except, it wasn't. That was the plan, and I'd discussed it a bunch of times. But I never said it directly to the GM. I mad an IQ roll to see if I'd remembered to actually do it - 15. Missed by 3. Crap.

So the others shot at Bazzalt while Hillbilly cursed at the grenade and himself. Seriously, this is fuzzy here because I was being annoyed at myself and not paying attention. But bullets pinged off of Bazzalt, who didn't bother do dodge. Hatches and axes and spears flew at us, hitting several. An axe hit LH, and a spear lodged in Fatbox's helmet and partly severed his ear. Aargh. The Finders charged.

Hillbilly kept working on the grenade.

Just as the enemy was reaching melee range, Hillbilly threw. It landed just behind Bazzalt, who watched it go but didn't bother with it. Heck, he's stone, what's a dinky frag grenade going to -

And that was it. No sound, no whoosh, just a sudden moment and everything in a 40' radius of the impact point was simply gone. Walls, Finders, Bazzalt, the bar, patrons who hadn't fled, the upper stories right through to the roof. Gone.

The Finders in the lead reached us and fought. Fatbox actually whacked one with the spear that was sticking from his helmet with a sweeping head butt. Hillbilly backed off from one and shot him three times. The others got shot by LH and Princess. In seconds they all went down.

We headed upstairs on one half of the building after Princess used the Bunny X-Ray Scope to verify there was a big flat slug of a man on the top floor, with four guards with rifles.

We headed up, pushing aside from fleeing patrons. Hillbilly took a peep at the top floor - there was a landing with a door cracked open, and man aiming from behind it. Heh. Using banging on the floor to mask any movement, we had Princess move up. He shot the guy in the eye from inside the spiral staircase. Hillbilly stepped up and lobbed a stun grenade (we had three from one of the Triumvirate) and hit the door crack. A sonic whine went off and stunned all of them plus Fatbox.

We rushed the room and killed the guards. Corpo was equally stunned, it seemed, and so fat that our bullets didn't seem to do much to his melty, waxy, Pizza the Hutt form. A couple eye shots took care of that, though. We checked their guns - black powder breech loaders. Hillbilly put them aside and we left - the others loaded up on food from Corpo's feast.

Next up, join the assault on Nogo Pain.

Nogo's tower was burning in patches, and Ajax's deputies were down. Ajax was doing a shoot-dive-run movement pattern while fighting a human-headed amorphous blob (the GM likened it to Tetsuo at the end of Akira.)

We set Princess up to snipe and moved along the edge of the battle so we could shoot. As we got in close, we started to fire at Nogo Pain.

The bullets didn't do much. Not nothing, but not much. We kept plugging away.

Princess, though, heard a hit about 20 seconds or so into this firefight. He glanced to the hiss yelling, "We have a hisser!" He saw a giant, half-black skin half-glass man carrying a fire hydrant on the end of a chain. With him was a lizard man with twin katana. The lizard man disappeared with a hissing noise. Ah, 2-Iron, and he teleports. We couldn't hear Princess over the gunfire, so we kept shooting. In any case, Princess is a pessimist and decided that even if we knew there was a teleporter, we couldn't do anything, so why alert us? That's our scout/sniper. The big guy? Velveteen. Aww, I though he was a giant Hoop.

We kept shooting Nogo Pain, who sometimes dodged and mostly showed that piercing sucks vs. Homogenous. He was especially unimpressed with LH's M16A4's 5.56mm.

Princess drew and threw his torc grenade. He wasn't paying attention, either, and just used the default settings except for a 10' radius. He put it right near Velveteen. Velveteen whacked it aside and it landed in the ruined saloon. A second later, it went off - default is 1 second, not impact. This made for a more costly but more interesting fight.

Princess did a dodge, shoot, dodge routine as V would wind up with his giant hydrant-and-chain and then swing. He shot V, but V blocked shots with his glass side.

