Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Brothers in (Four) Arms: AKA Fifteen Raking Claw-Gouges on a Dead Man's Chest. (Part One)

Pelegosto Prime. An isolated, low-tech, superstitious, backward mud-ball. In other words, an easy mark. The only drawback it seems, is that we weren't the first to realise it.

Anyone that tells you being a Space-Pirate is an easy life knows no more than what a few entertainment holo-vids can tell. Our command structure is volatile at the best of times, and when you're into piracy as a family business it's never the best of times. In theory, I'm the Captain of the 'Void-Ghost', with a ten point stake and the final say on navigation. In practice, if I don't keep Red Raelyn happy (that's my wife) and more serious still, Dola Shrill (my mother-in-law) then I'm as good as blown out the waste pipe.

Like I said, Pelegosto was supposed to be easy. My brother-in-law, Black Bill, went down with an advance party to carry out a simple recon. Except that's the last we heard of him. The squat castle we identified as the head honcho's lair was supposed to be full of precious metals and other loot. Instead, if the last static-ridden transmissions Bill voxed back are anything to go by; it's full of damned monsters. 'Stealers, has to be. I seen a lot of crazy stuff in my life as a pirate, and we found ourselves a nest of 'Stealers, sure as the void's black and merciless. Now I got Red and Ma giving me the evil eye and foot-tapping routine because I won't go down there. I told 'em, 'Bill's a goner' I explained. Couldn't argue with that. Except they did of course.

Ah, who am I kidding. I'll be heading down as soon as I can get some boys together.

This was a fantastic game of Rogue Trader Thantsants and I played recently. Thantsants' had the scenario ready to go for another project but with a few tweaks and name changes we had ourselves a whole new narrative whilst retaining the opportunity to do a bit of play-testing. The idea was to emphasise the need to pass leadership tests to relay orders to add an element of 'fog' and to concentrate on telling a story rather than winning. As such the objectives and forces involved are fairly fluid. I needed to infiltrate first the shanty-town and then the castle in order to rescue Black Bill from the clutches of a Genestealer Cult while Thantsants played the part of the cultists who were on heightened alert after capturing the recon party.

I have available to me Captain 'Bloody' Sam Reade (major hero), the first mate (minor hero), a rogue psyker (level 2), a heavy plasma gunner, a heavy stubber gunner, a grenade launcher operator and 16 other pirates with assorted pistols and rifles.

The Cult's leadership is holed up in a castle, the largest building on Pelegosto. Around the castle is a run-down, miserable shanty-town occupied by peasants and used as a barracks for several corrupted PDF units. As the story begins, security is stepped up and the local militia units have been called up to provide extra patrols.


The road is the main approach to the castle, it leads to the front gate and has a right fork that goes around the castle. Buildings are corrugated plasteel and timber. There is an area of dense vegetation on the south side of the road. The area is thick with militia and Cult vehicles.


Somehow, Captain 'Bloody' Sam Reade (that's him in the tricorne at the back) must lead his band of 20-odd ruthless coves against the might of an entire Genestealer Cult, rescue his brother-in-law and live to tell the tale. Yaargh!


Reade has split his force into four groups of five men (and ladies). Three groups approach the castle using the jail as cover from the patrols lead by Reade himself while the First Mate, Yellow Yates the Swift, takes the fourth group (which contains the plasma cannon) on a right flanking manouevre.


Unfortunately, Yellow Yates fails to keep his unit quiet and the jingling of earrings accompanied by some muttered cursing leads to a group of militia coming over to investigate.


Planetary Governor, Nohm Bertoo, just pops to the loo to have a read of the newspaper. The walls are exceptionally thick and insulate all sound from the outside, an unfortunate coincidence.


The first mate's unit stumbles unwittingly into a militia patrol and fire off a few shots in panic, one of the militia keels over with a fatal gut-shot but most of the shooting goes wild. As more militia run towards the sound of fighting the situation looks grim for the pirates.


