It’s Term 1 2018!

It is now 2018, so we are overdue for some updates and information to be shared with you all!

Firstly, I hope that you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year, and that you have been able to enjoy some well earned time out.

Secondly, we are back on THIS WEEK! Our first week of board games is the 23rd January.

The Australia Day of Gaming is on Friday the 26th January! (This week!!) Check out the related post, or the facebook event!

 

Term 1, 2018 games officially start on Tuesday the 6th February.
The last week of Term 1 will be on Tuesday the 10th April.

Alas! Our games are almost full. We will be having some new games starting in Term 2, so watch this space!

Game with space…

A Tale of Two Wars (Pathfinder) 6 players max, 1 free space

Full games

Tomb of Annihilation (5E Dungeons and Dragons): 6 players max, 0 free spaces

Seeds of Rebellion (Star Wars Fantasy Flight): 6 players max, 0 free spaces

Silience (Pathfinder): 6 players max, 0 free spaces

A Big Hot Mess (Shadowrun): 6 players max, 0 free spaces

Wastelands (Battletech): 6 players max, 0 free spaces

 

We run and advertise irregular fun gaming sort of events on our Events page. Check it out!

Some key dates for 2018:
(some of the dates for the terms may change, but we will have them locked in by the 6th February!)

  • 7th April – Term One Social: Slot Cars (Time TBA)
  • 1st May – 3rd July MoG Term 2
  • July – New and updated Weekend Away (Date and details TBC – we’ll keep you posted! Thanks to all who gave us feedback!)
  • 24th July – 25th Sept MoG Term 3 starts
  • 16th Oct – 18th Dec MoG Term 4 starts
  • Dec – Christmas Party!

If you’ve never been to our site before, have a click around – you should find the information where you’d expect it to be.  We are pretty much always looking for new players, and welcome people who want to run games. If you want to join, email us (look at the contact page) or leave a comment below. (Your comment will be moderated to ensure you are not an adbot, so won’t appear immediately, but will be seen by a human being.)

Port Nyanzaru Herald, 21 Highsun, 1493DR

Delgado retires!

The high-profile citizen, Delgado Ilfein, has announced his retirement from the traditional Port Nyanzaru sport of dinosaur racing, citing injury and fatigue as his main reasons.

In a statement released to the Herald, Delgado shared that ‘I’ve seen pretty much everything racing has to offer’ and ‘my loyal triceratops, Ubtao’s Child, has unfortunately sustained injuries precluding further competition.’

When asked if he might possibly return to the sport later, he replied, “Perhaps. One day, I might again feel the need… the need, for speed. If that is so, who is to say?”

In other news, clerics from the Temple of Savras have reported news from their visions and dreams…  our favourite young triceratops, Gold Digger, is expecting twin daughters. You can be sure our artists will be there to record the birth, and the baby pictures, for you, our faithful readers!

Personal advertisements

Thirtysomething triceratops, athletic build, great personality, seeking a lady who’ll love me for me. I like sports. Inquiries to the dinosaur pens in Tiryki Anchorage. (later removed)

———-

XP awards:

  • Win a Dinosaur race and determine the location of Orolunga: 150 XP each
  • Survive and defeat four giant wolf spiders: 35 XP each
  • Sneak past the stirges: 40 XP each
  • Total: 950/2700 XP – DING! You’re level 3 now! Please update your character sheets. For those who’ve taken damage in Firefinger, just keep the same amount of damage you’ve suffered, and gain the HP that comes from the new level.

Other awards

  • Frank: The Osher Gunsberg Award for best matchmaking

Dubious Honours

  • Stryker for failing a DC 8 Athletics test, twice, despite having advantage

Zumbo

Star Type (Recharge time): K0V (191 hours)

Position in system: 4 (of 12)

Time to jump point: 5.48 days

Number of satellites: 1 (Zambezi)

Surface gravity: 1.09 g

Atmospheric Pressure: Standard (Breathable)

Equatorial temperature: 31 degrees (arid)

Surface Water: 67 percent

Recharging station: None

HPG class: None

Highest native life: Reptile

Population: 17,500,000 (3090, est)

Socio-Industrial levels: D-D-C-D-D

Landmasses (Capitol city): Chicumbo, Goba, Macia, Muxia, Quelimane, Zavora (None)

 

From space, Zumbo looked ideal for colonisation. Large oceans covered two thirds of the planet’s surface, suggesting an environment that would be well suited to human life and development. Actual exploration dashed those hopes, revealing that the seas were heavily alkaline due to their mineral content. Furthermore, those same minerals permeated the soil, making it incompatible with Terran plants.

