16 December 2012

Mechanika's Heaven: The Intro

With the cast introduced, we have our first day. Having left Ord to make our fortunes we have settled into an area halfway between Corvis and Fort Falk, east of Ironhide's Hold. The Mechanika's Mercenaries mostly does repairs, we have a small rented shopfront where we bring in jacks and do repairs, but also do heavy/dangerous labor out on the warfront. The area here is dangerous. Trollkind, Skorne, Menites are all common to the area. Circle of Orobos arn't uncommon either. Then there is the constant threat of bandits, potential Khadoran patrols and even Llaelese 'patriots'. In short, the perfect place for a starting mercenary charter to set up shop.

So we do. It is a typical morning, quiet, not much work today lined up, our jacks are currently standing outside with us as the four of us run some tuning on the jacks, a common enough occurrence in a group of Mek heads like us. The first signs that something isn't right is the sounds of gunfire followed by explosions and smoke rising over the far side of town. That's the direction of the Cygnar Barracks, but nothing should have been able to get close enough to the city without being challenged. Not in any significant force. The confusion for us was compounded when an Iosan, in heavy armor, behind two strange looking light warjacks came around the block heading straight for our shop. Weapons drawn and blood in his eyes. Nearby another Iosan, whirling a bladed chain weapon of some sort ran towards us as well. Our shock and confusion was nearly complete.

The Retribution had come to our city, and intended to lay waste to all of the jacks and warcasters within the city. But they hadn't come to simply kill the casters, no, their plan was more insidious. It was to weaken Cygnar enough that the Skorne would roll over the city and wipe out the rest of the humans here, as well as moving into the soft area of Cygnar, flanking Fort Falk and Corvis. If the Skorne couldn't do it then forces of Menoth could be directed towards the weakened area, or others. But first all jacks and those who ran them, be they marshals or warcasters, had to be eliminated. And so a massive strike force hit the city. Their information was quite good so they knew too of our small mercenary company and deemed two Griffons, a Dawnguard Scyir and a Mage Hunter Assassin(12 points) to be sufficient. Eiryss lead the assault on the main encampment, which was a total success and would arrive a little later to check on her strike force and their progress.

To build the list I used Warroom and used the stats as they are in the cards. The only change to the stats was to improve the Vitality of the Scyir and Assassin from 5 to 15 each. This put them on par with the PC's but I didn't give them life spirals, mostly because tracking it would have been a pain. This seemed to work just fine.

And so it was that our band of mercenary field mechaniks sat outside our shop, waiting for work, our jack's moving scrap around the yard when enemy arrived!
Battle of the Forge Start: Yes some of those are D&D tokens, and for those in my PBP Blackwoods campaign, Yes I reused the Blackwoods map.

The party stood up, confused by this turn of events, they had no idea what was happening and the initiative fell to the Retribution War party. The party had little time to do much more than gape as the griffons charged into the party, intent on immediate death. The first one fell on our surprised warcaster, who while fully focused, had nothing else up. The blow was heavy but a heroic dodge later, combined with the over charged field and the extra health of the powerfield, he was standing unharmed, but clearly shocked(12 damage over a 4 point boosted armor left us clearly understanding that IKRPG meant business). The other griffon's assualt went after the Mek and Lucky was the unlucky recipient of that blow, though it didn't do much to him. Neither of the two Myrmidon's had much luck getting any damage in with their shields, and the Dawnguard was just outside of charge range, so he was relegated to closing the distance. The same was true for the assassin who simply closed, planning to assault the party. The valiant mechaniks recovered quickly and as a group urged their jacks into combat. Lead first by our warcaster, who cast aura of protection and kept the other two focus to boost his armor rating. He used his actions to boost the attack and damage of Andrew 'Jackson who proved that even a labor jack, armed with a flail can be dangerous, though he did only minimal damage to the Griffon. This was followed by Lucky and Finnegan proving that this dangerous combination of human and jack can sometimes be completely ineffective as the two failed to hit or damage their target at all beyond taking out the Griffon's shields.

