I convinced Mary to help me test out a game of Strange Aeons, a miniature skirmish game based around the Cthulhu Mythos. We played the introductory quickstart scenario, available here. Strange Aeons is a 1930s pulp minis game that pits government X-files agents ("Threshold", which we immediately renamed "Fringe") against cultists and their eldritch allies ("Lurkers"). I was able to convince Mary to play by telling her she got to play the Fringe agents.
In this scenario, the Fringe agents are hunting down a pair of cultists in an attempt to stop their nefarious goings-on in the swampy woods outside of New Orleans. Here's the setup.
For my team (the Cult of the Crimson Eye), I had one Cult Leader, one Cultist, and a recently-arisen Zombie. I chose to use a Nazgul figure for that extra 'burial shroud' look rather than go with a standard zombie mini.
I had an Indiana Jones and Pulp fighter pilot minis out to represent Mary's Fringe Agents for her to use...
And we made a quick swap out for more appropriate minis.
Fringe got the first turn. The two agents quickly moved up next to the ancient sacrificial stone to use as cover against the Cultist's firearms.
The zombie moved forward. Slowly. Oh so slowly. But I hoped he would attract the Agent's attention, keeping the squishier cultists out of harms way. The Cultists moved forward through the swamp, hoping the wooded cover would prevent them from getting hit by the Fringe Agents' .45 caliber bullets.
Unfortunately for Cultist #1 (Frank), Agent Francine is a crack shot and the woods didn't help at all. He was removed from the board already in turn #2 with a Major injury.
Then the Cult Leader (Saul) took aim with his shotgun to get some sweet revenge on Agent Annie, but ended up rolling a 1 to hit. In Strange Aeons when you roll a 1 with a shooting weapon you have to roll that die again. If you get a second 1 on the die then the gun is jammed until you spend an Action clearing it. Since that is only a 1 in 36 chance, you can expect it to not be a big deal. But for Saul, and my first roll of the game, it was.
Annie took the opening to dash into swamp cover and fire at the lumbering zombie.
Agent Annie decided to deal with this personally, so she rushed poor Carl to get into Melee to cleave him apart. Since she was armed with a meat cleaver, she figured that would be the perfect zombie-stopper.
But zombies are mind-shatteringly Hideous! In rules terms that means a human character in base-to-base contact has to make a Resolve check to prevent themselves from going insane and cowering before the eldritch blasphemy. Agent Annie's resolve value isn't that great, so I told Mary that she couldn't chop up my zombie until Annie passed a resolve check. Want to know how that went?
Things were not looking good for the Cult of the Lame Duck.
And then Saul, having recently cleared his Shotgun, decided to take matters into his own hands. If he could kill Francine, then Annie would have to make another Resolve check and could potentially flee off the board (and how many Resolve checks could she really pass?).
Saul moved into position and blasted Francine. Putting her out of the game with a Minor Injury (meaning the character doesn't die, they're just out of this session). The Fringe team keeps their characters from game-to-game and they level up and stuff, like Mordheim.
It may have been a Minor Injury, but for the Cult of the Wet Blanket it felt like a Major Success!
Now the remaining Fringe agent had to roll another Resolve check, and with any luck she'd fail it and run off the board....
In any case, the Strange Aeons MVP Award goes to: Agent Annie!