Thursday, 19 May 2016

Catch The Genestealer!

Interrogator Jenna had received word of strange groups scouring the farmlands of Nora searching for something or someone. When evidence pointed towards The Ambull Hunters, the matter gained a little more urgency, whatever that degenerate group was searching for, The Jokers would do their best to spoil the party. When approaching the small hamlet of no name worth remembering, not one but two armed groups converged heading towards the only tavern there. What was worse was one of the groups was made up entirely of mutated monstrosities looking like their intention was mayhem. Jenna recognised a member of the the other group - the leader of The Ambull Hunters. Then a loud roar focused attention back on the other group and the enormous Ogryn leading them. Two groups of hostiles, "Attack pattern Trident! I want information!". Thus the battle of nowhere began.


Planet Nora

Nora is an agricultural world of little consequence in the Eastern Fringe located in the Seldom system.  Boasting one spaceport and a single city it is sparsely populated. It's main export is wheat and the climate is ideal for growing it. There are few native predators other than the rather large forest bats that can sometimes be  encountered in the wilds. Noran soldiers are not renowned as the greatest fighters in the imperial guard and are generally fit only for garrison duty. Because of this lack of decent manpower, when a series of strange occurrences (disappearances and excessive mutant sightings) started help was required. An Astropath sent message requested Inquisitorial assistance and the Jokers was the best that could be dispatched to such an unimportant backwater.
The reason for the strange occurances were twofold: firstly the disappearances were caused mainly by a damaged shuttle crashing, unknown in the wilds containing three immature genestealer hybrids. Two were fatally wounded but the third was wounded but survived, this genestealer was responsible for a number of livestock deaths and farmers reported the small purple alien to the authorities, the recent large number of mutant sightings was simply caused by a group landing on the planet to resupply and move off to cause mischief. Added to these circumstances The Ambull Hunters arrived on the planet after receiving some promising readings from a long range xenos probe.
That battle begins as all three groups reach the Genestealer's hiding place and each one has a different motive for capturing the critter.

The Scenario

The scenario was basically a modified Scavengers game. Six loot token were placed on the table (a 6' x 4' as there were three gangs). As we had to dice off for table edge it was a case of all the tokens were well out of the deployment zones. When a model reached a token he had to see what was there (with hindsight a successful investigation test would have made sense). The test was made during the shooting phase, a roll on a D6:
1-2 attacked by d3 giant bats
3 a gas fungus shoots spores out roll a second D6
                                                                          1-2 Scare
                                                                          3-4 Choke
                                                                          5-6 Hallucinogen.
4 an item from the Outlanders trade chart.
5 an item from the Necromunda trade chart
6 the immature genestealer.
The winner of the game had to subdue the stealer (defeat it in hand to hand) then carry it to the nearest table edge. Exp was 10 for winning gang leader and getting the stealer off the table. wounding hits and surviving as normal. As you can see a pretty simple game that I hoped would prove challenging and fun. In this game as only d3 models per side were allowed to use their infiltrate skill and not with 8" of a token. 

The Gangs

Once again I took Jenna's Jokers, Pat took The Ambull Hunters and an as yet unnamed Mutant Mob made up the team. The first two gangs lists can be found on Operation Duck & Weave, whilst the mutants consisted of:
An Ogryn leader with ripper gun and sword,
A Blaster with a heavy stubber abd
8 dregs with autopistols and knives (or possibly swords).

The Game

In the picture below, Pat choose deployment zone first (he opted for the short edge to the right) then Shane (he took the top end near the woods) and I got the leavings which in this case was bottom left deployment zone. All six token markers can be seen two in the cottage and barn, one in the woods at the top and two out in the relative open. My plan (if you can call it that) was to advance on two fronts, my more close combatty gang members to advance towards the cottage using the walls as cover and hopefully blag the nice things, whilst my leader and some of my shootyish guys go up towards the spikey plants and grab some stuff there. Apologies for all the technical jargon. It all sounds very straightforward, surely nothing could go wrong?

The Battlefield
Shane won the roll for first turn and I came third. He ran his entire gang up towards the woods with the token in it (all woods halved movement) and ended up with a mutant close enough to the token to reach it next turn. There was no shooting as the only model with range (the heavy stubber) had moved.

Pat's turn saw his two beastmen run like the clappers to be able to rummage around in another two tokens. Shooting hit two muties, pinning but not wounding either. Another group of Nobles advanced towards my half of the table.

I moved both my money grabbing groups towards their respective loot tokens and moved my heavy to peek out 2" from the edge of the woods (I had decided that the woods were oldskool ones where you could only shoot through 2" of woods otherwise you were woodblind).


The Muties march sideways.
Shane advanced all his mutants towards Pat's beastman nosing around in some crates as if someone had deliberately left them there for the purposes of providing cover. He also tried to ruin the game by investigating the loot token an finding the immature Genestealer. He further tried to ruin my carefully crafted masterpiece by twatting the 'stealer over the head and stuffing him into an old moldy *sack. Some shots were exchanged with Pat's Nobles but he definitely had the upper hand in the game.

A caped mutant tries to ruin the game!
A splat of mutants (collective noun).


Pat's turn involved shooting at both mine and Shane's gang with his horrible little ratlings. I think due to my wonderful walls my gang remained pretty much intact. Shane had a mutant get a fleshwound and another go down**. Also Pat investigated two loot tokens, bagging himself a silencer by the crates and 2 bats in the barn (which I thought was rather thematic). Sadly (for the bats) it was a big beastman who found them and soundly pulped the poor creatures even though they are an endangered species on Nora. If the Ambull Hunters are not careful a battle between themselves and the Nora Bat Protection League may soon occur!

