Playtest game - Robot Heist


Cosmic Mongoose
A quick 720 cred game.

So....intro story:

"Quiet, you idiots! Do you want someone to hear us clattering around in here and call the Judges?"

The threat worked, and silence fell.. The only think Valimir Von Sneaky-Git's men were more scared of than their East-Meg Two boss was the Mega-City One judges.

"So." Valimir whispered. "How's it going?"

"Pretty good, boss - we've overwritten the programming on these three combat robots, and we've got four more unboxed back there. The guys are unboxing the last one at the moment." The man gestured at where a gang of five stump-gun armed punks were about to start attacking the last of the eight shipping crates.

"Excellent. These robots were supposed to be shipped off to Texas-Cit - I hope you realise how much the New Kremlin will pay for a squad of Derringer-Class combat robots to dissect?" He grinned.

"Better than that. With these reprogrammed, they can even see how the new Derringer's combat tactics work. Wierd, really - these new models look shiny, but pretty standard. There was supposed to be something special about this squad, though. I'll fire this lot up and get them loaded on the cargo-porter."


"Right, you lot. Get on the..."

Valimir stopped at the sound of whirring gears. Across the cargo bay, the four other combat robots - their programming not yet cracked - suddenly straightened up and started sweeping their guns, looking for targets.


Valimir ducked behind the nearest set of crates, dragging his two spit gun armed bodyguards with him.

"They can't just switch on! Derringers can't do that!"

He looked across at the three robots they had modified. Active and ready to fight. Hopefully getting the drop would make up for four-to-three odds.
"Schaffer! Kowalski! Dutch! Eliminate enemy robots!"


As he did so, there was an almighty crashing sound from the crate opposite as a chainsaw blade cut it open from the inside, and something strode out. Something big, and most definitely not a standard Derringer-class robot. Something armed with a much heavier spit gun than any of the normal robots, and - from the looks of the shimmer - energy shielded to boot.

One of the punks looked up at the tracked monster towering over it, stump gun wavering.
"What the Drokk are you?"

The thing leaned over, and he could swear he saw its metal face grin.

The forces were as follows:

Robot thieves:
Three combat robots with spit guns
Five punks with stump guns
Two punks with spit guns
Agent with spit gun and sports armour

Texas-Cit Robot Squad:
Four combat robots with spit guns
Call-Me-Sarge (level 1 hero combat robot, Tough (x2), heavy spit gun, energy shield, chainsaw

The first turn was very unpleasant for the Robot Squad - their three compromised buddies moved up and opened fire, taking down Call-me-Ryan and Call-me-Smith, and leaving Call-me-Kelly damaged. Additional spit gun fire from the two punks finished Call-me-Kelly off. Finally, the agent fired, dropping Call-me-Mallory in one shooting action. The stump gunners were mercifully out of range of Call-Me-Sarge.

I hadn't expected the robots to drop that fast! All right, -1 agility, but with two hits each and armour 6 I'd thought it would at least need a couple of bursts per robot. Call-me-Sarge was on his own...

...And doing quite nicely on his own, thank you very much. One Will To Fight check and two bursts of heavy spit gun fire on Spray later, and thanks to his faintly ridiculous Shoot +3 he wiped out all the stump-gun armed punks in their entirety before they got a shot off.

The three compromised robots trundled round the corner, firing off a burst from their spit guns as they did so at Call-Me-Sarge. 4 hits were absorbed by the energy shield, and a further 2 shots punched through, knocking off chunks of armour plate. A normal Derringer would be so much scrap metal at this point, but Call-Me-Sarge just kept right on going.

In return, his heavy spit gun opened up twice, one burst silencing Call-me-Schaffer with a single hit (gotta love AP3 Damage 2!) and the other managing to hit and damage Call-Me-Dutch with three out of four attack dice, reducing the robot to swiss cheese.

With only Call-Me-Kowalski still operating, Valimir was (understandably) getting nervous, but two Shoot actions from the robot knocked another four shields off Call-Me-Sarge, leaving just two remaining. Valimir and his better-armed punks moved into line of sight and fired their spit guns, Valimir knocking off another shield and the first punk finally collapsing the defense, as well as damaging Call-Me-Sarge again. With only two Armour 6 hits left, the last spit gun wielding punk had a chance to finish off the marauding war machine before it could fire again.

And failed. Utterly. Despite Call-Me-Sarge's hero status still only leaving his Agility roll unmodified, the punk couldn't hit anything and now Call-Me-Sarge had them in the open.

One burst from the heavy spit gun took out Call-Me-Kowalski, and a second - set on Spray - hit Valimir and one of the punks. Despite hits two hits and sports armour, the single hit was more than enough to drop Valimir. Without armour, and with only one hit, the punk also copped it.

The remaining punk, forced to take two Will To Fight checks* simultaneously (one for being reduced to 25% and one for seeing Valimir blown to shreds), understandably bottled it and ran.

Alone in the warehouse, Call-Me-Sarge settled back on his tracks and brought up his internal map and vid-phone.

"Hello. May I speak to Mega-City One Judicial Sector House 72? I would like to report an attempted robbery...Yes, I am perfectly happy to hold..."

That was a very close game. Took about three quarters of an hour.
I really thought I'd had it in the first shooting phase. It goes to show one notable feature of this system - because gunfire is so effective, he who shoots first almost inevitably wins the firefight. In this case, where the warehouse didn't have much cover (there were big crates and pillars you had to move around, but nothing you could actually take cover behind and still be able to shoot from), that meant that combined with the robots' grud-awful Agility -1, the spit gun's AP2 and my inability to roll an 8, all four went down before making any contribution to the battle.

Possibly the ability to put some of them on Alert Status at the start of the battle might at least have given them a fighting chance....still, I can't really complain.

Call-Me-Sarge was awesome. Against a combat robot, the heavy spit gun really shines because a single hit has an 80% chance of dropping a robot dead, and spray accounted for more kills in the (unwisely) clustered stump gun armed punks than normal shots did against the robots.

If I had to pick what really won it, it was Call-Me-Sarge's toughness. All of the damage he suffered during the game was only sufficient to reduce him to the 'normal' damage capacity of a combat robot. Thirteen hits were just absorbed harmlessly due to his extra hit for level 1, taking Tough twice, amd above all the energy shield.

I don't think the shield is especially unbalanced - 50 creds adding 5 'hits' (provided you can pass an Armour 4 roll each) stacks up nicely against the three 'permanent' hits you can get out of level 1 hero-dom. But not being unbalanced does not prevent it being awesome. Call-Me-Sarge essentially walked straight through eight bursts of spit gun fire and came out the other side fully functional.

* If both of the two remaining WTF conditions are triggered simultaneously - i.e. the casualty taking you below 25% is a hero - do you take both tests?