Deep in the Modoc Forest lies plenty of riches for those daring enough to risk their lives. Scattered amidst the thick trees and forgotten marshes are hundreds of dinosaur eggs. If a posse is hardy enough to compete with Oviraptors and other explorers they can make quite an income.
For this battle I used two previous Posses from the Keyes, Oklahoma Street Fight. In this case they had forsaken their dinosaurs to pursue rare and valuable dinoeggs. I continued their stories from the last battle, including awarding IP and ND based on the kills from before. This meant I could further test the Advancing a Posse rules.
Speaking of rules this was another v0.9 based game, which was solid enough that I didn't even need to make any rule changes after the game. I played through the Dinoegg Heist scenario, modifying and improving it as I went. For the table I went for a big central peak that represented an area heavy with dinoeggs. Since this was deep in the forest I avoided any buildings or signs of civilization except an old set of fences (probably from a once scenic national park).
Onwards to the advancement and improvements each posse made...
Posse: The Dusk Stalkers (previously Duskhelm Posse) - 4/196 IP, $0/1960, 6 Traits
My first order of business was to refund my Dinosaur, a plated beast named Thunderfoot. The scenario calls for foot units only, and normally I would be stuck just not bringing my dino. But in this case my opponent agreed that we could straight up sell our Dinosaurs for their original cost (including recovering any used Traits) which meant I had a bunch of dough to retool my gang with. Thunderfoot was $500, so already my bank was looking better!
In the last battle I had 2 kills which gave me a further 6 IP and $60. Not that great, but I hoped for better this round!
My purchases came first. I bought Tangle Grenades for Duskhelm, the hope being I could tie up melee focused units (or retreating enemies) and give Mitis'Heq a chance to shoot at them (with a bonus of not having any movement penalties). My next purchase was obvious, and that was a beefy 700kW Lever-Action Rifle for Redbeard The Terrible. Last match he truly was terrible, but I think his Musket was partially to blame. At 2A-7D with a max range of 25" (with his Eagle Eye trait) I had high hopes for a few one shot kills. Survivability was a concern on my end, so two suits of armor were next. I bought Padded Armor for Duskhelm, boosting his AR to 2 (he had spent IP before to get to 1). Then Hasheen, my trust midliner, got a suit of Cloth Armor (which suited the figurine perfectly). Finally I spent the last of my Neodollars on a single SIRP for Duskhelm, since he seemed like the kind of guy to hoard the single piece of healing for himself.
As for IP, I continued the trend of greedy Duskhelm, this time spending all 6 IP to give him +1 HP, boosting him to a total of 10 HP. What's really nice about going from 9 to 10 HP is your "half damage" value (that you need to make a Bravery Test at) goes from 4 to 5 HP, which can be a big difference on how often you have a chance to flee.
My plan for this fight was simple: win! Okay, well, mainly I wanted to try to hurt Coleman a bunch while still slinking off with a few eggs. I knew that we'd probably get in close and ugly, at which his melee monster Stone Axe excels. But Duskhelm and Mitis'Heq were becoming quite formidable, and I hoped that their firepower combined with Redbeard's new rifle would spell disaster for anyone foolish enough to rush me. I wasn't too worried about Oviraptors, since their "default" behaviour was simple enough to outsmart. Besides if they picked up a few eggs THEN I killed them, well, more IP for me!
Anyways my Posse looks like:
Duskhelm - Neotechnoist Leader
MV 4, AR 2, RMC 5, MMC 8, BRV 7, HP 10, Go For The Eyes, Rapid Fire
Heavy Repeater, Tangle Grenades, Padded Armor, SIRP
Mitis'Heq - Neotechnoist Member
MV 4, AR 2, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 8, Go For The Eyes, Get Up!
Redbeard The Terrible - Duster Member
MV 3, AR 0, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 10, Crippling Shot, Eagle Eye
Musket, 700kW Lever-Action Rifle
Hasheen - Bandit Member
MV 6, AR 0, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 9
Double Barrel Shotgun, Cloth Armor
Burt - Bandit Member
MV 5, AR 0, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 9
Coleman's Raiders - 0/208 IP, $0/2080, 6 Traits
No offense to Duskhelm, but last fight I destroyed him. I mean come on now, I ended up with 6 kills! That's practically enough to get another Trait slot. But yeah, from the murderin' I dished out I got 18 IP and $180. Plus I refunded Zira (hopefully to a nice, friendly caravan) for $700 and 1 more Trait slot (since she had taken Bonus HP I).
