Saturday, 25 June 2016

9-10 Flaurmont 1000 AC - To Selenica and Beyond!

Broneslav was feasted and feted for several days but he eventually had to say goodbye to the elves and head northwards to Selenica to deliver the other package to Arnulf Armbruster. The journey northwards took the best part of a day, but passed without incident.
1 hex = 8 miles
It was easy to find an inn and a room. The streets of Selenica seemed to be lined with them, as befitted a city that made its living through trade and servicing the caravans that passed through. Broneslav took a room at The Desert Flower, an inn that specialised in Yluarami cuisine. He had acquired a taste for the spicy desert food when his family had hired a cook from Ylaruam for a while.

Washed and with his best clothes on, Broneslav went in search of the Armbruster residence. Sindar had given him directions, but even then he managed to get lost several times, and had to ask for directions. It was midday by the time he found Armbruster's mansion in the Merchants' Quarter. The door was opened by a flunky in expensive clothes who managed to look down his nose at Broneslav despite being a good three inches shorter than him.

Broneslav explained that he had a parcel that he had to deliver personally to Armbruster. It took a while, but eventually he learned that Armbruster had left the previous day with a caravan to Ylaruam. Some further dickering saw Broneslav now mounted on a rangy desert horse and leading another that was loaded with his kit. The flunky had sold the pair to Broneslav for 300 gold coins which he knew was outrageously high, but he really did need them, and his purse was still very full with Elyas' treasure. With two horses he should be able to travel faster by switching between them to make the speed easier on each horse. That way he should catch up with Armbruster very quickly.

He turned his horses eastwards and headed for the mountain passes that lead into the Emirate of Ylaruam.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

4 Flaurmont - Earth, Wind and Fire

Broneslav found himself in an alcove behind a statue. He stepped round it and into a circular room with alcoves to north and south.

"I'm not going anywhere near those," he thought to himself as he considered how many times he had been teleported around the remains of Elyas' tower.

The room contained four large statues of demonic figures. Each of the statues in front of an alcove had a human-sized handprint carved into its chest. The fourth statue was in the centre of the room and its front part had been carved out to fit an iron throne into it. A bright, pulsing, red light shone from the gems in the eyes of the statue he had just stepped around. Dimmer blue lights shone from the statues to the north and south. A black gem could be seen in the left eye of the central statue, and there was a hollow where a second gem could be placed. It was the right size to fit the gem he had just retrieved. He tried the gem in that eye, but nothing happened, and it fell right out again.

Examining the other statues, he realised that there might be a purpose to the handprints. He placed his hand tentatively into the handprint on the northern statue. His mind was filled with a sense of another person's despair. It was Sylva's! He realised now that the witches must have stolen the bodies of the elvish women, and their spirits were trapped here. Perhaps the clue to freeing them lay in this handprints on the statues. To test this theory he approached the southern statue and tried that one. He felt Merisa's despair. The red eyes on the other statue probably meant something else again. Only two elves had been kidnapped so perhaps the red meant that the witch was still trapped. He decided to forego testing that theory just in case.

There must be something more he needed to do to free the elves and destroy the witches. He needed to explore further. Turning south out of the circular room, he followed the corridor to its end. The wall had crumbled here and a small hole was there. It looked like he could enlarge it enough to get through, but he could see that there was someone there, and he was not sure he wanted to disturb them. He returned to the other end of the corridor which ended in a blank wall. Knowing that there had once been a secret door at the other end helped him, and Broneslav soon found the door, and opened it. It was not well hidden, suggesting that it was intended to stop access from the other side.

As he had seen through the broken wall, the door opened behind an altar. This one was empty but for an altar with red altar cloths. The second he stepped through the door, it slammed shut behind him. Grabbing for it only wrenched his arm. With the door shut, he could see a handprint carved into it. Well, he would check that later. For now he needed to find a way to activate this gem so that it would fit into the statue. Looking around he saw that the walls were decorated with frescoes of leaping flames.