 

Those same minerals also made the planet desirable for exploitation, which saw groups from the Draconis Combine, Federated Suns and Terran Hegemony all establish operations on the planet. Initially dependant entirely on imported food and water, a desire for expansion (and no small amount of lobbying on the part of Hegemony corporations) saw the construction of a number of massive water purification facilities across the planet. While these facilities were enough to support the population, they also served as the launchpad for a much bigger and more ambitious project. Extensive landscaping was used to create new rivers and large lakes, while expanded construction of water purifiers and even atmospheric converts aimed to transform the oceans into something more Earth-like.

 

The process was only partway complete when the Periphery Uprising broke out, followed by the Amaris Coup. Fearful for their own future and engaged in an unusual degree of foresight, the largest colonies on Zumbo came together to form a semi-autonomous government to help maintain order and living conditions until the current crisis ended. However, as years turned into decades, it became clear to the ruling planetary parliament that things were never going to go back to the old normal.

 

Following the collapse of the Star League, the council strengthened its power, focusing on protecting the continued operation of the vital water purification facilities that were keeping the population alive. Unfortunately, this success would have unforeseen consequences. Starting in the 2830s, the world was raided numerous times by pirates who struck at the vital water processing facilities for parts. These attacks cost the world several of the major processors, forcing an end to the oceanic conversion program.

 

Worse came in 2858 when Zumbo was invaded by Onverwacht, who were seeking to take the planet for their own. While still nominally a part of the Outworlds Alliance, the world was effectively on its own. Realising that their forces were outmatched and that fighting would risk the destruction of more vital, irreplaceable technology, the planetary council opted to surrender and incorporate themselves into the Onverwacht Republic. Any hopes for a peaceful transition or rule were dashed after the planetary council were executed and replaced with a new leadership that authorised a planet-wide looting campaign. Over the next three years, the occupying mercenaries looted whatever they could while leaving behind only enough to keep the population alive.

 

The collapse of the Onverwacht Republic was not the end of Zumbo’s nightmare by any means. The remaining population were left without a central government and a shortage of clean water. Furthermore, they had no way to replace the purifiers that had been damaged or destroyed during the occupation. A weak coalltion government tried to pull the planet together, but instead collapsed due to internal pressures and renewed pirate attacks.

 

Facing little opposition, many of those pirates chose to set themselves up as warlords, effectively carving up the world amongst themselves. The late 29th century was characterised by wars between these would-be conquerors, which served to do little except further deplete an already wounded world. However, all involved did make one small concession to reason by declaring the remaining water purifiers to be off-limits to attack. Instead, the warlords sought to ‘claim’ them by controlling the territories around them, effectively turning the water supply into a means of enforcing their will.

 

With few of them having interstellar or even interplanetary transport, Zumbo’s warlords were limited to fighting each other. The constant low-level ‘water wars’ of the 30th and early 31st achieved little but to keep the population poor and technology levels low. These conflicts largely ground to a halt simply due to the exhaustion of the factions involved rather than any one group achieving dominance.

 

At present, Zumbo is somewhat stable but far from comfortable. The planet’s oceans have largely reverted to their pre-terraforming state. A number of the artificial lakes and inland seas created by the Star League survive, and serve as the population’s sources of drinkable water. As such, most of the inhabitants are clustered inland while the coastal regions are abandoned. Living conditions are poor, with shortages of food and water common, and little access to advanced technology or medicine.

 

The remaining warlords rule largely through force of arms and control of the water. Their armies are dominated by conventional infantry and a smattering of armour, with each also possessing a few ancient BattleMechs. With next to no interstellar transport at hand, they are more focused on each other than off-world expeditions.

