[DH2nd] Session REP: The Saliwaan Operation [4]

We took up our current game where we left last time; a few hours before dusk, as the characters had noted that a skimmer with a skitari and a Mechanicus adept came back, unloading the skimmer (different containers with samples of flora and fauna). The team decided to stay where they are over night, to observe the basis for at least another day.

During the night, they had an encounter with a creature the size of mountain cat but the head of a tricera tops (without the horns or the neck shield). They dealt with it quietly. In the morning, the Sorortia moved back to their Lighter to gain some supplies and something to sleep on, as they have spend the night in their armor on the forest floor.

[I forgot to describe how uncomfortable that is, as moisture creeps into the armor and leaves you vulnerable to exhaustion].

She was attacked by some monkey-like creatures (that took a lone being as easy prey), but her bolter send them back where they came from. Having one member of the pack being turned into red mist from a distance sends half-intelligent creatures packing rather quickly, especially when it comes with a LOUD explosion.

Their second day of observation revealed to them that:

  • there are two teams, each consisting of one servo-skull and one kybermastiff, patrolling the close surround of the base (30m)
  • one skitari and one adept are leaving in the morning with a skimmer, returning at dusk
  • at the same time, about four servo-skull swarm out to gather pre-defined samples (you need to have one sample to show them what they are meant to gather)
  • no other activity is noted outside of the base

With the help of the Mechinca, they were able to develop an educated guess about which “rooms” of the base could serve which function. All in all, the base was pretty much an assortment of modular, container-like segments that can be arranged and connected (directly or by floors created through adding ceiling and ground elements between them) to form a base. With modular set-up, simple bases can be erected with relative ease by the Mechanicus.

At the begin of the second night of their observation, they had a plan (or at least I call it a plan, some of my players even now refuse to call it like that).

  • wait for the skimmer to leave (= less opponents inside of the base)
  • get into position on three different sides (Mechanica sniper-assassine; Arbitrator, Sister of Battle)
  • the Mechanica activates their vox jammer and takes out the kybermastiff (hopefully, in one shoot) and then the servo-skull (again, hoping to take it out in one shot)
  • they wait for about 90 seconds, where the Mechanica keeps an eye on the two known entrances (dealing with anybody coming out).
  • the Sororita storms against the side of the base, using her bolter to weaken one of the walls enough to crash through it with her servo armor in a “running ram” tactic, to enter what they suppose to be either storage rooms or rooms for the servitors (no damaging the Magos or the cogitators by accident!)
  • a little later, the Arbitrator runs to the “rear side” and throws a krak grenade onto the roof of a certain room, using a pull-up to get ontop after the grenade blows a hole into it which he can use as an entry (hoping that any guards will by now be busy at the front door and/or with the SoB)

And here is what happened:
The sniper took out the Kybermastiff with one shot of her high-powered longlas and did the same one combat round later with the Servo-Skull, the jammer kept the skull from reporting anything.

Unbeknownst to my players, the Skitari on duty noted the remains of the servo-skull crashing down onto the flat roof (as a loud bang), found the vox busted by static as he tried to check back with the servo skull, tried to signal his mate via internal vox only to be greated with static, and counted two and two together, like a Skitari is ought to. Alarm was raised, the combat servitor and the remaining team of mastiff and skull activated and the second Skitari armed up.

[And here is where I failed: instead of positioning the servitor in front of the lab where the Magos and another Tech-Priest were working, I should have taken them to a central room and have them guarded directly by the Skitari AND should have had the Skitari within line of sight of another, so that they could have supported another].

The battle was brief and brutal.

The Mechanica Assassine took out both the KyberMastiff and the Servo-Skull in the first two rounds after they came dashing out

The Sororita managed to take out the Servitor with three rounds of combat (after entering the floor where it was stationed) and later proceeded to subdue the Magos by first shooting his cyberleg a the knee with a bolter at about two meters distance and the following application of blunt traum to the head. The other Tech-Priest suffered the same fate after surrendering (well, he kept his leg), only to be later shoot in the head by the Mechanica Assassina (on a “no mission priority, no wittnesses” basis).

Arbitrator Eisenstein (build on the Desperado template) took out the two Skitari, one after the other, by superior gun-fu.

  • Personal note: A thing that stings me a lot is that I failed to provide suitable resistance even so that the set-up was labeled “kobayashi-maru” by one of my players. I should know  by now that it is less about the stats but the number of opponents presented, their position and their ability to support one another in combat.But, it was not a complete fail: the set-up provided both my sniper-assassine and my close-combat chars a moment to shine and it was not like one of them could have achieved this without the other. So, at least THAT worked out.

The Saliwaan Operation” will continue within the next two weeks. And I really-really- need to reconsider what I had in mind for it.

  • I (stupidly) overlooked their ability to get the Arvus Lighter to the base (even if I would not have established the Servitor, they could have got themselves a pilot together with the Lighter. The base is supplied by air as well, so there are landing pads), a march through the forest with a captive is out of question by now (there goes an attack by large predators).
  • I really need something with a bit of interaction now that allows the player of the SoB to get engaged a little more into play. Making battle-plans is not her thing, and all the planing made up for ¾ of the evening game session.

Well, dear reader, wish me luck and creativity. I need BOTH of this by now….


5 thoughts on “[DH2nd] Session REP: The Saliwaan Operation [4]

  1. I think you are being too nice and honest with your players 🙂
    Just because their short reconnaissance showed x people and y other beings, doesn’t mean that they can have something in reserve. And why couldn’t the patrol return early that day? Maybe they hit a snag and had to return early to the base.
    And why shouldn’t the Lighter malfunction and crash in the forest so the acolytes have to trek through the forest.
    Your job as a GM is to provide entertainment and challenge the players and that doesn’t have to mean you stick to what you wrote weeks ago 🙂
    Keep up the good work – you are a great inspiration.


    1. Oh, they FELT challenged. I had them at the point where they thought about “aborting the mission” as they weren´t sure if they could make it.
      But no, having the Lighter fail and crash “right out of the blue”…no, no way. That is the kind of action I would have frowned upon as a player.
      But…well, if I cannot have them sweat a little more on Saliwaan, I will find other ways..stay tuned 🙂


      1. Players love challenges 🙂
        And I’m not saying you should be unfair, just remember good old Murphy’s law, and I wouldn’t think it totally unfair if there was a smallish malfunction on the Lighter and it ended up not quite where they planned it would be, so they had to do a little extra work to get to it 🙂

        Looking forward to reading about the next sessions 🙂


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