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The year is 2021, and Civil War rages across America. Across major cities, communists rise under the banner of the Proletariat Revolution. In the Northwest, a fascist warlord state has emerged to provide order and security. The East Coast is consumed by fighting between US military remnants, local warlords, and U.N. Peacekeepers. Texas is once again its own republic, and the West Coast has turned into a Chinese puppet managed by mega-corporations. The world's going up in flames, and nobody knows what tomorrow will bring...

You are the Messenger (former name: Walter White) and you lead the Sun Belt Crusaders. Your group is best described as a radical Catholic cult claiming the papal throne backed by meth, violence, and cunning. Having fled your native Southern California, you have established a presence in Arizona, just southwest of Phoenix, in the village of Mobile.

Your has had some success settling down. Diplomatically, you've secured a patron in the nearby town of Maricopa, which provides significant material support in exchange for your services. Slowly, you are also gaining clout with its populace. Your faction also enjoys a close relation to Maricopa's autonomous Reservation after helping a local figure execute a coup and establish a new government. Militarily, your faction has won a number of small skirmishes and has taken over (at Maricopa's behest) a mountain base previously used for raids.

The Crusaders are presently in a relatively calm period. The prison warden turned raider warlord who seized significant stores of wealth, once-freed slaves, and a gigantic amount of meth from your faction is currently busy elsewhere. The arrival of Phoenix's revolutionary army to Maricopa has been delayed, allowing you to help with internal matters there and grow your influence. Your crusaders, growing restless, enthusiastically take up mercenary work in Phoenix with a colorful crew of firearm enthusiasts. What kind of storm, if any, this calm precedes remains to be seen.

Beyond your small territory of Arizona lie the many dangers of the Badlands. These range from yet other convicts turned raiders, cartel elements, hostile government actors (perhaps even in your own faction), and a myriad other groups you're slowly discovering. Looming over everything is the major urban center of Phoenix, which is consumed with a massive war raging between a revolutionary faction called the Phoenix Occupied Zone and a loose coalition opposing it. If either faction takes control of the city, it will become the regional hegemon and likely take over the Badlands. And, finally, an outside faction such as Chinese-controlled California could start making moves in the area at any time.

Your short-term goal is to continue surviving and expanding. Your longer term goal is to somehow secure Phoenix and the Badlands. Your ultimate goal is to bring the Glory of Christ to the entire country, no matter the cost in blood, meth, or tears...
>>
>>4992443
Past Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=sun+belt+crusaders

Starter guide/refresher qm made: justpaste dot it/sbc-refresher
>>
>>4992447
Thank you for posting the OP. For anyone confused, I am the actual guy running the quest. I can't post my own ops for incomprehensible reasons.

Anyway, onto the actual quest!

>Current POV: Cardinal Yuri

>...

>Current Location: Goodyear Arizona - Mercenary Bar

>...

>Current Mission: The Peoria Raid Side-Op

[Stage 1 - The Approach]

The mercenary leader chugs the remaining beer, nearly the whole bottle, before slamming the empty glass on the table. "No time to fuck around!" he says as he leaves. You follow him out as various patrons, most of whom are also sporting their faction's signature aloha shirt and short-shorts combo, shout variations of "let's fucking go!" This is definitely shaping up to be one of the stranger you have seen in America, even with the Lubyanka assigning you to U.C. Berkeley of all places.

Outside you see your crusaders and the nominal leaders of this mission, the 'Boogie Nights Boiz,' casually chatting as they load guns, ammo, and other equipment into pick-up beds. "Man, this is a lot of stuff. You sure we need to bring and wear all black long-sleeves and shit? Even with the sun about to set, it's pretty fucking hot, ain't it?" one of your men calls out.

"It's orders," one of the 'Boiz' responds. "Besides, just how many - kilos - of 'combat stims' did you guys pack, again?"

"That's the most important thing! What if we need to bayonet charge?!"

"Hey, Yuri right?" a man with a sniper rifle asks as he approaches you. You nod in response. "We noticed you guys packed a lot of gas masks. What's the idea here?"

"You requested we 'mask up' and hide our allegiance. What better than a full face respirators? Besides, the use of gas in combat can be quite effective. We have experience with this. Is it a problem, comrade?"

"Not at all! Just make you spare us a few pairs, since I'll need to have one of our guys on the front to pick out some specific stuff. Part of the job, though we'll be mostly staying back and doing the long range support thing. It's what we do."

"As I expect, from your weapon." You give his sniper another look to confirm what you already recognized. "I first thought it was a Dragunov, but it doesn't quite look right. A Type 79?" You weren't trained as a designated marksman, but you know enough to recognize a real Dragunov when you see one.

He cocks a grin. "That's right. I'm normally not a big fan of Chinese knock-offs, but it's a pretty good copy. Good range, power, ease of use, and it's semi-auto. This one's part of the last batch, the ones they chambered in .308. You born in Soviet Russia?"

"Oh no, of course not," you lie. "I was born to a family that fled during the Revolution. But I feel a strong connection to the land by my blood. I pride myself on knowing all about it and I feel I have such a connection to the Motherland you could not tell the difference."

"Well, at least you're on our side and not one of the communists..."

[1/4]
>>
>>4993263

[2/4]

Your group soon heads west along the I-10. You are told that normally the fastest way would involve going east, but it would involve going into heavily contested territory. Your group of trucks merges onto Route 303 and continues from there. The area around the interchange is dominated by a large prison complex, one of Arizona's many. Continuing north the relatively small convoy passes through the large swaths of farmland surrounding an Airforce base that was, perhaps wisely, stripped of its military equipment before the Civil War began in earnest. After a good distance, the group turns eastwards and drives through vast swathes of suburban tracts.

"You know," the Boiz member in truck with you says unprompted. "If we took a wrong turn at the 60, we'd have reached the forward area the POZ managed to take. There's a lot of fighting in that area, the POZ got guys dug in around there a good distance out from the Agua Fria crossing." You believe that might be the area that 'Cardinal Musella' had his previous adventure with this faction, but you can't be certain. You choose not to press the subject of your enemy's successes.

Along the way you have been stopped a number of times. There are checkpoints everywhere in PCR territory for obvious reasons. The convoy stops for what you are told is the last time until the return trip. The specific location of this one is at a post office in a small cluster of strip malls. The mercenary in your vehicle leaves and comes back a short time later.

"Is everything going as planned?" you ask him.

"Sure, it's fine."

You notice subtle changes in how he spoke. You sense he is holding something back.

>Special Dialogue from trait [Soviet Psychological Training]

"If something is wrong, then let me speak to them myself," you say unbuckling your seat belt. You don't actually have any intention of leaving, but you know this is a way to make the person in front of you more likely to act or speak without thinking.

"No, no, stay," he says gesturing for you to stay seated. "Look, I may have stretched the truth slightly, telling him we were called to do a defensive op, and we might have to stretch the truth again on our way back, but it's normal for this line of work. Anyway, we're almost there."

The implication here is that the PCR, or at least the PCR stationed here specifically, may not approve of this. This could be referring to the loose affiliation the Boogie Nights Boiz have with the overall coalition, the job coming from a non-affiliated faction, or just the proverbial left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing...
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>>4993265

[3/4]

The group continues on and crosses the New River arroyo, which happens to be practically flat here. The area opens up to a vast array of parking lots circumscribed around a giant mall complex. There, you see a mix of armed persons with a variety of uniforms you can't make out at a distance, some in vehicles and others doing miscellaneous activities on foot. There is also a large amount of temporary housing and civilians all about. It doesn't take a mastermind to figure out these are most likely refugees displaced from the War.

The small convoy splits up, with the Crusader forces (and the Boiz attached to it) continuing west and most of the Boiz going south. You pass by the sports complex where there is a stadium with other sports fields and businesses placed nearby. The situation here is much the same as the area around the mall complex. The group stops a short drive away from the canal entrance and quickly changes into this mission's 'battle dress' at the far end of the complex. Beyond this you surmise is a sort of a 'no man's land,' even if the POZ presence in the area would be relatively light.

As the group finishes changing into the nondescript outer garbs reminiscent of what the radical faction of the left wears (even if the heavy armor underneath gives it away on closer inspection) the sun is slowly descending into the western horizon behind your back. The area is bathed in an oppressive, golden light sure to be a nightmare to anyone trying to fend off attackers from its direction, such as yourself.

The stage is set...
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>>4993267

[4/4]

"Alright," the mercenary attached to your group besides you says rubbing his hands for effect. "I got confirmation my guys are stationed where they got to be and ready to snipe down the first line of defenders at the overpass a little less than a mile out. Recommended course of action is for you guys to drive down the canal now and us Boiz will snipe them down while you're on the way once they expose themselves a little more. They'll follow after while you clear up any obstructions real quick. Focus on speed and surprise, you know?"

"Wouldn't it be safer to just have your guys just snipe them down. I saw some pretty big rifles, should be able to get them behind cover, even," one of your Crusaders chimes in.

"Arguably it's safer to rush down their defenses as fast as possible. It's ultimately up to you," he says pointing at you with his thumb.

What course of action do you take?

>Rush down the initial defenses through the canal and have the support shoot after getting their attention [Speed Focus] [Recommended Action]
>Wait for the support to pick off defenders before you go down the canal [Safety Focus]
>[Write-In] some other, totally different, course of action [Boiz may veto suggestions]

The above choice is mostly to determine what kind of priority you guys have. The mission is sort of linear, in that it mostly takes place along the 'line' of the canal, so I understand it might feel like you guys don't get the kind of crazy choices I often put in prompts. You can vote in specifics the usual way by typing them up after a selection. For example, you could pick one choice and underneath write "take meth and drive closer to hit them with the bayonet" or "shoot smoke grenades at the defenders" or whatever is plausible. Just try to use common sense and you should be fine, assuming the dice don't screw you guys over...

Speaking of dice:

>Roll 2d20
>Roll 1d100

Pls don't roll a 1 like last time. Or do! It might be funny.
>>
Rolled 6 (1d20)

>>4993269
>>Rush down the initial defenses through the canal and have the support shoot after getting their attention [Speed Focus] [Recommended Action]

Deus Vult!
>>
Rolled 41 (1d100)

>>4993269
>Rush down the initial defenses through the canal and have the support shoot after getting their attention [Speed Focus] [Recommended Action]
The faster we can get on their position, the faster we can overrun them and secure the compound. I hope the Boiz are bringing their A-game here.
>>
Rolled 18 (1d20)

>Rush down the initial defenses through the canal and have the support shoot after getting their attention [Speed Focus] [Recommended Action]
lets fucking goooo
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Rolled 6 (1d100)

>>4993269
>Rush down the initial defenses through the canal and have the support shoot after getting their attention [Speed Focus] [Recommended Action]

I say we save our gas for the initial breach/charge of the supply warehouse and to cover our escape.
>>
Rolled 19, 14 = 33 (2d20)

>>4993269
>Wait for the support to pick off defenders before you go down the canal [Safety Focus]
>>
>>4993555
>>4993887
>>4993917
>>4993998

OPTION SELECTED:
>Rush down the initial defenses through the canal and have the support shoot after getting their attention [Speed Focus] [Recommended Action]

"Continue as planned," you order.

The truck engines rev into life as you give the command to engage. The curvature of the canal means your forces cannot see the enemy positions (unlike the support in their elevated positions further up) but you can still feel the bloodlust in the air. The Messenger promised an opportunity to crusade, and this counts as a promise fulfilled. As can be expected, morale is high and they are willing to die for the Crusade with full confidence that nothing will go wrong. In this kind of infiltration, a concentrated attack on an enemy's weak point, hesitation cannot be tolerated.

Given their enthusiasm, you choose to let them head the assault. You believe you lead best from the back, surrounded by your loyal followers. Some may grumble about your style, but it really is the best way to do it.

