Session Report: Wreck of the BSM Pandora
Maintenance Officer Kelly started in Pod A2, Landlok, empty. His starting attributes:
(Range of 1 to 4)
Repair 4 (best possible!)
Weight 1 (irrelevant in solo game)
(Range of 1 to 9)
Impair 3 (pathetic)
Shield 5 (average)
Speed 5 (average)
Port 2 (near minimum)
Stamina 1 (nearly dead)
Deck A, Turns 1-33.
The first 12 turns were spent staying in place “repairing” his stamina to the maximum level of 9. He was lucky no specimens were in his starting pod or this would have been a very short game.
Game Turns 13-23 were spent exploring the immediate area. Like his starting Pod, the first three areas were empty; but the fourth held the Scanner (a crucial instrument and a lucky find this early in the game as it allows you to explore an adjacent area without a chance of being detected) and the EVAbot. The EVAbot was in condition Yellow and Berserk. With its Impair of 2 against Kelly’s Shield of 5 it couldn’t ever land a blow; conversely, Kelly’s Impair of 3 couldn’t penetrate the EVAbot’s Shield either. Fortunately Kelly’s Speed of 5 allowed him to escape the Speed 3 EVAbot, otherwise the game would have ended in a stalemate – trapped in a never-ending stand off (the game’s greatest flaw).
Game Turn 24 revealed the ConPod and the specimen “Golem” in A7. The ConPod is a critical location as it is the only place to initiate a penalty free full ship restart; but this time guarded by the toughest specimen in the game.
Deck A, in summary:
A2: Landlok, empty, start location.
A5: EnviroPod, empty.
A1: Exlok, Scanner (Green), and the EVABot (Berserk).
A7: ConPod and the specimen, Golem.
A4: CompPod, empty. Status Red, Level 2, repaired to Green, Level 6.
A3: StasisPod, empty.
A6: NavPod and the specimen, Blind Pig.
Turns 25-33 didn’t have much action. It is unusual to have 4 of the major systems pods all on one deck (ConPod, CompPod, EnviroPod, and NavPod) – only the PowerPod remains undiscovered. On average there would be 10 items (Bots, Specimens, Tools) on each deck but this time there were only 4. There’s no reason to return to Deck A until Kelly has the strength to deal with Golem and is ready to restart the ship.
Turns 34-35 revealed that the lift in the Risor was quite crowded: AmBot, ImreBot, and ReconBot. Having a Berserk Bot in a side Pod is one thing, in the Risor quite another. These Bots are left alone for now.
Deck B, Turns 36-50.
The Risorlok opened up on Deck B; lying on the floor of Tube B36 was a StunBomb. Small as it was, Kelly couldn’t carry both it and the Scanner so he left it there on the floor. Kelly moved down the empty Tubes of Deck B scanning Pods as he passed them.
B3: SpecanalPod, empty.
B6: StagePod, empty.
B2: DconPod and two Specimens, Typhoo and Scrod.B5: MaintPod, empty.
B1: RestraintPod1 and the SpeciBot.B7: RestraintPod2 and a trove of items, MedKit, BotKit, and the StunRod.B4: PowerPod, empty.
Turns 36-50 were a simple in and out along the Tubes as there were no specimens to interfere with movement. Once again discoveries were below average: 7 finds actual vs. 10 finds on average. The StunRod and the one-shot StunBomb are the only weapons found so far and neither of them will be good enough to take down Golem or really even a Berserk Bot. The MedKit is a marginal find as its repair rating of 5 is only one better than Kelly’s innate ability, although if time becomes an issue its average healing of 0.83 per turn clearly beats Kelly’s 0.50 per turn. The BotKit is important, as it is the only portable non-bot method of repairing a Berserk Bot. The specimens in the DconPod can be left for later as the DconPod doesn’t provide a vital function (remote control of the ImreBot and the EVAbot).
