Sunday, 22 May 2016

Playing Punkapocalyptic

I've finally got the chance to play the game! (Remember, rules and everything needed for gaming are available for download here). There are some scenarios and stuff, but as my rival and I just wanted to try the rules, we went for the most basic approach, i.e., a gunshot between two bands until one of them is entirely wiped out :D

This is the display
Let's make some recopilation work. These are the Gangers:

Ready to rumble!
Troop type (from left to right): Scumbag (lowest in the food chain), Brute (no need to explain), Badass (some elite trooper), Ganger (basic guy), Chief (it explains by itself) and another Brute.

These are the Junkers:

Go for them!
Troop type (from left to right): Piston (hardened veteran), another Piston, Gear (regular trooper), Dynamo (special weapons and stuff), another Gear and a Probe (junior member of the band).

The game is skirmish oriented, so each member of the band is highly customizable. The weapons and armour choices truly help to build up the post-apoc ambientation. They are going to be equipped with leather clothes (which is better than nothing!), bows or just knives. If you can afford it, you may get a rifle, but that's top technology! One of the fun things of the game is that ammo must be purchased, it's not included with the weapon. So you may want to bluff, letting your opponent believe that your gun is fully operational when in fact it's nothing but a fancy club.

The game works with an alternate activation system, starting with the minis with higher agility profile and down from there. It makes sense at this scale and works pretty nice; much better than a IGOUGO system. Each character has a number of actions, which can be used in any imaginable way; move, shoot, aim or interact with any piece of scenery or player; that provides a close-to-RPG experience, which in my opinion is highly appreciated. You can lock doors, plunder corpses, activate dormant computers... whatever. Really reminds me of Rogue Trader (and that is some serious thing to say!). Besides, the defensive fire action (the beloved Overwatch rule from WH40K2!!) adds a depth level into the mechanics of the game.

Enough chitchat, the game will explain better with some pics! I will be running the Gangers and my pal the Junkers.

Gangers come out from the nuclear haunted forest and Junkers advance from the once cargo bay
Both bands move forward and the bow guy gets to a high position
After some movement looking either for cover or a firing position, the action starts. The diver guy shoots his harpoon gun, trying to hit the Gangers Chief:

What's the onomatopoeia for a damn harpoon gun?
Shooting depends on many factors, such as weapon range (short/medium/long) or, of course, the character's skills. You can spend one action in aiming (so you have enhanced precision when shooting) and stuff like that. The hit is just a matter of rolling dice an adding the weapon penetration factor against the target armour value.
In this case the shoot missed anyway, so nothing happened.

Soviet Girl gets on the crate and decides to jump onto the closest one
Ouch! Epic fail
Leaping is another type of action, but falling from objects can really hurt! In this case as the height wasn't a big deal, nothing happened.

End of Turn 1
The Gangers Chief shoots her rifle trying to get the diver down.

Success! Blamm. Man down!
She moves forward, but MiniMario intercepts her!
Close combat is quite easy, almost just in the same fashion than shooting. Roll 1D10, add your Combat skill. Assaulting will give you bonuses. Some weapons also add bonuses. The higher result wins the combat, then proceed to hit.
Roll 1D10, add your Strenght and any bonuses. The other mini rolls 1D10, adds its Toughness and any other amour bonuses. If the attacker gets a higher result, then it's a wound. That's it.

One of the nicest things about the game is how even the lowest tech weapon can be deadly. Being myself used to uberwarriors in power armour, lasguns, grenades and missile launchers, I find it utterly interesting and refreshing. Post-apoc FTW!
In this case, little MiniMario got a lucky die roll which overrun his (allegedly superior) rival just by the assault bonus. The Ganger Chief wearing barely nothing but hardened leather got into serious problems even against the tiny small blade the boy was wielding. So that was it, the ridiculous knife proved lethal!

This happens when you go to a brawl in your bikini
Battle went on! The Arrow guy took position on the water deposit and shooted to the Bowler Hat guy:

Once again, it's just a guy with a bow, what can he possibly...
Is that for real? You just killed a guy with an arrow?
Take my word, every single weapon in the game is something you should fear, no matter what.

So boy, you just killed my boss, did ya?
Smash! (The poor guy had no chances this time)
End of Turn 2
The Ganger Badass climbed up the tower so she could shoot too...
...but when she tried to climb up the water deposit, she slipped (failed her Agility roll) and killed herself. Ouch!
But life goes on, and so does the combat. Master bowman shoots at Blunderbluss Girl...

...but the crate takes he arrow for her
The other Brute tries to get Soviet Girl, but she's out of reach
In the meantime, the Dynamo got to the crane. Passed the Agility test so he climbed up to the cabin. He passed his Tech test so he activated it. Then...

...he grabbed the crate...
...and smashed it on the Brute!
Ooooouuuuch!
 OK, you can guess this particular action is not specifically covered in the rulebook. But hey, when you come to my home, you know the hazards, this stuff can happen! :D
My mate said he was going to try that and I could only applaud his initiative, these are the things that make the difference between ordinary games and those others that stick to your memory :)
This is the second time I get to put this crane on a board (you may remember the previous one) and I think never before a piece of scenery had been so relevant for gaming purposes. Best. purchase. ever.

