Another Draft Scenario: The Stolen Rocket aka Which One’s Our Hero?

Having fought through the Valley of the Terror-Dactyls and defeated the dread sky-beast of Volcanopolis our fearless hero and their companions are returning back to base with the enemies vital secret plans in a stolen enemy rocket. But what’s this? An enemy fleet heading right at the base to destroy it? What else is there to do but to join the enemy fleet untill the right moment to strike.. but will their friends back at base realise whose side they are on?

Continuing my, all as yet utterly untested, series of serial-style scenario ideas for War Rocket is another classic notion, that of the hero in the stolen ship and the danger they face from their friends as well as their foes as they try to change the tide of battle and carry out a vital mission.

Terrain:
We have to get these plans back to base, if there is a base left to get back to…
Moderate or Mild amount of terrain
This may take place in a planets atmosphere or in space. A counter or model of a fortress, perhaps it’s a building or an asteroid or it may be a spot on a moon or planet (in which case use a counter on the appropriate side so everyone knows where on the moon or planet it is). This should be in the centre line positioned 1/3rd of the way from the defending players table edge.

Forces:
An attack fleet? Let them come, our guns will answer them!
Players decide on a mutually acceptable points value
The defender may spend up to half their points on gun emplacements
The attacker gains an extra 25 construction points (the value of a class 2 rocket and a gallant captain)

Deployment:
Wait till they are in range then launch all squadrons!
The defender may place their gun emplacements if there are any anywhere on the board they wish, though they will probably want some within 6 inches/3 hexes of the fortress (see below). The defender then may deploy any or all of their force. However they may leave some (or even all) in reserve, these reserves may launch from the base at any turn moving off from the base in the order step appropriate for their class.. it is a base after all. Once the defender has deployed all the rockets they intend to then the game starts, the attackers move their rockets on from their table edge.

Special Rules:

The Fortress
Your new home away from home space cadets.
The Fortress doesn’t cost any points. The Fortress is built deep inside an asteroid, deep underground, or is built entirely from nearindestructanium and would take more than even a fleets firepower to destroy directly so it must be taken on foot, the Fortress can only be taken by boarding and it counts as stunned only if there are no undestroyed gun emplacements within 6 inches/3 hexes.

The Stolen Rocket

Who has shot?
None of ours would shoot on their own people!
One of the attackers class 1 or 2 rockets will turn out to be actually one of the defenders heros in a stolen machine, neither the attacker or defender will know which it is till they reveal themselves. Because of course the hero won’t be shooting their own people it will be important to keep track of which rocket has shot and which hasn’t so the attackers class 1 and 2 rockets should start the game with a counter (maybe a little piece of torn paper if none are handy) whenever a class 1 or 2 rocket fires after placing the hit counters then remove the hasn’t-fired-yet counter

If the attacker is attempting to attack with all of or the remainder of the class 1 and 2 rockets that haven’t yet shot then before they remove the haven’t-fired-yet counters as this forces the defenders hand the defender must nominate a rocket as the hero and roll as detailed below, once the stolen rocket has been identified remove that rockets attack counter (as they have deliberately missed of course!). However do not remove any hits if there are any from the defender on the stolen rocket! In this case either the defender will have to not shoot back at all so they don’t shoot down their hero or they will have to shoot the enemy and just hope they don’t shoot down the hero!

Who is who?
Wait, that’s them! Don’t shoot! That’s them!
At any turn in any phase the defender may decide the hero is making their move, the defender should nominate a class 1 or 2 enemy rocket that has not yet shot, if more than one rocket has not yet shot then roll a d10, on a 10 the first nominated rocket is the stolen rocket, if not the defender may nominate another class 1 or 2 rocket that has not yet shot and the roll to see if it is the stolen rocket has a cumulative +1 bonus so the target is a 9 or 10, this continues to accumulate +1 per nomination until either the defender is successful or there is only one class 1 or 2 rocket which has not yet shot left in which case that is the stolen rocket. This rocket now changes side and works for the defender, it also gains the Gallent Captain customisation

The Secret Plans
Many good agents died to get the plans for this secret weapon
To deliver the secret plans the stolen rocket must dock with the base for one turn, however the base hanger has a special forcefield or huge nearindestructanium doors or the entrance is inside the mouth of a huge stone statue making it hard to hit a docked rocket so rockets docked/docking ignore the first two hit counters they receive each dmage phase. After docking and unloading the secret plans the stolen rocket can return to the fight!

What price Victory?
A moments silence for their brave sacrifice
There are really two battles at once here, and it’s entriely possible for a side to win one and lose the other.
If the attacker returns having (apparently) killed (as always favourite heros survive cliffhanger endings and the best villains always return) or captured the enemies hero and prevented the defender getting the secret plans then even if they didn’t destroy the base their masters will be quite pleased, while even if the hero escapes with the plans the destruction of such an important base is enough to consider it still a victory as it was what the fleet was originally ordered to accomplish. So rather than counting it a draw if one goal is achieved just count it both as having a win if each side achieves one goal and a double win or double loss otherwise.

Choosing when the hero should make their move will be difficult for the defender, do it too early and the hero will be amidst the enemy and shot to pieces, wait too late and their own side may shoot them down or forego needed shooting to avoid taking them out.

Hopefully this should give a tense and exciting game. I do wonder if perhaps a turn limit might be an idea to make attempts to storm the fortress even more tense even if the defenders have lost all their rockets and gun emplacements. Or whether the attacker should receive 50 points instead of 25. I’ll have to get around to testing these scenarios to figure it out. If anyone else tries these please do give some feedback 🙂

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2 comments on “Another Draft Scenario: The Stolen Rocket aka Which One’s Our Hero?

  1. This is a really interesting scenario. I love the richness of the storyline.

    I might suggest that the defender does not need to pick a rocket that has not fired. You can just as easily say our hero has been hiding on the enemy ship and has, through trickery and matial combat, taken over the rocket. In this way, the defender doesn’t have to worry about which rocket has fired and which has not. We an just assume our hero didn’t have control of the rocket when it fired. This also elimiates the problem that may occur if all the attacker’s rockets have fired.

    This is a tricky scenario to balance, but will be really fun in any case. You may consider having both players switch side and play each side once. The “winner” is the player with the best result overall.

  2. Thanks for the feedback!
    That would be a lot simpler and i did think of that, but i was trying to figure out a way to get more tension into the turns before the decision to reveal the hero and a way for the attacker to try and force or trigger the reveal too other than just getting all their smaller rockets destroyed so the defender wouldn’t have complete free reign with it.

    That and in the heroic serial tradition i was thinking the hero, upon seeing the rocket they are in about to strike against their own people, would immediately leap to the attack to seize control of the rocket.

    But when actually played it could all be too complex and so i might find we need to go with the simpler version. And with a simpler method i think the defender has more of an advantage so the attacker would definately need more of a boost.

    The switch side idea is a good one especially for the kind of complex story-driven scenarios i’m dreaming up.

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