Star of Meli Mission 1

With the preorder of Five Parsecs from Home 3rd Edition now available, I've decided to start a new campaign using all the new bells and whistles.  

The Star of Meli has recently landed on Topher's Reach, a colony world on the fringe of Unity space.  This backwater planet isn't equipped to support starships. The downport at Second Landing consists of little more than a control tower (more like a bunker, actually); plascrete tarmac divided into "bays" with weathered, barely visible paint; and a battered fuel processor supported by a couple equally battered fueling bowsers. Fortunately, the ship isn't damaged.  At least the place doesn't have a crowd of nut-jobs out to kill the crew, like on New Olympus.

At the start of the campaign, the crew has:

  • The Star of Meli, an unreliable merchant cruiser, and 22 credits of debt remaining on the ship.
  • 26 credits
  • Sector Permit which helps them deal with local licensing issues.
  • one Rival, the nut-jobs mentioned before, who at some point will show up and cause havoc.
  • one Patron, Jana Roguez, a representative of the sector government who occasionally passes jobs to the crew.
  • story points which let me "cheat" when the dice don't go my way.  If I remember to use them, which I often don't.
  • No quest or rumors.

Fortune’s Fool, Mission 6

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve played one of these, or much of anything else either.  It’s the usual reasons, and I won’t go into them here.

On turn 6, we start with 17 credits, 4 story points, and no quest clues.  No one is in sickbay.


The crew remains on New Olympus to track down more information about what is going on.  The crew used the Basic Supplies Jase picked up last turn rather than paying for upkeep.  No medical care is needed.  Tine spent 3 credits to examine the strange artifact, and discovered it is a Grav Flinger.  This strange device pushes people and objects away from the user when it is triggered.

Jase, Reda, and Yared go trading.  Jase picks up a stim pack, Reda gets a luxury trinket, and Yared finds some basic supplies. Diana and Britt go exploring; they find a local gambling den and drop in.  One of the locals was blatantly cheating, and when Diana called him out on it, things got ugly.  She lost her concealed blade and Britt lost his dazzle grenade.

We were intercepted by one of our rivals, the Crimson Vipers gang.  They have four gangers with rifles, a specialist with a hunting rifle, and a lieutenant with a rifle.  The gang boss, Drake, is leading the group, and carries a hand cannon and brutal melee weapon.  I rolled a deployment condition, “surprise encounter”.  So my crew got the drop on the gangers.  There is no notable site.  As these gangers are criminals, I rolled for a bounty.  I’ll get 3 credits extra if I win the fight.

Fortune’s Fool, Mission 5

Turn 5, we start with 15 credits, 3 story points, and 2 rumors (not quest clues, I was wrong before). Nobody is in sickbay.


The crew has no reason to leave, so they stay on New Olympus. Upkeep is 1 credit. In the Crew Tasks phase, Britt trains to gain +1 xp and uses that to raise his Combat skill to 1. Everyone else trades, finding:

  • Jase: Basic supplies (pays upkeep for one turn)
  • Tine: Gun upgrade kit (improves the range of one weapon)
  • Reda: Assault blade (basically a bayonet, bonus in brawling)
  • Yared: A hot tip (rumor)
  • Diana: Military Fuel Cell (no cost to leave the planet)

The 3 rumors I have turned into a quest in the Resolve Rumors phase. The crew avoid running into any rivals on their way to the quest mission.  The location will end up being a dead end, probably.  But we still fight the battle.

I rolled a deployment condition, “Small Encounter”. I pick a crew member at random to miss the mission, but I’ll also fight one less opponent.  Diana had to sit this one out.  I also rolled a Notable Sight; there is a person of interest who will give me a Story Point if I can make contact with them or win the fight.  (Of course, I forgot to put a figure on the table to represent this person.) Enemies are 5 (4 due to the Small Encounter) Converted infiltrators (think Borg, but less pale and less robot).  Finally, my mission target is “Someone’s turf”.  All that comes together to create a story (and maybe even an interesting one).


