Thursday 7 March 2024

Deadly Woman Yie: Pilot Episode (Warfighter: Shadow War)

 I've been playing a bit of Warfighter: Shadow War lately to try to get my head around the night rules. They are not that difficult, but they require you to track more things and it feels like my brain is ossifying lately. I mentioned the game to my poor, long-suffering friend Steve, because I thought it was quite cool tooling around in an SAS Land Rover with the Desert Storm: Operation Granby mission pack, as I have done for the last few games. His reluctance to play a Gulf War themed game is understandable, and I share it to some extent, but I got carried away with Land Rovers. So, I have decided to start a new military-themed K-drama to try to persuade him that Warfighter has merit and could be something we play at some point. I know he likes K-dramas.

Shadow War does not include a lot of player nations. Fortunately, it is 100% compatible with the main Warfighter game and the hostiles in the base game are North Korean. So, I grabbed the South Korea pack and set up a quick mission. Very quick, as it turned out. I picked the mission GO GO GO! because it is short but I did not expect it to be as short as it was. The mission card told me how many points I had. I then chose the objective which was to stop an escaping VIP by destroying his helicopter. After that, I picked the insertion and extraction method, in this case entrance and exit by Zodiac, with a view to what skills I would need for my soldier. I knew it would only be one soldier because 27 points does not buy you a lot, especially when you have to pay for night skills and gear.

Sergeant Yie is ready for action

The soldiers in the base game do not have Shadows skill or night vision goggles, which is the main difference between the two sets. Given that the game is about sneaking, I chose Shadows 8+ skill (the best you can get in the game) and a set of 3rd Gen Night Goggles for my soldier. I also picked out a suppressed K7 SMG and equipped it with 3 mags of heavy, subsonic ammo (Black Ammo: it makes less noise so you know it makes sense). Then I chose my soldier when I knew how many points I had left. Yie fit the bill nicely and there were a few points left over to buy a couple of grenades  in case things went south and some covert gear to improve her chances of things not going south.

Game setup. Dice tower to the right. My team at the bottom. Cards to draw at the top and the mission, objective, insertion and extraction cards on the game mat.

After that, it was time to see how the mission went. The chosen insertion method reduced the game length by two turns, so I would have to keep moving to succeed.

Deadly Woman Yie (Pilot episode)

Scene: A briefing room. An angry Major in army uniform is yelling at a young woman wearing the stripes of a sergeant.

"You're all we have, Sergeant Yie! If there were anyone else, I would use them! You're a maverick and a danger to all those around you! I don't even know how you have avoided being dismissed from the army so far! Well, don't mess this up! Your mission is to head to [REDACTED] Airfield and intercept General Vega M. Elk. We know he has been meeting with his North Korean counterpart to coordinate the activities of his Shadow Corps with their own actions to destabilise the Republic of Korea and our allies. GO THERE! GET HIM! AND DON'T MESS THIS UP!"

Spittle flew from Major E. Vent's mouth as he yelled this last. Yie was unmoved. She had heard it all before.

"Yes, Sir!" She affirmed and turned to go off and pack her gear, assuming that she was dismissed. Major Vent watched her back balefully.

Scene: A river bank. Text on the screen tells us this is [REDACTED], North Korea. A black rubber raiding craft approaches silently across the water. Understated music builds tension.

Sergeant Yie piloted her Zodiac into the reeds beside the river bank. She slipped stealthily over the side of the small boat into the shallow water and moved confidently but quietly forward. Ahead she could see the lights of a small airfield. She scanned the area carefully with her nightvision goggles, and spent a moment to consider the open field ahead of her. It was quiet. Too quiet. As she paused, hostiles approached.

 She had been right not to head out immediately. She sank back into the river bank and waited. The hostiles approached and she flipped on her goggles. It was a patrol of soldiers. They were sharing a cigarette and seemed oblivious to her presence. As she watched, they approached her position. She was ready to shoot if she had to, but she hoped they would pass her by ... for their sake.

Luckily for the hapless and careless soldiers, they just walked right past her. She moved out into the field, keeping low. Ahead she could see a black helicopter with the maroon Elk horns logo of General Elk on it. The pilot was doing pre-flight checks. Nearby she could make out more hostiles. She moved in and prepared to engage.

As she approached the hostiles, she got a better look at them. A trace of annoyance at herself flashed across her face.

"You're getting too jumpy, Yie," she muttered to herself, "Don't let what happened at [REDACTED] get to you. Focus! That was a bad time but you need to be here and now, not distracted by then."

What she had thought were hostiles turned out to be fuel drums stacked near the helipad. Just shadows. Not real.

She inched forward to just a few metres from the helicopter. From the cover of a tarpaulin-covered supply stack, she could see the hulking figure of General Elk in the back of the helicopter. She swung her K9 round and fired off a burst of rounds. The glass of the helicopter's windows shattered. General Elk twitched in the back. She was certain she had hit him. The pilot lifted the helicopter off and managed to get 20 metres up before she shifted aim from the General to him. A single snap shot killed him instantly and the helicopter plunged back to the helipad out of control spraying fuel all over.

A moment later the helicopter exploded.

"Mission complete," Yie told herself and moved swiftly but silently back to her Zodiac, the way lit by the glare of burning aviation fuel. She climbed into the raft and paddled quietly away.

Credits roll

Post credits scene: The camera focuses on the burning helicopter. A hulking, burning figure crawls from the wreckage, obviously hurt. A scarred face turns to camera as the figure lies on the ground and snarls at us.


That went a lot more smoothly than the games I played over the past few nights. The biggest hiccup was not drawing any location cards at the start, so my first turn involved using all my actions to draw cards. A single hostile who just walked right past my soldier was little threat. Having the helicopter only guarded by shadows was a serious bonus. The objective card only gave me 2 turns to destroy the helicopter, and you have to eliminate the hostiles first, because they screen it. Drawing cards that meant I automatically defeated the helicopter's defence rating was very handy. No reinforcements turned up, and being able to illuminate my exit point made it easier to get out. All in all, that went about as smoothly as a mission can, and the noise level never even got close to waking all the bad guys.

Let's hope the studios enjoyed this pilot episode and buy the series, so that Deadly Woman Yie can return in a new feature: Army of One.

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