Tuesday, 14 August 2018

The Table's ALIVE...!!!!!

Or, " How I run a "Live" environment..This being the middle of the "fighting season" I have been kit-bashing and being bashed the last few weeks (20+ new bruises, cuts and abrasions - and one suspected chipped bone - since the beginning of last month. THAT'LL teach me to dress for comfort in the heat. Or not....) at home n' abroad, so that in between reenacting and working I haven't progressed anything new.

That being so I thought I'd set out a few tips & ideas on how I work a "Live Environment" to enliven small skirmishes. Some of these will have been seen on previous posts.... 




The premise, for those not used to the idea, is that the table is not an inert, sterile battlefield, like a chess board, but part of the game itself. There may be hazards, inconveniences, bonuses and neutral "things" to add colour and variety (and frustration) to the game play. Some of these phenomena will be represented on the table by means of figures, tokens, buildings or markers. Some will be off table, waiting to come on (or not, as chance dictates). Some may be "Event table" driven. Players of Sharp Practice 1 will likely be aware of this concept already.

In general terms I set out a table, decide how complex the environment will be and what will trigger the effects. For example; in the recent "Pig  Rescue" post there were dogs and herdboys to be avoided, in the "Hunt" game potential outlaws, civilians of different types, wildlife, traffic and the lure of drink to contend with. Below are just some thoughts and processes which I use for my Robin Hood scenarios, but which can be adapted to any period skirmish...


Figures (No Event Cards/tables needed).

Damsel in Distress:
"Help, Sir Knight. Help!" - King Richard, The Sheriff of Nottingham, Robin Hood, Alan a Dale, Gary & Graham and any of the Minor Knights passing within 6" must test. A 1-3 means that they, and any units they commanded that move, are now "stuck" to the Damsel, who will move randomly across the board as an element of  "traffic". This may include leaving the board altogether. Maid Marion, Friar Tuck and Sir Guy of Gisbourne can, if approaching the damsel, "free the "trapped" Personality. 



Black Knight: "You shall not pass": Any named Personality passing within 3" must make a morale check. If test is failed Personality and any accompanying unit must recoil and avoid passing within 6" of the figure for the rest of the game (note; unit does not suffer any shock - simply follows recoiling personality). If test is passed Personality must engage in single combat and defeat the Black Knight four times.  If personality is defeated he/she is not killed but must recoil/avoid further contact for the rest of the game as above. Figure is removed if killed - does not respawn. Unnamed/unled units ignore this figure.

Patsy: "It's only a model": Ammunition and water replenished without penalty.




Plague doctor: "Say "Aaaagh...": Every unit passing within 3" must check. 1-2 unit halts for 1 turn. 2-3 unit recoils 1 turn (random direction) and loses 1x6d figures (do not count as casualties for VP purposes). 5-8 no effect. 


Wench: "Love for Sale" Every unit passing within 3" must test. Throw 1x6d (minus accompanying Personality/personalities). If this exceeds the level of the Personality the unit halts for duration of the turn and "gathers round" the figure. The unit moves on next turn, but loses one figure. Loss does not count as casualties for VP purposes. 

Huckster: "Roll up, Roll up":  Every unit passing within 6" must test with 1x6d. If that thrown exceeds the Personality level the units halts for duration of the turn and "gathers round" the figure . At the end of the turn throw again 2x6d. Two 5's, 5+6 or two 6's and a fight breaks out; 1 unit figure v the huckster. Hand to hand without any charge bonus. Huckster killed counts on the Robinometer 1x6d.Figure removed if killed - does not respawn.  If no fight; next turn throw 1xd6 (minus accompanying Personality/personalities) - any throw/result above 2 and the unit remains in place for another turn.



Travelling Players: "The play's the thing": Every unit passing within 6" must halt for duration of the turn and "gather round" the players. Next turn throw 1xd6 (minus accompanying Personality/personalities). Any throw/result above 2 and the unit remains in place for another turn. 

Jester: "Here's a funny thing.." Every unit passing within 6" must halt for duration of the turn and "gather round" the figure if 1x6d exceeds Personality level. Next turn throw 1xd6 (minus accompanying Personality/personalities). Any throw/result above 2 and the unit remains in place for another turn. 



Children:
"Mister... Mister....." Any unit wanting to pass through must test. Throw 1x6d (minus accompanying Personality/personalities).  A throw of 1-4 and the unit must make a detour around the figures, not passing within 3" of it OR halt one turn. If forced to detour in a street/bounded by impassable terrain a failing unit must either halt & retry next turn, or retrace its steps. If unit passes the test and marches through throw 1x6d. This counts against the owning player on the Robinometer 1x6D.



Once the unit has passed children will throw stones. Count as slings but close range only. Stoned unit must dice for each figure hit as usual shooting rules.  "6" kills. "5" results in 1 point of shock, "1" and the figure chases the children (moves 1xaveD) or shoots if missile troop.  Children always recoil from hand to hand (+2 to dice). Any child casualty from shooting counts 3 x 1x6D on the Robinometer. Child casualties do not respawn.

Crowd: "Make way!!" Any unit wanting to pass through must test. Throw 1x6d (minus accompanying Personality/personalities).  A throw of 1-4 and the unit must make a detour around the figure, not passing within 3" of it OR halt one turn. If forced to detour in a street/bounded by impassable terrain unit must either halt & retry next turn, or retrace its steps.



If the unit passes the test and marches through the crowd throw 1x6d; this counts against the owning player on the Robinometer. Then throw again 2x6d. On a two of 5's, 5+6 or two 6's a Brawl breaks out as per Brawl rules....   Any crowd figures killed count on the Robinometer 1x6d each. Once unit has moved on crowd respawns on throw of 5-6. If in a street/bounded by impassable terrain a defeated unit must recoil & retry next turn, or retrace its steps.

Beggars: "Alms for an old crusader.." Any unit wanting to pass within 3" must test. Throw 1x6d.  A throw of 1-4 and the unit must make a detour around the figure, not passing within 3" of it.  If forced to detour in a street/bounded by impassable terrain unit must either halt & retry next turn, or retrace its steps.


