Sunday, October 5, 2014

Mutants and Death Ray Guns – First Game

Those of you that have been following along lately will no doubt be aware that I am pretty darned excited about Ganesha Games products – and been on a bit of a spree acquiring them! In August I picked up Mutants and Death Ray Guns - mostly because I discovered I could actually order a hard copy through so I thought I’d try that… Also, though I’m not particularly excited about post-apocalyptic settings, a number of the games I know (especially younger ones my kids might play with) are all about the dystopian/post-apocalyptic settings, I thought it might be a way to get them playing. I finally got around to reading the rules this last week and they look like a lot of fun (especially as a campaign) so I ran a game for Amanda and the kids last night.

I also finished up a new game board – one that doesn’t have fixed terrain, but rather can make use of all the older terrain bits I have in boxes under the game table.

You “roll up” a team in this game – though there is a point system if you want to point-buy your warband. I was a little concerned about the rolling up of teams – as I thought it might be difficult to find appropriate figures, but I was keen to try so I had the kids roll up some teams but reserved the right to veto anything they rolled that I simply could not provide a figure for – as it turned out there was nothing totally bizarre that came up (oh, maybe someone rolled “two-heads” and I had them re-roll that one…?)


We played the Artifact Hunt scenario. On the game board there were six searchable locations. A model had to spend two actions to search a location and then rolled a d6 – on a 6 they found and artifact (yay!) but on a one they found MUTANT TERMITES (that tleport nder the skin and eat their way to the brain/CPU and eventually destroy the figure! Yowza!)

Dangerous Weather/Terrain: None


Tha Boyz

From left to right; George, Jacques, Jake, Harold-55, Mr. Simian

Jake – Human – Leader
Q 2+, C 2, Leader, Difficult Target, 1x Frenzy Drug, 1x Radiation Antidote, 2x Food

Mr. Simian – Mutant Gorilla - Champion
Q 4+, C 4, Dim-witted, +2 Climbing, Telepathy, 4x Food, (Can Use Hand Weapons!)

George – Mutant Human
Q4+, C 3, Danger Sense, Telekinetic Push, Slippery

Harold-55 – Android
Q 4+, C 3, Artificial (Power Cells), Hand to Hand Specialist, Frag Grenade

Jacques – Mutant Human
Q 4+, C 3, Poison, Clinging, Gunsmith, Sonic Grenade

The Grrrlz

From left to right; Zelda, Clair, Susan, Bob, Anna

Susan – Human – Leader
Q 2+, C 2, Leader, Power Hand Weapon, 8 Energy Cells

Bob – Mutant Dog – Champion
Q 4+, C 4, Long Move, Superior Senses, Tailslap, Dim-witted, 3x Food

Anna – Mutant Human
Q 4+, C 3, Poison, Hand to Hand Specialist

Zelda – Android
Q 4+, C 3, Artificial (Food), forester, Pistol (1 clip), Frag Grenade

Clair – Mutant Human
Q 4+, C 3, Phobia (Humans), Stealth, Plasma Grenade


Amanda played with The Girl - taking control of Anna and Zelda. I just ran the game - playing the Game master/Referee/Look-Up-The-Rules-Guy. 

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Everyone all set up on my new gameboard (some of that terrain could do with a bit of “sprucing up”) the six searchable locations are marked with glass beads.

Tha Boyz ready to rumble!

The Grrrlz rush forward to the first location and Bob the Dog digs up… nothing.

Jake leads the way through the ruins.

Jake searches the first location that they come across and finds…. MUTANT TERMITES?! GAH!! So now he has to pass a Q roll on a single die at the beginning of every turn OR DIE (because the termites have reached his brain or vital organs… and he’s -1 C because it is excruciatingly painful – he could be saved with a dose of Stim Drug… but NO ONE has any! Luckily he’s Q 2+ so he’s not likely to die right away… maybe they can find some Stim drugs if they search a few more locations…

On the Grrls next turn Bob the dog Dug up an assault rifle! Zelda moved to another searchable location but didn’t have enough actions to search it, so she fired at Jacques, but missed.

Jake took his dose of FRENZY drug – to negate the -1 C and lead his lads out of the way of the shooting enemy android and towards the next closest searchable location.

Clair took the Assault rifle from Bob the dog and tried to figure out how it worked and managed to NOT shoot herself in the head or wreck the weapon in the process… but onlyjust barely. Zelda, having scared off the rival band of survivors quickly searched the rubble she was sitting on and found… MORE TERMITES!? No Stim drug will save her – she is, essentially, DOOMED.

They got there and jake searched it… but only four MORE mutant Termites. Not really sure if this would cause jake to be -2 C and have to pass TWO Q rolls at the beginning of each turn…? We went with it not doing so…

There being only one location left and it getting well past bed time for the kids… the two teams decided to face off to end the scenario – perhaps if the Boyz WON they could find a dose of Stim Drug as an Advance and save Jake!

Zelda failed a Q roll and the Termites reached her CPU or some other vital mechanism and she shut down for good…

Meanwhile, Anna faced off against Harold-55

Bob the Dog searched the last location and found… nothing…

The only chance remaining to gain any new supplies would be to win the battle…

Susan Joined the melee and Knocked down Harold-55.

Harold-55 got back up on his turn, but got his ass knocked right back down!

