We played a variant of An Unexpected Encounter. The setup was roughly the same except our units had to exit via one of the short tables edges, close to our opponent’s long table edge. The short edge representing the exit from the cavern would be determined when a Ghar command die (one added to the bag) was drawn. At that point we randomised the table edge beyond which Ghar were engaged in their own (imaginary) battle, toward the exit of the cave system. A rift would start moving in 6+d6 inches from the opposite edge from the end of turn 1 and would keeping at the end of each turn.
I am FHGC365658, a C3M4 Combat Drone. This is my report.
We were given the order to evacuate the cave complex and, indeed, the planet. Apparently, the Freeborn trouble makers had activated a Builder system and created some sort of dimensional rift which was coming our way.
We arrived at the cavern with instructions to take one of the furthest exit tunnels. However, the rift was interfering with our navigational equipment so we didn’t know whether to take the furthest left or furthest right exit from the cavern.
Before we could choose, we ran straight into the Freeborn of Vardos Cadix; they too looked disorientated. We had a secondary order to immobilise or kill this force as they may be carrying builder artefacts or data.
As I entered the cavern itself, one Strike Team was pealing off left to scout the left corridor and evade enemy fire behind a pillar of rock. Commander Narrage’s team did the same on the fight flank. This left two squads to hold the centre ground. I supported one of these squads, selecting the same Domari and Feral targets and protecting our troops with my batter shield. To our right, there was disruptor fire…the Ghar were in the next chamber. That meant the rift must be approaching from our left.
As I continued to fire at my assigned targets, a drone just like me but corrupted to work for the enemy appeared across the vault. Alongside it was an attack skimmer. They began to return fire.
On the left, as Interceptor support arrived, the rift became visible. Or rather invisible as it was dragging all light into its depths. The scouting party made a prompt change of direction away from the darkness and toward me. The Strike Team and Interceptors had some success and managed to neutralise the enemy commander. Oddly, even with the rift approaching, her bodyguards stayed with her and were consumed. Perhaps they are not all so feral.
Things then took a turn. The skimmer poured plasma fire into the Interceptors, destroying them. My enemy twin had realised before me that exchanging fire at each other was of little use and he turned his attention to my biological colleagues. This set the pace for the rest of the battle. Not only did the drone and skimmer land more hits that me but they were quicker to react than me. And my human friends kept over extending themselves and leaving cover prematurely. A Strike Team left the protection of my batter drone to prevent the escape of a squad of ferals. While they did neutralise these slaves, they in turn were mown down by the skimmer.
To my right, the Commander broke cover to prevent a unit of Freeborn leaving the cave and to advance to our escape route. Their fire only succeeded in slowing the unit which escaped anyway. Before I could move up to protect them, my evil twin rounded a spire of rock to eliminate them. At this stage there was only me, the remnants of one of the central Strike Teams and the scouting team which had run from the other end of the chamber.
I was unable to put down enough firepower to prevent the Cadix forces getting away. Conversely, the Freeborn drone and skimmer were picking off our men with impunity. We lost another Strike Team as it faltered before the rift and were consumed. At this point, all I could do was protect the remaining unit with a my hull and batter shield. We escaped…but only because the Vardos themselves wanted to leave safely before the rift came.
I tried to protect them all…honestly, I did.
Vardos Cadix: 16 points
C3 Blue 519: 6 points