Monday, 18 March 2019

"The Only People We hate More...".

And so the "Aiding The Civil Power" exercise goes on...

As we left it the Romans had arrived and the various Agitator cadres were ready for the off.....

For the first six or moves so the Romans do nothing - leaving the various Agitator cadres to get busy....

The squad from the Home Rule For Galilee (HRG) drum up support fairly quickly, reaching their "Magic Twenty" and (after some hesitation) deciding to head for the main square of the town...



Meanwhile the other groups have also been trying to pull in the punters - not as successfully, but make low progress.

(Technical note: once a civilian has been "tested" to see if they will join a Agitator group, and neither gone home nor joined the group, they are at once placed next to a barricade, in a "huddle". These "huddles" class as "units" if further approached by hostile forces/decisions are needed.)



All goes well, with - apart from a little heckling between groups at street corners until the Popular Front also decide to also head into the main square to garner support from the folk at the barricades. There is a stand off between the PFOJ and the HRG - and the stone throwing begins..

(Civilians and Agitators may throw stones, pots, brickbats, anything that comes to hand: target within 6" and clear line of sight needed. I throw one dice per thrower per move (represents multiple throws). To hit throw 5 or 6, then test for effect; 6 = casualty, 3-5 shock. If target casualty has armour/shield the test with a saving throw). No ammunition rules; after all "they've got them up there, lying around on the ground").





In the north west of the town the PPF and Rose of Sharon Resistance separate; the PPF leaving the town and heading for the outlying buildings to the north east. Neither party are having much luck raising support.....

Meanwhile: in the square the PFOJ are getting the worst of it. They withdraw to their headquarters and carry on throwing stuff from the roof; but the HRG having the numbers and some javelin bods, slings and archers, gain the upper hand. 






















After taking casualties, the PFOJ pull back - heading for the as yet unexploited area of the town by the dye-works.

Rejoicing in their victory, the HRG set fire to the PFOJ headquarters....





Whether the sight of smoke from the burning building has prompted it or not, the Romans now move. Their CO has decided to go for the middle of the table. While the Agitator groups continue rustling up support (or, in the case of the HRG deciding to also torch the HQ of the Rose of Sharon Resistance) the Romans advance closer.



 


They spot the PPF near the buildings outside the town and their archer unit moves to cover any approaches from this quarter. The infantry are sent forward to clear the barricades so as to allow access for the cavalry.


In the centre of town the HRG appear stricken with indecision. As the largest group they are best placed to inspire an attack on the Romans, but instead they pull back to their HQ..... What are they playing at....?

The Roman infantry unit splits; one detachment heading into town and pushing apart a barricade, the other forming up to defending their line of retreat, as the Rose of Sharonites move towards the graveyard and start throwing stones and shooting at the cavalry. Some troopers/their horses go down, but the Tribune in command orders them to hold.





While all this is going on the PPF decide to engage the Roman archers - chucking stones, loosing arrows and slinging shot. The Romans start taking casualties, and the unit commander gives the order to return fire.


For the next few moves this shooting match will continue, then the PFOJ will also leave the town and rush round to flank the Roman archers and also start shooting. There are casualties on both sides; but the archer commander is determined to hold his ground, despite fighting on two fronts, while neither Agitator group has the bottle to close to hand to hand.



Meanwhile, in the town the leading infantry unit enters the square, soon to be followed by the C.O. and the cavalry; but things start to unravel.. While the Agitators still in the town (the HRG) remain on the roof of their headquarters, content to snipe at the fort, the civilians at the main barricade in the square stand their ground and the Roman infantry have to go in with their cudgels.



The civilians are pushed back - but when the (over-enthusiastic?) auxiliaries reform there is a civilian body on the ground...

Now the town really erupts - those still in the square and on the rooftops overlooking the Roman advance start bombarding the Roman troops with rocks, pots and bits and bobs. Infantry and cavalry troopers start going down (unlucky dice - or are the townsfolk, remembering Abimelech, chucking millstones now).