 

(Unfortunately for us, IE really missed the mark there. Sometime after the Jihad, several of the warlords consolidated into pirate bands, complete with dropships and Jumpships. No idea how this happened, but its possible that there were some external factors involved. Theyve been engaged in on-off raiding of other worlds for the last few decades, including a couple of clashes with the Grave Robbers nad now us. Putting them down would go a long way to helping clean up the neighbourhood. Otherwise, Zumbo doesnt really have much to offer us)

The flight

Salida ran, the long grass around Port Nyanzaru blurring at the corners of her vision, changing abruptly to  dense trees as she broke the jungle’s edge. Her feet glided swiftly and softly over well-remembered trails. The usual cacophony of the jungle – the shouts and roars of dinosaurs, the babble of monkeys, and the buzzing of insects – was unbroken by her passing.

After a good hour of running, she stopped to catch her breath. How had they done this? In the space of a mere twenty-four hours, this ragtag band of warriors had escaped her trap, survived the almost-universally-lethal Executioner’s Run, blown her cover and tracked her to her secret audience with the great Ras Nsi. She had led previous groups to their deaths in the Run, or the jungle, or at the hands of her mercenaries – none of those had been nearly as resourceful, efficient, or determined.

What would she do now? She had nothing – she had lost her home, her gold, her livelihood. Behind her was certain death at the hands of the adventurers. Ahead of her was whatever the fickle jungle would provide.

She hissed, with a rage unusual for one of her cold-blooded heritage. She had lost the satisfaction of riches, she had lost the satisfaction of revenge…

…but at least she had the satisfaction that what Ras Nsi had in store for them next was much more terrifying than her.

—-

XP Awards:

  • Expose and defeat Salida and her goons – 150XP each
  • The Legend of Ras Nsi – 50XP each
  • Total: 725/900 XP

Executioner’s Run MCMLII – Post-match report

Bob: Welcome again sports fans, to your source on all things Executioner’s Run-related – the thrills, the spills, the heroes, and, of course, the gory, gory deaths! I’m Bob, the Orc with the talk, and this is Jeff, the Shou with the know!

Jeff: That’s right Bob, and what a run we had earlier today! And I don’t mean of the toilet-kind…

Bob: No-sir-ree Jeff, our age classification rating prevents us talking about that. Senseless murder by dinosaur, on the other hand, is what we’re here for!

Jeff: And, sadly for some, not a lot of that happened today. Odds were on the favourite, Colton Ironspike, a two-time veteran of the Run, to break away from the rest of these degenerates and survive for another day, but disappointingly, his trademark ‘People’s Elbow’ failed to connect with the velociraptor mother and he was torn into pieces in short order. I’ve never seen the inside of a dwarf before, Bob, and I definitely don’t want to do so again.

Bob: Yes, er, neither have I, my human friend. Definitely never. Changing the subject, to top off the disappointment, the merchant T’femi, whom the bookmakers gave 1:10,000 odds of surviving the run, made it through unscathed! There are definitely a few gamblers enjoying the spoils of their luck tonight.

Jeff: And more power to them. Executioner’s Run – bringing happiness and joy to the people, that’s their job and ours!

Bob: Some lay this strange upsetting of the odds to our other competitors – Vinca and her accomplices, guilty of unlicensed assassination.

Jeff: It certainly looks that way. In fact, it was one of them – the one who picked up the skull for a shield? – who grabbed hold of T’femi and was actually protecting him from the dinos, a strategy that up until now has been associated with a 115% chance of death!

Bob: And viewers were treated to a magical spectacle unprecedented in Executioner’s Run history – weird spectral bears, bolts of fire and evil light, werepanther shenanigans…

Jeff: It might’ve ended differently if the remaining raptors didn’t suddenly just decide to fall asleep 25 seconds into the Run.

Bob: That’s right Jeff, we have no idea why that happened.

Jeff: Perhaps they just got bored?

Bob: Perhaps they skipped nap time?

Jeff: Perhaps they had too many carbs for lunch?

Bob: Whatever it is, it meant that Vinca’s band of reprobates get to live another day.

Jeff: Well, I don’t think people will be too unhappy about that – they also saved the lives of hundreds of people when that raptor woke up and got loose.

Bob: And even more heartwarming than that, we can hope that they’ll commit some other nefarious crime, and then we get to see them in the Run again! Take heart, Run-lovers, for the reoffending rate of convicted criminals is reassuringly high! See you next week!