Herder: "Angry, Angry Herdsman": If passing within 3" of any herd of sheep, goats or cattle throw 1x 6d. 1or 2 and the herd moves away from the unit (random direction 3x6d) and is replaced on the spot it previously occupied by the angry, angry herdsman and two herd boys with slings. They will shoot at the unit while it is in range. They will retreat from any hand to hand attack as per normal evasion rules but otherwise do not move. Any herdsman figures killed by counter fire/hand to hand count negative on the Robinometer 1x6d each. Once the offending unit has moved out of range they vanish, to respawn if herd is activated again. They will respawn at the new herd location even if killed in the first encounter.
 



Barkeep/wenches/cook:
"Fill yer turnshoes.." Every unit passing within 6" must halt for duration of the turn and "gather round" the figure. Next turn throw 1xd6 (minus accompanying Personality/personalities). Any throw/result above 2 and the unit remains in place for another turn. Each turn held in place the unit loses one figure. does not count as casualties for VP purposes

"Barrel o' beer: "Rolling drunk" Every unit passing within 3" must halt for duration of the turn and "gather round" the figure. Throw 1/6d. These figures are removed for the the duration of the game (drunk). They do not count as casualties for VP purposes . Figure is removed once activated.

Merchant/market: "Stalled by a stall": Every unit passing within 6" must test. Throw 1x6d (minus accompanying Personality/personalities). If this exceeds the level of the Personality the unit must halt for duration of the turn and "gather round" the figure. Next turn throw 1xd6 (minus accompanying Personality/personalities). Any throw/result above 2 and the unit remains in place for another turn.




Naughty ladies: "Hello Boys..." Every unit passing within 6" must halt for duration of the turn and "gather round" the figures. Next turn throw 1xd6 (minus accompanying Personality/personalities). Any throw/result above 3 and the unit remains in place for another turn.



Gallows: "Hanging around" Every unit passing within 6" must throw 1xd6 (minus accompanying Personality/personalities). Any throw/result above 2 and the unit halts for duration of the turn and "gathers round" the gallows.



Priest/shrine: "Holy smoke". Every unit passing within 6" must throw 1xd6 (minus accompanying Personality/personalities). Any throw/result above 2 and the unit halts for duration of the turn and "gathers round" the figure. If unit passes the test and marches on throw 1x6d. This counts against the owning player on the Robinometer 1x6d. 

Deer: "Chasing the wild deer" Every horsed unit passing within 6" of deer must throw 1xd6 (minus accompanying Personality/personalities). Any throw/result above 2 and the unit loses 1x6d figures chasing the deer, which move off randomly till exiting the table. Figures exit with wildlife. Every Outlaw unit passing within 3" of deer must throw 1xd6 (minus accompanying Personality/personalities). Any throw/result above 2 and the unit loses 1x6d figures chasing the deer, which move off randomly till exiting the table. Figures exit with wildlife. Do not count for Victory points.




Farmer/s:
"Get off moi land"  Any unit wanting to pass through sown farmland where there are farmers must test. Throw 1x6d (minus accompanying Personality/personalities).  A throw of 1-4 and the unit must make a detour around the figure, not passing within 3" of it OR halt one turn, testing again next turn. If forced to detour in a street/bounded by impassable terrain unit must either halt & retry next turn, or retrace its steps. If unit passes the test and marches through throw 1x6d. This counts against the owning player on the Robinometer. Then throw again 2x6d. Two 5's, 5+6 or two 6's and a Brawl breaks out. Single combat then ensues. Any farmer figures killed count on the Robinometer 1x6d each. Killed figures do not respawn. If in a location bounded by impassable terrain unit must either halt & retry next turn, or retrace its steps. 


Heron: "Big Bird Problems - Bad Omens": Unit passing within 3" must throw 1xd6 (minus accompanying Personality/personalities). Any throw/result above 2 results in 1 point of shock. Units within 6" move at half speed. I bird flies then the penalties also apply to its flight path. 

Leper: "Unclean. Unclean": Unit passing within 3" must make a morale check (no Personality effects). If test is failed then the unit and any accompanying Personality must recoil and avoid passing within 6" of the figure for the rest of the game (note; unit does not suffer any shock). 

Peddlar: "Stop me and buy one": Every unit passing within 3" must throw 1xd6. That number of figures are "tempted". Throw again 1-3 for each figure. That figure is "held" for the next unit turn. 





Drunks: "Merry, merry apprentices": Every unit passing within 3" must throw 1x6d. That number of figures are "tempted" to join the party. Throw again each figure. 1-3 thrown - that figure joins the fun and is "held" for the next 1x6d turns. If a 6 is thrown that figure gets into a Brawl with the apprentices. Should that happen throw 1xD6 for the unit. That number of figures are also tempted to join the fight. Throw 1xD6 for each such figure, adjusting for Personality present (minus). Figures throwing 3-6 join the fight. All fighters are "held" for the reminder of that round, then fight as per single combat next round. Losers are thrown for: 2-6 rendered hors de combat for remainder of the game, on a throw of 1are killed. Unit can move on as normal.  If unit remains in situ Personality may attempt to restore order. Each turn the unit remains in contact more figures are diced for (i.e. fights can escalate). Adjacent/nearby (within 4") or passing units (in civilians) can be drawn into the fight as above on the side of the Apprentices. Fights may last as many rounds as it takes for the Personality to restore order or the Apprentices/unit figures are defeated. Player figures lost do not count for Victory Points. Apprentice/civilian figures killed count on the Robinometer against the owning Player.

There is a faint possibility that opposing Player units/figures could be drawn into a Brawl.


 
Body: "It's a stiff.."There is a dead body lying on the ground. Unit passing within 3" must make a morale check (no Personality effects). If test is failed, then the unit and any accompanying Personality must recoil and avoid passing within 6" of the figure for the rest of the game (note; unit does not suffer any shock). IF the test is passed the body can be examined. It may provide a clue or Maguffin relevant to the scenario.

