Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Welcome to Mark 3!

For those of you who are not aware, Conflict Chamber is a new Warmahordes Mark 3 online list building application. While Warroom 2 is the ultimate tool for the job, CC came in very handy before WR2 was fully released and I see a place for it in the new ecosystem. There is no model information available obviously. It does exactly what it intends to do with minimal fuss.

Here is an example of the outputs:

The biggest news for Minions players in Mark 3 was the dissolution of the Pacts, allowing Pigs and Gators to play together! Insanity I know. More interestingly, Will Hungerford spoiled the news that all Minions models would be available to Minions players in Mark 3. Hello! This opened up so much list building shenanigans that I can't even begin to fathom the possibilities. The boys over at Matter of Pact do an absolutely great job of discussing the topic. If you have not listened to their podcast before, I highly recommend it, it is arguably THE Minion podcast.

Anyway, I did manage to get in a game against Derek Field at Comic Readers today. I played Sturm & Drang into Hierarch Severius (You can see our lists above.) We rolled up Recon from Steamroller 2016. Derek won the starting roll and decided to go first. As one of our first 'official' Mark 3 games, we decided to play with a soft clock. He was proxying the Revelator with his Judicator.

It was a harrowing game that we ended up having to call due to time. Overall it was fun. The Revelator dominated the middle of the table while I decided to try and ignore it for as long as possible. I made Derek respect the new Spirit Hunter package that we have in Alten Ashley paired with two Efaarit Scouts. Unfortunately, the Protectorate is mostly immune to their shtick due to the Choir's Passage ability. They still threaten pretty deep and provide a strong assassination vector that cannot be ignored. Even though Severius feated all three models off the table, they definitely threatened all the way into his backfield and managed to kill off half the Choir, the Vassal of Menoth and the Hierophant before he did so.

Playing Greygore Boomhowler & Company with Pigs is so much fun, I'm glad that I picked them up as soon as I heard the news. The theory here is that they can act as a medium base screen for Sturm & Drang, something we didn't have available to us with Pig infantry previously.

Lynus & Edrea were nerfed a bit in Mark 3 but I still include them as a useful toolbox unit.

Sturm & Drang were definitely buffed going into Mark 3. Deceleration and Polarity Shield are so useful! Even though his feat does not get around power up, it is a powerful feat that is still very good.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Blightbringer, Oh My!

Myself and a few of the boys made it up to Dragon's Den Games for another Warmachine tournament. We had twelve players this time around and it was great fun! Most interestingly, we got to be guinea pigs and play-tested the Steamroller 2016 scenarios.

Since I have already declared all-in on Thornfall for 2016, I paired the two following lists:

List 1: Thornfall Alliance Pact 35 pts.
Lord Carver, BMMD, Esq. III (+6)
- Road Hog (9)
- Road Hog (9)
Rorsh and Brine (9)
Maximus (2)
Farrow Slaughterhousers (6)
Farrow Slaughterhousers (6)

List 2: Nature of the Beast Tier 4 35 pts.
Dr. Arkadius (+6)
- Targ (2)
- Road Hog (9)
- Road Hog (9)
- War Hog (8)
- Gun Boar (5)
- Gorax (4)
- Gorax (4)
- Razor Boar x4 (Free)

Round 1: The Pit
The Scenario was a large, circular central zone with a friendly flag oriented below and to the left of the zone. You can dominate the friendly flag for one point, the enemy flag or the zone for two, and control the enemy flag or the zone for a point.

I faced Kris, a newer Circle player, he ran the Circle All-In-One Army Box with pKromac. I ran NotB into him and managed to pull off a pretty solid win. I released my RaBo missiles at my opponent and pretty much sent everything else into the zone, managed to get off a solid feat and then proceeded to kill the Stalker, Satyr and Gorax all in the same turn. My opponent failed to contest the zone and I won on scenario.

Round 2: Line Breaker
This scenario had centrally positioned objectives flanked on each side by a pair of flags - four in total. You can control or dominate your opponent's flags for a point, and destroy their objective for a point.

