Sunday 12 February 2023

Entering the Sunken District

Before actually starting to play proper games of Carnevale where you get yo choose your forces, I wanted to get the two small intro scenarios from the Escape from San Canciano box played.

Fortunately, with a spare evening, Matt obliged to once again take control of the nefarious Guild, whilst I offered my allegiance to Dagon and the Rashaar.

Whilst the main starter box has a 6 part tutorial campaign, the Escape from San Canciano box's two-parter offers more narrative and background for the individuals in the box.

The Guild forces have been tasked with mounting an expedition into the sunken quarter of Venice known as San Canciano, home to the mysterious servants of Dagon. Leading the party is Thomasina the Fisherwoman, and she is ably supported by Agustin the Arbalest, Laura the Gondolier and a Pilferer known only as 'the kid'.

Meanwhile, tasked with repulsing this incursion are a small group of hunters comprising the faceless and nameless Cult Enforcer, Sister K'lei a Cult Officiant, a fearsome Lesser Rhyll and a wretched Hybrid.

Scenario 1: Breakthrough

Deployment & Turn 1

Realising that their mission had been discovered, Tomasina split her party to give them more of a chance of getting out of San Canciano alive. She and Laura would distract the inhabitants of the ruined quarter, whilst Agustin and the kid slipped past their defences.

Unfortunately for Agustin and the kid, the Rashaar had also split up in the hunt for the Guild members and Sister K'lei and a Hybrid now stood between them and safety.

The aim of this scenario was to make it to the opposite corner of the map. Each character that escapes would score 1 VP, so slowing down or stopping was not really an option, and it was debateable that anybody would be able to land enough damage to kill an opponent.

In the first turn both sides moved up. Sister K'lei took the bridge whilst the Hybrid took to the water. Agustin and the kid made for different sides of the building that stood between them and their opponents.

Guild 0 - Rashaar 0

Turn 2

Hearing running from up ahead, Agustin cautiously took a step around the corner and spotted a robed figure on the bridge ahead. He took aim and hi bolt grazed Sister K'lei on the arm. First blood to the Guild.

Wincing with pain, K'lei realised that the distance to the Arbalest was too great and he would shoot again before she got there. However, emerging around the other side of the building, K'lei saw a small child that had been with the invaders.

Opting for discretion over valour, K'lei charged towards the child and out of sight of the man with the crossbow. Her superiord in the Church of Dagon wanted guild blood, they hadn't specified whose.

Her jagged dagger flashed green in the rent-light but somehow went wide as the slippery little girl twisted sideway and darted towards the bridge.

Almost home free, the kid ran across the bridge only to be immediately confronted by a gruesome Hybrid emerging from the canal. Another blade lashed towards her, but again the experienced Pilferer managed to dodge the lethal blow.

Guild 0 - Rashaar 0

Turn 3

The kid sidestepped the mystified Hybrid and disappeared into the darkness to find a place to hide and see if Agustin was able to follow. If he took too long, she'd leave fore the rendezvous without him.

Agustin knew he had to get moving, and eschewing the opportunity of another shot, ran headlong in the direction in which the kid had disappeared.

Meanwhile, not wanting to risk being shot in the face, K'lei and the Hybrid decided to head back to their masters to inform them of where the Guild were heading. Perhaps there would be another change for an ambush.

Guild 1 - Rashaar 0

Turn 4

Still nursing her injured arm, K'lei led the way and dived into the water to avoid any more shots that might come whistling through the dark. She knew the Hybrid was already in the water and so she's be the only target.

Unbeknownst to her, Agustin was not planning to shoot anybody. All too aware that he was in danger of being left isolated in enemy territory, he ran hell for leather after the kid.

Agustin knew that diverting towards the bridge would cost him even more time, and so he steeled himself for a jump across the canal, not knowing what horrors might lurk in there waiting for him should he fall short.

He leapt...propelled himself off the side of the bridge and...

...landed safely on the other side.

He would be quick enough to follow the kid and meet up with Thomasina.

