Søren 'Bloodbeard' Bay from Bloodbeard's Garage is back on the blog with an AAR for Reality's Edge, the Cyberpunk Skirmish Wargame from Joseph McGuire. Be sure to follow his Facebook Page and check out all of his content at Bloodbeard's Garage!
Recently I played my first game of Reality's Edge. It was a good game, and I was very happy that I knew the simpler TNT rules beforehand. The only thing really slowing down the game was remembering the different apps our Console Cowboys, shadow backers and a griefer avatar had. A very good choice would have been to make a quick reference card for the griefer avatar.
Here is an AAR of our first game!
My first crew consisted of an Enforcer show runner with a band of rag-tag gangers. There's background info and bit lists on them here.
From left to right we have: Console Cowboy 'Circuit', Sprawl Ronin 'Glitch', Enforcer 'Cliff', and Gangers Hogger and Ina.
My opponent ran a team lead by a Masque, with a Console Cowboy, Drone Commander, Sprawl Ronin and a few gangers. Also shown with the gang is their apps. A Lemmy Iduro, a guardian angel (robotic monkey) and shadow backer.
The board is a 3'x3' setup with a lot of terrain made for the setting and some updated pieces of modern terrain. There are some step-by-step blogs for all the pieces on the terrain hub. We didn't really have any specific theme in mind for this setup, so we just slapped on a lot of pieces and placed 4 CAT terminals around the board. We quickly figured out that the large crowds would have trouble moving about, so we added a rule that the random movement of crowds would move vehicles forward on the roads.
We played the Electronic Redundancy, a JOBOP for hacking and then controlling the most terminals. For the scenario we had the lockdown hitch (all doors and windows locked), White ICE on all terminals and a Griefer Avatar getting up to no good on the board.
My crew setup close, within the 9" motivate range of my showrunner Enforcer. My plan was straightforward – get my hacker to a nice covered terminal, get the shadow backer to another with the remainder of the crew, and make sure the Street Ronin could chop down some enemies for their Big Media backers to get some more cash.
Unfortunately my showrunner could not seek and kill an enemy for his personal motivation as all the enemies were lower cost than himself.
My enemies set up opposite. We were both covered from each other before getting closer to the middle of the board, where an open area was possible to enter. My opponent chose to split his gang in two, keeping both halves in cover.
We both chose to let our shadow backer remain stationary and use all available action points for weakening the White ICE guarding the CAT terminals - and we were immediately surprised how much of a difference that higher Firewall makes.
We had some trouble figuring out how the White Ice would be dangerous when they only attack hacking in contact with their CAT terminal - but after turn one we knew. They spend both their AP using buffing apps. We would get traces for attacking and take damage if failing Slice attacks.
Here's my hacker 'Circuit' moving towards a White Ice - staying covered from any possible enemies.
One White ICE is the form of a protective knight in shining blue armor.
Moving towards the open centre of the board with a lot of muscle. I wanted to seek a bloody confrontation for the extra REP it'd bring in for the crew.
Here’s my gang taking control of the centre open area, trying to find some cover. The enemy is moving around on both sides of the red brick building in front of my guys.
A bystander waiting for the bus. The crowds and bystanders turned out to be very cool - even when all the bullets started flying around. We really didn't see a lot of panic, even with a lot of gunfire.
My opponent was quick to get rid of the White ICE, breaking it with hard attacks from both shadow backer and console cowgirl. My gang is just around the corner - confrontation is imminent.
Having gone another route, aiming for another terminal is the showrunner Masque, a drone jockey and the shadow backer. The drone jockey is armed with a Fire Support Helo-Drone that flies quickly around a building. I take cover in some trash and have a nice firing line towards my opponent’s gangers and sprawl Ronin. The Ronin is not yet within cover and is wounded. She doesn't fail her grazed test - which would have been nice actually.
A lurking gun drone.
My crew had the rotten luck of getting a Griefer Avatar close to them, entering from their own entry point on the map. I was terrified of the possible damage the Griefer could do to me - as he has to spend AP on bad stuff each turn. Only my own crew would be within range, so for the first three turns of the game, my console cowboy and shadow backer spent all their combined hacking power to bring the Griefer offline.
