Esposito ’44 – Le Mystère de Chalendun set-up and e01 (1 July)

I recently received the solo/cooperative wargame Warfighter WW2 by DVG. I decided to re-skin my Esposito ’44 campaign, replacing Memoir 44 with this squad-level game, that will keep me more focussed on my characters. Also, I thought I want to try the simple Clues in Solo Mysteries and Horror tool by Gerard Nerval. I will use the Game Master’s Apprentice (GMA) deck for inspiration.

I keep the previously defined characters, promoting McRay to Sergeant. I assigned each  character to a Warfighter soldier:

Private Johnny Esposito – Egoistic [Warfighter Squad-Soldier Taylor]
Sergeant Edward Mc Ray – Righteous [Warfighter Player-Soldier McDougall]
Private Theodore Young – Idealistic [Warfighter Player-Soldier Kasinski]

I add the company commander:
Captain Isaac Blum – Pragmatic

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But let’s hear what Esposito has to say:

We are approaching the village of Chalendun. We have heard rumours that there is something of vital importance in or near the village, but there are wildly different opinions about what it is. Honestly, I don’t care: whatever it is, I hope it will not get me killed.

“Clues in solo mysteries” requires to define four possible solutions for the investigation. Each option will receive votes during play. When one of the options reaches a number of ten, the mystery is solved.
I picked these options:

  • A Secret Weapon
  • A Dissident Scientist
  • Some Hidden Treasure
  • An Important Prisoner

I will find a clue each time a German Vehicle or Officer is defeated, as well as for every successful mission. In no mission more than 2 clues can be found.

Our squad has been charged to move forward and take a small bridge, not far from where we are: the Captain says we must keep our eyes open and report anything strange we may find. And we go, McRay leading, followed by Young, the machine-gunner Scanlan and myself. We climb down a steep slope, where we find some opposition that disappears thanks to Scanlan’s fire. We reach some thick hedge rows and we know we are now close to the bridge, but first we meet a large truck, protected by a fair number of Jerries. Mac and Young put their grenades to good use, but I personally shot down the driver of the truck.

I generate a hint using the GMA deck – Belongings: tools, plasma welder. Location: supply depot

Young had a look inside the truck and he said it was loaded with tools, among which a couple of brand new plasma welders; from the labels on the crates, they were directed to a supply depot East of Chalendun.
But then we are attacked again by more Germans. For a moment, we thought Young had been hit, but it turned out to be just a scratch. Mac moves forward until he is in sight of the bridge, but he find it well protected by a whole platoon led by an Officer. We are forced to retreat.

espo_

The tools in the truck might hint to a laboratory for building a secret weapon (+2) or, less likely, to a scientist or securing a treasure (+1 each).

Situation:

  • A Secret Weapon [2]
  • A Dissident Scientist [0]
  • Some Hidden Treasure [1]
  • An Important Prisoner [1]

 

Esposito ’44 – 2 The Bridge at Isigny (8 June)

 

A World War 2 campaign, based on the Memoir 44 boardgame, the M44 Campaign Hero Rules variant posted by Ian Finn on BBG, the Game Master’s Apprentice (GMA) deck and some other ideas collected in Doubt and Bravery. The heroes of this story are:

characters

Private Esposito – Egoistic
Corporal Mc Ray – Righteous
Private Young – Idealistic

Sessions will be narrated in first person as Esposito’s diary. In-character text in italics.

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This battle is based on Memoir 44 scenario Pegasus Bridge.
This is a gaming campaign: don’t expect historic accuracy.

We join a major push towards the interior. Our targets are two bridges, and our company is assigned to the Western one.

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We move forward and we find the bridge protected by two German units: one is firing from a wooded area, the other is closer to the bridge. Our forces are superior: Young’s platoon rushes forward towards the bridge, while our platoon fires towards the bridge with all we have. We do a great job at it, basically annihilating the Jerry’s. The other platoon easily occupies the bridge: target achieved!

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The enemies in the wooded area are also overwhelmed with heavy losses and forced to retreat. Things do not go so well on the the other attack front: we were unable to conquer the second bridge, but heavy looses were inflicted to the Germans, though we took many casualties as well.

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It ended with a victory for the Allies, 4 Victory Points to 1.

All characters take +2 bravery for the victory. McRay gains an additional +1 for contributing in destroying the German unit on the bridge. Esposito passes his promotion roll: Bravery reset to 0.

McRay collected money from Young for his bet: indeed he killed several Nazis today. Mac is angry not only because Young was the first to make it to the bridge. Diplomatically, I shared with both of them my last pack of Lucky Strikes and things are again good between us.

Esposito ’44 – 1 The Beach (6 June)

A World War 2 campaign, based on the Memoir 44 boardgame, the M44 Campaign Hero Rules variant posted by Ian Finn on BBG, the Game Master’s Apprentice (GMA) deck and some other ideas collected in Doubt and Bravery. The heroes of this story are:

characters

Private Esposito – Egoistic
Corporal Mc Ray – Righteous
Private Young – Idealistic

Sessions will be narrated in first person as Esposito’s diary. In-character text in italics.