Yared found out that someone has quietly put up a reward on Jase. The vigilantes in the last few fights weren’t after Britt, they were after the captain. Supposedly this patron is operating out of an office on the outskirts of town.

The crew decided to go check the guy out. A last-minute issue with the fuel cell delivery kept Diana at the ship. But, doubting they have much time before their target shifts location, the crew heads out anyway. They made it to the neighborhood with little trouble (not interrupted by any Rivals). But once there, things seemed a bit off.  “Hey Captain,” Yared said as they neared the building. “Doesn’t it seem a bit quiet around here?”

Nobody was in sight. No vehicles were moving. There weren’t even any animals, Terran or native, making noise. Reda muttered, “Yeah, something isn’t right here.”

“Right, I’ve got a bad feeling about this too,” Jase replied. “Tine and I will keep going up the street. The rest of you find some cover and be ready if something happens.”

Tine and Jase are top center, moving between the building and garage.  Yared is bottom right, headed toward the fence.  Reda and Britt are back by the solar collectors, they will act after the enemies.

In the silence, the crew hears unintelligible voices and movement beyond some buildings.

Converted advance on the intruders.

Turn 2.  The Converted move again, advancing on the crew.  Yared moves up to the wall, spots one across the courtyard, and fires with his rattlegun.  He Stuns her and pushes her back an inch.

Yared gets the first hit.

Tine gets in behind the barrels.  Jase takes position at the corner of the building.  Reda and Britt move up to the wall and toward Jase, because most of the enemy are moving in that direction.  They could have fired at the enemy Yared shot, but I just now noticed that I messed up the cover rules.  She was knocked down and couldn’t be seen behind the wall, I guess.

The crew moves into positions.

Turn 3.  The Converted facing Yared moves up to the fence again, but cannot shoot because of her Stun.  That comes off at the end of her activation. The others move up to the edge of the brush and all shoot at Tine, missing her.

Those are some sturdy barrels.

Yared fires at the Converted woman again, knocking her out of the fight.

The wall, not so tough.

Tine shoots at one of the converted in the brush, killing him.

And Jase shoots at another, stunning him.  Reda and Britt move into positions to help Jase out if he needs it.

Turn 4.  The Converted leader moves up and fires at Jase, stunning him and forcing him back from the corner of the building.  The other Converted moves up and removes a Stun marker.

"This is my favorite coat!"

Tine shoots back at the leader, knocking him out.

Reda moves up to shoot at the last Converted, and misses.  Britt moves across the street to take a position behind the barrels.  Yared moves into the courtyard.

Turn 5.  Yared moves to the corner of the building and fires at the last enemy, killing him.

“Who were those people?” asked Reda.  “I haven’t seen bionics like that before, they look like they are mostly robot.”

Britt spoke up from the back.  “They aren’t people, they are Converted.  These things invaded My home, Logan 3.  They took over the planet, everything.  I barely got out.  Most people didn’t.”

“What happened to them?  Did they kill your people, use them as slave labor or something?”

“No.  They took over everything, including the people.  Everyone I knew, everyone I ever met, are those things now.”

“So if these are here now, are the Converted invading this planet?”

“God, I hope not.”


The crew found 3 credits, a stim-pack, and a Strange Artifact among the remains of the enemy.  These were an Invasion Threat, but I rolled no invasion.  I don’t have to check if they become an Enemy because they are a “Roving Threat”.

Nobody was hurt, so no need to check For injuries. Yared received 4 xp; 3 for winning the fight, +1 for taking out the first enemy.  Jase, Tine, Reda, and Britt get 3 xp.  Diana gets none because she was stuck back at the ship.  Jase, Tine, and Reda spend xp to raise their Combat skills.  Nobody went shopping.

The campaign event was new business connections, which gives the crew a Patron.  An individual in that neighborhood is glad the crew cleaned up the neighborhood and wants to thank them by sending work their way.

The character event was for Britt, who simply spent some time thinking and gained 2 xp.

