Tri-Star League S3E5

Game Five of the Tri-Star League! I bought two cards before the game, to try to squeeze a few more actions into the Zee, rather than more bodies.

John’s Forge Father team haven’t had great luck in the league so far and this game didn’t break the streak. The guards hit pretty well, but not quite as hard as the Teratons in game 3. Most of the game saw eleven monkeys on the pitch, even though one (with a Skill upgrade!) was knocked out of the game permanently (to be declared an ex-clone after the game…)

The far strike zone was defended by a Keeper and a Jack, so one intrepid Zee sprinted all the way to the end to Sucker Punch him before I realised that that little monkey did not have a high Strength. Still, he provided a useful threat hex for a different, better clone to knock him down. The Zees got away with every foul – the Forge Fathers didn’t like following up Slams (aversion to Evade rolls, and wanting to be able to run into next turn’s Slams) so there were lots of unthreatened monkeys around the referee ready to distract.

Tit-for-tat scoring had somehow led to a three point lead for the Zees. Leaning on the big pile of coaching dice, the Jack defender was punched from behind by tiny fists. Lots of one-sided luck left the Forge Father lying prone and the four-point lane open. No Zee with a Skill upgrade was nearby, so trusting on luck got the ball in our cheating little hands… a running throw, dozens of crossed fingers and what remained of the big pile of coaching dice landed the ball for four points ending the game in a landslide win for the Zee!

The game was good fun – it’s always a nice feeling to have twelve players on the pitch, even when you can’t see your opponent’s face. Unfortunately I only ended up with 60mc so going into the last game I think I’ll buy a cheerleader and learn how to use them properly.

Tri-Star League S3E4

After the third game, the players were split into ranked groups for the next three games. I was against a Nameless team that had been abandoned by the coach, and taken up by the league organiser – something I was pleased about, as he’s a fantastic opponent who I played at a Bristol tournament once when he travelled down.

The game can best be summarised as incredibly lucky. Sam tried a couple of fouls with his Guards, and got them sent off and while I didn’t get away with all of my fouls I did scrape by a bit better. Vassal’s RNG was called into question as not once, but twice in the game I re-rolled to get a 6 which gave me another 6… and another… and another. Meanwhile, after a good turn or two punching monkeys (while they hid the ball and waited for a chance) the Nameless team’s Slams lost commitment. Once an opening was made in the three-point zone, the lucky Zees managed to score three times (and incredibly lucky punching Nameless defenders out of the way!) while the aliens only managed three 2-pointers. Some incredibly lucky monkeys managed to get fan checks for successful restraints, three-dashes, and even for tripling dodges (see above about the RNG…)

The game ended three points up for the clones with enough cash to buy another monkey (not quite enough for a captain), and nearly two.

Tri-star League S3E3

One win, one loss, ready for game three. This is against Nacho’s Teraton team. I had played Nacho previously, in the second Tri-star League season and an online tournament. He’s a fun opponent, very strong player and a gentleman.

I found the Teratons a real challenge. Nacho’s league team had two very, very powerful guards –a combination of Ram, Threatening, Pile Driver and being really strong guards meant that it was hard for my Zees to stay standing. I only got Monkey dice a couple of times, and the team even dropped below the maximum allowed number of players a few times!

The Teratons themselves played a slow game. They held the ball at the end of a few rushes, preparing to score in the following turn, relaxed and confident.

The Zees were on normal form, failing to pick up the ball. Only one player got an experience point beyond showing up, and that was for stealing the ball. I managed to steal a few times, but without a lot of luck there just aren’t enough actions to also get the ball to a scoring position from there (accepting that the players are mostly starting from the subs bench!)

The Zees only got one scoring attempt for three points, and failed. Then any monkey near the Teraton zones was smashed into the ground.

It was an unstoppable push to a three point loss. A little bit of income gives me enough cash for another player, but I haven’t decided yet whether to get that or a new card… which would be useful for Running Interference, as long as I don’t play teleporting turtles again.

One of my monkeys was permanently injured but got away with ‘neural damage’. It lost the “It Wasn’t Me” ability, but with all the other players on the pitch we should be alright.

Onto the next game, and hopefully we will avoid any more Teratons!

