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Delvian

Lady J vs. Lilith July - Narrative B.R - Liaison at the Mercer Inn.

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Malifaux Summer Campaign - Battle Report 1. Liason at the Mercer Inn.

This is the 1st of 4 battle reports from a summer campaign I’m doing with a friend. The battle report (and the campaign itself) is very narrative driven, and each battle report to follow will have an increasing amount of narrative to go with it. The main plot-line is planned out, but the outcome of the games changes the who and how. That way the Scraps themselves are determining the story.

It’s also worth noting that we are using some of the M2E Beta rules such as Strategy & Schemes, pre-measuring & soulstones, but not the individual character stats. As well as that, we are using the campaign rules found in Wyrd Chronicles v5, which includes injuries and upgrades. This means that the heroes (or villains) will return, if they survive!

Finally, there are some hidden meanings or easter eggs dropped in here and there. If you spot them, leave a comment. Enjoy!

Chapter 1

Under orders directly from the Governor’s Secretary, Lady Justice has been sent to meet with a Guild agent at the Mercer Inn in Downtown Malifaux. The agent has information regarding the location of a Resurrectionist lab in the Quarantine Zone, home to the once famous magician, psychic and telepathic Berren Down.

Berren was a huge attraction, performing at most of the major establishments throughout Malifaux. He shocked and awed audiences, yet always retreated into secrecy at the end of the evening. No-one could work out the secrets behind his acts, nor put a personality to the performer. That is, until a Saturday night audience including the Judge and 3 seasoned Death Marshals let the cat out of the bag. Berren’s ‘trick’ was manipulating spirits & communicating with the dead on stage. The Marshals wasted no time, letting lead fly and storming the stage to apprehend Berren mid-performance, but Berren was always prepared. Clouds of thick green gas surged from hidden vents amongst the props and containers, leaving those in the theatre bewildered and nauseous. As the gas cleared, Berren was gone.

Lady Justice has been sent to meet with the agent and establish the whereabouts of Berren’s hidden lab. At this point, it would seem like a simple liaison for the crew, but the Neverborn are after Berren as well...

25ss Scrap.

Guild vs. Neverborn.

Strategy: Turf War (centre point being the agent)

Guild Scheme: Bodyguard (Judge)

Neverborn Scheme: Outflank

Deployment: Standard

Guild Crew: Neverborn Crew:

Lady Justice Lilith

Judge Lelu

2 x Death Marshals Lilitu

2 x Guild Riflemen 3 x Terror Tots

6ss Cache 6ss Cache

*******************************************************************************************************

The fog encroaching on Downtown Malifaux was beginning to clear. Warm light beaming from the windows of the Mercer Inn and the gentle murmur of diners & drinkers was a welcoming sanctuary from the sinister surroundings of the evening. This was where Lucius said his agent would meet with Lady Justice and her crew, to reveal information regarding the whereabouts of the wanted Resurrectionist Berren Down’s lab in the Quarantine Zone.

“Judge, take Doherty and Cogburn, secure the perimeter”.

“Yes, my Lady”.

*******************************************************************************************************

The Mercer Inn was certainly one of the nicer establishments to be found in the city. A warm hearth, oak tables, clean floors & real ale. The barman greeted the trio with a fleeting nod upon entering, respectful and reserved; they were here on business, and he knew it. A few customers were at the bar, another dining alone over documents and reports. In an upper-market establishment such as this, customers understood the value of privacy. A final customer occupied a table in the corner, motioning to the empty chair across from him. The agent.

Marshal Regan took a seat at the bar whilst Marshal Thadius rested against the windowsill.

“Lady Justice, an honor. I must say I’m mildly surprised to be meeting with you directly. A drink perhaps?”

“As surprised as me. Now tell me what I need to know,” she replied.

*******************************************************************************************************

Riflemen Doherty scanned the fog through his scope. A quiet night. He was one of the many new Guardsmen being brought through the Breach to bolster numbers in the Guilds ranks. Ever since the Governor General declared Martial Law, recruits were flooding through.

“Tell me, why is it that we get the dirty work, standing out here in the cold, whilst Lady Wonderful and the Crazy Gang get to sit in the warm with a steak and an ale?” he muttered under his breath to no-one in particular.

From across the street, the Judge’s gaze seemed to clear the fog itself. “Watch your tongue whelp, or I’ll have it out.”

“Yes, Sir” said a flushed face Doherty.

“Be thankful I am more forgiving than Our Lady. Now back to work”.

The streets were quiet bar the odd couple heading about their evening business. None paid any mind to the armed presence of the Guild. It was quite a common site nowadays, especially Downtown, where an image of control and power was paramount.

“Its too quiet, sir” said Riflemen Cogburn. A veteran of the force, Cogburn came through the breach early on. Life Earthside wasn’t anything special for a widowed army veteran like himself. Kids he never spoke to, grandchildren he’d never seen, all that was left for him was his work, and he sure as hell knew how to do that. An experienced and loyal soldier, his strength of character often saw him assigned to Marshal duties. With a thick mustache, greying hair and a voice that had tangled with a few scotches over its time, he was quite the opposite to the fresh faced Doherty.

