Friday, 13 July 2018

Rebels with a cause (A WH40K2 Scenario) - The game

If you read the rules I posted a few days ago, then you know what all this nonsense is about. You are warned. Proceed under your responsibility. You are about to enter my realm of silliness and crazy games that go out of control before you even realize what's going on.

You should read the introduction in the previous post so you have a full perspective of what's going on here. Long story short, the Governor is stranded within the uneasy borders of the low Hive, his barge been taken down. He and his retinue must reach the closest safe point, an Arbites outpost just on the other side of the board. They better hurry before the angry mobs of desperate citizens decide that the Governor needs to be held accountable of his bad deeds and lynch him. Besides, the murmur of the shouting has reached the under-underhive. A mutiny is the best chance imaginable for the Genestealer Cult to make a raid and capture citizens to be infected. For sure no one will miss anyone in the middle of the upcoming battle...

Yes, I stole that pic in the background from the internet. I'm that despicable
So the Governor's retinue will start on the right side of the pic, where you can see the barge. They must reach the Arbites outpost, that landing pad on the left of the pic. They will receive Arbites reinforcements, attending the disstress call. The protesters becoming rioters will be all over and a few Genestealer Hybrids will emerge from the docks when the time comes...

At least they have been civilized enough to mark off the accident area with cones
Will we have enough civilians for this scenario...?
Things start to warm up when a bunch of freaks come close to the Governor and begin to shout and chant.

Imperiales eunt domus!
The Arbites come to the rescue! The first squad appears on one side, they come from downtown and were the closest patrol.

No, it's that way!
But... what in the name of the Holy Emperor are those? They come out from the docks...

And they look determined to cause some (additional) mayhem
In fact, the first thing they do is spotting the Governor's retinue...

...and killing his secretary!
Oh, more problems. In that elevated monorail there are some protesters, who carelessly action the emergency breaks.

They just shout and insult the Governor. They tried to jump out of the wagon, but failed their Initiative roll (man, are you insane? Jump? No way!)
But he's not a patient man and sends the bailiffs to silence them
The Hybrids set themselves in Overwatch
And a new squad emerges from the sewers in the docks!
The protesters in the monorail decide to get out and take their action to another level:

OK, that's a new achievement in the history of demonstrations
The Arbites walk towards a trap
They cleanse the area, but new Hybrids are on overwatch!

This group of protesters is sniffed and revealed
The protesters jump from the railway to the platform!
They throw one bailiff to the water (I can only imagine that scene like the old days of the A-Team)
A group of protesters appears, so the Hybrids are forced to use their overwatch on them
And they kill indeed a couple of them!
The Escalation of Violence Levels proved to be terrible for the rioter player, as he insisted of failing every single break roll he had to do. Seriously.

Disperse! A lot of groups went to Level 1 in no time
In the Psychic phase the Imperial Psyker opens a Portal
And they escape through it!
The Arbites break in the firefight
But a new Hybrids squad comes in, with the Magus
Carnage!!
A group of angry rioters reach the Governor's retinue
And they kill the Governor's wife and his Counselor!
Reinforcements are late!!
Get the Governor outta here! I'll keep them at bay as long as I can!
That's a movie entrance, just at the right moment
So the Governor barely manages to escape, but only to find...

...this. Glups!
After taking the dead minis apart, here you have a general view of what happened so far. The Governor is halfway, on the center of the board. Protesters and Arbites are struggling just north of them, a few steps away. But the way to the Outpost is blocked by the Genestealer Cult. There's still a lot of game ahead!

I should have photoshopped this pic too
The Arbites secure the area while the Governor goes back and climbs the stairs...
...followed by the Cult (oh, can you imagine what a prey?)
New protesters come from everywhere
From everywhere!
The spirits are high and they team up in a truly dreadful mob
Things are getting nasty for the Governor
I'd say the Imperials look surrounded
Well. Then it happened. These civilians came up where the Ornithopter was:

They rolled for Initiative and one of them got to pilot it
Well, pilot. To go upwards...
...and quickly down
You see what's happening? My pal rolled the scatter dice and bam! Right on the Governor's head.

Aaaaaargh!!!
Ka-boooom
BUT the Governor jumps into the trash can
And he so saves his life
Imperial reinforcements come to the rescue
But the Cult also brings something to the party
The Cult and the rioters engage
The market is going to see some action
Suddenly... a presence, a subtle presence that had not been noticed before revealed itself. Alien in its nature, from beyond the stars. Greedy, ancient, unaware and careless of the desires and the goals of humans and Genestealers, of rich and poor, ïa, ïa ehrm... I mean...

