‘If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you’ – Liam Neeson
About eight months ago, I did a short report on the single-player scenario from The University Of Transmortis. The Amphibious Assault box, which I ordered during Wyrd’s Easter sale, turns out to also have a single-player scenario, so of course I decided to give it a go!
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The scenario puts your small crew against a group of ravenous Gupps, who have seized an innocent child from a nearby farm and are trying to drag him back to their nest. I quite like the challenge these scenarios can pose, and trying to build a crew that can do as well as possible (such as running Relic Hammers in the aforementioned University of Transmortis game). With that end in mind, I decided that the best way to maximise VP gain would be to kill a Gupps swarm so as to summon the Spawn Mother – I could then take her out to stop the Gupps from reappearing at the end of the turn. Unfortunately there aren’t really any characteristics I can take advantage of on either the Gupps or the Spawn Mother – in fact, both of them will be quite hard to hit due to the Perfect Camouflage ability. To mitigate this, I decided to focus around the Burning condition, taking The Captain and The Firestarter for their Ca actions (so therefore not affected by Perfect Camouflage) that can hand out the condition. To capitalise on this, I took a couple of Gunsmiths – a single negative twist to my attacks won’t matter if the target’s on fire so the Gunsmiths can use their (0) The Hard Way.
I started turn 1 by trying to light up one of the Gupps swams so that a Gunsmith could kill them, walking The Captain forward before using Airburst on the diminutive creatures. Despite the positive twist the Gupps highest card was a six of crows, leaving me free to cheat in an eight of rams to push the swarm and set them on fire. Next up, the male Gunsmith used The Hard Way before charging into the Gupps. The Black Joker appeared on my first damage flip, but I was able to get to a straight flip for his second charge attack and the Experimental trigger, letting me cheat in a moderate card to kill the swarm. With a shriek that set every nerve on end, the Spawn Mother appeared, ready to avenge her offspring.
Continuing with the plan to murder the Spawn Mother as quickly as possible, the Firestarter used her Reckless ability to walk into her engagement, trying to set the creature alight with Ignition. The first fireball missed the creature, sailing past her and setting a small grove of trees on fire, but the pyromaniac’s second shot hit the creature as I was forced to cheat in a high tome. With the Spawn Mother now firmly ablaze with Burning +3, the final Gunsmith readied herself to do things The Hard Way before charging the creature. Typically, fate conspired against me as the Spawn Mother flipped the Red Joker for her first defence and a high thirteen of crows for her second, dodging both of the Gunsmith’s attacks. Things were looking grim for the Arcanists already…
The Spawn Mother attacked the male Gunsmith. He dodged the first attack, but the second blow struck him for weak damage – though I did hit his Concealed Weapon trigger, giving him Fast for next turn. The Gupps pushed the child away from the rescue party, and another swarm appeared next to their mother. I gained one vp for killing a Gupps swarm, but lost one for the child being firmly on the wrong side of the board.
Not to be deterred, the Firestarter started turn two determined that the plan would work. She Recklessly attacked the Spawn Mother, who dodged the first attack, and flipped the Red Joker (again!) to dodge the second attack. The Firestarter’s third attack finally hit the creature, setting it alight again. Determined to finish the creature, my female Gunsmith attacked the Spawn Mother, managing to do severe damage despite being on a single negative twist. Capitalising on this twist of fate, the Gunsmith attacked again, emptying both chambers into the Spawn Mother’s head and killing the creature.
Attempting to move the battle back in the Arcanist’s favour, The Captain used his Airburst to push one of the swarms closer, setting them alight in the process. He crushed a soulstone in one gloved hand as he sent a burst of air at the second Gupps swarm, typically flipping a ram from the top of the deck and setting them alight anyway. Finally, he tried to push the third swarm away, but the little creatures must have learnt from seeing their brothers pushed around and scatted to avoid the superheated wind blast before reforming into a swarm. Taking advantage of his Concealed Weapon, the male Gunsmith opened fire at the nearest Gupps swarm, dealing weak damage with both shots and killing the little creatures. Switching his aim, he attempted to fire on the second swarm, but as he squeezed the triggers the hammers clicked on empty chambers as I flipped the Black Joker for his attack.
The Gupps continued to push the child ever farther away from the rescue party, while the second swarm attacked the Firestarter. Their claws, while small, were sharp and dealt moderate damage, though the pyro crushed the crew’s final soulstone in her hand to prevent the damage. Attacking with renewed vigour, the Gupps’ second attack dealt severe damage, taking the Firestarter down to her last two wounds.
Turn three saw me draw a pretty poor hand – not usually a problem as you can be confident in top-decking some high cards, but as this scenario has the swampfiends sharing my deck for all of their flips, I’d be much happier with the high cards safely out of reach of their clammy claws! The Captain sent a billowing gust of air towards the Gupps, pulling them away from the helpless child and towards the Arcanists. The superheated burst of air was enough to catch the dry kindly too, bursting aflame and setting the little creatures on fire. Taking advantage of the low rams in my hand, The Captain used Airburst on both Gunsmiths too, cheating down their defence flips with the rams to gain the Concealed Weapon trigger. The female Gunsmith opened up on the Gupps she was engaged with, dealing weak damage with her first volley of shots. Cursing under her breath as she reloaded, she opened fire again, flipping the Red Joker for damage and killing the swarm in a spectacular display of overkill. She walked forward to be ready to assist the child as the Firestarter, finally free from engagement, went down to her last wound with her Reckless attitude and shot forward, her jetpack spewing smoke and fire behind her. She threw a torrent of flame at the Gupps with her BURRRRNNNN!!! action, but the creatures dodged the first shot. Her second gout of flame hit them, though it wasn’t quite enough to kill them. Muttering something about how ‘magic’s no match for a Colt’, the male Gunsmith drew a long-barrelled revolver from his coat, gunning the final Gupps down before walking twice into base contact with the child.
Turn four was a simple affair of pushing the child from model to model, ending with him safely on my half of the board. At the end of the game, I’d scored 5vp – not quite as good as the 6vp Wyrd recommend as being a ‘good’ score in the Story Encounter book. Not a problem, though, as I had an idea for a different force. The Hard Way, while helpful, hadn’t been the game-changer I’d expected, so I needed some way to deal lots of damage – and quickly – without using Sh or charge actions. To tackle beasts, sometimes you needed to take beasts… Join me tomorrow for a second attempt to rescue the child from the hungry jaws of the Silurids!
Hope to see you then, and take care,