Andy reports on a multiplayer Dragon Rampant game he ran on the April 23rd meeting, with contributions from the players.
We recently had a Society meeting on St Georges Day, there’s only one option for such an occurrence, a multiplayer Dragon Hunt game using Dragon Rampant (DR) rules.
Players were given the following briefing:
You have been drawn to this valley by tales of a Dragon terrorising the locals. Your objective is to gain fame, renown, and maybe even Sainthood, by killing the Dragon.
Then again, Dragons often have huge treasure hoards, picking up any loose gold or gems that might be lying around while you’re at it sounds like a good idea; unless you choose to be a Paladin, as Paladins are above such worldly things as wealth.
The Dragon hunters were asked to put together an 18 point warband, normal DR rules apply, with a couple of scenario specific modifications. Warbands had to contain a minimum of 3 units, and there were a couple of additional upgrades available:
Paladin, essentially the Slayer special rule with enhanced Courage, but not eligible to collect treasure.
Pack animals, which would allow a unit to carry an extra treasure token.
The Dragon itself was not limited to the 10 point unit maximum, it was a Greater Warbeast with Flame / Spore, Cunning, Fear and Flying and it had a modified failed courage test response.
Six players took part, order of play was determined by the draw of a card on each turn, one card for each of the players and a Joker for the Dragon and other fauna. The player’s army lists and game reports follow:
Swamp Army – Kim
Swamp Dragon (Elite Foot, 6 points). Leader.
Lizard Warriors (Heavy Foot, 4 points)
Small Lizards (Light Missile, 4 points)
Skeletons (Light Missile, 4 points)
First move kicked off with a random encounter consisting of a pack of wolves to the rear, lizard heavy foot turned to engage with Swamp Dragon. Casualties to both sides. Swamp Dragon engaged in subsequent turn and activated a swarm of poisonous spiders. Wolves eventually destroyed but the spiders succeeded in destroying Lizard Heavy Foot. Lizard light missiles failed to score any hits. Spiders finally destroyed by Swamp Dragon. Gained 2 treasure tokens.
Failed several activation attempts and got left behind other armies. Finally managed activation with a couple of units and headed to stream which was finally crossed just in time to see demise of the Dragon by Steve’s dwarves. Obtained a further treasure token, and as the army was isolated from any other units headed off table.
Final score 10 treasure and loss of 4 points.
Final position was more by default than any strategy due to failed activation attempts.
Thorin’s Company – Tony F
Thorin (Elite Foot, 6 points). Leader.
Dwarf unit #1 (Offensive Light Foot, 5 points)
Fili, Kili, Dwalin, Balin, Oin, Gloin
Dwarf unit #2 (Light Foot with Mixed Weapons, 5 points)
Ori, Nori, Dori, Bifur, Bombur, Bofur
Bilbo (Scout, 2 points)
“Thorin looked at the map, looked up, studied the landscape ahead and then went back to the grubby piece of parchment again. The wizard that sold it to him in the Hungry Ogre tavern – well, he said he was a wizard, he had the pointy hat and everything – had sworn that it showed him the way to Erebor and his long lost kingdom. But now they were here, something didn’t seem right. This really didn’t look as he’d expected – the city of Dale should be over there, the lake over there and as for the mountain – well, that hill over there just didn’t seem big enough.
The rest of the dwarves resumed their grumblings behind him. They were all hungry and fed up with their month-long diet of Cram, and the apparent lack of progress in their quest was beginning to test even the patience of the normally placid Balin.
So Thorin decided to lead. If in doubt, bark some orders and at least sound like you know what you’re doing. The hobbit was getting on his nerves – he’d had an ‘I told you so’ look on his smug, mousey features for the last two days – so Thorin sent him off ahead. ‘Burglar, time to earn your share. See that ruined chapel over there, on the other side of the stream? Use your skills and see if there’s anything in there we can use’. With a bit of luck he might get eaten by a giant spider – that would wipe the grin off his face…”
I drew one of the better deployments on the table, on the far right flank. It turned out to be even better, since the hunting party to my left (Kim) kept managing to fail his activation rolls so left me alone. I sent Bilbo ahead to do his scouting job – he triggered a couple of random events which turned out to be nothing, and grabbed the first treasure token. Pushing on, he was the first unit of any party to cross the stream, but in doing so he unearthed a nest of venomous spiders in a wood. The giant arachnids charged the first group of Dwarves, threw a bunch of sixes for double hits and battered them, a state from which they never recovered. Thorin had to step in and dispatch the six legged freaks, along with a few well aimed stones from Ori’s catapult.
