So, this Friday my DH2nd game continues. Last time, we ended with Silicia (the MechAssassina) observing the scientific Mechanicus base from afar while the other two were waiting a little further away (LINK to the session report).
Today, I prepared the opposition for the moment they finally storm the base. One of my players (the one behind the Assassina) is still grumpy about the set-up, as he sees no way in but an assault and he does not like this AT ALL. I know this mood of his from many sessions of board and card games: those usually ended with him turning tables on me somehow. But to some extent, I am very glad that he is less than confident about it. When he coquets with “aborting the mission”, it means they feel they are NOT up for a milk run this time [Insert: pleased evil-genius-smile]
I thought about including one hellish combat cyborg, but ditched the idea. They will be up against three Skitari, two “guard skulls” (servo skulls with good augurs and light armament), two kyborg mastiffs, one combat servitor (“tough”), two Mechanicus Biologis Priests (not much of a threat), and their target, Magos Biologis Merinus Eluvis (a little more of a threat). While the DH2nd core rules stats for Tech-Priests make you believe that they are combat monsters, I down-toned that a lot. The pc will already have their hands full with the the present guards.
What I have in mind:
Normally, there is one guard skull outside, together with one mastiff. One skitari is on duty, one off them of duty (sleeping or relaxing) and one “at the ready” (means he is wearing at a sidearm). At night, there is only the one Skitari “on duty” unless there was some “disturbance”. The Tech-Priests and the Magos go about their work or rest. The other skull and the other mastiff are undergoing “recharge and maintenance” in their alcoves (performed by a servitor drone).
If the character get close to the base without taking out the guard skull, the skull gives an alarm signal, meaning the mastiff is send their way, the skitari get alarmed and the “reserve” (mastiff, skull, combat servitor) gets activated. The same thing is going to happen if they don´t take out the servo skull within one combat round.
If the guard skull is taken out, they have time to act till the Skitari on duty notes that the skull is no longer sending/responding. This buys them time. So, the mastiff is still out there, but the mechano-beast reports to the skull first and to the base later (Programmed Response). And it does so via vox (for which the pc have a jammer).
The doors are solid, but not that of a fortress. With enough strength applied, they can be forced open. This will raise an alarm, so
The Skitari “on duty” wears light carapace and a high-powered las pistol plus “telescopic shock-batons” (less heavy than a shock maul) and high-powered las carbines are available. All skitari have additional armor and muscles implants, combat drug injectors and black bone bracing. Some of them have bionical limbs with inbuild weaponary.
We will see how quick the characters will be able to orientate themselves and if they are good in making the right decisions under time pressure. To be able to keep the pace, I prepared myself another combat cheat sheet (see the link to the left for my article about those play aids and get the current one from my drop box HERE). I have a map ready, the characters will need to be all over the place all at once. And when they have the base secured, the party is not over yet. They need to retrive data stacks, wrap up the Magos, get their flier in and get going….