The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Battle report: Claiming the Tusculi compound

Posted on Monday Dec 05, 2016 at 07:00am in Gaming

Originally posted on DakkaDakka by Sgt. Oddball.

[Depicted in the video intro: a Karist expeditionary force has, after long preparations, come out of hiding and started attacks on multiple fronts in an effort to take control of the planet Asper. A small group led by Kaddar Nova Myro was tasked with taking the abandoned Tusculi industrial compound, valuable for the Cybel energy reserves still located in various spots around the compound.]

Fluff bits are in italics, game bits in plain text.

The few Contractors responsible for securing the compound were immediately overrun by the Karist force sent at night to take possession of its Cybel energy reserves. Reinforcements had been radioed, however, and expected to arrive at dawn. Kaddar Nova Myro wasted no time in organising the defence of his newly acquired base, knowing that across the city several other forces such as his would soon be attacking key positions and, hopefully, divert the Epirian defence forces according to plan. It would be key to discover and secure the energy reserves located in the compound whilst at the same time repelling the first Epirian counterstrike…

Having painted up my Maelstrom’s Edge forces and terrain, I figured it was high time to get them to the table. I got my brothers to come over for a teaching game. Instead of starting small, I figured I’d work something out that would show pretty much the full depth of the game and almost all the units. We just worked through a couple of turns to get an idea of what MEdge is all about, and will be following up with some actual small games to really get into it. Hopefully soon.

If you’ve no idea how the game works, the most important bit to know is that MEdge uses alternating activation, which means the attackers starts using one of his units, then the defender uses one or two units, then the attacker uses one or two units, and so on. The other thing you need to know is that suppressing units by placing Suppression Tokens (STs) is as important as actually killing them. For a little more info on the game, look here. I’ve neglected to take very many overview shots, but there’s a couple: pink are the Karist forces, yellow the Epirians. Numbers in front of unit names denote the turn and activation, so ‘2/5’ is the fifth unit activation in the second turn. Orange arrows show movement, white shows shooting.

Terrain and deployment

The Tusculi Compound is surrounded by a wall, now mostly crumbled, and borders the Arran woods to the south, where a small bunker guards the T-intersection between two dirt roads, one leg of which leads into the compound. Blast craters line the road, remains of the construction work for this compound. Most buildings are still standing, but the large machine workshop was destroyed in a fire, tragically killing three employees. This was one of the reasons for closing the compound that was already struggling to justify its continued operation.

All terrain was assigned cover value 2. The woods, ruin and craters are all area terrain, the rocky outcrops, buildings and the walls of the ruin are obstacles. We didn’t use the actual building rules, so units couldn’t enter.

As the Compound came into view, Journeyman Bacaro ordered his troops to dismount their prowlers and directed them to their positions. He had advised against moving against the compound with the few troops he had available at such short notice, but Command would have no delay. The amount of movement visible inside the compound on his sat image link was worrying… Nobody knew anything. There had been an attack, yes, a large alien creature had been spotted by one of the guards, for whatever that was worth. At night and with this weather, that was all the info Command had been able to gather. He’d soon find out what was going on.

The Karist forces were deployed as shown, using the ‘big flank’ deployment type (which I inverted as it made more sense on this terrain, zones shown in red) [Apparently the text became illegible somewhere in the process... sorry... I'll make clearer images next time], made up as follows (120 pts):

Karist force (120 pts)

Kaddar Nova Myro, accompanied by 4 Troopers with a Radwave Emitter, deployed Pinned;

5 Assault Troopers with 2 Ripper grenade launchers, deployed Pinned;

3 Tempest Elites with Hellstorm energy mortars, deployed Pinned;

6 Angel Minnows;

1 Shadow Walker (upper floor), deployed Pinned;

1 Mature Angel, ‘Voxai’

Epirian force (120 pts)

The Epirians were in the opposite corner, composed of:

Journeyman Bot Handler Bacaro with a command micro drone and a grenade launcher, accompanied by 5 Contractors with 2 grenade launchers (with deployment Suppression Tokens);

5 Firefly Drones, deployed On the move;

4 Spider Drones with Cutter light machine guns and an apprentice handler;

5 Contractors with 2 grenade launchers;

A Scarecrow with Maglock Railrifle and Chemtek sprayer;

A Scarecrow with Maglock Railrifle and Clingfire sprayer (see Spider drone image above);

A Hunter warmech with 2 Strike missile pods, a Maglock chaingun and a Flakk cannon (see Contractor image above).

