"Ein Klokwerk Orange"
A Panzerfäuste Scenario by Luke Passingham
The spiralling cost in resources and manpower has led every nation to turn their minds towards crazy methods to grant them the upper hand. Deep within his hidden laboratory, Kapitan Entwickler, pride of the Ausdenkerkorps, has been working on a mechanical soldier powered by steam and clockwork that could change the very nature of warfare throughout The Land.
“Ich Liebe dieser kerl” - Entwickler
*Bzzt*-*crackle*-*time for a bit of ultraviolence* - Das Klokwerk Orange
As the Great War drags into yet another year, the spiralling cost in resources and manpower paid by the participating nations has led the heads of each to turn their collective minds towards new, bold and some might say crazy methods to allow them the elusive upper hand.
Deep within his hidden laboratory under the mountain of Glompeii, Kapitan Entwickler, pride of the Ausdenkerkorps, has been working on something that could change the war effort in the favour of the Dwarves: a mechanical soldier, powered by steam and clockwork – utterly unstoppable, impervious to pain, never needing rest or a comforting pint of Weissbeir and a plate of Bratwurst before being asked to hurl itself into mortal danger. With an army of such soldiers the Dwarves would crush all opposition before them, and such is the Kapitan’s dream. Of course realisation of this dream is proving awkward, with over 200 prototype models having so far exploded, melted, gone berserk or done all three. Entwickler has high hopes for his latest model, despite last week's incident with a lab technician, a bag of grenades and a toasting fork. If he can get the remaining glitches ironed out he is confident of a field test within 30 days and, once mass-production starts, the total eradication of all enemy forces within six months.
However his efforts have not gone unnoticed. Having spotted the large amounts of personnel, munitions and scrap metal being ferried into a semi-active volcano by suspicious looking Dwarves some treacherous Rat spies in the pay of the Light Elves have infiltrated the secret lair and relayed back to their masters in Æolöndia. The High Council reacted with alarm – should Entwickler’s vision of an army of clockwork golems be made reality their Orcish allies would surely be swept aside in record time, and their fears of a foreign invasion of Æolöndia made horribly feasible. Acting quickly the High Council mobilised one of their top commando units already operating in Tédeschñi with a simple instruction: destroy Entwickler’s base or die trying.
Under the leadership of Commander Alexander Droog this crack unit has stealthily breached the Ausdenkerkorps base and made their way to the heart of the research complex. With an alert sounding and the bullets flying the Light Elves have sabotaged the main generator, a huge ramshackle device drawing thermal power from the heart of the volcano itself.
As Entwickler brings his forces to bear to eliminate the intruders, the Light Elves must move to escape before they, and everything else within the base, is destroyed.
The scenario will be fought in the tunnels beneath Mount Glompeii, deep within Tédeschñi territory. Although cunningly dug by Dwarven artificers these are nevertheless claustrophobic and cramped tunnels, unsuitable for fighting, being narrow, low-ceilinged and very poorly lit. Players will need to represent the tunnel network as best they can – there are a number of games on the market providing a network of cardboard corridors that could be used for this (Descent or Space Hulk corridors, for example, would be ideal) but this also could easily be mapped out with paper. No map is provided, but make sure you have plenty of corners and twists and turns for fighting. At one end you will need a small chamber to represent the generator room: Droog and his forces set up here, hunkered down behind the now-destroyed cooling system, and as such are considered to be within cover at the start of play. At the other end you will need a designated exit point where models may escape.
Entwickler’s forces begin the game dispersed throughout the tunnels as follows:
Pinsel and Joghurt set up in the corridor outside the generator room, firing in.
The rest of the Ausdenkerkorps should be positioned in pairs throughout the tunnel complex, each pair at least (distance) away from the other. (It should take the dwarves a couple of turns to bring their forces to bear – I want them to arrive in dribs and drabs. Not sure of the movement, but this will determine the distances used here) Der Klokwerk Orange should be positioned in the same way, but it may only be accompanied by Morton and Twerky (the rest of the troopers are too wary of it to approach).
Entwickler himself begins play anywhere in the complex, but must be at least 20cm away from the other dwarves, as above. He is accompanied by Guntsling.
Although a full alert is sounding, at the beginning of the scenario Entwickler does not know the extent of the damage the generator has suffered and therefore is not allowed to have his forces hang around the ‘exit’ end of the tunnel waiting for the generator to blow up so he can quickly evacuate, and the Dwarven player should initially be looking to eradicate the Light Elves instead.
