Saturday, August 20, 2011

Unbound Scenario

After the last post, I figure I ought to do what I actually logged on to do, and that's post up the Unbound scenario I have been preparing to play with Dave.


Fire and Advance

The rain was miserable, but oddly fitting for the current circumstances. Captain Amador Damiano sat in his command bunker warming himself by the fire emanating from an old Nomad boiler set against the wall when Stannis Brocker came in. He was soaked to the bone and clearly unhappy, but he was a soldier first and foremost, and he was being paid a ludicrous sum of money to be there, just like everyone else.

“Just got word that we attack as soon as the rain lets up. Better start prepping your 'jacks. I already let Magnus know.” A nod from Damiano and he slipped back out the door of the bunker. They had all been hired by a mysterious benefactor, who had turned out to be Cryx, to attack a Khadoran fortification. They had rather dismally poor information about their true objective, but what they lacked in information they had been compensated for with gold. Cryx always paid its mercenaries extremely well, and they had hired an army this time. Between Damiano with his warjacks, Magnus with his, and Stannis Brocker and his full contingent of Steelhead Halberdiers, Riflemen, and Heavy Cavalry, Damiano shuddered to think at the full bill for the services of the mercenaries here, and that did not even include the not insubstantial Cryxian forces that accompanied them as well.

It was good that they had an army, though – when they had gotten to their objective, it was an army that they sought to attack. Both sides had dug in quickly, and the rains set in before anyone had the chance to make a move. It had been three days now and the rain was finally letting up a bit, even though much of the battlefield had been turned to mud.

They were woefully short on information about their foe, but they knew about what lay between them – a maze of obstacles, barbed wire, craters, and trenches, with the looming remains of a great cathedral that was now mostly torn to bits. Regardless, taking that structure and digging in would be almost as valuable as taking the command trench the Khadorans were camped in. Further away, Damiano knew that there was a large Khadoran artillery piece that was theoretically still operational. While exposed and not as important for taking the field of battle by itself, commanding the canon would allow them to turn it on their enemies, shelling them with high explosives and clearing the way for their other forces.

Damiano listen to the rain lightening on the roof of the bunker and looked out. Visibility was improving, and he could make out the shadow of the cathedral ruins ahead of him. He mentally connected with his warjacks and prepared them for battle, their furnaces roaring to life. His troops began to stir from their shelters and ready themselves, and he was sure the Khadorans were doing the same. It would be a bloody day, and one that he felt would end with their gold being hard-earned.

Two armies try to take the opponent's command trench as well as fight over a ruined building in the center, all while under heavy shelling.

Terrain and Objectives:
See map below. Each side has a command trench 14” from the side table edge, with the front of it 10” from the back of their deployment zone. There is a 50mm objective in the center of the table, surrounded by a large ruined building. There is a Khador Avalanche-class canon on the far side of the field (opposite the trenches). Terrain should be trench warfare type and/or ruined city type (barbed wire, sandbags, ruined walls, shallow water, etc).

A player scores 1 point when he has models in the opponent's command trench at the end of the round and his opponent has no models in the trench.

A player scores 1 point when he has a model in B2B with the center objective at the end of the round, and there are no enemy models within 4” of the objective. If the model is part of a unit, all remaining members of the unit must be within 4” of the objective to score the point.

The first player to score 3 points, and have more points than the other player, wins.

Special Rules:
Heavy Artillery: If there is a friendly non-incorporeal model in B2B with the Khador canon and no non-incorporeal enemy models in B2B, the model can perform a Fire! Special Action. Designate a point on the map. This point cannot be closer than 12” from any part of the canon's base. Roll a d6 for deviation direction (oriented facing directly away from the canon) and a d6 for distance. Center a 5” AOE on the resulting spot. All models in the AOE take a POW 14 blast damage roll.

A player gains +1 to round initiative for each territory he controls (has models in it and there are no enemy models in it).

My dad, and my relation to Warmachine

So for those of you who read my blog and don't know, my dad died on Sunday. It's been a real shock - he wasn't sick or anything, had gone into the hospital the Monday previous for some gastrointestinal surgery, and was doing great. He was supposed to come home on Sunday. I got a call early Sunday morning from my mom saying that he had died. The autopsy revealed that he had a pulmonary aneurysm. He died very quickly, and was not in much pain. I'm still in shock about the whole thing - it doesn't really seem real. I haven't really been able to figure out what to do, or how to handle it, so my plan for the time being is to just try to keep myself in as good of spirits as possible.

