Forgotten Heroes: The Liberty Legion!

My British pen pal and fellow supers-enthusiast Carrion Crow graciously invited me to take part in his annual “Forgotten Heroes” challenge. At first I didn’t see a way I could participate this year (too much real life), but the thought of not taking part in a challenge so ideally suited to me kept me up at night. I was too late to the party last year, and I missed out on the fun.

Fun is something that’s in short supply these days, so I begged and pleaded with the Crow to allow me into his challenge, even though I missed the start by some 5 days or so. In response, he asked me to pledge him my loyalty. I didn’t feel that was appropriate, and told him so. He seemed irritated, but he graciously allowed me to join the challenge anyway.

(Perhaps it didn’t happen exactly like that. Perhaps.)

The rules are simple:

  1. The character you create must not yet have had an official or unofficial miniature made for it.
  2. The figure must be in 28mm scale.
  3. The figure must be completed during the month of June.
  4. In your first post, you should provide a bit of detail on the character you’ve chosen and why.

I decided I could do that. But forget one character. Carrion Crow has inspired me to do a whole freakin’ team! From the battlefields of WWII, I bring you THE LIBERTY LEGION!!!!

Clockwise from the top in the picture above, I present: Miss America! The Patriot! Jack Frost! Blue Diamond! Bucky (not an official member)! Red Raven! The Whizzer ( weak bladder, apparently)! and finally, Thin Man!

I first became aware of the Liberty Legion through an (surprisingly good) adventure for TSR’s Marvel Super Heroes, published in Dragon Magazine #104. At the time, I read their statistics and thought, “Man, these guys SUCK!” And they sure do. They are all pretty low-powered, especially by modern standards. I’ll go into their powers and provide my Super Mission Force builds for them later in the month.

I have a fondness for WWII comics, especially ones featuring supers. The Liberty Legion fought the stinkin’ Ratzis alongside the Invaders and other Allied heroes like Union Jack. They were formed by Bucky to rescue the Invaders from the Red Skull. (Side note: I love the Invaders. Keep your eyes open. They’re soon to be shown here, too!).

Now, before all you naysayers inform me that there are Liberty Legion miniatures out there already, let me say “Yes, but not ALL the members have miniatures yet!” Currently, Miss America, Thin Man,  and Whizzer have Heroclix releases. All the rest don’t…which means they will require a conversion  of some kind or a complete repaint of another miniature in order to pass muster. And if you think I would convert and paint up half the team without at least repainting the awful factory jobs on the ones they DID release, well then you, sir (or madam), are clearly visiting Dead Dick’s Tavern for the first time!!!

I would love to adapt the TSR adventure for Super Mission Force, but I’m having some trouble. I doubt Heroclix will release the villains “Master Man and Warrior Woman”.  Master Man is a big, dumb Aryan poster boy with super strength; while Warrior Woman is a crazed Nazi dominatrix, also with super strength (and a whip).  Both have too many swastikas for commercial release. But perhaps I could work something out with the Red Skull and Baron Blood instead…hmmm…

Anyway, watch this space for the end results of my repainting/conversion efforts! Perhaps some special guests not mentioned may make an appearance by the end, too!

Julie Newmar

 

Like many of you, I often have things playing in the background while I’m painting. Sometimes it’s YouTube videos. Sometimes it’s Old Time Radio programs (Gunsmoke and Rocky Jordan are my favorites).

Sometimes it’s other stuff.

The person who loves me most in the world got me the entire Tales of the Gold Monkey DVD set for Christmas. I just finished watching it while painting dwarfs.

Now, I’ve moved on to the Batman TV series. I bought this for myself a few months back.

It should be said that I was born about 7 years after this show aired on TV. So, my familiarity with Adam West’s Batman was mainly gained through my viewing of the series in reruns as a child. In other words, when you’re 6-7 years old, the camp is lost on you and Batman is cool.

Now, I am an adult. And I am a huge Batman and comic book fan. So watching the old TV series makes me laugh. A lot.

One thing that doesn’t make me laugh, though, is Julie Newmar. Holy crap on toast. She is unbelievably hot. Not even really my type.

But damn.

Just…damn.

Penguins!

I used to hate the Penguin. He’s kind of silly. But now I’ve found a new appreciation for him as an adult. He’s been portrayed pretty well by most everyone who has played him. Burgess Meredith is, of course, the classic; but I love Robin Lord Taylor’s “skinny” Penguin on Gotham. (I wasn’t a big fan of Danny DeVito’s take, although I got where Tim Burton was going with it.)

Above are two Heroclix versions of Mr. Cobblepot, both crying out for repainting and rebasing. The one on the left is the classic version, while the one on the right is the Penguin from the Arkham series of video games. Voiced very well by Nolan North, this version of the Penguin is probably the darkest and most menacing. For instance, he doesn’t wear a monocle; rather the glass around his eye is actually the bottom of a bottle that was jabbed into his eye socket during a bar fight. If he removes it now, he could die. So he just keeps it and scares little kids.

Here they are after I got my talons on them.

Wak! Wak! Wak!

The original had the Penguin standing on bags of money, but I decided to cover them in white paint and sea glass so that they looked like ice and snow. I chose a classic, brighter color palette and added some Copplestone penguins. Now he’s ready to commit some avian-themed larceny!

The Penguin of the Arkham games doesn’t go in for that trick umbrella nonsense. He’s an arms dealer. I figured if he’s going up against Batman, he needs all the help he can get, so I gave him a grenade launcher. I also couldn’t resist adding a penguin to his base too.

I had a bunch of penguins left over, so I based them in little groups. Many thanks to fellow TMPer Frederick, who hooked me up with these Copplestone penguins for FREEEEEEEE!

My Batman rogue’s gallery is growing. Mr. Freeze, the Riddler, and now these two versions of the Penguin. Who’s next?

Pulp Chinese

Like a truffle-seeking sow, I was rooting around in my unpainted miniatures box recently when I uncovered the bulk of my last Pulp Figures order. These Chinese pirates, gangsters and ordinary citizens have been awaiting paint for almost 2 years now. Even though I was neck-deep in my Super Mission Force campaign, I was struck with the sudden determination that they should not wait for even one more day! (Besides, I am contemplating placing another order with Mr. Murch, and it’s easier to convince myself if I’ve finished with the last one first.)

First up are some Chinatown residents. Sadly,most of this range is currently out of production pending redesign. I really like these miniatures as they have a lot of character. I only wish I had bought more of the range!

These unsavory types are Tong gangsters. Wargames Illustrated recently had a good article on using Tong in The Chicago Way, a game I’ve yet to try. I’ll be using them for games of .45 Adventure, most likely!

These fellows are Chinese river pirates. There are a few different sets of these guys, but I just bought this one (I needed some rifle-armed bad guys).

Finally, The guys on the left and right are part of the court of the sinister Dr. Koo (not pictured, if you want to see him go here). I painted them a long time ago, but figured I’d show them here. The fellow in the middle is a recently repainted Heroclix Wong (Dr. Strange’s servant). Observant folks may notice that the sky needs a good ironing; I was trying something new for the picture.

Savage Land Characters

As anyone who read my Breeder Bombs campaign knows, I decided rather late in the campaign to set the final scenario in the Savage Land and to add some classic characters to the mix. Here’s what I did.

For Sauron, I didn’t do much beyond a rebasing and a new paint job. Above is the factory paint job, which, I think we can all agree, looks like complete shit.

Here is the finished product. I’m not the greatest painter in the world, but it doesn’t take much effort to make the original factory paint job look a hell of a lot better (or at least not like complete shit).

No game set in the Savage land would be complete without Ka-Zar, Shanna and Zabu. I looked up the clix versions of the characters and instantly hated them all. Well, Ka-Zar wasn’t too bad, but I knew I could do a lot better for Shanna and Zabu.

I checked a lot of manufacturers for a Tarzan figure. Tin Man makes a great traditional Tarzan, and Warlord has a very cool “Beastlord”. I settled on Reaper, because I thought Reaper’s version best captured Ka-Zar’s look. (Plus, he comes with a monkey. Who doesn’t need another monkey?) I also went to Reaper for a Sabretooth tiger miniature. Although Reaper makes more than one tiger, I chose this one based entirely on price. One slightly-rushed paint job later, and they were ready to go. I think his dagger looks a bit too “fantasy” for Ka-Zar’s Bowie knife, but I felt like converting it would just be a little more trouble than it was worth, so I left it as-is.

Shanna was a bit more work. I used this Heroclix Tigra miniature as the base model, because she’s practically wearing Shanna’s costume already (how many miniatures have a tooth-belt bikini?). One quick application of the nippy cutters removed her tail and her right arm. For the spear arm I used the arm from a GW skink warrior. It turned out to be the perfect size (although it’s a bit more muscular than Tigra’s other arm).

Another slightly-rushed paint job later and presto! One Shanna the She-Devil, ready to rumble in the jungle!

Although I don’t see myself using these miniatures for further Savage Land adventures, they’re useful for other genres…(Pulp and Congo gaming come to mind).

Now I just need to replace my Tigra miniature since I’ll probably be needing her sooner or later…

The Breeder Bombs Finale: Savage Land Showdown!!!

We come now to the final chapter in our Super Mission Force campaign, True Believers! And hold onto your hats, because it’s a doozy!

The Scenario: Having thwarted Magneto’s plan thus far, the X-Men track the last Breeder Bomb to the Savage Land, where Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants await!

