Thursday, August 23, 2012

Colonial Adventures - Platoon Forward stats

Here are the actual Platoon Forward stats to compare with how I worked them into Collingsworth's letter home.

Position Name Personality Motivation Skill Background
Platoon Leader Lt. Richard Collingsworth Idealistic Wealth Rep 4 Military Family
Platoon Sgt Color Sgt Smythe Obnoxious (-1) Hedonism Rep 3 Up from ranks
1st Squad Sgt. “Pip” Torrens Pleasant (+1) Gluttony Rep 3 Average
2nd Squad Sgt. Andersion Addict Engineering Rep 3 Up from Ranks
3rd Squad Sgt Barclay Aggressive Avarice Rep 3 Average
Company Cmdr. (NPC) Brown Pleasant (+1) Avarice Rep 3 Average

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Colonial Adventures Letter Home #2

In this post, Lt. Collingsworth expounds upon his squad leaders.  They are all described in Platoon Forward terms-- for instance, Color Sergeant Smythe is obnoxious and a hedonist.  These terms come into play when characters interact with each other.  

As an example, Sergent Torrens is "amiable" and so gets a +1 on reaction rolls to other characters.  So if he decides to ask for an auxiliary Lewis machine gun for a mission there is more of a chance he will get it than Color Sergeant Smythe, whose obnoxious behavior earns him a -1 on the same roll.
August 13, 1889

A brief note before we land.  I expect we will be sent on patrols immediately so may not have much time to write for a while.  Luckily the dispatch boats are fairly regular to the part of Mars that we will be patrolling (I can say no more for government censors).

I've had my first spot of bother with the troops.  While Platoon Color Sergeant Smythe is a competent NCO, he is also obnoxious and a bit of a hedonist.  I caught him and Sergeant Pip Torrens, 1st Squad Leader, squireling away rations for themselves out of ship's stores.  While Sergeant Torrens is as amiable as Smythe is unpleasant, their hedonism and gluttony will get us into trouble with the company supply sergeant if we are not careful and they have been suitably reprimanded.

Second Squad Leader Sergeant Anderson is absolutely addicted to machinery.  He spends every waking moment prowling the ship and drives the crew to distraction with his incessant questioning of how things work on our aether ship.

And the last of my squad leaders is Sergeant Barclay, a tough old Scot.  I've watched him with the troops and his aggressive nature immediately led me to place  him as training Sergeant.  He will have to be watched in combat to ensure that his aggression towards the enemy does not lead to foolhardiness.  We can afford no cries of "It shall be glorious" like that unfortunate Caldwell fellow at the rescue of Gordon's column by the 5th Air Fleet.

Tomorrow we land!  Best to you and Mother,

Lt Richard Collingsworth

Friday, August 17, 2012

Colonial Adventures Campaign beginning

I've been working on setting up a Colonial Adventures campaign lately -- to wit, I've been painting the Parroom Station lead pile that I amassed several years ago.  I've based and painted a unit of city-dweller Martians, royal guard Martians and Hill Martians (which are actually the old Space 1889 RAFM miniatues) and even some evil minions.

I'll be using Two Hour Wargames' Colonial Adventures  - 2nd Edition for the ruleset along with Too Fat Lardies' Platoon Forward to run the campaign.  After a first playtest, I'm VERY pleased by how these rules and the campaign framework provided by Platoon Forward work together.

(There's an excellent review of Platoon Forward here -- it's what convinced me to buy it.)

Inspired by this post over at Elaine Patterson's website, I decided to write my own "letter to home" to kick off the campaign.  After all, since I'm running this as a solo campaign half of the fun is going to be seeing what happens to the characters of the 42nd Infantry Company.  Essentially, I'm writing their story using the rules to determine events.

August 1, 1889

I am in receipt of your letter dated the 24th.  It was in the last despatch of letters we received before leaving Earth and I write this reply while in transit to Parroom Station.

As you might imagine, on the day we left Portsmouth there was a considerable crowd gathered.  I thought that this purely because of our launch, with aether travel still being a relative novelty.  Apparently, however, to the proles of Portsmouth aether travel is quite "old hat"!  And I was astonished to learn that the actual reason for the great crowd was not the novelty of our aether ship but rather the novelty of the launch of the Pinafore on which sails none other than Cousin Caroline!  Truly this is an age of wonder!

Sailing aboard an aether vessel is both like and unlike sailing in the water navy.  Conditions are crowded, of course - we are here to serve, not to lollygag!  And the vessels creak and moan upon the aether waves just as they do the ocean.  The principal difference is that everything is dry -- and you know from your days in the Army what a blessing a dry ship is to a poor bloody infantryman!

Please wish Mother all my love and let her know that her son will shirk no danger while in the Queen's service.  I wish to bring only honor to the family in my service and someday, Father, hope to follow your footsteps to Parliament itself.  Wish your son well and know that I shall come home "with my shield or on it."

Your son,

Lieutenant Richard Collingsworth

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Red Sand, Black Moon AAR 1

My first AAR for Red Sand, Black Moon.  Technically this is fantasy, not sci-fi, but then any sufficiently advanced know the rest of the quote.  Somewhere on the fringes of Colony 13 there must be some pretty high-tech/magic zones or else the following could never have taken place. 

(And yes, Squire Bob and Squire Jim are nods of the hat to Bob and Jim of Blood Bowl fame).