The Difference Between Me and You is That I'm Not on Fire

Working our way deeper in to the space hulk, away from the slavering warp beasts that killed the unnamed Space Marine, we find ourselves facing a rune-covered black ship, one Mordecai recognises. This kind of ship ferries psykers to be sacrificed to the God Emperor, the carved runes designed to suppress psychic energies.

Whilst the imposing ship holds the attention of my fellow acolytes my assassin training kicks in. I spot some shadowy figures lurking by the hull, two on one side of the corridor of stone we're in, and two on the other. My instincts are to pull out a weapon and blast them.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that unidentified targets exist in a state of superposition, the waveform of friend or foe collapsed by the actions we take. If we challenge them to identify themselves then they will be foes, who will proceed to attack. If we shoot first, they will turn out to be valuable allies. I know this, but I would rather shoot allies than be ambushed again on this mission, hence my duty to open fire.

I eschew my first choice of weapon as being rather less suitable for the situation than my specially trained-for flamer. Rather than having to choose a single target and try to bark out positions of the 'enemy' to my fellow acolytes, the flamer will hit them all as well as shed some light on matters. I pull out the weapon and, getting a surprise action, spew fiery death towards the four figures. Surprise!

The flamer is rather more impressive than I first thought. The twenty-metre range is huge, considering it hits everything within that range and in a thirty-degree cone, and that it does so without requiring a ballistics skill check. It's an automatic hit, but one that can be avoided by a successful agility check by each target, although cover offers no protection.

If the first agility check is failed and the target cannot avoid the flames a second agility check is needed to be made or the target is also on fire. That sounds pretty bad to start with, and it only gets worse. A target on fire must make a willpower check on his turn or can only run around screaming, or, as we decided, try to put out the flames. Putting out the flames requires a difficult agility check, which if they've failed the previous two doesn't bode well. On top of that, at the start of the turn the target takes one level of fatigue for being on fire, which adds a -10 modifier to all checks.

The flames shoot out of my weapon, expanding in its cone to fill the entire cavern by the time it reaches the ship and the targets hiding behind rocks some eighteen metres away. Only one of the figures is able to avoid the fiery doom, the three of them that get hit also being set on fire. I release the trigger to see them run around screaming, rolling around in the dust trying to subdue the flames, and the only target not hit abandons any attempt to ambush us to instead help his colleagues in their efforts to put out the fires.

Clearly this is the best 200 XP I have ever spent. If only they were actually hostile and not potential allies.

Comments are closed.