Last Frontier

The Invasion of the Feynman

UNS Vesuvius Master Computer

User: Kyendo, M. - Captain

Intraship communications log:

SL51886 USS Feynman 14:35 11 July 2175

"Feynman to Clipper B, over. Feynman to Clipper B, over. Oh, to hell with this! Hey Yuri, they still aren't responding. Did Beta Control see anything strange downstairs?"

"No, they checked in and then took off without any trouble. Maybe their radio's busted again."

"Wouldn't surprise me. At least they've still got nav control. Link up's in three minutes -- I'm going to meet Pruitt at the damn door and let him know exactly what I think of his stupid bio surveys. Let Yee know about the radio, would you?"

"OK, Clint. Yell if you need something."

"What the hell could I need? Nothing interesting ever happens on this ship."

(14.0) The Invasion of the Feynman

Masochistic players may wish to attempt the following scenario, which simulates the initial invasion of the ship by a small group of aliens. Co-designer Michael Wasson calls it "the survival scenario -- the one where you die." Expect to have trouble winning this one.

(14.1) Setup. Use the marines to represent the crew; all attributes are the same except that no one has any armor or spacesuits.

Duty crew: Put Orlov in the command pod, Robertson in the computer room, Yee in engineering, Sarma and Colovisto in the physics lab, and Eastwood next to the shuttle airlock (he belongs in the command pod, but he's getting ready to meet the shuttle).

Off-duty crew: Dubois, Bresinski and Hernandez go in the galley, Kyoshi and Lichter in the chemlab, and Mendez in stateroom 3.

Equipment: Put 8 pistols, the civilian medkit and ten grenades (use G71 counters) in expeditionary equipment, in separate squares at the back of the room. Place a plasma gun, a welding torch and the toolkit in the machine shop. Put the marine medkit in the medlab. Yee has a welding torch and a can of suit patch; Colovisto has a flare gun (use the green pistol event counter). There is an antique blunderbuss in stateroom 3 (use the blue crew gear pistol).

Remove all the crew counters (live and dead), the booby trap events, and all the orbit counters from the game. The ship is in a stable orbit, and the orbit timer is not used.

Put the robots, the weapon breaks event, and all 6 of the "crew accounting" items (the ones with CDs on them) in the cup.

Take all the remaining events (see the back of the manual) and the alien animals and put them in a stack. This is the Anti-Hijack stack (see below).

Place 8 aliens in the port shuttle, and 2 in the port shuttle lock.

Place an explored counter in every human-occupied space.

(14.11) Game start. Set the alert level to combat and start the game with the alien action phase. During that phase, the aliens in the port lock attack the poor chump in the main access shaft, while the others wait. The first alien action phase that no aliens are in human-occupied spaces, they all disappear into the cup.

(14.2) Awareness. The crew is unaware of the danger until a crewmember discovers a body or an alien. This only alerts the crewmember(s) making the discovery; to warn everyone else requires spending 1 MP stacked with a computer, which sets off the intruder alarm and alerts the whole crew.

Until the whole crew is aware, stay in combat turns. While unaware, only one group of crewmembers may move each turn, they can't use anything but walking movement, no one can arm themselves (except for what they already have), and the duty crew can't leave their posts. Aware crew can do whatever they want, of course.

(14.3) Discovery and Ambush rules changes. During the discovery phase of each turn, roll one die. On a 6, one human-occupied space (selected randomly) is ambushed. There is no ambush during the first turn after the aliens initially disappear into the cup.

If an ambush occurs, draw three counters as usual, but discard all non-alien counters. If the space has an adjacent unexplored space, place them at the door leading to the unexplored space. If there are no adjacent unexplored spaces, the aliens appear in front of the door to the closest unexplored space (The aliens don't know how to use the airshafts and crawlspaces yet, so they have to come in through the doors and hatches.) The aliens will use their full movement during their phase to attack the ambushed group, and will not return to the cup until they enter the space the ambushed group occupied.

Do not check discovery during the discovery phase. Instead, check discovery for every unexplored space as it is entered, interrupting the normal movement sequence. Regardless of what the discovery roll is, a maximum of 2 counters can be drawn from the cup. If hostiles appear and surprise the moving humans, resolve their actions before finishing the human's actions. Discovery can occur in corridors, and explored counters may be placed in corridors.

All robots are friendly and active when discovered. Discard all the "crew accounting" items when you find them (but be glad they aren't aliens).

(14.4) Encounter rules changes. If aliens start a turn alone in a space, they don't return to the cup immediately. Instead, they use their full jogging MA to enter as many new spaces as they can, selecting exits randomly. At the end of their movement, if they haven't encountered any humans, return them to the cup. If aliens enter (or start the turn in) any explored spaces, remove the explored counter.