Friendly-looking fellow, isn’t he? A primitive saurian attacks!

But they’re not alone. Everyone’s favorite Greek pterodactyl, Sauron (not to be confused with the Lord of the Rings guy) isn’t thrilled with this violation of his territory. Although he wants everyone out, he agrees to temporarily aid Magneto against the hated X-Men. To this end, has enslaved an army of primitive saurians to do his bidding!

But the X-Men are not without allies in the Savage Land. Answering the call is Ka-Zar and his wife, Shanna the She Devil, accompanied as always by Ka-Zar’s adoptive Dad (really, look it up), the saber-tooth tiger Zabu!

The SR-71 Blackbird’s VTOL engines whine as the pilot, Cyclops, sets the plane down in a clearing. Magneto watches from atop a sacrificial temple, nearby. Powerful energies surround him as he clenches and unclenches his hands. “X-Men!” he bellows, “Welcome…to DIE!!!”

Setup: I used a 4′ x 4′ area, filled with jungle and swamp scenery. There are two large temple-like structures on the villain’s side of the board. One is a sacrificial altar, the other a temple. In the center is the Breeder Bomb (it’s inactive, see below). The X-Men and the Brotherhood deploy in opposite corners of the table. Ka-Zar and family deploy on opposite corner from Sauron and his army of saurian henchmen.  The 20 henchmen are all veterans, so they deploy in four groups of five and must be within 4″ of the temple in their deployment zone.

Special Rules:

Objectives: Magneto’s goal is to destroy the meddling X-Men once and for all. The X-Men must defeat Magneto in order to ensure his plan fails. In other words, it’s a straight-up fight to the end!

The Breeder Bomb: Since he’s been trying to convince Sauron to help him, Magneto hasn’t had time to arm his Breeder Bomb yet. There’s no need to disarm it. For this scenario it simply functions as a big, menacing obstacle. (This is because with this many models on the board, there would be virtually no chance to disarm the bomb if we used the same rules as in past scenarios.)

Sauron’s Henchmen: Sauron’s henchmen are veterans, thus they deploy in smaller groups and are a little better than normal scrubs. As long as Sauron is alive and well (i.e. not KO’ed), they are endless. Whenever a henchmen group is wiped out, it may reform at the end of the turn. This newly-reformed group must deploy within 2″ of one of the temples. This represents the saurian horde pouring out from underground tunnels, heeding the psychic summons of their reptilian overlord!

Difficult Ground: All the swamps and jungle terrain is considered difficult ground, and restricts movement by half as per the SMF rules. Ka-Zar and Shanna have no penalty when moving over difficult ground, as they are quite used to the terrain of the Savage Land.

Injured Heroes: As a result of their fight with the Soviet Super Soldiers last scenario, three of the X-Men were wounded. Nightcrawler was wounded most severely and is not available for this scenario. Storm is -1D to attacks and -3″ to her movement, while Rogue is -2″ to her Movement for this fight.

ROUND 1

With so many miniatures, going back and forth will be tedious, so I won’t necessarily cover the actions in the order in which they happened, rather I’ll lump them together where I can.

The villains gain initiative.

The henchmen groups all move forward towards the middle of the board. The Blob and Colossus both lumber forward their slow 5″ move (Bricks are SLOW).

Zabu, Ka-Zar and Shanna all move up into the swamp area and end their movement in hiding. Toad, the sneaky git, moves into hiding as well. Kitty Pryde phases and moves unhindered through the difficult swampland in front of her. Cyclops uses his Enhance power to shout some strategic tips to his teammates. He scores enough goals to give his teammate, Storm, 2 re-rolls she can use later in the game to help attack or defend as needed. (Hopefully, that will help to offset the injuries she sustained in Arganistan.)

The Scarlet Witch uses her Fortune power to giver herself some extra defense capability (it’s looking like she might have a face full of tiger pretty soon). Storm flies shakily towards the center of the board and focuses on Magneto, realizing that the faster they drop him the quicker they can all go home. She Power Blasts him from pretty far away and uses her re-rolls, but fails to inflict any damage.

Sauron takes off from atop the temple and charges Storm. The two circle each other in a dazzling aerial display, but no damage is inflicted.

He’s the best he is at what he does…

SNIKT!!! Wolverine uses a Brawler maneuver called Speed Burst to really move and charges henchmen group 1. When all is said and done, Wolverine scores enough goals to completely wipe out the group of five saurians (because that’s what Wolverine does).

Quicksilver tries to take out the X-Men’s leader, Cyclops. As a Speedster, he has more than enough movement (40″!) to run across the table, but it’s a risky maneuver that leaves him far in enemy territory. Quicksilver has never been much of a reasoned and cautious fellow, and he’s counting on his speed to get him out of a tough spot. Unfortunately, even after using a Machine Gun Punch (a Speedster maneuver), he only inflicts 1 damage on Cyclops, and is now locked in combat with him.

Nearby, Rogue decides that that Speed power is pretty cool and she wantses it, my precious…so she successfully uses Mimic and copies it. Unfortunately for Quicksilver, he’s the only guy near enough to attack. So Rogue attacks Quicksilver with his own Machine Gun Punch, but he manages to duck and weave at supersonic speeds and avoids damage! Of course, now he has one more person to fight next turn…

Finally, Magneto acts (he’s been pontificating the whole time). From atop the Sacrificial Altar, he Power Blasts Storm. Although he risks hitting Sauron instead, he misses them both.

End of Round 1

ROUND 2

The X-Men seize initiative. Rogue attacks Quicksilver and clobbers him for 4 damage, knocking him off his feet and back into the trees, generally ruining his day. Quicksilver gets up and charges Rogue, using a Move-by Attack, a Speedster maneuver that lets him attack a model and if successful, continue his move and another model, etc….until he either fails an attack or runs out of movement. With 38″ of movement (he lost 2″ for having to stand up), he successfully attacks Rogue for 1 damage, then moves onto Cyclops, attacking him for 1 damage, and finally runs around the swamp, attacking Kitty Pryde for 1 damage! Not too shabby! Quicksilver could conceivably reach Colossus too, but he would probably not do any damage to the big Russian and would then be locked in combat with him. Quicksilver’s a hothead but he’s not stupid, so he opts to use the last of his movement to run back the way he came, putting some distance between him and the X-Men.

G’night sugah!

Cyclops resents being punched in the face, so he moves after Quicksilver and fires an optic blast at his dust cloud. As is usual for Cyclops in this campaign, he misses. Rogue puts her new Speed powers to good use and does a Move-by attack on the fleeing Quicksilver, whom she smacks for 3 net damage. Since he only had 2 Body left, he makes a KO check and fails. Quicksilver goes down for the count and Rogue moves on into henchmen group 4, dropping 3 of its members. She has no movement left so she’s stuck in combat with the remaining 2 saurians. They attack Rogue, but fail to wound her.

Sauron rips into Storm, causing 6 damage, which drops her to zero health in one shot. She fails her KO check and is out of the fight! (Cue triumphant pterodactyl scream.) Scarlet Witch spots Shanna with a successful Perception check and attempts to Power Blast the She-Devil, but Shanna is too agile.

Ka-Zar charges out of the swamp and attacks Scarlet Witch, whose Fortune power serves her well. She only takes 1 damage after all the dice are tallied. Toad sees his opportunity and rushes to Scarlet Witch’s aid, but Ka-Zar easily avoids Toad’s attack. Zabu bounds into the fray, attacking Toad with no effect.

Shanna charges Blob. She inflicts 1 damage which is soaked up by Blob’s armor. Thus, she learns the hard way that “Nothing moves the Blob!” Blob activates his Density Increase power and pounds her for 4 damage, knocking her back 16″. She manages to keep her footing, but she’s a lot less cheerful than she was a minute ago.

Deja vu?

Wolverine moves rapidly into combat with henchmen group 3, and does a repeat performance of last round, wiping them all out in one fell swoop. This gets Magneto’s attention. He quickly finishes his soliloquy about the futility of resistance, flies off the Sacrificial Altar he’s been perched atop and Power Blasts Wolverine, but only inflicts 1 damage. Henchmen group 2 moves up to support Magneto (as if he needs it).

Kitty and Colossus both move towards the action, but can’t really do anything.

At the end of the round, henchmen group 1 respawns near the sacrificial altar (near Magneto) and group 2 reforms near the temple.

End of Round 2

ROUND 3

The X-Men keep initiative. Rogue leaves combat with the two remaining henchmen in group 4 to charge Magneto, who is hovering nearby. The saurians get a free shot on her as she leaves, but they fail to injure her. She serves Magneto a knuckle sandwich that dishes out 3 net goals of damage, enough to knock him back 12″ and drop him to half his health! Magneto has the sudden thought that it might be a good idea to activate his Force Field, so he does. He’s also a guy who holds a grudge, so he Power Blasts Rogue for enough damage to drop her to 1 remaining health.

Wolverine regenerates his lost damage and charges henchmen group 3. He drops 3 of them, leaving 2 alive (for now). They attack Wolverine, but do no damage. Henchmen group 2 charges Wolverine from where they respawned (near the Temple). They also fail to wound Wolverine.

Sauron has a close target in the nearby Kitty Pryde, but notices that the Blob just knocked Shanna the She-Devil into next week and that she’s vulnerable. He dive-bombs her from across the board and hands her a heapin’ helpin’ of pterodactyl justice. Shanna is KO’ed and isn’t getting up anytime soon.  (Cue triumphant pterodactyl scream.)