Bilbo kept up his covert advance, living a charmed life as he uncovered not one but two packs of wolves – the first didn’t see him and just wandered off table, the second also failed to see him and instead fell to Thorin’s rage-fuelled onslaught as the remaining dwarves followed on behind.
By this time the surprisingly wimpy dragon had fallen under the weight of Stephen’s axes, so the main prize had gone. I had three reasonable treasure tokens, so I should have cut and run at this point. Instead, like a true dwarf I got greedy and made a big mistake. Some of Jeremey’s rockmen were in the ruins sitting on a bunch of treasure tokens, so I sent Thorin in – who promptly got his backside handed to him and withdrew, bloodied and battered. The other dwarves had more success and sent the rockmen back, but the damage was done. Tony G saw a chance and send in his giant to finish off the injured dwarf. This ploy failed as the rest of the dwarves came to the rescue, but the delay, along with two successive turns of failing my first activation roll, allowed Tony’s goblin archers to move up. They finished off the second dwarf unit with a hail of black arrows, so in the end only Thorin and Bilbo made their escape.
Instead of getting off the table with three intact units each with a reasonable treasure token (and a total of +8 glory, which would have given me second place), the Dwarvish love of treasure ended up in a negative total and several dead members of the party.
And Thorin still didn’t know where Erebor was…
Wulfric the Wanderer – Eric
Wulfric and bodyguard (Bellicose Foot, 4 points). Leader.
Heavy Foot, Spellcaster, 8 points
Light Riders, 4 points
Scouts, 2 points
Wulfric led his bodyguard in a wild charge sweeping Stephen’s Dwarvish scouts from the field; only for them to be routed in turn by Stephen’s Axe Thanes. The rest of Wulfric’s warband passed their courage test following his departure from the field, but soon after the scouts were annihilated by Stephen’s Axe Thanes.
Wulfric’s Light Riders and Heavy foot pressed forward, only for the Riders to be wiped out by Tree Giants. The only survivors were the Heavy Foot and Spell caster who escaped with 5 points of treasure.
The Goblin Horde – Tony G
Ettin (Heavy cavalry, 4 points). Leader
Fanatics (Bellicose foot with shiny armour, 6 points)
3 x Goblin bowmen (Scouts, 2 points each)
One of the Goblin Bowmen units was given a Pack Animal upgrade, in the form of a pack spider!, at 2 points)
My troops managed to deploy well, with my fanatics attacking a nearby bat unit. The following turn they then decided to attack one of Jeremys units instead which semi backfired when the bats attacked me. In the meantime, rest of the troops bogged down and couldn’t move out of the woods.
The next turn my leader charged the bats and wiped them out, and with Jeremy’s troops moving towards the stream my fanatics were luckily isolated (no wild charge!!)
Over the next couple of turns my dice rolling was appalling and only one scout unit managed to do anything resembling an advance.
Finally my troops did get going but again bogged down with several turns ending with an initial roll of double 1!!
Following the very quick demise of the dragon to the dwarves, the only way I was going to get anywhere was to grab as much treasure as possible and with that my fanatics attacked one of Eric’s units and whilst I wiped him out, my courage roll failed spectacularly and the fanatics fled the field.
By this time there were not many warbands left on the table so my Ettin with a unit of scouts went seeking part of Thorins company after the scouts softened them up, my Ettin charged and subsequently fled when the resulting melee was a draw (which pretty much summed up my day!!)
The Force of Nature – Jeremey
Heavy Rockmen (Heavy Foot, Spellcaster, 8 points). Leader.
Tree Giants (Heavy Foot, 4 points).
2 x Rockmen (Light Foot, 3 points each).
The forces of nature were on the march once more. I had a very simple army for this game but went for a full blow spellcaster to help cope with what this unusual game might throw up. My army came under attack from Tony G’s goblins from the start and soon saw one of my Rockmen units destroyed outright. With a crowded battlefield and coming under attack I made for the river and a chance to collect up some treasure.