And that generally involves Warmachine.

It's kind of amazing to me what kind of effect this game has on my mental health. I've had a lot of hobbies over the years, especially computer games, but I've never had one that allowed me the kind of all-encompassing mental involvement and peace of mind that playing and painting Warmachine and Hordes does. The day he died I spent upwards of 8 hours working on my website on Obsidian Portal for an upcoming Iron Kingdoms D&D game I want to play with some friends. I've spent several hours already this week painting models at my dad's work station in the garage, and have moved a lot of my painting and terrain-making stuff back to my parents' house. I don't know, I guess there's something therapeutic about working on it now where I started it years ago - in my parents' garage, at my dad's workbench.

I guess since I'm in a writing mood, and I've never really talked about it, I'll talk a little about how I got started with Warmachine, and how my dad fit into it. I had several friends who played, and they had been spreading the Good Word of this little wargame among the rest of the group of friends. This would have been...early to mid 2007, I think. Joe played Cygnar (and had some Khador, even though he never played them), Robby had a little Cygnar, they convinced Brian to get into Protectorate, James to buy into Khador, and finally they sold me on Cryx. It wasn't actually a hard sell - they just kind of told me about a faction that had steampunk zombies and showed me a little of the art and I bought a battlebox the next chance I got. I've loved Cryx ever since. I've picked up other factions (I think the total's now 4: Cryx, Trolls, Mercs, and Cygnar, respectively to when I got them), but my heart will always be the Dragonfather's. Not to mention my skin (I got the Cryx symbol tattooed on my left shoulder. I was always so careful to avoid my dad seeing it. Now I wish I'd shown him, even if he would have been upset).

I bought some Apple Barrel paints from Wal Mart and painted the battlebox on my dad's workbench in the garage (he was a huge model railroader, and the garage is about 60% giant HO scale railroad). As I finished the last model, I played a game with them right there against Brian, who beat the tar out of me. That was how it went for months. We played several times a week, almost exclusively at my parents' house (where I still lived at the time), and mainly in the garage. We helped my dad lay carpet in there, and then played games on it. We played on a wobbly card table. We played on the living room rug. There was something kind of pure in those days, something I kind of miss now. It was that "new love" feeling, where everything is exciting and all of us were thrilled to play all the time.

I tried on a couple of occasions to get my dad to play with me, but his poor eyesight meant that reading the cards was next to impossible. He was happy I wanted to share my hobby with him, but he never was able to participate in that way. He taught me bits and pieces about model building, though. He had decades of experience with making scenes in miniature, and what he could give to me he did. He was never stingy with his things, he just always made sure that I gave them back when I was done. I still have a bottle of Solvaset he lent me last month because I had just started using decals, and he wanted to show me how much better they would look when they had set down nice and flush. I suppose it's part of my inheritance now.

Over time the warmachine group slowly faded out. Joe and I were the last holdouts, but eventually even he mostly lost interest. I still burned for the game, but now it took so much effort just to find a game, and for quite a while I couldn't. I didn't paint much during that time either. Finally last year I started getting more involved with Brookhurst Hobbies' newly reopened Warmachine game nights (I had been a part of the Friday night Warmachine nights when I first started out, but I'd never really felt as welcome in that group - they had their own groups, and they weren't as inclusive with newcomers). I went to the first KingdomCon and the first SoCal Smackdown. I started painting more. I got most of my Trolls painted, and now I'm nearing the light at the end of the tunnel for my Mercs. I went to KindomCon 2 and am ready to go to SoCal Smackdown 2 in 2 weeks.

I suppose this rambling post is just my way of saying that for a long time, Warmachine has been very near and dear to me. It's a world I love, and a world I feel I can fall back on when things get bad. When I was lonely, when my friends left to do other things, or when my dad died, it's a place where I can go to get away. I can still paint models and get lost in my thoughts, and for that time, no matter how brief it lasts, things are all right and I can pretend that when I'm done I'll still get to show off my painted model to my dad, who would dutifully admire my work, no matter how sloppy or amateur, and then ask "So what's this guy do?"

I'll miss you, dad. You were my inspiration, my teacher, and my friend. This is going to be really hard without you.