Mission and objectives

We played the ‘Purple gold’ mission. This means players get points for controlling the three Cybel refinery objective markers, and also for destroying large parts of the enemy force. The game runs for 5 turns or until someone reaches 18 points (and the other has at most 15). The Epirians were the attackers for this game. The Karists therefore got to place the number the Epirians bid to be attacker, being 2, as Suppression Tokens (STs) and did so on the Journeyman’s unit.

Turn 1

Journeyman Bacaro heard the voice of his commanding officer resonate over the radio “Don’t let them get at the Cybel energy!”. Though the Compound had been cleared ages ago, small stores of energy around the compound were left behind. These stores were accessible through terminals scattered over the compound, one of which was located near the small bunker guarding the road intersection. Bacaro decided to direct his unit to this bunker and secure the terminal. As they approached the small grey death box at a run, Bacaro noticed a group of armoured individuals occupying the parapet on one of the big silos just beyond the compound wall. He immediately signed to his unit to fire their grenade launchers. He could see their target ducking behind the parapet as the choke grenades fell, but when the smoke cleared they stood up again defiantly. This was going to be a rough morning.

1st activation: Handler’s unit Dashes to objective and fires wild at Tempests. Packed on the silo, the choke grenades cover two Tempests and get a 6 needed to hit, ignoring cover, then a 5 to pen for a damage, resulting in 3STs in total (1 from damage, 1 from being a target, 1 from the suppress ability of the grenade launchers). Not a bad start.

Immediately fire was returned from atop the silo. Their own grenade launchers looked like toys compared to the huge energy balls that erupted from the weapons of their enemy. His troops jumped for cover as the purple balls exploded in their vicinity and Bacaro himself was knocked over by the shock of the explosions. Shrugging off the dust, a quick glance told him his men were alright, though looking scared. Their foe meant business.

2nd activation: The tempests get an order, removing 1 St which lets them pass the activation check on 2+ instead of 3+. They choose Hold & Fire, and ‘focused fire’ back at the Bot Handler. They fail to cause any penetrating hits, but do manage to put 5 STs on them. They shake off all their own remaining STs.

Kaddar Nova Myro surveyed the scene in front of him. The Epirians had arrived and were treated to a welcoming volley from his trusted Tempest Elites. No sooner had he seen the Epirians jump for cover than another blast was felt from behind the walls. Turning his head, he saw his most powerful weapon, Voxai, appear from nowhere in the midst of the advancing Epirian troops. A small swarm of Drones flying in the area was seen darting around to avoid being hit by the mighty Angel’s mysterious tentacles.

3rd activation (no pic here, sorry): The Angel assumes a winged form and teleports in a Dash action amidst the Epirian lines, causing a shockwave that puts STs on the nearby Fireflies and Contractors. It shoots the Fireflies and causes two hits, but the nimble drones dodge both (they are deployed on the move), but do take 3 STs.

Bacaro had never before seen a beast like this, but here it was in this middle of his lines. It must be one of those Angels he’d heard talk of. Immediately he linked his mind with the most destructive element in his force, the Hunter warmech. The robot emerged from the woods to draw a line of sight to the Angel on the other side of the field. As soon as its large frame emerged from behind the bunker, two missiles swooshed over Bacaro’s head, followed by the huge Maglock Chaingun’s distinctive burst. The Angel flapped its wings to avoid the Hunter’s barrage, but with only limited success. Bacaro watched it plunge to the ground and balled his fist at this accomplishment, only to see the terrible dark form arise again.