>+6 Morale/Miscellaneous Bonus (mitigated by aforementioned modifiers)

Dust and dirt fill the air of the canal as the trucks accelerate to high speeds in the rush to the first defenses. The path on the right-hand side of the canal (oriented towards the water flow) is wide and easily accommodates a good few vehicles moving in parallel and has a long enough straight-away to pick up significant speed. The bend is fairly wide and since the group is staying on the northern side the only thing close to an obstacle is a small dip to allow for surface runoff barely even worth mentioning. Simply put, this early stretch of the mission has ideal terrain being simultaneously favorable to movement and disfavorable to any defenders stationed under the overpass beyond the bend.

>+5 for ideal terrain

"Alright, get ready, here we go," the mercenary beside you radios to the rear support. You are somewhat pushed into your seat as the truck turns. The units in front of you begin to fire. Your faction does not have much in the way of automatic small arms, but high capacity magazines and basic weapons modifications can make for a 'good-enough' substitute. Between the noise of several V8 engines and the flurry of small arms fire, you can't really hear else. With the movement, dust, and general chaos you can't really see anything, either. Even the sun's glare from the rear-view mirror is unpleasant, although you can only imagine how bad it must be for the enemy, being caught off guard. You don't have much control over the situation beyond your initial order, so all that's left is to hope all goes well...

[1/3]
>>
>>4996045

[2/3]

>Complication Roll Result:
>41 - Middling roll... no complication

>+3 for surprise and general enemy unpreparedness
>+2 for adequate support

Final Result:
>18 + 16 = 34
>Ideal Victory

And indeed it does go well. The convoy moves at lightning speed and closes the distance rapidly. You have little time to process what exactly is going on, but you feel like you hardly hear any shots being fired from the direction of the defenses. It might just be your position further back in the chaos, but there's really not much of a defense. Getting closer, you can see what are obviously quickly erected defenses under the overpass made of wood and corrugated metal that could have been bought cheaply at any hardware store. One of the defenders takes his position on the barricade and fires wildly but seems to hit nothing. You believe you see a defender pausing and taking aim before her head erupts into a scarlet mist, likely from a high powered round fired from afar. The fighting is brief and one sided, as you hoped it would be.

"Affirmative, get your asses over here," you hear in response to some radio message you didn't hear.

"You thought there would be more defenders," you tell him.

"Yes, actually." He quickly gets out of the vehicle and stands on the truck step in time to see someone, almost certainly one of your crusaders, hop over the barricade. You hear gunshots, ones slightly muted by a suppressor, and a 'thumbs-up' pokes out from the top. It looks like the enemy has been neutralized, be they dead, fleeing, or otherwise.

>Area cleared with minimum time loss and no casualties

Immediately the Crusaders drive over to the barricades and attach parts of the defenses to hitches. The large trucks easily pull apart the barriers enough to open them up. With a little bit of clean-up work, there will be enough room to comfortably fit a single vehicle through it. For your purposes, this is enough.

You are not in the best of shape, so you leave the physical work to your underlings and continue the conversation.

"How long until your men arrive?"

"We were expecting a real fight, not this shit. They're close, but they have to loop around a bit to get to the right side of the canal. Not sure if we said this, but we can't do anything south of the canal, or on the left hand side of it," he says. You don't actually recall this condition. "I mean, we don't have any need to since the target is on the right side of it and you can only swap sides in specific places, like around the sports complex we came from."

During the conversation you see your crusaders moving the rubble and debris out of the way fairly quickly. When not on missions of some sort, the Crusaders are generally doing construction of some kind. Building a settlement using what are often makeshift tools is great preparation for exactly this kind of activity, and they get through the work at a rapid pace...
>>
>>4996047

[3/3]

"You wish for us to wait for your faction?"

"I mean, sure. Although if you really feel cocky we could always press on without them and do some scouting. Hell, you could even try to overrun whatever defenses they got at Thunderbird Park yourselves. If it's the same sort of shit as here then it's pretty good odds?"

"Thunderbird Park?" you ask with emphasis on the last word. "We are going through a canal, aren't we?"

"I don't know what to tell you, the city decided to put a park on the side of a canal, go figure. We obviously couldn't do a thorough scouting out of the place, but I'm pretty sure the park's still standing there."

"Your recommendation?"

"My guys wouldn't complain about getting a good look at the area, seeing if the defenses are like this or if there's a good scouting place or if it's a hardened target sort of thing. And we sure as hell wouldn't complain if you guys just drove in like madmen and overcame them again, but only if it goes well again. I wouldn't blame you guys for just sitting back and waiting. In the end, it's your call."

You see the crusaders (or medics, you can't really tell) finish clearing up the lane enough to use. You must choose how to approach the second stage of this area.

>Rush full steam ahead, again. Make the most of the ability to strike first and strike hard [Speed Focus]
>Slowly move up, sending individuals to check past corners and for enemy situation [Recommended Action??]
>Wait around until the other force is reasonably caught up to yours [Safety Focus]
>[Write-In] some other, totally different, course of action [Boiz may veto suggestions]

And:

>Roll 2d20
>Roll 1d100


As I said, just don't roll a 1! For [Stage 1] at least. I can't promise it'll get easier, especially if you guys start taking casualties or do something very dumb. What's the old saying, something like "success begets success, failure begets failure," or whatever...
>>
Rolled 6, 6 = 12 (2d20)

>>4996048
>>Slowly move up, sending individuals to check past corners and for enemy situation [Recommended Action??]

Better to make sure we eliminate all encountered enemies to maintain stealth.

If we start running into alerted enemies, then we start pushing the pedal to the metal.
>>
Rolled 9 (1d20)

>>4996048
>Slowly move up, sending individuals to check past corners and for enemy situation [Recommended Action??]

I'm sort of stuck between making full use of Strike First, Strike Hard, and just following the recommended course of action, so I'll just default to the recommended action until the situation changes.
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>>4996059
I thought we were just rolling 1d20 each? Now I'm wondering if I should roll that 1d100 (I won't, just to give the other anons a chance to share, but what the hell man?).
>>
Rolled 29 (1d100)

>>4996066
Idk, it says 2d20, when you type that in the box you get two rolls. If he wanted 2 seperate rolls of 2d20, QM should ask, 2 rolls of 2d20 or something.

I assume more people can roll to get bo3?
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>>4996068
The QM doesn't use the Bo3 system, its first come first serve, and I'd prefer if one anon didn't hog all the rolls and let the other anons contribute. Btw, you probably fucked us in this operation.

If the QM decides to take all your rolls (and I'm pretty sure he will), I'm not going to be a happy camper with ya anon, just going to give it to ya straight.
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To clarify things, it doesn't matter who does the rolls in what order since we can assume they're totally random, independent events so it's statistically the same. I've sometimes written things like "2d20" or "two d20's" or variations of that, but it's all the same. If one person wants to just immediately roll all of the dice, then I can't really stop that. I can, though, see how people would get miffed at not being able to meaningfully roll. As a player, I think rolling is fun and I like doing it. It also makes you feel like you're participating more, even if it's something that could be handled completely 'behind the curtain,' as is already done with some things (as I'm sure people have noticed.)

>>4993998
>save our gas
I meant to comment on this earlier, but forgot. Gas, as in petrol, is a non factor here. The thing with cities is that they're dense and a short amount of distance 'goes a long way.' Assuming a full tank (pretty basic preparation, why not), even if you guys got 1.0 miles per gallon (over an order of magnitude diminished), there'd still be gas left in the tank by the end by my estimations (well, unless you guys decide to do something crazy like try to leave the city and take a Vegas road-trip.) That's not to say that there isn't stuff going on in that distance, but just that a small distance goes a long way in cities.

Fun fact regarding urban density: you could fit the entirety of Manhattan, New York in the space between Maricopa and Mobile. I guess you could use it as a unit of measure. It wouldn't be my favorite way to use the phrase "a Manhattan" but it'd work...
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>>4996081
Kay, I won't roll for the rest of the thread.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGx6K90TmCI
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>>4996048
>>Slowly move up, sending individuals to check past corners and for enemy situation [Recommended Action??]
>>
>>4996116
No worries friendo. Personally, depending on the tempo of the quest i tend to wait an hour or two before i make an additional roll.
>>
>>4996048
>Slowly move up, sending individuals to check past corners and for enemy situation [Recommended Action??]
Moving forward but at a pace that won't put us too far away ahead of the Boiz is a good plan. That 29 probably means complications of some kind, but at least it's not a Tank this time.
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>>4996116
I didn't say that, just share the rolls next time. Even if it's statistically the same, I had one time where a QM took a lower number because the anon already rolled before. It's not just about sharing in the fun, but the responsibility of those rolls as well, as autistic as it may seem.
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>>4996497
....Oookaay.....
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>>4996979
I know it doesn't make rational sense, it's just ever since the previous faction wipe I've been quite antsy about silly shit like that. Can you care to humor me, if only during these combat rolls? We have risk a significant portion of our Crusader military force on this mission, and if this goes full tits up we're going to be militarily crippled in the short term, and with the Warden to the west and the POZ coming Maricopa, that scared me quite a bit, and that isn't considering the unknown factions just waiting to come out of the woodwork at an unlucky roll.
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>>4996979
I know it doesn't make rational sense, it's just ever since the previous faction wipe I've been quite antsy about silly shit like that. Can you care to humor me, if only during these combat rolls? We've risked a significant portion of our Crusader military force on this mission, and if this goes full tits up we're going to be militarily crippled in the short term, and with the Warden to the west and the POZ coming Maricopa, that scares me quite a bit, and that isn't considering the unknown factions just waiting to come out of the woodwork at an unlucky roll.
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>>4997020
Dude, I already said okay.
>>
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>>4996059
>>4996061
>>4996068
>>4996299
>>4996385 (this time)

[Stage 2 ~ Thunderbird]

OPTION SELECTED:
>Slowly move up, sending individuals to check past corners and for enemy situation [Recommended Action??]

You settle on what your de facto advisor tacitly recommended. With the advantage of being 'ahead of schedule' you see no reason not to press your advantage. You do, however, know better than to blindly rush in. You are officially in POZ territory.

As your group readies itself to continue up the canal you hear a burst of gunfire.

>Complication Roll Result:
>29 - Mildly Negative Roll... [Runaways]

"Shit, shit! She's getting away!" one of your men calls out before running up the canal slope to a tree along a dirt path. A few others follow him, rifles in hand. You watch from a distance. A small group of previously unnoticed defenders seem to be retreating up the sides and harrying your men along on way.

The crusaders further away from the fighting take positions behind the trucks and contribute supporting fire. You see the POZ forces, who are few in number, doing their best to utilize basic squad tactics like covering for another member falling back. Your men do their best to put down the runaways, but they had a significant head start. The few who moved up to the trail do their best to lay down accurate fire. One of them lays down aimed fire from behind a bush and puts one of them down. Blood trickles down the slope just long enough to be visible before being absorbed into the dry Phoenix soil.

The other POZ members manage to get to the top of the slope and head off towards the residential streets, away from view.

"C'mon let's chase them down," one of the guys up front shouts with his hand conspicuously close to his bayonet holster.

"Chase 'em where, into a fuckin' grave?!" the Boiz member responds. "The more time we waste the harder it'll get, boss-man already said we're heading out!"

The skirmish, while resulting in a kill, ultimately just wastes time. The defenders further down the canal will have just that extra time to be alerted to your danger and even 'dig-in.'

>Small time loss
>Enemy alert increased

With the brief interruption aside, the group continues down the canal as planned. This section has more bends and turns that block off vision and there's less information on any defenders here. There are two logical spaces for defenses, both under overpasses. With this, you send a group just ahead of the main force and move up slower.

The area behind the first bend has little in the way of strategic value from what you are told, and which fits based on a map of the region. Unless they decided to randomly turn one of the suburban homes awkwardly overlooking the canal into a fortress, there would be no area of value to fortify. The truck at the front drives slowly into the area and gives the 'all-clear' soon after. The second one is much the same and events unfold identically. The third is different...

[1/???]
>>
>>4998639

[2/???]

