Author Topic: Unity City Ransom - Arcade Operations  (Read 739 times)

Mechman08

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Unity City Ransom - Arcade Operations
« on: 04 January 2024, 13:02:37 »
This scenario developed out of playing an unhealthy amount of Streets of Rage 2 as a kid, and as an adult asking my friends if they were “bad enough dudes to save the Star League.”

I had a lot of fun writing this up, but looking at the length of it I think I got a bit extravagant in the details, lol.

Here’s the TL;DR.  Find the Boss Fight Scenario in Arcade Ops.  Find two friends to play with.  Each chooses a 5/8/X Clan Heavy with a 3/4 pilot.  You run the Defenders.  Use up some of your old 4th Edition record sheet photocopies by throwing more than a company of IS light/medium fodder at them in groups of twos and threes.  Drop occasional repair and reload power-ups from destroyed mechs.  Force aggressive play by zapping players that take more than 6 turns to cross a map from orbit.  End on a cage match with a Clan Assault.

—Full Write Up—

Situation
From: [XXXXXXXXXX]
To: [XXXXXXXXXX]
Date: 3 January 3060
Subject: Possible Clan-Tech Intel Source?

One of our agents in the Operation BULLDOG task force sent us the master to a holodisc game called “Unity City Ransom.”  Before you roll your eyes too hard, hear me out.  This was developed by a software firm on Garstedt.  The master was finalized 29 April 3050; the date on it has a ComStar notary’s verigraph.  Garstedt fell to Clan Smoke Jaguar the following month.

Here’s the interesting point: the players operate Clan mechs.  And the weapons load-outs, performance curves, and reporting names perfectly match the real thing!  For multiple Mechs!  No one in the Inner Sphere had information this good at the time.

I’ve already tasked field agents to track down the development team.  If any are still alive, maybe we can get a lead on their source, and why the hell they put this info in a holodisc game.  In the meantime, I want your team to run crypto-analysis on the code.  See if you can find any hidden messages.

P.S.  I couldn’t resist booting the game up on the emulator.  The plot is drek, but the gameplay isn’t half bad.  Why don’t you grab a buddy and give it a go while the mainframe does it’s thing?  20 C-Bills says you can’t beat my high score.


Activating the emulator, you skip past the corporate logos to the Title Screen.  A series of laser blasts carve the words “Unity City Ransom” into an armor plate while dramatic music plays.

Pressing start and selecting “2P Mode” brings up Character Select.  After choosing, the screen fades to a backdrop of stars.  A slow text crawl begins.

The dead speak!  The Inner Sphere has heard a mysterious HPG broadcast, a threat of REVENGE in the sinister voice of the late STEPHAN AMARIS.  A MYSTERIOUS FORTRESS has emerged from the ruins of UNITY CITY on Terra.  ILKHAN LEO SHOWERS has dispatched a Star of MechWarriors to assault the fortress and end the Usurper once and for all!

The camera then pans over to a Clan Leopard launching 5 drop pods down to Terra.  There is a brief loading screen with the following hint text.

Destroy enemy Mechs as you advance on the Amaris Doom Fortress!  Collect power-ups to keep your Mechs in fighting condition and obtain reinforcements (Extra Lives).

Be quick, you’re being targeted by the Venusian Solar Laser!

Death to the Usurper!


After a quick transition, two Mechs are seen landing in a desert.

MISSION START!


—Game Master Eyes Only—
Game Setup
Unity City Ransom is based on the Boss Fight Scenario described in Arcade Operations p. 26, and uses the power-up rules described on p.6, with some additions noted in “Special Rules.”

Each player selects one unique mech (Character) to deploy from the Attacker list during setup.  The Game Master controls the Defender (Boss, Mini-Bosses, Mooks).  The size of the Defender’s forces have been set on the assumption that there are two Attacking players.

Attacker
Timberwolf Prime
     Adam (3/4)
Summoner Prime
     Blaze (3/4)
Mad Dog Prime
     Axel (3/4)
Ebon Jaguar Prime
     Gilbert (3/4)
Nova Prime
     Eddie (3/4)

Attackers enter from their home edge at the start of Turn 1.

Defender
The Defenders consist of barbarians from across the Inner Sphere who have flocked to the Usurper.  These units are deployed as described in “Zones” below.

Final Boss:
Dire Wolf “Widowmaker”
     Stephan Amaris (2/2)

Mini-Bosses:
Jenner JR7-D (3/4)
Annihilator ANH-2A (3/4)

Mooks:
2x Commando COM-2D (4/5)
1x Clint CLNT-2-3T (4/5)
2x Panther PNT-9R (4/5)
2x Hermes II HER-2S (4/5)
2x JagerMech JM6-S (4/5)
2x Vindicator VND-1R (4/5)
2x Whitworth WTH-1 (4/5)

Zones
This scenario uses scrolling map sheets, going from South to North.  For orientation, “South” is defined as the narrow edge of the map sheet near the Battletech logo.  “North” is the opposite narrow edge.  The South edge of each Zone is placed touching the North edge of the previous.  For initial setup, place the map sheets for Zone 1 and 2 and arrange the Defender’s units as noted.  The Attacker’s home edge is the current southernmost map edge.  The Defender’s home edge is the current northernmost map edge.

