Cybela and the Monsters of Grayhill – Season 2 Episode 1

A solo campaign with plastic toys based on the Ironsworn RPG. In Season 2, I will fight battles using the Mighty Monsters miniature rules by Ganesha Games.

Previous Events. Season1: Duchess Cybela of Elfbrook is a mecha pilot. Together with her friend Tahuta (a secret agent) and Count Fanir (a mecha pilot and adept of the Cult), Cybela takes part in the fight against the Boarwood invaders. The enemy is defeated and the Iron Talisman they had stolen is recovered.

As a starting point for Season 2, I rolled a Major Plot Twist:
Someone or something goes missing.

Is this the Iron Talisman again (unlikely): YES

I also rolled a new NPC: Religous Guard

The Iron Talisman was kept in the treasure chamber of the Elfbrook cathedral. When it goes missing, also the Cult treasurer Provost Alban of Grayhill disappears. A few days later, the city of Grayhill is attacked by huge monsters of unknown origin. The Elfbrook mecha division is sent to Grayhill.

Swear an Iron Vow: Free Grayhill from the Monsters (Dangerous)
Challenge:6,7
Action:6+1Heart+1(Bond with the Duchy)=8 Strong Hit +2 Momentum

Cybela is sure that this has been a misstep by the cult. It is a great opportunity to advance in her long-term goal of reducing the power of the Cult in favour of the authority of her father, Duke Themon.

all

NPCs:

  • Count Fanir – Cybela’s rival as the best mecha-pilot in Elfbrook and a fervent adept of the Cult.
  • Provost Alban of Grayhill: former treasurer of the Cult, who disappeared together with the Iron Talisman
  • Duke Themon of Elfbrook – Cybela’s father
  • Archmage Brynn, uncle of Cybela and leader of the Cult. A powerful and ambiguous man.
  • Tahuta – an agent in Elfbrook special forces and Cybela’s best friend.
  • Etana – chief engineer at the Mechanization Ministry. She favours AI robots over human-controlled mecha.

Scenario Oracle: Blood Journey

Cybela and Fanir are charged to escort a medical team bound to a military hospital in Grayhill. They are confronted by a Winged Golem and a Triceratops.

monster
Left to Right: Cybela and Fanir’s mechas; the medical team; Golem and Triceratops

Mighty Monsters stats:

Cybela’s Mecha (180 pts)
Head:Q4C2 Laser-Shoot Medium C2; Body:Q4C4; Arms:Q4C3 Laser-Shoot Long C3; Legs:Q4C2

Fanir’s Mecha (145 pts)
Head:Q4C2 Laser-Shoot Medium C2; Body:Q4C3; Arms:Q4C3; Legs:Q4C2

Medics: Q4 C1 Short Move

Winged Golem (210 pts)
Head:Q4C2 Area-Attack Medium C2; Body:Q4C3; Wings:Q4C2 Fly Medium; Legs:Q4C2; Tail:Q4C3

Triceratops (120 pts):
Head:Q4C3 (Head Butt); Body:Q4C3; Legs:Q4C2; Tail:Q4C2

dav

Turn 1,2: The Golems Area Attack hits Cybela’s mecha (1 hit) and the medical team (1 man down). Fanir hist hard the triceratops (2 hits and Groggy).

Turn 3,4: A second Area Attack takes down a second member of the medical team: only one survives. Cybela hits the Golem (1 hit).

IMG_20190727_175941

Turn 5,6: The Golem flies on the top of a building, but Cybela’s laser attacks knock it down.

Turn 7: the surviving man advances. The Golem stands up only to be knocked down again by Cybela. Fanir and the Triceratops confront each other, but with no effect.

Turn 8,9: the man is now only one move away from exiting the board. Cybela hits the Golem again: it now has taken 5 hits (1 yellow die and 2 red).

dav
The golem is knocked down

Turn 10: after several failed attempts, the Triceratops charges Fanir’s mecha and hits.

Turn 11: The Golem stands up and hits both mechas. The Triceratops knocks down Fanir’s Mecha.

 

Turn 12: the man successfully exits the board! Cybela’s mecha is crippled by the Golem. The Triceratops hits again Fanir’s mecha: the result should have been a Knock Down, but since the macha already is on the ground, it is destroyed!