The third bend is where the actual 'Thunderbird Park' area starts. This initial part is more so a section of somewhat grassy land with a few trees than a real park, but it forms an open area where defenders could get clear shots under the shade (and defensive position) of a highway overpass. Taking care, this forward scouts park near a patch of trees (engine still running) and send out one of their number on foot.

"I'm seeing they have a barricade set-up, like the last time. Yeah, definitely seeing more guys here," he says over radio. "Wait, what is - lemme up the magnification on these - there we go. Yeah, more guys here, but not by much. I think if the Boiz take up positions here they can get some good shots, like if you ever played that one -" He abruptly stops. "Uh, I'm seeing one of these guys talking on a radio and, shit, shit!" You hear a series of gunshots from the radio before he continues. "Shit, they're on to - FUCK!"

The last thing you hear is what sounds like the radio tumbling around on the grass. Before you have a chance to issue orders or take action, the forward unit's vehicle begins to move forward. The other Crusader forces immediately surge forwards to support what has spontaneously developed into a charge.

This is not the ideal way for a skirmish to develop, but it's what you have to deal with.

>Combat Initiated:
>Selected Tactic: ???

Without you even being able to issue orders, the various 'squads' in their trucks take the initiative. The Crusaders have fought a number of battles or skirmishes via vehicles as 'mechanized' forces. They're growing quite adept at this mobile form of combat, which since the establishment of the Mobile Training Fields they've been training for. It's in many ways similar to the training with the minor exception that the targets are actually shooting back. Given the crusaders' collective bloodlust, this is not as much of an issue as it otherwise might be.

>+3 for training and veterancy

Even with the aptitude for combat, the way this combat developed has been chaotic and disorderly. You had essentially no involvement in its opening and once the first truck surged forwards you knew that trying to reel them back would not be an option. This mission is highly dependent on speed and momentum, which you can't afford to lose. The defenders, for their part, seemed to have figured out your presence. Whether or not this was due to the escaped defenders from the previous area or some other circumstance matters little, as their defense is not the haphazard, scattered affair of last time. This would be something of a real fight...
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>>4998641

[3/???]

>-5 for disorganized opening shitshow
>-2 for organized defense

The mounted crusaders charge across the battlefield, their tires creating a visible path through the grasses. Unlike last time, where the focus was on shock and closing distance, this encounter is something approaching a proper firefight, as the Crusaders move in zig-zag patterns up the grassy area. Despite their vehicles' large profiles, the erratic movement makes actually hitting them difficult. The defenders, meanwhile, are fixed in relatively static positions. The oppressive desert sun is also directly facing the defenders, which further damages their marksmanship. It's not quite as ideal terrain as the previous stage of the attack, but it's nonetheless a major advantage.

>+4 for ideal terrain

On the part of the defenders there's a noticeable lack of powerful weaponry, such as the machine-guns Mobile has mounted on its defenses. You have a feeling that if these POZ members had actual heavy weaponry such as high caliber machine-guns this would be a significantly more difficult encounter. If they did have such weapons here at some point they were certainly relocated elsewhere. As it stands, they only have small-arms that most American civilians would carry, which actually means they're noticeably out-gunned this encounter. In this open area and at these long ranges, the large caliber .308 rifles the Crusaders prefer perform quite well, having naturally greater range and penetration. While a standard rifle could fatally wound a crusader through his armor, doing so at a range of hundreds of yards and potentially going through a (thin) layer or two of metal on a truck makes it less likely. You're sure there's yet more going on here, but given the reality that you're being jerked around in a truck as bullets whiz every which way, you will have to wait to consider them.

>+3 for better equipment

The battle continues as the Crusaders settle on a rhythm of quickly moving forward, unleashing as much lead as possible, and then falling back while another one group of mounted infantry continues in kind. It's strangely reminiscent of the caracole formations cavalry of old (as you learned from your military education) would use, at least in its cycling of units forwards and around back, except here it's an emergent phenomenon of the chaos as opposed to a necessity borne of the reality of early gunpowder. And like many good generals, you choose to remain in the safety of the back and take a light handed approach to leadership. Some may call such a leadership style cowardly, but cowardice is not a term that fits the Crusaders at all, even if some among your number believe another commander would be better suited to this...
>>
>>4998643

[4/???]

>+3 morale bonus (mitigated)

The battle continues on for what feels like a long time. The POZ defenders adapt and find that if they stay behind cover they can force the Crusaders forwards enough to get them in a more favorable range. The alternative would be a sort of stalemate, which obviously benefits the defenders. The skirmish drags on, your side takes casualties, although how bad they are, with regards to both number and severity, you can't tell.

Almost out of nowhere, a wooden section of the barricade disintegrates and is replaced by a burst of red.

>+2 for Boiz support

"What the hell's going on here?" you hear from the radio. The Boiz have not only caught up, but they have set up positions for themselves during the fighting, something that would normally take too much time for comfort. A few more high powered shots cut through some of the defenders, who at some point decide to cut their losses and fall back. Given the distance from the barricade, it's almost impossible to stop them, but with the defenders now either dead or gone, Thunderbird Park is now clear.

Final Result:
>6 + 8 = 14
>Success...
>>
>>4998644

[5/5]

>Stage 2: Cleared

Of course, clear doesn't mean free. As everyone regroups to open a path through the defenses and take stock of things, you see the medic 'section,' or half of a platoon, brought along is already administering aid to the wounded. Due to factors such as the crusaders' heavy armor and ranges involved, nobody has died or been found to be so grievously wounded as to be beyond treatment.

"Cardinal Yuri!" one of the medics says as he briefly salutes you. He's tending to the shot arm of one of your crusaders (the initial scout, if you're not mistaken.)

"Status on the wounded?" you ask.

"Nobody's dead, although I think we should stop here and make sure everyone's as patched up as we can reasonably get them. I think we had some real close calls. Besides, I think some of us could use a breather after that."

"With all due respect," your de facto advisor interjects with, "every minute we're not focused on the mission is another minute they get to prepare, is another minute we get closer to sundown, and is another minute we lose our momentum." He turns to look at you. "I don't think here is the right place to deal with this, especially after this situation knocked us back to 'just on schedule' when we were ahead before. They shouldn't have much defense past this, not for a while at least if we don't give them time."

"Maybe we could split up, you know?" the wounded crusader says. "I think those who need some extra time could hang b- AH! Fuck!"

"Hold still, I'm trying to sanitize the area."

"I don't know. It's got its merits, but it's risky. If the forward force gets screwed because we're slightly undermanned, then that'll just make everyone worse off."

"As the leader of the Crusaders on this mission," you say, "we will..."

>"Continue down the canal the second they finish opening up the path to the trucks." [Speed Focus]
>"Stay back for a short rest for the sake of the tired and the wounded before we continue." [Safety Focus]
>"Let those who need to stay back and link up with us later while we continue forwards." [Greed Focus]
>"Do something else, namely..." [Write-In]

And, how do I phrase this to minimize issues, well, start with a discrete uniform distribution with m- nah, fuck it the fancy words, I have not sustained a 0.00 BAC this day. I just want two d20 dice rolls and a d100. I really don't care about the details.

Also, you can write in minor additions to a vote as usual, although it's usually before a combat. Here, it didn't play much of a role because the way things went the battle just went out of control of leadership due to [redacted] (as sometimes happens, especially with bloodthirsty hothead zealots, a term of art) but for the record the initial plan was to have stage 2 be two parts instead of one large update.
>>
Rolled 4 (1d20)

>>4998647
>"Continue down the canal the second they finish opening up the path to the trucks." [Speed Focus]

The more time we spend this deep in enemy territory is more time for the enemy to realize we're here and cut off our escape route. It's not ideal, but we must keep the momentum up, otherwise we're going to be dead in the water.
>>
Rolled 3 (1d20)

>>4998647
>>
>>4998713
>>4998723
well fuck.
>>
>>4998713
>>4998723
;_;

Nothing we can do but take the hits and keepm moving forward.
>>
Rolled 21 (1d100)

>>4998647
>>"Continue down the canal the second they finish opening up the path to the trucks." [Speed Focus]
>>
>>4998949
Ffs
>>
>>4998949
;_;
>>
Maybe the Bridge is out up ahead?
>>
>>4999314
>Crusaders at bridge crossing, 2021 colorized
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Clz9ykXMkeM
>>
>>4998647
>"Continue down the canal the second they finish opening up the path to the trucks." [Speed Focus]
>Keep those who are injured at the back of the formation to limit potential damage they take
We can't afford to stop and treat wounded in the open, for all we know they can be organizing a counter attack at the moment. We have to push on and secure the objective before we can properly treat the wounded.

Also holy fuck you people suck at rolling.
>>
>>4999515
+1 on
>Keep those who are injured at the back of the formation to limit potential damage they take
It’s a smart idea.

And yea, this isn’t a good turn. I’m hoping RNGesus cuts us some slack next turn, God willing.
>>
>>4998713
>>4998723
>>4998949
>>4999515
>>4999531

OPTION SELECTED:
>"Continue down the canal the second they finish opening up the path to the trucks." [Speed Focus]

"The more we delay the more time they have to prepare," you say. "They may already be preparing a counter-attack of some kind, for all we know. The stronger our attack, the safer we will be."

"I don't know about the 'counter-attack' part, but I agree."

"Deus Vult!" the wounded crusader shouts, thumping his 'good' arm into his chest for emphasis. Sometimes you're glad that this faction's fighters are primarily religious zealots.

[Stage 3 ~ Double Crossing]

The trucks again make short work of the defenses and soon the convoy can move forwards again. It's clear these defenses weren't intended to stop any kind of real advance, which makes sense given that the canal is generally a bad vector for substantive offensives. Anyone staying in the area for too long (i.e. holding onto territory) could easily be cut off and slaughtered. Taking this to heart, the forces on this mission launch ahead.

On the other side of the barricade lie sports fields, football posts, and various areas for recreation. Past Thunderbird Park the canal turns into wild, unkept fields of grass and weeds growing in a gradient out from a small section for drainage running parallel to the elevated canal proper. Without maintenance crews, nature is slowly reclaiming the area, although not enough to make any meaningful difference to any operations.

As your group meanders along the canal bends, the path narrows and the wild grasses become sparser until they abruptly stop. The dirt ends and a section of sand and gravel begins. On your left-hand side, opposite of the canal, lies a very narrow path that runs parallel on the same elevation as the surface streets, although it is separated from them from at least here.

A short distance past the dirt and gravel the path becomes one of concrete with more exaggerated slopes. There's the remains of what was once chain-link fencing, although it lies in a ruined state, presumably from previous fighting. This area narrows yet further until only a few trucks can practically move side-by-side.

"With any luck," your advisor starts, "we'll cross the bend and it'll be free and clear to the-"

"The hell is the smoke?" one of your Crusaders interrupts with.

>Complication Roll Result:
>21 - Moderately Negative Roll... [Deep Defense]

You're pushed back into your seat as the truck comes to a sudden stop as the sounds of gunfire fill the air. The tip of the advance has presumably crossed the bend and is now under enemy fire.

"Can't catch a fuckin' break!" a crusader sat in the back of the truck you're in says as the combat starts. Whereas the first stage had the advantage of surprise on your side and the second one had parity, this time the enemy is the one that has the advantage of initiative. This time, in fact, nobody really has a good idea of what's going on...

[1/???]
>>
>>5001992

[2/???]

>-4 malus for lack of initiative and bad opening

"Hey, move up the left slope so I can get a look!" The truck slowly turns to the left and gains some elevation going up the side of the canal. The terrain here is much worse for combat. While there's some advantage in handling on the smooth concrete as opposed to the dirt, it's more than negated by the narrowness of the area. It's hard for units in the back, such as yourself, to fight effectively. There's still the advantage of the setting sun and the relative openess compared to, say, dense urban development, but this time the advantage is mitigated.