The exact size of the tunnel layout is left to the players, but a shorter layout will mean that when / if the heat exchanger is destroyed then escape will be a lot more difficult, as the map will quickly be overrun. A mad rush at this stage is both more fun and more thematic (and a lot funnier) so my suggestion would be to avoid large and overly complex setups, but equally leave yourself enough time to have a chance of getting away.
The Light Elven troops may leave the map via the exit at any time. Dwarven troops may only exit the map once either the generator has blown, or a member of the science team has entered the generator room and spent their round examining the damage there.
Rabbit Warren: Fighting within the tunnels is confusing at best – visibility is poor, sirens are wailing and the recent sabotage of the cooling system is leading to pipes and vents bursting, flooding the corridors with steam and smoke. All firing Guts Rolls are modified by -5 (Moderate Cover+Night.) For movement purposes the complex is treated as Underground (so Dwarves suffer a -25% penalty and the Light Elves -50%).
Destroy All Fleshy Ones: Entwickler’s Klokwerk Orange is his greatest invention yet, but it is not yet fully field tested and potentially prone to catastrophic malfunction, especially with all these bullets flying about. At the start of each Dwarven turn that the Golem is functioning normally, roll 1D6. On a roll of 1, the golem’s target-recognition and cognitive systems malfunction and it embarks on its default programme: eradicate all organic life (Entwickler has not yet got round to removing this placeholder programme: in retrospect this was probably an error).
Whilst the golem is malfunctioning it is counts as a member of both forces for the purpose of movement and attacks – ie. it may do so during both players turns, and must always move in order to make an attack on as many models as it is able where possible. Any of Entwickler’s science team, or the Kapitan himself, may attempt to bring it back under control by moving into and spending a full round in base to base contact, then rolling a D6 – the golem comes back under Dwarven control on a roll of 1-4, although it may still malfunction the next turn as normal.
Should the Golem's Guts value drop below 5 during the fighting then normal damage rules do not apply, the controlling player instead rolling a D6 and consulting the following chart:
Steam Golem Major Malfunction Table
1-3: Its gonna blow! Superheated steam and broken parts fly from the Golem as it lurches crazily to and fro. The golem immediately makes an attack on all models within range. Then roll an additional D6: the Golem itself then explodes on a roll of 1-3, otherwise it may take its turn normal.
4: Navigational systems overloaded! The Golem makes it’ full move in a random direction determined by the scatter template. Should its move take it into contact with any model (friend or foe) it will immediately throw a attack at them and then cease its turn. Any further damage to the golem requires another roll on this chart.
5: Stuck in a loop! The Steam Golem must repeat its exact move from the previous turn. Should its move take it into contact with any model (friend or foe) it will immediately attack them and then cease its turn. Any further damage to the golem requires another roll on this chart.
6: Everything’s Under Control! The Golem’s self-repair system kicks in and it returns to normal. The golem gains 1 Guts (up to its starting vale.
Hot as Hell in Here: The Light Elves sabotage has spelled the end for the secret base – the primary heat exchanger is dangerously overloaded and it is only a matter of time before the superheated lava that Entwickler has been using to power his generators rushes into the tunnel system, destroying everything in its path. Firing guns and the like is only likely to hasten things as vital parts of the already-straining cooling system are pierced by bullets or blown apart by grenades.
To keep track of the state of the heat exchanger, jot down a running total on a scrap of paper as follows:
Every complete turn of the game: +1
Every time a gun is fired: +1
Every time a grenade, Entwickler’s Megaflammenwerfer, or the golem’s cannon is fired: +D3
When the total reaches 20, each time anything happens that would cause the total to rise again (i.e. a gun is fired, or a turn ends) roll 1D6. On a 1 – 2 the heat exchanger has finally overloaded and explodes. The magma immediately fills the generator room and will begin flowing rapidly down the corridors, destroying anything in its path. Each round the magma will flow 5cm in every direction following the path of all adjoining rooms and corridorsd. Any model whose base is within 5cm of the lava flow loses 1 Guts, whilst any model who touched by the lava flow is destroyed. The only exception is the Klokwek Golem, which can move and act as normal within the lava as it is totally heat-proof (not that this will help it if everyone around it has been burned to ashes).