IMG_20190727_184344

The Elfbrook team has partially achieved its goal, but they were the first side to loose a unit in the fight. I will grant a single advance on the Dangerous vow progress track and Elfbrook must pay the price: someone suspects that Fanir deliberately let his mecha be destroyed.

Is Fanir suspected by Etana (likely) or by Cybela herself (unlikely)? Cybela.

Cybela’s current situation:

Stats: Edge:2 Heart:1 Iron:2 Shadow:1 Wits:3
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:5 Momentum:3
Vow: free Grayhill from the Monsters (Dungerous) – Progress:1
Background Vow: limit the power of the Cult (Extreme) Progress:0.8

Cybela and the Iron Talisman 6: Ambush in Stonetower

A solo campaign with plastic toys based on the Ironsworn RPG and the OnePageRules Grimdark Future Firefight skirmishing rules.
See setup here.

Previous events: The Duchy of Elfbrook has been attacked by the Duchy of Boarwood. Duchess Cybela of Elfbrook is the best remotely-controlled-mecha-pilot around: she swears a vow to rescue her friend Tahuta, who has snatched the Iron Talisman from the hands of the invaders but is now trapped in Stonetower, in Boarwood-occupied territory. The town of Abon is freed, but Cybela’s power mecha is destroyed in battle. Etana, the chief engineer at the Mechanization Ministry, assigns her a much less powerful machine. Nevertheless, Cybela plays a vital role in re-conquering Axeford. The war council decides that an adept of the cult, Count Fanir, will fight side by side with Cybela as a second mecha-pilot.

all6

NPCs:

  • Duke Themon of Elfbrook – Cybela’s father
  • Archmage Brynn, uncle of Cybela and leader of the Cult. A powerful and ambiguous man.
  • Tahuta – an agent in Elfbrook special forces and Cybela’s best friend.
  • Etana – chief engineer at the Mechanization Ministry. She favours AI robots over human-controlled mecha.
  • Count Fanir – Cybela’s rival as the best mecha-pilot in Elfbrook and a fervent adept of the Cult.

This battle is based  on One Hour Wargames, a book by Neil Thomas (Scenario:22 Ambush). The Elfbrook (green) army has advanced further and currently they are fighting in Stonetower. Seven Elfbrook units (Cybela’s and Fanir’s mecha, a sergeant, two veterans, a missile-launcher armed soldier and a sniper) are advancing towards a small building occupied by a Boarwood unit (the blue infantry squad on the roof). They are ambushed by four more blue units that appear behind the vehicles on the right (one more infantry squad, two veterans, a red golem). In order to win, the blue army must completely destroy the green army. Since the green are surprised, they will be unable to activate during Turn 1. The only green unit which is not in the open is the sniper who, having the “scout” ability was deployed on the military vehicle on the right side of the board.

00

Turn 1: Only the Boarwood units activate. The infantry squad charges and kills the sniper and takes cover behind and upon the military vehicle. The slow red golem rushes forward. All the other units shoot but (surprisingly) the green take no wound.

01

Turn 2: Fanir shoots at the golem and misses. Cybela kills one of the infantry men upon the building. The green and blue veterans exchange shots and both sides lose a man. The Elfbrook missile-launcher targets the infantry unit on the military vehicle and hits (a 6 was needed, since they were in cover): the blast kills all the blue men.

Turn 3: The Elfbrook missile launcher now targets the Boarwood infantry upon the building, but misses. The two mecha do the same and they miss too. The green sergeant charges and kills the last blue veteran. The surviving green veteran charges the golem, with no effect.

03
An Elfbrook veteran charging the golem: it will not go well….

Turn 4: the golem kills the green veteran: it is then charged and killed in its turn by the green sergeant. The Elfbrook missile launcher has a second incredible shot and blasts-off the last two blue men upon the building.

