Up Next: Bungle in the Jungle

Captain Gout, seconded from the 21st Eyes N’ Gourds, cursed his luck for the hundredth time. There was a proper war brewing in Catalucia and here he was chasing bandits in some Sentinel foresaken jungle!

Worse yet he was leading a detachment of flanquers from the 6th Madnas Goblin Infantry battalion. D*mned Nosey hadn’t even seen fit to give him some proper soldiers like those Johnny Otters of the Mahrotter Confederacy.

No! Here he was marching off to who knows where tasked with recovering some livestock stolen from the Nizam of Hyderagud’s own herds. Naturally the trail led straight to the territories of Eyesore. The Tipsy Sultan had been rattling his sabres ever since old Corngrommit had let him off the hook. Had the orld beggar dead to rights and off Gentleorc Johnny goes declaring peace at last. Dracci take the lot of them…

Just then some movement off to the left caught his eyes, dragging him away from his self-pitying revelry.

About to try out some new rules for Muskets and Mohawks II. Seems that every time a game’s publication is delayed, it is just as well as there is one more opportunity to make sure it does what you want it too.

While this encounter is designed for the wooded north east of North America, I just couldn’t resist using some new and old jungle terrain and setting the game in the run up to the Fourth Mysore War, Flintloque style of course. 

More to come as the action unfolds.


Vimeiro II

View from left flank of Elven positions.

 Took a break from some other projects to play the Slaughterloo Vimeiro scenario again. Once again I took on the role of the Elves of the Emperor and allowed Kynge Gorge’s Orcs and their skirted Rat lackies fend for themselves using some common sense and some dice.

105th Rifles about to be flushed from cover.

 Things went much better for me this time. My heavy battery forced the Orc battery on Vimeiro Hill to relocate over the crest and out of harms way while my Chasseurs a Pied kept the Orc lights busy.

As the Chasseurs fell back one Elf and one Dog battalion began an assault on the hill in assault column. The 105th Rifles fell back in disarray as the Elves of the line fought through the hedge on the left.
On the right side of the field, the Hussars de Juennes were able to dispute a small hill by arriving there before the Joccian Rats of the Starthcarnage and Kilmore. In fact the rats, not having had time to form square were driven back by the advance of the horseelves. The following Orc battalion was able to form square but the Rats were still dressing their lines when Ferach heavy battery unleashed a round of grape, and the Hussars charged home.

Avant! The Elves concentrate force on the Orc left.

The third Ferach line battalion drew up abreast of the battery to lend support which proved to be just as well when the Orc 10th Hussars charged! It was a magnificent effort but the Elves were able to hold their ground and drive the horseorcs from the field.

Now down to half strength, the Rats withdrew behind the square of their Orcish fellows. Said Orcs being in a bad way with Hussars prowling about and and a heavy battery and line battalion in support.

Only one Orc battalion remained uncommitted, on Vimeiro Hill itself. With two line battalions approaching from the front and the collapse of the square only a matter of time, the Albion command ordered a withdrawal.

Good fun as always and I think the very first time I have prevailed against Albion. Huzzah!

Thanks for stopping by!

The Fiend of Bricole: Conclusion

Rats on the run
 In this game Hengist must run down the fleeing Fiend before he can slip back into the night. This was a Pursuit encounter, familiar to players of Two Hour Wargames. However for this game I dusted off the original Posse encounter rules from Six Gun Sound. More about this in the game notes at the end.

The Wererats were the runners.
Fiend Rep 5, Hardiness 3
Henchrat Rep 4, Hardiness 2

Of the six other rats from the last game, two had fled the field, three were out of the fight, and one was Obviously dead.

Hengist’s party were the chasers

Hengist, Rep 6, Hardiness 3
Silva, Rep 5, Hardiness 2
Bors, Rep 5, Hardiness 2

Alphonse was knocked out of the fight in the last encounter and so did not participate. Further Bors was left behind to tend Alphonse and to see if any of the rat casualties could be made well enough to be put to the question should the Fiend successfully escape.

 You can see the table set up above and to the right. As this game would not be using the grid movement of the standard Fiend encounters, it was laid out to cover a 4′ x 3′ area depicting the edge of  town and the beginning of the countryside beyond.