Witch:
"Cackle, Cackle": Any unit/Personality wanting to pass within 3" must test. Throw 1x6d. A throw of 1-4 and the unit must make a detour around the figure, not passing within 3" of it. If forced to detour in a street/bounded by impassable terrain unit must either halt & retry next turn, or retrace its steps. IF the unit passes successfully within 3" of the figure then throw a dice. 1-2; The unit is cursed - it receives 2 permanent Shock Points and all future movement and combat strength is halved unless it later halts one move adjacent to a priest/shrine/holy man, in which all penalties are removed. 3-5 No effect. 6 the unit is blessed. It will fight with an extra die per 5 dice in combat. Personalities passing within 3" will react based on their "Character Notes". 




Spooky Place/Ritual Site:
"It's spooky, boss...."
Unit passing within 3" must make a morale check (generally no Personality effects, except for Friar Tuck, who ignores all spookiness). 1-2 = they recoil and cannot approach within 6" of the place again. 3-5 = they may move through/past, but at half speed. 6 = No effect.

Hern the Hunter: "WTF!!" All units unless commanded by Robin Hood or Friar Tuck test.  1-5 = unit panics and moves back the way it came by 8" + 1x6D . Add 2x6d shock to any non-Forester Baron unit so affected.



The above are just some of the ideas/types of random persons who might clutter up my fighting space. Add to them road traffic and other imponderables and, used sparingly, they can be a great addition to the fun of skirmish play.

As always, any queries & comments welcome... 

Monday, 30 July 2018

"Raiders of the Lost Pork" or "Saving private bacon"

Am mid-project (Hah! When am I not) and involved in major household tidying (Threw out about 80 books this week. Seriously pains one's heart, but......) plus some reenactment events over the coming weeks (a local medieval show, then Dover Castle as landsknechts,  then Bosworth and Hever Castle), so little new material to post....

However: this is a solo exercise I posted on the Facebook groups a while back which gives a flavour of my "We're NOT actually supposed to kill anyone" games...



The Back Story:

Over to a spokesman for the Verderhellari clan (imaging a mildly irritating, high-pitched sing-song sound for full effect..), currently peaceful (whether they like it or not) under the  beneficent boot of Rome....



"Well, this is it see... About 5 weeks ago our chief's prize pigs went missing...
Scouring scrub and marsh all along the length & breadth of our watermeadowed chiefdom (i.e. about 8 miles in each direction) the porkers could not be discovered; no not no trace neither... 

NOW a passing trader has mentioned that the so-called chief of those pesky foreign hill-devils from 10 miles up the road (Hah!! They call themselves "The People" - meaning we're not "people" I suppose... Copycats; that's what WE call ourselves.. AND they cant even say their "u" sounds properly...) was showing off a piggle of new hogs that he had "acquired" in "an incredibly clever way - ha, ha, ha..."
No names, no pack drill; but apparently they'd been "liberated" from a bunch of careless "ejits paddling in a muddy river valley; say no more" (nudge-nudge, wink-wink).... 

OUR chief's pigs, by Toutatis..!!!!


 
Well, what would one expect from a people who can't even attend a Samhain inter-tribal get-together without giving our granny a funny look, trying it on with Aunty Bridgit and going home with somebody else's spoon....

AND it's said their chief's great, great, great grandfather once killed a hare...

SO a bunch of the lads are going to go get back the porkers, right...?
No actual nastiness (if it can be avoided) - the Boys from Tiber-side don't like folks messin' up "The Pax" (tach!!) - but get them back we must...
A dozen or two stalwart braves to do the lifting, and a handful or so of slaves to do the actual stock-driving. Plan is "In like Finn.." and out again... What the lads DON'T want is to alert the hillfort. There are times when a carnyx is the LAST thing you want to hear.........




"And if some cows and other livestock can't help but follow us home..... Well, what can ya do......"
The spears and the long-swords slide ("No. No weapons here, Legate.. Honest") out of the thatch and off we go...

The pics show the game table. It is night-time. The lads have no deia where the pigs are stowed, so e
very pig pen needs to be quietly checked "And if we grab some other stock while we're here... Well, it would be rude not to.....".
"Live" environment as usual.... Animals, dogs, noisy, easily upset donkeys, the Bad Luck Heron etc. etc... If disturbed these WILL react.... The guys will have to do some sneaky sneaking....Somewhere the porkers are hidden.... Very likely distributed among various notables' kraals within the sept....


 

OK, so you may ask, but this is a Solo game... Surely Denyer, who will presumably play the raiders rather than the sleepy-bye-byes folk, will know where the pigses are and go straight to 'em......

Nope...The "pigs" have been distributed in various locations on the table in the form of 14 "tokens" - i.e. little bits of brown paper screwed up into balls, randomly mixed & placed in pig hutch areas...

7 have numbers on them to indicate a number of porkers.

7 are blank.

I have no idea which are which - and won't know till I find them and "unscrew" the tokens as per the Pig Pen Search Procedure (below)..





My raiding party has assembled south east corner of the board. I decide to send out scouts, to locate the pigs first, rather than go in mob-handed. Risky in terms of time, but better to avoid detection.
Badvoc, son of Badvoc, will lead the group of four on the left, with Mungo the Evasive as OC2...

("Mungo: They call me Mungo the Evasive.
Legate: Why is that?
Mungo: Who wants to know?"

Anyone else remember this..?)
Blag and Wolfbane will head up the group on my right.
Basic movement rules/activation pretty much as per SP (i.e activation cards) with 2x6D thrown for the unit's movement.
I will issue orders, set up a "holding area" allocate set priority targets; then wait while my scouts scout. Their main job is to locate the pigs.... They are to approach each pen, check for porcine substances then collect as many piggywigs as practicable if poss, and return with intel. and swine to the main body; whop will support if things get messy..

However, the guys, once out of my steely grip, could go haywire...





As well as the vagaries of moving and the decisions of my juniors, this is a "Live Environment" for me to cope with - even though it is the wee small hours...

Every 2 moves I throw 2x6d for "chance events"..

Double six & I check on the Event Chart for this scenario as below;

1-3 - Arrival of a mobile "blind"; dice for location of entry point. Move each go. Dice for direction at junctions. Dice for type when spotted.

4 - Bad Luck Heron relocates - anyone under the flight path affected.

5 - Roving native patrol. Dice for location of entry point. Move each go. Dice for size (2x Ave.d) when spotted.

6 - Animal attack (boar/dog/whatever).
The lads head off....


Badvoc will shortly decide that passing between the huts at top of the above pic is a tad iffy..... He will cut up towards the board edge.

