Commander Adept Sebastian Nemo grimly surveyed the field before him. He had hoped to avoid conflict as his small force made its way from Ord to Fort Balton. His luck had held — until today.
“Pirates,” he said. “What are those Talion scallywags doing here?”
“Sir?” The question came from Journeyman Warcaster Jenna Steinway, who had been under his command for just a few weeks. She still answered when the grizzled old warcaster talked to himself. A bit too spit and polish for Nemo’s taste, but the old general thought Jenna would make a fine caster some day. Assuming she lived long enough. He was fond of her, but knew better than to become too attached.
“Just the mutterings of an old man, my dear,” Nemo said. “Have Captains Little and Wilder report to me on the double. We’re going to have a fight on our hands.”
“Yessir, Commander Nemo!” Steinway saluted and dashed off to find the two Gun Mage Captain Adepts.
Nemo chuckled and smiled, reminded of a certain eager, flame-haired journeyman so many years ago. His smile broadened as he felt a questioning touch in his mind from the Thunderhead.
“Yes my friend, we fight today,” he answered silently. He felt a surge of confidence from the Thunderhead’s cortex and heard the crackle of electricity as the ’jack flexed. “We’ll show those Privateers we’ve learned some new tricks.”
It wasn’t long before the Thunderhead was beside its maker. The steady “hum” was comforting to Nemo but disturbing to all except his two units of Stormguard, Stormsmiths and Capt. Arlan Strangeways.
He felt another query, this time from Thorn, Capt. Victoria Haley’s quirky Lancer. Haley insisted on Nemo taking her favorite Lancer along. Nemo tried to argue, but Haley was persuasive. And the Thunderhead seemed to enjoy Thorn’s company. Privately, Nemo was thrilled to have Thorn along. He had been curious to see what the beefy little ’jack could do in a fight.
Captains Bart Little and Jim Wilder approached. The two had been inseparable since their days at Fort Falk. Little had developed a reputation as a prankster, while Wilder was known to shoot better when drunk. Nemo heard it was to help steady his nerves.
“It’s Montador,” Little said. “It’s hard to miss the fancy hat and that huge feather.”
Nemo sighed. “Broadsides” Bartolo Montador liked his warjacks and was a terror to behold in close combat. He was a fearless leader and rarely left survivors. What survivors remained were finished up by his Sea Dogs or Press Gang.
Capt. Wilder offered his report on the enemy’s force: Press Gang, Sea Dogs, two Mariners, Bosun Grogspar, Bloody Bradigan, Dirty Meg and her Buccaneer and Freebooter, Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile, First Mate Hawk, Doc Killingsworth, a deck gun and stumpy little Lord Rockbottom, whose deep pockets inspired men in battle.
“Have they seen us?” Nemo asked.
“No sir, I don’t believe so,” Wilder said, his right hand resting lightly on his Magelock pistol. “I’ll take the right flank. Bart, you got the left.”
“Loser buys first,” Capt. Little said with a smirk as he ran off.
Jen Turn 1
Wilder grins and flips Nemo a jaunty salute as he runs into position on the right flank. Nemo assesses his forces: Thunderhead, Thorn, Squire, 2 GMCAs, JWC, 3 Stormsmiths, 2 units of 10 Stormguard and Strangeways. Yes. He was ready.
Nemo pats his Squire, tightens his grip on his Lightning Rod and marches his forces into battle.
Scott Turn 1
Unseen by the Cygnar forces, Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt advance, go stealthy. The Press Gang advance toward the Stormguard. Grogspar runs, MacNaile uses Artillerist on a Mariner called Polar Star, which shoots and kills a Stormguard. Mariner Polar Sea takes aim at a Stormsmith barely inside a forest. The shot misses, but a lucky deviation puts it on top of the hapless Stormsmith, who is killed instantly. Rockbottom spends a coin for Walk it Off on the Sea Dogs and another for Pay Day.
Bart advances, puts Hot Shot on the Polar Sea. Hawk runs and Doc runs. The Sea Dogs advance within range of the Stormguard tasked with escorting the Thunderhead. Five Sea Dogs shoot Stormguard; one dies. A sixth takes aim at Thorn but can’t penetrate the armor. Meg advances and the Buccaneer and Freebooter move. Bloody Bradigan advances in a drunken stupor.
Jen Turn 2
Nemo could feel the Thunderhead’s eagerness. Those around the ’jack could feel it charging its Lightning Coil. With its Stormguard escorts nearby, the ’jack moved into position. Those pirates had killed one of his guard. Funny that a sophisticated warjack like the Thunderhead could feel possessive of a grunt, but as near as Nemo could tell, that’s what the ’jack was trying to communicate. The general lent his creation some of his strength and lowered his goggles and watched the Thunderhead go to work.
With a loud “CRACK!” lightning shot from the Thunderhead’s Lightning Coil. Nemo’s assistance ensured the pulse wouldn’t miss. Four Sea Dogs were struck and two died immediately. The other two, walked off the effects, thanks to Rockbottom. Tapping Nemo’s resources, the Thunderhead ended the last two Sea Dogs with sustained attacks. Grateful for the assistance, the Stormguard advanced to protect the Thunderhead from melee attacks.
Emboldened by the Thunderhead’s success against the Sea Dogs, Nemo sends Thorn forward. With the ’jack in position, Nemo concentrates and arcs Chain Lightning. After hitting the initial target — a Sea Dog who was vaporized, lightning jumps to five other troops under Broadsides Bart’s command — including First Mate Hawk. They all die. Done channeling, Thorn retreats closer to the caster without a thought from the general.
“That,” says Nemo, “is a handy ability.”
