Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Prelude... Additional commentary

The Prelude... encounters are over, the good guys from the south have met the good guys from the north and so the circle is complete.
The last game was good, still way too much stuff on the table though. Tne heroes are very reticent  still and don't seem keen to skirmish unless they have a unit of troops around them. I had a fair number of troops (but actually not as many as I should have had based on the dice rolls, but once I got to 70-odd CV...) and it got very untidy very quickly. I think I will roll up forces and then assign them to PEFs/Bodies rather than use the tables. In theory I could have had in excess of 140 CV which might work in Big Battles but would have been undoable in WHAA.
I need to take the initiative more often. In the last couple of encounters, when the good guys dithered and I just went hell for leather, much death and destruction ensued (on both sides). In the last encounter, when I let the good guys on the western side of the river go two knights decimated my warband. Bad guys have got to get stuck in.
Rules-wise, bad guys took more crisis tests, and more importantly correctly took crisis tests. Good guys less so (even though there were at least four OOFs/ODs). It's amazing how often the good guys remember that crisis test need to be taken when a bad guy gets hurt!
PEFs in line of sight aren't PEFs, they're bodies of troops, so they don't need to be hidden, and more importantly don't need to move randomly!
I've generated or lifted from the last encounter the personal warbands/comitatus of the main bad guys (the lich, the demon, the goblin, the wraith and the vampire) and from now on these will form the core of any encounters.
I've added the AC rule to the house rules page and updated some of the skills. See this post, House Rules, and this post, WHAA Skills, respectively.

Kronin's Lament

(Again lifted bodily from Dave's email and used with o permission whatsoever...)
Gurhin, King of the Grey Peak sat brooding. News had just reached him that Kronin the Barbarian had sung his deathsong just outside Ailech‏. The Trollhunter had been unbeatable in his trade but this had been a tale of woe from the beginning.
Kronin’s comrade, the healer, had sent word of his end. The band were part of a mixed band of warriors withdrawing from the ruins of Ailech. Kronin had lost most of his band in this adventure and was depressed about his loss of reputation. In the end he had stood as the rearguard before being buried under a tide of Undead warriors. This action allowed most of his comrades to fight their way to safety although both the Men & Elves were much reduced.
For the time being Dokk the healer and Throrin the berserker remained in the group though they would be hard pressed to rebuild their band in such a place, not many dwarves dwelt in that region.
Gurhin made his decision; he needed to know more of these far off events. He must send a team of his own to gather information in case the last 2 dwarves perished.
Working in her herb garden Gudrun though of Dokk and hoped the amulet she had given him continued to offer him the protection of her ancestors.

Prelude: Across the Redwake

After a cold night camped in what little cover was available, the refugees from Ailech have awoken in hostile territory close to the Erwach Bridge intending to break through the Goblin patrols to get to Fluchtdorf. The greatest fear is that the Undead will continue their pursuit and catch the fleeing refugees before they can cross the bridge. Meanwhile, word has reached Fluchtdorf and the local Baron, von Zarovich, has sent out a force to help the refugees across the Redwake River.  Belinus mac Gadeon and his Seniirans had headed north to find another crossing fearing that overnight the opposition guarding the bridge may have become overwhelming.
The heroes set out for the bridge but were noticed by a goblin patrol off to their left. Swift action by Bishop Guire's borderers and Greencloak's elves, dealt a critical blow to almost all of the patrol while the rest of the heroes forces pushed on. Critically a force that was suspected to be close to the bridge proved to be a false alarm and Altengard horns could be heard from the other side of the bridge. Hoping against hope the heroes realised that reinforcements had arrived. True enough, Altengard barony forces and some Borderers were marching eastward towards the bridge.
Hopes were quickly dashed though as from the east following the trail the heroes had taken the previous day another force of Undead (this time led by the Wraith, Azalin Ebonhaunter). A large force of infantry appeared hot on the heroes heels, while across the river a wraith scout found the flank of the Altengard reinforcements.
Again the heroes dithered and again the heroes were forced on to the defensive. With goblins ahead of them and skeletons behind things were looking grim and the fighting became more and more intense. After dealing with the wraith the Borderers and their Altengard allies pressed on towards the bridge, intercepting a large body of Goblin infantry along the way. The fighting became tense. A handful of elves and Throrin the berserk engaged the remaining goblins on the eastern side of the river. This patrol  led by Rug Longtooth himself also had an ogre and some Black Moon goblins. The ogre got lucky against Throrin and laid him low which immediately resulted in a panicky attempt to get him clear before he got trampled under the feet of the relentless tide of greenskins. Meanwhile on the eastern ridge the Undead came on without their wraith leader in a slow but purposeful march held up only by the weakened Kronin and some of Guire's light troops. Their fate was to be no less than that of the wounded berserk. Kronin was cruelly stabbed and hacked by the scythes and pole-arms of the vicious undead, while the last of Guire's borderers was left bleeding in the dust. On the western side of the river, the Altengard reinforcements were driving back both the goblin patrol and the force of ogres guarding the bridge. Looking up, the beleaguered heroes realised the path to the bridge was clear and gathering up what injured they could, they made a dash for the bridge and safety. Greencloak's elves and Lord Erkenfried were caught at the lip of the bridge, and the elven archer bravely gave his life to help Erkenfried escape.
Escape had come at a cost though. Kronin was dead, Greencloak's elven band was seriously depleted and only a handful of Guire's borderers still lived. Fluchtdorf lay over the next rise and perhaps Baron von Zarovich could assist with reinforcements...