AS we'd collected up a PILE of clues in our previous expeditions, we figured it was time to launch an assault on one of the strongholds. FOUR strongholds need to be conquered before we can make an attempt of the Hidden Vault!
As Draik seemed to be a survivor, even if he was a bit of a ponce, the adventurers decided to bring him along once again, so we both played the same explorers - Amanda played Amallyn Shadowguide (Aeldari Ranger) and Pious Vorne (Zealous Missionanry of the Eclisiarchy) and I played Expern Locarno (Imperial Navigator) and the aforementioned Janus Draik!
The Stronghold we drew for our first assault: Descent!
Before the attack on the Stronghold itself, however, the explorers had to fight their way through the access route - six exploration cards. Unlike regular expeditions, where Challenges and Combats are separated, four of each drawn and then shuffled together, This required they all be shuffled together and six totally random cards drawn! Could be all challenges... or ALL COMBATS!!!
The first card we drew was a Challenge. Locarno was wounded - but managed to recover it in the following Recovery Step. Vorne had her Agility reduced to a d6... I wasn't sure how that would affect anything... until I drew the Encounter Cards for our next Combat.
The next card was, indeed, a Combat. In the location of the Discovery Marker #3 there was a Twist instead of a group of Hostiles - when entering a location with a Discovery Marker and explorer had to pass an AGILITY roll - or suffer a Grievous Wound! Suddenly Agility seeming a bit more important.
Oh, and for Gambits... but we rarely use those...
Amanda, trying to figure out the most efficient way of immolating Ur-Ghuls.
Whoopsie! Two Survived!
Never fear! Janus Draik to the Rescue! HA! AND he snagged a bit of Archaeotech to boot!
And then got SWARMED by cultists!
And needed saving by Vorne... Luckily the Xenos wasn't nearby to see it!
And then... MORE Urghuls!
Who also attacked Draik - but again he survived...
And Vorne finished them off...
Draik sprinted across the cavern to try and snatch another bit of ARchaeotech before the Xenos could get to it... and ran into ANOTHER group of Ur-Ghuls (there were four originally, but Draik killed one with a riposte!) Somehow, he managed to survive THAT onslaught (but I think he had four wounds by then...)
Only to have four Traitor Guardsmen come piling out of that same entrance!
And that is when his luck ran out...
The Ur-Ghuls and Guard that attacked Draik were taken care offend Locarno summoned a Maglev chamber... only to have SIX more Traitor guard appear out the other portal!
Vorne rushed across the cavern - using all the Destiny Dice - and burned a load of the Guard along the way!
Four of the six were killed then she jumped into the maglev chamber and the party fled!
My camera glitched and I missed the set-up pictures of the next encounter - another Combat Card!
This one was an Ambush - all the attacking groups went first (well, except for one, as Janus, despite his four wounds, could still do his free gambit one the first round of a combat!). three of the four Hostiles groups were melee-only and too far away to get into contact on the first turn - Except the NegaVolt Cultists... so he swapped with them, I think...?
Vorne incinerated them anyway...
and then laid down some fire to block charging Ur-Ghuls - which made it THROUGH the fire!
Somehow I was missing the rest of the pics for this encounter as well... Long story short, we made it out. Locarno and Draik took care of the Spindle Drones and Shadowguide sprinted past them to summon a Maglev chamber - to ensure no reinforcements would come out there. Locarno and Draik just hung out intuit chamber while Shadowguide and borne dashed around the rest of the chambers finishing off the ambushers and collecting up Archaeotech and Clues.
The next card was ANOTHER Combat and ANOTHER Ambush - and this one was like a knife fight in a phone booth!
Guard rushed in and all attacked Draik (because he's a foolish bastard and kept shouting at them and goading them)
(really he has a riposte ability that allows him an attack roll against anyone he's made a critical success defence roll against. Took out two cultists that way... but eventually succumbed to their attacks - as he STARTED with four wounds - having been unable to recover any between encounters)
Then it was Vorne's turn... She started by slaughtering the three cultists adjacent to her with her Eviscerator chainblade....
Then charged into the for chamber and burned all the heretics present...
Then through some fire down the hall to prevent the other Guard and Ur-Ghuls getting at Locarno and Shadowguide who were backed into an alcove... the fire, for once, worked - I think two of the Ur-Ghuls and a couple Guard all died trying to leap though those flames - others were taken out by Locarno's Force Rod or Shadowguide's Power Blades...
Vorne came back to help (and collect some Archaeotech!)
But reinforcements just kept rushing out of the entryways. These ur-Ghuls were dealt with, but we decided to abandon the final discovery marker.
As we were leaving MORE Ur-Ghuls AND MORE Guard all showed up!
In the recover phase, the group checked on Draik - who had been dragged out by Vorne, only to discover, he'd perished from his wounds.
Does anyone else see a pattern emerging here...?
Fuck him, he was a wanker anyway...
Next Expedition I'm bringing UR-025!
We decided to press on with only three explorers, and drew another card, but it was another (Fourth!) Combat! We decided to call it a night and finish up tomorrow (well... today... at the time of writing).
So, we have a Combat... and another Expedition Card (which COULD be ANOTHER Combat!?)... before we get to the Stronghold... which has Rogue Psykers and CHAOS SPACE MARINES!! Curious to see how awful they might be! We did face ONE in the prequel scenario... and it wasn't TOO bad...
Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:
The finale of this first Stronghold Assault!
Painting has slowed. Feeling scattered and unmotivated. I did some cleaning and organizing of the workbench last night - cleaned it entirely off... and then loaded it up with a total distraction!? Amazons!? WTF!? I'd started re-basing them a month ago, and thought I should just finish that job. I may or may not paint a few to complete a couple of the units that have only one or two to be finished. I likely won't go painting any of the units that are completely unpainted... but who knows in these uncertain times! we NEED distractions from our regular distractions!!!