Deck C, Turns 51-64
As soon as the Scanner revealed the contents of Tube C36, Kelly could hardly wait to get inside: Enviorig and DconComm. The Enviorig had some damage; Kelly quickly set it to rights and put it on. Although it offered no additional protection in combat, it did come with an enhanced Port function. Finally Kelly could tote something in addition to the Scanner! Its electronic servos hummed softly as Kelly, smiling broadly, tested it out. The DconComm, however, was Condition Red, beyond repair.
The remaining exploration of Deck C goes without incident, as once again the tubes are empty.
C3: BotPod, EroBot, Ikit, and a specimen, Mary.
C6: SurveyPod, empty.
C2: WepPod and the WepKit, but no weapons oddly enough.
C5: RestraintPod2, empty.
C1: CrewPod, empty.
C7: MedPod, CompKit.
C4: Scapelok with the Scapecraft, TurboLaser, StunGun, and a specimen, Fletcher.
Turns 51-64 completed the exploration of the Pandora and gave Kelly two major finds: The Enviorig and the TurboLaser. Normally the Enviorig is minor, but it gives its wearer a Port of 6 – significantly better than Kelly’s base of 2. The last discovery of the game took place in Pod C4, with 22 items & specimens drawn there were 10 left in the discovery cup: the returned DconComm, TurboLaser, StunGun, ArmorRig, Ubot, and five specimens. A discovery roll of 4-6 would mean that none of these would be in the game. The roll of gave three draws and Kelly got lucky.
At this point, with the ship fully explored, the remaining plan of action fell into place.
Get the TurboLaser, Turns 65-85
Kelly returned to Deck B. He inspected the equipment: MedKit (Green), BotKit (Yellow, repaired to Green), StunRod (Green), and StunBomb (Green). Dropping off the Scanner he took the two weapons with him back to Pod C4.
Fletcher: Intelligence 7, Aggression 6, Impair 6, Shield 7, Weight 2, and Speed 5.
Fletcher’s Impair 6 vs. Kelly’s Shield 5 = +1 Combat Differential; Fletcher will attack and counter on the +1 column throughout battle meaning that Kelly will sustain a single hit against his Stamina on a roll of 4-6 during each exchange.
Kelly’s base Impair is 3 or 9 using the StunRod vs. Fletcher’s initial Shield of 7 = -4 regular or +2 stun, but the +2 table does not offer a stun result. As a one time option, he could throw the StunBomb for a 4 or 12 yielding a Combat Differential of –3 or +5; the +5 table gives a stun result on a 4-6. Even so, stun recovery occurs at the end of each round with Fletcher needing to roll less than 7 on a single d6 to recover; fortunately, its Stun Recovery number will drop as its Shield Rating drops. Kelly will need to wear Fletcher down quite a bit before stunning becomes an option. So with a –4 combat differential, Kelly may not initiate an attack but only counter on the 0 column: inflicting a single hit against Fletcher’s Shield rating on a roll of 5-6. Kelly’s ace is that each of his hits reduces Fletcher’s shield rating thus improving Kelly’s chances to inflict damage in succeeding rounds.
It’s a long battle, with Kelly’s Stamina reduced to 2 before he successfully stuns Fletcher and is able to secure it in the adjacent RestraintPod. TurboLaser (Green) in hand he heads for the MedPod to repair his Stamina, but discovers that he must first repair it before it repairs him.
Get The Bots, Turns 86-100
Kelly returns to the Risor and begins activating the Bots there: ImreBot (Green), ReconBot (Green), and AmBot (Yellow, Berserk). Using the TurboLaser (Impair 9) and aided by the ImreBot (Impair 2) and ReconBot (Impair 3), Kelly quickly renders the Berserk AmBot (Shield 9) non-operational with a roll of on the +5 column. The AmBot counters with a roll of on the 0 column for no effect.
With the two functioning Bots in tow he gets the BotKit and the MedKit, and activates the SpeciBot (Green). Returning to the Risor, Kelly breaks out the BotKit and restores the AmBot to Green (non-Berserk) condition.
