Sunday, September 24, 2006


Plynkes' old pal and fellow TMPer, Chronoglide, has been threatening for some time to inflict some Sci-Fi nostalgia gaming on the gang in the form of "Gangs of Mega-City One." Both Plynkes and Chronoglide were big fans of the comic 2000AD in their younger days, so this for once seems like a good idea from Mister Glide. Consequently everybody has rolled up their own gang of delinquents and at some theoretical point in the far-future we shall be conducting a campaign of crime with them.

Unfortunately, like Plynkes, Chrono takes his own sweet time with painting projects, and the gangs aren't completely done yet. But luckily there are at last enough figures to have a one-off game, a way to test the waters, as it were. So on Friday night last, that's what we did.

The game takes place in Mega-City One, a vast future Megalopolis that covers the entire east coast of the present-day United States. The players generally control a street gang, and the gangs vie for domination of the streets. The situation in our game was that two gangs had arranged for a rumble in some out-of-the-way run-down sector of the city. Unfortunately, just as they are about to get to it, the Law shows up, in the form of six Judges.

(click on the photos for a bigger version)
The first gang were the notorious NEXUS 7, who I know next to nothing about, except that they have adopted a Blade Runner theme for their gang (sound like a gang of nerds to me, if they think that's going to impress people). This bunch were controlled by Plynkes' Punjabi manservant, Sickly.

Plynkes himself controlled the NEXUS 7's sworn enemies , the STEPPIN' RAZORS. This gang contained some of Plynkes' troops, namely Aphrodite Jones, Big George and Bouncee, all from his own gang, the HUSTLER SQUAD. This fight was obviously set at some time before the forming of the HUSTLER SQUAD then, we must presume.

The two gangs had formed up against each other, separated only by a tall fence. But at this point three Judges entered from each short end of the table, with the aim of breaking up this fight. Suddenly all bets were off. The Judges were controlled by the mysterious Wakey Man and by Chronoglide's young 'un, who strangely sometimes refers to himself as Beyoncé. Chrono himself did not participate as a player, but decided to be "THE GOD", as we tend to call Umpires or GMs in our little circle.

Anyway, "THE GOD" told the players that the gang-bangers' objective was now simply to escape, and they could do so by exiting the table across either of its short edges. Unfortunately that meant the Judges were blocking their way out in both directions. The Judges' own objective was to apprehend as many gang-members as possible.

After having the basics of the rules explained to him, Plynkes decided that to try and slug it out with Les Flics would be a futile enterprise, despite the gangs' numerical superiority. Gang players can ordinarily only activate one figure per turn, with the others going on to a kind of overwatch which allows them to reaction-shoot in other player's turns. Judges are seriously tough hombres, and all Judges get to act in their turn AND react when it isn't their turn.

So the STEPPIN' RAZORS decided to flee from the judges on their side of the table and head for the far end, hoping that the other Judges and the NEXUS 7 would be too preoccupied with each other to notice them running past.

Luckily both gangs had a Leader and a Lieutenant, which compensates somewhat, as these figures can motivate their subordinates into action, allowing more figures to get a go during the turn. Despite this, not all of the STEPPIN' RAZORS would be able to act. So it was decided that Bouncee, Rats and Shinju would be left behind on overwatch as a rearguard. Hopefully they would slow the pursuit for a while, allowing the majority of the gang to get away. So they hastily legged it towards the fence.

Another factor that would slow the Law down a tad was the fact that the Judges weren't allowed to just start blasting away at the perps. They could only target figures who had refused an order to surrender, or had been seen to endanger the life of either a Judge or another civilian. Ain't procedure grand?

After two attempts at arresting the rearguard, the shooting started. The Judges were off their aim to begin with, and so Bouncee got her chance to react. Raising her little Deuce-Deuce she blazed away at the cops. Her aim was good, but her pathetic little gun failed to penetrate the Judge's armour. Soon it was over. Bouncee and Shinju were brought down. Rats managed to high-tail it after the others, as he was still just within activation range of Aphrodite the leader.

On the other side of the table two of the NEXUS 7 had already surrendered to the cops. The others backed off out of sight into cover, only to bump into the STEPPIN' RAZORS coming the other way. A hasty truce was arranged, and the NEXUS leader suggested that both gangs team up against the Judges on this side of the table, their combined power allowing them to blast their way out. Aphrodite Jones agreed, and so the NEXUS headed back to engage the nearby Judges.

Watching them go, Aphrodite chuckled to herself and told her gang to keep running. With those Judges having their hands full with the NEXUS, and the pursuing ones still some way behind (thanks to the RAZOR'S rearguard taking one for the hood), there was now a clear run to freedom.

NEXUS 7's hour of glory had arrived. They ran in, blasting away with their shotguns. Some of their number fell, but they wounded two Judges, who unbelievably failed their morale checks and gave up the fight. The snivelling Law Dogs were removed from the game, presumably representing them chucking away their guns and running off, or simply lying on the ground in a ball and weeing their pants. I really think the Academy must be letting its standards slip. This kind of behavior is unheard of!

Unfortunately for the NEXUS 7, their moment of triumph was short-lived. The Judges pursuing the RAZORS now arrived and began gunning down gang-members. Soon it was all over, all the NEXUS 7 members were brought down by Judicial gunfire. They also managed to polish off Rats, who was still lagging behind the other RAZORS.

But the remaining RAZORS had already got away. The RAZOR rearguard and the futile stand of the NEXUS had served their purpose. Aphrodite and her gang were home free.

So all that remained was to count the dead and see who had been hauled away to the Cubes. Here we discovered that happily, nobody had been killed. All the gang members who had been taken down were merely injured, and some of them had actually managed to crawl off and evade justice. Hurrah!

Final Tally:

2 injured and with wee-stains on their Y-fronts.

4 banged up ( two of which were injured)
3 injured but escaped (including the Lieutenant and the Boss herself, though she had suffered a crippling injury to the body)

All but three escaped. These three were:
Rats (shot in the leg, crippling it, then pinched)
Shinju (crippling shot to the body, despite this she somehow escaped)
Bouncee (shot, it was just a scratch, but she too was pinched)

So thanks to his sneaky Flashman-esque tactics and the noble sacrifice of others, Plynkes found himself to be outright winner by some distance, as all his high-value characters had got away scot-free.

The game was tremendously enjoyable, with some interesting features, and the activation system means you often have to juggle your forces and make tricky decisions as to who will get to act, and who will have to wait. This is pretty cool as it keeps you on your toes. Everybody is really looking forward to getting the campaign going, though we will probably all be old men by then.

All the figures and most of the scenery belonged to Chronoglide, so you'll have to ask him what they all were, but I know that the Judges were from the HEROCLIX game, but I forget what the others were. I'm sure he told me, but he does tend to ramble on so, and sometimes I just stop listening.

The game itself is produced by Mongoose, I believe. They're the Starship Troopers people, ain't they?

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