In Exile

Twisted Steampunk : The Boxes Redux

(I wanted to replay this scenario because 100 points was too low a game to bring in the Mummy. So I re-did the war bands at 200 points which gave a better balance of forces. This game was played way before Strontium Dog or even the latest Star Breach game, but other things got in the way of the batrep. Also, apologies for all the unpainted stuff. Since then, I've used the quarantine to paint or prime most of them, so my next game should look a lot better.)

The Servants of the Engine and the Dickensians are battling it out to seize control of the Engine. One such skirmish sees these 2 factions in battle over some valuable alchemantic and other cargo that is being transported by one of the Servants' allies through the twisted streets of foggy London.

But the Servants and the Dickensians are not the only factions interested in the Engine. The Scions of the Sand - agents of Queen Elspeth - and the Guild of Harmony also have vested interests. 

In the wake of the conflict between the Servants and the Dickensians, the Scions and Guild members quietly slip in behind them, content to gather up the alchemic loot dropped behind during the battle.

TURN 1

Scions : initative. Guild : Favour. 

Carter cast Air Step on Horace then moved to nearest stash. 


Most of the others also ran forward. The Scarab Mummy flew up for a commanding presence. Dorothy attempted to climb 42 Carver Lane and failed but used the Favour of the Engine to re-roll and succeeded. Phew!

TURN 2

Now we get into the meat of things! Agatha attempted to fire at Arielle and missed! Both times! Even when she used Wall Breaker ammo! Drat. 

Meanwhile Arielle attempted to cast Earth Bound on the Scrab Mummy and failed! Both times! She also flubbed the Favour of the Engine re-roll and the Engine disdainfully went over to the Scions.  

The Mummy launched itself off its perch and landed... not behind Arielle as she was too far away but behind Tinkerbelle since she had yet to activate. Its Scything Claws dealt her a whopping 11 DAM! Thankfully he missed with his follow up attack. 

While all this was happening Tzandi got her stash: 3 Air essences. 

On the other side of the table, Carter moved up to his stash. 

The Urkin shooter meanwhile sneaked up and took a pot shot at the Hound. But with a final ranged attack of 2, only a very lucky shot would’ve hit... and he didn’t. 

Poirot I mean Hercule moved up, to take a shot at Arielle but at 1 vs 6 he’d need an exceptionally lucky shot to hit ... and he didn’t. 

With the Scarab Mummy directly underneath her, Dorothy couldn’t pass up the opportunity, even as it was in combat with Tinkerbelle. 2 shots dealt a massive 18 points of damage to the Mummy thanks to rolling a crit on one of the shots!!! (Error: I used the Favour re-roll to get the first hit... forgetting you can only use it once a turn on your side, since Arielle had used it earlier this turn and lost it to the Scions before Tzandi got it back. Sigh). 

Horace, ignored by everyone, searched his stash and came up empty handed!

Tinkerbelle, sensing an opportunity, Blinked to the rear of the Scarab Mummy. She crit the surprised Mummy! Using her Wrench for a boosted strength of 7, she maxed her d6 damage roll and put the Mummy out of action! What a turn round for the Guild and revenge for the Mummy’s effectiveness in the prior game!

Shaken by the turn of events, Indigo got distracted and her initial search of her stash also came up blank!

Bastion finally caught up with Arielle and scuttled in front to protect her from a potential charge. 

The Hound, unable to get a good charge run on anyone, ran to the rear, threatening the next turn. 

The Urkin Slasher ran to protect Arielle’s back while Tricia attempted to cast Earth Bound on the Hound. After failing to do so, she moved to the nearest stash. 

Analysis : The loss of the Mummy was a serious blow to the Scions. Thus far, the Mummy seemed unstoppable in all my earlier games but Dorothy had tamed the monster. On top of the mistaken Favour re-roll, I also mistakenly assigned the Favour to the Guild after Tzandi successfully searched her stash. Turns out it was Priority that should’ve switched. Thus the Scions could’ve attempted a re-roll on the hit that felled the Mummy. Argh. With the loss of the Mummy, the score is 2-0 in the Guild's favour.

