A Narrative Battle report using the Shooting the Storm mission linked below. An ISA force of mostly Wildcards has to assassinate a Divine Tempest. The defenders get some bonuses to keep the Divine Tempest Alive: with each cadre squad near her giving her +1 ARM, and she gets an extra Health box. However cadre models all count as heroes.
The attacker is limited to mostly wildcards, and only 1 each Weaver, Squad and Warjack. However, they do get to recall one hero as it is dying, letting them bring it back.
The Temple Defenders included the Cadre (Divine Tempest, Nekoshphynx, Synturions, and Talons), Marauder, Vassal Boss, Scourge (Hollowphage, force rod, misanthrope), an Immortal weaver and Vassal Reavers. They have recruited Jax Redblade: the pirate’s notorious links to the underground and contempt for ISA making her ideal to thwart this incursion.
The ISA’s roster includes some loyal paladins to keep the rest in line, a Firebrand (Maelstrom, shield, assault rifle & Bayonet), and weaver. Their spymaster has called in every credit owed to bring in some traitors who are willing to defy the temple: including Myra Hurst, Tulcan, Fenrik Leech, Axel for Hire, the Quartermaster, and Voitek Sudal. The unimpeachable Baron Mooregrave was willing to lend his formidable sword, surprisingly willing to get soaked in the gore of combat with a pack of sellswords.
The battle took place in an industrial district where the temple was hidden. The forces sprang out only when they were sure the Divine Tempest was present – alongside her handmaidens and an Immortal Weaver. The first wave of ISA included a Firebrand, Axel for Hire, Voitek Sudal, and the Weaver. The table was narrower: only 24″ between edges, and this made for some brutally efficient first turns, which the ISA will take.
Pulse Round 1, Turn 1
Warcaster Selis channelled her power into the Firebrand, and forced thrusters to shoot him as far forward as possible. Before braking on the corner of the building, he took a shot of his assault rifle and nailed an unlucky Talon. Axel similarly raced forwards, getting a bead on the immortal weaver and making the most of it: One shot One Kill was Axel’s motto, and the weaver wasn’t going to be around to argue. Axel tossed a portable void gate under the bridge.
Hissing angrily, the Divine Tempest ran towards the swirling gate. Words of power forced from her lips, as Velocity Projector hummed in her mind – a wave of pure force smashed into the gate – hurling it backwards and knocking out some of its power. Her handmaidens followed her – activating slip displacer mechanika to follow her through the alley. The Relikon’s mortifier spewed a corrosive blast towards the gate, but it’s systems had miscalculated the angle and the spurt fell short.
A talon started muttering prayers, as the Divine power of arc surged through her, a wave of fire shooting from her into the robot Axel for hire. The Pyrokinetic surge completely burnt through Axel, the robot’s consciousness only saved by his controller activating recall at the last moment. The Lost Legion sniper cannot be finished yet!
Round 1, Turn 2
The ISA Weaver charges and channels his own Pyrokinetic surge into the Talons – blasting one to shreds and avenging Axel’s first form. His handgun snapped at the Talons, but shot went wild. A surge of power was pushed from him into Voitek, who threw a null grenade into the gate and took a running shot into the Relikon, but failed to hit. Voitek stayed near enough to the enemy gate to scramble it with his gate jammer. Finally the weaver’s staff glowed as he smashed an instability equation Fury into the Relikon, but missed the mark.
A group of Paladins with their Aegis materialised from the ISA’s Gate, escorted by grandmaster Tulcan himself.
Arc and an Aggression Theorem thrummed into the Relikon’s cypher module, taking manual control of its weaponry. The blast struck true – melting the Paladin Aegis and damaging the gate, but failing to do any damage to Tulcan. However the corrosion further afflicted his ancient and already rusty frame.Seeing a pack of lambs ready for death, the Divine Tempest herself waded into the Alley of death, a flash of her swords ending Tulcan’s long life. Her Whisper of Death shot out at an enforcer, but failed to harm him (This was bad, as hoping for a marauder to rip out the small backline). Relikon’s Mortifier spurted again, melting an enforcer to goo.
