Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Fistful of Turkey

     So, having some free time on our Thanksgiving Holiday, Ali and I decided to get in a game for our This Is Not A Test campaign, with a decidedly festive bend. After all, what better way to celebrate the holidays in the Wasteland than with a Tribals vs. Settlers battle report?
     What? What are settlers?  Well, they're an upcoming warband we're helping to playtest. Don't worry, I won't give away much in the way of their special rules, although you might find some of the model names interesting.  So, to start in, here's my warband.

Pine Lodge Settlement:

---"The Manager" (Settlement Leader. Has the Scavenger, Resourceful, and Haggler skills. Armed with an Assault Rifle with Bayonet.)
---Lucky (Mysterious Stranger. Has the Hard as Nails and Unfazed skills. Armed with Mesh Armor, a Light Weapon, a Plasma Pistol, and a Shiny Object.)
---Sheriff Jones (Sheriff. Armed with a Shotgun and Light Weapon.)
---The Preacher (Missionary. Armed with an Assault Rifle with Bayonet and Mesh Armor.)
---Johnny McHenry (Militia. Armed with an Assault Rifle and Light Weapon.)
---Dr. Kilpatience (Citizen Medic. Armed with a Pistol, Mesh Armor, and a Light Weapon.)
---Dr. Rory Lakes (Citizen Medic. Armed with a Pistol, Mesh Armor, and a Light Weapon.)

     My plan was to bring seven models because the math rounds most favorably at that point. The wealth of assault rifles is because we've found them to be very successful at clearing out undesirables, particularly because of the Burst rule. Now, this force isn't terribly optimized verses Tribals (armor is all anti-ranged instead of anti-melee), however as they were based for the campaign and not the game, that's reasonable. Also, Lucky as the Mysterious Stranger isn't terribly optimized with the plasma pistol... but I just love the model, and was excited to be able to use her in a second game.

     Ali's plan from inception was to beef her Tribals out with as many pets as she could manage, so her force is geared towards herding from the start. 

The Stormbringers:

---Chief Thunderstrike (War Leader. Has the Brute, Spring Heeled, and Motivator skills. Armed with Scrap Armor, a Light Weapon, and a Blast Hammer.)
---Distant Thunder (representative. Has the Ranger and Haggler skills. Armed with a Sniper Rifle with Large Caliber upgrade and a BFF)
---Nightfire (Lesser Shaman. Has the Psyker and Brute Skills. Psychic Mutation is Cloud Mind. Armed with a Heavy Weapon.)
---Bonedancer (Tribal Warrior. Has the Rag tag special rule. Armed with a Light Weapon, Pistol, and Scrap Armor)
---Battering Ram Cleave (Tribal Warrior. Has the Rag tag special rule. Armed with a Heavy Weapon and Scrap Armor)
---Stinger of the Rad Wasp (Tribal Warrior. Has the Rag tag special rule. Armed with a Spear and Riot Armor)
---Little Rad Rat (Tribal. Has the Rag tag special rule. Armed with a bow, two Light Weapons, and Scrap Armor)
---Fangs (Warbeast. Has the Brave skill and Natural Weapons)

     Our scenario rolled out to be Cold, I meant Vengeance... which only added to the feel we were going for.  For Encounters we rolled Creatures of the Waste, and then rolled Trouble! In this case, the Trouble was four wastewolves.  I deployed heavily to one side, hoping that either I would have grouped firepower near them, or they'd be on the other side and decide to go for gamier meat first.  As luck would have it, the wolves went to the other side. 
Dead before he
heard the echo.