Despite making some distance two constants of the game soon presented themselves. The treasure tokens each had a value with 1 being the lowest and yes you’ve guessed it the first three tokens I collected were all worth just 1 point each. The other aspect was each token collected had the potential to summon some random unit to deal with. In the end I spent more time fighting the random units than the other players.
But a quick dash to collect some more treasure after the Dragon had been killed at least provided some reward for having to fight across every inch of the field.
Kergen Sourtooth is a well known dwarven sorcerer amongst the dwarves of the Grimwold Hills. He had learnt of the location of a dragon, and dragons are known for their gold and also for the knowledge they possess. Two things that any sorcerer, and a dwarven sorcerer at that, would prize.
He had with him his two two bears – Doombear and Brawnbear. In addition he had his familiar, a colourful Jay called Orvar As well as these companions, a band of axe-thanes and scouts also signed up for this adventure. Together they would raid the dragon’s lands.
They hadn’t been the only ones with this idea. Other parties were also in the dragon’s valley, obviously after the same thing. A right motley bunch they were as well – another band of dwarves with a halfling thief, goblins, lizardmen, human barbarians, and a party of rockmen.
Kergen and his team used the cover of some woods to make their advance. But their cover was blown by a band of human berserkers. These savages charged the scouts and cut them down to a dwarf. Not content with that, they turned on Kergen, Doombear, and Brawnbear. This didn’t go quite so well for them – they’d underestimated the aged dwarven sorcerer! The human barbarians were pushed back with many casualties, but Brawnbear had fallen. Such sorrow.
But such anger as well! Kergen would have none of this and as the humans licked their wounds he summoned his powers and with the elements behind him he cast a mighty power bolt at the murderers who were all slaughtered. Let that be a lesson to them.
Kergen led the rest of his treasure-seekers along the edge of the woods, between some scrubland, and looking toward a river crossing.
To his right he could see the lizardmen, but they seemed occupied with some menace of the valley. To his left were more of the human barbarians – he dithered here, the anger at losing Brawnbear still with him, but the humans were being waylaid by a pack of wolves and to make Brawnbear’s sacrifice mean something it would be best to achieve the aims they set out to complete.
Kergen led his troops across the ford. And there, ahead of them, they could see in the distance the dragon’s ruins and low and behold the dragon itself was abroad!
Kergen drew his axe-thanes into ranks. He turned to them and said:
“Well met, my fine fellows! Let us see off this dragon once and for all. Here is my plan – I will use my magic to hide you in a cloud of mist. The dragon will think it is aught but morning dew, and this will allow you to get close. Then, just as you reach the dragon, I will lance him with another of my power bolts, and then you can put this dragon to an end and his treasure will be ours! What say you, worthy dwarven thanes?”
“Aye”, they cried. A joyous, “AYE!”.
And that is what they did. The thanes approached under cover of the mist, then Kergen struck the dragon with a power bolt.
At that, the thanes charged from out the mist with their axes ready, and they slew the dragon!
Knowing the jealousy of those who were also seeking the dragon’s treasure, Kergen then led his dwarves, laden with dragon gold, out of the valley and back to the safety of the Grimwold Hills.
And such was the glory and renown he earned from this escapade that he was henceforth known as Kergen Dragonsbane!
The players received, and lost, Glory points as follows:
The value of any Treasure tokens removed from the table.
Loss of glory equal to the points value of each unit wiped out or routed
In addition to the Stargrave game previously reported, there were two other games run at this meeting, both using rulesets new to the Society from from Two Fat Lardies .
First up the 6mm Ancients players tried out the Strength and Honour rules with a couple of games involving Roman and Pontic armies.
Our members collections are primarily based for Field of Glory / DBM, so for this trial game Perspex bases were used to reflect the bases sizes in Strength & Honour.
The first game was a narrow Pontic victory, the second was a Roman walkover.
Some members are also building some armies in 2mm for these rules on the regulation bases, here’s a Roman legion arrayed in the triplex acies:
The second game to feature a new ruleset was an early WW2 game using “O” Group rules. This featured a British advance on German positions, and ended in a German victory as the British failed to inflict enough damage on the Germans.
