Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Escort the Priestess - SBH game

While Durgon and Flashfire recover from their wounds, Jareth is enlisted by the local church to escort a priestess of renown to a nearby shrine. The only issue is the shortest route is through Wolfen lands. The Wolfen are very territorial, but hopefully a small band of adventures will be able to slip through undetected.

Being down two characters and two still recovering from their wounds, I am in a real pinch since my total combat value will still be used for the game (300 points). To that end, I enlist the use of some followers. I figure with two spearmen and a swordsman that I’ll have enough muscle to get through the Wolfen territory. Also, it’s all I can buy with my fame points so it will have to do. Followers don’t add to your total combat value so it’s a good way to supplement your warband if you have the fame points.

I roll for the enemy warband and it’s going to be 3/2 bigger than my own. That’s means I’m going to be facing off against 400 points of Wolfen. It looks like I’m going to be hard pressed in this game.

The Wolfen (399 pts)

Onyx @ 132
2x Hunters @ 57
3x Fangs @ 51

Models from Rackham - I got a great deal on them

Onyx – Personality (132)
Quality: 3+, Combat: 4
Special Rules: Big, Hero, Long Move, Stealth, Tough

Hunter (57)
Quality: 4+, Combat: 3
Special Rules: Big, Forester, Long Move, Stealth, Shooter Medium

Fang (51)
Quality: 4+, Combat: 3
Special Rules: Big, Forester, Long Move, Savage

Here are the stats for the Priestess (named Verlia):

Verlia – Personality (65)
Quality: 4+, Combat: 2
Special Rules: Cleric, Fearless, Independent*, Magic Resistance, Pacifist*, Short Move, Stealth, Tough

New Special Rules:

Independent (0) – Models with the Independent special rule do not gain the benefits (or penalties) from a figure with the Leader special ability.

Pacifist (-5) – A model with the Pacifist special ability is oppose to the use of violence as a means to settling disputes. As such, this model may not move into base to base contact with an enemy figure, does not grant any modifier in hand to hand combat and may not initiate combat with an enemy figure.

Scenario rules

If Verlia makes it across the board in 10 turns or less, the player will gain 10 x # non-killed models in silver pennies. If it takes 15 turn or less, the payment is 5 x # non-killed models in silver pennies. If she makes it across the board at all, it’s 3 x # non-killed models in silver pennies.

Since this was played solo, I had to set up the ambush rules. The Wolfen does not start on the board, but roll a single die on their turn to determine if they are placed and get to take actions. Each model in the enemy warband will take a Quality test rolling 3 dice to determine how far they must set up. On 3 successes, not within 1 medium; on 2 successes, not within 2 Mediums bands; on 1 success, not within 3 Mediums bands and at no successes, must be set up at the board edge.

Turn / Activation #
1 / 6+
2 / 4+
3 / 2+
4 / Automatic

Turn 1: Jareth rolls a 1 and 2 and the activation ends with only Erdan and Pip moving up. The Wolfen do not activate since I rolled a 2 for them.

Turn 2: The Heroes all move up and the Wolfen again don’t activate [1] - Dice rolls in bold.

Turn 3: Heroes move up and are close to the center woods. The Wolfen activate this turn with a roll of a 6. Onyx passes 2Q and sets up within 2 M. The Hunters pass 0 and 1Q and the Fangs pass 0,1 and 2Q. With the Wolfen having Forester, there is going to be a lot of ambush bonuses (I rolled up the terrain randomly).

It's an ambush - Protect the Priestess at all costs (road from terrain pack by Your Move Games)!

Turn 4: Erdan takes a shot at the Fang in the open, but misses [3 + 2 vs. 3 + 5]. A Hunter was closer, but due to Stealth and next to the woods couldn’t be targeted. I assumed that a character could then ignore that model for targeting purposes. Onyx moves up and with the help of a fang, kills a spearman [5 + 5 vs. 2 + 3].

Turn 5: Erdan shoots at Onyx (closest in view), but fails to hit [5 + 1 vs. 4 + 5]. The swordsman moves next to Onyx and the spearman attacks [4 + 1 vs. 3 + 1] and forces Onyx to retreat. Xaria tries to transfix a fang with a 1 power spell and succeeds as it rolls a 1. Onyx attacks swordsman, but are evenly matched [5 + 1 vs. 2 + 4]. A hunter ambushes pip and kills him [5 + 3 vs. 2 + 2]. The transfixed fang rolls 3 dice, but fails all dice.

It's looking grim for the heroes with Oynx blocking the route out!