Blob charges into combat to assist Toad, making it 2 against 1 for Zabu. Blob knocks the Smilodon back 8″ and inflicts 2 body worth of damage. The giant cat springs right back into action and charges Blob, tearing into him for 5 damage, dropping him from 8 body to 3. Ouch! Scarlet Witch leaves combat with Ka-Zar (thinking perhaps she may get her ass handed to her soon). Ka-Zar gets a free whack at her but misses. She promptly Jinxes Ka-Zar, which will make it difficult for him to do anything henceforth.

Toad moves to intercept Ka-Zar. The two fight but neither does any damage (Ka-Zar would have hurt Toad if not for the Jinx). Henchmen group 1, Colossus and Kitty Pryde all move towards the central combat. Cyclops moves and fires at what remains of henchmen group 4, taking them out of action (hey! he hit something!).

Henchmen group 4 reforms at the temple.

End of Round 3 (Side View)

ROUND 4

The X-Men keep initiative. Cyclops takes a long-rage shot at Magneto, who is hovering above the battlefield. He (naturally) misses.

How do you say “Good Night” in Transian?

Scarlet Witch turns her attention from Ka-Zar to Power Blast Rogue, scoring a ridiculous nine goals! Rogue fails to make even one resistance goal and fails her KO check, so she is out of the fight for good!

Blob activates his Density Increase power and trades blows with Zabu, but neither do any damage. It’s a good thing Blob activated his power first, because Colossus charges him and knocks him down to zero health! Blob makes his KO check and remains conscious. He’s also immune to knockback (Nothing moves the Blob!) thanks to the Density Increase, so he doesn’t go anywhere. Henchman group 1 charges into combat with Zabu, inflicting a net 3 goals of damage on the big cat.

He’s just one human! Get him!

Henchmen group 4 charges into combat with Wolverine, but does no damage; Wolverine counters and wipes out 4 of them. That leaves Wolverine in combat with a two Henchman groups: one with 1 member and 1 with 2 members left. Wolverine’s active Rage power is giving him more dice to roll, but he is bogged down in endless waves of saurians as he keeps getting charged every round! To illustrate this point, Henchman group 3 charges into combat with Wolverine too, but Wolverine shrugs off their spears in a fury of bloodlust!

Toad and  Ka-Zar attack each other but both miss. Sauron takes to the air and charges Cyclops, but he also misses. Kitty Pryde charges Sauron, hitting him for 2 damage.

End of Round 4

ROUND 5

The X-Men keep initiative. Kitty Pryde activates her Density Decrease power which makes her immune to body-damaging attacks, so she won’t have to worry about getting eviscerated by Sauron on his turn. She then performs a Ghostly Attack, doing 1 damage to Sauron. Cyclops attacks Sauron with his bare hands (he’s giving up on his own optic blasts), but his punch is as effective as his shooting (he misses). Sauron attacks Cyclops, dropping him to 1 body.

Magneto uses his Mentalist ability, Mind Meld, to give everyone on his team +2 re-rolls until next turn on all attacks. He takes a point of Psyche damage in doing so, but that’s of no concern to him.

Colossus throws a Haymaker into Blob’s fat face, doing no knockback (Nothing moves the Blob!) but dropping him on the spot in a spectacular KO. Scarlet Witch runs away from Colossus, then tries and fails to Jinx him. Meanwhile, Toad and Ka-Zar continue to fight each other this round without anyone actually landing a punch. Zabu and Henchmen group 1 do the same.

Wolverine makes a strategic decision…rather than wipe out one of the weaker henchmen groups he’s fighting and having it respawn at the end of the round, he attacks the largest one (henchmen group 3) hoping to do some damage, but not allow a full group to respawn. But Wolverine is berserk, and he overdoes it a bit. He wipes out henchmen group 3 anyway, ensuring the endless tide of saurians continues. The other two groups do no damage to him.

Henchmen group 3 respawns at the temple…

End of Round 5

ROUND 6

The X-Men keep initiative. Colossus grabs something large (a rock, tree, whatever…) and hurls it at Magneto, but Magneto’s Force Field easily deflects it.

Meddlesome Dullards!! I AM MAGNETO!!!!

Magneto is fed up. He Power Blasts Colossus, but makes it a Radial Attack in the hopes of catching Ka-Zar and Zabu in the blast and ending this combat with finality. Of course, henchmen group 1 and Toad are in the blast radius too, but Magneto has proven often that he cares nothing for lesser beings, and little indeed for Toad. Colossus takes 4 damage, dropping him to half his Body. Zabu takes a whopping 6 damage, enough to drop him to zero. He fails his KO check and goes to sleep. Ka-Zar, despite the Jinx, manages to come out of it unscathed. The villains fared poorly; Toad takes 3 damage, while henchmen group 1 is totally wiped out. Oops.

Toad attacks Ka-Zar and misses. Ka-Zar finally scores a hit resulting in 1 damage to Toad.

Wolverine knows that as long as he’s stuck here in combat with the endless saurians, he’s effectively being kept out of where he’s needed most. So he leaves combat with the henchmen groups (no damage from the free henchmen hits) and charges Scarlet Witch, who just got a little too close…when he reaches her he guts her like a mackerel for 7 goals of damage, enough to take her from 6 down to zero. She fails her KO roll and drops. Both henchmen groups formerly in combat with Wolverine charge him again; they fail to damage him and he automatically wipes them out because of his Scrapper counterattack ability (something I’ve neglected for the ENTIRE campaign).

Sauron attacks Cyclops but misses completely. Kitty Pryde and Cyclops both attack Sauron and manage to put him down for good. With Sauron gone, the saurian henchmen groups will not respawn any more. Henchmen group 3 is now all alone, and moves towards the two X-Men that just put down their master, but they are far away indeed.

End of Round 6

ROUND 7

The X-Men keep initiative again. Cyclops fires at Magneto, and actually manages to inflict 1 damage on Magneto despite his Force Field! Magneto responds in kind, Power Blasting Cyclops for an obscene amount of damage. Cyclops fails his KO check (it’s a bad game for KO checks) and it’s lights out!

At this point in the game, I’m wondering how the X-Men are really going to win. Magneto is flying above the battlefield and has no reason to land. He can just stay up there and blast away. Kitty and Wolverine can’t attack him from the ground. Both the flyers (Rogue and Storm) are out of the fight, as is Cyclops, limiting ranged attacks to whatever Colossus can throw.

A quick look at the table and an idea began to take shape. Wolverine and Colossus are pretty close to one another, certainly close enough for Colossus to walk over and grab Wolverine.

“Petey, Fastball Special!”

Super Mission Force doesn’t currently have official rules for the Fastball Special, but it’s certainly thematically appropriate and a classic maneuver perfected by these very two heroes! I decided that if Colossus can hit with a normal ranged attack, then he tosses Wolverine into Magneto. Wolverine then makes an attack. Should he count as charging? I decided HELL YES!

The odds were against them, as Colossus only has 4D to make the throw and Magneto has a Force Field up. They’d only get one shot at this…

Colossus managed to hit with one net goal. Wolverine inflicted 4 net damage. Magneto, like almost everyone else this game, failed his KO roll.

An awesome end to the campaign! Victory for the X-Men!!!

AFTERWORD

Well, the X-Men did it! They beat Magneto and the Brotherhood! They stopped the Breeder Bombs! They hit ’em with the Hein!

I’d like to extend special thanks to Joerg Bender from Things from the Basement, LLC. for all his help with the temple MDF kits. I was staring at a stack of pink insulation board, thinking I was going to have to construct the temple for this scenario, when I logged onto The Miniatures Page and saw these kits advertised. They’re from Joerg’s Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago terrain. It couldn’t have been better timing. I immediately purchased the set. I was worried that painting them would obscure the detail, but Joerg assured me it wouldn’t and shared his painting technique. He even offered to replace the pieces if the paint job obscured the detail. As you can see, it didn’t. So thanks, Joerg!

Also, thanks to Scott Pyle and company for creating Super Mission Force and making the playdoc version available to gamers early!

This scenario was by far the most fun scenario to play in the campaign. The classic match-up between the X-Men and Magneto didn’t disappoint. I made a lot of changes from the original as it was written for the RPG. In the original, Magneto and the Brotherhood were robots, the Breeder Bomb was active, and Magneto had some generic mutants helping him out. I decided to add Sauron and the saurian henchmen instead of the generic mutants. Once I decided to use Sauron, I couldn’t resist using Ka-Zar, Shanna and Zabu. (More on them in the next post!)

I think that throughout the five scenarios of the campaign I managed to learn the rules pretty well, although I was using an early version of the playdoc Scott Pyle graciously provided (version 1.30 to be exact). I know the test rules have been updated and modified since then, and I eagerly wait the final product. In the meantime I think I used a lot of the powers and maneuvers and got a pretty good handle on combat.

Of course I’m sure I made mistakes and overlooked some stuff, just as I consciously changed and ignored some things. There’s a lot more to the game than what you read here: I pretty much ignored backgrounds and character development, because I was using established comic characters that I adapted to the system. Perhaps when the finished rules come out I’ll create my own supers team to experience more of what Super Mission Force has to offer.

