May 082016
 

Martin (of Shamutantis fame) and I got together for another game of Pulp Alley a little while ago. Once again, good times and many laughs were had so it’s looking to become as regular a fixture as our child laden family lives can allow. Next time, I’m heading to Copenhagen for some Rogue Trader skirmishing. Looking forward to that!

 

It was early morning yet, as Conrad Moon and his bruteish entourage made their way through the underbrush. It had been a long search, but it finally seemed like he would be able to lay hands on a fabled idol of the Raizze, the indigenous race of the forest moon Luis Rey Prime.

 

Unbeknownst to Conrad, scoundrel Morton “Balls” Fieldmann had overheard the drunken boasting of Demp and his ork goons at the space port cantina. Hoping to claim the idol and deliver it to the dreaded Blacksmith on McKemmler IV, Balls was now being escorted by the local Raizze chieftain and his closest warriors, under the false pretense of him wanting to help them fend off the outisder raiders and save their valuable cultural heritage.

 

An overview of the table.

An overview of the table.

 

Both groups have the same goal – get their mitts on the golden idol (the major plotpoint). A few generic boxes of supplies make up the minor plotpoints, together with a white crate containing a jetpack (extreme peril to take off and then an extreme peril to land anywhere on the table) and a stone statue with ruby ingots for eyes.

 

 

6

Balls ascended the ziggurat on one side, while Conrad Moon and his closest “men” approached it from the other side. The raizze tried to block off Demp from the divine statue in the clearing, but fell in the ensuing firefight. In the meantime, one of the orks was left behind to fiddle with the jetpack while the other two headed for a crate of supplies.

 

7

One of the raizze made the mistake to bum rush Demp, who was a very adept brawler.

 

8

Ork muscle Gumbah and Larma rushed to secure a box of… supplies.

 

9

Balls reached the summit first, and managed to uhm… “rescue” the golden idol – much to Conrad’s chagrin.

 

10

Demp was so tempted by the ruby eyes of the sacred statue that no amount of raizze could stop him from prying them loose.

 

11

With a bit of luck, Balls manage to put the ziggurat summit between himself and Conrad Moon – eager hands clutching the golden idol.

 

12

The last one of the three raizze troopers (and their lizard dog) standing tries to bring down Demp, with little luck.

 

15

Balls and the raizze chieftain defend the golden idol against the orks Gumbah and Larma, managing to fell Gumbah.

 

17

In the last turn, Conrad and Zyph attempt to take down Balls, while Demp continues schooling space lizards in the fine art of pugilism. He managed to take out three troopers and the lizard dog all by himself. Fenk is (very bravely) hiding behind some shrubs with his shiny new jetpack toy.

 

18

Despite a heroic last effort from Conrad Moon and his henchmen (henchorks?) Balls and the raizze chieftain manage to slip away. Not much later, the raizze leader surprisingly finds himself abandoned in the wilds with Balls travelling back to civilization all on his own.

 

We played a generic smash and grab scenario, which I feel really shows hos the game work. Dash for the plot points with your strongest guys, throw the weaker red-shirts under the bus as speed bumps. We had a good time, and decided to play a quick follow-up to this game the same day. A short report on that will be up next. In the long run, I’m still undecided as to whether PA is a game to stick with or not… It’s fun, but I get a feeling that there’s not enough consequence to the in-game action. Especially the leaders are nigh invulnerable and recover easily. Also, after a game there’s very little chance you’ll get any form of increase on any model (or the league itself) which means a campaign is pretty slow going.

Feb 202016
 

It’s been a long while since I played a game, but today I got the opportunity when fellow Oldhammer Forumite  Martin visited from Copenhagen. Since it was our first playdate, we figured something light and easy would compliment the obligatory rummaging through Mount Lead, shuffling through old rule sets and general nerd banter.

We decided to go for Pulp Alley (albeit in space), and I had a scenario half prepared.

Captain Morley and his crew have returned to McKemmler IV with some contraband to unload. In their cargo hold lurks the most recent addition to Morley’s menagerie; an astro badger! Alas, the astro badger somehow manages to escape the Chaste Magpie and skedaddles off into the ruins of Foundation City (the inaugural colony set up when the first colonists came to McKemmler IV). As they set out to find the lost pet, they’re alerted to the presence of another crew. Marty “Balls” Fieldmann and his cronies from the Blacksmith’s crew! What a surprise, considering Astro Badger Crock is the Blacksmith’s favourite dish.