Most of the pursuit would take place off table with the figures only being placed once/if the chasers closed to within 2 feet of the  runners.

The two sides started with a notional 50″ of separation.

 At its greatest the lead stretched out to 55″, however Hengist and Silva were able to slowly run the rats down. By turn 10 the lead had decreased to 39″. By turn 13 it was down to 29″. 
On turn 16, with both sides now on the table  the lead was down to 14″. It still being night time, good visibility  was only 12″. However Silva’s bow was deadly at that range while the Fiend’s shurikens would fall far short. The rats knew it was time to find a spot of cover from which to make a stand.
On turn 17 Silva was able to get off a shot at the scampering rats. Sadly the shaft flew wide.
The rats disappeared around the nearest corner and waited. 
Hengist and Silva rounded the corner to find the rats waiting for them only inches away!

The henchrat charged Silva while the Fiend and Hengist sized each other up.  
As the Silva and her opponent traded blows, Hengist and the Fiend traded shurikens and lead.
The fighting and shooting went on for some three turns with no one getting the upper hand. 
The Fiend survived two shots that would have dropped an ordinary rat, and yet he fought on.
Silva would have felled her rat were it not for deft shield work on his part. Again and again Silva nimbly dodged his blows. For his part the rat capered and spun using his sword and shield as if there were extensions of his very ratty being.
And then the unthinkable happened. The rat broke through Silva’s parry and delivered a death blow. The lithe Elf fell to the floor never to rise again.
The rat’s triumph was short lived, soon turning to despair  Hengist was enraged by the death of his friend. Where before the Brother had been content to bide his time and wait for an opening, now his rage unbalanced him.
Eyes burning with hatred Hengist charged the rats with such fury that they let fly the musk of fear and fled before him. 
Hengist would not be denied his revenge and in time caught both fleeing rats and ended their verminuous existence.
It would be some time before the people of Bricole de Gribeauval would sleep soundly at night, but for now at least their terror was at an end. The Watch would be able to deal with any remnants of the assassin’s pack in the days and nights to come.
With heavy heart Hengist would lead Bors to Haven on Trent while Bors remained abed recovering. 
Silva would be missed, but the fight against the rising darkness would continue.
Game notes: Nothing really new here so far as encounter design, just a necessary step  in completing the mini campaign. Had the Fiend escaped next up the heroes would put the captured rats to the question perhaps gathering enough clues to proceed to a lair encounter in the (under)city itself.

As mentioned I returned to the original Posse encounter from Six Gun Sound for this game. That encounter was what really “sold” me on Two Hour Wargames when I first played it these many years ago. You see I had been trying out many different sets of western gunfight rules and had started to write my own. The one stumbling block  in all of these rules was how to handle the pursuits so common to the genre. None that I had tried or devised gave the desired feel to the chase.

After playing the Six Gun Sound Posse encounter all that changed and I have been contributing to or writing for THW ever since.

In the original posse encounter, the pursued were always moved on the table. The lead was tracked on paper and when the pursuers got close enough they too would be placed on the table. The beauty of this method is that as/if the lead decreases the pursued have to consider where they are on the table and where they are likely to be when the enemy catches up. Do you hole up in that pile of rocks over there or see if you can eek out a lead and get clean away? 

The drawback to this method is that it involves a lot of table top movement and record keeping. It was not uncommon for the pursued to criss cross the table several times before the pursuers showed up. By way of explanation if the pursued left the table on one edge they simply reentered from the opposite edge. It could make for a long game that never even ended in shots being  fired.

In the current crop of THW games, pursuit is conduced almost entirely off table. Various opposed rolls are made to see whether the lead increases or shrinks and only when it shrinks down to zero are the figures placed on the table. At this point a standard stand up fight encounter is set up and played. The tension of wondering if you will make it to that shack or copse or whatever cover or be caught out in the open is lacking from this new method.

For this game I tried a hybrid approach. Pursuit was conducted on paper until the lead shrank to 24″ or less. At this point the pursued entered the table. At this point the moves were still conducted as if in pursuit end the pursuers placed at the lead distance behind the pursued each turn. Fire could be conducted, range and visibility permitting. The game would proceed in this fashion until the lead closed to 6″ (test of wills distance), or the pursued decided to turn round and fight off their pursuers.