Power-ups listed next to a unit will drop in the hex the unit occupies when it is destroyed.  Power-ups with a listed location immediately appear on the map sheet when it is placed.

Zone 1: Steiner Sands
Sand Drifts #1
0201>S - Commando COM-2D
0801>S - Commando COM-2D
0901>S - Clint CLNT-2-3T // Reload

Zone 2: Draconis Desolation
Badlands #1
0501>SW - Panther PNT-9R
1103>SE - Panther PNT-9R
0802>SW - Jenner JR7-D* // Partial Repair
0710 - Extra Life
*Mini-Boss.

Zone 3: Marik Moraines
Washout #2
2604>SE- Hermes II HER-2S // Reload
2705>SE - Hermes II HER-2S
1907 - Extra Life

Zone 4: Davion Delves
Mines #1
0202>S- JagerMech JM6-S
1401>SW - JagerMech JM6-S
0305>SE -Annihilator ANH-2A** // Full Repair
1107 - Extra Life
0305 - Secret Mech event
1103 - Boss Taunt event
**Mini-Boss.  Will not leave it’s starting location unless it gets line of sight on an Attacker unit, or is attacked.  It may change facing as normal, however.

Zone 5: Liao Lakes
Lakes
0406>SE - Vindicator VND-1R // Partial Repair
0707>SE - Vindicator VND-1R // Reload
1009 - Extra Life

Zone 6: Amaris Doom Fortress
Forward Base
0407>SE - Whitworth WTH-1
1208>SW - Whitworth WTH-1
0806>S - Dire Wolf “Widowmaker”***
0201 - Surviving Zone 1 Mooks
0301 - Surviving Zone 2 Mooks
1504 - Surviving Zone 3 Mooks
0816 - Surviving Zone 4 Mooks
0717 - Surviving Zone 5 Mooks
***Final Boss.  Makes Final Offer after both Whitworths are destroyed; see Special Rules.  After the Final Offer event is resolved, Amaris deploys to his designated hex (randomly displacing any units in the way) prior to the next Initiative Phase.  Amaris summons any surviving or withdrawn Mooks from previous Zones.  These enter at the corresponding hexes noted at the beginning of the Movement Phase.

Objectives and Scoring
Scoring is per the Universal Score-Keeping Table in Arcade Operations p.24.

Primary Objective:
1. Destroy Final Boss

Secondary Objectives:
1. Destroy Zone 2 Mini-Boss
2. Destroy Zone 4 Mini-Boss

Rankings:
Minimum Score required for
S-Rank: 1366 points
A-Rank: 1365 points
B-Rank: 1000 points
C-Rank: 730 points
D-Rank: 200 points
F-Rank: -200 points

Special Rules
No Going Back
If during the End Phase all Attacker units have crossed into the next Zone, remove the previous Zone from play.  Any Defender units remaining on the removed map are treated as Withdrawn.  Withdrawn Mooks that are still mobile may be summoned to Zone 6; Mini-bosses do not return.  Power-ups left behind are lost.

Before the subsequent Initiative Phase, place the next Zone in sequence, its Defender units, and power-ups.

Mook Initiative
“The minions of the Usurper are no match for the Children of Kerensky!”  Mooks do not count for determining initiative order.  They always move first and declare attacks first during Movement, Weapon, and Physical phases.  All Boss units follow normal initiative rules.

Fearful Defenders
“The cowards wait to see if their comrades can defeat us!”  The Defender’s units will not leave their starting positions until one of the following conditions are met:
1. An Attacker unit enters their assigned Zone.
2. An attack is declared against a Defender unit assigned to their Zone.
3. All Defenders in the prior Zone are in Forced Withdrawal or destroyed.

Defender units may not choose to leave the Zone they are deployed in except when under Forced Withdrawal.

Forced Withdrawal
All Mooks follow standard Forced Withdrawal Rules until Zone 6.  Units in Zone 6 fight to the death.  Attackers and Bosses may not withdraw.

Multi-Life
Players start with no Extra Lives, but gain one each time an Extra Life power-up is collected.  When a Player’s unit is destroyed (or they choose eject from it), they may use an Extra Life to respawn as one of the unused Characters.  On the turn following destruction of their unit, prior to Initiative Phase, the controlling player places their new Character with any facing desired in one of the following locations:
1. Any valid, unoccupied location within 3 hexes of where their last Character was lost.
2. Any valid, unoccupied location within 3 hexes of another Attacker unit.

