A solo scenario for Caldoom.
In the previous scenarios we have seen Brother Roberto, an inspiring preacher and evangelist, in action. Not only that but we have seen The Order of Malthus in his Aspect as the Personification of Self-Restraint attempt to arrest him. Obviously under your careful guidance he will have avoided this, but just in case he was captured it was felt we ought to have a scenario where the Scum could try and ‘unarrest him’.
Now the Order of Malthus in his Aspect as the Personification of Self-Restraint have their own Theocratic Republic. The Order’s territory is split into four quarters, each centred on a defended monastery. Each monastery will have scores of serf villages attached to it, as well as outlying shrines which are smaller fortresses to overawe the serf population. Around these shrines tend to cluster the service industries which serve not merely the monks in the shrine, but also serf villages around. It is the shrine which monitors tax collection, administers ‘justice’ and ensures that quotas are met. These clusters of buildings can grow into small towns, the inhabitants of which will all wear a token showing they have been granted their freedom, or a brand showing they are serfs tied to the town.
Within the walls of the shrine there is accommodation for the small number of monks who live there, plus store rooms, as well as the instruments of justice, holding cells, a pain suite, and humiliation rooms.
Normally these small shrines will have about ten members of the Brothers Militant. These act as the garrison and support the Brothers of the Administration. It is the latter who handle the paperwork and assessments.
Rather than take Brother Roberto to one of the monasteries, it has been decided that he should rather be held in one of the many, almost anonymous, small shrines. Thus the authorities can deny any knowledge of him and should he disappear, his passing will neither be noted nor lamented.
One advantage the Smuggles and Scum of Liberty have is that being an openly criminal conspiracy, they can openly use criminal methods. So by judicious use of bribery, blackmail and intimidation they have discovered the location of Brother Roberto.
Now a cunning plan has to be hatched. Obviously there will be no extra guards at the fortified shrine, because that would draw attention. But a rapid reaction force could be held nearby in case it’s needed.
Thus the Smugglers and Scum need a way to get in which. Pounding the walls with artillery and then storming them at cutlass point is probably going to take too long.
So a plan is hatched. When you’re a criminal, acquiring an air raft is merely the job of a moment. Similarly, given the number of Bretag deserters who make their way into Liberty, Bretag uniforms are almost at a discount. Thus the air raft, manned by ‘Bretag Military Police’ flies towards the shrine. Using the correct Order codes (acquired in return for two crates of imported white wine) the crew of the air raft radio ahead to the shrine explaining they have captured Madam Veronica, (obviously a known opponent of both Bretag and the Order) and after high level talks, they are bringing her to the shrine so that she may be held in secret captivity. That way both Bretag and the Order can deny knowing anything about her whereabouts.
At some point the air raft is ‘bounced’ from ambush by a baastruk of Scum who continue to pursue. The air raft flees to the shrine, goes in through the gates to avoid provoking the automated weapon system which takes out anything flying over the walls.
Once in the courtyard the raft crew open fire on the guards, break out Brother Roberto, and at the same time the Baastruk arrives to break down the gate and the party escape.
It’s so much more comfortable when you’ve got out of the uniform and are just wearing your proper kit and with weapons you know.
OK so you’ve read the novel, how do we play the game?
Well in reality it’s a Brandenburger operation.
These were men who were often recruited from Germans who had lived outside Germany and were fluent in foreign languages. Often dressed in foreign uniforms they could, for example, advance ahead of German forces and seize bridges and stop them being blown up by the retreating enemy. As wargames they’re always difficult to model as players get a bit hacked off if you as umpire give them a unit which, three moves later, once they’ve put it somewhere vital, opens fire on their men.
So this game I’m suggesting is played solo. You are in charge of the Smugglers and Scum. The game starts with the air raft and baastruk engaged in a fierce (but ineffectual firefight) as the air raft flees for the safety of the shine.
This will bring all the defenders out to see what is going on. At which point the ‘Bretag’ troops on the air raft open fire. This is quite a delicate part of the operation as initially the ‘Bretag’ troops on the air raft are vulnerable. They’re a bit tightly packed and one or two lucky bursts could be catastrophic. So the presence of the ‘pursuing’ force in the Baastruk is important, they can open fire on those defenders on the parapet and can distract them.
They’re also important because they can open the door with an industrial cutting tool. This saves the air raft team having to worry about it and might hopefully save more time.
The Defenders, Brothers Militant
Current on the walls, Second class regulars, 17 reaction points.
The Lesser Abbot, Veteran, flak jacket under robes. Energy carbine, hard wired.
Brother Clarant. Normal, flak jacket under robes. Energy carbine, hard wired.