I faced Andrew, another Circle matchup again. He ran pKaya, double Stalker, Ghetorix, double Stones with UA, Sentry Stones and two Feralgiests. I dropped my Carver list into this. I manged to kill one stone from each unit with flamethrower sprays from the Road Hogs, effectively stopping the teleportation hijinks before they even happened. A Stalker killed a few Slaughterhousers and Lightning Striked away but the other one got stuck in was unable to get out of dodge. Carver feated and I took out the one Stalker and Ghetorix. Brine and one of the Road Hogs went after the other Stalker but it managed to stay alive. At this point my opponent had no choice but to go all in for the assassination on Carver, taking a free strike in the process that left her on only one box! Even with the feat, Kaya failed to hit with two of three boosted Spirit Fangs and only managed to put a few damage on Carver. Carver then proceeded to end her.

Round 3: Entrenched (?)
This Scenario had horizontally oriented zones with a central objective in each zone, which you can dominate for one point. The enemy zone can be controlled for one or dominated for two points and the enemy objective can be destroyed for one point.

I faced Jordan, a Legion player. He ran pThagrosh, a Blightbringer, two full units of Warspears with UA, a Warchief and the Pot. I had been eyeing up that Blightbringer since the start of the tournament and I was ecstatic to be matched up with Jordan so that I could have a chance to take it out (The Blightbringer was in both of his lists.) I dropped Carver into him naturally. Knowing full well what the plan was, Jordan kept that monstrosity safely away from my Slaughterhousers the entire game. I put Carver into my zone early and started racking up control points. The Road Hogs and Slaughterhousers went in to engage the Warspears while Rorsh, Brine and Maximus did some flanking. The counter attack actually left both of my Road Hogs still alive, albiet just barely. The Slaughterhousers were his prime targets and he concentrated on dealing with them. I feated and managed to take him down to three Warspears but then It all fell apart once that Blightbringer started coming at Carver. In the end I lost to assassination.

So I went 2-1 and placed third overall. Congratulations to Nick (1st) and Jordan (2nd). I would also like to thank P.G. Jeff for organizing and running this event and Dragon's Den for hosting us.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

All-in on Thornfall for 2016!

I've joined in a new Journeyman League with the Carver Battle Box for Minions. Lord Carver, BMMD, Esq. III was the first Warlock that I played when I started this game and I have really enjoyed putting him back on the table so far. With the new Boars releasing this year and the Meat Thresher already out, I've decided to go all-in on Thornfall for 2016!

The Battle Box consists of:

Lord Carver (+6)
- War Hog (8)
- Gun Boar (5)
- Gun Boar (5)

That put me at 12 points.

Week Two, I added Gudrun to the list for 3 Points. He's performed really well for me so far.

I want to go with a Mercenary Theme and so naturally Rorsh and Brine are on deck. I also have Moorclaw and a Mule waiting in the wings.

Carver's Spell list is just such a good toolbox. Mobility and BDTH are a really good combo that super-powers your whole battle group. The Gun Boar becomes a SPD 7 ARM 20 light with a boostable gun to boot. Quagmire, Carver's signature spell, can be very useful making it easier to hit things and pin them in place. I've used it quite successfully so far. I've used Rift a few times in the past but honestly, it's not a go to spell for me.

I see two good uses for Carver's feat. You can either use it on the alpha or try to save it for the assassination. Trying to maximize the volume of attacks to get the most out of it is the tricky part. Just don't forget that 1" Overtake move.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

"A Swamp Tale" Unleashed Campaign: Session Five

Session Recap by: Chris Wagner

Six fresh recruits of the Cleaver Gang were lent to the cause of the Soggy Bottom Kriel. While appearing a little rough around the edges, they seemed eager to impress. Loka Shadowfist, Jostun's second, volunteered to lead the new recruits into battle, “I will come with you and make sure these young guns don't get outta line.” She exchanged an intimate moment with Jostun before the group departed.

Meanwhile, Zorga seemed a little on edge during the wait for the two Trolls to return. The constant echoes of the many bells and chimes in the pass seemed to be unnerving her. "How much longer? I hunger," she growled. Major Doncastle acknowledged that the Gator had eaten little since her capture and tossed her some scraps.

As the shadows deepened in the Demonshead Pass, Chieftain Swampbreath, Grissok and the new recruits rejoined the rest of the party. The group quickly broke camp and chose to make for the Dirty Tankard Roadhouse, wishing to return to the Fen as quickly as possible.

The rank aroma of rotting vegetation entered their nostrils long before they laid eyes upon the Cloutsdown. Coupled with an eerie silence that seemed downright ominous, a thick mist hung heavily over the entire Fen as they left the foothills of the Watcher Peaks behind.