There was only one door out of the temple, so he took it and found himself in a room with a carved idol in its centre. It's hands were placed in front of it  as if to accept an offering. As he entered the room, the hollow began to glow. The glow got stronger as he approached the idol, and noticed three alcoves to the east.

"What is it with all these alcoves?" He muttered to himself.

Suddenly the idol spoke, "Answer me and I'll answer thee in truth, if but to questions three! What is thy name?"
He took a moment to consider whether it was wise, and then answered, "Broneslav."
"What was the first name of the last creature you killed?"
"I don't know, it was a panther."
"What is thy quest?"
"To free Merisa and Sylva."
"Accepted."
"Right, so I now have three questions. Well, I think I only need one. How do I use the Opal to free the maidens?"

The idol began to recite more doggerel:
Beyond the three temples of the elements
The black dragon's eye waits for thee.
Find its secret through nearby magical ways
That have waited for many long years.
Beware the tricks of Old Elyas,
And return here with the Black Opal Eye, to give it power.
Then set it in its place and behold
The end of great sadness; the beginning of life;
The destruction of evil and the end of strife.

Broneslav took the Opal Eye from his pouch and placed it in the idol's hands. After a moment it began to glow from deep in its centre. He waited a while. Nothing more happened so he picked it up and headed west to a door there, reasoning that the door to the south must be to the temple with the broken wall.

The door opened into another temple, decorated with images of clouds racing across the sky and trees bent under the force of a hurricane. Behind the altar there was a handprint in the wall. Right, so, better check the person in the last temple before he returned to that statue ...

He opened the door as carefully as he could and sneaked into the third temple, noticing as he did so that it was decorated with images of mountains and rock formations. At the altar was a slight elvish woman with her back to him. He thought it looked like Merisa, whom he had encountered before. He padded as silently as he could towards her, using the pillars as cover. When he got to ten feet behind her, he gave up on all stealth and dived for the woman. Before she could react, he had pinned her to the ground and placed his hand over her mouth.

"No sleep spells for you witchy woman!" he growled as he trussed her up and gagged her. he was then able to clear the gap behind the altar so that he could get through and drag her behind him. She looked at him with a hate-filled gaze, as though she wished at this time to be a medusa. Once through the gap, it was the work of a moment to place the Opal Eye in the statue. There was a flash of blue light. The eyes on the two statues that had been blue flared red, then the eyes on all three statues went out. All that remained was black burnt-out stones. Merisa jerked and slumped slightly before sitting up looking confused.

Broneslav soon ascertained that she really was now Merisa and that the witch's spirit had been vanquished. He guessed that this had happened to the other possessed and dominated elves too. Given that the alcove to the west had brought him here, he guessed that the alcoves to the north and south might take him away again. Tossing a coin, he headed to the northern alcove with Merisa. The two of them found themselves in a room with dark stone platform. He recognised the layout, and checked the double doors to the west to see if you was back in the room near Sylva's bedroom. It turned out that he had got lucky; the doors opened into the treasury! He filled his bags with all he could carry before checking for a way out. The arch to the south no longer glowed, so he decided that the curse must no longer be in effect.

The pair headed through the arch with no ill effects and found themselves in the corridor with half a dozen groggy looking elves, dwarves, hin and humans. The platinum statues that had once lined the hall were no longer their. A candle lit in Broneslav's mind. The statues were of those that had tried to rob the treasury by going through the arch. The newly animated people seemed to be no threat at the moment, so Broneslav told them how to work the disc as he passed them and headed out of the tower with Merisa.

The journey back to the village was simple, even though they encountered many more people who had been transmuted into statues along the way, but all were too groggy to pose a threat. The pair were greeted on the path to the village by the joyous villagers. Sylva had come to when Broneslav placed the Opal Eye in the statue, and she had explained what had happened. Broneslav was feted as a hero, and was finally able to deliver the package to Merisa and return Rahasia's pendant to her.