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The two groups deployed in opposite corners of the table, for the Trail Of Clues scenario.

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Morton “Balls” Fieldmann (hiding in the shrubbery) is joined by sidekick Bodnia and three allies Franke, Tonny and Radovan. The follower “That” have just acted, moving towards the first plot point. I commanded these guys.

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Captain Morley (in blue) and co-pilot Stickney (sidekick, in red) are backed up by clone brethren merc Wagoner, Cuera and Dawleen (allies). At their side, trusty radipus Bil (follower). Martin played these.

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Perched on a roof near the Morley crew was Vuk the snitch. If anyone had seen the animal, he’d be one to know.

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Near the other gang was an old security droid which (if hacked) could help in tracking the badger down.

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Morley and Stickney wasted no time and in their first turn, they charged forward guns blazing. The nameless horror from the rad wastes only known as “That” fell and was knocked out.

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Radovan soon repaid in kind, and Bil the radipus was dispatched of.

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With one plot point secured, the wasteland raiders started applying some pressure on the battle clones, but they held their own long enough to allow Dawleen to climb the ladders and reach Vuk the snitch.

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With neither team managing to secure more than one plot point each, and the game coming to a close, Balls charged Morley for a clash between the two leaders.

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Near the end, the gangsters and smugglers can only look on in dismay as one of the plot points wanders off with the much coveted astro badger!

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Paulie Papers, ever the opportunist! Only you would be so bold, absconding with the prize right under the nose of the warring factions.

In summary – we had a great time! Plenty of old lead was fondled and oogled, Martin managed to liberate me of some junk… err, treasures I’d been hoarding and an exceedingly even game was enjoyed. Though I did manage to do rather well with the dice for a while, which probably saved my hide more than once. We both lost a single ally and our respective followers. Both of us secured a minor plot point each and neither of us were in a position to try and claim any sort of moral victory over the other. In other words, a perfect introductory game!

Hopefully, we’ll have opportunity to soon revisit McKemmler IV for the next thrilling chapter in the quest for the delectable but ever-elusive astro badger! I have been painting orcs for a rather famous old scenario pack for Warhammer too… it might be we get to play the first scenario from that before we do any more Pulp Alley.

Jul 072014
 

I recently played my first game of anything at all this year, and with my recent shift to science fiction toys it seemed appropriate we’d give Pulp Alley a trial run. We decided to do a simple Smash and Grab scenario, with four scattered minor plot points and a major plot point in the middle of the board. As I haven’t played scifi games at all for more than a decade, I’m not exactly spoiled for choice when it comes to scenery so we used mostly repurposed fantasy terrain. I have made four pump stations, power generators and/or general processing units that are more or less finished (save for some detailing). Those were arrayed around the central pyramid to scifi things up.

Captain Morley and the lawmen of New Haights have ventured out into the wilderness on the far side of McKemmler IV. The legends of ancient ruins from a long forgotten civilization seems to have been proven correct and a rumoured doomsday device have attracted unwanted attention. Master of disguise Abdul Goldberg and his ne’er-do-wells have made planetfall and plan to trigger the activation sequence, threatening not only life on the planet but also the lucrative mining facilities of Armasec in the whole McKemmler system.

Atop the ancient pyramid rests a weathered, ominous statue of elder horrors. Can it be used to bring system wide destruction or is it just old superstition?

 

The game started off with a lot of movement as both sides jockeyed for position on plot points, and since there was no shooting allowed the first turn. The forces of law and order decided to split up, with the disposable ASOLE droids charging up the centre of the table, in cover of the pyramid. Commander Skroob noticed something hidden in a nearby cluster of trees, while the co-pilot covered Morley as he made his way towards some hidden explosives, hoping to use it in the prevention of any evil plots, plans or schemes.

And we’re off!

 

Captain Morley quickly gained access to the explosives hidden away near one of the flux capacitors while the two ASOLEs scaled the pyramid. When they got to the top, they were quickly disposed of by the villains. I had hoped they’d have a bit more staying power.

