Thursday, September 20, 2018

Super System 4th Edition: Battle Report- Smugglers Run!

I was very excited to continue using the Nano Metal toy superhero figures to keep building and playing games of Super System. Typically, all this metal models need is a few touch-ups for paint and a wash to be ready to play. They can be found easily at big box retailers and do the trick just fine for these types of games, allowing for fun games on a budget.

I divided my models into two teams. The Union of Semi-Professional Heroes A.K.A. The Union versus The Black Hearts. You can read all about the current line-up of The Union and the Black Hearts in a previous blog post. After the Black Hearts raided a museum and stole several artifacts of ancient and historical South-East Asia, they were confronted by the Union as they made their escape in the desert. Today's adventure is a continuation of the ongoing rivalry between the two factions.

The Nihilist flipped open the briefcase and turned for him to see. For a brief moment, the glitter and flash of uncut diamonds flashed in the dim light.

Look, it is worth your while to help us out. I have been told you are one of the best smugglers uncut diamonds can buy.”

The other man cast a long thin shadow. He craned his neck and it looked unnatural as he peaked into the container. A filthy blanket wrapped around him as his dark eyes glinted at the sight of the gems.

I can get you out of country unnoticed easily enough. However, you do realize where you go is a deadly jungle hell hole run by a murderous militia?” The man squawked.

The Nihilist and Metal Head exchanged the briefest glance. “We understand. That's why we are coming to you.”

The man shuffled forward awkwardly in a tattered blanket. His hand shot out and slammed the case closed. A metallic, claw like set of fingers closed on the handle. MetalHead stepped forward and planted his large hand on the case firmly and shook his head slowly.

Nihilist hissed through her mask, “Do we have a deal?”

The man's head twitched forward in what she assumed was a sign of consent. Then he slowly looked up above them. With a speed that surprised the two Black Hearts he stepped back and tore the blanket from his shoulders. As it drifted away, the man raised a red helmet to his head, and a huge pair of mechanical wings stretched outward from his body.

Company!” he squawked. The two villains turned quickly to see Mr. Amazing flying down from the darkening horizon. MetalHead eagerly crashed his fist into his palm, while Nihilist raised her delicate hood.

The caped hero hovered at the edge of the wooded clearing, “What do we have here? An unexpected catch?”

From the edge of the woods stepped the Riverine and his fellow Union pal, Safeguard. “We came to shut down Buzzard's smuggling ring, but it looks a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!”

Metalhead grinned at the newly arrived heroes, “Let's Rock.” he muttered. However, the Nihilist placed a restraining hand on his bicep.

Remember, our job was to secure the Buzzard's help. Not smash up The Union. We have the Buzzard, now we need to make our escape.”

With a quick grunt MetalHead nodded his reluctant agreement. The Nihilist turned quickly to their new fellow Black Heart he was now hovering, buoyed by the soft whooshing of micro-jet technology, “It looks like you are one of us now. Come on!” She started running towards their hidden burrowing machine.

Riverine rolled his eyes, “We can't let them get away..... again!” He sprang into action. His fellow Union hero, Safeguard close behind him.

I knew we should I have asked Red Streak to come,” muttered Safeguard.

We have two new cast members today! For The Union we have Safeguard. Safeguard was a scientist and inventor whose family was killed tragically as collateral damage during a super-villain throw down. He vowed to protect those who could not protect himself and spent years creating the Safeguard armor. It allows him to project protective force bubbles around himself and others to keep other from harm. His appearance to protect civilians at various super-powered slugfests soon brought him to the attention of The Union, and he was recruited by the Riverine.

For the Black Hearts, we have the infamous smuggler and mercenary the Buzzard. Buzzard was able to acquire a suit of specialized flying gear from a smuggling operation that went wrong on the edge of Tajikistan. The former owners of the suit may have been the Soviet Union, Chinese Military, Islamic rebels, or worse. He didn't know or care as he used it to escape capture by a United States military raid. The suit allows him to fly and since he has equipped it with various upgrades to help him stay ahead of his competition and pursuers.

The Forces

The Union (of Semi-Professional Heroes)
Mr. Amazing- Brick- Stupendous Man Archetype
The Riverine- Brawler-The Shield Slinger Archetype
Safeguard- Blaster- Guardian Archetype

The Black Hearts
Nihilist- Mentalist- The Empath Archetype
MetalHead- Brick- Immovable Object Archetype
Buzzard- Blaster- Death from Above Archetype

The Black Hearts are starting on any board edge up to 12 inches in. The Heroes can start at the closest board edge. The Black Hearts need to get Buzzard off the opposite board edge to win along with one other Black Heart to operate the machine. He can not be captured by The Union. The Union must capture Buzzard first, any other captures are a bonus.

The board is to be a wooded clearing. There are rocks and small copse of trees scattered about. It is assumed the edge of the board is surrounded by thick forest and impenetrable, except for where marked for the Buzzard to escape to the Black Hearts waiting machine.
The Black Hearts are in a small group, where they were conducting there business before being interrupted. The Union are along a board edge within 12 inches and directly opposite where the Black Hearts need to escape the board.

Turn 1:
The Nihilist wins the Initiative roll against the Riverine. The Buzzard takes off and fires a blast of firepower. He targets Mr. Aamzing as he is the only opponent who can fly, but the super hero simply shrugs off the blasts.

The Riverine knows how dangerous MetalHead can be when he changes into his metal form, so he dashes forward and tosses his trident. It grazes along the rockers arm, and draws blood as he stumbles back. MetalHead grabs his arm, looks at the blood on his hand, and snarls at the Riverine. He quickly changes into his metal form. He takes a step towards the Union leader

Nihilist thows up her hand, “Cover Buzzard!” Metalhead reluctantly agrees and falls back towards the winged smuggler.