     Turn one begins with me starting to move models up to combat ready positions- specifically, the concrete wall and collection of heavy vehicles in front of me.  Sheriff Jones is in position and in heavy cover, when Distant Thunder gets him in her crosshairs, and puts one .50 cal round in the ten ring. Sheriff Jones goes down on the spot. Both sides start jockeying their advances.  Dr. Kilpatience begins trucking over to Sheriff Jone's body to see if he's really dead or only mostly dead.  The Tribals try to keep to the massive cover blinds as much as possible, which means a lot of spreading out.  Fangs starts sprinting up the field with his massive 7" movement speed. Nightfire uses Cloud Mind to make about half of the tribals in heavy cover, just in case. One wastewolf is close enough to charge Stinger, but the armor does it's job.  The rest of the wolves circle in, making it feel like a three player game. 

Turn two, like always, is where the real action begins. Bonedancer charges a wastewolf and cuts it to ribbons. Little Rad Rat climbs up the ladder to the top of the bus to take a pot shot as the Manager, and misses. Dr. Kilpatience tries to revive the Sheriff, but doesn't.  Distant Thunder tries to pop a shell into Dr. Kilpatience, but doesn't manage that either. Fangs creeps up under cover. The Preacher steps out to try to blast him full of holes, but misses. The Manager burns down a wastewolf. Stinger and the wastewolf exchange misses. The rest of the Tribals begin moving up into positions- there's a lot of table to cover when your opponent has multiple ARs. 

Turn three gets stuck in.  I'm desperately trying to force the Tribals to keep their heads down and slow their approach, while being forced to keep my head down because of the sniper. The Preacher lays waste to a knee-high spider. Stinger finishes off the wastewolf that was threatening to come up under the Tribals. Little Rad Rat takes aim at the Manager once more, and misses. Johnny McHenry takes a shot at the advancing Chief Thunderstrike, but misses. Unfortunately for him, Distant Thunder has no such problems, and plants a .50 caliber lead seed in his skullpot. Fortunately for Johnny, Dr. Rory Lakes is able to get him back up again. The Manager and Lucky put tokens on the last Wastewolf, and it's just too many shots from too many high firepower weapons. Dr. Kilpatience gets Sheriff Jones back on his feet and into the fight. Little Rad Rat aims and fires at the Manager, but comes up short. 

Turn Four begins with Distant Thunder dropping another round into Sheriff Jones. Not willing to walk past him just in case it wasn't enough, Chief Thunderstrike charges Jones and flattens him with the Blast Hammer. Battering Ram Cleave charges up and kills McHenry again. Lucky returns the favor and puts a pair of plasma blasts into Battering Ram Cleave from point blank range (Editor's note: make little green glowing pile of goo tokens.) The Preacher gets Chief Thunderstrike in his sights... and jams. Dr. Rory Lakes maneuvers to try to rescue the Sheriff again, and Distant Thunder punches one through his chest instead. Dr. Kilpatience tries to revive Dr. Lakes, but no dice. Little Rad Rat takes another shot at the Manager, and you guess it- misses. 

Turn Five is really uneventful.  Chief Thunderstrike crushes the Preacher, which forces a morale test. EVERYONE FAILS, meaning the all fall back five inches.  On my activations, I don't have clean lines to anyone.

Turn Six is another round of consolidation for the Tribals, coming in hard and fast.  I've got my remaining models (The Manager, Dr. Kilpatience, and Lucky) consolidated under/near the billboard. Tribals keep pouring in.  Lucky takes aim at Bonedancer and plasmas her into oblivion. 

Turn Seven there's no more room to run. Chief Thunderstrike scores a "squish" result on Dr. Kilpatience, and Stinger vaults in taking out Lucky. Little Rad Rat gets a line on The Manager and... misses.

Turn Eight: At this point everything is resolved aside from if it's a table wipe or not. And, not for nothing, but that's pretty important in this one: I really don't want to risk loosing a leader so early, as there's no possible way I'll have enough to replace him. The Manager levels a wound into Chief Thunderstrike, but isn't able to finish her off.  Thunderstrike wiffs against the wily Manager. Stinger of the Rad Wasp charges in and takes a stab, but the Manager blocks it away. Nightfire takes a swing, but can't connect.  The last possibility is Little Rad Rat who takes aim an.... misses again.  Poor, poor Little Rad Rat. The Manager escapes!

