Instead of beginning a T2k v1.0 game on the run, an alternative option is to have the group begin as part of “B-troop”, a special mission unit led by Captain Molly Warren, currently acting as the local militia for the friendly town of Dobrodzien in northern Silesia (see The Black Madonna, pages 23 and 28-29).
This provides the opportunity for a different style of campaign, one more in tune immediately with a “Points of Light” style game. The characters have a well defended friendly base to rest and recover in, a commanding officer that can provide various styles of quest (aka “missions”) and a mixture of local enemies, potential allies and neutral settlements to interact with. The main scenario detailed in The Black Madonna, the search for the relic, provides a suitable beginning mission and MacGuffin to help explain how the characters came together as a a mixed group and launches them into the area.
Unlike Escape from Kalisz or a vanilla v2.0+ start in media res, characters should be able to purchase more equipment than they can carry individually or in their vehicles. Likewise pack animals or mounts (notably allowed in later versions of the game) are a viable alternative, as it can be assumed they are stabled and fed in the local town. Amongst the troop are likely to be several mechanics and medics, so players do not necessarily need to have a balanced party to meet basic survival needs and can be assumed to be able to maintain and repair their vehicles or recover from injuries between play sessions, making for a more streamlined, less intense style of game.
Depending on the mission, Captain Warren may provide assistance in the form of backup a specialist driver, a few grunt or special forces characters and/or one of the heavier vehicles such as a LAV-75 variant (replaced in v2.2 and the by M8 AGS), M113 or similar with a trained gunner.
Non-American characters (except Soviets due to Captain Warren’s backstory), including local Polish characters, make for a potentially more diverse beginning party. New characters and/or potential reinforcements can be introduced as survivors of 5th Division’s rout that have fled southwards from the setting of the introductory adventure.
The local marauders to the east and northeast present the most obvious threats, although the withdrawing Soviet 129th MRD will send occasional patrols into the woods west of the settlement until it fully withdraws from Opole and the surrounding villages. The forces of the Margravate of Silesia are initially neutral, although may be provoked into hostility.
Unlike the starting scenario, there is no immediate armed threat to the group and no pressing need to travel rapidly. Diplomatic, trade and exploration style missions with the nearby Margravate towns, the nascent Mercantile League or the Free City of Krakow are an option, allowing characters to ease into the complicated rules without imminent need for combat.
GM Note: with minor changes, Old Adam Rataj and his Wisla Krolowa, may be encountered near the ruins of Oswiecim (aka Auschwitz) or nearby downstream with the partisans at Tyniec, allowing the group to travel to Krakow by boat and then begin a riverine journey as in the Pirates of the Vistula supplement. Alternatively, a similar river barge with a captain allied with the emerging Liga Handowly (Mercantile League) based at Pszycyna may request the group’s armed assistance traveling downriver to trade, potentially invoking the wrath of Margrave Julian.