Monday, 27 February 2017

CSI: Felstat Starring Thaddeus Daemoncall

The devastation was complete – ripped and twisted bodies lay scattered among the ruins. Limbs, offal and bones festooned the frozen buildings like some grisly red bunting for some snowy winter festival.

Thaddeus Daemoncall frowned. He had followed his nemesis, Lady Katherine, to this place – being able to flit between planes can be useful for spying on your rivals – but the sheer savagery of the attack that had taken place here surprised even this grizzled old Summoner. All instincts told him to flee this noisome scene, yet the desire for knowledge pushed him on.

“We must find out what has transpired here,” he declared, choking back the urge to vomit. “It will not be pleasant – you may need to wear gloves…”


Time for another head-to-head between my main warband, led by Summoner Thaddeus Daemoncall, and Giles’ Enchanter Lady Katherine. I wanted to try out the Hunt for the Golem mini campaign (if only to buy some time to get more Lich Lord terrain sorted), so it’s time for the Attack Site scenario.

You may recall my last two games with this warband didn’t go too well, but Thaddeus has a few extra spells under his belt now that he’s keen to try out…

My warband heads out to investigate the carnage. Pre game a couple of potions were brewed, a zombie raised and an imp summoned. The band split into three, with the zombie, imp and some soldiers moving up on the left.

In the centre, Oddleigh the apprentice leads another group, making good use of cover. Thaddeus, accompanied by a crossbowman, climbs up onto a ruined building on the far right, giving them a reasonable field of fire whilst providing good cover.

Lady Katherine and her warband face us on the opposite side, also intent on rummaging through the gore. In this scenario, ten corpse markers are placed. Six of these contain treasure, two are actually zombies, one a wounded thug and one an important set of notes, detailing what has transpired.

Thaddeus espies the enemy through the ruins. He’s learned a few new spells, but on this occasion an old-fashioned bone dart is called for. Scratch one warhound.

Lady Katherine has also learned new magic, and teleports to the nearest corpse. Giles rolls on the table and alas, a zombie rises from the pile of body parts.

Thaddeus’ own zombie also has a rummage, and discovers a survivor. Disappointed that it cannot feast, it is compelled to leave the wounded thug alone and shamble onwards. To the zombie’s left, the imp has managed to snag some real treasure.

Lady Katherine’s treasure hunter climbs up a pillar, atop which more body parts hang. Suddenly these body parts snap together and another zombie rises.

Thankfully the zombie is beaten in combat and pushed off the pillar. It survives the fall however and is free to shuffle towards the nearest member of Lady Katherine’s band.

The erstwhile Enchantress defeats the zombie and is free to teleport elsewhere. Meanwhile both warbands are eyeing up the remaining corpses. With the survivor and zombies revealed, all that’s left is treasure and the notes.

A bear! Where? There! Thaddeus’ captain Red Sandra and knight Sir Pierre are clanking forward along the right flank when a bear suddenly charges at them. Note the nearby treasure, which turned out to be illusionary fool’s gold.

Nifty Halfinch the thief glugs down his invisibility potion before shinning up a gorily decorated pillar. Being invisible means he won’t be such an obvious target when he reaches the top.

Oddleigh reaches the survivor and heals him, thus bringing him temporarily into the team. The thug is sent forward to join the infantrymen, warhound and newly-hired marksman to shore up the centre. In the bottom left if the photo, the summoned imp is dragging a treasure chest towards the board edge.

Halfinch waits a turn for an opportune moment to investigate, nabs the treasure and climbs back down the pillar before anyone realises he’s become visible again. By now most of the treasure is accounted for, leaving just the notes, which Thaddeus’ barbarian is soon stuffing into his loincloth.

Lady Katherine’s captain is as tanky as ever (albeit less orange), and leads his men in an attack. Warhound and infantryman go down as they try to keep the opposition from stealing the notes from the barbarian behind them.

