Orktober – The Dust Rats – In Campaign P.1Filed under: Ere Be Stuff
There’s quite a lot to cover in the “in campaign” section, so we’ve split it up over several posts. Still to come are the rules for Dust Rat experience and skills, their income, and the other sorts of odds and ends that need to be covered.
Dust Rats in Campaign
Dust Rat Vehicles
As Dust Rat vehicles are allocated to field units rather than owned by them, certain things work a little differently from Ork vehicles.
Fixer Upper Vehicle Permanent Damage Result
The Fixer-Upper result does not work the same for Dust Rats. Should they bring one of their vehicles back in such a state then the boys at the motor pool are not going to be best pleased, so much so that both the vehicle’s driver and gunner (if it has one) must also miss the next battle to create a bit of good will in order to avoid losing access to their transport. They will be available for income purposes at the end of the battle, after they’ve made sure there’s enough tea to go around and the floors are swept, of course.
Getting customisations done on a vehicle isn’t too tricky for most Dust Rat units, but COs have been known to trade their ration coupons to be bumped up the list, parts have been shipped to the wrong workshop and occasionally the wrenchheads are still too blind drunk from the illicit still they run out of an old LRV radiator. As such the Digga rules for this apply to Dust Rats precisely as detailed under "Fitting Gubbins" (pg 18 – 19, Digganob).
Finishing a mob
After many years of loyal service and a bundle of successful missions under their belts, units are often retired or broken up to form new units. The CO might go on to join the ranks of the High Command, lending his field-learned expertise to the planning of future endeavours. Veterans might retire to a more civilian lifestyle or be given young charges of their own to hone into fine young soldiers. Grunts routinely transfer between units when there is a need for extra manpower on certain missions.
There are even rumours that sometimes, when a unit has performed very well that they effectively disappear. These units become black ops, doing the dirty work that’s too difficult, too specialised or just too damn unsavoury for the rank and file to do or even know about. Should a Dust Rat mob be foolish enough to go rogue, the first thing they’ll know about how Command feels about it is the sound of a knife slitting their tent open at night…
Once your mob reaches a rating of 400 it’s time to recruit a fresh Dust Rat unit and venture forth in search of adventure.
Leadership Challenges: "I demand satisfaction!"
If a Grunt in a Dust Rat unit ends up with a higher Leadership score than the CO a leadership challenge will be issued. The Grunt feels he is a natural leader, easily superior to the unit’s current one, and his firm feeling of loyalty to the unit compels him to attempt to assume command. This is one of the few times that hand to hand combat is seen within Dust Rat society as these challenges are fought with rapiers in accordance with tradition. Every officer receives formal training in hand to hand combat for this very purpose – an officer is a gentleman after all and must be able to defend his honour should the need arise. A challenge is not something to be taken lightly and it is not unheard of for the challenger to attempt to back out after laying down the gauntlet so it is the responsibility of one of the settlement’s enforcers to ensure they do not escape.
Originally such duels were fought until one of the participants was mortally wounded but over time it came to be seen as a waste of able-bodied men, resulting in the creation of the modern duelling code. Both warriors fight until one draws blood and is declared the winner, regardless of how minor the wound is. If the challenger is victorious then they will be immediately be required to enter officer training, assuming responsibility for their unit upon successful completion. Should the CO win then the challenger will be assigned hard labour as a punishment for insubordination, before being returned to their unit, perhaps a little wiser.
To fight a duel, place both models in base-to-base contact and work out a round of hand-to-hand combat. Neither warrior may use any of their normal equipment, instead they are both given a sword for the duration of the duel. Neither model counts as charging. The first model to inflict a wound is declared the winner. If a warrior goes out of action they are required to roll on the Serious Injuries table as normal, but treat results of "Captured" and "Bitter Enmity" as "Full Recovery". A result of "Gobsmacked" does not give anyone any income – Dust Rat teeth have no inherent value!
