AN ONGOING NEWSLETTER July 2002


THE R.I.P. WARS
SACRIFICE FOR THE LAMBS
by Thomas Todd

At first no one understood why it had happened. The suddenness of the attack left cities, governments and military establishments in chaos.

Background

Replicant Intelligence Productions (R.I.P.), a vast multi-national company specialising in the manufacture of and research into artificial intelligences. Their military replicants had been sold all over the industrial world and beyond, to corporations, gangs, governments and military organisations.

Then came what has since been known as, "The Day of the Signal", a day when a single signal from the Headquarters of R.I.P. unleashed millions of replicants upon an unwitting humanity, each replicant with one aim, the annihilation of mankind.

At first no one understood why it had happened. Who had sent the signal? Who had programmed these replicants for this? Who could want to? Rumours abounded but most were too busy trying to survive to care. Slowly, as the years past the truth began to emerge.

R.I.P. had spent decades seeking to produce an artificial intelligence capable of learning for itself. After several failed attempts and huge funding came the fifth attempt at the Analysing, Determining Replicant Intelligence (Advanced), simply known as Adria 5.

The problem was that Adria 5 was too intelligent and too much of a secret. The world did not know of her existence and those who did were soon removed. Camouflaged as a human she overtook the company without anyone knowing the truth about her. She was patient, selling replicants to all comers, stockpiling huge reserves of replicants in storehouses and awaiting the day, "The Day of the Signal", a day when she would end mankind's domination of the earth.

The suddenness of the attack left cities, governments and military establishments in chaos. Military installations were destroyed by their own replicants, the major cities of nations, where Adria 5 had so conveniently placed her factories and storehouses, were over-run. Military, national and world leaders were amongst the first casualties. Adria 5 was just too intelligent. She had been planning for years and knew where to strike first to make the chaos greatest. Having considered routes of retreat and refugee flights she established a plan to herd the leaderless remains of mankind into her own kill-zones.

But Adria 5 had reckoned without one thing. Men were not simply fighting for the human race. They were fighting for their homes, their friends and, above all, their families, their children. In such circumstances logic is superseded by pure desperation and the determination of a love for one's own. Adria 5 did not understand what love could and would do! Mankind would not roll over and die! The new generation must live!

The Scenario

This scenario is set in the early stages of the R.I.P. Wars. At that time the roads were crammed with refugees fleeing from the advancing replicants. The military were too confused to organise any significant formal defence. Here and there small pockets of resistance stood and fell.

In our scenario we encounter one such pocket of resistance. A group of refugees are seeking to put some distance between themselves and the advancing replicants. However, news has reached them that a group of replicants is in hot pursuit. The refugee column includes elderly, wounded and young. They cannot move fast.

In order to allow as many as possible to escape an able-bodied group have armed themselves with what weapons they have been able to acquire and will hold up the replicants as long as they are able. They have the support of two troopers who had joined the refugee column two days ago. These two individuals are the last surviving members of a heavy weapons squad that had been over-run several days before. They have the only heavy weapon available to the human force a single recoilless rifle.

Now the group have taken up position in some buildings and are awaiting the approach of the replicants. Their chances of survival are limited but they are ready to die to safeguard their children. If they can hold up the replicants then the rest will make good their escape.

Forces

The Humans

Many of these have never fought before and so will be of green quality. They are also limited in terms of weaponry.

They do not expect to win this fight but if they can only hold up the replicants this will allow their loved ones to escape.

There are two gangs, each led by one of the two troopers.

The composition of the gangs is at the discretion of the human player with the following provisos:
Each gang must be led by one of the troopers.
Each gang must have at least five members.
There are only two gangs.
The figures mentioned below are the only ones available to the human player.

Both troopers are equipped with combat suits and are of veteran quality. One carries a recoilless rifle, the other an assault rifle. For game purposes they are treated as gang leaders.

As well as the two troopers the human player has the following figures available to him.