Finally, a few pictures from the Stargrave game that didn’t make the game report.
At a recent meeting Stephen ran a multiplayer Stargrave scenario:
Rather than a full blown battle report I thought I’d present the game as a photo report. Five star captains made their way to a disused research facility – Catrix Station. Each was after loot, but to keep things interesting they also had their own objectives…
Jeremey Captain Blake
Tony Captain Hosvarn
Eric Captain Kadel
Phil Captain Rita
Andy Captain Reynolds
Note some references to past TV/Film characters
Any of the Captains that actually made it into the main Catrix Station building (see the photo of Captain Hosvarn above) landed themselves with a 150 credit bill for decontaminating their starships following a Tribble infestation.
A tad late today, sorry folks, but here’s the latest update on member’s painting.
First off, Stephen is painting up some sample packs to test the waters on a couple of projects he’s been umming and ahhing about for the last year or so.
Above you can see some 15mm ECW Scots from Peter Pig.
He’s also trying to find his WW2 mojo, he’s undecided on figure size, but wants to focus on infantry actions rather than tanks.
First off we have some Warlord Games 28mm Late war British infantry, a recent free sprue from one of the wargames magazines.
And changing size, some Russians based up for Crossfire, also from Peter Pig.
Eric continues to work on some Games Workshop figures, a chaos marauder and cultist:
Mark has been working on his 6mm Saxon 1809 army, Ist Corp division Generallieutenant Polentz, brigade Generalmajor Lecog, Prinze Celement, von Low and von Cerrini regiments. Basic uniform colour and regimental facings done, flesh, weapon, knapsack and bases to do, you can see the rest of the division in the background including some cuirassiers
Club member Marcus reports on Warlord Games Blood Red Skies…
I recently acquired Blood Red Skies (BRS), largely because my youngest son was given a box of Spitfire’s by a generous hearted warlord employee at the Broadside show last December. He was very excited (thanks Warlord!) and proceeded to watch videos on You Tube. This created a conundrum for me, however. I had seen BRS and been tempted, especially when Warlord offered the club a store-wide discount last year. I do like my aerial gaming. In fact, I have plenty of modern (well, post war) aircraft and some WW2. However, and here is the issue, they are all 1:600. A further problem was that Warlord had switched from the “Battle of Britain” box set to “Midway”. Now personally I prefer the Pacific theatre with all that combined naval and air action, but children like what they like. Anyway, I ended up with a Midway basic box set, Me109’s and Me110’s and duly began painting them up (because who else is going to eh?!) One I had finished two aircraft for each side we gave it a go and soon got the hang of it. I say that; I lost!
At the heart of BRS is a simple mechanic; a flight stand that can hold three positions. Pointing up, the aircraft is climbing and “advantaged”. Level flight is “neutral”. Diving is “disadvantaged”. Aircraft move in advantage order; from advantage to disadvantaged and in pilot quality within each of those states from 5 (Ace) to 1. A simple mechanic, which we certainly got all wrong the second time around. There is also some novelty in the shooting/victory mechanic. You shoot with your dice depending on pilot quality and aircraft weapon rating. The defender can try and block hits with a combination of pilot and agility (occasionally speed for deflection shots). Boom chits result from unblocked hits, but don’t necessarily equate to a destroyed aircraft. An aircraft might be downed but the chits are more like damage tokens. However, collect more damage tokens than aircraft on the table and you lose. There are also a limited number of cards in each player’s hand which can be played on aircraft with the correct traits or as theatre and doctrine cards to affect the game. We also forgot about the tailing rules, which immediately disadvantage an aircraft tailed, for the first part of the game (I’m really bad at this aren’t I?)
This time we played with four aircraft each: 4 Spitfires for me and 4 Me109’s for the Oberleutnant.
Naturally, since we forgot a good portion of the simple ruleset, we seemed to spend a fair bit of time charging about not getting any shots in at all.
Lot of manoeuvring each turn to very little effect and a couple of shots that had no effect in turns 6 and 7.
