Sunday, March 9, 2014

Time Traveling Modern Soldiers!?

That title right? Doesn't tell you a thing does it? Good thing I'm going tot tell you all about it. The basic idea came from a few games I ran in college a few years ago, then I was talking with my current group about it: what if you sent modern Tier One special forces back in time to fight in World War Two with their modern armor, equipment, and weapons.

So you're probably wondering how that seems like a good idea. Well stop it. It was to test the effectiveness (the best way an RPG can...) or tactics. .. Alright, one of my players called it on the spot "war nerd the RPG." But c'mon, if you were playing in WWII settings on, say, the Pacific theatre and heard "BANZAI!" from the next tree line, you'd want an AA-12 automatic shotgun too. Plus I wanted to show that the biggest advantages the players would have was not their modern weapons but their tactics, gear, and armor, in comparison to the adaptability that the troops had then, more so then now. Here are the characters I had:
  • an Australian SASR pointman
  • a US Navy DEVGRU demolitions expert
  • a US OGA support gunner
  • and an Israeli Mossad medic/marksman
They all had suppressed weapons, Land Warrior Systems GPNVG-18s, modern plate carriers and ballistic plates, high tech gear, and modern camouflage patterns. So they looked like badasses and likley the scariest thing ever to the Wehrmacht they ran into back then.

Was ist diese Schei├če?!
They also had a couple NPCs with them, a "team leader" Delta operator and a Russian Alfa-group Spetsnaz acting as a pointman. Most everyone carried a few frags, at least a flashbang, a hatchet, knife, or some kind of melee weapon. During the session they met with JSOC Command and were sent back to make sure some dude didn't die in the Spanish Civil was in 1937, an American volunteer. The players were worried about paradoxes and the plausibility. As for paradoxes, I wasn't going heavy with them, as that's too much planning and takes focus off of what I want the game to be about. As for plausibility? Because Reasons. But mostly it was Einstein and President Hoover, as good of a reason as any.

So did the team steam roll some Germans. Yeah, we also find out that an Israeli sharpshooter with medical training sent back to fight the Nazis calls for some disturbing moments. Like called shots to the the windpipe so they bleed out and drown in their own blood. Yeah, shit got really real on this one. Also a double tap from a suppressed 9mm might not kill an average person in Savage Worlds if you also have cold loaded ammunition and don't roll well on damage. Generally that wouldn't be a big deal in combat, but in the case of the SASR pointman that finds himself the first man into a room with a squad of sleeping infantry, then it becomes a big deal. Knives still work well however. An MG34 can best be rendered unable to fire by shooting off the trigger, and a short barreled M79 (or "pirate gun" as I've heard it referred to in a book about DEVGRU, fun fact) makes a good mortar.

But the most important lessons learned that session where:
  • speed and stealth are more important for success than rate of fire or magazine capacity.
  • apparently Level IV body armor inside a kevlar plate carrier stops an 8mm Mauser (7.92x57mm) round at point blank range.
  • a Ju-87 Stuka is scary no matter how much armor you have
  • blowing up a house blows your cover, and the German guy shooting at you.
  • if the bomb removes a leg and he's still shooting at the Germans, he's a keeper.
  • FMJ 7.62x51mmNATO rounds can be used in concert with suppressive fire through the corner of a house, and that it scares people from the '30s
  • A claymore will remove the front of a '30s Spanish house
 Now you may be wondering if the team was able to save the guy? The answer is yes. How, you ask? The decided that he needed to be wounded and removed from the battlefield he was on to survive as the battle escalated quickly (cue Ron Burgundy). So what did they do?
This all basically happened. But they saved the guy with that last one. No joking.
Then they had to get back to their time under artillery barrage, infantry assault, and a Stuka dropping bombs. When they made it the personnel in "modern times" (the game's present time is 2020 AD) were assembled to clap on their successful mission only to see the Russian with no legs, and the other five wounded. The time machine was bloody as the place they just left. They killed at least a platoon, by themselves. Grenades and assault rifles help things.

No comments:

Post a Comment