At this point Mr. Simian joined in and used his Telepathing powers to attack Susan – which sent her into a COMA! (At this point the Grrrlz SHOULD have tested morale… but we kind of forgot in all the excitement…)

George charged in with his axe against young clair, but she swept his legs and took him down. While he was still down, she took him right out of the action with a swift blow to his head. Jacques also charged in and exchanged blows with Anna.

Harold-55 got up and, with the aid of Jacques, knocked down Anna.

Recognizing the danger in the pint-sized mutant, Mr. Simian also put Clair into a coma. At that point the Grrlz had lost more than half of her band so they did a morale test. Anna failed – being knocked down in contact with enemies she begged for mercy , but all her pleas got her was a kick in the face which knocked her out. Bob the dog also fled one move and at that point The Girl decided it was time to call it a game.

In the post game The boyz looted the bodies of their opponents and collected a plasma grenade, a frag grenade, a pistol, an assault rifle, a power hand weapon, and 8 energy cells. For their advance The Boy thought he’d try for extra equipment – hoping to get a dose of Stim that could save Jake. He DID actually roll a dose of one drug and a food point, but when he rolled for the drug he got Genetic Booster… so Jake died a horribly painful death as the Mutant Termites slowly ate him from within…. Checkign on the status of George, the boy rolled two successes and so George would be available for the next game but -1 on Q rolls.

We weren’t sure what was supposed to happen with models in a coma from a telepathic attack – in the rules is says if their side wins they are assumed to recover between battles… I decided to treat them as anyone else taken out of action in a battle and The Girl rolled for survival for them. Susan fully recovered and would be back in action for the next battle – less her powered hand weapon and bag of energy cells…. Anna and Clair both rolled two successes and so would be able to return to action – but with a -1 to Q… bob the dog survived intact. Unfortunately Bob only had three food points in his stash; so one model would be going hungry next game.

Strangely, no one tried to use their grenades during the game…?

Everyone thought it was pretty fun. Though I tried to convince them that we should try and continue a short campaign (and maybe Amanda and I could make up bands of survivors for ourselves) The Boy didn’t seem interested in carrying on with THIS particular warband… I wasn’t really sure why. Later he said he’d be more interested in building warbands based on points… I can see the reasoning behind that – it certainly could be easier (and possibly funner?) to pick out cool some cool models with a distinct theme behind them and build them based on points – rather than being at the mercy of the dice and trying to find figures to fit whatever has been rolled up. But I also really like the idea of just rolling stuff up.

The tricky bit in the game is that I could see characters quickly switching up weapons as some are broken or lost and others are found, looted or otherwise gained and trying to find figures that match (to keep things all WYSIWYG) – while being somewhat consistent in the look of the character – could be challenging…

We will definitely be playing this again... at some point…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I’m not really sure what’s coming up soon. I haven’t been doing a lot of painting and I’m not really sure where we’re going game-wise.

I would like to get some sort of skirmish campaign going for the fall – but I’m not really sure what that might be – could be song of Song of Blades and Heroes/Song of Deeds and Glory, as I had originally planned, or now there’s the possibly of running a Mutants and Death Ray Guns campaign.

I’m also hoping to still run a Song of Shadows and Dust in the new year!

I was also thinking I should read Fear and Faith and Kooky Teenage Monster Hunters (which I picked up from Saber’s Edge a month or so ago) so I could run a big game on Halloween!

I would like to get back to painting, but have been having trouble carving out time to do so. The next couple weeks seem like they will be insanely busy – cleaning up the yard before it snows, making Halloween costumes, building a bunch of bookshelves… Perhaps I’ll find some time to do more painting in November!? The Girl has a pack of Female Zombie Survivors she’s excited to get working on to use as a Mutants and Death Ray Guns warband… 


  1. They're a good set of rules. I've used them before for Star Wars games and they suit that kind of heroic SF setting. Must dig them out again...

    1. Star Wars? Cool! I hadn't thought of that - but I do have a pile of old Grenadier/West End Games Star WArs figures - I could easily throw down a game for the kids with them!

      I had been thinking they might work well for a Firefly/Serenity-type Wild sWest/Sci-fi setting.

  2. Looks like a lot of fun was had. I've tried point-building bands for MDRG and it works well. I put together Predators, zombies, Terminator robots and Aliens. I ran a few head-to-head games, as well as a four-player free-for-all. Both methods of making warbands can certainly work with those rules. I'd have like to try out the campaign rules too, but it's really tough getting folks to stick with anything for very long any more .

    1. We will probably use the point-building system at some point. I don't mind using them when building around a theme and using the points to put a limit on what you can bring out... but I'm worried The Boy is already falling into the "I MUST BUILD A SUPER AWESOME KILLER WARBAND THAT NO ONE CAN DEFEAT" type of thinking - which I can not stand...

      I had been thinking I might try running it as a pseudo-role-playing tabletop adventure game which pits the player/survivors against GM driven baddies - the players are a band of human survivors after the machines/zombies have taken over...

      I know what you mean about it being tough getting folks to stick with anything. Actually I tend to flit about from thing to thing, but it's not so much that I have a lack of attention - it's more I can't get people to commit and show up to games - even when I'M the one supplying all the figures!? I plan a campaign, of four people I had hoped would show up only one does... a week after I'd originally planned to start the campaign... we play one game... and because there is a lack of enthusiasm to carry it forward, I end up looking for other things...