Necromunda 17 – Downtime/Pitfight!
We have reached the halfway point in our current Necromunda campaign, which means everybody has recovered, we all got a pile of cash to buy some gangers and hangers-on, and we played a little multi player scenario called Pitfight.
Downtime first, I suppose. I spent an evening making some careful decisions to maximize the effectiveness of my 250 credits. A nice mix of gangers and juves. And then our Arbitrator said yes to Brutes being Hangers-on, and I tossed most of those plans out the window, because when else am I going to get my hands on enough credits to buy an Ambot? Muahaha! I had some credits left from the previous session, too, so I also picked up some better armour and a power knife for my close combat champion, Jane the Whirlwind. Then I tested her mettle in the pit…
Pitfight is a free-for-all where each player sends one champion into a ‘pit’ that’s only 24″ square; last champion standing wins. Limited ranged options for the first few rounds. Only three of us made it out to play, so the stakes weren’t as high as they could have been, but we did end up dishing out some pretty rough Lasting Injuries. James and I both fielded Eschers, and Rob’s Venator gang sent in a Goliath.
Rob’s Goliath held back for the first couple rounds while James and I closed and started an absolutely epic fight.
Both of our Eschers had Step Aside (which is pretty dynamite on an Escher) so that was one hit pretty much negated every time. James’s ganger had some rapid fire potential, but I had a parry and a 4+ armour save to keep me in the game. Rob had a few rounds to hit us both with shredder templates before I managed to get clear of James and take on Rob.
I ended up with a bunch of reputation and experience and a little bit of cash, and the other two ended up with head injuries. I had the only unpainted model, so I promised early on that I’d paint Jane the Whirlwind if she won. That will have to wait for another post, though.
Looking forward to fielding my Ambot next time. I just gotta spend some credits first…
Mighty Empires: Juhlii of the Shrieking Fox
Juhlii started quietly, with the Upirian vampires shifting their forces around the map. C banner brought the previously unknown village of Felton into the fold, but otherwise it was a fairly uneventful month for Upiria.
Da Squig Teef expanded da Gobbolands a bit, discovering more barren lands in the northeast. Exploring da Gobbolands east of Squigopolis led to the discovery of an isolated tomb. Further investigation suggested that it marked the burial site of a long-forgotten hero, but it was also discovered that not only had the tomb been looted a long time ago, but that the catacombs had been claimed by a group of Dark Elves as their lair. The goblins were attacked by the vile creatures, but were able to fend them off; minimal casualties were suffered by each side as the dark elves retreated back into the tunnels. Squig Teef C, after spending a month softening up the skaven fortress of Gutsticken, launched an assault and nearly overran the fortress. Losses were suffered on both sides of the conflict, and the goblins were pushed back from Gutsticken’s walls.
The Black Skull Empire prepared for war, sending advance scouts into Voltal and Ogretown. Following their scouts, banner A marched upon Ogretown, only to witness the cowardly ogres retreat into the city, hunkering down for a siege that wouldn’t come. Faced with the bitter reality of a siege situation, the Black Skull withdrew, returning to the village of Dalton. Banner D charged into Voltal, surprising the local militia and overpowering the city, despite suffering heavy losses in the process. The Black Skull Empire claimed Voltal for their empire and expelled the minor Kristanzian royalty that were running the place to die in the woods outside the city. Banner B left Desperation to take up residence at the Bleeding Spire, and Banner C traveled southeast into their newly found village of Klump.
Clan Spearhavok split their runners between internal recon and expansion. Amberkill sent scouts into Deadwood, where they found evidence of goblin spies, calling for the banner to advance into the village to reinforce the skaven presence. Batterskull sent spies to investigate the goblin siege on Gutsticken, but ended up advising Batterskull’s engineers to hold back and let the militia at Gutsticken fend for themselves. Cravenfur’s scouts discovered a village of Beastmen called Narrat on the shores of the lake northeast of Goblintombs, and Cravenfur’s rats advanced, crushing the beastmen’s weak local forces while suffering minimal casualties themselves. The Doomrat banner’s night runners reported a city of high elves southwest of Foundwater and, not to be outdone by Cravenfur, immediately called for an all out attack on the elven city of Glortilyhuir. The elves retreated within their city’s walls but the Doomrats were not to be slowed, clambering up the walls and through the city’s sewers at great cost in a direct assault that quickly brought the city to its knees.
The Kingdom of Ogredeblarg had a rough month, finding a village northeast of Fort Ogre but little else. Banner B found themselves drenched and held down by a full month of torrential downpours in the area surrounding Ogreville, while banner C remained in Ograda, suffering from a strange sickness that swept through the village.