The crew ends the turn with 17 credits, 4 story points, a quest and no clues, basic supplies, a military fuel cell, spare parts for 2 repairs, and a stash of bionic parts that can be helpful if someone gets injured. They have three remaining Rivals: the Crimson Vipers gang, Jackson’s Rangers mercenaries, and Lt. Isaias Cayne with the local Unity garrison.

Fortune’s Fool, Mission 4

Turn 4, we have 18 credits, 3 story points, 1 quest clue, and three people in sickbay for the Crew Tasks phase.


The crew stays on New Olympus. They spend 1 credit on upkeep.

Britt goes exploring. He meets someone at a lunch counter and talks for a while about the weather and local politics. Somehow, he avoids getting into trouble.

Reda and Diana trade. Reda picks up a gun upgrade kit. Diana picks up some spare parts (2) for future repairs. Diana also spends 3 credits to pick up an instruction book.


Britt's "friends" saw him around town after his supposed death, and have tracked the crew down again outside of a small agricultural station near town. Tine recognizes one of them from a wanted bulletin, there's a reward for bringing him in (Priority Target). There are 4 enemies this time, with a Lieutenant. One of the riflemen is the target.

I won't do a write up with a bunch of pictures, because the pictures are rather crap. I'm working on a fix for the lighting where I play. The important events are:

  • The vigilante lieutenant took out Diana with his first shot.
  • Yared gunned down the entire vigilante crew with his rattlegun.


After their guys were gunned down in the street (2 dead, 2 wounded), the vigilantes decide Britt isn't really that important after all. The crew finds 6 credits and gets another 2 credits bounty. They also find some bionic parts after the fight (I'm not going to examine where exactly the parts were found), and a quest clue! Apparently these guys didn't see Britt around town, someone told them he was alive and where to find him.

Diana was just knocked out, but learned something from it (+1 xp). In the end, Diana gained 2 xp; Jase, Tine, Reda, and Britt gained 3 xp, and Yared gained 4 xp.

The crew picked up some more dazzle grenades and a"sonic wave emitter"(which makes a character harder to hit at close range).

The ship was running low on supplies (campaign event) so the crew had to spend 3 credits to stock up. And Reda is thinking that all this time spent doing random jobs and getting shot at by random locals isn't what she signed up for; it might be time to move on (character event). She will stick around for now, but it won't take much for her to leave the crew.

The crew ends the turn with 15 credits, 3 story points, 2 quest clues, and a stash of bionic parts that can be helpful if someone gets injured.  They have three remaining Rivals: the Crimson Vipers gang, Jackson's Rangers mercenaries, and Lt. Isaias Cayne with the local Unity garrison.

Fortune’s Fool, Mission 3

On turn 3, the crew started out with no casualties and 26 credits.


We spent 1 credit on upkeep (5 crew).

Jase and Yared train, getting 1 xp each, raising Jase's Combat Skill to 1 and Yared's Combat Skill to 2.

Tine examines the Strange Artifact, tracks down some local experts in alien artifacts (spending 3 credits), and learns that it is an Alien Combat Serum. She puts it way for future need.

Reda recruits a new crew member, Britt Stasny, spending 2 credits in the process.

Diana explores the port settlement and manages to pick a fight with a local Unity garrison lieutenant, gaining the crew a new Rival.


Britt brought the crew a new Rival of his own, some new vigilantes followed him to New Olympus and want to bring him in for theft. Six vigilantes track him down on the outskirts of town and have another go at him. There is also a Curious Item near the center of the table, I'll find out what it is at the end of the game if I win.

Start of the first turn. The Fool's crew are at the bottom, the vigilantes are behind a low rise at the top. Yared, Reda and Diana (all on the left) get initiative and act first.

Yared fires at one of the vigilantes, but misses.

Reda and Diana both move to the right behind the building.

