Monday, 11 April 2016

A Tale of Souls and Swords - Week 1

In a previous life, Shiro was audience to a friendly rivalry between two members of his clan, the lean Stringbean and the rotund Eggplant. They requested a non-lethal battle in order to show Shiro who was greater in combat, Shiro allowed it.

The fight lasted 3 seconds.

The moment Stringbean charged, Shiro knew the battle was over. Eggplant weaved under the first katana swing, parried the counter swing with his own, throwing Stringbean off balance, before kicking his leg and slashing accurately between the armored joints of his skinnier opponent's protective gear, ending the fight quickly and efficiently in a wobbly blur of expert motion. Stringbean's sword resounded on the ground shortly followed by the thud of his own body. Eggplant resumed his previous slouch, bowed, apologized for his rudeness and returned to the cheering celebrations of his peers. 
Shiro was in awe rather than angry. Such unknown skill in his own ranks. Stringbean was allowed to live but forced the indignation of training under the tutelage of "Master Eggplant" when he recovered thereafter.

In the present, Shiro required a base of operations. Standing in his wake were the inhabitants of the bayou screeching and hollering as usual, no doubt calling to attention every guild guard in earshot. An excellent strategy; if the green ones meant to do it.
One could mistake the mindless chattering and clumsy demeanor to denote little combat experience in the gremlins but Shiro wasn't about to let this section of town slip from his hands and he made absolutely certain not to underestimate his foes. He ordered the Pathfinder to scout ahead and summoned his pet to side.

This fight won't be over in 3 seconds.

My first game on campaign road was a Squatters Rights game vs Gremlins then a second game of Reckoning right after, another faction I've been wanting to play more against.
This weeks weekly mission: After turn 2, players randomly place 4 Guild Guards down, at the end of any turn after the 2nd if there are no Guild Guards on the table, a Peacekeeper is placed in the center. Guild Guard give out 1 script, the Peacekeeper is worth 5 script but lets face it, other than an average damage spread from Lightning Bug's attack, neither of us were capable of taking down a 11Wd Armor +2 monstrosity without taking casualties in such a small game. So the pair of us avoided killing the last guard.

Toshiro was facing:
Lenny w/ I'll love it and pet it...
Slop Hauler
Burt Jebson
Lightning Bug

For an all-comers list, I liked my opponent's choices, Trixie for mobility and a ton of slap attack actions next to Lenny, almost everyone benefiting from Lenny's Rams aura as well as a small amount of summoning, the ever present Slop Hauler to heal everyone's Reckless and the offensive choices of Bug and Kurt Russell.

My List:
Toshiro w/ Command the Graves
Dawn Serpent
Shadow Effigy

My choices were more role-for-role, Komainu for his ability to tar-pit and pass out Slow, Pathfinder for Clockwork Trap disruption and sniper-esque attacks from range, Shadow Effigy for the ability to make scheme runners out of everyone and Dawn Serpent for being the greatest minion in the game (In my opinion). Toshiro ties everyone together passing out attack buffs, Fast and the very rare Focused, then summoning off of Dawn Serpent's targets. A neat little package that I desperately need to add some offensive power to in the near future.

For Squatter's Rights we were evenly matched, Lenny couldn't get any Piglet summons off but neither was Toshiro close enough to any markers. Pathfinder on the other hand was able to summon 2 Clockwork Traps but that didn't stop my opponent from laying down squat markers elsewhere. I won the game 9-7 ensuring Shiro was able to set up base in this part of Lambs Breath Nord.

For Reckoning, it was another story. We both played fairly cagey with the pair of us choosing Frame for Murder and Distract. It was a very close game but once Toshiro finished off Kurt Russell and Lenny Pig Missile'd Pathfinder (Both Frame for Murder participants) We both had the hard choice of Distract or Murder. With such a small game, it was either one or the other yet my opponent won out last turn when a summoned Komainu was unable to finish off his Slop Hauler thus getting distracted alongside an activated Toshiro and Dawn Serpent. Very well played. He won this game 7-6 but not without Lightning Bug taking an injury roll, the Gremlins proving just how distracting they can be whilst Shiro's crew were trying to evict them from his new grounds.

For my efforts, Toshiro now has Ml7 on his Katana strikes and Dawn Serpent is now immune to Slow and Paralyze, No doubt from hitting so many Gremlins around and having to duck and weave out of the way of thrown Piglets. With 5 Script taken from the dead Guild Guard's pockets, my crew is looking healthy with no injuries. Next week is going to be a slobberknocker!

The Campaign system is a great way to introduce another way to do a Slow Grow in my mind. Models increase in strength every game as well as saving Script for crew additions makes for games where sometimes you want to go for more script for later games rather than earning just one more Vp.

On the theory side of things; as with all Slow Grows, a small (or large) amount of summoning is a boon; especially when in this mode of play, models can take on severe injuries that can take them out of your arsenal completely (until re-bought). Having models that "don't exist" for the purposes of game play gives more of a reward to the risk of going up against a more killy crew.
Another thing that crossed my mind was list building itself. Assume for instance, I didn't hire Komainu and gave myself 5 Script on top of 5 Soulstones in my first game, knowing that the start of week two I can hire whoever I wanted with the 5 stone discount. It gives one more options but I felt it redundant when the first thing I would hire would be the Komainu for free anyway. 

I have my next model to think about. With 5 Script, I can afford any 10ss Ten Thunders model. I need more aggression that's for sure, The Daimyo can dish out hurt, the Pathfinder can take away a lot of wounds but no one is really completely focused on the act of murder. Tosh for one is moving into position to get his minions buffed and trying to summon or give out Fast and Pathfinder is just trying to stay alive.
With my latest purchase of Dark Debts, Illuminated appear to the best choice for a minion focused list. Other models for consideration include Kang, for his buffs to go alongside Toshiro's. Yin, the Penangalan for a more defensive model to guard Warring Turfs, Protecting Territories and generally getting in the way and Katanaka Sniper for some needed range in games where rushing into models is a bad idea.
Illuminated is likely to win this week though and it gives me spare Script leftover in order to save up for future purchases (Skills and Upgrades come to mind). Going to be fun trying to figure out how a violent junkie high on tyrant heroin is going to work with Shiro in a way that makes sense.

Enjoy my average fan-fiction and have fun out there.

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