The Saga of Harpoon Jones
It should be noted that my group plays at my sister's house, because myself and my wife usually hang out for a bit after the group bails. We were doing exactly that when my brother-in-law comes in. Bro: "Hey, what happened to BRIKWARS, man? I was expecting to come home to see my dining room table laden with plastic carnage." Me: "Meh, our group is full of lameasses who can't stand a change of pace to save their lives." Bro: "Well fuck, man. I was going to be a late joiner, but oh well." Me: "Got the time and patience for a 1-on-1?" Bro: *takes a swig of his freshly poured vodka on the rocks* "Oh it's on."
This motherfucker, I had forgotten at the time, is studying for an engineering degree, and had previously professed his love of Lego battles as a child against his brothers. I had no fucking idea what I was getting myself into.
I dump the box. We decide a quick and dirty game is best, fuck balance, fuck equal parts, fuck all of it, the only balancing factor is equal amounts of minifigs, chosen along a theme so as to make players easily recognizable. We put all the bricks into a pile, shuffle thoroughly, and then cut the pile in half. Space, Aquanauts, Castle, even a couple of the Bionicle sets and other stuff from my son's collection, all mixed into a heap of chunky goodness. Then the teams: 5 figs to a man. I go through the 25 or so figs and pull my old Aquanauts out, Then steal my niece's Anakin Skywalker just for the fun of it. My brother-in-law spends about 30 seconds looking the line up over before deciding on... My son's spongebob figurines. Patrick, Ms. Puff, the yellow fucker himself, and two random figs with plant life on their heads. ("they're sentient anemones, FUCK YOU") I laugh, thinking he's way further into his cups than he's been letting on, and go with it. We set a timer for 20 minutes, saying it's set in an underwater apocalypse scenario, mankind versus mutated wildlife, etc. At the end of the timer, all structures/vehicles must be used as is, and any bricks left loose are "rubble." Any two red pieces directly connected are considered explosive, (red barrels, 2" blast radius, 1d10 damage) and single red bricks or studs with anything resembling an antenna attached are remote mines (1" radius, 1d6) beyond that, all figs have an instant kill threshold of 5. Any less, and they shrug it off like the hardcore motherfuckers they are. Each team gets one hero with a threshold of 6, and all actions committed by heroes are d10, not d6. [cont]
The minutes passed like seconds, both of us lamenting the state of our devices, but agreeing to stick with what we had said. His half of the table was heaps of rubble everywhere, one FUCKHUGE vehicle with a battering ram nose, a completely enclosed cockpit (with Hero spongebob at the wheel) several compartments with unknown contents and release levers (patrick was manning these) and THREE FUCKING SETS OF WHEELS. If you've never played, you don't understand just what this means... that fucking super armored beast could move 15" per round. One quarter the fucking battlefield. Combine that with the ram/rubble plow nose, and there was nowhere I could hide. His remaining pieces had been used to make anemone-manned turrets (houseruled to double the range of regular guns, but immovable) providing cover for his "Repair pit," a walled area full of useful pieces, and manned by Ms. Puff, who was armed with a cobbled together suicide bomber vest and a wrench. (houserules everywhere! starting the game with a wrench set the fig as a mechanic, able to add pieces to vehicles/structures twice as fast as a normal fig)
My side was a mish-mash of maze-like walls, carefully placed mines (out of sight of both my opponent, and his figs) 3 aquanauts hiding in cover with harpoon guns, one aquanaut in the "control center," a heavily armored bunker from which he could set off any of my mines at any time, and containing the controls to the bionicle six-shooter cannon mounted on the roof, and finally, Hero Anakin in a huge, heavily armored, 3-legged bionicle walker monstrosity, armed with two giant blades. (2d6 damage each)
We roll for turn order, My brother in law getting first. It takes me about 3 seconds to realize my shit is about to get wrecked. Approximately the time it took him to measure the 10" from the nose of his plow to the outermost of my defensive walls. He mows through 2 inconvenient heaps of rubble, and slams head on into brikwall #1, behind which were 2 mines and one Aquanaut. One very very dead aquanaut. Emboldened by his opening strike, my foe announced that his other fig's actions were "fire into the sky menacingly" and "cackle maniacally."