4th activation: The Hunter senses an opportunity to get into the rear arc of the Angel. The Handler activates its Lock-on protocol with an order. In an Advance & Fire action, the Hunter makes its 1 allowed pivot, then moves to get a better line of sight behind the bunker. 2 Strike missiles and the Maglock Chaingun let loose at 2+ to hit. 1 missile gets dodged by the winged Angel, but nevertheless 9 damage is caused with some great dice rolling, dropping the Angel to FOR1, and 7STs.

Bacaro had no time to pay further attention to the giant alien. His unit was now under fire from a squad appearing behind a row of barrels inside the compound. Looking round, he could still see all of his squad members, but they were in no position to do anything useful as long as they were kept under fire like this.

5th activation: The Assault Troopers move to claim their faction objective and fire at the well dispersed Contractors, reducing the effectiveness of the Ripper Grenade launchers. Ignoring cover, some hits get through, but none penetrate. The unit suffers 3 more STs and is now heavily suppressed.

Kaddar Myro engaged the boost mode on his reactor pack and led his squad in a dash towards the Cybel energy terminal located near the crew cabin, keeping themselves between the building and the wall. It was imperative that the Epirians not shut down these sources of energy for good. The nearest Epirian troops were already keeping their heads well down after the barrage by the Tempests and the assault troops, but Myro ordered his own squad to fire their way as well. If he could chase off these first Epirian forces now, he’d do the Karist cause so much good.

6th activation: The Kaddar Nova, with reactor in kinetic boost mode, and his unit Dash to a Cybel refinery objective, electing to be on the move. Wild fire from the Carbines puts 3 more STs on the Bot Handler unit.

Here’s an overview of the first 6 activations. Orange is movement, white is shooting (and the Angel’s shockwave). “1/4” means 4th activation on the first turn.

Meanwhile, Apprentice Bot Handler Kasero followed his chief’s lead and directed his squad of Spider Drones to pour their fire into the menacing alien, at the same time keeping low to avoid getting caught in the crossfire that was causing Bacaro so much trouble. Unfortunately, the winged creature didn’t seem much impressed by the Drones’ machine guns.

7th activation: The Spider Drone unit digs in, puts a damage on the Angel with their light machine guns, firing wild, for 3 STs (target, damage, dodge).

Joining the robot attack force, the northern Scarecrow also pointed its precision Railrifle at the Angel, but the unnatural alien flapped its wings in defiance and easily shrugged off the Scarecrow’s shots.

8th activation (no pic): The Scarecrow in the high corner, with Chemtek sprayer, chooses a hold and fire action, and fires a round of suppressive fire. He’s just out of range for Rapid Fire protocols to be enabled, but causes 3STs on the Angel (damage, dodge, target). Choosing Hold & Fire was a mistake because the Angel, being a behemoth, is fearless and doesn’t take suppressive fire discipline checks.

Sensing that their kin was under threat, the Angel Minnow Pack screeched and took off towards the nearest enemy, the team of Contractors in the woods. A mass of Cybel Pulses erupted from their gaping mouths. One of the Contractors fell down and didn’t rise again.

9th activation: The Minnows Dash over to the Contractors in the woods and do enough damage to kill 1.

Up in the hills to the south a second Scarecrow followed its automated combat systems and resolved to join the fray, advancing to gain a clearer field of view into the combat. Its railrifle targeted the Karists near the entrance, but didn’t manage to hit the well concealed troopers.

10th activation: The lower Scarecrow, with clingfire sprayer, Advance and Fires and shoots the Nova unit. With a double 1, not much luck, but he does cause 1 ST.