Here are my SMF builds for the villains and team-ups in this scenario:

Magneto (Powerhouse) Major: Power Blasts, Mentalism, Minor: Flight, Force Field, Iron Will, Telekinesis

Quicksilver (Speedster) Major: Speed,  Minor: Armor, Clever

Scarlet Witch (Blaster) Major: Power Blasts, Minor: Fortune, Jinx

Blob (Brick) Major: Super Strength, Minor: Armor, Density Increase

Toad (Brawler) Major: Scrapper, Minor: Leaping, Super Agility

Sauron (Wild Card) Minor: Flight, Melee Specialist, Stun, Parasite

Saurian Henchmen (Veterans) Minor: Power Blasts, Melee Specialist

(Note that these archetypes represent the early versions of these characters, before Scarlet Witch became one of the most powerful mutants on earth, before Toad was a badass and before Sauron could breathe fire.)

Ka-Zar the Savage (Wild Card) Minor: Fast, Melee Specialist, Rapport (Shanna), Super Agility

Shanna the She-Devil (Wild Card) Minor: Fast, Melee Specialist, Rapport (Ka-Zar), Super Agility

Zabu (Big Cat) Minor: Enhanced Senses, Melee Specialist, Leaping, Super Agility.

Yes, Ka-Zar and Shanna are essentially the same character. (Shouldn’t they be?) For Zabu, I didn’t follow any rules. I just gave him what I thought an intelligent Smilodon should have. I also gave him a base movement of 12 and a body of 8, in case anyone cares.

And that’s about it for now! I think I’ll take a break from SMF (and supers gaming in general) until I get my hands on the finished rules. I may adapt more TSR Marvel Super Heroes adventures when that happens, so stay tuned! In the meantime I have something big (pun soon to be understood) planned for May.

See you soon!

MH-1 The Breeder Bombs Part 4: Red Scare!

The Scenario: The X-Men follow Magneto’s trail to Arganistan (not Afghanistan; much like Roxxon Oil, Ryder’s Island and the Maggia crime families, Marvel changed the real world name ever-so-slightly here), where the next Breeder Bomb awaits! Magneto placed it smack in the middle of a farm close to the Soviet border, much like the Ust-Ordynski Collective that was the childhood home of Colossus!

Unfortunately, Colossus has little time for nostalgia. Magneto has alerted the Russian government that the X-Men are on their way. The Soviet Super Soldiers, along with a contingent of Soviet Super-Troopers, are dispatched to neighboring Arganistan (borders? what borders?) to confront and arrest the X-Men on charges of espionage, and, in Colossus’s case, high treason against the Motherland!

Setup: I used a 4′ x 4′ area of farmland with some outbuildings, pastures and the odd tree or two. A large water tower and some farm machinery are part of the terrain as well. The Breeder Bomb is in the middle of the play area.

The X-Men deploy on one side of the table opposite the Soviet Super Soldiers.

Special Rules:

The Breeder Bomb: The X-Men’s objective is to defuse the Breeder Bomb. Attacking the bomb is not an option as it could result in detonation.  In order to defuse the bomb, one of the X-Men must get into base contact with the control panel and use a Special Action to make an attempt. This attempt is a Science check, so Kitty Pryde gets a +2D bonus to an attempt. Defusing the bomb requires 4 goals and may not be attempted if there are any enemy models within 6″ of the bomb. Failure to defuse the bomb results in a radiation leak!

If the bomb begins leaking radiation, the X-Men and the Soviet Super Soldiers each take an automatic 2D attack at the start of each round. This may be resisted normally, but Armor has no effect on any damage received. This damage is cumulative (to a maximum of 6D) with each failed attempt to defuse the bomb (i.e. 2 failed attempts = 4D per round, 3 or more = 6D per round).

Capture the Traitor: The Soviet Super Soldiers have standing orders to stop the X-Men from doing whatever they’re doing. In addition, they have been ordered to capture Colossus, as the Soviet government views him as a traitor for joining an American super-group rather than putting his powers to use in service of Russia. Crimson Dynamo and Ursa Major must attack Colossus if it is possible to do so, and will prioritize him over other targets.

ROUND 1

The X-Men win initiative for the first round. Storm flies over to the left, taking some cover behind the trees before blasting the Soviet Super-Troopers (henchmen group) with a lightning bolt. She takes out two of them, bringing their number down to eight. Darkstar activates, flying over to her left on an almost mirror image course from Storm. She fires her darkforce power blasts at the hapless Kitty Pryde, inflicting 1 damage to her. Cyclops fires back at Darkstar, but fails to achieve even a single goal. Looks like Cyclops is off to another great start.

Red Guardian rushes forward, trying to get close to the Breeder Bomb. Colossus and Ursa Major both move towards the center of the table.

Rogue activates next, flying 20″ towards the center of the table, prepared to meet Red Guardian and Ursa Major should they charge, but unable to do anything this turn. Titanium Man activates, flying around the side of the Breeder Bomb and power blasting Rogue for 1 damage. Kitty Pryde moves towards the bomb’s control panel. Crimson Dynamo flies towards the center and has a clear shot at Colossus. He takes it, but Colossus shrugs off all damage.

Wolverine activates, moving quickly to close with Titanium Man. Unfortunately he doesn’t get there this turn. The Super Troopers activate as a group, moving forward 6″ around the woods.

Finally, Nightcrawler teleports into melee with Darkstar. Although he doesn’t count as charging, he still manages to inflict 2 damage on the Russian mutant, dropping her from 6 to 4!

ROUND 2

The Soviets gain initiative handily! Titanium Man charges Rogue. Since she’s on the ground, he has to land to do so, but when all is said and done, he smacks her for an additional 2 damage and knocks her back 8″! She manages to keep her footing, but that smarted! (No picture of this; I got caught up in the game and forgot to snap one!)

Wolverine activates and charges Titanium Man (who probably shouldn’t have landed after all…), shredding him for 4 damage! That drops Titanium Man’s body by half! Ursa Major moves forward a plodding 5″ (Bricks don’t move fast).

Storm flies around her woods and blasts Crimson Dynamo for 3 net goals worth of damage, dropping the ex-KGB agent to half his body! The Super Troopers activate, concentrating their fire on Storm. It pays off, and Storm takes 3 goals worth of damage, dropping her to half her body as well! Rogue activates, charging Crimson Dynamo who is still feeling the effects of Storm’s power blasts! Rogue decks him, dropping his body to zero and knocking him back 15″! Luckily, he makes his KO check and his knockdown check, so he’s still up (barely), but certainly not feeling all that well!

Crimson Dynamo activates next (probably because he won’t have too many more chances to activate!). He fires at Rogue, inflicting 1 damage. Hardly fitting retribution, but better than nothing. Cyclops activates, firing a wide-beam optic blast at the Super Troopers. You would figure that with 6 dice to roll against the Troopers measly 2 dice to resist, he would have scored enough goals to at least take out a few of the henchmen, but you would be wrong. Cyclops proves yet again that he sucks (at least in this campaign), failing to achieve even one goal. He does no damage to the group.

Darkstar attempts to entangle Nightcrawler and is successful, hoping to pummel him at her leisure next round. Nightcrawler tries to escape but fails. Next, Red Guardian moves, getting within the 5″ range needed to hurl his shield at Rogue for 1 damage, chipping away once again at her overall health. Colossus moves forward, but is too far out of range to charge anyone. Finally, Kitty moves right up to the control panel but can’t attempt a disarm as there are too many enemies within 6″ of the bomb.

The end of a bloody round, which saw the Crimson Dynamo nearly KO’ed, Titanium Man and Storm each reduced to half their overall health, and Rogue suffering 3 damage!

ROUND 3

The X-Men gain initiative. Rogue activates and charges Ursa Major, smacking him for 4 total damage, dropping the big bear by half his body in one shot and knocking him back 20″! He manages to keep his footing, but he’s a lot farther back than he was a minute ago. Red Guardian charges Rogue; after all the dice are rolled he inflicts 1 damage to Rogue, slowly but surely whittling away at her health.

 

Storm activates, power-blasting the Soviet Super-Troopers for 3 more damage, dropping 3 of their number. The troopers fire back at Storm, but they miss! Cyclops takes out another 2 of them on his turn. Titanium Man is locked in combat with Wolverine, and any attempt to leave would mean that Wolverine would get a free shot at him. Instead he decides to attack Wolverine, inflicting 1 damage on Wolverine and knocking him back 4″. Titanium Man then takes off and flies away, putting some space between him and those adamantium claws.

Nightcrawler breaks out of his entanglement and attacks Darkstar, but does no damage. Darkstar successfuly breaks from  melee without Nightcrawler landing a blow, backs off a few inches and recharges her power blasts, opening fire on Nightcrawler. But Nightcrawler proves too agile, and is unharmed. Kitty Pryde activates but still has no opportunity to disarm the bomb, and no one within range to attack. She does nothing.

Crimson Dynamo charges Rogue, who is in combat with Red Guardian. He rolls his normal 5D attack, plus 1D for charging, +1D for assisting Red Guardian, and scores a net 7 goals! That’s more than enough to drop Rogue permanently! She is knocked back 21″ and fails her KO check! Rogue is out of the battle!

Colossus moves steadily towards Titanium Man, Red Guardian and Crimson Dynamo. Ursa Major activates, moving slow as molasses back to the fray. Finally, Wolverine moves quickly around the Breeder Bomb in support of Colossus and the two are ready to rumble next Round!

