|THE BATMAN AND JESUS OF NAZARETH FACE THE BLACK MANTA & HIS U-MEN|
This adventure takes place upon my usual 2x2 gaming board which has been populated with four rocky outcrops and a large swamp in the south-west corner. Four trees will be acting as objective markers, ranging from value 1 – 4, and have been dotted around the board. The winner is the side who holds the most points at the end of the sixth turn. However no-one will know how many points each objective is worth until the end of the game.
This scenario was designed to provide some Yuletide fun and allow us to try out some of the ‘Fury From The Deep’ rules found within the “On Location” “7TV” rule supplement. In particular it was an opportunity to see how special effects such as Saboteur and H20-Oh work as well as equipment such as Scuba Gear and the First Aid Pack. In addition it also meant having a go with the Mysterious Stranger Archetype, and establishing just how effective a Pacifist character, using special effects such as Sixth Sense, Telepathy and Disarm could be.
|THE TABLETOP - THOMAS WAYNE PARK|
“The story so far… Gotham City is preparing a festive celebration in Thomas Wayne Park by decorating four Christmas trees. Realising that by destroying these symbols of ‘goodwill to all mankind’ he would deal Gotham City’s Yuletide spirit a harsh blow, the Black Manta and some of his henchmen have swum up a little known canal intent on destroying the trees. However, The Batman has already heard about the ‘fishy’ villain’s diabolical plan and has raced to the Park in order to stop him. But would the Son of Man really standby and let another save his birthday celebration..?"
At the start of each turn both sides would have to roll to see whether any of their models would arrive on the tabletop and a number of House Rules were agreed; in order for the villains to capture an objective they must use a special action to plant some explosives at the foot of a tree, providing an opposing model wasn’t within 2 inches of it, and then have the bomb detonate at the start of the next turn. The criminal’s deployment zone was the swamp in the south-east corner and the heroes would appear on the opposite side of the table.
Having arrived at the park, Batman and Jesus of Nazareth were immediately disorientated by watching a couple of groups of scenery hands pulling down two of the Styrofoam rocky outcrops. Apparently the show’s director had wanted a ‘Sparse Location’ for them to battle within and so had ordered two items of terrain to be removed. As a result the cluster of rocks on the western and northern table edges were gone, leaving the heroes far more ‘out in the open’.
|THE ANTI-CLAUS - THE BLACK MANTA EMERGES TO WRECK GOTHAM CITY'S CHRISTMAS|
Utilising his ‘You Can’t Have Faith Until You Believe’ [Strike From The Shadows] Star Quality the ‘cloaked crusaders’ won the initiative and raced towards the central tall tree [Objective Four], keeping in mind to remain within 6 inches of one another in order to maintain a double-activation per turn. In front of them the Black Manta and three of his U-Men emerged from the swamp, with the henchmen utilising their H20-Oh special effect and setting up anywhere within the water. One of the scuba-divers then moved west past one of the remaining rocky outcrops before opening up with his sub-machinegun on Batman. Two of the bullets hit home but the Batsuit kept Bruce Wayne out of harm’s way. Another of the scuba-divers then rushed towards the central tall tree [Objective Four], gripping his explosives as he ran.
|THE SON OF MAN - JESUS OF NAZARETH ATTEMPTS TO THWART THE U-MEN'S PLANS|
The second turn saw another U-Man emerge from the swamp, who quickly moved west towards the south-western tree [Objective One]. Another henchman scuttled north up to the western rocky outcrop and then blazed away at Jesus of Nazareth with his weapon. Amazingly none of the bullets struck home. However the good shepherd was far away enough from the central tall tree [Objective Four] to allow the U-Man with the explosives to both plant his device and move towards the north-eastern tree [Objective Three].
