Saturday, April 18, 2020

Chrome•Hammer: //Grid Lock

Another Chrome•Hammer playtest!  This time it's a VR mission, with the goal of controlling all four Stacks on the table.  Forgive me for not being particularly clever here.  I'm just trying to log this for posterity. :)

Here's the table.
Tron, eat you heart out!
These are the Stacks.

This is a Stack.  The fact that it is actually a stack it totally a coincidence.
These are the Corporate IC programs.  Two Sentries™, a D-Mon™, a Watchdog™, another Sentry™, and a WizzardEye™.

If I had more time or less quarantine, I'd have gotten some better minis.
These are the 'Punks, all hidden.  Amaranth, Bloo, Verdun, Flavio and Agent M.  Why does Agent M look different? Because I had a cool VR model I wanted to use.  This is Agent M's "C0R4X" avatar.  I'm lazy, so nobody has anything special except for Agent M, who has a Cyberdeck.

I wanted to make some 2D shrinky-dink "avatars" but I didn't have time.

The first turn, everybody moves forward as quickly as they can.

Pretty standard so far.
The Corporation's Order dice both came up less than the number of Stacks they control (4) so they get two VR points.  Three programs approach, heading in the general direction of the 'Punks.

Icehouse pyramids work really well for this aesthetic.
The two black ones are VR points.
Two of the 'Punks make contact with Stacks.  The others make for the other side of the table, but they are hindered by having to move in straight lines, because cyberspace.

For a moment, I thought this might be too easy.
The Corporation scores another VR point, giving them 3, and spends one to Overclock the WizzardEye™, letting it get into position to scan Agent M.  Unfortunately, it fails, and wanders off a half move in a random direction.  I wanted to use the Glitch ability to randomly move an enemy, but I didn't have enough VR points.

Haven't yet taken down the Christmas tree from the last office party.
On the 'Punks' Phase, Flavio and Verdun try to Hack the Stacks, but the Corporation spends a VR point each to Lag them, bumping their target numbers to 10+, and they each fail, losing more Stealth in the process.
Who hacks a Corporate VR node using dial-up?

Agent M and Bloo approach a third Stack, but don't have time to to Hack it yet.  On the Corporation's Phase, several programs advance toward them.  The WizzardEye™ fails again, but the Overclocked Watchdog™ gets close enough to spot MAgent M is Exposed!

Woof!  Woof!  Woof!
Agent M and Flavio manage to Hack two of the Stacks!  The mission is half done!  Unfortunately, Verdun fails again and is Exposed!

L337 H4XX0RZ!

Amaranth sneaks over to help, but not before a Sentry™ attacks Verdun, driving him away from the Stack!

Ouch!  Damned campers!
Even worse, a Sentry™ and the Watchdog™ gang up on Agent M, the Watchdog™ Overclocking again to attack him a second time, knocking him offline and Tagging him!

That dog is a menace!
Despite controlling two Stacks now, the 'Punks don't manage to generate and VR points.  Amaranth tries to Hack a third Stack, but fails.  Verdun and Flavio both try to destroy the Sentry™, but it fights back and both are injured further.

I feel like this is where it really started to go wrong.
The Corporation, only controlling two Stacks, manages to barely eke out 1 VR point.  Then things get hairy as the Sentry™ shoots down Flavio, Tagging him and removing him from VR.  A second Sentry™ scans Amaranth, but for only 1 point, which isn't enough to Expose her, but the Corporation makes good use of it's single VR point, allowing the first Sentry™ to go again, scanning Amaranth for a point automatically in a Close Call, and following it up with a "free" attack.  But Amaranth sends him packing!

Or maybe here's where it went wrong.
On the 'Punks' Phase, Amaranth blows her shot at the Stack, leaving her standing in the open.  Verdun shoots at the Sentry™ near him, and manages to hurt it, but its counterattack finishes Verdun off. :(

Ok, things are definitely going downhill now.
I can't remember why this Sentry™ is injured, but whatever.  He shoots Amaranth and down she goes!

