Sunday, 16 November 2014

In Her Majesty's Name - The Temple of Ghatanothoa.

Managed to get together with Robafett on Halloween and play another game of In Her Majesty's Name. Rob had actually planned and pointed two Companies for the game, his new 'Vulture Squadron' and some Cowboy / Ranger types...all looking good...but then in his excitement, he forgot to bring the miniatures. No problem, out came the trusty Darkest Africa figures! Using the Cowboy / Ranger stats he selected a few suitable minis and created another company. I had been thinking of using my recently painted Fistful of Kung-Fu Martial Artists, perfect for some Martial Art Monks from the "Sleeping Dragon, Rising Sun" book. We used a variation of the Marked for Death scenario.

The Temple of Ghatanothoa.

Somewhere remote on the edge of the Tibetan mountains is rumoured to be the ruins of an ancient temple to the little know god, Ghatanothoa, a large, amorphous, exceptionally hideous being. It is rumoured among those academics of a more open mind that somewhere within this old temple is in fact a rare entrance or portal to the lost lands of Mu.

The draw of such a great discovery and the potential riches held there has led Aubrey Fallsworthy (aka Lord Glenmore) to send Lady Eleanor Thornburg (the younger sister of his sweetheart Leonore) to China to gather some suitable mercenary types and investigate. To this end, Lady Eleanor, along with her trusted guide Haajid, has recruited the German adventurer, Major Johan Eberhardt, and a small contingent of his Marines under the command of Kapitan Hans Bauer. They are joined by the strange Russian, Aleksandr Gruzinsky, a Doctor by profession but with an seemingly unfathomable knowledge of dark arts.

Unbeknownst to Lady Thornburg and her party, the ancient ruins have been protected for centuries by a sect of highly martial monks, devoted to the protection of the secrets of Ghatanothoa. Led by the wise old Zhao Wei and his young protégé, Master Yu Jin, a group of these monks have been aware of these outsiders intentions and have returned to their 'monastery' and lay in wait for the unsuspecting adventurers. Their intention is to single out the the leader of this group and sacrifice him to their god to scare all others away!

We join the story shortly after scouts sent by Major Eberhardt have discovered the monastery and ruins. He now leads the group into the clearing, when a cry in a strange language rings out across the hills...

The Setting.

A small clearing surrounded by heavy forest and hills. The relatively new 'monastery' compound can be seen to the left of the picture with the ruins of the ancient Temple of Ghatanothoa to the top.  The 'Idol' can be seen at the foot of a mountain to the right.

The hideous 'Idol' (father of Ghatanothoa) sits menacingly, watching the path to the temple of its 'son'...

A view along the temple road.

"Who" is the strange visitor hiding in the trees?

Outside the monastery looking towards the 'Idol'.

The Companies.

Zhao Wei and the Monks of Ghatanothoa.

Abbot Zhao Wei - Pl 3+, FV+4, SV+4, Sp+1, Ldr+2, Martial Artist, Inspiration, Path of Shadows, Dragon Talons, Clouding Mens Minds, Harden
Master Yu Jin - Pl 2+, FV+4, SV+3, Sp+2, Ldr+2, Martial Artist, Path of Shadows, Intervention, Resonant Touch,Clouding Mens Minds
Monks (Disciples x5) - Pl 4+, FV+0, SV+0, Sp+0, Martial Artist, Path of Shadows
Demon- Pl 4+, FV+3, Sp+1, Tough, Heart Rending, Dragon Talons

Abbot Zhao Wei and Master Yu Jin lead the Monks

Major Hans Eberhardt and his Marine Troop.

Major Johan Eberhardt - Pl 3+, FV+2, SV+4, Sp+1, Ldr+2, Gunslinger, Lightening Draw, Lined Coat, 2x Pistol, Carbine
Lady Eleanor Thornburg - Pl 4+, FV+1, SV+4, Sp+0, Hunter, Stealthy, Brigandine, Hunting Rifle, Fighting Knife
Doctor Aleksandr Gruzinsky - Pl 5+, FV+0, SV+4, Sp+0, Medic, Gunslinger, 2x Pistol, Lined Coat, Shadow Mask (Mask of Imotep), Stormrider (Path of Shadows)
Riflemen (4) - Pl 4+, FV+1, SV+2, Sp+0, Marksman, Brigandine, Carbine, Knife
Kapitan Hans Bauer - Pl 3+, FV+3, SV+3, Sp+1, Ldr+1, Marksman, Lined Coat, Carbine, Knife
Haajid the Guide - Pl 5+, FV+1, SV+2, Sp+2, Stealthy, Marksman, Blowpipe, Knife

Kapitan Bauer, Dr.Gruzinsky, Major Eberhardt, Lady Thornburg & Haajid

The Game.

The calm before the storm...

Kapitan Bauer leads the way - his troops fan out across the low hill. Major Eberhardt keeps close behind.

Lady Eleanor Thornburg moves quickly and quietly to the flank behind the line of trees...she takes up position in the ruins.

The Monks appear on the horizon. One moves forward at an incredible rate, flitting between tree and rock almost in the blink on an eye!

Spotting the danger these fleet of foot enemies pose, the Kapitan orders his men to form a firing-line - the monks appear to be unarmed, hopefully the troops superior firepower will halt this threat in its tracks.

