Friday, February 25, 2011

[WOD] Austin by Night- Session 15 as Eile

I'm on the hunt I'm after you.
Mouth is alive with juices like wine
And I'm hungry like the wolf

Stalked in the forest too close to hide

I'll be upon you by the moonlight side-
Duran Duran, Hungry Like The Wolf 

Eile works at the Hedge Row, serving drinks to Simon, Reese, Calin and Waco over the course of the night. She then closes her shift, and heads over to the strip club to work a show.

The show's a rowdy one, with a customer spilling his drink all over her, and another getting very touchy. Eile calls the bouncers to keep the guy in line, and gets ready to go home. Before she changes into clean clothes, she's invited by a bunch of girls over to a local all-night restaurant. When Eile emerges from the changing room, the girls are gone. Eile takes it in stride, and struts her way to the restaurant, feeling flush with the rush of money and the sweet smell of emotions.

As she heads down the street, she hears a voice calling out to her to "watch out". She turns and sees Waco; but nothing else. He's acting jittery and weird, and keeps saying something about "gremlins" and them being "after" her. Eile's really not a bright girl, and she's in a spirited, social mood, so she invites them all along to whatever she's doing- she wants to party. She continues on to the restaurant, with Waco in tow. As she enters the restaurant, she sees the girls who ditched her earlier, trying to avoid her. She shrugs and sits down to eat. 

As she's looking over the menu to order, Waco flips out- literally. He flips the table, hitting the one girl in the group of ditchers that was somewhat nice to her with the table settings. He grabs Eile by the arm and drags her out of the restaurant into the alley behind it. He's going on about the gremlins, and how they're everywhere- and they're interested in her. He keeps saying he sees them, and she doesn't. As this is going on, Waco asks her where she feels safe- a huge trigger for Eile's suspicions. She says she needs to call Terrance. As she turns to grab her phone and dial, Waco stabs her in the shoulder with a tranq gun, and she goes down. She drops the phone as the call is dialing, and the phone stays open. 

When Eile wakes, she's in a grassy meadow leading up to a hunting lodge. She's being carried over Waco's shoulder, and being taken to what appear to be kennels. She screams and cries, and yells and defies, all to no avail- Waco is much stronger and tougher than she is. All her questions reveal her worst fears come true; being betrayed by someone in her close circle. No amount of convincing or pleading works, either- she's been taken back to Arcadia against her will; at Waco's Master's insistence. Waco was given a picture of Eile, with the words "We want the bitch" on the back. His Master(s) threatened Waco's human family- a wife and daughter. The mention of a child is the only thing that offers Eile any sort of tenderness for Waco, as she's been contemplating her ability to procreate quite seriously with a recent pregnancy scare on her mind courtesy of TK. (12 weeks of waiting for her cycle, but with negative results at every test.) She knows she's one of a very few Others who come back with the ability to have children (and she knows she's exceptionally fertile), but she doesn't know how this affects her being brought back; and not to her Own Keeper.

Eile soon finds out why, as she's drug to a bitching station and chained to the ground by a collar with three links, no room to move or struggle. She's transformed yet again- no longer a coyote, but more a beagle; or a hunting dog of some sort. She's mounted by a stud and forcibly impregnated- and the gestation is rapid and brutal. Within 4 hours of impregnation, Eile bears a litter of hobgoblins that claw their way out of her canal, and the process is begun again. Each 4 hours, Eile brings about a gorge of servants to Waco's Masters; she's bearing the soldiers of an army. Time is truly strange on the opposite side of the Hedge, and while 16 hours goes by in Arcadia, Waco returns to Austin in just 36 seconds.

In Austin, Terrance gets the phone call, which he knows is from Eile, but nothing is on the line except the sound of passing cars and random talking. The phone is then run over by a car, and Terrance is left confused. He quickly figures out Eile is not at The Hedge Row or their apartment, so he deduces she was at the strip club. 

[The rest of this information is Terrance's story, but relevant to Eile.]