Clearing the specimens, Turns 101-114.
Blind Pig: Intelligence 4, Aggression 5, Impair 5, Shield 8, and Speed 9.
The Blind Pig’s reaction to the sudden arrival of a heavily armed crewman and 4 bots is to flee into the tube. Kelly lets it go and focuses on restoring the NavPod to full functionality.
The Blind Pig, apparently having gotten over its surprise, is of a different mind when Kelly & Company emerge from the NavPod. This time it attacks, targeting the ImreBot. Although the Blind Pig is wounded and stunned it manages to damage the ImreBot, turning it Berserk. While Kelly deals with the Berserk ImreBot, the Blind Pig recovers and flees forward into Tube A25
After several turns spent trying to restore the ImreBot to non-Berserk status, Kelly decides that the ImreBot is too great a liability: the upcoming battle with Golem will be dicey enough without the risk of being attacked by his own Bot! Specimens have a 50-50 chance of targeting either crew or lowest shield rating, so since the ImreBot and Kelly shared the lowest shield rating there would be a 25% chance of a specimen attacking the ImreBot, any hit taht didn't disable it entirely would cause it to become Berserk.
Heading forward to Pod A7 Kelly encounters the Blind Pig again. It attacks immediately, but the stunned specimen is left behind as Kelly continues forward.
Golem: Intelligence 9, Aggression 6, Impair 9, and Shield 8.
Golem’s reaction to the intrusion is immediate attack: Impair 9 vs. Kelly’s Shield 5 = +4 Combat Differential. Attacking with a yields a single hit on Kelly; Kelly counters with a , miss. Kelly & Co. attack with 17 combined Impair vs. Golem’s 8 Shield = +9 Combat Differential. Kelly attacks with a , 2 hits; Golem counters with a , 2 hits. In the tube, the Blind Pig recovers from the stun. Golem’s shield is at 6; Kelly’s stamina is at 6.
Golem presses the attack with a , 1 hit; Kelly counters with a , miss. Kelly directs the ReconBot to stun Golem while he and the SpeciBot press the attack with a , 2 hits & stun. Golem counters with a , 1 hit. Golem immediately shrugs off the stun by rolling on the recovery check. Golem’s shield is at 4; Kelly’s stamina is at 4.
Golem attacks with a , 1 hit; Kelly counters with a , 2 hits. Kelly & Co, attack with a , 3 hits & stun; Golem counters with a , 2 hits. Golem dies; Kelly’s stamina is at 1.
Restart Major Systems, Turns 115-132
With Stamina at 1, the first order of business was to use the MedKit to repair Kelly’s stamina to 9. Next, the ConPod (Red, Level 3, repaired to Green, Level 9). Then over to the CompPod (Green, Level 6, repaired to Green, Level 9).
The next choice is either the PowerPod on Deck B or the EnviroPod on Deck A; as the PowerPod is the more distant from the ConPod Kelly heads there. The Blind Pig in tube A25 huddles in a corner as Kelly goes past; but pauses for a turn in A36 to repair the ImreBot, successfully this time.
PowerPod (Yellow, Level 4). Cold Shutdown Countdown Initiated at 20 Turns.
Kelly directs the ImreBot to repair the PowerPod: Upgrade to Green Level 6.
19 Turns to Cold Shutdown
The Imrebot continues repairs under Kelly’s direction: Upgrade to Green Level 8.
18 Turns to Cold Shutdown
The ImreBot completes the repairs: Upgrade to Green Level 9.
17 Turns to Cold Shutdown
Kelly & Co, Hasty Move through B14 to B25.
16 Turns to Cold Shutdown
Kelly & Co, Hasty Move through B36 to the Risor.
15 Turns to Cold Shutdown
Kelly & Co, Hasty Move through A36 to A25. Blind Pig attacks with a , miss; Kelly counters with a , 1 hit. Kelly & Co. attack, all stun, with a , miss; Blind Pig counters with a , miss. Although Kelly had sufficient firepower to kill the Blind Pig, a live specimen is worth more than a dead specimen.