For reinforcements, Mortality Destabiliser resurrected a Talon, and Synturions and NekoSphynx appeared – raw power overcoming Voitek’s gate jammer. These forces would end the mosquitoes trying to shoot into a storm!
Round 1, Turn 3
The Paladin’s arc receivers glowed with power as they surged into the gap. The recently reformed Talon was impaled on a bayonet, but their rifles failed to finish off the infernal Relikon. Shifting effortlessly between guns and bayonets, they thrust into the void gate and collapsed part of it. Voitek’s bodged ISA Cypher module received Encrypted Commands to strike again. He threw another null grenade into the swirling gate, and shot his Constrictor and spiked it with power to leave the Synturions bound by force.
The spymaster Gamon looked at his console and saw his vital warjack had been stranded away from the crucial battle in the Alley. He needed more force flooding the area and would not let his targets escape. He issued orders for Warcaster Selis to use recall directive on the Firebrand and redeploy it closer to the action.
Cypher power cleared the ethereal netting binding the Synturions, and flooded them with Arc. They advanced into the fray and smashed their halberds into the Firebrand, their expert strikes leaving it barely holding together. A Glow in the eyes of the Divine Tempest herself was followed by an unstable explosion in the cortex of the firebrand – blowing it to smithereens. The chunks of flying machinery bounced off the armour of the Synturions and Relikon. The nearby gate shimmered and died as the hulking Scourge and marauder appeared from it.
Nekosphynx bounded up the building and his phase pounce tried to lock onto an enforcer, but couldn’t get his laser to align. Instead he purred perversely watching as the Paladin melted to death from his earlier poisoning by the Relikon.
Round 2, Turn 1
The Surviving pair of Paladins blurred under the effects of Reiteration Algorithm and another surge of arc. Their bayonets thrust into the Relikon, finally dismantling the pesky machine for good. They both shot at the Synturions, and a splitsecond later their movements time seemed to echo as they shot again, but the impervious bodyguards were undamaged by the bullet swarm. Voitek’s grenades and blade both stuck an AC gate, dropping some of its power. He missed his Force Constrictor bullet at the marauder and withdrew behind some cover. An Aggression theory surged into him, dropping another grenade into the gate.
The ISA needed a chokepoint to contain the scourge and Divine Tempest – the paladins flung a powerful gate into the alley, and a new Firebrand emerged from the previous gate. To protect the Firebrand’s advance, Cassius Mooregrave himself leapt out into the fray to confront the Divine Tempest directly. (ok, by this point I was trying to get around DT’s armour bonus from cadre models and Living Terror and realised that noone seemed capable of hurting her but the Firebrand. Mooregrave’s own living terror seemed a good tool to block the Divine Tempest for a turn and let the Firebrand swing, and a couple of gates to hold them all there.)
The scourge imitated the Synturions – taking a bodyguard posture to defend his temple masters. Cortex flared with Interdiction Protocol: protect. He took charge and wound up his force rod, but Mooregrave’s belied his age and twisted under the rod. The Pincer-like wrecking claw followed up, but swatted away by the Baron’s blade as he stepped past it… straight into the Hollowphage as it blasted into him. His armour deflected most of the blast, but the armour itself was peeling off his blistering body. Distracted by the scourge, the Divine Tempest herself hit him from the other side. Her Spiderlike form scowled as her many arms lunged at the Baron – grabbing his limbs and gruesomely pulling them off, unmaking the Baron piece by piece. The joy almost made her forget the rage of being ambushed and stuck in this damned alley. The spurts of noble blood covered the street… yes.. now it was her lair, and death to any assassins who dare set foot. (He died an absolute champ, taking hits from the 2 strongest pieces, holding them there and letting the Firebrand live, but Interdiction protocol and the Synturion Scenario bonus was making DT Def5, Arm 6, with the Synts themselves Def4 / arm4)
Jax Redblade landed near the rear of the alley, ready to hunt any remaining sellswords.
