Monday, 21 May 2012

Assault on Sokol Keep - Commentary

Good game, good game. It was alright. I have discovered that my random generation of PEFs does matter. I got a massive number of Petty Demons (5 or 6) having changed from the Demon cult list when I rolled a lot of possessed mages and thought that wouldn't be fair. The large number of actual demons rather than horde or winged men, worked both ways. If there had been no good guy casters there may have been problems with three blasts a turn tearing into them. With the casters though I lost control of one of my petty demons and my minor demon when he came on the board.
I also realised that while bad guys took their crisis tests, the good guys didn't. Not once, even though there were maybe half dozen OOFs and ODs. Oddly, the players always remember that bad guys need to take crisis tests but conveniently forget their own...
I also think I may have done the Banish Demon spell wrong. I'm fairly certain we used the result of the spell on the Test of Wills when we should have rolled separately. So the good guys were getting bonus dice by caballing the test of wills.
I've also worked out why it is so easy for the good guys. They're not facing anything like enough bad guys. I randomly generated the PEFs for four Raid scenarios. I randomly determined the Force Composition and How Many Of Them? using the tables on page 54. This assumed the eight stars (I forgot Danny) and the available force at the beginning of Sokol Keep (roughly 84 CV for the good guys). A couple of the random rolls were CCA and CCB. There was only one CBA. All assumed there were no reinforcement PEFs. The results were as follows:
Summary Raid 1 Raid 2 Raid 3 Raid 4
Archers 6 19 33 47
Goblins 6 10 17 27
Ogres 4 4 5 6
Riders 9 8 13 20
Black Moon Goblins 4 4 11 16
Chariot 5 8 10 11

I don't have any chariots and even at the best price would never have 11! Normally I would have around the forces available in Raid 2, but several of them would be tied up in reinforcements and so may never see the table. Patently though, I'm not putting enough bad guys on the table (that said for most encounter forces I don't have enough bad guys...)

Assault on Sokol Keep

The fight back begins here...
As the heroes try to locate the dwarven survivors in the ruins below the Western mountains, their brave warbands have been recruited by Baron von Zarovich to undertake a daring commando mission to the Keep. The Keep has been identified as the source of the vile magic that generates the insidious enchantment that infects the waters around Ailech harbour, preventing the Silver Elf fleet from retaking the harbour. Ensorcellments have been used to protect the small boats the warbands will use to approach the island, but these could wear off at any time so time is of the essence. If victory proves difficult then the warriors must make their way off the island before the magic fails.
Landing at several points along the western and southern coats of the island, the warbands make good use of the available cover to approach the walls of the Keep. There appears to be little in the way of guards and the gates of the Keep are wide open. Having opted to land at dawn, it is not long before the intrepid warriors are spotted by the two demons looking out across the mist shrouded shoreline and a brief exchange of missiles ensues. Several arrows clatter harmlessly from the walls of the Keep, while a massive fireball explodes, thankfully some distance from the nearest attackers.
Realising that magic could be a solution rather than a problem, the Black Moon Elf enchantress and the Borderer sorcerer combine forces to attempt to bind one of the demons to their combined mental might. The unholy alliance narrowly fails to bend the demon's will on the first attempt, but on the second succeeds and drives the controlled demon to attack the other demon on the wall. This proves to be a short affair and the controlled demon starts to rain fireballs into the Keep's courtyard scattering some of the defenders and forcing the leader of the demonic host into the cover of one of the buildings. Taking advantage several groups of warriors rushed to the gates of the Keep but across the bridge to the city came a hulking monstrosity, a minor demon of hideous visage, summoned from the deepest of the Pits. As it rushed across the bridge the valiant, but outclassed, defenders attempted to put up some sort of defence. Several fell before it's rampage and missile fire seemed to have little or no effect on it's blasphemous hide.
Once again the cabal of enchantress and sorcerer cast their diabolic glamour and once again managed to bend the will of another of the Pit's inhabitants to the devices of the attackers. Swiftly controlling the demon into attacking the Keep, the cabal managed to unearth the demonic host. A flurry of demonic fire took it's toll, killing a vile demonic beast, but also felling the controlled minor demon. The petty demon which had originally fallen to the power of the cabal's magic was sucked into the warp by the vagaries of the enchantments of the Black Moon. All turned on quickly dispatching the remaining demons in the Keep, locating and controlling the Orb of Diametric Fulmination and sealing the gates as rapidly as possible. A solid line of archers fired seemingly endlessly into the mass of demons, accomplishing the first task. Several warriors attempted to harness the power of the Orb, but only the pure nature of the Silver Elf was capable of stopping it's vile magic, thus achieving the second. Finally, a party of brave warriors secured the gate against an advancing party of demonic reinforcements thus achieving the last.
Victory is assured. The forces of the Red Sun can triumph and more importantly, the retaking of Ailech, surely the first step in containing the Black Moon insurrection that has gripped southern Altengard, can begin...

As an aside, Greencloak's frère d'armes has recovered the "Orb of Converse Execration". This item has the effect of adding +3 REP to a caster's attempts to cast either a Curse or Remove Curse spell.