The tour began with a three way conflict, Sorscha V Kaya V Deneghra.
The battle took place on a road between Khador and Llael. Whilst on patrol of the road Sorscha and her battlegroup encountered a small warband lead by Kaya from the Circle Orboros. As the two readied for battle Deneghra, leading a small Cryx battlegroup also approached the road from the East.
The battle began by the Cryx forces moving in on two fronts against their foes, Chris (playing Cryx) attempted to make use of Deneghra's relatively high Focus score and the speed of his Bonejacks, combined with their arc nodes in order to do some early damage whilst the other two forces had to manoeuvre into position. Relying on the high defence of the Deathripper to keep it alive safe from retaliation Chris wasn't prepared for the Jack to be made stationary. Sorscha was able to freeze the Jack in position, allowing her Destroyer to launch a devestating shot, almost wrecking it completely.
On the other end of the road the Circle forces moved in to attack the other warjacks in Deneghra's battlegroup. The defiler and the second deathripper were made quick work of, and the warpwolf was successful in neutralising the slayer. Deneghra attempted to mount a comeback with the 'Jack power she had left but suffering from several status effects such as paralysis and stationary meant Chris didn't have a whole lot of focus left to play with. The Deathripper facing the Khador heavies made a valiant effort to do some damage before it was destroyed and due to some clever use of spells it was successful in doing some damage to the Juggernaut.
When the Juggernaut was activated though it made quick work of taking apart the final bonejack. With the loss of her 'Jacks Deneghra quit the field, now having to report her failed ambush to her unforgiving master Asphyxious.
And so it came down to the Khadoran's and the Circle Druids. Both sides took a bit of damage from the Cryx interlopers but for the most part it was a battle between two relatively fresh forces.
In my last post I talked about how in our previous test games I was handily defeated time and time again by what I considered a far superior foe, but in that same foe I made several observations and speculations that would hopefully allow me to mount a better defence in the future, and I am happy to report that I was right on most counts.
The clash re-commenced with both sides moving their groups back into a formation from which an attack could be mounted. Learning from my previous experiences I moved forward cautiously, taking my time and moving slowly forward. This had the desired effect of keeping me out of the range of the speed hindering status effects of the Circle beasts. I was able to significantly weaken the beasts through the use of the Destroyers Bombardment weapon.
Both sides managed to keep out of direct conflict for the most part, however disaster struck the Circle side when the Warpwolf fell to the power of the Khador heavies. From here things got intense. Using the remaining beasts at her disposal Kaya mounted a comeback, eventually they took down the Juggernaut which I will admit, made me think that this wouldn't go my way, even after the strong start. Kaya moved away from the fighting, hiding in the nearby forest off the road. I took a massive gamble here, I could have targeted the Argii with the Destroyer but instead chose to shoot at the highly defended Kaya (her defence was 18 at this point, gaining bonuses from the forest). With a RAT of 4 the destroyer didn't have a lot of hope here. But then a miracle occurred and I rolled a 14 on the nose, just enough to hit! I boosted the damage roll too and much like the Bonejack from the beginning of the battle it was almost all over for Kaya being left with a mere 4 hit boxes.
At this point I could see the opportunity for assassination. Using windrush to move Sorscha closer to the target I attempted a quick spell assassination with the Razor Wind spell but this time the 18 Defence was too much and I tragically missed. This is when things got really hairy.
The two Argii (still alive after all this time) went for the jugular. The first Argus unsuccessfully tried to assassinate Sorscha due to her own very high defence, then Kaya stormed out of the woods attempting to assassinate Sorscha herself. However Sorscha's high defence held true once again, meaning all that was left to attack her was the remaining Argus which had unfortunately engaged itself in melee with the Destroyer. The resulting free strike as the Argus sought to end Sorscha ended with the Argus being left one 1 hit box and unable to assassinate the stubbornly defensive Khadoran.
And so it was down to the wire. Sorscha had six focus points with which to attempt to eliminate Kaya, if she failed she would be no doubt torn to shreds by the beasts that surrounded her. She swung with her giant hammer, and although boosting missed the attack. Things were not looking good. The second boosted attack (three focus now gone) thankfully managed to hit it's target. I boosted the damage (2 focus left now, enough for one more boosted attack roll). I rolled a whopping 22 overall damage (before armour) which was far more than needed to kill Kaya. However the warlock still had a trick up her sleeves.
Transferring the damage to a beast was still an option. One of the Argii was only just limping around with 1 damage box, transferring to it would have still resulted in the death of Kaya. But there was still the final hope in a much more intact Argus. However Khador rejoiced as all present realised that this Argus had maxed out his fury points in his attempt to kill Sorscha. This left the damage with nowhere to go but onto Kaya, smearing the warlock on the roadside.
So what have we learnt from all this?
1. With the right strategy and knowledge of what your opponent can (and most likely will) do, even an inferior force on paper can overcome a superior foe.
2. It is unwise to blindly put faith in a high ability score to save you (See: The destruction on the Bonejack by Khador heavies; The miraculous Destroyer Bombard into the forest).
3. If your game has a tense and nail-biting conclusion where victory to either side comes down to a single dice roll, then no matter how the game turns out you should feel proud of the amazing game you just had and enjoy that experience equally.
With Llael safe for now Sorscha Kratikoff can rest, but what are the implications of these attacks? The Druids of Orboros wouldn't attempt such a daring assault without cause, and what could the presence of the sinister Cryxian forces mean for the people of Llael?
The story will continue next week when these forces clash once more.