Well that about wraps it up for now. Sorry for the long design ramble there. Hopefully if you have read this far it was of interest to you!
Until next time, thanks for stopping by!

The Fiend Unmasked!

The Second night
 Armed with the clue gleaned from the Watch last night Hengist and company once again go on patrol. Being the second night the PEF’s were more likely to yield results. In addition the clue would allow a greater chance of  altering the type of contact discovered.
 Possible Enemy Forces (PEF’s) were out in force as the first two activation rolls generated more of them.
Still it took our heroes a couple of turns to run the first one down which turned out to be…
 …A corpse. I could have used the clue to alter it to the Watch or a reveler but chose not to. The corpse offered up the chance of another clue without the difficulties the other two types of encounter could entail.
Indeed Brother sergeant Hengist was able to put his keen investigative skills to use and found yet another clue!
Just then another PEF moved into contact from across the lane. The PEF turned out to be…
 …Bandits! This had actually come up Tyros and could have been changed to Watch or Bandits. Given that a larger party might actually scare the Fiend into hiding I decided to tough it out and accept attack by the bandits.
 Which could have gone horribly wrong as it turned out that these bandits were led by  a Rep 6 Hardiness 3 villain, who had two Rep 5 Hardiness 2 sidekicks, one Rep 4, and 4 Rep 3 accomplices.  Although they attempted to charge we were able to charge first! Bors took out his man while Hengist and Silva remained locked in combat. Alphonse was left behind as Casters are often of more use behind the fight.
 Quite surprisingly the leader of the gang retreated in reaction to the loss of his sidekick. The rest of the gang either fled or retreated with him. Hengist, Bors, and Silva gave chase and put them all to flight! 
Presently they disappeared from view and the most horrendous screaming came from around the corner where they had vanished.
Wererats suddenly appeared and launched a barrage of sling stones at our heroes. Fortunately the rats aim was wide. There confronting the party stood eight rats. Four Rep 3 slingers (one Hardiness 2), two  Rep 3 Hardiness 2  pack rats, one Rep 4 Hardiness 3 armoured warrior, and their leader a Rep 5, Hardiness 3 Assassin. Here then was the Fiend of Bricole brought to bay!
 Or rather the vile ratman had turned to face the baying hounds.  The assassin urged his minions to charge, which they quite firmly refused to do.
Seizing the initiative, Silva loosed a shaft, dropping one of the skirmishers. 
 All but two of the rats fell back. One fled. The armoured rat and a slinger held their ground.
 Bors followed this up with a pistol shot that neatly dropped the nearest slinger. 
With Alphonse now dangerously left behind with vicious wererats on the loose, Hengist sent Silva to protect the mage. Hengist charged the armoured rat who now blocked the alley like Horatius at the bridge,
 Defeating this skillful vermin would not prove an easy task as Hengist and the armoured rat remained locked in their struggle until the end of the game. The combat moved back and forth along the alleyway with neither fighter able to land a telling blow.
 Silva arrived just in time to aid Alphonse as the rat leader and his minions attacked. Silva loosed a shaft and the last slinger slumped to the ground.
 The Fiend and Silva traded blows, the elf all too conscious of the foul poison dripping from the assassin’s blade. 
Alphonse proved an able foe, dueling with two pack rats, and even driving them back for a time.
 Hengist had almost forceed his rat back out of the alley, yet still could not gain the upper hand.
 At last numbers told and Alphonse fell, clubbed by the wicked wererats. Bors arrived too late to save the mage.
 But not too late to exact vengeance on his assailants. A quick pistol shot and one of the pack rats fell.
 At this the remaining pack rat fled. Not fancying his chances against both Silva and Bors the assassin faded into the night uttering a blood curdling cry….
…which served as a signal to the armoured rat to break off his combat with Hengist and made a break for it.
Game notes:

This was rather a trying encounter. The bandit attack should have been harder to fight off, only a couple of lucky dice rolls saw them flee.

The wererats on the other hand should not have been so difficult to overcome. They were rats of steel I tell you.

The encounter system worked well I think and it was quite suspenseful gathering clues and finally encountering the Big Bad. I had hoped it would be wererats but the result stemmed from random generation. Lucky in that I suppose.