Ranging forward of the main group, Major Doncastle and Grissok scouted the mists ahead. Just off the highway, a grisly display emerged out of the shadows. The severed heads of three Gatormen had been driven upon a pike with a crude sign that read 'DEATH TO BLOODROT' hung from it. Major Doncastle managed to determine that a skirmish between four combatants had occurred a short distance from the scene. He managed to make out the tracks of the three Gators and a fourth, large, heavily booted set of tracks.

While travelling upon the highway, Chieftain Swampbreath took the opportunity to regale the Cleaver Gang recruits with the exploits of his Krielmates. Once they stopped for the night, Loka took one of the male recruits for a stroll. The pair came back a short while later and the young Trollkin was clearly smiling broadly.

Encountering little danger upon the road, the party arrived at the Dirty Tankard Roadhouse in short order. The Roadhouse had seen major activity since their last visit. Most shockingly of all was the rough wooden palisade that was being hastily constructed around the perimeter of the building. Several Gnasir tribesmen could be seen hewing timbers to be added to the fortifications, a rusty Buccaneer Steamjack stood idling nearby while the tribesmen worked and the familiar voice of Tank could be heard issuing orders from within the compound. The sight of the party marching along the highway caused the Gnasir tribesmen to halt their work and stare at the Trollkin and their entourage as they approached. Unaware of the group's approach, Tank bellowed at the workers, "Why don't I hear any work being done? I paid good coin for you boys!"

Once he saw the party approach, Tank smiled and hobbled over to them, “Dhunia be blessed! Welcome back my friends! I trust your journey to Raakmor went well? I see you have a few new additions to your ranks. You must be thirsty, come inside, have a drink and tell an old Gobber a story now."

Major Doncastle wasted no time in presenting Tank with the wreckage of the Hunter Warjack that he had salvaged in the Watcher Peaks. "Is that a Hunter? You boys been scrapping with the Swans now too? Best not be making too many enemies, it's bad for business,” Tank commented, brow furled. "I've been known to tinker a bit. Never seen the inside of a Hunter before though. I'll have a look at it if you're interested."

Oreg's glare lingered on Zorga as the party filed into the common room of the Roadhouse. The seasoned Orgrun mercenary never did talk much but he uttered a colorful curse at the Gator as she entered. He emptied his tankard, wiped his mouth on his sleeve, stood and then drunkenly stumbled outside.

Moving behind the bodged together pile of scrap that passed for the bar, Tank piped up, “Ignore that old brute, he's always been a bit uncouth. Are you keeping company with Gators now? I thought we were at war with the Bloodrot?"

To which Major Doncastle informed Tank that Zorga was in fact a defector of the Bloodrot Tribe and that she was a valuable intelligence asset.

Chieftain Swampbreath inquired about the group of Trollkin he had sent to the Roadhouse prior to leaving the Cloutsdown.

"I haven't seen any of your Kin come through here since you left a fortnight ago," was Tank's reply.

One of the new recruits pointed out a wanted poster that had been posted up in the common room, "Hey Bendek, isn't that you?" Noticing that the bounty still remained at 500 Gold Crowns, Bendek tore down the poster and threw it into the fireplace. Loka grinned at Bendek and shot him a wink as he did so.

Chieftain Swampbreath negotiated with Tank for free drinks by offering to assist with the building of the fortifications. Himself, Bendek, Loka and the recruits all went outside to help. The Gnasir tribesmen were grateful for the assistance.

Joruk did not see the use in wasting time with such a task and took Tor and Murga out into the swamps to hunt for food.

At this point, the Major noticed a young Cygnaran woman sitting casually at a table in the corner, she appeared to be dining alone. The Major met the young woman's gaze and she nodded at him. A familiarity in her looks and her demeanor gnawed at the back of his mind.

Grissok, already drunk from the flow of ale since their arrival, wandered over to the young lady and promptly sat down across from her, "You, human female. We have human male in our party. He is old and wise. He kills many Gators with his rifle and he makes a great turtle-cock bisque. If he should die in battle our Kriel will be without one with skills such as he. You should choose him as a mate. He would make a good mate."

Looking up from her meal, the young woman spoke clearly in Molgur-Trul, "Does your human have a name? Do you have a name?"

Startled by the young woman's calm response in his own tounge, Grissok continued to drunkenly blather, "Dong... Dongcastle. Because his dong is as big as a castle! And he is a Major as well. A good mate for sure!"