As the fight over the compound started in earnest, Bacaro shifted his attention to the south, where a second flock of alien creatures had engaged his force. They were coming from all sides. The Contractors advancing on this side of the field had suffered a casualty and were dawdling. Any more of this and the fight would be over before it truly began. He hailed the team leader over the comm link and gave off an order to secure their position and focus on this new group of aliens. Momentarily the distinctive ‘thump’ of grenade launchers sounded from the woods and puffs of smoke emerged around the flock of aliens, which seemed to at least distract them for now.

11th activation: The Contractors in the woods get an order and go from 4 to 2 STs. They still fail the discipline check, but can at least choose to Dig In. They shoot the Angels, who are immune to the Poison ability on the choke grenades. Being mobile they dodge 1 hit and take just 1 damage. 4 STs are caused (target, damage, suppress, dodge), and the Contractors shake off their own STs.

High above the field of battle, the Karist Shadow Walker Elyssa stood assessing the flow of events. The Angels were doing a good job striking at the enemy’s flanks, whilst what seemed to be the Epirian command squad was completely pinned down by fire from the Tempests, the assault troopers and Myro’s squad. To her left, a flock of Drones emerged from the woods. These would be able to circle around the flank and attack the Karists in the rear. Using her rift suit, Elyssa teleported to block their advance. Loosing a few shots at the Drones made them perform evasive action, halting their progress for a second.

12th activation: The Shadow Walker Dashes, utilising open ground bonus movement, to the cover of the crates and generator, taking 2STs for doing so (I think we made a mistake here. Can’t remember for sure, but I think this was a teleport move, which doesn’t allow open ground bonus movement). Its shots put 3 STs on the dodging Fireflies, after which 1 ST is shaken off.

13th activation: The automated relay is activated and does nothing (it will generate a victory point at the end of the turn).

The Firefly Drones were following the course set in advance by Bacaro, but dithered, first as the giant Angel appeared to the south and then as another enemy entity suddenly appeared in front of them, taking them under fire. Without guidance from a Handler, the automated protocols determined it would be best to fly back into the cover of the woods, where they stopped and reassessed the situation, ready to move out again.

14th activation: The Fireflies are shell-shocked due to the Fearsome units around it (specifically the Angel at Fearsome (2)). They take a Shaken action, and must retreat due to nearby enemies. Flying into the woods with a normal (not dynamic) move, they roll well and shake off all STs.

Turn 1 ends with each side taking 3 points (2 for a refinery each, 1 for faction objectives).

Turn 2

Turn 2 sees the Karists win the priority roll, giving it the Epirians. 3 Command Points (CPs) are generated for the Karists, total now 4, and 4 CPs for the Epirians.

As the Angel now seemed to have driven off the Firefly Drones, Bacaro was confirmed in his belief that the main priority was to destroy the creature. Once more linking with his Hunter, he guided the robot’s fire. Again, one found its mark and struck the Angel in its core. As suddenly as the Angel had appeared, as suddenly it was now gone entirely. Never before had Bacaro been so relieved at the support of his trusty Hunter.

1st activation (no pic): the Hunter gets a lock on order, Advances to a better position with open ground bonus movement and focused fires at the Angel. 1 Strike missile gets dodged, but the rest hits and penetrates, killing the Angel. Unfortunately, there is no explosion. Spectacular start from the Hunter.

Just after destroying the northern alien threat, the Hunter was now targeted itself by aliens from the south. The flock of smaller Angels that had done for one of his Contractors was now spitting lethal energy at the Hunter, but its bulky frame could easily take it.

2nd activation: the Minnows Dash to avenge their kin, with a 20” dynamic move they get into position behind the Hunter. Unlucky with the penetration rolls, all they manage Is to put 2STs on the Hunter.

Having seen off the Fireflies, only to watch as a giant robot caused the apparent destruction of Voxai, Elyssa ran back into the ruins. Without the big Angel’s support, she wasn’t safe here. Besides, they were here with a more important task than fighting Epirians. The Cybel energy needed to be collected so that they could at least bring a part of it if they were forced to retreat. Elyssa determined to move off towards the terminal they discovered near the silos occupied by the Tempests and see how much was to be gained there.

