Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Cutting the mob down to size - with a little help from Santa

Morning all, got a game report for you today as a treat, having spent last night rolling dice against Tonka from Tonkas blog of wargaming, the Death Spectres emerged victorious once more, controlling the lair of the legendary Phanta Claws and making off with a substantial part of his present horde (guess they thought they'd been bad this year and wouldn't get anything otherwise).

When I say substantial I mean at the end of the game, once hostages had been ransomed back and presents cashed in my stash was up to 285 credits, only 2 of which had been there at the start of the evening, and my gang rating had leapt by 435 points. 

This immediately tells me two things:
1. Anyone that plays me will be getting lots of experience for doing so (+6 for each survivor even if they lose)

2. My ratskin map just became one of the most precious things in my inventory to give me the occasional choice of what game we play, as I'm never going to be the one rolling on the scenario table!

Without further ado therefore, here's how the game panned out.

I gained the first turn, and immediately noticed that I’d been careless with my gang’s positioning on the table, I only had one route to the present horde without taking to the underhive floor or making my way around about a third of the table to find the nearest ladder (I really need to get this scenery put together properly). With that in mind, Maggot, Brew and Vulture began taking the long, high road around the upper gantries, whilst Hawk and Warrior picked their way across the floor of the lair watched over by Junkyard covering them from above. Butcher and Crank made a dash for the horde though neither made it close enough to pick up a present first.

Maggot, Brew and Vulture were then faced with a daunting proposition as five of the smash mob emerged from the structure they were heading towards, with only a ladder for cover between them. The Goliaths let rip, but Maggot took two shots before he went down, and despite being hit by both a full power shot from a plasma pistol and a shotgun blast, Hawg weathered the storm, even escaping pinning somehow. One of the Goliath gang made a quick dash out to steal a present from the horde, but got distracted looking at the shiny paper (Tonka forgot to move him next turn). Trench and his juve bodyguard (5 of them!) worked their way around the buildings at ground level, and one of their gangers headed towards Junkyard, hoping to cause some damage.

With a roar, Vulture’s flamer washed burning promethium across the gantries, the combustible fuel clinging to anything it touched. Vulture however was clearly inexperienced with the weapon, as not only did he empty the entire fuel reservoir in one blast, but he only wounded one of the five goliath gangers in its path. Fortunately, one of the other 4 was pinned by the shot, and the remaining 3 managed to throw themselves off the upper level of the building, hitting the dirt and all going down until one recovered in the latter stages of the game. Crank and Butcher both made contact with the present horde, as did Boone, who was getting himself in a position to make use of his meltagun should the Phanta Claws arrive.

The next few turns saw the Goliaths turn the screw on the Death Spectres, with some poor shooting from the Orlock gangers made worse by both heavies being taken out of action in hand to hand combat (yes, Junkard had been in range to let rip with his heavy stubber but had failed to hit the Goliath ganger, and was hampered by the weapon in the subsequent fight.

Boone’s leadership kept the Spectres in the fight however, and the Phanta Claws emerged from hiding on the Goliath side of the horde, charging into combat with one of Trench’s guard and putting him out of action.

The Goliaths reacted swiftly to the appearance of the creature however, and Trench and his 4 remaining juves charged the beast, though it took the Goliath leader to bury his chainsword in its gut to see the creature stop twitching. By this time, the Spectres had collected 4 presents from the stash, and as the Goliaths burst from cover to assault Boone’s men, the Orlock leader was ready, ignoring the other wild shots from Warrior and Hawk to calmly place a blast from his meltagun into the face of a charging Jerico. Two of the Goliath juves made crashed from cover however into contact with Hawk, a blow from Anon’s mighty axe felling the Orlock, and the muscular juves barrelled on into warrior.

Enough was enough, the pitch black conditions had restricted the Orlock shooting significantly and Boone gave the order to engage at close quarters. It was all Crank had been waiting for, and the unhinged ganger leapt into combat with one of the Goliath gangers, though neither could land a telling blow on the other. Things were different on the other side of the table though, as Boone levelled his meltagun once more to send a blast in Trench’s direction, just clipping the Goliath leader but knocking him unconscious all the same. Butcher had seen enough too, and charged into Anon to put him out of action with a mighty blow from his flail. High up over the horde on the gantry, Hawg blocked a savage blow from the ganger he was tussling with, clubbing him with the stock of his shotgun before he could respond and a swift boot to the head ensured his opponent would not be returning to the fight.

And that was that, the Goliaths bottled and the Death Spectres were left in control of the battlefield, 5 presents from the horde and 4 captives (though one was exchanged in return for Brew) my remaining casualties all recovered without harm, though the same couldn’t be said for my opponent. One dead, one with multiple injuries and several other serious blows meant that the Goliaths gang rating dropped by two points despite the significant experience they gained for the match.

In return for the captives, I took the present the Goliaths had taken from the field, and a wad of cash with the promise of more to come (I have an ‘IOU’ for 4 creds…). When the presents were opened, Boone found a nice woolly jumper, two contained significant sums of money, two contained mung vases that Boone managed to sell on the black market for substantial amounts, and Butcher unwrapped a functioning cyber mastiff, immediately naming him ‘Fit’.

Boone’s visit to the trading post yielded fruit too, with Junkyard sporting a shiny new mono-sight for his heavy stubber, and a grav chute to ensure he could take advantage of a high covering position without fear of damage from falling. Boone was offered a suit of carapace armour as well, however he settled for stocking up on weaponry for the gang, equipping Frog, a juve who had attached himself to Boone when haggling over the mung vases, and Maverick, an old acquaintance of Boone’s from his gambling days prior to joining the Shining Falls guard.

Despite Maggot taking a shot to the gut early in the engagement, he advanced sufficiently to become a fully fledged ganger, gaining strength back in his wounded arm, and his ability to shoot accurately under fire and whilst rapidly moving from one point of cover to another earned him the moniker ‘Lightning’.

Boone’s experience maintaining his new meltagun has given him a greater insight into weapon maintenance, and he gained the armourer skill, giving me +1 to my ammo rolls from now on.

Crank’s frenzy appears to be paying dividends, as his greater combat experience has led to him gaining an extra attack (very useful, particularly since he’s also got the fast shot skill and WS4, so he’s becoming a genuine all-rounder), and Brew has also picked up the Fast Shot skill to go with rapid fire (we’ve worked out a house rule way of dealing with this, but it’s pretty complicated). Lightning gained a point of strength, negating his previous arm wound, and an extra point of ballistic skill, so at BS4 the hip shooting skill becomes workable, and I’ve given him an autogun to extend his threat radius. Butcher picked up the parry skill, though I’ll need to do a bit of reading to see how that combines with his flail. Warrior, Hawk, Rebel, Hawg, Vulture and Junkyard all failed to advance, though Rebel and Hawk in particular are well placed to do so next time.

Boone’s shooting display takes him level with Crank and Hawg leading the gang’s kill list with 5 each. I’m looking forward to the next game already, though I suspect I may be facing a united front somehow!