Turn 6: Erdan shoots at the hunter than just killed Pip and knocks him down [5 + 2 vs. 3 + 2]. Xaria casts a spell and fails two dice so this will end the heroes’ activation. She wants to spell the knocked down hunter, but the better target is the transfixed one and kills it [4 +5 vs. 3 + 1]. She was outside the short range band on the fallen model, but not the transfixed one. I went with the better kill chance. Onyx attacks the swordsman and knocks him down [5 + 4 vs. 2 + 4]. The Fang next to the swordsman gruesome kills the fallen warrior [6 + 6 vs. 2 + 4] – he’s savage after all! A fang ambushes Jareth after the heroes retreat and they are evenly matched
[5 + 3 vs. 2 + 6]!

The Hunter in the forground is 'Fallen' (notice the new counters).

Turn 7: The Spearman attacks and knocks a fang down [4 + 6 vs. 3 + 3], but the heroes can’t capitalize since Jareth rolls two failing activation dice and the turn passes. The fallen warrior stands up, but then Onyx fails two dice as well and can only move up.

Turn 8: Spearman gets 3 successes and power attacks a fang knocking it down [1 + 6 vs. 2 + 3]. Jareth rolls 3 successes and power attacks the fallen model but can’t get a kill stroke [4 + 1 vs. 3 + 2]! Xaria moves back and spells the fallen fang [4 + 6 vs 3 + 4] killing it! Onyx power attacks the spearman and gruesomely kills him [5 + 5 vs. 1 + 2]. The heroes move back, but Xaria flees. On the 50% loss morale check, Verlia flees and the heroes have nothing to escort and retire off the board.

Wrap up: What a mess. The Wolfen builds with how the terrain was set up were brutal. Being able to avoid the penalties from the forest with a big move made them a tough opponent. Add in the fact that they are Big and with ambush, they are a force to be reckoned with. At 132 points, I was worried on how much I spent on a single model, but Onyx was worth every penny. I guess the next campaign game will be to save the priestess!

I was awarded no silver pennies since I lost the priestess, but I did gain 102 VPs. With 4.5 shares (Followers count for shares, but don’t actually gain XP), Jareth and Erdan gain 2 XP. Pip and Xaria gain 1 apiece. Pip is again wounded (+1 Q per rulebook this time), but at least I’ll have my full warband for next time. I’m down to 61 silver pennies after paying for the upkeep costs on my warband (after each game, you lose a number of silver pennies based on the number of characters played in the game) and the lost followers. I’m still working on this part of the campaign rules so things might be changing as I play

Final Thoughts: I don’t want all these games to be on equal footing so that’s why I made a table to determine the amount of the enemy’s point total based on the heroes warband, but an extra 100 points might be a bit too much! Of course, if I would have rolled 2/3 of my warband size, I wouldn’t be complaining. I do need to tweak that chart to make the values a little closer. Lastly, I’m not sure if the point costs for the new special rules are right, but since they were used on a model that didn’t adjust either warband’s size; I’m okay with them for the time being. Honestly, Pacifist probably should be adjusted (or just be a scenario special) since that model can just be ignored by the enemy since it can’t do anything in the battle in anyway.

New Campaign rules

Followers: Each character participating in the game may locate a follower for the upcoming battle by spending fame points. The point cost of the model is the amount of fame points that must be spent in order to recruit the follower. The follower’s point cost must be less than or equal to 2/3 the recruiting character’s point cost (round normally). Followers count for purposes of XP shares, but do not gain XP. If killed in action, must be paid 1/10 their point cost in silver pennies (rounding up) or 1/5 their point cost in fame points (rounding normally). A follower that survives the battle may be kept for the next battle by spending 1/5 their point cost in fame points. A follower will stay around for a total of 2 battles before seeking instruction somewhere else.

Upkeep costs: At the end of the battle, a number of silver pennies must be spent for the warband’s general upkeep (provisions and maintenance). The cost is dependent on the number of models participating in the game. Followers count for this total, but Mercenaries do not. If the group does not have enough money to pay for the upkeep, each model that did not get the required upkeep makes a 2 dice quality test. Each failing results lowers the quality or combat of the model by 1 for the next fight.

# of models -> Cost
1-3 -> 10 SPs (Silver pennies)
4-6 -> 12 SPs
7-8 -> 16 SPs
9-10 -> 22 SPs
11-12 -> 30 SPs
13-15 -> 40 SPs

Character Advancement: The following table shows the number of XP needed to move to the next level in both quality and combat. To add a special ability, it cost the special’s point cost in XP (so heavy armor cost 5 XP). In order to add any of the personality specials (Leader, Hero Tough, etc), you must first spend 10 XP to become a ‘personality’ and then they cost as above. After any expenditure, remember to recalculate your character’s new point total.

Quality / Combat / XP
-- / 1 / 1
5+ / 2 / 4
4+ / 3 / 9
3+ / 4 / 16
2+ / 5 / 25

So to raise your combat from 2 to 3 costs 9 XP points.

That's it for now. Look for the Priestess rescue in the next episode!

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