Wreck of the Pandora

I am planning a game for Call to Arms later in 2019. This weekend I am looking to test the concept.

I am using Ash Barkers Last Days rules in a scifi setting. The original concept and several mechanism are drawn from the old Ares Magazine game Wreck of the Pandora that I played about 40 years ago.

The background to the game is that the Biological Survey Ship Pandora relayed a distress signal but now is not responding to communications. Several parties have sent teams to investigate. These could be commercial salvage crews, bands of corporate enforcers, regular military units.

The objective of the rescuers is in no particular order, recover the ship, save the crew, recover any biological specimens, recover navigation and planetary analysis data. Rescue teams may cooperate or compete.

This initial game will test the concept and see if it works. It is easy to think that the ideas are good but in practice they might not work.

I made the outline of the ship out of my Death Ray Designs. This includes both the original set I got for Necromunda and the expansion set I got for Christmas. Both sets are compatible and the large number of doors makes for a great layout with a central modular corridor with rooms on either sides. 

The new large windows have acrylic inserts so they make great windows.

I was trying to make the shape like the hull outline of the game but that meant the 2 sections wide airlock didn't line up with the 3 section wide main hull. I figured it out later that I should have offset the front section.





Here are Alan's Weyland Utani commandos.

My Justice Department team are here to rescue the crew and ensure that no illegal xeno biological immigrants end up in Mega City One. There is a Judge Dredd and Aliens crossover so this is entirely possible.


Here is a selection of models we could use in the game. There are some Aliens from Prodos games, some Judges from Warlord games, some Rogue Stars models from North Star and some Star Wars Imperial Assault from FFG.










Here are the Justice department team getting ready to enter the ship.













 We enter the ship and find the room empty the adjacent section of corridor is also empty.

The next section of the corridor contains 3 crew members and a Xenomorph. It looks like the two surviving crew were trying to drag their injured comrade into med lab when they were attacked.
The Weyland Utani commandos take over the after part of the ship Alan consistently rolled low for his discoveries so he only encountered a couple of aliens in the back part of the ship.
The WU smart gunner blazes away and kills the first alien but makes so much noise that it attracts another.
The Alien is blasted back to the end of the corridor pinned up against the drive room wall and then exploded.











After dealing with the Aliens the WU commandos spread out in the aft section. They find the maintenance bay and the specimen securing areas and the Cryo pod but no survivors or aliens.









An Alien emerges from the Bridge module and makes it into contact with the smart gunner.


 The Judges discover the crew quarters but unfortunately someone naughty has been sleeping in their beds. The judges deal with that threat quickly
At first glance the Survey room is only inhabited by only a single alien. but first glances can be deceiving.

 The Judges open fire on the alien in the survey room.
 Only to wake up another alien which had been sleeping in the crew quarters.
 An alien warrior uncurls from its hiding place in the corner of the survey room. An infant is also lurking in the bottom corner.

The medical judge has carried the unconscious crewman into the medbay accompanied by the other two crew members so the judges can protect them.
The Judges end up in hand to hand combat with the aliens. While the guns might be ineffective, a trusty boot knife to the thorax puts them down for good.
The corridor is almost cleared, with only one more alien being awoken from the crew quarters.
 The WU commandos take control of the Bridge of the Pandora and bring the ship back under control, they also download secret company plans and several pieces of equipment.
With ammo running low and being unable to fire without hitting his comrades the med judge leaps into the melee with the aliens.
 The teamwork of the judges overcomes the ferocity of the aliens.
With the ship back under control and the incriminating data removed from the computer database the WU commandos widraw to their drop ship pursued by a last alien.
 The Judges deal with the last alien. At least the knives are silent and close combat doesn't generate any noise to attract any more.

With the surviving crew rescued and the ship posing no danger to navigation of the space lanes. the Judged withdraw.







The WU commandos evacuate to their ship having achieved their objectives.













The game was lots of fun, the aliens were a bit to immune to gunfire and a bit too easy in HTH combat. So not the sort of colonial style warfare you saw in the movies. I might also introduce rules for the aliens acid blood when they die. I think I need to increase the number of items in each room and or make the room contents variable but reflective of the type of room it is.

The aliens appearing from the closest point out of LOS produced the effect of putting the teams under immediate pressure and no room that wasn't under observation was safe from an appearing alien. Even then an alien could appear from behind a corner or door frame.

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