Thursday 11 January 2024

M13 1.1: If You Go Down To The Woods...


A blip has appeared in a wilderness location. A team must be sent out to investigate and neutralise. Marking the area with some beacons as a secondary objective would be useful as well!The Alien blip is a Gzurn Shadow, capable of rendering itself invisible and causing temporary blindness, along with the usual hazard of death.

Due to poor bureaucracy there is confusion in the drop zone and the team end up being dropped right next to the Stalker's hiding place. Not good as it is much quicker than it's human prey.
The Gzurn starts the turn invisible, and so got a surprise attack on poor Cameron. Luckily for him it missed. Eddie managed to squeeze off a miss-aimed burst from the heavy machinegun before tracking away to a (hopefully) better ranged distance.

The Alien then acted again, as grasping shadows reached out, affecting the vision of  both Bruce and Eddie. The whole squad tactically retreated to give themselves, and their guns, a bit of space.

But the Stalker was after them. It pounced on Douglas, wounding and blinding him. 

Eddie, with stars still swimming through his vision, couldn't get a bead on the alien to shot, so staggered into the woodland thicket to set down a beacon.
The Alien's grasping shadows power reached out and added wounds to both Douglas and Eddie. The squad continued a covering retreat, with only Captain Andy managing to get any hits. Bruce moved towards the struggling Eddie and administered some first aid.

It was now that the FUBAR roll decided to make an appearance. A "friendly" drone strike went off course and landed in the segment containing most of the M13 squad. Bruce , Cameron and Douglas were all caught in the blast, with it being too much for Douglas as he went Out-of-Fight.

The Gzurn took advantage of the confusion to take it's revenge on Captain Andy, injuring but not blinding him. The troops could have really used some Heavy Machine gun cover, but Eddie's vision was still not clearing, so he stayed in cover in the woods. The alien grasping shadows reached out again, catching Bruce and removing him from the battle.

With numbers starting to dwindle, Captain Andy ordered Cameron to join him in a fighting withdrawal into the cover on the adjacent ruin, with a couple of shots actually finding their target at last! 

FUBAR now works in the trooper's favour (Gameplay note: see end comments) and some long range support can now fire upon the Alien. The stalker can't see any foes, so whilst invisible hunts out a target, in this case the hiding Cameron, although it takes a long range strike during the process.

Eddie recovers his eyesight but can't detect the Stalker's location, so he rushes to place a beacon in the second required location. The Gzurn now pounces at the unsuspecting Cameron but misses, as he darts through the old archway and "Calls for Aid" with an on target drone strike causing great distress to the Invader.

Time is running out now. The Stalker leaps over the crumbling wall to strike and blind Captain Andy. A long range support shot hit's home, however, felling the Gzurn Stalker just in the nick of time.

With the Alien defeated and all beacons set up to accomplish the secondary objectives the missions had been a success, although the injured would have to see how they fared...

[Gameplay Note]

I discovered the game Errata\FAQ after this game. 2 points played here became apparent. 

Firstly, Area effect abilities, such as Grasping Shadows in this encounter, require line of sight. This means that the troops hidden in the woodland thicket would not have been targeted.

Secondly, the FUBAR roll can only have a result once, after which the roll ceases to be made. In this battle it means that the long range support shots would not have happened.

Ones to remember for next time!

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