Then we started to see some action…
…revenge on the Oberleutnant for that loss in the first game.What do I think of BRS so far then? Clearly I know nothing, as evidenced by my account, but the jury is out for me. The Oberleutnant seems to like it in a way he wasn’t when asked if he wanted to play with my other aircraft, but was over games such as “Galactic Heroes” and “What a Tanker!” There has been some interest at the club in playing some Pacific games although I would need a couple more boxes of aircraft to get into the “sweet spot”; many of the designed scenarios to average out at around 18 aircraft. That isn’t cheap. The best price I could find on some Pacific boxes of 6 aircraft is around £22.40. I can buy 6 fighter aircraft for £3 from Tumbling Dice in 1:600 (in fact, I have some painted). Also, at 1:200, sometimes, a bit like “X Wing” the models get a bit crowded and things have to be fudged a bit more often. The latter game makes a good comparison; some expensive models, a bit crowded when you get lots of stuff on the table. BRS is quite expensive and you do get more (just not pre-painted) models, not as complicated generally and you can get quite a few models on the table in a decent time-frame. I think that somewhere in between is what I really want. I’d really like to see a Tumbling Dice/Wings at war carrier variant sometime.
But, if the Oberleutnant likes it, can it be a bad thing? And if it gets an outing at the club, that’s got to be good too right? We will just have to see how it progresses with BRS…
Stephen organised a SAGA Age of Vikings Battle day, several games through the day across a couple of tables. In Stephen’s words:
Hail! Hail! Bleddyn ap Owain, Lord of Bangor, rides victorious! Hail! Hail! Lord Bleddyn has met the Normans and Scots in battle and comes home victor. Glory to his name! Honour to his household! From this day forth let him be known as Bleddyn The Dragon! Hail! Hail!
The header photo shows Bleddyn and his warriors off raiding. Here are a few more from the various SAGA battles.
Marcus ran another rules development game for his Spy Fi underwater combat rules, based on Galactic Heroes. Bond and friends vs Largo. It didn’t end well for either of them!
Dave ran a Gaslands race day
And, finally, Paul ran a 3mm Ancients game using his own rules.
Stephen gives an account of a Song of Blades and Heroes game…
In this game of Song of Blades and Heroes (SoBH) I had a group of adventurers made up of a hero (Erik Jorgensen) with two sidekicks (Gudrun Frisk and Torsten Brand), a druid (Odinkar Thostenson), a berserker (Ingulf Bloodaxe), and several warriors who were looting a ruin looking for treasure.
There were three treasure tokens scattered throughout the ruins, and looking after them were the undead residents of the ruins!
SoBH is fun, quick, and dirty, and always gives an enjoyable game. Movement and weapon ranges fall into one of three categories – short (75mm), medium (120mm), or long (180mm). Models have only two characteristics – Quality (used for activating, morale, casting/resisting spells, etc) and Combat (used for both melee and missile). It’s that simple. When activating you can choose whether to roll 1, 2, or 3 activation dice. Each success allows you to take one action. Roll two or more failures when activating a model and initiative passes over to your opponent (yes, that’s right – if you only roll one activation dice for each model you’ll get to activate all your models, but you’ll move slowly and find it hard to do heroic deeds. At some point you’ll have to start rolling more dice!). Dead simple.I split the human forces into three groups with the aim that each group would make a grab for a different piece of treasure. Two of the groups had an archer each, plus one of the hero’s sidekicks, and two warriors. The third group had the hero, the druid, and two warriors. Berserkers can not form groups so have to go solo, but the berserker was positioned with the hero’s group and he would go the same way as them, just wouldn’t be able to do a group move.
So, on the first turn, Ingulf (the berserker) moved up through the ruins, passing between two buildings. The rest of the humans also moved up. Humans usually move medium, but in difficult going (e.g. ruined buildings) they are reduced to short. When initiative passed over to the undead occupants the first thing to move up was a skeleton minotaur. With a move of long, and three successes to boot, it came loping up at top speed and charged Ingulf.
This would turn out to be a very significant move and would cause Erik’s group a tremendous amount of problems.
The rest of the undead forces also moved up. A group of skeletons occupied the ruins where one of the treasure tokens was, meaning Torsten and his followers would have a fight on their hands. And Gudrun and her group, moving through a burnt out building, found themselves facing a pair of skeleton archers and another gang of skeletons armed with spears, swords, and axes.
