Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Rescue in the Desert: Part 2 (SW-Pulp)

Rescue in the Desert: Part 2 Rescuing the Rescuers…

Savage Worlds Double Header Weekend Part Two

Sunday afternoon was my regular Savage Sunday game. Curtis and Darrin showed up.

In our last very exciting episode Montana Black and Oscar Carson teamed up with Captain Ralph Bagnold of the Royal Corps of Signals to rescue Emily Smythe-Wagner, the beautiful daughter of the renowned British aristocrat and Egyptologist, Sir Walter Smythe-Wagner, who had been kidnapped by a ruthless band of nomadic desert ruffians. Miss Smythe-Wagner had been rescued but Black and Carson were captured by a band of angry natives while covering her escape with Major Bagnold.

Bagnold being a proper English gentleman and officer could not leave those brave men to the mercy of the desert ruffians, nor could Sir Walter. The two, along with Mr. Pat Clayton of the Egyptian Government Survey Office (another expert in desert travel), gathered some more soldiers and a Rolls Royce armoured car and set out into the desert once again to rescue the two heroes!

They set out first for the site of the bandit’s camp where the two had been captured. They then tracked their movements back to a village near Wadi Al Derka-derka. Concealing the vehicles in a nearby wadi Bagnold, Clayton and Sir Walter scouted forward. The trio darted from dune to dune, then crawled forward on their hands and knees, then slid forward on their bellies to get a close look at the village.

“It looks like it’s well guarded” whispered Clayton to his partners, noticing the guards on the rooftops of the whitewashed buildings.

“Judging by the number of camels and horses, I’d guess there was at least fifty….” Bagnold grimly declared.

“But we are a mere dozen!” hissed Sir Walter. “Whatever shall we do!?”

A couple dozen men disgorged from one of the buildings, hastily mounted their camels and horses and rode off in the opposite direction apparently on some urgent errand. The three watched as the cloud of dust the mounts kicked up disappeared towards the horizon.

“Well that does it,” stated Bagnold. “We can’t know when they’ll be back so we must take advantage of this situation and attack at once!”

The three slithered, crawled and darted their way back to the wadi and mounted up.

The three vehicles approach the village in line abreast. The two trucks carrying the soldiers were flanking the armoured car. The Vickers gun in the armoured car started to chatter away as they approached the village, hoping to keep everybody’s heads down. Men poured from the buildings and returned fire.

The fire from the village was witheringly accurate. With bullets pinging around his vision slit, the driver of the armoured car kept ducking and began to make evasive maneuvers. Whether it was due to simply not being able to properly see where he was going or the lucky shot through the vision slit that caught the driver in the neck sent the car veering out of control, no one would ever know. The car caught the edge of a steep dune with the front wheel of the car and flipped it over on it’s side, effectively removing it from combat.

The Rolls Royce flips on its side.

The Armoured car wasn’t the only vehicle in trouble, though. Pat Clayton’s truck (the green one) on the right, hit a spot of soft sand as it crossed over a dune and spun completely around throwing a few of it’s passengers into the soft sand nearby.

Both Bagnold and Clayton had had enough and decided to dismount and disperse their troops into what cover they could find.

The trucks passengers debus and take cover behind their vehicles or dunes.

For some time the Britishers remained in cover exchanging fire with the village occupants. Bagnold’s men being rather closer took a few more casualties than did Clayton’s. The British soldiers were giving better than they got but it still wasn’t good enough.

Sir Walter, who had been in Clayton’s truck, noticed Bagnold’s group was in a bad way. He started making his way over to Bagnold’s location ducking and dodging from dune to dune.

Amid the cracking of the rifles Bagnold though he heard and engine turning over. Maneuvering about the truck he was taking cover behind he tried to get a better view of the village to see if he could see what was going on.

Suddenly a truck zoomed out from behind a building to the west of town and headed out into the desert. As it passed nearby Bagnold and his men a white man leaned out of the cab and fired upon them with a Luger. Bagnold, one of his squaddies, and Sir Walter, who had now arrived, returned fire with little effect. The truck carried on out into the desert and disappeared into a cloud of dust.

At about this time the fire from the village slackened a bit. Whether it was due to being suppressed by the Britishers fire, or the truck fleeing into the desert (… or Darrin drawing a joker and rolling a “close call” on the fortune and calamity table… giving an opponents unit -2 to all their trait rolls for one round…) Clayton seized the opportunity and dashed his lads to the cover of another dune closer to the village.