“Be vigilant then gentlemen”. The Judge withdrew to the rear.

“Hey Cogburn, check out the talent, 10 o’clock!” said Doherty.

“Can it, newboy”.

“Ah don’t be like that! You must be dying for a little female attention at your age! Lets just go talk to her, the gals love a man in uniform. Everything is fine here anyway.”

“Return to your post, Riflemen,” said Cogburn, making no attempt at masking his growing impatience.

Casually swinging his rifle over his shoulder, Doherty approached the lady through the fog. “Excuse me miss, can I have a minute?” As Doherty drew nearer, the figure grew. Tall and imposing, Doherty was transfixed. He was being lured...

The crack of Cogburn’s rifle tore him away from Lilitu’s spell. Her head snapped back, recoiling from the critical hit Cogburn had placed right on her temple. A brief moment passed where Doherty shook himself free of the spell, when a nightmare erupted from behind a crate of barrels. Ambush. The beast before him bellowed as it charged towards him, his thick red muscles barreling forward like a ram. Lelu crashed into Doherty, battering him off his feet and sinking his fangs deep into the rifleman’s neck before he had time to hit the ground.

Cogburn reloaded and sighted Lelu. The monster turned from his prey, crimson dripping from his chin as he scanned for a new challenge. From behind him, his sibling Lilitu rose once again, her barbed whip whirling over her head, graceful and poised where Lelu was brutish and violent. With a shot to the temple, Lilitu should have been out for good. Cogburn exhaled deeply. This was going to be a tough night.

He trained his crosshairs over her heart. Time slowed. This was what he lived for, his bread and butter. That millisecond between the faintest pressure on his hair trigger, to the impact of lead on flesh. He let fly. The bullet struck home for a second time, searing straight through Lilitu’s chest and into the Nephilim Tot behind her. With that, Lilitu was down for good.

*******************************************************************************************************

The crack of gunfire drew everyone’s attention inside the inn. Everyone silently exchanged glances before Regan approached the window that overlooked the street outside. “Neverborn”.

“Barmen, get everyone in the cellar now” ordered Justice. Without any disagreement, the room was cleared leaving Justice, the Agent, Regan and Thadius.

“Regan, cover the windows facing the street. Thadius, barricade the front door”. Turning to the agent, she said, “The location. Now.”

“Sector 7d of the Quarantine Zone. By the old Aqueduct, there are ruins where a fort of some kind once stood. Within these ruins lies a small wooden shelter. Your man has been using this to keep his head down. Here, I’ve marked it on a map”.

Justice turned to Thadius, who hadn’t moved from the windowsill since he had entered the inn. His body was trembling. Schooled in Necromancy to better fight the Undead, Marshals showed no fear. This was something else.

Suddenly he lurched, wretching a sickening thick black ichor upon the floor. The floor hissed and smoke rose from the mess. His knuckles were white against the windowsill, and a guttural groan escaped his lips.

He turned to face Justice, revealing himself. Horns had protruded from his head, his eyes gone a glossy black. Fangs hung over the bottom of his mouth, his gums bleeding from the fresh growth. Justice drew her sword in an instant, but Thadius leapt through the window with a speed not-human.

Justice grabbed the map and ran for the rear door. Crashing through into the night, she found Judge with his bloodied blade dripping onto the cobbled street. Around him were the bodies of 3 dismembered Nephilim Tots.

Justice traced the line of carnage. Across the street lay Riflemen Cogburn. He was badly wounded, but alive.

“We were attacked My Lady,” said the Judge. “Neverborn. I suspect there are more, but they withdrew, the Red Beast with them”.

“It seems that they have what they came for. Thadius. He is one of them.”

“What?!”

“Quite. Horns and all. We move on Berren. Now.”

“J, would it not be best to wait for reinforcements? We don’t know how large this brood is.”

“No questions, Judge. Now Thadius knows where Berren is, he will be leading them there. I don’t know what the Neverborn want from him, but Berren is mine.”

“Yes My Lady”.

“And Judge? I want Thadius’ head on a plate before dawn.”

*******************************************************************************************************

The end, for now :P

The game was set up with a large 2 storey building in the centre of the board that was the Mercer Inn. In this building was the agent who was our Turf War objective. As you gain 1 VP for every turn that you hold the objective, it translates really well to ‘questioning’ time, so the more VPs you get, the more information you get. We found it quite amusing thinking about how the Neverborn ‘questioning’ would go, something along the lines of “TELL ME WHERE HE IS BEFORE I PULL YOUR ARMS OFF!”

I sent Justice and the 2 Marshals into the building to secure the objective, then set up the Riflemen to cover an entrance, shooting anything that came close. Judge was an inch or two behind for a counter-attack if anything threatened the Riflemen.