TURN 3 

Christie I mean Agatha moved up closer to Arielle and kept B2B with Hercules. Switching to a Wallbreaker shot, she successfully hit Arielle for 7 DAM (after a Favour re-roll). Finally!

Both Tricia and Carter came up blank as they searched their respective stashes. 

The Urkin Shooter sneaked up to take a shot at the Hound who was behind cover and missed!

Horace finally got his act together and got something from his stash : 4 Air essences. Only?!

Her job done, Dorothy successfully jumped down from her high perch and moved closer towards the action. 

Indigo frantically searched her stash. Where’s the @#%!! loot?! 

Tinkerbelle sprinkled some Fairy Dust on Dorothy allowing her to flit up the stairs to get a more commanding view of the battle. Then she moved to join Tricia to search the stash. 

Hercule moved even closer to Arielle and shot her for 3 DAM. 

The Urkin Slasher charged the Hound in a furious frenzy and dealt a whopping 8 DAM! Not bad for a little tyke. 

Bastion then charged Hercule, and hit for another whopping 10 DAM. The little ones from the Guild are on a roll!

The sorely Wounded Hound attempted to attack the Urkin Slasher. No dice. 

Tzandi moved up and attempted a Confuse invocation on Horace. She flubbed it. 

Analysis : The Guild are still ahead, having dealt more damage to the Scions than they received. Guild still leads 3-0. 

TURN 4

Scions: Favour. Guild: Initiative. 

The Scions play Wither and Die, and Bastion gets hit with 2 DAM. 

Tzandi played Lackluster then charged Indigo from the rear but dealt a paltry 8 DAM on 2 attacks but managed. to Stun Indigo. However that left Tzandi's back way open for Horace to attack. 

And sure enough Horace didn't pass up the opportunity. He charged Tzandi and for a whopping +8 vs +4 before any dice were rolled. Tzandi Tempted Fate and failed with an All Is Dark card. Uh oh. 

Horace rolled a 1! But used a Favour re-roll and landed a hit that did 4 DAM. 

Arielle skedaddled out of the way and cast Salve to heal 4 HP. 

Indigo, being stunned and at a -4 disadvantage for almost all rolls... decided to pass. 

The Urkin Shooter moved into Cover and took a shot at Agatha. 0 vs +7. And he crit! 8 DAM to Agatha! What a shot from a little tyke. The Urkins are punching above their weight here. 

The Hound attacked the Urkin Slasher. Missed!

The Slasher returned the favour and the Hound tempted fate. Nothing to lose, right? Well, the Scions lost the Engine’s Favour even though the attack came to naught. 

Hercule tried to shake off the pesky Bastion. No such luck. In fact, Bastion managed to land 6 DAM on him, bringing the robot to the verge of being Wounded ! Hercule’s counter attack did 4 DAM. 

Bastion went on the attack but missed!

Agatha moved to get LOS to Arielle and did 4 DAM with her shot, then consolidated and moved B2B with Hercule. 

Dorothy took a shot at Hercule. The first one hit but spanged off his armour. The second shot did him in. 

Carter attempted to invoke Salve on Agatha but flubbed it. He moved into cover next. 

Tinkerbelle finally succeeded in searching her stash. She got a 4-point Delight : an Ablative Cuirass. Sweet!

Analysis : the Scions are really in trouble now! 2 down. Agatha lost her faithful sidekick. Oh the humanity! The score stands at 6-0 now in favour of the Guild. The Scions made an error focussing so many attacks on Arielle since she doesn't have a Wounded state. So even if they do manage to finish her off, she will only yield 2 VPs instead of 3.

And the Guild also retain both Favour and Initiative. 

TURN 5

Scions play Mental Flood. It affects Tinkerbelle. Who is forced to move a random 4”. Not great. But not bad. At least it wasn’t Tzandi. 

Tzandi Bowed Out of combat with Indigo and Horace and moved into cover behind the crates. 

Carter invoked Fire Burst on Arielle but it was too weak to penetrate her armour. Then he recovered some essences. 

