Mutant Test Drive

It’s hard to be a middle-aged wargamer who doesn’t own a table.  Living in limbo while searching for a decent place to live forced your humble host to choose between comfort (a sofa) and utility (a table).  Comfort won in a landslide.  Tonight, though, tonight things worked out such that the boy and I were able to steal away a corner of the living room to spread out a battlefield and take a freshly bought copy of Ganesha Games’ Mutants and Death Ray Guns for a little spin.

Humans on patrol.

Mutants and Death Ray Guns is a tidy little ruleset designed for skirmishing in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.  We chucked that setting and built two fairly evenly matched forces just to see how the bones of the system play out.  The rules are essentially the same as those used in a sister game called A Song of Blades and Heroes, which utilize a hybrid IGOUGO and activation system.

Orcs on a mission.
We set up a fight between two six-man (or six-orc) teams each with one leader and one specialist – a flamethrower for the humans and a light machine gun for the orcs.  After each game turn, we rolled a d6, added the turn that just ended, and if the result was 10 or more, whoever had the most guys inside the round park would be the winner. Nothing too fancy, but as I said, we wanted to try the basic game before we started to add in a bunch of different rules and exceptions. 
The battlefield.

The orcs hit the park first, with the humans setting up nice wide flanking moves, but the game was decided in turn two when the human flamethrower got hit hard and died a gruesome death.

That orc in the foreground is about to murder the yellow-suited
human on the next building over.  You can see another human
bleeding out to the right of the building, too.

We figured that the flamethrower got hit by an errant bullet and went up in a huge ball of fire.

The orcs make a run using a building for cover.

The game pretty much bogged down into a static firefight once the orcs got stuck in the park – which played to their advantage.  We found the game moved fast once you figured out the modifiers, but man, we spent four turns just shooting and rolling without a lot of maneuver.  That’s probably a fair representation of a real firefight, but it got to be a little tedious after a while.  Could have been our dice rolling, too.  Lot’s of low rolls and tie scores in this one.

Eventually, the humans made a rush for things, but they waited a little too long.  After turn six the game was over, with the orcs fully in charge.  Each side had lost two figures – one away from a forced morale check.

Power sword orc leader about to make minced human.

The whole game took just over an hour – fifteen minutes longer than it says on the tin – but we may be able to speed that up with a little more experience.  It also felt a little flat, but our forces were practically mirror images of each other.  A few more special abilities and differing skills and such (like a horde army against a small elite force) should freshen things up a bit more, too.

I’ll go into a little more depth on the rules and what we did right and wrong later.  For now, it’s good to be back even with a half-assed AAR like this one.