Lat night we ran another session of Kapow!, my superheroes rpg that we’re playtesting, and I take it as a good sign that despite the fact that before we started a couple of our players expressed interest in watching the Superbowl half-time show, once we got going they forgot all about it. We had our first big set-piece battle, and it went really well I think. Everybody was engaged and involved, and despite the fact that it went for most of the session it felt fairly fast-paced and like they got a good amount done. They were facing off against the big boss and her 64 minions, so the fact we managed to wrap it up at all is good.
The group had tracked Alexandra LeGrande to a warehouse where she was training her army of Glammazons, and scouted it out to find a secret lab underneath. They decided to split their forces, with Harbinger (intangible scout) and Public Defender (Force Fields) sneaking in through the storm drains to confront and delay LeGrande, while Namaste (super-yogini), Akela (jungle girl), the Wraith (power-draining mystery man), and Redline (powered-armor/motorcycle multi-form) burst into the warehouse above to round up the Glammazons and prevent them from just running off.
The fight between LeGrande and Harbinger and Public Defender went particularly well, from my point of view. Once she revealed her supervillain persona, Olympia, and began chucking her pentathalon-themed weaponry (exploding discus, “switch-blade” javelins, and big old hammer) it became evident that one or two on one they were just no match for her. She KO’ed Public Defender in the first round, which really bummed him out until I reminded him that by the rules he’d be out for a maximum of three rounds or until one of his teammates revived him, whichever came first. Harbinger then spent his turn reviving him, which meant that he couldn’t stay phased, but managed to avoid her attack anyway and they were both back in action.
Upstairs the fight went pretty much as expected, with the heroes easily clobbering multiple Glammazons per round, though the Glammazons did manage to at least hinder them, and in one case managed to pile on enough to score as a knock-out on Akela…but her jaguar Nushka was able to revive her easily enough. The Wraith’s exotic power-drain power proved to be the most effective at dispatching large numbers of agents quickly, though Namaste was no slouch in that department either, just using her strength and acrobatics. Akela’s heightened senses allowed her to detect that the group below were having trouble, so she, Redline and Namaste headed down to the lab, leaving the Wraith to deal with the remaining Glammazons.
Once the full group (more or less) was assembled, they managed to combine their powers and take Olympia down, though she did get a good shot in, disabling Redline’s Super Strength with a javelin through his suit’s shoulders. Basically it worked exactly as designed: a boss significantly tougher than any individual was defeated by the heroes using team-work in a straight slug-fest, and once they had cleared the decks and gotten together it went only two rounds…no slow war of attrition in Kapow! It could also have easily gone the other way, I think; if she had been able to take one or two out and press the attack so the group couldn’t afford the time to revive them they wouldn’t have had the numbers needed to overcome her higher defense and she might have been able to defeat them all and capture them or escape.
It was also very gratifying that Wendy at least thought the villain was really cool, and seems to be looking forward to her escaping custody and facing them again some time in the future. Don’t worry, Wendy, you haven’t seen the last of Olympia!