Belated update

Exploit Zero: Expedited Delivery!

I haven’t played Hardwired err.... Exploit Zero since 2019 (this is beginning to be a thing here). I’ve also been watching several YouTube videos about its sister (?) game, Nightwatch recently. That was so much fun that I decided to put the paint pots away (for a while) and get this game back on the table. So get ready for Exploit Zero month! 😁

As always, my trusty Heroclix Agents and my MERCS Recon H-SEC are ready for action! I take 2 Ronins (Ranged Combat specialists), a Splicer (hacker) and a Sawbones (Medic/Support). I leave the Shiver (psionic) and Melee Specialist behind.

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A Triad data broker named On-Bak-Si needs a team to deliver a stolen market algorithm to a Ganymede Unlimited courier. The catch? Not only is H-SEC (Hostile Security) trying to recover the program, but the thumb drive will self-destruct in thirty minutes. (5 turn limit on a 3’x 3’ Mission Area. Normal game length is 6 turns.)

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The Agents move carefully along the streets of New Kowloon. It’s quiet. TOO quiet.

The Ronin with the thumb drive (red circle) almost reaches his goal, the courier… Then the spawns happen. Spawn Zone #2 spawns 5 times on Turns 1 and 2!! (I can’t count apparently. A ‘3’ on a d8 for 4 spawn points means they should’ve spawned at area 3. Not 2. It still made for a more exciting game, though.) 

The H-SEC spot the Sawbones Agent sheltering behind a car and they open fire. The Sawbones is hit. Twice!

The Splicer decides that it’s too congested in that narrow alleyway and sends her drone off to flank the H-SEC. The drone then gets ambushed in the H-SEC phase by two level 2 H-SEC. They spend the rest of the game trading shots with each other.

The other Ronin (no thumb drive) goes into action. He lobs a micro frag grenade and takes out 3 H-SEC! 

Then he moves up and does it again, only this time only 2 go down. The Level 2 H-SEC is made of tougher stuff!

The Ronin with the thumb drive does a John Woo gunfight (imagine this in slo-mo) as he passes a H-SEC on his way to the courier.

BUT... the Ronin fails to pass the thumb drive to the courier on his last action of turn 4. Probably a lot of verification of identities, that they are who they say they are. The H-SEC do retaliate, but with 3 wounds, the Agents can absorb anything the security forces can throw at them.

And the Ronin Agent completes the mission on the first activation of the fifth and final turn.

Exploit Zero is every bit as fast and furious and lots of fun as I remembered and the name change hasn’t harmed it one bit. 

I have to admit playing with the proper rules set this go round has made the game a bit too… easy. What do I mean? Well, all the Agents have access to a range of special combat capabilities, although each Agent type has their own specialities that give them a bonus. For some reason, even though the rulebook CLEARLY states “While all Agents can access every type” I some how took it to mean I could only take a choice of ONE. Oy vey.

Anyway, now that I got that cleared up, the game got a wee bit too… easy? So. I might need to add in the complications from the Tsim Sa Tsui expansion to spice things up a bit more. 

I’m now a bit torn between starting the mini-campaign in the expansion… or completing my painting of Sedition Wars so I can finally complete mission 9 of the Outbreak campaign. Then there’s my upcoming Pulp Alley campaign. And I do need to get off my ass and finish the final 3rd act of my CROM mini campaign. Sigh. I have no focus.