Flush with wealth I thought the first thing to do was recruit someone new. To that end I hired "Skull" (who would be represented by my old, hilariously 1990s painted Eldar scout [I mean come on, flames on his robe?!]). That was a cool $250 for his Neotechnoist help. I was hoping to make him into a semi-sniper...certainly not on par with Redbeard, but good enough to give me a bit of range beyond Handcannons and Dinoprods.
Next I wanted to use some of my new IP, so I spent a full 18 IP to give +3 HP to Skull. Honestly I'm not entirely pleased with this choice, but wandering around with anything less than 8 HP is a recipe for disaster. Hopefully his default Neotechnoist improvement to RMC would help ensure he hit...plus I could always give him a high attack weapon. I went for the "Knee Shot I" Trait, which gives a solid +3 damage boost if the target already moved (easy enough to find that situation!).
Besides recruitment I wanted some new goodies for my posse. First I spent more money on Skull, this time for a Twin Rifle (5A-2D with a nice 18" range makes it a solid choice. Having the "Both Barrels" special ability just makes it all the sweeter). Stone Axe is already pretty survivable with his 3 AR, but heck for a handful of Neodollars I went ahead and upgraded him to Dinohide Armor, for a total AR of 4. Crazy! Plus he matches his Dark Sun figurine even more now. His old Bone Armor was handed off to Coleman who's AR ended up as 2. I thought Shadow needed a little something extra besides a plain pistol, so I bought him Glue Grenades. Slowing on hit is super handy, either for Stone Axe to catch someone or to just slow one of Duskhelm's villains as they retreat with an egg! Finally Coleman got another SIRP, since his was used last match and it's definitely a handy choice (I mean until you roll +1 HP instead of the max of 6).
I figured my posse is pretty well matched to Duskhelm, and the close in nature of the scenario should help get to grips with his slightly longer ranged members. Heck with luck I'll get a first turn Charge with Stone Axe. Dinoeggs are still going to be my main focus, and Coleman, Newt, and Shadow will probably be my goto people for that. Skull would be a great egg carrier since he'll probably hang back, so hopefully I'm lucky and end up near an egg.
My bigger Posse now looks like:
Coleman - Bandit Leader
MV 4, AR 2, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 7, HP 12, Rapid Fire
Handcannon, Bone Armor, SIRP
Shadow - Duster Member
MV 3, AR 1, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 11
300KW Six-Shooter, Glue Grenades, SIRP
Stone Axe - Savage Member
MV 7, AR 3, RMC 9, MMV 7, BRV 6, HP 13, Charger, Inspiring Shot
Dino Prod, 80KW Six-Shooter, Dinohide Armor, SIRP
Newt One-Eye - Bandit Member
MV 5, AR 1, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 10, Clear Sight, Knockback Shot
Skull - Neotechnoist Member
MV 4, AR 0, RMC 7, MMV 8, BRV 6, HP 9, Knee Shot I
200kW Twin Rifle
Let us sally forth to the kitchen table! Except this time we'd be playing from the long table edges instead of the short table edges. That and the giant mountain in the middle should make for an interesting game. The table was 4 feet long and 3 feet wide, and aside from the mountain in the middle I placed a bunch of hills and trees around.
I had three dinosaurs ready to join the battle due to the scenarios Oviraptor rules. As a refresher the stats for Oviraptors are:
Size S, MV 6, AR 1, MMC 7, BRV 6, HP 8, 2-2 A-D
Note: Can carry 2 Dinoeggs at once
One of the beasts will join the game on a roll of 8+ (done at the start of each turn), at which point they deploy randomly and start trying to steal eggs (either from the ground or from those foolish enough to hold dinoeggs near them!).
Duskhelm got the north long edge while Coleman got the south edge. Both had to deploy two members within 4" of the center of the table (aka the top of the mountain) while the rest deployed within 6" of their table edge. Coleman had to setup first, so he got right to it. After that Dinoeggs were placed throughout the board, and a fast, fun, and vicious game began...
Coleman: Well shucks, first deployment eh. Normally I don't mind, but this time I have to have two "forward scouts" on the main mountain. To balance their unlucky position they each started with a Dinoegg, so that was handy. I figured Stone Axe would be the best choice, but I wanted him to live through the first turn so he started up the hill a bit and in cover. His massive 7" movement and +1" Charge range would help get to grips with any enemies. I had considered putting Coleman up there as well, but Shadow with his Glue Grenades seemed like a better choice. Plus having Coleman in danger too early would kind of suck. So yeah, Shadow kind of in the open central part of the hill and Stone Axe up a bit from him.
