Chrome Hammer: 4. Severance Package!

Post-mission and during the Downtime activities phase the 'Punks gained some more Rep (XP) and GigaBits (money). Lady M, Nasty and Jackie opted to go for Street Cred that can be used to re-roll any 1 die roll OR permanently burned to set a die to 6.

During the previous Downtime phase, the crew paid off a crew of N00b 'Punks to search for the final missing bit of Pay Data needed to confront the human CEO of the Fantastic Military Solutions megacorp. Thankfully the N00b’s came through and now the ‘Punks have gathered enough Pay Data to take down the CEO. 

They went with Blackmail but the CEO didn't take kindly to that and vowed to destroy the 'Punks! From left to right: Ivan (dwarf hacker); Jackie (ork Ronin); Aerin (elf Shadow); Lady M (human Face) and Hannibal (troll Mage).

It's showdown time: Severance Package! There are no Response Points this mission (from the rules). But the CEO has powered armour that gives him several bonuses:

Force Field : Soak 5 (negate up to 5 damage)

Chain-Sword : +4 Assault

Particle Cannon : +4 Ranged Damage

Networking : +4 Speed

However the 'Punks can hack 4 terminals on the table to switch off the CEO’s bonuses; 1 per terminal.

The CEO also brought 4 Rapid Response Teams (RRT) as Reinforcements that will spawn in the Enemy Phase of Turn 1. Yikes! 

Glitch for the mission: I forgot to roll. Sigh. 🤦🏻‍♂️


All 'Punks move out. Ivan the Hacker (who hasn’t had a very good 2 missions previously) heads for Terminal 1. Lady M heads for Terminal 3. With no loot crates in this mission, Aerin becomes the team sniper and heads for higher ground. 

Knowing there’s a good chance of reinforcements spawning in the 'Punks backside (lower left and right of the table) Jackie moves into an ambush position in the lower left, and Hannibal does the same in the lower right.

RRT Squads 1 & 2 spawn at top left. And sure enough Squad 3 spawns bottom left. Squad 4 spawns bottom right. Perfect! All RRT squads move out. Squad 3 fails to scan Jackie. The CEO moves out.


Turn 2 is action packed!

Jackie assaults RRT squad 3 and despite rolling 4-4, if I got my maths right he just wiped out the squad! He deals the squad an immediate 2 damage, bringing them down to 5HP, then adds his Edge which is +2 assault vs squads. Then +1 for hero vs squad, and +1 for starting the assault hidden, while the RRT squad has a -1 penalty because it has more damage, giving a final total of 8-3 = 5 damage! Woot!  Because Jackie successfully assaulted an enemy and fragged them, he is not Exposed. However, the RRT squad does have something called Rapid Response: When a ‘Punk enters LoS and Firefight range, make an immediate “counter attack”. In this case, because Jackie has Stealth they can only scan, and they manage to remove 1 Stealth from him. 

Surprisingly given his recent performances, Ivan manages to hack  Terminal 1, stripping away the CEO’s soak 5 bonus. 

Aerin climbs up topside and manages her 7+ shoot roll and deals 6 damage to RRT squad 2!  (I was asked to playtest a variant damage rule where on an unmodified damage roll of 6, the target would receive +1 damage which would have been enough to frag the squad. Sadly, I forgot.) She isn’t Exposed thanks to her silencer but does lose 5 Stealth.

Hannibal pops out of the building, ambushing RRT squad 4 that can only scan him in response. They succeed in removing 3 stealth  but he fireballs them out of existence for only 1 dam! (I forgot this wasn’t an Assault but an Attack Spell that would automatically Expose him.)

Lady M moves out of the building and into contact with Terminal 2. She has LOS to Hannibal and can give him an immediate Regroup order to heal damage but since he only has 1 dam, decides to hack the terminal… and fails! However, that does lower the TN needed to hack the Terminal by 1. She loses 2 Stealth for the failed attempt though.

RRT squad 2 Defends away to heal 1 damage. 

RRT squad 1 Patrols but has no LOS to Ivan hidden behind lots of terrain so they continue to Move Out.

The CEO stays in place to receive status reports. It’s not looking good! (Mistake! He should have made a bee-line for Hannibal who should’ve been Exposed but wasn't. Errors all the way).


Lady M succeeds in hacking Terminal 3 and the CEO loses his particle cannon. Which is a good thing for Aerin later on!

Hannibal Lies Low to regain 2 Stealth (5).

Ivan manages to climb up to the building’s roof. He’s heading for Terminal 2 via the walkway to avoid running into the RRT squads.

Aerin moves and shoots RRT squad 1 for 5 damage. She loses the remainder of her Stealth, alerting the enemy CEO and RRT squad 2. 

With RRT Squad 1 severely wounded, Jackie sees his chance and rushes out shooting. He manages to frag the squad! But he’s also Exposed because he shot instead of assaulting

With 5 damage on it, RRT squad 2 continues to Defend. Since it’s out of LOS of the 'Punks the squad recovers 2 HP. They still have 3 damage though.

The CEO rushes forward and shoots Aerin, dealing her 2 damage. (If Lady M hadn’t hacked the particle cannon Aerin would’ve received 6 damage!)


All 'Punks activate.

Aerin casts Haste on Ivan, setting her damage at 5. Ouch! She’s got 1 HP left.

