Had a great time GMing the Fallout scenario. Spoilers for Colony War novel and Fallout scenario: We did a punchy 2.5 hour run through with four players and the four pre-gens plus a Working Joe named Gibson, because I love me some semi-obscure lore references.
There is a lot in that scenario and in a very focused 2.5 hour session we probably only hit on about a third of the possible events and locations. Looking forward to running this again another time for another group or transplanting some of the events to other sessions.
Characters were debating whether to try to sneak in or try to negotiate with the ships in orbit and once I felt that consensus was not forthcoming I had them detect the Victory making a break from the surface which immediately shifted them to agreeing to sneak in while the Victory provided a distraction. They made the rolls to land undetected and chose to land in the debris field, which they searched, turning up the weapons crate and flight recorder. I was a bit surprised by this decision given the scenario text explicitly warns them that they should expect the colony to be nuked soon, but they seemed to doubt nukes would fall given the tense geopolitical situation in orbit. The players had a great time doing a loading up with guns and grenades scene, and Tajima's reaction to the flight recorder was "Oh, awesome, a retirement plan!" To start providing some urgency I had them see a Cheyenne dropship land, as I really didn't want them searching the debris field all day and figured they already had the most interesting stuff given the ship did not need salvaged parts for repair.
They then made a beeline for the medlab with thunder portending a storm soon and the first encounter I rolled on the hallways table was the hibernating Scout Xenomorph. The characters started a whispered argument of go the long way around versus attack it by suprise. I described the Xeno's limbs shifting a bit as if it was trying to get a more comfortable position, which one of the players took as a threat, so they promptly tossed a grenade, triggering our first combat and letting the UPP know exactly where they were. The scout Broke Prof Cleas's ribs and started dragging him away before the androids were able to bash it back, but then Dagny opened up with a shotgun blast that broke the Xeno and sprayed acid everywhere, damaging Gibson and killing Cleas. The survivors rushed to the medlab where they found all the records deleted, but did get a facehugger preserved in formaldehyde (I described the room as similar to the medbay at Hadley's Hope, so I figured a sample in a jar was both good foreshadowing and a reasonable find) so they decided to race to the Command Deck to check for off-network backups ahead of the UPP troops and any other monsters that would undoubtedly be coming to investigate the explosions and gunfire of their recent Xeno encouter.
When they reached the Command Deck, they discovered several Ovomorphs in the room. Myra volunteered to sneak in to access a computer while the rest of the party stayed at the door, weapons ready. Myra was able to get the records copied onto physical media for extraction but an Ovomorph flower-petalled open as they tried to leave the room. Dagny and Gibson heroically charged in, managing to grenade and cutting torch to destroy two Ovomorphs but the other two released Facehuggers. One facehugger attacked Tajima, but she was able to block and then shoot it while the other attacked Dagny but Gibson was able to impose themselves inbetween and beat it to a pulp with a maintenance jack.
The crew then made a dash back to the ship under the cover of the now full swing storm and got out of system before anyone could stop them.
A great session and we all had fun. Looking forward to next time.
The UPP team served as a great way to keep pressure on the the team to stay focused and keep moving. This aligns with previous experience of time pressure working well in the Black Pyramid scenario and the lack of time pressure being a bit of a downside in the Hot Zone scenario.
If I do this again, I think I need to be ready to provide a bit more guidance to Dagny's character because once they realized the Cronulla was destroyed they didn't really know how to adapt the character's goals. I was really surprised during the facehugger fight, that Dagny first attacked the facehugger near Tajima instead of the one near them and Gibson. So two or three ideas, a note saying "Dagny might try a, b, or c now that they know the Cronulla has been destroyed" might help to have in your back pocket.