Last time, on our adventures through the world of Fallout, you guys decided to take our dear, innocent Athena, who has never faced off against anything more fearsome than a giant bug, who has never even fired her weapon at another person, who knows next to nothing about the world outside her Vault, and throw her against a gang of amoral killers and plunderers, each of whom would just as soon slit her throat as talk to her. I hope you all are proud of yourselves.
I know I am! So let’s talk tactics, first. No, not Fallout Tactics. Please, let’s not talk about that one. Battlefield tactics. No, not the EA series. Just… look at this.
That how the Khan’s base is set up. Most of those tents hold one to two raiders apiece. There’s one raider guarding the front entrance, and two guarding the rear. There’s another seven raiders inside, including Garl, by far the toughest of the lot. Also inside are the two enslaved women we’re coming here to rescue. Most of the raiders are armed with spears, but there’s plenty of gunslingers in their crew. The weapon of choice for the distance combatants is the .44 caliber Desert Eagle, a weapon with more range and punch than the 10mm guns Ian and Athena are wielding. All the raiders are wearing leather armor, the next step up from the leather jackets we’re bearing, save for Garl who’s outfitted in the positively daunting metal armor.
So in other words, we are desperately outnumbered, completely outgunned, and totally out-armored.
First order of business is preparation. I split the stimpaks we have between Ian and I. Honestly, I’m more worried about Ian’s chances of survival more than I am my own or the two slaves. Dude’s a good shot, but he’s a tactical doofus. I really hope we’re not going to need six stimpaks each, because if it gets to the point that Ian’s spending all his turns healing instead of fighting, we’re pretty doomed, but we have them, just in case. Going in, I’m expecting that we’ll be relying pretty heavily on Athena’s SMG. Using burst fire is a great way to make things dead quick, although it only works well at close range and will eat through ammo like crazy. Getting mobbed is an absolute no go, we need to be able to keep the amount of people within firing range to a reasonable level in order to make it through.
We arrive there at night, by design. Everyone’s going to be missing more in the dark, but as Athena’s perception rises at night, she’s going to fare better than most. Garl had said in no uncertain terms not to come back after last time. I’m not sure if that means the Khans are going to be aggressive on sight, but we don’t risk it, in any case. Athena moves along the edges of the camp, and circles around to the rear entrance of the building. If possible, I want to take out remote groups a few at a time, and the people in the back are the most vulnerable. Athena sneaks around the corner, tucks in between the building and the nearby outhouse, then takes careful aim with her weapon. Knowing that this is the last moment in which she’ll be in control before the shots fired draw the entire horde upon them, devolving the camp into a maelstrom of complete madness, she carefully draws a bead on the nearest guard, slows her breathing, calms her mind, and…
freaking. Misses. Ian, who I’m sure scoffs at her a little bit, steps up to the plate and nails the guard with two shots in a row like a freakin’ pro. The two raiders approach, and two of the raiders inside hear the sounds of fighting and come out, but Athena and Ian gun down the first two before they come near. One of the new raiders has a gun and fires on our duo, but misses. Athena misses her return fire. Ian aims at the gunwoman and scores a critical hit to the groin, taking her out of the fight for the moment. Athena continues her missing spree, but Ian scores hits on both of the raiders and ends them.
Miraculously enough, none of the other raiders heard the firefight going on there, and we’ve got a moment’s respite. Fighting human enemies is a bit different than fighting beasts, in that humans will all go into battle together. You might remember from the radscorpions how we were able to draw them out one by one and take care of them individually, but we won’t be able to do that here. As soon as one sees or hears their fellows under attack, they’ll join the fight as well. It was a bit of good luck that we get a break like this, I was expecting to be fighting nonstop the whole way through. It’s particularly good luck, in that killing the last four guys gives us enough experience to bump us up to level five. I use the opportunity to bump our small guns skill to 100%. Which is a bit of a misnomer, as this is actually only half as high as the skill goes, but it’s still a big point in our favor that we’ve been able to get it this high this early. The break also gives us a moment to loot their corpses, leading to a new set of leather armor for Athena, and a new Desert Eagle for Ian.
After that, it’s back into the maelstrom. I try to pick another target that’s likely to let us break the battle up into clumps. The tent at the far east of the map is most tempting, as there’s only one person in there, it’s far away from either of the doors to the central building, and it’s the farthest away from any of the other tents. Unfortunately, it’s also facing the windows to the room all the real toughs are in, so that’s not our best option. Instead, we head to the tent at the southwest corner of the map.
Athena starts the fight by taking potshots at a wandering sentry. Her increase in small guns abilities immediately shows its benefits, as she’s actually able to score shots, now! Consistently, even! This is great! Ian stands in the entrance of the tent and pins down the two inside with gunfire.
