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Subject: Gunfight at the Patient Room - Jeezz!! rss

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Jan Tuijp
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My first session report. Ended up a bit longer than expected.

We’ve played a couple of scenarios, some more than once, but due to the painting of the miniatures (I’m a slow painter) we weren’t in a hurry to rush it to the table. However, now the figs are ready and we’re on holiday in a house without a tv set, we plunged into scenario 6 (the one with the traitors and the radio scrambling).

My son (who is my main, if not only opponent) played NORAD and instead of bothering with MP’s, scrambling and searching, he decided right from the start to ambush Kendall and Deeler in the patient room with the Bolter guy, figuring he had weapons and I didn’t. He went for the throat and badly wounded Kendall, which the Salemites didn’t think was fair play (“So you wanna get rowdy in my neighborhood, uh? I’ll nail your ass for that, you righteous piece of sh*t!”). The SM realized Kendall was too vulnerable and too valuable to give up, so they had Deeler blocking Nick, to give him another target and keep him pinned pending the arrival of Jessica Hollister, who had just found a heavy machine-gun in the armory.

At this point, a shoot-out became inevitable. NORAD replied by calling in Bareback Jim (see my painted fig for an explanation) and when Jessica came to the rescue of the poor doctor, guns blazing, NORAD immediately dispatched the Sniper with the Big Boobies, which of course prompted the SM to add Franck Einstein to the mix, who crept up the seductive sharpshooter from her well curved behind. The last one to join the party was traitorous Bill, who was closely watched by the suspicious SM (translate: consistently activated first each turn, to prevent him from doing handiwork for NORAD).

By this time Deeler, Kendall, Woo and Vasquez were all wounded, the last three of them badly. Bolter had just a flesh wound, but was still standing in the southeast corner of the patient room, with Deeler to his right and Kendall in front of him. Lining up behind Kendall were Vasquez, sticking her shotgun in the doctors back, and Franck, ready to rip out the spine of the voluptuous warrior princess with the long legs, the firm butt, the soft skin and the two big... juicy... lustrous... mellony... attributes. (As Vasquez was badly wounded, she becomes more attractive to the deranged monster.) Jessica, burning MP like crazy to pay for all her teams actions, was standing two spaces south of Vasquez, after badly shooting up the manipulative b*tch. Cherokee Bill was standing next to the video surveillance room, behind Hollister, his finger itching on the trigger of his flamer. The last action of this turn was for Kendall, who fled behind Franck’s back, leaving the patient room.

Here, at the start of turn 3, we entered a crucial stage in the game. Whoever won the initiative, would probably win. If NORAD could seduce Einstein into a shiny career in NORAD’s housekeeping service, the SM wouldn’t have a chance, especially with Indian Bill still waiting in the wing, desperate to betray his well-doers... If, on the other hand, the SM were allowed one attack with Franck or Hollister, the dying Vasquez would sniff it and Franck's loyalty would be secured.

Problem was, of course, that in this scenario the SM have very little CP until Jessica can activate her special ability (converting MP into CP). So the bidding would be crucial. The SM tricked NORAD into bidding a LOT of CP for the initiative, while bidding only one themselves, successfully creating a “CP burner”. Then, when the SM activated Vasquez, Franck interrupted.

Due to inexperience, my (12-year old) son hadn’t realized that at this stage, bidding for interrupt was far more important than bidding for initiative and he was convinced this ended the game for him. After a long talk, he was persuaded to continue the game and Franck bid all but four of the SM’s CP stack. Since NORAD also bid nearly all her CP, this proved not to be sufficient. The sniper turned around, directed her big eyes at the zombie, looking love and affection, showed some cleavage and made the repulsive zombie her new best friend.

At this point, we both were convinced this ended the game for me. My son wanted to restart the scenario, as we both learned that we should have played the game differently. Still, I remained curious for the outcome of the gunfight, so I persuaded him to finish the game.

In a firing frenzy, the furious Hollister blew Franck’s love interest to pieces. Consequently, an outraged Franck stormed out of the patient room and attacked Hollister, which gave Kendall the chance to reenter the patient room and make an attempt to revive the corpse of Vasquez, which proved to be too difficult (a badly wounded Kendall has to throw four hits with only two dice to create zombies).

In a bewildering series of attacks, James Woo died (rather theatrically, keeping his clothes clean and with a faint sigh), Deeler picked up Vasquez’s shotgun and badly wounded Bolter with one awesome blast, but was also wounded himself by the following counter attack. Next, Cherokee Bill reluctantly tried to turn Einstein into Kentucky Fried Franck. He did hurt Franck but was badly wounded by the counter attack, which made him unavailable for NORAD (Cherokee Bill can’t be converted if he’s badly wounded).