>+2 terrain bonus

"Free and fuckin' clear," the Boiz member mutters as he heads out of the now slightly elevated truck and tries to get in position to lay down supporting fire. "God damn it, I can't see shit!" The reason why is obvious from here. The defenders have, apparently, made use of firebombs of some kind. The entire area under the overpass, one of the double crossings here, is blocked off by fire. Dark black smoke fills the air and makes any kind of aiming hell. While your partners are all here and ready to support to the best of their ability, the battlefield conditions limit them.

>+2 Boiz modifier

"C'mon you pussies, what the fuck are you waiting for?! Deus Vult!" a crusader from another truck screams as he hops out of the vehicle and moves forward towards the members closer up. He's one of the few in the back who's not either wounded or part of your personal circle. While most factions would have trouble sustaining an offensive after this much push-back due to an obvious valuing of self-preservation, this faction has no such instinct. Or of it does, it's suppressed by the religious fanaticism. That's not to say they're unthinking automatons, but that the standard deterioration of morale and fighting spirit over the course of fighting is lessened.

>+1 for written-in suggestion [specifically keep wounded back]
>+2 morale bonus (mitigated)
>-1 for existing damage/wounds

As the fighting continues, you get a decent look at the enemies. They are, this time, not actually positioned under the crossing but are attacking from above. The railings along the street (or highway) above grant some benefit to the defenders. The bottom concrete is able to absorb shots from all but the highest caliber weapons (some of which your faction actually has support from) and the fencing acts as a convenient prop for weapons. More relevant, however, is the defenders' lack of proper equipment. The weapons they're using are obviously inferior, with most of them being poor quality rifles, shotguns, or handguns. There's no body armor, of course. This is compared to the well armed and armored Crusaders who are using equipment that would not be out of place for law enforcement's elites (obviously, since that's where they're sourced from...)
>>
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35 KB .jpg
>>5001993

[3/???]

>+5 bonus from equipment superiority
>-1 malus from enemy high ground

Sadly, the equipment does not include multispectral visors straight from science fiction that would negate the effects of the smoke choking up the battlefield. The entire area under the overpass is absolutely filled with the stuff and it's ascending in between view of both factions. Even assuming this would effect both factions equally it would have the effect of causing disorder and general delay. Delay means death, it's the entire reason you decided to forgo giving your men a rest and time to heal. Unfortunately, these opponents of yours seem to have some familiarity in fighting with these tactics. Even if they're random people drafted and given whatever arms were available, which may still be the case, they're not complete pushovers.

>-2 malus for chaos and delay tactics

In short, the situation is not great.

Final Result:
> 4 + 4 = 8
>Salvageable Failure

"Shit, shit!" you hear as one of the crusaders blindly fires into the shifting defensive positions. You hear a loud grunt from him followed by a thud, presumably from him falling down onto the concrete. You see on your side multiple crusaders totally pinned down behind makeshift cover as their vehicles become ridden with holes. At some point you hear the distinctive shattering of glass followed by a car horn blaring and not stopping.

The enemy seems to take casualties as well, with one of them even falling forward past the railing, somehow, and ending up in the flames below. In general, they are holding up and making advance impossible. While their firebombs don't last forever, they effectively will as long as there are defenders that can keep throwing more. Time is not on your side, as the entire strength of this venture is in speed and doing a decisive breakthrough, one that up to now was effective. The situation is, to use a technical term of art among your faction, 'fucked.'

Failure is not an option. You're deep enough in hostile territory to make a protracted engagement instant death. Surrender is also not on the table, as even if your enemies offered it on the brink of a total slaughter, your 'fellow crusaders' may not even accept it. The current position isn't irrecoverable, and you're even likely to take out these defenders due to sheer superiority in materiel and fighting spirit. Even so, a failure to get to the objective in due time will make securing it a suicidal affair...
>>
>>5001994

[4/4]

As the leader here, it is up to you to decide how to reverse the situation. You have multiple strategies open to you, from the tried and tested faith the Crusaders will win out in conventional combat, as they have before, to more daring alternatives. The most obvious one is to send a single truck of men up to the surface streets through the narrow path from where the concrete began. Another, riskier possibility is to just command everyone to drive through the double crossings. Casualties, likely grievous ones, would be unavoidable with such a choice, due to the reality that at least one truck will be immolated by falling firebombs, the defenders would remain to dig-in for a return trip, and your men would consider you a coward who would suggest fleeing. Still, you are leader here, and it is up to you to decide how to reverse the situation.

Orders?

>Continue fighting as normal. We don't need fancy tricks, we need only good aim and an unshakeable, indefatigable faith.
>Send a unit of infiltrators along the narrow road, lessening the fighting ability on the ground but potentially crushing the enemy with the pincer maneuver
>Personally lead an infiltration along the narrow road, lessening the fighting ability on the ground and removing your ability to lead, but hopefully inspiring your troops and removing doubts as to your loyalty
>Ride through the flames, accepting the terrible damage, and hope this doesn't prove to be a problem in a return trip. [Speed Focus] [Highly Discouraged]
>[Write-In] some other creative strategy

I would also like to take this opportunity to remind people that this is for the broad strategy. Specific details like "fire our own tear gas at the defenders above" or "get high on meth and try to bite their faces off" can be freely put in as details to a standard vote and may be included without being voted on by the majority.

Oh, and let's not forget about the part where I inevitably feast upon the misery and tears of the players with my specially rigged dice (just a joke, but shit if it hasn't felt like that recently)...

>Roll two virtual twenty sided dice
>Roll one virtual one hundred sided die

RNGesus bless you and keep you;
RNGesus make his face shine upon you, and be merciful to you;
RNGesus lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
>>
Rolled 13 (1d20)

>>5001995
>Personally lead an infiltration along the narrow road, lessening the fighting ability on the ground and removing your ability to lead, but hopefully inspiring your troops and removing doubts as to your loyalty
We'll take our own personal guard with us to flank for the extra leadership bonus. Meanwhile the Boiz and the remaining Crusaders keep laying down the fire on the overpass to surpress enemy movements. No heroics, every faithful that fall here is a failure on our part. Lay down smoke to give cover to those who are too exposed and to aid in recovering the wounded.
>>
Rolled 5 (1d20)

>>5001995
>>Personally lead an infiltration along the narrow road, lessening the fighting ability on the ground and removing your ability to lead, but hopefully inspiring your troops and removing doubts as to your loyalty
>>
Rolled 15 (1d20)

>>5001995
>Send a unit of infiltrators along the narrow road, lessening the fighting ability on the ground but potentially crushing the enemy with the pincer maneuver

Have the Boogie boys and a pair of crusaders spot for us from another angle to direct our fire to keep the enemy suppressed.
>>
Rolled 35 (1d100)

>>5001995
>>
Rolled 68 (1d100)

>>5001995
>Personally lead an infiltration along the narrow road, lessening the fighting ability on the ground and removing your ability to lead, but hopefully inspiring your troops and removing doubts as to your loyalty

Deus Vult!
>>
>>5002100
>>5002399
You know Greed is one of the Seven Deadly Sin, right anon?
>>
>>5002002
>>5002100
>>5002399
>>5002413

OPTION SELECTED:
>Personally lead an infiltration along the narrow road, lessening the fighting ability on the ground and removing your ability to lead, but hopefully inspiring your troops and removing doubts as to your loyalty

You settle on the idea of leading an assault through the narrow road to the surface. It's definitely the most risky possible option. The road out is a vulnerable, exposed position, and the surface streets could turn into a death-trap if things go wrong. You personally won't be able to provide much in combat and would be a drag to the overall group. Furthermore, falling back during an active firefight may cause a drop in morale, even a rout. Even so, you need to break the developing stalemate and you need to win the confidence of those you're leading.

You inform your men that you're leaving. Whether they hear your message over the incessant gunfire, shouts/screams, and that still blaring car horn is another matter. You (and by that you mean the driver) reverse the car, turn, and head back the way you came. Being at the back of the group already, the risk of being shot at from behind is low and you fall back without incident. You leave behind the smoke filled mess of gunfire which, with near absolute certainty, members of your group have already died to. The concrete under the truck tires gives way to gravel and then to dirt. A gentle slope leads to a blocked off area guarding suburban housing and to the side road you'll be taking.

You are now completely separated from the main force. You considered issuing specific orders to them, but on second thought found nothing would really make sense. For instance, you could have ordered the use of smoke as cover, but the area is already covered in smoke. Repositioning to get a better angle to suppress the enemy from, or the idea of suppressing in general, doesn't really make sense given the current battle taking place on what amounts to a narrow line and suppressing generally means just shooting at them, like they were doing before. Really, how they fare between now and your linking up with them is completely out of your control:

>Rolling for Main Force Performance...
>Result: ???

The path is just large enough to accommodate your vehicle, as it was clearly designed for either foot traffic or an odd service vehicle. With some of the turns, you have to travel slower and more carefully than in the comparatively broad canal itself. It's clear that this route would not be useable for any significant force, really anything greater than a single vehicle. It is, therefore, the perfect route for any kind of maneuver. You travel at decent speed, enough to reach the crossing before anyone can respond. From what you can see, the enemy is preoccupied with the battle below and you believe the element of surprise will b-

"Oh, c'mon not this shit!" the driver says with obvious frustration. You soon see why...

[1/???]
>>
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>>5004226

[2/???]

>Complication Roll Result:
>35 - Mildly Negative Roll... [Prohibited Route]

At the end of the route lies a single bollard fixed firmly into the ground with the intention of warding off any interlopers into the canal. Despite you coming from the opposite end, this humble road fixture forces the driver to slow down to a near stop. Getting onto the surface streets would require awkwardly climbing over the lip of a nearby parking lot and going around it. For a large truck meant for some amount of off-roading this isn't a big issue. What is, however, is the fact that this minor complication has heavily mitigated your element of surprise while enemies are in relatively close range.

>+1 Surprise Bonus (mitigated)

The POZ fighters can be heard cursing in a brief state of confusion. While you would have liked to unleash a decisive blow here and now, the position that single bollard put you in is just too awkward to deal with. The opportunity is used to power the truck over into the parking lot. Now, your group can maneuver themselves to somewhere that isn't filled with smoke and to a firing position that doesn't have concrete cover for the defenders. Their defensive position is highly dependent on orientation, which wouldn't be a problem for them in the canal, where flanking or getting better angles would be impossible, but here in the surface streets you have the advantage.

>+5 terrain bonus

The truck moves to a different part of the parking lot behind a sign advertising the various stores present. It's not the best cover, but it'll do. You'll need every advantage you can get since you're outnumbered here. You yourself will be of limited use due to your age (the prime of your life, the eighties and nineties, was long ago.) Since you only have a single truck worth of people, this is a situation where every man counts.

"I'll keep the back clear, you crusaders focus on the bridge..."

And with the token Boiz member warding off any reinforcements from the surface streets, a role you can't reasonably tell him not to do due to its importance, that leaves only a few men to turn the tide of the battle.

>-6 for being outnumbered in hostile territory
>-2 for trait [Frailty]

You take up your rifle and begin shooting from the cover of the sign. It's not the most effective effort, but it's something. The crusaders you're leading, on the other hand, seem to be holding up well for themselves. While the mission has not gone as planned due to an unexpectedly stiff resistance, they're fighting as if they're on the verge of victory. Not only are these religious zealots who quite literally wish for a martyr's death, they are your personal guard. They are people you have personally inducted into the faith and are fiercely loyal to you, personally. While some would say this is a potentially dangerous loyalty to someone who is not the Messenger, few would argue with the results if they were to see it...
>>
>>5004230

[3/???]

>+5 morale bonus

In addition to exceptional morale, you benefit from superior equipment, especially the heavy crusader armor. It's not as much of a bonus as usual, though, as the weaponry the enemy has is best suited to closer ranged urban combat exactly like the one you're in. The situation at the canal involved longer ranges and more cover, which gave your side a greater comparative advantage.

>+3 equipment bonus

It's not a perfectly executed maneuver, but it's still a good one. The question is if it will be good enough...