The sentry goes down in short order, but the gunfire draws the attention of another tent dweller, who opens fire on Athena from as far away as he can. When her turn comes around, I consider closing the distance for better accuracy, but decide against it. She’ll not have perfect accuracy here, but she will have better accuracy than the guy she’s facing off against, and the greater distance will increase that discrepancy and improve her chances of survival. Ian takes down the two he’s squaring off against without much problem, and while Athena finishes off the one, he does score a few solid hits on her. She has to take a moment to punch a stimpack.
We’re not out of combat here, as I was hoping for, but we do have a brief respite before the guys coming for us reach firing range. We loot the corpses. I pull a second Desert Eagle for myself, and we find a lot of drugs on these guys. Recreational drugs don’t exist in the Fallout verse yet; instead, the drugs of choice impart temporary stat boosts, then stat reductions once the effect wears off. We might get some use out of these later, but my guess is that we’ll end up selling them.
Unfortunately, we’ve attracted the attention of the raiders inside the building. Ian maneuvers himself into range, but runs out of action points right as soon as he gets to the door. This turns out to be a really suspect move, as three raiders, including Garl, their exceptionally well-equipped leader, surround him and start pumping lead into him. At this range, they don’t miss. When Athena’s turn comes around, she draws near and fires into the group, seeking to draw some of the attention away from Ian, and even manages to kill one of those three, but the raiders smell blood and they won’t be deterred.
Ian starts to flee as soon as he can, but it’s too late. One of the raiders catches him in the back with a critical hit, and it’s over for him. His lifeless body sprawls on the ground.
Well, this sucks. Outside of us just not being able to hold our own against these guys, this is about the worst thing that could have happened. Of course, the jury’s not out on the former yet, either. With Ian down, the raiders turn their attention towards Athena.
One of the raiders was already harrassing Athena, and Garl turns his attention on her too. Athena abandons our previous strategy of keeping our distance and gets into a position that’s point blank range with the nearest raider, while being around the corner of a tent from Garl, to the point that he can’t draw a solid bead on her from where he’s at. She switches to burst fire on her SMG, and blows the raider away.
Garl, because of Athena’s position, has to waste action points moving into a position to shoot at her, at which point he doesn’t have enough left to fire his turn. Another raider that follows him does the same thing. Athena takes advantage of how close they are and burst fires them both. The raider crumbles to pieces, but Garl is barely scratched. That metal armor of his is no joke. Athena goes behind a corner again, and repeats the process, again Garl barely takes any of the damage that would be instantly fatal to anyone else on the screen. After this, though, Athena has nowhere to run, and Garl nails her with a return shot. This does enough damage to send us into the inventory screen on our next turn, scrambling to pump a few stimpaks into her to get her health back up to full. We have just enough action points for a single shot after that, but instead, I opt to put some distance between them. Garl and the other raider who just came into firing range, for whatever reason, forget about their guns and rush Athena even though she’s in a relatively open space. Athena takes advantage of their Ian-like combat tactics and fires another ten bullets into Garl.
This time, it finally works. The damage of that burst supersedes his armor’s high damage resistance, and he goes down. The raider behind him scores a hit on Athena the following turn, but a burst takes her down as well. There’s only one raider left. Athena switches over to the Desert Eagle, and takes shots at him from afar. He fires back ineffectually, then turns and runs, then dies. Athena is the sole survivor of this battle.
Well, her and the slaves. For rescuing them, we get 400 XP. Woohoo. The real reward is in the loot we get off the raiders. It’s nothing particularly rare, but they do have some stuff we wouldn’t normally be seeing for a while yet. The real prize is Garl’s metal armor, which Athena immediately puts on. It’s armor class is actually less than the leather armor, meaning that we’re more likely to be hit than we were just a few minutes ago, but it’s damage resistance is high, so we’ll be impacted less by those hits. We also find a shotgun and some shells inside, and the chems we picked off the raiders should go to help fill our bank account. Or, they would, if, you know, those were still a thing. Instead, we’re going to get a big bag of bottlecaps instead. There are still a lot of things we could be taking off of them to sell later, for example, there’s one leather armor for each of them, and those would sell for at least many hundreds of caps a piece, but the metal armor we’re wearing is so heavy, that we can’t take any more. If only Ian were still around.
We lost Ian. And just… man. I could not think of a way that could have gone worse. I was honestly hoping Athena would be overrun, so I’d get another chance at keeping him alive here. That really hurts. Athena is so torn up, she can’t stop the tears as she loots his corpse and takes back all the medkits and extra ammo we had left with him. We’ll be able to go on, sure, but as you saw from that fight, as long as he doesn’t do anything stupid, he is really blasted useful, and now, well, we’re going to miss him.
Good bye, our new friend. I hope those sixty some caps we made you pay to travel with us were worth it.