Faction Locked Power-ups
All power-ups are faction locked to the Attacker and can only be collected by that side’s units.  Defender units may pass through hexes containing a power-up, but may not end their movement in such hexes unless displaced there by a skid, domino effect, or Attacker action.

Expiring Power-ups
Power-ups (including those placed with a new Zone) have a fixed lifespan and disappear in the sixth End Phase after they have been placed on the map.

Hurry Up!
The Defender’s Venusian Solar Laser is targeting the Attackers!  Use a d6 as a countdown timer, reducing its value by one each End Phase.  If all Attacker units have not crossed into the newest Zone before the timer reaches zero, the hex of the Attacker unit closest to their home edge (if tied, choose randomly) is hit by the Venusian Solar Laser.  All units and terrain features in that hex are instantly vaporized, and the underlying terrain level is reduced by 6.  The timer resets any time an Attacker unit is lost (destroyed or ejected) or a new Zone is placed.  The timer stops once all Attacker units have entered Zone 6.

Final Offer
Amaris: “You are mighty warriors indeed!  Become my Warlord, and we shall rule the galaxy!”
Player 1         Player 2
Yes.                Yes. <-
 No! <-            No!

Amaris will offer the Attackers a chance to join him in ruling the Inner Sphere.  The Game Master should have the Players secretly write down their choice before revealing the result.  The individual player responses will determine what happens next.

All players respond “No!”
Amaris: “You have resolve.  Good.  Enough talk, have at you!”
Amaris deploys to battle the players as described in Zones.

All players respond “Yes.”
Amaris: “You have ambition!  But I do not need two Warlords...”
All Extra Lives are forfeited.  All players on the Attacker side immediately become hostile to each other.  Roll Initiative and fight it out until only one remains.  Player Characters destroyed during this event drop a Full Repair power-up and count towards the Attacker’s score.
Amaris: “Hahaha!  Well done!  But... I could never trust one who betrays his friends so easily.  Die!”
Amaris deploys to fight the remaining player as described in Zones.

Players disagree.
Amaris: “You have ambition!  But it seems your friend does not share your vision...”
All Extra Lives are forfeited.  All players immediately become hostile to each other.  Roll Initiative and fight it out until only one remains.  Player units destroyed during this event drop a Full Repair power-up and count towards the Attacker’s score.
(“Yes” Wins) Amaris: “Hahaha!  Well done!  But... I could never trust one who betrays his friends so easily.  Die!”
(“No” Wins) Amaris: “Bah!  Useless weakling!  I will finish this myself!”
Amaris deploys to fight the remaining player as described in Zones.

Secret Mech
If an active (not shutdown or KO’d) Player unit occupies Zone 4, 0305 in the End Phase they trigger the following event.

You find a Clan Mech held within a glowing stasis field.  You smash the field’s generator with your mech’s foot.

Max: “Thank you for freeing me from the Usurper’s trap!  Allow me to join your quest!”

Attackers gain an Extra Life and access to the following Character:
Turkina Prime
     Max (3/4)

Boss Taunt
If an active (not shutdown or KO’d) Player unit occupies Zone 4, 0305 in the End Phase they trigger the following event.

You enter a cavern.  A hole has been knocked in the ceiling by a crashed, Mech-sized drop pod.  The pod is empty.  Carved into the wall with a Mech’s laser is the message: “I’ll be keeping this one.  Hahaha! -Amaris”

Load Bearing Boss
The scenario immediately ends when Amaris’ Mech is Destroyed.  The Game Master knocking over any remaining Mooks with Street Fighter II style slow motion groans is suggested, but not required.  However, these Mooks do not count towards the Attacker’s final score.

Aftermath
Total up points and award the Attacker’s their rank.

If any Player accepted Amaris’ Final Offer, and the surviving Player subsequently defeats Amaris, congratulate them on the beginning of their reign as First Lord.

Comments
I am somewhat unsatisfied with the title “Unity City Ransom.”  If anyone has a suggestion with a bit more panache I’m all ears.

Speaking of ears, I still need to pick out some good Zone BGM Tracks for game day.

In any case, barring some sudden disaster, my friends and I will play this on Friday.  Looking forward to reporting back!

Daryk

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Re: Unity City Ransom - Arcade Operations
« Reply #1 on: 04 January 2024, 18:21:29 »
"Unity City Ransom" has too many syllables... how about "Star Lord"? ;D

Mechman08

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Re: Unity City Ransom - Arcade Operations
« Reply #2 on: 04 January 2024, 18:25:54 »
Hmm... not sure yet.  I keep coming back to “Amaris Coup 2: Electric Boogaloo.”

Daryk

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Re: Unity City Ransom - Arcade Operations
« Reply #3 on: 04 January 2024, 19:02:57 »
That would beg the question of what was "Amaris Coup 1"? ;)