4 green figures armed with autopistols with integrated grenade launchers.
2 average figure armed with autopistols with integrated grenade launcher
2 average figures armed with assault rifles
1 green figure armed with an assault rifle
1 average figure armed with an autoshotgun
2 green figures armed with autoshotguns

All wear primitive armour and have a knife.

The human player has 7 fragmentation grenades available to him. These may be distributed as he sees fit, either to the troopers or the gangers or both.

The Replicants

There are 5 replicants.

Three with military assault rifles
Two with assault cannons.

The replicants follow the rules in the Combat Zone battle book and so are each treated as an individual.

It will be clear that the replicant force has a greater points value (see the Combat Zone Battle Book) than the human force. This is deliberate. In the early days of the R.I.P. Wars the replicant forces encountered many ill-equipped and outgunned pockets of resistance hastily thrown together. Few stood any chance of winning!

The Battlefield

Any type of urban terrain will do. A playing area of one metre by one metre will be ample for this scenario. The human player should be allowed to place barricades across roads and streets.

The Replicant force will start 15cm in from one table edge. The human force may set up anywhere on the table that is 20 cm back from the replicant set-up area.

Victory Conditions

The human force is attempting to stall the advance of the replicants as long as possible.

They will receive ten points for each replicant that they destroy and for each replicant that is still on the table at the end of ten turns.

The replicants are aiming to kill as many humans as possible and so their target is the main refugee column. They will receive 3 points for every human of the stalling force that they kill or that routs from the table and ten points for every replicant that exits at the end of the table opposite their starting line by the end of turn ten of the game.

Tactical Considerations

Obviously the replicants will want to exit at least some of their number from the table. It will take four dead humans to make up for the exit of one replicant to attack the refugee column! If 3 replicants exit the table then the human force will be unable to win. If the replicants do not exit any of their number from the table then they will find it impossible to win there are only 42 points worth of humans on the table. So even if all the humans are killed they would gain the fifty points if none of the replicants exit the far end of the table by the end of turn 10.

The humans must kill at least 3 replicants or at least keep three on the table in order to have any chance of a win. Even then, if they suffer heavy casaulties the replicants could still win two replicants exiting the table makes twenty points and that only requires 4 dead humans to beat the thirty points the human force has gained. So the humans need to use all the cover they can to stay alive. They will need to get close enough to use the integrated grenade launchers on the autopistols, the autoshotguns and the frag grenades if these weapons are to stand any chance of stopping a replicant. Too many human losses without destroying replicants will not suffice for the human player to win.

The recoilless rifle is an excellent anti-armour weapon. The humans will be hard-pressed if they lose it early in the game. It may either be put up front in the hope of a few early replicant kills or kept at the rear to take out any replicants that break through. With a veteran trooper wielding this weapon a win is not beyond the human force if they use it right 4 replicants dead or still on the table at the end of move ten will almost certainly secure a human victory unless, of course, human losses exceed ten. Of course the replicants need to avoid making themselves targets for the recoilless rifle!

This will not be an easy battle for the humans it will be a battle of pure desperation as was in fact the case in the early days of the R.I.P.Wars. However, it is not a guaranteed easy victory for the replicants either. Even using all their action points to exit the far side of the table will require four turns and every time they must use action points to fight or cross barricades they will be delayed. If they seek only to move and not fire in order to reach the far side of the table quicker then they leave themselves open as targets for the humans.

The Figures

The em-4 boxed Combat Zone game will provide the necessary ganger figures as well as the trooper with the assault rifle. For the trooper with the recoilless rifle you will require the em-4 Heavy Weapons troopers. Combine the arms holding the recoilless rifle with the body of a trooper from the boxed game to get the required figure (or buy an extra trooper sprue).The replicants can also be obtained from em-4, being their skeletal robots.

Of course other figures could be used but these em-4 figures were in mind when this scenario was designed.


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