Sneaking along the hedge, Wolfbane & Blag decide to split into pairs to help avoid detection....


Approach/sneaking rules:


Approaching a kraal or hut may set off a dog - as follows:

Sneaking & dog Alert: When passing kraal/solo huts; each move a solo individual/group moves within "doggy hearing" range (or stays still in range AFTER a dog has been alerted) each solo bod/group must test to see if dog reacts:


If within 12” of kraal/solo hut throw x6d. Distance is measured from centre of nearest hut.

If within 6”, throw 2x6d.

If within 3” throw 3 x6d.

Add 1 to die for per each person in group if moving. -2 from die if all persons in group have scouting skill.

If result on dice is 6+ on the accumulated score above = dog barks.

If dog barks for just 1 turn, then stops: no further effect.

If dog barks for 2 continuous turns: Dog will investigate – barking. Throw again 1x6d once dog within sight of target, subtracting 1 per 3 members of group. On a throw of 5-6 dog attacks. If dog fails attack test it remains in situ barking and will continue to do so unless eliminated or group moves out of sight. Any subsequent investigating persons will home-in on barking dog.

If dog barks for 3 turns within any 5 moves (i.e. can stop, then start again) : 1 resident comes from nearest hut & investigates. Dog will investigate.

Any additional barking 4 or more times in any 5 moves: all huts within the kraals affected turn out. Throw 1 ave.d. per hut for numbers.

Dog may be eliminated by missile or in hand to hand IF dog attacks. Dogs will ALWAYS avoid contact if charged, simply moving 3" off and continuing to bark. All hand to hand "wins" by a man kills the dog. Normal shooting rules apply for missile fire. A "shock" result means dog is wounded. It will now howl. I person from nearest hut will now come out to investigate...

So care is needed when sneaking near huts......
Undeterred, Blag and his mate approach a hut. A dog starts barking, so they freeze. It stops, they move off, it starts again as they reach the pen. They must check the pen for piggies...




Pig Pen Search Procedure:

When adjacent to pen, to view contents throw 1x6d: result of 4-6 means the lads can can spot from the fence. Throw 1-3 and they must enter pen to check the token.

If pen entered to check token, and this proves positive, throw 1x6d for each occasion; 1 thrown = porker attacks. Dice 1x6D for shock on the chap/s attacked. Throw a 3-6 = 1 shock & pen MUST be vacated. If near enough to kraal the noise could trigger a "dog alert" (see below).

Dice again next turn if porker not successfully tied or driven out.

To tie porker – takes 1 die of movement. Throw 1x6d. If 1 or 3 thrown = attempt– unsuccessful.

Drive stock from pen – takes 1 die of movement. Throw 1x6d. If a 1 thrown – unsuccessful.

If not tied released animals move by dice – use herding spider. Throw 6d each move: throw 1 animals run (3d + 2). Will continue to run about  unless headed off. .
In this case nothing can be seen They may be in the pig hutch. Blag's mate has to get in the pen down & dirty with the hogs' mess. The "Pig Token" can now be checked; Two porkers... Yay!!! Who turn out to be friendly (maybe they're some of ours...?). Nicely tied they can be led off...

But the dog has become fractious. It investigates - and Blag shoots it dead.... Ooops.. Sorry Fido... The lads make off with the porkers - on a string.....

So far so good... One dead dog (arrow retrieved, so no evidence left). A nice, clean(ish) in & out raid.... The boys head back to base to report and hand over the pigs...




Meanwhile, Badvoc's band have worked their way out of doggy range - but come to a Ritual Site...... These can be dodgy.....
Folks must test if pass through/within 2" of a Ritual Site:

Throw 1x6d...

If a "6" is thrown there is a Druid on site doing Druid shit.... Go back & do not approach within 6" for rest of the game.

If no Druid on site throw again: Throw 1-2 your guys are freaked out by the spookiness - freeze for one move. Throw 2-3; Nervy; move at half speed. Throw 5-6 No effect.

No Druid this time - and the dice indicate that Badvoc's
lads are sceptics.... Pass through without a second thought.... 




BUT!!!!! Oops... Maybe the Gods DO get angry, for next move the dice indicates there is to be an "Event" throw..

This turns out to be an "animal attack" -boar. Bavoc's guys get the "target" dice - and are charged. Badvoc goes down with a major artery slashed and the boar runs off......... Claret everywhere - and the Big Bad passes away, whingeing...

Leaving Badvoc's body for the moment Mungo and the boys press on. A dog wakes up at a nearby hut, but they press on and check the pen......

They find a piggywig... They successfully tie it - but on the way back the dog, which is still unhappy with what it is hearing, attacks..... A lucky arrow takes it down - another dead doggy.... I can see some angry wax tablets going off to the ISPCA later.....


En-route Mungo and the lads collect Badvoc's body (leave no evidence behind) and make their way back to the rendezvous point without problem and with a pig.....


Wolfbane and his oppo meanwhile head for the Main Kraal.... Slowed down by passing too close to the Bad Luck Heron (halves all nearby movement) they skirt the kraal without alerting any doggies....

The pen outside the kraal is checked - but both tokens are blank... They sneak up to the kraal fence - and get a good result on the Pig Pen dice; can peek in, rather than have to enter the kraal itself. They can see that the pen is empty.. (Another blank token..). So far no porkers.....

They move off again.... They may be unlucky in the pig dept. - but so far haven't set off any dogs....



Another "Event" ; something is moving on the road.... A local patrol? Night hunters? Rival raiders? Or a Roman "Peacekeeping Force" on patrol....?

A "blind" is placed. It moves along the road...

Wolfbane won't give up though..... He presses on, but comes near a flock of sheep..... Another potential hazard:

Flocks & Herd-boy |Rules:

Flocks will have (sleeping) Herd Boys with them.

Herd boys have dogs sleeping by them. These will “hear” folk moving about, as at kraals. However, herd boys will “wake up” and react at the first dog bark. They will not investigate, but will try to spot target being barked at as per spotting rules (see "sentries").

If they do not spot the target within 1 move of a dog stopping its barking they will go back to sleep.