 

Queue Wilhelm-screams. In the upper left corner you can see a blurry picture of the elusive Abdul Goldberg, in disguise to boot!

On the other side of the pyramid, Abdul Goldberg and his cronies moved up to the base of the pyramid. Goldberg’s second in command had somehow become separated from the others, but being faster than most people he gained on them and could get in contact with the maintenance access hatch.

 

The villains, lead by Goldberg, rounded the base of the pyramid and the blast shots started flying. No matter how many rounds the two pilots fired at him, Goldberg emerged unscathed and could esily dispose of Stickney who had exhausted his rocket launcher amunition and had to resort to his side arm.

 

In the meantime, commander Skroob had uncovered a jade dagger in the small cluster of trees, tucked away in a smaller version of the monument at the top of the pyramid. Without this dagger, the villains would hopefully not be able to activate the device.

 

Unfortunately, one of Goldberg’s crew decided that could not go unpunished and the two came to blows causing Skroob to drop the dagger in the struggle. Goldberg made an attempt at charging captain Morley but slipped and fell. Morley saw his chance and ran to the top of the pyramid, where he uncovered the truth about the pyramid. It was in fact not a device to lay waste to the planet, but a large cache of precious gold. Could it be that this ancient civilisation fell when they discovered gold and were destroyed by warring tribes and colonists?

 

Morley, realizing the cache of golden artifacts could come in quite handy when renovating his ship, attempted to steal away with the gold but was subdued by the dastardly villains. Instead, Abdul Goldberg had once again dodged the long arm of the law. Morley could do nothing but shake his empty fist at the sky when Goldberg’s shuttle craft took off.

 

In conclusion, we had fun with Pulp Alley and it’s still a strong contender for my system of choice for scifi skirmishing. There were a few things that didn’t really sit well with me, however. I’m curious to hear other people’s opinions on them. These are mere observations and shouldn’t be considered a bash or any form of advocating for people to not play Pulp Alley. It’s a solid system with many a benefit.

1. What incentive is there to attack someone, when there is no added benefit from it other than being the one who matches the dice?

2. Hardened Veteran seems like a rather powerful skill as it negates a core mechanic (ie ignoring multiple combats) and as such a Leader or Sidekick with that ability will be very, very hard to get rid of. As a matter of fact, it almost looked to me like a “must have” skill which in my opinion is a bad thing in a rules system. I’m thinking of banning HV from our games.

3. Plot points and the turn limit makes it a race game. I’m not saying this is a fact, but to me it felt a bit like the strong focus on plot points makes this less of a tabletop war game and more of a tabletop race game. Throw a few speed bumps in front of the opponent while you’re running for the plot points with your strongest guys.

4. Plot points can make a scenario idea hard to implement. In the same way the plot point system makes it easy to avoid the old “line your soldiers up and gun it out” it also hampers straight out confrontations.

5. Allies and followers felt a bit too generic and I think part of the charm with scifi gaming is alotting equipment to characters. It’s hard to (stats-wise) differentiate between a space marine in power armour carrying a missile launcher and a colonial marine type of guy with a lasgun, within the confines of ally and follower. One approach is “it’s not important, they’re all just mooks anyways – the leader and the sidekick are where it’s at”. I’m not sure that approach appeals to me in full. I’m a sucker for systemizing my miniatures collection into rule sets.

I had enough fun for me to decide to shell out on the physical product though, so I’ll order the printed rule book and the deck of fortune cards from Statuesque Miniatures shortly. Give the game a spin, I can definitely see myself having some fun participation games with this when I have a few mates over for a game night!

Jul 012012
 

SCENARIO 3 – The dead of night
After the encounters in Badwater, the party made camp for the night. The following morning, Aldor and Macy excitedly returns from scouting ahead. They have located a large undead host advancing towards Stillburg.

Hurried to return to Stillburg and warn of the impending attack, they quickly break camp and head back towards town. After a few short hours, the undead army is within sight. The group pales with terror at the sight of the numerous ghouls, zombies, skeletons and other unmentionable abominations shambling forth.

“The town is done for. We’re done for! There’s no chance for us even breaking through, and even if we do what good would it be? They will annihilate the town. There won’t be a single living soul left.” Brother Wendel cries out in despair.