04

Another clear victory for Cybela &C. I mark 3 progress on the Troublesome vow of recovering the Iron Talisman and Tahuta. Progress in now 8. Time to see how it ends:

Fulfill Your Vow: Challenge:2,6 vs Progress:8 a Strong Hit!
When the Elfbrook soldiers enter the building, they find Tahuta hiding inside. She is badly wounded, but she still has the Iron Talisman with her. Mission accomplished!
Neither Cybela nor Fanir have done anything particularly good or bad during this battle. The hero of the day is the guy with the missile launcher. I will also mark some progress on Cybela’s Extreme background vow of limiting the power of the cult: at least the cult’s adept Fanir has been unable to prove himself a better mecha-pilot than she is.

map
The Boarwood invasion has ended

Cybela’s current situation:

Stats: Edge:2 Heart:1 Iron:2 Shadow:1 Wits:3
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:1 Momentum:1
Vow: retrieve the Iron Talisman (Troublesome) – Fulfilled
Background Vow: limit the power of the Cult (Extreme) Progress:0.5

 

Cybela and the Iron Talisman 5: intrigue at the war council

A solo campaign with plastic toys based on the Ironsworn RPG and the OnePageRules Grimdark Future Firefight skirmishing rules (but this is a purely Ironsworn session).
See setup here.

Previous events: The Duchy of Elfbrook has been attacked by the Duchy of Boarwood. Duchess Cybela of Elfbrook is the best remotely-controlled-mecha-pilot around: she swears a vow to rescue her friend Tahuta, who has snatched the Iron Talisman from the hands of the invaders but is now trapped in the Boarwood-occupied territory. The town of Abon is freed, but Cybela’s power mecha is destroyed in battle. Etana, the chief engineer at the Mechanization Ministry, assigns her a much less powerful machine. Nevertheless, Cybela plays a vital role in re-conquering Axeford. Stonetower, the ultimate goal, is now in sight.

NPCs:

  • Duke Themon of Elfbrook – Cybela’s father
  • Archmage Brynn, uncle of Cybela and leader of the Cult. A powerful and ambiguous man.
  • Tahuta – an agent in Elfbrook special forces and Cybela’s best friend.
  • Etana – chief engineer at the Mechanization Ministry. She favours AI robots over human-controlled mecha.

In this session, I focus on what happens at court, far from the battlefield.
Will this involve a new NPC? [50/50] Oracle: YES
Male or Female? [50/50] Male
NPC Role: Raider
NPC Goal: Harm a rival

Is the rival Cybela? [50/50] Oracle: YES

Count Fanir is the second best mecha-pilot in Elfbrook. He is a fervent adept of the cult. At the war council, Archmage Brynn suggests that Fanir should replace Cybela in the fight for Stonetower: he says he is worried about the safety of the young Duchess but, now that the war seems to be nearly over, he really intends to promote his pupil.
Face Danger: Challenge:5,10 Action:5+3Wits=8 / Weak Hit (-1 Momentum)
Cybela must use all her dialectical skills to convince the war council that her involvement in the operations is essential. She also suggests that this could not be a good time to introduce new people in key roles. The final decision is that she can keep her position, but Fanir will be placed to her side in the next battles: he will use a robot of a different model, so that it will be possible to measure the effectiveness of the two different machines. To Cybela it is clear that the competition will not be so much among different mecha-models as among the two pilots.

all6

Cybela’s current situation:

Stats: Edge:2 Heart:1 Iron:2 Shadow:1 Wits:3
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:1 Momentum:1
Vow: retrieve the Iron Talisman (Troublesome) Progress:5
Background Vow: limit the power of the Cult (Extreme) Progress:0

Cybela and the Iron Talisman 3: Battle in Axeford

A solo campaign with plastic toys based on the Ironsworn RPG and the OnePageRules Grimdark Future Firefight skirmishing rules.
See setup here.

Previous events: The Duchy of Elfbrook has been attacked by the Duchy of Boarwood. Duchesss Cybela of Elfbrook is the best remotely-controlled-mecha-pilot around: she swears a vow to rescue her friend Tahuta, who has snatched the Iron Talisman from the hands of the invaders but is now trapped in the Boarwood-occupied territory. Cybela’s Mecha is destroyed in a first attempt to reconquer the town of Abon, but the second attack is a success. Etana, the chief engineer at the Mechanization Ministry, points out that resources are scarce and it could be impossible to replace Cybela’s Mecha, if it were destroyed.

