Monday, December 4, 2017

GURPS Gamma World, 20th Homeland - Session 15 - Operation Top Hat / Operation Top Hat II

We played a session of Gamma Terra today.

"Caveman" - demo/EOD
"Hillbilly" - medical specialist
"Love Handles" - demo/EOD
"Momma's Boy" - computer programmer

Back at the Ferry Base:
"Fatbox" - demo/EOD
"Oinker" - demo/EOD
"Short Bus" - computer programmer

In reserve:
"Barbie" - demo/EOD (MIA)
"Princess" - cryptographer/sniper

We started out in our ferry station base camp. This time, Short Bus, Fatbox, and Oinker stayed to guard our base. Although he was still badly psychically damaged, Love Handles was deployed with the mobile crew.*

We headed out to the college campus to meet with Colonel Jezza and make plans for Operation Top Hat. We passed a mech sans Little Thieves on the way (we later told Colonel Jezza so he could snap it up.)

Operation Top Hat was:

- borrow a mech

- build a boxed superstructure out of salvaged wood and metal and mount it on top

- send it to the mall

- if it was unmolested, do the same again but this time with the PCs in it

- bail out at the mall and loot it

- have the mech pick us up

Jezza agreed if we'd agree to replace the mech if it was captured. So we did.

But then we decided that it was worth trying a smaller run against some of the Little Monk barricades they'd been setting up to keep us pinned on the coast road and away from their precious Ancients sites. We realized that they might sense living things, and so Caveman decided he should ride it on this pre-programmed test run around the local area. Naturally this meant we all ended up piling into the mech's "top hat" and riding it because one of us might get into trouble but four of us means we'd be able to get out of it.

The trip began, and quickly we reached a barricade. The Little Monks shot arrows into the mech and the superstructure, to no effect, then scattered. But then immediately Hillbilly felt a wave of fear - bone deep, paralytic fear. He shook and couldn't do anything. The Little Monks came up with their barricade wood and stopped the mech by blinding it with an extended piece of barricade. It started to move back and they started to box it in.

Caveman solved this by shooting one of the barricade holders on the side. Love Handles shot as well, and Momma's Boy started burst-firing his PDW into the Little Monks. In moments, they were mostly down.

Caveman tried to yell Hillbilly out of the catatonia, but failed. So then he started to joke him out of it. That didn't help much, but eventually Hillbilly recovered himself.

But Hillbilly decided from then on, Little Monks were little threats. Unarmed ones were dangerous, and needed removal. (He gained a Quirk: Intolerance (Little Monks) from this psychic fear attack.) At the next barricade, we'd slid by and the Little Monks didn't threaten the mech. At the third, just before we'd turn for home, Hillbilly looked out and saw two unarmed LMs. Aha.

He aimed at one and shot him down. He switched to the second and narrowly missed him. The others joined in, gunning down two belly-bow users and the second unarmed guy. A couple others ran and Hillbilly and Caveman shot them down.

We reached the college and discussed our failure.

So, Operation Top Hat failed.

We settled on Operation Top Hat II.

- ride the mech with the top hat to the fringes of the Little Monks territory in the East

- bushwhack our way all the way behind the mall

- loot the mall

- walk back and wait for the mech and then return

We did that, instead.

Riding the mech and much of the initial bushwhacking was uneventful. But as we crossed some ruins we found a medicine cabinet in a building we'd crossed and found a bunch of expired and old meds and bandaids but also a boxed electric razor in perfect condition. We took that.

Then we got jumped by an ogre-sized armored mole-man with a tree branch club. Momma's Boy and Caveman were closest to it, and we shot it up. Nothing significant happened. A second later Hillbilly shot it once right in the nose as Caveman, Momma's Boy, and Love Handles shot it more. Still nothing - rounds went into its fur, but nothing happened - only the nose shot drew a little blood.

It smacked Momma's Boy and knocked him back but not down. Love Handles tried to talk to it in English. Caveman dropped his rifle onto the sling and started drawing his knives. Hillbilly let go of the SCAR-H with his right hand and drew Hoopslayer (referred to as "Hoopfriend" around the college campus, naturally.) Momma's Boy drew his "headlights" - the "laser" and the shield.