Final Result:
> 13 + 6 = 19
>Good Success

The result is the defenders totally overreact. They commit a disproportionate amount of their efforts to your group, either thinking your forces are greater than they are or outright forgetting about the main battle. This, of course, is not pleasant for you or your comrades in arms. In the midst of the battle, you even think you heard some kind of grunt or yelp from your side, although in the chaos of battle it is always difficult to tell what's going on exactly.

The question now is how the canal forces perform...

>Canal Forces Result Revealed:
>Great Success!

You obviously can't see what's going on, but what you can see are bodies dropping and utter confusion among the ranks of the enemy. Whereas before they had the upper hand, now the tide seems to be turning.

>Forcing morale check...
>Result: Failure

Despite still having a decent force remaining, you notice some of them moving back. You notice the tell-tale signs of a retreat about to break out as they seem to focus more on falling back behind their concrete cover or the road's median than properly fighting back. Strangely, they seem to hesitate around the far edge of the canal above the actual current of water. For a moment, you wonder if you're read the situation wrong.

The doubt is just for a moment, however. One of the defenders, apparently panicking, botches a throw with his firebomb. His body is wreathed in flames as he begins to flail around like a man possessed. The area is covered in black smoke and the distinctive screams can be heard well over the rest of the chaos. At this moment, their forces lose their hesitation and bolt past the bridge, presumably abandoning their vehicles. The last you see of them is some of them carrying their wounded out through the smoke and, you believe, the man on fire hurling himself into the rushing waters of the canal below.

Somehow, the third engagement is over. As these progress you're noticing a theme of stiffer and stiffer resistance. Whether this is bad luck, an expected escalating response, or something more nefarious you cannot tell...
>>
>>5004234

[4/4]

Your group gets back in the truck, which now had significantly more damage in the form of bullet holes peppering the body. You're told that there's a similar road to the one you came here with that continues, quite conveniently, to the next site of interest. There's no time to double back, so the only way out is through. You message the rest of the group to continue, which they seemed to be ready to do anyway.

The journey there is fairly long. You appreciate the rest. You're not used to exerting yourself like this. While you consider yourself to be in decent shape, urban combat is nonetheless an extremely draining activity. Most of the others are, also, not in great condition. One of your personal guard got shot during the engagement, although he's not dead yet. You're no medical doctor or anything, so you really can't do much about or comment on the situation.

Eventually, you reach the first exit to the canal's open area, now quite narrow, even compared to the area around the double crossings. The vehicle descends to the area which is just in front of the crossing to the water treatment facility.

[Stage 4 ~ Treatment Facility]

You meet up with the rest of the forces. From above, you notice at least a few bodies placed on the beds of the pick-up trucks.

"The objective's less than a kilometer out if the map's right," one of the mercenaries tells you. "We're going to take our positions and cover you guys on the advance, except for the two. Make sure you guys get the 'thing' as soon as you can after getting rid of the guards."

"The thing?" you ask.

"They'll know it when they see it. We're burnin' daylight here, and we don't have much-"

"C'mon Shinobi, we're about to cross!"

"Coming!" the man in front of you shouts in response. "If you got anything burning you got to say, make it quick."

There are quite a few things you've picked up on. You've noticed the canal is a running theme. It's an important defensive feature and landmark, but is there something more going on? Also, there's the issue of the objective. You're not quite sure what it is, and you can't tell if they're being intentionally dodgy or if it's just their cavalier attitude. These are just a couple of examples.

In addition, there's the matter of what to do with the dead and wounded. There's a non-trivial number of them, especially after that last protracted engagement. You actually have medics with you and this brief window of apparent calm provides an opportunity to use them. It would, of course, take time. Time is at an absolute premium, especially with the previous time loss and the looming threat of the having to engage in night-combat if you're too slow.

What do you do?

>Ask one thing of the Boiz support
>Advance to the objective area
>Take respite here to briefly heal and rest
>Ask the Boiz to accept your severely wounded [Specify backup in case they refuse]
>Something else [Write-In]
>>
>>5004239
>>Ask the Boiz to accept your severely wounded [Specify backup in case they refuse]

Simply advance if they refuse.
>>
>>5004524
+1
>>
>>5004239
>Ask the Boiz to accept your severely wounded [Specify backup in case they refuse]
>Something else [Write-In]

Sabotage the treatment plant.
>>
>>5004524
+1

I would take the abandoned enemy trucks, but time is on a premium here.

I will mention that it better be worth the casualties the Crusaders are taking. I don't seen any of the Boiz bleeding as much as the Crusaders are.
>>
>>5004854
Yeah I'm feeling more than a little salty that we're the only ones that are really in the mix as well.
>>
I knew I was forgetting something:

>Roll 2d20
>Roll 1d100

>>5004854
>I will mention that it better be worth the casualties the Crusaders are taking. I don't seen any of the Boiz bleeding as much as the Crusaders are.
Yes, this is by design. The mission description said this was dangerous and that the Crusaders would be expected to bear the brunt of it ("you can expect that not everyone who ventures forth will make it back.") The other guys are playing more of a support role which really is focused on this last part, including holding off reinforcements and being able to get you guys out relatively safely in the dark. That, and those terrible rolls actually count for something. Mostly the second, actually. I'm surprised you guys haven't rolled a single positive event already, and that 4 cost you guys more than just momentum (the description I wrote of the fighting should have made it obvious that people were either dying or getting knocked out).

tl;dr: Please don't roll like shit
>>
Rolled 4 (1d20)

>>5004958
Honestly, I just want to get this mission over with. This has been an unmitigated disaster from beginning to end, and I just want to put this RNG bullshit behind us.
>>
>>5004963
;_;
>>
>>5004963
I wouldn't put it in the "unmitigated disaster" category, unless your definition of that is literally just taking any losses at all. People got hurt, but you guys brought a lot of people too, so it may still within the realm of 'acceptable losses.' If you guys actually do believe even a few dead is a total disaster, then I would question why you guys signed up for a mission that explicitly said that some of your people would probably die.

Unless you mean the disaster is the rng, in which case 100% yes. This recent encounter basically wouldn't have happened if you guys didn't roll a 21/100 but got a neutral to positive result.
>>
>>5004976
I'm talking about RNG. Unless somebody is gonna pick up my slack here (>>5004963), then I'm afraid that this is where this mission is heading. I'd probably feel better if the casualties were being shared equally, but as it stands currently? This is slowly snowballing into a disaster, I maybe I'm a glass half empty try of guy, but I don't think the reward will be worth the amount of time we'll have to waste replenishing our manpower to get out platoons back to full strength, assuming only a couple weeks of training to get the up to the Crusader standard.

I'll be the first to say, I'd be more than happy for RNGesus to prove me wrong.
>>
>>5004239
>>Something else [Write-In]
METH TIME
>>
Rolled 3 (1d20)

>>5005055
>>
>>5004963
>>5005057
;_;
>>
>>5005057
Man whatever I'm tired of this shit
>>
Rolled 62 (1d100)

>>5004958
Fine, lets see how shit this is
>>
>>5004239
>Something else [If we get into combat immediately, break out the tear gas and meth]

I’m sick and tired of this bullshit RNG, and if the next stage is our target and loot, I want this shit dealt with.

At this point, I just want this mission finished so I can complain about how shit the rewards are going to be in comparison to losses we’ve taken.
>>
>>5005770
Same.

I've been with this quest a long time, and i know best of three is kind of shit but i like winning. I really doubt what we get out of this is worth the time and casualties
>>
>>5005785
Unless that thing is an Abrams, I’m afraid I’m forced to agree. Considering this recent spat of 4s RNGesus decided to punish us with, I think we’ll be lucky to escape with half a platoon in fighting condition after this mess. I think this will dampen the enthusiasm for other side ops in the future.
>>
>>5005202
im so sorry, i haven't rolled in like 3 threads. back 2 lurk mode.
>>
>>5006191
Roll next turn, maybe you can break the bad RNG and deliver us from evil.
>>
So I didn't do the update because I couldn't wait longer for the d100 to come in, partially my fault for forgetting to prompt that in the update. In the meantime, I did some number crunching on the actual odds of that streak of rolls, and it turns out it's pretty low odds. As in well south of <1% counting the complication rolls (which in some cases are more important than performance.) Normally, I wouldn't do anything about it because you guys have benefitted from some bullshit luck before, but this is a bit much, even for a sadist like me who will (i.e. did) end a game for a bad decision or two. So I'll put on a tin-foil hat and become a crackpot for a bit

In light of the above, I'm thinking of adding some kind of mechanic that interacts with the RNG. The first one that came to mind is the "fate points" mechanism from the old 40k TTRPGs like Dark Heresy. There, you would have a limited number of points a session (in this case thread) that would let player re-roll or add a moderate flat bonus to the action in question. In the event of a player death, you could permanently remove ("burn") a fate point and just barely survive (emphasis on just barely.) It'd probably be renamed to "divine fervor" or something like that

Something else that came to mind would be some kind of 'RNG stabilizer' mechanic, where rolling too poorly would result in getting a temporary buff of some kind (probably an extra die) and rolling too well would result in some kind of malus (probably roll 3, take the middle). I'm not sure how to do it in a way that doesn't just involve using discretion, but I'm all ears.

There's also just having a re-do for just this, assuming this event to be an instance of broken RNG since it spat out the same garbage (4,3) twice. I kind of lean towards this one, if only because it's the easiest out.

Of course, there's always the default of just going with things. Honestly, the position you guys are in isn't the end of the world. There were a lot of mistakes you guys made leading up to this, mostly in reading comprehension. It was explicitly said to be dangerous and you guys thought that, somehow, the 'min-max' thing to do would be to send an ex-GRU spy the faction somehow has to a bunch of gunfights (I still have no clue what the logic was there, other than some vague "they're both communist" thing.) I would respect a choice to take the bloody nose here (i.e. losing manpower until they can heal/reinforce) and keep moving forward. The dice - are - really bullshit though, so I'd only do it if there's decent support.

One of the strengths of this medium is flexibility, so I'm going to lean into that. I'd like to hear any suggestions on new mechanics or ways to proceed.
>>
>>5006215
Speaking as a veteran from the first thread, when the original QM was still kicking (and probably will kick myself later from this), but I expected to take a beating from these rolls, and I don’t expect anything different now. While my heart screams at the unfortunate circumstances that this RNG has put ourselves in (and it is bullshit btw), I can only assume that this is God’s will, a suffering that must be borne in penitence for whatever sins we made in this quest. I wouldn’t want anyone to to deal with this bullshit if they have any objections to it, but as for me, I’ll go along with whatever you deem best QM, even if that means following RNGesus to it’s logical end, and damn the consequences. You never led us astray before, and since this quest was continues not upon one, but upon two miracles (you picking this up after OP abandoned us and you deciding to keep going in spite of our Bad End that we wrought), I’m willing to deal with the consequences of whatever happens next, good or ill.

That said, I am more pessimistic about our luck this mission (and potentially beyond, really) because of recent RNG trends, and I do think that enthusiasm for any side ops will drop after this, which I have mixed feelings about. As it relates to frail GRU spy, I don’t know what the other anons were thinking. I wanted someone with combat experience or knowledge or the area, not Yuri, and I even voted for the Hail Mary with McCoy (clearly the superior choice, after all this RNG bullshit). I only hope that Yuri will be worth the suffering of the mission in other aspects, as I clearly would’ve hoped to have someone more qualified leading this mission.
>>
>>5005902
>I think this will dampen the enthusiasm for other side ops in the future.

Sucks when you start not wanting to see content on account of not wanting to roll. Happened in Collapsing, anons preferred to vote for things with less encounters in the end so there would be less dice and less things going wrong, so it seemed.
>>
>>5006215
I think we just wanted a cool character with a back story over a more situationally convenient Cardinal, if we have more time to pick and choose or make up a few characters than could be put on ice, we would have probably chosen to make 3 or more characters to pick from.