“Nonsense!” Duncan replies. “Look at that isolated advance patrol on their far western flank. We can outrun them or smash through if need be. We will reach town well before the enemy. Once there, we send word to Averridge and further on to Shoodthorpe. Reeve Waggenheim will come to our aid! With the town fortified and evacuated, we might be able to hold out until reinforcements arrive. The enemy forces are spread thin and will not reach town all at the same time. There is still hope, my friend!”

Duncan’s plan works, with the heroes being able to outrun the main undead force. However, as the night falls a small regiment of skeletons are encountered. To reach Stillburg, the heroes will have to break through with force.

Setup and special rules
Woods, stone mounds and fences. The forces deploy on opposite sides, with the undead acting as defenders.

Due to nocturnal conditions, the heroes have a penalty of -1 to ranged attacks.

Objectives
Exit the table on the opposite side. (+1/-1 VP for each 100 points)
Slay the undead. (+1 VP for each 100 points)

Note which models exit the table and which don’t. It will determine the deployment in the next scenario!

Warbands
Heroes’ status at the start of the scenario: 335 pts, 6 VP
Duncan Sandels, human paladin (46 pts): Q3+, C4. Steadfast. 2 XP
“Crazy” Macy Sonnenshield (54 pts): Q3+, C4. Berserk, Capricious, Fearless. 1 XP
Brother Wendel, human cleric (50 pts): Q3+, C2. Cleric. 2 XP
Aldor Berlepsch, human ranger (50 pts): Q3+, C3. Forester, Hatred: Undead, Shooter: Long. 2 XP
Isamu Takeshi, human warrior (60 pts): Q3+, C4. Combat Master, Dashing, Unruly. Armband of Protection: Ranged.
3 x Stillburg militia man (23 pts): Q4+, C3.

Undead detachment: 334 pts
Skeleton Captain (56 pts): Q3+, C3. Leader, Slow, Undead.
4 x Skeleton Warrior (26 pts): Q3+, C3. Slow, Undead.
4 x Skeleton Archer (24 pts): Q3+, C2. Shooter: Medium, Slow, Undead.
Zombie Lieutenant (38 pts): Q3+, C3. Champion, Short Move, Slow, Undead.
5 x Zombie (8 pts): Q4+, C2. Short Move, Slow, Undead.

 

The heroes deployed at the northern edge, fairly spread out. The undead grouped themselves by type at the south end of the table.

Unfortunately, I did not get photos of the individual warbands (we were too eager to play) so I’ll open with an overview of the battle field prior to the first move. After setting up, we rolled for Macy’s capricious rule. She turned crazy for this game, her stats changing to Q4+, C5.

 

Turn 1: The heroes move forward...

... while the undead formed a line, of sorts.

The first turn was uneventful, with the heroes activating rather boldly. Both Macy and a town militia man were lagging behind as they failed two or more activation dice (which under our house rules means that particular model doesn’t get to act this turn at all). Isamu moved up on the western flank by himself, Duncan likewise on the eastern. In the centre, Brother Wendel and Aldor advanced accompanied by two militia men. The zombies and skeleton warriors did one group move each, while the skeleton archers held their positions on the south eastern hill.

Turn 2: Still no blows struck. The heroes maneuver while the undead suffered a turn-over.

The heroes decide to try their luck and pool their resources on the eastern flank, with Duncan and Macy entering the woods. Once again the town militia man in the back fails to move, as did Aldor. Isamu continue to advance on the archers, shielded by his Bracelet of Protection. The undead could do nothing, as the first activation roll was a double 1 which means total turn-over in our house rules.

 

Turn 3: The first arrow is fired, but still no blood drawn.

The militia man in the back failed his third activation roll. Aldor moves up and fires the first arrow of the game, missing his target. Isamu is closing in on the skeleton archers, while the remaining heroes hold their positions. As their ranged attack is of no use against the only target in range (Isamu), the skeleton archers leave their hill and (foolishly) split up. The skeletons hold their positions, while the zombies make a group move towards Macy and Duncan who are now at the edge of the woods right in front.

 

Turn 4: First blood!

Isamu dashes forward and attacks the two skeleton archers near him. His first attack destroys one of the skeletons, while his second attack (Isamu has Combat Master, remember) brings the second to the ground.