Next up will be a pursuit encounter to see if Hengist and co. can finally end the threat posed by the Fiend of Bricole de Gribeauval.
Thanks for stopping by!

The Fiend of Bricole – Take Two

This was going to be the second night of the hunt for the Fiend of Bricole de Gribeauval. However in the intervening time I had expanded on the scenario significantly. In the end a fresh start was in order.

The setting is as before, although the layout of the neighborhood was randomly rolled to give a slightly different playing are, below:

Each night takes place in a different neighborhood. Each set up requires nine scenic elements which are placed randomly within one of each of the nice squares. Rather than have a table listing particular items like; church, inn, hovel, I’ve decided to leave it as players’ choice just which scenic items to use. This will allow players to more freely use what they already have. A scenic element could be a wood, or ruin, or whatever strikes the players’ fancies.

Once again play started in the south east corner of the table and, moving first, a PEF moved into the cemetery so located.

Brother sergeant Hengist boldly moved forward to meet his fate and met…

… a reveler.  This fine fellow was sufficiently overawed by the appearance of one of the Brethren to immediately offer up all that he knew of the fiend which, sadly,  was naught. However his very presence was problematic. You see were Hengist to simply ignore his presence, and should he later end up dead, it would reflect badly on Hengist’s character and cost him an activation roll. Hengist could detach one or more of his party to escort the unfortunate to safety, but with only four in his party this was an unacceptable loss of strength as either party might be fallen on by the terrors of the night.

In the end it was thought best to bring the fellow along and to protect him as best as possible.

Turn two doubles produced a new Possible Enemy Force (PEF) that appeared in the church yard right behind the reveler.

Undeterred, Hengist moved to confront the new PEF which turned out to be…

… a party of Tyros, four nobles with more attitude than sense and six of their bodyguards.

The nobles were not impressed by Hengist’s threadbare appearance and yielded neither assistance nor clues. The nobles would continue to hunt the fiend on their own.

Well this was particularly bad news. The game is setup so that one must be very lucky to catch the fiend on the first night out as befits the parameters of the genre. However having large parties in the neighborhood makes catching the fiend even less likely as large parties will likely cause any stealthy entity to  lie low.

Onward marched Hengist and co., trying to wish away the boisterous sound of the noble party behind them.

The third PEF encountered turned out to be naught at all other than some rats scurrying about their ratty business.

The final PEF resolved into…

…a patrol of the Watch! There would be no stopping the fiend tonight as clearly it had chosen another neighborhood on which to prey.

Still this encounter was not a total loss. Hengist was able to use his Investigate skill to ween some useful information from the leader of the patrol.

Tomorrow night’s hunt would be more focused.

Stay tuned for the next night and thanks for dropping by!

The Fiend of Bricole de Gribeauval

A quiet neighborhood in Bricole de Gribeauval dreads nightfall

This game was the first play test of an urban mini campaign for Warrior Heroes: Armies and Adventures. The plot will be familiar to fans of fantasy fiction. A family has been found slaughtered in their very beds. The work appears to be that of a monster or monsters. The towns folk of the city are on edge. The Watch has doubled patrols for the following evening. Enter our Heroes!

Our Heroes! From left to right, Silva the Elf,
Alphonse dem Roten Hemd, Bors, Brother Hengist

Still making his way towards Havenbrook to investigate the massacre of a Brethren party there, Brother Sergeant Hengist stays the night in Bricole de Gribeauval. Local authorities are quick to call on the Brother’s expertise in fighting the Dark.

Each game represents one night spent on patrol. Each night lasts as long as it takes for the party to check out all Possible Enemy Forces (PEF’s) that start or enter play. The mini campaign lasts until the fiends or the party are destroyed.

Starting position

The game starts with the party on the south east corner of the table. The table is divided into 9 squares of any convenient size. Here I used about 8 ” squares giving a playing surface of about 2 foot square.