My remaining hunter aquanauts, hearing the sounds of their comrade's death, move from their hideouts, attempting to flank. Anakin, enraged that fucking MARINE LIFE would DARE to slaughter one of his subordinates, begins stomping in his general direction, huge blades waving. My controller, from his armored shelter, saw the whole thing on his screens, and hit THE BUTTON. THE BUTTON being the catchall for mine activation. BLAM goes one mine, doing nothing to spongebob's pain train, thanks to the rubble now piled atop it. KABOOM goes the other, directly beneath the center of this fucker's tank. I announce MY action as being maniacal laughter, until I see the look on his face. "roll your damage, fucker." So I do. I roll hard, and roll... a 3. I groan, sure that I didn't even blow off his wheels, when he leans forward and SNAPS THE FUCKING TANK IN HALF.
I have no better response than WAT. He looks at me, holds up the two tank pieces upside down, revealing that he had connected two large pieces with nothing more than two 1x3 planks. I start to laugh at his stupidity, when he turns the back half to reveal a FUCKING HIDDEN STEERING WHEEL IN PATRICK'S COMPARTMENT. He'd been planning on separating them all along. I had never before and have never since uttered a string of capital F's like I did at that moment. All my mine had done was save him the action necessary to pull the lever to divide his attacks. And divide he did.
"The Golden One," as he began to refer to him, wrenched his vehicle sideways and went streaking down a wide corridor with his 2 remaining sets of wheels (10" movement) barreling away from the sword-mech, and toward a flanking aquanaut. Meanwhile, Patrick took his drag-assed cart, and rolls over the rubble and back out of my fortifications, then does a 360 to "taunt your mech." Back at base, Puff does something to a control panel, the effects unknown to me, and the anemones sit anxiously atop their gunner seats.
Anakin, moved to rage by the audacity of this fucking pink starfish, goes stomping after him. The aquanaut at large goes at a dead run to the bunker, my pre-decided meeting place, hoping to man the big gun while my controller handles the mines. The fig being pursued by the front end of the tank gets the same idea, and books it through the narrowest corridor he can find. The controller sits, and calmly watches the carnage.
With Mecha Anakin crushing a path towards him, the relatively unarmored Patrick flips. My bro-in-law pries the containers off of the back of the cart, placing them randomly behind it. "Dropping ballast to gain some speed" he says to my puzzled look. "You do realize speed is based entirely on the number of wheels, right?" "...Shit. I take off anyway." And he begins dragging ass back to his base, presumably to have Pit Crew Puff weld on some new wheels. Spongebob is busy ramming his plow into the thinnest, least protected portion of my defenses, trying to get to the escaped aquanaut. Puff is "Pressing Buttons", and the anemones are getting a bead on my mechstrosity.
Arrogant fucker that I am, I presume things are going my way. My controller, observing squarepants' ride getting deeper and deeper into piles of rubble, J-J-JAMS THE BUTTON again, blowing up that entire fucking quadrant of the battlefield. I grab a handful of d6s, mocking my foe, and lay waste to everything. Everything but goldenboy's cockpit and wheels. FUCK. FINE. Anakin, a mere 15 inches from patrick's now unarmored ass, strides forth, ending just out of slicing range, but no matter, I'll have him in a few seconds. My aquanauts are scrambling, one now at the foot of the ladder to the mega turret on the roof, the other a short step behind.
The next few moments were painful. Like, "Fuck you, gimme that fucking vodka" painful.
"Hey, those boxes near your mechs front leg, open them for me, would you?" I reach out, and careful not to move them, open the doors (window shutters, nicely done, I think) on the closest one. 4 fucking mines inside, each with an antenna. "Go ahead, open the rest, I think they're all within an inch of that front foot." Eleven, total. ELEVEN FUCKING MINES. I took the time and measured, just to be a dick, and only 8 were within one inch exactly, but it didn't matter. My so called "bro" holds up his hand and hits an imaginary detonator. "Click." That motherfucker. The entire bottom half of the middle leg on my mech goes out. Not wrecked, GONE. My one consolation is that the whole mess fell forward, the cockpit crashing onto the rear of the starfishmobile, rendering it useless. "Can I roll to hit my ejector seat in time?" I ask. "Only if I can." We both succeed, he ends up catapulted into his own base, while Anakin is cowering behind the remains of his battlesuit, the anemones chaingunning the other side into slag.
I'm so busy pondering where to run I almost miss what he said next. In a perfect spongebob falsetto, I hear: "Fire the ROCKET PLOW!" Followed immediately by a less than perfect, but still understandable Puff impression: YEEEESSSSS! HAHAHAHAHAHAAAA! *BEEP*
I look, and see a straight line from the nose of the wreckage-mired tank to the fig at the base of the ladder. 8". Plenty of space to spare, considering the rockets he revealed attached to the rear of the plow. RIP, aquanaut #2. I go to move the remaining fig, when I am forcibly reminded that the verbal command to fire is not an action. Spongebob cruises through the gap in the rubble left by the flying death plow, coming just short of my remaining freestanding fig.