Round 2, Turn 2
Divination Algorithm was pushed into the Firebrand – his guns surged with power. The Paladin Weaver was given arc, which he magnified and channelled into the Firebrand. His rifle pinged into the Scourge’s cortex, damaging the warjack. His Bayonet and shield struck the Divine Tempest, but unable to do any damage. Finally a Beam of pure energy struck from the Maelstrom cannon straight at the Divine Tempest and Synturions. One of the hulking bodyguards dived into his master, knocking her out of the blast, but leaving himself seriously wounded, while the other stood and took some damage. An instability equation followed up on the Synturions, leaving both only barely hanging onto life.
Seeing opportunity – Myra Hurst, Axel, and Fenrik Leech all appeared from a gate, ready to finish the Temple Cadre.
The Divine Tempest reacted to the threat on her life – blasting an Instability equation into the pesky paladins, tossing their bodies away from the Alley of Death. Jax attacked a nearby gate then took arc into her thrusters and rocketed into the buildings above. The Nekosphynx locked onto Axel for Hire – landing his phase pounce but the nimble robot avoided all damage.
Seeing the damage inflicted on the Synturions, the Divine Tempest ordered them recalled – yanked back to base by their cypher module. Their barely surviving consciousness was screaming with drugs and restitching of flesh, before they reemerged from the nearby gate. The brutal surgery left them at full strength once more, ready to defend their mistress.
Round 2, Turn 3
The ISA’s warcaster ripped arc out of every man on the field, channelling it all through Fenrik Leech with a Pyrokinetic Surge. It hit the mark – the Divine Tempest ignited by the beam of plasma washing through her shoulder – leaving her armour melted and flames smouldering around the hole. (14 strikes to hit, 12 on damage for 2, even through the Synturion’s armour bonus). Seeing her burn, Axel followed up with a shot from his rifle but it ricocheted from her frame. Fenrik’s staff was still red-hot with the power of the fury, he swung it into the Scourge but couldn’t penetrate the thick hull.
The Divine Tempest’ eyes flared with rage – Her mind filled only with Pyrokinetic Surge. She mouthed the words at the first enemy she saw – the Firebrand’s armour igniting. Sensing the will of their master, the Synturions gained arc and started hacking into the Firebrand, their perfect Halberd strikes leaving it a flaming wreck. One blow impaled Myra Hurst – the backswing was so smooth it almost looked accidental. Either way, the ISA doctor slid into the pole, was then unceremoniously shaken loose and kicked to the side of the alley.
The marauder unloaded his minigun on Axel – a stray bullet thudding deep into his armour. Aggression flowed through the Synturions, another swift swipe of the polearm sliced the Lost Legion Robot through the waist. The two halves of Axel fell to the floor, and the glows in his body dimmed.
The Temple Queen cooled her head, and the fires consuming her armour burned out. She surveyed the alley – the warjack and 2 assassins downed in a coordinated attack with her guardians. The attack has been blunted – all that was left was to destroy the stragglers and make sure they know who rules this world.
Round 3, Turn 1
Gamon looked at the forces left – not much, not enough. Voitek’s arc receivers were filled. He knew the dire situation he was faced with, but as a bounty hunter knew they needed to maintain the trap. His quarry would not escape. His grenade arced into the Synturions – a white flash with no noise sucked their arc into the void. Lining up his Force Constrictor- he shot it over the alley and into the Divine Tempest. Miraculously the barbs of force sunk deep into her flesh, waves of pain knocking her to the floor as he spiked everything he could into her.
Fenrik absorbed Voitek’s residual energy and smashed his staff into the closest Synturion’s armour. It struck true, denting his chest and leaving him struggling to breathe, but still standing. As both Synturions glanced at Fenrik, he knew he was cooked.
Gamon cursed as he saw Fenrik disappear from the display – vanishing into the void. He’d had explosives installed on the mercenaries in case he was betrayed. He was looking for the detonator, but interrupted when Fenrik materialised in front of him as if from a void gate. “Reporting for duty sir” Fenrik chittered, a mock half-salute. Gamon was almost tempted to do it anyway, but knew he didn’t have many soldiers left. After composing himself for a second, Gamon said “Prepare for redeployment – one last push”.
