Twilight 2000: Episode 8 – Ambushing Commies

Five NATO soldiers have been left to find their own way home after the last – and failed – allied push against the Soviets in the fields of Poland in World War III. After fighting a group of marauders, they are restocked on ammo and carry a bit of fuel and must now find a way across the mighty Oder River to get to friendlier territory, but they’ve decided to rescue 30 civilian prisoners marching towards a cruel fate.

This is the eight episode of my solo-game of Free League’s Twilight: 2000 4th edition post-apocalyptic roleplaying game. If you are new to the game/story, I suggest you start from the very beginning.

You can also read a description of the main characters and see their stats.

The game is published by Free League, and the art is from the 4th or 2nd edition (by GDW) of the game.

Short recap:

After being left on their own near Kalisz, the group flees in their camouflaged pick-up truck, which runs out of fuel near Syców. They try to find fuel or parts for an alcohol still in the town, but discover the ambushed remains of US troops. Among the casualties they rescue the wounded private Lee. They meet a local leader, who will aids them against the ambushers against a share of the loot. After a daring and successful dawn assault, they defeat the marauders with no casualties. But as the man they work with is dangerous and untrustworthy, with a lot of armed men at hand, they cut a quick deal, and hurry away with what they can carry – but a lot less than half the spoils. Driving towards the bridge at Brzeg they encounter three dozen prisoners being marched along the road and they decide to engage their captors.

Continuing Day 8…

The group has decided to lay an ambush. So, they lay an ambush, using the Waylaying rules. They don’t have 5-10 minutes, so they simply park the pickup behind a ridge and edge forward into a position along the road. 

The column shuffle towards them 300 meters away. They can see that the Soviet escort have one man on point about 20 meters ahead, with three people guarding the head of the prison column, four behind the column, including a lieutenant, and two making up the rear guard. 

The group manages to get into position after some effort (pushed roll). Perez helps Kelly hide his big gun. In essence, Kelly is worst at Recon, so he rolls for the entire group.

Kelly’s roll for ambushing is:

 -1 for 0 hexes away

+2 for foliage

+1 for camouflage fatigues 

+1 Help from Perez

All the characters begin the ambush prone. 

K is Kelly, Ki = King, P = Perez, L = Lee and Z is Zielinski. The column is moving from left towards right.

Round 1:

The Soviets notice nothing, and Kelly opens up with ‘the hog’ at almost point-blank range (-1 from the Soviets moving). He fires 7 rounds. None hit. It is evident that he hasn’t had a chance to sight the machinegun in. 

King throws a grenade at the rear group and hits but overstretches his arm (pushing). Both enemies are hit. But are not suppressed. 

Perez fires at the main group. He hits only one, the officer, but is fortunate that it creates a minor panic. The officer going down suppresses the others, who hit the deck. 

Zielinski hammers away, with the unfamiliar M-16 bucking in her hands (pushed roll). But she hits her hated foes and kills one in the front group and suppresses the others. 

Lee hurls a grenade. He again demonstrates his great pitching arm. The frag grenade lands right at the lead scout’s feet, blasting him and he collapses on the road, dead (2 damage). 

The two rear Soviet soldie are more seasoned as they get off the road and try to get into cover behind the big rock, but they fail to move the final distance (no luck on their mobility rolls).

Round 2:

Kelly unleashes another hail of bullets into the – now prone – Soviets. He throws a ton of lead at them at close range, and it is enough to keep their heads down, but the machinegun lives up to its reputation and jams (taking 3 in reliability damage!), bucking in his hands (one damage to Kelly). Unfortunately, the Soviet officer notices the jam (makes his CUF roll) and is ready to engage the enemy. 

“Fucking piece of shit gun!”

King fires at the two soldiers retreating for cover. -2 from the foliage, who drop to the ground under the hail of bullets. 

Perez shoots at the rallying officer in the rear. He hits him in the head, killing the officer outright despite his helmet (3 successes), which panics the remaining soldiers around him. 

Lee fires a couple of shots at the two lead soldiers but miss. Zielinski follows-up with her M-16 and fires enough hot lead to suppress them. 

When it is the Russian’s turn to act, all opponents remain suppressed, and one more is dead. 

Help now arrives from an unexpected angle. One of the prisoners jump the three guys at the rear of the column. It is a dark haired woman in her thirties. She throws some kind of crazy judo move and successfully grapples one of the Soviets behind the column, and he drops his AK 74. 

End of round two. The small irregular soldier icon in the middle is the woman who jumped in.

Round 3

The hog they recovered must be an unlucky gun. Kelly rush up and kicks one of the downed Russians, but only enough to inconvenience him (even with a pushed AA roll…)

Ahead of him, King sprints across the road and fires from the hip at the two retreating soldiers, but miss and fails to suppress them. 