"Yes. I do have business with Major Doncastle, but not of that variety. Would you be so kind as to inform him that I need to speak to him. My name is Alicia."

Realizing he had been so casually dismissed by the young lady, Grissok wandered over to the Major, "She likes you."

The Major stood and walked to Alicia's table, "Major Tymon Doncastle, retired. How may I assist you, my dear?"

"Hello Major, my name is Alica. I believe you served with my father in the Trenchers, Sergeant Alfred Wenkel?"

"Alfred Wenkel you don't say? How is that old chap? That mechanikal hand still holding up? I'm glad he didn't decide to go with the hook. Hard to throw a grenade with a hook."

"My father is getting along just fine, thank you. I have a letter for you. It comes straight from Scout General Bolden Rebald himself. I'm told it's encrypted but I trust that you know the cipher." With that Alica produced a small weatherproof satchel, removed an envelope and placed it upon the table.

The Major took the envelope and opened it, it was indeed encrypted and he did indeed know the cipher.
Major Tymon Doncastle,

It is by my order that as of this moment, you have been returned to active duty within the ranks of the Cygnaran Reconnaissance Service. Your former rank will be reinstated and you will report directly to the agent that delivered this letter to you.

It has come to my attention that you have been conducting private operations within the Cloutsdown Fen and have made contacts among the Trollkin of the region. Over the last several weeks, I have received reports of Cryxian raiding parties that are believed to have originated from this region. I would have you utilize your contacts and familiarity with the area to substantiate these reports if at all possible.

Scout General Bolden Rebald
"I'm in," the Major said as he folded up the letter and stuffed it into his jacket pocket.

"Very well, I will need to debrief you immediately. I have a room here, follow me in a few minutes," Alicia stated, rising from the table and paying for her meal.

Grissok drunkenly grinned from his seat at the bar as he watched the Major follow the human female to her room.

"I would like you to start with providing me with details of your Trollkin allies," Alicia began once they were in private, "Would you say that they are sympathetic towards Cygnar?"

Producing a leather bound journal, Alicia began taking notes as the Major provided what intelligence he could regarding his newfound allies among the Kriel. At mention of Hoarluk Doomshaper drafting many of the Kriel's warriors, Alica acknowledged that Boshgar and Hoarluk had a history together. They were once part of the same Dhunian Knot in their younger days.

"As you now know, multiple Cryxian raids have been traced back to the Fen. Our Rangers were unable to continue tracking the raiding parties once within the Fen itself, as they encountered strong resistance from the local Gatormen Tribe. We would like you to discover what intelligence you can regarding any Cryxian activity in the region."

The Major took this opportunity to inform Alicia of the increased aggressiveness of the Bloodrot Tribe.

"Your operational budget is 500 Gold Crowns," Alicia said, tossing a coin purse on the desk. "I also saw that you hauled in a Hunter, I can requisition any replacement parts that you might require if the wreck can be repaired."

After a means of clandestine communication was established between the two agents, Alica prepared to depart. "I don't want to spend one more moment in this hellish swamp, it reeks. I don't know how you do it." It was at this moment that the Major noticed that Alicia had stuffed her nostrils with cotton.

By nightfall, most of the palisade had been erected. The Gnasir tribesmen had renewed their work once the Trollkin began assisting them. Bendek noticed that Loka was lustfully watching him while he worked. Once finished for the night, everyone gathered into the common room of the Dirty Tankard and more drinking commenced.

Tank eventually returned from working on the Hunter, "Well, I've got good news and I've got bad news. You're going to need a cortex, and I don't have one. The gears are totally stripped on that thing as well. But if I had the parts, I figure I could manage it."

"How many rounds does that gun have?" Grissok inquired.


Major Doncastle immediately began writing out the requisition for the parts as well as extra ammunition for the long arm.

Oreg stumbled back inside and sat down with the Trollkin. Before passing out again, he bragged that he had killed three Gatormen two days back and driven their heads upon a pike.

Instead of sleeping in the common room with everyone else, Loka rented a room with a bed and slipped Bendek the key.

A watch was set and the Major volunteered for first watch. He took Zorga outside with him and continued with his earlier questions, "Tell me, how would you suggest we best assault the Bloodrot?"

"My father has abandoned our village. He moved the tribe to the submerged ruins that we recently discovered along the coast," Zorga answered.

"Ruins you say? Can you elaborate?"

"I believe that they are from the time of the Orgoth occupation."