—–

There may not be commentary like that above for every session, but we will do regular bookkeeping like this:

XP Awards:

  • Survive Executioner’s Run – 100XP each
  • Find a guide – 50 XP each (you’re practically there so you might as well get the XP)
  • Bonus XP:
    • Save T’femi and the crowds – 50XP each
    • Tolerate Bruce’s accent – 25XP each
  • Total current XP: 525 / 900

Awards:

  • Vinca – Best Hardened Criminal Impression and Best Combat Finisher
  • Drax – Damage Sponge Award for the impenetrable combination of resistance, temp hp and relentless endurance
  • Frank – Best Seagull-Whisperer
  • Stryker – Black Hawk Down Award for leaving no man behind (except the dwarf, that is)
  • Amberlyn – Game of Death Award for best vendetta against a guy with an Afro
  • Kleptor – Chief Financial Officer Award for offering to take all the gold

Dubious Honours

  • Drax, Kleptor and Amberlyn for 3 natural 1s in a row

See you next week!

Tomb of Annihilation

Throughout Faerun, a mysterious curse has cast a newfound fear of death across the land – those who have been raised from the dead find their health and vitality inexorably wasting away, while priests and clerics are stymied by the sudden silence of their gods to their prayers for resurrection.

The rich and powerful no longer have the security and confidence of a simple solution to an untimely demise, while the talk of the taverns is one of dark speculation – to what unholy place do the souls of the dead travel, where even the gods cannot reach them?

Desperate and fearful people have spilled gold and platinum at the feet of diviners and augurers, who have located the source of the curse in Chult – a savage and exotic land of dense jungle, punishing heat, rampaging undead and fantastic beasts hitherto unimagined. Parties of sellswords and explorers flock to this new land – some are aspiring heroes seeking to lift the curse of death, others crave this remarkable power over death for themselves, while still others are lured by the promise of gold and plunder from eager benefactors and unexplored ruins.

But some who set foot in Chult have this nagging doubt at the back of their minds – could not a power so great as to take away the souls of men and women also be sufficient to conceal its own location? Was this curse’s source found perhaps too easily? If so, who are the mice that the jaws of this trap are set for? And to what end?

—————————————————–

‘Tomb of Annihilation’ is a D&D 5th Edition campaign which will more or less follow the book of the same name. Minor changes will hopefully increase fun.

We’ll start with a ‘Session Zero’ on the 6th February, where we’ll talk about how deadly we want the campaign to be (meat grinder mode, anyone?), whether we want to run a more heroic or self-interested party, set a few ground rules, and flesh out our characters accordingly. We should also have time to begin the actual game, so don’t skip it!

Feel free to reply below with ideas for your character’s race/class/background/story. Also feel free to make up as much of your character as you want beforehand, with the following guidelines:

  • Start at level 2 – cos level 1 can be a bit too lethal
  • Use the default array for your base stats (15 14 13 12 10 8) – cos equality
  • All official sourcebooks and current Unearthed Arcana are permitted, but you have to have access to the appropriate rules if they’re ever called into question
  • Bear in mind that you may have to make some adjustments depending on where we decide to go as a group

I’ve also got a pile of pregenerated characters for those who find the rules crunch a bit frustrating. Just choose one and go!

Any questions, reply below. See you on the 6th!

Australia Day of Gaming 2018!!

The Australia Day of Gaming is on Friday the 26th January! (This week!!) Details are:

Who: Everyone and anyone! This is a family friendly event. Come, and bring your friends too! You can comment below to give us an idea of numbers, or on the facebook event.

What: Boardgames, One Shots and other games! If you want to run a game, feel free to post in the comments to recruit players!

When: 10am-9:30pm, Friday the 26th January.Come for all or part of the day! Although if you are coming around lunchtime or dinner time and want food, message Helen, Chloe or Richard and we can make sure you are catered for!!

Bring: $5 to cover a BBQ lunch; money for dinner (take out) and snacks (Drinks if you want, although the drinks fridge will also be in attendance!)
Bring games if you want too!

The rise and fall and rise of a mercenary command

Taken from Mercenary Business for Beginners, 3130 edition; Galatea Free Press.

 

The high rate of failure of mercenary commands is well known and has been extensively discussed. The Jihad served to be, in many ways, the ultimate leveller of the trade, with only one in five commands surviving that conflict. The subsequent years of the Republic-enforced peace only served to further starve the trade, driving more commands out of business while making it harder for newer commands to start.