The mole-gre kept swinging his tree branch with little effect. Hillbilly slashed it and missed, then stabbed it and lightly wounded it, and then slashed it for much more damage, and then again for a lot less - all through serious resistance from its fur. Meanwhile, Momma's Boy managed to laser it a couple of times and inflict serious hard. Caveman tried his shortsword and couldn't even penetrate its metal-hard fur. It swung and hit Momma's Boy once in this process and then missed MB and Hillbilly a few times.

Eventually it fell, and before it could really get back up it got las'ed again and slashed again. It dropped, breathing hard but out. No one wanted it alive, so Hillbilly slid Hoopslayer into its eye and finished it off. It had nothing except iron-hard fur and equally hard skin. Its nose and beady little mole eyes were the only weak points.

After that, eventually reaching the "mall" was uneventful.

The mall turned out to be single big-box store. Momma's Boy hacked the passcode door in the back, which is Tomorrow Men code for "pried off the keyboard and defaulted it to all zeroes." We snuck inside and replaced the door keypad.

Long story short, inside was a combination Super Wal*Mart / Lowes. We basically set down and looted the place silly for almost two days total.

Hillbilly located a Mark V android and had him bring us to his supervisor. Then, Momma's Boy organized them, used his computer skills to get them under our control, and put them to work. We had 13 of them working and 7 disabled old ones.

Then we looted. We got out Caveman's Scrounging wish list and filled it. We tooks bags of jewelry and portable electronics and watches. We took walkie-talkies, batteries, ball bearings, propane tanks, balloons, tools, beer (240+ years old but some was still good-ish), bedding, fishing tackle, and more. Roughly, 1500-2000 pounds worth of stuff (Caveman's player over-estimated weights and ended up near 2000 pounds, but it's likely significantly less.) We even got some kevlar bike gear to use as leg and arm armor, along with extra suits that we put on the androids to protect them.

We eventually headed out. The androids carried most of our stuff. We made it a few hours away before they ran out of power. D'oh!

So we pulled their batteries and sent Caveman and Momma's Boy back to get spares and recharge the batteries. Love Handles and Hillbilly hunkered down to guard the androids.

That all passed smoothly, but it was annoying.

We eventually made it to the Mech meeting point and mounted up. We packed up the "Top Hat" full of androids and stuff, carried the rest, and walked back.

We made it to the college, talked to the Colonel, and then took the mech to the factory (dismounting and walking part of the way to avoid the rad zone, the androids were sent through.)

We met with the head android there, emoted with the Little Thieves, got Momma's Boy to bond with them over getting a knife, and then headed out.

We then eventually worked our way back to our base (IIRC, riding on a mech.)

We ended there.


* Love Handles really needed rest. But his player was there, so he came with us. In-game logic bends to the meta-game-logic of "you play your own guy" and Love Handles's player was there.

All in all, a good mission. We got 13 of the 25 androids we need, we improved our kit significantly, and made progress. We need 12 more mechs, and we're hoping we can find some of them on the Princess. We'll need another vehicle before we can get all of this stuff we looted back to our base (Unknown Area 3) or the Bal'Kree, so we need to salvage that and/or a dozen more androids.

We're probably taking some time off, as Momma's Boy wants to learn how to use the compound bows we found at the store. He's tried to convince Hillbilly he'll need to learn it "for when you run out of ammo" but Hillbilly is banking on finding better weapons than a bow before he fires off all 350 or so rounds he's got left. Hillbilly will spend some of his downtime testing the spare suits of Kevlar, and we'll see what else he does - there isn't an easy to self-teach skill around that he needs. We'll see.

Hillbilly often needs to get out Hoopslayer, but lacks Fast-Draw (Knife) - yet he's not going to learn it. As I said, I've never rolled an 18 taking a Ready maneuver. And that's it - I'd rather spend 1 second getting the weapon out than risk failure getting it out quickly. Fast-Draw (Magazine) might help, I'll think about that.

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