Alerted by the crack of Las-fire and Autogun rounds a squad of Brood Brother PDF piles out of their barracks and takes up a position behind their transport vehicle.



Confused about what has gone wrong, Captain Reade orders the unit armed with pistols and swords to use stealth to infiltrate towards the castle through the undergrowth on the south side. Reade hangs back with two groups and his psyker, Mento, to act as a reserve and set up a fire-base in the jail. 


A pair of patrolling guards seem sure to stumble into the pirates before they get set.


The Brethren find it difficult to figure out quite what's going on and elect to hold their position to provide cover fire for the militia.


Though the plucky pirates give as good as they get for a while, the tide turns against them and casualties start to mount up.


Reade's infiltrators make it past the patrolling pair of guards as silent as ghosts and fade away into the vegetation.


Reade himself manages to get his fire-base in position on the roof of the jail and now has virtually the entire shanty-town covered. He decides to leave the first mate to his fate and use his demise as a diversion.


The pirates on the roof can see their first mate and his unit being torn to shreds but dare not intervene and give away their position just yet.


Overwhelmed, Yates and two survivors eventually rout and flee towards safety. They are hotly pursued by the fanatic militia.


As a large block of militia hove into view, the grenade launcher operator simply cannot resist the target opportunity and pops off a frag round into their midst. many are killed and a volley of rifle fire cause further casualties.


One of the pirates splits their fire off at the patrolling guards, killing one. The other panics and flees.


The infiltrators are deep within the lush, alien flora now and proceed to make steady progress towards the castle.


The appearance of a local transport carrying some miners home causes a moment of concern but it passes by without incident enabling the infiltrators to continue unnoticed. Phew!


The Brethren are concerned by the outburst of fresh gunfire and advance upon the jail to counter this new threat.


Yellow Yates has managed to shake off his pursuer who got caught in a wayward blast from the grenade launcher! This gives him the opportunity to rally unexpectedly! He fails, and heads for the hills.


The rooftop unit sprays rounds in all directions as they become surrounded by brethren and militia. Reade hangs back to provide support but cannot risk becoming too separated from his infiltrators if the rescue is to succeed.


Whooping militia, fresh from their victory over Yates' mob, scramble towards the jail.


Another round from the grenade launcher kills two of the Brethren.


The lone survivor of the guard patrol rallies and is absorbed into the Brethren unit.


Finally, the infiltrators exit the dense undergrowth at the base of an empty watchtower. They find an empty truck and begin to formulate a plan, but just at that moment a large unit of Brethren reinforcements pours out of the castle front gate.


Will the pirates be able to gain entry to the castle without the plasma cannon? Will the isolated infiltrators be discovered by the Brethren reinforcements? Will the rooftop pirates be overwhelmed in a last stand? Will Captain Reade's wife ever be able to explain all this to mother? Will Governor Nohm Bertoo ever finish in the toilet? Stay tuned for all these answers and more in the next exciting chapter of: Fifteen Raking Claw-Gouges on a Dead Man's Chest!

There is another blog out there that needs a bit of encouragement by the way, please check out the Lead Pile and leave a comment or even follow if you feel able.

Thanks for stopping by!

28 comments:

  1. Heh should of ended that then chapter line with: Same time next week, same Bat channel!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're probably right, feel free to pretend I did and also mentally add in some appropriate theme music too.

      Delete
  2. Haha, that's great! Love what you are having there, can't wait to see the rest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you're enjoying it, we had a great time playing as usual. I will bring you part two tomorrow hopefully!

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Many thanks, I'm pleased you liked it!

      Delete
  4. That's a good batrep and well handled with the bus incident!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Fran! The little fella wanted to join in, bless him. He managed to tell a small part of the story though, despite only just being tall enough to see the table!

