IHMN 7: Something Goes Jump in the Smog...

More than a week had passed since the strange carriage had disappeared before Sir Rupert's eyes.  The Black Dragon Tong had melted away leaving Sir Rupert's company with... well... no leads whatsoever.  Lady Constant Anne-Oyannce Payne had been griping about being stuck tending to the wounded in their steam dirigible for months on end.  But just when they were about to give up and head back to blighty, news of graves being plundered began to surface in the nearby town of Rusty Butte.  There was only one thing they could do...
As you can see, we decided to use the Hexon terrain boards for this game. Our game would take place among the busy streets of Rusty Butte, a bustling town in the wild west.  This kind of layout requires flat boards. Most of my modular terrain boards are anything but flat. They might have looked prettier, but they wouldn't help create the setting we required. Hexon terrain allows a lot of customisation of your gaming surface and they worked brilliantly for our playing of scenario 9.1.10 Bad Jack.
Perhaps it's best to offer a little explanation to what's going on in our campaign just now. I don't think I'll be giving anything away by saying that the heavily modified Citroen that appeared in the last game is actually a time machine.  As the Dragon Lady climbed into it, her hand accidentally swept across some dials.  She had unwittingly advanced the date by three days.  So at the end of the last game, the Dragon lady was whisked two days into the future.  Once she had figured this out, she reset the date and was returned to the past.  She gathered her Tong back together and ordered the vehicle taken back to their lair.  She also managed to help herself to a number of books that were piled in the back of the vehicle, books secured with a leather strap that connected them to a vial of liquid that glowed with an eerie luminescence.  As she read the books later that night, she would learn of a method to bring life to inanimate body parts.  She also learned of an organisation called the Society of Thule.  And a crazy idea began to form in her mind...
The Dragon Lady has created an abomination from the stitched together parts of a number of bodies her Tong have pilfered from various graves. It ain't pretty. But it is bad. And rather big if truth be told. And thanks to the title of this scenario it's been nicknamed Jack. Trouble is the bloomin' thing has gotten itself loose from its chains and run amok. So while Sir Rupert Utterley-Barkinge's Expeditionary Company are in Rusty Butte looking for graverobbers, the Black Dragon Tong is on the lookout for the beast their mistress has created. They need to catch it and return it to her.  Preferably in one piece.  This may not be as easy as it sounds...!
We decided to add the complication of Pea Soup to our game. A thick smog would obscure the table (in our imaginations at least) and we would have to roll 2D10 each turn to determine how far we could see.  This would play merry havoc with any shooting. And to really mix things up a bit, we added in some rules of our own.
We set up three smoke markers down the length of the middle of the table. One of these would represent Bad Jack. At the start of every turn, we would roll the trusty old GW scatter dice for each cloud. The smoke markers would move 1D10" in the direction rolled. When a model was able to draw a line of sight to the smoke marker (which would be difficult enough in all this Pea Soup), we would roll a D10. On a 7+ it would be replaced with the Bad Jack model. On a 3-6 we'd have a Something's Out There and reduce the Bad Jack roll by 1. On a roll of 1 or 2, we would remove the smoke marker. We hoped this would create some confusion and lead to a lot of dashing about the board shooting at smog. Ah, the best-laid schemes of mice and wargamers...
So with our companies deployed, it was time to begin.  We diced for the Pea Soup only to find visibility reduced to 4".  There wasn't much chance of either company seeing anything.  To be honest, this was definitely a good thing for me.  For when we came to randomly determine the direction of the smoke markers movement, they all seemed to want to head towards the Black Dragon Tong.  Sigh.
As we advanced cautiously towards the centre of the board, the smog began to lift and visibility stretched a whopping 9".  We diced for the smoke markers, which became more static.  All except for one.  This particular one managed to advance right down a back lane between the gunsmith and a row of shops.  It was 8.5" away from a Tong member.  We rolled the dice to see what would happen... and rolled a 7!  Yes, that's right.  Bad Jack had appeared.  So much for chasing shadows through the smog...
So while Sir Rupert's Company couldn't see a bloomin' thing...
...the Black Dragon Tong were nicely lined up to see the Dragon Lady's abomination coming straight for them.
We decided that like the smoke markers themselves, Bad Jack would move 10" in a random direction.  if the direction would take him off the board then we would simply change his direction of movement by 180 degrees.  If its line of travel would take him through or to a model, Bad jack would stop in base contact forcing the model to take a Pluck roll.  If it failed, it would flee.  If not then a round of combat would be fought.  Bad Jack wouldn't stick around though.  It would move off in a random direction at the start of the next turn.
And wouldn't you know it, the dice decided that Bad Jack would move right through some Tong members.  He swung into combat.  The Tong decided to stay and fight.  Even Master Wu-Jen and the Dragon Lady herself joined in.
The creature was impervious to his assailant's attacks.  He managed to retaliate but the Pluck roll was passed and no damage was done.
Sir Rupert and his men were making their way across the board. The dice told us visibility had increased to 11" but it made no difference. Bad Jack leapt away from the Tong. It looked like it was heading straight for the nearest toilet!
Feeling more of a sideshow, Sir Rupert's company were continuing to make good progress but were nowhere near where the action was.  It was now all happening on a small strip of the board where the Dragon Tong had deployed from.  Honestly, you couldn't make up this sort of thing...
As you can see, we were getting close.  The Tong members on the street were obviously staying put in the knowledge that Bad jack was most likely to jump back their way.  To be honest, I was kind of hoping the same would happen.  Sir Rupert was hoping to get a chance of shooting the beast.
But of course, the Yeti and the Dragon warrior decided to charge Bad Jack.  Not far behind were Master Wu-Jen and the Dragon Lady.
The Dragon Lady tried to cast Dragon Talons.  She failed her 2+ Pluck roll.  It was at this point that I dared to hope that Bad Jack would escape their clutches and let me catch it.  if nothing else, it would sure help progress the plot somewhat.  Master Wu-Jen tried to envenom his blade.  He failed.  By now my hopes were soaring you understand.

And then the Dragon Warrior hit bad Jack.  Who failed his Pluck roll.   Which meant he had been captured.  By the Bllack Dragon Tong.  Who slipped back into the mist, the Yeti dragging Bad Jack's inanimate form.

By the time Sir Rupert's entourage got there Rusty Butte was engulfed once more in the smog.

Sir Rupert was not a happy man...

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