Then I put Coleman and Newt One-Eye down below, as far forward as I could so they were in range to support their mates as soon as possible. Skull was off on the right flank on a hill. The elevation would give a nice damage boost, and he should be in good enough range for shots at people on the mountain. Now fingers crossed for good Dinoegg distribution!
Duskhelm: Hmm well deploying second is nice because I can basically mirror my opponent. I wanted to keep my team of Duskhelm and Mitis'Heq together, since they can throw out 12 attacks at 14", or 16 attacks if they both Rapid Fire. That's deadly! Plus with Duskhelm's new Tangle Grenades I figured he'd be a great help to keep Stone Axe locked down. My real mimic was putting Hasheen and Burt in the center, side by side, so they are opposite Coleman and Newt. They would be my second wave towards the middle, or around the flanks depending on how the Dinoeggs ended up. Redbeard was off on his own in the hills, since honestly if he can't outsnipe Skull then he really deserves his nickname "The Terrible".
Dinoeggs: Aside from the 4 Dinoeggs in play (held by each of the members on the mountain) I rolled D6 for the additional Dinoeggs. My result was 6! So plenty of mini-objectives to go after. Unfortunately my earlier plan of using Mini Eggs chocolates to represent the dinoeggs didn't work, so I was back to my usual glass tokens. Stupid heat melting the chocolate all over the table
Anyways I rolled a scatter dice and 2D12 to represent inches, and got a pretty south heavy distribution, which seems to favor Coleman.
Turn 1 - Blood on the Slopes
Unlike a lot of stand up fights in Dinosaur Cowboys, the close deploy of this scenario meant violence was imminent.
Coleman: Normally getting the first Activation on the first turn doesn't matter a ton, but heck when I'm like six inches from the enemy's leader I care a bit more! I put my Glue Grenades investment to good use by hurling one from Shadow to Duskhelm. The fast acting chemical struck him for 1 damage and also meant Duskhelm was Slowed (half Movement, no Run). After that I edged Shadow down the hill, since the further from short range I was the better!
Duskhelm: Glue and yellow belly runnin'? Seems par for the course for Coleman. I advanced Mitis'Heq into short range of Shadow, then opted to activate my "Go For the Eyes" Trait. As you recall this means critical hits are on 10+ instead of 12+. Definitely a smart move as I hit with 2 criticals for 5 total damage. Plus Shadow really WAS a yellow bellied dog as he failed the Bravery Test and was Fleeing.
I lucked out and won the next Activation, which meant I could keep pouring the fire on. Duskhelm was my natural choice, so he also activated his "Go For the Eyes" Trait and ALSO Rapid Fire. 8 attacks with 5 RMC base...sweet. I couldn't quite get him to short range with Shadow because Duskhelm was Slowed, so I shot first instead. I only needed 7+ to hit, and in total I hit 4 times (including 2 criticals) for 8 damage, which killed Shadow. Woo hoo first blood. Anyways I moved Duskhelm 2" forward after this, mainly to get closer to dinoeggs.
Coleman: Ouch a death already. Definitely a brutal pit fight up on that mountain. And who better to pit fight than Stone Axe? I moved him 7" and then Charged 3" more to Mitis'Heq. I got to roll 9 attacks thanks to the Charge and awesomeness of the Dino Prod, of which I hit for 4 damage. Mitis'Heq actually failed his Bravery Test and was Fleeing from this, haha.
Duskhelm: Time to get my sniper going, now that the obvious center moves are done. Redbeard edged over a bit so that he was at long range of Skull (with my new 700kW Lever-Action Rifle). Time to get my Neodollar's worth! I hit with 1 attack but that was for 8 damage, so alllllmost a one-shot kill. Skull somehow passed his Bravery Test. And of course, since it's Redbeard, my other attack was a roll of 1, so he needed to Reload. Even when I get him a better weapon than the Musket he STILL only shoots every other turn.
Coleman: Hey remember when I was like "I bought Skull to give me some range and maybe take on Redbeard?". Yeah...NO! I Ran him downhill from his perch towards the nearest Dinoegg, which hopefully he could sneak off the board before another Redbeard shot whizzes in.
