When last we met, my forces hobbled their way home, were brow-beaten, and had been punished for so royally failing to ambush Ikkinz’s forces which escorted their precious cargo to safety.
This time there would be no failure. Adamant about not shaming himself again, my Bibliothecary took the Perfectionist Trait (allowing a re-roll of a failed spell cast). My Shadowfoot, narrowly avoiding meaningful injury, learned Decisive Strike (re-roll a failed melee attack), certain he would never again fail to slay a target. I also upgraded my Magic craftsmen so that I could always get one free spell recharge.
Ikkinz took her substantial winnings, and bought novices of each craftsman. Her Geomancer likewise found herself obsessing over her magical prowess, and became a Perfectionist, while also learning a spell which would allow her to send a deadly wave between two of her placed stones. The brutish Battleborn was awarded a Magic Ring, and the Battlesmith trained to become a Champion.
Whether by good fortune, or machinations unknowable, our two groups now learned some interesting news. Rockslides to the North of their prior battle had unearthed an entrance to some kind of cyclopean underworld. The call of riches was strong.
Upon entering into an antechamber our heroes were met with an underground crypt of sorts. The first group to recover two treasures and take them off of a corner would win, but this would become more complicated as only three of the five markers place would be treasure, the others deadly traps.
Worse still, their mere presence had awoken an ethereal evil, which would stalk them relentlessly, and that could only be wounded by magical attacks.
Turn One: Ikkinz went first, and in an effort to deter me from the central objective we would likely fight over, placed a stone with her Geomancer. Knowing it could be explode fairly easily in a future turn would make me rethink committing anyone of value to that point.
I responded, knowing her ranged options were exhausted, by sending my Hearthguard to a far objective. Going all in on moving meant he could not unearth the token this turn, but he was positioned well for the next.
Her Battlesmith would go next, reaching and claiming the nearest token. Fortunately for the Smith it proved a real treasure, giving her an early lead, and limiting our options on the remaining objectives.
My Shadowfoot approached the midfield with trepidation. Knowing I was nearest to the randomly deployed wild monster meant Ikkinz would control it, and I would not be able to do anything about that. Her own Battleborn did something similar allowing some flexibility for the next turn.
I then remembered the value of my own ghostly allies, and summoned an Illusionary Horror. By positioning my caster carefully, this placed the Horror right on the central objective. Considering him a valuable, but disposable, tool, the Horror picked up the marker. Another treasure! This meant the game could potentially move with shocking brevity. The next treasure found was key. The Horror walked its find back towards my deployment, serving a second purpose of being the only model in threat range of the wandering beastie.
Living and dying as expected, Ikkinz activated the creature and proceeded to dispel my Horror, but binding itself in the process!
Turn Two: Ikkinz won initiative, and finding the central objective gone, redirected her Battleborn to the distant objective. Picking it up revealed the final, and most precious objective. The game was now clear, as I had to stop this model from getting off the table, at all costs.
My Bibliothecary went next, wanting to eat up activations. He re-summoned the Horror, again positioning it as a miasma of bind and disengagements the wild creature would need to deal with, and then claimed the treasure which had virtually dropped at his feet. Finally an effort was made to attack the melee-resistant monster with Elemental Smite, which did a piddling one damage.
Knowing her role was one of distraction, the Geomancer positioning herself near enough to protect the Battleborn, and also threw a rock at the Shadowfoot. He took two damage from the auto-hit, but endured.
The Hearthguard and Shadowfoot had the task of intercepting the Battleborn, and possibly winning the game, and thus began trying to pincer him. Neither could reach him, but both could aggressively advance hoping for priority next turn. Between their activations, the confident Battlesmith simply walked off of the table-corner, singing a jaunty tune.
Turn Three: Winning initiative yet again, the Battleborn was activated and made an absolute dash for the exit. This movement ended a mere two inches from escape, and immediately left things looking bleak, but not impossible… that is until Ikkinz revealed her intentions…
… you cannot take the competitive entirely out of a recovering tournament-only player.
Ikkinz revealed what she had seen. Her Magic Ring could be used as a dodge token, and her Combat Mobility would let her turn that dodge into movement the very next time I acted within Line-of-Sight.
Deflated I looked to see if anyone at all could activate. Out of sheer need to do something, my baddies lashed out, and my Shadowfoot charged her Geomancer. All of the Razor Sharp buffs, and dual-strikes in the world could not turn my ill intent into damage.
Retaliating, the Geomancer struck with two mighty backhands, the first drawing my dodge token, the second placing my Shadowfoot on his butt.
The game won, my next actions were meaningless as Ikkinz executed her play for a largely non-violent, and easy win for the Advocates.
While no injuries were sustained, my warband would skulk back to their criminal den expecting that I would not be pleased. Ikkinz, would however welcome her heroes who returned flush with cash, and both a healing and extraordinary healing potion.
Note: Regarding our map, as a few readers asked… We’re using it as much as a roleplaying, and environment picking prompt than anything. We will likely play until one of us owns at least half of the map, and are allowing each-other to challenge for a tile previously won by the other.
This is of course moot as my awesome wife keeps rolling me anyway.
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!