How much dangerous chemical waste can you cope with?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve lost track of the number of times where we’ve being playing a game, and somebody opens fire. Their opponent immediately points out that their fire will inevitably hit a piece of scenery which looks flammable or possibly capable of exploding.
I confess that my normal (printable) reply tends to be along the lines of, “Nah, filled it with CO2 as an inert gas before they sealed it for storage.”
But to be fair, there are times when the scenery ‘Will explode later for your pleasure.’
Whilst this scenario will take advantage of this, hopefully you can just rob systems out of it to use in your games, whatever scale they are. Whilst this scenario was designed for Hellfire in 6mm, you can rob out the rules and use them pretty well anywhere with any rules.
The Wargames Table
An ‘urban’ terrain but packed full of as much industrial stuff as you can fit on it. Plenty of corroded vats, unexplained piping winding across the table etc. You can have clumps of trees and other vegetation where nature is fighting valiantly to reclaim the area if you want.
Player One. The police.
Or at least you’re the armed wing of the proper authorities. The wargames table represents a restricted area. You have to Patrol the area to prevent antisocial behaviour. If playing it solo you are the only player.
You have two units, plus two vehicles.
Each unit has 8 bases of infantry who count as having personal projectile weapons and flak armour. You also have respirators etc, so can count as having Individual protective clothing if necessary.
Reaction 3,2,3,2,3,2,2,2 19pts
There are two vehicles, with light armour, mounting a crew served projectile weapon. They have the same reaction as the infantry. You can add one to a squad or keep them as separate units. But decide before the game how you are going to deploy them.
The vehicles count as Vehicle with NBC provision.
If you are in what you consider to be serious trouble, you can call for back-up. You will get another unit with 8 bases of infantry who count as having personal projectile weapons and flak armour. It will also have the same sort of vehicle support that your units have. Because it’s not normally stationed in this area and doesn’t know it, their reaction is
Reaction 2,1,3,3,3,2,3,2 19pts
You win if none of the others get enough victory points to win. You lose if you kill any children. If they’re caught in crossfire because somebody else was also firing, then that can be explained as a sadly unsuccessful rescue attempt on your part. Roll a d6 and on anything but a 1 you get away with it.
You can give each faction to a player or they can act at random in a solo game.
The Environmental campaigners.
They are here to highlight the dangers of the area. Their aim is to take samples and get them away for testing. They are armed because the area is dangerous. They count as having Improvised Protection if needed under the NBC rules.
They have a d6+3 of bases of infantry who count as having obsolete projectile weapons. They fire at half effect over 10” but at normal effect under 10”. (Some of them don’t have proper rifles).
Reaction 2,2,3,2,1,2,1,1 14pts
They know the dangers of the area, that’s why they use it as either neutral ground for meeting potential rivals, or as somewhere safe to stash contraband.
They are d6+3 bases of infantry who count as having personal energy weapons and flak armour. An extra base has a crew served projectile weapon. They count as having Improvised Protection if needed under the NBC rules.
Reaction 2,2,3,2,2,2,1,1 15pts
They are here because of the dangers of the area, and appear to be working on the principle that there is no potential environmental disaster that cannot be made worse by careful application of explosives. They also have respirators etc, so can count as having Individual protective clothing if necessary
They are d6+3 bases of infantry who count as having personal energy weapons and flak armour. An extra base has a fine selection of blasting charges and the knowledge of how to use them. You cannot target this figure because it isn’t obvious. But you might hit by accident which might have unexpected effects.
Reaction 3,2,3,2,3,2,2,1 18pts
The area is off limits, potentially dangerous and forbidden. So obviously you’ll have children in the area. They have no weaponry and will run for it if spotted. You wouldn’t believe how much trouble you could get into if you shoot one of them.
Just use a few bases that are almost suitable. Don’t give the children to a player, they work better as capricious non-player characters.
Movement and Spotting things. Multiplayer
If you have a multiplayer game, each player will get two counters for each unit. One real, one dummy. If a player can draw a clear line of sight between two counters, both players must reveal what their unit is.
Children and spotting units.
You’ll note that whatever the unit, real or dummy, you have the same chance of seeing children. Either the observing unit spotted children who were sneaking around on their own, or they’re children ‘flushed out’ by a real unit. Indeed they might even be a real unit you mistakenly thought were children.
In either case, the children are removed next turn as they see you and disappear into the cover.
Shooting at units you’ve just spotted.
If you can bring fire to bear on a unit you have just spotted but it hasn’t been fully identified yet, you can always open fire on it. This gives you the advantage that you ‘get the drop’ on them. So they don’t fire back until their next turn, and only get the minimal advantages of whatever cover there is.
When you’ve shot at them, then you roll to see what they are and whether you’re shooting up a cat who knocked over a tin can, or a bunch of children playing spacemen and aliens.
Movement and Spotting things. Solo.
At the start of the game, note the patrol paths of your two units. They will then follow those paths until you tell them not to. Each move roll a d20. On a 15,17,18,19,20 the unit sees something. Toss a coin, heads it’s in the nearest cover, tails it’s moving and has come into view from behind the nearest cover.
If the enemy is in the nearest cover you can potentially fire at them, and they are you, simultaneously, (they are doing ‘covering fire’) but you have to decide that immediately before moving to the next stage.
If the enemy is moving, then you have the drop on them and can fire ‘covering fire’ immediately catching them in the open, before they can return fire. If you wait, they will go to ground.
When you’ve spotted something and decided whether you’re opening fire on not roll a d20 again.