As for the bad rolls and bad situation, I think adding special boons or helping events into our choices or options that players can discover both by accident and player write in, dice roll, or choosing the "right" choice would by a nice curveball to throw in and add some (good) Chaos.
>>
>>5006429
I personally don't want that to happen, but if our guys get chewed up too badly we may not even have much of a choice until we can replace our casualties. Thank goodness we're in a relative quiet on the home front for the moment, but I do worry about the future. If we get a low local roll after this, I'll probably suffer a heart attack like Trkulja.
>>
So, it looks like we'll be going with the "bloody nose" of no added mechanics or rerolls. I can respect that, since if I was a player I'd probably take every freebie I could get (or just gloat that things I said would go bad did go bad, probably the latter.) I do still like the idea of having a 'fate point' type of system, but I'll wait until we get to [REDACTED] before doing a test drive of it.

Votes/suggestions/whatever are still accepted until the next update, but don't expect too long of a window for that.

>>5006429
>Collapsing
Did that quest finish or is it on hiatus? I never read it, but I noticed I stopped seeing the threads on the board

>>5006456
What you are suggesting, that selections add certain events regardless of roll, that players can write in things that can help them regardless of roll, and that characters can have special options open to them are all part of the quest already. That last one won't matter much because the character in question does not have anything special he can do w/r/t combat (you just got some character observations hinting at [REDACTED]). Some choices were indeed the "right" ones and gave you guys bonuses you wouldn't have gotten, and others were obviously traps that if you selected them you'd have a real bad time, so that's already at play.

Also, you guys had more than enough time to make/tweak any characters you wanted and there were multiple ideas floating around (in addition to opening the cardinal creation mystery box.) There were, in fact, more than enough choices floated to where not all of them can be included, even assuming a few of them would mere minor leaders.
>>
>>5007245
I'll have to inquire about how these 'fate points' would work in practice, as I've not had the pleasure of interacting with them as a mechanic, so I don't have a frame of reference for how it would work.

As for the 'bloody nose', consider it karma for our previous hot streak we were on with our rolls. I may not like it, will probably kick myself for being a fool and not taking the freebie when I could, but we've been in this quest long enough that I trust you won't lead us astray, whatever consequences befall us. Just don't expect me not to bitch about the RNG when it fucks us over.

By the way, did we get to the warehouse stage, or are there even more stages to this mission? I'm a bit tired of having our ass kicked with nothing to show for it. Also, will >>5005770 order help mitigate our casualties, or are these likely to not help out with our combat due to bullshit RNG?

Also, a cardinal mystery box? I don't mind opening it if McCoy and that celebrity addict were also on the cardinal list. If you lads are in favor of nailing down some cardinals right now, even if they are put on ice, then I'm in favor for cementing these cardinals into stone right here, right now.

>A Hollywood child actor turned addict with a penchant for blurring the line between reality and character identity
>Maricopan surgeon who joined after meeting the Messenger and a tragic loss
>Mystery box cardinal

I left out the battle nun/chinese spy, since people seem to have strong feelings about this character, which reasons seems to change every thread, but I think having a Joan of Arc character would be pretty neat, and the spycraft/fentanyl angle meshes well with our origins, but I'm obviously the odd man out here.

Regardless, any objections for these three becoming the current cardinal roster for the Sun Belt Crusaders?
>>
>>5007245
>>Collapsing

It's on "hiatus" QM started a new quest and last mentioned in the /qtg/ that he was reworking the mechanics of it. I don't expect it to come back though.
>>
>>5007267
We need more fighters honestly, an ex narco or something like that and the killdozer guy are my votes.
>>
>>5007328
I think the opposite true. After we take this beating, we’re probably not going on any military excursions for a while until we can heal/train our manpower back up to full strength. Considering that we have two cardinal with military experience, as well as our other focus of converting/subverting Maricopa, I think having a deadicated PR guy like the Hollywood actor would be a boon to our convertion/subversion efforts, and having a trained doctor will help us maintain our manpower long-term, increased the effectiveness of our combat medics, and help our injured get back into the fight quicker. The Mystery Box Cardinal is just to throw the QM a bone and have him take part in the cardinal creation fun as well, but I think diversifying our cardinal specialties beyond just a combat skill set may help us more in the long term than a couple more fighter cardinals, at least in the short term.

Plus, I think having the narco be the nun would be an interesting twist on it, but I understand if you have something different in mind.
>>
>>5007346
Killdozer in my opinion is an excellent choice on account of engineering and mechanical expertise. It gives us someone who would be decent for combat, and would double down on our mechanized focus. Having a killdozer vehicle is a meme, but having a guy that can work on churning out improvised armored cars and tanks would be quite useful I would think.

I mean, we are crusaders, we need some fighters.
>>
>>5007449
Frankly, without the Machine Workshop, Killdozer cardinal would be of limited utility compared to all the other shit we’re trying to do, like becoming a legitimate religion in the eyes of the people. And while we are in agreement that we need more battle cardinals, we’re not going to need them until we have a bigger military force at our disposal, which considering current circumstances and casualties, we won’t be doing any more military excursions for a while unless they’re defensive in nature. We need more manpower in general, not more battle cardinals. It’s why the Hollywood PR guy and the Doctor would be more useful than a mechanic we can adequately use without 300(?) WP being spent on a Machine Workshop and another battle cardinal leading a smaller, wounded military force.

Do you understand where I’m coming from, or am I failing to reach you?
>>
>>5007474
Frankly, the doctor is the only one of your ideas that I like, but really what tangible benefit does a doctor have as a POV character? All he can do is fix people, you won't have a doctor out in the field doing things, you'll have him in a med station or operating room to really make use of his abilities.

The hollywood guy just sounds outlandish in a way that clashes with our theme in my opinion, not as bad as Yuri or a battle nun I guess though. You want a "face"? The idea is fine, but I don't agree with your presentation of it.

And on killdozer, I feel confident that having a character specialized in such things would allow for plenty of tangible benefits without having a machine workshop up and running. I expect it would likely lower some costs on construction as well.

Still, at the end of the day it's all about fun, we're not all going to agree on whats fun.
>>
>>5007615
I could say the same thing about Killldozer as I would about the doctor. You'll never want him as a POV character as he's better off tinkering in the background.

Also, I don't think having a celebrity cardinal is against our theme, I think it's more of a throwback in our time as a Californian drug cult to be honest, and having a face everyone recognizes will make our faction more palatable to the general public.

At the end of the day, I guess we just have different opinions on the matter. Thank you for giving me your input however.
>>
Just thinking here

What about a cardinal in absentia? A former protégé of the messenger that was left behind for whatever reason when we came east? That still keeps the left behind members of the crusade together in hopes of reuniting with the rest of us? Maybe he even has his dopey loyal friendos badger and skinny pete spreading the word with him?

Yo xbox!
>>
>>5008712
I thought that already happened? I don’t mind having another mystery box cardinal appear later on, I think that it’ll be a neat story beat, while also having the QM get in on a bit of the crusader cardinal fun.

I do think the current cardinal roster is what’s immediately available to us though.
>>
>>5004524
>>5004735
>>5004826
>>5004854
>>5004963
>>5005057

OPTION SELECTED:
>Ask the Boiz to accept your severely wounded

"Eh, I'm not sure that's a good idea," he responds.

"And why not? We have perhaps over a dozen men who are wounded, some severely or fatally. They will not be effective in the attack, and they will only take up space that could be used for valuables. We brought medical personnel for exactly this."

He looks to the group on the other side of the canal and then back to you, seemingly nervous about something. "I don't know, it's supposed to be just us, this wasn't part of the plan."

"And neither was this level of resistance," you retort. "But we adapted. We only ask of you what we ourselves did for you." It's a stretching of the truth. While not completely wrong, it was your faction's relatively poor performance (in part due to you being a poor fit for this mission) that resulted in this situation in the first place. Still, with the lack of time, you believe he will give in. Besides, there is seemingly no immediately obvious reason for his faction to deny your request.

For a moment, he thinks silently with pursed lips until his faction calls to him. "You know what," he says, nodding his head. "I think you're right. Alright, let's see if we can do this."

He runs off across the canal and to his men. What proceeds is a spirited discussion. You can't make out what they're saying as they presumably form sides in the argument, but they're clearly on the verge of shouting. As they continue, one of your crusaders approach you, but you signal him to wait.

>Determining result...
>Request Accepted

The man you were speaking too runs back to you with another person who speaks to you. "You got a damn fuckin' good advocate here, I'll tell you that. I'll let some of you stay behind, the wounded and the medics." he says. "But they're going to stay where we tell them to stay, and not so much as walk out to take a piss. If I get even a hint that any one of them is going to fuck up the water infrastructure, I'll kill 'em myself."

"I doubt they will even think of such things, but still, your command is my wish." He is remarkably insistent about this point that you have no reason to object to. "I'll see to it that they're left behind, and we will continue without any further delay."

>Advance to the objective area

You get a thumbs-up in response and waste no time in returning to the mission. The sun is inching ever closer to the horizon and readying to plunge the city into darkness. You make sure most of the medics and severely wounded/casualties are unloaded and have the rest of the force move on ahead. They can manage to get themselves on the other side of the canal without direct supervision. You briefly think of what's going on with your partners' hesitance towards your request, but the road to the end is short and you have little time for idle musings...

[1/???]
>>
>>5009488

[2/???]

"We're in position," you hear from the radio. "We got them in our sights and - the hell? Hey, you guys seeing what I'm seeing?" That last part is obviously directed at someone physically near him and not you.

"What is the matter? Another complication?"

"Actually yes..."

>Complication Roll Result:
>62 - Mildly Positive Roll... [Awfully Scattered]

"They don't actually seem to be guarding the canal," he explains.

"Then what are they doing?"

"They're forming defenses around, the hell, why are they facing themselves north along the avenue? Yeah, I think these guys are confused or got bad intel or something, you'll get a good first hit on their rear," he says. "Hey, Langley, the fuck you laughing at?!"

Somehow, you'll get an opportunity to actually catch your opponents somewhat off guard and ambush them at the very end in their defended position. It's still attacking a defended position while you have partial strength, but you'll have to take every advantage you can get. A failure to drive out the defenders and take hold of this area means everything will be for nothing.

The group gets to the final bend and ascends the ramp in the canal leading to the surface. From here, past an empty lot and the edge of a parking lot, you can see defenders coming from the east preparing themselves behind a roadblock made from vehicles and pre-prepared barricades. The opening through the buildings is small, however, and the defenders evidently don't notice your forces as they pass through this small gap and slip behind the building. The remaining crusaders soon pour out from the back of the parking lot, as if they had materialised from thin air. The battle begins.

The defenders are caught off guard as their forces are split up between defending the road ahead and the actual objective, a small shopping plaza in front of a storage facility. They outnumber you, but split between two areas and scattered in their response, you have a good chance at forcing them to flee to a quick, decisive strike.

>-6 for being outnumbered in hostile territory (amplified by previous losses)
>+2 for use of infiltration tactics

"Remember the training: Strike First, Strike Hard!" you hear on the comms. You recall that not too long ago there was a training exercise held in Stanfield, Maricopa that specifically revolved around ambushes and pre-emptive strikes. A snap decision is made to focus on the defenders along the road and concentrate forces there. By coordinating on a single point on both the individual and collective levels, this small advantage can be amplified into what will hopefully be an easy victory...
>>
>>5009489

[3/???]

>+3 for "Strike First, Strike Hard" tactic training

The defenders at the road are caught totally off guard. While they're still ready to fight, their attempt at 'digging in' was misdirected and they receive benefit from it. The distance between them and the advancing crusaders is fairly wide and open, which gives your motorized troops an advantage in maneuver. It's not quite the advantage of a full speed charge through the open with the sun at your back, but it's something. While they do benefit from the relatively short ranges, which their urban-combat oriented equipment is oriented towards, it's small comfort when facing heavily armored fighters zipping around in vehicles.