3rd activation: the Shadow Walker Dashes back up into the ruins with a dynamic move, getting 2 STs and not managing to shake off her total.

With the field now apparently free of threats, the Fireflies again engaged their engines and moved back towards their original goal. Spotting a squad of enemies in their track, they powered their laser system and transmitted information as to this enemy’s position to the force.

4th activation: The Fireflies Dash out and paint the Assault Troopers with low power laser fire, which ends up being pointless as the Bot Handler won’t be getting off his Aerial Drone Strike...

Bacaro, having got rid of the Angel, now ordered his own team to make an orderly retreat out of this deadly crossfire, whilst telling Bard to finish disabling the terminal. “Sir, we need back-up if we’re to take this compound! This is madness!”, his team leader shouted. They hadn’t seen battle before, and it showed…

5th activation: The Bot Handler orders his Contractors so they are no longer shell-shocked, but they’re still forced to retreat slightly, managing to keep control of the objective. They only shake off 3 STs, leaving them very suppressed.

Myro, witnessing the loss of Voxai, determined he needed to press on whilst the enemy was still on the back foot. Engaging his reactor’s shield mode, he led his unit towards the entrance to the compound, at once reaching an energy terminal and taking up a central position behind the wall. His unit opened fire at the leading Epirians again as they were seen to move back into the craters behind the bunker.

6th activation: The Kaddar Nova and his unit Advance and Fire, with the reactor now in shield mode, and the poor Handler again as target. The Gauntlet misses and 3 other hits are discarded due to pinning, but 4 STs are added to the total.

Atop the silos, the Tempest Elites pointed their mortars at the Contractors who were now ready to attack the Minnow pack to the rear. A hail of mortar fire landed in the woods and another Contractor fell.

7th activation: the Tempests Hold and focused fire on the pinned Contractors in the woods, again 3 hits are discarded, but 1 explosive hit does 3 damage and kills a contractor. 6 STs are added (target, 3x cover, 2 from damage).

Selecting a new target, the northern Scarecrow shoots the nimble enemy that just appeared and routed his flying robotic comrades. The Shadow Walker was too quick, though, and reached the safety of the ruins unscathed.

8th activation (no pic): The upper Scarecrow elects to Hold and Fire at the Shadow Walker, but the 1 sniper hit gets dodged by the Shadow Walker, who does suffer 2 STs.

Witnessing the pinch his commander was in and longing to prove his mettle, the Apprentice Handler directed his Spiders to support his boss. Resolving to end the crossfire, he made his Drones target the troopers behind the crates. A hail of machine gun fire made them duck behind their cover and it looked like one of them was down. Job well done.

9th activation: The Spider Drones advance and Fire at the Assault Troopers, killing 1 and putting 5 STs on them.

Myro was surprised by the sudden aggression of a group of tiny drones that was now seriously threatening his assault troops, who were ducking behind some barrels whilst they should be pressing on. Roaring at them to return fire, the troopers let loose with their pulse carbines and grenade launchers, making one of the drones explode in a cloud of metallic bits.

10th activation: The Troopers get an order, getting rid of 1 ST, they then pass their activation check, Advance and Fire at the Spiders, and destroy one, adding 4STs with the cover ignoring ripper grenade launchers.

11th activation: The automated relay does nothing.

In the woods to the south, the Contractor team panics. With two dead, aliens to their rear, their leader heavily suppressed in the front lines and a squad of heavily armoured warriors firing mortars at their positions, they determined it would be better to regroup somewhere safer, and hoofed it.

12th activation (no pic): The Contractors are shell-shocked, must retreat and have nowhere to run with the Minnows having flown behind them, so they flee the battle (ie: they’re casualties).

Had they held on for a moment more, the Contractors would be heartened by the sight of the southern Scarecrow advancing to face the Minnows and barbecuing them with his clingfire sprayer.

13th activation: The Karists have no more units, but the Epirians still have 1 Scarecrow to use. He Advances and Fires his clingfire sprayer over the pack of Minnows, doing only 1 damage, but putting 6 STs on them.

