IHMN 8: A Rift in Time

Rusty Butte was once again covered in smog.  The sounds of a strange beast rumoured to be called Bad Jack had faded into the distance, along with the pitter patter of the Chinese feet that were taking him back to their lair.  If it hadn't been for the acute hearing and master tracking skills of Sir Rupert and Count Otto, then our whole misadventure would have just vanished into the smog in ignominy...
Instead, the next part of our narrative moves us deep into the wilds of the west and the Dragon Lady's secret lair.  Well, a bit of it anyway...
As Sir Rupert Utterly-Barkinge's Expeditionary Company were to be sneaking into the Black Dragon Tong's secret base, we decided to once more employ the complication of Pea Soup.  We would have to roll at the start of each turn to determine the range of visibility.  We hoped this would give Sir Rupert's men at least a fighting chance of crossing more than half of the board to reach the compound before being spotted.
The Black Dragon Tong would be able to deploy two models as sentries.  All other models would appear from one of the six houses on the board.  They would only appear when gunshots or melee took place.  We decided to roll for this once per turn.  The roll would be taken when the first example of the noise occurred.  A D6 would determine which building.  A D4 would tell us how many appeared.  We'd place the models besides the door fo the building, and be able to act as normal from the start of the next turn.  Having the movement phase over before shooting begins makes this easy to keep track of! Derek put the Black Dragon Tong models in a line to determine the order in which they would appear.  This would save us needing further rolls to determine who appeared each time.
The sentries with muskets were placed first.
And Sir Rupert's entourage appeared clustered together within 6" of their table edge.
The game was a foot... (well, in an area of four square feet if truth be told.)
The movement was cautious at best at first as the smog was obviously clearing.  The dice had decided visiblity was a whopping 18".
The following turn visibility was reduced to 10" by the thickening smog..  Sir Rupert stepped forwards cautiously, hoping to see if his eyes were deceiving him or if there really was a Chinaman halfway up that tree.
The Boxer at the fence decided to shoot at the Agent on the hill.  We measured the distance, and wouldn't you know it, he was just within the range of vision.  He fired, but failed to hit the Agent.
This, of course, led to the roll of a D4 and a D6.  Four Tong members appeared at the far edge of the table.
Meanwhile Sir Rupert's Expeditionary Company was spread out along a wide frontage, hoping for the smog to thicken once more and allow them an opportunity to launch a direct attack at the compound.
As visibility increased to 11", the Expeditionary Company began edging forwards.  Unfortunately, this meant that the Tong member in the tree could just make out Sir Rupert.  He fired, but the shot failed to have any impact.  Sir Rupert retaliated but failed to hit him.  As he cursed the fog, Count Otto's Hunting Rifle gave a loud retort.  The bullet found its mark in the other sentry and the  Chinaman crumpled to the ground.  The compound was now open.
And while the Tong members had begun to set an ambush...

The Tong Lieutenant, a Tong member and the Dragon Warrior appeared from one of the closer buildings. 
Then the smog began to dissipate once more.  Visibility advanced to 14".  The Boxer in the tree shot at Private Gathering.  The bullet hit home and the good Private fell to the ground.   withaSir Rupert wasn't going to put up with this.  He took aim, fired and killed the Boxer.  His lifeless body fell to the ground with a thud. 
Melee broke out at the gate as both sides rushed forwards. 
Thankfully the Tong were being thinned out by Sir Rupert and Count Otto's uncanny ability to fire into melee and take down their enemies without any chance of hitting their allies.  You've gotta love the Huntsman ability...!
Of course, all this noise meant that more of the Tong were bound to appear.  As you can see, the Yeti was next.  They had obviously tried to domesticate it.  It went badly.
As the Agents pushed forwards with the attack, the Yeti moved to protect the time machine. 
The battle was hotting up in the centre of the compund.
Goonda, Sir Rupert, Count Otto and Sergeant Reynolds were hoping to ambush the Yeti by making a wide sweep.  But all the noise had attracted Master Wu-Jen and the Dragon Lady. 
The ambush was prepared...
And then, as the fog thickened once more and visibility was reduced to 8", Sergeant Reynolds pushed forwards.  In response, the Yeti charged around the corner and bellowed in his face.  And in a moment of uncharacteristic terror, the Sergeant lost his bottle, failed his Pluck roll and turned tail and ran.  I did not expect to see that...
Sir Rupert called to him to settle down and stepped forward to engage the Yeti.  By this point, Goonda was charged by the Dragon Warrior.  Thankfully Goonda had enough pithy one-liners to keep distracting him.  Count Oto began shooting into the melee, but it was at this point in the game that the number of successful Pluck rolls went through the roof.
We might have been able to stand up against the onslaught in the shadow of the Time Machine...
But we just couldn't injure each other around the corner.  After a number of turns, there was only one thing left to do.  As the smog turned to mist and visibility advanced to 16", Sir Rupert gave the command to withdraw.  The hope of capturing the time machine wasn't worth the sacrifice of his friends.
The yeti managed to upturn the cart in his frustration.
And Sir Rupert helped Private gathering to his feet as Sergeant Reynolds, Goonda and Count Otto provided what covering fire they could muster.
And then, when all hope seemed lost, a bright light distracted them.  With a roar of an engine the time machine screeched into view before them. 
A man with a thick German accent flung open the doors and barked at them to get inside.  Sir Rupert couldn't understand what was happening, but he knew not to turn down the offer.
With Sir Rupert, Count Otto, Goonda, Sergeant Reynolds and Private Gathering safely inside, the vehicle sped off and disappeared in a flash of blue light. 
Where had the second Time Machine come from?  Why was the driver sporting an incredibly thick German accent?  What would happen next?  When, let alone where would the Citroen take them?  What would happen to the poor Secret Agents they had left behind?  And most important of all, will any of this ever begin to make any sense whatsoever? 

Tune in next time, when I absolutely guarantee that one of these questions might possibly get answered. 



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