With the experience gained here, Broneslav has now gone up a level. He gains +1 Attack Bonus, +4 hit points and 1 trait point. The trait is really difficult to decide. It has to be something related to his adventures since last going up a level. That means it could be travel related, dungeon exploration related or anything else of that ilk. I was tempted to give him something related to resistance to spells because of all the Sleep spells he was hit with, or perhaps to give increase his Hunting attribute, but in the end I opted to give him the trait Elf-friend. Rahasia has connections with the merchant Sindar, and with Arnulf Armbruster in Selenica, so I thought she might have connections further afield too. Broneslav may now be able to seek aid among the elves of a place by finding a connection of Rahasia's. I'm not sure how useful it will be, but it seems appropriate.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

4 Flaurmont - The Black Opal Eye

Broneslav returned to the tower and quickly made his way back to the lifting disc. He dropped down to the bottom of the shaft and headed back into the depths of Elyas' ruined home. He was pleased that Sylva was now contained if not quite right in the head. Now all he had to do was find Merisa, subdue her, and find a way to sort out whatever was wrong with them.

Retracing his footsteps, Broneslav was soon back in Sylva's bedroom. He cleared the remains of the cushions from in front of the secret door, and opened it using a key he had taken from Sylva. The room beyond contained only a large dark stone platform against one wall and doors in the other. The platform was simple stone, raised and appeared to conceal nothing. The doors looked more interesting.

He pushed the doors open and entered the octagonal chamber beyond. It was mostly empty, as he had seen from the north corridor, but now he could also see that a large black gem was suspended from the arched ceiling 40 feet above his head. The arch leading to the corridor had ancient writing carved around it. Broneslav puzzled the words out, and thanked the gods for his parents giving him a good education (Hard test against intelligence. +1 for Good Education trait made the difference between passing and failing):

"Once the portal is crossed,
Make no mistake,
A part of my treasury you will make."

Broneslav wondered what this meant. Perhaps some transformation, or just being stripped of all your goods, or maybe it just fried you so you remained here forever. He could not fathom out anything but that it would be a bad thing to walk through the archway. He was pleased he had not tried it before. He also wondered why wizards seemed to enjoy writing doggerel. Honestly, could they not employ a decent bard to do the rhyming for them?

Well, that aside, he obviously needed to get that gem. Why else would it be strung up so high and difficult to get to. For all he knew, it might be the Black Opal Eye that Ular-Taman had mentioned. There were carvings up around the ceiling that looked substantial enough to support his weight. Broneslav got his grappling hook from his backpack, spun it a few times experimentally and then let it fly towards the ceiling. It caught immediately on a carving and he was able to shimmy up the rope in a trice. He was then able to stand on a substantial carving and use the grappling hook to snag the chain that the gem was suspended from, draw it to him and undo it.

Safely back on the ground, he examined the gem. It certainly seemed to be the Black Opal Eye, based on the description he had. He pocketed it and headed for the other doors in the chamber. They opened smoothly into a room with a dark stone platform. He checked it out as he had done the other one, and found nothing. But when he stepped on it to check the wall behind him, he suddenly found himself transported once more. He cursed because now he would have to retrace his steps to the actual treasury. He had an idea about how to get in now, but first he must deal with whatever new randomness Elyas had cursed him with ...

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)

Traits:
Torenescu Family Member 1
Hunter 1
Keen Vision 1
Good Education 1
Empathy with Animals 1

Goal: Prove that he is an adult following the Shearing Ceremony
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village
Quest: Rescue Sylva and Merisa
Quest: Undo the greater evil under Kota-Hutan Temple

Allies

Roll of Honour
Alki (Level 2 elven warrior brutally slain while helpless by the Rahib)
Baik Telor (Level 4 human warrior from Ylari. Murdered by Merdiz the wizard)

Saturday, 4 June 2016

3 Flaurmont 1000 AC - Treasure!

Broneslav awoke feeling a little better. Sylva was still tied to the grate and no one had tried to get in as he rested. He was still a bit shaky on his feet, but he would manage for now. Testing Sylva's bonds, he hand-fed her some food from his pack which she accepted with ill grace and a look in her eye that said she might try to bite the hand that was feeding her. A bit of water followed and then he tested her bonds again.

