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SoN 05 - Lost Battalion 05 AAR

Ville E
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Just a few days after the last game, we got a chance to do the next one. Considering how similar the forces were this made things easier. If you haven't noticed it already, I'm bad at remembering to take pictures during game. Evidence to follow (sorry!).

Escape From Hell
Ariane and the captured Rangers are free. Ariane explains that the Black Sun and the Deep Ones have allied to perform a disturbing ceremony. It's time to get out of these damned caves!

The mission for Rangers: Get one unit off the board (in 7 turns).
Extra: Same as last, find the secret passage under the waterfall.

The mission for Deep Ones: Stahp ze Rangers!
Extra: Don't let them take a shower in the sacred waterfall!

Note: Points are 240 for Rangers vs. 245/300 for the D.O. (2nd number is after you bring your reinforcement tile into play). So, I don't know where or how they pulled these numbers from, but they're stupid. Right off the bat we decided I won't be bringing extra tile as reinforcement, making it 240/245 which is more even. Other idea I had was to leave out Reef Breaker and keep the reinforcement tile. Some funkiness with the Ted's Medallion (not stacking Mythos Fighter, so losing some power RAW, we playing it so it stacks).

From gallery of CthulhuStoleXmas
Deployment. Rangers come in from the bottom left corner.

Turn 1:
A quick breather and tending to wounds the Rangers prepared to move out again. The Fish-men had been repelled for the time, but the clamor of guns had been changed into ominous silence again. Moving out to the tunnel at the back of the room they were in, things were dark. They couldn't see anything, but something HUGE was moving around farther down the dark tunnel. "Move out men. There shouldn't be any more friendlies in the area, fire at will..." growled Carter.

1st turn was just moving around and summoning the idol. I wanted to deploy Reef Breaker, so Rangers would have more time to kill him. I think one could just plant him in a nasty spot and halt any advance, but I chose to charge in. Of course! I also deployed scouts and militia along with Phtarp.

From gallery of CthulhuStoleXmas
Start of turn 2.

Turn 2:
Ariane moved to an altar. She had seen her friend being dragged there earlier and knew there was something important she could use. Most of the Rangers formed a line, preparing the move through the narrow passage. Huge splash from the river informed them the HUGE thing was approaching. At the same time the recon team faced a charge from fish-men militia. Being veterans of swamp fights, and now veterans of cave fights, they had no trouble at all repelling the attack.

Another great start assaulting and losing. My overall plan was to pincer the Rangers with militia / scouts trying to hold the tunnel and Reef Breaker coming from the river and forcing them to react / fight him. But that dude is slow! Then again, with DEF 9 if he was fast too, I'd be pretty stupid. So, lessons learned playing this game so far: I cannot win an assault to save my life. It doesn't seem to matter if I'm with +2 advantage or if it's even, I just lose. Too bad so many of the D.O. units cannot really shoot.

Turn 3:
Ariane scampered around the altar, franticly searching for her friends amulet. Finally, after groping under the altar she rose, brandishing the Elder Sign her friend had. This will surely be handy. The recon team, overconfident by the meager attack of the fish-men, charged in. Either luck or cunning trap, the militia fought back viciously and took them down. The huge fish-man's deafening roar echoed in the cave as it lumbered forward from the water, charging the Ranger line. Doc cowered in terror as the monster advanced. The powerful overhead swing hit a stalactite (or is it 'mite?), which caused another one to drop from higher up, crushing the unearthly terror's shoulder. Valiantly shrieking in terror, Doc ran forward, thinking anything would be better than facing the monstrosity.
Instead of staying and fighting the beast, the Rangers decided to leg for it. Just running away in front of it, easily dodging the clumsy strikes it managed to try. Somewhere along the way, some casualties were suffered on both sides. The ranger fire team didn't make it to the 2nd area. The D.O. scouts had moved into the river earlier, they were never seen again. But there was movement in the water and splashes around the waterfall. Reinforcements had arrived.

Another assault, another defeat. IIRC I charged with the Reef Breaker and rolled 2-2 against Doc. L rolled higher, but then played the horrible +3 card and won. Dammit! Well, one should win with a +3 card, so there's that. I also completely forgot that ZoC of large creatures is ignored, so my blocking didn't really work! If I had won, I would have taken Doc's position and the blocking would have been a little bit more efficient. I'm pretty sure L rolled 2 dice with Doc during the assault. Since so many units have assault, it didn't even occur to me Doc wouldn't.
I really needed those reinforcements to block movement.

From gallery of CthulhuStoleXmas
Start of turn 4 (and the last picture, oopsie!).

Turn 4:
Bob turned the corner, ran forward and dashed around another wall. Raising his pistols, he aimed and killed two fish-man militia. At the same time Father Ted chanted while brandishing his medallion, forcing the tentacles to cower in the water. He then turned to the pinned militia and with the aid of the medallion, slaughtered the rest in the name of God. Rest of the Rangers followed, taking potshots at the enemy. The shaman sneered, having lost his bodyguard. Ted ducked behind a rock as a bolt of dark energy whizzed above his head. Rest of the fishied shuffled about.

I had 2 orders to attack Ted, real one on the militia and other on the tentacles. L, of course, managed to choose the real order and left me with the useless bluff to attack with. I failed all other attacks, so my turn was pretty much a turd.

Turn 5-7: No more pictures 'cause of memory issues (mine, not phone's) so the rest is just slappoed on. The last turns took about 20% of the time played, so it's fiiiiine.

Ted raised his medallion up high, bellowing a quick prayer. The shaman reeled, opening a way to for Ted to run for the light emanating from the exit. Rest of the Rangers converged on the waterfall, trying to investigate the rumors of a secret exit. There must have been something, since fish-men protected the waterfall with fury. They seemed to be protected by some unholy power, since every shot missed and every assault failed. The fish-man lieutenant tried to follow Ted, but a quick glance at Ted's medallion made him change his mind. Ted managed to get out of the cave, the rest of the Rangers would have to fight their way out. Shots were exchanged with little real effect. The turning point was, when Ariana pressed the Elder Sign in the monstrous Deep One's forehead. Terrifying wail filled the cave, followed by deathly silence. The Deep Ones seemd content with having the waterfall, so the Rangers decided to take the opportunity and exit the cave.
Victory for the Rangers

At least I managed to hold the secondary objective! L had used up all her sixes by that point and rolled mostly ones and twos. Again, I forgot the medallion's power of removing an order and when I started to go after Ted, L just snuffed my plan at the start. As I had no chance to catch up, the rest of the game was played around the waterfall. Some abysmal rolls for the Rangers and 2 turns later she had no chance to get that. Out of spite she took her frustration out on the Reef Breaker and attacked it with all 3 Elder Sign tokens (might have been my idea though whistle).

General post-game musings:
-I'm not very happy with this and previous scenario. The rules are vague (regarding the Deep One reinforcemtns). The points balance is whack. Game where manouvering is pretty important, the narrow corridors take away a lot of that aspect of the game. The turn limit could also be a bit more generous IMO.
-Then again, I like the story of the scenarios. Maybe a little balance tweaks and some bridges to make move movement options for the Rangers would make these scenarios more interesting.
-I'm pretty hyped to play the next scenario since I'll get the play Black Sun. IT IS PEOPLES WITH GUNS finally and not just assaulty guys (with move and fire cards). Also, I'm excited to finally be the attacker instead of defending. Every. Single. Time.
-Up to until this point, I like how the game has escalated slowly, giving more and different rules piecemeal.
-Playing scenario 5 again, I would probably leave out Reef Breaker and take the scavenger reinforcement tile on turn 5.
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