If they spot the target they take a morale check with 1x6d;

Result of 1: they are panic frozen to the spot. Will not resist tying if rushed.
Herd Boys that are caught must be tied (as per rules for porkers).
Result of 2: will run off towards hill fort or kraal, whichever is nearest, pdq (3d +1 per d).

On throw of 3: they will release their flock from the field (cost 1d) before running (2d), with flock, towards nearest kraal/hillfort .

On throw of : Result of 5-6: are feisty lads, not fazed by hairy guys looming in the gloaming. Will loose the sheep and a sling shot (cost 1d), then run off 2 towards hill fort or kraal, whichever is nearest, x6d +2, stop, then loose again.

These bold lads test again next move.

Result of 1-4 run towards hill fort or kraal, whichever is nearest (3d +1 per d), with sheep if loosed.

Result of 5-6 stand ground. Loose slingstones if still in LOS/range until approached or target moves out of range/loe, then run for towards hill fort or kraal, whichever is nearest, with sheep. Perform this test again if approached.




Luckily, the dog here is as useless as the one in the kraal - either that or Wolfbane & his mate are A+ sneakers... They get to the pen at the base of the hill Find two friendly pigs, leash them and take them back....

On the way home they avoid the "Blind" on the road. They DO manage to wake up one dog while passing an isolated hut, but it loses interest next move. They  head back to the holding point without further incident...

Meanwhile, the Blind arrives at the hillfort... I wonder who - or what -  they were.....?


OK.... One casualty (Badvoc) but 5 porkers liberated - and dogs eliminated at two compounds....

Consult the Points table....



Hmmm... 5 porkers liberated = 35.

Badvoc counts as a warrior, so -10) but we retrieved his body (i.e. evidence of our involvement) & we deployed only 8 men on the table... We're ahead with 17 points.... Just..

It's still dark...... Go again sir? Mob-handed this time..?
 


The night is creeping on, but I decide to risk another foray: Twelve men are despatched under the command of , oh, I don't know.. let's call him Tubbidoghouse. They will swing up by the route Badvoc's guys went, swing round to check the unchecked pig pen near the hut where we know there's no dog (well, not now), grab the sheep near the fort, then through the field to hoover up some cattle, back to the Assembly Point and home for breakfast.... Simple.....

You'd think, wouldn't you........

Tubbi sets off. But things start to untangle quickly..... Tubbi's men (freaked by Badvoc's encounter with the boar after his waltzing through the Ritual Site?) get to the Ritual Site - and freeze for a move by the totem pole - then set off at half speed...... Tubbi gets them moving in the end, but precious time has been lost....




Meanwhile, on the road, Events start livening up.... The Blind is on the move again... Another blind has appeared midfield.. Plus the Bad Luck heron has decided to relocate to the fish ponds..


But the lads press on. Tubbi gets to the previously unsearched pen... EMPTY!!!!!!! I don't BELIEVE it!!!!! They slip past Mr. MacGregor's cabbage patch towards the herd of sheep. Tubbi will NOT go back empty handed...
sheep stealing then cow-napping is the plan -AND a pig pen still to check. Should still be dark enough to miss being spotted by the fort...



But......! A pesky Herd Boy and his dog wakes up and spots my lads...




He runs off a short distance and wakes up his sheep - but he is a feisty little bugger..... He lets the sheep out (the dog will guide them a while) then winds-up and floors Tubbi with a slingstone; "Bam !!"....

Tubbi fails his saving throw and - dead as a doornail......Perils of leading from the front I guess.....



My lads are now near the hillfort and the herd-boy is shouting and the dog barking. I test for sentries, as my lads are now in range... One in the gatehouse (dozy) one in the watchtower (asleep). At last, some luck......

My rules for sentries;

Sentries: There may be sentries at the hillfort.

Spotting range is 12 inches. Roll 2 x6d and if the number rolled is equal/higher than the distance between spotter & sentry then sentry has been spotted.

Once one sentry has been spotted throw 1x6d for numbers of sentries (1-2 = 1 sentry in each tower, 3-4 = ditto plus one sentry on walkway on main walkway - dice for location & facing. 5-6 = ditto, plus sentry at gate and additional sentry on walkway (dice for location as above). All sentries start facing directly outwards over the palisade/ramparts.

Then roll for each sentry for alertness. 1-2 Asleep. 3-4 Dozy, 4-5 Alert.

Sentries are static, but test to turn each move: roll 1 x6d - on a throw of 1 or 2 sentry turns to his left. 3 or 4 stays facing forward, 5 or 6 turns to his right

Sentries spot as above; if target within 12 x inches roll 2 x6d adding 1 for each 4 men in target, and if the number rolled is equal/higher than the distance
between sentry & target, then target has been spotted.

A sleeping sentry does not spot - but re-roll each move. 4-6 he wakes up and goes to Dozy Mode.

A Dozy Sentry takes 2 away from his spotting total.



 But my lads are really freaked.... With Tubbi dead (another "Curse of the Stones" death...? CAN'T be a coincidence... The Gods are against us..!!!) they make off, taking the body with them.... The sheep scurry into the protection of the fort....

Sleeping Beauty in the watchtower wakes up, but my lads are out of range.
My boys have had enough. They race for the board edge before the fort wakes up good an' proper........The watchtower sentry has woken up. The Herd Boy is shouting at Dozy Dick in the gatehouse. The sheep bundle inside...... Soon the horns will start a blowing....

Game Over - and a real kick in the teeth for my guys.............


Raid variants are easy to set up and run and, like hunting games, make a change from battles. This was a BIG table, but one could do similar on a much smaller scale.... As always, any comments, queries or brickbats happily received...


Friday, 27 July 2018

The Game is actually afoot...

More Hunting japes... 

Have been painting and plotting, working and socialising - and trying to escape the heat the last few weeks so little new to offer. However, following on from the last "Chase" game post here is an example "Hunt" (edited from a FB post from last year) with different rules....

Scenario: Noble Norman nobs Sir Wilfred de Winkelle, Sir Lawrence de Lambe, and the brother Sir Rupert and Sir Edward de Beare have decided to go on a Saturday morn hunt...

A "Beater Team" of half a dozen beaters" their Whipper-in, dogs and horn-boy accompany. are ready. A quick warm up for the horses and we begin...