Guild 1 - Rashaar 0

Turn 5

Agustin ran off into the dark, and was shortly joined by a shorter figure wearing a smug expression.

Sister K'lei and the Hybrid swam through the canal to report what they had seen.

Guild 2 - Rashaar 2

Unless somebody delays or is very unlucky, I can't see very many situations where this scenario wouldn't end up as a draw. However, Matt did cut it fine with Agustin after stopping to shoot on turn 2.

Scenario 2: Fight to Survive


Struggling to shake their pursuers, Agustin and the kid met up with Thomasina and Laura. The Fisherwoman made the decision that if stealth would not see them safely out of San Canciano, they would have to force their way back to safety.

However, the Cult pursuers had once again gotten ahead of the Guild, probably due to greater familiarity with routes through the sunken quarter.

They were also determined to stop the intruders at all costs.

In this scenario, victory points would be scored for each enemy killed, and one for each of the two agendas we had both drawn randomly. Finally there was abonus point if the Rashaar killed someone by drowning or if the Guild killed someone using the 'death from above' rule.

Turn 1

Seeing their opponents and determined to to ake them pay a dear price, both groups moved directly towards each other.

The Guild made for the bridge, with Laura the Gondolier rowing straight underneath it so that Agustin could jump abourd.

The Rashaar, on the other hand, dropped into the water and moved through the water like sharks heading for prey.

Guild 0 - Rashaar 0

Turn 2

Sensing an opportunity, the Enforcer bellowed and ran headlong into the Guild clustered on the bridge. His aim was to throw Thomasina into the water and stun Agustin with a mighty swing of his mace and knock the Arbalest into the water. 

Fortunately for the Guild, Thomasina slipped away from his meaty arms and Agustin managed to stay in the boat.

The Guild now swarmed the Enforcer, jabbing and stabbing at him. Laura narrowly avoided being dragged into the canal by the grasping hands of something abominable that appeared behind the boat and jumped ashore to hit the Enforcer in the back with her bladed oar.

The Enforcer was finally felled by a fierce jab from Thomasina's spear, but the danger was far from over.

Guild 1 - Rashaar 0

Turn 3

In the wake of the Enforcer's death there was brief silence that was immediately broken by the sound of the Hybrid performing a high dive (agenda) into the canal.

Battle recommenced with wild abandon. Sister K'lei stabbed Laura but was immediately set upon by Thomasina, whilst the Lesser Rhylly managed to grapple a squirming Agustin into the water and set him up perfectly for drowning.

Guild 1 - Rashaar 1

Turn 4

As his head emerged above water, Agustin panicked. He knew he was out of his element and that hideous monster would be intent on dragging him to a watery grave. He splashed and scrabbled his way to the edge of the canal and managed to haul himself out before he could be set upon again.

Despite fighitng valiantly and alomost killing the Gondolier, Sister K'lei was outnumbers and ultimately felled by the rampaging Thomasina.

Guild 2 - Rashaar 1

Turn 5

With the battle turning against them, the Lesser Rhyll and the Hybrid knew that the only way to salvage the situation was to make an offering to Dagon and drag someone down and let the tide take them.

However, somehow, Laura evaded their clutches and was able to stay aboard the gondola. 

Realising that getting drawn into further fighting would get one of her team, Thomasina decided they should hold ground (agenda) and look to guarding against any further attacks whilst making their escape from San Canciano.

Guild 3 - Rashaar 1


Ultimately this game was decided by three factors:
  • If the battle stays primarily on the land, the Guild win. It did.
  • The Lesser Rhyll is notably less good at grappling that a Lesser Ugdru.
  • Matt kept the Guild together, I attacked piecemeal.
Still, they were a really good couple of games and we're enjoying Carnevale. Matt isn't totally convinced by the randomness of the agendas (especially the parkour ones), and I have to say that getting water based agendas with the Rashaar feels a bit too easy at times.

I still need t work on my Patrician gang, but with Guild, Rashaar, fake Strigoi and a couple of Vatican done, you can expect something a bit different next time.

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