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Author Topic: [Swords of the Skull-Takers] 23 Days To Kill  (Read 13466 times)
Gregor Hutton

Posts: 366

« on: February 01, 2011, 06:13:15 AM »

I was at WarpCon in Cork, Ireland over the weekend and I got in some Sword of the Skull-Takers in UCC's Old Bar. Two games, one of 7 days and nights, the other of 23 days and 22 nights.

In the end I managed to get a Worldly Victory for my 40K Space Marines against the skull-taking Space Orks (and while I had the journal of the dead character from my first game it didn't actually help me get the victory).

So, I'll post up my APs in the next few days: first up is Leman Russ (7 days), then it'll be Apothecary Rygel Daxxor (6 days) who chained into his former NPC Sister Syn (16 days) who chained to the victorious Pedro Cantor (1 day).

I was a bit unlucky in that it could have been quicker if I'd gone with Leader as Daxxor, the way the cards fell. Poor Leman Russ was quite unlucky though. The Major Boons need a bit of tweaking here and there, and testing.

The interludes were good, and I made use of 2 of them as Sister Syn in lasting 16 days.

Gregor Hutton

Posts: 366

« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2011, 10:24:45 AM »

So, first up on Saturday was Leman Russ.

I am Leman Russ. I am a Fighter. The Space Orks have landed and have over run our lines. My Space Wolves are scattered, my communicator is out and I need to survive. Praise Be The Emperor. Yesterday I saw my marines beheaded by the wild skull-taking Ork scum. They will be avenged.

Day 1: Successful exploration and Gamble. Got the Temperance card.
Night 1: No attack. (Good colour here in my diary as I drew the 5 of cups and a multi-mouthed creature that I interpreted as a drunken ork squealing and singing. I decided that I easily killed it.

Day 2: Unsuccessful exploration (started out right, went wrong)
Night 2: 1 attack, now Shaken (even with a re-flip).

Day 3: Unsuccessful exploration.
Night 3: No attacks.

Day 4: Successful exploration and Gamble. Got the Luna card (which can be combined with Star and Sun to give a Cosmic Victory).
Night 4: 1 Attack. Got Hurt and then Greviously Wounded.

Day 5: Disastrous Exploration, now at Death's Door. I figured that the supplies I was trying for were booby trapped. Damn Orks!
Night 5: 1 Attack. Discarded Temperance to Survive an injury at this point.

Day 6: Successful exploration, got the 2 Wands and used it to Heal back to Greviously Wounded (but as written I think it can't be used until the next day, which sucks, and I'd have to give up a day of exploring to heal one wound).
Night 6: 2 Attacks. Ork Boss with a PowerGlove puts me back at Death's Door.

Day 7: Unsuccessful exploration.
Night 7: Dead on first attack.

So, the headless corpse of the Space Wolves leader is lying in a hole with the Luna card. I resolved to avenge Leman's death later in the convention.

I'd like to see Wands used at any time to heal (much like Elixir in my favourite computer game of all time Halls of the Things. Or maybe a Healer Class that can do that to themselves and others?

Joe J Prince

Posts: 113

Putting the fun into dysfunction!

« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2011, 03:36:01 AM »

Cool, thanks Gregor.

A healer class sounds pretty good.

Russ could have discarded Temperance to avoid taking a wound  - he seems to be hoarding two kinds of victory cards.
Maybe space wolves are just pansies - I want to see how Sister Syn got on for her 16 day stint!

Do you have the ability to scan your journals (again)?

Gregor Hutton

Posts: 366

« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2011, 05:11:36 AM »

Oh, I should have said I was playing with version 0.3

I want to get into my tactics a little here for this first game before I head into the Apothecary's go. I was purposefully not using the Temperance card to leave open the options for different victories (Temperance: Spiritual, Luna: Cosmic). Rather than use either to avoid a wound at first, I was considering the possibility of leaving both with Leman Russ for a follow up character to gain when they encountered his headless corpse. Or for an NPC to have when they switched to the main character. I didn't get any NPCs as Russ (and NPCs are now something I see as vital to success) so maybe I should have had an Interlude to search for an NPC card I liked in the deck rather than avoiding one measly wound.

