Fang had split off from the rest of the interdiction force – taking advantage of a gap in the paladin’s line. They hadn’t seen her as she climbed the trees to approach closer to the scientific camp that was their objective. There it was – a trio of paladins digging for the rumoured artifact, while a shielded Aegis gunner stood guard. She waited above the branches, planning while her ranger squad caught up.
Then she saw the paladins climbing up, one had an oversized briefcase in his hands, requesting recall. A hurried look behind her – the rangers weren’t coming, maybe caught in another splinter of the battle she’d left behind. It was now or never, and all in her hands.
Dropping from the tree tops she fired 2 shots – both smashing into the paladin with the suitcase and exploding shards in the face of a second. Her auto-reloader blurred with an arc spike as she landed perfectly- quickly shooting again at each of the stunned paladins by the pit. The first burst into flames, the second bounced off the force shield that the aegis had brought around himself. Fang sprinted toward him, reloading as she jumped into a flying kick, knocking him into the bottom of the pit. By the time he had landed on his back, Fang’s pistols were shooting into the downed Aegis mercilessly.
She retrieved the suitcase, ready to rush back into the trees. Then he arrived – sensing the shift in battle. His bestial, craven face was completely at odds with his flawless armour and perfect black blade. Fang’s theurge abilities could feel his presence sucking at the souls of the fallen paladins. Baron Mooregrave had arrived, and the artifact would go with the victor of this duel.
Showdown Variant rules
This is an optional variant to try with your games. It would suit both narrative and competitive formats, as it is a fun but balanced rule. It is well suited to scenarios with end of pulse round scoring, where the extra activation just before scoring is more meaningful, however could work in any scenario.
At the end of each pulse round, after the second players turn but before resolving continuous effects, each player (starting with the first) can activate 1 hero solo.
I wanted to try a new game mode that highlighted the combat heroes, giving an edge to the player who could protect them and get them into a position where they could interrupt scoring. I love the idea that a game is decided by a duel between their chosen heroes, or perhaps a player falls behind by losing them too soon. This gives a higher skill ceiling, and nuance around how you will use your hero – expose them now to get them closer to deciding an objective, or hold them off for a later round.
It is also a way to dilute ‘end of pulse’ scoring, where the player acting second sometimes ends with too much control over the last activations. This gives the first player one more chance to react, albeit the second player gets their hero’s activation too. By having a pair of ‘small turns’ after the final players turn it gives another chance for back and forth.
If you love clutch plays with your heroes, and epic duels decided by a single character, this mode is for you.