Each square contains a building. In this game at least the buildings are just there to create streets and allies through which the figures must navigate.
Rat PEF’s!
While the game takes place in the dead of night I didn’t figure you all would appreciate really dark photos so consider the above evocative of the atmosphere where the other photos are rather bright.
There were 3 PEF’s at start, placed randomly on the table. I used rats but any counter would do as well. These PEF’s could be augmented by new comers when doubles are rolled for activation. Any PEF’s generated in this fashion will appear by moving out of  a building chosen at random.
First Move
PEF’s being PEF’s they tend to move a bit. This game uses a different method than that in the main WHAA rule book. They tend to either be attracted by noise or repelled by it and act accordingly.
Naturally as with any new way of doing things, a PEF had to run out at me from behind at the first opportunity  Fortunately it turned out to be a false alarm. Again the method for determining if a PEF is something to worry about or just a case of the jitters is different in this scenario.

Squeal, Ratula, squeal!

The next PEF also turned out to be nothing. I had spawned maybe 3 or 4 new PEF’s as I blundered around in the dark.

Another surprise!

By the time the next rat ran out of a building to surprise me, I had learned to have the party looking in different directions to prevent too much of a surprise.

Bully Boys

This PEF turned out to be a band of robbers. One was Rep 4 and Hardiness 1, while the others were Rep 3. This game also uses a different manner of determining who and what a none jitters PEF turns out to be. This is partially based on the player characters’ stats to provide a reasonable challenge.

As they made threatening gestures Sliva sent a couple of arrows their way. One missed but one skewered the leader good.
That was more then enough to show the others that this party was no easy mark and they beat feet.

Meanwhile the noise of the scuffle drew ALL of the other PEF’s to the party.

As it happened they were all false alarms.

As dawn broke the heroes head back to the inn, their night’s work in vain.

Somewhere in the city another dwelling had been raided, the inhabitants slain.

Will our heroes stop the killings before an enraged populace decided the strangers must be the cause of their  woes?

Hope you enjoyed the tale and as always, thanks for stopping by!

PS: The buildings are mostly from Miniature Building Authority. The cobblestone mat from Zuzzy. The latex roadway is from Miniature World Maker. The crates and stone walls are from War Torn Worlds. The rubble piles from Dwarven Forge. The trees are a mix of Lemax and The Terrain Guy with some of the small Warzone GTS thrown in. The ground cover the trees rest on is by The Terrain Guy. The sky back drop is Lemax.

The figures are mix of old Citadel/GW, Reaper, and EM-4. I only painted Hengist and the rats in this particular report.

Each time I look there is something I have left out of this list so suffice it to say that materials come from many sources!

Vimeiro – Slaughterloo Style

Playing Slaughterloo for a little change of pace. This is the scenario from the back of the rule book. Vimeiro.
 As one might infer from the title it is based on the action fought between Wellington and Junot in Portugal.These few photos are actually from my second go with the scenario.
 Each time I have played as the Ferach letting the forces of Albion run on autopilot. As the Britorcn forces start in good defensive terrain this wasn’t very difficult.
Both times I have been soundly trounced! The photos here are from the end of turn 2 in the second game. The Orc hussars routed one of my three line battalions and drove my light infantry from the field. Fortunately the impetuous horse orcs ran off the table after them.
On my right the Hussars de Jeunes and my 12 pdr battery are on the other side of a hill from two Albion line battalions. The Strathcarnage & Killmore rats have formed square, nicely protecting the orcs’ on this flank while the Fourth Foote are in line behind them.
My remaining two infantry battalions have been a bit shot up. The Gundbark dog line suffered losses (including their officer) on the first turn from the orcs’ artillery, causing them to retire. During the second turn they were able to regroup and fortunately did not join the elf battalion to their right in the rout.
The left most elf battalion was stalled on the first turn by Command Indecision and advanced into the fire of the Rifles and gun on the second turn. Of course there is a full strength orc line battalion behind the Rifles and battery, just behind the crest of the hill.
I am currently down to 2 morale points from my starting 12.
In contrast the orcs have lost only their unit of hussars, two killed and the rest off the table in pursuit, and one gunner (each gunner actually represents one gun) for their battery. That gives them 8 of 12 morale points.
Not really sure how to retrieve this situation. Still it was good fun getting to this point.
Now I am not terribly experienced in playing as the Ferach so that might factor into these results. Mainly its because I am much more Wellingtonian, than Napoleonic in outlook and prefer to fight on the defensive. At least that’s my story and I am sticking to it : )
Hope you’ve enjoyed my discomfiture and as always thanks for stopping by!