1) We're not taking this guy with us. If he makes a wrong move, we kill him. Otherwise, we quickly patch him up and leave him there. I usually like making friends, but this isn't the time.
2) Yeah, we're taking the Wherren to that site, but they need protection. I'm tempted to leave Arketta with them, if she's willing.
3) Let's try following them. If we can catch up unseen, maybe we'll have the opportunity to do some hit & run and fuck with them before they reach the camp, but that's strictly golden opportunities, otherwise we shadow them to the camp and wait for Davis to do the prisoner exchange.
Arketta's not staying around guarding people, and she'll punch anyone who suggests it. The real reason is, honestly metagame speaking, is that the fishing site for the hostages is my out for you guys to keep the hostages safe and not be slowed down by them. They shan't be bushwhacked there, you have my word.
So far the various ideas for the research camp defense look like so:
Each foxhole contains 2 wherren defenders armed with either XM-10 or SCAR, except for foxhole B which contains Cowboy and Mola and the Claymore detonators. Semo will take position in foxhole G with Sajuuk.
That's 18 wherren in foxholes, plus Cowboy and Semo makes 20 defenders in foxholes. The shaman and Banur will be out here on the line with their people.
Each of the three habs will shelter four wherren. Two will be on the firing line, the other two will be replacements/ammo runners.
That's 12 wherren in habs, 6 of which will be shooters. I'm not sure, but I think that the reasoning for this is so the habs aren't immediately designated as priority targets. There's no one area with a greater perceived number of shooters.
The remaining 8 wherren will be guarding the prisoners. Swims-the-Black will lead this group, and make 9 total prisoner guards.
Davis will be in the comm room with Hale. Kasey was supposed to post his plan for tricking the Khiraba into making vox contact, but the first and simplest part is painting a message to them on the dome and/or hab exteriors. Presumably the enemy will attempt to scout the camp; they will see the painted message about wanting to conduct a hostage exchange, along with a vox channel to use. This should actually prove pretty good bait for Vilos Arpana, the Expansion dropchief that might possibly be familiar to you the players through my smattering of cutscene posts. Hale is with Davis because Hale is not willing to put himself in any greater danger than Davis is.
First, Davis is going to paint a message to the Khiraba, saying that they want to give them prisoners in exchange for the Wherren hostages on the habs.
And give them a vox channel to work out the specifics.
Then, we negotiate, they want to know the prisoners are all right, Davis puts Hale on, and so on.
The real purpose of all of this is to make them paranoid.
They're already expecting some kind of dastardly trick.
It's Davis, and that's his rep.
And so Davis is playing into that.
Plus, they'll see Hale walking around and they'll hear him, which puts the idea that Davis has flipped the prisoners into their heads.
Through some kind of torture or mind control, no doubt.
Anyway, the point is to get them worked up about the camp being full of moles and traitors.
And then Davis sends them their prisoners.
Namely, Hoei and his three Turai troublemaker friends.
Davis either gives them a radio or slips them a radio, tuned to a different channel and on a different encryption.
And either they find it on them, or Davis has it make a bit of noise, static or something innocuous.
And then they think that Hoei and the Turai are spies.
me: They execute them, call back to the camp, and Davis records them ranting and getting all worked up.
And the magic words are "We're going to kill everyone in the camp".
Which he will then play for the prisoners.
Even better if they drag Hoei and the Turai out into the clearing and execute them.
So we can get it on surveillance.
And the message on the habs reads: "Want to trade prisoners for Wherren hostages, contact on vox channel 2890"
Cowboy has first aid gear on him that can recover shock quickly but the wounds will need a kauka to fully heal quickly. Davis has the kauka.
There is a large force to the south that's currently still in the trees. They are generally all going to be orange. What sounds like either a sneakier or smaller force is heading in from the west side.
The shooter that hit Cowboy and Mola fired from the NE corner of the treeline.
Hugh, Luis, Angel, Zaef; you don't see any contacts but you're pretty much aware of these general goings-on since you're pretty close. I believe Dave has made his intention to blow the claymores ASAP clear over gtalk, so you might want to wait for those to go off before advancing, though.
Cowboy actually went first, and blew the mines. Semo's gonna shoot at the big mess of wherren. This round, the smoke is blocking all LOS between the camp clearing and ANYTHING beyond it. The only enemy targets whose position is known are the charging warriors.
It's going to be easier for Semo to hit multiple times once they're a little closer. I had him fire just the once because it's all at d8 range and I know wasted XM25 shots are bad right now.
What I am trying to do in this battle is try to take into account your characters' points of view. For example, the wherren charge, but there's not actually a PC who's witnessing it currently so the description is fairly brief. Inevitably there'll be shooting at people in the jungle, and unless you're actually close enough to see the results (like Hugh's team might do), you'll just be shooting at muzzleflashes, you know? Vietnam-type stuff. Some stuff I do have to go over, like the stuff with the prisoners in the dome. That's all-new information and I'm trying to handle that more cutscene-like. I dunno, I had to get up at 5 today.
I was waaaay too subtle with my descriptions of if the bad guys heard you. I apologize for that.
You guys are at d6 range for shooting, and d8 range for grenade throwing. There is ample cover, and everyone - you and these enemies - are in jungle that's mostly untouched by the claymores (although I may throw in some flavor text for descriptive purposes).
The guy barking orders has noticed you with a ridiculous awareness roll. If you attack right now, you will not have the unaware bonus but every hostile but the leader guy there will go at the end of the round. Leader rolls initative normally (and still might go at the end of the round if he has shit luck there).
Those were major villains and they had their share of wild dice as well. I've often said in tabletop play that burning metagame resources should smell like ozone and dog hair. Ironically, this is one situation where the in-game results bear that out.
It sounds like it's "pair off and first aid who you can!" time. You have one kauka, and while shock damage can be easily recovered with normal first aid, to instantly regain Wounds you need a kauka, and it takes a full round to use it on someone.
It's a time crunch, really. Do you kauka everyone or patch up quick and look for more targets? Also the enemy could very well send more after you if you stick around. But running off half-cocked with few wild dice leaves you vulnerable. Oh, the conundrums!
Kauka healing in combat rounds is slightly different than the insta-get-better I normally do when timing isn't an issue. Luis makes a medicine roll vs a difficulty die - the harder the difficulty, the more Shock you get back, and the bigger bonus you get to insta-heal Wounds. It's not guaranteed to heal you completely in one round, although typically with Luis behind it, you can usually get there or real close.
Zaef is 6/6W, 12/14 Shock. Luis made a miracle roll and brought Zaef from no Shock almost back to full. Arketta will first aid what the kauka missed and Zaef'll be good to go in one more round.
Angel's at 4/6W, 9/14 Shock from Hugh's first aid. He'll be easier to get back to full with the kauka.
Semo's gonna take full cover and try to apply first aid to himself. He's getting the lion's share of the incoming fire.