So, I went through a few rounds where I thought giving up one of the two victory cards was not optimal. I could have used one for an Interlude but that would invalidate a type of victory and if I searched for an NPC it wouldn't re-set the Attacks. If I used it to re-set the Attacks it wouldn't necessarily yield an NPC. Using it for avoiding Injury seemed less than it was "worth". In the end I relented, used it, and then regretted it.

So Russ died and I resolutely left Luna unused and with his corpse.

I resolved to do better in a follow-up game!

Gregor Hutton

Posts: 366

« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2011, 06:14:00 AM »

After taking my index cards of play through to Glasgow last night to show Joe, I have now left them in my bag at home. So, Rygel Daxxor will have to be posted tomorrow.

I did get to ask Joe about some questions I had, so I'll put the answers here while I remember them!

The World card is currently a bit strange. It gives you +1 cache ... but then uses up that +1 cache itself. I played with it as not counting towards my 5 cards and it functioned as a "free floating" victory card (i.e. it could be matched with two other victory cards of a particular type to complete that victory type).

Do Barricades carry over if you "chain" play when an NPC becomes the PC? Joe seemed to think "yes", which was how I played it.

Healing seemed a bit of a pain. I had to spend a day finding the healing card and then spend a day using it to Heal (in the meantime, the threat has increased by 2). I'd prefer Healing cards to be played at any time to heal.

And I'd forgotten what a barren run Sister Syn had until after her second Interlude!

Gregor Hutton

Posts: 366

« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2011, 05:21:57 AM »

So... 23 days begins!

I am Apothecary Rygel Daxxor. A Space Wolves Medic. I am looking for my Leader Leman Russ. Emperor Bless Me so that I may reach him before the skull-taking Space Ork scum get to him. Hail the Emperor. Hail! Hail!

He is a Worker, which allows him to build barricades as well as explore.

Day 1: 2 Cups (Survivor, but the lowest one) success: I find Marine Mauler "A good start the Emperor praises us.
Night 1: No attack but the imagery is one of Adepta Sororitas, with Jump Packs, fighting in the sky by night.

Day 2: Mauler explores and finds the King of Wands (A Holy Rosarius: supplies!)
I explore and am frustrated in my attempts, but not injured.
Night 2: Orks overrun us, they use a Heavy Plasma Gun and leave Daxxor shaken.

Day 3: Mauler explores and brings back a Psyker called Adask Al Amair (4 Cups, the image just shouted "Psyker!")
I explore and am frustrated again, the Adepta Sororitas have trashed the supplies I was looking for.
Night 3: No attacks.

Day 4: Psyker targets a Wands card and is killed on the second draw.
Mauler explores again and finds the 10 of Cups (Sister Syn, and Adepta Sororitas)
I explore and get the 5 of Coins card, which I keep to turn into a Barricade tomorrow.
Night 4: Ork Champion with a PowerAxe attacks us and I kill him, but not before Daxxor is Hurt.

Day 5: Build a Barricade (and can I and Heal rather than explore) ... Joe, it says I can build a Barricade and Explore. Healing card says I can Heal instead of Explore. So this is allowed? Can I can Build and Heal. I decide not to Heal and keep the Rosarius (King of Wands card). Burn off the Coins cards and I now have a Barricade.
Sister Syn explores and finds a Teleporter, which I gamble on and it gets me The World Major Arcana.
Mauler explores and draws an Ace, I say lower and get ... an Ace. He is killed by an Ork Dreadnought. It rips brave Mauler limb from limb. I was totally gutted at this and wanted to punch Joe. More so when Conor who was watching me play pointed out there was a card that allowed me to win ties, but I didn't have it, so he thought it was fair enough. He also pointed out that I could have been a Leader and kept Mauler alive. Yeah, yeah, I know that Conor. Still down though.
Night 5:  Three Waves! Just what I need on the back of that double Ace! I burn a Barricade and fight off two waves. Then Orks in boats with Heavy Stubbers and a Plasma Pistol put me at Death's Door!

Day 6: Build a Barricade and Hunt for Leman Russ, find his corpse and gets The Moon card as well as his diary.
Sister Syn doesn't explore (I'm keeping her alive now for the inevitable!)
Night 6: Apothecary Daxxor is decapitated and Sister Syn flees with 1 Barricade, The World (not counting towards cache), The Moon, King of Wands.