However, the board is a "Live Environment" this time. I will go into more detail on how this works on another post; but basically this is NOT a battlefield.....

There are sondrie folke floating about (farmers, monks, sloe pickers, crazee goose women etc. etc.) to get in the way. There are people to be disturbed or interrupted in their activities (bowmen at the butts, kids playing etc.). There is road traffic. There are "Keep your bloody dog
on a lead" shepherdy types about etc .etc.

There is a pub.......


There is also, being "Robin Hood World", always the chance of encounters with folk NOT engaged in lawful pursuits.....

What all this means is that while i will want to play MY game, other folk might have other ideas.....

On this occasion I will "play" the Normans. The animals etc. play themselves......



The knights place themselves around a nearby thicket and the beaters enter.
Meanwhile: dice result on a heard of cattle being moved across the board.... They COULD interfere with the hunt.. They are also a target for outlaws. Norman knights CANNOT refuse a call for help (noblesse oblige & all that..... )



(Or is it....? May be a disguised outlaw band. Could, if legit, be another outlaw target.. Moves -like the cattle - every move (3" + 1x6d) with direction changes at every junction diced for and possibility of attack diced for each move........._.

And the beaters have spooked a boar......



They diced for this; first the dice (as above) to disturb something, then to find out what was disturbed(see Rules below..). The boars rushes off..... The dogs are loosed, the hunters give chase.

Once running, boar either run for the nearest cover OR, if within 8" of hunters, dice every dice they run to see if they potentially change direction. Throw 1x6d.

A thrown 1 means that the boar turns at once and runs though and past the hunter/s, adding an extra 1x6d (only) to it's usual move throw. It does NOT attack anyone during such a move.

A thrown 2-6 means that it uses the Boar Jink Spider with no alterations UNLESS the Spider requires that the boar turn directly towards a hunter/hunting party. In such a case throw again . A thrown 4- 5 and the boar passes, but strikes at anyone in its path/within 1" of its path as above. charges the hunter/s with intent to harm....

Here the boar races across the stream, three dogs and two of the huntsmen on his heels....



Oh, and next move the dice produces a "high status" travelling group on another track. As with the cattle, this may prove to end up a target for villains, disguised outlaws, anything......



One of the hunters - Sir Wilf (with the blue shield) raced round by the ford, then galloped (good dice) at speed, overshooting the boar, but wounded it in passing, while the other pair are still splashing through the water (and, given their progress, mud). One of the dogs has baulked at the stream, one has caught up with the prey and wounded it...



However, Sir Wilf, having overshot the boar, runs into a group of kiddies, playing at the edge of the village. They scatter...

Sir Wilf dices to control his horse (he seems to be a good rider, but comes to a standstill).. A kiddie injury would seriously upset the peasantry - OR result in kiddie-on-Knight action: medieval kids throw rocks - or have slings if herd boys...

Meanwhile Sir Edward (top right) has swept up from the river and struck the boar (good dice for both); killing it stone dead.... All Sir Ralph (centre can do it ride up & check his horse, as the dogs catch up....

Round One to the Normans. And (luckily) no kiddies hurt....



Meanwhile the cattle & high status convoy are proceeding without incident......

A quick drink at the inn (failed dice throws) en-route for the next patch of forest, then off - all except one beater, who has got too drunk and is left at the inn (diced for)........


No arrows wizz at them from the woods. Beaters get in position for the second round.

Almost at once a boar is drawn - before everyone is in position. Again the dogs are loosed and the riders set off..... But the boar suddenly turns on a groat (the Jink Spider) and rushes through the hunters.... No harm caused, as he takes an "opportunity slash" as he passes the horses  and dogs....



As the chaps get themselves sorted the boar turns again, rushes past the now confused & scattered hunters - and across the bridge......


But Sir Wilf and Sir Larry (who has had lousy dice throughout) give chase while the crazy Goose Lady looks on...... Luckily the dogs are focussed on the boar, so no goose-related embarrassments...


 
Halfway across the bridge the boar is suddenly going to make a decision - the ground beyond the bridge is very open....
The boar turns - it must be getting cross, for it charges straight for Sir Larry's horse, bringing it (and Sir. L.) down.. Sir Wilf, can't turn quickly enough and the boar bursts through the dogs....


The dogs regroup, the hunters try to regain control of their mounts as they all overshoot the quarry...... Meanwhile, dice decide that Sir Larry has been injured in the fall... Boar is the first to score this half of the match.....
 


The boar rushes off in a different direction..... Pursued.... Three dogs get good dice.... They can wound - or simply "grab" the prey; reducing it's movement....

The beaters emerge from the woods. No other prey (or outlaws) startled....

But the boar gets dice taking it to the board edge (for the sake of this scenario counts as thickety-brambley forest) and it escapes.... Second round: boar 1; hunters nil........


The beaters emerge from the woods (nothing else being disturbed). Still no outlaws....

Suddenly the high status convoy (which as been making good - and un-harassed progress across the board) arrives at scene...


We test to see who or what it is... It's a Norman Personality..! We draw a card and....
It's the (horrid) Bishop of Huntingdon (so; nasty, but kinda "friendly" to Norman knights. Well, he's one himself...). He agrees to ferry the injured Sir Larry (dice) to somewhere safe. With one of their number down, the hunters call it a day....

And end of scenario.....

At any time the hunt could have been interrupted but outlaw action, but this time it wasn't...

Luckily, though at times the hunt came close to close to civilians, there were no issues or injuries to non-combatants...

Boar for supper - but Sir Larry lost an expensive horse - and gained a broken leg... Tricky game, medieval pig-sticking....

All in all an exciting little exercise; could have turned into something different - an outlaw situation, a brawl with angry locals, but no... Even so, the boar hunt itself was quite thrilling - and it all passed passed an idle hour..... :)

No outlaws were harmed during the making of this scenario....

Same the can't be said for one boar, a horse and a (pesky) Norman (Hah!....).




Basic Rules:

A) Move sequence is 1) Events. 2) Activation, movement and actions (sequential - see below).

1) Events:
At the start of every move I throw a dice. A six means some form of road traffic enters the table that move. I dice for point of entry (always a track or road). I dice for "type of traffic" (wagons, pilgrims, military, religious, agricultural/animals , high status bods, etc .etc) based on a "scenario specific table".