Mighty Empires – Juhn of the Shrieking Fox
Note: Rather than running this turn 1 player at a time, we opted to try a 1 phase at a time approach. Things are a little more reactionary, but I will still be describing the actions of one faction at a time. Just so it makes sense when I mention things happening in response to something I haven’t yet mentioned.
The tribe of da Squig Teef grew even bolder in Juhn, expanding da Gobbolands to the north and east. Hot off their victory over the helpless villagers of Gromville, banner C (we really need cooler names for these banners) scouted Gutsticken, the fortress west of Gromville. Banner D sent scouts to spy on the Amberkill skaven banner in Deadwood, discovering their secrets and then slipping back to warn the rest of the goblins. Banner A fled the wizard’s tower of Vicious Tim into their expanded Gobbolands, B similarly advanced into the barrens, and D opted to stay put after learning what awaited them in Deadwood. C, not realising that the Amberkill skaven had sent scouts into their midst, advanced upon Gutsticken. When the local skaven militia retreated into the fortress and prepared for a siege, the goblins proceeded to attack the walls with a combination of thrown boulders and ballista fire.
Clan Spearhavok, plagued by the Black Skull Empire in the north and da Squig Teef tribe in the east, split their scouts between unknown territory and reconnaisance. Amberkill banner sent scouts into Gromville, learning the details of the goblins deployed there and returning undetected. Batterskull discovered more barren territory southeast of Khorne’s End while the Doomrat scouts followed the river to find an easily subjugated village to the west of Foundwater. Naming it Riverspitz, the scouts returned to their banner. The Cravenfur banner sent scouts to the northwest, where they discovered a small series of villages on the river; they submitted immediately to Clan Spearhavok’s rule. After returning to their banner, the scouts learned that the villages had soon after been visited by the Black Skull Empire, and had switched allegiances without a thought! Naming the villages Traitorgulch, banner Cravenfur advanced into the village, daring the Black Skull to return in number. Amberkill, left alone by the goblins of banner D, advanced upon Gromville – now devoid of any serious Squig Teef presence – and claimed it as their own, simultaneously cutting off the potential escape route of the goblins besieging Gutsticken. Batterskull opted to remain in Khorne’s End, ready to provide backup to Gutsticken should it be needed, and the Doomrats remained in Foundwater, satisfied that Rivespitz was well protected from the Black Skull Empire by Death Drop Chasm to the north.
Upiria devoted its energies to expansion during the month of Juhn, discovering and claiming the city of Nilbog northwest of Thorns, and the village of Dimtide on the southern cape of Upiria, just south of Lachrymarum. Banner A discovered that the Fallow continued to the east, and opted to remain where it was, and banner D’s scouts located a city of High Elves to the east! Attempting a surprise attack, D crept in across the one time battlefields of the Fallow, only to be stumbled upon by withdrawing Elven forces that had spotted Upiria’s scouts. Battle erupted with neither side fully prepared, and the bloody mess lasted for several days, but in the end the High Elves were able to fight the Upirian banner to a draw, with heavy losses on both sides. The Elves retreated into the city of Athanel, and Upiria’s D banner retreated back into the Fallow.
The Black Skull Empire opted for an aggressive month, expanding east towards the Kingdom of Ogredeblarg and south towards Clan Spearhavok. Banners A and C found and advanced upon two villages, naming them Dalton and Vile. Banner A was only too happy to leave the brigands of the Cursed Passage behind them. Banner B sent scouts into a series of villages southwest of them that had been newly-claimed by the skaven of Clan Spearhavok, briefly winning over the villages until the Cravenfur banner returned later in the month. Not to be so easily dismissed themselves, Banner B advanced upon Traitorgulch. Banner D discovered a surviving village-state of Kristanzians on the river southeeast of the Pillar of Skulls, and proceeded to launch an attack of their own, only to be repelled by the Kristanzians after their battle resulted in a draw. Black skull casualties were fairly light. The battle of Traitorgulch went even less smoothly, with the Black Skull Empire suffering fairly heavy losses, and the Cravenfur banner losing a number of stormvermin, including Fangleader Gristlekill. After a bitter and bloody conflict, both sides were forced to withdraw from Traitorgulch, but the villages remained a part of Clan Spearhavok’s growing empire.
Our ogre general is still MIA, so the Kingdom of Ogredeblarg had another fairly low key turn, expanding its borders without conflict. With da Squig Teef advancing from the south and the Black Skull growing more aggressive in the west, however, it looks unlikely that Ogredeblarg will be able to maintain its policy of non-aggression come Juhlii.
