As it turned out one of the guys who said he was coming bailed... the guy who might be too tired was, presumably too tired... and the guy who said he'd check with his wife... well.. presumably she reminded him of some previous commitment and then forgot to get back to me (which is usually what happens to me!)
Luckily, Rick showed up.
Longtime followers of the blog might remember Rick being a regular at my gaming table a few years ago. Well, he's back! (and, hopefully, back to being a regular!) Because I haven't really even SEEN him for a few years, we ended up spending the first HOUR or so just catching up!
We did eventually get going - I explained the rules and we decided to set up three gangs that Rick could all play to try and defeat Valois and the Zombie Horde.
he chose the Delaque Gang, the Redemptionists, and the Enforcers.
Some of the Redemptionists (the rest are hidden behind the walls in the background).
We ended up being a bit short on time and only played through a turn and a half together and I didn't take a LOT of pics of that first turn. This was where the zombies got to at the end of the first turn.
Of to the side a couple of the Redemptionists engaged with a few of Valois' Scavvies. Sister Salome set one on fire with her combo-flamer... unfortunately the flamers on a comic weapon are unstable... and the first attack roll Rick made in the game required an ammo check and he rolled a '3'... so it blew up killing Sister Salome... Boom.
We all laughed a little at that...
Also a few of the Enforcers moved up and over half of them were a little too close to the Turbo Fan and all got sucked towards it - lucky for them there weren't TOO too close enough to get sucked INTO it! (as that immediately, automatically knocks characters Out of Action!)
off to the side an extremely violent, short-ranged gun battle went down between a few of the Redemptionists and most of Valois' Scavvies. Zod here, took a shot at Redemptress Jezebel, missed, and hit his poor compatriot, who was already pinned, seriously injuring him. In the next turn, Sod tried to make it up to his pal by running forward and putting himself between hid downed colleague and the Redmptress - so she wouldn't just waltz up and Coup de Gras him... and for his troubles he was reduced to ash and cinders by Jezebel's Melta Gun... and in the later turn, she just walked upend took out the downed Scavvy anyway...
But that left her exposed in the open and Rakkr, the pinned Scavvy in the picture above, blasted her with his shotgun. Now, normally I use the solid slugs - because it's Strength 4 and Knockback AND does TWO damage... and Scattershot is a bit too close range (4"/8" - which is dangerously close to close to being charged range, if you're not much of a fighter) and only Strength 2... and random number of shots hit the target... but he was close enough and went for it... he's a crap shot (BS5+), so he aimed and was within close range so hit her with a 2... and got 5 hits (due to scattershot) and FOUR of them wounded her!!!
Things look bad for him in the picture above, pinned and outnumbered... but the Redemptress bled out in the following recovery phase and Rakkr got up and did more or less the same to poor Brother Zimiri and found himself all alone at that end of the board - as, by that point, all of the action had moved on...
I think I'm going to start using Scattershot more often!!
Meanwhile, in another part of the underhive, Delaque Gangers were blazing away at the zombies, hoping to expose Valois enough to take shots at him. They kept knocking those zombies down... and they just kept getting back up again... The did knock down enough, however, that someone got a shot off at him and even caused a wound! I think that only just made him angry... he used his Psychic powers to drain a wound out of one of the Delaque Gangers (who, luckily, only received a flesh wound!)
Other redemptionists trying to BURN zombies...
They, too, managed to knock a few down - and even set a few alight - but DAMN those zombies were tough... Not so tough to be IMPOSSIBLE to kill... but tough enough to make it a real challenge. I'm feeling pretty positive about this game. I really, REALLY hope I get at least four players at ToonCon... If I don't, that'll be okay, because the Birthday bash game next week (which was also going to be a "playtest" of the scenario for ToonCon, but I think I've got the scenario stuff more or less hammered out at this point and I think the Birthday Bash game should be a RIOT - especially given the folks that are planning to come out for it!
Sneaky coppers sneaking around the flanks... I MAY have to adjust the board slightly. as it was, both sides had a LONG uninterrupted channel down both sides (which, at the end of the game, Valois was able to exploit to *SPOILER* escape!)
Captain Butterman and his Cybermastif Sampson hanging back...
The Horde surges towards the Delay Gangers.
(You can see the downed Delay ganger - Oracullum - he was the target of Valois' psychic power... He did get back up and fight on to the very end!)
Valois, like the one in the original Necromunda, has a psychic ability that allows him to DRAIN stats from others - though none can be raised more than one above it's original value, it is useful to drain wounds - which, effectively, injures a ganger - to replace any lost - thus making him a monster to deal with! I will have to make +1/-1 tokens for each stat - just in case he actually makes use of it... in this game I only ever used it twice - both times to drain wounds. I was a little worried it might be overpowering, but it didn't seem to have THAT big of an effect. To be sure, he is/will be difficult to deal with... and a definite challenge to beat... but I don't think it will be impossible to take him out.
