On Friday November 14th, afternoon-time, upon the 2′ x 2′ square, of Ted P.’s fields of green (flock), the first scenario of a trilogy of linked skirmishes of Osprey’s A Fistful of Kung Fu unfolded. “Episode One: The Challenge” would see a brave (or cruel) force of martial artist heroes (or genocide-perpetrators) attempt to destroy a mad (or genius) scientist and her genetically-altered monstrosities (or sentient lifeforms deserving of peace, safety, and liberty). Below we see the antagonists and protagonists of the trilogy (but which is which?):
Martial Artists (above) “Uplifted” Cyber-apes (below). Note: the ape gang changed both models (the Middling’s and Ted P.’s), and revised force rosters/unit types were used in the each scenario. The martial artists were standard from the sample units section of the rulebook.
The 300 point forces pitted right-thinking, upright Martial Artists, aimed at protecting the natural order (and their villages) against a force of rampaging, genetically-enhanced, intelligent (or “Uplifted”) cyber apes, (or, as the martial artists see it: perversions of science and affronts to nature). The overall narrative of the trilogy became the struggle of the martial artists to eradicate the mad-scientist’ss “experiments,” and the ape’s struggle to survive and keep their creator’s scientific (mad) dream alive.
“Episode One: The Challenge,” demanded that Bruce Li, the Dim-Mak Master (that famous doppelgänger) challenge and defeat the leader of the ape gang, a certain mad scientist, the inimical Dr. Leise. The challenge scenario with a “Monsoon” complication (which made shooting and the lighting of which could spook any of the lesser animals) and did not feature a random V.I.P. (a NPC character that appears and adds interesting dimension to the scenario; e.g.: zombie, super-soldier, celebrity, dinosaur, etc). A brief transcription of the first scenario follows:
The apes, running amok in the village, were set up by an assembled party of martial artist heroes, bent on defeating the ape’s leader and matriarch.
The Dr. Leise, the mad-scientist, and her outsized, simian bruiser bodyguard skulk in ruins…
…as they are set upon by animated chinese lion statues.
The enhanced-apes counter-attack, leaping down from the building tops to defend their maker…
…and charge headfirst into a ninja and Shaolin monk, normally enemies but allied together against a common foe by Bruce Li’s charisma.
The lions overwhelm the giant ape, but are gunned down by Dr. Liese’s dual pistol action.
The martial artist champion (bruiser) and one of Li’s student rush forward to pave a path through the gorillas for their master to issue the challenge to the cyber-ape matriarch.
Master Li joins his students, readying to issue his challenge, when one of Dr. Leises’ alien creations, a sniper, takes careful aim…only to miss, fumbling and turning over initiative to the martial artists…
Lighting fast, Master Bruce Li leaps, issues his challenge to Dr. Leise, who has skulked back in to cover, using her protagonist’s reactions out of normal turn. The fighting is furious but Leise escapes…
…by chi-leaping atop a building’s roof.
…only to be accosted again by the tenacious Li’s follow up movement. The fisticuffs resumed, but soon Li’s superior martial skills proved too much for her in single combat, where her ranged combat aptitudes were of little use. Master Li was victorious, Dr. Leise routed and licking her wounds. The martial artists had defended the village, but to truly stop the simian threat, they needed to stop it at its source….
(…To be continued in Episode 2: “Sabotage”)
Game Notes: Victory went to the Martial Artists, and their gangs Chi level increased by one. The apes re-tooled their gang, refining the theme and mechanics for the second scenario.