      Delete
  5. Very nice report with beautiful pictures! Great scenery...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much Phil! Thansants took the photos and ran them through a program called 'Picasso'. The scenery is a mixture of both our collections, sci-fi=me, fantasy=Thantsants.

      Delete
  6. Good report, can't wait for part two.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sean, glad you liked our game. Part two is on it's way!

      Delete
  7. Shazam! Genestealer Cults, Space Pirates, Militia, shanty towns with grimy trucks parked outside of castles, corrupt cops...so much old school goodness! Great looking game! Awesome terrain. Great job on the narrative, too! Wish I was there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's pretty much how we felt playing it! We had a great time, glad you're enjoying the report.

      Delete
  8. Very good narrative and very good presentation, I would defiitely love to have a close group shot of each team with some little presentation to learn about the guys on the table.
    Your scenery really works well for such a game, well done mate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many thanks mate! You have a point, we do need to think a bit more about presenting the game as a spectacle with more thought going into the photographs. It's something we will take care of, I hope to go back and do some posed group shots of previous AAR's too.

      Delete
  9. Cove and hove. Two words that really need to see the light of day more often. I love the style of this report - very well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was in a piratical frame of mind I think! I must fit in 'by jove' somehow in part two. Glad you liked it so far, many thanks!

      Delete
  10. Brilliant - you know its a sign of success when you read the report, see the pics and think "I wish I'd been involved in that game"!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's wonderful praise, thank you! Hopefully we can get a game in very soon, I've had some more interest in the YOBBOS meeting on the 3rd Nov so maybe then if you can make it up to Leeds?

      Delete
  11. Nice one Paul - must get on with my end too!

    Shame I didn't get a pic of the public transport motor pool that gradually appeared by the side of the castle - bloody tourists!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks mate. It's a race to the finish now!

      I suppose it's natural that the with the castle being not only a castle but also the seat of government and centre of religion it would be a tourist magnet!

      Delete
  12. Excellent game, I can't wait to see the conclusion! And thanks for the mention of my blog! It was a bit of a surprise to follow a link back to my own blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Part two should be up today, glad you're enjoying it. Always a bit of a weird experience getting linked by somebody else, it still amuses me after all this time!

      Delete
  13. You are pressing all my buttons with this stuff WP, fantastic! Add me to the list of wannabe attendees.

    I second the call for a closer look at some of the miniature participants.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm very pleased so many people have enjoyed the show. I'm always up for a game, let me know if get close to your neck of the woods when I rattle on about my wanderings. I hear you on the close-ups too, more of that soon.

      Delete
    2. Im based in rural Southern Ireland so our paths are not hugely likely to cross any time soon, but if you are ever over this direction let me know.. I do travel to the UK to Salute and other gaming things on a roughly yearly basis though, so who knows? Im visiting Foundry while also attending the Mantic open day in Nottingham in a month or so for example. I hope to make it to an Oldhammer or Tales From The Maelstrom event affair in Foundry in 2014, so it could happen.

      Thanks for the invite though. Even solely based our your exceptionally solid mission statement I am sure that we could get an enjoyable game in.

      Keep the RT flavoured goodness coming :)

      Delete
    3. Yes, you definitely qualify as living 'out in the sticks' by my reckoning! It is a proposed holiday destination though so one day, who knows. I go to Foundry as often as I can to meet up with gamers, Nottingham is such a well positioned half-way house and a popular destination for gaming pilgrimages. I will definitely be attending all Oldhammer events in the foreseeable future and I'm a huge TftM fan so that's on the cards too. If you're ever at a loose end in Nottingham and want an Old School game of Warhammer then contact Skarsnik who lives there, I can put you in touch with him. He's a legend and loves to welcome new faces into Oldhammer, he has put up an open invitation to people elsewhere.

      Glad you like the mission statement! Looking forward to meeting up some day too. I'm Paul Mitchell on the Oldhammer Community on Facebook if you ever want to put a face to a name.

      Delete