An Enslaver!
Yup, consult your Rogue Trader manual if you please. Consult this very blog to know more about it. I had this long time debt and finally managed to pay my dues. The creature deserved a role in a scenario. Well, that explains many things, such as the rebellion itself. Or would you expect honourable citizens to revolt against their legitimate and benevolent rulers? No way, it must be a xenos complot! :D
I just took the profile from the RT book and adapted to 2nd Ed. standards. I, as the GM, would be taking control of it, and would mess with all the players at the same time. It was just a way of adding a little more mayhem (but my idea was also trying to balance things if one of the players was doing it way better than the others).

The Cult tried to fry the six-wheeler with the drilling laser, but the puny dice rolls prevented it
Remember, the Governor is hidden inside that green recycling bin in the market area
The market where blood is being spilt
The civilians assault the Sentinel AND FU&%#NG KILL THE PILOT
AND THE FU&%#NG DO THE SAME WITH THE MINING DRILL!
The combat in the market goes as expected
Finally, air evacuation arrives, with reinforcements
While the Hybrids took over the market, the civilians took that van...
...and smashed it into the stalls
Definitely my players have ideas I cannot even foresee
I bet you forgot about this one
The rioters use the captured Sentinel against the Arbites
In the meantime, these guys go try rescue the Governor
 The Governor has a displacement field (a tiny Warp reactor that literally moves him a few meters away to prevent hits). So every time he receives a hit, there's a chance that the guy ends up somewhere else. Oh, the laughter! Imagine a Warp portal constantly opening and closing avoiding the Governor to receive any harm. Totally worth of a movie.

The Enslaver sings a lullaby and tries to convince them that they are his little children now
In the meantime, the captured mining drill had been shooting the laser cutter at the Arbites six-wheeler with most disappointing results. Apparently you need to go through some kind of learning if you want to handle industrial heavy machinery, who could have guessed. So then the civilians decided to take a new approach...

Ramming it was way more destructive!
The angry mob surrounds the Governor
The giant brain slug extends its power towards protesters and whoever comes around
The Arbites cleanse the area and the Governor runs
So close... Just behind the metro station
I have to say that by that moment it was way past 1:30 AM, the wife and the Suberling were long time gone to bed... and here we were yet, hushing and rolling dice carefully. My fellow players took a decision that honoured them; they decided just to play the Governor's run and forget about the other accessory side stories. The man had just one final setback. He had to go under the monorail, where a group of protesters was waiting and throwing stones and stuff. If he could go through that, we could consider him saved. So he ran and ran (as fast as his belly and short legs allowed him to do so). Some stones hit the ground next to him. But finally...

...he fell, his head smashed. Just a few steps from salvation
This time not even the displacement field was able to save him. The protest had become a riot, the riot a rebellion, and the rebellion an uprising!

The rioters had achieved victory! If victory was a word that could apply to this situation. Trust my word: an Imperial Governor attacked and lynched, a heretic Cult seen, a xenos criature roaming freely in the neighbourhood... Oh, brother, I can tell you one thing for sure; next Imperial force knocking at your door is not going to be a mere Arbites patrol...

Weirdest demonstration ever
Phew, what a game! You can see that anything could have happened during the whole battle. The Genestealer Cult had some serious chances of infecting the Governor (and in doing so, getting access to the whole Imperial chain of command!). The Magus psi powers were dreadful, and really got a notorious influence in the game (that's why I decided the Enslaver to get control over the Hybrids, to make things more even).

The rioters rules (the activation levels and so) were a fun thing to do, but now with this experience I think I would change some things, specially the deployment rules. A series of really bad rolls made a lot of groups to dissolve almost as fast as they appeared on the board. My mate played the protesters way more aggressively than I expected, so in the end the activation levels stuff was almost a matter of limiting the use of force he was prone to use. It's a pity we didn't get to use some rules, like the Arbites trying to calm the mob down. I would have loved to see some more interaction between law enforcement agents and rioters, the spirits going up and down. But it was fun the way it all happened!

The Governor's retinue behaved as I had expected, but their survival was far shorter than I predicted. The escape being sort of the McGuffin in the story, it worked as the conducting thread all over the game. It was completely fun.

On the whole I can say I enjoyed it a lot. It's been enormously rewarding to see the story unfolding on the board and the players really getting involved in their roles. The board served its purpose. As you can see, it's official, I've reached its saturation point, I cannot deploy another single building on it, and that's the exact goal I have pursued all this time.

So I declare myself satisfied. Everything has been worth of the time devoted to the project. The game was utterly fantastic for me and I hope the players enjoyed it as well. Now I can move on (Right, you know I already have more boards and games in mind!!)

I hope you have enjoyed this a little too!