What did you shoot at? Solo and multiplayer
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. It’s children.
11,12,13,14. It’s the Environmental campaigners.
15,16,17,18. It’s the criminal scum.
19,20. It’s the terrorists.
It is at this point you work out what your firing did.
This works as normal, with the exception of shooting at terrorists. You might well shoot an explosive carrying terrorist. Roll at random to see if that one has been hit. So if, for example, there are 8 bases and you killed one, roll a d8 and get that base on a 1. If you hit that base, roll a d6
1,2,3 Nothing special happens.
4,5 The explosives explode as if they were a manportable artillery round.
6. The explosives go off as if they were a vehicle mounted artillery round.
Here it depends on whether you are playing solo or multiplayer. If multiplayer, the players have their objectives.
You’re not here to fight a war. You want to take pictures and samples and escape. If fired upon you just leave. You get one victory point for each piece of terrain you pass through. You lose two victory points if you shoot at children, whether you kill anybody or not.
You are attempting to get to a ‘safe deposit’ where you can drop off and collect stuff. It is in a piece of terrain as close to the middle of the board as possible. You do not want anybody else to see what you are doing, or finding your stash. So drive away anybody who might be watching or following you. You get victory points for reaching your stash unobserved, spending two moves there, unobserved, and leaving again, also without being observed.
Note, to count as observed, you have to be seen within 18” of the stash.
Note also, if you shoot up whoever observed you and get them to run away, you don’t count as observed. If you reach your stash and then leave you get 12 points. But you lose 2 points for every time you were observed.
You want to go to the most dangerous piece of terrain, place your charges and leave. Actually you don’t care who sees you provided they don’t try to stop you. Because the maps you have are obsolete, you’ll have to check the terrain by passing through it and looking at the card underneath.
You get 12 victory points by exploding the device and getting a cloud of toxic substances streaming across the table.
As you cast your eye over your wargames table, split it into ‘terrain pieces’. They don’t have to be regular, just easy for you to distinguish.
- Now the problem with the terrain is that
- Some of the places made dangerous things, who knows what is still there.
- Some of the places were used as legitimate temporary repositories for dangerous stuff, who knows if it is still there.
- Some of the places were used as places to dump illegal waste.
To decide which terrain piece is which, take a pack of cards. Depending upon the size of your table, you might only need one suit, because you need at least one card per terrain piece.
Place a card under a terrain piece without looking at it first.
- 1,2,3 This place is safe enough to host a school picnic.
- 4,5,6,7 Mid-level waste, it’s OK provided you don’t stay more than 3 moves. After that it counts as an NBC attack every move.
- 8,9,10 Getting dangerous. Each move you stay in this terrain, it counts as an NBC attack every move.
- Jack, Queen, King. Lethal. Improvised protection is no use at all, and Individual protective clothing is degraded to Improvised. Vehicle NBC is not degraded. If you enter, read the card, and leave in the same move, you escape before you need roll for NBC attack, otherwise you get an NBC attack every move.
(For those who like it, the terrain is from Iliada Game Studio, https://www.iliadagamestudio.com/
Some of it in the pictures is for sale ready painted)
Shooting into terrain
If you shoot at a target in the terrain, or merely in front of the terrain, you are almost certainly going to hit the terrain. Treat the terrain as a stationary vehicle with Improvised Armour. If you penetrate the armour roll two d6, one ‘positive’ and one ‘negative’.
If the negative die is larger, or it’s a draw, it isn’t a problem. But if the positive dice is larger, note how much larger it is. Add those points to the card under the terrain piece. So if the difference is 3, and the card was a 7, it now becomes a 10, and the area moves up from mid-level waste to getting dangerous. If hit again and the positive difference is 3 again, you’ve gone up to King. The area is now lethal.
The terrorist explosive device adds 4 points if placed by the terrorists. If it explodes as a man portable round it adds d4 points to that terrain piece. If it explodes as a vehicle mounted round it adds d6 points to that terrain piece.
If you get enough points to score more than a King, there is a major leak. Roll for wind direction. (A d8 is enough, to give you the main directions.) A cloud the size of a piece of A4 appears over the terrain piece. Next move add another piece of A4 as the lethal waste spreads downwind. This process will continue, the cloud getting longer and longer, until it reaches a table edge. At this point the game finishes and the authorities rush in properly trained teams to deal with the problem.
Any terrorists, environmental campaigners or criminal scum left on the table after the cloud reaches the table edge are assumed to be picked up by the cleaning teams and arrested. Any victory points gained up until this point are lost.
If you fancy more solo city fighting, here is a campaign for Hellfire rules.
Available from Wargame Vault for £2.50 as a pdf
Or from Amazon, for £2.50 on Kindle, or for £6.00 in paperback
Hellfire in the City is a stand-alone solo sci-fi wargames campaign. Starting small and building your forces as you go, your aim is to control the sprawling city of Velonopolis.
The city is currently a patchwork of territories controlled by everything from petty thugs leading their bands of street scum through to corporate askari supported by mecha.
As well as city creation and discovering what hostile forces await you, this campaign guide contains rules allowing you to build new units, even mecha. At the same time, those troops you already lead will gain experience. Starting from scratch you can put together riverine or even air mobile forces.
At last you will realise why proper armies had vehicle recovery units and field hospitals.
Although designed for Hellfire rules and 6mm figures, there is no reason why you couldn’t convert troop types to fit with your favourite rule set.
Other campaigns finish with the stirring words, ‘Conquer or Die!’ In this case we allow losers to flee the city, pursued by their creditors.