12 December 2000 1700H. New York City. Vicinity of Madison Square Garden.
Up at the bivouac, Rhonda Lowery told Doc Schultz: “I’m not leaving my people”.
The original mission for the group had been to neutralize the hi-rise snipers preventing Lowery’s crew from rescuing their team in the collapsed Madison Square Garden facility. But Maks had been abruptly slain by a sniper, and the mission was falling into FUBAR territory.
Already gang members, surprisingly well-armed, had encountered the bivouac team, and were taking pot shots at the circle of vehicles. Lowery had been on the radio, and it finally bore fruit.
Three pickups full of men barrelled in from the north. Immediately, they began engaging the gang, forcing them to retreat. The leader was named Stan, who embraced Rhonda. Clearly an old flame.
Stan ordered his men to occupy adjacent rooftops. They were armed with a mix of civilian and military weapons. DeAngelo Pratt spotted one guy with a strange-looking M16, with wooden furniture. Turned out to be an M16EZ.
The M16EZ full description can be found in the Twilight 2000 1st edition accessory, Small Arms Guide. (PDF available at DriveThruRPG)
The away team, still somewhat pinned in that burned out 1st floor of a 10-floor office building, was readying to leave. Already the smoke they popped to retrieve Maks’ body was beginning to clear. Assailants were blindly shooting into the building through the smoke.
Maks’ body was wrapped in a poncho. Linda couldn’t stop looking at it. Wojciech (English: Voy-check) set a marching order, and they left out the back door into the alley. He jolted Linda out of her fugue, assigning her to point, since she could pass as a crazy vagrant.
Linda soon reported seeing “Santa Claus” ahead in the alley. Wojciech was ready to believe just about anything of NYC at this point. All he wanted was to find the egress out of this alley sandwiched inside the building block. Suspicious, they advanced.
His name was Old Tuck. He was sitting in a decrepit chair, attired completely in Saint Nick’s garb. He was slicing bites off a summer sausage and cheese block. Old Tuck turned out to be the guy that knows everybody in town.
The group learned the local gang was called the “Madisons”. When Wojciech angrily told him that the Madisons sniped their commander from a hi-rise, Old Tuck looked puzzled. “That doesn’t sound like them.”
Linda described the gunmen she’d passed earlier. In particular, the short, SE Asian-looking man wearing strange camo fatigues. He seemed to be in charge.
Old Tuck held up a finger in recognition. “Ah, that sounds like one of the Gurkhas. They’re a hotshot mercenary group on the island. They often do difficult jobs for Hizzonner the Mayor.”
Gunshots still echoed strangely among the towering buildings. Old Tuck warned them to get going, and showed Wojciech the small alleys out to the street, behind locked gates that he’d missed earlier. [Poor Observation rolls]
“The Madisons will know about this alley,” Old Tuck warned.
This is our campaign play of Twilight 2000 module Armies of the Night.
Spotting, Surprise, and M203s
The away team traversed the tight alley north to the street.
It was time for a Spotting roll, as a small group of gunmen were advancing west up the street.
Both groups made their Observation roll. (Twilight 2000 v2.2 rulebook, page 155: “Spotting and Surprise”).
“If both groups spot each other at the same time, both groups are surprised (and both roll for panic).” (Emphasis mine).
All these years playing, and I’d never noticed that effect. OK, I then looked up the Panic rules (page 197) to refresh myself.
“Whenever a character is knocked down by wound damage (see “Wound Effects and Healing,” page 211) or surprised (attacked from an unexpected direction, ambushed, or surprised by an encounter as defined in the encounter rules), there is a chance that he or she will panic […] and will momentarily freeze.”
(What!? All this time I was supposed to be doing Panic checks for PCs and NPCs KD’d in combat? Huh. Well, OK, noted.)
“To determine if a PC panics, roll 1D6. If the result is greater than his or her Initiative rating, he or she panics. The PC may not conduct any action for the number of turns by which the die roll exceeds his or her Initiative.”
An interesting side effect of this is that a PC or NPC with an Initiative of 6 or higher never panics.
As it turned out, neither side failed their Panic rolls.
Wojciech fired his underslung M203 grenade launcher at the Gurkha leading the Madisons, and tagged him right in the head. [Outstanding Success, and a roll of “1” for hit location.] The man died instantly.
Fragments and concussion washed over the rest, wounding some.
[One guy was KD’d… but didn’t panic! :^) ]
Big Barna Aron dropped Maks’ body, and fired his M203.
[It was a hit on his target, but hit location (leg) indicated the gunman had cover. So the HEDP round hit cover – a derelict vehicle fender – penetrated, and still walloped the gunman.]
Grant Derek William was covering the rear. Old Tuck put his meal away, saying “Time for me to go.” GDW saw nobody coming up behind in the alley, and hearing his friends under fire, ran up to the front.
Those gunmen still standing returned fire. One shot hit Barna Aron in his chest armor, penetrated, and BA was himself KD’d.
Linda fired her Ingram twice, missing.
Wojciech [on his half-Initiative-turn] fired his M16 twice, killing one of the gunmen.
GDW, the group’s marksman, managed to miss both of his shots.
Continued next time…