Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Vanguard: Issue 192: Vanguard vs. the Liberty League!

Vanguard couldn’t believe what they saw.  It was the Liberty League! The golden age superheroes of WWII, young and alive, just as they were back then! Sentinel, Symbiote and Slate recognized this League’s lineup was circa 1943 or ‘44. By then they were battle-hardened from years of brutal warfare. Looking at them now, it wasn’t hard to believe.

The Liberty League attacked Vanguard with a wild ferocity and recklessness that Vanguard had never imagined possible from all those warm, sepia-toned stories of the golden age heroes.
Vanguard tried to yell at them to stop. But being underwater, with little light, in all that chaos and battle fury, their pleas were unheard. Vanguard survived their onslaught, so far.

[OOC: Everyone is now swimming, which costs 6 Power Points for every hour or part thereof, as per the underwater combat rules I shared with you in Issue 190. Again, characters with Water Breathing B don’t lose Power Points. 
Also, all of Vanguard have been exposed to the ocean depths.  Anyone without Adaptation, Life Support, Water Breathing or Rubbery Physiology activated the entire time will get the bends if they surface too quickly.]

The battle continued!  Agent America dove down and to his left, using the Megalodon containment construct as cover.  He swam under it, came out the other side and hurled another grenade into Vanguard’s ranks! 
WH-WHOOMM!!!  The concussive blast hit Slate, the modern age Sentinel, and Symbiote! 
[11 points to each! Slate rolls with 5 and takes 6 from hits. Sentinel rolls with 4 and takes 7 from hits. Symbiote rolls with 8 and takes 3 from Hits. All remain conscious.]

Avatar used his Swimming skill and superior agility to evade his opponent. He took a non-threatening stance, holding up his hands and making gestures of peace. 

American Eagle squinted and said to his teammates in the orb construct of the golden age Sentinel, “The Spartan warrior is surrendering.  All it took was one punch from Sarge.”

Doc Rocket scanned the battlefield. With Symbiote and Slate falling into Agent America’s area of influence, the super scientist needed a new opponent. He fired his rocket pack and “flew” up and forward through the water, charging into enemy territory.  Ever chivalric, the young hero would aid Lady Liberty. He arced downward toward Slingshot and fired his Rocket Gun down at him at pointblank range. ZARK!!  The beam evaporated a thin, five foot long tunnel of water between Doc and Slingshot before striking the malleable man of might! 
[17 points of damage!  Slingy took 8 off Invulnerability, 4 from Power, and 5 from Hits.]

Lady Liberty followed up with precision and fury. She swam forward at Slingshot and threw an uppercut at his jaw!  CHOOM!  [19 points! Slingy rolls with 4, takes 15 from hits!] Slingshot ”flew” up 50 feet from the impact!

Clone realized there wasn’t much he could do to aid in an underwater fight. So the duplicating dynamo took the reverse approach – protecting the members of his group that could fight. While swimming as fast as he could towards Sentinel, Clone made sure that his rebreather was firmly in place as he purged any water that may have entered his mouth after being thrown about by the attacks of the Liberty League.
   Reaching what he thought would be a good mid-way point between Sentinel and the members of the Liberty League, Clone turned to face the group’s attackers and waved his arms back and forth to tell them to please stop firing. He thought, ”These were Earth’s greatest heroes? They can’t be this blood thirsty… can they?”

Slate realized what happened upon seeing the golden age heroes.  Being unaffected from being underwater, he put his hands up in a symbol of surrender, and held his action to see what happens.

Slingshot converted to humanoid form, swam back down to the fight, toward Sgt. Stone in a non-threatening manner and tried non-verbal communication with the fighting footsoldier to show that he’s not hostile. He produced his rebreather and offered him another, as a gesture of peace.

American Eagle said, “Three more surrenders. There’s no fight in them. Better reel these fish in, boss.”

The modern Sentinel’s mind raced.  He knew that Lancaster, his grandfather, the golden age Sentinel, had telepathy at this time period.  Lancaster had never mentioned this meeting, or any meeting with time travelers!
Kirk grabbed his rebreather, placed it in his mouth and raised his hands in 'surrender'. Kirk summoned his energy and words began to be written on a new layer on Lancaster's shields. "Truce.  We thought we were attacking a Nazi occupied sub. We are heroes displaced in time and need your help. Let's talk."

