After a win, that felt suspiciously like a loss, my forces of the Adversary were left battered. Feeling the loss of the Shadowfoot, our band of villains felt that much more aware of how precarious their circumstances were. Even in victory, their lives could be forfeit to the whims of fate.
My winnings were immediately and entirely funnelled into replacing the Shadowfoot with another who would hopefully be more eager to earn his name, and thus recognition. Outfitting him similarly with a Magic Ring and Neurotoxin left me depleted, but ready for our next quest.
Ikkinz, benevolent even in loss, chose to gift her followers with a new friend. A Bounty Hunter now joined their ranks as they continued their own quest to kiss puppies, high-five babies… or whatever it is that good guys do.
Both warbands had heard tell of an artifact in the ruins of a nearby city which had fallen during the cataclysm which brought magic to their world. Apparently it sat, visible to all, simply waiting to be claimed.
This was surely too good to be true, and no one was surprised as the clacking of bones could be heard. Treasures defended by the undead felt, cliche… commonplace, but the universe reading their thoughts provided more to contend with. Two hulking, lizard-like Scavengers were here as well, seeking fortune. Something wholly new, and unlike the Iguan with which they were familiar, these wild-monsters ensured a four way battle way about to take place.
The winner would be the player holding the central, Relic at the end of five turns.
Turn 1: Ikkinz had paid better attention, and wisely chose the deployment corner which she knew gave her options for being outside the sight of the Scavengers. This meant that she would be sure to control both at the end of the turn. This informed both our early strategies as she felt confident she could advance and stay outside this line of sight. We had rolled particularly tough enemies on the monster generator, and neither of us wanted to tangle with them AND the scenario’s guardian skeletons. As they moved up, the new Bounty Hunter would immediately prove her worth, dropping a guardian from afar.
I used my Iguan as a flanking force, intent to handle the leftmost threats, and thinning the obstructions my bulk forces would face as they quickly advanced on the center. An annoyingly placed Illusionary Horror would further occupy this space, and hopefully distract the guardian as well.
It was here that Ikkinz caught her mistake, and realized she had moved the Bounty Hunter too far to a flank, actually giving me control of one Scavenger who rushed in their direction. Though the other would come after my own Iguan, I felt good about being able to potentially throw a threat at two of her models, to my one.
The skeletons would easily destroy my Horror, but the other did nothing to my Assassin.
Turn 2: Keeping my eye on the true prize, my enthusiastic Hearthguard rushed to retrieve the Relic and began to flee. This was a risky gambit, but moving this way early could help me outpace and evade the rest of the enemy. It was everyone else’s job to create as lasting an obstruction as they could manage, even at the cost of their lives.
My Iguan would eventually defeat his opposing guardian and started towards a table edge with his own treasure, and hoped to tempt a Scavenger to follow.
The combined efforts of Ikkinz’ Battlesmith, Bounty Hunter, and Battleborn would prove potent enough to kill the other Scavenger, and remaining skeleton, but leaving her out of position to advance much closer to my Hearthguard, and thus the reason we were here. Left vulnerable, my new Shadowfoot, in tandem with an Elemental Blast would knock down the Stonekin, who was my nearest, major threat.
As the monsters began their turn Ikkinz saw her opportunity that I had failed to measure, and engaged my Hearthguard with the sole Scavenger left.
Turn 3: Needing to free my Hearthguard, I used my Iguan to backtrack, and thankfully slay the Scavenger. Now, all wild variables slain, this would be a stand-up fight between warbands.
Ikkinz’s Geomancer would go next, using an Extraordinary Health Potion earned way back in game one, to bring back the dangerous Stonekin, but mercifully failing to do too much else.
Remembering that I am evil, and thus don’t want a stand-up fight, I would activate my now-free Hearthguard, and run as far away as possible. This cowardice was rewarded with an angry Stonekin who would cut his way through my Shadowfoot, before ultimately getting tied up by a surprisingly selfless Bibliothecary, and a very short-lived Illusionary Horror.
Turn 4: My efforts to buy time were melting away as Ikkinz’ crew would make an example of my Shadowfoot, putting him to the sword before similarly doing the same to my Bibliothecary. Hoping the “red mist” had clouded her judgement, I suspected Ikkinz would fail to reach me, thanks to these lost activations.
I was wrong. Remembering the potent, and previously winning combo of Magic Ring + Combat mobility, while also buying an extra action with precisely enough remaining Influence, her Stonekin managed to reach, and knock-down my Hearthguard, cutting through two dodge tokens… and apparently my helmet as well.
The Hearthguard did get up in the recovery phase, and now our prize sat within reach of us both.
Turn 5: Winning initiative, the Stonekin grabbed the Relic, though failed to disengage. My sole hope now was not only to knock him down, but to do so with enough actions remaining to get the treasure, wherever she might drop it.
Sadly this wasn’t meant to be, as good fortune, and durability left the Stonekin on one wound.
A victory for the Advocates with nary a lasting mark on them, left me to make my injury rolls. While the Bibliothecary would actually learn from his failure, coming away with another bonus Valor point, my 2nd Shadowfoot fared far worse…
… he died.
I suspect I will hire a third, who I sincerely hope has both feet, rather than the one which kept tripping up his predecessors.
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