Tri-star League S3E2

After the first game, I added another monkey (number 11) to the team to make the most of the Monkey Business rule. The more monkeys on the pitch, the more threat hexes! More line of sight blocking! More bonus coaching dice!

The second game was against Joaquim’s Yndij team. They played a fast game, scoring 1 or 2 points every single turn. Their end zones were totally empty though… if only the Zees could pick up the ball!

The Sneak fouls kept getting spotted, keeping a player off the pitch most of the time. A couple of lucky clones managed to get the ball to the end and score 4 points, but the score never got back to zero from the early Yndij lead. It was a tense game but the Zee really needed a little more luck in picking up the ball, or in not getting pushed out of the way of their defence.

A slight loss, but lots of fun. Adequate chaos was sown. I didn’t get enough cash after the game to increase the monkey count though.

On to game three!

Tri-Star League S3E1

So throughout this pandemic, a few clever people have been setting up online Dreadball events. The Tri-Star League is run by Sam Lowrie, and I had such a blast in the second season with my Neo-bot team that I finally managed to finish painting them!

Since the pandemic continues and face-to-face gaming gets harder I jumped at the chance to join the third season of the league – this time bringing my Zee team.

The first game was against Joachim’s Judwan team, the Long Arms. I took the Home player position and managed to score three points in the first rush – one intrepid monkey evading and weaving between the defenders. More monkeys swarmed onto the pitch and the Judwan failed to Feint the Zee out of the way to clear a bonus strike.

Third rush, the monkeys stole that ball but didn’t count their actions properly – they sat up in the sidelines. The Judwan responded by mobbing that player but leaving the ball where it was.

One daring Zee punched a Judwan in the back (with assistance) and actually knocked them out for three turns! Lots of lovely experience points. On the other side of the pitch, the ball-carrier evaded two Judwan masterfully, getting to the three-point line, and missing. With coaching dice. And two re-rolls. But the ball was as far from the Home goals as it could be. The Judwan responded by setting up a perfect passing chain, which got the ball all the way to the potential point-scorer who… dropped it. Even on re-rolls.

The shot-misser redeemed themselves by punching a defender and not only turning them around (as expected) but also knocking them prone! This left the 4-pt hex undefended, ready for another Zee (with help from a card) to sprint to the bonus hex and throw all of their coaching dice into it… A score! Surprising landslide win for an undeveloped Zee team in only turn 7!

Two lucky Zees got advancements – Extended Interference and Skill. So that’s a target on at least one back. I bought an eleventh clone with the winnings and hopefully in the next game will get a player more able to push defenders out of the way. I don’t think it will be as easy as the Judwan in the future…

Thanks Joachim, that was a great game!

Bristol Dominion Campaign Round Six

Big Boned Billy’s Revenge defended against the Feminasties again, in a small area of the Underhive tunnels. Due to prior injuries only 4 of the Escher were available to fight against 6 of the most tooled-up Delaques. Unfortunately, Billy’s plan of distributing potent drinks around the Underhive led the poor Feminasties to believe they were just seeing double rather than being horribly outnumbered.

It started out well with Whatsisname (relatively new Delaque ganger) going out of action (earning 2xp learning a lesson about standing in the open) as the Eschers jumped through tunnels surprisingly well. Then the Escher leader and champion being serially pinned prevented them from charging the shrinking circle of trenchcoats, while Gramps poured shotgun shells into the ladies to keep them on the floor.

On the other side of the tile, Billy himself was bogged down in combat with the Escher champion who took out Whatsisname – although he managed to take her out without assistance, ending in a trip to the Feminasties hired Doc (and an eye injury).

The Feminasties spread fire around, managing to put flesh wounds on a number of Delaques and keeping the champion Penny seriously injured for the remainder of the fight.

Wyatt charged another champion, using his Stiletto Blade to remove her from the Underhive – thankfully only into Recovery rather than anything major.

At this point the Feminasties lost their bottle and began to run while the Delaques calmly followed, looking to clear up the mess.

In the after-party, Billy found a flying blue rat pet and some of the Delaques finally bought some better armour.

Bristol Dominion Campaign Round Four

With downtime out of the way, it was time for the next round! I was matched against Matt’s Genestealer Cult gang ‘The Rusted Maw’ and they were attacking my Old Ruins territory.

