Tuesday 7 March 2023

This Ain't Space Hulk.....

 A Bit of Quicky Sci-fi.

An idle day between house-horrors, so a quick game, thinks I... However, the curse of "Mission Creep" cut in and I ended up sorting my Space Hulk bits then making a big layout (DOH!)...

Mission One:

An exploratory game; a squad of troopers poking around to try to find survivors on a previously attacked vessel and bring them back to an Access Point. Scattered around the board are tokens which may represent survivors in "Safe Chambers". These must all be checked. 

Potentially hostile "Blips" arrive on a "6" each move (test for placement with a 12x6D and 1x6D for location coordinates, then throw 1x6D for number of Blips).

Blip/Alien movement decisions are dice-dictated based on ad hoc probability tests unless Rescuers/survivors have been seen or are in LoS.

 Among the Blip token mix are some "survivor group" tokens (I used the mutant/hybrid tokens for this). These guys may be stationary or even lurking around Alien groups (hiding in ducts/whatever and moving on the basis that Aliens may, like the survivors, be seeking the Rescue Party). When seen by the Rescuers a 1x6D test tells how many survivors are in the group. 

All main security doors are locked and can only be opened by the Tech. Crewman on a test throw [+10 on a Dx12D with a modifier of +1 to the throw per previous attempt. Ordinary crew using the Tech Crewman's equipment must get a 12 to succeed and gets no modifier).

Otherwise rules are pretty much as Vanilla Space Hulk.

So to the game... 

The guys poked about, but pretty soon some Blips appeared. It was decided to keep the group together as they headed up towards the crew and command area.

But things started to get pretty complicated pretty quickly and the team were quickly attacked.

They managed the initial assaults well enough, but on approaching the command Area more and more enemy appeared [Unlucky dice]. Casualties were taken.

Some survivors were unearthed (Blip)..

But then the Aliens attacked en mass.

In no time at all folk were running for their lives - and only one person (one of the survivors) made it back to the access point. 

A quick and bloody game with my guys trounced but the rules worked well and kept be on edge throughout. The Space Hulk basic game rules, though very simple, always give a lot of fun. You don't need excessive chrome or several score pages of rules for that....

Mission Two:

A bit more complicated. A ship (coincidentally the same design as above) wandering along, minding its own business. The c
rew are scattered over the ship, going about normal tasks in "soft" kit. They carry basic weaponry as standard but are not "on alert".

But then the vessel comes under attack - via the two vents.

[Technical Notes: ; 1x6D attacker blips arrive at either or both vents on a throw of 5-6 (reducing to a 6 after three moves). The Blips want to prioritise as follows:

1) Accessing the airlocks (at "A").  If they access these then they can let their fellows in. Once an Air Lock is broken open 1x6D additional blips arrive each move at that airlock.

2) Killing the crew.

Where there is no clear advantage in a choice of routes or victims in sight then the route is decided randomly by dice throw. Some choice tests may be "loaded" for priorities in an ad hoc manner.
Opening an airlock sends out a general alarm across the ship and allows "space" in (or air out). 

This airless zone moves at 12 spaces per move. Aliens can survive this decompression and air loss, but any crew-person without a survival suit finding themselves in an airless zone MUST reach air/be behind a sealed door/in a survival suit within four MPs in the same move they have been exposed to space or die.

Survival suits are found in the five Survival crates scattered about the ship. On opening a crate throw 1x6D. This is the number of suits therein up to a total of 12 per crate. On a throw of 6 when testing for suit numbers throw once again. THIS total is the number of suits in said crate. 

It takes 2MP to put on a survival suit. Each crew-person can carry two survival suits (even when suited-up or carrying weapons; these are flimsy, crisis survival suits - not armoured or deep-space kit).

However, bad for the aliens; opening any airlock sets off an alarm automatically sealing all doors to unauthorised personnel. Therefore, once the aliens open an airlock all doors thus far unopened lock.  Such doors can be opened by crew-persons, but aliens can only access such a door by forcing it open (on a throw of 6 - one attempt per move). 

