Thursday, April 27, 2017

Module Suitability Review - Allegheny Uprising

Image taken from Twilight:2000 Wiki, IP is GDW/FFE

Allegheny Uprising is and isn't your typical Twilight: 2000 adventure. It is, as usual, a post-apocalyptic road picture, and it has a McGuffin (a lost strategic reserve stockpile), but it also has something you don't often see in a Twilight: 2000 adventure. It has a plot best described as "wheels within wheels."

You have just within the CivGov team alone, an undercover CIA agent, a budding traitor who will sell the party out to set himself up as the new power in Western PA (which considering that the is a former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, says a lot about the state of Maryland in Twilight: 2000), and an incompetent buffoon who thinks he is a military genius. Lots going on there. No wonder Rodger Caldwell (the player's patron with CivGov) hired a MilGov team to take care of this.

Next, you have a marauder chieftain (with the oh-so-friendly moniker of the "White Death") shamelessly using an old, vulnerable member of the House of Representatives for his own ends (namely overruning Eastern Pennsylvania). But what said chieftain doesn't know is that said congressman knows where this little supply stockpile is. Oh yeah, this has the potential to go sideways really fast, no?

Then there is the not so small matter of a war brewing between the militias in the mountains of Eastern PA, and the marauder "armies" (more like armed mobs) formed from desperate refugees that are preparing to go to war over the remaining food in Pennsylvania. Seems the harvest won't feed more than 20% of the total surviving populace this year. Yeah, of such things, bitter wars are made.

Something that an online friend pointed out to me after I wrote this? This has got to be one of the grimmest Twilight: 2000 adventures ever written. The fact is, hunger makes people do very desperate things, among them, contemplate genocide. If the heroes do not play their cards right, this could very well happen between the mountain dwellers and the the marauders. The only question would be, who would be the victims?

But how does this do for miniature wargaming fodder?

Skirmish Scenarios

The potential for skirmish scenarios is replete here. There are simply so many small unit actions going on between the marauders and the militias that their skirmishes alone could fill a scenario book by themselves. The main issue is to make sure the scenarios, as I mentioned in my Armies of the Night review, do not become "same-same".  But there are some interesting ideas nonetheless:
  • A hired team of European veterans, makes a raid on the "abandoned shopping mall" at Monroeville to rescue Congressman Fitzpatrick. Building a shopping mall is daunting, but it would make a great convention game! (and nice small shout out to "Dawn of the Dead"! )
  • Our small band of heroes has to fight off a New American ambush somewhere near the MD line. The trouble is, they can't have anyone taken prisoner, or New America might find out what is going on and send their own expedition.
  • The same hired team of European vets decides to launch an attack on the White Death's personal encampment just as he launches the final assault on the mountains. 

Larger Scale Scenarios

Allegheny Uprising really lends itself very well to larger scale scenarios. The armies the White Death can put together are staggering, but badly equipped and trained (some men in his army have little more than knives, clubs, and crossbows). But they are motivated, motivated by sheer hunger, and hatred of the mountain dwellers, whom they believe have huge stockpiles of food. The truth is, they don't but The White Death has them believing otherwise, your morale rules should reflect that. Some interesting ideas include:

  • The White Death has beaten CivGov to the stockpile, but Civgov isn't about to just let the marauders have it. The 228th has some advantages of firepower and training, but the White Death sure has the numbers.
  • A campaign game of the White Death's attempts to force the mountains and lead his army to the food that doesn't really exist. You might want to have rules for rebellions that will break out in Western Pennsylvania once the White Death is preoccupied with subduing the mountain dwellers.
  • CivGov's cache has become well known to everyone. Mountain militias and marauders alike have all allied to get the stockpile for themselves, trouble is, will they wait till the battle is over to betray their "allies"? And how long can CivGov hold the stockpile? 
That's just a few thoughts I have had with this particular adventure. Some final thoughts are, if you do the larger scale games, numbers on the White Death's "army" aren't there, neither are they really there for the militias, but you can fudge it nicely for purposes of a game.

As for figures, the suggestions I made in my Armies Of The Night Review still hold up, but with a higher concentration of civilian weapons. 

Next up, a review of Airlords of The Ozarks, or neo-nazis with dirigibles, ultralights, and ALCMs. Oh my!  

2 comments:

  1. Well done, again. One thing's for sure: most vehicles will be civilian, unless the marauders have found any Brink's armored cars or similar vehicles. Or civilian trucks with "hillbilly" armor.

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  2. Nice post!
    For a mall, if you're playing in 15mm there is the old "Hannah Montana Mall" game that works great. We've used it for All Things Zombie! A little paint and it's even better (if you're not a fan of pink, that is!)

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