The cunning and infamous Kapitan Entwickler has been hard at work within Tédeschñi researching new and ingenious weapons with which to aid the war effort. The Light Elves attack threatens to undo all his hard work and he leads the counterattack with a cold fury born of desperation.
Entwickler has of course a large number of fiendish devices at hand within his workshop, and has hurriedly kitted himself out before entering battle with a number of his best inventions including his armour plated clockwork battle-shorts, ear mounted poison dart-launchers and the infamous helmet-dwelling night vision frog. In general these have no game effect, but due to the effects of the frog, Entwickler is not affected by the lack of visibility penalty described under the special rules (Those familiar with the noble Kapitan will be pleased to see this finally this do something useful).
He is also armed with a new and devilish weapon he has dubbed the Megaflammenwerfer: a huge and unwieldy device consisting of a tank full of superheated lava harvested from the volcano, attached to a pressurised hose that enables it to be blasted at his enemies as though he were watering a garden. Due to the tanks size it needs to be dragged along on a small cart and firing the weapon requires vigorous fiddling with, and pumping of, half a dozen small knobs, levers and buttons attached to it. This can be done by Guntsling so long as he remains within an inch of Entwickler, but should he move away or be removed a casualty then Entwickler may only fire the Megaflammenwerfer if he first spends a full round stationary and doing nothing other than preparing it to fire. The Megaflammenwerfer has a short range of 5cm, an effective range of 25cm and a long range of 30cm, it uses the B (MG) table. As with many of Entwickler's contraptions it is somewhat unpredictable. After rolling to hit you make a second roll to see if further malfunctions occur. Roll 2D6 and if you get doubles immediately roll on the weapon malfunction table.
Entwickler is an Experienced Dwarf Regular and as the leader of his section has a starting Guts value of 10. He is also carrying a pistol.
Gunter is Entwickler’s assistant and lackey, responsible for everything from preparing the Kapitan’s breakfast to field testing his Zygon-proof jetpack battle armour. A serious head wound suffered whilst crashing from a great height into an angry Zygon has left him lacking in imagination, motivation and many social graces, and he follows Entwickler around like a bad smell, drooling and limping and awaiting his masters bidding. Because of his devotion to his Kapitan, Guntsling may never be more than 6cm away from Entiwckler at the end of his move. Guntsling is a green regular Dwarf and has a starting Guts value of 6.
Mob Borton & Buck ‘Twerky’ Rougers
Borton and Twerky make up the rest of Entwickler’s science team. A pair of allied non-Khâllazdurin 'scientists' attached to the Ausdenkerkorps, they are inexperienced under fire but keen to see how the golem functions in battlefield conditions and willing to risk their lives in order to do so. They are both counted as normal militia troops. Borton is a brilliant Ogre technician but prone to making mistakes, he has a starting Guts value of 7. Twerky is a talented gnome with a stutter and the shakes. He has a starting Guts value of 4. If they have line of sight to the golem they each receive a +2 Guts modifier. In addition if they are within 6cm of each other they get a further +2 Guts modifier as they are bolstered by the technobabble passing between them.
‘Der Klokwerk Orange’
Also known as Entwicklerstolz Dwarven-roboter Mark 209, but nicknamed ‘Der Klokwerk Orange’ due to its distinctive rounded shape and bright colour, this clockwork and steam powered golem represents the very pinnacle of Dwarven engineering. Thick armour plates protect a steam powered core and prototype thinking machine housed within the body, which is supported by hydraulically powered arms and legs. Entwickler has experimented with various devices on the arms from saws and drills to vast grabbing pincers but has settled at this stage for the two large, oversized axes. After the disastrous and tragic accident with the spring-mounted grenade tube Entwickler has avoided mounting any heavy weaponry upon the golem’s chassis, but has found a single Light Machine Gun mounted over the shoulder to be extremely effective.
The Golem has a starting Guts value of 11.
Troopers Kase, Biskit, Polizist, Gluhbirne, Joghurt, Pinzel & Kopfschmerzen
Stout veteran members of the Ausdenkerkorps, Kase, Biskit and Polizist are Veteran Dwarven Regulars with a starting Guts value of 10. Gluhbrine and Joghurt are Normal Dwarf Regulars with a starting Guts of 8. Pinzel and Kopfschmerzen are new members of the squad and are Green Dwarf Regulars with a starting Guts of 6. They should all be armed as per weapon type (so if using PZF201 and PZF202 - choose seven miniatures from the five armed with rifles, the one with an LMG, the one with an SMG and the one with an Anti-Tank Weapon).