On the sounding of an Intruder Alarm or the Air Lock Breach alarm the Captain* must remain in the control room and test to see if he gives any instructions over the Tannoy (he does so on a throw of 5 or 6 on a 1x6D test made once per move).

Once he has issued such instructions he must test again (and remain at his station) to see if he broadcasts beyond the ship for help (on a throw of 6).

(*If all this seems odd, remember the captain here is a civilian on a routine flight and could panic/shut down at this unexpected turn of events)

IF the Captain fails to issue instructions after an alarm then all local supervisors (blue caps) and individuals or work parties without a supervisor test to see what they do.

On a throw of 1 they flee to try to reach the Command Area OR the nearest safe space/survival crate.

On a two to five they remain put, securing the area they are in.

On a 6 they go bug-hunting.]

And so to the game....

From move one the Blips started pouring into the ship from the port-side rear and central ducts, triggering an Intruder Alarm. 

Two crewmen were cut off in the port cargo bay by the sudden ingress. They killed a few attackers, but were cut down within a few moves. 

The Captain froze - and issue no orders as he tried to assess what was happening.

A couple of isolated crewmen, Barry and Jules, in corridors on the starboard side ran towards the command centre. 

Supervisor Charles, in a room centre rear with a work crew, held his ground and put his men in Overwatch to repel any boarders heading his way. 

On the Upper Corridor, repairing a floor breach, were Old Mac and Jimmy. They stayed put - Mac couldn't see the point of running about without knowing what was occurring and who was where. He and Jimmie simply drew their blasters and went into Overwatch.

Crew-woman Lillie was alone in the Stasis Chamber (port central). She made for the Command Area, but in her haste forgot about the blocked and bulkheaded passage forward of her - losing three moves as she realised her mistake and returned to the Stasis Chamber - just as Aliens entered it. 
[Note: for Command Points sergeants/supervisors and the captain got a 1x6D's worth per move each. Isolated groups/individual outside the Command Area tested individually/per group on a 1x6D. On a throw of 5 or 6 for a group or 6 for an individual they could dice for CPs themselves on a 1x6D.]

The Aliens poured into the ship, swarming through the port cargo bay and heading towards starboard, while others pressed towards the central air lock. A group of others chased Lillie into the Stasis Chamber and/or headed for the forward Air Lock. 

Crewman Jones was alone in one of the port cargo bays. He ran towards where Supervisor Charles was holed up. 

In the Stasis Chamber Lillie clambered up the ladder to to the Upper Corridor, and opened fire on her pursuers.

The sound brought Mac and Jimmy running in Lillie's direction, guns blazing. It was a close thing, especially when Lillie's blaster jammed, but together they dealt with the few Aliens chasing Lillie.

The remaining Blip in the Stasis Chamber pushed on towards the forward Air Lock.

Jones ran towards Charles's room, but luckily for him kept his head (dice test) - stopping and shouting before he rounded the last corner of the corridor leading to the refuge. Had he run out unannounced into the view of someone on Overwatch without warning there was a likelihood (test) that they would open fire on him.

Up at the command Centre the captain still failed to act as the Blips ranged through the corridors and cargo bays.

Suddenly the Air Lock Breach alarm sounded - the doors locked - and there was a drop in pressure; the Aliens had opened the central airlock to their supports. More Blips poured in via the Air Lock as the reduced pressure wave tore along the corridors. Isolated groups of crew now tested - most  in Command Centre rooms went into Overwatch.

Supervisor Charles ordered the doors to his room sealed.

Lillie, Mac and Jimmie ran to the central chamber of the Upper Corridor and closed the doors at either end.

In the Command Centre itself there was still inaction - and no commands from the captain.

The Aliens now had free range in the unpressurised sections of the ship, breaking down doors to get to the Command Centre or forcing bulkheads and debris to get to the forward Air Lock. 

In his refuge Supervisor Charles ordered the Survival Suit crate opened - six suits; one for each in the room and one to spare. This was good. Struggling into the suits his men could soon open the doors - giving them a wider field of fire if the Aliens approached. 

Mac opened the survival crate in their room - one suit between three. Not good.

