Friday, March 31, 2017

Another Module Suitability Review - The Free City of Krakow

Taken from the Twilight: 2000 Wikia Page, Original Cover Painting is IP of GDW/FFE
The Free City of Krakow was the first adventure module published by GDW for Twilight: 2000, and it was an unconventional one. It had a lot going for it. A mcguffin that could change the post-apocalyptic balance of power, a damsel in distress, a helicopter up for grabs, all set in a city barely holding it all together, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding.

The module was, in my opinion, Casablanca meets Mad Max. And it pulled it off well, starting the players off on a classic trilogy of adventures known to Twilight: 2000 players  as "The Vistula Trilogy". 

It even had it's own Cafe Americain, with Adam Rataj stepping in for Rick. As for Victor Lazlo? Methinks that Israeli spy, Tanya, does a very good job there. 

It was post-apocalyptic espionage noir, and it was brilliant.

But from a miniatures standpoint, at first glance, it may not seem to have much to offer?

Um, wrong.

Skirmish Game Possibilities

There are a ton of possibilities to be found here. Some of the ones that immediately come to mind are?

  • Gaming out what happens when the handover of Reset inevitably goes wrong. Too many gunshots and the city ORMO comes down on everyone like a ton of bricks. It would lend itself well to a "cat-and-mouse" sort of game where an M-16 is a heavy weapon!
  • American mercs get hired to rescue  Krutzba's mistress, trouble is..either the KGB has tipped off the ORMO, or they are coming themselves to grab her.
  • The leadership struggle has come to a head, and one of the two titular leaders of Krakow has hired some American mercenaries to kill the other. (This then leads to the larger game idea below).
  • A group of Americans gets it into their heads to steal the city's Mi-17 helicopter.
All of these are good ideas, and are really the tip of the iceberg with this module. There are others mentioned, and a quick look at the module is all you need. Many of these scenarios lend themselves well to the Osprey rules set Black Ops.

Possibilities for a Larger Game

At first blush, Free City of Krakow doesn't lend itself well towards larger battles, but there is one underlying idea that could be developed well.

The core of Krakow's economy is to put it mildly, slave labor known as robotniki, and they are treated poorly. It wouldn't take much for an enterprising marauder band to stir up a city wide uprising. At first glance, this would not seem like much of a game, unarmed slaves against a well-armed city militia, but one thing that can be found somewhat easily in Twilight:2000 is arms. And any smart marauder band contemplating this idea is going to find the KGB, who would love to bring down the Krakow regime and restore "proper socialist order".

Throw in some American stragglers stuck with the aforementioned mcguffin, and done right, you can have a memorable large game for a party or convention ready to go.

Terrain might be an issue, as seen here:
Taken from, Original IP is from GDW/FFE

Even so, however, just building the old walled city in the center should suffice and it would not be too difficult to pull off in 6mm. 15s and 20s might be a bit more challenging, but not impossible.

What really makes it all doable is the detailed ORBATs laid out in the module. It makes 1:1 games a snap, and conversion to 1:5 rules fairly easy as well. 

In short, this is a pretty good module to use for miniatures game fodder, and it is something that makes one realize just how rich the Twilight: 2000 milleu really is.

Next time, we cover Pirates of the Vistula!

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