The vigilante boss fires at Jase, hits him, and would have knocked him out. Jase uses his one point of Luck to avoid the result, but it doesn't do him any good. He's the only target for the rest of the vigilantes. The lieutenant and a rifleman shoot at him and miss, then the guy with the autorifle hits him and knocks him out. The rest of the riflemen fire at Tine and miss.

Tine moves to cover against the big garage and fires but misses. Britt runs across the street to follow Reda and Diana.

Turn 2, Yared gets the initiative. He hits the enemy auto rifle gunner twice, stunning then knocking him out. Tine shoots at the lieutenant and misses.

Tine is the closest target and takes the brunt of it. Everyone fires at her, with the last rifleman hitting her and knocking her out of action.

Reda, Diana, and Britt move up along the right side of the building.

The vigilantes test morale for the downed specialist, and fail. One more failure and they will run away.

Turn 3. Yared shoots his rattlegun at the lieutenant. He hits 3 times, knocking out the lieutenant and another rifleman. Reda moves up to the corner of a building and shoots at a rifleman, stunning him. Britt shoots at the boss and misses.

The boss shoots back at Britt and knocks him out.

The last two riflemen shoot at Reda, stunning her. Diana shoots at the boss and stuns him.

The vigilantes test morale for the two downed men, and fail again. The boss, happy to see Britt down, orders his men to break off before they take more casualties.


I roll and learn the vigilantes are still Rivals. Hopefully we'll see why by the end of this part of the campaign turn.

We found 4 credits worth of abandoned equipment when the vigilantes pulled out, and a pack of psi-chems. The Curious Item was an uninteresting item worth 1 credit to a collector.

Jase received Minor Injuries, and will be out for the Crew Tasks phase of next turn. He will be available for the battle phase.

Tine received a Crippling Wound. Medical care cost 3 credits and 1 turn, so she will also be out for next turn's Crew Tasks phase.

Britt was simply Knocked Out, no recovery time required. Obviously the vigilantes learned Britt is ok and are still after him.

Jase, Tine, and Britt received 1 xp each because they were knocked out of the fight. Yared, Reda, and Diana received 3 xp each because they won the fight and were unharmed. Yared received another xp because he took out the first enemy.

We bought some equipment, finding a rifle and dazzle grenades for a cost of 4 credits.

The campaign event left Yared in sickbay for a turn after he was injured working on the ship. He will be unavailable for the Crew Tasks phase next turn too (that's 3 people out now). After her fight with the Unity garrison officer and the vigilantes'vendetta against Britt, Diana rethinks her goals in life (character event). Her motivation changes from Freedom (getting out from under the thumb of Unity) to Discovery.

The crew ends this turn with 18 credits, 3 story points, and 1 quest clue. Jase, Tine, and Yared cannot take Crew Tasks next turn. They have four Rivals: the Crimson Vipers gang, Jackson's Rangers mercenaries, Lt. Isaias Cayne and the local Unity garrison, and vigilantes from New Triton.

Fortune’s Fool, mission 2

The crew has been hired to pick up a contact at Tinsey Outpost and bring her back to the client. But on the way to the outpost, the journey was interrupted. Bullets tore into the front of the old float truck, disabling the engine in a plume of smoke and coolant. The truck dropped on its collapsing air cushion, hitting the ground with a shriek of tortured metal and composites. The crew bailed out, looking for cover as more fire whistled past overhead. Down the track, vigilantes were waiting for them.

“Richy!” one of them called out. “We’re here to bring you back to see justice. You can come quietly, or not, but you’re coming with us.”

“Watts, is that you?” Reda called back.  “Your boy started that fight, he got what he deserved. You can go to hell if you think I’m just giving myself up.”

“It’s your funeral, woman.” With that and a gesture from Watts, the vigilantes split up and move to attack the crew. Watts takes two of her crew across the stream to flank them, while her lieutenant takes the other two into the woods.

Yared moves into the tree line and fires his rattle gun at the men in the woods, but misses with the heavy weapon.  Diana jumps into the back of the truck, using the cab as cover while she aims her rifle at the vigilante with an autorifle.  Her shot cracks into a tree next to his head, forcing him to duck back and stunning him (marked by the blue ring next to his base).