But the C.O. is determined to finish his mission; The cavalry form up in the square while the infantry push a gap in the main barricade. With the relief column in the square the fort occupants "test" and come out. There is still some desultory rock-chucking from the crowd, but this has little effect.



Outside the town the archers are still involved in their indecisive fire-fight with the PPF and PFOJ, but the ROSR now take the bull by the horns and charge out from the graveyard to assault the small infantry unit guarding the line of retreat from the town.



There is a sharp tussle. Some of the auxiliaries fall, but the Agitators suffer worse, and are pushed back. This seems to break the spirit of the Rose of Sharon Resistance, as they pull right away, and make no more sorties (missile or hand-to-hand) against the Romans for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, the PPF pull away from their battle with the archers to lick their wounds. They, likewise, seem to have had enough.



The cavalry, the rescued folk from the fort and the leading infantry unit exit the town and form up. The wounded are put onto makeshift litters and the whole force moves off towards the board edge from whence they originally came. The archers also reform, as the PFOJ pull back slightly, and move to act as flank guards to the main body. The PFOJ will shadow the column as it withdraws, but does not engage as the Romans, their charges and wounded, leave the field....




Game over.... Well, almost....

Back in the town the Home Rule for Galilee cadre wake up again, now consisting of twenty nine fighters they decide to torch the HQ of the PPF then take over the fort......

If it weren't for the dice decisions it would be easy to think that THAT (gather support, avoid the Romans, humiliate the other cadres by burning their HQs and taking over the fort; leaving themselves as the most powerful group in the town) was their plan all along.....



Well, that was cracking fun... I ended up taking more of a back seat - judging likely probabilities and throwing dice - rather than "playing" but thoroughly enjoyed it. The mechanics were simple, but worked, and the seemingly random actions of the rival cadres could, in retrospect, be looked at as being part of a narrative (certainly no more random that some of the historically testified actions one reads about). The civilians turning on the Romans, once one of their own was killed, again - though dice-driven - felt logical.

For the Romans Mission only partly accomplished - and with a bloody nose.....

The Romans being what they are, it looks like property prices in Beer-Bevakasha could be taking a tumble shortly.....


Saturday, 16 March 2019

Oh...! Little Town...!!!

Next Phase in the "This ain't the Judean Revolt".... A little Local Difficulty.. 

After the recent roughing-up of a local tagger in the Watch Station, and his dragging off to the Big City by a visiting centurion and his support squad, the little settlement of Beer-Bevakasha is in uproar....


Protests outside the station house ended in a few respectable towns folk getting jostled - and then thumped - as the Watch cleared the streets. This only made matters worse - and when the townsfolk (stirred up by agitators) took to the streets en-mass demanding the town council sack the Watch Captain - and send representation to The Procurator to appeal on behalf of their local lad - some of the town's decurions panicked, and convinced the Watch Captain to move them and his men into the abandoned fort in the centre of town, while sending to The City for help. THIS has only made things worse....



Thus far, apart from a little stone-throwing, there has been no violence; but the populace has raised barricades - effectively besieging the fort until their demands are met...

Meanwhile, more radical factions within the town are hoping to turn matters to their advantage...
A small force has been sent to deal with the issue, and it's commander issued with instructions:

The barricades are up, but no attacks on the fort will take place unless the various agitator groups manage to drum up support...On their respective rooftops are cadres of various agitator groups..

The Rose of Sharon Resistance..

On move 1 each cadre leader and standard bearer will start moving among the populace. Each move they can try to win over all civilians within 3" of them (dice throw 1-2 and the civilian is removed from the board - i.e .goes home... On a throw of 6 the civilian becomes a fighter for this group.
Once "converted" into fighter civilians will reappear as slingers/bow/other light infantry.....


The HRG (Home Rule For Galilee) cadre...

