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.
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!
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.
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.