The Mystic said, “Displaced in time?”

The golden age Sentinel read the other Sentinel’s mind, looking for answers to this puzzle. “What?” he said, in stunned astonishment.  “He’s… he’s my grandson!”

Suddenly, KABOOM-BOOM!!! Two torpedoes came out of the darkness behind the Liberty League and slammed into the golden age Sentinel’s sphere, catching Sgt. Stone in the blast radius!  Cracks appeared across the energy sphere’s surface, and Stone’s back, but both held!

Vanguard couldn’t see the sub that fired the torpedoes due to the darkness. Nor could they see that something else was now coming out of the torpedo tubes.

Then Vanguard saw it, following right behind the torpedoes, swimming down out of the cold, black depths were the Ubermensch and the Japanese Imperial Guard, enemy supervillains of World War II, coming at the Liberty League’s back!

Sentinel, Symbiote and Slate [Vanguard’s resident superhero historians] recognized them all:

The Ubermensch  (or Over Men) were the Nazi supervillains of WWII, Hitler’s vision of the Aryan superman realized. Created by the mad scientist, Dr. Swastika, they were:

Blitzkreig:  The lightning warrior!
Panzer:  The human tank! 
The Aryan:  The perfect man, except for his soul! 
Baroness Von Zero: Ice flows through her royal veins!
U-Man:  The human torpedo!

Blitzkreig, Aryan and Von Zero all wore ingenious, Nazi-engineered retro-tech pressurized suits and helmets. Emblazoned on each was a swastika and a SKULL symbol, entwined in a loving embrace.

The Japanese Imperial Guard were the personal soldiers of the divine monarch, Emperor Hirohito, the 124th emperor of Japan. They were:

Shogun: Noble samurai general, and leader of the Imperial Guard!
Rising Sun: Warrior of fire and light!
Ninjitsu: Mysterious master assassin!
Kamikaze: The living bomb!

Rising Sun and Ninjutsu wore highly advanced enviro-suits of Japanese design.

The Ubermensch and the Imperial Guard targeted their sworn enemies, the Liberty League, who had been completely distracted by Vanguard.

[OOC: Vanguard and the Liberty League have just been successfully being ambushed!  Both hero teams are surprised because they had all their attention focused on each other.  This means all remaining hero actions are lost until next issue (Sorry, Menagerie. Your low Agility is the price to pay to be an awesome giant dinosaur shark monster). Normally this also means the villains would get one full turn to act unopposed (ie: two issues of combat) but I don’t the heart to do it.  So I’ll halve it. They get one issue of attacks. ]
Kamikaze, the living bomb flew through the water and stopped between the golden age Sentinel’s sphere and Sgt. Stone. The undead, avenging spirit of the divine wind whispered, “banzai,” and exploded his very body into atoms.
KRA-BOOM!!! Kamikaze disappeared as he detonated himself. The original Sentinel’s energy construct breached, sending its occupants into the water unexpectedly! Sgt. Stone was badly hurt.

Blitzkreig came next, swimming in with impossible speed. Careful to move out of range of the Ubermensch and the Imperial Guard, he discharged ball lightning in an attempt to electrocute the Liberty League! BZZAT!
His electrical attack hit Lady Liberty, Doc Rocket, Slingshot, Sgt. Stone, the Original Sentinel, American Eagle, Blazing Glory and the Mystic!  All remained conscious.
[Slingshot takes 12 points of damage. Rolls with 4, takes 8 from hits.]
The lightning warrior missed Avatar and Clone because both were evading.

U-Man soared in on the Liberty League’s left flank, firing his wrist torpedoes!  Fwoosh! BOOM!!  He caught Sgt. Stone, the original Sentinel, American Eagle, Blazing Glory and the Mystic in his blast!  Blazing Glory was unconscious and in danger of drowning as she floated downward!

Ninjutsu stealthily swam down at Doc Rocket’s back! The master of the mysterious arts used a spiked brass knuckle weapon to savagely strike at Doc’s fishbowl helmet! CHOK!! The blow cracked the bubble but its integrity held!