Alone, armed with nothing but a harpoon gun, and facing down imminent death from a armored vehicle piloted by a bloodthirsty sponge, My remaining aquanaut did the only thing he could. He stood his ground and fired squarely at the pilot. Another note to those who haven't played yet, Brikwars uses the "Exploding dice" principle. If you roll max, you roll another die of the same size and add it. "I level my harpoon, and fire." 6. 6. 6. 3. No amount of plexiglass, armor coating, spare studs, or faith can protect a man from a big enough crit. One short argument and a WHAT I SAY GOES roll later, a die is rolled to decide spongebob's postmortem reflexes. He slammed his foot on the brakes. The mangled charred bumper stopped 1/2" short of that brave fig's face.
Anakin, still pinned behind the remains of his walker, has nowhere to run. Even if he does a direct sprinting retreat, the two turrets are on either side of the suit, and get a crossfire zone about 3 inches from the safety of my outermost barrier. Inventiveness time, bitch. Anakin pulls his lightsaber and MELTS OFF ONE OF THE MECHS REMAINING FEET, turning it into an improptu tower/blast shield, and wades out into the hail of bullets. Meanwhile, with the ladder to the roof destroyed, and no foes left in our territory to threaten with my mines, My controller settles into the gunner console, bringing the huge turret on the roof to life with a menacing grinding noise. A single shot is let loose at one of the gunners, and goes wide. So wide, it hits my brother-in-law in the cheek. "What the FUCK was THAT!?" "Umm... an ICBM?" "No fucking way. That is way over the 10" for mounted ranged weaponry." "And I have to fire it by hand. Did you SEE how far I was from hitting anything? Hitting the table, even?" "...fine. But you only get those six shots." "Deal."
Puff and Patrick, hearing the reports of BattleAnakin's approach, are scrambling like mad to piece something together out of the remaining spare parts in the garage. The anemones never let up, firing non stop at my improvised shield, praying for a big enough hit to take it down, but none comes. I spend the next turn describing the screeching clank of metal on stone as an unstoppable Jedi shoves a vertical plate of steel forward into a literal shellstorm. Deep in his bunker, Controller Chuck lines up another cannon blast. Wide again, but closer now. And Aquanaut #3? He wipes the panicked sweat from his brow, and goes about dragging the punctured corpse of his foe from his shattered seat.
Sorry about the delay, refreshed the thread to see my lone aquanaut just got fucking knighted by /tg/, and had to edit appropriately. With the shield jedi nearly knocking at their door, aerial bombardment from afar, and their fearless leader incommunicado and presumed dead, things turn dire in the bikini bottom bunker. The gunners, still firing mindlessly, can't seem to do anything more than slow down the force-powered wall of steel, and the parts scattered about the floor are only meant for repairs, not base construction, even if they had the time. Puff grimly hands her wrench to Patrick, telling him to do what he can to stop the vile surface dwellers... and walks toward the door, vest detonator in hand. Patrick, deafened by gunfire and still in shock from his earlier ejection, begins cobbling together something clawed and vicious. Back at aquanaut base, Controller Chuck pulls the trigger on another cannon blast, AND HITS. No casualties, but a huge chunk of wall not one inch from the east gunner goes flying. Harpoon Jones, hands shaking, drags the squishy mass of spongebob's corpse out of the pilot's seat, tossing it aside like a ragdoll. Wiping the slime off of his hands, he settles in, kicking it into reverse and sliding through the hole in the rubble the rocket plow had left earlier. Grinning viciously, Anakin inches ever closer to the west gunner. Just a few more steps, and he can just melt the fucker's face off. Just a few more... WHY IS THAT HATCH OPENING?
My brother in law lets out another falsetto shriek. "ALLALALALALALALALA!" Ms. Puff, laden with red blocks and studs, moves her 5", coming as close to Anakin as she can, and detonates. I won't quote the dice here, but with a 2" blast radius, and 5 separate bombs, well, you get the picture.