 

And yet, throughout the history of the mercenary trade, there have been those commands that have fallen and yet managed to drag themselves back from the drink. These cases are rare, enough to make those instances where such occurs to be exceptional each time. Unlike a Successor State regiment where a fallen command’s name and colours may be resurrected by the state for any number of reasons, resurrecting a mercenary unit often comes down to an individual with some strong investment in the unit.

 

A good example of the multiple lives of a mercenary command comes from McKinnon’s Marauders. A family-run unit dating formed during the late Third Succession War, the Marauders were nearly destroyed during the Clan Invasion. Not only were they facing off against superior forces, but the unit was also effectively abandoned to its fate by their employer, a Combine noble. Only a handful of members survived, most notably Stuart and David McKinnon, two scions of the unit’s founding family.

 

Dragging what was left of the shattered command to Solaris VII, the McKinnons managed to recruit new members from the game world and rebuild some measure of their strength. Registering with the fledgling MRBC on Outreach, the command would continue to grow over the next decade, riding the back of the mercenary boom of the 3050s. The unit survived the Jihad, even through severe losses, and managed to rebuild by absorbing other shattered commands.

 

A falling out between different branches of the family lead to Jason McKinnon taking command of the unit in the early 32nd century, while his cousin Richard pursued his career elsewhere. Jason would remain in command of the unit until 3115, when it was functionally destroyed by Combine forces fighting in the Draconis Reach. Jason’s son, Connor, was one of the few survivors of the unit. However, given his youth and lack of experience, and no financial reserves to fall back on, he was unable to rebuild the command. The Marauders were stricken from the MRBC roster, ending their career.

 

This would not be the end for McKinnon’s Marauders, however. In 3127, Thomas McKinnon, Richard’s son, took command of the failing Black Thunder Battalion. After an extensive restructuring, he re-launched the command as the new McKinnon’s Marauders, effectively a continuation of the old command without the baggage that it had accumulated. The MRBC formally approved the move, effectively making Thomas McKinnon the legitimate heir to the family command.

 

CRD-3R Crusader Mabel

Field Testing Summation: Custom CRD-3R Refit

Producer/Site: Grim Grinner Gang, unknown facility (Ype-Jhu?)

Supervising Technician: “Oil Can” Handy

Project Start Date: Unknown (3128?)

Non-Production Equipment Analysis:

Hatchet

Double-Strength Heat Sinks

 

Despite the century of technological renaissance stemming from the recovery of the Helm Memory Core, there are still regions of human space where scavenging and jury-rigging of technology is the norm. Nowhere does this become more evident then in the region known as the Outworlds Wastes. Largely ignored and forgotten for the last three hundred years, the worlds of the Wastes fell even further then others during the depths of the Succession Wars. Furthermore, due to their isolated nature and lack of infrastructure, the crawl back for these worlds has been slow and painful, with few managing to even reach Terran Alliance levels of technology.

 

In many cases, the highpoints of technological progress on these worlds comes from pirate bands who form their own, isolated high-tech enclaves. Needing functional BattleMechs and dropships to simply make their operations viable, these bands will by necessity require access to the technology to keep such machines running. In the Outworlds Wastes, this often leads to innovation through improvisation, as the few skilled technicians available use whatever methods they can to keep valuable machines running.

 

The man known only as “Oil Can” Handy is one such example. The cheif technician of the Grim Grinner Gang, he has become a master of keeping the pirate band running on the back of whatever salvage they have been able to find or steal. In many cases, this has included rebuilding BattleMechs out of improvised parts and performing modifications to suit whatever components are available to the pirate band. What makes this even more impressive is that much of this work is done without the benefit of advanced technology or infrastructure by a crew whose training is largely done on the job.

 

Possibly Handy’s greatest work was the job he did on rebuilding the Crusader piloted by the pirate band’s leader, Mad Mabel. A battle with a rogue mercenary band had left her BattleMech half-wrecked but in possession of an Axman’s lower right arm. Seemingly inspired by her trophy (or maybe in a fit of madness), Mabel ordered Handy to rebuild her BattleMech to incorporate the Axman’s hatchet, while also redesigning it to be better suited to close combat.

