Thursday, August 3, 2017

Module Suitability Review - Bear's Den

Image taken from Drivethrurpg.com, IP is GDW/FFE



Well, it's the long promised review of Bear's Den. It's the only adventure that takes place in the Soviet Union (why in the world the PCs would ever go in that direction is beyond me, unless you really want to take the long way home through Siberia to Alaska, which if Deadliest Catch has taught us anything, it's no, don't go that way!)

  The adventure has a lot of potential, it centers around the Ukrainian city of Lvov, a Soviet general with dreams of empire..and the military skill that's already made him a legend...and the small matter of him potentially having a SCUD with a nuke? Not to mention, it's left open ended for the players to join him or not..decisions..decisions? Did I also mention the CIA-backed partisans and that Soviet Tank Division (also controlled by the CIA) that's marching on the city?

Yeah, it's a big battle the likes of which we don't often see in a Twilight: 2000 adventure. And what a battle it could be.

And the PCs could be right in the middle of it all....

But how does it do as miniatures fodder?

Skirmish Games

For skirmish games, this scenario pack has a lot going for it. There are skirmishes between the forces of the "Red Bear" and the partisans, or the 27th Tank Division (pro-NATO) and the forces of the Red Bear...but some other ideas lend themselves well below:

  • A raid to seize Olesko Castle ahead of the 27th. The place is heavily guarded and would be quite the challenging Black Ops game.
  • A raid to liberate NATO POWs from the camp outside town. Little is written about the place in the adventure, but a decent and smart referee can come up with something. This would make an excellent Force on Force or No End In Sight game.
  • Another idea is to assassinate the "Red Bear" himself. This would make another great Black Ops game, and the referee has his pick of places to choose from in Lvov to have the action take place.
  • Lead an expedition of a small unit to get the 27th's recon unit out of the siege it has found itself in a small mountain pass, this would make a decent campaign for Force on Force or No End in Sight. Oh, and the opposition? It's a Soviet ski unit! How Cold War cliché is that?
  • A raid to destroy the SCUD before it launches on the town of Drogobych. This would make an interesting game for either Black Ops, Force on Force, or No End in Sight.

Larger Games

The scenario pack has everything you need to run the final fight for Lvov. Everything is broken down in deep detail in the last part of the book, and lends itself well to a set of large battle rules like Fistful of Tows, or Spearhead. Keep in mind there are some fuel issues for some of the Red Bear's forces and that Drogobych is important because of it's fuel supplies to both sides.

Other factors? It's a Ukrainian winter, probably one of the coldest in memory, and both sides are not going to have an abundance of IR or Image Intensifying gear to go around.

The size of the game will probably make this a campaign game, or even an all day convention game, and the better news? It's on the Ukrainian steppe, so think lots and lots of flatlands.

Well, that's it for Bear's Den, I will be reviewing Satellite Down next, as I accidentally skipped it somewhere. US Navy sailors forming a fanatical cult, a downed Soviet weather satellite, all in the midst of the 2nd Mexican Civil War? Oh my. Also, I am tying the knot soon (October 21), so updates are definitely going to be on a "As I can" basis until the day happens.

Oh, I almost forgot! We crossed the threshold of 20,000 pageviews! So to quote Sally Fields: "You like me, You really, really like me!"

See you next time!



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