Saturday, 21 February 2015

Rogue Trader Battle Report - Prisoner Rescue Mission


For our third Rogue Trader game in this organically-evolving narrative campaign, we decided that the Sensei captured by the hired gun techno-punks at the end of the last game would be the target of a rescue attempt – by an Inquisitor who's been trailing the Sensei for many years.

The gangers' lair would be deep within the void station, meaning that the Inquisitor and his indentured forces (local defence militia troopers) would need to fight their way through three levels to reach the cell, going from an entry point to an exit point on each level. I noted down before the game which level (1 to 3) each of my ganger models was on, and I set them up first in each case, representing them standing watch and expecting an attack. We would roll for first turn on each level too.

Gadge's Inquisitorial warband consisted of Inquisitor Garamand Black, the assassin Helvetica, a human champion called Shonar Bangla, a psyker minor hero called Estrangello Edessa, a militia captain called Calibri and seven shock troopers.

My gangers consisted of Boss Hamm, a human major hero, the psy-assassin Gayle (a human psyker major hero armed with a force sword and a smile), Ark, a flamer-armed minor hero and nine other human gangers, armed with a selection of knives, lasguns and laspistols but nothing too advanced.

The first level consisted of two 12”x12” Zone Mortalis tunnel sections, and Inquisitor Black's band came in force through the wall, the assassin Helvetica killing a ganger almost straight away. Ark fired up his flamer and set one shock trooper alight, who died soon after, failing to wound the other three he hit. As the attackers came on Ark took more fire but shrugged it off, again engulfing more attackers with flames but completely failing to wound any. Amazingly, he weathered a third round of fire, before the Inquisitor's pet psyker cast 'Jinx' on his flamer. Realising his time was up, Ark turned and bolted for the exit down to the next level, the other surviving ganger behind him as the attacking forces swarmed down the corridor after them.


Ark stands against the entire Inquisitorial Strike Force!

Unseen by the gangers, the assassin Helvetica used her polymorphine dose to assume the form of the ganger she'd killed, so we swapped the models and decided that an Intelligence test would be needed to spot the disguise before she gave herself away by attacking.

On to level two (which was made of four 12”x12” tiles), and I set five more gangers up in two positions, as well as Ark and the other ganger from level 1, who had three turns worth of movement on the attackers (putting Ark almost at the exit down to level three while he ordered the other ganger to cover him).

First down through the hatch was Helvetica disguised as the ganger, and as she approached two gang sentries they failed their Intelligence tests to spot her disguise and so got charged and killed in short order the next turn. Meanwhile, Ark waited near the exit down to level three while the two autogun-armed gangers fired on the approaching shock troopers, killing one. One ganger fell having had Steal Mind cast on him, not even able to defend himself as he was brutally slain.

The Shock Troopers advance through level two.

Eventually, the attackers closed through the hail of fire, but as they reached the exit point down to level three, Ark slammed the blast doors down in their face. It took the Inquisitor using the Smash psychic power as well as two krak grenades to break through the (Toughness 8, 10 Wound) door, by which time the gangers had a three turn lead on his force when it came to defending the third and final level.


Ark and two fellow gangers close the blast doors on the approaching invaders.

Level three was made from six Zone Mortalis tiles, and contained two cells closed off by heavy blast doors. I secretly noted down who was in each cell and set the other gangers up for a final, desperate defence of their lair. Here we improvised by saying that if Ark could get to a weapons crate he could roll on the Basic Weapons table in Rogue Trader to find a weapon to replace his Jinxed flamer, more of which later.

Ark's last stand.

As expected, the fight for the third level was intense. When Ark saw the ganger he'd seen killed on the top level coming towards him he knew it was a trick and shouted to his men as such, and so Helvetica's cover was blown and we swapped back her model. As Gadge had only bought one dose of polymorphine she couldn't pull that trick a second time, though I imagine next time she'll have more.

All subtlety cast to the wind, Helvetica charged the knife wielding gangers, who unleashed a barrage of frag grenades in response, taking down another shock trooper before they were sliced apart by the vengeance assassin. As this was happening, Ark had reached the ammo store and was rifling through its contents in search of a useful weapon. I rolled on the Basic Weapons chart, resulting it a handbow, which Ark threw aside in desperation hoping for something more useful next turn.

Meanwhile, the Inquisitor and the rest of force emerged and it looked increasingly like Ark would be overwhelmed. Praying to the Emperor whose name he had taken in vain far too many times to deserve an answer, he continued his search for a weapon. This time, the roll was a keeper – a plasma gun! Grinning, Ark opened fire, using the weapon's sustained fire to incinerate the entire first rank of shock troopers before their captain broke through and put him down for good.

