*** to read The Chronicles of Karyle, Ch. 1, please see this battle report from Week 1: http://battleforxilos.warconsole.com/battles/vs-kurar-1466969458
*** to read The Chronicles of Karyle, Ch. 2, please see this battle report from Week 2: http://battleforxilos.warconsole.com/battles/vs-kurar-1467594757
*** to read The Chronicles of Karyle, Ch. 2.1, please see this battle report from Week 2: http://battleforxilos.warconsole.com/battles/vs-kurar-1467807985
*** to read The Chronicles of Karyle, Ch. 3, please see this battle report from Week 3: http://battleforxilos.warconsole.com/battles/vs-kurar-1468169482
*** to read The Chronicles of Karyle, Ch. 4, please see this battle report from Week 4: http://battleforxilos.warconsole.com/battles/vs-kurar-1468790273
The Guildess ran her fingers across the Overseer’s craggy shoulders, an unmistakably mischievous smirk spread across her face. “You’ve done well in securing the tunnels for me, dearest Karyle. I see the artifacts I gifted you were put to good use.” Her words were voiced in a soul penetrating whisper as she circled the stock-still commander, like a circling bird high above above its prey.
Karyle managed to keep his startling from her perception. Or so he believed. Boromite men had never been clever at concealing their emotions.
The Guildess came to a stop back in front of the Overseer, her finger now pushing into the middle of his broad chest, playfully giving him a sudden shove before withdrawing a step. The Overseer did not budge.
“I have another assignment for you. Specifically for you, actually. None of my other Overseers have the… aggression… we’ll say, towards the Algoryn that you do.” Karyle’s face reddened, though she couldn’t discern if it was because of his hatred of the AI or his jealousy at her mention of her other Overseers. Probably both. Turning to a projection of the Xilos jungle behind her, a tactical overlay appeared with a wave of her hand as she continued. “We have several prisoners that need transporting, and we have reason to believe the AI will attack in force to prevent their arrival in our tunnel stronghold.”
On the overlay, an armored train appeared, with a blinking trail leading from one of the forward-most sites of their positions on Xilos directly back to the complex he had previously secured. “Because of the depth of the complex beneath the surface and a distortion our engineers cannot manage to shut down, we are forced to transport these prisoners manually. Luckily we did have several micro-comp field containers on hand, but as you well know, we cannot make use of a transmat for them while activated. The train is also transporting several specimens our science team has requested for study, as well as some extra mining equipment.”
Turning back to the Overseer, the Guildess was now all business. “You are to set-up your forces at designation C-218, a loading station that is to be the train’s final pick-up before coming directly back here. It is there that our intelligence suspects most likely for an attack. The train currently has only the meager defenses we could spare from the forward outpost aboard guarding it. You’ll have to leave most of your forces behind if you’re going to make it to the coordinates in time. I have assigned two of our scout squads of Rock Riders to meet you at C-218, and they are currently en route. Choose your forces carefully; we are spread thin, Overseer.”
Karyle stood motionless as the Guildess turned her attention back to the screen and began sending several of her aids in different directions on various errands. Glancing back over her shoulder with her smirk returned, clearly posturing so as to give the Overseer a nice view, she concluded before returning to her work, “…you’re dismissed, Overseer.”
Thumping his fist to his chest in salute, Karyle turned on his heel and made for the barracks.
We played the scenario mostly as-written, in terms of how to score victory points and the number of objectives, but with a couple of notable changes. First, and most obvious, is that we had the scenario center on the train carrying the prisoners, weapons, and Xilos creatures. The train was centered across the board, traveling a rate of 6″ per round; this ensured that the train would start on one end of the table and make it to the other side by the end, but at all times throughout the scenario all sections of the train would be accessible. We also incorporated rules that the train itself could be stopped, either by destroying the tracks, decoupling the cars, boarding the train and manually stopping it using the controls, or whatever other inventive ways we could come up with that might arise during the game. The train also had an automated Mag Light Support gun on the top of the engine, with its own uniquely-colored order dice in the bag; the gun would fire at whichever threat was the most advantageous to shoot at (meaning the closest, or with the least amount of cover, etc.). The train itself was carrying 4 of the micro-compression field containers (we used 28mm discs, and assumed that the technology created a containment space that was larger on the inside than on the outside) spread across it evenly, with two in the engine of the train and one on each of the hauled cars. The remaining two containment discs were placed on either side of a platform structure that the train would pass under on its way across the board.