Mighty Empires: the Saga Begins
Note: A few names and places are likely to change before too long…
The year of the Shrieking Eagle was a dark one for the failing Kristanz Empire. A winter filled with bad omens and mysteriously slain livestock led to infighting amongst the royal family, eventually resulting in a major schism. Betrayals and backstabbings quickly ramped up into formal attacks, and the lesser lords – faced with an imminent civil war – opted to break off into independent city-states in and effort to avoid being drawn into the battle. By midsummer, the Kristanz Empire was no more, having dissolved into a war-torn nightmare.
The lesser lords of Kristanz were not the only ones to respond to the civil war, but where they saw disaster, various other factions saw opportunity. As the equinox approached, dark forces rose up to carve out realms of their own.
In the far North, the Ogre Kingdom of Blargdeblarg expanded their plateau-based mercenary camps to conquer the surrounding area.
The Binkeldebap goblin tribes exploded out of their caves in the central highlands to claim a territory of their own.
An army of the undead rose up out of a former battlefield in the South Eastern peninsula, driven by the Upirian vampires.
Finally, what had appeared to be small, isolated skaven raiders in the South West turned out to be Clan Skitterblood’s advance scouts; it took less than a week for them to carve out a realm of their own.
The winter season provided more than enough time for each of these factions to cement their hold, while preventing any sizable retaliation by the former Kristanzians. With the spring equinox near at hand, each faction prepares to make their move. The year of the Shrieking Fox is upon this once-glorious empire. What will the next several months bring? Glory? Panic? New Dark Overlords? Only time will tell.
Coming Soon: Classic Mighty Empires
So. It’s early May, most of the snow is gone (what can I say? That’s Northern Ontario for you), and our Yu Jing player will soon be heading back to Toronto for the summer (the fool!), which means we’ll likely be shaking things up a bit. We probably don’t want to get too far ahead of him in Mordheim, so it’s time to find something else to play in between Infinity games. We’ve been itching to get in some more warhammer fantasy, and last summer’s homebrew 40k campaign was a blast, so we figured we’d look into doing something similar. Enter Mighty Empires. The old 1990 version of Mighty Empires used to be available free (rules and map tiles) through various GW sites, so that’s what we’re going to be using. A couple of us are in the process of reading through the rules, and I’ve just finished the first version of the map tiles:
I used spray adhesive to mount the tiles onto foamcore with mixed results. I’d definitely wear gloves next time, and I think I’d go with a slightly heavier paper stock. Also, we’re going to need a place we can leave it set up, which during the school year would be a problem. If we decide to do this again, or if I make a new set of tiles at some point, I’ll likely use adhesive sheet magnets instead, and then track down a magnetic whiteboard to hold the map. (I’d have done that this time if I’d thought of it before I was halfway finished. Grin.)
Anyway, we’re looking forward to this; we’ll have to make some tweaks to the rules as the classic Mighty Empires was released during 3rd edition, but I’ll try to post our solutions to such issues as they come up.
Wish us luck!
the Cruenta Campaign III & IV
K, so, part III occurred over a week ago, so I want to get it down while it’s fresh in my head. The evening started with a 750 pt series that I missed. Once again, there were a few locations to choose from; everybody choosing a particular location battled for it. I missed that battle, as my son’s bedtime is around 7-730, so I can never get out there before 8. The second event of the evening, however was a zombie holdout! pretty sweet. tau, dark angels, imperial guard, and the unyielding (space marines) had to defend a civilian escape ship for 5 turns against the combined forces of our daemon player’s army and two ever-swelling hordes of zombie doom.
Here we are, ready to stand our ground. My forces are in the close left (5 man tactical squad, heavy bolter devastators, scouts, and a terminator assault squad lead by a chaplain). Realised about 30 seconds into the first turn that I should have put the devastators in the upper roof to give them 360 degrees of awesome.
The hordes each grew at a rate of 5-30 zombies per turn, and each horde counted as a single unit for the purpose of close combat. They dealt glances on 6’s, had a 6+ invulnerable coupled with a 5+ feel no pain, and were generally just nasty enough to make things pretty interesting.
The initial setup at the beginning of turn 1 (defenders would go first).
The chaos daemons were the big threat in the early game; zombies grew more threatening as time wore on, as their ‘reinforcements’ always arrived off their own flank, not at the table edge (if the nearest zombie in the horde was 6 inches away, reinforcements could spawn 6 inches away). Order won the day, but it was close, eventually coming down to a wall of rhino wrecks on the one side and my entire force locked in close combat on the other.
At the beginning of their second turn, I think. I managed to cut down a tonne of zombies every turn, but not enough to keep their ranks from swelling.
The last photo I took. We were about to bask the game, but decided to fill the zombie movement, Just to see if they were indeed doomed. They instead closed with my terminators and I spent the rest of the game killing zombies in close combat.
It’s very rare for me to take devastators into assault, but it was the only way I could continue to destroy enough zombies each turn.