Thankfully, he doesn't have time to perform a "teabag" animation over her corpse.
Bloo Hacks the third Stack successfully, but now the enemy are swarming him!  Luckily, with no Exposed 'Punks on the table, the guard programs have slowed down a bit.

"Threat eliminated.  Entering power-saving mode."
Next turn, Bloo makes for the last Stack.  Unfortunately, he's up on a construct and that slows him down.  On the other hand, he managed to gain two VR points this phase, and uses them both for extra Orders that get him into contact with the last Stack, but not soon enough to Hack it.

Something funny about being fast.
The enemies pile on, forcing Close Calls until finally the D-Mon™ Exposes Bloo and burns him for four damage!  (And more importantly, forces him away from the Stack.)  I'm thinking if the 'Punks (well, 'Punk) don't get any VR points this Turn, it's probably over!

Boss music starts playing...
Bloo was closer than I thought!  He moves up to Hack the Stack, but the Corporation uses their last VR point to Lag him, giving him a +2 target number penalty!  But Bloo managed to generate a VR point of his own!  Looking back, he probably should have just saved it, and taken a second action, but instead he uses it to Firewall, negating the Lag.

Unfortunately, he still rolls a six, which fails!

The Corporate units then proceed to dog pile him.  They lose every Assault, but each one does a guaranteed point of damage, and soon, Bloo is out!

Dying Pac-Man noise.
There you go!  That actually seemed to play pretty well!  I might be just about ready to do something with all of this soon!

Ĝis la revido!"

Jason "Ludanto" Smith C;E


  1. Pure Cyberpunk-Tron-punk errrr ..stuff! I love it.
    This blog is one of the most original gaming blogs out there.
    And sentry(TM) is genius.

    1. Wow! Hey, thanks! I'm just doing what I'm doing. I'm glad you're enjoying it. :)

  2. I've just picked up the Squad hammer rules too for a few Star Wars and WWII games - I got inspiration to use them from your blog too. Keep up the good work sir.

    Your terrain and cutaway buildings are superb too. great quality stuff here.

    1. Cool! Squad-Hammer should work well for a Star Wars game.

      And I'm glad you're inspired. Everything I do is inspired by something I've seen somewhere else and thought "Can I do that? Can I do it better?" :)

  3. This was first attempt with SW and Squad Hammer:

    1. Man, that is a great report! Lots of action! And those models are beautiful!

  4. Another great report and I totally love the Tron vibe from your board and characters. Good to see (and read) you're having fun during quarantine.
    Where does the COR4X model come from?

    1. Thanks!
      C0R4X is a custom mod. The body is an Ion Age Xin. The head and little wings are green stuff. The gun and cyberdeck are plasticard.

    2. Well done, I couldn't have guessed this is in fact a conversion. The head in particular is outstanding.

    3. Well thank you! A good paint job hides a multitude of sins. ;)

  5. Great write up. How would you say this compares to 'The Department', and which do you prefer?

    1. Thanks!

      Let's compare, shall we?

      "The Department"
      • Solo/Co-Op only
      • Campaign Focused
      • Just cop(s) vs thugs/droids on the street
      • Investigation/Exploration Component
      • I didn't write it

      • Head-to-Head only (for now)
      • Less Campaign Focused
      • 'Punks vs. Corps, 'Punks vs. 'Punks, Corps vs. Corps
      • "Hacking" and a cyberspace mission
      • Some pretty different mission types
      • I totally wrote this one.

      So, obviously I'm biased. :)

  6. Good use of Zendo how you get such a clean look? on the edges, i had a tron board for infinity a whiel back but now switching to 15mm, also i'm intrested in the stealth aspect of chrome hammer but just ordered hardwired

    1. Thanks! I don't know about the edges. I just used a metal ruler and an x-acto blade.

      The stealth is pretty simple. It's really like extra hit points that follow slightly different rules. It can't be too effective, or the guy on the other side will get bored. :)

      Hardwired is cool. I did a blog about it. Some day I'll get the Tsim Tam Whatever supplement.