Tine moves up into the woods behind Yared, while Reda and Jase cross the stream as well.

On turn 2, Yared activates before the vigilantes.  Yared fires another burst at the autorifle-carrying vigilante, driving him further back in the woods and stunning him again.

The vigilante boss moves up with her team, but none of them have a shot at Reda or Jase.  The autorifle guy shakes off one of the stun and moves up to the edge of the woods so he can shoot next turn.  Meanwhile, the LT and rifleman take shots at Diana, missing her.

Diana fires back at the autorifle man and hits him squarely, knocking him out of the fight.

Tine moves up in the woods, but doesn’t have a clear shot.  Reda moves up and shoots at one of Watts’ men, and misses.  Jase moves up into the woods next to Reda.

In turn 3, there was a lot of shooting but nobody hit anything.  Everyone except Yared needs to roll a 6 to hit a target in cover, and they just couldn’t do it.  Watts’ team moved forward, and Jase moved up to the edge of the woods.

In turn 4, none of the crew can activate before the vigilantes.  One of them shoots Jase, winging him and forcing him back into cover (stunned).  The rest of Watts’ team on the right advances and shoots at Reda, but misses.  The LT’s team also moves up and shoots at Yared and Tine, missing.  Yared, Reda, and Tine fire at Watts, but miss. Diana fires at the LT, but misses her shot as well. Jase recovers from being stunned.

In turn 5, initiative went well.  Jase, Reda, and Yared all can act before the vigilantes.  Reda shoots Watts, hitting her square and knocking her out of the fight.  (The dice are there to show who gets to act immediately.)

Jase moves up into the woods and shoots at the vigilante across from him, but misses.  Yared fires at the LT and stuns him.

The vigilantes return fire, but miss.  Tine and Diana shoot and miss.

In turn 6, Yared gets the initiative.  He turns to fire his rattlegun across the stream at the remaining two vigilantes there.  He hits them both, knocking both out of the fight.

The LT and his remaining teammate fire at Tine.  The rifleman stuns her.  Tine and Diana shoot at the LT and miss, while Reda and Jase move up along the stream.

Turn 7, and things are looking very bad for the vigilantes.  But they have yet to fail a morale test (taken every time someone is knocked out).  They’re in it for the duration.

Yared and Tine get initiative and fire.  Yared stuns the LT again, but Tine misses.  The rifleman shoots at Tine and misses while the LT shrugs off the stun.  Diana fires at the rifleman, missing.  Reda moves up and shoots at him as well, stunning him.  Jase just moves up so he can fire next turn.

In turn 8, Yared hits the rifleman, stunning him again.  He and the LT shoot at Reda but miss.  The rest of the crew fires back, missing.

Yared gets initiative again in turn 9 (he has a higher Reaction score than the others and the only weapon with multiple shots, so he almost always gets the initiative when it’s available).  He hits the LT, knocking him down.  The last rifleman shoots at Jase but misses.  The rest of the crew shoot at him,  and miss.

Turn 10 sees Yared fire first, missing. The rifleman fires at Jase and misses. The rest of the crew fires back. Diana hits him and knocks him down, ending the fight.

Post-battle events

Reda looked down at Watts, bleeding on the ground from the hole in her leg. “Dammit Watts, I didn’t want any of this. I told you, Jake started that fight. I was defending myself. I didn’t want to kill him, it just happened.” She pulled off her belt and tightened it around the wounded leg, slowing the flow of blood.  “I don’t want to kill you, either.  We’ll get you back to town to get this taken care of.  If you’re lucky, you won’t lose the leg.”

After the fight, I determined that the rivalry between the crew and Watts’ vigilantes is over.  I rolled for the vigilantes’ wounds just to see what happened.  Watts has a permanent wound, the LT and one of the riflemen is dead, and the others have minor injuries.  They also found a Strange Artifact on one of the men.  I don’t know what it is, but they can spend some cash and time in the next campaign turn to find out.