Red Sandra the captain goes down under the weight of the bear’s claws. Sir Pierre the knight readies himself to face the ursine onslaught, but Thaddeus has other ideas.

A mind control spell, empowered with extra health, causes the bear to cease it’s attack and join the ranks of Thaddeus’ band. It lumbers forward towards Lady Katherine’s men followed by the surprised knight.

As the newly recruited thug races to assist, the last infantryman is bested by the captain. To make matters worse, Lady Katherine’s apprentice casts a wall spell behind the barbarian, cutting off any line of retreat.

The enemy close in on the barbarian. He readies his weapon and prepares to face the oncoming battle with a savage relish typical of his kind. He swings his mighty sword…

One assailant is slain! The other evades the barbarian’s blows but is pushed back, giving the defender a little breathing space. With one hand gripping his mighty sword he thrusts the other down his loincloth. Secreted within is a little something in case of emergency…

Meanwhile Thaddeus’ treasure hunter Goldtooth is lugging off treasure. He nearly makes it to safety when an angry wild boar trots into view and charges.

On the other flank the mind controlled bear joins the rogue zombie in attacking an enemy soldier. Those of Lady Katherine’s band that are not fighting the barbarian or the zombie are beginning to pull back.

‘POOF!’ the barbarian takes a swig from the potion hidden in his loincloth and disappears! Thanks to a little breathing space and a teleport potion he is free from harm and able to stroll off the board with the notes.

Bear and zombie dispatch the treasure hunter. The zombie turns on a supporting ranger, allowing the bear to press forward against the withdrawing opponents. Thaddeus leaps his knight further forward to keep up the pressure.

The treasure hunter vs. boar encounter is not going well, with the treasure hunter getting wounded. Thankfully Oddleigh is racing to the scene with a leap spell to get his comrade out of trouble. The boar is then finished off by the crossbowman.

Lady Katherine teleports to another treasure, attracting the attention of two wolves. Before they can get up to her level, she promptly teleports away, leaving them to catch the scent of more prey.

The bear catches up with a wounded, treasure-laden archer. Behind the archer, Lady Katherine has appeared next to her apprentice. In his eyrie, Thaddeus can just about make out the flash of orange robes and, guessing the pair are together, sends an elemental ball in their direction. Both catch the blast, but their robes are flameproof and no damage is done.

The zombie and marksman, who were moving along the left flank to put more pressure on the opposing warband, stop to engage the wolves.

The zombie, acting as a (rotting) meat shield, is savaged by tooth and claw, leaving the marksman to fend off the attack.

Lady Katherine’s men race to rescue their stricken comrade and dispatch the mind controlled bear. This frees up Thaddeus to cast it once again on the captain, again empowering it to unshakeable levels by using up his precious orb of power.

Will the thus controlled captain carve a trail through his former comrades? No. Lady Katherine dispels the effect, allowing said captain to return to the fold and batter Thaddeus’ knight.

Marksman and rescued thug see off the wolves. Like is fellow crossbowman, the marksman’s fire is causing little damage throughout the game, but he is suitably useful in close combat.

The opposing ranger finally manages to beat the zombie – a creature that's tenaciously hung on throughout the game and has tied up Lady Katherine’s soldiers for several turns.

And so the game ended with Thaddeus in possession of the field, and more importantly three treasure tokens and the mysterious notes. Lady Katherine took four treasures (including a revealed secret) so honours were pretty much even.

Reading them it became apparent that the creature that had caused this devastation was a sentient granite golem: a giant stone creature seething with rage. Thaddeus knew that he could not suffer such a dangerous beast to live, but perhaps it could be studied  a little before it was killed…?

Another great game with my mate! The Dice Gods were kinder to me this time around, and I was lucky to have given my barbarian that teleportation potion before the game, else he would have been cut off and destroyed. Most of the warband survived their post-game injury rolls, but the couple that did not were easily replaced thanks to the treasure I earned (though no replacement power orb sadly).

Giles' batrep is in two parts - here and here. He has a great blog, so please check it out!