To the Director of CIA Field Operations, Kiev, Ukraine. Some important events have transpired in the Zone in the last month. I have directed one of the field officers in the Zone to compile this document.
The following report regards the events of September 30th, 2020, Exclusion Zone, Pripyat. Compiled from multiple sources, this report details the action at the Lisove, a village near the Red Forest.
On or about 0630 local time, a group of scientists from the Ukrainian Government task force found themselves under attack by an unknown group of hostiles. Said hostiles are the first non-zombified human contact coming from the Duga Array since 2003. They put out a distress call, which attracted the attention of two teams of Stalkers.
The two teams descended upon the zone to find it under heavy fire. The hostiles were described later by the scientists as ‘wearing western equipment and firing western weapons, with distinctive blue helmets’ The UN has disavowed any knowledge of this group, and we are inclined to believe them…no group UN funded is this well equipped.
The following timeline has been established from local interviews, drone photography, and sources on the ground who witnessed the event. By breaking the events into distinct parts, ‘Turns’, if you will, we can now go over what transpired.
‘Turn One’: Both teams arrived around 0730 local time, with the ‘Zone Rats’ arriving first to the scene. As they arrived, Lebedev, the leader of this team of Stalkers, took down a Blue Helmet with his rifle from range.
Meanwhile, as the ‘Cheeki Breeki Boys’ arrived, one of their number, ‘Gorbachev’, likewise fired upon the hostiles, taking down one of their number, while the other took it in the kevlar and was still combat effective.
The hostiles return fire from an elevated position. Lebedev avoids the fire, while ‘Putin’ from the CB Boys takes a flesh wound, treating it with a medical stim.
Meanwhile, another Blue Helmet fired an M72 LAW(where such weapons were acquired is a mystery, and will be an additional report) into the bunker containing the science team, killing one of their security detail.
Machine gun fire from both teams of Stalkers killed one Blue Helmet, and forced the ‘leader’ into cover. Vorobev(Zone Rats), fired at the LAW-wielding BH, and here we have our first verbal communication from these mysterious foes. “Try again, loser!” in perfect English!
Other members of the teams moved into cover, prepared for the next phase of combat.
At this point, driven by an unknown compelling force, several Blue Helmets got up despite apparent fatal injuries. They would usually proceed to fire one last shot at their attackers before expiring.
‘Turn Two’ began with Lebedev, who moved forward toward a Hot Spot, throwing(and missing) with a bolt, a common thing in the zone to trigger such anomalies. Apparently infuriated by his lack of luck, he fired a wild burst into the LAW gunner, killing that Blue Helmet. Driven by some base compulsion, he ran to loot the Hot Spot, tripping into a pile of Rad Ghouls hiding in the rocks. (Lebedev has an obsession with salvage, leading to such incidents like this. I will go over this in another report).
‘Lenin’ from the CB Boys fires at the hostile leader, downing him, however in the last few shots his antique DPM machine gun jams, forcing him to take time clearing it.
One Blue Helmet, struggling with blood loss but compelled by some force, fired two bursts of M16A1 fire into the scrum of Ghouls surrounding Lebedev, killing three, Lebedev shrugging off the incoming fire but throughly pinned down. The Blue Helmet then expired.
The Rad Ghouls attacked, their numbers weakened but their claws sharp. Lebedev fought off his attackers, and killing one with his knife. His comrades were reported as saying “This is why we follow the man, he may be a salvage monger but he knows how to fight!”
‘Stalin'(I think you can see how the names in the Cheeki Breeki Boys work now) takes fire, however his body armor takes the hit and protects the meat.
Shpatsky attempted to extract Lededev from the mess he had gotten himself into, not wanting to chance the flamethrower shot.
This attempt was unsuccessful, and the would be rescuer had to apply first aid to himself.
Zakharov, the shotgun wielder of the Zone Rats, managed to aim and splatter a ghoul, rescuing Lebedev from himself finally.
‘Gagarin’, the most recent and psychopathic addition to the Cheeki Breeki Boys, ran up to a hot spot, and awakened a nest of Zombies. However, he was prepared for such a situation..
‘Turn Three’ began with yet more Blue Helmets emerging from the Red Forest, and the leader getting up from his horrific wounds.
‘Putin’ jammed his AK47 trying to kill the BH leader, however the effect was the same, as the Opfor was downed due to bleeding out.
Lebedev, obsessed with needing to know what lay in the anomaly field, triggered an Inker anomaly, covering the area in thick clouds of black living smoke.
‘Gagarin’ on the other hand has much greater luck, finding a valuable artifact in the centre of the hot spot.