>+1 from terrain
>+3 from superior equipment

Morale has become an issue as this offensive has been prosecuted. The Crusaders, normally fanatical in their zeal and unflinching in the face of death, began to question the reality of success and their leadership (i.e. you.) There are still doubts, but your choice to personally lead a maneuver to break the stalemate at the Double Crossings and the later choice to leave behind many of the wounded (i.e. the least confident in the mission) has resulted in a relative boost in fighting spirits. This is timely, too, as the enemy here seems to be a cut above the previous fighters in their own will to fight. Instead of shattering on the first charge, they remain steadfast and ready themselves to fight off your incursion with everything they have.

>+2 relative morale bonus (maluses from [Cult of Personality] temporarily removed)

The defenders on the road do their best to transition to the other side of their defenses and inflict casualties on the Crusaders. Despite the proverbial deck being stacked against them, they do better than one might expect. Profanity and frustration fill your comms as it's clear that your forces take casualties, although the extent can't be reliably known at this time. At the least, none of the trucks seem to be (immediately) disabled in the fighting.

Despite their staunch resistance, a number of them fall back north along the avenue in more friendly terrain, presumably to regroup for some kind of counter-offensive. There's no time to see if you can pursue them just yet, as there's still the remaining defenders holed up in the plaza. As the attack on the street finishes, you notice one of the plaza defenders suicidally running out of a defensive structure (once a fast food restaurant) with a firebomb in his hand ready to strike your momentarily vulnerable group. Just as it looks like there will be a repeat of the setback at the Double Crossings, the man's side bursts as he tumbles to the ground. The firebomb bursts 'harmlessly' a few meters away from his presumed corpse. It turns out your support actually matters for something...
>>
>>5009491

[4/???]

>+5 for long range support

Most of the crusaders, the ones not suppressing those falling back, proceed towards the plaza to finish off the defenders there, largely acting on their own and not even waiting for orders. Either they're extremely caught up in the rush of battle, too eager to be done with it all, or a bit of both. The defenders at the plaza put up a staunch resistance. Not only are they in a better position with their defenses actually oriented towards the attacker, but the initial shock is starting to wear off. This fight is beginning to drag on, which is more of a disadvantage for your side than the relatively fresh defenders.

>-2 malus for prolonged fighting

With help from the long range support from the Boiz, which is able to penetrate many of the defenses even at this long range, the Crusaders faction manages to drive out the defenders from the plaza. They fall back to the east under the cover of smoke, presumably to the storage facility area, but you really can't tell. A good number of them fall in the process, their corpses littering the battlefield. Likewise, they inflict damage to yours as well, although it's less easy to count wounded in vehicles than it is to see bodies on the ground.

The prolonged chaos winds down, with the objective now almost clear.

>Final Result: 4 + 8 = 12
>Okay Success

>Forcing Enemy Morale Check...
>Result: Failure

"Hey!" you hear a nearby crusader shout between gunshots. The only reason you can hear him, or even hear at all, is the fact that the guns are suppressed. "I think they're running away!"

"Yeah, I'm seeing the-" the other crusader pauses mid-response to shoot a few times. "I'm seeing them flee over here too."

Yet a third crusader, seemingly wounded by the way he's clutching his arm, speaks up. "Is it done, Yuri?"

"No, crusader. It has only begun..."
>>
>>5009493

[5/???]

[Stage 6 ~ The Looting]

With the enemy either dead or driven out, the objective lies before you. This plaza, once home to a number of stores and restaurants, is being used to store a variety of goods. Outside of a department store you can see a couple of ammunition boxes of unknown type. An electronics store has boxes of random items visible inside. The fast food restaurant on the corner, as was mentioned previously, was used to garrison troops. There are plenty of useful pieces of loot to take from here.

Behind the plaza lies a large storage facility. It is likely undefended, as if there was anyone there they would have probably joined in on the fighting. You have absolutely no clue what's behind any of the doors. You or the Boiz might be able to make educated guesses to some degree, but a lot of it would be like opening so called 'mystery boxes' in terms of variability. You will get a decent portion of the wealth looted, whether it be in the form of some of the loot itself, equivalent WP, or special goods/services. For obvious reasons, the fine details will be determined later, but the more taken the better.

As part of the mission, the Boiz are highly insistent on first searching for a specific box of loot for their patron this mission. They are highly certain on the box being either at the electronics store or the department store, with a low likelihood of it being at the storage facility. You have no idea what this is, but it must be fairly important to risk hiring mercenaries to take on this daring infiltration.

Storage space is not a major concern. There are many vehicles, and they are mostly empty. You don't even have to devote much space to carrying passengers since the Boiz accepted your wounded. The main issue here is time. Spending time here this deep in hostile POZ territory means you will almost certainly face some kind of response. You have the Boiz able to warn you of and mitigate said response, but that only goes so far. More broadly, there is the issue of the night. Darkness is starting to descend upon Phoenix. Your Boiz companions are confident that they can safely navigate you all back with the use of night-vision, but still, if being behind enemy lines is bad, then being behind enemy lines at night is worse. Night-combat is generally avoided for a reason...
>>
>>5009497

[6/6]

>Events influenced by the multiple [Speed Focus] selections:
>Gain at least 1 free 'turn' of looting before a significant counter-attack

Your crusaders can, for convenience, be divided into three groups that can act at the same time. You can order them in any arrangement, such as making them all focus on one thing (devoting all actions on one task) or spreading them out among a variety of tasks.

>Time: Dusk
>Number of Actions: Three

Select actions from the following:

>Position crusaders to fend off counter-attacks [currently no counter-attack]
>Search plaza for mission objective [roll 1d100]
>Loot the plaza for valuables [roll 2d100]
>Search storage facility for mission objective [roll 1d100]
>Loot the storage facility for valuables [more varied loot] [roll 2d100]
>Let the tired and wounded rest and heal
>Retreat

And, taken as the first die roll:

>Roll 1d100 for response [Result has a floor]

See, it's not totally bad! You guys did take casualties (the extent of which will be revealed when things calm down a bit), but hey, you're here at the last real stage, the loot casino! But if you guys rolled a twenty-something on the complication roll and not a positive result, things would be significantly worse. I did, by the way, actually roll their morale and they got a shit result. They would not have fled otherwise, and things might have went differently.

And since you guys wanted to stick with the RNG, you'll no doubt love having to roll a shit-ton of d100's, right?!

>>5007267
As mentioned in the update, you guys were a small distance away from the last area, although the real 'final stage' is seeing how hard you guys want to push your luck for more l00t.

And regarding Cardinal spots, four have been dedicated (""Musella"", Mueller, Trkulja, and now Yuri) so only one remains from the initial five. I've thought about it, and the best way to handle future ones is to make it so that you have to promote an existing character, whether it be ones in story or generated lower level guys, to make things more reasonable. I might have to clamp down on the latter at a certain point, but I think we're fine for now. As a reminder, six is currently the limit. To expand that limit, you need to unify greater amounts of territory.

>>5008712
As a rule, characters generated are POVs. You can't make a person that exists in a far off land unconnected from the main group. It has been established that all five cardinals are present in Mobile. Former members exist in unknown numbers elsewhere, but details are unknown, You may get details later (emphasis on may) depending on how [REDACTED] goes...
>>
Rolled 21 (1d100)

>>5009502
>Search plaza for mission objective [roll 1d100]
>Loot the plaza for valuables [roll 2d100]
>Loot the storage facility for valuables [more varied loot] [roll 2d100]

Let's go!
>>
>>5009569
This is the enemy's result, right? I'm wondering if I should whoop or cry at this roll...
>>
>>5009574
It's the roll for the enemy response. Due to previous selections, this time it has a floor that means that low rolls get "bumped up" to the worst option that doesn't involve you guys getting immediately attacked. It represents getting there fast enough that a counter attack won't immediately be organized.

The rest of the rolls will go towards loot. Also, assuming there are multiple rolls for the mystery objective package, then it represents multiple chances at getting the item. If one of those multiple succeeds, then the other roll(s) goes towards looting from the place like it was a regular looting roll. This way, there is incentive to spend multiple dice if you really value getting the objective thing, but not to the point where it isn't worth using regular loot actions if you're feeling it
>>
>>5009671
So lower is worse for the enemy? Alright.


Now that I'm thinking more clearly, should we instead try and double our objective, and position our crusaders to fend off counter-attacks? I think that may be the more sensible option lads.
>>
Rolled 39 (1d100)

>>5009569
Sounds like the best blend
>>
>>5009749
I think we're being a bit to cavalier about this, especially with recent combat rolls, but I honestly just want a win at this point, which is why I chose the most dice option.

I think the smarter play would involve
>Position crusaders to fend off counter-attacks [currently no counter-attack]
>Search plaza for mission objective [roll 1d100]
>Let the tired and wounded rest and heal
but I'm tired of the RNG bullshit, and the faster we get the looting done, the faster we can get the fuck out of here. I can't wait to get on with the rest of our week.
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>>5009732
No, that is nowhere near what I intended to get across. I was saying that the first roll is the response roll, as in it's not the result for drawing loot. Just because it regards others does not reverse the general rule that lower is worse. The reason why I said "bumped up" is that numbers below a certain point act like the floor value. If, for some reason, high was bad, then a buff would create a ceiling on the values and a floor would be nonsensical. This is not something like me rolling behind the scenes for things like morale checks, which I see me showing is causing confusion.

To make it explicit and (hopefully) impossible to misunderstand: 1 is very bad, 100 is very not-bad. It's like most of the other rolls you guys do where lower is worse (think complication rolls).
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>>5009764
Oh. Thank you for clarifying.

>>5009502
Changing my vote here (>>5009569) to
>Position crusaders to fend off counter-attacks [currently no counter-attack]
>Search plaza for mission objective [roll 1d100]
>Let the tired and wounded rest and heal

We really don't get a break from the RNG bullshit do we?
>>
Wasn't the clothing store and and electronics place the highly probably location of the "box"? Why isn't there a search electronics store option?

Unless both stores are in the plaza?

I hope we can use their own supplies to blow up and booby trap their own supply dump and rig it all to blow.
>>
Rolled 22 (1d100)

>>5009502
>Search plaza for mission objective [roll 1d100]
>Loot the plaza for valuables [roll 2d100]
>>
Rolled 29 (1d100)

>>5009767
+1.

Eventually, I would like to revisit the Crusader Paratrooper plan (10 W.P.) (http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4935565/#p4940762). Having paratroopers pre-emptively land on the loot area would give us more time to loot.
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>>5009502
>>Number of Actions: Three
>Select actions from the following:
>>5009845
You can vote for 1 more action.
>>
Why are the rolls such hot dogshit
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>>5009917
RNGesus hates us. I just want the suffering to end st this point.

>>5009899
Totally. Will support after this mess of an operation is over with.
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>>5009502
>>Number of Actions: Three
>Select actions from the following:
>>5009845
You can vote for 1 more action.

>>4996497 >>4997020
Do you still want us to roll individually for large quantities of rolls, bulk rolls, like these?
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>>5009502
>>Number of Actions: Three
>Select actions from the following:
>>5009845
You can vote for 1 more action.

>>4996497 >>4997020
Do you still want us to roll individually for large quantities of rolls -- bulk rolls -- like these?
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>>5009924
I'd prefer it, but at this point I'm just think that this just pisses RNGesus off. Go ham if you'd like, but I'm not holding out any hope at the loot being worth the casualties.
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>>5009924
>>5009502
>Position crusaders to fend off counter-attacks [currently no counter-attack]
I would be for loot and scoot but given how terrible all of the rolls have been I'm going for paranoid mode.
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>>5009937
Don't we have a free round of looting tho?
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>>5009981
It depends on what propts we chose, but we probably ain't getting much with these dogshit rolls.
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>>5009981
I thought so too but I'm not too sure. I think it means of the 3 actions we have, 1 can be done without any consequences.
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>>5009502
>Loot the plaza for valuables [roll 2d100]
>Loot the storage facility for valuables [more varied loot] [roll 2d100]
>Let the tired and wounded rest and heal
>>
Rolled 63, 71 = 134 (2d100)

>>5010261
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>>5010263
>it was the one post autism that caused our bad run of RNG

I'm... I'm just going to lay down now.
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>>5009845
>>5009899
>>5009749

will the suffering ever end?
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>>5009842
The stores you mentioned are parts of the plaza and the ones which seem to be the most obvious locations for the mystery objective "box." American plazas are generally home to multiple outlets that sell different goods/services. Spending an action on
>Search plaza for mission objective [roll 1d100]
refers to having a third of your present forces run around trying to find the proverbial 'glowing briefcase.' It's slower and more deliberate than just grabbing anything that looks somewhat valuable and throwing it into a truck, so that's why it's one roll instead of two (although you can get up to three rolls on it if you devote enough actions.)