Clayton’s men move up.

As they ran Clayton fired the last round from his Webley. He dropped into cover behind the dune and started searching his pockets and pouches for more ammo and, to his utter horror, discovered he had none! (I also drew a joker around this time and came up with “out of ammo” on the Fortune and Calamity table. I had pity on them and gave it to Clayton – who wasn’t hitting anything at the range he was at with his pistol anyway. It also made sense to me in terms of the story

No sooner than they had arrived, however, there was a tremendous explosion knocking nearly everyone to the ground! When they looked up a building on the west end of the village, the building Clayton had seen the truck drive out from, had disappeared in a cloud of dust and smoke.


All firing had ceased from the village. When the dust and smoke settled the building was completely obliterated and the two next to it were severely damaged. Bodies littered the ground about the village, some knocked unconscious by the blast, but most were killed outright. Those who were not were either fleeing into the desert or running out with their hands held high begging for mercy!

With a pair of soldiers detailed to marshal and cover the prisoners the rest stormed into the village. There was little left of the blown building save the rubble that was strewn everywhere. The other buildings were filled with cots and bedrolls and looked more like barracks than village houses.

Montana Black and Oscar Carson were found bound, gagged, and in pretty rough shape, but alive, in one of the buildings along with crates of provisions – including canned sour kraut and sausages. Carson was in much worse shape than Black. He had been struggling towards the door when the building next door exploded. A rather large brick flew in through the open door and bashed Carson soundly in the head.

No clues could be found about the identities of those in the truck that drove off in the middle of the firefight and presumably blew up the building. Neither Black nor Carson had seen any white people during their captivity.

Notes on the scenario:

This was the first time I made use of vehicles in combat. I’m still not sure I’ve got them figured out quite right. The rules seem a little loose, hazy and generalized.

I used the Pick-up truck stats out of the Pulp Adventure Gear Book and made the Rolls Royce using the vehicle “building” system in the same book. Basically it was the same as the truck except with two more points of “light armour”, the maximum it could have, and a machine-gun in a turret. I didn’t want to give it “heavy armour” as that would have made it completely invulnerable to anything on the table. I seem to think those Rolls-Royces weren’t too heavily armoured and could conceivably have been put out of action by a very lucky rifle shot, certainly by some accurate and sustained machine-gun fire.

Unfortunately some accurate firing from rifles caused a control check which was failed and a 12 came up on the out of control table. Though not a tank I figured the armoured car was slow and heavy enough to not be able to flip end over end d4 times as the table indicated it should…

Another shot that hit that round aced again and again and again. It caused 6 wounds to the vehicle – two crew hits and a control hit…. Gah!

The trucks didn’t fare to well either which is why they bailed out of them and sat for over half the game firing into the village at range.

That’s one downside to this system – the make it whatever you want attitude. Well if you have little experience playing the game where do you START?! Now I do have some experience… I’ve been playing the game, nearly weekly, for over a year now.

Another thing I find odd is that various different larger-sized animals are easier to hit due to their size, but there is no such rule for vehicles? So I tried out giving a +2 to hit these vehicles. Maybe that was part of my mistake…? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll ignore the “maximum 3 points of ‘light’ armour” and give it 5 or 6 next time I use it. It won’t stop those crazy multi-acing shots (bullets through the vision slit, bouncing around inside!) but it should make it so there isn’t control check for every bullet that hits it…! I could have also given the driver the ace edge.


I had intended for them to be able to drive right into town shooting up the bad guys with the armoured car. Maybe even chase the bad guys that drove off in the truck and enter the building with the bomb and find some clues as to their identities before noticing “hey, what’s that ticking noise” and having to RUN FOR IT!!!

The blast I said did 10d6 damage to anyone inside it,, 6d6 damage to anyone within 6” of it, 3d6 damage to anyone within 10”… everyone else on the table was to do a spirit check or be shaken… but after I rolled for damage to all the Bedouin still in the village we just stopped rolling dice and sort of role-played out the rest.. They were pretty much all toast...

Wasn't sure how to deal with damage to nearby buildings or the occupants thereof... so I just gave them the normal damage, except gave them added armour/toughness equall to that of a stone wall. Montana was fine, but when I rolled for Oscar Carson I just kept acing and acing... hence the brick flying through the door...

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to post your own comments. If you do, tell me: Do you use vehicles in Savage Worlds?

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