Turn 4: Things are looking rather good for the heroes.

On the eastern front, Duncan and Macy burst out from the woods attacking one zombie each. In spite of his powerful attack, Duncan doesn’t even manage to shake his opponent. Macy’s blow connect though, and a zombie is downed. The remaining heroes move in to participate in the ruckus, with Aldor and a militia man coming in melee contact with two zombies. The militia man in the rear finally get to activate (with three dice, no less) and moves up towards Isamu

Turn 4: Or do they? With the skeletons closing in, it's not an obvious push-over.

The undead respond in kind, with a zombie managing to take down the militia man next to Duncan. The skeletons split up and move around the rock formations to approach the heroes from both ends. The skeleton archers spread out even more than before (which I still think was a big mistake on my behalf, they should’ve stuck together against Isamu).

 

Turn 5: Disaster looms as Brother Wendel falls due to his own attack.

The next round, Aldor and a town militia man manage to slay one zombie each. On the western flank, Isamu manages to push back an archer, which the once wayward town militia man can then reach and engage in close combat. Macy fails to activate, while Duncan’s attack on one of the downed zombies fails to injure. At the end of the turn things go potentially bad for the heroes, as Brother Wendel falls to the ground as a result of his attack on a zombie.

 

The heroes scatter...

The undead do not waste the opportunity given. A zombie moves in and attacks Brother Wendel causing a gruesome kill which sends the majority of the heroes fleeing. Macy runs to the back of the woods stand, while two militia men flee off the table. Aldor tries to escape, but is brought down by a freehack from a zombie. The undead officers move in towards the fallen ranger, and the zombie lieutenant scores another gruesome kill. The only hero left standing near the zombies is Duncan, who would not flee. He’s attacked by a zombie, but manages to fend off the attack and push back the agressor.

 

As so often is the case in SBH, things turn around very quickly!

On the western edge of the table, the skeleton archers finally attempt to move in on Isamu and the militia man together. The two skeleton warriors that were advancing up the centre of the board now moves towards Macy and Duncan.

 

Turn 6: Regroup!

Duncan and Macy regroup to the north, while Isamu knocks a skeleton archer over. The militia man fails to activate. At this point, my cousin who play the heroes was on the verge of throwing in the towel. A skeleton archer moves up on the hill in the southwest, and then the undead suffer a total turn-over.

 

Turn 7: Luckily the undead fail to use their advantage.

Isamu rushes up the hill to take out the standing skeleton archer, while the militia man completely pulverize the other archer. Duncan rushes forward to attack the skeleton warriors (unsucessfully) while Macy fails to activate and leaves Duncan all alone with two skeletons and a bunch of zombies close by. Luckily for Duncan, the undead fail to activate at all and suffers a total turnover on their first activation roll.

 

Turn 8: Things start to look brighter for the heroes again.

Duncan attacks and kills the downed skeleton warrior adjacent to him, while the only remaining militia man takes out the last skeleton archer. Isamu hurries up towards Duncan and Macy near the centre of the battle field. Macy once again fails to activate.

The last few undead gather up near Duncan, and one skeleton warrior charges him but falls down when attacking.

 

Turn 9: It seems the three heroes will get away.

Macy and Duncan move down the board, towards the southern edge to exit and fulfill the victory conditions. Isamu join up with them, while the militia man still is too shaken from the combat with the archers to actually do anything.

The fallen skeleton warrior stands up, and the zombie lieutenant moves up next to him. The skeleton captain moves up next to them and then issues a group move order for the remaining undead. It results in a total turn-over, leaving the group of heroes at a rather safe distance from any enemies.

"Leg it, you cretins or you get the mace!"

 

Turn 10: Moving out, but not very fast.

Isamu and Macy move one medium distance each, while Duncan and the militia man failed to activate. The skeleton captain issues a group move, but with only one move action available it’s hard for the skeletons and zombies to keep up. The forward most skeleton warrior attacks Duncan, but is pushed back himself.

 

Turn 11: Bravely he ran away, oh brave sir Duncan...

As if urged on by the attack Duncan moves two medium, while the remaining heroes don’t care much for moving at all. All the undead move, and a skeleton warrior even catches up with Macy and attempts a powerful attack, but falls.