Sister Syn up next (and she is far less successful than Daxxor or Mauler for a long time!).

Gregor Hutton

Posts: 366

« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2011, 10:07:09 AM »

I thought it was pretty cynical of me not to explore with Sister Syn on the last day but having lost Mauler and the Psyker I wasn't going to die without having someone to chain my cards to.

Anyway, I'll do up to the first Interlude for Sister Syn (which is totally based on this piece of art from the original Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader book -- I think it's one of the most iconic images in that book).

I am Sister Syn. Adepta Sororitas and vengeful daughter of the Emperor.

Starts with: The World, The Moon, King of Wands, 1 Barricade. Fighter.

Day 1: Escaped and looked for a conversion field, but was thwarted by an Ork King.
Night 1: No attacks, but dreams of the Psyker Adask (I drew the same card as he'd been represented by)

Day 2: Explored for weapons and got a Needle Gun loaded with Toxin designed to kill Orks.
Night 2: Two Waves! Space spawned Gretchin, which I gunned down. A Heavy Stubber left me Shaken, but the Emperor's Will sees me through.

Day 3: Searching for survivors. Find only sacrifices. (Failed on the second flip.)
Night 3: Two Waves! I out-thought a drop ship of drunk, screaming Orks and then gunned down a cross-bred Space Zoat (the images on the cards helped here, as well as my knowledge of Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader, the original book, creatures)

Day 4: Failed exploration. Thwarted by a Witch Queen, who is spy drinking the blood of Leman Russ from his head.
Night 4: Orks are unleashed by the Witch Queen. I shoot the Orks up and commandeer a Dreadnought to escape, heading for "Wolf Home"

Day 5: Find Wolf Home and the Book of Hope. (I win and gamble for a Major: Temperance)
Night 5: Drums in the deep. I hear Orks celebrating.

At this point I called for an Interlude. I discard the Rosarius (King of Wands) and my Needle Gun (a Sword card). Keeping: The Moon and Temperance, and The World (which doesn't count towards cache).

Interlude 1: I embark on a Quest for the Wolves. After 40 days and nights I find the Chapter Wolves and skin one for a cloak, The others lead me to the Chapter Relics.
This resets the day count of the next day from 6 to 2. I should have written in using up the Needle Gun too, but I didn't.

So Day Count will be (2) even though it is Day 6, and I have 3 Victory Cards (offering currently a Spiritual or Cosmic victory), 1 Barricade and I'm Shaken.

Gregor Hutton

Posts: 366

« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2011, 05:40:06 AM »

So, Interlude 1 over, my quest continues!

Day 6 (2): I go questing for the fabled Wolfblade that will allow me to smite my enemies. My quest falters as I discover the sacred weapon has been spirited away.
Night 6 (2): No Orks around, though I see fires on the horizon. The sky aflame.

Day 7 (3): I see a survivor but he is a Corrupted Chaos Space Marine. I blow his brains out. (Another failed exploration with one right, one wrong.)
Night 7 (3): Dreams of Adask again (like Night 1). The card kept coming out after reshuffles which was a nice trigger for re-incorporation (the same was also true for the Sword card wielding an Axe).

Day 8 (4): Quest killing Gretchin in their spawning grounds. I blow up a tower (based on the imagery of the cards). (Another failed exploration -- third in a row!).
Night 8 (4): Orks come for me as I rest and I manage to fight them off.

I call for another Interlude! This will reset the Day Nine down to 1 rather than 5.

At this point it's harder to judge which card to keep. I keep The World as I'm not counting it in the cache. I then keep The Moon (Cosmic Victory) and discard Temperance (Spiritual Victory).

In the Interlude I make contact with the Blood Angels. They are in orbit around the planet and they advise me to move towards their lines. They are fighting bitterly against the Orks and Chaos Marines on the planet surface.

Day 9 (1): And Orbital Bombardment ruins my exploration (fail then success).
Night 9 (1): Take shelter and stay out of the rain. No attacks.

Day 10 (2): I track a skull-taking Ork with a sword, and find a coven of Orks worshipping Khorne. They behead a wolf and I have a fruitless search. (They're my notes, I can't remember the cards I drew here.)
Night 10 (2): Orks stay clear of me. I sing a Battle Hymn to ward them off and give me spiritual strength.