ROUND 4

The X-Men keep initiative. Wolverine easily regenerates his lost health and is back to his maximum. He activates and charges Crimson Dynamo, who had to land last turn in order to pummel Rogue. Wolverine rolls poorly and inflicts no damage against the Russian.

Titanium Man sees an opening, and rather than attack Colossus or Wolverine, he opts to charge Storm instead! He inflicts 4 goals of damage, enough to force a KO check. Storm fails and is out of the fight!

 

Colossus charges into melee with Red Guardian and Crimson Dynamo. He attacks Crimson Dynamo, inflicting the necessary damage to put the Dynamo down for good!

Any celebration is short-lived! Darkstar activates and, after a successful recharge, power-blasts Nightcrawler for 6 total damage, enough to drop him from completely healthy to a KO check! Nightcrawler fails and is overcome by the darkforce blasts!

Cyclops fires at the Troopers again and finally wipes them out. Ursa Major moves ever closer to the fight, but is still out of it. Kitty can’t do anything for the same reasons as last round. Red Guardian attacks Wolverine, but does no damage.

Another bloody round, which saw the end of Storm and Nightcrawler, as well as the Crimson Dynamo!

ROUND 5

The Soviets wrest initiative away from the X- Men! Ursa Major, bellowing like the bear he is, charges into combat (finally) with Colossus and Wolverine. He uses a Haymaker and cracks Colossus for 2 damage, but knocks him back 24″ with the “Way Outta Here” Brick maneuver! Colossus manages to keep his footing. Wolverine attacks Ursa Major with an Acrobatic Attack (a Brawler maneuver), scoring 3 net goals and dropping Ursa Major’s body to 1! Red Guardian attacks Wolverine with an Acrobatic Attack of his own, inflicting 3 damage on Wolverine, dropping him from 8 to 5.

Cyclops steps up and blasts Titanium Man for 7 net goals, 3 more than needed to force a KO check. He passes (barely), and manages to remain conscious although much the worse for wear. Darkstar teleports closer to Colossus and attempts to entangle him, but fails to roll a single goal. She’s left herself quite vulnerable!

Colossus takes advantage and charges Darkstar, winding up with a Haymaker that whiffs for no damage! Talk about lucky!

Titanium Man decides to charge Cyclops as he does better in melee than with power blasts. He could shoot it out with Cyclops, but his chances are much better if he takes the fight directly to the mutant. He also tries a Haymaker, doing only 1 damage, but with the triple knockback from Way Outta Here, Cyclops is knocked back 12″ and is knocked down!

Kitty Pryde charges into combat with Darkstar, since she’s having no luck disarming the bomb. She manages to inflict 1 damage on Darkstar. Darkstar has seen better days…she’s locked in hand-to-hand with Kitty Pryde and Colossus, and any attempt to flee will allow them both to take a shot at her. What to do?

ROUND 6

The X-Men regain initiative. Wolverine regenerates all his lost health and is back to full. Cyclops stands up and moves 4″, blasting Titanium Man for 4 damage, enough to KO the Super-Soldier for the rest of the game! Ursa Major attacks Wolverine, scoring 3 goals and undoing his Regeneration for the round, dropping him back down to 5 body!

Colossus recharges his Haymaker and clobbers Darkstar for 3 net goals, enough to knock her back 12″ into the fence. She fails both her knockdown and KO roll, and is out of the fight!

Red Guardian recharges his Acrobatic Attack and attacks Wolverine, inflicting 2 more goals of damage on Wolverine. Kitty Pryde moves back to the Breeder Bomb’s control panel, but Red Guardian is still within 6″ and she can’t attempt to disarm it until he’s gone!

ROUND 7

The X-Men keep initiative. Wolverine rolls a ton of goals on his Regeneration roll and heals back up to full health. Wolverine recharges his Acrobatic Attack and attacks Ursa Major, but inflicts no damage. Ursa Major responds with a net 5 goals, knocking Wolverine 20″ back and dealing 5 damage! (Good thing he’s got that healing factor!)

Cyclops uses a Blaster special maneuver, Radius Attack, which allows him to blast Ursa Major and hit anyone within 5″ (in this case Red Guardian) with a residual blast. He hits Ursa Major for 3 goals, enough to KO the big bear (after a failed KO check). The residual blast encompasses Red Guardian, who ends up taking 2 damage from the explosion.

Run Away!

So at this point, the only Soviet left on the table is a wounded Red Guardian, who is facing down Wolverine, Cyclops, Colossus and Kitty Pryde. There’s no real point to playing out the scenario for a few more rounds until the inevitable happens. Once Red Guardian flees the field, Kitty has no trouble disarming the bomb. Victory for the X-Men…but at what cost?

Afterword:

I changed this scenario quite a bit from the original Marvel adventure, particularly with regard to the opposition. In the original Breeder Bombs adventure, the X-Men faced off against the Crimson Dynamo and a bunch of Soviet Super-Troopers (2 per X-Man). In a roleplaying game, that might have worked; in Super Mission Force, this is some weak opposition indeed as the X-Men would have little trouble taking out a henchmen group and one lone villain. So in addition to the troopers, I opted to include the entire Soviet Super Soldier team: Crimson Dynamo, Darkstar, Red Guardian and Ursa Major; along with sometime teammate Titanium Man. This worked out well and provided much more of a challenge to the heroes.

Storm, Rogue and Nightcrawler all got KO’ed this scenario, which means there may be some lingering effects for the last scenario of the campaign. Some quick rolls on the “Fate of the Fallen” tables yielded these results: Storm is seriously injured (-3 to Move, -1D to attack rolls for next battle); Rogue is lightly injured (-2 Move for next battle); and Nightcrawler is grievously injured (misses next battle), which means the team will just have to do without him next time as they face down Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants!

My builds for the Soviet Super Soldiers are as follows:

Titanium Man (Super) Major: Super Strength, Minor: Power Blasts, Flight, Armor, Entangle

Red Guardian (Brawler) Major: Scrapper, Minor: Shield, Super-Agility

Ursa Major (Brick) Major: Super Strength, Minor: Enhanced Senses, Melee Specialist

Darkstar (Sorcerer) Major: Sorcery, Power Blasts, Minor: Barrier, Entangle, Teleport, Flight

Crimson Dynamo (Blaster) Major: Power Blasts, Minor: Armor, Super Strength, Flight

Soviet Super-Troopers (Henchmen) Minor: Power Blasts, Armor

 

If anyone cares, I used U-Men for the Super Troopers and I used an old Grenadier werebear miniature for Ursa Major. That’s because the Heroclix Ursa Major looks incredibly silly.

Up next, the finale to the Breeder Bombs as the X-Men face off against Magneto and the Brotherhood in…The Savage Land!!!!!

MH-1 The Breeder Bombs Part 3: Sentinel Attack!

The BREEDER BOMB!!!

The Scenario: Thanks to information provided by the captured duo of the Fixer and Mentallo, the X-Men have tracked Magneto’s first Breeder Bomb to the remote wilds of Alaska. One short Blackbird flight later the team arrives, ready to thwart the Mutant Master of Magnetism in his nefarious plot to accelerate the evolution of humanity, ushering in the age of Homo Superior!

Unbeknownst to the heroes, Magneto has secretly tipped off Project: Wideawake as to the X-Men’s plans. A group of Sentinels consisting of 3 Mark V Sentinels and a group of 10 Sentinel Troopers (henchmen) has been dispatched to the location in an attempt to capture or destroy the X-Men, ensuring that Magneto’s plan proceeds unhindered.

Complicating matters further is the presence of a group of Alaskan trappers, who awoke this morning to find that a huge piece of blinking machinery had mysteriously appeared outside their cabin overnight! The trappers—Filthy Pierre, Stinky Jacques, Dirty Henri and Unwashed Claude—don’t know what the Breeder Bomb is, but they know they want it! After several long months in a remote cabin with no running water, these four manly men have little to show for their trapping efforts. They think they can make money off of selling this thing to the highest bidder, and no muties or robots are gonna stand in their way!

Setup: I used a 4′ x 4′ board for the battle, set up to resemble the Alaskan wilderness. In one corner of the board is the trappers’ cabin. In the center of the board is the Breeder Bomb. The rest of the terrain includes hills, forests and trees, and the odd clump of ice or rock.

The trappers deploy outside their cabin. The Sentinel force deploys on the same side of the table, in the opposite corner of the trappers. The X-Men deploy on the other side of the table along the edge.

Special Rules:

The Breeder Bomb: The X-Men’s objective is to defuse the Breeder Bomb and ensure that no harm comes to the trappers. Attacking the bomb is not an option as it could result in detonation.  In order to defuse the bomb, one of the X-Men must get into base contact with the control panel and use a Special Action to make an attempt. This attempt is a Science check, so Kitty Pryde gets a +2D bonus to an attempt. Defusing the bomb requires 4 goals and may not be attempted if there are any Sentinel models within 6″ of the bomb. Failure to defuse the bomb results in a radiation leak!

If the bomb begins leaking radiation, the X-Men and the trappers each take an automatic 2D attack at the start of each round. This may be resisted normally, but Armor has no effect on any damage received. This damage is cumulative (to a maximum of 6D) with each failed attempt to defuse the bomb (i.e. 2 failed attempts = 4D per round, 3 or more = 6D per round).

