As the world opens up and games with other people are back on the agenda, what could be better than discovering a new solo game...
This is the crew of the Fortune's Fool, a worn out Prospero Galactic X-30 freighter, currently docked at the Axxon orbital shipyard above the featureless mining colony of Sera, a Fringe world beyond the rigid control of Unity.
You're probably wondering what the hell I'm blathering on about...well, I've been playing about with Five Parsecs From Home, a solo sci-fi game from Nordic Weasel Games and published by Modiphius.
The premise is more that a little like Firefly, with a rogueish crew of ragtag ne'erdowells running jobs and battling outlaws, aliens and 'the man'.
One of the things I like about this game is that unlike many solo games, not only are the character randomly generated, but so are the scenarios, opponents and storyline. I'm really interested to see where this goes.
The random generation of characters gives you stats and equipment, along with hooks for background, motivation and career, enough to create some interesting and diverse characters, such as my new crew of the Fortune's Fool, which I named with online random generators.
Captain Dash Halcyon
Born in the sprawling undercity of a dystopian mega-hive, Dash Halcyon, like so many others, joined a gang for protection. His route out was his skill for mechanics, robotics and modding weapons which allowed him to buy his own ship and break out his own. He is cut-throat and ruthless in his work, despite his charming nature, something that was only enhanced by a nerve adjustor implant.
Dash hides his low birth and background by adopting the persona of a former officer for Unity. The uniform coat he wears was taken from the target of a previous job. He's armed with heavily modded machine pistols, and makes great use of a Precursor Displacer, which allows him to get the drop on his enemies.
I'm not sure where I got this model from, as it was given to me, but it is resin and I'd contrived to snap his foot in half with how he was stored. However, resin fixes easily and I really like the dynamic pose.
Cadet Kyla Melne
As a scientific cadet assigned to a research outpost in the Fringe, Kyla Melne thought she was in for a life of exploration and adventure.
She was wrong.
Life at the outpost was routine and dull, and so Kyla took advantage of a routine supply run to the Axxon Station above Sera to jump ship, quite literally, and join the crew of a former Unity officer, Captain Halcyon, in the hope that she might explore strange new worlds and seek out new life, boldly going where no research cadet has gone before.
This is the Renegade Royal miniature I recently picked up from Crooked Dice, and ironically I've got it painted before any of the models I'd actually intended to buy. The nod to Star Trek movie uniforms is deliberate as it gives a sense of where Kyla's morals lie - something that could cause issues with the captain down the line.
Clanker was built by Dash Halcyon from the salvaged parts of a U-87 Warbot and a retail mannequin droid. The bot's disconcerting appearance isn't helps by the fact that the mannequin's synthskin has started to decay.
Clanker has been Halcyon's backup for a long time, lending long range support with a Unity infantry laser. A more active role in operations is precluded by the godawful noise Clanker makes when he moves.
I got given this model (which I think is from Rogue Miniatures) at a 7TV event, and I've slightly adapted it by replacing a large blade with something that looks a bit like a gun.
Bought by Halcyon with the proceeds of some early jobs, I2-T-800 is tasked with security and surveillance, a service it is eminently equipped to provide, armed as it is with a fearsome beam pistol.
I2 has recently developed a strange glitch that Dash has so far been unable to iron out. The bot has taken to entering 'stealth mode' by simply donning a hat and coat. It's a harmless enough idiosyncrasy, but the captain is concerned what else might develop.
This miniature was a free stretch goal from the 7TV: Apocalypse Kickstarter and was really simple to paint. I really like how this project is allowing me to use miniatures I previously had no plans for.
Vidar and Noria Tane
Hailing from the surface of Sera, Vidar and Noria have recently joined the Fortune's Fool as crew hands.
Vidar is an agent for the mining syndicates, but recently discovered that their community was being swindled and has signed on with Captain Halcyon on the condition that he can further investigate the syndicates.
Noria trusts her husband, and has joined his quest for truth, excited at the prospect seeing more of the galaxy than just the featureless surface of Sera.
I've decided to use miniatures I painted for Fallout Wasteland Warfare for these two characters, as I'm not entirely convinced that their life expectancy is massive - although that's possibly because I've given them the worst equipment.
Having generated my crew, ship and starting world, I now need the crew to look for a job. I think I'll roll this up ahead of time, in case I need to paint anything, although I'm hopeful that my somewhat eclectic 7TV collection might cover most eventualities.