Also, on trying to see if you can blow the place up (I presume you mean the plaza), I would treat that as a [write-in] that would consume 1 action and just tell you if you can do it. In the event you can, it would open up an option requiring ??? actions/rolls to do it. Whether or not you guys want to burn actions to gamble with trying to blow shit up with these """"wonderful"""" dice, I'm not sure.

>>5009981
Yes, you have a free period of time, and are correct in your plain reading of the update, in that there is no use in reserving defenders for an attack you know with 100% certainty is not coming until a future round. Of course, you still have the right to select the option if you feel like burning an action for no particular reason.

>>5010392
>suffering
>end
>implying......
On the topic of statistics, streaks are very much possible. In fact, over a long enough timeframe, they're pretty much guaranteed with dice rolls or coin flips or other such independent events. This is a pretty bad one, so much so that I offered to intervene, so I have washed my hands of the situation (much like Pilate)
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>>5010444

Okay so setting up for defense is not necessary right now and we can spend the first 3 actions just searching and looting right?
So why don't we just pick the two looting options, this way we'd get everything including the special mystery box right? we've looted just about everything and destroyed what we can't take.
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>>5010444
Just don't let the dice order out Crucifixion, Pilate.

>>5010598
Frankly, my perception of what I should be voting for in this update keep fluctuating, between new information, the rolls, and demoralizing RNG. If it's a free round of looting, we should make the best of it. My fear is more bullshit RNG combat next round, which I assume manning the defenses early gives us some tangible benefits before combat commences.

This is were the autism sets in. After five rolls (excluding the enemy roll), only the last two are worth a damn. Unfortunately, that does jack shit for us unless we devote all 3 actions to looting (in whatever order). Whether the last looting roll goes to general looting, or to our main mission is relevant, but unimportant to the discussion currently. My main worry is the next round of combat, which may receive a benefit to the defenses being fully manned in the previous round, will be marred by further bullshit RNG.

That's my my dilemma, managing both greed and fear.
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>>5010839
Its clear that God is telling us to fight the infidels, not steal from them.....
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>>5010839
In that case, lets keep it smart and lean.

There will be other safer opportunities. Lets point out the elephant in the room and leave no space for it to hide.

This isn't so much a looting mission for supplies as it is to secure vitial or highly valuable and secret equipment for the Boyz, the rest of the loot I assume is a informal bribe that we get to keep as whatever else we take is probably ours. Let us focus on that, we search for the objective and then anything else we loot or rest, or get a early start on bailing on this place.

Optimal choices would probably be:
>Search plaza for mission objective [roll 1d100]
>Search storage facility for mission objective [roll 1d100]

Then either Rest or Retreat.
Staying to dig in and fight on ENEMY turf seems counter productive to keeping things short and quick.
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>>5010923
This isn't a Bo3, it's first come first serve. From our rolls, I don't think we'll find anything useful until our 4th and 5th rolls, which requires at least one general looting action, preferably two to make the most use out of our 'luck' (if you can call it that), but all three actions must be for the looting to get that 73, which is the highest roll we got this thread. Unless you want to give that up for the lower 63 (which only needs four rolls taken up instead of five), or you give up on finding any loot to man the defenses and give our wounded and tired a chance to rest and heal.

Frankly, I'm miffed that the good looting rolls (or any good RND) comes at the cost of preparing for the inevitable counter attack.
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>>5010923
Also, this mission was never going to be short or quick with this fuckin RNG bullshit.
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>>5010923
I will also add that the Boiz probably won't pay us for doing this side op with them, and given our losses, leaving without any reward is worst option, since we already sacrificed much getting here. I will probably sperg out myself at leaving without any reward for our casualties.
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>>5009502
Fuck it. Changing my vote (>>5009767) yet again to my original vote, which was.

>Loot the plaza for valuables [roll 2d100]
>Loot the storage facility for valuables [more varied loot] [roll 2d100]
>Search plaza for mission objective [roll 1d100]

While having the mission objectives secured by a high roll would be rad, I honestly figured that this will be pur only chance for a high loot roll. I'm not happy at being forced to choose this because of RNG, but I figure something is better than nothing in this shitshow. I do not have confidence in RNG to retain our position, and I do expect a wipe to happen any round now.

The Boiz really had it good this mission, with the Crusaders soaking up casualties without being even paying them first. What an absolute clusterfuck.
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>>5009502
I see you people still suck at dice rolling.

>Search plaza for mission objective [roll 1d100]
>Loot the plaza for valuables [roll 2d100]
>Let the tired and wounded rest and heal

Keep the whole crew in the same general area, there might be no counter attack this turn but it's best to keep the whole force fairly close so we can react quickly to what happens next turn. Letting people rest and recuperate so they're in better fighting shape for next turn is also probably better than doing an extra loot action.

I'm also once again going to shill the fact that we need the explosive factory to take advantage of the military grade equipment we have available to us: The fucking Mortars. Imagine if we had two trucks with a mortar on the back with a well trained crew during this mission?

"Mortar Crew, prepared enemy position, 125 meters, soft targets. Fire for effect" +12 from accurate mortar fire
"Mortar Crew, enemy position, overpass, 200 meters. Fire for effect" +8 from Mortar Fire (accuracy penalty from smoke)

Our mortars will come in clutch during this time when we're still growing as a faction as they'll let us punch way above our weight, especially against the commies (who's most likely the enemy we'll be fighting this whole early game, aside from the Warden?) who have nothing but small arms and maybe body armor.

>>5009899
>Eventually, I would like to revisit the Crusader Paratrooper
No, Paratroopers are stupid and a waste of our resources. When we reach the point where our faction is large enough where it might be a feasible idea to implement (I.E when we have the manpower and the aircraft) we can most likely just invest in AirCav which is far superior to paratroopers in both mobility and firepower.

>>5010951
>I will probably sperg out
You are already sperging and have been for this whole thread. Contain yourself.
>>
>>5011045
>You are already sperging and have been for this whole thread. Contain yourself.

Sheiiit, is that was sperging is? I guess it's fair to say, I thought I was just dooming. The Paratroopers plan is definitely a go though, 10 WP won't make much of a difference either way wi our faction as it stands currently.

As it relates to the Explosive Workshop plan, I agree, but we need a skilled crew to not blow our workshop up, so the plan is to save up WP for that Pharmaceutical Upgrade, then immediately recoup the costs to pay for the Explosive Workshop as half it's price. By the time we get that up and running, we may be able to find that skilled crew to work with us there.

With any luck, the WP we gain here will pay for it, but I ain't feeling luck here.
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>>5011071
>The Paratroopers plan is definitely a go though, 10 WP won't make much of a difference either way wi our faction as it stands currently.
It's not the WP that is the problem with the Paratrooper plan. The problem is that we have one Crop Duster Aircraft that can fit, at max, 10 people if we are being generous, which is an insignificant number to make a difference and we're already running understrength platoons as is so we have no manpower to spare for this new "initiative". We'll just be pissing away soldiers if we drop people to their death like this.
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>>5011082
10 people can make a difference, especially if with the element of surprise. We ain't planning an Operation Market Garden after all, just more tactical flexibility.
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>>5011082
10 people can make a difference, especially with the element of surprise. We ain't planning an Operation Market Garden after all, just more tactical flexibility.
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>>5011088
There is no surprise. It's an aircraft. It makes noise. A lot of noise. Even worse, whereas most people wouldn't care about a passing aircraft normally, you do not have civilian fucking aircraft flying over an active combat zone without reason. People will immediately notice. They will notice we're dropping people and they will immediately scramble a response team to attack our Paratroopers. Paratroopers that will be spread out and disorganized and incredibly few in number, who will be hunted down and killed without much effort.

Paradropping is entierly based around disrupting enemy communications, securing vital strategic objectives and holding them against enemy counter-attacks. 10 people can not do this. 10 people can not give us "tactical flexibility" as you put it. Every drop is 10 dead men that could've been put to better use doing literally anything else than being dead behind enemy lines. It is quite blatantly the most retarded thing we could do under our current circumstance as a faction and I do not for the life of me understand how anyone could think diluting our already depleted manpower pool further is a good idea.

I thought you maybe learned a thing or two after you maimed Ford in the Enclave Quest on a fucking whim, but I guess you're just trying to knock out Homerun after Homerun of stupid ideas, don't you?
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>>5010261
I'll back this too. Ignore all other recent votes besides this one.
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>>5011094
There is surprise, as people rarely look up, and we ain't paradropping them so low to the ground that they can hear the plane. We ain't planning on using them for strategic strategies like Market Garden, despite your best attempts to turn it into some strategic strategy which is doomed to fail. The fact that your fear-mongering the idea without even allowing the test run is just you sperging out that your favorite Enclave Quest got post-birth aborted due to the anons autistic dedication to trying to turn it into a Civ quest instead of the action/adventure quest it really was.

[apoiler]And yes, I was the anon that rolled that nat 100 that lost Ford his leg, but it was your dedication to Civ autism that ultimately killed that quest. Stew in your impotence, Seethanon.[/spoiler]

My Captcha is YXMAD. Oddly fitting.
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>>5011094
There is surprise, as people rarely look up, and we ain't paradropping them so low to the ground that they can hear the plane. We ain't planning on using them for strategic strategies like Market Garden, despite your best attempts to turn it into some strategic strategy which is doomed to fail. The fact that your fear-mongering the idea without even allowing the test run is just you sperging out that your favorite Enclave Quest got post-birth aborted due to the anons autistic dedication to trying to turn it into a Civ quest instead of the action/adventure quest it really was.

And yes, I was the anon that rolled that nat 100 that lost Ford his leg, but it was your dedication to Civ autism that ultimately killed that quest. Stew in your impotence, Seethanon.

My Captcha is YXMAD. Oddly fitting.
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>>5011094
>>5011111
Perhaps it could be use for more tactical insertions not over combat zones? Like drop a commando team hidden somewhere in support of a larger attack instead of dropping ontop of an enemy position.

I think gliders might be more feasible. Quiet and we can bring them up to a high altitude, then let them go and let them glide quietly to a location.
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>>5011121
Ye. Have then be snipers as well.
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>>5011125
Problem is, we can't really support them and arm them with what they need to survive and be effective. At least for now.
We also need a paratrooper cardinal.....
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>>5011121
>>5011125

Look the problem here is, what you want we can't have.

We don't gave the manpower, the equipment, or the expertise to even begin a paratrooper unit. You're talking about commandos and SF? Where do you intend on getting them from? How are you going to train a bunch of people with 0 experience to be paras? Using a fucking crop duster?

And what, do you envision doing HALO jumps out of a crop duster for secret squirrel missions with a handful of highly motivated militiamen?

Look man, personally I love paratroopers and would love to use them, but we ain't got anything to facilitate the creation, much less the use, of paratroopers. Hell we simply cannot afford any splats or cripples from training right now. We should be proselytizing instead of playing at being mercs, for dubious rewards at that.

Any case though, fuck you for that autism in the Enclave quest.
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>>5011289
Agreed. Had we say, three military cargo planes and the spare manpower to train enough Crusaders to fill them with 50-70 each the plan would hold some merit. We'd be able to drop a large enough contingent for them to operate effectively behind enemy lines without support from our main units. As it stands right now, we have neither of those things,

We'd be better off prioritizing Mobile Warfare or Urban Combat training, as for the foreseeable future our combat scenarios will revolve around either hunting raiders on behalf of Maricopa out in the badlands or getting involved in the street fighting in Phoenix proper.