The Trappers: The four trappers count as a henchmen group, so they only activate once per round. The trappers don’t discriminate between the Sentinels and the X-Men; as far as they’re concerned, everyone is trying to steal their treasure. To represent this, roll a die at the start of each round. On a 1-3, the trappers will attack the closest X-Man; on a 4-6 they attack the closest Sentinel. They always use Coordinated Fire.

The X-Men should do everything in their power to protect the trappers from harm. If the trappers are hurt by either the Sentinels or leaking radiation, the X-Men should lose story points. The X-Men cannot attack the trappers in any way that causes damage no matter how much they want to, but  non-damaging attacks (like entangles) are ok.

ROUND 1

The X-Men gain initiative. My first plan was to have Storm scoop up Kitty Pryde and fly her over to the control panel so that she could start disarming the bomb on the X-Men’s next activation, but I decided against it as the Sentinels would easily get a model within 6″ of the bomb before Kitty could act. Instead I decided to have Rogue fly Colossus over there instead. The two of them should be able to hold off the Sentinels for a while…

The Sentinels activate next, and Sentinel #1 flies directly over to the bomb (see? told you it would happen) and lands about 6″ away from Colossus.  He opens fire on Colossus, but the power blast glances harmlessly off the mutant’s osmium-steel skin. Finally the trappers act, but they are well out of range of any Sentinels or X-Men, so all they can do is move away from their malodorous cabin towards the bomb, cursing in French and shooting off their guns threateningly.

Colossus activates and wastes no time charging Sentinel #1, clobbering it for 7 net goals of damage. The Sentinel is knocked back but manages to keep its footing. Sentinel #3 activates and flies towards the fray. It attempts to entangle Colossus, but is unable to.

Cyclops fires at Sentinel #1, trying to put the damaged robot out of the fight for good. Unfortunately, he rolls extremely poorly and fails to score even one goal. Oops.

The Sentinel Troopers activate and fly towards the trappers, seeking to cut off their access to the bomb. They open fire on the trappers, and despite rolling 10 dice total, they pull a Cyclops and fail to score even a single goal! I’d say the dice were cursed, but they were two separate dice pools! The trappers sneer in defiance!

Storm doesn’t think the trappers will be as lucky the next time, so she flies over to offer them some protection from further Trooper fire. She power blasts the Troopers with a bolt of lightning…but bad luck strikes yet again, and she fails to inflict any damage on the group!

Sentinel #2 flies over to the Breeder Bomb and, like Sentinel #3, it tries to entangle Colossus, but fails. The big guy just won’t lay down!

Finally, the remaining X-Men act. Nightcrawler teleports Wolverine into the midst of the three Mark V Sentinels. Kitty Pryde moves 6″ closer to the bomb, but can’t do much else. Finally Wolverine acts, charging into combat with Sentinel #2. Unfortunately for him, the Sentinel resists all damage.

Round 1 ends with the X-Men and the trappers unharmed. Sentinel #1 only has 2 boxes of health left, but the other Sentinels and the Troopers are unhurt.

ROUND 2

The X-men keep initiative. Storm knows those trappers are dead meat if they’re left to their own devices, so she flies over to them and calls up her windy force field, extending it to protect the trappers. In Super Mission Force, a force field user can protect a maximum of 3 additional models (besides herself); but I decided Storm would forgo the protection of her own force field so that Unwashed Claude could benefit from it instead. You figure the trappers would be grateful, but instead they open fire on Storm! Luckily they fail to cause any damage.

Sentinel #1 regenerates 2 boxes of health, bringing him back up to 4 Health. He pummels Colossus, but fails to damage him (again, thanks to Armor).

Rogue charges Sentinel #2, which is busy fighting Wolverine. She clobbers it for a net 6 goals of damage! She trying to clear some space around the bomb, so she uses Way Outta Here, a Brick special maneuver that triples knockback distance. Sentinel #2 is knocked back 24″ and is knocked down! It will have to spend some movement getting up on its activation later…

The Sentinel Troopers activate, firing en masse upon the ignorant trappers. Thanks to Storm’s force field, none of them are hit.

Nightcrawler wants to get Kitty over to the bomb now that some space has cleared, so he teleports over to Kitty and teleports her back to the bomb. (Although SMF doesn’t really allow this, it’s certainly thematically appropriate as Nightcrawler does this kind of thing all the time.) I made sure he had enough goals to allow for the required 20″ distance, and Bamf! Kitty is delivered to the bomb!

Sentinel #3 charges Colossus, inflicting 2 damage and knocking Colossus back 6″. He manages to keep his balance and isn’t knocked down. Cyclops moves to get within sight of Sentinel #1, trying again to put it out of the fight. Once again, he fails to score any goals. (Is his visor working?)

Sentinel #2 fires at Rogue, blasting her for five goals of damage! She only has 3 boxes left. Bet she wishes she took a minute to absorb Colossus’s Armor when she was giving him a lift last round…

Wolverine uses a Brawler special maneuver,  Acrobatic Attack, to charge Sentinel #3. The two re-rolls he gains from the maneuver help inflict a net 7 boxes of damage on the big robot, dropping it to 2 health!

The remaining X-Men act. Storm fails to power blast the Sentinel Troopers, perhaps because she’s busy protecting the ungrateful trappers who are firing upon her. Finally, Kitty Pryde acts. She can’t attempt to defuse the bomb, because Sentinel #3 is right in her face. So she charges Sentinel #3.

She rolls her normal 4D attack, +1D for charging, +1D for assisting Wolverine, +1D for attacking something electronic (my rule for Kitty) for a total of 7 dice. She scores an impressive 9 goals and utterly destroys Sentinel #3!

ROUND 3

In a stunning turn of events, the trappers gain initiative this round, followed by the Sentinels, then the X-Men.

The trappers open fire on the Sentinel Troopers, but fail to damage the group. The Sentinel Troopers act next, spreading out a bit to get some Troopers near the Breeder Bomb so as to foil any defusing attempts. They open fire on Storm (one of their primary objectives), but even without the force field they fail to hit her.

Nightcrawler successfully recharges his Teleport after carrying Kitty, and teleports into melee with the Sentinel Troopers. Although it doesn’t count as a charge, he still manages to take out 3 of the Troopers with his normal attack and the extra attack he gets from his prehensile tail (Multiple Limbs).

Sentinel #1 regenerates 3 boxes, bringing it back up to 7 health. Sentinel #2 regenerates 2 boxes, bringing it back up to 5 health. Sentinel #1 activates, using its Metamorph ability to grow Multiple Limbs. It then charges Rogue, inflicting 6 total boxes of health on her with its two attacks on the charge. Rogue only had 3 boxes of health left, so she has to make a KO check or be knocked out. She manages to make it, but she’s barely standing!

Cyclops fires at the Sentinel Troopers, trying to whittle them down. He fails again to score even one goal, making him the official Worst Leader Ever. Sentinel #2 charges Colossus, but the big mutant squares up and resists all damage. Wolverine recharges his Acrobatic Attack and charges Sentinel #1, inflicting 6 boxes of damage, enough to drop it to 1 health.

Rogue takes advantage of Wolverine’s close proximity to absorb his Regeneration power, which she may need relatively soon. She then attacks Sentinel #1, scoring enough net goals to knock it back 12″ and put it out of commission!

Kitty Pryde activates, charging into combat with Sentinel #2. Once again, she annihilates the big robot with 6 net goals. It fails its KO check and is destroyed!

Finally, Colossus activates. Since he’s no longer in combat with Sentinel #2, he picks up a huge tree and throws it at the Sentinel Trooper group. He scores seven net goals, which means that seven henchmen are removed. Since there are only seven Troopers left, Colossus single-handedly wipes them out by throwing a huge tree at them. Ha!

ROUND 4

On the first activation, Kitty Pryde succeeds in defusing the bomb, so it’s game over. We can assume the X-Men deal with the trappers in some non-lethal way (from downwind, of course). Victory to the X-Men!

AFTERWORD

Another quick game…3 rounds played in under half an hour. Super Mission Force is fast!

I wasn’t expecting so many times when one side completely failed to do any damage to the other…not because the damage was resisted, but because the dice roll was so poor that the attacker didn’t even score any goals at all! I think the dice were feeling mischievous. Clearly, the breakout star of the team was Kitty Pryde this time around. She accounted for two of the Sentinels all by herself. Rogue got into some trouble and almost got KO’ed, but since she managed to remain standing, she doesn’t need to roll on the post-battle damage table for any possible injuries. She’ll be back next scenario fresh as a daisy. The only other X-Man injured was Colossus, and he only took 2 boxes. The less said about Cyclops’s performance, the better.

The other thing that didn’t really work was the “failed defuse = radiation leak” idea. I think it’s a solid premise (it’s adapted from the original RPG adventure), but on a table this size with forces that can easily reach the center of the board, there was never an opportunity to defuse the bomb. There was always a Sentinel model within 6″ of it!

I changed the scenario from its original RPG form in a few minor ways. First, in the original, the setting is “a mining town in Western America”, not Alaska. I changed the setting because I wanted to use my new snow terrain. Also, there was a lone crazed miner who wanted the bomb, not a group of mad trappers. A few Sentinels aren’t really strong opposition for a group of heroes like this, so I added the henchmen group and made the trappers somewhat unpredictable. Having to protect them was just another challenge for the X-Men.

Here are my builds for the Sentinels:

Sentinel MK V: (Metamorph) Major: Metamorph, Minor: Super Strength, Regeneration, Construct, Massive

(Yes, I know that’s a lot of powers, but Metamorph doesn’t allow for any of them in a package.)