The other change to the scenario was that instead of the attacker needing to be touching a container at the end of the turn to open it, they could also open it immediately in place of a shooting action. For the containers, we still used the chart in the book for determining what was inside, though if it was a weapon cache we assumed it was always a Vorpal Charge and that the unit which opened the container would immediately become equipped with it.
END SCENARIO EXPLANATION
Karyle watched intently from his posted position in the ancient, crumbling tower as the train seemed to inch towards them. The boromites favored mag lift technology in any available situation, but because of the heightened conflicts on Xilos with literally every threat they could potentially face, the thinkers up high had convinced the Guildesses to stay decidedly low-tech. They had lain the tracks in matter of hours across the relatively short distance, but the heavily armored train was still probably the slowest means they had available.
He had chosen only his X-Launcher team, useless in the confined underground bunker, and Leroy’s lavamites to accompany him. Leroy was training a new batch, recently grown up from a swarm of hatchlings, and had requested the assignment because of the extra time in the field it would allow him. The Rock Riders lumbered along beside the train below, the boromites clearly struggling to control the Locomite mounts in the lush and alien terrain. His weapon crew was positioned far off from the train on a hill, while Leroy had his lavamites on the overhead loading platform, the sound of his electro lash cracking throughout the valley as he ran the mites through their drills.
Seeing a glimmer in the bushes at the last instant, the fire streamed across the front of the train before Karyle could react and warn the Rock Riders below. A hail of mag repeater fire hammered into the Rock Riders, killing one and sending the others to the ground for cover. The automated mag gun on the train centered almost immediately on the nearby threat, its return fire eliciting a feminine scream from the brush. Karyle’s eyes lit with understanding. “…Infiltrators! The sneaky bastards beat us here. Defensive positions! Pin them down!” Karyle and his guards slammed down into place beside the barricade, bringing their plasma carbines to bear on the Infiltration squad, killing another.
Seemingly all at once, AI squads began streaming out of the jungle on the other side of the tracks, blasts firing consistently between the Gang Fighter defenders on the train and the advancing Algoryn. The automated mag turrent exploded in a ball of fire almost immediately, never even managing a second shot. Micromite probes streamed from the back of the main engine towards the AI, barely visible except for their blinking diodes above their bodies scuttling through the undergrowth. The boromite defenders managed to turn back two of the advancing AI squads with their constant fire and a few well placed shots from the X-Launcher team, but the AI Assault Command Squad pushed through to the engine of the train. Boarding easily, the Assault Commander cut down every last Gang Fighter aboard the engine with dire efficiency. From his position, Karyle could do nothing to help the conflict inside the train; his attention was drawn to the Assault Squad rapidly advancing up the ramps on the other side of the loading platform. They were headed directly towards Leroy’s lavamites, a shockingly idiotic move in an otherwise excellently planned attacked. Unless…
Realization dawned on the Overseer a moment too late.
“Leroy, FALL BACK! DO NOT ENG-” ***BOOOOOOM***
The Overseers words were lost in the massive explosion of the lavamites clattering into range of the Infiltrator’s Solar Charge mines that had been placed on the underside of the platform’s bridge, the chain of explosions instantly obliterating Leroy and his squad. Worse, though, was that the explosion had brought down a part of the structure itself, crashing below directly onto the train as it passed underneath and stopping it dead in its tracks.
Light flashing across his vision and a powerful ringing in his ears, Karyle signaled his weapon crew and his guards to concentrate all fire on the Assault Squad. The Assault Squad was shot down completely with the sole exception of their leader, a man so determined to complete his mission he would not falter under the heavy fire. The leader made it to the containment device at the top of the platform and activated it, freeing a Vorpal Charge in the direction of the boromites on the ground below before being cut down by the continued fire from the boromite Overseer’s squad.
Below, the Assault Commander in the train had managed to free one squad of Algoryn, but they had collectively met a sudden end upon opening the other container in the engine compartments and meeting the vicious specimen of Xilos contained within. Their screams were as deafening as the continued explosions.
All other Algoryn squads had either been slain or fled the field with the remaining Rock Riders in pursuit; the sudden quiet of the aftermath jarred the Overseer as he scanned the field for survivors. It had ended as suddenly and abruptly as it had begun, the entire conflict taking only a few moments’ time. Sighing heavily, Karyle signaled for a comms patch back to base. They would have to wait and guard what remained of the cargo until a clean-up crew of engineers arrived to get the train moving again. They’d likely have to free the Xilos beast now resting inside.
The Algoryn would be made to regret this.