We rolled up the Marauders scenario, and the cult’s special mission was Mayhem (take my gang out of action then leave the board). I stayed back until I had some reinforcements and then started surrounding the horrible monsters.

The Rusted Maw had really, really rotten luck. After having their drinks spiked at the local Delaque Drinking Hole, they were unable to hit much and when they did failed to wound. They ran out of ammo and couldn’t reload. The only good luck that they had was when Shake’s heavy flamer missed by a millimetre and failed to do anything more than give a light tan to a cult ganger.

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By the end of the game, 5 cultists had been taken out of action and only one had exited the board, having completed their mission. Three of the kills were credited to Gramps – Gramps was one of my downtime purchases, a Champion with a shotgun from the old lead Delaque box. Well now I have to clean the old basecoat off and get around to painting him properly, if he’s going to perform that well in the future!

Bristol Dominion Campaign Round Three

Big Boned Billy’s Revenge fought against the Feminasties, an Escher gang, in their third scheduled game of the campaign.

Unfortunately I’m writing this some time after the battle, so details will be sketchy. Oliver had a much better position and flanked the Revenge – who were mostly stuck behind a single barricade across a wide open space!

In general, the Revenge held their own in close combat but after one rotten turn of recovery rolls took out a number of them it pivoted from ‘we can still do this’ to ‘where has everyone gone?’ Billy and Penny were the only fighters left and bottled out knowing that they were probably the only fighters out of recovery. Oliver won the Sludge Sea territory from this straight-up Tunnel Fight.

The wrap-up was a mixed bag. There were actually three fighters available for another game, but the ganger taken to the Rogue Docs for an extortionate 100creds ended up dying anyway, of complications! Such is life (and the end of it) in the Underhive.

I needn’t have worried so much about recovery; the past week has been ‘Downtime’ where all fighters come out of recovery and get a bunch of credits to spend. The house masters have also given Billy’s Revenge some extra credits to keep him going for the second phase of the campaign!

Looking ahead, in the next campaign I will not be buying a heavy weapon again. They’re too expensive, and I would do better with more well-equipped fighters. I’ve heard that Forge World will be doing a Delaque weapons set soon so I will have a lot more options for the gang. The only thing that a heavy flamer has been good for so far is terrorising enemy gangers. If I do pick a heavy weapon, something more dangerous will be on the list… I will also probably skip the Long Rifle. It’s of limited utility in the Zone Mortalis games, although I love the model.

Bristol Dominion Campaign Round Two (Bonus)

The campaign allows for two games each round – your fixed game, and another optional one. This way a player can’t race ahead just for having loads of spare time while also giving a little boost to those gangs that need it.

Having only three fighters able to take part after the last game, Al (our Arbitrator) offered to play me at a Shoot-Out since that would get a lot of my gang out of recovery in time for the next round.

Shoot-out works much the same as it did in old Necromunda, but integrated with all the reputation rules, etc. Big Boned Billy’s Revenge now sits at 10 reputation having risen after every game – never falling back.

Al also cooked up a fantastic story. He’d just played against the Rusted Maw, a Genestealer Cult gang with his Goliaths. The two fighters selected for the Shoot-out were a Champion who had been in recovery for that game and a hired gun (Escher). The Champion had been ‘recovering’ trying to impress Hot Shot Liz at a drinking hole that had recently come under new management (wink wink), explaining their suboptimal performance in the Shoot-out (thank you, Delaque territory bonus!)

The Revenge had Billy and Shake (the heavy-flamer Champion), pacing towards the Goliath and his mercenary friend. The Delaques kept their cool, but Shake was unable to get a shot with his flamer before he was taken out of action in combat – taking a Spinal Injury and missing the next game.

Billy on the other hand finished up both attackers without trouble, boosting the Revenge’s reputation still further and taking control of some Old Ruins for bonus income. Rare trade came up well and they replaced one of the earlier casualties (giving him the abandoned long rifle) and adding a sword to Lawrence, the wannabe gunslinger who hadn’t read the rules on pistols in combat before playing…

Now most of the gang is out of recovery, I’ll be looking for ways to make some credits and build back up to strength. Some of the fighters are starting to gain advances too – Dot Junior (the Juve) is training for a future in close combat.