 

Turn 12: Duncan realise he can't leave his friends behind and return to their side.

While a bit dry when retold, this part of the game was actually rather tense. Every activation dice roll mattered and there were plenty of opportunities to mess up.

The pursuit continues as before. Macy and Isamu move one medium each towards the table edge. Duncan rejoins them, to bolster them if the skeletons catch up. The militia man does nothing, as usual! With the heroes so well and truly out of range, the skeletons can do naught but move towards their escaping enemy.

 

Turn 13: Duncan heroically holds the undead at bay while his friends can get away.

The remaining militia man finally manages to activate and exit the board. That’s 23 points counting towards the scenario goals. Isamu and Macy move on towards the table edge, while Duncan stays behind to fend off the pursuers. Two skeleton warriors manage to make contact, but neither had enough activations to actually attack. The rest of the undead moved towards Duncan.

 

Turn 14: Isamu tries to save Duncan from a horrible fate.

Isamu moves back up to the skeletons and manage to destroy one of the two in contact with Duncan. The brave paladin attacks the other skeleton, who parries the blow and Duncan stumbles to the ground. Macy try to run to her friends aid, but instead suffer a total turn-over. Now the undead see their chance and a skeleton warrior and a zombie movie in on Isamu. The skeleton Duncan attacked now repays the favour on the downed warrior. Duncan is put out of action by the powerful attack. Urged on by the screams of agony, the remaining undead move towards the carnage.

Turn 15: Every man (or woman) for him (or her) self!

With Duncan out of action, the remaining two heroes decide to call it a day. Macy manage to activate and move off the table edge. Isamu attempts to disengage his enemies but fail and is locked in combat.

The skeleton captain administers the coupe de grace.

The skeleton captain catches up with Isamu, and assisted by his warriors slays the mighty nipponese warrior. Or, at least puts him out of action.

Summary
Exit the table on the opposite side. (+1/-1 VP for each 100 points) : -2 VP
Slay the undead. (+1 VP for each 100 points) : +1 VP
25 gold coins were looted off the battle field, somehow. I failed to note down how… =( I suppose Macy made off with them?

Our heroes were all rather badly beaten up. None of their wounds were fatal, but after getting away from the undead and licking their wounds the gang is quite ragged. None of the OOA models may participate in the following scenario, but we rolled for survival (and resulting injuries) straight away.

Aldor suffered brain damage. In any battle he participates, a D6 is rolled. Rolling 1-4 have negative consequences (worse Quality, worse Combat, Coward ability) and 5-6 are positive (Fearless or Savage).

Wendel and Isamu were robbed, meaning the Armband of Protection Isamu once had is now gone. If the skeleton captain (Mordini) is in a later game, he’ll be wearing this item and the heroes can reclaim it if Mordini is killed.

Duncan was injured badly and poorly healed. His Combat stat is lowered by 1 permanently.

Looking back at the game, it’s pretty clear that we both made mistakes. I should’ve moved those archers as one group on Isamu right away. My cousin should have gone for the table edge every chance he had. Oh well, having plenty of slots to fill in the warband list means we get to use a lot of new models for the next scenario!

Warband status at the end of the scenario: 325 pts, 5 VP
Duncan Sandels, human paladin (36 pts): Q3+, C3. Steadfast. 3 XP, Miss next game.
“Crazy” Macy Sonnenshield (54 pts): Q3+, C4. Berserk, Capricious, Fearless. 2 XP
Brother Wendel, human cleric (50 pts): Q3+, C2. Cleric. 3 XP, Miss next game.
Aldor Berlepsch, human ranger (56 pts): Q3+, C3. Forester, Shooter: Long, Hatred: Undead. 3 XP, Brain Damage, Miss next game.
Isamu Takeshi, human warrior (60 pts):  Q3+, C4. Combat Master, Dashing, Unruly. 1 XP, Miss next game.
3 x Stillburg militia man (23 pts): Q4+, C3.

Jun 262012
 

This is a battle report of a Song of Blades and Heroes game I played with my cousin almost two years ago. Good thing I took good notes and plenty of out of focus photos! Re-shot the photos the other day, so here’s the report finally! If you missed the first installment of Stillburg, you can read that battle report here. We’ve played the third game too, and I’m preparing the fourth (got all the zombies painted up, thanks to the LPL). Hopefully it won’t be two years until I get the report for the third game up!