Once a cadre reaches a total of 20 fighters (commander and standard do not count) they MAY decide to attack either the fort OR, if the nearest rival cadre has fewer followers than themselves, that cadre (dice for choice). Cadre HQs can also be attacked...

The toughs of the People's Patriotic Front...

On reaching their 20 members cadres MAY also attack the Roman relief forces - but ONLY if the Romans are closer than any rival group not already in combat with the Romans and only if the Roman unit under attack is outnumbered by attackers (of any cadre or cadres).Cadres can also make "house calls": by spending a move "doorstepping" a housebuilding a cadre commander can try to get the householder and their menfolk to come out and fight. Householders come out as shield-bearing, close combat light infantry on a throw of 5 or 6. Throw another dice and this is the number of men the household can supply. Houses/buildings can only be called on once....

The Popular Front of Judea.


Cadre activation is automatic, but the order in which group is activated is random per move (diced for). Certain cadre decisions will also be dice-driven.

The Watch, in the fort, will only make a sortie once a Roman foot Unit enters the square.




The Roman relief forces will be "reconnoitring" to start with. They will dice 2x6D per move. On a throw of 12 they will start to move towards the town. Their target is the square and fort. Any route decisions will be diced for.

Once activated the Romans will be automatically activated each move. Any decisions the Romans have to make will be dice driven.
However; The Romans are NOT supposed to do any killing of civilians; this is an "Aid the Civil Power" mission, not a killing mission. They can force their way through a crowd as if "in fisticuffs" by causing shock on the crowd...




If actually attacked by the cadres thing might change...

Any Roman unit attacked will make a 1x6D dice throw. On a result of 1 or two they ditch their cudgels/un-lagg their spearpoints and use their weapons normally for the rest of the game on ANYONE blocking their route - i.e civilians in they way will be attacked as fisticuffs and take casualties - with no saving throw...

Romans lose victory points for every non-cadre civilian killed.


Now "the calvary" have arrived.... Oh dear... This could be nasty..
For everyone..



And maybe it WASN'T a good idea to send some possibly trigger-happy Syrian archers.......


Wednesday, 13 March 2019

"People Called Romanes, They Go The House ?"

A Graffiti Game...

The quick little vandalism game completed...

Our unnamed bold boy sets off. We are "playing" him.

All patrols (unless in LoS of him or directed towards him by people he has passed, but not paid-off) will move randomly, all NPCs likewise.

Basically I throw three different coloured dice per group/individual - an Activation Dice (if this is less that 3 then the subject is not activated that move), a Distance Dice 9hoe far they move) and a Direction Dice (where).

If our boy walks into the Ladies of the Night, drunks or the Crazy Cat/crazy Goose Lady (or vice versa) he is "trapped" for a move in conversation.

The cowled guy is a local, fruit-loop, serial killer. If he catches ANYONE alone and unawares from behind they are toast. However, if they sense him and turn (and scream/shout) he runs off... Shouting attracts Patrols.

The muggers will attack our hero and relieve him of his bribe money. These ne'er do wells will shy away from any patrols...

NPCs and Watchs starting positions are decided by dice-throws. They are set up.
"Our" entry point and the Roman Patrol (at board edge) entry point are diced for, and we're off.... 

Our lad decides the front of the (currently unattended) Watch HQ (double points) in the small square is a good place to start... He makes his way there..





But "Old Cowley" the serial killer is lurking nearby.... He gets activated while we are painting, slinks round and moves towards our hero...

Luckily (dice) he is sensed, our boy turns, waves an aggressive paintbrush and the weirdo scuttles off..
Madam Palm also sashays into the square on the far side, but is too far away to distract our lucky lad...However, while our chap has been sneaking others have been moving about, and just as he finishes painting he detects the clink and stamp of "The Patrol" coming up from the direction of the dye works....



They see what he is up to and give chase.
He nips into the Main Square, then down the side of Watch HQ..



He loses some paint in running from them for the next couple of moves, but not too much - and they keep him in LoS... Racing along the back of the headquarters he turns a corner then risks pushing into a compound.. No dogs; so he hides there..

