Friday, 15 September 2017

Death Match Lava Salamander and Deathcoil Beast

In Death Match, not only must the gladiators fight each other, but also various alien beasts. The sabre-tooth razorback, an animal indigenous to Traventi, was the first exotic beast to be introduced to the games in 2588. To accommodate the latest addition, four pods were built around the outside of the arena equidistant from each other. With large sliding doors, the sabre-tooth razorbacks were housed in those pods before being released one at a time into the game. Since then, Lord Valatrix has assembled numerous teams of hunters to bring even more beasts into the arena, as the introduction of the sabre-tooth razorback was so successful. Here are two of the newer beasts to appear in the arena - the Lava Salamander and the Deathcoil Beast.
The Lava Salamander, shown at the left in my two photos, is native to volcanic regions and the sight of it jumping in and out of lava pools is truly majestic. Hunting armoured fish, their teeth are adept at tearing through armour finding weak spots. Tough armour plating covers its body to protect itself in its natural environment. Its special ability in the game is that it treats any stars it rolls on its defence dice as blocks.
Various species of Deathcoil Beasts have been found in varying climates from dense jungle to vast deserts. They were originally considered to be only from the Scabendi home planet, however, they have since been found on other planets. Their front legs are used to drag themselves along and can move at lightning fast strike speeds. However, this speed cannot be used for a prolonged period. Victims are crushed, making it easier for the Deathcoil Beasts to swallow them. Prey can be as large as themselves, with a triple jaw, their mouth can open as large as needed.
In Death Match, the Deathcoil Beast has two special abilities. Constrictor - if the beast's combat roll scores 2 stars, then in addition to any normal damage inflicted, the victim also becomes ensnared in the beast's constricting tail. An ensnared victim may take no action other than a fight action against the Deathcoil. Secondly, Down in One - when the Deathcoil Beast is in combat with an ensnared model, its dice roll becomes 2R instead of 1R,1G. In addition, if its combat roll against an ensnared model scores 2 stars then the opposing model is swallowed whole. A swallowed model has one more chance to fight its way out of the beast's stomach. When it next activates, it rolls 2 red dice - on a score of 3 hits or more the victim escapes and the Deathcoil suffers 4 damage. On a score of 4 hits, the victim bursts forth from the beast's gut with a flourish - the Deathcoil is killed and if the escaping model is a gladiator, he gains 1 Favour Token.
Only a model smaller than the Deathcoil can be ensnared or swallowed. If the Deathcoil already has an ensnared victim and rolls 2 stars against another model, the original victim is freed in favour of the new one.
These are two interesting beasts. I like the Deathcoil Beast the most, despite suffering very badly against it when I played Death Match with the game's creator, Dave Stone. My gladiator got ensnared by it, allowing Dave's gladiator free attacks against me, which eventually killed my poor gladiator.

12 comments:

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    1. Phil, if you think these two are bad, wait until you see some of the other beasts! ;-)

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  2. Nice painting Bryan, the deathcoil beast is one of my favourites too

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    1. Cheers, Dave. I certainly have a healthy respect for the Deathcoil Beast after the way you used him against me!

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  3. Two formidable looking beasts to be sure, Bryan, and some very vivid paint-jobs too. There's a definite "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" vibe to the Lava Salamander, and I can just imagine James Mason encountering just such a creature as a result. The Deathcoil Beast is just as impressive though, and I especially like the second photo which really shows off Dave's attention to detail for the beast's scales.

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    1. Thanks, Simon. I totally get the "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" vibe you mentioned. Dave's sculpting of these beasts is top notch and I do regret not taking more photos of them.

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  4. Impressive paint jobs on an equally impressive pair of alien "monsters" from Dave.
    Great idea to include the sci-fi equivalent of wild animals to the arena, along with their appropriately alien attributes!

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    1. Many thanks, Greg. I suppose it's just taking the ancient Roman concept of releasing lions and other beasts into the arena a step further. If it draws the crowds in then so much the better.

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  5. Freakin' LOVE IT!

    Dave - brilliant sculpts
    Bryan - brilliant paint work (some of your best mate)

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    1. Blushes! Many, many thanks, Andy. You're too kind!

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  6. While not interested in sci fi gladiators those two beasts could be used for so many different things. And that does interest me greatly.

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    1. So true, Clint. I can see them working in a wide range of sci-fi and fantasy games.

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