A quick note: This report was started quite a while ago, but thanks to a lovely seasonal cold/flu thing, I have been unable to finish it until now. Sorry for the delay, and to our group: any errors are due to my increasingly fragile long-term memory. Thanks for some great games!
Hello everyone! The October meetup was yesterday and all things considered went really well. I still haven't gotten my old rosters and such transferred to the new laptop, so I was embarassingly unprepared for the games (and so was Jeff, as I handle rosters for his gang as well) and in fact was entirely unable to field the OI-FU.
The NMI hit the boards for two games, one against Darien's Orlock gang Cold Dawn, the other fighting a dissenting Cawdor sect, the Brotherhood of Sorrow. Steph's Escher went to battle against Jeff's Ash Waste Rifles in a seemingly never-ending game (seriously, more than five turns) that took a brutally heavy toll.
In the first game, Darien and I rolled up a Gang Fight (surprise!) and set up on our respective board edges. I spread the NMI out into four groups. I spread out my fighters with my heavy holding the left flank and various shooting and melee sqauds across to my leader on the right flank. Darien set up with his heavy on the right center of the board and his leader on the left side heading a small squad, with a scattering of gangers in between. I rolled choice for first turn and gave it to Darien.
The Cold Dawn pushed forward, running to cover and taking up positions amongst the towers and buildings, waiting for the NMI to show their masked faces. His heavy (carrying "The Lawnmower") took up a really nice firing position near the gate/tower, ready to stall an advance through most of the right half of the board. The NMI countered by sending several shooters out onto rooftops and catwalks, and their heavy moved up with his flamer, ready to flank from the left side. An assault group moved in support, headed toward cover behind a large tower.
Darien's gang was ready for me, and the Lawnmower took down one of my gangers in the first round of shooting. Thankfully this also resulted in a failed ammo roll for the Cold Dawn heavy, neutralizing the threat of the heavy bolter for the rest of the game. The Orlock leader and several others took some potshots at the NMI assault group, keeping hteir heads down but failing to do any real damage. A prolonged exchange of gunfire erupted as the NMI returned fire, and while many shots struck home, few serious wounds were actually inflicted on either side. On my right flank, Benedictus moved up quickly and quietly, avoiding the attention of Cold Dawn gangers.
The relatively bloodless conflict soon took a turn for the worse, as Benedictus and Callixtus maneuvered into position and opened fire on their unsuspecting opponents. Benedictus's hand flamer stalled a small push from the Orlocks, lighting up a ganger and juve, while Cal's flamer literally rained down fire on an unsuspecting juve below. This, combined with some decent shooting from my other gangers, pinned or downed several more of Darien's gang, enough that he decided to quit the field. In a nice little bit of irony however, the Cold Dawn had suffered fewer injuries overall than the NMI (two Orlocks vs. four Cawdor) In keeping with their illustrious history, two of my Cawdor gangers died (and yes, one of these fell off a building - huzzah).
On the other table throughout this battle, Jeff's 7th Ash Waste Rifles fought Steph's Concrete Chaos Queens in a Bushwhack raid, with the Van Saar gunning for the leader of the Eschers. A massive six-story tower dominated their battleground, and Steph wisely kept his leader screened from fire in the middle levels of that tower. The Rifles and Escher fought tooth and nail throughout the whole of the raid, resulting in brutal casualties and tons of downed and OoA fighters. In an astounding turn of events, Rifles leader Orion managed to keep his nerve this time around, avoding breaking from the fight when his bodyguard got taken down in front of him.
The Escher heavy plasma gun, infamous for incinerating an unwitting Delaque in its previous outing, was decidedly less potent in this game. The Escher heavy eventually found herself in a melee contest with the Van Saar heavy, resulting in a clumsily fierce fight to the death. After all was said and done in the hand-to-hand phase, Jeff's heavy Zeke had earned the nickname "Bitchkiller" after fatally wounding the plasma-gunning Escher with his boot knife. This was only one of many blood-and-guts moments throughout the battle, and finally, after many, many attempts to take out the Escher leader, the Van Saar packed it in and retreated, leaving their vendetta unfinished. This game lasted an inhuman 12+ turns and roughly as many beers between the opponents, and has entered the realm of epic legend in the Underhive for our group.
I played one other game against Mike's Brotherhood of Sorrow. This Cawdor/Cawdor matchup ended up being pretty interesting, not only in premise but in the events of the battle. We rolled up a Gang Fight, with a Treacherous Conditions roll resulting in the ineffectual but amusing Cockroaches (nice crunchy living carpet of bugs!). Mike took advantage of his Tunnels territory, and after the first turn I found my left flank under fire from the rear, crippling the advance I had planned. Despite the tactical advantage afforded him, Mike's fighters proved to be pretty poor shots, and I was able to counterattack with a few shooters on elevated platforms above his infiltrators.
At this point, the NMI seemed to defy their reputation as clumsy melee enthusiasts, as my shooters consistently hit their targets (but didn't wound a whole lot of them) and managed to keep their footing when hit near a platform edge. Both Mike and I were perplexed as each of our shooting phases proved much less effective than we hoped. Antoher odd aspect of this fight was a complete lack of melee combat; my sole remaining juve was pursued through the debris by the BoS leader and a ganger, and all others on both sides were unable to close to charge distance thanks to persistent gunfire. Eventually the NMI took one too many casualties, and I conceded the game when it came time to take my bottle test. I did much better in post game this time around, with no fatalities and very few permanent injuries. The same went for Mike's Cawdor, although he had fewer overall wounded gangers at the end of the game.
This was another good meetup and despite losing a member of our group since last time, we still managed to get a goodly number of games in, and since Steph and myself have multiple gangs we can run (with my Mercs currently under construction as well), it allows for a lot of different matchups to be played. It's looking as if the next meetup will be held at Darien's place, so we'll see how that works out. It will be nice to just focus on getting my gangs ready to play rather than cleaning up the house and moving tables around!