The Aryan glided downward toward the battle, also flanking the Liberty League, and fired a large harpoon gun rifle at his archnemesis, the golden age Sentinel!  Fwooosh!  THUNK!  The insidiously barbed harpoon struck Sentinel right in the chest, piercing the eye of his all-seeing logo!  A cloud of blood hovering around him, Sentinel was injured but conscious!

Rising Sun’s flame powers were useless in this undersea battlefield!  He joined the charge at the League’s flank, swimming downward from the darkness, and fired a ray of pure white light at American Eagle from close range! ZIZZ!  The beam burned a path through the water before striking Eagle!

The Shogun descended downward at the injured Sgt. Stone! His energy katana crackled and steamed the water as it swung down hard into Stone’s back!  zzzzzzzzVWOM!!!   The granite goliath was badly injured from this crucible. He was just hanging on!

Baroness Von Zero targeted Agent America for her tender mercies. From behind him, she held out her hands and smiled sardonically.   In mere moments, the star spangled superspy was encased in ice! The crystalline tomb weighed over a ton and started to float upward into the darkness, gaining speed as it went!

Panzer fell downward through the water at Lady Liberty! SLAM! The human tank’s massive iron fists crashed into her hard, knocking her downward into the darkness! The human tank allowed himself to plummet after her and soon disappeared as well!

U-Man, with his inhuman speed, acted again, firing another mini-torpedo from his wrist launcher! Fwoosh! BOOM!!  He caught the original Sentinel, American Eagle and the Mystic in his blast! All of them were on the ropes.  

Blitzkreig also acted again! The lightning warrior swam to reposition himself to catch as few of his allies, and as many of his enemies, as possible in his next blast! BZZAT!! His ball lightning discharge electrocuted Slingshot, Sgt. Stone, Shogun, the original Sentinel, American Eagle, the Mystic, and the unconscious Blazing Glory! 

This last blast proved too much for the badly injured heroes, and rendered Sgt. Stone, the original Sentinel, American Eagle and the Mystic all unconscious and drowning!
[Slingshot takes 11 points of damage. Rolls with 4, takes 7 from hits.]

The original Sentinel’s badly damaged shields evaporated upon his incapacitation!  
The construct holding the Megalodon Menagerie suddenly disappeared as well, sending the suffocating dinoshark mercifully back into the water!  Sploosh!

Ninjutsu moved with incredible agility and struck Doc Rocket’s helmet a second time! CHOK!!! The cracks on the surface of his fishbowl bubble helmet started to spread like a web, until the helmet collapsed under the pressure of the ocean depths.  Doc was surprised, injured and gasping for air!

The villains all but ignored Vanguard, preferring to target their hated enemies. The modern age Sentinel wasn’t recognized by the villains in the dark chaos because his shields weren’t activated!

[Between turns…]

Kamikaze’s body reformed. And the unconscious, drowning heroes sank downward into the darkness!

Manetti spoke through his helmet’s radio, “This is impossible! The Liberty League didn’t die in the 1940’s!”

Ortiz gasped with dawning realization, “It’s us. We caused the change. We distracted them. Our presence here has altered history!”

To be continued! 

Actions, please!  The ambush’s element of surprise is over. Vanguard may act at will.
Kevin: See private email to follow for Clone in Moscow!  

Current Conditions:
Avatar: Hit Points: 37, Power Points: 85, Manifestation: Poseidon, Evading until Issue 194
Clone: Bodies: 2, Hit Points: 11, Power Points: 59, Hit Point Pool: 22, Evading until Issue 193
Menagerie: Hit Points: 54, Power Points: 66, Form: Megalodon!
Sentinel: Hit Points: 11, Power Points: 35, Creation Points: 70, Construct: 70, Shields: 0
Slate: Hit Points: 18, Power Points: 51
Slingshot: Hit Points: 34, Power Points: 32, Invulnerability: 0 until Issue 194
Symbiote: Hit Points: 27, Power Points: 82, Charges: 12, Activated: Inhuman, Endurance: 26, Agility: 14

Here’s the map at the end of the issue:



OOC: Damn, Jeff!


OOC: I second that DAMN! Jeff.



OOC: Consider me as officially jumping on the "Damn" wagon ;)


OOC: Quadruple DAMN!


OOC: You're all damn welcome!  ;-)


OOC: I'm afraid to open it...


OOC: Be very afraid Jon...

