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...


3 comments:

  1. As always, scenery and Scenario top class.

    ReplyDelete
  2. PS.Still no Posts at benno´s. Honestly...you´ll blow them away with your stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cheers...

    Yes, I MUST post something; I meant to last month but "things" got in the way (as they do).... I'll try & post something this week...

    ReplyDelete

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...