 

With high expectations placed on him (and potentially severe consequences for failure), Handy went to work. The right arm LRM launcher had been irreparably crushed in the battle, so removing it to make way for the hatchet seemed like a logical move. The left arm launcher was similarly removed, and replaced with a pair of modified SRM-6 launchers in order to support the ‘Mech’s close-range capabilities. The missile bays for the LRMs were rebuilt to accommodate the new missiles; since they were already cross-linked,  it proved easier to keep one bay in the right side to feed missiles on the left arm. Judicious use of spare armour (and some scrap metal) created the illusion that the original LRM launchers were still in place in order to deceive opponents. Mabel would later add cosmetic spikes to both sides in order to further confuse opponents while also supporting her aesthetic sensibilities.

 

To further bolster the Crusader’s firepower, Handy replaced the machine guns with a second pair of Medium Lasers, taken from salvaged components. While both lasers were different models (One Lushann, the other Diverse Optics), some careful modifications ensured that they would be compatible with the existing units. Mabel approved of the change, stating that “killing peasants was no fun” and leaving anti-infantry duties to others.

 

Finally, the salvaged hatchet was installed in the right arm, completing the original point of the rebuild. Rather then going to the lengths of grafting a new lower arm on, Handy instead transferred the hatchet, making modifications to the structure of the Crusader’s hand and lower arm to ensure that it would function properly.

 

This did leave one problem, however. The Crusader had allways been notorious for overheating, and the additional weapons (and Mabel’s aggressive approach to close combat) would likely burden the cooling system even further. Not wanting to risk as catastrophic shutdown (or her ire), Handy engaged in the most ambitious (and resource intensive) part of the project, which was to upgrade the ‘Mech to use double-strength heat sinks. Despite a shortage of parts (he drained all the spare double strength models out of their reserve and even stole some from other BattleMechs), Handy was able to complete the overhaul.

 

Despite her oft fickle and violent nature, Mabel was suitably pleased with the result. Her initial field trials of the ‘Mech went well, much to her pleasure (and no doubt, Handy’s relief). During a raid on Onverwacht, she displayed the effectiveness of these modifications in combat against the Syndicate’s forces. Having mistaken it for a regular Crusader, a Syndicate underboss piloting an Ostsol attempted to rush it to engage in close combat. Instead, the unsuspecting MechWarrior found themselves staggered by a barrage of SRMs, before having their cockpit crushed by the hatchet. Buoyed by her victory, the pirates went on a three day looting and pillaging rampage, carrying off millions in parts, supplies and other booty before burning whatever was left behind.

From the personal journal of Maggie Vossler

Well that was a complete mess.

 

Where to begin? Okay, so thanks to the efforts of McKinnon and Baden we knew where Mad Mabel was hiding out. It was the ruins of Santiago, a dead city that’s been half buried in ice and snow, giving her some shelter and infrastructure while allowing her to blend in. And thanks to Tudor, we knew that they were at home. Now we needed to go in there and root them out.

 

After his initial screw up on the landing, Captain Nexx wanted to be the one to end the Grim Grinners. He was smarting over Mabel making him look like a fool, and saw this as his chance to make up for it. So with as little turnaround as possible – and without calling in support, I might add – the whole company charged on Santiago. We approached form the south, crossing a frozen river into the city proper. The intel was spot on about the terrain; the place was buried, with the tops of buildings sticking out of the ice and snow.

 

It was also spot on about the Grim Grinners, as we immediately picked up hostiles as we approached. The weather had closed in, making long-range shots difficult, but there was no question as to their intent as they opened up on us. Nexx ordered recon lance to head into the city to try and pin down the enemy, which is where it got really hairy.

 

Vince found that the Grinners had hidden more ‘Mechs and tanks inside the buildings. He found this out when a Hetzer nearly took his Jenner’s legs off. Seriously, it looks like the shots passed between the legs as he ran. That guy has the devil’s own luck. There were a few others, including a rocket-armed Hunchback and a Whitworth, as well as some infantry. All of a sudden, we were outnumbered. It got even worse when we lost two of our own in quick succession, a Hunchback that had its cockpit shot out and a Centurion who’s ammo went up.

 

Nexx wasn’t going to give up. It wasn’t just his ego speaking, though. He knew that if he withdrew then Mabel would just escape. Naw, we needed to end the Grinners; even if Mabel was killed, somebody else would just take their place. He had the heavies form up on a ridge, with Tudor and Guthrie raining down PPC and laser fire on the pirates. The rest of us were advancing, using jets where possible to try to break up the Grinners’ formation.

