Note: this blogpost was drafted over a year ago! A lot of events have disrupted blogging and especially editing and publishing, some of these are awesome and exiting and others have been tough and challenging. But the backlog of battle reports and fiction will be filled in as time permits and there will be lots of new stuff to come!
The Valkeeri Commander in Absentia looked through the file from the spy amongst the Imperial ranks. The poor deluded lovesick fool would do anything just to see the face of Sub-Captain Mira Hati smile on the encoded spaceophone screen and as always the information was invaluable. Fleet Captain Zimara, current leader of the Valkeeri forces of House St’wart in this region of space was still alive! Captured by the Imperial forces after she had convinced the Imperial fools into helping her get her vengeance on the Zenithians for replacing the previous Fleet Captain with a pod-person clone copy hypno-programmed into leading Valkeeri forces into making bad decisions that would have crippled them had the subterfuge not been discovered by superior Valkeeri art-science. But even someone as headstrong and wilful as Fleet Captain Zimara might break under the cruel and ruthless hands of the Empire and their barbaricly brutal mind-probes. They were holding her in a small spacestation towed in and set in orbit around the planet Iratus Est Draco, one world out away from the strangely unstable sun, named Draco by the ancients, from the mysterious MacGuffinite rich world of Dormientes Draco. To safeguard the Valkeeri secrets they needed to rescue her, to find what she may have learned of the Zenithian plans they must rescue her, for loyalty they must rescue her!
This week I didn’t make it in to the Sleeping Dragon store as I, and others, had to catch up with some people socially. But in the afternoon Taphyl and I played at his house. Continuing on from the tale of vengeance last week Taphyl was quite enthusiastic when I suggested a mission to rescue the survivors from the last game now helplessly in my clutches (Mua-Ha-Ha-Haaaaaaa!). Alas I forgot my camera but Taphyl had one handy so on we went!
Battle report continues after this break (i.e. click ‘continue reading’ to see the rest)
We decided that three ‘lots’ of prisoners were to be rescued for a victory (because I have a fairly small Valkeeri Fleet currently and Taphyl was using my miniatures) and any Imperial Rockets boarded would add to a Valkeeri victory. I set up the battlefield then checked if it met Taphyls approval. We decided that the prisoners were either on the small space station or on the moon and when I let Taphyl choose he made a random roll and determined they were on the space station. I set my rockets in a scattered patrolling manner and then Taphyl could enter from anywhere with his Rockets at each appropriate speed rank.
Taphyl, often one to go straight to the point brings his fleet on from the edge closest to the station! The initiative order for the game goes slowest first, so my slow ponderous juggernaut the Imperial Class III Gryphon (dubbed in this game the Anzu II replacing the flagship of Princess Taegans lost when she went missing in battle against the mysterious Zenithian towers) moves first and then there would be a dice-off between the Imperial Class II Raptor and the Valkeeri Class 3 Lamia, followed next by the Valkeeri Class 2 Fury and then finally a dice-off between the equally swift Class 1 rockets the Imperial Scorpions and the Valkeeri Sirens. At the start Taphyl won the first dice off so most of my Rockets remained cautiously stationary till I discovered where the space-amazons were attacking from.
But the dice gods frown upon both sides, and it wouldn’t be the first time we wished that what we’d rolled for initiative had been what we’d rolled on the damage test.
Because my Imperial Class III and Class II had neither moved nor shot it gave me the chance for a delayed action next turn, so I used it to reposition, and with the turning of the mighty class III Gryphon the Anzu II the side gunner was able to draw a bead on the Valkeeri class 2 Fury before it had a chance to move out of the way.
I roll for this single shot…
The lucky blast popped the hatch seal on the class 2 Fury and crew scrambled to get breathing apparatus on and seal the leak of precious atmosphere!
The normal movement order slightly upset by the delayed action, the mighty Valkeeri class 3 Lamia Rocket pulsed to the other side of the space station to unleash it’s energy projectors against one of the Scorpions, the 3 Sirens moving alongside in a carefully orchestrated strike. The other Scorpions held position to take out the Fury while it was vulnerable.
I look up the situation for the Scorpion on the damage chart from that many hits… oh dear… stun is automatic and 3+ on a 10 sided dice is a destroyed! Ok Taphyl, roll away…
Now even though the Scorpion is destroyed the shooting is all simultaneous and so it’s shot occurs at the same time
(actually as you can see from the pics we rolled the scorpions shot first but they are presented here reverse for dramatic effect, and as mentioned the damage all occurs simultaneously)
Alas though the two other Scorpions attack on the stunned Class 2 Fury? They failed to destroy it. And so repaired it would be free next turn.
The turn ended with the Valkeeri Lamia declaring it was docking with the Imperial space station to rescue their captive comrades.
To start the next turn I kept the Gryphon class Anzu II standing guard over the other docking port of the station but turned it in place to try and get it’s forward guns to bear on some of the likely Valkeeri positions. The Lamia performed it’s docking move and the Raptor swung around the planet to join the fray… but the Valkeeri class 2 Fury now repaired blasted forward on a mighty atomic pulse across to blast the Raptor….
“Pilot, set course to intercept the Raptor!”
“Yes Captain, what range intercept?” asked the pale blue skinned Valkeeri pilot of her pale green skinned captain.
The silvery-purple painted lips of the captain smiled venomously.
“Intercept at 0 centimetres… RAM THEM!”
“Ram to stun, or destroy?”
“Are you married Pilot?”