The Patrol pounds up to the corner, but he is nowhere is sight...



The Romans hang about a couple of moves, while the Centurion considers his options, and are joined by some Watchmen. For a moment it looks as if they will conduct an area search. But then some noisy drunks hove into view, blunder through the Patrol and cause a nuisance - and so are taken off by the Watch for a night in the cells. Their quarry having scarpered, and having lost a move tangling with the drunks, the Romans move off towards the main square.



Our hero climbs over the opposite wall of the compound where he is hiding (losing some more paint to spillage) and makes his way over to the dye works to refill his pot..




Once done he meanders along the streets, stopping here and there to slap up a slogan. Apart from a short delay, when he is buttonholed by the Crazy Cat Lady things go well - the Patrol seems to have decided to mooch about the main square for a while and this part of town seem quiet...

In another part of town the Cowled Creeper tries to sneak up on a Lady of the Night, but is spotted. There is some screaming and he is again foiled - but all of this is out of hearing of the Patrol (had they heard any screams they would have investigated). They remain mooching around the Square...





Another three sites sloganised our plucky lad reaches the warehouse, slaps some paint about, then moves across the road to the nice white wall of a private house. The Patrol is on the move again, but seems slow. Their hearts don't seem to be in it - or they are guarding the prime targets of the statue and the abandoned fort; who knows....




However, as he paints up another slogan the folks at the tavern spot see our boy and come across to see what he is about. Jolly and friendly they may be, but this will delay him - and he can only get rid of them by paying them off...



He does so.... Only another site or two and his job will be done. He by-passes the tavern and heads down an alleyway - where there is a nice quiet spot for graffiti on a well-to-do mansion...

However, while he is happily painting, one of the muggers turns the corner and heads his way.... Spooked, our hero runs off...




Unluckily the Roman Patrol is also heading for this part of town.. They spot him as he streaks past the end of the alleyway - and give chase...




He is, in theory, faster (that is his base speed is faster) than the Patrol, but luck, or the cobbles, are against him and....





Nicked......




Game over.... Not too shabby a result, in terms of damage done, but the capture wipes out the points accrued..... One to the Romans...

Summary;
All in all that was simple, but a lot of fun..

I may need to work on the NPC Activation/Movement mechanics... The basic principles, the Romans, drunks, weirdos and the Watch were fine... The other NPCs less so, but still, all flowed....

The principles of this outing, similar to last years Musketeer Adventures, can of course be applied to a wide range of mission types..


Next time, as the Generator moves along, things might start getting ratcheted up a tad. Whatever happens I will use this board set-up for a couple of games (possibly unrelated) before I pack it up......

I seem to have got the scratchbuilding buildings bug the last couple of weeks, so there is a danger my town could become a city......

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Scenarios Generate...

The "Not The Judean Revolt" Project rumbles on.....Between work, painting, a range of displacement activities and reading (Pat Reid's "Colditz" account.. TOTALLY recommend... And I ended up buying the reprint of the game.. Oh, dear what a bad boy..) we progress..

Hop's Escape..Next Scenario was prompted by actions of the Sanhedrin and is an "escape" scenario.
Hop, the reluctant "Good" Samaritan, has to escape from Jericho..
Hop, his friend Joshua the innkeep (their fates currently in the in the hands of Hop’s mysterious - and dodgy - rescuee “Alpha”) - along with Hop’s irritating business partner Simeon the Sniffler reluctantly in tow - need to leave Joshua's inn (top left in pic below) without the knowledge of local police chief “Mister Jericho”.



A guide, arranged by Alpha through his dubious contacts, is to shepherd the group through Jericho’s dark, dodgy streets, and the maze of irrigation ditches, beyond the town, to a rendezvous with some mules for a fast night trek to Jerusalem (bottom right in pic above).