Light Elf Forces
Major Alexander Droog
A capable and cunning Light Elf soldier, Droog and his troops have been operating within Tédeschñi behind enemy lines for several months - destroying depots, assassinating enemy officers and generally causing havoc. Droog himself is an extremely cold individual, having been willingly subjected to an experimental technique by the Branzhûm boffins that has removed all his capacity to experience positive emotions. Forced to watch endless grainy cinematographs of happy children, loving couples and peaceful woodland scenes whilst being injected with untried and mysterious drugs he has come to associate all such things with pain and has become a chemically-addled heartless killer. He also very much enjoys classical music. Droog is an Elite Veteran Light Elf and has a starting Guts value of 11. He is armed with a pistol and a sub-machine gun. Due to his cold nature he is immune to Suppression.
Lt. Stanley Burgess
Droog’s second in command, Burgess is a veteran of dozens of suicide missions, none of which have (obviously) resulted in his death. This has resulted in him becoming what could kindly be described as ‘a bit funny’. In the initial part of the mission his confidence in his own survivability will lead him to be excessively calm and cocky, and as such receives the 'Supreme Courage' bonus (Panzerfäuste 1E, p. 32). Once the generator is destroyed however another side of his character will kick in as he realises this could be his time after all, and he must instead roll on the Negative Vibe table at the start of every turn as he seeks to save himself at all costs. Burgess is a Regular Veteran Light Elf with a starting Guts value of 9. He is armed with a rifle.
A large and gormless Light Elf, subject to much banter about his parentage due to his vast size and lack of intelligence. Dumb is nevertheless the most dangerous member of the commando team due to his great strength and propensity to enter a berserker rage under fire. He is a Regular Normal Light Elf but due to his great size receives a +2 Guts bonus so has a starting Guts value of 9. He is armed with a Light Machine Gun. Dumb is perpetually hungry – this is because, unbeknownst to him he does indeed have some Ogre blood within his family tree, and as such does not receive any bonuses from eating any type of Light Elf cuisine.
Commandos Pete, Georgie, Clarence, Malcolm, Lewis, Warren, Billyboy & Murphy the Geek.
These handpicked Light Elf commandos make up the remainder of the team. Pete, Georgie and Clarence are Regular Experienced Light Elves with a starting Guts of 8. Malcolm, Lewis, Warren and Billyboy are Regular Normal Light Elves with a starting Guts of 7.
You can arm the Light Elves with any weapons you want, ideally arm them as per weapon type on the miniatures you're using to represent them.
Murphy is a geek. Geeks are the Light Elves version of the Orcs Boffins and the Dwarves Tecknicians. As such they are the operators of the Light Elves most powerful battlefield device, the Madhatter Device (see Panzerfäuste 1E, p.33). Murphy is a Regular Normal Light Elf and has a starting Guts of 5. He carries a pistol as well as the Madhatter machine.
Cuisine & Inspired Leadership
Both these rules really add flavour to games of Panzerfäuste and I encourage you to use them. Roll 1d6 for each soldiers (Dwarf and Light Elf) on a roll of 5 or 6 randomly choose a native item of cuisine for that soldier.
Victory conditions for this scenario are as follows:
Droog slain -1
Entwickler slain +3
Klokwerk Orange destroyed +2
Droog escapes +1
For each of Droog’s commandos escaping: +1
Entwickler escapes +3
Every Enemy model slain +1
Entwickler slain -2
Klokwerk Satsuma destroyed -2
Each of the science team slain: -1
Therefore Droog’s main aim is to cause as much damage as possible – losses are acceptable on this mission, although if any of his men can be saved it would be a bonus.
Entwickler meanwhile should ensure he and as much of his knowledge and staff survive, whilst taking revenge on the villains who have attempted to disrupt his great work.
If both sides are wiped out by the volcano then regardless of points scored the battle is a draw.
Apologies to A Clockwork Orange, a powerful and insightful book whose themes I have completely ignored whilst ripping off names & concepts for this scenario. Enjoy!
An Orcs in the Webbe Original! This scenario was written exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe and was first published on the 9th December 2014 as part of it's 2014 Advent Calendar.