Down the right flank, the Stormguard run past a small set of trenches to engage the Press Gang. Capt. Wilder takes aim at Grogspar but misses. He pulls a flask out of his coat and takes a pull. A Stormsmith named Nigel Harrington Storm Calls in the area where he’s certain Aiyana and Holt are waiting but misses.
Scott Turn 2
“You bastards!” the Press Gang leader yells. “Get em, boys! Charge!” They brutalize the Stormguard on Cygnar’s right flank. The Guard show amazing strength against the charge but still lose three to the charging ’Gangers.
Nearby, Grogspar laughs as he takes aim at the Stormguard leader. He misses and the round lands among the Press Gang. Luckily for him, none of them are injured.
The Deck Gun Crew takes aim at the same unit of Stormguard. The shot deviates and scores a hit, but the Stormguard armor holds.
With Lady Aiyanna making them stealthy again, Master Holt takes aim at Nigel. A bullet ends the Stormsmith’s short career. With his second pistol, Holt fires at Capt. Jim Wilder, who staggers backwards as he takes another pull from his flask — a drink that saves his life.
The gunfire attracts the attention of Bloody Bradigan. The brawler sees three of Capt. Wilder and runs toward the one in the middle, engaging the now stone-cold sober Gun Mage Captain Adept.
Back near the Mariners, MacNaile puts Artillerist on the Polar Sea. With the jack loaded, it fires a shot at Capt. Little, mortally wounding him. The GMCA clings to life, but it looks bad.
Montador moves up, staying close to the Polar Sea. He casts Broadsides and the Sea fires a shot at Capt. Little, which misses and lands harmlessly. The Star fires a round at the Stormguard leader and misses, but the cannon ball lands on another Stormguard.
Mourning the loss of First Mate Hawk, Doc Killingsworth advances and prods Rockbottom into advancing as well. The Rhulic financier spends another coin on the depleted Sea Dog unit. Mr. Walls, his monkey Stubs clinging to his should, urges the Sea Dogs forward.
The Sea Dogs throw themselves at the Stormguard, cursing in frustration at their inability to reach the Thunderhead. In a bloody scrum, the ’Dogs avenge their losses, killing a number of Stormguard.
Eager to get into the fray, Meg’s Buccaneer launches its net at the Thunderhead —and entangles it! The sophisticated ’jack can’t move. Grinning, Dirty Meg takes a Junker shot at the netted jack but misses.
Jen Turn 3
With the battle reaching a fever pitch, the Thunderhead pulses again, killing the remaining Sea Dogs. Knowing he needs to swing the battle in his favor, Nemo unleashes Electrical Storm, damaging and disrupting the Freebooter, Buccaneer and Polar Star. Thorn moves forward and Nemo arcs Chain Lightning, Master Gunner MacNaile among the casualties.
“You’re a helluva shot MacNaile,” Nemo says, “but you’re a royal pain and you’ve cost me some good people today.”
Along the right flank, the Stormguard retaliate against the Press Gang, killing some with strikes from their halberds and others with Electro Leaps. The remaining Stormsmith, seeing Capt. Wilder’s plight, Storm Calls onto Bradigan but it’s not enough to drop the brute.
Scott Turn 3
“Die you royalist pigs!” The Press Gang brutalize the Stormguard but aren’t able to Shanghai any of them. Suffering massive casualties, the two remaining Guard break and run.
Feeling Montador’s bloody glee, Mariner Polar Sea tramples and kills a fleeing Stormguard, stopping where Capt. Little lays dying. A swing of its anchor ends the GMCA’s suffering. Meg and her Buccaneer wade into battle, each killing a Stormguard.
Back on the Cygnar right flank, Bart and Mariner Polar Star both miss shots on the remaining Stormguard, much to Bosun Grogspar’s amusement.
The Trollkin loads another harpoon onto his gun, takes aim and fires. The last Stormguard explodes in a fine pink mist. There will be no body to send back to Cygnar.
Jen Turn 4
Nemo calls on the Squire for resources for the last time. He feels his power field strengthened as Jenna casts Arcane Shield on him. Nemo takes a deep breath and concentrates and moves the Thunderhead into position. The jack activates and advances on the Polar Star but is just out of reach to throw the ’jack at Montador. It charges up its Lighting Coil and Pulses yet again, hitting and destroying the Squire, hitting and disrupting Thorn, both Mariners and Bart. The Thunderhead hits Montador with two sustained attacks but can’t do enough to kill the wily Privateer.
Scott Turn 4
Montador can feel victory within his grasp. The old man’s pet couldn’t kill him, now it was his turn to show Cygnar and Nemo that the Talion Charter didn’t need new-fangled gizmos to win a fight. His two Mariners were all he needed.
With a clear shot at Nemo, the Polar Sea takes aim and fires. The cannon ball tears through Nemo’s armor and leaves the general with one health. Montador activates and casts Broadsides. He takes aim at the Thunderhead and shoots it, just to make his point.
Rockbottom positions himself as a loader for the Polar Star. The Mariner nimbly moves into position and fires. A second cannon ball hits Nemo, incapacitating him. The day belongs to Montador and his Mariners.
Notes: Blame the full moon on this epically long battle report. I’m not sure what the deal was, but I felt the need to try my hand at writing a more feature-driven battle report than my standard play-by-play. I guess it’s my way of showing that there’s still plenty of flavor in Mk II. I know there’s an issue with switching tenses from the opening and the battle stuff, but wah. And yeah, it’s longer to start with than at the end — I took better notes in the beginning than at the end! We’ll see if I have the energy to do more of these. I see them as the exception, rather than the norm. This took a long-ass time to write. I must be rusty. 😉