"I'm going to scout around," he announced, "If I live, I'll come back for you."

She glared as if her very look could turn him to stone. Moving out into the corridor, he found himself with three choices of direction: double doors at each end of the corridor and a single door straight ahead. He dithered a moment before striding to the right, towards one set of double doors. The light as he opened them caused him to blink repeatedly. He was in a room with archways to north and south and double doors ahead of him. The light came from the two archways. Advancing stealthily forwards he peered through the north arch first. The floor was covered in treasure, enough wealth to start a merchant family of his own. He almost ran over to start packing it up, when he remembered how the illusion of treasure had caused him to keep running head first into a wall. He backed away. To the south, a similarly well-lit room held no treasure, although looking through the arch, he could see something hanging from the ceiling.

Broneslav decided to wait to explore these rooms when his wounds had sufficiently healed. He stalked forward to the double doors on the other side of the room and opened them carefully. The room beyond held three statues and a glowing blue disc with a statue on it.

"Aha, the lifting disc!"

He recognised the disc and its cargo immediately. An idea came to him. He knew his way out from here. He would take Sylva back to the village and get the healers to help him before he returned to deal with Merisa. That would prevent Sylva from attacking him and would keep her safe until he could work out what sort of charm the Rahib had used on her.
As you can see, I have mapped the other rooms in the dungeon but have not filled in the detail on the unexplored ones yet
Broneslav returned to Sylva and untied her from the grille. He lifted it so that he could use the teleporter if he could find the hat and dragged his reluctant prisoner with him to the disc. He then began to retrace his footsteps to the main entrance. As he rounded a corner, he suddenly came face-to-face with 3 Siswa guards. Cursing his carelessness and complacency, he rushed them. The target of his first blows dodged and all three closed on him. He blocked, parried and dodged for all he was worth, and countered with a blow to the gut that felled one of the Siswa, followed by a shield to the face that knocked another out, and a sword pommel to the chin that felled the third. [Phew! That was lucky. He rolled a 1 for his fray die in the first round, and missed with his normal attack. Fortunately they all missed too, and then he rolled maximum damage for both fray die and attack on the second round. Scratch three unconscious elves].

While he had been fighting, Sylva used the distraction to run. Unfortunately for her, her bonds hindered her speed and Broneslav was able to catch her easily. He brought her back to the three unconscious elves and tended their wounds after binding them all properly so that he could manage all four captives. The threat of his sword combined with their bonds kept them sufficiently docile for him to be able to lead them all. The rest of the journey was uneventful, although Broneslav was now on edge the whole way.

Back at the village, he explained the situation to Rahasia, and left the captives in the villagers care. The village healer dealt with his wounds, and Broneslav rested up for the day.

The following day, fully healed, he returned to the tower ...

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)

Traits:
Torenescu Family Member 1
Hunter 1
Keen Vision 1
Good Education 1
Empathy with Animals 1

Goal: Prove that he is an adult following the Shearing Ceremony
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village
Quest: Rescue Sylva and Merisa
Quest: Undo the greater evil under Kota-Hutan Temple

Allies

Roll of Honour
Alki (Level 2 elven warrior brutally slain while helpless by the Rahib)
Baik Telor (Level 4 human warrior from Ylari. Murdered by Merdiz the wizard)

Saturday, 28 May 2016

2 Flaurmont 1000 AC - Adventures in the Boudoir!

Broneslav was standing in a small room, obviously teleported there by magic. The hat he had been wearing was probably part of that spell. The space beyond opened up into a large bedroom. A pile of cushions lay near the opening to the small room he was standing in. As he sneaked forward, he saw the corner of a bed. A dainty foot poked out from under the blankets. He peered carefully round the corner. A lever was located on the outside by the bed. Presumably it had something to do with the iron grille located in a slot in the roof by the entrance to the small room.