In the end they were successful without getting damaged too badly - but wasted valuable time, Breaking down the White Ice and getting control of the two CAT terminals near me would be hard.
The centre battlefield. An open space with bystanders and two visible CAT terminals - blood would be spilled here.
Not wanting to disappoint my Big Media backers, my ronin 'Glitch' charged forward attacked my opponents own ronin. 'Glitch' came out on top, scoring a critical hit with her sword causing a lot of damaged - those chrome arms bringing in some extra bang.
I'd been lucky rolling 'against all odds' skills for my ronin and the ganger Hogger, so they don't mind being outnumbered - in fact it's a bonus for them. But it even turned out that models block line of sight, so all those gangers in cover near the wall couldn't charge around their partner.
And then failing some activation roles and only getting 1 AP, they couldn't help much.
Sitting at different ends of an alley my ganger Ina first brought down the gun drone and started shooting at the jockey. She was backed up with a few shotgun blasts from her enforcer leader. But at the other end the showrunner masque and drone commander fired back - bringing down Ina after a few rounds of shooting.
Moving away from the wall and into cover of a hovering noodle shop, my opponents gangers started firing at my guys on the square. And I was getting afraid of getting caught in a crossfire situation. The female ganger in a red tanktop rushed in to support her sprawl ronin friend.
In return my ganger Hogger rushed in and smacked her to the ground with a cybernetic punch, and 'Glitch' managed to down her enemy as well.
Now the enemy console cowgirl (having control of a terminal) overheated 'Glitch' chrome legs, dealing a lot of damage. Then green haired ganger 'Animal' fired a hand cannon at 'Glitch', bringing her down to a single wound.
Meanwhile my console cowboy and shadow backer had finally taken their White ICE offline and still had a few turns left to hack and take control of their two C.A.T.s. At the moment my opponent controlled one.
The enemy shadow avatar had access to a terminal as well and quickly got control of the system. The enemy now had control of two C.A.T.s in the area - and I was still trying to hack into one.
Feeling the situation under control and knowing my console cowboy was busy working his deck, the enemy showrunner tried to stop him. Running around the monorail station, he climbed a car and started shooting at the hacker 'Circuit'. Luckily for me he was hard to hit from hard cover - and continued working.
The fight kind of went out of our guys at this point and the game was nearing its end. My ganger Ina was down and a few of the enemies guys as well. My showrunner climbed a food stall, to stay in cover and safe, maybe take out a few enemies. My sprawl ronin hid, nursing her wounds and trying not to be knocked out of action.
The enemy console cowgirl uploaded her guardian angel to the grid, but otherwise stayed out of more fighting - not having brought a ranged weapon to the battle.
The gangers Hogger and Animal ended in a fist fight, no one getting the upper hand. They only backed off from one another when the showrunners called them. The battle was over. Corp Security was inbound, they were out of time. Too much shooting and hacking activity on this part of the grid.
That was a brilliant and fun game. It all felt very cyberpunk and it was nice playing a mission with a critical focus on hacking.
My opponent got out on top. He got REP from two hacked terminals, taking two ICE offline and received extra crypto currency from his Unshackle AI master. There was also a lot of nice XP for him. The injuries all turned out to be minor and no crew members would miss the next JOBOP. All in all he came out with a lot of INFO and 70CC.
It didn't go badly for my own crew - as in there was no permanent injuries to the team. But my failed hacking attempts did bring a lot of trace on me. My own shadow backer will be offline for two turns in my next game. And I failed to hack any of the terminals spending all that energy on the griefer. My income roles were bad as well - 30CC brought from that fight.
Maybe it was the fight (or not offering enough cash), but my attempt at bringing the sprawl Ronin 'Glitch' on as a permahire failed as well.
A little money in the bank, that's okay - I'll take those other scumbags next time.
Feel like heading out into the Sprawl? Order a copy of Reality's Edge: Cyberpunk Skirmish Rules today!