|THE HOWLING COMMANDOS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. BATTLE THE DIRE WRAITHS|
This game was played using some homemade rules (M.I.S.S.) in order to allow us to quickly field a handful of my re-painted "Heroclix" miniatures, and took place upon my 3' x 3' "Deep Cut Studio" Desert Playmat. The battlefield was populated with a variety of scenery produced by "Gale Force Nine"; most notably several buildings and walls from their "Galactic Warzones" range.
The Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. started along the western edge of the tabletop and consisted of Warwolf (10pts), Vampire By Night (10pts), Man-Thing (10pts) and Manphibian (10pts). Whilst the Dire Wraith Queen's forces started the fight dotted throughout the town situated on the eastern side of the desert, and consisted of the extra-terrestrial monarch herself (10pts), and four of her sorcerous sisters (total 40pts). At the start of each of her turns the Dire Wraith Queen would roll a D6 to establish how much Dark Arts energy she had been able to summon. Once her combined total exceeded 18 points worth of magic, then the evil alien would successfully summon The Hybrid and win the game. The Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. would only win if they killed the Queen and prevented the summoning from taking place.
|THE TABLETOP - A GHOST VILLAGE IN THE SAHARA DESERT|
"The story so far… Nick Fury has received intelligence that a band of Dire Wraiths have assembled at an abandoned village in the Sahara desert, Tunisia in order to resurrect the formidable Hybrid. Unable to contact the Space Knight, Rom, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s director instead dispatches his Howling Commandos in a desperate bid the stop the magic ritual before it is too late. But no sooner has Warwolf's team landed than they realise the Dire Wraiths occupy the entire township, and to make matters worse, their Queen herself has already begun the spell..."
|WARWOLF'S TEAM MAKE THEIR PLANS AS THE DIRE WRAITH QUEEN STARTS HER SPELL|
Ignorant to the arrival of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s strangest agents close by, the Dire Wraith Queen weaved her sorcerous arts and generated an impressive 5 points of Dark Magic. Hissing with the success, the red-coloured alien furthest south waddled west to wards the edge of the dusty derelict township, having thought she her the sound of hated humans approaching her sisters' location [Move: 6"]. Elsewhere, the other extra-terrestrials were also responding to the noise coming from behind a pair of palm tree plantations to their west, and started running to wards the edge of the village using its walls as cover [Run: 8"].
Activating the gene package embedded on his right mechanical arm in order to transform into a werewolf, Martin Reyna used his superior speed to head east straight towards the co-ordinates S.H.I.E.L.D.'s satellite had provided him with as the Dire Wraith Queen's position [Move: 8"]. Similarly as fast due to her lycanthrope form, Vampire By Night kept pace with Warwolf and noticed with satisfaction as Man-Thing lumbered his straight into the large plantation of palm trees without the trees impinging upon his speed whatsoever [Forest Walker: Does not have its movement rate halved whilst crossing a woodland or forest]. Manphibian meanwhile, shouldered his large blaster rifle and run east using the southern edge of the smaller palm tree plantation as cover.
|MAN-THING MAKES HIS WAY THROUGH A PALM TREE PLANTATION|
Man-Thing continued to lurch east through the large spread of palm trees, all the time under the protection of the towering tall plants from any sorcerous blast or attack. Vampire By Night also continued travelling east, this time using the rocks around her to protect her flank, whilst Manphibian confidently strode behind her to provide some additional firepower should Nina Price's sharp claws and fangs fail in their mission to cut down any dire wraith foolish enough to get in the white-furred immortal's way.
Using his supernatural sight to its limits, Warwolf's eyes drew a clear line straight across the battlefield to the Dire Wraith Queen's position, and immediately started firing at the blubbery-shaped, green-skinned monarch [Shooting: 2 Dice]. Unfortunately, the leader of Area 13's S.T.A.K.E. (Special Threat Assessment for Known Extranormalities) subsequently gave a howl of frustration, as he was still too far away for his bullets to reach the alien.
Realising that her mission to summon James Marks back from beyond using the blood pillar her incantations had already created, the Dire Wraith Queen set her arcane spells to work for a second time, and successfully produced three more points of magic. The alien was already almost halfway to achieving her goal, and her opponents had not yet even reached the village's sand-blasted walls.
|VAMPIRE BY NIGHT AND MANPHIBIAN NEAR THE DIRE WRAITH INFESTED TOWNSHIP|
Spotting the trees swaying as if some massive monster was lurching through them, as indeed the Man-Thing was, the southernmost Dire Wraith made her way to the entrance of the town's tower and faced the large pal tree plantation in front of her. Another of the Skrull evolutionary offshoots hid themselves by the wall by the western edge of the settlement and motioned for one of her sisters to sneak around the northern tip of the self-same wall so as to blast their attackers with dark magic just as soon as they spotted them.
Silent and sombre-faced, Man-Thing suddenly strode out from the large palm tree plantation. Ted Sallis knew he was in plain sight of one of the Dire Wraiths, but trusted upon his body being "practically invulnerable to harm" to keep him safe [Armour: Saves any hits on a roll of 6]. In addition, Warwolf appeared to his north, having used his werewolf-based super-speed to lead his freakish team from the front...
To Be Continued...