Two more of the monks dart across the road, taking cover by the walled compound...

...they are quickly joined by Zhao Wei.

The Kapitan's men open fire at the approaching monks but their fire seems un-effective.

Haajid the guide moves forward to join Lady Thornburg.

Master Yu Jin appears at the top of the hill. A strange demonic beast seems to accompany him!

Despite their constant fire, two monks are nearly on top of the shocked soldiers in seconds! Major Eberhardt meanwhile joins his brave men.

Across the way, another monk, under fire from Lady Thornburg, launches forward to attack the surprised Haajid...who quickly steps back into the shadows!

The battle begins in earnest - one monk leaves himself too open as the troops let off another round of fire...

...he slumps down and rolls to the bottom of the hill. Two of his brother monks move forward to press the attack, cursing the German troops! Zhao Wei watches from just behind an animal enclosure.

Spotting the leader of these seemingly inhuman monks, Kapitan Bauer orders his men to concentrate fire on the elderly 'cultist'...and Zhao Wei decides his best option is to retreat.

In the confusion, Dr. Gruzinsky moves in pursuit of Zhao Wei, only to come under attack from the martial art master!

The battle rages on the hill - lightning fast monks zip around the stunned troops, fists and kicks flying!!

As the battle rages on, Major Eberhardt throws his weight into the fight but is suddenly aware that much of the monks efforts seem to be aimed at him??

Meanwhile, a long-coated stranger looks on from the trees.

Finally the combined efforts of the troops and their leaders begins to pay off - despite their skill in close quarters, the monks take another casualty. Another monk (in purple) seems to forget all his training and spends his time showing how high he can kick.

While across the way, the ongoing fight between Dr. Gruzinsky and Zhao Wei reaches its conclusion and the Dr. falls to the floor out cold.

Master Yu Jin and his demon companion continue to move forward whilst things look bad for the now lone monk fighting the troops.

Lady Thornburg spots the prancing, preening show off monk in purple and promptly takes aim and puts him down! Zhao Wei wastes little time and darts forward - his only aim is to take down the leader (Eberhardt) of these trespassers! The summoned demon joins the fight on the hill but is immediately dispatched by the troops.

A desperate game of cat and  mouse ensues as Zhao Wei and Master Yu Jin rush forward, chasing the now worried Major Eberhardt wherever he runs! Lady Thornburg and Haajid attempt to aid the Major whilst the Kapitan and the remaining battle worn troops run after Yu Jin, hoping to delay him before he can join his master in his relentless assault on their leader.

An epic battle of varying styles rages...a lone soldier heroically rushes forward in a vain attempt to help.

Another soldier manages to catch up with Kapitan Bauer and his comrade as they fight Master Yu Jin. Master Yu Jin does not appear to be concerned...

...within moments one soldier and Kapitan Bauer himself are down. Master Yu Jin turns to face the remaining terrified marine.

It is too late. All their concerted efforts fade to nothing as Zhao Wei launches a final deadly strike...Major Eberhardt falls to the ground!

Zhao Wei stands menacingly over the body of Major Eberhardt, glaring at any who would dare approach. From the surrounding woods and hills more strange voices (and other sounds caused by some creature unthinkable) can be heard.

With the fear of God put into them, the adventuring party quickly gather their wounded and flee this dreadful place...

"Blood for the Blood God!" etc.

From the outset, Robs heavily armed troops really looked like they should come out as victors in this battle. My martial monks had no ranged weaponry at all but the incredible power 'Path of Shadows' proved to be an essential ability for the monks. In no time at all my high kicking cultists were in amongst Robs shocked troops, who literally only got off a couple of shots before they were face to face. Despite their martial arts skills, once in close combat, the Marines did pretty well. This was partly down to support from their leaders (and some good rolling by Rob!) and with this and some solid Marksmanship, I was reduced to two figures, my leaders Zhao Wei and Master Yu Jin. My summoned 'demon' was all teeth and no bite. He never got to use his rather nasty Heart Rending ability and was put down as soon as he entered the fray! Apart from a couple of hairy moments my remaining two put up a great fight and using their 'Clouding Mens Minds', 'Resonant Touch' and 'Harden' powers made them almost invincible. In the end, the only issue was to actually catch up with Robs leader!

Another great game of IHMN.

The Doctor makes an appearance but played no part in the game - for an example of the Doctor in action in a IHMN game see the superb Wee Blokes - Cyberman Hunt in Obsession.

Figures are from the Northstar 'Fistful of Kung-Fu' range, Copplestone and Foundry. Doctor Who and the TARDIS make a cameo appearance courtesy of Heresy and Ainsty.

The Monastery is from PMC (now Caliver), roads are Flames of War and the Temple is from GW. The idol is from the 'Bag of Cthulhu' by Fantasy Flight Games.


Robafett said...

Lesson learnt, I had points to either upgrade my hitting ability or my weapons, I chose hitting as you cannot kill anything if you can't hit it. In retrospect hitting with two in three shots made no difference when the Monks shrugged off (saved) the majority of hits made. Only the good Lady whose hunting file gave -2 to the monks pluck (save value) was able to consistently kill anything but even that was not enough against the Masters who swatted the shots away like nats. Next time i'm bringing a tank!

Ant Master said...

Looking forward to trying this one out soon