Broneslav could see an untidy mass of golden hair on the pillow. The sound of delicate snoring arose from near that golden mass. He was not sure what to do. This might be Sylva, one of the elven maidens he was here to rescue. But the other one, Merisa, had attacked Baik and him, and had sicced a panther on them. It went against the grain to attack first though. He put his shield on the floor, and padded over to the bed silently with his sword in his other hand. He leaned over the sleeping person. Once he saw her face, he knew it was Sylva, the other missing elf. He shook her shoulder and quickly clamped his hand over her mouth as her eyes widened in shock.

"I'm here to rescue you," he hissed.

She was more self-controlled than he expected. Upon hearing his words, she calmed quickly and nodded. He took his hand away from her mouth.

"Do you know the way out of here?"
"No. They dragged me in here unconscious, and have kept me here ever since. The door is open but I have no idea which way is out."
"Ok, well, follow me. We're going to have to do this the hard way."

While Sylva got out of bed and dressed quickly, Broneslav searched the rest of the room. He found a secret door in the south wall, but decided to try the obvious door to the north first.

"Are you ready?"
"Yes."
"Ok, stay with me, but don't get too close. I may need room to swing a sword."

He moved to the door and opened it. A panther leapt through the newly opened door directly at him. Broneslav dropped flat as the panther sailed over his head. Spinning, he swung his sword at the beast, shaving a whisker off it, but not connecting with his sword. Sylva chanted words and gestured at Broneslav. A wave of sleepiness overcame him and he collapsed to the floor. [Why the heck does every single mage in this dungeon have the Sleep spell? It's really irritating when there is no save versus it!] As he did so, the panther attacked ripping huge gashes in his legs and mauling is arm [4 DAM]. The pain of this assault woke him immediately. He sprang to his feet and drove his sword into the panther [2 DAM]. Sylva ran to the south wall, fumbling at her belt. Triumphantly she drew a key out of her pouch. Still groggy from the spell, Broneslav failed to ward off all the panther's attacks and was clawed and bitten once more [2 DAM]. Diving past the panther, he bodychecked the elf just as she was about to open the secret door he had found. She collapsed to the floor unconscious as her head hit the wall. The panther leapt at Broneslav again and ripped more holes in him [2 DAM]. Weakening from the blood loss already, Broneslav grabbed his sword with both hands and sliced at the panther with a might blow that cut it in two [4 DAM].

He slumped against the wall to catch his breath, before checking Sylva to see if she was alright. He was worried that she had cracked her head too hard against the wall. Fortunately, she was just unconscious, although there was a trickle of blood from her forehead. He bound that wound and then her hands and feet.

"No more spells for you, tricksy witch," he muttered, as he gagged her and propped her up near the bed.

Tearing sheets from the bed he bandaged his own wounds and pondered what to do next. He could try to find his way out of here and rest up back at the village. That would give him a chance to recover and return for the other elf. Alternatively, he could rest up in this room, although that carried the risk of being discovered. Not sure of how to get out, he decided to rest up here. He dragged the bed to the main door and used it to block that entrance. Then he got the elf's key and jammed it into the lock of the secret door. That should stop anyone opening that door.

By this point, Sylva had awakened was staring balefully at him as he hobbled around the room sorting things out. Experimentation showed that the lever did, indeed, lower a grille across the opening to the room he had arrived in. He lowered the grille and tied Sylva to it, so that she could not move. Piling cushions in front of the secret door, he hoped that anyone trying to enter that way would trip over them and give him a chance to get up before they got to him. Before settling down to rest, Broneslav searched the room, finding a scroll that appeared to his untutored eyes to have a spell inscribed on it. He stashed it in his bag and lay down on some cushions in the corner furthest from both doors, hoping that things would go right for him.

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 3/
9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)

Traits:
Torenescu Family Member 1
Hunter 1
Keen Vision 1
Good Education 1
Empathy with Animals 1

Goal: Prove that he is an adult following the Shearing Ceremony
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village
Quest: Rescue Sylva and Merisa
Quest: Undo the greater evil under Kota-Hutan Temple

Allies

Roll of Honour
Alki (Level 2 elven warrior brutally slain while helpless by the Rahib)
Baik Telor (Level 4 human warrior from Ylari. Murdered by Merdiz the wizard)

Saturday, 21 May 2016

2 Flaurmont 1000 AC - Return to the Halls of Grandeur

Wearing a new shirt and trews, healed by the village healer, and having washed properly, Broneslav made his way back to the temple feeling much better. There was still much to do and he needed to solve the riddle of the elven woman who appeared to be aiding the Rahib.