My opponent sent Lelu, Lilitu and 3 tots towards the Riflemen, Lilith headed towards the building for some Master of Malifaux trickery to come!

Lilitu then did an epic Lure on one of my Riflemen, moving him 12” toward the brood! That was Doherty blindly wandering off to pick up a bird! Lelu was now in range. He pounced and wiped the rifleman out no sweat. Ouch!

The other rifleman did MILES better! 2 shots at Lilitu, first was resisted, second got through with a cheatable damage flip. Here’s the best part, I had a red joker in my hand! Boom! Severe and weak damage! That was Cogburn’s head shot. But it doesn't end there! Turn 2, I drew the red joker again! This time played it on the duel, getting through and finishing off Lilitu. I added a mask to the duel (from the joker) and damaged a Tot behind her too. Top man!

Inside the building I secured the objective & started adding VPs. Lilith sneaked about a bit and did her attack through walls trick (the worst rule I’ve EVER heard of in any table top game! So pleased its not on the M2E beta!). Also made a lot worse by her wicked ability meaning she can damage disengaging models, so there’s literally nothing I could do but wait it out! She killed one Death Marshall through a wall (Marshal Thadius), but more on that at the end!

With Lilitu now dead, my rifleman got one shot on Lelu so my opponent withdrew him fearing the damage he would take with Lilitu gone. He pushed his tots forward, who swarmed Rifleman Cogburn and took him down (boo!), but the Judge counter-attack worked a treat. He wiped them out in return. I had also revealed the Bodyguard (Judge) scheme by this point too, so it was a deliberate “come get me” set-up!

For the final turn my opponent spread out to secure the edges of the table for the outflank Scheme, I remained in the building for the Strategy VP.

The game finished 7 VPs to 2 VPs. Victory for the Guild!

Now as we were playing a campaign, we had to flip on the injury chart for any models killed but not wiped-out. Marshal Thadius (who was killed by Lilith), flipped the worst card possible. The BLACK JOKER! Which is the TRAITOR CARD! My opponent gains this model for his crew for the REST OF THE CAMPAIGN! Wow! So I took a bit of writers liberty when working that one out! Rather than trying to bend physics (i.e. Lilith being able to attack through walls. Pffft.), I wrote it as Thadius had turned to the Neverborn, Tuco-style, and was a mole in the crew. Over-hearing Justice and the agent, he revealed himself and is now leading Lilith & the brood to Berren’s location. Pretty cool hey?! How the game dictated that for the story, its mental! Great stuff!

Hope you enjoyed it! This is my first go at battle reports and writing a narrative, so comments appreciated! Gotta say its made playing Malifaux so much more fun (not that it wasn’t fun in the first place :P ), so I will definitely be posting the next 3 once they are done. The length of narrative will probably increase proportionally as well, as its going to get grander! Thanks for reading.

Chapter 2 is now up: http://www.wyrd-games.net/showthread.php?46004-Lady-J-vs-Lilith-August-Narrative-B-R-The-Disappearing-Act

Edited by Delvian

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This is great -- possibly the best Malifaux battle report I've ever read (though I've only ever read five, or so. :P)

What do you do to keep track of what happened on what round?

Also, I'd love to see some pictures (I always love pictures) in your "Okay, this is what happened on the table," wrap up.

Still, though, I can't wait for the next one.

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Thanks! Keep it all in my head actually. To be fair, I've always found the incredibly detailed battle reports to be a tad boring, so I've gone for more of a summary approach on the wrap up bit I.e. this happened at the beginning, this in the middle, this at the end.

Have indeed got some photos of the next game! Pictures of the key points in the battle basically. Just got to write it now :P

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I think a detailed battle report is fine if it's written in an interesting way, which your way is. Narrative, then explain why the narrative played out the way it did with the nitty-gritty details.

I know this isn't a 40k thread, but have you seen this: http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/439793.page

That picture style would match your batrep style nicely.

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Agree completely Matney, the close up pictures give it a cinematic effect, which is what I'm aiming for in the writing. I have 2 close up photos like that from the next bat-rep that highlight the 2 key points of the battle. (which is now all written, but I'm gunna wait a little longer before posting it :P )

Has anyone spotted the hidden meanings??? There are certain names in there that are quite deliberate. For example, why is Thadius named Thadius??!!

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I can't figure out the hidden meaning to save my life. I assumed it was roles John Wayne and/or Jeff Bridges played (or roles in movies they were in), but I couldn't come up with anything that wasn't a long shot.

Really, though, that's beside the point -- when are we going to get part deux?! I need to know what happens to the crafty Arcanist Barren!

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Ok, so Thadius is inspired by Thaddeus, a biblical apostle who's first name was... Judas! (Although he's not Judas Iscariot :P )

Berren Down, a famous mind reader, magician... Derren Brown?!

I'll post the next report tomorrow. Smaller battle, but the story is developing nicely :D

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