If the challenger wins then he has proven his abilities and is now the permanent CO of the unit and is called in for immediate training, missing the next game. Losing will result in the challenger missing the next game while he learns the error of his ways.
Driver and Gunner Disputes
Once a member of the squad has established himself as a vehicle’s driver, or claimed ownership of a fixed weapon, it’s rare for them to be willing to give up their position and the prestige it carries. However, just because it’s "theirs" doesn’t mean another member of the unit couldn’t do the job better, but they’re not going to just slug someone over the head like greenskin savages, that’s not the way things are done by civilised people (and the MPs would have them banged up in the brig before they managed a second swing…). If you wish to change who drives a vehicle or mans a fixed weapon, a dispute must be resolved as described below.
Drivers traditionally favour the hands on approach and so disputes are settled in one of the many boxing rings found throughout the base. The warriors go toe to toe for three rounds, whoever is still standing at the end takes the wheel when they’re next deployed. In terms of rules, the two warriors fight in hand to hand combat, best out of three. Going down does not put them out of action, but it does lose them the round, and flesh wounds carry over between rounds. Neither warrior counts as charging and serious injuries cannot be inflicted by losing. Three rounds means best out of three, so if one warrior loses twice in a row, there is no point in playing a third round.
Gunners prefer a little more showmanship via a live-fire course. Each course is a little different, but generally they take they take one of three forms; a static pistol target range, an enclosed rifle course, and a grenade range. The first is tackled using service revolvers, the second with a standard issue carbine, and the third using frag grenades. Each warrior takes on the course on his own, comparing scores at the end. Roll a D6 to determine which course the two warriors are going to take on.
1 – 2
The pistol section has two targets, worth a point each. Warriors may either take two individual shots, gaining one point per target, or use the revolver’s sustained fire dice to rattle off a few shots at once, spreading their hits. Should they take out both targets in a single volley they gain an extra point, but if they fail then they are capped at a single point for the round.
3 – 4
The carbine area involves three targets. The first is at the other end of a corridor, the shot being taken after moving (running and firing is acceptable if the warrior has Hipshoota), the second target is at long range, the third is at long range and moves, effectively appearing/disappearing. In game terms this means three shots, the first taken at no penalty (or +1 to hit with Hipshoota), the second at -1 to hit, the third at -2 to hit. The first two targets are worth one point, the last is worth two.
5 – 6
|Mr. Grenade is not your friend
Finally there is the grenade range, in which multiple targets must be taken down using a couple of frag grenades (It used to be HE grenades but the range master was starting to get rather irritated with the craters he kept finding). Two groups of two targets are arranged side by side, providing four targets in total. Between the two targets in a group there is 1" of distance and the two groups are 3" apart. Arrange them however you like. Each warrior gets two frag grenades to throw at the targets 6" away. Each target is worth 1 point and there is a bonus point for each group, if both targets are taken out in one blast.
Once resolved, whoever has the most points takes on the job of gunner, the newcomer ignoring the mutterings of "fluke…" from the previous holder should he win.
It should be noted, both of these contests usually take place with an audience of both service men and civilians, these events being highlights of the week for the base’s community. By the time a Dust Rat is old enough to compete in such a challenge he will have seen countless others, quite possibly with his father by his side.
Death of Warriors and Vehicles
The rules for Ork warriors and vehicles apply just as described in Da Uvver Book: in the event of death all the warrior’s equipment and weapons are lost, similarly all a vehicle’s gubbinz and its fixed weapon are destroyed with it (pg. 69 – 70 of Da Uvver Book).
Death of a Commanding Officer
Should the unthinkable happen and your Commanding Officer ends up KIA your unit must hire a new CO at the earliest opportunity. This works slightly differently from hiring other mob members in that the cost is deducted from income rather than profit. Dust Rat units must be led by a commissioned officer and as such a new one will be assigned as soon as is feasible. In the event of a unit not earning enough income to afford a new CO their Veteran will temporarily take command. If there is no Veteran, the Grunt with the highest leadership will step up (if there are several with the highest leadership, the one with the most experience is chosen).