A void gate opened to drop the main ISA forces – the Quartermaster with another wave of paladins and a spare Firebrand. Cryo Lock shot from the weaver into the Synturions – freezing them in ice.
Ascension catalyst summoned wings and leapt into the fray. Swooping like an angel of death, he dived at the Firebrand with his Hollowphage cannon spurting a thick stream of acid straight into the warjack. The Firebrand melted to nothing immediately – consumed by the blast. Exuberant, the Scourge swung his force rod straight down as he landed, instantly turning the Quartermaster into a puddle of blood. Jumping from the other side, the NekoSphynx dug both paws into the ISA Weaver, tossing him to the floor and clamping jaws around his neck. A bite and a roll flung the lifeless weaver into the alley walls.
The Synturions shook the ice from their armour, ready for combat again.
(the AC were firmly winning now, although there was now 3 damage on the Divine Tempest, still 2 HP remaining. Voitek was also really good at keeping the DT and Synturions busy, jamming their activations and clearing arc to stop self-sacrifice. But otherwise the ISA were dying as quick as they were summoning)
Pulse 3, Turn 2
The trio of paladins charged with arc, ran out their bayonets and charged into the Divine Tempest. A flurry of rifle shots and coordinated thrusts of their blades left no marks on her armour. Fenrik and the Firebrand appeared behind them, as the paladins awaited their fate.
The scourge saw his rival Firebrand appear, felt a cypher clear him for action and immediately pounced. The acid cannon missed its mark this time, but he clamped his wrecking claw around the shield. Tossing it to the side, he swung the Force Rod into the Firebrand’s head – pulling chunks of armour off and leaving the exposed wires hanging. Jax fired her pistol into the melee but the shot scattered off the floor. A blast of Pyrokinetic Surge struck the firebrand, burning into the chest and leaving it engulfed with flames.
Pulse 3, Turn 3
The battered Firebrand arced through the chaos, utilizing its fading energy to breach the tumultuous melee and target the Divine Tempest. With a swift motion, he swung his shield, projecting a surge of energy along the arc. However, the nimble adversary dodged the attack with a deft sidestep. Rolling back onto her feet, she skillfully evaded the assault rifle shots and sidestepped the energetic lance thrust from the bayonet.
As the Firebrand’s vision waned, its cortex on the verge of incineratrion, a final, desperate blast erupted from its shoulder cannon. The projectile soared over the adversary’s shoulder, detonating against the building behind her.
Standing unscathed, the Divine Tempest reveled in the failure of the warjack. Then felt a breeze of power, arc drawn into the alley. She looked for the source – her eyes tracked to the Wyrd Fenrik Leech, glowing orange with the power of his warcaster. The winds shifted outward suddenly, an Unstable blast channelled into a beam of white hot plasma. It struck true – the Divine Tempest exploded from within as the blast consumed her. Shards of armour smashed into every wall of the alley, the corpse within reduced to smoke and ash. A haunting shriek echoed from the disintegrated remains, as the Divine Tempest’s chosen collapsed, the Warjack, Synturions and Sphynx shutting down. Jax pushed her rocket thrusters – flying from her building as far away as possible. The mortals remaining were quickly overwhlemed – a mop up operation as Voitek and the Paladins efficiently chopped them down.
The Alley of Death had been silenced, the temple reduced to rubble. The planet’s disturbance would be rectified, and order restored.
I was thrilled to the end – the 6 arc fury was huge – ‘winning’ the hit roll by 11 dice, then rolling 16 strikes for damage. It was the last swing of the game, after a few disappointing turns from Paladins and Warjack.
Man of the match was Voitek – he did 1 damage to the DT, but crucially kept stunning and nulling her and the Synturions. Without this, she could have escaped the alley or pawned more shots off to the Synturions. The ‘mud pit’ of throwing troops into the Alley was not the most tactical game, but the ISA were doing their part to keep the Divine Tempest engaged and unable to escape.
Of course, Fenrik’s furies did their part too – the 4 remaining damage from 2 big furies. Never underestimate a fistful of dice and a fury.