SCENARIO 2 – Badwater Brouhaha

With the death of mayor Boismann, the heroes are not exactly treated as such in Stillburg. No matter how ill regarded his ways were, he was still a native resident of the town. None of the patrons at the local alehouse ”The Nag’s Head” seem to even remember ”good old Phoncible’s” conniving ways. Instead his heroic sacrifice is celebrated with ample amounts of drink and tales of how bravely he more or less single-handedly staved off the undead assault. 

Awaiting an official election, the town’s constabulary officer has been appointed interim mayor. Albert Adlercreutz is quite the opposite of the old mayor, being righteous and just, always willing to help those in need. Thus he has offered his assistance to the surving heroes.

During the battle for Stillburg, brother Wendel sensed necromantic energies surging through the forests from the northwest. Its exact origins could not be determined, but the good cleric and Duncan will set out on a scouting mission to see if they can ascertain the source of the undead threat. Being hell-bent on vengeance, Aldor is joining them – as well as a few marshal men spared from town defence. Adlercreutz can’t join himself, as he needs to oversee the building of further fortifications in town.

As the heroes set out they are intercepted by “Crazy” Macy Sonnenshield, local kook and volatile crackpot. She claims to have seen undead scout patrols to the north and offers to guide the party to the location. Reluctantly, Duncan accepts the offer.

Following the trail of the undead, on their second day of travelling the heroes come across Badwater, a small abandoned settlement. It used to be a prosperous little town, before the orc raiding parties put an end to that. Nowadays, it serves as a hideout for all kinds of unsavory types.

When the heroes reach the top of a small hill looking down on the desolate village, Macy spots a lone man running frantically along the road to Badwater. Just when he disappears into the shadows among the houses, a small band of pursuers emerge from the forest across town. With weapons drawn they make a halt and their leader steps forward, angrily shouting alien-sounding gibberish.

Duncan excitedly whispers to his friends – “By Gadd, those are words of the possessed! Clearly they are servants of Chaos, seeking to corrupt yet another poor soul. We must go forth to cleanse the tainted and…”

“It’s arseing Nipponese, you ignorant bigot twat! Man the zog up and let’s go!” Macy interrupts.

While making their way down the slopes, Macy explains (with a smattering of profanity) how the fleeing man apparently has something in his possession that the pursuers want. The Nipponese aim to retrieve it by force and bring it back to their employer abroad, accompanied by the poor man’s delicates.

Setup and special rules
Town-square with a forest stand in the middle. Deployment on opposing sides; Samurai in front of the northern town entry point, Heroes on the southern hill.

6 counters are placed: 2x Ninja, 1x Fatgit Rumblegut, 2x Nothing, 1x Fugitive. They must be 2 Long from any character, and at least 1 Long apart from each other.

When a model is in base contact with a counter, reveal it and place the spawn (if any) within a Long, but NOT within a Short. Ninjas may spawn in base-to-base contact with an enemy within their spawn range, carrying out an immediate ambush attack versus that model.

When the Fugitive is spawned, all other counters are flipped and spawned accordingly.

Objectives
Find and keep the fugitive alive. (+2/-2 VP)
Slay the villains. (+1 VP for each 100 points)

From left to right: Militia man, Duncan Sandels, Macy Sonnenshield, obscured militia man, Brother Wendel, Aldor Berlepsch and a third militia man.

Warband status at the start of scenario: 269 pts, 2 VP
Duncan Sandels, human paladin (46 pts): Q3+, C4. Steadfast. 1 XP
“Crazy” Macy Sonnenshield (54 pts): Q3+, C4. Berserk, Capricious, Fearless.
Brother Wendel, human cleric (50 pts): Q3+, C2. Cleric. 1 XP
Aldor Berlepsch, human ranger (56 pts): Q3+, C3. Forester, Shooter: Long, Hatred: Undead. 1 XP
3 x Stillburg militia man (23 pts): Q4+, C3.

From left to right: Samurai leader, the two samurai and the half-orc guide Snivelsnout. Fatgit and the ninjas are all in hiding and not yet set up.

