Tuesday, May 7, 2019

SS4 AAR: Anchor Away!

For the briefest instant, space folded around itself, like a fourth-dimensional pretzel, then five figures who had not been there a moment previously, now stood in the street. The sudden arrival of five colourful characters did not cause any stir, as, a little further down the same street, a battle between superheroes and villains was about to begin. The enigmatic dimesnioneer known only as 'Ulysses' watched with interest, flanked by his companions Avatar (a master of bladed weapons), Lynx (an agile warrior-woman), The White Fly (the most notorious Polish pirate to have ever lived) and the Good Doctor (a 'tame' serial killer). The display inside Ulysses' skull helmet indicated that their targets were ahead of them, one, the leader of the supervillain team, the other, a hostage under the protection of the heroes, seemingly a news anchor for local television. 

"Split up," Ulysses gestured towards each group of opposing superhumans, "take out the targets, two on each. I'll deal with anyone who gets in your way." 

"Who are the targets?" growled The White Fly as he unsheathed his cutlass. 

"The news anchor and that big, green fellow down the end of the next block," Ulysses waved at some of his team, "you and our medical friend take the anchor, let Lynx and Avatar worry about the more distant target." 

"Anything else we should know?" drawled Avatar as he adjusted a strap on his armour. 

"Just this," Ulysses began to levitate a few inches off the ground as he activated his powers, "those two aren't what they seem." 

Played a great three-way game of SuperSystem at club last week with Neil and Piotr on my lovely, but recently-neglected city table. The mission was a variation on Assassinate, with Neil's Team Quasar trying to protect the News Reporter and Piotr's as-yet unnamed villain team trying to take her out. Just to add some chaos to the proceedings, Ulysses and his Hussars (my team) are trying to take out both the Reporter and the leader of Piotr's team. 

All three teams can be seen deployed, with the Hussars closest, then Team Quasar and the villains up the back. 

Lynx, Ulysses, the Good Doctor, the White Fly and Avatar have just entered this reality. 

Team Quasar, made up of Morphisto, Mindstorm, Backbreaker, Candace and Dr Quasar, find themselves caught between two opposing super teams. 

The villains; Sonic Varlet, Mean Machine, The Bulk, Dr Psycho and Red Diamond. 

Lynx rushes up to the monorail platform to get a better vantage point. 

Mindstorm uses her psychic might to levitate, as her mental blasts are one of Team Quasar's best weapons. 

Belying his size, Red Diamond takes to the air. 

The White Fly takes cover and downs his rum ration before beginning his attack. 

The blue pattern on Sonic Varlet's skin is a warning not to get too close. 

Using his own telekinetic powers, Ulysses soars into the skies to better observe and direct his team of Hussars. 

The White Fly charges into Dr Quasar, but his cutlass merely passes through the ethereal hero. 

Having left himself in the open, the White Fly quickly comes under attack from Backbreaker's crushing blows; but the seasoned pirate is made of stern stuff and stays on his feet. 

Watching from the shadows, the Good Doctor uses his powers of mind-manipulation to take control of Morphisto. 

Under the control of the Good Doctor, Morphisto moves towards his teammate and swings at her with his elastic appendages. Thankfully, Candace's inhuman agility saves her from the friendly fire. 

Lynx moves towards the fight by running down the monorail carriage, like a proper superhero. 

Red Diamond zeroes-in on Morphisto and blasts the ductile hero with a beam of deadly energy. 

Candace reaches her target, the brute known as "The Incredibly Distinct and Not Legally-Actionable Bulk", sinking her blades deep into his flesh. 

Using his ninja-like stealth skills, Avatar has moved up to the plaza and is about to launch his attack. 

A brawl breaks out between heroes and villains. 

Seeing the crowd of enemies down the street, Ulysses lifts a police car with his telekinesis and flings it down the road, but he misjudges the distance and misses. 

Avatar at last reaches the fight, slashing through Sonic Varlet with a razor-sharp blade. 

When a blast from Red Diamond brings down Mindstorm, Morsphisto decides to get involved in the fight. 

Having just blasted one hero away, Red Diamond draws a bead on the news anchor, but its shot goes wide. 

Backbreaker swings once again at the White Fly... 

...knocking the pirate back into a nearby building. 

Morphisto grabs a nearby car... 

...his throw hits Red Diamond square-on! 

Ulysses' next throw, this time a cement mixer, lands square on the melee between Candace and three of the villains. 

When the dust settles, Bulk and Candace are still locked in battle! 

Backbreaker decides to get in on the "throw heavy things" game. 

Lynx and Avatar team up to take down Sonic Varlet. 

The White Fly corners the fleeing anchor, but falls short of cutting her down. 

Ulysses lands near his teammate, but the game has ended without a proper KO, so he's left wanting. 

As the villains are arrested and Team Quasar are lauded by the civilians, Ulysses and his Hussars watch from the shadows. The day has not gone well, with both of their targets getting away thanks to the meddling of local heroes. They would have to withdraw soon, or else divert the course of history too much, creating dangerous ripples in reality. Through the high-tech lenses in his helmet, Ulysses could see the true faces of the 'people' he had been hunting; he knew he must return to this reality soon, before it fell to an insidious threat... 

The game ended with a win for Neil, having been able to both keep the VIP alive and take out Bulk (by the skin of his teeth). The game dragged on a bit, because everyone hadn't played for a while and most were using new teams. As usual, the table is a joy to play on, though the buildings with interiors don't get enough use. When I'm doing building Sci-Fi stuff, I really need to get back to this table and finish some of the little flourishes. 

I have to say that I'm missing a couple of things from SS3 now that I've had more than a few games of SS4. I really think Super Leap needs to be able to work on Dodge as well as Strength, just to help represent more agile characters flipping about, rather than just Hulk-leaps. Also, powers like Armour and Mental Acuity that bumped dice pools without increasing stats just feel missing in the current edition. I may see how adding these back in goes and send my results to Scott P. 

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