It was about this time that realised that Pat's new red dice were rolling very high and a bit of discretion was in order. Three of my gang Spaz, Hellion & Chubbs decided to hide by the wall and Tefal my Wyrd ran to get to the base of the wall (but couldn't hide in time). My other group advanced towards the first loot token.

A rather alarming mutation
 Shane continued his advance towards the Ambull Hunters and his heavy wounded a ratling I think. The mutant with the 'stealer in the bag dragged the little fecker towards the table edge.

Mutants on the run!


Pat's dice were the star of the turn again as Lord Farquahar shot Tefal with a controlled burst of automatic fire (hitting on a 6) and then passing his ammo roll to makes matters worse Tefal went out of action! Spaz failed his nerve test and cowered at the base of the wall like a dog in a thunderstorm. Also Shawty got hit and went out of action despite the heavy stone walls, perhaps the geology on Nora is actively trying to thwart me? I think another of Shane's gang got hit (but only fleshwounded). Mellox, the other beastman made his way back to the bosom of his gang before any rabid environmentalists came after him.

A large number of shooty Nobles


As I was two men down with nothing at all achieved Hellion & Chubbs made a run for the cottage - this was tricky enough as I had to stay well out of Lord Farquahar line of sight and hope Lord Ruprect and the ratling accompanying him wouldn't take them down. One ray of light was Bangs my heavy took Lady Sophia out with some accurate shooting. I also advanced Jenna onto the token whilst putting Ensign out as a meat shield to take any long range bullets for ***him/her. Unfortunately I forgot to see if there was any goodies under the token. D'oh!

Slight scale mismatch, but two large behemoths try to kick the shit out of each  other


Shane's unnamed Ogryn charged poor old Yagosh whilst his remaining gaggle of mutants advanced towards the Noble gang. The only exception was the 'stealer in the sack mutant who dragged towards the table edge. It was around this time that Pat noticed neither me or Shane had exchanged a single bullet- probably because of range and cover issues. There had not been any kind of detente  anyway. The shooting phase was I think unremarkable. Close combat had only one combat but it was very remarkable - mainly because the Ogryn inflicted 7 hits on Yagosh.

Pat continued to roll appalling well taking poor old Ensign out, taking Hellion down and pinning Chubbs. I think the inexorable advancing mutants had unnerved Pat somewhat as the Nobilist Faction started edging away from their less genetically stable opponents.

I passed my bottle test but things were getting pretty desperate! I think Bangs wounded something (an uppity ratling) and Hellion made her recovery roll (she was now suffering from a flesh wound). In all the commotion I once again forgot to look for something nice (but to be honest the way the game was going it probably would have been fatal).

This little feller performed the task of overwatch bait, he remains in a threatening position keeping a member of Pat's gang on overwatch for fear of shooting someone in the back!


Shane was going a bit No Retreat No Surrender! and charged his Ogryn into a very unfortunate ratling. Another ratling took an autopistol round in the back (he'd spent the last 2 turns on overwatch covering my own ratling) fleshwounding him I think. The mutant with the big sack was now within 4" of the edge and thus 1 turn from winning. The Ogryn wasn't as impressive this turn casing a mere 3 wounds on his adversary. Battering him into jelly made the Ogryn feel invincible I'm sure as he used his follow up move to get closer to the retreating nobles.

The Ogryn Boss hyped up on growth hormones and wolf estrogen goes on a Noble hunt 


Pat's shooting was thankfully getting less accurate as both Hellion & Chubbs got shot at but not wounded. A lot of gunfire was directed at the mutant leader but he wasn't taken out. I think Spaz got shot and went down meaning that another bottle roll was needed next turn.

I bottled out.

Shane came to his senses and left the table with his Xenos prize.

The survivors


Despite it being the sensible thing to do, the retreat left a bitter taste in Jenna's mouth. Both Shawty and Ensign were dead, and Tefal was in a bad way too. Jenna had watched how the big Ogryn had dispatched two opponents with ease. Jenna had a feeling that that wasn't the time the Ogryn would cross the Jokers path. 'I must be ready next time'. 


Conclusion

Even as I'm writing this I'm not 100% certain of who did the best out of that rather enjoyable game. I know who did worst, it was me. Both Shawty and Ensign died on Nora. Yagosh was captured by the mutants and The Ambull Hunters got a silencer. Experience was handed out but the advance rolls for Shanes gang haven't been done. The game was tremendous craic and this game system does lend itself to multiplayer games. As far as tactical punditry is concerned, my plan wasn't that bad. Pat rolled really well (in direct correlation with how bad he rolled last game) and having two dead acolytes has probably put me at the bottom of the heap. My biggest mistake was forgetting to search my loot counter.  In terms of moving the story along Pat has to decide whether he wants to launch a rescue mission for the imprisoned Yagosh. Also, what purpose has the Mutant Mob got for the little 'stealer? Also what exactly is the mutation in that last picture? The Jokers now have a proper grudge against the Ambull Hunters and after the short detour to Nora, a trip to Oirlund is probably their next step. 


Thanks for reading.

* Not in the Slaanesh way either.
** Also not in the Slaanesh way.
*** I haven't decided yet.
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