Everyone got 3 xp for winning the fight and not getting injured.  Diana got an extra xp for getting the first knock-out, and Reda gets an extra for taking out Watts.

We did some shopping, and found a stim-pack (use to ignore a knock-out), a displacer (one-shot teleporter) and a stabilizer (ignore the penalties of a Heavy weapon; Yared will put this on his rattlegun).  We ran into a friendly doc (obviously whoever we helped Watts get to) but didn’t need their help.  Jase made some local friends, which netted him another xp.

Jase increased his Combat Skill to 1.  Yared increased his combat skill to 2.

Bag the Hun game

I played a solo game of Bag the Hun this evening with my 1/600 scale planes from Picoarmor.  It was a simple meeting engagement, a section of four Hellcats ran into a section of four Zeros. It turned into quite the furball real quick.

End of turn 1

Things got bloody in a hurry.  By the end of turn 1, the American newbie pilot’s plane was torn to pieces, and the American section leader managed to put some shots into the cockpit of the Japanese leader, wounding him.

Turn 3

By the end of turn 3, the American leader had killed two Japanese pilots.  In turn 4, another American blew up a Japanese plane, but the Japanese leader drew a bead on the American lead, doing severe damage to his controls.

Turn 4

In turn 5 the American section leader broke for home. Unable to keep up and worried about the other two Hellcats, the Japanese leader turned for home as well. The remaining Americans, out of position for a chase, turned to follow their section leader.

I’ve put together a section record sheet so I can keep the data for four planes at once. It fits on a letter size piece of paper and makes it much easier to play.  Here are the sheets for these two planes:

US F6F-5 Hellcat SRS

IJN A6M5b Zero SRS

The Escape of Dr. Lashwood

Last weekend, local gamer Marc Fluitt and I got together to play a game of FiveCore using my pulp adventure figures.

The setup of the game was pretty simple.  Soldiers of a local Chinese warlord captured Dr. Lashwood on site at his most recent archaeological dig.  They are dragging him and a crate of priceless artifacts through the jungle and back to their leader's stronghold.  Several US Marines managed to outflank the Chinese and cut off their retreat.  To win, my Chinese must carry Dr. Lashwood and the crate of artifacts off the north table edge beyond the Marines.  Marc's Marines win if they rescue Dr. Lashwood, capture the artifacts, and carry them off any other table edge.

My Chinese soldiers started at the south (bottom of the picture), ready to push forward. Marc's Marines are at the north end of the table. One is hidden behind a tree.

I moved to the west in my first activation,  hoping to flank the Marines and deal with them a few at a time.  This didn't work so well. Marc moved over to intercept me.

I took the first casualty, the soldier in charge of Dr. Lashwood was gunned down by the marine at the top center of the picture. The good doctor, now free, fled the gunfire and took cover to the south.

A convenient Scurry result let me shift everyone left into cover and chase down Dr. Lashwood again.

But this let the Marines move to cut me off, too.

I pushed forward into some of the thicker growth, but took fire and lost another soldier.

At last my men figured out how to shoot straight. They killed one of the Marines and knocked another down.  Things are starting to look up.

I continued my flanking maneuver, but it just wasn't working out.

So I reversed direction with another Scurry, going back to the east while his men were out of position.

Marc chased me down, of course.

He charged into close combat, driving my men back.  I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, and he drove me back.

He tried it again, but this time we found the good bullets. We left one dead and scared off the other.

With the Marines in disarray we tried to get moving to the far end of the table.

But Marc rallied his Marines and charged me again. This time he succeeded.

Marc collected the artifacts and Dr. Lashwood, and quickly exited the battlefield.

Failed recovery rolls left me even more out of position as he pulled out of contact.

The triumphant Marines.

We we had a lot of fun, and the advantage shifted several times. There were a few points where I was sure I was home free, only to have it go wrong again.

I am planning to run a pulp game at Bayou Wars this year. I have some terrain work to finish up and then I'll be ready to go.