Note, however, that traffic CAN, when checked/found be getting too close for comfort, turn out to be disguised Outlaws (dice check)....

2) Activation & Movement:
No activation by card/token; a simple sequenced "Bound/Move". The sequence is 1) Beaters 2) Animals/Wildlife 3) Hunters 4) Poachers/outlaws (if any) 5) "Civilians/traffic"/Blinds.

Beaters:
The Beater Team will activate each move automatically without the need for activation BEFORE the Norman Hunters (exception - getting drunk).


They automatically move 6" each move when just walking in the open. Once in scrub/woodland and "beating" for quarry however they move based on a single 1x6D.

If chasing (outlaws/poachers or quarry) they run 3" + 1x6D.

Each move in scrub/woodland beating that throw 1x6D. A 6 means they have spooked something (see Actions, below).




Animals/Wildlife; Quarry, Unaccompanied Domestic Animals, "Wildlife Blinds (in that order)move. Quarry and visible, unaccompanied domestic animals do not move unless approached by dogs. See below for rules per type.

On the table there are a number of "Wildlife Blinds" (flock of disturbed birds etc). Wildlife blinds move 6" on a throw of 6 on a 6D. Dice for direction.

These may just be wildlife doing wildlife stuff. However, like Traffic, these may ALSO turn out to be outlaws if they come too close/are approached (ditto).

If in Line of Sight of the Hunting Party and within 8" of the blind in the open or the Hunters/Beaters actually reach a Blind in scrub/woodland throw 1x 6d.

Throw 5-6- = there is a wild boar.
Throw 3-4 = there are 1xAveD deer.
Throw1-2 = throw again. 1-4 = just birdies & rabbitses. 5 = Friendly Foresters (Ave dice for number). 6 = Outlaw band (Ave dice for number. If 5 thrown, throw again. Max number 12.).

For how animals/quarry react when spooked, see below "Spooked Quarry".



 
Hunters: Each of the Norman hunters will automatically activate each move, but the order in which the individual knights move will be diced for every time (Highest to lowest score. In the even of a tie the tying riders move at the same time (may risk a collision).

Before they charge any quarry each rider must take a "nerve test" (a 6d each. A score of 1 or less and they flunk it. They take from the dice for every wound they have received).

The hunting knights walk their horses at 6" per move

They increase speed slowly (walk, to at least 1d at trot, then run - at least 16d, then gallop).
They trot at 2x6d +4",.
They run at 2x6d + 3" PER running dice.
They gallop at 3x6d + 3" PER galloping dice.

When charging prey throw 1x6d; 4-6 means a on the quarry (+1 if "overtaking" the prey during the move). If a hit throw again; (+1 if "overtaking" the prey during the move) 5-6 = a clean kill, otherwise a wound.

Traffic; Road traffic automatically moves at the end of every move. Road traffic moves at 1 x 6d per move.


Actions:

Spooking/Finding the Quarry:

A Beating Team beating scrub or woodland move 1x 6d while beating. A dice is thrown per move of beating. A throw of "6" means they spook something. This "something" appears in the centre of the line line of beaters.

Every move the beaters beat successfully they throw four 6D to see what they spook from the woods/scrub. Usual options are:

Throw 4-6: Outlaws/poachers: they find 1x6d poachers/outlaws in the forest. Dice for number of suspects (1x6D). Then throw for beaters' attitude to the interlopers;

1-4 = They are hostile - and will run to tell the Normans OR if they outnumber the poachers/outlaws by 3 or more they will attack to attempt an arrest. If appropriate they may loose the dogs on the miscreants.

5-6 = They are sympathetic ("We never saw you, right..").

Outlaws/poachers who are outnumbered by the beaters will ALWAYS try to make off (3" + 1x6D).

Throw of 7-9 = Domestic animals: Somebody's beasts are loose in the forest (dice for type as scenario. Here they are likely to be rooting pigs). These automatically run 8" at right angles from the line of beaters. This counts as their move this turn. Dogs who see them "morale check"; we could end with dogs chasing peoples' property.....
 

Throw of 9-10 = Gatherers and Strays: There are "ordinary" people in the woods. Throw 1x6D again.

1-2 thrown, place 1 AveD peasant wood/berry gatherers in the woods.
3-4 thrown place a pair of lovers.
5-6 thrown place 1 AveD children.

Different folks do different things:

a) Peasant wood/berry gatherers: They automatically run 4" + 1x6d at right angles from the line of beaters. This counts as their move this turn.

Dogs who see them "morale check"; we could end with dogs chasing people....

The people keep running till safe or brought down - they know their place...
If caught by the dogs they will be attacked as running quarry.

If Beaters/Whipper-in is within 4" and LOS of the peasants they will automatically try to restrain dogs as Dog Rules.



 
b) Kids: They automatically run 3" + 1x6d at right angles from the line of beaters. This counts as their move this turn. Next turn, if still in woods and not caught by dogs, the kids are deemed to have climbed trees to safety.

Dogs who see them "morale check"; we could end with dogs chasing kids....

The kids keep running till safe or brought down. If caught by the dogs they will be attacked as running quarry.

If Beaters/Whipper-in is within 6" and LOS of the peasants they will automatically try to restrain dogs as Dog Rules.

If dogs give chase this could turn in to a dog-on-kiddie incident, which would NOT go down well with the locals. If kids are seen by other peasantry to be chased - or if they reach an occupied village/farmstead after being attacked, consult the Hue & Cry table.

If the kids reach a place of safety that is not an occupied building (e.g. clamber up rocks/trees/sheds etc. where the dogs can't follow) or the dogs get called off AFTER chasing kiddies for at least 1 move, the kids will chuck rocks at any dogs, beaters and hunters in range (6"). Treat as usual missile weapons.


 
c) Lovers: Will initially run 4" + 6D - but throw 1x6D for type of lovers:

Throw 1-5: Everyday country folk. Will run till safe or brought down. If the dogs catch up with them they are attacked as running Quarry. If brought down both will fight dogs (only) to protect lover - both have long knives.

If Beaters/Whipper-in is within 4" and LOS of the couple they will automatically try to restrain dogs.

