Evolved Diplomacy

VS Combined Army
Noctifier No.9 aka Nine

Druze Bayram vs Shasvastii at Huaqiao Tai Sui

Evolved Diplomacy

Labyrinthine alleys of flickering holographic billboards glimmered in the light drizzle of rain. Night had fallen in the coastal city of Huaqiao, and the cover of darkness would lend itself well to the covert operation underway.

Viyan Yousefi tapped a control on her neck and activated her thermoptic camouflage. Navigating the dimly lit pathways that crisscrossed the facility's outskirts, she dodged surveillance drones that buzzed overhead like mechanical vultures. She slipped through the shadows, melding seamlessly into the darkness between the gentle orange glow of sodium-vapour lights distributed between the various outdoor walkways.

Gunfire erupted in the distance-- they were not alone here she thought to herself. Operating independently under radio silence, Viyan had no way of coordinating what the rest of the squad was seeing. But, with any luck, she would not need to. She knew her mission, and she was not about to let a little scuffle get in the way.

Raindrops fizzled into a sort of diffuse static as they pattered on her transluscent camouflage and it almost looked like an angry cloud of haze as Viyan ran across from one building to the next, homing in on her target. She checked a scanner on her wrist and stopped near a cargo container.

Viyan's objective is in sight.

*BEEP BEEP*, her scanner pinged. This was it. She ran up to a maglock keypad at the door of the container and shimmied that front casing off to get to the maintenance port. Viyan pulled a small gray device, an electronic dataspike, out of a pouch on her waist. She reeled out a retractible cable from one side of the dataspike and plugged it into the universal data port on the maglock. The device flashed a couple times with debug information scrolling down the readout screen, and then the maglock chirped as it slid open.

Viyan smirked and slid the cargo container door open. But her smile did not last... the container was empty-- the researcher she was here to extract, a supposed defector , was not here. Instead, an exotic looking weapon-looking gadget of alien origin. And it was pointed directly at her.

There was a brief loud coil whine and then a loud *SNAP* as the device discharged and Viyan felt a gust of wind rush past her. Her camouflage fizzled and burnt out as her skin started to burn and itch.

"Fuck, fuck..." Viyan stumbled and hobbled backward away from the cargo container, dropping her weapon and rubbing at her face.

She heard shouting in the distance and, realising that her camo was out, looked over to her right and saw a masked figure in the distance. She felt dazed for a moment and her eyes were watering, but she squinted and tried to make out the silhouette of the man shouting and pointing at her.

Except, that creature was no man. But he had just pulled a rocket launcher off his back and aimed it in her direction.

"Oh FUCK...."

Viyan shouted and lept for cover, but her body was thrown back in a wave of heat and pressure before she even hit the ground.

An ominous captor...

Viyan awakened... a door opened and slammed shut as she slowly blinked, her back straightening reflexively. Still dazed, she looked around, only to realise that no one had been at the door. Deep breaths. But the breath wasn't Viyan's. The cold tingle of hot air brushing against the back of her neck. Something slid across the ground, scratching against the clean metal floor as it moved closer and closer. There was a soft cackling, echoing off each wall.

The dark voice, now standing behind Viyan, spoke calmly, "Tell the Shogun, this is a message from me, Malignos three of Noctifer No.9, Should the alliance between the others continue without you, you will be left behind. I would advise that your employer accept our assistance. Openly, or not."

She felt a hot sting on her neck, then the sound of pressurized air past. The enormous dark form walked past her, somehow still mired in terrifying darkness and difficult to make out despite being right in front of Viyan, as he cackled and slammed the door behind him.

Viyan Yousefi in Shasvastii captivity.

Given her injuries, Viyan wasn't sure just quite how long her stay in captivity was, but she was treated well, given medical attention, and soon back on her feet. She couldn't help but think to herself that despite the ominous appearance of her captors, they were actually quite civilised.

Soon after she was back in walking condition, she was transferred several times, first through an O-12 prisoner exchange, then later released to a civilian private hospital in Huaqiao.

Curiously, her first visitor was a Japanese ambassador. "Your employer declined responsibility for your care, but in Greater Japan, we reward loyalty to our cause. Consider your recovery costs a gratitude for your decisive action that allowed us to retreive the operation footage and intel package you obtained for us directly from your cube."

Viyan began to speak, but changed her mind about what she was about to say, "That is excellent news indeed. I am honoured by your kindness."

It was certainly some kind of news, as to the best of her knowledge, Viyan did not have a cube.

Game Report

Shasvastii first turn, Druze deploy second.

Druze Deployment
Shasvastii Deployment

Turn 1
- Shasvastii combat jump in a bunch of Seed Soldiers and start wrecking the back line and do their thing, knocking down a bunch of Druze's soldiers immediately.
- Druze runs Hunzakut FO up to an objective box; it ends up being empty. Hunzakut gets knocked unconscious with a panzerfaust while trying to run away to re-camo.
- Scarface punches some Seed Soldiers to death, then the remains of Druze's hacker core team push to second objective. Also empty.

Combat jump into my LT and his corner guard
Another jumper killing my backline
One more jumper locking down the objective box
Hunzakut locks down objective
Hunzakut gets knocked down, Scarface goes "oh boy here I go killing again :D" in the back

Turn 2
- Caliban advances to get into a fight with Anaconda. Gets toasted nice and crispy with a flmethrower when he tries to bite her.
- Seed soldiers in the back come forward and reposition to stop Druze's advance
- Druze push forward with Anaconda and Scarface
- Scarface scores classified objective (Wip roll on enemy side of table as character)

Caliban advancing
Caliban more like Calibarbecue
Anaconda and scarface move up
Scarface tries to murderise Sheskiin, fails multiple times

Turn 3
- Sheskiin does a little trolling, kills both Scarface and Anaconda
- Shasvastii advance further
- Druze goes into retreat, game ends

Sheskiin goes on a D-Charges rampage, kills both Scarface and Anaconda
Shasvastii final advance

Overall, super fun game and a great opponent. Lots of really great roleplay here and had an absolute blast making this report. My opponent wrote the narrative part where Viyan encounters Nine, and I just loved how terrifying and imposing that character is. So good-- I just love the storytelling Shattergrounds is letting us do.

This was my first time fighting Shasvastii, so I totally had not expected to come into a board that was just entirely covered in camo markers. I learned a lot and I'm really grateful to my opponent for explaining how a lot of these mechanics work. Also, the "Armoured Reinforcements" rule that cuts tag SWC on Tai Sui made for a very silly double tag list here.

Thank you for the game!!

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