The opponents forces: 322 pts

Samurai Leader (96 pts): Q3+, C4. Combat Master, Fearless, Leader.
2 x Samurai (46 pts): Q3+, C4. Fearless.
Snivelsnout, half-orc guide (12 pts): Q4+, C2. Coward.
2 x Ninja (42 pts): Q3+, C3. Danger Sense, Stealth.
Fatgit Rumblegut, minotaur (38 pts): Q3+, C3, Big, Greedy, Savage.

The setup before any moves have been made.

After setting up we rolled a 2 for Macy’s Capricious skill, which changed her stats to Q2+, C3. Capricious is a house rule skill which means you roll a D6 prior to each game. 1-2: Q-1, C-1, 3-4: No effect and 5-6: Q+1, C+1. More on it here.

The heroes won initiative and moved forward to a low wall in pretty close formation, with two militia men guarding the rear (read: failing to roll more than one activation each). Macy scouted ahead, flipping the first objective marker of the game. As she crouched down to investigate some tracks, a warrior clad in black leapt silently from the shadows and attacked the forward-most militia man. The sneak attack made the militia man fall to the ground, albeit unharmed.

 

The Nipponese broke up and moved quickly towards two different objective markers. The samurai leader did not manage to keep up, but stayed within command range.

 

The next turn, the fallen militia man was joined by an ally and together they managed to put the ninja out of action, while the rest of the gang scrambled over the wall to join Macy.

In the center woods stand, one of the samurai flipped an objective marker which spawned Fatgit Rumblegut. For this game, we played him as a wandering monster and diced for control of him each turn. This first turn of his, he came under control of the Stillburg heroes. His first action (spawned models activate immediately, outside of normal turn order) was to charge a samurai close to another objective marker. The samurai was downed, but uninjured.

 

Finally, the half-orc guide moved to the south-eastern objective marker and flipped it. Another ninja appeared. I decided to place it near the heroes, hoping to draw their attention to him while my samurai dashed for the remaining three objective markers in the western parts of the board.

 

At the start of the heroes third turn, we once again diced for control of Fatgit. This time, the Nipponese won control of him and he charged towards the cluster of heroes in the north eastern part of town. Not being able to make contact, but still presenting a threat, he served his purpose as bait.

 

Unfortunately, the heroes were more skilled than expected. Aldor managed to score a hit which made the great beast fall to the ground. Macy quickly moved in for a finishing blow and Fatgit was out of the game. During the same turn, Duncan and Brother Wendel together made short work of the ninja.

The samurai leader finally managed to jump over the wall and bolster the quality of his troops. The two samurai made mad dashes for the north western and south western objective markers, respectively. None of them yielded any result, so the final marker was turned over and the fugitive Nipponese was placed on the board, at the edge of the western most woods. The cowardly half orc guide slowly made his way towards the center woods, most likely to hide.

 

The following rounds were quite uneventful mop-up rounds for the heroes. They methodically wiped out the whole warband (except the leader, who fled off the table) over the course of two or three turns. These were the final positions.

 

The fugitive turns out to be a Nipponese warrior monk named Isamu Takeshi (Q3+, C4, Combat Master, Dashing, Unruly) and through Macy’s (rather slim) interpreter skills he pledges his service until his life debt has been repaid. In his posession he has a magic armband granting the wearer immunity to ranged attacks by models cheaper than the wearer.

 

Summary
Rescuing Billy Crabcock: +2 VP
Killing more than 200 pts of enemies: +2 VP

Warband status at the end of the scenario: 335 pts, 6 VP
Duncan Sandels, human paladin (46 pts): Q3+, C4. Steadfast. 2 XP
“Crazy” Macy Sonnenshield (54 pts): Q3+, C4. Berserk, Capricious, Fearless. 1 XP
Brother Wendel, human cleric (50 pts): Q3+, C2. Cleric. 2 XP
Aldor Berlepsch, human ranger (56 pts): Q3+, C3. Forester, Shooter: Long, Hatred: Undead. 2 XP
Isamu Takeshi, human warrior (60 pts):  Q3+, C4. Combat Master, Dashing, Unruly.
3 x Stillburg militia man (23 pts): Q4+, C3.