Apologies for the slightly longer than intended intermission - real life and all that...
We last saw our dastardly Pirate Captain Reade running into the first obstacles in his way, as he and his desperadoes attempt to track down the whereabouts of his Brother-in-Law, Black Bill - Part 1
We now pick up the action as Reade splits his party in reaction to the skirmish with the militia patrols on the right flank. A scurvy looking boarding party begin sneaking down the left flank, aiming to use the thick vegetation as cover.
Meanwhile Reade and his chosen few converge (ironically) on the jail. Luckily for them the building has become obsolete. Unluckily for them the reason for this is the utter subjugation of the planet's population by the sinister methods of the Cult!
Speaking of which, two of the brainwashed peasant militia amble unwittingly towards them...
The Brood Brothers take up position behind their transport, listening intently to the confusion in the distance.
That confusion quickly becomes even more confused as more militia men swarm in to tackle Yellow Yates' gang! The ineffectual brawl gets bloody and the Pirates' position begins to look increasingly sticky.
The boarding party continue their stealthy advance, electing to bypass the militia patrol in their way with nary a "Yarrrr" to give themselves away.
Reade motions for his fire team to take control of the jail and cover the main approach to the castle.
Ignoring the mess Yates had got himself into, the Fire Team get into position - He who falls behind gets left behind!
In the face of seemingly overwhelming odds and body odour Yellow Yates lives up to his name and flees the field.
However, upon catching sight of further militia reinforcements hoving into view, Reade gives the signal to give them a broadside. A frag grenade from the grenade launcher tears into the main block of militia with devastating effect as some accurate musketry picks off several others.
The pair who had been nonchalantly strolling into danger do not escape lightly. His mate shot down before him, the surviving peasant takes fright and flees!
With knowing grins and winks, the Boarding Party continue their advance through the garish Pelegoston vegetation, happy in the knowledge that their Captain has their backs.
However, a sudden influx of civilian traffic has them worried for a few nasty moments!
The crump of the frag grenade, softened by the dawn fog, prompts the Brood Brothers to abandon their cover and investigate.
A wayward shot from the grenade launcher takes out the lead elements of Yates' pursuers, giving the First Mate a brief respite. However, the scurvy dog decides to keep on running - no booty for him!
The Jail becomes the epicentre of a vicious gunfight - mostly one-sided, as the Pirates pour fire down on all sides at the advancing militia. Happy that his men can hold their own and even attract the lion's share of Pelegosto's defenders away from the castle, Reade moves to catch up with the Boarding Party.
Deprived of their foe by Yates' cowardice, the jubilant militia turn on the jail.
The Grenade launcher takes its toll once more as several Brood Brothers fall.
To be replaced by the lone militia man, newly recovered from the loss of his pal!
The Boarding party, goal in sight, leave the safety of the bushes. Daggers between teeth, they creep towards the truck parked at the base of the sentry tower. Luckily the tower is unoccupied, but as the Pirates reach the truck a squad of PDF troops exit the castle. Evidently the noise of the battle has alerted the occupants of the fortress...
Quickly the Boarding Party scramble into the truck. A breathless wait sees the PDF squad march past, oblivious to the Pirates' presence.
Reade once more splits his force as he and his psyker, Mento, use the bushes as cover, screened by the remainder of his squad.
The Fire Team come under increasing pressure as the Brood Brothers find their range. A pirate falls as auto gun rounds spatter their position. The Pirates are forced to duck for cover, but take the opportunity to dissuade the militia in their advance on the rear of their position.
Things look a little too easy for Reade's screening squad - definitely too quiet...
Suddenly the dawn murk is lit up with muzzle flashes! The Brood Brothers, having given up their suicidal frontal assault on the jail, run into Reade's squad.
With a new fire fight opening up to their right and the road ahead dotted with the still forms of their former comrades, the PDF squad move off the main street to add their weight to the ambush. Ominous sounds of something large stirring join the roar of gunfire that echoes down the nearby ventilation pipe...
The dirty half-dozen or so of the Boarding Party, having had a hushed parlay within the confines of the truck radio in their plan.
1. Down to the sentry tower, we've just begun 2. The guards have gone, their job is done 3. The Captain's men are on the jail 4. We'll go through the door just like the mail 5. Mento stays out in the drive 6. We hope ole Bill's still alive 7. The other guys start up the truck 8. Captain comes and joins the ruck 9. We go in and give the boot. 10. Grab the prisoner and light up the scene 11. We all come out like it's Halloween.
Reade approves it, but only on the condition that they wait for him before hotwiring the truck and using it to batter down the castle gates.
Reade's screening party go to the ground, but the casualties are mounting and things look grim. What are the Fire Team up to?!
Sitting pretty is what they're up to. Having seen off the unarmoured and outgunned militia, the Fire Team peer into the town to see if they can draw a bead on any fresh targets.
As the gunfire grows to a crescendo, a new sound heralds a new threat. With a skittering of many claws, three Purestrain Genestealers emerge from the ventilation pipe system directly opposite Reade and his Boarding Party! The fearsome creatures lope towards the noise that attracted them as the Pirates continue to huddle in fear inside the truck.
Things are looking bad for the Pirates as the PDF squad and surviving Brood Brothers join forces and sweep through the undergrowth.
Against these odds the Pirates realise they have no chance and they turn tail and flee!
Luckily for them the expected pursuit doesn't follow. The soldiers of the PDF squad are overwhelmed with religious fervour at the unexpected sight of the Genestealers. Faced with the living embodiment of their Four Armed God, they prostrate themselves in ecstasy!
|We're not worthy! We're not worthy! We're not worthy!|
The harsh cough of a truck engine brings the PDF squad out of their reverie. Bewildered at the disappearance of their quarry, they mill about getting their bearings.
