26 January 2013

Mechanik's Heaven: The Skorne Menace

Little did the Mechaniks know, their battle with the traitors had been observed, and the information collated. The Skorne had been watching for some time now and the word from the Iosan's that the city was unprotected was first met with disbelief, but the little escapade with the traitors convinced them that there may be some truth to the news.

And so one of their own was sent with a battle force to test the city. Not an all out attack yet, the Skorne didn't have the resources in place to hold such a conquest but enough to really test if this was all the city had. A battle force including one of the Bonzeback Titan's and lead by none other than Master Tormentor Morghoul. A force of Praetorian Swordsmen and a Basilisk Drake and Krea finished out the force sent against the city. Morghoul plan wasn't to push fully against this, he knew if he pushed too hard things might unravel on the strategic scene, and if the Cygnaran's pushed harder or seemed to be withdrawing for no reason he was to be wary, but the opportunity seemed too easy to turn down.

For our hero's this battle would be the most serious they had faced to date.

They first found out about the danger when representatives of the guard came to find them, a Skorne battlegroup had been spotted outside the city limits and the group would be needed to deal with the threat. With their spiffy new Cortex in the gunnery Jack, and the Talon body for their Warcaster's jack the group was feeling pretty confident about this. After all nothing had given them much pause so far, some damage but nothing serious. They were about to realize that this had changed though.

The party confidently strolled out to the forested area where the Skorne menaced had been spotted. Their over confidence lead them to not even really try to worry too much about it, though sneaking with jacks, especially Ferrum Cortexed Foragers probably doesn't work too well anyway. The Skorne Warlock watched them with amusement and when they got within shouting distance of him, they called out for his surrender.. 3 labor jacks and a light warjack against his forces? hah! Even if the light warjack did have a cannon, it's not like this was a real threat. Instead he called for his forces to assault. And assault they did.

I'm not going to go over the entire details of the battle. For two reasons, one I don't have all the map pictures saved, something I have to get in the habit of doing is taking an image periodically during the battle but when we get into it things just roll.. but also because this battle turned into a slug fest. Morghoul stayed back, his Basilisk's protecting and screening him, while he kept the Titan pounding against the characters, and cast to boost damage on the Titan.

The swordsmen harassed the characters, though mostly they provided fodder for the cannons and Emma's gunshots. They did get in some harassing attacks on the warjacks, but terrible rolls by the swordsmen generally prevented them from doing much damage(seriously, the jack is at your feet.. crippled movement and you still miss? You should fall upon your own sword at that point.. I don't care if it happens 1 in 36 times.. )

The titan on the other hand punished the jacks at every turn. crushing systems left and right. Only positive charge combined with drives and focus allowed the jacks, and Finnegan, to finally drive the titan into the ground. Though it all came down to one last turn with finnegan at 2 vitality, and Andrew 'Jackson(the jack) at 1 box left, all but his movement system crippled, when Emma walked up to 'Jackson and bodged 'Jackson enough to repair all the crippled systems. And Andrew the warcaster poured his will into the Jack and managed to take down the Titan with some well placed, nearly max damage attacks.

The final state of the field of battle after Tormentor Morghoul's escape.
With the swordsmen dead, the titan crippled, but two of the jacks wrecked and the third, the warjack, badly damaged Morghoul nearly took the fight to the party but the cannon armed 'jack was completely undamaged and had proven it could put some serious hurt on, (it hit the Titan for a max damage hit at one point). His job was complete so he decided to retreat and regroup, since he had the information he needed, and a measure of the party. After all the Skorne wouldn't know what he had found if he fell by some twist of fate. Using his distance from them he retreated without interference.

The party now stood amongst the wreckage of their dreams. Two of the four jacks were twisted masses of wreckage, repairable surely, but the time and money wouldn't be inconsiderable. And the only things of any value left to them were the blades of the Skorne attackers. This would be a painful return to the city. But return they did. Discussing their options. They had two other wrecked chassis, that they believed they could repair and fit with more standard jack hardware, something akin to the Talon's chassis but with a little bit of custom flair(using non talon chassis to create something akin to a talon, same stats,etc).. But it would require all their funds, and not an inconsiderable amount of time either. Hopefully the Skorne would give them that time before returning in force. Little did they know that they also would have to deal with the Town Guard, which figured, if you only had half the 'Jacks, we only have to pay you half as much right?

Next time on Mechanik's Heaven: A Day Off!

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