Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Mother Goosegog Fans the Flames


The witch hacked a cough as another smattering of ash showered her small band. She had wandered lost among the bowels of the slowly collapsing factory for an age, but finally her instincts were telling her that they were heading upwards.

“Look!”

Her soot-stained face was split with a bright, if toothless grin as she pointed to the ceiling.

“Stars! Thank the Goddess!” She turned to her companions: the ranger, the tracker and the thief. “I only hope the others have found their way out too…”

Suddenly the walls shook and the ground rumbled as below them some ancient vat of chemicals exploded. They ducked as chunks of flaming masonry crashed to the floor around them.

“Let’s not outstay our welcome then!”

She raced forward, clambering nimbly over twisted storage tanks and bent pipes.

“We need to be quick, but keep an eye out for anything worth taking too, as-“

She stopped. In the gloom before them, half-lit shapes clanked and stomped past and through patches of burning debris. A figure ceased it’s patrolling and turned towards them. It raised an arm, glowing increasingly red hot, and fired…

With the last game’s debacle well and truly out of the way, the evening was upon me and I had the dining room to myself. Time then to revisit Mother Goosegog and finish off the Dark Alchemy solo campaign!

Treasure was placed as per scenario instructions and fire flingers distributed randomly around them – mainly on the left hand side of the table. Goosegog’s band began by skirting to the right to avoid the Fire Flingers, also being careful of the three fire markers that dotted the area. On the bottom right, a statue marked out the number of turns. Anyone left on the table on turn 10 would be consumed as the whole place went up in flames.

An extra pair of hands was needed, so a zombie was raised. My aim was to get as much treasure as fast as possible, but a slow zombie would suffice for anything nearby.

The semi-warband spread out through the burning ruins, careful to remain out of sight of the fire flingers. Treasure was found and nabbed.

However all of a sudden the flames moved! (Yes, I’d rolled my umpteenth 1 of the day). One flame marker landed annoyingly on one of the treasures – better bypass that one…

The flame flingers clanked about in random directions, keeping mostly out of the way. However it was only a matter of time before one of them spotted someone. The thief was in the firing line and got badly burnt.

The ranger also attracted unwelcome attention and got a good frazzling for his trouble. There was more treasure to be had, so it was inevitable that the fire flingers would take objection.

Undeterred by a few burnt edges, the thief decided to test his tormentor in close combat. The result was another loss, causing the poor chap to be pushed back, wounded.

The ranger also lost in melee and was pushed back by a fire flinger. The clock was ticking and Goosegog (lurking on the fringes of the board) couldn’t afford any more wounded.

Another fire flinger found itself drawing line of sight, this time on the tracker. It fired, injuring the elf despite the protection afforded by the terrain.

The ranger had to be saved, so Goosegog summoned another zombie (his predecessor already having lumbered off with treasure). It shambled into combat, allowing the ranger to make his excuses and leave.

Dodging his nemesis, the thief went after another treasure (the one recently covered by flames but now ripe for the picking after the conflagration spread elsewhere – yes, another 1…) Greed was his downfall however, as the fire flinger rounded a corner and, well, flung flame at him.

The zombie was returned to the grave, slightly crispier than he was before. Most of the warband had by now made it off the board with four out of six treasures.

Turn 6 and the survivors had escaped the flames. Treasure rolls went reasonably well, although the greedy thief did not survive his injuries. That brought the overall death toll to an inexpensive two thieves. Mother Goosegog is now more experienced and has gold and some useful potions to try out.

All in all a most enjoyable game, and indeed mini-campaign. Dark Alchemy is well worth a go if you have a low level warband that you want to boost up a little!