Returning to the corridor near the cells, Broneslav pushed through the door to the south. He was in a small hall with doors to to each side and one ahead of him. Listening at both doors revealed nothing. Both rooms appeared to be silent. Mentally he flipped a coin. Heads, so he headed east. As he stepped through the door, a huge red dragon belched flame at him. Broneslav screamed as fire engulfed him, and collapsed senseless to the floor.

His eyes opened again some time later. The dragon was still there, but it seemed more insubstantial now. Carefully, he stood up. The dragon belched flame again, but this time it washed around him. He realised that the dragon was an illusion and that none of his clothing was indeed burnt. Harrumph!

There was another exit from this room. He listened again and heard nothing. Opening the door, he peered in. It was another empty room, except that one wall of this room was a curtain of coruscating red light. It lent the room and eerie, hellish glow. There was a door in the wall opposite the one he entered by. Broneslav moved up to the glowing wall and pushed at it with his torch. The torch passed through easily. He waved the torch around and felt no resistance. Ok, no time to be a wimp. Closing his eyes despite himself, he stepped into the light and found himself in an identical room from that which he had just left. His back was to the curtain of light. There were two exits here. He opted for the left one.

Entering the new room, he beheld a huge pile of gold against the far wall. He felt an unreasoning desire to dive head-first into the treasure and start loading his backpack up. Giving in to temptation he did just that and cracked his head hard against a hitherto unseen wall [Failed saving roll]. Fortunately his helm protected him from damage but he felt distinctly dizzy after this. Closing his eyes against the onset of a headache, he felt around. It felt like there was a solid wall here. It had the texture of stone. Broneslav surmised that the treasure must be an illusion.

There were two doors in this room, both in the same wall. He entered by the one on the left, the one he had not entered by, and found himself in a short corridor. There was a door to his left and a door ahead of him. Broneslav hrrmed to himself suspiciously. Cautiously he opened the door and was engulfed once more in dragon flame. It did not burn and it did not hurt.

So, he was right. He had walked into the wall of light and come back out into the same room. He returned to the wall of light and tried sticking his head far enough in to see through. Unfortunately, all he could see was light. He would have to enter it to test its effects. He tried running into it, but wound up back in the same room. He tried hopping, skipping and jumping into it, but all to no avail. Then suddenly he thought to try walking backwards.
He stepped through the wall of light into a laboratory. Two tables covered in alchemical equipment occupied the centre of the room. The shelves were filled with dusty jars, and there were two alcoves in the east wall. On a peg between the two alcoves was a large hat with a big pink feather. It looked curiously out of place here which piqued Broneslav's curiosity. He went over and picked the hat up. It looked ordinary enough, so what was it doing here? Maybe the old wizard just liked to be flamboyant. Who knows? On a whim, he put the hat on top of his helm [Oracle says Yes to Broneslav putting the hat on]. He laughed. It was a shame there was no mirror there, but he knew he must look ridiculous. Maybe he could return to Specularum one day and make hats with big pink feathers fashionable. He could corner the market on big pink feathers beforehand, just to ensure that he profited properly from it.

Reining in his thoughts, Broneslav began to search the laboratory. There might be something of use there, he hoped. He found nothing among the alchemical equipment. The alcoves were odd, because they contained nothing, so he thought he had better check for secret doors. There was nothing in the northern alcove, but as he checked the southern alcove he felt the world move around him.

He found himself standing in small room that opened into a bedroom beyond. The hat was no longer on his head ...