NPCs:

  • Duke Themon of Elfbrook – Cybela’s father
  • Archmage Brynn, uncle of Cybela and leader of the Cult. A powerful and ambiguous man.
  • Tahuta – an agent in Elfbrook special forces and Cybela’s best friend.
  • Etana – chief engineer at the Mechanization Ministry. She favours AI robots over human-controlled mecha.

all1

_______________

This scenario is based  on One Hour Wargames, a book by Neil Thomas (Scenario:5 Bridgehead). An Elfbrook infantry squad has taken control of an important objective: the yellow building at the centre of the the board. Each turn, both sides have a chance of reinforcements arriving: Elfbrook (green) forces will enter from point D, Boarwood (blue) forces will randomly arrive from A, B or C. The game will be 6 turns long, with the goal of being the only force having units within 12″ of the objective.
At turn 0, I randomly deployed at C a blue infantry squad.

000

Turn 1 and 2: no reinforcements rolled. The two infantry squads exchange shots and each side loses a man. The blue advance to take cover behind the vehicles and the green take cover behind the yellow building.

2a

Turn 3: Cybela’s mecha enters from point D. The blue have a second infantry squad from A.
Turn 4: The green receive a sniper which, being a “Scout”, can be directly deployed at the top of the target building. The blue deploy at C a weapon-team armed with a missile launcher. Cybela’s Tough Mecha takes a first wound from the blue infantry squad. The green infantry near the target is now attacked on two sides by blue infantry.

5a
Turn 5: two blue veterans enter at B; no reinforcements for Elfbrook. The green infantry loses a second man. The Mecha kills one of the blue men behind the vehicle, but it is hit by the missile launcher (second wound).

Turn 6: the blue infantry on the left charges the last Elfbrook soldier near the building: they are successful. The sniper at the top of the building is the only surviving Elfbrook soldier. A missile damages one of the legs of the Mecha, which is now immobilized. The mecha still manages to stun the man with the missile launcher; it also resists the charge of the blue infantry-man.

6

No clear victory for any of the two sides. Boarwood seems in better shape, with more surviving units.
Should I consider this a Boarwood victory (a “Miss” for Cybela)? [Likely] Oracle: YES
Elfbrook is unable to take control of Axeford and they are forced to retreat.

r2
Diagonal lines: Boarwood occupation

Can Cybela’s Mecha be retrieved and repaired? [Unlikely] Oracle:NO
Pay the price: -1 supply (now 1). Etana informs Cybela that the Mechanization Ministry is unable to replace her mecha with a similar model. She will have to use an inferior machine.

 

Cybela’s current situation:

Stats: Edge:2 Heart:1 Iron:2 Shadow:1 Wits:3
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:1 Momentum:0
Vow: retrieve the Iron Talisman (Troublesome) Progress:2
Background Vow: limit the power of the Cult (Extreme) Progress:0

Cybela and the Iron Talisman 2: Assaulting a plasma cannon

A solo campaign with plastic toys based on the Ironsworn RPG and the OnePageRules Grimdark Future Firefight skirmishing rules.
See setup here.

Previous events: The Duchy of Elfbrook has been attacked by the Duchy of Boarwood. Duchesss Cybela of Elfbrook is the best remotely-controlled-mecha-pilot around: she swears a vow to help defeat the invaders and rescue her friend Tahuta, who has snatched the Iron Talisman from the hands of the enemy but is now trapped in the Boarwood-occupied territory. Cybela’s Mecha is destroyed in a fist attempt to reconquer the town of Abon.

NPCs:

  • Duke Themon of Elfbrook – Cybela’s father
  • Archmage Brynn, uncle of Cybela and leader of the Cult. A powerful and ambiguous man.
  • Tahuta – an agent in Elfbrook special forces and Cybela’s best friend.

__________________________

A second attack to Abon sees Cybela’s Mecha trying to neutralize a large plasma gun that the Boarwood army has strategically placed at the top of a building. The Boarwood (blue) side includes a weapon team, a veteran, an infantry squad and the plasma cannon (Q:3+ D:3+ Ap1, Tough3). The Mecha is supported by three veterans and two infantry squads. Being on higher ground, the blue units count as being in cover. I compensated this advantage by assigning more points to the green army (145 vs 95).
The green squad enters from the right.