Relieved at her escape, Arielle immediately charged the Hound and hit with enough force to put it Out of Action!

Unable to get at Agatha, Bastion cheekily charged Carter and hit for 8 DAM but Carter, stern faced as ever, shook off 2 DAM. 

Horace successfully accessed a Canopic Jar and got Ibiaw. Ibiaw’s spirit couldn’t help Horace directly, being focused on melee, so he just took a shot at Tzandi and did 7 DAM.  His brow wrinkled, fighting off the spirit’s weak attempt to dominate him. He would have to be careful though. The longer he kept the link with the spirit, the more dangerous it would be for him. 

Dorothy climbed through stairs and took aim at Horace ... but he Tempted Fate and was Directly Displaced by the Engine! So she shifted aim to Indigo and hit her for 5 DAM. 

Indigo searched the stash again and found... 1 Fire essence. What?! 

The Urkin Shooter clambered over the stash to get a better shot at Agatha (in short range and no cover). Of course he missed the shot! 

Agatha fired at Arielle ... but Arielle was running to quickly to attack the Hound and the markswoman - perhaps rattled by the loss of her faithful sidekick - missed. Twice!

Tricia successfully invoked Energy Drain on Agatha, dealing her 4 DAM. Then tried Salve on Arielle healing her for 3 HP. Agatha tried to shake off the Invocation but wasn’t strong enough. 

Tinkerbelle quickly ran to aid Tzandi while the Urkin Slasher tried to slip behind Agatha. He wasn’t successful but who knows?

Analysis : things are looking grim for the Scions. 4 models vs 8, although several of the Guild themselves are 1 or 2 attacks away from being Wounded or even taken Out of Action. But the score is still 6-0 in the Guild's favour. 

TURN 6

Tzandi invoked Confuse on Indigo before moving away back to her side of the table. 

Scions played Blackguard and the effect clouded Tinkerbelle’s mind. She took a shot at the nearest character ... which was Indigo! Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on who you’re rooting for) she missed. 

Being confused, poor Indigo could only stumble back towards her deployment zone. 

Since Tricia couldn’t see Carter and Arielle to do anything meaningful, she was finally able to turn her attention to the stash at her feet. Agatha was as good as dead anyway. And sure enough, Agatha paled as she felt her life slipping away. 4 DAM making her Wounded and Stunned. Searching the stash, Tricia found a Wyrd Rope. Not too shabby. 

Horace disconnected from his jar and tried to access another spirit : Khayu. He failed. So he took a shot at Tzandi anyway but the shot wasn’t effective and only did 2 DAM. Then he did his own version of the bug out. 

Tinkerbelle tried another shot at Indigo but missed. Confused or not, the archaeologist was a tough opponent and managed to duck at the sound of the shot. Tinkerbelle then Blinked back out of the way, heading for safety on her side of the table. 

Carter was enraged. He couldn’t believe a pissant little hermit crab - albeit giant sized compared to other hermit crabs - could be delaying him like this! He had to finish off the creature once and for all! He reached into his Canopic Jar ... and accessed the short-sighted, rotund Harkhebi who was good for alchemancy, and not so good for other things. So he quickly revised his mode of attack and invoked an Elemental Spirit instead. The Spirit immediately attacked Bastion but the tough hermit crab was too strong for it. Carter cursed and disconnected from the Jar then swung his sword cane at Bastion. But the wily crab ducked under the blow. Oh the ignominy of it all!

Preoccupied with cursing and swearing the aristocrat didn’t notice the crushing claw that Bastion swung in retaliation. But he noticed enough to deflect enough of the blow that only caused him 5 DAM (TWO 1’s for damage! Argh!!!). Carter's stern blocked 2 more DAM. 

Still reeling from the loss of life due to the draining invocation, Agatha the tough old biddy crawled across the ruined wall, trying to get away from the Urkin Slasher and made her way closer to Carter. That put her in the open where the Urkin Shooter could shoot her ... but she’d take her chances with him. 

