Wednesday, December 16, 2009

When a game goes wrong, and everything explode

After the session last night I remembered the worst case of blowing things up I've ever experienced. It happened many years ago, but I still remember it, with some fondness. I had bought the Commando supplement plus the Brushfire Wars scenario book to Top Secret/S.I., and we decided to try it out.

We rolled up characters, getting a good mix of experiences and skills. Finally we decided to take them out in the field. I did a short briefing of the case, aeroplane hijacking situation in Libya, and the players started planning and listing equipment they might need.

For those of you who don't know about it, Commando is a sourcebook about playing anti-terrorist units, SWAT teams, spec ops and any kind of military situation of the special forces kind. There's a lot of information on military hardware, specialized skills and descriptions of special forces of the world. When you want a seriously gun focused game, it is just what you need. Don't ask me how "realistic" it is. It is based on the Top Secret/S.I. system which is a bit more cinematic than the 1st ed Top Secret, but still fairly deadly.

So, our SAS heroes were airdropped from high altitude and managed to land without breaking any legs. After a short trek over land, they approached the airport, from the desert side, where a civilian plane had been forced to land by the hijackers. Being fairly sneaky they managed to get into the terminal building, and noted that it was all empty. Mysterious?

Up until now our characters had all been sneaky and quiet. They managed to position themselves overlooking the runways, and now things started to happen for real.

The plane was positioned a fair bit away from the terminal, and closer by was a big bus. It was clearly one of those long distance coach fares, and there was some advertising text on the side. For some reason someone got the bright idea to walk up to the bus and talk to the driver.

Said and done, one guy walks out and realizes that the bus is filled with young children, and the driver looks very suspicious and is armed. Not only that, he notices the player character and draws his weapon. A special forces soldier is probably quite a good shot, and also quite quick? Yes he is. So, the driver is shot dead with two silenced shots to the head, and slumps over the steering wheel. Did I say that the engine was running? Well, it was and the dead guy manage to get stuck on the throttle and the bus starts rolling.

At the same time another character decide to duck down and run out to the plane, since he see that the entrance in the back of the plane is open. He gets there, gets in and is noticed by the hijackers and tosses a stun grenade just before the bus crashes into the plane with a roar. Fuel all over the place, sparks flies and we have a fireball.

They not only managed to get the plane back and the hostage back, they also managed to kill the busload of innocent school children who was there as "security" hostage for the bad guys. Total carnage.

I couldn't decide if I should laugh at the players ineptitude or cry for all the innocents. I guess it's only natural that this session everyone involved remembers as very memorable and fun.

5 comments:

  1. Yes, it is always the total catastrophes and near-TPKs that everybody remembers most fondly.

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  2. Sure is unlucky for the schoolchildren that the bus driver didn't have the parking brake set. And was sitting there with his foot on the gas waiting to press it at a moment's notice. And that the bus drove directly into the fuel tanks of the plane.

    I'd say those orphans had it coming.

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  3. It sure was unlucky. The thing is, I clearly remember rolling a lot of dice thinking "There's a chance it can go bad, small but... Oh shit!", more than once...

    Orphans always have it coming.

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