_IMG_20190220_155011
Turn 1: Cybela, after the recent incident, aims at the blue soldier with the missile launcher and puts it out of combat. One of the green veterans is put out of combat and another is stunned.

_IMG_20190220_161245
Turn 2 and 3: The crew of the plasma cannon takes two hits: they will now have to roll on the wound table. One of the two Elfbrook infantry squads moves forward in the open towards the stairs: two of the three men are killed.

Turn 4: The surviving infantry man climbs the stairs and charges the only surviving member of the cannon’s crew, but he is stunned and then killed by the blue veteran. The green also loose a veteran hit by the blue infantry squad. The mecha is hit at a leg, it is now immobilized (both its Quality and Defence are degraded by one step).

_IMG_20190220_163653

I decided to give Cybela a chance and run a fifth Turn. First, I rolled for morale, since 3 of the 6 green units are out of combat. The surviving infantry squad fails the roll and leaves the field. The Mecha keeps shooting at the cannon but fails. Luckily, the veteran does not miss and puts the cannot out of combat. A very marginal victory (I consider this a “Weak Hit” Battle outcome).

r2

I mark two progress on the progress map: Abon and Newbridge have been conquered. But Cybela must pay the price. I subtract another supply point (now 2). I also introduce a new problematic NPC.

[Oracle] Male of female (50/50): Female
Hint: Debate Opinion

Etana is the chief engineer of the Department of War. She is convinced that human-controlled mecha are not efficient. It would be less costly to replace them with AI machines. This time it was possible to fix the leg of Cybela’s Mecha, but when it is destroyed it might be impossible to replace it.

Etana.jpgRES

Cybela’s current situation:

Stats: Edge:2 Heart:1 Iron:2 Shadow:1 Wits:3
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:2 Momentum:0
Vow: retrieve the Iron Talisman (Troublesome) Progress:2
Background Vow: limit the power of the Cult (Extreme) Progress:0

 

Cybela and the Iron Talisman – 1 Abon Setback

A solo campaign with plastic toys based on the Ironsworn RPG and the OnePageRules Grimdark Future Firefight skirmishing rules.
See setup here.

Previous events: The Duchy of Elfbrook has been attacked by the Duchy of Boarwood. Duchesss Cybela of Elfbrook is the best remotely-controlled-mecha-pilot around: she swears a vow to help defeat the invaders and rescue her friend Tahuta, who has snatched the Iron Talisman from the hands of the enemy but is now trapped in the Boarwood-occupied territory.

NPCs:

  • Duke Themon of Elfbrook – Cybela’s father
  • Archmage Brynn, uncle of Cybela and leader of the Cult. A powerful and ambiguous man.
  • Tahuta – an agent in Elfbrook special forces and Cybela’s best friend.

[I will use this map to track progress on Cybela’s vow. Progress will correspond to the liberation of occupied territory (marked by the diagonal lines)]

MAPSQ
Diagonal lines: Boarwood occupation

Cybela’s Mecha supports two infantry squads and two veterans (running men) in an action at the outskirts of Abon. Both armies want to seize both the gray car in the foreground and the oval white structure in the background. The Boarwood (blue) platoon includes a red giant, four veterans, a sniper (deployed on the oval structure) and a Weapon-team with a missile launcher.

900_setup

Turn 1: the missile-launcher targets the Mecha and hits! Since it is blast(3), it causes three hits and one of the puts the mecha out-of-combat. Two of the Boarwood veterans move towards the left side of the area and two to the right.

900_2

Turn 2: The giant is hit and stunned. The veterans on the right are eliminated by one of the green infantry squads.  The other two engage in combat with the two green veterans, who then move towards the oval structure.

900_end

Turn 3: the missile-launcher is effective again and completely destroys one of the green infantry squads. The sniper puts one of the Elfbrook veterans out-of-combat. The blue veterans advance undisturbed.

