Monday, October 28, 2019

Star Schlock is coming to Fall In

Star Schlock forces, ready for their next playtest.

I'll be running a few games of Star Schlock at Fall In this year. To ensure things go smoothly I've been playtesting the scenario to make sure the forces are balanced and players have plenty of opportunities to roll dice and blow stuff up.

Here's the scenario listed in the PEL:

Space Ghouls of the Cursed Moon

Disaster on Moon Base Alpha! The mineral extractors dug too deep, awakening a long slumbering alien intelligence. Roused from hibernation, an inhuman elder being has animated the corpses of the dead, spurring them to wipe out all life on the surface of the planetoid! The colony's defenders race to thwart the shambling cannibalistic monsters long enough to fuel the last escape shuttle. Will they escape the creatures' grasp, or will the ranks of the undead menace grow with fresh victims.

 The surface of the desolate moon is finished, but I'm still working on the fuel pumping station and landing platform that form the centerpiece of the battlefield. The basic shapes are in place, which are all I needed for playtesting.

The semi painted space ghouls shamble towards fleeing Federation forces.
In our game the animated dead methodically made their way into the settlement, exchanging ragged gunfire early in the game before closing in and digging their claws into the astro guards deployed to hold them off.

Major Tom and an Elder Thing wrecking the Federation space cadets attempting to secure the pumping station.

The space zombies have proven pretty fun to run. They initially seem incredibly slow, but as players have discovered the ghoul's various special abilities they've invariably been able to sweep across the board with the horde.

Federation astro guards under fire.

The Federation forces have been trickier to balance, but in this outing the Federation players were able to coordinate some devastating attacks, obliterating several mobs of space ghouls with concentrated fire.

BOOM! The escape ship is crippled!

Unfortunately, the space zombies were able to sabotage the pumping station, causing an explosion on the landing platform, crippling the escape vessel. It turns out Federation players are more interested in killing zombies than recovering and refueling their space ship in each of the playtests I've run. We've got a few ideas to tweak the fuel recovery part of the scenario to make fueling the ship a bit more fun and I think another playtest before Fall In should work out the last few kinks.

Overall I'm pretty happy with the way the game is shaping up, and I'm looking forward to running some fresh faces through it!