Potential hazards (apart from a possibly untrustworthy guide, a possibly duplicitous “Alpha”, and the loose cannon that is Simeon) include the patrols of the Jericho Watch (pic below), grudge-bearing associates of the band of ne'er do wells recently “neutralised” by “Alpha” and members of the Barabbas Gang (reluctantly aided by Hop).

Additional problems may include “The Men In Black” (Sanhedrin Enforcement) – and Undercover Tiber Boys (Roman Military Intelligence). Plus all the other dangers of an unlit city at night...

The hazards are encountered based on dice thrown for each street or ditch corner visible to the group each move.  On a throw of "1" a Blind appears at the corner. Next move said blind could be activated and move (direction and distance dice-based).



Activation:
Named characters and the Guide are deemed always activated. Other individuals/groups/blinds throw a dice (1x6D) per move; result effects are 1-3 not activated. 4-6 Activated.

Blinds: At the end of each move the Guide dices 1x6D for every street/ditch corner/junction in line of sight within 12" and, on emerging from the town, for each end of the "perimeter road". A similar check is done for the Town Square. On a throw of "1"a Blind appears. Once within LoS and 8" of the group do a check throw (2x12D) on the Blind Table (below) to reveal the blind type.



Movement:
This is dice-dictated: each named character throws a 1x6D dice and adds/subtracts his personal ability. The result, in inches, is their maximum movement that move. Each activated non-player group does likewise. Each figure/group can, if activated, always move 1". Non-character figures/groups dice to see in which direction or move as per the Blinds Table.

Special Terrain:

Houses may not be entered. Compounds may be climbed into (speed halved) or entered by the gates.

The Tavern may be entered, but counts as "Night-Owls" (see Blinds Table).
Graveyard:The Graveyard counts as hard cover for concealment and shooting.

Simon and spirits. Throw a 1x6D at the end of every move Simon is in the area/within 2” of a tomb.  On a throw of 1 he “sees a spirit”.   A “spirit “  (pic below) will appear 6” away from Simon, starting to move, after Simon’s movement the turn after it appears. 

The Spirit is always Active and moves 1x6D per move directly towards Simon by the shortest route.

If it approaches within 1” of Simon he risks having a heart/panic attack. Throw a 1x6d. On a result of 1 he drops stone dead.  On a throw of  2-3 he becomes incapacitated and must be carried (half speed) by Hop or Joshua  for the rest of the game. On a throw of 4-5 he must stand and recover for 1x6D moves.
Once he has tested the “spirit” vanishes.   (Note; nobody else can see this spirit and this is one-off occurrence -  i.e. only one “spirit” appears per game ).



Dye Works: The Dye Works count as hard cover for concealment and shooting. Movement halved.

If people crossing the dye works are in a “chase” or “hiding” scenario throw a 1x6d for each person for each move they remain in the works (partial moves count as a move).  On a throw of 1 that individual will leave “tracks” for a while when the works are exited (basically they have managed to get dye on their boots).

The leaving of tracks is automatic for the first move/partial move from the works. Thereafter those affected throw a dice per move until a dice throw of 5 or more is thrown (adding 1 to the die each move after the first). Once 5 or more is thrown that individual no longer leaves tracks.

Simon always takes 1 from his dice throw both when testing to see if he will leave tracks and when testing after getting messy…

A “Track Marker” is placed for EACH person leaving tracks. Searchers crossing tracks will spot these if approaching within 2” on a 1x6D and on a  throw of 2-6.  Random Watch patrols crossing tracks will spot and follow these up if approaching within 2” and on a 1x6D throw of 4-6. Tracks remain in situ for the whole of the game.



Individual movement factors;

The Guide and Alpha will move a dice throw in inches per move plus 2".

Joseph and Hop will move a dice throw per move plus 1".

NPCs move a dice throw per move.

Simeon moves a dice throw minus 2". At any time during their move he can be chivvied/dragged along by Hop by both figures moving next to each other and combining their move throws and dividing by two. However, next move Simeon tests with a single dice throw before his movement dice throw. On a throw of 1 he has a paddy and will not move next move at all....