That ends turn 2, with again 3 points for each side, making is 6 v 6.

Overview since the previous overview image, so half of turn 1 and all of turn 2.

Turn 3

In turn 3, the Karists again win the priority roll, giving it to the Epirians.

Bacaro was at the point of despair, this was not going at all well. How many of them were in that compound? Contacting command, he reported heavy losses and no progress. Recognising the situation their Journeyman was in, Command responded with a change of orders: “Hold until relieved, further support has been mobilized and is on its way to your position.” If only he needn’t rely on humans in these situations… a couple of aliens show their face and the unit that was supposed to have his flank just runs off. That’s one issue you never had with robots.

The Epirians use their automated relay to generate an extra CP, getting 6. The Karists have 5 CP this turn. They try to bring back an Angel as reinforcement, but the Epirians stop that, spending all their CPs.

Poor Bard didn’t have the nerve to stay at disabling the terminal and was running for a crater. Acting on his new orders, Bacaro takes the rest of his shaken squad into the crater as well, orders them to take up positions and then directs their fire to support his Apprentice’s attack on the troopers to the north of the entrance.

1st activation: The Bot Handler’s unit manages to activate on a 6, Dig In, and shoot at the Assault Troopers for 2 STs.

Elyssa sees the threat her brothers below are facing, but keeps her priorities straight and activates her rift suit once again, teleporting down to the Cybel energy terminal.

2nd activation: the Shadow Walker passes its activation check and teleport Dashes to the unclaimed refinery objective in the back of the field, then shakes off her STs.

From the terminal, Elyssa sees the emergence of the Firefly Drones that have apparently re-joined the fray. To her horror, she watches the little Drones fly right over the Assault squad at high speed, dropping a load of fire bombs over her brothers. They never had a chance. She watched three of them burn up whilst the last remaining Trooper runs off in the direction of the ruins.

3rd activation: the Firefly Drones Dash and make a hit and run at the Assault Troopers. Defensive fire generates a lot of pistol shots, but only 1 hit, that gets dodged. The Clingfire Pods on the Drones do 14 hits, causing 7 damage which kills 3 Troopers. A very nasty run!

On the other side of the field a similar scene takes place as the Scarecrow keeps pouring clingfire on the flock of aliens.

4th activation: the clingfire Scarecrow burns the Minnows again for 3 STs.

Screeching at the robotic flamethrower, the Minnows turn tail and fly into a crater.

5th activation: the Minnows perform a Shaken action, retreat into a crater, become pinned, and shake off their STs down to 4.

Unsure of the cause of the giant conflagration from behind the row of barrels hiding his target, the Apprentice Bot Handler leads his Spiders into a crater, whilst he himself undertakes to finish the work Bard started on the terminal.

6th activation: the Spider Drones fail their activation check, perform a Shaken action and retreat, becoming pinned and getting rid of all their STs.

Meanwhile the Hunter, now unguided, takes cover behind the bunker and opens fire at the Troopers protected by a shimmering field. His shots hit their mark, but the field is too powerful.

7th activation: the Hunter also fails to activate and Digs in, firing wild at the Kaddar Nova. Being protected by a field, the unit just takes 2 STs.

The Tempests on top of the silo watch the Epirian leading squad fall back into a crater and sense an opportunity. In their current clumped up position the squad is extremely vulnerable to their mortar fire. Moments after they fire their explosive payloads, the crater erupts in purple fire. It’s a terrible thing, reflects the Tempest leader, but the cause demands it.

8th activation: the Tempests Hold and Fire at the Bot Handler’s unit. Clumped in the crater, they suffer a lot of Hellstorm shots. 3 Contractors are killed, and they take 8 STs.

A true hero, the last remaining member of the Assault squad that got covered in sticky fire reached the ruins and recovers his nerves, standing in resolute defiance, emboldened by his faith.