Sure enough the little tyke lifted up his... her(?) dodgy gun and the unthinkable happened! Agatha rolled a 1! The Urkin breathed deeply... then held it as he squeezed the trigger. Agatha could only watch in horror as the bullet flew true... and down she went! Carter’s mind screamed silently as he saw her fall out of the corner of his eye. 

Grinning in satisfaction, the small figure scrambled to get a better view of Carter dancing around the hermit crab fending it off with his sword cane. Who knew? Maybe he (she?) could add another feather to his cap. 

Up on the walkway, Dorothy shouldered her Hurricane Gun and sighted down the barrel at Indigo. The woman was still reeling about a bit but she should be able to compensate. The trigger clicked and Dot cursed. A miss!!! A bloody miss!!! She was so upset at herself that the second shot went awry as well. 

Now that the threat of being shot in the back had been removed, Arielle moved fast, running to get a clear shot at Carter. Even as the Urkin Slasher tried to do the same... slipping around to attack Carter from the rear. 

Analysis : it’s all over bar the shouting. With 2 turns to go, the score is 11-0 in favour of the Guild.  And that’s not even including the 3 stashes that Tzandi, Tricia and Tinkerbelle are bearing away for a potential 9 more points. At this time only a Indigo and Horace have a good chance of making it off the table. Carter is still engaged with Bastion. Not a good outcome for the Scions. It just remains to see how badly they lose. 

TURN 7

Guild has both Favour and Initiative

The Guild played The Engine is With Me on Dorothy who took a shot at Indigo... and missed rolling a 1! Her second shot hit. But the DAM roll was a 2, meaning it only did 5 DAM. Not enough to Wound Indigo. So Dorothy used a Favour re-roll... and got a 1!!! What??!!!! 

The Engine's Favour went to the Scions ... who then played Elegant Movement on Carter, allowing him to disengage from Bastion and make a 14" run to the table edge! What a turn of events! 

Bastion ran towards Carter but with a max run of 6" there wasn't much he could do. Indigo did her sole move action. Tinkerbelle cast Fairy Dust on herself and ran 15". 

Horace ran his 8" as did Tricia. Barring a miracle, she can't make it off the table in time. The Urkin Shooter moved up but sadly Carter was out of range of his Dodgy Gun. 

The Urkin Slasher ran his 8" but... zip. Nada. Nothing he could do.

Tzandi ran her 10".

Arielle moved up and fired her Lady's Pistol at Carter ... and missed!

Analysis : what a turn of events! The Guild can't shoot to save their lives this turn. While the Scions got a miraculous escape! Goes to show ... best laid plans and all that. Well, the Guild still has Initiative so let's see what happens next turn. 

TURN 8

And the Scions play Wither and Die and get Bastion. They roll only a 1. So they used a Favour re-roll... and got a 5! That Wounded Bastion, giving the Scions their first VP and also the Priority!

Arielle used a The Engine is With Me and moved up to take a shot at Indigo. Finally! A hit! But the damage was paltry just managing to Wound Indigo. Which means she probably can't get off the table in time!

Sure enough Indigo activated and with only 5" of movement couldn't get off the table in time!

Not having any worthwhile target to shoot at, Dorothy unslung her gun, sat down on the walkway and began to lovingly clean its barrel. Now that the immediate danger had passed, Bastion felt the Wound in one of his legs. He limped up to Arielle and curled into his shell, waiting to be picked up and a healing invocation cast on him. 

Tinkerbelle exited with her stash. 

The Slasher shouldered his (her?) weapon with an audible grunt and sauntered back to his compatriot. Who did the same. 

Tricia headed for the exit but of course couldn't reach it in time. 

Tzandi exited. 

And that's it! In a one off game the ending wouldn't have been that important and I could've stopped playing on turn 6. But it's different in a campaign, which I'm attempting to play. 

Final tally a Guild victory at 15-7. This allows them to go into the next mission with a bonus. 

+++

The Guild is pleased. With all the loot they have gathered from the dropped stashes, they are now in a position to obtain valuable information about the possible emergence of a new Engine node from... The Spy! (Now you know what my next game will be).

Lastly, a tease. This isn't from any game but something I'm preparing for the 3rd and final game in my mini campaign:

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