If aliens start a turn in a space with only inactive humans, roll a die. On a 1-3, they disappear into the cup with the inactives as usual. On a 4-6, they ignore the casualties and behave as above. For the purposes of this rule only, dead humans are counted as being inactive, and so can be abducted just like "downed" ones.

Aliens have memories; if they were attacking a group of humans and start the next turn alone because all the humans fled this turn, they will pick an exit that was last used by a human instead of choosing randomly. They won't leave the map until they manage to get through that door. (Of course, they don't know where you went after that, so it is still possible to get away from them if you're lucky.)

Aliens do not use the action table; when directed to it, they attack instead.

Abduction does not occur to active human units, and only occurs to inactive ones if there are unexplored adjacent spaces. All abducted humans are dead when found (these are hungry aliens).

Ignore the rules about crewmembers refusing to be left alone.

(14.5) Combat rules changes. Status check actions may only be performed during exploration turns. (The crewmembers don't have the sophisticated biomonitor systems built into the marine suits.) Crewmembers must make panic checks when ambushed, in addition to the normal reasons. If crewmembers are killed, place them in the accounted for box unless there are no active witnesses, in which case leave them on the map until abducted or discovered by other crew. When discovered, roll for panic and then place the counter in the accounted for box.

(14.51) Weapons. The plasma gun in the machine shop is really just a high-powered torch, and so it burns out on a to-hit roll of 2-6 instead of just 2. Otherwise it's the same as an RPP-7. Any crew member can use it.

The flare gun has one pistol shot, subtracts 1 from the damage roll and can only be used at adjacent or point-blank range (past that it goes off, but doesn't do any damage). It can be reloaded by spending an exploration turn in expeditionary equipment.

Mendez' blunderbuss has one G71 shot, then it's useless (but still looks cool).

Grenades (actually seismic charges) are just like G71 grenades, but have a blast radius of 2 instead of 1. Pick a target square and roll to hit. If you miss, the grenade lands in an adjacent square (roll randomly) and goes off.

If a pistol jams, it is out of ammunition and discarded; these people don't carry any spares, unlike the marines.

(14.52) Computers. The first time a computer is hit, do not use the computer hit table (7.1D). Instead, throw the Anti- Hijack stack into the cup. The ship's main computer has started the anti-hijack program, but is confused by the aliens' invisibility to IR scanners as well as the damage to the terminal and is behaving erratically.

(14.6) Shuttles. The assault shuttle is actually another transport shuttle; if you end up needing to fight in there, use the same map -- they're identical. Ambush and discovery don't take place in either shuttle, as the aliens haven't figured out how to get in yet. Aliens cannot enter an airlock unless human units used the lock the same turn.

(14.7) Abandoning ship. When fewer then 7 crewmembers remain, the option of abandoning ship exists. Shuttle launch procedure is as usual, but both shuttles need pilots since they're both transport shuttles with no autopilots. The command pod need not be launched by a pilot, but passengers in it stand a low chance of survival, as it must quickly land on Beta 07921, the source of the invading aliens. The last active crewmember may not leave the ship unless everyone is either on a shuttle or accounted for on the status display.

When either shuttle lock hatch is opened for the first time, the humans in the corridor are ambushed by two separate groups of ambushers, following the modified ambush procedure in 14.3. (This is due to the aliens realizing that the humans are trying to escape.)

(14.71) Self Destruct. Though the Feynman is not a military ship, the crew can set up an imbalance in the FTL generator, which will blow the ship up nearly as well as an implanted nuclear device. To do so, a crew member must make a hacking roll of 6 from the command pod, computer room, or engineering. If successful, place a counter on the first box of the orbital decay track. Switch to combat alert and stay there until the ship blows up or the drives are reset. Move the counter one box down the track at the end of each turn; when it hits the first "orbit" box, the ship and everything still on it (including attached shuttles) is destroyed.

At any point before the counter enters the "9" box, the drives can be reset with a hacking roll of 6. After the counter hits the "9" box, the damage to the drives is too extensive and the ship is doomed.

(14.8) Barricades. If things are going badly, crewmembers may barricade themselves in a room. A human unit using a welding torch during the entire orbit phase can seal one door. If the ambush die roll comes up 4-6 while a room is being barricaded (i.e. if any of it's doors have been sealed) the ambush automatically occurs there. Once all the doors into a room are sealed, the room is secure and safe against ambush (at least, until the aliens figure out the ventilation system).

(14.9) Victory. If all of the aliens are killed, the player wins. If all the crew is killed, the player loses. The player draws if at least 4 humans escape the ship or barricade themselves in rooms, hopefully awaiting rescue by the UNC Marines.

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