Brother Decant. Normal, flak jacket under robes. Energy carbine, hard wired.
Brother Foldrin. Green, flak jacket under robes. Energy carbine, hard wired.
Brother Malthas. Green, flak jacket under robes. Energy carbine, hard wired.
Off duty. Second class regulars, 17 reaction points.
AlsoBrothers Militant, they are inside the buildings of the shrine and will take one move to appear, armed and ready.
Brother Aldreth, Veteran, flak jacket under robes. Power mace, hard wired.
Brother Istan, Normal, flak jacket under robes. Energy carbine, hard wired.
Brother Bowrel, Green, flak jacket under robes. Energy carbine, hard wired.
Brother Coldharbour. Green, flak jacket under robes. Energy carbine, hard wired.
Brother Wissant. Green, flak jacket under robes. Energy carbine, hard wired.
The squad on the walls are fully alert and will watch to see what is going on. Brother Istan is downstairs in the shrine, and is on radio duty. He will get the message from the air raft that they are under attack. As standing orders dictate, he will tell Brother Bowrel to tell the guards on the walls what is happening. He will then contact the rapid reaction force and have them arrive.
Brothers of the Administration. Militia. 14 reaction points.
There are quite a few of these, but they’re all out doing proper jobs. Roll a d6. That is the number who are scattered around the buildings outside the shrine. Just place them at random. They are Green but don’t have a flak jacket under their robes. They carry an energy carbine but are not hard wired.
Sequence of play.
Assuming a six foot by four foot table, with the shrine/fort in the middle of the table, there will be about three moves before the air raft reaches the gate. With alternate moves, just toss a coin to see which side goes first. That remains the sequence of play throughout the game.
- The game starts with Brother Istan already having received the radio message, and on the Cult’s first turn, Brother Bowrel will shout out a warning to the defenders to let them know what is going on.
- The move after Brother Bowrel shouts, place Brother Aldreth, Brother Coldharbour, and Brother Wissant in the shrine.
- Once the firing starts, place the Brothers of the Administration on the table. They’ll be placed at random in the houses around the shrine.
- The gate will be opened to allow the air raft through.
Provided they’re not being shot at, it takes one move for the Baastruk crew to cut the gate down.
It takes 1d6 moves for the Smugglers and Scum to find Brother Roberto and release him. On a roll of 1, obviously he wasn’t locked up anyway and wandered up to see what was going on.
Smugglers and Scum
There are initially complicated because they appear in two versions. All count as Warriors Reaction point total 19. They are also something of a picked force.
First we have those in the air raft posing as Bretag infantry.
Squad leader, flak jacket under greatcoat, sword and pistol.
Soldier. Flak jacket under greatcoat, assault rifle, grenade
Soldier. Flak jacket under greatcoat, assault rifle
Soldier. Flak jacket under greatcoat, assault rifle
Soldier. Flak jacket under greatcoat, assault rifle
Then there are the party of five in the Baastruk
As to how competent both groups roll a d6 for each figure.
1,2 They are Normal
3,4 They are Normal but hardwired for their normal weapon.
5, They are Veteran
6. They are Veteran but hardwired for their normal weapon.
Because the figures came from the CP Miniatures Scum and Smugglers range, all are different and figures tend to have a wide variety of weapons.
The Bretag troops initially use their Bretag weapons, but if a figure takes a turn throwing off their Bretag kit they have their own stuff with their own weapon underneath. It’s up to you whether they do this. Just replace them with a Smuggler and Scum figure.
Once you’re using the Smuggler and Scum figures, look at an individual figure. I would give it either flak or ablative armour. If the figure has a hand to hand weapon this will give them two dice shifts in close combat. I would allow them the weapon they are equipped with, as well as an energy carbine for ‘general’ use.
There is a rapid reaction force poised to strike, but how rapid will it be?
Each move roll 2d6 and keep a running total. When the total is 35 or over, an air raft of five Brothers Militant arrives from the opposite side of the table to the gate. Continue to roll every turn, and from then on, when the total is even, another air raft with five Brothers Militant will appear. This will continue until the Smugglers and Scum have left the table.
The shrine fortress is one that Iliada Game Studio produced as a commission. I have no doubt that if you want one, they can produce another. The other stuff is from https://www.iliadagamestudio.com/caldoom-by-starlight
Should you want to know more about Caldoom the guide, ‘Caldoom by Starlight’ which is an extension of Hell by Starlight Campaigns is widely available.
It is available as a £4 pdf from
Iliada Game Studio at
From Wargame Vault as a pdf for £4
And from Amazon, on Kindle for £4 or for £9.50 in paperback