The skeleton minotaur was more of a threat than anyone realised, because Ingulf went down – not killed, but knocked down. To save his bondsman, Erik ran up to engage the minotaur, to give Ingulf chance to get back on his feet. But the minotaur’s heavy axe was not going to stop – and down went Erik Jorgenson. Not just knocked down, but the lack of movement and amount of blood could mean only one thing: Erik had been killed!
This caused a morale roll on all the humans. One or two were shaken by the death of this noted hero and moved backwards, to consolidate. One of the warriors, an archer called Frode, was so shaken by Erik’s death that he fled the field entirely.
Now the skeletons launched an attack on Thorsten’s men. Not only that, but a pair of ghouls, carrying an axe in each hand, also moved up on Thorsten. Gudrun and her group had to put up with arrows whizzing past their ears as they picked their way through the ruins, but none of the arrows actually hit their mark.
Things took a turn for the worst in the middle. Ingulf had stood up, but the minotaur’s axe would have another victim, and Ingulf too fell dead beneath the hefty blade. Not just that, but Skade, a warrior, was also felled. This left just the druid, Odinkar, on his own against the minotaur skeleton. Not a good position to be in.
On the right, with Thorsten and his men, the battle with the skeletons continued with Thorsten facing off against three of the skeletons on his own. Colden looked to be in dire straits, with the two ghouls coming for him. Surprisingly, he managed to hold his own, dropping one of the ghouls to help even things out.
Gudrun and her mob got stuck in a prolonged fight on the left. The skeleton archers continued to shoot arrows and continued to be ineffective. This gave Gudrun and the others the chance to finish off the other skeletons before charging the archers.
Odinkar the druid, meanwhile, was in quite a predicament. The minotaur took a swing at him and fortunately for Odinkar he missed. The druid then cast a spell, Fist of Thorns, to give him a bonus in the melee. This worked, and pushed the minotaur back. Odinkar is no fool though, and realising he’d had a lucky break, he turned around and made a run for it toward Thorsten and his men. Meanwhile, hearing the panicked yells and calls coming from the druid, Asmund (an archer in Gudrun’s team) came running over to help Odinkar with the intent of shooting the minotaur. But Odinkar took matters into his own hands – he cast another spell, calling out to the wilds to come to his aid, and a wolf came from out the wilderness to help him. To give the wolf a chance against the minotaur, Odinkar cast another spell – Transfix, and the skeleton minotaur found itself suddenly wrapped in brambles and briars, unable to move.
This is what was needed. The wild wolf pounced at the stricken skeleton minotaur and brought it down – destroyed at last. It had come at quite a cost though. Odinkar breathed a heavy sigh of relief.
Torsten and Colden were doing well. Thorsten had managed to destroy two of the skeletons and so it was only a matter of time until the third went down. This gave another of Thorsten’s men, Fritjof, the opportunity to rush ahead and grab one of the treasures, ensuring the band of thieves would get away with at least something!
On the left, with Gudrun, things had also started to improve – Gudrun and Hakon had advanced to a ruined church. Ahead, Hakon could see a group of zombies, slowly shuffling forward. Gudrun stood back, as the better fighter it made sense for her and her blade, Naegling, to stand ready in case of attack whilst Hakon grabbed the gold chalice out of the church. But as Hakon rushed into the ruins the noise and commotion alerted a swarm of bats who quickly swamped the young viking with bites and sharp claws.
Would things ever get easy? Not for Hakon, who was overwhelmed by the bats and was taken down. The wolf, meanwhile, had come charging forward and fortunately for Gudrun attacked the zombies. There was nothing for it – Gudrun drew out Naegling and sliced into the wicked bats.
Well, the game had more or less come to an end. Gudrun finished off the bats and quickly made off with the treasure as well.
The group had paid a vicious price for their loot – Eric Jorgensen was no more, neither was Ingulf. Other warriors had also fallen to the otherworldly guardians of the ruins. One more treasure token remained, but the group decided to cut their losses – two out of three ain’t bad. Just as well for them, because the final treasure token was also under guard…
SoBH is a great game – just right for throwing a few miniatures on the table with minimum preparation and fuss. My game had taken no more than an hour and half. You can use whatever miniatures you want, and is a good excuse for using some of those old 80s role playing figures you may have lurking around but can find no use for.