I have a plan to give us a fighting chance but no idea if we can pull it off, particularly with no means to communicate effectively.

Kirk's energy is currently floating around closer to the fallen Liberty League... he keeps it as close to blending with the water as it can be.  He can fold his arms across his chest to conceal his insignia if the foes come looking.  When he can using last location and his energy sense he uses his energy to seize the fallen Liberty League and draw them along to him within his shields (at the least saving them from drowning from the moment) and getting himself protected again although becoming the target of all the villains.

He forms the best construct he can that would offer offer additional propulsion upward and heads to the surface.  At the surface he continues forward up to the skies above our craft which is set to explode.  Once he gets above out of range of the blast he detonates the craft catching villains that are pursuing him hopefully taking them out of the battle or at least softening them up enough that Vanguard has a fighting chance against them.  Our guys are either far enough below the surface or high enough above to avoid blast damage.  And it we have to lose it, at least it goes out in a worthy blaze of glory 'sacrificing' itself to save both Vanguard and the League.

Problems - (1)  one shot to Kirk before he gets his construct back from him he is likely toast himself from prior damage and now the damage from the Liberty League.  (2) I don't know about Kirk's speed here particularly carrying the League also upward.  Likely he gets pulped before he gets away  (3) no way to communicate this idea to coordinate it  (4) I may be assuming Kirk can do a lot more than he can do here overall power wise

One possible solution would be if Lancaster comes back to consciousness or perhaps Mystic and they can communicate the plan to the others.  Menagerie also could thought broadcast the plan to our team because he can do this when in animal form, but I don't believe we'd have a direct means to convey it otherwise.  Seth doesn't recall if he learned Vanguard hand signals although I'm sure Kirk does... that might be a possibility but I don't know underwater and with events if he could convey enough to make things happen.

I am more than open to anything any one else can add to this modify or come up with to help here.  But at this point the League is totally out and about to drown and our side is pretty beat up both from prior confrontations and damage from the League... unless the villains are also beat up from prior battle it would seem they would take us out in direct conflict without something to shift the power balance to our side.

Jeff - what are the problems with my idea.  Does it have even a remote chance of succeeding?  Any additional information picked up by my energy senses that can help here?

Oh, and if we survive this we are going to be running on fumes ourselves with no time to adequately recover physically to retrieve the other artifacts.  We activated the Ring of Eon once before... perhaps we need to consider using it to somehow avert the disaster in present time... but I guess we have to survive the current encounter with it in our possession to worry about that.


PS: Perhaps their not expecting a Sentinel type power to be at work would buy some extra time to allow the snatch and grab (should just be movement) and they also would have no reason to expect the mantacraft to be a bomb when surfacing even if they notice the craft itself.


OOC: I did finally read it last night, and I that sounds like a good plan to me.

I was thinking "what in the world can Slate do that would be helpful in this situation," He'd assess that he could have very little impact on the battle, and he'd go for the Ring.  He should be able to easily get into the sub... so here goes:

Slate IC: Seeing the beating his team and the Liberty league are taking, Slate began to calculate the odds his presence would make a difference in the coming battle, and decided discretion in this case was best where he could make a difference.  The bigger goal here was to recover the ring, not defeat the villains.

Hoping his gray uniform would blend in with the surrounding blackness, he began to swim toward the sub, at the same time thought sending to Menagerie.  "Menagerie, I'm going after the artifact, but I have no way of locating it.  If you could thought send me the location, I'll melt through the side of the sub, and head for the target."

OOC: Slate will "swim casual", maybe trying to go limp, appearing unconscious and try to avoid detection. Once he reaches the sub, he will disintegrate his way in and to the Ring.  

Viva Vanguard!



OOC: Hi.

Seth/Sentinel:  This is a pretty good plan! The only drawback is it'll take two actions (two issues of combat) to execute. 
Rules time!... Every player's action may include Movement and (Attack or Evade). These may come in any order, but you only get one of each.  You can move and attack.  You can attack and then move.  You can't move, attack and move again.

So, here's your plan:
First you need to locate all the Liberty Leaguers who have fallen out of view into the darkness (movement, using your energy construct as a light source), drag them together so you can see them all at once (more movement), and then manipulate your construct to hold them all and give them oxygen (action).  Next issue, you can start to fly to the surface (movement) and assuming you make it, detonate the MantaCraft at the Ubermensch and Imperial Guard (attack).