Post Game Results for Pine Lodge: So, everyone but The Manager needed to check for possible injury. Lucky catches a lucky break, and gains an extra XP. Sheriff Jones gets captured by the Tribals, and <fill in remainder>. The Preacher and McHenry suffer close calls from the encounter. Dr. Kilpatience doesn't survive the encounter (sad trombones).   Dr. Lakes is seriously wounded, and now has Vengeance against the Stormbringers.   

Experience Totals: 
The Manager +5 (80)
Lucky +5 (51)
Sheriff Jones +2 (23)
Preacher +3 (24)
McHenry +2 (2)
Dr. Lakes +2 (23)
Not enough for an advance yet, but it's only one game, so that's fine. 

The Manager's Resourcefulness nets an extra 4 script, and his Scavenger means he'll have no upkeep of his own later (effectively netting the settlers 3 more).  Lucky, Dr. Lakes, the Preacher, and McHenry head out to scavenge in the wasteland.  Lucky, true to her name, finds a minigun laying about in an old roboturret (Queen of Hearts). Dr. Lakes gathers 27 script, the Preacher only scrounges 6 script, and McHenry brings in another 24 script. That brings the total to 61 script and a minigun.  Ransoming back Sheriff Jones leaves me with 31.  Upkeep comes in at 10 (2 each for Lucky, Jones, the Preacher, and Dr. Lakes, 1 for the plasma pistol, one for McHenry), knocking me down to 21.  With that mini-gun in the stores, I'm really interested in picking up a Gunsmith to use it, which means not replacing the fallen Doctor just yet even if I had the script, which I don't. I do  need to replace Sheriff Jones' weaponry, and the success of Distant Thunder convinced me some long-range punch is needed.  The Sniper Rifle normally costs 20, and the Large Caliber upgrade would add 5. The Manager successfully haggles that down by 9, making the cost 16 script. 5 BS left going into next round.

Post Game Results for The Stormbringers  Not a lot of injury checks for the Storm Bringers, but I made them count. Bondancer was outright killed. Battering Ram Cleave got pretty Banged Up, and Fangs got mugged....mugged...because somebody shook down a giant spider for cash...or something.  Good news for Ali is that a Mugging result doesn't injure the model, just steals all their gear, and warbeasts don't have any. 

Experience Totals:
Chief Thunderstrike +7 (82)
Distant Thunder +5 (51)
Nightfire +2 (48)
Battering Ram Cleave +3 (3)
Stinger of the Rad Wasp +3 (3)
Little Rad Rat +2 (2)
Fangs +2 (2)
Also not enough for any advances, but close. 

Distant Thunder finds a locked box with 35 script, Nightfire finds 18 script, Stinger finds 18, and Little Rad Rat finds 6. Whomp whomp.  Total of 73 Plus the 30 for ransom is 103. Ali also keeps the sheriff's Shotgun and light weapon.

Upkeep is Chief Thunderstrike (3+1 for relic), Distant Thunder (2+1 for relic), Nightfire (2) Battering Ram Cleave (1), Stinger (1), LRR (1), and Fangs (1). 13 upkeep. 90 remaining. Ali decides that money in the bank isn't as useful to her as money shooting and stabbing and looting, so she goes on a hiring spree.  She picks up another Tribal and gives her the shotgun and light weapon recently acquired, a Tribal with a crossbow (mostly because she had a model she really wanted to field), and another warbeast. She rolls for Relics and can find anything she wants, so sends Distant Thunder to buy a Thunder Gun, saving 6 BS because of DT's Haggler skill. With 4 script left, she opts to buy Battering Ram Cleave a case of Berserker Brew to offset the Banged Up penalty, leaving her a whopping 1 barter script remaining.  

And there we go! Plenty of fun, plenty of new models coming in, and looking forward to seeing where the Campaign spreads to.