A Meeting With Fate
So after dealing with the psychic storm that was unleash by a billion (not exaggerating the numbers) orcs all lining up for a WAAAGH! ... the Explorers trudged on through space, pushing their way towards the Undred-Undred Teef.
Then, they encountered something unexpected. Aid, of sorts.
The Rogue Trader Dynasty ran into a lone raider, slowly plodding its way from the Undred-Undred Teef. It turns out that the raider was part of a convoy. The very convoy of lost ships the Explorers where looking for. It was making its way slowly across the Koronus Expanse with small jumps, entirely lacking its Navigator.
It turns out that the warp storm which caused the fleet to be lost also fried the brains of the fleets' navigators, psykers, and astropaths. When the fleet finally dropped out of the Warp in the Undred-Undred Teef, they had no way of getting back, even though all ships' systems were nominal.
Stranger still was the fact the Sirocco was captained by one Adara - a woman who looks exactly like Sitara, the astropath that was killed while visiting Vedic. This was quite troubling for the Rogue Trader, who had had a illicit relationship with the astropath.
Getting even weirder, it turns out that Adara and Sebastian, the crew's Senechal had a past relationship that he doesn't remember. If you recall, Sebastian was once part of the lost Holocene Dynasty fleet. However, his ship was recovered, though he was missing large chunks of memory.
Finally, however, I was able to drop the big bombshell. One of the vessels of the missing fleet was a ship known as the Pantocrator - a mighty Grand Cruiser. A true prize for the dynasty if there ever was one.
What Should Have Been Epic...Was Kind of Epic
So, the storytelling events of the big, big session went very well. What didn't go so well was...the big battle itself. If you recall, I had a giant poster printed up of the Pantocrator and used that as a battle mat for the huge fight. The players got to bring out their Titan Walker and their Fury Interceptors. And we got to use the vehicle system in Into the Storm for the first time! Yes!
But that was the problem. Because it was the first time using that system for me, aaaaand the player had never seen the system, the battle was clunky, slow, and dry. I learned a big, big lesson here and that's if you're going to stage something big and massive, don't try to introduce "new" mechanics into it. Don't try to do too much. Stick with what you know you can do.
I put "new" in quotes because using the Battlefleet Gothic rules worked out much better for us, but I'll get into that much later.