Startled by her reply, the Major was not sure if he had actually seen movement out in the swamps. He silenced the Gator and brought up his scoped rifle to get a better look.

Moments passed and Zorga suggested that they get a closer look, "Our warriors would attack at night, it would be preferred, but my father has not been concerned with this... little shack."

Moving beyond the palisade a few yards, the pair were startled by a hulking shape that was moving just beyond the range of the Major's rifle. He was able to get a good enough look to identify the creature as a Dracodile, an apex predator of the swamps and rivers of Western Immoren. A cold sweat suddenly came over the Major as his brain kicked into overdrive. He was in these swamps ultimately to hunt creatures such as this.

Quickly retreating to the Dirty Tankard, the Major awoke his sleeping allies and warned them of the imminent danger of the Dracodile out in the swamps. Everyone quickly readied themselves for combat. Tank gave the Major the verbal code for the Buccaneer Warjack.

Once everyone was ready, Chieftain Swampbreath lit his Fell Caller Torch and rang out with a Signal Call. Out in the swamps, Joruk heard the call and knew that his Chieftain was in danger.

Lured to the compound by the scent of food, the huge beast was not more than fifty yards to the east by the time everyone was outside. Joruk and his Trolls approached from the south.

Ringing out with the first shot, the Major sent the Buccaneer charging into the Dracodile in hopes that it would not be able to savagely rend any of his allies to pieces.

Chieftain Swampbreath began his inspired chants, empowering everyone around him and steeling them from the terror of facing down such an imposing foe.

Grissok used his sorcery to ensure solid footing for the war party.

Bendek put a few rounds into the beast with his hand cannon, blasting large holes in the creatures hide.

The recruits fired off rounds from their pistols to no avail but with much smoke and cacophony.

Loka made to scale the palisade walls and slipped into the shadows.

Zorga began guttural chanting as her form began to take on the appearance of a rotting corpse.

Joruk and his Trolls closed with the Dracodile and managed to do some serious damage.

Splitting it's attacks among the Buccaneer and the Trolls, the Dracodile managed to rip the left arm of the warjack clean off and sink a rending wound into Tor.

A second wave of attacks commenced from the defenders, and a final blow from Tor managed to put the creature down.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

"A Swamp Tale" Unleashed Campaign: Session Four

Session Recap by: Chris Wagner

Scooping the unconscious body of the downed Gator from the lake, the party discerned that this particular specimen happened to be a female. Before they could manage anything more than a cursory inspection of her person, a ghostly apparition broke from the trees and made for their position. Dropping the now bound prisoner upon the beach, Major Doncastle raised the alarm and fired a shot from his rifle at the malevolent spirit. His shot passed harmlessly through the creature and sent splinters flying from the stand of deadwood behind it. Joruk fearlessly charged the spirit and his empowered weapon managed to connect with the spirit's incorporeal form. With two swift blows, the spirit's essence dissipated; ending it's existence.

Once the spirit had been dispatched, the Gator spoke in broken Cygnaran, "More Feralgeists will come." Not knowing if she spoke the truth or not, the party erred on the side of caution and decided to leave the area immediately. Murga, not eager to leave the side of her butchered mate, initially refused. Joruk enforced his will upon the grieving Dire Troll and managed to bring her to heel. Chieftain Swampbreath remained behind to severe the head of the butchered Dire Troll, hopefully ensuring that any Feralgeist could not reanimate it's corpse. He quickly finished his task as more Feralgeists could be seen approaching.

Fleeing the scene, the party began making their way back towards the ruins of the Raakmor Kriel. Scouting ahead of the party, the Major stumbled across the rusted wreck of a Hunter Warjack. Upon closer inspection it appeared that the Cortex had been removed from the 'jack and it's movement systems were severely damaged. The Hunter's weapons were still intact though. Deciding to appropriate the potentially valuable salvage, Joruk coaxed his Trolls into transporting the wreck back to Raakmor.

Once safely back within the ruins, the party decided to set up camp before beginning their journey back to the Cloutsdown Fen in the morning. The Major wished to privately interrogate the prisoner in order to solicit any information about the attack on Raakmor. Grissok was more inclined to execute her, seeking to enact some form of vengeance for the eradication of his Kriel. The prisoner volunteered the fact that she had not been present during the attack on Raakmor, having only recently come to the Bog Trogs of Haltshire Lake. She explained that she had fled from her own tribe, the Bloodrot.

