Long ago, a German immigrant named Doctor Thorne was wandering the Superstition Mountains. He emerged with a backpack full of gold nuggets, and claimed he had discovered the richest mine in North America. Tragically, Thorne died before he could spend his fortune. While foolishly wandering at night, he was attacked by a pack of wild animals and slain. For years, people have speculated about the location of the Deutschman's secret mine. A few weeks ago, snake oil salesman appeared in Blackwater Gulch. Among his various dubious wares was an old and bloodstained journal purported to be Dr. Thorne's secret notes. Your gang has the chance to claim the Lost Deutschman's Mine... but will they survive its mysterious protectors?
This scenario is based on a certain popular science fiction game. It is intended to be played with two sides: Five humans (of any gang) have entered the mine and are henceforth referred to as the "Defenders." Their goal is to escape the mine with their lives. Their opponent is a gang of five Skinwalkers (of any species), henceforth referred to as the "Attackers." Their goal is to kill all of the humans so that no one escapes with the secret of the mine. If even one human reaches the mine exit, the humans win and the Skinwalkers lose.
The game is played inside tight, constricted corridors. This can be represented by strips of paper, card tiles, or one of several manufactured "dungeon" floorplans. Each tunnel should be between 1 and 2 inches wide, so that no more than two individuals can stand abreast. The map should be very convoluted and contain occasional obstacles such as rivers or rocks. Long, straight corridors tend to favor the Defenders, while intersections and turns tend to favor the Attacker.
Sneaking Tokens: The Attacker begins the game with eight Sneaking Tokens. Take five tokens and mark the bottoms. The five marked tokens represent actual Skinwalkers. The three unmarked tokens represent "Decoys." The humans might hear sounds in the dark, like running water, echoes, and perhaps deliberate deception (such as thrown rocks) that make them unsure which sounds are real. The Defender cannot see well in the dark. Although the Attacker may check the tokens (in case they forget) the token is not revealed to the Defender until the token is within six inches (6") of a Defending model with line of sight. A revealed model may return to being a token if it ends its turn with no human models within twelve inches (12"). A Defender cannot attack an unrevealed token, even if it is within weapons range, because the mine is too dark for them to see their target. The marked tokens should be numbered so that the Attacker knows which model they correspond to.
On Guard: The Defender begins the game with five On Guard Tokens. If a human model does not move or attack during its turn, it may go on guard. Place an On Guard Token next to the character. If a Sneaking Token moves within 6" of a model On Guard, and is revealed as an actual Skinwalker, the On Guard model may interrupt the Skinwalker's movement to make one free ranged attack. Explosives may not be used for this attack. The On Guard model loses its On Guard token after this attack, and may not return to an "On Guard" status until its next turn.
Nerve: If a Defender model begins their turn with an On Guard Token AND an opposing Sneaking Token is within 9" AND the Defender has line of sight to the Sneaking Token, the Defender must take a Morale Test. If the Defender fails the Morale Test, they lose their nerve and discharge their weapon in the direction of whatever random noise scared them. They lose their On Guard token and may not return to an On Guard status until their next turn.
If an Attacker's Sneaking Token begins its turn with a Defender within 9", the model must make a Morale Test. (For the purposes of this test, a Decoy Sneaking Token is considered to have an Intellect of 3). If a Sneaking Token fails its Morale Test, its rage and lust for fresh meat have overcome its good sense, and it immediately attempts to charge into melee combat. If this charge brings it within 6" of an On Guard Defender with line of sight, the Defender may make their free ranged attack.
If a Decoy Sneaking Token fails its Morale Test, the token is revealed as a decoy and removed. The Attacker may replace the Decoy Token anywhere within 12" of its last position.
The intent is that the Defenders wander through the cave system, being cautious and never sure whether the sounds they hear in the dark are real or imagined. The Attacker manuevers its tokens to surround the Defender and gain a favorable position. They may use their Decoy Sneaking Tokens to bluff the Defender, and hopefully drive them away from corners or dead-ends that could create a good defensive position.
Inevitably, the two sides will settle somewhere in the middle of the board, where the Defenders are ready for their last stand and the Attacker is hovering at the very edge of their visual range. At that point, it turns into a battle of Nerves where they probe each other until one side finally loses their nerve and the decisive fight begins.
Are the rules too complex? Does it adequately convey a sense of uncertainty? Does one side have too much of a decisive advantage? Should the Defender be permitted to do "Recon by Fire" or dynamite unrevealed tokens?