Sentinel Troopers: (Henchmen Group) Minor: Flight, Power Blasts

Trappers: (Henchmen Group) Minor: Power Blasts, Resistance

Lastly, if you’re wondering what I used for the actual bomb, it’s a mystery piece of resin terrain I’ve had for about 15 years. The base says “Epicast” on it, but it was clearly molded from a piece of shipping Styrofoam (it has a R and an arrow pointing up on it that I had to fill in before painting). I think it looked sufficiently Jack Kirby-esque so that it could be a bomb or any other kind of infernal machine or doomsday device, so I painted it up just for this campaign! What do you think?

Next time it’s off to Mother Russia where the next Breeder Bomb awaits!

 

MH-1 The Breeder Bombs Part 2: Ambush!

The Scenario: While the rest of the X-Men are downstairs training (see last time), Cyclops is moping around the grounds of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. What he’s brooding about we can only guess. Perhaps it’s that his girlfriend turned into an evil super-powerful cosmic entity and then died; or that he then fell in love with a clone of her that was really a demon queen; or that he has a really shitty relationship with his brother; or that his father would rather jaunt around the galaxy with a bunch of misfits rather than spend one minute with his kids; or that his own son from an alternate future timeline is a cyborg who is also a colossal douchebag; or maybe that it would be nice to take his friggin’ visor off every once in a while without blowing big holes in anything he looks at…you get the picture.

Suddenly, an attack! The Fixer and his partner Mentallo ambush the melancholy mutant!

The Vile Villains

Setup: Once again, I used a 2′ x 2′ surface, representing the landscaped garden of the X-Mansion. (The planters, for those who care, are from Jo Ann Fabrics “Bloom Room” collection. I got them super cheap on clearance.) I’ve arranged the planters and shrubs in a pleasing pattern around a central feature (like the Chinese lantern here). The villains deploy on one side of the board, while Cyclops deploys on the opposite side.

Special Rules: The odds are not in Cyclops’s favor (in fact, you could say the odds are 2-1 against him). In order to give him a chance to even things up a bit, I’ve decided that it’s a good bet the grounds of Xavier’s School have some built-in defenses, considering how often the place gets trashed by marauding Sentinels and the like. The Chinese lantern contains controls to activate two stun cannons in the garden. These stunners attack anything (other than Cyclops) in a 180° forward firing arc with the Stun power. Cyclops can activate the stunners by using a Special Action while in base contact with the lantern.

Taking Aim

ROUND 1

In order for Cyclops to survive this, he’s going to need to play it smart, and that means seeking cover and hiding so he doesn’t get shot to death by turn 3.

 

The villains gain initiative for the first round, and Fixer wastes no time. He flies 20″ directly across the board and throws a glue bomb at Cyclops, hoping to entangle him, but fails. Cyclops activates and blasts Fixer for 2 boxes of damage, then quickly takes cover and ends his movement by hiding. This will make him tougher to target next round. Mentallo moves, but is out of range for anything he could really do, so his turn ends.

ROUND 2

Cyclops gains initiative. He darts from planter to planter and fires at Mentallo, who is standing out in the open. But Cyclops misses! He ends his turn in cover, however; so he elects to hide again. But Mentallo spots him anyway and blasts him with a wave of mental energy, doing 3 boxes of Psyche damage to Cyclops! Ouch! That’s half his health! Fixer tries to spot Cyclops, but fails (lucky for the X-Man).

ROUND 3

Cyclops keeps initiative, and edges around the planter, keeping himself in cover. He uses Rapid Fire (one of the Blaster special abilities) and takes a shot at both Fixer and Mentallo. (Cyclops is looking to end this fight quickly. He can’t take another mind blast like that!) Mentallo is behind cover, so Cyclops fails to hit him; but Fixer is just floating around up there. Cyclops tags him for one box of damage, then hides.

Mentallo fails to spot Cyclops’s hiding place (one would think he would only have to follow the big red energy beam back to its source, but whatever), so for lack of anything else to do he meanders closer to the center. Fixer makes enough goals on his Perception check to spot Cyclops’s hiding place and fires a power blast his way. Unfortunately, he fails to score a single goal and misses the mutant!

ROUND 4

The villains act first. Since Fixer spotted Cyclops hiding last turn, and Cyclops hasn’t had time to hide again, he starts the round knowing where Cyclops is already (no need to check Perception again). Fixer fires at Cyclops, but the planter blocks his blast. Cyclops makes his Recharge roll and is able to use his Rapid Fire again. He wastes little time and hits both his targets: Fixer for 1 box, and Mentallo for 3 boxes! Cyclops isn’t going down easy! He hides in cover again at the end of his turn, and Mentallo can’t spot him on the villain’s activation. Mentallo can do nothing else but wander around and hope to bump into Cyclops…

Cyclops dives for the stunner controls

ROUND 5

Cyclops activates first and makes a mad dash towards the center of the board. He forgoes taking a combat action, instead using a special action to deploy the stunner cannons. Since he’s not in cover, he can’t hide; but he does end his turn by dropping prone, making himself a smaller target. It works out for him…sort of. The Fixer activates next and shoots at Cyclops, but misses. Mentallo has better luck, and mind blasts Cyclops for 2 boxes of damage. Cyclops only has one box left, and the garden starts spinning…

 

ROUND 6

Cyclops keeps initiative. He tries to recharge his Rapid Fire, but fails the roll. He fires at Mentallo, using the Blast Back special ability. He is successful, inflicting one box of damage to Mentallo. This knocks him back 2 inches, squarely in between those stunners! Cyclops moves quickly to cover and hides again. Fixer can’t spot Cyclops on his activation, so he quickly flies out of range of the stunners. The stunners activate, blasting Mentallo…but Mentallo shrugs off the effects easily! After also failing to spot Cyclops, he gets the hell out of the crossfire pretty quick. He hides on the other side of the same planter Cyclops is ducking behind.

ROUND 7

At thjis point, everyone’s pretty beat up: Fixer and Mentallo each have 2 boxes of health left, while Cyclops is barely standing with 1 box left. The round is pretty uneventful with no hits scored on anyone. Both Mentallo and Cyclops end their turns hiding in cover.

ROUND 8

The villains gain initiative. Mentallo tries to spot Cyclops, but can’t; so again he just keeps out of the view of those stunners and maintains cover. Cyclops tries to recharge Rapid Fire for the third time and fails once more, so he elects to fire at Fixer (since he doesn’t have to try and spot him first). He blasts Fixer for 3 boxes of damage, enough to drop him like a wet bag of dirt. Fixer fails his KO check and is out! This ends the round.

KA-POW!

ROUND 9

Cyclops gains initiative and spots Mentallo. Being a master tactician, Cyclops opts to charge into melee rather than fire at Mentallo. The reasons for this are twofold: first; if he fired, Mentallo would gain a bonus to defense because of the cover he’s behind. Second, Mentallo’s best ability, Mind Blast, can’t be used in close combat, so charging him effectively negates a pretty big advantage should Mentallo survive into next round. If Mentallo then tries to break out of combat to use it, Cyclops gets a free shot at him before he can.

The charge bonus pays off and he ends up inflicting a net 2 goals on Mentallo, who fails his KO check!

Victory to Cyclops!

AFTERWORD

Here are my builds for the villains:

Fixer (Blaster) Major: Archery, Minor: Flight, Armor. Quiver: Entangle, Melee Weapon, Stun

Mentallo (Mentalist) Major: Mentalism, Minor: Clever, Armor

This cat-and-mouse battle wasn’t as much fun to play as the Danger Room, but it was interesting to see how much hiding and taking cover can affect play tactically. If Cyclops had tried a straight up fight, he would have probably got creamed early on. Also, the small number of miniatures on the board meant the Rounds flew by; this game didn’t take much longer than 20 minutes to play.

I’m willing to bet on replay the villains would probably win more often than not. All it takes is one or two good shots and your Body boxes can start dropping fast. I think Cyclops got lucky.

After the battle, the X-Men interrogate the villains and discover that Magneto was hoping to take a few X-Men out of action before launching his evil plan to detonate…The Breeder Bombs! He almost succeeded in eliminating the team leader with this ambush!

The X-Men hop in the Blackbird SR-71. Destination: Alaska! The first bomb awaits!

 

MH-1: The Breeder Bombs Part One: The Danger Room

The Scenario: As stated in the adventure summary last time, most of the X-Men are in the Danger Room undergoing training. The X-Men’s objective is to rescue one of their comrades, who is imprisoned in a force field on the far side of the room. this is done by destroying or sabotaging the generators powering the force field. The Danger Room’s objective is, of course, to not let that happen. The imprisoned X-Man is not really there, it’s a holographic projection. The real “imprisoned” hero is alone, upstairs. I chose Cyclops as the imprisoned X-Man, but it could be any member of the team (which will certainly alter the difficulty of this scenario and the next one, depending on who is picked).

 

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Force field courtesy of Dunkin' Donuts

Force field courtesy of Dunkin’ Donuts

Setup: I decided to use a 2′ x 2′ surface with a few scattered terrain pieces. With this many miniatures on the board, the heroes will get “stuck in” pretty quick, making for a more fast-paced scenario. Of course, you’re free to make it a bigger board, but that just means you’ll need more terrain. The rescuing heroes deploy on one side of the room. On the far side of the room is the imprisoned hero under a force field. Two generators power the force field, positioned one on each side as shown. The Danger Room deploys one obvious defense in the middle of the board at the start of play (here represented by the huge robot in the center).