Maybe someone else can do the manta bomb trick sooner?... if you figure out how to communicate the idea to them.

Another question: If a hero is being grappled by a villain, (Lady Liberty and Panzer, let's say), do you capture them both in your energy sphere? Trying to physically separate them with your energy would probably take yet another action.

If you want to capture any Vanguardians as well, please let me know that too.  Thanks!

Jon/Slate: Your goal of searching for the Ring of Eon is clear and legit.

Please note:  the first sub (that the Liberty League had commandeered) was emitting the ring's energy aura.  Vanguard blew it up, and the ring's aura was detected on Sgt. Stone when he emerged from the wreckage of the sub.

Now, another sub (apparently) has fired torpedoes and then supervillains at you from the darkness above and behind the League's original positions.  That sub is not visible, but it's known that it doesn't have the Ring of Eon onboard.

I hope that's clear.

Thanks everyone. Hope you all have a great Labor Day weekend.



OOC: Thanks Jeff, I'd missed that Sgt. Stone had the ring, that being the case, I definitely think getting the Liberty League, and getting out of Dodge is the direction to go... so scratch my last post please!

IC: Seeing the beating his team and the Liberty league are taking, Slate began to calculate the odds his presence would make a difference in the coming battle, and decided discretion in this case was best where he could make a difference.  The bigger goal here was to recover the ring, not defeat the villains.

Hoping his gray uniform would blend in with the surrounding blackness, he began to swim toward the sub, at the same time thought sending to Menagerie.  "Menagerie, I'm going after the artifact.  If nothing else, maybe we can use it to get us out of this mess."

OOC: Slate will "swim casual", maybe trying to go limp, appearing unconscious and try to avoid detection. Once he reaches the Sgt Stone, using his knowledge of the future Sgt. Stone, he will attempt to get the ring ( I mean come on, there aren't a lot of places he could be hiding it in those shorts. :) ).  

If attacked, he will evade.



Menagerie will thought send to the entire team. "The fastest of us need to save the Ring of Eon and the Liberty League. Bring them to the Manta Craft! The rest join me in protecting the rear."

Menagerie will stay in his C Megalodon form and will either get between the team and the Nazi and Japs. He will attack whoever he can reach with a ramming attack.

I would tell you the character but there are so many and Menagerie is so slow I just don't know if I can attack before one of the opponents hasn't attack or if I should attack one of the heaviest hitters who has already attack so they can't attack next turn.

If you need more direction than attack whoever he has the best chance of hitting then let me know and I will try to work something out.



There are so many things I would like to do, and I'm so damned slow.

Jeff: Let me know if this is feasible - Stretch and reach out for Both Lady Liberty and Sgt Stone and bring them back to my level. If I have to go down to get them, I will.

I'm assuming that Sentinel will handle the other group and I'll get the stragglers.

Once I've gathered them both, I'll pass rebreather to Lady Liberty and I'll try to bring  Sgt Stone to  Sentinel for the air lock. If I can get the ring off of Sgt Stone, all the better.

Obviously if things change enough that none of the above can be done, I'll just thump Blitzkreig (or whomever is close enough).I would "stab" at him shaping my arm in such a way to minimize the slow down from the water.



OOC: Thanks.  This is clear, legal and feasible. And in under the deadline!


OOC: Hi Jeff.

So as not to delay things and to move the plot along, how about Kirk tries to hold his action to do what he said previously.  Perhaps along the way the means to communicate the plan could be given as for it to work he would need I'd think at least a majority of the League safely in his possession for  the foes to follow.  If he cannot get them all due to it taking more time he will take the majority he could get and count on his teammates to save the others from drowning.

Other things:
(1) If it appears he needs to draw his energies back and perhaps alert them to 'who' he is because he is about to be hit again he will do so as another successful attack will likely render him unconscious
(2) Kirk is also going to operate under the assumption that at this point it was the Ubermensch and the Japanese Imperial Guard being fired upon by the ship and not Vanguard.  The ships we saw above were from their respective governments and he is going to be assuming, knowing Lightning Strike, that he actually has control at least to a degree of system of one of the ships and was trying to fire upon them.  Perhaps his seeing that possibility may give him some advantage of acting out his plan.
(3) If anything makes more sense for Kirk to do as the battlefield changes so be it.  Use him in the best calculated way possible.  If you'd prefer to give me a scenario where that might be as you do the issue for my input to be sure, fine, but if not, I trust you to decide.