Hillbilly ran out of ammo at this point, as as he was dropping his mag into an open bag and fishing out another, he did the usual look-around and saw V. "Big bogie over there!" and pointed. (It's in the Field Manual, I swear it.)

The others looked, and we mostly shifted fire to V. When that was mostly blocked, Hillbilly went back to killing Nogo Pain. Ajax's laser might help us if we could knock him off.

Basically, that's what happened. We shot up Nogo until Ajax was able to finish him off (despite some rough pseudopod blows), and V cracked Princess in the leg and broke it terribly.

V layed off, though, and yelled, "You stupid humans!" in English.

Hillbilly instantly replied, "Yep, that's us!"

V kept cranking his flail, but kept talking, mostly to Love Handles, who wanted to know how he learned English. They had to yell a lot, because once Nogo died (after a Love Handles shot, IIRC), Hillbilly swapped up to V and shot at him. Ajax just pulled out a glass knife and carved up Nogo's corpse.

V told us that we were on the wrong side, wanted to know what would happen when "someone stronger" came to take the Fountain (the nuclear plant) from the pacifistic Triumvirate, what's going to happen when it's in their hands (uh, it's in them know, idiot), etc.

LH seemed pretty taken by V. (ut-of-game discussion started to go to, "Maybe we chose the wrong side." My out of game comment? The Triumvirate has a 20th Homeland trooper in it. Hillbilly has like 50 odd points that say, "Loyal to America and the 20th Homeland and his buddies." We're on the right side.) He talked back. V tried to convince us we were doing a bad thing.

Fatbox and Hillbilly lost patience pretty quickly and shot him, and as V tried to continue to the fight Princess shot him from the back (he'd turned away to talk to us). The Ajax ran up, jumped up, and slammed his glass knife into the glass chest of Velveteen, and let gravity pull him down, slicing him. Pretty cool.

Loves Handles started to sort-of mourn for Velveteen. Love Handles:
"He made sense, and he seemed to think he was on the right side."
Hillbilly: "You know who else felt bad because everyone was siding against him even though he was sure he was right? Hitler. You want to be like Hitler?"
Love Handles, sheepishly: "No."
That settled that!

With him dead, the fighting basically ended. Ajax and the Harpy looked for 2-Iron, but he was gone.

We spent the rest of the session policing up the town. We:

- determined Psyclo never left his chair, which was usually where there was a whole lot of nothing from a torc grenade. Hillbilly assured Princess it was in the center of where Princess's batted-aside grenade landed.

- policed up the weapons and domars. We kept a couple of useful weapons and all of the domars. The rest we eventually turned over to Ajax.

- searched for the card keys. Gone. We decided 2-Iron must have taken them.

- looked Nogo Pain's place, and found old droids, books, and a nutrient tank. Fatbox told the Restorationists the books were theirs, and that Ajax would ensure they got first choice of any artifacts from the Ziggurat. We'd tell Ajax later. If we remember.

- looked V's barge, which had all sorts of cool junk-tech weapons scaled to his SM+2 size.

All in all, we killed three of the four outlaws (probably) and all four of the Iron Men. And the GM only knows how many others. Hillbilly doesn't care and I don't either.

Amy asked us if we tried to reason with them. We talked, we said, but it didn't work. Velveteen was quite learned, said Snowman. "And a racist who wanted to wipe out humans." said Hillbilly. "That, too." They told us the Iron Men had massacred some pure strain humans already, and they seemed to be pretty honest with us. Nothing the Iron Men did belied that.

We started to make plans - enlist the Finders to find stuff for the Triumvirate. Hire on many as a militia, and make finding stuff a job for the town. Enlist the Iron Men loyalists by giving them buy-in (No de-Iron Menification here). Stamp down some control for peace.

Amy is hoping we'll stay on. We won't, and she knows that, but we might have to take some time and help set up the militia, etc.

Next session, though, we need to puzzle out the reactor, and see about fuel for Warbot.