While Speaking to his companions in their own tongue, the Major tried to convince the Trollkin of the valuable intelligence that the pisoner might be able to provide if he was able to debrief her properly. While discussing this with his companions, the Major noticed that the prisoner appeared to vaguely understand what was being said. She gave a particularly strong tell at the mention of the Bloodrot Chieftan. Keeping this information to himself, the Major proceeded with his interrogation.

Meanwhile, Joruk noticed that Murga was growing anxious and ever hungry. He had to step in and stop the Dire Troll from snacking on their Gator prisoner. Deciding to take this opportunity to hunt and train with both Murga and Tor, Joruk and the the two Trolls left camp in order to do so.

The Major managed to get a name out of the Gator, Zorga. He convinced her to reveal much about her motivations and background. "There will be much blood, Kossk grows hungry,"
she issued an ominous warning. She revealed that her "father," the Chieftain of the Bloodrot Tribe, had gone insane with blood lust and she felt that it was necessary to eliminate the entire tribe in order to prevent untold bloodshed.

After managing to take down a Moose, which Murga greedily began devouring on the spot, Joruk was approached by a hooded Trollkin identifying himself as a friend and gave his name as one Jostun Morcleave. He admitted to having been a former member of the Raakmor Kriel and had been tailing the party since they passed through Demonshead Pass. Joruk invited the fellow Trollkin back to camp to meet his other companions.

Zorga and the Major were still negotiating the terms of her captivity when Joruk and Jostun returned to camp. Grissok immediately recognized Jostun as a former Krielmate and they butted heads in greeting. Jostun took immediate offense to the presence of Zorga and rashly drew his pistols on her, demanding to know why she was still alive. The Major was taken aback by this brazen assault by the newcomer and stood in her defense. Grissok came over and quickly dissolved the confrontation by offering a flask to Jostun. Just as quickly, the angered Trollkin backed down and returned to the fireside to share in drink and revelry with his Kin. Zorga, wearied by this exchange, agreed to cooperate with the Major and his Trollkin allies against her former Tribe. Satisfied with this, the Major left her to rest.

During the socializing Joruk noticed the Murga was again acting very peculiar. She was muddling about in the "nest" that she had apparently been building before the party had arrived in Raakmor. Taking into account Murga's odd behavior and after a careful examination by both Jostun and the Major, they came to the conclusion that the Dire Troll was in fact pregnant. This proved to be quite a shock to Joruk.

Grissok and Jostun exchanged stories and Grissok recounted the tale of the fall of Raakmor, explaining that he found the lack of bodies and equipment left behind to be unsettling. Jostun admitted that he had ordered his men to salvage what they could from the Kriel after he had heard of it's fate. Grissok was at first offended by this and called Jostun out for not coming to the Kriel's aid. Jostun offered to barter what salvage he had left with the party on their way back to the Cloutsdown Fen.

After a very busy day and an even longer evening of drunken revely, the party turned in for the evening. Jostun took his leave of the party and bid them to seek him out at his hidden base within the Demonshead Pass, in order to barter for the salvage.

Once morning came, the party packed up and made to return to the Cloutsdown Fen. Leaving the rest of the party to wait for their return, Grissok and Chieftain Swampbreath negotiated the tight passage and avoided the many traps protecting the entrance to Jostun's base camp hidden within Demonshead Pass.

Once there, the pair were greeted by Jostun and his followers, the Cleaver Gang. A great table had been covered with all manner of miscellaneous equipment which Jostun offered them to look over. Chieftian Swampbreath took this opportunity to deliver a rousing speech to the assembled Trollkin of the Cleaver Gang, asking them to join their fellow Trollkin of the Soggy Bottom Kriel in the inevitable conflict with the Gatorman Bloodrot Tribe. Jostun did not take lightly the fact that they were trying to lure away manpower from his operation. He offered Grissok the use of six new recruits and whatever gear he and the Chieftian could carry. A bargain was struck that Jostun would see some sort of favour for this aid in the future.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

"A Swamp Tale" Unleashed Campaign: Session Three

Session Recap by: Chris Wagner

Tonight, our party managed to add another member to their team. Joruk followed the massive Dire Troll back up to the village from the beach, while the Major got to work stripping the remaining Swamp Horror of all of it's salvageable bits. The rest of the party remained a safe distance from the village so as not to aggravate the Dire Troll while Joruk attempted to bond with it. Approaching with confidence, Joruk managed to have a brief exchange with the beast. He determined that it was actually a female Dire Troll, and that she had in fact built her nest within he ruins of the fallen Kriel. After establishing that his companions were "not food," The Dire Troll shared with Joruk and Tor the remains of the Swamp Horror. After spending a few moments attuning to the beast, Joruk bonded with her.

