Arion: The Heist, Part 1–Planning

Posted: 4 September 2012 in Arioniad (2009)

It’s the start of a new month for Arion in NHC (October), so let’s see what happens… time to go job hunting…

I notice that failing an encounter means you lose one Item (p. 107) so I should have lost one last time – we start with 7 items in savings. But, I also see from p. 84 that I should be tracking the costars’ items separately; we’ll start that now, so Arion has 8, while Coriander and Dmitri have 1 each – this is because everyone gets one item at the start of the month.

Now, we need a job. 1d6 = 3 so the employers on the white rows of the Employer table are hiring this month. I roll 1d6 for each. The table on p. 107 and 10 die rolls give the available jobs as Security for an Accounting Firm, an Executive Corporation, the Local Government, a Religionist or a Trophy Wife; a Deal for a Small Corporation; a Hit for an Embassy or a Smuggler; Breaking and Entering for a Gang; acting as Bodyguards for an Office Holder. I need to know if the Executive works for a small, large or mega corporation, so roll 1d6 for each and take the highest score; 224 and the megacorp wins.

I can try out for any three of the available jobs, but I have no interview modifiers so am unlikely to impress anyone much, so I go for the ones with the lowest Interview dice, as that gives the best chance of success. I’ll try out for the accounting firm security gig, the religionist security assignment, and the gang B&E job.

Arion rolls 2d6 for each interview, and the employer either 2d6 (the gang) or 3d6 (the others). To be hired, Arion needs at least one more success than the patron. The accountant rolls 326 (2 successes) vs Arion’s 32 (2 successes) and decides he interviewed well but is not the man for this job. The religionist gets 1 success vs Arion’s none, and decides not to hire him. The gang (44 = 0 successes) like Arion (21 = 2 successes) and tell him they’re looking for a crew like his to break into a police station evidence locker and retrieve some evidence before their boss goes to court. This is a Black Job as we’re being hired by gangers.

Pre-encounter intel level is 2 (basic, p. 111) + 3 (gang employer, table p. 106) – 4 (local govt target, table p. 106, closest thing I can see to police there) = 1 intel.

This will be a Raid encounter with Arion as the raider. The pay will be 4 items for Arion, and 3 each for Coriander and Dmitri (80% of Arion’s, rounded down) – that’s the gang’s wage value and the job’s wage value multiplied together. I roll 2d6 on the City Area table and find the raid will occur in a middle income residential area – where we live. The Day Part rules on p.112 tell me it will happen at night, and the NHC law levels on the next page tell me LL = 2 at that time of day. Fortunately, the weather is fine.

For layout, Raid uses a 3×3 public street much like the one in the last encounter. I need a building layout for the police station. A quick Google for "public domain police floor plans" turns up a couple of promising items, one of which has an evidence room marked, so I’ll use that. Here it is:

I usually play with 1” = 2 yards and one turn = 6 seconds on the tabletop, so this fellow is about 36” x 21”, or most of the board; well, why not? Let’s have sections 1-3 of the board be the road, and sections 4-6 be the police station. This is very nearly an encounter in a single building, as suggested in NB.

I decide that even at night, there must be someone in the police station, so bring in the Populating Your Buildings rule for that building only. This means there will be one more PEF inside the station, and since there is only one, it must be someone who works there – at this time of night I decide it must be the desk sergeant and whoever else is on duty. Everyone involved is on a War Footing; the cops are allowed to carry guns, and if you’re breaking in to a police station, it doesn’t much matter if you’re seen carrying a gun as well.

Now that you’ve seen how this is done, I’ll switch over to using the standard formula for 5150: NB encounters… for the above, it would look like this:

  • Objective: Recover an item (evidence) from the police.
  • Employer: Gang.
  • Pre-Encounter Intel: 1 (used when resolving First Contact, p. 119).
  • Area: Middle-income residential.
  • Day Part: Late.
  • Terrain: 3×3 Public Street. Sections 1-3 are road; sections 4-9 are the police station.
  • Law Level: 2.
  • Weather: Clear.
  • PEFs: 1, starting in section 3; another one inside. I could – and arguably should – place that randomly, but it makes more sense to me that the PEF inside should be in the rec/mail room, controlling entry to the building, so I put it there.
  • Characters: Player – Arion, Coriander, Dmitri; opposition – police.
  • Deployment: Player characters enter from section 4 as usual. Police locations are dictated by the PEFs and the Special Instructions.
  • Special Instructions: Both sides are on a War Footing. Also, the Populating Your Buildings rules (p. 77) are in force, but only for the police station; the shops are empty at night.

Now, this all seems quite a bit to work out; I expect it will go faster with experience, and anyway I can prepare this bit in advance, at work in my lunch hour, using the dice rolling app on my mobile phone (no, not an iPhone) and a PDF of the rules on my laptop (and in fact, that is how I prepared this post). That way, I can get straight to it on game night.

Also, Ed has promised some scenario books at some point, from which I can just grab one and go. Meanwhile, I can speed this up further by retaining things like map layouts.

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Comments
  1. Ed the Two Hour Wargames Guy says:

    Yes, pre-planning and keeping old info works really well. I have 45 cards I made up of NHC citizens and can just draw them as needed. Works very well.

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