I spent points! I haven't done that since the beginning of Session 4. Maybe before that. I upped my ST from 13 to 15, and saved the rest. I'm debating learning some skills (Fast-Draw would be useful, for mag, pistol, or knife) or upping Guns, now that Guns-17 isn't cutting it. Or knife, or more Wrestling. Or I'll just save. ST 15 was great - raised my loadout Move and my melee damage.

Yeah, speak English and we doubt our resolve. Hillbilly never had any doubt. Our side had a 20th Homeland soldier on it, and that's that. Plus, he felt it was all b.s. by Velveteen. "Waah, waah, waah, if us tough guys aren't around someone will come and take the nuclear plant from the Triumvirate." In other words, like we're doing to you right now? Poor Iron Men, if someone kicks their butts they won't be here to protect the town from the next asskickers. Yeah, that happens, and we're the someone doing the kicking, so STFU.

There is some feeling in the group that the nuclear plant should "accidentally" stop working after we recharge. Hillbilly is 100% against that - "I'm not going around destroying everything just in case someone else might come along and use it." We'll see which side wins that argument. Part of this is Hillbilly as a character, but a lot of it is me. Leaving stuff working is good sense - we can eventually use it. Plus, I'm not a "PC as wolverines" kind of player, where everything not taken must be destroyed "just in case some NPCs use it." The fact that, yes, it's possible the Triumvirate could lose the town and the reactor and bad stuff can happen doesn't mean we need to wreck the controls or cause a catastrophic meltdown to keep Random Unknown Bad People from taking it.

Our formation was set by me, because I have some basic understanding of small unit tactics. You know who should have set our small unit tactics? Maybe Fatbox's player, since he's actually a USMC vet with actual understanding of small unit tactics.

We were aggressive, which I like. How aggressive? What were the special powers of the Iron Men? Mostly, we don't know, because we killed several of them and their Outlaw capos so fast with torc grenades or massive firepower they didn't do anything. That is how I like to fight.

We talked about good old Mark, our android. Where is he? Since we haven't interacted with him in a while, it makes sense we left him in Bal'Kree with Serven. They'd get along. Mark can tell bad jokes all he wants and Serven can write them down as speakings of the android of the old ones.

Somewhere in the session we found out about the headlights - they are operator-powered pre-fall artifacts. And they don't work in pairs. So maybe we have a laser unit, and some kind of shield or teleporter or disruptor unit. We'll have to experiment. Hillbilly is still done with them.

Things to do:

- get some glass shot for shotshells.
- make brass catchers (about time) and start thinking reloads.
- get some glass tipped 7.62mm rounds.
- mod my SCAR-H to hold the glass knife as a bayonet.

Fun session - too bad the other guys didn't make it. The fights really called for an MG and another rifleman, plus, it's more fun with we get a full house.


  1. It was a fun session indeed. FWIW, Fatbox got the last kill on Baal. Headshots with shotguns usually do that. Small unit tactics wise we did good. Things were moving very fast and I didn't think the distance to the saloon was as large as it was otherwise I would have had us take a nondirect approach to the doors then produce our weapons, stack up, kick in the door and kill. What really worked in our favor , regardless of formations, was the fact that we achieved surprise, exploited their confusion, and kept pressing the attack until we were done killin'.

    Brass catchers, reloads, and getting our glass weapons made out of V from Xorn before we head out should be our next goals. As well as setup the structure of their militia and chain of command for the town. Not that we should particularly care about the outcome of this area we do have a reputation of the 20th Homeland to uphold. Word of our deeds, both good and bad, will travel faster than we can. I don't want a poor handling of the after effects of our actions to affect us later on down the line. Also you Type-oed USMC.

    1. I'll fix both.

      I told our GM that I don't want to play "re-build civilization" as a game, really - not set up shop and play empire building. Not yet, anyway. But that doesn't mean we can spend a few game-weeks helping get the Boomtown house in order. Or essentially help set up civilization, then go do hazardous stuff on their behalf or our own.


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