Day 11 (3): I successfully find the Queen of Coins and gamble it: I succeed and find The Hanged Man.
Former Inquisitor Caleb Ravenscrye a disgraced former member of the Ecclesiarchy who heralds a Diabolic Victory. He begs for forgiveness...
Night 11 (3): Snotling Snipers attack and then Rueg, an Ork Warboss with a PowerClaw. I'm Hurt by Witch-brewed toxin. A flamer crew then attcak but I outrun them as their gas taknks slow them down. Caleb re-appears after the attack...

Day 12 (4): Caleb adventures and succeeds. I gamble and he finds The Hermit: Pedro Cantor, a former leader of the Crimson Fists. He was made an outcast when he lost his Chapter.
I explore for the Blood Angels and find an Ork Gargant (like a Titan) and turn away in despair. Returning to camp I find Cantor and Caleb.
Night 12 (4): Cantor helps us evade the Orks (no attacks) and leads us down a lava tube.

Day 13 (5): Syn gets materials for a Refractor Field (Barricade).
Cantor gets a Land Raider (Sword card). It has a Lascannon on it.
Caleb runs into a spawning ground and the Witch consumes him. He dies (doubel failure) in orgasmic delight and is psychic scream is heard by Syn and Cantor. (At least a Diabolic Victory is gone!)
Night 13 (5): Re-animated Caleb attacks us. Cantor crushes him to death with his PowerFist (1 attack out of 5 cards).

Night 14 (6): Cantor (Hermit) makes the Barricade (Refractor Field) -- now have 2 Barricades. He can do this and explore.
Syn explores and finds Psyker Aerun Sol (High Priestess), due for Sacrifice by the Chaos Witch.
Cantor explores and fights an epic battle to defeat an Ork King. He rescues a Living Saint of the Ordo Hereticus (The Empress), who had been led into a trap by the Chaos Witch.
Night 14 (6): A Chaos Dreadnought attacks and it is destroyed in a mighty battle.

Day 15 (7): Syn finds the Wolfblade (Swords card) an dgambles. Failure. The sword is just a sword. The strength comes from within.
Cantor goes to fight the Commander of the Space Orks and is sidetracked by the Chaos Witch. (Misses a turn as he's a Major NPC).
The Psyker Sol is put into a psychic fugue by a Greater Daemon of Khorne. (Misses a turn.)
The Living Saint is lost in the trenches as the Orks use gas weapons.
Night 15 (7):  Syn defeats some Chaos Marines with power swords but is then assaulted by two Chaos Dreadnoughts. Greviously Wounded she has used the Landraider (Sword card).

(I could maybe have used barricades here... but I am keeping them for Cantor now...)

Day 16 (8): A failed exploration. Syn is alone.
Night 16 (8): A Gargant find Syb. Death's Door and she dies.

I am Pedro Cantor. I will avenge Sister Syn, who fought so hard on this earth.
Cantor is a Leader. The Moon, High Priestess, Empress, The World. 2 Barricades.

Day 1: Cantor find the Magician, Ajax Mund, trapped in the Chaos Witch's tower.
The Living Saint (Empress) finds a Major Boon... The Emperor. (A Worldly Victory: Emperor, Empress and The World if it's a free-floating victory card.)

She calls to the Emperor psychically and the world is scoured. The Marines leave the planet behind to the Chaos Horrors but Humanity survives. Cantor is redeemed.


Gregor Hutton

Posts: 366

« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2011, 06:01:27 AM »

Some thoughts.

I think it was tought to get any particular win without a free-floating victory card like the World. Certainly once a Major is discarded it's gone and so you can't get it back. In my game I could have got a Spiritual Victory but I'd discarded one of the cards earlier.

Healing is tough in that it uses up a day.

When you could do something + explore things picked up (e.g. barricade + explore of Cantor and Daxxor).

Getting NPCs seemed a good way to build towards a win. Major NPCs are pretty rad as they are hard to kill (consider all three of Syn's at the end got waylaid for a day rather than killed). The ability to keep NPCs alive/reflip seems pretty good (Leader).

I wondered about picking up "Abilities" at Interludes, e.g. multi-classing? (Leader/Fighter)

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