The Halls of Grandeur

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)

Traits:
Torenescu Family Member 1
Hunter 1
Keen Vision 1
Good Education 1
Empathy with Animals 1

Goal: Prove that he is an adult following the Shearing Ceremony
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village
Quest: Rescue Sylva and Merisa
Quest: Undo the greater evil under Kota-Hutan Temple

Allies

Roll of Honour
Alki (Level 2 elven warrior brutally slain while helpless by the Rahib)
Baik Telor (Level 4 human warrior from Ylari. Murdered by Merdiz the wizard)

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Gruntz AAR - The Battle for Discoville

I actually managed to play a game last night! Yes, it's true!! And I'm writing about it now!!! I've not had much time for gaming since I moved to Ireland to take up a new job (check out the project I am working on at www.worldtreeproject.org. It's awesome). While I'm not playing at all while over there, I am finding a fair bit of time to paint, and have completed my Laserburn Imperial task force after only 30 years. I bought some of the figures I have recently painted back in the eighties which shows that there is hope for all of my so-called failed or stalled projects. Photos of the whole lot will appear when I bring the rest of the force back from Ireland.

So, anyway, this week I am back home near Hull to do work stuff, so I organised a game with Steve. This year we are focusing on 15mm sci-fi and we agreed  to play Gruntz with 300 points each.

Steve brought his disco aliens with some air support and all nicely canned in APCs.
Disco Alien Fighter
Alien infantry boogieing down the street
I fielded a weak Imperial assault group supported by a troop of heavy grav tanks and two scout bikes.
Imperial grav tanks making a nuisance of themselves
We did not have much time so we made the goal of the game be to destroy as much of the enemy as we could.
Game at set-up
One half of the table was dominated by a small town while the other was rural. Steve deployed a dropship in the rural area and his fighter to cover the town. His infantry were in their APCs ready to rush down the middle. I deployed my infantry to take the town, while my tanks were to flank through the countryside and try to break round behind the enemy with a view to encircling and then annihilating them.

We used the initiative cards from Gruntz instead of the standard rules and assigned the cards randomly to the units. We like the chaos and friction that this brings. Neither of us is a fan of IGO-UGO, but I am tempted to suggest that we deal a hand of cards to each side and then assign them ourselves in future games. This should give us the chaos while also meaning that we get to make command decisions about which area of the battle is most important to us. The main reason we have not done this so far is speed.

My tanks begin the process of annihilating the enemy APCs. A scout bike is just visible behind the lorry, ready to fire missiles into the flank of the APC.
 As the aliens advanced into the town, and my infantry seized key buildings, my tanks used their superior armour to weather the fusillade of fire that the APCs laid down. Damage was minor with only a few scratches to the paintwork of my tanks. As we got their range, the APCs lit up one by one, while the tanks' coaxial lasers made short work of the infantry in that part of the battlefield.

An alien APC tries to sneak round to attack a tank in the flank
Over in the town, things were not so easy. My troops' found the enemy hard to hit, and their bolt rifles were underpowered against the enemy armour. Alien casualties were few while the aliens' plasma rifles seared through my troops' armour. The only thing keeping my troops alive was the buildings they were in, and the enemy fighter's multiple plasma cannon were fairly quickly demolishing the buildings around my troops' ears. A biker scout did manage to get in there and score some hits with his bike's missile launcher, but it was not enough. Without help, or better dice rolling, my troops were doomed.

As the last of the APCs went up in smoke, my tanks moved carefully into the town ... and the enemy surrendered.

At this point we had to call the game because of time. We had played 4 turns of 6 in 2.5 hours. Not too shabby given that we are not familiar with the rules. It was a great fun game with each of us getting frustrated by elements of the other's force design. Lessons have been learnt and future forces are likely to see slightly different force composition, although I suspect that Steve's love of big plasma weapons and heavy armour will mean that I need to purchase extra armour piercing ammo for my troops. Anyway, I look forward to the next game. Hopefully I shall have done more with the buildings for the town by then. I need to sort out some posters, for the billboards, signs for the shops, and print out more streets and concrete lots for the town layout.

Figures: GZG, 15mm.co.uk
Vehicles: GZG, Old Crow, 15mm.co.uk
Buildings: MadMechaGuy
Street Furniture: Brigade Models