It is the 43rd day of the journey across the desert. The weather has been tolerable, and your Lawman, though worn, remains fully operational. The caravan you watch over has fared worse, but struggles on; they've come closer to the Eastern Shelf than any of the pessimistic fuel or food supply estimates would've allowed. There's a real sense of hope, now, mixed with the determination.
They might really make it.
For 3 million years, when the world had a name that has since been forgotten, the reach & supremacy of The McAllister Alliance was absolute. Their oppulant cities, profound literature and terrible armies forged sweeping empires whose reach and ambition, for a time, seemed without limit.
That time ended four hundred years ago, when the Alice Accords were violated by parties unworthy of note & long dead, resulting in the eruption of Mount Jyrgunkarrd and the awakening of The Eater of Kings. Resistance mounted against it was immaterial; the land was seared, the oceans were absorbed for coolant, all wilderness was mulched into fuel, and most people perished.
For survivors in the Northern Shelf, total despair was kept in check by rumors of an operational Redgate just off the coast of the Eastern Shelf. Coordinates were derived from a source that few can now agree about the nature of, and these became an icon of salvation for many. Intermittently, some of this many would even dare a pilgrimage to reach those coordinates across the desert where the oceans used to revel, if they could find the vehicles and supplies for the undertaking.
This is the story of your pilgrimage.STEP 1: SELECT A LAWMAN
Lawmen are semi-autonomous mobile fortresses. While civilization still thrived, they were used as peacekeeping assets, law enforcement headquarters and mobile command centers in times of war. Now, most are shambling monsters in varying states of disrepair; many have been subverted by The Eater of Kings into ravenous kidnappers & arsonists.
Yours is a pristine exception to the rule - a gently used glimpse of a magnificent past.
There are 5 vehicles to choose from:LHV-85
Spearhead Housing: Starts with 10 garage space instead of 5.
Deep Bore Mining Drones: +2d10 extra alloys every mining cycle.
Unique Unit: Rex-Class Tank Killer. +5 Protection, +5 Penetration, fires twice per round.
Aircraft Launch Rails: Starts with 2 hangar space instead of 0.
Deep Formation Drill: +2d6 extra fuel every mining cycle.
Unique Unit: Wych-Class Stealth Interceptor. +3 Evade, +3 Pursuit, 2 Flares, cannot be fired upon during the first round of combat.
NutriFungus Packets: Gardeners make 1 extra food each.
Guerilla Training Program: Infantry always have at least light cover.
Unique Unit: Warpath-Class Transforming IFV. +3 Protection,+2 Penetration; transforms into a bipedal attack vehicle with +3 Protection, +4 Penetration / +5 Penetration (light) and Rampage after deploying infantry.
Steel Puppeteer: Starts the game with an android Minister of Espionage; acts as any other Minister of Industry, but has no Conviction, does not require food and will be reconstructed in 1d4 turns after being destroyed.
Contingency Protocols: Re-roll any failed espionage task.
Unique Unit: Thread Agent. Grants +2 to mission success instead of +1; +5 Protection, +5 Penetration in combat and ignores the first kill result against it.
These Will Do: Location disentegration yields 2d6 extra crew & material.
None Above the Law: Whenever a hostile army engages a friendly army, they sustain 2d20 losses to their core forces before any other combat results are resolved.
Unique Unit: The Judge; an invulnerable robotic monster that has a 1 in 10 chance of erupting from the ground at the beginning of any combat to harass enemy forces.