“Then Ram to Stun! And we’ll fetch you a handsome husband from the survivors!”
The 2 mobile Valkeeri Sirens turned to add their firepower to the attack of rays and collision, while the remaining Scorpions tried to finish the job the dying shot of their fallen comrade had started.
We started the rolling with the stunned Siren.. and I rolled a 1. Sigh, the run of lucky rolls of the last few games was clearly over and my usual poor luck was back. But still bad luck can’t ruin a game as fun as war rocket. Taphyl and I took up the dice and rolled at the same time for the collision!
The mighty Raptors armour shrugs off the colliding Fury and on to the next turn as the crew of the Lamia are rescuing a tokens-worth of captured Valkeeri survivors from the cells of the Imperial space station.
The Anzu II moves around the station to blast the Lamia while it is vulnerable. The Raptor pushes past the Fury to join in the attack on the Lamia. The Fury and Sirens though are determined to take down the Raptor and finally the Scorpions move in on their thrusters to add the full weight of Imperial weaponry to destroy the craft before the Valkeeri prisoners can escape.
It was also around this point that Taphyl realised he was so engrossed in the game that he’d left the blueberry muffins in the oven too long! There was a race to the oven and thankfully while very browned they weren’t quite burnt. In fact they had a nice uniform crunchy outer shell and were really tasty to eat while playing 🙂
Alas my attempt to take down the Lamia is unsuccessful!
The attack on the Raptor..
Aboard the Raptor The loyal crew of the fleet of the missing but believed alive Princess Taegan don airtanks and grab soldering gear as the power from the atomic motor is cut and all circuits go dead. Elegant red and gold art-deco access panels are lifted and cables checked as they race to find the fault and restore power before the ship can be disintegrated by the Valkeeri rays!
The Gryphon-Class Class II rocket the Anzu II blasted forward to defend the stricken raptor and make the most of it’s several fire arcs. The Lamia, now having taken on two lots of rescued prisoners and now under the command of the rescued Fleet Capatain Zimara moved off from the station and turned it’s guns on the Anzu!
The rest of the Valkeeri other than the Fury followed suit leaving the stricken Raptor to it’s repairs in their desire to silence the guns of the larger class III. The forward guns of the Anzu II struck one of the Sirens, while the side gun and the firepower of the Scorpions joined the attacks on the Lamia. But because the prisoners are important to the cause of Emperor Marduk, and perhaps vital in discovering the current location of the missing Princess Taegan, it was vital to take back the prisoners alive! So I must shoot-to-stun, which means that the stun results on the damage table would count as misses and the destroyed results instead count as stuns.
But the attack on the Lamia failed to take out their engines. The attack on the Anzu II was similarly unsuccessful with all that Valkeeri firepower merely glancing off the Zorastrianite and Goldrantium armour. Then the roll for the forward guns of the Gryphon type class III rocket..
But the Fury ends the turn with the announcement it is docking with the station!
The Anzu II turns in its place as I try and predict the possible Valkeeri actions. The Lamia wins the roll off against the Raptor for initiative so the Raptor with it’s repairs completed blasts towards the station to stop the docking Fury and the Lamia hurtles away out of range of my attacks, the Scorpions lose the roll off too and so attack the Lamia and the Sirens then move to position to attack the Scorpions!
The Gryphon turns to go around the planet Iratus Est Draco to deal with the Lamia but the Lamia spins 180 degrees in the spot and pulses back to the station to pick up the last prisoners! The Raptor positions to strike the Lamia and then I spend a couple minutes with the challenge of Imperial Thurster movement with it’s wide turning circle before concluding that I cannot get one of the scorpions to attack the Lamia so I position it instead to strike next turn and the Siren’s attack a Scorpion while the Lamia’s side gun put a single hit on the other remaining Scorpion.
Taph then rolls for the single hit on the Scorpion beside the Lamia…
Then the combined attack on the other Scorpion with much better odds to kill..
The Lamia docks and the next turn starts. The Anzu II tries to turn around, a slow process, and the Raptor fails to stop the Lamia rescuing the remainder of the Valkeeri prisoners!
Then the Anzu finally completes it’s u-turn only for the Lamia to move away and the Raptor to give chase. But Fleet Captain Zimara shows the ruthlessness of her tactics.
“All Sirens, RAM THE RAPTOR! Repeat: Ram the Raptor! Destroy! Destroy!”
With 4 hits on the Raptor, two from shooting and two from the pair of collisions the odds aren’t bad.. but no harm is done to the Imperial Class II Raptor! And the Sirens each take two hits in return from the collision with the larger rocket…
All that remains now is to catch and stop the class 3 Valkeeri Lamia, the lone remaining Valkeeri rocket. And my Raptor has the same speed.
Now i just need to get round the planet Iratus Draco and catch that Valkeeri, That won’t be…
… -cult!.. oh, gone already you say? Oh dear, All-seeing Emperor Marduk and the Princess won’t be happy about this!
Fleet Captain Zimara smiled sweetly as the great prize was gently guided into the command room of the Lamia type Rocket.
“The poor thing, how cruelly they have treated it. But we’ll help it recover won’t we sisters?”
The crew nodded their agreement as the extra prisoner taken in the rescue was gently sat down on a chair before the raised command-throne. The Zenithian commander would be more resistant but not immune to Valkeeri wiles, and soon it would tell everything to her that torture and the mind probe hadn’t revealed to the minions of Emperor Marduk! The secret plans of the Zenithians would be hers!