Act Three! Everybody Dies!
My next foray into a teaching game will be the minatures/rpg game 5150: Urban Renewal using the companion book: 5150: New Hope City PI, both from Two Hour Wargames. This game is a cyberpunk style skirmish wargame with RPG elements. Or it’s a cyberpunk style RPG with skirmish wargame elements. It’s very hard to describe. I created the BoardgameGeek page for it, and the mods had to reject it a number of times because I couldn’t explain “How to Play” well enough for the description page, and they also wondered if it should be put on RPGGeek.
And now I get to explain it to all of you!
In the game, you will get to follow Andrew Robinson, a character I created in a few minutes using the templates found in the rulebook, and a name pulled out of my email spam folder (an endless resource for character names if you’re ever stuck). He is a Police Investigator who ended up with the traits of Charismatic (+2d6 to People tests vs. the same race) and Genius (+2 to Saavy tests, but -2d6 to People challenges). So a bit of a split personality. Charming, but too smart for his own good. There you see the roleplaying elements.
He’s also using the Police Reaction table and carries a BAP (Big Ass Pistol) with a range of 12″, RoF 1 or 2 and Impact of 2. And there are the wargame elements.
There are some other interesting bits about the game. 1. Your character is considered a “Star” and has 3 traits that none of the “Grunts” (NPCs) have: Larger Than Life – You cannot be killed by a small time hood, but you can be wounded badly by one. The game’s combat is very lethal, so this prevents your story from ending when you get mugged on the train. Cheating Death – If you do find yourself fighting someone who is able to kill you and he does, you can choose to not die and just take a penalty and come back later. You can also give this trait to bad guys, because good bad guys always come back. And finally Free Will – The game is based on The Reaction System which makes all the figures behave somewhat realistically during combat. When someone starts firing, rather than standing there waiting for their turn, figures immediately fire back, duck for cover, or go running for the hills. All of this is decided by die rolls, but for your star, you are able to choose what you do.
What makes this doubly nice, is this means you can’t even control your FRIENDS. You can be leading an army and shout CHARGE! The bullets begin to fly, you take cover, so do some of your soldiers, but a few rout and others freeze in place in terror. Combat is very, very dynamic. Makes every interaction with another person in this game very satisfying.
If you are interested in this system at all, you can try it for FREE Right Here. It’s called Chain Reaction 2015. There’s a swordplay version for those who prefer a medieval or fantasy fighting game as well. You won’t get many RPG elements or genre specific things, but you’ll certainly get enough to get a whole lot of gaming out of it. Apparetnly there are newer versions as well, which are probably even better, but I have no experience with them.
The investigation continues on the Very Wordy Blog