Let's keep on. Soviet Girl took the initiative and assaulted the Brute:

You said you like girls takin' the initiative!
But she had nothing to do, even with the assault bonus. The Brute is a skilled close combat fighter.

So she ended up chopped on the ground
End of Turn 3
Junkers had two remaining characters (the Dynamo and the Gear, Blunderbluss Girl) and Gangers had the Bowman, the Brute and the Scumbag. Anything could still happen...

The two girls fought each other. The Bowman didn't want to take the risk of shooting to the melee (though the rules allow you to do so) and got down the tower. The Brute run towards the crane, taking the risk of endng up smashed as his colleague. But Fortune smile the brave, the Dynamo failed his Tech test and didn't manage to ram the crate on his enemy.

That's all what's happening in this pic
Right, you just read that the rules allow you to shoot a melee. The risk is that you may hit a mini of your own, of course. You may be wondering why we didn't do it anyway. Oh, OK, you know me so well...

The Bowman did it
Unbelievably, my dice rolls were not as usual, and the arrow killed the Junker Girl. Apparently I had Legolas in my team and I didn't know! :O

The Dynamo had no other choice than facing the Brute. He assaulted him so he could benefit of the bonuses.
And he fried his ass up with his crack'n'snap weapon
Both Bowman and Scumbag went for the Dynamo
The Bowman jumps up the crate and miserably falls down trying to leap on the other. The Scumbag is on her own
So she is also fried by the electromaniac
The Bowman backs down and tries to put some distance between him and the Dynamo
Just by the skin of his teeth! He shoots an arrow... and misses!! Seriously, man?
So this was the combat that would decide it all. Both characters rolled their dice and... he Bowman won! Oooh! But he only had a small blade. Would that be enough against the Dynamo's suit? New dice roll and...

...it was!
So this was the tense end of the battle, fierce and giving no quarter, all decided in the last stab. Victory for the Gangers!

I think you have seen more or lees the core mechanichs of the game. I really enjoy the alternate activation and the fact that it comes independently of the band, but on each character's Agility skill. I don't know if that's common in recent wargames, I had only seen that before in Skirmish Sangin, and I think it's a win, makes the game much more fluid and forces you to constantly balance your opponent's actions.
Both shooting and close combat are easy. It really strikes me seeing small or old-tech weapons being so lethal, but it makes all the sense. As said before, this is not a hi-tech ambientation with lasers and tanks, this just represents a world in which everything has just gone down the drain and you fight with anything you have, which mostly means a knife and, luckily, a gun, wearing a leather jacket. All this is greatly represented, and I think it's interesting in game terms.
Adding some silliness of our own made it all funnier (oh, the crane!). My pal confessed that he had the intention of using his Dynamo to electrify the shipping crate so my Gangers on it would get a shock (a shame it didn't happen!). The game is really open to that kind of stuff, complete freedom of action so you can do whatever you fancy.
The game works well with this number of minis, six per band, but my guess is that, once you've played a couple of games and you are familiar with weapon profiles and so, there will be no problem in managing larger groups.

On the whole, a nice surprise and totally recommended game, though I must confess this has been my first shot on post-apoc. Anyway, they have some pretty cool minis on their ranges so trust me, Punkapocalyptic is worth of a try.

10 comments:

  1. Great battle report! Before you, I had never heard of Punkapocalyptic, so I really appreciate the introduction. I love the potential for interacting with the environment... like the crane in your battle, or the electrifying of the crates. That kind of rpg flexibility is what makes a skirmish game truly fun.
    Anyway, your minis also looked amazing. Great stuff.

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    1. Thank you! The silly stuff is what makes it fun! The rulebook certainly doesn't cover those specific situations, but it was totally easy and intuitive how to work out solutions, so that's what I expect from a ruleset :)

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  2. Haha - fantastic mate, this sounds like a great laugh, you certainly put a smile on my face with your write-up :-)

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    1. Well, when you have a couple of Neanderthals like my pal and myself playing with absurd freedom, stuff like the above can happen... :D

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  3. Great batrep and it looks fabulous!

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    1. Thank you! It's been my first punch into a PA ambientation, now I think I have an itch for more! Youmay have something to do with that...

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  4. What a great looking report. Do you find the game mechanics more or less involved than Pulp Alley?

    Is the water tower a kit or scratch built?

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you! I haven't tried Pulp Alley yet, it's on my to do list (shame on me!) :(
      The water tower is from Thomarillion, they have some really sweet stuff!

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  5. It looks really cool
    (like a 40K mordheim I'd say xD)

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    1. Haha, it has some vibe, haha!
      I've never played Necromunda (shame! shame! shame!), but this kind of skirmish oriented game has really got my attention. I think the developers are introducing some XP rules for an update, so the game's gonna get some more interest!

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