To make a long (but very exciting story – at least to us) short, the final stage of this epic shoot-out came down to the last survivors, Hollister and Bolter, both badly wounded. Match point, again. Whoever won the initiative on the next round, would probably win.

My son knew perfectly well that Hollister had only nine CP and needed 4 for a reasonably effective attack that could win her the game (if she had the right order tile, that is). Nick on the other hand, had 14 CP, so it was obvious NORAD could win any bid at least once. Determined not to make the same mistake again, my son promptly made another one. He let me win the initiative with a 1 CP bid and focused on interrupting. But when I activated Hollister he wanted to know if I was going to attack or going to run, so he waited for her to perform an action before interrupting and of course, by that time he couldn’t anymore (Hollister was already in his LOS and already in an adjacent space, so the only chance to interrupt was at activation).

So Dudley Do-Right died in agony, leaving jolly Jessica last woman standing. One minute later we switched sides and restarted the scenario.

Things we learned from this game

- Do not attempt an all deciding shoot-out. Elsewhere I have expressed my admiration for the Order Tile system. It prevents ER from becoming a slaughter fest and forces players to explore other possibilities and find new strategies. Ignore that and chances are it will cost you. In this case, the Order Tile/CP system made the results of the shoot-out very unpredictable.

- Study the rules. They are not that difficult and actually quite logical and self-evident, but they are many and you easily lose track of them if you’re not paying close attention.

- Pay attention to the traitors. If used well, they can really give NORAD an edge, but they’re also useful to the SM. They are more balanced than one might expect at first.

- Never give up! Never surrender! When seemingly defeated, the tough gets going and might actually save the day. This game has a lot of variables and there are many ways to get back in the game.

- This game is awesome!! Well, at least for those who like their games complicated, long and immersive.



Edited for layout, typo's and closing disclaimer

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Charis
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Very nice session report.It seems you had a lot of fun!
 
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Jan Tuijp
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henry_kay wrote:
Very nice session report.It seems you had a lot of fun!


We did. We finished the rematch 15 minutes ago:

Take Two

Again, a thrilling struggle and a lot of fun. My son wasn't used to playing the SM, which are in my opinion a tad bit more difficult to play than NORAD. He forgot to activate Cherokee Bill first, so I did. Startled, the SM interrupted with Jeff Deeler (they were both in the patient room) and beat him up severely. That made him unavailable for NORAD but also rendered him completely useless for the SM (a wounded Bill can spent only 3 CP and walk 3 spaces but still has to be activated each turn).

NORAD also made fine use of Franck by engaging him each turn with 2 CP, leaving him only 3 and making sure he was activated last. Vasquez picked up heavy armor and valiantly started to hunt Franck, but was successfully scrambled by Kendall in the communication room. Kendall was hunted by Woo and Bolter, but Frank came to the rescue and threatened Bolter, after badly beating up James. Things got tricky, but Nick managed to shoot the door and destroy the communications room in two successive attacks. That meant Vasquez was no longer scrambled. Now she suddenly had 2 CP to spent on making her two most dangerous assets count. She did and Franck enlisted in NORAD's army.

Now the SM were on the defense. It didn't take Nick Bolter long to finish off Kendall. NORAD however, had lost a lot of time knocking on the door of the communications room. Vasquez killed Bill soon after that and picked up a shot of morphine in the patient room while she was there. Woo entered the gym, which was actually a cunning plan to lure Hollister into an attack with the bazooka she picked up in the armory. She did and killed Woo. Now Bolter and Vasquez set up a crossfire. Hollister had one grenade left for her bazooka and badly wounded Bolter, but was killed soon afterwards by Vasquez, who also gave Bolter a morphine treatment, which healed him enough to be able to convert MP to CP again.

But time was short and NORAD ended up having only one turn left to kill Jeff Deeler. Foreseeing this outcome, the SM had hoarded up tiles with running icons, for the dual purpose of using them with Deeler and keeping them out of NORAD's reach. Since NORAD had successfully spied on Hollister's actions however, Bolter had enough MP to convert to never be out of CP to buy new order tiles. Deeler was able though to run almost out of reach, since Vasquez' awesome running abilities had to be spilled on delivering a magnetic card to Franck, who could only manage to shoot two tiny holes in Deelers butt. In a tense end struggle and one final shotgun attack by Nick, NORAD ended up just one attack short to kill Deeler, thereby losing the game.

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