Special Rules: The Danger Room is the pinnacle of Shi’ar combat technology, and as such is extremely adaptable to whatever the X-Men attempt. To represent this (and to give the X-Men a good run for their money), the Danger Room operates under a special set of rules, listed below.

Initiative: The Danger Room rolls 5D for initiative at the start of the round.

Movement: The Danger Room is smaller than it looks, and compensates for it. All movement and ranged power effects are halved for this scenario. A Power Blast with 30″ range only has a 15″ range.  A character with a move of 6″ only moves 3″, while charging they would move 4.5″. Flight of 20″ is reduced to 10″. When Nightcrawler teleports, he ends up halfway between where he started and where he wanted to arrive. This slows things down and allows the Danger Room to bring more of its defenses into play at a faster rate than it would otherwise be able to.

Defenses: The Danger Room activates as many times as the number of X-Men (+1 if it gains initiative). During each activation, it can spawn a new defense as a free action, or simply attack with an established defense as a combat action. Ranged weapons can attack on the turn they spawn with no penalty. Other defenses may attack on the turn they spawn, but may not charge on that turn (see below). The Danger Room may only spawn one defense each turn up to a maximum of 2″ away from an X-Man, and each active defense may only attack once per round. The number in parentheses indicates the maximum number of each defense that may be on the board at once.The following is a list of defenses and any special rules associated with them:

Blaster Cannons (2): 6D Power Blast. Range 15″. Needs 7 goals to destroy, or may be sabotaged.

Tentacle Traps (2): Entangle 5D, Range 5″

Big Combat Robot (1): (Brick/Brawler) Major: Super Strength, Scrapper, Minor: Armor, Construct, Resistance, Tough

Elite Robot Henchmen (6): Minor: Melee Weapon, Resistance, Veterans

Nullifier Cannon (1): Mimic 5D, but if successful steals a power for one full turn. Needs 7 goals to destroy, or may be sabotaged.

Sabotaging Defenses/Generators: Any X-Man that can get in base contact with a defense or generator that can be sabotaged may make a sabotage attempt (TN 4) as a combat action in lieu of an attack. Success disables the generator or defense.

Spotting the Generators: The X-Men can’t attack or attempt to sabotage the generators until they realize that they’re powering the force field. Once per turn as a free action an X-Man may make a Perception check (TN 2 as it’s not that hard to spot running generators).  If successful the X-Men learn that destroying the generators is the key and all can attack them normally.

ROUND 1

The initiative roll goes to the Danger Room.

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The first thing the Danger Room does is activate the Big Combat Robot (BCR) in the center of the table, who lumbers forward 3″. That’s about all he can do this round. Storm activates, taking to the air and flying 10″. She fails her Perception roll, however, and doesn’t spot the generators, so she attacks the force field surrounding Cyclops instead. This of course does nothing. In response, the Danger Room spawns a blaster cannon near the closest generator and fires at Storm, narrowly missing her.

Wolverine activates next, and is able to close the distance with the BCR. All he manages to do is chip the paint, however; doing only 1 box of damage to the robot. The Danger Room spawns another blaster cannon near the other generator. This one also fires at Storm (since she’s the only one really out there). This time she’s not so lucky and takes 1 box of damage.

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Rogue activates, taking a moment to absorb Colossus’s Armor power. She fails her Perception check and doesn’t realize the generators should be top priority, and since Wolverine seems to have the BCR under control for now, she flies off towards that blaster cannon, hoping to remove it as a threat.

Unfortunately, she only gets about 10″ before her movement ends. The Danger Room spawns some Entangling tentacles, scoring a net 5 goals over Rogue. She’s grappled pretty good, and will need to roll 6 net goals to disengage herself from the tentacles on a future round!

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Nightcrawler activates next, teleporting 30″ towards the force field, but of course, since ranges are halved, he only winds up 15″ away, leaving him in the unenviable position of being directly in front of one of the blaster cannons. The Danger Room spawns the Nullifier Cannon, which targets Rogue. It successfully nullifies her Super Strength, which is going to make it that much harder for her to escape those tentacles in a later round.

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Kitty Pryde has nothing to do, but she moves towards the BCR, hoping to hose his electronics. A move of 3″ doesn’t get her too far, though. In response, the Danger Room spawns a group of 6 elite robotic henchmen, all directly around Colossus. They immediately attack, although without a charge bonus. Despite this, they manage to inflict 2 boxes of damage to Colossus! Colossus responds, but does no damage to the henchmen group.

ROUND 2

The initiative goes to the X-Men.

Colossus is annoyed. So he uses the special Brick maneuver called Shockwave. He attacks the ground, toppling the entire henchmen group. They’re not damaged, only knocked down…but they will have to spend valuable actions getting to their feet on their activation.

The Danger Room activates the Nullifier Cannon again, targeting Nightcrawler in the hopes of removing his Teleport power. It misses, which isn’t that surprising considering Nightcrawler is pretty tough to hit.

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For his part, Nightcrawler fails his Perception check and still doesn’t know to attack the generators. Instead he teleports behind the Nullifier Cannon and attempts to sabotage it. He only gets 3 goals and fails. The Danger Room activates the blaster cannon closest to Storm and fires at her, but misses. Storm, sick of getting shot at, activates her Force Field and returns fire, frying the blaster cannon with a bolt of lightning. Unfortunately for her, she doesn’t do any damage to it, but at least she’s better protected against further fire. The BCR attacks Wolverine, but fails to hit him. Kitty Pryde easily determines the generators are the real targets (she’s a Savant after all), and after alerting the team, she charges into combat with the downed robot henchmen. She gains a total bonus of +3D to her attack (+1 for charging, +1 for a downed foe, +1 for attacking robots as per her special power). She scores a total of 7 net goals and wipes the entire henchmen group out! The Danger Room activates the other blaster cannon and fires at the entangled Rogue (not very sporting, right?), but Rogue shrugs off any damage thanks to the Armor she absorbed from Colossus. Rogue attempts to break out of the entanglement, but she fails; not surprising since she lost her Super Strength last round. Finally, Wolverine attacks the BCR, but doesn’t do any damage.

ROUND 3

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The X-Men retain initiative. Without the robotic henchmen to worry about, Colossus charges the BCR, still locked in combat with Wolverine. He gains a bonus for charging plus another bonus for teaming up on the BCR with Wolverine, so he elects to use the Brick special maneuver called “Haymaker”. He rolls 8 total dice and scores a net 5 goals, which does 5 boxes of damage to the BCR! To add insult to injury, he makes use of the “Way Outta Here” ability, which triples the knockback of any attack! After ranges are halved, the BCR is knocked back 30″, which is clear across the board. He passes his knockdown check, however, and will be able to move normally on his activation.

The Danger Room activates the Nullifier Cannon, firing at Storm. Thanks to her Force Field, she isn’t hit. Kitty Pryde activates, but only moves forward a measly 3″. She has nothing else she can really do. The Danger Room activates the blaster cannon closest to Storm and fires at her again, hitting her for 3 boxes of damage! Ouch!

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Storm decides to try and end the fight as quickly as possible, blasting the generator next to her with a bolt of lightning. It pays off and she scores a total of 7 goals, enough to reduce it to a steaming pile of slag. The Danger Room activates the other blaster cannon, firing at the still entangled Rogue for one damage. She’s wishing she wasn’t entangled anymore, so she tries once again to break free. Even with her Super Strength back, she fails to do so.

Everything happens pretty quickly from this point. The Danger Room attempts to entangle Wolverine, but he slashes through the tentacles quite easily. Wolverine moves as quickly as possible towards the other generator, but he only gets about 6″ closer. The BCR moves to defend the generator, placing itself between the generator and Wolverine. Nightcrawler teleports behind the generator and attempts to sabotage it, but fails.

ROUND 4

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Blaster Cannons on loan from the Mordian Iron Guard

The Danger Room gets initiative, and activates the blaster cannon closest to Nightcrawler. It swivels and shoots at him, but misses. Nightcrawler tries to sabotage the generator, but again fails to gain the required number of goals. The Danger Room activates the BCR, which tries to squash Nightcrawler on the charge. But  Nightcrawler proves too elusive for the robot and avoids damage.

Finally, Storm activates, flying closer to the generator and blasting it to oblivion with a lightning bolt. The scenario is ended. Victory to the X-Men!

AFTERWORD

Danger Room scenarios are a lot of fun, because you’re pretty much wide open in what you can bring to the table. I chose to decorate my board with random machinery as terrain, but there’s no reason the battle couldn’t have taken place in a jungle or on among ruins or on an alien planet. It’s the Danger Room, so it can simulate anything! This is also true of the defenses it spawns; you’re pretty much limited only by your imagination! So instead of having a Big Combat Robot, how about using some of those Tyranid beasties you haven’t played with in forever? Instead of robots, how about some skeletons? It gives you a great excuse to use some of your other miniatures that you haven’t used or that mostly collect dust. I was thrilled to finally use my Kroonbots for something, since I never got around to playing them in .45 Adventure…

If I was playing this game with friends instead of solo, I would recommend the use of a referee to control the Danger Room. Just my two cents.

So, what’s Cyclops been doing upstairs this whole time? Find out next scenario! (Hint: he wasn’t making lunch.)

 

 

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