9th activation: The single remaining Assault Trooper retreats, taking cover in the ruins and shaking off 6 STs.

The Scarecrow in the north has now positioned itself so that its field of view comes around the wall into the compound. It too targets the shimmering field near the entrance, but again, it is too powerful to penetrate.

10th activation: the upper Scarecrow Hold and Fires at the Kaddar Nova and his unit. Their cover is denied as the wall they’re hiding behind doesn’t block line of sight from the Scarecrow, but the Nova’s field allows them to discard all hits, taking 3 STs.

11th activation: the relay does nothing.

Under fire from both corners of the field, the Kaddar Nova blesses his foresight as the field generated by his reactor absorbs hit after hit. Consolidating his position, he orders his brothers to open fire at the largest robot in the field. At least one of their shots must have hit a vulnerable part of the hulking machine, as it’s now emitting a black cloud of smoke.

12th activation (no pic): the Kaddar Nova actually fails his activation check and Digs in, putting 3 damage on the Hunter, dropping its FOR by 1 and putting on 4 STs, then shaking off all their own STs.

With ringing ears, Bacaro is horrified when he sees all but one of his squad either deadly still or moaning on the crater floor. Whatever artillery their foe is carrying is quite too much for his small force. His last hope is for his Fireflies to save the day…

An eventful turn, which really shows how badly the Epirians needed the command tokens they all spent on blocking the return of the Angel. The Epirians score 2 points for the one refinery, whilst the Karists score 4 for two refineries, having been forced off their faction objective.

Turn 4

Contacting headquarters once again, Bacaro relays that the right flank has been secured, but the left is lost and pressure in the centre is mounting. “Hold until relieved”… Looking across, Bacaro sees a second winged form emerge beyond the buildings of the compound. Oh no…

In Turn 4 the Epirians win the priority roll and give it to the Karists. Using the relay’s ability, the Epirians generate 7 CPs, the Karists’ total is also 7. They bid 5 for bringing back the angel which the Epirians counter with 0, meaning it will be back this turn.

The Tempest Elites waste no time after cooking the enemy leader. The Firefly Drones that burned three of their brothers are clearly too much of a threat to be left unchallenged. Once more their Hellstorms explode into action and absolutely eradicate the tiny hovering machines.

1st activation: the Tempests Hold and Fire at the fireflies, causing 4 pens that destroy 4 drones, and causing a massive 10 STs.

With his final hopes dashed, Bacaro shouts to his unharmed Contractors to help pick up the wounded and fall back into the woods. When Hold until relieved in fact means Hold until destroyed, it’s quite clear where his duties are. Loosing a few covering grenades into the Compound, Bacaro orders his force to retreat.

2nd activation: the Bot Handler orders his own unit around and removes 6 STs, but the unit still fails its check, performs a Shaken action and, firing wild at the Nova’s unit, puts 2 grenade hits on them which get discarded by their field.

As Myro switches off his reactor, he cannot but feel proud of his achievement today. No doubt the Epirians will be back in numbers soon, but now at least he has time to collect whatever energy is here and build a united front from which to start the process of enlightenment. Today was a good day. As he turned his head, he saw the familiar form of Voxai gliding towards him over the compound buildings. These creatures never stopped to amaze him. Surely they, if nothing else, were proof of the divine quality of the Maelstrom.

This being a teaching game it had run for quite a while and we ran out of time. Judging the situation, the Epirian player decided to yield at a final score of 10VPs for the Karists and 8 for the Epirians.

With the alternating activations, this game gets really interesting really fast. Command points / orders can really make the difference when you quite need a suppressed unit badly. Putting the commander smack bang in the line of fire was perhaps a poor choice for the Epirians. Losing the big Angel fast was a blow for the Karists, but it did cause a bit of a stir on that flank and distracted the Epirians from the rest of the Karist force. The Firefly bombing run was also quite epic, and the Tempest’s Hellstorms can do frightening amounts of damage. Yeah, really cool first game and looking forward to more!

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