Zakharov decides to spare Lebedev his obsession, and tried to clear the hot-spot in the BTR convoy. However he instead awoke a sleeping Zone Bear!
Two more Blue Helmets arrive, and take up positions, and several ‘dead’ ones get back up to fight again! However, ‘Yeltsin’ fired a rocket into the tree-line, using an old Panzerfaust tube with an improvised explosive warhead, taking out one and the other was saved by the tree.
‘Gagarin’ and Koralev both took fire from Blue Helmet positions, and were forced to take cover and tend their wounds, using valuable medkits to do so!
Zakharov tried to investigate the now Bear-clear hotspot, and instead triggered a magnetic anomaly, sticking his gun to the spot. He eventually cleared it, taking a great deal of time.
‘Putin’ advanced to the ‘ever burning tank’ anomaly and gunned down another Blue Helmet.
It is at this point, ‘Turn Five’ that things get more heated.
Shpatsky advanced to the bunker, and yelled for the trapped scientists to leave. However, none respond to the massive man with a flamethrower!
Lebedev is more successful, and convinces one to leave safety, only to be cold cocked by ‘Putin’, eager to kidnap the scientist for ransom!
‘Lenin’ manages to further suppress the Blue Helmets, killing another. However, as ‘Turn Six’ begins more hostiles arrive. One armed with a LAW attempted to rocket a large pocket of rescued(or kidnapped!) scientists!
A melee ensues between the two teams, as they punch, bite, and grab each other for control of the Science team. They avoided lethal weapons but many ice-packs were used afterwards!
Two Blue Helmets fire M16’s into the scrum, but land no effective hits. The LAW is efficiently suppressed by incoming fire. Vorobev is unsuccessful trying to wrestle away the lead scientist, however Shpatsky is not, and leads the scientist away from the ‘Crazy Gopniks’
Leading into ‘Turn Seven”, more hostiles arrive, and the LAW gunner manages to collect his wits enough to fire at Shpatsky, but not enough to aim well, instead ruining a jersey barrier.
‘Lenin’ returns fire, and both his and the return fire is ineffective. Both teams eventually collectively end the threat from the Blue Helmets(for now), and having moved away from each other, choose to break away with their hostages/rescued scientists.
At this point I must report the action breaks off. Both teams managed to secure a few scientists, but the Zone Rats having gotten the Lead Scientist away are the ones making a bigger payday. The interesting angle for us at the CIA is what followed…
Once the Scientists were returned to their protected bunker, they made a radio broadcast over open channels.
“Fellow Stalkers, we have made a most excellent discovery. The Duga Array need not hold us back any longer. Due to our research, which lead to an unprecedented attack from inside the Zone, we have discovered a way to ‘block’ the signals emanating from the inside of the Field. We are working on prototypes, and need a team of willing Stalkers to wield such devices. If the Duga Array, the Scorcher, could be turned off, the centre of the Zone will become open to all of us. Report to our bunker. You will be paid well.”
I recommend dispatching a team, or funding one, immediately to make use of this discovery.
Yours, Agent Blackwell.
This battle report was an experiment in writing narratively, and may have succeeded in some ways, and failed in others. The impetus behind this was the STALKER 7 Battle Report contest, a contest I can’t see myself winning, however I hope it remains entertaining!
This was a custom scenario devised by a friend and I, to recover scientists from the field while under attack from hostile, Monolith, like forces. This is greatly inspired by the events of the STALKER video game, and may work in some ways and not in others. We had some custom rules I will go over now.
There were 5 Scientists in a bunker on the other side of the field, and the winner was the player controlling the most of them by the end of Turn 7. You could escort the scientists by moving into base contact, wrestle control away by doing a melee fight(lethal or not) or try to convince them to follow you with a Will-check.
There were two opposing squads of hostiles on the board, controlled as if they were a player. Due to Zone influence, they had 7 Will, and could get up on a 5+ for one final action before dying.
Each Turn, d3, minus what was already on the board, hostiles would arrive from the Red Forest. This ensured there was at least one hostile on the table on each side at all times.
The last hostile activated each turn had to shoot at the bunker and the scientists within, to act as an incentive to move up the table and act as a timer.
We used three Hot-Spots, using the expanded Anomaly table and any results of Bandits was rerolled when hostiles showed up.
We are not sure how well this worked, but it was a great deal of fun to play regardless. I hope you guys reading enjoy it as much as we enjoyed playing it. As always, Happy War-gaming where-ever you are, and beware, for Such is Life in the Zone!