Monday, 22 August 2011

The Handover - Commentary

Another game, another load of fun, another pile of errors.
Didn't do Hardiness tests properly. We allowed the Rat Ogre to recover form its OOF using a Hardiness test 'cos I'd forgotten to take it and then the thing proved impossible to kill. The main reason was that I was using Rep dice counting successes rather than 2 dice against Rep...
There wasn't much melee, but I'm fairly certain that in what melee there was nobody used shield dice.
We've still got too much stuff on the table with 50-ish CV a side. It works but I don't think it's really what WHAA was designed for. We don't get games finished and the large numbers are actually hindering scenario/encounter completion.
We definitely didn't manage group activation properly (I didn't twig until more than half way through and the adventurers never did). We'll need to be stricter on Rep order and on finishing activations before moving on.
We're not managing multiple combats correctly (more in the next commentary).
Got a feel for magic, still missing minor points like targets, ranges and radius for different spell effects but with channelling, Kev's magic was more successful and had some impact.
Otherwise no other problems :-)

The Handover - Narrative

A light mist was rising from the damp grasslands in the southern borders of Altengard. Skeet Moontail sniffed the air briefly. The pinkskins were still following. The item he had stolen from the village didn't seem like much, a lump of orange coloured translucent rock, but the Warlock Council were getting paid a handsome amount of silver for the movement of the rock which would soon be out of his hands. The goblins were waiting in the hamlet ahead and he could smell orcs on the fresh morning air somewhere off to the left.
Suddenly, a group of horsemen crashed through the underbrush and Moontail recognised the spoor of the man-things from the ruined village days ago. Quickly ordering his rats into some semblance of a defensive formation he instructed is Ogre-rat to kill the horsemen while ordering his jezzail team onto a nearby rise to take a better shot at the interlopers. Moontail himself headed to the hamlet .
In the hamlet the goblins awaited the arrival of the wererat pack. Their leader worried that rats were untrustworthy even by goblin standards but had no choice. An incursion by his tribe further north would have encouraged the humans to investigate and that would not fit the master's purpose at all. The chieftain new that his orc allies were out on his flank watching for the rats and that reinforcements would be here soon. It was just a matter of waiting.
The human adventurers and their retinue moved quickly over the cold grasslands, the Mirish thief quickly picking up the tracks of the wererats. The pack came into view and after some long range shooting the rat-thing monstrosity, easily the size of an ogre, charged the Mirish mercenaries. A lucky sword thrust dealt the beast a cruel blow, but elation was short lived and the loud report of a massive handgun was heard briefly before one of the light horsemen was blown bodily from his saddle. Falling back with their wounded the Hykar and Mirish horsemen gave the rat-thing breathing space to pick itself off the ground and roar defiance at the humans.
Looking out from their vantage point in some light woods the bugbear leader spotted some human cavalry and some elves if his eyes did not deceive him. Of the rats there was no sign, but the opportunity to crush some skulls was too tempting. Unleashing the tethers of his war dogs and yelling his own guttural war-cry the bugbear war patrol burst from cover right into a hail of missiles from some human crossbowmen and their elven allies. The fight was over quickly with all the patrol dead or dying in the long grass before the human line. As the death mist clouded the bugbear leader's eyes he thought that perhaps after all this was not a good day to die.
The sound of fighting was troubling the goblin leader. It was obvious now that he and his warband faced some difficult choices, run in the face of an enemy to avoid losses and detection or wait on the cursed rats in the hopes of retrieving the gem the master needed so dearly. Just as he was about to order a retreat two things happened. The promised reinforcements, wolf riders and giant spiders, arrived and the rat warrior came over the nearby rise and rushed towards his position. Quickly giving orders to his Black Moon bodyguard and his archers to take up positions and provide cover he anxiously waited the delivery of the gem.
The reinforcements split in to two groups. The spiders scuttled off towards the bugbears position while the wolf riders rode straight at the human mercenaries. The spiders gave some account of themselves avoiding the withering fire that had destroyed the bugbear war patrol but were soon embroiled in a battle against Border Knights which they had no real chance of winning. Speared on lances and trampled under hoof the spider threat, while never underestimated, was quickly dealt with. The wolf riders were less fortunate, the Mirish cavalry and their Hykar mercenaries aided by Elven bow work shot every goblin out of his saddle.
Foul magic had dealt with the last of Moontail's rat pack. A suggestion whispered on the wind had sent the packrats running and endless befuddlements had left the ogre-rat insensible to the battle raging around him. It was too late though, sensing that the tide of battle was unstoppable the goblins and the remaining rats completed their dark deal and fled southward.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Beginnings - Commentary

A first game of Warrior Heroes: Armies and Adventures. I hadn't seen the rules until 6.30 and we started playing at 7!
Five brave souls have signed up and each generated a Star. We came up with a simple raid encounter, randomly generated wererats and I made up a scenario on the fly...
We did heaps of things wrong. Mainly reactions (I think we may have done one test of wills), but probably a little bit of shooting and melee as well.
That said we all enjoyed ourselves and the Stars randomly generated some retinues/warbands. That bit we did do right (although not until after the encounter). The downside (and we may have to do something about this) is that the heroes have a total CV of around 54 which will mean around 50 enemy per encounter (and potentially as many as 100 per PEF in an unlucky ambush/raid scenario).
We've gone on to play further games (see later posts) and I think it is a thematic problem. Games take too long to play and the bad guys are an unwieldy force.

Beginnings - Narrative

Five brave adventurers, five hardy retinues, one goal.
These are lean times on the borders of Altengard. Winter fast approaches and food and gold are increasingly scarce. Seeking a little of both, the heroes head south towards the coast of the Sea of Stryfe looking to take ship to a Capalan League city state or perhaps distant Seniira in the hopes of finding employ.
En route, with their retinues encamped someway back along the road, the heroes have come across a village which has recently been attacked. Barely a dozen villagers remain and as they start to tell their sorry tale, gongs and drums sound out from the nearby woods. The heroes quickly gather the woefully inadequate defense and move to the low walls surrounding the village in hopes of spotting the enemy. In the dim light of a fading dusk the enemy reveals itself as it skitters and leaps across burnt fields and ruined meadows... Wererats!
It quickly becomes apparent to the defenders that the enemy are approaching from both the south and the west and the village will be difficult to hold on two fronts. The western group led by a Wererat biggun quickly makes the wall and scurries over. As the biggun approaches the first hovel, places a skull sized fist on either side of the doorframe and sniffs the air for prey, one of our heroes dashes forward realising that there are children in the cottage. He steps into the doorway seeking to bar the massive monstrosity's passage. The fight is as brief as it is brutal and our hero is knocked aside. The children scream in fear and desperately drag the injured hero through the back of the cottage towards the village square. The other heroes mount a temporary defence and try to muster as many villagers as possible, but the odds are insurmountable. Packrats start to pour over the south wall and the heroes already tenuous position becomes impossible.
Realising that discretion is the better part of valour the heroes fall back taking as many of the villagers with them as they can. As they flee over the hills on the Northroad back towards their encampment the heroes look back and see that the rats have what they came for. Screeching into the night the Pack Leader holds aloft a fabled artifact which glows bright orange in the fast approaching darkness ... the Gem of Mahallaplenti.