The scuba-diver who had previously shot at Batman now moved closer and fired again… one of bullets tearing into the Dark Knight. In return the hero struck home with a bat-a-rang but was perplexed as the snorkel-wearing swine proved ‘Invulnerable’ to ranged weapons for this turn as a result of an Event Card. As a result Batman charged into the villain and thanks to his ‘Fists of Fury’ flattened the fellow. Realising he had moved too far away from Jesus, the Caped Crusader activated his Heroic Surge to strike one of the other U-Men between the eyes with a bat-a-rang and then head back to the Messiah’s side. However Jesus was not about to stand by and watch a second of the Christmas trees be destroyed, as he rugby-tackled the Scuba-diving scum heading towards it. But then threw a couple of punches wide of their mark.
|POW - BATMAN CHARGES IN TO THE U-MEN, SCATTERING THE SCUBA-DIVING SWINE|
With a loud boom, the tall tree [Objective Four] was blown into splinters, heralding the start of the third turn. Incensed Jesus declared an ‘all or nothing’ punch and flattened the U-Man responsible for destroying the tree. Reaching his side, Batman attempted to throw a long-range bat-a-rang at the Black Manta but was out of range. Unfortunately for him however, the trident of Aquaman’s arch-nemesis was not, and Black manta sent a shock-ray searing into Dark Knight’s frame.
|KA-BOOM - THE U-MEN DESTROY ONE OF GOTHAM CITY'S CHRISTMAS TREES|
With still no new U-Men appearing, Black Manta urged his remaining U-Men onwards and saw the scuba-diver knocked down by Jesus, return to his feet and try and riddle the Caped Crusader with bullets. The Batsuit saved two of the shots, whilst the third failed to wound. With a snorkelled shout the henchman rushed into Batman and tried to stick him with a diving knife. The blade penetrated the Dark Knight and he could have fallen there and then but for his Luck; and the re-roll was snake eyes. Eager to bring the Rabbi down as well, the Black Manta fired his trident at Jesus but rolled a one. Trusting to his own dark Luck, the villain rolled again… and achieved another one. Realising he could soon be on the wrong end of Batman’s fist, the bug-eyed baddie moved west along the southern edge, out of the swamp.
|THE WRATH OF GOD - JESUS OF NAZARETH LAYS LOW ONE OF THE U-MEN|
Dazed by his wounds Batman clobbered the U-Man trying to stab him and moved towards Jesus in the hope of being healed by the prophet. The Son of Man quickly dispensed his First Aid Pack and successfully passed his Intelligence Test to give the Caped Crusader one of his hit points back.
Re-energised Batman moved towards the Black Manta and hurled two bat-a-rangs at him. One of them penetrating the villain’s wet-suit. Sensing that victory could be within their grasp Jesus threw himself at the diabolical deep-sea despot but failed to connect with one of his punches, despite trying his Luck.
|CHRISTMAS FACE OFF - JESUS OF NAZARETH VERSES THE BLACK MANTA|
Suddenly besides the Black Manta another U-Man emerged from the swamp and immediately poured sub-machinegun bullets into the Caped Crusader. Fortunately all three shots were saved by the Batsuit’s armour. Meanwhile the Black Manta, furious at his plans being so badly stalled, made a series of frenzied attacks upon the Messiah with his trident. However the three-pronged jabs kept failing to penetrate Jesus’ Invulnerable aura
The final turn saw one of the unconscious U-Men groggily rise to their feet, move to the north-eastern tree [Objective Three] and use a special action to plant his explosives. The Black Manta once again attacked Jesus of Nazareth, but again was thwarted by his unwieldy weapon’s inability to wound the prophet. Realising there was still an opportunity to bring Batman to his knees one of the scuba-divers launched themselves upon the Dark knight, desperately trying to stab him with their diving knife. The result was the U-Man tasting knuckle-sandwich as he was flattened by the Caped Crusader. However the Dark Knight was not finished yet and hurling himself at the Black Manta he also chinned the oceanic criminal as well...
|KA-POW - AS A U-MEN PLANTS SOME MORE EXPLOSIVES, BATMAN BEATS UP THE BLACK MANTA|
Suddenly the area was filled with the sound of Gotham City Police vehicle sirens and the Black Manta realised it was time for him and his henchmen to disappear back into the swamp. But had he caused enough damage to the Christmas trees to ruin the Yuletide celebrations?
A look at the objectives saw that the Secret Society of Super Villains member had only destroyed one objective worth three points. Whilst the two ‘untouched’ trees also totalled three points between them. The fourth objective, which would have been blown up if there had been a seventh turn, was revealed to have been worth four points. But as it was still intact it meant the heroes had saved the (Christmas) day.