26 March 2017

Steampunk Skirmish AAR - Chapter 1

If a dimensional gate explodes in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
Doctor Krauss sure seemed to hear it. The old man doesn’t miss much, that’s for sure. Within hours a patrol of Automatons were on their way into Belgium, accompanied by Captain Vanderling. It would be easy to evade detection in the expansive forest and with any luck, remnants of the gate could be recovered for further examination and experimentation.
Captain Eric Vanderling wasn’t terribly keen on the assignment. A slog through the woods with little over a dozen idiot mechanical men wasn’t much fun in the best of times, but in late September, a cold wet hike is really miserable. He’d had his fair share of marches when he was in the Kaiser's Army. This wasn’t what he had in mind when he was recruited by Herr Doctor to join the Order of the Gear.
The Men of Letters also know about the gate. Henri Godot of the Paris chapter practically predicted it. Two squadrons of Legionnaires, already in Belgium, were sent without delay to recover anything useful from the anomaly. Lieutenant Lavigne was determined to get this mission over with quickly. The weather wasn’t making any friends this day.

The site of the encounter. The white spots are potential locations of the objective. The black area in the middle is just "scorched earth" while the other template areas are fog banks.

Bert fires off a burst from his Fusil Automatique, but the Automatons' armor is up to the challenge.

Both forces reach objective markers at the same time, but neither proves to be useful.
On my right, the other squad takes up a position on the hill.

But the advancing Automatons spot them, level their ray guns and kill three of the Legionnaires!

But on the left, things are going a bit better. Two of the Automatons have gotten lost in the fog. Henri easily blasts the lone metal man searching for the mystical relic.
A wider view of the left side. Lieutenant Lavigne sprints towards the central objective location. His opposite number, Captain Vanderling is also headed towards the middle of the scorched area.

One of the robots is taken out in close combat by a pair of Legionnaires.
Lavigne runs to the objective, blasting an Automaton with his pistol!

The two leaders begin their brawl but are evenly matched. Neither can gain an advantage.

At the end of the turn, we checked the objective markers. The one I had snatched from the Automaton on my right turns out to be the right one - number 3! Metallic cries of "shenanigans" and "cheater" emanate from the fog.

The smoke that Lavigne had created earlier was still sticking around and was still providing useful cover.

Brave Pierre runs to the aid of his commander.

A well-placed rifle shot fells another Automaton.
A robot joins Vanderling against Lavigne in the melee, while two Automatons sneak behind Pierre and shoot him from behind.

The casualties really start piling up for the Legionnaires as the OG's robots push hard to intercept!

The two heroic Legionnaires continue their run!

When a half-squad of metal men bursts from the other side of the ruined house!

Mon Dieu! The shots all miss or are ineffective against the Legionnaire's armor.
But then that dastardly Vanderling appears and heaves a grenade. It, too, is ineffective!
But just as they're about to get away, the pair are caught by the bots. Alain is cut down.

Edouard picks up the relic and makes his get-away! Vanderling shakes his fist and screams at the drizzling sky.

Wow, what a tense game! As far as the game itself, it's just a simple home-brew d20 based skirmish rules that borrow bits from GASLIGHT and WarZone. The models are Dystopian Legions that have been painted over the course of the last year. it's nice to get them into a proper game.

My wife took command of the Order of the Gear while I was the Men of Letters forces. She was absolutely killing me early on and really, it wasn't until I swapped out dice about 2/3 of the way through that it got competitive. She was so close to catching me at the end and if she'd split her fire between my last two guys running with the relic she might have killed both because of the five shots she took, two were killing hits but all were declared against the "ball carrier."

The heroes were suitably heroic and both proved to be tough as nails compared to the rank and file troops they were leading. Inspiration for the storyline comes from your usual Jules Verne, plus some Supernatural, X-files and Indiana Jones. We're both excited for chapter 2!

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