The rest of the party managed to thoroughly search the ruins and determine that there was nothing of value to be found. There were no bodies of fallen Krielmates left behind, and anything of value seemed to have been already looted. The party did discover the crushed skeletal remains of a few Bog Trogs though.

Grissok assessed the status of the Krielstone which while still upright, was canted at a precarious angle. It seemed as though someone had attempted to topple it but failed in the attempt. After some minor adjustments and help from the Trolls, Grissok managed to free the Krielstone from the earth. Bringing out his stone-cutting tools, Grissok proceeded to carve the sorrowful tale of the fall of his Kriel into the stone, adding the names of his companions who valiantly helped him to reclaim the Krielstone.

Not wanting to return to the Cloutsdown without giving the Bog Trogs of Haltshire Lake a taste of Trollkin vengeance, the party decided to seek out some violence. Major Doncastle was able to determine along with Grissok's help that the Bog Togs had set up a nearby shore encampment. Approaching the shallows stealthy, they spotted a gathering of Bog Trogs greedily carving up the carcass of yet another Dire Troll, a fact which seemed to anger Joruk's new ally greatly.

Combat began violently, The Major downed two of the foul beasts before they even knew the party was upon them, killing their apparent leader in one shot. Bendek, having managed to sneak up closer to the group rang out with a few shots of his own. The rest of the party made their way up the beach towards the remaining Bog Trogs. Having been so completely ambushed and thoroughly thrashed in the opening salvo, the bulk of the Bog Trog force began retreating into the lake. A few of the more brazen Bog Trog warriors charged the Trollkin, but they quickly fell to the combined might of the party. All said, out a party of ten, only two had managed to escape the Trollkin's wrath.

Having vanquished their foes, The party began to explore the vicinity. The half-buchered Dire Troll carcass which lay unceremoniously in the shallows must have been the mate of their own Dire Troll, as she seemed very distraught over the beast's death. The Major quickly began looting and butchering the corpses of the Bog Trogs. Just as he reached the corpse of their leader, it began to drag itself up and attack the Major. Swamp Shamblers! As the corpses of the Bog Trogs reanimated all around them, it was at this moment that more Bog Trog Ambushers emerged from the deeper waters of Haltshire Lake.

This group of reinforcements proved slightly more challenging than the first. Having the majority of the party already engaged by the Swamp Shamblers enabled the rest of the Bog Trogs to maneuver into position for the charge. Mourning the loss of her mate, the Dire Troll was taken unaware and from behind by the Bog Trog Ambushers that emerged from the lake. A few managed to score mildly irritating superficial wounds upon the beast, angering her further. Having been mobbed by slimy fishmen, the Dire Troll turned around and proceeded to trample over them deeper out into the water. The remaining Trollkin began clearing the Swamp Shamblers so as to allow the ranged element of their force to apply appropriate measures.

Once the Major was free to engage the targets that he wanted, he took aim at the Bog Trog that was lurking furthest from the shore, again assuming he was their leader. His sights passed a lurking Gatorman near the Bog Trog he was aiming at and he decided to fire at it first. His shot went wild and he missed completely. Moving his aim back to the Bog Trog, he missed with his second shot as well. Noticing a mist enveloping the pair, the Major ascertained that the Gator and his companion were under the effects of some sort of spell.

It was at this point that the majority of the Bog Trog force was being mopped up. While the leader of the Bog Trogs slipped away, the Gatorman was brought down by Joruk. Managing to wade far enough out into the water to get close enough to cast Stranglehold upon the Gator, Joruk did just enough damage to render the creature unconcious. Lets hope he is able to answer some of the party's questions before their Dire Troll gets too hungry...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"A Swamp Tale" Unleashed Campaign: Session Two

Session Recap by: Alex Meeres

Tonight, while Major Doncastle removed the necessary ingredients for turtlecock bisque-- a healthy and virility-increasing delicacy among his people-- Bendek and Grissok saw a posse of gatormen swimming up, perhaps enticed by the fresh blood in the shallow waters. Their crude poleaxes glistened with the poison that the Bloodrot tribe commonly used to weaken their foes.

