Battle Report (Tabletop)

Bounty hunters seek unsanctioned psykers (Part 3)

Although it was unlikely the psykers would visit the local market, some of the bounty hunters’ thugs questioned shopkeepers for rumors.

Everything about the planet was repulsive to Count Johann Feracci. The warp storm in the sky, the smell of sewage in the streets, and even the press of human bodies as he attempted to shoulder his way through the crowds.

“This is intolerable,” he said, turning to his consort, the Lady Adriana. “I should never have let you talk me into coming here.”

A woman of unearthly beauty, with perfect auburn hair, Adriana gave the nobleman a dazzling smile and tut-tutted. “You will not be disappointed,” she said. “These psykers can give you great power over your competitors.”

There was always something about Adriana that soothed Feracci’s doubts. It was true that he needed an edge if he was to reign supreme over the other merchant houses. A powerful pysker would  do the job.

“But why did I have to come?” he asked grumpily. “What’s the point of being a noblemen if I have to do my own dirty work?”

Final Victory

Count Feracci bravely sought to force his way up the stairs to the second-floor terrace of the generator room, but the mutants entrenched upstairs poured such fire at the noblemen that even he was forced to take cover.

But, unseen, Belladonna and the assassin used a ladder in the shadows to climb behind the mutants. With the wretched creatures focused on the count below, they pounced. The bounty hunter struck down one mutant with her Power Axe, while the assassin sliced another in half with her deadly blades.

Confronted by a psyker, his hands flashing with growing warp power, the assassin didn’t hesitate. Leaping forward, she struck down the psyker—a death that both annoyed Belladonna (as a greater reward was offered for those still breathing) but also relieved her as she couldn’t have enjoyed her small reward if she were dead by witchfire.

With the second-level terrace captured, Feracci raced up the stairs and joined Belladonna as they climbed the stairs to the third and final level of the room. There, they confronted the final psyker, who cast spell after spell against them—and forced them to fall back or face destruction.

Avoiding the worst effects of these spells, the bounty hunters were stymied for some time . . . until there was a stroke of good fortune: the remaining psyker’s witchfire failed him, and as one, Ferraci and Belladonna rushed forward and seized their prey before he could cast again.

Betrayal

The living and dead psykers were brought to the main floor of the generator room, but a dispute soon broke out on how to divide the prisoners. Feracci contemptuously offered the dead psyker—and lesser prize—to Melikot, as he had fought from the safety of cover while he and Belladonna had risked their lives on the upper terraces.

While the insult had no effect on the Tech Priest’s cogitator-enthanced brain, betrayal seemed a logical alternative to a lesser prize—and the Tech Priest attacked the count.

With impressive agility, Feracci parried the attack. Suddenly the room exploded with gunfire, as both Skitarri and Feracci’s bodyguards turned on one another and Belladonna and her minions dove for cover.

Callously shoving a bodyguard into Malikot, Feracci used the distraction to grab the living but bound psyker and shove him toward the stairs that led up to the surface.

It took at least a minute for Malikot and his Skitarii to kill off Feracci’s bodyguarsd and give pursuit, followed by a wary but equally angry Belladonna. As they reached the surface, they saw Feracci and Lady Adriana, accompanied by the psyker (and the psyker earlier captured), shoved aboard an armored transport bearing the heraldry of House Feracci.

The bounty hunter and Tech Priest could do little but watch with frustration as Feracci’s vehicle roared away. Whether due to Malikot’s betrayal or simple greed, he nobleman had opted not to share his prize with his partners of convenience.

Jason Scarn avoided his rivals as much as possible, preferring to search the ruins and industrial area on the edge of town.

TheGM: My apologies at the lack of photos of the fight. One player short, I took on the role of Scarn and, while wearing the hats of both player and GM, I forgot all about taking photos.

The betrayal of Malikot at the end of the game was a delightful surprise, as was the successful escape of Feracci with a second psyker.

This was a game of collecting loot. Every time a player searched a building or room, they pulled a Treasure Card—and whomever collected the most “loot” won. Some of the loot were things like illicit drugs, auspexes, voxcasters, data crystals, etc. A live psyker was worth 1,000 Imperial credits; a dead one worth 500.

As it happened, both Belladonna and Feracci ended the game with two live psykers. So, both had at least 2,000 credits to their name. But, in the excitement of the fight, I failed to write down the player whose other loot was the highest. I’m sorry to say I cannot tell you who actually “won” the game.

But, given that Feracci essentially stole the second psyker from under the nose of the other players, I give Feracci a morale victory.

As for Scarn, what can I say? We were a player short, so I took on that character. But, once we got to the underground part of the story, the fighting got intense, and I ruled that Scarn simply was too far away to affect the outcome. I just GM’d. It was the right call.

One fun thing was added to this in this game. Players were given Event Cards to use. Over the course of the game, they could use those cards to give themselves a free turn, have a model stumble and lose its turn, or give themselves a reroll of a saving throw. (These little tricks made a difference once Malikot betrayed everyone.)

For a light-hearted game, the cards were a good addition. I loved the expression of a player when he fired point-blank at an opponent, and another player said. “Oh, by the way, your gun just jammed.”

Click here to return to Part 1 of the battle.

Click here to return to Part 2.

The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.

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