Saturday, March 9, 2024

Fistful of Lead Batman, Game 4 Finale

Alright, a few weeks late but here is the last instalment off my initial foray into adapting Fistful of Lead for low-powered supers. In addition to bringing this mini-campaign to a thematically appropriate conclusion, I wanted to do something indoors, using the Mageknight dungeon terrain I've been collecting. And I wanted to see if it was possible to break Fistful of Lead using a min-max strategy. Consequently, I give you the Joker's Lair.

Highlights include the main doorway at the bottom right. At the bottom left is a secret alternate doorway (requiring a task roll to be found). Middle left is the Clown Gun (tm) which takes five turns to activate (with a successful task roll each time). The baddies are sleeping and distributed throughout the lair, so must cope with closed doors and distance. To even it up, the goodies must chance activating a trap any time they move in a hallway (five traps total).

The Joker starts in his study. Note in the background the secret exit he has, with a suitcase by the door. The Riddler (who is good at tasks) starts beside the Clown Gun.

Penguin and Harlequin were injured last time and were not available. Poison Ivy and a gang boss also died last time (!) so I had to fill out Joker's roster with five groups of street punks (three one-wound melee characters in each gang). Having 15 low-level thugs let me test out whether I could break the system by flooding the zone with bodies (spoiler: not really). They were mostly sacked out in their bedrooms while Catwoman was in the dining hall getting some milk.

Team Bats was without Batman (again...) because of some wounds so I added in a second group of rookie cops with night sticks. I assigned Robin and Batgirl and one set of rookies to the secret door while everyone else assaulted the main door. 

On Turn 1, Batgirl couldn't find the door but eventually Robin did and the rookies ran in. Meanwhile, Joker moves out of his office and next to the Clown Gun. There were  bunch of secret passages, access to which could be obtained by Team Bats on a task roll.

Meanwhile, at the front door, some rookies forced the door, providing a meatshield for the heroes. A hidden Tommy Gunner was behind the wall and felled two. Neither Green Arrow nor Black Canary could seem to hit him and Green Arrow repeatedly had to reload due to atrocious shooting rolls (he was a huge disappointment in this game after a great showing previously). The rest of the team burst past this antechamber and into the hallway, triggering traps and winding up in a first fight with the first group of punks, who were pulling the midnight shift in the armoury.

Catwoman and the rest of the punks bolted into action at the sound of shots but faced long corridors and closed doors that slowed their progress. I tried to keep the lair small but still allow for multiple pathways. In the end, that wasn't really all that successful as the location of the Clown Gun pretty much drew everyone to the main room. If Commissioner Gordon had not been rescued last time, he would have been caged and offered a diversion for the players.

Turn two saw Robin kick in the door to the Clown Gun room and batarang Riddler (who had successfully activated the gun a second time). His status was a question mark. (Apologies of the pun, Terry reads my blog and I wanted to throw him a bone.)

The rookies followed Robin into the room and rushed the Joker, hoping the three-to-one odds would help them. It did not, although they did drive him away from the Clown Gun. Batgirl hurried to catch up.

Over at the main entrance, Back Canary and Green Arrow could just not get it together and were jammed up for another turn. The detective and remaining rookie braved more traps and waded through the rest of the first punks. A beat cop rushed ahead to pop the door and himself got popped by a gangster. The remaining thugs were still running towards the sound of battle (so many doors). Black Lightening threw a bolt through the open door, disrupting a group of punks.

Turn 3 saw Batgirl finally show up and hit Joker with a batarang. Joker used one of his traits to assign the wound to Riddler. This was a questionable play since, with only two wounds, the Riddler expired.  Again, apologies for the pun. Another rookie fell victim to the Joker.

The main hallway was full of traps, which took their toll. The beat cop and the rookie managed to get to the main room and hold the door against an approaching group of punks. Black Lightening got KOed. But Black Canary's sonic scream helped even up the losses.

On Turn 4, a gang of thugs turned up to help Joker. Catwoman also appeared, hoping to activate the Clown Gun. Batgirl managed to run out of batarangs and the last of the rookies was KOed.

There was quite  a lot of mayhem in the main hallway, but lBack Canary managed to throw a sonic scream over some downed coppers and force a pathway into the main room. The Tommy Gunner abandoned his position and rushed to cut her off.

Turn 5 saw Catwoman complete a task roll and move the Clown Gun one more step towards activation. Thugs attacked Batgirl and Robin and were repulsed. Robin then KOed the Joker with a very lucky batarang so Batgirl rush a thug and then Catwoman and knocked her down. This was the turning point of the game.

The hallway fight spilled into the main room. The Tommy Gunner stepped around the corner to hose down Black Canary at short range but forgot his drum was empty. Robin dashed to help Black canary but somehow lost a melee and went down wounded.

Turn 6 saw Batgirl continue to kicked Catwoman on the ground.  But the rest of the baddies failed recovery rolls and the turn was simply a mop-up operation for Team Bats.

Team Bats picked up 5 reputation points giving them a total of 22 for the campaign and a clear win. Team Joker got 2 points for a total of 16. Things could easily have gone the other way if the Clown Gun had been successfully activated. To conclude this, in case I decide to pick it up again, some terrible end--of-game rolls meant Team Bats got Black Lightening back but Robin died from his wounds. The Joker was also wounded and will need to select a permanent negative trait. Catwoman was also wounded.

The Mageknight terrain as functional enough: a bit finicky to assemble and probably not ideal for a club game. I would think that some floor tiles made from extruded styrofoam (with a black cloth to create negative space) and some stand-alone doors would be more functional, durable, and much cheaper. That said, I was happy to have gotten this stuff on the table finally.


Terry Silverthorn said...

Nice report Bob & great to see the tiles being used. Did you find some more sets or was this just using the tiles you got from me?

Anonymous said...

I picked up a few more boxes to let me lay out a bigger dungeon. A quick drybrush really popped the etched detail.