14 Turns to Cold Shutdown
Blind Pig attacks with a 3, miss; Kelly pulls the StunRod and counters with a , stun. Blind Pig’s stun recovery check is , remains stunned.
13 Turns to Cold Shutdown
Kelly & Co, enter A5. EnviroPod activated, Condition Red Level 1. Cold Shutdown Countdown reset to 5 turns. ImreBot repairs EnviroPod with a : +4 to Green, Level 5. Blind Pig’s stun recovery check is , remains stunned.
4 Turns to Cold Shutdown
ImreBot continues repairs with a : +2 to Green, Level 7. Blind Pig’s stun recovery check is , recovers.
3 Turns to Cold Shutdown
ImreBot completes repairs with a : +4 to full functionality, Green, Level 9.
2 Turns to Cold Shutdown
Kelly & Co. move to A25 where they are stopped by the Blind Pig. The Blind Pig’s reaction is to flee into A2.
1 Turn to Cold Shutdown
Kelly & Co. Hasty Move through A14 into A7. Kelly immediately hits the Ship Restart button. With all Major Systems at Level 9 and the Restart Command given from the ConPod, the ship will Restart on a roll of 6 or less on a single d6. Pandora Restarts.
Cold Shutdown Aborted
With the B.S.M. Pandora restarted M.O. Kelly restored the remaining minor ship systems, repaired those Bots that needed it, and rounded up the remaining escaped specimens.
The Blind Pig fled into A14, blocking Kelly & Co. from hasty moving into the ConPod. Kelly calmly pulled the pin on the StunBomb and tossed it into the tube with the Blind Pig. Impair (Stun) 12 vs. Blind Pig’s Shield of 1 = +11 Combat Differential. , no effect. Desperately, Kelly tried to push past the Blind Pig, frying it with the TurboLaser. But to no avail. As he entered the ConPod the lights went out on the Pandora, forever.
Dan Dare, 1950
Stairway scare, Dan Dare, who's there!
With its Impair of 2 against Kelly’s Shield of 5 it couldn’t ever land a blow; conversely, Kelly’s Impair of 3 couldn’t penetrate the EVAbot’s Shield either. Fortunately Kelly’s Speed of 5 allowed him to escape the Speed 3 EVAbot, otherwise the game would have ended in a stalemate – trapped in a never-ending stand off (the game’s greatest flaw).
Can you even escape from a combat? I guess you are not allowed to leave a combat once you have been engaged in it. The higher speed can be used just when you wanna leave a room occupied by an enemy unit that hasn't detected you yet (by the other words - you haven't provoked the kill).
I really want to like this game but there is so many awkward things in the rules....
Great session report by the way, thank you for that!
- Last edited Wed May 19, 2010 7:18 pm (Total Number of Edits: 5)
- Posted Wed May 19, 2010 6:34 pm
awesome report. Not hard to see why this is one of the most thematic games out there. Now who's going to modernize it and clean it up for a reissue?
What's this? Why, it's the Hiller Flying Platform! It flew in 1955.
Good job on the session report. I've played this game many times solo and have also had the experience of getting into an unbeatable death hug on turn 3 with the Golem, or similar specimen, with outrageously high combat attributes. The game starts, I wake up, I stand, make a left turn, and before I've had a chance to stir the cup of chits more than once or twice with my fingers, I'm dead.
I think like many who have played this game, I prefer the house rule to allow a Crew member or controlled bot to escape combat if their speed is higher than their opponent, but only during the Movement Phase. Basically, similar to the "Evade" in Arkham Horror. This will still require an exchange of blows during the Reaction Phase when the specimen is the attacker as well as a required attack in the Equipment Phase. One could create an "Evade Check" situation, too, where the escape isn't automatic but must roll a die with a result equal to, or less than, the differential between the speeds in question, or something like that.
Still a fun game.
- Last edited Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:19 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:17 pm