Terrance winds up in the alley behind the strip club, looking for Eile; and is confronted by a large number of gremlins. They  surround him and tell him : "It was our job. He took her. She's been TAKEN. She's gone." Terrance asks a few questions, which the goblins generally answer; and then they start to pursue him. Terrance runs, and calls Avere. They agree to meet at the Hedge Row, and Terrance avoids a serious encounter with the goblins.

Once at the Hedge Row, Terrance and Avere find Duncan and Terrance relays the story as he knows it to both Duncan and Avere. Duncan catches on the word "taken" which was uttered by the goblins very seriously and they discuss the ramifications of that specific word among the Lost. As they are discussing this, Waco comes in, out of breath and quite beaten up. He tells them he saw Eile being taken, and he knows where she is, and that they jumped him, etc.  With this last piece of news, Duncan is very concerned for Eile's safety and longevity. He impresses upon Waco, Avere and Terrance that he considers all the Lost that frequent the Hedge Row as family, and that everything possible should be done to help family. This is especially important to Avere, whom Duncan as adopted as a sister, and who has been searching for her family since she returned from Arcadia.

Avere and Terrance are vocal about doing anything and everything to get Eile back, and Waco goes along with them as they try to figure out how to rescue her. Avere calls the Omen pack, and calls in a favor. Ed feels more than compelled to help Avere, as it was at HIS direction that Avere was made a protected member of the pack. He agrees to meet her at the Hedge Row, and heads over in short order.

[He is sidetracked by something important, which allows for the situation at the Hedge Row to play out.]

Back at the Hedge Row, Avere, terrance and Waco head downstairs after talking to Duncan. As they head down, Terrance stops Waco and offers to help heal him. Waco accepts, and while Terrance bestows his contract of healing on Waco, he also uses Witches' Intuition, and discovers that Waco knows very precisely where Eile is, and he's hiding it from Avere and Terrance in fear of being discovered.

Terrance confronts Waco in front of a large crowd -many of whom are Avere's allies. Terrance is in a terrible wrath and is insistent that Waco is hiding something harmful. Avere trusts Waco, and doesn't understand Terrance's anger- until finally, Avere asks: Is what Terrance is saying true? Are you hiding something from us?

Waco answers, yes, he's hiding something. Avere continues: How do you know where Eile is? And Waco answers; "because I took her there".

Pandemonium ensues as Avere strikes at Waco with a wrench, and encourages several of her allies to do everything in their power to hurt (if not kill) Waco. She's infuriated that one of the Lost would betray another by continuing to obey their Keeper, and wants nothing but harm upon Waco. As this is going on, Terrance has grabbed Waco and wrapped him into a submission hold when Waco whispers something that stays Terrance's wrath. Terrance then grabs hold of a collar from around Waco's throat (which no one has noticed before) and starts trying to remove it.

The collar proves quite stubborn, and so Avere produces a unicorn's horn from her bag- something that she's used against Hedge crafted things quite successfully in the past. She stabs the collar, which opens up and grabs Terrance, wrapping around his hand. It begins to open a door, and is sucking Waco into the doorway- and Terrance feels the pull. Avere is trying to get him to let go, and Terrance panics and releases the collar. The collar sucks shut, pulling Waco into it like something out of a comic book, and the large group is left with no ideas on where Eile might be, or how to track her.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

[40K] BT vs IG x 2

I've played against 2 different IG armies in the past 2 weeks.

The first was against the Star Wars army, which was mostly Sentinels and lots of blob squads. This particular scenario was pitched battle, with objectives rather than VP. The game was a lot of fun with back and forth elements- his army essentially trying to shoot mine to pieces; and mine trying to chop his to bits before he could do so.

A general look at our deployment:

I had Terminators in reserve to deepstrike, and a Rhino with Cru squad not visible here. 

I also tried the VenDread again, this time with TLLC.

Unfortunately, my opponent viewed TLLC as "bad" and shot the daylights out of my poor Dread. Despite lots of concentrated firepower, he stayed alive, but didn't get into CC until the very end of the game, and did a whole lot of nothing.

No, his arm was not blown off. The arm was to another model and didn't fit this fellow. 

Honestly, this game was so much fun, I think we forgot about objectives and trying to win. We did a lot of  "pew-pew" noises, and just had a blast trying to shoot each other off the board. I mean, who wouldn't have fun against a guy that loves his army this much?

