Monday, September 7, 2015

In An Emergency - Tap The Hot Water Heater - TNT Demos (Labor Day Special)

NOVA Open - This Is Not A Test Demos

This Is Not A Test Demo Set-up
Most of my time at NOVA Open, I ran demos for This Is Not A Test, a post-apocalyptic skirmish game. This Is Not A Test allows for one-off skirmish games or a steady campaign for the development of your warband. I reviewed the general feel of the game in my This Is Not A Test, I Repeat This is Not a Test post and have a one-on-one battle report in my I Scream, You Scream, We Fight for Ice Cream post.

Mechanics of Note

Activation. Game play alternates between  players, but not one side than the other. The player with initiative nominates a character then attempts to activate. Success on the activation check provides the character with two actions. After the actions are completed, the player nominates the next character. This player will continue until the activation roll fails. At this point play will pass to the next player. Failing an activation roll does not mean the character does not get an action. While success means the model gets two actions; failure means the model gets one action. This will continue until all models have been activated. I am a big fan of this mechanic as it provides each player opportunity to act in a turn, makes strategy a little more realistic, and keeps the game interesting.

Attack resolution. Unlike many of the tabletop games, there is more realism in the resolution of attacks. All hits are resolved with an opposed check (weapon strength vs. defense). Melee hits are resolved immediately, because if you stab a guy you will know if he is dead or not. Ranged attacks are resolved when activation moves to the next player. This is because all of the models at that activation occur at the same time. This translates into each activated model having to decide should they target the same opponent model to increase odds of killing the opponent model or attempt attacks on another model. Once hits are resolved, any character that is hit has to make a Mettle check to see if they panic and dive for cover or hit the dirt.

Demo Battle Report

Joe McGuire with Aaron Skrivanek and Maurice Kent
We had a good amount of interest in the game and a number of people played demo. Since This Is Not a Test is a skirmish game, we were able to field a lot of interest by groups with 3 and 4 player demos. One of those demos with a couple of the guys from the Metal Skirmish group went something like this...

War bands. Peacekeepers (me), Caravanners (Joe McGuire), Mutants (Aaron Skrivanek), Tribals (Maurice Kent).

Mutants in the ruins
Officer's Report. Judge Murphy, Officer Pelon, and Officer BoomBoom were responding to a call to clear some muties from a bombed out house by the old elementary school. As the officers approached the school house to make up the road toward the reported location of the muties, a band of caravanners exited a ranch style house and immediately started firing a relic laser rifle at the officers. The peacekeepers did immediately engage with the caravanners, concentrating fire on the most advanced caravanner.

The school house was under the control of a small Tribal enclave that was alerted to the encroachment of others by the engagement. The tribals approached the officers from the left/rear where they started to fire upon the officers from the school's playground.

At this time the caravanners sent one man into the another house. It is our belief that this caravanner was moving into the house to scavenge and look for a water heater with potable water. As this caravanner moved into the house, the caravanner named Black-Eyed Susan murdered Officer Pelon. In return fire, Judge Murphy was able to kill the caravanner named, Trader Joe. Officer BoomBoom made to pursue the caravanner into the house. At this time the Tribal leader, Tallhat moved into the rear of the house and opened fire on Officer BoomBoom.

Officers deployed to the scene
The mutants moved out of the ruined abode and started to fire upon the tribal war band. One mutant, shot and killed the tribal, Talloak. As is typical of the muties, attacks were made in a seeming random manner and at the closest human. A second mutant, Looks, fire
d upon the caravanner named Black-Eyed Susan and killed her.

Tophat charged to the top of the stairs whereupon he murdered Officer BoomBoom by stabbing him in the chest with his war knife. Tophat then made to abscond with the water heater and potable water. Judge Murphy did fire upon Tophat, but was unable to hit the target through the household. Given the overwhelming number of opposing forces, Judge Murphy withdrew to a safe location to monitor the situation before returning to the station to gather additional forces to secure the area.

Tribals enter the area
The muties laid chase to the caravanners who grabbed a water heater from another of the households. Tophat continued back toward the tribal grounds while Swiftwind protected his rear. The mutant called, Old Duke charged Swiftwind, but he was able to rebuff the attack and push Old Duke back. At this time, Looks shot at Tophat from the rear with a shotgun. While the shot did not strike Tophat he was immediately forced into cover. After recovering himself, he immediately resumed his escape with the potable water.

With the chaos caused by the mutant attack, the caravanners also were able make an escape in the opposite direction with a second water source. While the muties were able to drive out all of the forces and maintain the territory near to the school, there is expected to no longer be a source of potable water in the immediate area.