Duskhelm: The upside of the big mountain in the middle meant a lot of the avenues of fire were blocked. So Hasheen could safely Run towards the furthest west Dinoegg. May as well try to stay focused on the big bonus IP they provide (taking one off the board is basically like killing 3 people in terms of IP awarded).
Coleman: I moved Newt 4" forward to the edge of the hill in the vain hopes of killing Mitis'Heq before he fled away and out of line of sight. I needed an 11+ to hit, which sucks, but I tried anyways. I got a 2 and 1 on my rolls...go me. I decided to use Coleman's "Yeehaw!" ability to let her re-roll the 1 (so at least she wouldn't have to Reload), but I still only managed a 6.
Coleman however had some better luck. I moved him 4" forward which put Mitis'Heq into medium range which never hurts. I hit him with 1 critical for 8 total damage, which killed Mitis'Heq. Looks like we're one for one now.
Duskhelm: My last Activation was for Burt. I moved him as far forward as I could, and then scoffed at my total inability to hit Stone Axe. That's right, I needed 13+ with all the modifiers (mainly his brutally high 4 AR). So I Ran him to the edge of the hill instead.
Turn 2 - A Roar in the Distance
Oviraptor: I rolled a 9 for the Oviraptor chance to appear, so one hurried onto the board looking for dinoeggs.
The dinosaur deployed from the west table end (nearest Hasheen and the dinoegg he was approaching), 14" down and 6" inwards.
Duskhelm: I lucked out and got the first Activation, which probably saved me from being charged by Stone Axe. I started with Duskhelm throwing a Tangle Grenade at Stone Axe, which hit him (for 1 damage) and Stopped the melee monster. Looks like the crew around the mountain was safe for a turn! After the throw I moved him back 4", since the further from Stone Axe the better.
Coleman: Hmm with Stone Axe frozen in the middle I thought I'd try to save Skull for one of my early Activations instead. I moved him towards the nearest Dinoegg and picked it up. He was still pretty exposed, but hopefully Stone Axe would be priority number one this turn for them. Plus I just had to keep him alive with his Dinoegg to get a bunch of sweet rewards at the end.
Duskhelm: Should I start whittling down Stone Axe or try to kill the super weakened Skull? Option two here we go! I might have considered shooting Stone Axe but Redbeard was down to his Musket, so it wasn't worth the effort even if I did hit. Plus after moving him I could get Skull into medium range, and I only needed a 7+ to hit. I hit with a roll of 11 which killed Skull. Redbeard you're redeeming yourself for last match (did I jinx him now?).
Next Burt moved towards a Dinoegg near the hill edge. My modifiers were slightly better against Stone Axe since I only needed an 11+ to hit. Unfortunately I missed with his Laserbow with a roll of 10. Almost!
Coleman: Time to get my reserve force in, especially since the battle seemed to be moving away from my deployment zone. Newt moved up towards the Dinoegg that Shadow had dropped, then spent a Run to reach it. I couldn't quite pick it up yet though unfortunately.
Next Coleman moved into long range with Burt, who he could barely see around the edge of the mountain. I fired and hit for 7 damage...the Handcannon continues to impress. Burt failed his Bravery Test and was Fleeing, so that's a bonus!
Duskhelm: I just had Hasheen left to Activate, and I was a bit stumped on what to do. I decided to try one shot against the Oviraptor, since if I could kill it I'd have free reign on the nearest Dinoegg. I moved him into medium range and then opted to use the "Both Barrels" feature of my Double Barrel Shotgun. I only needed 8+ to hit, so why not! I hit with an 8, 10, and 12 for 9 total damage, which killed the Oviraptor! That was totally some hunting safari skill right there.
Coleman: Well, better the Oviraptor than me, I guess. Stone Axe didn't have much to do since he was Stopped, so I fired his wimpy 80kW Six-Shooter at Duskhelm at 12+ to hit. Naturally I missed.
Turn 3 - Here They Come!
Oviraptor: At this rate the Oviraptors will sweep the game...well, once they stop being killed in a single shot. I rolled for another Oviraptor to appear and had one pop up, this time from the east. 15" down and 6" in towards the dinoegg Burt was moving towards.
Coleman: Stone Axe is freeee! Before anymore dirty tricks could slow or stop him, I moved and then Charged him down the hill into Duskhelm. I hit for 5 damage, and Duskhelm was Fleeing (after rolling a horrible 12 for his Bravery Test).