Hi Seth,


"Holding" an action means to delay; not act.

To judge from the rest of your email, it seems that you do want to act, correct?

Re: 2) You guys were fired upon by torpedoes.  There's another submarine out here.  It was clearly firing on the Liberty League, or else they are a terrible shot.

3) You got it.



OOC: Hey Jeff.

Guess what I meant to say was if it was possible to hold my current action until I get my next action so I can grab the League and also 'zoom' to the surface together with them (hopefully) in chase.

Things don't look like that is possible given the playing board right now, hence all of my other 'orders'.  However with Kirk being among the slowest things could change by his turn for action.

If he grabs the League this turn waiting for next turn to move and is revealed then with all or most of the villains having an action there is a good chance they could penetrate his shields and/or knock him out or worse before his next action.  But as mentioned if it appears it must be done that way, so be it as I can't see any better move for him or Vanguard at this point.

And it does seem to me a longshot that he could hold off to combine the actions given events...

If still not clear let me know.



OOC: Hi Seth,

Ok, I get it.

One thing to consider: some of Liberty League is unconscious and drowning.  Waiting increases their chance of being harmed. Your delay protects you and harms them. 
I know you bought off the weakness where you must always do what's right, so you're free to act in whatever way you want, hero! 
But I know what Superman would do in this situation. And Lancaster. But that's okay. Just sayin is all.  ;-)

Also, some of the Liberty Leaguers are not visible, in the dark depths below you  (as mentioned last issue).  It's possible you won't be visible to some or all of the Ubermensch and the Imperial Guard if you are saving the League at that same dark depth.



OOC: Hi Jeff.

It wasn't meant as a means to protect Kirk but rather giving him a better chance to succeed.  One shot and he's out and drowning too and just adding to the body count and not helping the battle.  If he wasn't as injured as he was and could take a couple direct hits there would be no concern.   However if the few extra seconds are endangering the League  then he will act immediately and hope for the best.

From my aspect Kirk's response is to do just that and secure them but he was trying to do things in a calculated way as opposed to perhaps the emotional...  again, a lot tougher to judge things by play be email.  So do what is best including using the action immediately to secure the League but doing his best to conceal it until he has secured the League (ie moving to the lower area to be unseen and having his energy dulled and blending in with the water as best he can - perhaps extending the field to gather them this turn so they are protected and covered but pulling them all together toward him until next turn when he can move with them - whatever makes sense and the rules allow)



OOC: Ok.
I was just ribbing you.  :-)
You really need that vacation, pal!


The Atlantic:
( OOC: Since I’m so late with my response; and I didn’t have a chance to read everyone else’s responses,  I’ll keep my actions short and simple. Based upon what everyone else does, Clone will do one of the following things: Evade – swim next to an unconscious hero that may be drowning and “buddy-breathe” with his re-breather device – or try to swim towards the nearest villain and “bear-hug” them. I’ll leave that up to you Jeff – which ever works better with the story )

The Vault:
Clone stared at the vault door for a second and thought to himself, “Of course there’s a vault door . . . what did you think? Did you think you were just going to pop-up inside their base, grab a couple of mystical artifacts, and than just stroll out of here without them?” He shook his head gently and than refocused his thoughts, “Ok, so what are the chances that the door is just unlocked and the artifacts are just sitting there waiting to be stolen? Zero! So let do this another way . . .” The Multiplying Mutant than stepped slowly from the shadows and reached for the handle of the vault door. The little voice in his head continued, “ . . . if the mountain won’t come to me . . .”

(OOC: Clone is prepared for the possibility of one or more members of the SSS to be inside the vault waiting for him, and/or the possibility of an alarm going off – he’s ok with these things. He’s actually hoping that a guard ( human w/ a gun type ) will come to investigate and that he might be able to provide access to the vault some how . . . lol Clone is so dead!

Once again, my apologies for the late response. I tried to keep my responses simple so that they won’t make getting out the next issue too complicated – hope they weren’t too simple.)

Talk to you,