At the end of the game, we were at a draw- I held an objective, and another was hotly contested. 

I had a tough time against 6 Sentinels and 3 blob squads- but I think I'm learning.

What I learned: Sometimes a fun game is just what you need.

What I can work on: Concentrating firepower against stuff that can blow me up. (Also known as "target priority".) I still haven't figured this out.

About my opponent: He's a semi-regular dude around the store. He's a total ham, and something of a goof- but he is a BLAST to play against and I had a good time. Thanks, FoggyGolem!

My next game was against an entirely different sort of IG list. This one was meched up beyond belief- he was bringing SIX hydras! (Well, sort of. He proxied some Chimeras in. One of them has a cool conversion getting started.)

He also had some Vendettas.  They were really pretty and well magnetized to make transport and wreckage easier. 

I brought some long range firepower- TLLC, to be exact.

On a Predator AND a Dread. 

Unfortunately, my opponent had a plan for that.

Meltas. Lots of em. 

We used the Rules of Engagement and had Long Table Edges for deployment, with my Primary Objective being "Mixed Signals". (Holding 2 objective markers determined by die roll.) His Primary was to take all my units down to below 50%.

I was pretty excited about this game, because I held my own and didn't get flustered, even when both my Pred and my Dread were blown up on turn 1. I kept my focus on trying to gain objectives, and kill stuff along the way.

Brother Darius on the way to kill some IG scum.

Getting to close combat showed how monstrous BT can be, if the opponent shoots a lot. I got no less than 10 inches of free movement due to Righteous Zeal, and it made a huge difference in the balance of the game. I was really bemoaning this rule at first- but now I understand how beneficial it can be.

This game was very close, with a lot of back and forth. At the end of turn 5, we were at a draw. I hoped to be able to end the game- it honestly would have been a moral victory at that point; doing so well against a tough mech IG list and a VERY good player. When we went on to turn 6, I was decimated and he won in a landslide. I still felt pretty good overall, and wasn't too disappointed.

Then I went home and totaled up my list- and I was way over. I truly feel bad- I surely didn't intend to cheat my opponent. I played at the spur of the moment (in fact running home to get my bag) and didn't have a list ready; and guessed at totals. I hope that he'll give me another chance, with an under limit list, this time.

What I learned: I need to find a way to deal with my opponent seizing initiative. It's happened 3 times in a row now, and it has really mattered.

What I can improve on: Being more prepared- having my bag with me, a list ready, etc.

About my opponent: A really good tactical player who knows his army's capabilities very well. He was playing an experimental list and still killed me. If I'd been "legal" on points, he would have smoked me right off the board.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

[40K] Destroyed by the Warp

My 2 IG  batreps are being eaten by Nurgle, or something. Updates, pictures and other fun very soon.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

[Weekly Whimsy] How To:

Make someone quit [whatever game you're playing]

[Welcome to Weekly Whimsy! A treatise on treatment, belaboring on behavior.]

"Stop, Don't Do It...." Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Relax

Being cliquish, or sticking with the “good buddies network” is a great way to alienate a new player.

I know that gamers as a rule are inherently less skilled in the social cues and aspects of human relationships. I can't, for the life of me, figure out why some of the smartest people I know have so little human compassion. Every single one of you gamers, geeks, nerds, dorks and otherwise socially outcast people has been left out, excluded or otherwise been given the cold shoulder by a group of peers. Being a stranger in a group of new people is hard enough. Being left out by the same people you share interests and hobbies with is a buzzkill and has a lot of fuel to make one quit entirely. 

Being “too” friendly can creep someone out and make them seriously consider never returning.
This seems almost contradictory to what I just talked about, but it’s essential to pay attention to personal boundaries and non-verbal communication. Additionally, if whatever it is you’re doing/saying/showing would make you uncomfortable if done/said/shown to a friend or relative, you’re going too far.
Endless questions, “let me tell you about my (X)”, immediate invitations to your home or hangout, and standing too close can be overpowering and are ways to make someone wish they’d never shown up at your club, store or game.