15 January 2013

Mechanik's Heaven: The Traitors

Our Mechanik's charter had quite the good deal. 230 crowns a day! Just to keep their jacks running full time and deal with whatever showed up. But what would show up? Nobody knew that the cities defenses had been dealt such a blow after all.(As a note, runnning the four labor jacks full time is costing us approximately 100 crowns of coal/water per day so our profit per day is 130 crowns)
Or did they? Little does the party know that the Retribution's plan wasn't just to deal that blow but to drive Cygnar's enemies through the breach. And to do so they've sent messages to the Skorne, and to Magnus, as well as others of the weakness in the city.
The party on the other hand had it's hands full keeping their jacks running full time, and in making sure they could get some time in for repairs and time to try and salvage material from the other broken jacks. Those retribution jobs seemed like they had a solid chassis, even if how they worked was beyond the group. The plating and metals could be reused, and combined with parts that the company could Scrounge from around town, they should allow the group to get some Talon equivalent jacks up and running, if they can find the cortex to run them. They had learned some though from the encounters and now put their new skills to use(2xp from the last encounter put us at the first level of experience, each session would generally gain us 2xp going forward)

It was during this repair work that the group got the call. A Cygnaran scout came into the shop, hat in hand, "Sir" addressing Sir Finnegan, "We've spotted a group with Jack's coming up the south road. There was supposed to be a supply wagon coming up from that way but we don't be seeing it and the scouts been keeping these fellows in sight for a time. Nasty looking bunch. Couple of jacks, along with some rifleman. Look to be bandits and the Captain he be wanting you to come out and meet'm. Find out if they mean us ill or aught."
And so off we went, gathering our gear, having finally been able to purchase some ammo for our light cannon on Arkadi. We walked out of town and didn't have to travel too far to the south, luckily our jacks were fully fueled for the trip. Coming across the open plains we came across the group. A Talon and Grunback Gunner were being lead by a journeyman Rhulic warcaster, a mean character if we ever saw one, and along with them came a short patrol of rifleman(6 man steelhead rifleman squad)(Total 'Price' of the encounter, 15 army points).
We four, and our jacks, approached our foes, calling out, "Who be you! And for what reason do you come to our city armed as you are?"
Our foes though knew who we were and already knew what answer they wanted to give, and give it they did, by firing upon us without warning. Unlike last time I don't have maps to show you but suffice it to say that our party has settled into a common theme. The first two rounds seem to defy our ability to hit our targets, while our enemies attacks seemed destined to wound us greatly. And so it was here. Bolstered by ranged fire power our foes waited for us, gravely wounding Finnegan with ranged shots and even putting some damage on the parties jacks, none crippling but all of it adding up. Our own actions merely brought us within range, Arkadi's massive gun not having a consistent effect, though with the boost of snipe added by Andrew's warcaster it had the range to easily engage any target it needed to. Emma also proved apt, managing to shoot one of the rifle men at range.
The second round our foe realized that we would easily close to melee if he wasn't careful so he instead charged us with the Talon, also laying into us with the Grunback and his fellows opening up with more rifle fire. The charge attack with the Talon left Lucky badly damaged, but still standing and with a clear melee target, and positive charge our jacks counter assault, combined with Finnegan's attacks left the talon badly damaged, and without a cortex, preventing the warcaster from adding additional focus. Arkadi and Emma proved that ranged power has it's place and took out several more of the riflemen, while Taltos, under Emma's direction, charged in an took out another rifleman, attempting to flank the group and who got just a little too close to the halberd wielding labor jack.
It was here that despite the damage to our jacks that luck turned against our enemy. While it wasn't surprising that the Talon couldn't do much damage, the Grundback, despite having boosted attack roll managed to roll triple 1's and completely missed putting the hurt on Arkadi or his marshal. The rolls from the riflemen were remarkably similar, easily hitting the jacks in the melee but unable to break through armor ratings with abysmally low damage rolls. The poor journeyman was starting to think that despite having two warjacks and troops to back him up, he was outclassed by the four laborjacks and their marshals.
That belief was going to be cut short, not by poor rolls on our part, but rather the opposite. With brutal ease Lucky crushed the talon, wrecking the warjack, arkadi and emma finished off the last of the riflemen(seriously, did that one rifleman really deserve to be hit with 15 points of damage over his armor rating? talk about blowing a man out of his boots). Andrew and 'Jackson instead turned on the journeyman, who had drifted slightly forward of the grundback to keep the Talon in control range. With three focus on it 'Jackson charged into the fray and in two blows(one from charge, one from charging +boosted damage) he crushed the shocked journeyman beneath his massive flail. The grundback, without a caster at this point, went inactive. And we had a fully functional, but useless to us, jack and a completely wrecked Talon. Both of them have cortex's which function with rhulic, not particularly helpful to us, but the chassis on the other hand. That is another matter.
So we retrieved what we could of the rifleman's belongs, after all this fight had cost us some serious damage. Between them our jacks had over 26 boxes of damage(which at the repair 'costs' we were charging ourselves that used up all the 'profit' for the day) plus we had some expensive shells from Arkadi to replace. On the other hand, based on the repair rules we used for jacks, we had a talon chassis with some 530 crowns worth of damage, plus the time it'd take us to do the repairs, and a fully functional Grundback gunner. The Gunner we didn't really need or know how and we had other plans anyway. So knowing that the town could find a rhulic warcaster or at least somebody who might know how to use the jacks we sold it to the town, and we negotiated fiercely since this would be the only jacks outside of our own for the cities protection. Despite that the value of the gunner wasn't quite as much as a talon but we had other plans for that. it still gave us enough money to make a start of things. The first of which was scrounging up a new cortex for Arkadi, a brand spanking new Arcanum grade(only the best for us) because we wanted that gun to be as accurate as possible. We also took the time to give Arkadi a crane, and bring the talon into the shop. Between the four of us, in a little less than a day, with the help of our jacks, we had 'Jackson transferred over to a newly repaired Talon body.  Unfortunately the shield and weapon were too badly damaged for us to repair, but simply changing chassis improved 'Jackson's fighting prowess significantly boosting his strength, armor and MAT.
And the repairs were finished just in time to get some rest. For other foes were on their way. Our battle and the damage we took had been observed and further testing of our defenses would be forthcoming.

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