Mission’s Criticals

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that one of the things I was keen on was to minimise set-up time by having a book of maps that you open up when playing a mission and the map is there for you. No fiddling about with map tiles and other bits and bobs that need to go on the map. Previously the map was A2 sized (I have an A3 book, and was using both pages when the book was open). I have shrunk the map down to one A3 sheet and when the book is open, the other page is to be used for all of the other details you need to know for the mission.

You can see the map and other details in the images below.

Mission Map

I have been creating the the map and enemy AI for the first level of the first mission so that I can play-test it on TableTop Simulator. First play test will just be by myself, before asking friends to join in.

Below is the map. The nice thing about making a digital prototype is that I don’t have to worry about printer ink, so I put some nice map tiles underneath the map to make it look a bit better.

Slide1

The map is split into sections (the rectangular boxes). Each section is made up of spaces (the circles). A player can move form one section to any other section that it is connected to with a straight line. For targeting, the Hero can target any space/section that shares a colour with the space that the Hero is in. There are four sections with a white double band around them. These sections are hidden behind obstacles, with small gaps where a character can poke their gun through. This means that they can target any space that shares a colour with the circle that they are standing in, but they can only be targeted by sections that are adjacent (i.e. ones that are connected tho them by lines).

Almost all of the movement lines are black. Those that are not black are colour coded to help with enemy movement. This is explained below when I discuss about enemy AI.

Some other things to mention. The pile of wires mean that it is possible for a Hero to move through them, but they must succeed a Physique check of difficulty 3 to do so. If they fail, they do not move off of their starting section.

In the bottom left is a Vision check. The difficulty is dependent on how many sections away from the bottom left the Hero is. If they succeed the Vision check, the player can read page 84 of The Book of Secrets.

The players start in section A and need to get to section B. However, the dashed line leading into Section B means that the Heroes need to turn off the force field that is blocking their way. To do this they need to succeed on an Intelligence check of 12 to override the keypad. Each time a player attempts the check, the score they get from their roll and tokens spent (explained here) is added to an ongoing cumulative total. Once the player have managed to get 12, the keypad is unlocked and the force field is disabled, allowing the players to get through. The scenario is designed so that the players need to  get to Section B (and onto the second map) quickly, so they will be doing the keypad hacking while coming under fire from the enemies. Talking of which…

Enemy AI

On the other page, the details of this particular part of the mission are detailed. Where the Heroes start, what they need to do to move on to the next map, etc.

Slide2

The top part f this page consists of the following:

  • Setup: Where the playing pieces go
  • Aim: What the players are aiming to do
  • Moving-on: The trigger that allows the players to move to the next map of the mission
  • Intelligence icon: This is a tracker for the players to use to keep track of their current cumulative score on the Intelligence check that needs to be passed to hack the keypad, to drop the force-field.

Enemy Details

The next section is the details of the enemies. This consists of:

Name of the enemy

Hopefully I don’t have to explain this concept 🙂

Defence scores

Left-to-right: Dodge, Fortitude and Will

Hearts

To keep track of how much health that the enemy has. Enemies always start the mission at maximum health.

Attack Section

To the right of the hearts is the attack section. The Snipers have two attacks dependent on how much health they have remaining. All of the attacks for these enemies are ranged – the enemies use the same targeting rules as the Heroes.

For the snipers, if multiple Heroes can be targeted, then the order f precedence for which one the sniper will shoot is listed. This is not a problem for the guards as they target all Heroes in one section.

The XCP v [DEFENCE ICON] [KEYWORD ICON] means that the Hero targeted rolls the attack die, adds the total onto the number of CP listed and compares that to the number of the appropriate Defence. Any excess is removed from the Hero’s Confidence Points. The player can spend Attribute points to negate any of this CP loss. This seems overly clunky at the moment, and needs work to streamline it. Which is partly what I hope the play testing will help with.

The other section

The other section for these four enemies is movement. The snipers move along the coloured lines, which will lead them to the next sniper point. I do not expect them to survive long enough to find a third sniper point. The Guards are specifically supposed to be guarding the snipers, so they stick close to the snipers.

Switch Modes

At any time, the enemy is in one of two modes, attack or other (which at the moment is always movement).  The boxes are to keep a cube in, to keep track of which mode the enemy is currently in.

The switch mode entry tells the player what triggers the enemy switching from one mode to another. If the switch mode is the first line, then if you switch mode then you continue doing the other mode to complete the turn. If the switch mode text is at the end of an entry then switching mode is the last thing that is done on the turn. I had toyed with the idea of having a deck of cards that the player draws from to determine what the enemies are doing, but the deck would have to be generic, whereas having the enemy details written on the mission map, means I can make the enemies have bespoke abilities that reflect the mission that the Heroes are trying to accomplish.

Initiative Numbers

At the bottom of each enemy entry are numbers determining when they act in a round.

Turns and Round Tracker

The final section is the turn and round tracker. There are three rows. The top row shows who should act, the second row shows the turn number and the bottom row is used to keep track of rounds. There are only 20 rounds for this mission ebfore the scientists are killed by the Draydun and the players lose.

The icons in the top row show which Hero acts on a given turn. D1 stands for Draydun 1, D2 for Draydun 2 etc. to show when the enemies act. After a round is completed, ongoing damage is dealt to characters and then roll to see whether ongoing effects are ended happens.

Final Thoughts

So there we have it. A look at the first Mission map for Spaceship 47 to be used in my forthcoming play test. No doubt this will look different eh next time you guys see it after I have ripped it to shreds during play-testing.

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