Experience-based rewards? My heavy bolter devastators are now relentless, for starters. Sweet. Oh, and apparently my arguments were sound, there will now be a die roll for absent players to see whether they get any upgrades or advancements when away. They still take the losses, but won’t be quite so crippled going into the next round.
As for Cruenta IV, I missed that one. Just a single series at 750, I think. We move on to 1000pts next.
The Cruenta Campaign II
I missed part II as I was at a family reunion slash farm centennial over the long weekend, so I’m doing pretty terribly Campaign-wise. Apparently it’s been decided that absentees will be given a ‘loss’ score of 1 instead of a ‘draw’ score of 2, which means that missing a game means a pretty massive blow to your capability, as you get the equivalent of no points, no Strategic Assets *and* no opportunity to achieve experience based rewards for surviving units. Pretty garbage move if you ask me. We’ll see if we end up changing that. On occasions where we play more than one battle in an evening, that means you could be getting 2 campaign points while somebody else got 6 campaign points, 4 Strategic Assets, 4 unit upgrades and 2 Hero upgrades.
Given that I have a little boy to put to bed before I can join the fray, and that occasionally will miss a whole evening, this would definitely prompt me to bow out if we decide to introduce any sort of prize pool. I’d be doomed. Short version, I wouldn’t stand a chance. I’d wind up with at least half losses before even playing an actual game, and be ‘levelling’ units at half the rate of other players.
Short post, but the next couple should be longer, and I should get around to them soon. Pathfinder was last night, and tonight was the third Cruenta session. More details in the near future…
The Cruenta Campaign I
First couple rounds of the Cruenta campaign will take place in the Grey star system, named for the dying pulsar that is its only light source. I steered the Unyielding towards the second of the planets, an ocean world called Grey II. Strike force alpha landed in a small chain of volcanic islands that once housed sizable mining operations, in an attempt to seize a geological demolitions charge for use later in the campaign. Unfortunately, a rogue faction of Dark Angels and a small detachment of chaos daemons had similar plans. The battle commenced!
Strike force alpha: a master of the forge, an ironclad kitted for assault, 5 tactical marines and 5 scouts. The battle was a bit of a mess; I found myself twice at the mercy of going first and then last on consecutive turns, in one case allowing a unit of plague bearers (?) to deep strike about an inch in front of my ironclad and then assault the following turn… while I sat doing nothing to prevent it. Lame.
The daemons tore through the dark angels pretty handily, seizing one of two objectives; I spent most of the game just trying to survive their assault on the other objective. My master of the forge managed to eliminate 7 bloodletters, a large portion of a plague bearer unit, and some sort of huge daemon cavalry unit. The ironclad feel to the aforementioned assault, and my two 5-man squads took on most of what remained.
This would be my last two scouts winning an assault and killing a Herald in the process. You can see the daemonic cavalry charging in from behind…
At end of game, I successfully contested the second objective with my two surviving tactical marines (the scouts were sadly lost to the cavalry); my master of the forge also survived.
Obligatory terrible shot of the survivors. According to our campaign rules, I was able to grant my surviving units some special rules. Longshot now has Interceptor; Lucky and Wild’s tactical unit has been made Relentless. Let the madness begin.
As I lost, I only earned 1 point towards the campaign, but at least I now have some more experienced units. Plus, 8 did limit the daemons to only 1 geological demolitions charge.
That first-goes-last rule hurt me more than any other factor. Hoping we change that.
Almost nobody chose to storm the planet with the best stuff; we all tried to play the sneaky game, targeting ‘lesser’ planets and ending up fighting for mediocre assets. Kinda hilarious, really.
Finally, scouts are pretty great. One of the tau players was giving me flak about using them, but they did amazingly well. It took that heraldic cavalry daemon to knock them down in the end.
Shaking up 40k
Most Sundays, I get together with a bunch of other guys at the local university for some 40k. Lots of funis the usual prognosis, but we’ve lately been feeling like things have been getting a wee bit stale. Most of us only have one army (and the guys with more than one usually prefer one by a wide margin), which means we end up fighting some of the same battles over and over again. And since one of our tau players insists on bringing three riptides to every single big point game, it’s gotten even worse; space marine armies are mostly terminators and lascannons, eldar are all wraithblanks, you get the picture.
So we’re building an escalation campaign, with bonuses over time to surviving units, strategic assets as objectives that will eventually grant bonuses themselves, and semi randomized matchups as we secretly declare our intended targets and then reveal them to find out who will be fighting on which planets. Everybody has a 3000pt, 2FOC army pool from which all of their lists must be drawn, and I think this is going to be super fantastic. I think we’re starting tomorrow.
And after this campaign? I’m hoping for cities of death next.