Barry & Jules got into the Command Area - nearly getting shot down by trigger happy guys on Overwatch - just as the captain decided to take command. He ordered Barry & Jules back to the Survival Crate in starboard forward. Nine suits were found. Over the next two moves eight of these were distributed among the non-operational crew-persons in the Command Area.A  Distress Signal has (finally) been sent out, but there has been no pick up from anyone within range [Test each move 2x6D. Result of 12 means a response].  

Meanwhile, Charles's group came under attack, they fired back - but crewman Wills overcharged an Assault Cannon, which exploded - killing everyone in the room. Disaster !! And just as things seemed to be going Charles's way.... 

Mac Jimmie and Lillie decided who would have the suit; the idea being that this crew member could make their way to safety. Mac (test) wouldn't take the suit. Jimmie wanted the suit, but (test) bottled out of leaving the room. Lillie (test) volunteered to take the suit, but instead of heading to the Command Centre she would try for the Port Cargo Bay and search the Survival Crate there, bringing back any suits found for Mac and Kimmie. She clambered into the suit and set off. 

By now the Aliens were pressing on the Command Area - there would be a prolonged battle, as the eight suited-up crew members set up fire lanes to control enemy access. Aliens fell by the dozen in frenzied attacks - though there were some close calls. By now the number of enemy making their way into the ship had dwindled (tokens had been exhausted), but nearly two dozen Aliens plus half as many Blips remained - and nearly half the crew in the Command Area were unprotected if the doors breached and the life-giving air lost. 
In a now quiet part of the ship Lillie made her lonely way to the cargo bay - dealing with one lurking Alien e-route and discovered four suits stashed away in the crate. Taking two of the suits she made her way back towards Mac and Jimmie - while being stalked by another lurking Blip - taking about seven moves to do so. All three now have suits. But what should they do...? 

Once "suited up" the trio decide to go and see if they can help the Command Crew [dice tests]. They do so, drawing off some of the attackers, but then they themselves have to withdraw, eventually making their way to the central air lock, followed by the enemy. 

Meanwhile the Aliens continue to throw themselves at the Command Centre. The attackers get whittled away, but eventually they both breach the defence perimeter and break through to the Command Room.

The decompression kills the unsuited crew. The Aliens cut down the suited defenders. Only one crewman (sent to shut off/control the forward air lock in case of rescuers arriving ) gets away from the massacre, but is hunted down in the corridors. 

The Aliens now have control of the ship. No Distress Signal has been answered.

Despite success in taking down the few stray Aliens in their area the prospects for the trio in the central airlock do not look good....End game.


Well, that was another fun, furious game with lots of imponderables to make things interesting. Simple rules. The game is almost MADE for solo. Will have to dig out the old Space Hulk tiles more often. 

As always, queries and comments welcome.

Apropos of which....

I put a poll on the Solo FB page about my making links to/continuing this Blog.

The jury seemed to think it worthwhile me keeping-up that practice and the Blog itself) up.

According to the Stats. I seem to have a lot of "silent viewers", which is nice as at least I don't feel that I am crying into the void (they can't ALL be Bots.. ;) ) but as I have said before, any critiques and queries about the Blog itself, expansion on the methods used or even wanting to bounce ideas off of me (such as  "how can I solo-ise this rule set/do you have any ideas to help me/how would you go about this project?") are always welcome...


  1. Really like the idea of rescuing civilians, makes the Space Hulk type games more interesting

    1. Thanks.

      I like "rescue missions" (and chases and hunts and all sorts of narrative-led scenarios - as can probably be seen from my random posts). They give me more fun these days than the standard "Let's get the guys to fight" situations.

  2. As a long time lurker thought I'd come out the woodwork and comment! Would definitely ask you to continue the blog. Its a great read and superb resource for solo gaming. Also means I can live vicariously through your gaming as I don't have much time myself the last few years! Once I've managed to get blogger to work with my account I'll even start commenting more under a proper name...

    1. Ha, ha... Lurk away.... Thanks for the comment.


New Year. New House. New Plans..

New hope...? Well, we're in the new house at last.... I now have: A garage to convert into a workshop for, amongst other things, modelli...