But it was our Arcane Mechanik's turn that turned the tide. Starting first with free casting of temper metal on Arkadi, followed by Positive Charge on Arkadi and Drive: Boosted Damage, Arkadi proceed to nearly drop the Dawnguard  in a single hit. This was followed up by Taltos failing to finishing the job, despite being driven to boost attack and damage by Emma, who, like Andrew, is primarily a ranged character.

It rolled around and the Dawnguard drove his jacks to reroll misses. The one on top turned to Finnegan, while the one on the bottom, with the Dawnguard turned on Arkadi. That was the danger to them it seemed.

Finnegan suffered greatly taking 8 points of damage(heroic dodged to 4) while arkadi laughed at the inability to crack his armor 18, despite being hit several times. This was the real sign of trouble for the Retribution force. The assassin closed the distance and hit Taltos, beating his armor by a couple points but with his bonuses the party realized  he was a real threat.
Round 2 after the Retribution Actions

The Party responded and things turned ugly for the Retribution now. Andrew and Jack put a world of hurt on Griffon 2, boosted by Positive Charge on Arkadi(we determined that 1 round means such spells last till the casters next initiative), and Andrew using his actions to drive boosted attacks and damage from 'Jackson. The flail also proved it's usefulness in ignoring the shield on the Griffon and with nearly max damage, took out  half the Griffon's health. Moving around to the back of the Griffon proved fortuitous as Finnegan and Lucky, through Drive Ancillary Attack, and their own well placed hits, crushed the griffon between leaving it with a single box of movement left.

Arkadi took out the Dawnguard, renewing positive charge and upkeeping temper and things looked grim for the Retribution. Taltos suffered in silence, managing only to do some minor damage to the other griffon, taking down it's shields.

With that round done, the Retribution Myrmidons turned to Autonomous control. The Assassin proved that everybody can have a bad day by failing to hit anything and beginning to realize he was in trouble. Andrew 'Jackson finished off the final damage on Griffon 2, while Lucky charged Griffon 2 and Finnegan simply moved into position. Between these two and Arkadi they managed to cripple the remaining Griffon freeing up Taltos to charge the suddenly worried assassin, who still had a job to do.

The charge didn't do anything to the assassin but his luck would turn. Just as Eirys showed up to find out what happened to her strike force, the assassin faced down multiple jacks, seeing the state of things she called upon him to retreat, a feat he attempted to do but instead he sealed his fate, buried under multiple free strikes taken by the labor jacks around him he fell to his knees even as Eirys turned and retreated herself, her mission already complete.

The party recovered at this point, and began examining the strange mechs, wondering what had occurred. It wasn't long after that a soot covered city watch guard came running by and seeing them alive, and well, in fact the only damage taken was wounds on the knight and some minor scratchs on Taltos. The Retribution strike force was defeated and already they were trying to take apart the strange warjacks to figure out if there were parts they could use. Though the details of how these things 'worked' didn't make any sense to them.
Time to recycle this Iosan stuff. Wish we knew how it worked. Ahh well scrap is scrap.

It was now that the party learned of the fate of the military jacks in town, wiped out and in most cases melted into slag so they weren't even repairable. Worse still every warcaster and arcane mechanik and most of the field mechaniks had been slain in the battles as well. The company was the only jack handlers still alive in town and there are some things that only a jack can handle. The town needed their protection and would pay for it. They had to but name their price.

And that we did. Knowing that we could be called upon at any time we first figured out the cost of running our 4 jacks 24 hours a day. To the best calculations we had, assuming we didn't have too many hours of fighting a day, it was approximately 100 gold crowns. Adding to that cost of ammunition, which we still hadn't bought any for Arkadi and repairs to the jacks, and profit we decided we wouldn't go any lower than 200. Strangely enough, a quick negotiation later(lucky!) the party convinced the town to engage their services at the price of 230 crowns a day. Now we just had to stay out of trouble and it would be a tidy profit!

As you will see next time though, staying out of trouble just wasn't to be. The Retribution's success had allowed them to send out the word to Cygnar's enemies. There was a weak point in the border now, you have but to push through and split Cygnar's defenses.

Next Week: Magnus' Scouts

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