Chieftain Swampbreath coordinated the group's plan of defense, and bolstered our spirits with a heroic ballad. Grissok, Bendek, and Joruk formed a defensive line with Tor the troll at the end. Hoping for a repeat of his recent victory, Grissok's sorcery shook the soft earth and dropped two gatormen to the ground, however the fall of his mighty pickaxe connected only with a wriggling tail. With Major Domcastle firing from afar, a deadly battle ensued. A gatorman charged at Grissok, slashing him with its poleaxe and biting through the trollkin's leather armor to sink in its filthy teeth. The other savages stood up and attempted the same, and the albino found himself reeling from the onslaught. Soon, the combined might of his new friends ended the immediate gatorman threat, although disease from the wounds carried with it the toll of fever and chills. The Major added gatorman hides to his list of trophies (and Tor added to the contents of his insatiable stomach) and the squad pressed on, hoping to reach the highway before nightfall.

Upon reaching the Twelve Day Road, the party discovered a group of massacred trollkin and an overturned wagon. The chief noted that the quitari of the fallen belonged to one of the kriels of the Gnarls-these were no locals. Still, all children of Dhunia deserve funerary rights, so the chief ordered the construction of a makeshift pyre from the remains of the wagon.

Seeing a plume of smoke in the distance, the Major intended to scout on ahead, and Chief Swampbreath gave him thirty minutes to do so before the pyre was lit. In the meantime, Grissok used his sorcery to rip boulders from the earth, upon which he carved a meager epitaph for the slain trollkin. Up the road, the former Cygnaran military man met some of his countrymen-- leigemen of Duke Dergeral, Lord Mayor of Ceryl. The two groups made camp together, and attempted to negotiate an uncertain alliance against the gatormen of the swamps. The next day, the groups went their separate ways.

Once progress had been made into Demonshead Pass, the eerie sound of distant bells was drowned out by the boisterous songs of Chief Swampbreath. Grissok explained that the bells were used by bandits and raiders in the pass to cover the sounds of their approach, information imparted to him by a trollkin highwayman acquaintance named Jostun Moorcleave. With some mind to search for the former krielmate, Grissok and the party instead encountered a woman of noble bearing and Llaelese accent, hurrying through with her two mounted guards. She declined an offer of armed escort, noting that she had coin enough to pay any bandits in the pass. Grissok had a mind to make that coin his own, but calmer hearts prevailed and the woman and her guards continued on their way. No one seemed to be bothered much by the blue-skinned sniper perched high up the canyon, least of all the Major, who nonchalantly aimed his own scoped-rifle back in its direction. The watcher in the hills did not respond to Chief Swampbreath's loud signal call, so the group continued on.

The small hamlet of Haltmoor, the last before the base of the Wyrmwall mountains, had little to trade but the Major was able to unload his gator hides and Bendek acquired more rounds for his hand cannon. Tor feasted upon the leavings from the local butcher. The Major and Grissok confirmed that the path to Raakmor kriel would be reached soon if they marched quickly. The party pressed onwards, traveling through the mountain pass.

When the group reached he shores of Haltshire Lake and followed the path up to the ruins of the defeated trollkin village, they disovered that Raakmor's Krielstone was still intact, although partially dislodged from its place and some kind of nest lay around it. Before more investigation could be done, bestial howling was heard from the direction of the lake. Chief Swampbreath lit his fell caller torch, and ordered the group to hurry to the water's edge. There, they saw a tremendous dire troll, a thing out of legend, locked in combat with a pair of horrendous multi-tentacled swamp horrors. Grissok's resolve was tested, remembering how scores of bog trogs led five or more of these fiends to drag his champion brethren thrashing into the waters of Haltshire. No amount of earth-shaking sorcery could stay the disgusting creatures' advance, nor curb their ravenous feasting.

"Today, you will learn that history does not always repeat itself," said Bendek, reassuringly. "Today, we will have victory!"

The trollkin charged the rocky beach, and helped the ensnared dire troll to free itself from the swamp horrors' grasp. Knowing the beast could prove an even deadlier foe, Joruk showed the troll his impressive size, and mimicked the troll's imposing stance. The towering brute must have decided (at least for now) that they were not food, and with a display of utter disinterest, claimed the corpse of one of the felled swamp horrors as a snack and went tromping up the hill towards the destroyed Raakmor village.