 

They had ideas of their own; a Firestarter, Chameleon and the same Griffin that Tudor’s lance had nearly decapitated before tried to flank us. Several more lights peppered Guthrie’s Wammer with rockets; he was taking a pouding, but he refused to fall. My own Cadaver was disabled when its reactor shielding failed. All I can say is thank the lord for CASE II, otherwise I might not be here to write this. That and I can’t imagine who’d get Recon Lance without me.

 

Their efforts to flank us didn’t work out so well; the Firestarter went down hard, while the Griffin was left with a burning hole in its chest. That gave us an opening, which saw Lancaster and McKinnon jump their Cronuses into the middle of the enemy rear and try to disrupt their heavies. It worked to a degree; they managed to badly damage a JagerMech and Marauder, but Lancaster got the shock of her life when a Crusader nearly took her arm off with a hatchet. I guess we found Mad Mabel.

 

We were wearing them down, but they were doing a number on us. The Griffin went down when Jan crushed its chest, while the Hunchback lost a leg and its entire left side. An ammo explosion took out the Marauder, which was both good and bad; we lose the salvage, but we also were facing one less heavy. But there were still several more of them then there were of us. Guthrie’s Warhammer had lost an arm and was basically naked from the waist up, and Lancaster’s Cronus had lost its PPC and much of its armour, and that was just the start of it.

 

And that’s the moment that it all turned around.

 

Captain Ash Coffin wheeled her command lance into the battle on Mabel’s flank. Quite literally in her case, as Coffin opened up in Mabel’s rear armour. At the same time, the Chameleon went down, followed by a Commando that had been spraying rockets at the heavies, then the JagerMech who lost its head to one of Coffin’s men. Mabel found herself surrounded and without an escape route, so she instead made a kamikazie charge on Nexx’s Ostroc. It didn’t work, and Coffin cut her down from behind. She didn’t even try to eject.

 

With their leader dead, the commander of an immobilised Manticore tank popped his hatch and offered to surrender. It turned out that he was the highest-ranking member of the Grim Grinners left alive (save for the unconscious Chameleon jockey). By accident we’d managed to gut their leadership, and it was largely fear of Mabel herself that was keeping them in the battle. The rest of them also gave up, save for one Locust that tried to make a run for it. Baden cut him off, suggesting that a crippled Locust against a nearly fully functional Jenner was a bad idea.

 

It should have been a big win for us; after all, we’d killed Mad Mabel and got the rest of the Grim Grinners to surrender rather then fighting to the death. Nexx, however, was fuming. Coffin basically throw him a backhanded insult, saying that he’d done a great job of distracting the Grim Grinners and getting them into place, and thus allowing her to get the kill (and the glory). Personally, I didn’t care either way. I just was glad to be alive.

 

Either way, we still had a fair amount of salvage to sift through. We’d lost three ‘Mechs, but could make them up. My Cadaver was reapirable, and we could Frankenstein a full Hunchback out of the two disabled ones on the field. Nexx laid claim to the mostly intact Chameleon, which meant that we’d be back at a full company once we did a lot of repair work, and pulled a couple of new MechWarriors from the pool.

 

Speaking of, it looks like the surviving Grim Grinners are going to be vetted to see if any of them are wanted for anything specific, rather then just general pirate-ness. Those that are ‘clean’ will then be given the choice of joining us or swing form the nearest tree. You have to love Periphery Justice.

 

We descended on the Grim Grinners’ base like a plauge of locusts, seeing what we could take. They’d repurposed an old factory, and redecorated it to their tastes. So you know, skulls, flayed bodies, knives, drugs and whatever else. The sorts of things that pirates like. We rounded up Mabel’s remaining support staff, including her chief tech and something that could be very generously called a doctor. Besides the techs going to work on salvaging what they could from the Grinners’ stockpiles, there was a lot of souvineering going on.

 

Baden really shone here, though. He managed to find a hit list of worlds and sites Mabel was targeting, including a list of possible allies.

 

So that’s it for the Grim Grinner Gang and Mad Mabel, the Cannibal Queen. Can’t wait to see what hellhole we get thrown into next.

 

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