Turn 4: since the green army has lost more than half of its units, I check morale and the infantry squad decides to retreat. The only remaining green veteran has no option but to retreat as well.

A clean blue victory.
Cybela must Pay the Price. I will add some complication. Oracle: “reveal tool”.
Boarwood has carefully prepared their invasion: all squads will include a missile-launcher unit. I will also decrease supplies by 2: building new Mechas is expensive…

Current situation:

Stats: Edge:2 Heart:1 Iron:2 Shadow:1 Wits:3
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:3 Momentum:0
Vow: retrieve the Iron Talisman (Troublesome) Progress:0
Background Vow: limit the power of the Cult (Extreme) Progress:0

Cybela and the Iron Talisman – Campaign setup

After playing an interesting OPR Grimdark Future Firefight campaign in the past months, I thought I will continue with this skirmish system which I greatly enjoy. I have invested 10 Euros in Lego bricks: Lego robots will enter the fight. I also want to add more story elements and the Ironsworn RPG is excellent in this respect. I will use a custom anime / steampunk / fantasy / random setting that I will build from scratch. Everything will be as simple as possible: I don’t expect to use assets, at least for now.

1 Create your character – Cybela is the Duchess of Elfbrook. She is the most talented mecha pilot in the duchy.
Stats: Edge:2 Heart:1 Iron:2 Shadow:1 Wits:3

2 Create your world. I rolled a handful of dice and drew a map of the Slar island. The Elfbrook Duchy is in the Eastern part of the island. The other two large Duchies are Rockfall at the South and Boarwood, also including the Damula island, at the North.

3 Create your background bonds.
I decided one of the bonds is Duke Themon, Cybela’s father.

I used the Irosnsorn NPC Oracles for the other two bonds:

3a: A “wanting pilgrim”, whose goal is to “obtain an object.” Cybela’s uncle is the second most powerful man in the Duchy: Archmage Brynn, leader of the Cult. He has travelled extensively in all Slar and beyond. Some think his loyalty to Themon is not total.
3b: A “cooperative thief”, who wants to “fulfill a duty.” Tahuta is Cybela’s best friend. She is an agent in Elfbrook special forces.

4 Write your background vow. Oracle: “seize mysticism”. Cybela wants to limit the power of the Cult, which often interferes with all the important matters. (Extreme)

5 Envision your inciting incident. Oracle “deflect destiny”. I used the hints provided by Cybela’s bonds. Boarwood has invaded the neutral area of Stonetower, at the center of Slar. The Iron Talisman is considered as the the symbol of the power on all Slar: it has been preserved in Stonetower for many decades, as the result of an agreement among the three duchies. Tahuta has recovered the talisman, but the quick Boarwood occupation has trapped her behind enemy lines.

6 Set the Scene. Elfbrook will have to immediately counter-attack, trying to get possession of the Talisman. Brynn claims that it must be handled to him who, being a spiritual authority, can grant that it will not be used to damage the other regions of Slan. Themon is not of the same opinion, but all agree that the Talisman must not fall in the hands of Boarwood. Cybela will be a protagonist in the fight by remotely piloting a brand new experimental mecha.

7 Swear an Iron Vow. After receiving the controls of her new Mecha, in front of the Duke and the chief engineers of the Mechanization Ministry, Cybela swears to find Tahuta and the Iron Talisman.
Swear an Iron vow: Challenge:5,7 Action:1+1Heart+1Community=3 Miss
In that very moment, news arrive that the Boarwood army has passed the border and has directly attacked Elfbrook. The task will be Troublesome, harder than expected. (Momentum=0)

Grimdark Future:

Stats for the first mecha: Q:3+ D:3+ FluxRifle(24″,Attacks:1,Ap1,Flux) CCW Attacks:1 Regeneration, Slow, 30 pts

 

I will roll on this custom “Mecha wound table”:

1 Mecha Explodes! (all figures in 6″ take 1 automatic hit)

2 Out of Combat

3 Weapon arm destroyed (Remove Weapon; Quality degraded 1 step)

4 Control system damaged (Defense degraded 1 step)

5 Leg destroyed (Immobilized: Quality and Defense degraded 1 step each)

6 Mecha falls / reboots (same as “stunned”)