What jihadi Puff didn't intend was the size of her blast being as close to bikini bottom bunker as it was. Sure, she took out the almighty Anakin, along with herself, but that west gunner... lets just say a pile of ammunition doesn't always fare well in a giant flaming explosion. Neither does the sentient anemone sitting on top of it. With that, the remains of our sides were even, or at least as even as they could be. Controller Chuck, lining up a new shot in the Aquabase, Harpoon Jones, behind the wheel of an enemy vehicle, Patrick Star, ratcheting together god knows what behind closed doors, and a slackjawed anemone soldier, aghast at what had just happened to his brother. He turns his turret, refusing to slack in his duty, despite his loss. Off in the distance, a shape moves. The battletank! Did his fearless leader survive?! . . . Fuck no. Harpoon Jones, all gritted teeth and adrenaline, has his foot to the floorboard, driving straight at the turret window. Another shot from Commander Chuck takes out a set of bricks half an inch from the turret, as the mounted chaingun roars back to life, firing at the commandeered vehicle. Behind the gunner, sparks fly as Patrick welds together the finishing touches on his brutal handiwork.
Chunks fly from the front of spongebob's engine of destruction, but what remains of the shields holds true as Harpoon Jones, hero of the deep, redlines the motor on a collision course. Seeing time for one last shot, Commander Chuck fires at the turret, and brik gods bless him, he fires true. The red hot missile impacts the turret's barrel dead on, destroying it. The explosion of heat and shrapnel takes out part of the wall, the roof now standing on mere poles, but somehow, SOMEHOW, the anemone gunner survives. He turns to run, but trips on the rubble from the ruined support, and stands up just in time to see Patrick's glorious weapon come to completion. None of this matters to Jones. All that matters is finishing the job. "You know the plow is gone, right? If you hit that wall, you'll damage the craft just as much as whatever you hit." "Plows are for cowards. Face your destiny, waterboy." Hands tight on the wheel, Harpoon Jones flies through the remaining supports, coming to a stop conveniently directly atop the former gunner. The impact stuns him, and his ride is trashed, but he grins as the remains of his entrance collapse into rubble. He grins until Patrick rips the windshield from the pilots compartment
Harpoon Jones looked up, sweat and dust in his eyes. Before him stood his only remaining foe, Patrick Star. The pink starfish was not what caught Jones' attention, however. No, that honor belonged to the HYDRAULIC CLAW Patrick had crafted from spare parts. The very same claw that now held the shattered windshield of the seafloor commander's battered tank like it was a piece of paper, crumpling a sheet of armor that had deflected bullets and rubble alike. Brave, and arguably crazy as he may have been, Jones was never a dumb fig. Before Patrick had a chance to do anything else, Jones dove from the pilot's seat, and scrambled for the rubble piled around the hole he and his crew had left in the side of the bikini bunker.
With the speed that only the hunted can muster, Jones launched himself through the hole he had left in the bunker. He needed a weapon, a shield, SOMETHING, because the sound of Patrick CRUNCHING the tank out of the way behind him did not bode well. His trusty harpoon gun was empty, and gone. The armaments of his allies were far enough away to make no difference. The two turrets at the enemy base had been destroyed, and he had neither the time nor the supplies to craft anything. His only hope was to run until he could... wait, Commander Chuck! The cannon at the base still had a shot or two left, right? Harpoon Jones ran into the open, alongside the bunker wall. If he could just lure Patrick out, maybe, just maybe, he'd survive. If that pink fucker would just -CRUNCH-
A hole appeared next to Jones, blown out by the sudden impact of the Fist of the Star. And through it came the madman.
Harpoon Jones, hero of the deep, had nowhere to go. Before him, a psychopath with impossible machinery and intent to kill. Behind him and to his right was nothing but open fields, and chances were good he'd just die in a less advantageous position than he was in now. To his left, the dropoff. The seafloor only went so far, and who knows what might live beyond that point. No one who went would ever find out, the pressure of the depths would crush them like a bug before they ever saw a thing. With this thought, Harpoon Jones realized he still had a shot. He ran to the very edge. Even the denizens of the deep know not to get too close to the dropoff, but Patrick was beyond reason, and raced after Jones, cackling madly. A missile, boiling the water around it, went screaming through the inch wide gap between man and beast. At this range, hitting a moving target was almost impossible. So Harpoon Jones, Hero of the Deep and Man amongst Figs, did what had to be done. He dove forth, grasping the murderous star by the arms, screaming at the top of his lungs for Chuck to take the shot he was given.
A man's soul may never be crushed, but men are not made of souls. They are made of flesh, and bone, and occasionally ABS plastic. Patrick, his quarry finally in reach, grasped Harpoon Jones about the waist, and raised him high in the air with the might of his vicious hydraulic claw. He laughed as he squeezed the puny surface dweller ever tighter. He laughed even as Commander Chuck, eyes wet with tears, fired Aquabase's last missile into his pink back. He laughed his way into the deep. And if Commander Chuck, sole survivor of the raid on bikini bottom, is to be trusted... so did Harpoon Jones.