Delaque Gangers knocking down Zombies again...
I felt like playing Chumbawumba...
So I decided to be a little cagey with Valois. Originally I'd planned for him to parade around with his meat shield of zombies constantly surrounding him... but here I decided to leave the zombies behind, blocking most of the Delaque Gangers and move on to try and escape - which is how I 'win'... He was definitely exposed to this one Delaque ganger with a shotgun and his seriously injured compatriot... but at this point he had four wounds and was feeling pretty confident...
Gah! These things JUST WON'T STOP!!!
Enforcers finally get involved... Enforcer Walker sent in his cybermatif, Saxon, to deal with the flaming zombie...
Sister Delilah and a Scavvy face off. (In the background Deacon Jeroboam took out a downed Zombie with a Coup de Gras - seems the best way to take them out - knock them down and then rush up and Coup de Gras them before they get up again...)
Valois sauntering past the last Delaque Ganger in his way. leaving a few zombies behind to take care of him...
Learning from the others, the Delay ganger went for the cheap (but guaranteed) shot of taking out a downed zombie - only to get charged by the other two - one of which he seriously injured!
Shooting just wasn't working out, so the other Delaque gangers shrugged out from cover and tried to fight the Zombies in close combat... and just... couldn't... take them down... (mostly due to a string of horrendous dice rolls... I mean, so many ones!!?)
(but also because the zombies ARE pretty tough!)
Enforcers... one of them just took out Deacon Jeroboam... backstabbing cusses that they are... They figures he wasn't going to do much more in this encounter and took their opportunity to take down a ganger...
meanwhile, Sister Delilah saw an opportunity to kill many birds with one blast of flame and lit up the entire melee between the Delay gangers and the Zombies!
She, in turn, was shot in the back by the enforcers...
Captain Butterman and his cybermastif was desperately trying to make his way around the back end of the battlfeld to try and block Valois' escape.
Gah! There he goes!
So close, and yet so far... Valois about to wander away from Butterman and his cybermastif and straight off the back end of the battlefield and win the game.
I like the smaller (3x4) table. Shit gets real, immediately. it's like a knife fight in a phone booth - not much opportunity to screw around. Which, when we could potentially have 4-5 players and only 3-4 hours to get the game done... there is NO TIME for screwing around.
Valois and the zombies are TOUGH! But I don't think they're going to be overpowering. If I only get two players at ToonCon, I might just give them TWO gangs each to play... Or maybe remove the Scavvies...?
The reason the zombies are so tough is they ignore pinning, sort of. Normally if a ganger is HIT with shooting, they are pinned, regardless of whether the shot wounds them or not. Zombies don't get pinned in the normal sense. IF the are wounded, but not seriously wounded or taken out of action, they are "knocked down" (effectively 'pinned'). The Zombies completely ignore all Flesh Wounds (partly to make them tougher, partly for record-keeping - I didn't want to have a card for EACH zombie and keep track of flesh wounds for each - they are either fine, Seriously Wounded - denoted by being face down on the table, or out of action - removed from the table). Also they are immune to bottling and nerve checks (from seeing comrades injured or killed) and, as previously noted, ignore the activation part of the Blaze condition. Also, If they are seriously injured, they always roll two dice in the recovery phase and discard the worse one (which also makes them get up a bit quicker) - although, it was amazing how many times I rolled TWO serious injury results for each zombie in the recovery phase! so it is no guarantee that they will always get back up when seriously injured. I was also thinking I might change this to only rolling two dice if they aren't in contact with enemy...? We shall see.
Otherwise, on their own, they are not so tough WS5+, S3, T3.... if isolate they aren't likely to take anyone out in close combat - they're only a real (VERY REAL!) danger when they start ganging up on isolated opponents!
Looking forward to the game on Tuesday! So far I've got Rick, Aaron, Kurtis, Other Tim and Joe (and maybe someone else...?) all threatening to show up! It will be CrAzY with six players!!! I'll have to bust out Kal Jericho and Scabs.
Tomorrow evening we're playing Power Grid. Saturday I hope we will get to finish off the current Wrath & Glory adventure. And I REALLY hope we get to play HELLBOY on Sunday (as we haven't played it since December and I've forgotten how it all works - I'm sure it will all come back once I get in a game or two... but I don't want that game or two to be AT ToonCon!!!)
Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:
Hellboy Game Report...?
Then maybe a game report for the Wargaming Birthday Bash on Tuesday?