Mr. Amazing takes-off and starts to head for the Buzzard. However, Nihilist mind flares him and clouds his mind. Safeguard steps up and fires force bolts at Nihilist, but she manages to avoid them.

Turn 2:
The Nihilist out leads the Riverine again. Buzzard walks his fire from Mr. Amazing towards Riverine, but he acrobatically dodges the shooting. Casings rain from the sky as Buzzard falls back to the escape route. Mr. Amazing grimaces through the confusing haze in his head and makes his way towards the top of the hill to try and cut off his escaping prey. The mind flare still dances and clouds his mind.

MetalHead keeps his metallic form and falls back, but he is much slower than the Buzzard. He tries to get between the Buzzard and Mr. Amazing.

The Riverine sees his chance as Nihilist is undefended and races forward, and scoops up his trident and leaping attacks the mentalist. His attack strikes home and pushes her back from the impact. Cursing, she mind flares the impudent Hero. The Riverine stumbles back from the mental attack and is stunned. Seeing The Riverine stumble, Safeguard moves up to protect him with a force dome if needed.

Turn 3:
The Nihilist wins advantage again. Seeing the Nihilist get hit, MetalHead switches targets to the disoriented Riverine and smashes him as hard as he can! However, even with a woozy-head, The Riverine is able to dodge the incoming attack.

Mr. Amazing keeps up the pursuit and gets to the top of the hill, his mind still reeling from the Flare. Nihilist runs for the escape route at full speed. The Riverine breaks under MetalHeads swinging fists and chases after the fleeing foes. Safeguard chases after The Riverine.

Hey, wait-up!” Safeguard skitters after The Riverine. MetalHead glaring at him.

Buzzard keeps falling back, and unloads a barrage of mini-missiles from his suit at The Riverine. The old soldiers twists and turns, but a nearby explosion hits him with streaking hot shrapnel.

The Rioverine looks pointedly back at Safeguard as a trickle of blood runs down his cheek from a minor scalp wound. The scientist shrugged sheepishly, “I had to run to keep up with you, sorry.”

Turn 4:
The Black Hearts can still go first. The Nihilist scampers away from The oncoming heroes. However, The Riverine keeps up the pursuit, and throws his Trident at her. However, the mind flare clouding The Riverine's mind allows her to easily dodge away from the oncoming weapon.

MetalHead chases down the straggling Doctor, and tries to grab him. However, the Doctor squirms away from the lunging big man. Safeguard squirms away and gives MetalHead a blast to the metal face, which causes the metal man to smile like a feral wold.

Better luck next time, Do,.” Metalhead quipped.

With his head ringing, Mr. Amazing rips a tree from the ground at the top of the hill with a grunt, and throws it at Buzzard. The Buzzard tries to dodge the tree, but it is too large, entangles him, and he falls to the ground with the tree around him.

Don't leave yet, you forgot your trunk!”Mr. Amazing shouted playfully.

With the roar of micro-jets the battered buzzard burst from the tree with his chain guns blazing at the Riverine, who managed to barely dodge the ricocheting bullets.

Turn 5:
The Nihilist is a great leader and out commands the Riverine. The Buzzard hovered back to the edge of the clearing and laid down cover fire, again whinging the Riverine in the fire fight. However, it wasn't enough to stop him as he attacked the Nihilist. However, she easily dodges the mind flared Hero who hasn't taken the time to clear his head yet. She manages to duck around the swings of The Riverine's trident and manages to fall back to the Burrower with Buzzard.

A high pitch whistle filled the clearing, and MetalHead looked up from the cowering Safeguard, “Maybe we can dance next time, Doc?” With that he dashed towards his fellow Black Hearts. Nihilist put her hands ot her head and focused an extra strength mind blast that forced Mr. Amazing and The Riverine to grip their heads, momentarily paralyzed. By the time the heroes shook it off, the Black Hearts were gone.

Mr. Amazing flew down to his fellow heroes, his hand on his temple, “What were those two doing here?”

I don't know, but I am sure it was no good,” The Riverine walked to the edge of the tunneler's path and looked into the ground.

Safeguard shrugged, “Sorry guys, I guess you should have brought Red Streak afterall. He could have caught those guys. I wasn't much good.”

Mr. Amazing clapped his fellow Union member on the shoulder, “Don't be so hard on yourself. We all learned from this encounter.”

Well said Mr. Amazing. We will be better prepared next time,” The Riverine walked back to his friends, “Come on, let's get back to the Union Hall and consult with the others. Maybe they have some idea of what the Black Hearts are up to?”

Another Super Systems game under my belt. We probably are still making tons of mistakes, but the game was still enjoyable. I have really enjoyed the light role-playing element that this game provides. We were cracking one-liners, taunting each other, and generally just having a hoot at the table. There are a lot of little rules to recall about how powers and special moves interact, but the rules are laid out pretty well to answer most basic questions as you go. It was awesome to have Mr. Amazing throw a tree at Buzzard! That almost took him out too.

This game won't be to everyone's taste as the damage output is not high, and many of the heroes can take a pretty good beating. However, both games have had a strong evasion element to the plot and story line we are developing, so fleeing has been a high priority for the Black Hearts instead of sticking around and pounding each other into super-dust. There is a strong element of trying to create mismatches between characters and powers whenever possible such as having Riverine take on Nihilist and MetalHead vs. Safeguard. However, you also need to know when to put a brick against a brick and so forth. By no means would I call this a tight tournament set of rules, but it is a great tool set for super heroics on the tabletop.

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