Throw 6 - Higher status lovers. If Beaters/Whipper-in is within 8" and LOS of the couple they will automatically try to restrain dogs.

If not caught up to by dogs within 3 moves it is assumed the lovers have reached horses and ridden off.

If the dogs catch up with lovers the lovers will turn & fight the dogs (i.e. will NOT allow themselves to be attacked as running Quarry. Good Lord.. Certainly not...).

If dogs chase for + 2 moves then, if dogs are within 6" of them, next move the lovers will turn & fight the dogs.

Throw another 6dice for nature of the high status couple:

Throw 1-4 male & female. Male has sword, female has long knife. Will fight dogs if caught.
Throw 5 -two females, both have long knife. Will fight dogs if caught.
Throw 6 -two males, both have swords; they will fight unaccompanied dogs if caught, however if beaters/hunters are in line of sight and within 4" the couple will dice:
1-4 make off rather than fight - and risk dog attack.
5-6 attack and attempt to silence/kill any hunters/beaters meeting target requirements. Beaters & whipper-in will run (4" + 6d). Hunters will fight.

If ANY HUMAN IS KILLED BY THE DOGS or ANY HUMAN AGENCY THE HUNT IS AT AN END.


Throw of 11-24 = Wildlife/Quarry:
Throw 2x6d to see what the wildlife is;

Throw 2-6 = Deer (throw Ave d. for number).
Throw 7-11: Wild Boar (throw 1x6d. 1-5 - a single boar. 6 a pair of boar).
Throw 12: Something 'orrible - as per the scenario narrative; Could be anything from rabid dog (will attack whatever is nearest. Move/attack as dogs), hornets nest (will attack all targets within 6" immediately. Each person/creature is struck as if a dog bite. Will continue to attack until all attacked parties are 12" from the point of contact), wolves (move as dogs. Will attack dogs, run from men, chase kids as dogs), perhaps a bear (or two. Will attack nearest whatever at 6" + 6D. Attacks with the attacking power of 4 men with axes) if continental Europe, something "supernatural" or scary e.g. (lepers, something witchy, Herne the Hunter, grisly ghost stamping on the floor etc. etc. Will spook dogs and beaters automatically. Hunters will make morale check before approaching).


Spooked Quarry:

Deer:
Deer will run 2x6d + 3" per "running" dice. Deer do not "need notice" to run; they just run..... Deer will run away and at a right angle to the line of beaters. Thereafter deer dice per move. If they cannot run at right angles to the line of beaters they throw they use the Deer Jinx Spider..

Boar:
Boar will run 2x6d + 3" per running dice. Like deer they do not need "notice" to run. However, unlike like Deer they "morale check" 1x6d each move, INCLUDING the first move.

On their first move, if boar throw 1-5 they run away from the line of beaters (or any chasing hunter/s or obstacle) using the Boar Jink Spider.

If they throw 6 they intentionally charge through the beaters/hunters. Any person/horse in the group within 1" of the boar charge line dices 1x6D. If 5 or 6 is thrown that person/horse becomes a casualty.
Once running, boar either run for the nearest cover OR, if within 8" of hunters, dice every dice they run to see if they potentially change direction. Throw 1x6d.

A thrown 1 means that the boar turns at once and runs though and past the hunter/s, adding an extra 1x6d (only) to it's usual move throw. It does NOT attack anyone during such a move.

A thrown 2-6 means that it uses the Boar Jink Spider with no alterations UNLESS the Spider requires that the boar turn directly towards a hunter/hunting party. In such a case throw again . A thrown 4- 5 and the boar passes, but strikes at anyone in its path/within 1" of its path as above. charges the hunter/s with intent to harm....





Dogs:

Dogs walk at 6", run at 2x6d + 2" per running dice. "Bite" prey at contact; throw 4-6 = wound.

On first sight of valid prey (of any kind) they morale check individually (1x6d). 1 = the dog stands still for on dice worth of move, then tests again. 2-6 it gives chase.

On first sight of "unlawful prey" (inc. domestic animals/running people) they check as above: 1-3 it stands to test again, 4-6 it gives chase.

The Whipper-in can get the Horn-boy to try to recall dogs at any time in his move. He throws 2x6d once per move to recall dogs. Each dog then throws 1x6d. If the Whipper-in gets the highest throw, the dog runs back to him.

If the dog's throw beats that of the Whipper-in the dog will chase/continue to the sighted prey.

In addition, for every dog nearby testing dog (within 4") who has already tested & "ignored" the call, add 2 to the next dog's throw. This effect is cumulative (e.g. . first dog tests and "beats" "Whipper-in throw. Next dog throws, adding two to its dice throw, and also beats Whipper-in. Next dog throws, adding 4 to it's dice throw etc.). This is to represent the "pack instinct".



Hue & Cry:
If a lawful, low-status human is injured by the Hunting Party (dogs or men) in line of sight and within 18" of other low-status folk (occupied buildings count as "folk" for this test) throw a 6D. Add to the dice

1 for each person seen to have been attacked.

2 for each person seen to have been attacked and injured.
5 for each person seen to have been killed.

Double the above if the person injured/killed is a child.

On a modified throw of + 11 or more the peasants get "Outraged". The total sun is their "Outrage Factor". A group of 2xAveD armed peasants appear at the board's edge (track) or nearest settlement (whichever is nearest to the Hunting party). They will move 6" towards the Hunting Party each move. One in four of the peasants will have bows.

On reaching the Hunting Party the Hunt leader (Norman) will have one chance to placate the crowd. He throws three dice and adds any "Status/Charisma" qualities he may have (as scenario or as part of a campaign). If he fails to beat the crowd's "Outrage Factor" the Hunting Party withdraws. If he throws an unmodified score of three on the dice or a modified score of less than 8 the peasants attack the party. If he beats the "Outrage Factor" the peasants withdraw to the nearest building and the hunt may continue. However, if any further person is attacked/injured by the hunting party two more groups of peasants will arrive from off table and ALL peasants on the table move to attack the Hunting Party.... 






The Table's ALIVE...!!!!!

Or, " How I run a "Live" environment.. This being the middle of the "fighting season" I have been kit-bashing and...