Thanks to that spell, Ivan runs closer towards Terminal 2 but he’s out of actions so can’t hack it this turn so decides to remain in the building.

Lady M moves moves into LOS and gives Aerin an instant Regroup order allowing Aerin to recover 2 HP for a total of 3.

With no enemies nearby, Jackie Lies Low and recovers 1 stealth, becoming hidden again. 

Hannibal moves into the building so he’s out of sight. 

RRT squad 1 moves out to engage Aerin. They shoot but miss her!

The CEO rushes towards Aerin.


Ugh. Only 3 activations. Thank goodness for Lady M’s Motivated that will allow her to activate as well.

Ivan runs out of the building to hack Terminal 2 and succeeds. The CEO has lost his Soak, Assault and Shoot bonuses, leaving only a scary Speed of 9! (Normally he only has 5 Speed).

Aerin Defends and moves into the building and recovers 1 HP. She’s now up to 4 HP.

Lady M moves towards Terminal 4 but runs too fast and loses 1 stealth. She’s got 1 Stealth remaining!

RRT squad 1 moves out but doesn’t see Aerin. However their scanner says SOMETHING is near (Ivan) but they fail to scan him and they are temporarily discombobulated. 

With a Speed of 9 + 1d6, the CEO rushes into the building where Aerin has taken refuge! Yikes! Thankfully he can’t attack.


All 'Punks activate. Phew!

Jackie and Lady M Lie Low and recover 2 stealth each. 

Hannibal moves out and then lies in wait, hoping to ambush RRT squad 1. 

Ivan moves out towards terminal 4 and runs too fast, losing 1 stealth. He’s only got 2 Stealth left.

Aerin casts Haste on herself for only 1 damage (set damage die to 3, she was at 2) and manages to run completely out of the building and into cover! (This was a HUGE MISTAKE. If a mage has any damage on them, the success roll has to be ABOVE the amount of damage the mage has. So her roll of 1 would be an instant fail.)

The CEO rushes after her. 

RRT squad 1 moves out towards Aerin when their scanners again sense SOMEONE (Ivan) is near. They fail to scan him again! And stand around scratching their heads, ignoring the CEO’s urgent orders. 


Only 4 'Punks activate. Aerin Defends and moves into cover and heals 1 HP. 

Ivan and Lady M make it to Terminal 4. 

Hannibal frags RRT squad 1 with his Fireball but he now has 4 damage. (This was a success because he rolled ABOVE his current damage). However, he's Exposed.

The CEO shoots at Hannibal and hits for 2 damage. Thankfully Hannibal has armour and so only loses 1 HP. However, he only has 2HP left. 


Lady M hacks Terminal 4 and the CEO is down to 5 speed.

Hannibal moves out towards cover, closer to Lady M who can give him a free Regroup later. 

Aerin Lies Low and recovers 2 Stealth. 

Jackie sneaks up behind the CEO who only has Hannibal in his sights. 

Sure enough the CEO charges after Hannibal.


Lady M moves into cover and gives Hannibal a free Regroup, bringing him to 5HP. 

Ivan Lies Low and recovers 1 Stealth. 

Hannibal Lies Low and recovers 2 Stealth. 

Aerin moves out to get into position to shoot the CEO in the back later. 

Jackie moves out into an ambush position. 

Having lost track of Hannibal the CEO patrols and scans Hannibal and he loses 1 Stealth. 

. . . 

The rest of the game has the 'Punks playing cat and mouse with the CEO. Since he’s got an Armour rating of 5, it’s difficult to hurt him. Thankfully, the rules say whatever the Armour rating, a minimum of 1 damage is always dealt. 

So through a combination of Assaults and Shooting, the 'Punks manage to chip away at the CEO’s HP until he’s fragged. They do take damage in the process but they don’t get fragged. Lady M deals the coup de grâce.

+ + +

And that’s the end of my first Chrome Hammer: Ascension campaign!

The reason why I pushed through with the campaign was that all the terrain was already on the table and I didn’t want to pack it all away and set up the table again for subsequent sessions. It also gave me the push to finish the campaign where I normally would have stopped and procrastinated for months (if not years).

Despite the errors, I thoroughly enjoyed myself as you can see. Otherwise I wouldn’t have continued. But the combo of fast play, solo-specific enemy activations that are very clear and the whole Stealth mechanic that gives Response Points to the Enemy side really make for a tense game with some tough decisions to make every turn. 

All that plus the uncertainty of how many ‘'unks can activate each turn really ratchets up the tension.

One thing I wasn't a fan of was the game can drag on because once you accomplish a mission, the 'Punks do need to exfil off the table. I understand why this is important because it affects what your 'Punks can do during Downtime. If they are fragged during a mission, you do need to roll to see if they are permanently dead or something has happened to them or they’ll be out of action for x number of missions. That does bring with it its own tensions and I did have one mission (a Sabotage mission that I didn’t chronicle) where Hannibal and Lady M were fragged. Thankfully they survived without long term harm but they couldn’t do any Downtime acuities that held back some of their levelling up.

Overall, Chrome Hammer: Ascension is a solid and enjoyable game. If you like what you’ve seen, you can check out the rules in the usual place. (I don’t get anything from promoting this. I pay for all my rules… with the exception of Exploit Zero but I got that one after I recorded my first mission.)