Saturday, May 17, 2014

Pursue and Destroy - Amber Zone Reviews # 10

Amber Zone: Pursue & Destroy, by Frank Chadwick from JTAS #7
Check out the series introduction here. 

This is going to happen to you. You have been warned.

Location: the planet Pynchan (Foreven/Fessor 0315)

Patron: Enoc su-Krang, would-be revolutionary, hired the PC's mercenary armor unit to fight against the Pynchan government. It did not end well for him.

Mission: It started as a mercenary striker mission, fighting the government forces alongside the rebels and other mercenary units. Now the mission is to make it to the starport in time to catch a ship off-planet.

Complications: The revolution has been crushed, su-Krang is dead, and all manner of war crimes have been blamed on the PCs. The armed forces of the planet are on their trail, and plan to shoot first & maybe ask questions later.

Payoff: The original contract that brought the PCs to Pynchan was rendered void when the rebellion fell apart. Now the only payoff they can expect is that they lived to fight another day. That's the way it goes in this business, buddy.

Strong Points: Combining high stakes and a free-fire zone, this adventure will be all action. The referee should keep the tempo high, giving the players no time to rest or plot – just keep moving or die. The scenario lists no time-table for enemy encounters, and it implies that the supply of opfor vehicles is effectively unlimited. By contrast, the PCs vehicles and ammunition are very limited. The referee can therefore provide all the challenge the PCs can handle – or crush them under waves of tanks. It looks like this adventure can be run using the basic Traveller combat rules, with the new weapons described in Mercenary. Using Azhanti High Lightning or Striker will probably work better, though.

Weak Points: The vehicles are given combat stats for AHL, which is not easily convertible to basic Traveller. Referees without either AHL or Striker will be challenged to make the vehicle combat workable. On the flip side of this, the stats for the vehicles involved make the PC's problem trivial. They have grav vehicles that are much faster than their pursuers [194 mps vs 28 mps], and grav vehicles can fly well above the height at which most ground vehicles can fire at them. Any given missile launcher might have one round to acquire, lock and fire on the PC's before their speed takes them out of range. Plus, at the speeds the PCs can make, they will cover the stated distance to the starport in an hour. They're essentially free & clear unless the first OPFOR they meet gets a lucky shot and downs one the PC's vehicles. Then they've got a very long trek on foot with armored troops combing the hills for them.

What I'd change: I might make the distance to the starport a lot further, so it will take longer in game time and make it more likely they will encounter resistance. Maybe there are other mercenary units still on the run that could link up with the PCs for support. Maybe some revolutionaries are still fighting, and could use the PC's aid.

In My Traveller Universe: su-Krang's revolution is taking place on the planet Chodra (5 Worlds-American 0601)

Pynchan/Chodra map

It's a long way back from here.

The PCs start on the right side of the map, at the square marker. The symbols on the map are cities, known positions of military forces and dedicated SAM sites. The Starport is on the left edge, at the starship symbol.

This map was created by me, using Hexographer ( It may be used or modified without restriction.

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