The source of the noise is of course Captain Reade as he guns the engines and brings the truck round into a collision course with the castle gates!
With a splintering crash the gates are burst asunder and the cutthroats leap from the improvised battering ram!
Spurred on by thoughts of the damage the raiders might do to Pelegosto's valuable cheese industry, the Brood Brothers inch forwards into the killing zone in front of the jail.
The PDF squad get a grip on themselves and advance on the next target - the jail. Will they finally be able to deploy the most exotic piece of weaponry on the battlefield - their Conversion Beamer...
The Brood Brothers make their suicidal move, hoping to draw fire away from the cherished Purestrains...
As the Genestealers move out to flank the Pirate's position.
As the gates burst open, the Brood Brothers in the courtyard break off from their daily act of worship and furiously return fire at the invaders.
|It's Judgement Day sinners! Come out, come out wherever you are!|
... and a vicious melee breaks out.
Worried that all seems a little quiet, Mento scans the castle for the expected psychic opponents. Where is the Magus and other powerful psykers that fearful tales are told of whenever the presence of a Genestealer cult is revealed?
Confusingly the Pirate psyker detects two presences - one more powerful than the other. Both seemingly otherwise occupied. Was that a note of boredom and frustration Mento detected in the emanations from the belly of the fortress?
Proctor Eyval sighed and balled his fist in frustration. His claws bit into the palms of his hand and he mentally kicked himself for forgetting how his body had changed with his ascendancy to the position of Magus within the cult. Being a powerful psyker, this was not a good idea. After he had picked himself off the floor and dusted down his robe - why purple - who even wears purple these days?
Nothing. Not a trace. Despite his efforts there was still no sign of recognition from the Hive Fleets that must surely be in range of his psychic beacon. He glanced over at the aging Patriarch as it shifted its huge bulk to release a foul hiss of excess digestive gases. Eyval curled his lip in disgust. It was just his luck to be saddled with this Has-been - he even wondered whether the Patriarch actually joined in with his attempts at projecting the beacon further in to the Warp, or whether the old sod just took the opportunity for one of his endless naps...
"Ah well, nothing else for it. The Hive Fleets won't come by themselves" thought Proctor Eyval and he sank back into the trance necessary to project his message out to the stars.
As his eyes rolled back to reveal sinister white orbs, a great crash echoed down the stone corridors of the castle. The Magus twitched a little but wasn't roused by the disturbance. Quiet once more descended on the darkened throne room - interrupted only by the gentle susurration of the Patriarch's ancient intestines...
Unsurprisingly the Brood Brothers are virtually wiped out in their desperate charge.
But their self sacrifice has enabled the Genestealers to get a little closer...
Singing his praise to the Exalted Father, the survivor continues his mad rush.
And the Purestrains make their move!
The PDF squad do their best to keep the Fire Team's heads down as they lay down withering cover fire. The Conversion Beamer begins emitting an ominous whine as the gunner nervously powers it up...
The Pirates find themselves pushed back by the religious fury of the Brood Brothers...
... but are able to finally break their will and send them fleeing. Black Bill's freedom is at hand, although he seems strangely lethargic and unaware of his liberation...
|Where's Nohm Bertoo? The cowardly sot!|
Grinning manically, the Heavy Weapons Trooper lines his Beamer on the Pirates silhouetted on the skyline. Just a small squeeze of the trigger and unimaginable energies would be let loose...
A hollow sounding report came from the Pirate's position and something small and cylindrical bounced along the floor, coming to rest at the gunner's feet. With a gulp the soldier looked down at the red light flashing evilly on the side of the frag grenade and began one last prayer to his alien God...
The PDF squad pick off another pirate but not before the grenade launcher evens things out a little!
Undeterred the PDF troopers converge on the jail, again hoping to provide a human shield for their beloved Purestrains.
Overwhelmed by this assault the Fire Team can do nothing to prevent the oncoming tide of claws and teeth. Like whirling dervishes the Genestealers erupt through the roof hatch and tear into the Pirates!
Things look more hopeful back in the castle as Reade leads his seemingly drugged Brother-in-law back to the truck. His Boarding Party dish out a few parting shots and threatening "Yarrrrss" to dissuade any pursuit.
The bloodbath continues on the jail roof as another pirate is torn limb from limb. The remaining survivor suffers a worse fate. Arms held apart by powerful claws, the poor unfortunate can do nothing to prevent the disgusting ovipositor, dripping with mucus and slime from inching ever closer to his face.
A scream suddenly muffled signals new genetic material for the cult...
Reade's Rescue party make a dash for the truck. A few dicey seconds later the engine finally roars into life.
The Jail is once more under Cult control as the Genestealers gaze down on their pathetic worshippers.
While the coast is clear, Reade makes a break for it while in the back of the truck worried glances are exchanges as Black Bill's eyes glaze over and he falls into a severe coughing fit...
So there you have it - an incredibly good fun game of Rogue Trader - thanks Paul for the excellent Role-playing elements you brought in and apologies for the large number of Genestealers - who'd have thought I'd roll 3 on a D4!
Next time we'll have to get some psychic action in - having rolled up some really interesting sounding powers that would have really fit in with the narrative I elected to keep my Magus, Proctor Eyval otherwise occupied as the poor old Pirates were already heavily outnumbered!
If you haven't done so, check out Warlord Paul's excellent report -