If there are potential enemies in sight Simeon can also be chivvied/dragged along by Alpha by combining their move throws and dividing by two, as with Hop. However, Simeon will be intimidated by Alpha so will not make a "paddy test". Alpha will only do this three times during the game.

All character & NPCs can run by adding 4 to their move allowance. However, NPCs only run if attacking or if the group are already running.

If the group runs it risks being broken up. If the guide or Alpha move more than 12"
from the group at any time then that figure is removed from the board permanently. If the guide goes then thereafter all decisions as to which route the group will take are based on dice throws at corners/junctions. Likewise if any other character moves more than 12" from the group he is deemed lost and his route will be dice-determined.


 
Note; If anyone wonders where the Plot comes from the answer is the novel "Jericho Road" by Claud Cockburn.

So, what happened:

Well the party left Joshua's inn, wandered through the town and, although coming across a solitary (going off duty?) watchman managed to avoid any close encounters with the Blinds which appeared.  Until....

At the edge of town a Blind came very close - and was revealed as 6 of Alpha's mates from the Barabbas Gang.. Excellent. Extra hands...

However, on approaching the complex of irrigation ditches a Blind appeared ahead of the group and, shortly after, two more emerged from the town.



The Blind ahead of the gang was revealed as five watchmen. Outnumbered by the group (now they had the Barabbas Boys with them) the Watch merely watched (it's what they do best) as the escapees climbed up towards the graveyard.


So far so good... But another blind turned up - another bunch of Watchmen, six this time; if the two groups join up our lads could be in trouble. We back into the graveyard....



In the Graveyard Simeon thinks he sees a ghost, panics, and runs straight into the arms of the Watch... One down, as he is taken in for questioning...


At this point, as Hop, Joshua and Alpha run after the guide, who is making off at speed; spooked not by the spirit, but the large number of Watchmen. The Barabbas Boys are also getting jumpy.  They leave our group and withdraw towards the base edge...



With the Watch more interested in the Barabbas lads (diced for) Hop's party make off through the irrigation ditches. There is a close call (a run-in with some drinks), but, within a few moves all is done, and, sans Simeon, the group leave the table for Jerusalem..... 

A partial success for me, the player... On the Generator the embarrassment to the Civil Power of Hop's escape moves the Progress Token nearer revolt.

 

A further move takes place, with the Agitators choosing to use another token; this time the dice throw decides they'll go for for a bit of Anti-Roman vandalism the "People Called Romanes?" scenario....

I tweak the board a little (just add a semi-derelict fort and move the buildings a tad) and scribble out the rules....

"People Called Romanes?"
All our hero has to do is paint up 12 slogans without getting caught by the roving Roman Patrol.

However, this is, again a live night-time environment. Other hazards/potential informants include muggers and various folk who may point the enforcers his way if he has wandered passed - unless he has "squared" them from his limited purse (including various beggars, Watchmen, local night-owls and those wandering wayfarers of the night Madam Palm and her five lovely daughters..).



He moves 4" + a 1x6D in inches.
Painting a slogan takes a full move.
He can run at 6" plus a dice, but must throw a "spillage" dice each move he does so. Each "pip" represents the loss of a tenth of his paint pot. He has another pot left at his starting point, and can refill a pot at the Dye works.

Starting positions for the various folk (apart from the taverners) is diced for, as is the entry and route of Romans, muggers and Watchmen.

Each slogan painted on a "Sensitive Site" (the old Roman fort, the statue in the main Square or Watch HQ) counts double points. Once a Watch unit passes (or passes a unit or person which has already passed) a vandalised Sensitive Site that Watch unit cannot be bribed.

If he succeeds the Revolt Table will progress......
 

Run For Your Life...

A "Naked Prey" Exercise... Another movie-themed game, this time based on the old Cornel Wilde piece - one of those recalled from...