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Rumble in the jungle

July 29, 2011

Triton-4 has kicked off nicely! I’ve noted that the game provides both the motivation and the concrete incentive to do a lot of work on miniatures and terrain – so far we’ve played about a game per week, and that leaves me a week to finish whatever is needed for the next scenario or two. This weeks accomplishment was painting the three miniatures below – a pilot and a co-pilot/generic trooper from Woodbine, and a scientist from Hasslefree. All were used in a scenario detailed later on. I’m happy with how they turned out, and they were a joy to paint.

Click for a larger version

So far we have played three scenarios:

Scenario 1 – Landing on Triton-4

This was a peculiar wargaming scenario in that there was a distinct possibility of there not being any fighting at all. The two marine squads (numbering five each) landed on the planet. Their mission was to investigate the jungle near the landing site and find a suitable location for a communications satellite, allowing the USS Hades to transfer supplies and personnel down to the planet.

The marines went through the jungle in a fairly orderly fashion. A lot of strangeness was discovered, including dismembered animals, an abandoned camp site and a data recording device with unknown insignia. The only real action the marines got was when a weird flying creature attacked one of them. Some brutal hand to hand ensued, and finally Sgt. Kosltezlo was able to bring the creature down. The marines then found a suitable spot for the comm station, and set it up. Below are a few satellite photos (disturbed by the atmosphere, naturally) of the proceedings.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Scenario 2 – Rescue

With the comm station in place, traffic from orbit was ready to start. Disaster struck soon, however, as a dropship carrying one of the lead scientists suffered an engine malfunction and crashed. The pilot, co-pilot and the scientist all survived, but were now stranded in the middle of the jungle. To make matters worse, military technicians had been able to decrypt some data from the recording device found earlier, revealing a xenomorph presence on the planet.

With most marines stuck fortifying and building the base, Sgt. Kosltezlo took three marines with him to find the missing people. Xenomorphs were indeed present, and the crash survivors were quickly running and fighting for their lives. To make matters worse, most shots fired attracted more and more xenomorphs. The situation seemed desperate, with the rescue team quickly finding themselves in a serious fight instead of a search and rescue mission. The co-pilot was speared by a xenomorph’s tail, causing the pilot to panic and blindly run into the jungle. The scientist was manhandled from one marine to the other, and eventually the rescue team managed to drag him back to the camp, with the camp’s sentry guns chasing away any Aliens that tried to cross the treeline. While the mission was a success, the xenomorph threat was confirmed and their deadliness apparent.

Scenario 3 – The aftermath

Following the daring rescue, the marines decided to go on another recon mission. While most xenomorphs had retreated deeper into the jungle, some remained. The marines advanced carefully towards the treeline, where they could glimpse flitting dark shapes. All of a sudden a rapidly moving Alien managed to circle around them and pounced on the target it perceived the weakest – Pvt. Turner who was still a rookie, only just having joined the force. Turner was quickly joined by the other marines, and together the group of four managed to bring the creature down, with Turner himself delivering the killing blow. The youngster’s joy was short-lived, though, as acid blood sprayed from the broken body, showering Pvt. Turner and providing him with an agonizing death. The sight caused a ripple of horror, with Pvt. Glory escaping all the way back to base and the marines generally falling back. This prompted more xenomorphs to charge from the trees.

The other squad’s leader, Sgt. Slaughter (I assume that’s a nickname) surprised everyone by downing xenomorphs left and right. With his squad falling back around him, he took on first one creature, then another, surviving both and killing one. Other marines then moved up to help with the mop-up. With most of the xenomorphs downed, the marines set their sights on the treeline to put down the one remaining beast. The Aliens’ speed proved to be incredible once again, as the creature flitted through the trees to charge another bewildered rookie, Pvt. Austin. The soldier tried desperately to escape, but the xenomorph mercilessly cut him down before being gunned to pieces.

With the Alien threat neutralized, the marines finally managed to venture into the jungle. Their search brought up all sorts of interesting things, such as alien artifacts and  xenomorph eggs. Pvt. Stanton from the first squad managed to evade a strange attack – all of a sudden three red dots appeared, followed by an explosive blast. Of the attacker there was no sight, but it was apparent that the xenomorphs weren’t the only threat around. On a more positive note, the pilot who had fled earlier staggered out of the jungle, bloody and incoherent. He was taken back to base by Cpl. Burbank. It’s anyone’s guess how he made it out alive.

Most of the area had already been searched, when the marines made the same mistake as the dwarves in Moria: they dug too deep. With the marines spread out through the jungle, Pvt. Stanton suddenly found himself surrounded by no less than six Aliens, four of which tore him to pieces. The marines retaliated fiercely after this first casualty, and managed to completely eliminate the creatures in short order, with Sgt. Slaughter even destroying one in close combat. Pvt. Gunn’s flame unit was also invaluable, torching jungle and xenomorph alike. After this the exhausted marines retreated back to their camp.

The games were good fun, and we’re still getting to grips with all the rules. It’s getting quicker and smoother to play, and we’re slowly getting into the intricacies of the system. The narrative aspect is present, and we tend to view in-game events through a narrative filter. The second scenario especially was very cinematic and tense!

With these three games the campaign is off to a good start, and both me and the two players are looking forward to our next session on next Wednesday. Whatever’s coming up next, the marines are in for a rough time with three of the original ten troopers down.

By the way, feel free to comment on the satellite photo look of the pictures. In my opinion action report pictures are often quite boring, as they’re basically just miniatures standing next to each other.  I figured I’d simply use them as for a bit of flavour, so photoshopped them heavily. Personally I like the look, but CC is definitely welcome!

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8 comments

  1. Nicely done, the satellite pictures look great, really good narrative.


    • Thanks Fran!


  2. Fun read, and the narrative aspect spices up the report as well, which is much nicer than just by-the-numbers BR, however well written otherwise.

    I’m usually more fond of diagrams (although here their use would have been superfluous, the narrative was clear enough) than ‘photos of every phase’ -approach, because as you said, the pics themselves tell pretty little of the action an are usually quite static. And can be very confusing, too, if proxies etc. are used. But on the other hand, a couple of shots, establishing the overall look of the table (and gorgeous figures/scenery), are essential to me at least, to reel me in the action. And your pics performed admirably in this regard.

    And the fresh paintjobs were good-looking, as well.


    • Thanks for the kind words Markku! It’s great to hear that someone thinks I’ve done a good job with this 🙂


  3. Nice minis! I especially like the detail of the scientist.
    Great satellite photos. They really add to the theme.
    Photoshop all you want, it’s good to see a bit of how you imagine the scene.


    • Thanks Drew, glad to hear you like it! Liked the renders on your DA page, btw.


      • Thank you! Not much time for renders anymore 😦
        But I can still squeeze a game in once in a while. 🙂


  4. Sounds like great fun.

    I like the scratchy satellite photos, reminiscent of the images from the helmet cams in Aliens.

    An establishing shot of most of the table would be nice. I would also like to have seen a shot or two of the rescue scenario as that one seemed the most tense. Unless I am mistaken there wasnt a xenomorph or Predator visible in any of the photos. Weirdly appropriate I know, but I would still like to have seen them.

    I am envious that you have got a weekly meet going. Nothing like that to keep the productivity up.



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