Duskhelm: Looks like this turn will be "kill Stone Axe". But first of all I moved Hasheen over and picked up the Dinoegg (that he so totally rightfully won after destroying that Oviraptor).
Coleman: Before Burt could Flee away I wanted to try my luck with Coleman again. I opened fire at even better mods this time and hit for 9 damage! Burt was dead as a vampire (or something?!). After that Coleman moved back towards the nearest Dinoegg, since it felt like the time to retreat might be soon.
Duskhelm: Redbeard took the turn off to Reload, first moving to the left and then getting his 700kW Lever-Action Rifle ready to rock again.
Next up Duskhelm Flees down the hill away from Stone Axe, which honestly was not too bad of an outcome since it got me out of melee. I knew I couldn't kill Stone Axe in a single attack, so I opted to use Duskhelm's SIRP instead. Totally worth it as I rolled a 6 for how many HP he recovered, which put him from 4 HP back to his full 10 HP.
Coleman: I kept with my plan to fallback gracefully, so Newt, dinoegg in hand, Ran back down the hill, still out of sight of anything dangerous.
Oviraptor: The Oviraptor moved towards the nearest Dinoegg, which was right near where Burt died. The beast was able to scoop up the egg, but was still on the prowl for more!
Turn 4 - Into the Sunset
Oviraptor: For once there wasn't an Oviraptor that deployed. So just the one already on the board to wander around and steal eggs.
Duskhelm: Okay, since last turn ended up being a failure at even SHOOTING Stone Axe, I'll do my very best to make up for it this time. My best bet at hitting him would be Duskhelm (with his 5 RMC), so that's who I started with. I was at short range and didn't want to make the counter-Charge any easier, so I stayed and fired. I hit 3+2+2 for 7 damage, which made Stone Axe Flee! Terrific news. Coleman had already used (wasted?) his Yeehaw! ability so he couldn't even give a re-reroll. Anyways Duskhelm kept moving back towards his board edge, since more distance from melee never hurt.
Coleman: Well that's too bad, since I really hoped to pin Duskhelm down this turn. Instead I Fled Stone Axe backwards, which left me without any real options. I didn't have enough movement to Run all the way down the cliff to the safety of blocking terrain, so instead I Ran him into the cover of a little hill. Hopefully this would outdistance Redbeard or at least reduce the pain.
Next up was Coleman, who flat our Ran towards the edge of the table. That's a good Bandit right there; got his loot and now he's hitting the road.
Duskhelm: It seemed like we were both kind of retreating, which meant I probably only have a few more shots before the end of the game. Time to make them count! Redbeard didn't have a Dinoegg at all, so I focused on getting him into a good firing position against Stone Axe. I moved down the slope and into 14" on Stone Axe, but also still in 12" range of Duskhelm (I figured Yeehaw! might be necessary to get this done). I activated Crippling Shot to hopefully slow down Stone Axe if I hit. I needed 11+, and Redbeard let me down by missing both! That's why Yeehaw! range was important, which I totally used now to re-roll into a hit! That meant 8 damage which outright killed Stone Axe (and Slowed him, but corpses are already pretty slow).
Hasheen Ran with his Dinoegg towards my board edge, and that was about it.
Coleman: Grr that 700kW is a beast. Anyways I Ran Newt towards my own table edge for my last Activation. Into the sunset we go...
Oviraptor: The Oviraptor moved up the hillside towards a Dinoegg there.
At this point the game ended. Both Posses wanted to run their Dinoeggs off without fighting, so they did. In terms of victory The Dusk Stalkers technically won.
After Action Report
A short and savage game! The objective really meant both players were eager to keep their spoils safe instead of risk further fighting, so it ended after only 4 turns. The haul of Dinoeggs was the same for each side: 2. Coleman and Newt both escaped with one, and Duskhelm and Hasheen got one each as well. Redbeard was the other survivor but basically killed Stone Axe instead of focusing on getting a dinoegg. All the survivors were unhurt, which is a bit different than normal.
The game ran a little under an hour in length, but that was mostly because I kept taking breaks to tweak the scenario.
For 2 Dinoeggs the scenario gave 12 IP and $60. Let's look at how each Posse did overall:
Duskhelm: 4 kills (3 Posse and 1 Oviraptor)=9 IP, $90 + Dinoeggs=24 IP, $180, +1 Trait.
Coleman: 2 kills (2 Posse)=6 IP, $60 + Dinoeggs=18 IP, $120, +1 Trait.