Perez shoots at the third Russian, currently not engaged in hand to hand. He better not miss. He hits him in the arm. It is not a fatal hit, but enough to keep him out of the combat for a few seconds. 

Lee fires again with his pistol at the two lead soldiers. This time his aim is true, and he crits a soviet regular at the front of the cloumn in the leg, breaking his shin bone, and taking him out of action. 

Zielinski fires a burst at the last one of the lead team. She also has a double success, and as he has no body armor. The multiple hits rips into his torso, and he collapses, bleeding on the road.

The female civilian grabs the AK74, dropped on the road, and clubs the soldier with it, dealing two points of damage. 

It is now the Soviet’s turn. The one Kelly kicked turns his AK on him and fires at point blank range. He has -3 because Kelly is moving and it is an assault rifle. He misses, but Kelly must roll CUF, which he fails and drops to the ground, bullets zipping all over the place.

The soldier clubbed by the CIA operative tries to grab her, but she nimbly dances away.  

The two at the rear inside the bushes, have little situational awareness and they return fire at King. The most immediate threat (he is in shrub land and moving, so the attack is -2, but using the rules for multiple NPCS in the same hex, I only roll once with a +1, for a total of -1). 

They empty their guns at King, and he is hit for 3 damage. It is in the arm, and he receives a critical hit. It tears through his forearm, breaking the arm, and he drops his M-16. He keeps his cool though. The captain won’t let his team down! (double success on CUF). 

At this point, two more of the prisoners jump into the scrum and kick the gun out of the soviet soldier’s hands. 

Captain King is hit and a big brawl has broken out on the middle of the road.

Round 4

Kelly gets his bearings, and notices that his captain is in trouble.

“The Captain’s hit!” he roars.

King, bleeding and in pain, throws his final grenade and drops prone. He is no pitcher but manage (6 on a single D6) to land the grenade on top of the two Russians. Both enemies are now close to being out of action and suppressed on top of that. 

Perez moves cautiously north of the road, and down into hard cover, hoping to cover the Russian’s potential escape route. The team would really prefer that no one runs and alerts more Soviet troops.

Lee hears Kelly’s shout and sprints forward, heedless of danger. His fast feet gets him in front of the Captain. 

Zielinski also dash across the road and almost keeps up with the fleet footed Harlemite. 

The cvilian woman keeps struggling with the Soviet soldier, but is ineffective and damages the sturdy AK74 with her blow. But at this point, the rest of the Polish prisoners swarm the three Russians. 

Round 5

Kelly gets up and runs over to his captain and dumps down next to him. 

King doesn’t have time to bleed, so he pulls his .45 and fires a couple of shots at the two Russians, but hits nothing. 

Perez succeeds in his mobility check and moves far enough to get around the two enemies. He fires quick a burst at them (-2, because they are prone and he is moving, but is using a carbine). He hits one of the Russians and takes him out. 

Lee takes aim at the Russian, but holds fire. 

Zielinski shouts to the last Russian, ordering him to surrender, which he does. 

Aftermath

“Lieutenant, the Captain needs help!” Lee shouts.

The Polish officer rush to the Captain’s side, and examines the wound. It isn’t lethal, thankfully, and she cleans it and bandages it competently with much cursing (3 successes). In the background, the still living Soviet soldiers are being rounded up.

“Your arm is broken. But I manage to fix you up good,” Zielinski says.

The captain grunts in pain.

“True. Going to smart for some time. Would be good to give it a rest for some days.” She looks around. The dark haired woman who jumped the soldiers is on her way over. The rest of the civilians and Kelly are keeping a watch on the four surviving prisoners.

The woman says something to Zielinski in Polish.

“Her name is Anna. She says she wants to speak to you. Alone,” she translates.

Lee looks suspiciously at the woman. She is probably thirty, handsome and she has surprisingly nice teeth.

King winces and exhales, then nods. “Alright. She speaks English?”

The woman nods.

King signals to Lee to move away and Anna crouches next to him.

“Hello, Captain, and thank you,” she says in perfect American English. “I thought I was done for, but then you guys came along. Very good work. If a bit messy.”

King looks perplexed at her.

“I’m called Anna Gursky, but that is not my real name. I work for the U.S. government, and have been here covertly for two years. And I need your help.”

2 thoughts on “Twilight 2000: Episode 8 – Ambushing Commies

  1. Awesome! I love these write-ups. I get some real tension from reading through it 😀

    It seems like it could have gone very wrong for our heroes here?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you are totally right. If they failed to suppress one more group of enemies they could get into serious trouble.

      As a “GM” I think in this situation the big number of prisoners would give you some plausible explanations to aid the characters just by eg having the prisoners start running away in all directions.

      Glad you like it, as always, Thais! Happy new year 🥳!

      Like

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