Things fell dangerously silent for a moment as Inquisitor Black surveyed the scene. There were two heavy blast doors before him, either one of which could contain the captured Sensei as well as whatever other nasty surprise the gangers still had in store. He cast 'Sense Presence', and so I placed two markers in one cell and one in the other. The Inquisitor's mind made up, he pulled out another krak grenade and set to work on the cell with two life signs in it.

Then, the other blast door rumbled up and a dense, glowing fog rolled forth. I'd hidden Gayle in there as a trap, and she had cast Ectoplasmic Mist to cover her appearance and confuse the attackers. Helvetica clearly sensed a powerful rival assassin and skirted the edge of the psychic fog as the Inquisitor continued to try to break down the other cell door.
The cell containing the captive Sensei is finally blown open.

The combat between Helvetica and Gayle was brief and bloody, Gayle putting five psy-points into augmenting her force sword's strength. Even as the Inquisitor finally broke through the other cell door, she dashed out of the shadows and killed the shock trooper captain, but not quite quick enough to help Boss Hamm.


Inquisitor Black and Boss Hamm fight to the death.

As Black stalked into the cell through the shattered door a hail of bolt shells struck him as Boss Hamm prepared to sell his life dearly, wounding the Inquisitor. The two were evenly matched, but over two turns Inquisitor Black prevailed, turning just time to see Gayle closing in on him and shooting her down with contempt.

Gayle powers up her force sword, but Boss Hamm is already dead.

Though his strike force lay dead all around him, the Inquisitor finally had his prize...


Many thanks to Trevor Goddard and Jonathan Peace for adding the special effects to these pictures!

23 comments:

  1. Very inspired, great report with splendid pictures!

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  2. Great report of a really fun game. Considering we didnt have a GM i think we handled hidden movement, rpg aspects and the like really well. Love the effects on the pics too!

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  3. The use of polymorphine/Sense Presence/lockers full of weapons table results/etc make this look exactly like the sort of game that I fantasised about playing when I first read Rogue Trader years ago.

    Thanks for the great report, it looks like it was heaps of fun.

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  4. Great write up. Sounds like a very fun game. Is Gayle a celtos fig? Or some other producer? She looks familiar....

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    1. Cheers ;-) Gayle is a Hasslefree barbarian, with her halbard replaced with a force sword (from the Mephiston 40k Blood Angels miniature).

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  5. Great stuff! I am loving reading this series of battle reports :)

    Warburton

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  6. I am loving reading this series of battle reports; great stuff! :)

    Warburton

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  7. Great write up Andy!

    This "story driven" style of gaming is the exact reason why I still like to play the game, over 25 years after it's inception.

    Cheers :)

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  8. I've probably said it before, and maybe more than once, but I love the way you bind the early tone and thinking to the new kit, but still go further afield for minis.

    It's almost like an alternate universe, a place the game could have found itself more generally if the six edition changes were a smoother evolution, and gave us a deeper, wider RT.

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    1. Many thanks Porky. I've been thinking about the underlying aesthetic of very early Rogue Trader recently as it happens and considering some conversions to test out some theories. I'll work up a blog post if it bears fruit :-)

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  9. That was a great battle report, love the special effects on the pictures.

    Reading the battle reports you have been putting up really does tempt me into trying the old Rogue Trader rules (got the book on the shelf) or the Confrontation rules from White Dwarf.

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    1. Meant to add it was nice to meet you at the Heresy Weekender. Hopefully will have chance to chat longer at the next event.

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    2. You too mate, are you coming to the WHW reopenimg in May?

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    3. Yeah the temptation for more new FW bits (fingers crossed for Tempest) was too strong so I will be there on the Saturday.

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  10. Andy; awesome battle report. Are you using RT rules straight out of the book or with the compendium/compilation/battle manual amendments?

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    1. We were being deliberately purist, even checking rules we both thought we knew and doing them how the rules say rather than how we'd got used to doing them. It's amazing how many rules you find you've been doing wrong!

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    2. Yup, as Andy says...

      we've both been playing RT on and off since it game out. You know i only found out this month that you could *combine* any types of armour. Like field plus flak etc. We'd always played it that fields were invulnerable... right since the 80s!

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  11. I seem to remember playing 'confrontation' back in the day, or as much as you could with what was printed, and thinking... well it seemed great but was a little too much work for a quickplay skirmish game. Would have made a much better 40k RPG i felt. Given in those days we used to make up our own 40k RPG with a mish mash of WHFRP, Runequest and homebrew rules it was pretty useful in that respect!

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  12. Great report guys, very entertaining.

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  13. Coming to this quite late, but that's a great story you've played out there. Very inspiring.

    Out of curiousity, what did you use for the shock trooper figures? They have a delightful shape to them...

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  14. Cheers Mattias. The shock troopers are from the original Rogue Tradet range, you can still get them on eBay :-)

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