18 Dec 2000. Southern New Jersey. Long Range Patrol.
Objective: You will be escorting five 2½-ton trucks bearing civilians transporting from Cape May Naval Base to Ft Dix. Pick-up and deliver mail in friendly towns. Meet with local authorities.
You’ll be assigned 4 HMMWVs. These are something new they’ve been working on recently: Uparmored. This is local work, tacked-on from supplies of sheet steel and salvage armor.
Your mission is akin to a naval Freedom of Navigation exercise. Make your way to Ft Dix. You are not to fire unless fired upon. You are not to interfere in local business that doesn’t bar your passage. The “Pineys” as they are called are fiercely anti-government, so conflict is very possible. You are only to use force proportionate to the provocation; negotiate and bypass peaceful resistance where possible. This is Cape May’s backyard.
Start thinking about how you’d assemble a patrol of 4 uparmored humvees, formation, who’s scouting, how far ahead (in terms of combat rounds).
Uparmored Humvee: Toughness 16(4)
Requisition available for weapon mounts:
Mk19: one available
M2HB: one available
M60s can fill out remaining mounts
Case of dynamite for blasting obstructions.
At last minute, one of the Humvees was switched out. Engine trouble. A BTR-70 was substituted, from God-knows-where. Perfectly fine with Moss’ team, as they were quite familiar with BTRs back in Europe. Alas, the main weapon was missing, so the team would just use the gunports.
The Pine Barrens is heavily wooded, and often marshy, so off-road may not be possible at times.
You will be given candy & medicine to distribute to locals.
A Rock in Troubled Waters (Challenge Magazine 42 – DTRPG) is a gold mine in its 9 pages for beginning your Twilight 2000 America Campaign. Cape May, New Jersey has been designated a naval base, and takes pressure off of stricken Norfolk – where most Going Home evacuees end up. Not only is Cape May developed, but all of the south half of New Jersey as well. Plus a glimpse of what remains of the US Navy.
All the “troops” are actually State Police.
Inmates are everywhere in chain-gangs, out in the cold, clearing land, gathering firewood, building walls from stones. It’s a grim cold place.
The SP guards are mounted on horses.
Warden Lewandowski (Club King “Brutal”; Heart 6 “Moderately Sociable”)
He tells Moss that he’ll take prisoners off his hands, “we have a Judge on the premises for a speedy trial”, and Moss’ crew will collect bounties for each prisoner handed over.
Moss listened to the offer but was noncommittal.
Outriders on horses meet Moss and crew. PE has an outbreak of dysentery.
Moss’ convoy bypassed Port Elizabeth.
Moss was supposed to meet with the mayor of Millville, but he and the town leaders were nowhere to be found. Later, Mayor Dagwall meets Moss out of sight, tells of trouble. A well-armed religious cult. Been recruiting townsfolk. Live on a compound outside town. Secretive. Dagwall asks Moss to break up the cult, but to spare brainwashed townsfolk.
Moss told him he’d do the best he could, and took 3 of his vehicles over to the compound.
First time I’ve ever used this map from the Twilight 2000 2e box set.
Moss and Wojciech are getting some quality time on this mission. They’ve also been assigned a sergeant, plus one Experienced and 3 Novices per vehicle. In game, this is a training mission for a lot of these fresh-out-of-inadequate-bootcamp green troops.
When they arrived, Moss called out over a megaphone to disband their illegal group, and any who wished could leave the compound now in peace.
Immediately, chaos erupted. Two men in the field began running for a pickup. Moss had his BTR smash into the truck.
The Savage Worlds combat was interesting. It quickly became apparent that the uparmored Humvees were impervious to small arms fire due to the Heavy Armor attribute given to any armored vehicle – so not even a SW “exploding dice” damage roll was going to get through. Except the M2HB, which Savage Worlds assigns the Heavy Armor quality: It can punch through if the damage roll goes high.
We didn’t finish the fight this session, going slow as we learned the combat rules and their flow. So far, Moss and co. are pummelling the cultists. We’ll wrap this up next time.