Issue: 14
System: Hell by Starlight
Publisher: Wessex Games

Napoleon Buggles & the Vampire Horde
by Matthew Hartley

In the early days of the March of Man, many strange and terrifying encounters with other sentient races occurred. Outstanding amongst the records of these meetings is the tale of Napoleoon Boggles and the Vampire Horde.

Introduction

In accordance with Earth Council policy, following initial atmospher tests and probe landings, a small party of explorers would be deposited on a potentially inhabitable planet to investigate further. Glaxos IV - an essentially Earth-type world with one equatorial land mass covered in dense foliage - received the party of Prof. Sloane, six sickly-looking scientific underlings, his orphan granddaughter, Kimberly (aged 12½), and the 'Bots. The 'Bots were the creation of the Prof., who was concerned that his charge might become fractious. The three 3-foot high robotic playmates superficially resemble a chicken, a kangaroo, and a teddy bear. The bear - Napoleon Buggles by name - being the last made is the most intelligent of the three and acts as their despotic leader.

The explorers landed several hours ago in a clearing and are in the process of unpacking supplies.

Suddenly, a mass of local fauna busts forth from the undergrowth, evidently not about to engage in meaningful conversation. The explorers scramble for their armaments. Under Napoleon's direction the 'Bots pick up tools lying around them...

The Explorers

Frankly, the explorers have been extremely careless in their defence arrangements, setting up neither sensors nor even human look-outs. This is the fault of the autocratic Prof. Sloane, who totally dominates his staff, leaving them cowed and in fear of him. They at least brought their guns with them. Kimberly is, unfortunately, much like her grandad.

Prof. Sloane's Group
Aristo
Reaction points total: 15
Prof. Sloane Green Partial Flak Pistol
Bill Normal " " SMG
Raymond Veteran " " Shotgun
Tracy Green " " SMG
Move as Green
 
Kimberly Sloane's Group
Aristo
Reaction points total: 15
Kimberly Green Partial Flak Screwdriver(Hand Wpn.)
Brenda Normal " " SMG
Nigel Normal " " SMG
John Veteran " " Shotgun
Move as Green
 
Napoleon's 'Bots
'Bot
Reaction Points total: 21
Napoleon Buggles the bear Veteran Complete power armour composite Chainsaw (Spec Cls-Cbt)
Chris the Chicken Normal Complete power armour composite Hammer (Spec Cls-Cbt)
Clive the Kangaroo Normal Complete power armour composite Axe (Spec Cls-Cbt)
Move as Green
 
'Bot Reaction
M S En.Veh. F.S.of En Under Art V
a a a a r -

The aim of the explorers is to keep the most human members alive.

The Vampires and extras

In happier days the vampires - marooned for a millenium - would have come up with some cunning plan, unfortunately not having a good pint in centuries has blunted their tactical planning somewhat. However they have at their disposal the unfortunate inhabitants they have been "milking", and whist not exactly Special Forces they could make useful cannon- fodder.

The Vampires
Vamp.
Reaction points total: 22
Vampire Veteran None Claws & fangs (Spec Cls-Cbt)
Vampire Veteran None "
Vampire Veteran None "

Each vampire can act independently of the others.

Vampires have three states - "human", bat, and vapour. It takes a vampire one turn to change in or out of a bat form from human, or two to change to a vapour.It takes one turn to change from a bat into a vapour or vice versa.During the change the vampire counts the most favourable armour type of the two states and the least favourable movement distance. In human form the vampire moves as Normal, as a bat up to 12 inches per turn, or up to six inches as a vapour. In human form the vampire is unarmoured, as a vapour it cannot be damaged, as a bat it can only be attacked by burst effect weapons (ie shotguns) and then at a minus one dice shift. Vampires can only attack in human form, but count as superbly trained.

Vampire reactions.
M S En.Veh. F.S.of En Under Art V
6 a a l a l a
5 a l l a l a
4 a e l l h l
3 a e h h h h
2 a c h r r r
1 a c r r r r

The Hordes

The effect of the vampire venom on these unfortunates has been to rob them of their "higher senses", their spirt if you like. They have been reduced to the intellectual level of animals, this does not mean that they are "mindless zombies" in the classic fantasy mould of the undead, rather they are cunning, unpitying, and resourceful ( to, say, the level of the player controlling them!). They have their own reaction table:

M S En.Veh. F.S.of En Under Art V
6 a l l l l l
5 a l l l c l
4 a l c l c l
3 a c c l r l
2 a c r c r l
1 a r r c r l

There are 16 such creatures in four equal groups, all have the same stats:

Objective

The vampires want to capture some of the humans, by infecting them in melee and dragging them off into the undergrowth.

The map

Special rules

Deployment

Victory conditions.

As a rule I loath formal victory conditions for games, since I have found that they tend to lead to extremely artificial situations where players will only act within the straight-jacket of rigidly defined victory conditions. Whilst this does mean that one side can claim a game victory it doesn't really seem to accord with reality, where invariably both sides claim the honours! I suggest that players end the game when both are agreed it has come to a natural conclusion.