Nuclear Renaissance: Snatch & Grab in Hondon
During last week's Nuclear Renaissance game session, Karl set up a table using most of his newly completed urban terrain. He's been documenting the genesis of this project (almost all using kids toys and playsets acquired for cheap from resale shops) on this blog over the last few months, so it was a real treat to get it all on the table for a big game.
We decided to set this game on the Galactic Frontier, homebrew sci-fi setting we've been playing around with as a club for a year or more. It combines a little bit of everything we love about sci-fi, including colony worlds, deep space combat, urban war, abandoned science facilities, xenos and now, Necromunda-style arcologies.
The game was set on the planet Oxiddon, a so-called "Bridge World" dotted with huge, dense, miles-tall urban megalopolises, many built around the hulls of grounded starships, which are linked to their neighbors by super-strong carbon-fiber bridges many hundreds of miles in length. The desolate landscape in between these Bridge Cities is strewn with the abandoned husks of lesser cities whose bridges have collapsed over the centuries, rendering them little more than frontier settlements populated by outlaws and scavengers.
Anyway, our game was set in one of these feral cities in the Oxiddon wastes: the city of Hondon. Karl jammed all of his awesome terrain onto a 3-by-3-foot table to create a truly stunning send-up to the Necromunda battles that inspired us as teens all those years ago. Here's a look at the battlefield.
A team of scientists from Inverness, a thriving Bridge City, had been inspecting the site when they were ambushed by three gangs of raiders, each intent on capturing the scientists for ransom. Karl deployed his desert scavengers, Tim ran his Neo-Soviets, and I fielded my feral techno-scavengers. It was a race through the gritty concrete jungle of Hondon to see who would capture the scientists first!
Since the scientists (yellow jumpsuits) were scattered across the battlefield, many tucked away in nooks, crannies and towers, the warbands split up their forces to track them down. This led to sporadic gunfights as isolated scavengers came into contact with each other deep in the city. In this pic, my Killdozer (a fun little resin model from Ramshackle Games) collides with one of Tim's Neo-Soviet mutants, with predictable results. SPLAT!
Across the battlefield, Tim and Karl's factions came to blows in a subterranean tunnel running underneath a multi-level building. Karl's truckload of warriors slammed headlong into one of Tim's Neo-Soviet bikes.
Their private little war only escalated when Karl attempted to seize the upper floors of the structure, only to be met by a snarling, slavering horror straight from the Neo-Soviet chem tanks.
While Karl was busy fighting off ankle biters, Tim sent his leader down into a secluded area along the riverbank to secure one of the scientists, who had been cowering by some industrial excreta.
We really enjoyed how the battlefield setup prevented big clumps of troops from moving around en masse. Individual actions were the order of the day! Here's another perspective on the battlefield as the warbands crept through Hondon's cityscape.
Over on the left flank, near the high-rise tenement building, I sent a truckload of techno-scavengers toward a functioning elevator, hoping to use it to ascend to the elevated train station that spanned the river.
Karl's foot troops were got there too, prompting a nice, tidy little firefight. I got support from my leader and hero, both of whom had ascended some stairs to pour fire down onto the street battle below.
Grendel, the leader of my techno-scavenger tribe, then shuffled off toward the scientist hiding atop the train platform.
Nearby, a hulking techno-barbarian fought his way through a cordon of Tim's mutants and seized a scientist near an air intake station.
The game was fun, but somewhat grueling, as we were still focusing on learning the rules. By the time we had to call it for the night, we had played out three turns and things were beginning to hum along quite nicely. As each faction had captured a scientist and was threatening to seize at least one more, we decided to call it a draw. The three factions left the battlefield with their captives, already anticipating the hefty ransom they could expect from the more civilized Bridge Cities.
Aside from a great game full of fierce action and surprising outcomes, the best part was certainly Karl's epic tabletop, which represents many hours of hard work on his part. Here's a look at the battlefield toward the end of the game. You can see Tim's Neo-Soviet guys atop the ore processing station in the lower right, ready to seize a yellow-suited scientist.
Nuclear Renaissance gave us another fun game, and we are excited to play it again (especially now that most of the club's post-apoc regulars have at least one game under their belts). Look for another Nuclear Renaissance game at next week's game night!
-- Patrick, Chicago Skirmish Wargames club member