02_
McRay and Esposito are ready to climb the cliff. Allied casualties inflicted by the advanced pillbox. The other American lost unit will be hit by artillery

We reach the beach near Point du Hoc. I am scared as hell. A nasty pillbox on a protruding rock takes down many of our comrades but thanks god it’s at the opposite side of the beach: where we are it’s much more manageable. I follow Mc Ray, who rushes forward screaming: he seems excited to be finally shot by the Germans. Our platoon is the first to reach the cliff, but when we climb up with are faced by a wall of fire: more German pillboxes. The Sergeant is killed. We retreat to the beach while the other platoons climb up: a mess. On the opposite side of the beach, things go well, we see GIs blowing up the pillbox on the rock.

03
Young takes part to the final attack, while McRay and Esposito are still below the cliff

After a while, we can the signal that we can climb up: the Germans have been killed and some surrendered.
When we camped, Young told us how his platoon blew up one of the pillboxes. Everyone is making fun of us, for retreating back to the beach when the Sergeant died, but not Young. He was not mean, though he was somehow shocked by the fight, like myself.

[The scenario was played with ordinary allied units instead of rangers, yet it was an easy win for the attackers: 4 VPs for the allied vs 2 VPs for the Germans. Each of the three guys takes +2 Bravery for taking part in the victory]
[GMA: a prophecy fulfilled]
Yet McRay had the stomach to ask Young 5 bucks, since they bet on who would be the first to climb up the cliff. True, our platoon was the first one up the cliff, but we immediately rushed back. Young paid without a blink: cool guy. And McRay put forward another bet: who will kill more Germans tomorrow. Young agreed without any enthusiasm. I obviously stayed out of it: these bets can only bring us bad luck, I say.

[I rolled for promotions: the target is less than Bravery on a d10. As expected, all failed]

Situation:
Esposito – Rank:Private, Alignment:Egoistic, Bravery:2, Doubt:5
McRay – Rank:Corporal, Alignment:Righteous, Bravery:2, Doubt:2
Young – Rank:Private, Alignment:Idealistic, Bravery:3, Doubt:2

OPR Covering Fire! Second game

For my second One Page Ruels – Covering Fire! game I made these changes with respect to my first battle:

  • I added a train rail through the battlefield (difficult terrain – no cover). This proved to be irrelevant, since the Green attackers crossed the railway during their initial activation, when the Gray had no line of sight to them.
  • I made the objective a flat area with no cover (I decided the vehicle does not count a cover).
  • I used more coloured bases in order to make things more visible – red base: Company Commander; yellow base: Platoon Commander; blue base: Support Weapons.
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Initial Deployment. The left company will move first. The objective is the area where the vehicle is.

Turn 1 and 2: the Green left platoon approaches a wooded area that will grant them a good firing position towards the objective. A second platoon crosses the railway and occupies the objective. The third platoon splits: the Company commander, together with two other units, occupies a building near the center of the table; the Platoon Commander and the other units remain in reserve. The Gray right wing occupies a wood in front of the objective: they are immediately targeted by the Green men both in the objective area and in the wood behind it. In turn 2, the Green reserve moves behind cover across the whole field, finally reaching a wood in the lower part of the table. At the end of Turn 2, the Green side gets its first Victory Point.

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End of Turn 2: Green units occupy the objective and score a first VP

Turn 3 and 4: the Gray moves a second platoon right in front of the objective, but again they are under intensive fire by the whole Green company, which is now deployed across the whole field. The Gray lose two Platoon Commanders and several other units. Two more VPs for the Green (now at 3).

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The Gray lose several units thanks to the better position of the Green attackers

Turn 5 and 6: the Green in the wood at the bottom of the table move out to charge a few Gray units in the open: those Gray units move forward into a small wooded area very near the objective. Gray fire towards the objective is more effective now: the Green support weapons team is destroyed, one squad is suppressed and another pinned. But the Platoon commander and the third Rifle Squad are still in good shape and collect the last two Victory points.

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End game – the Green wins in 6 turns, only losing a single unit.

Comments:

I understood that in my previous game I misinterpreted Group Firing: I used to roll a bunch of dice, pooling together all firing units. This was more or less guaranteed to result in at least two successes. Now I roll individually for each unit: so the probability that a single unit scores two successes is much lower.

I must definitely try deploying along the longer sides of the table: this could make outflanking manoeuvres easier.

I probably need more blocking terrain: possibly smaller areas but in greatest numbers.

The idea of an open, cover-less objective area seems interesting. I will probably use it again in my next game.

OPR Covering Fire! First Game

I have run a first solo test of the new One-Off-Game “Covering Fire!” by One Page Rules.
My table is smaller than required by the game, so I reduced the number of figures in each unit: Rifle Squads are represented by 3 figures (instead of 5) and Support Weapons are a single crouching soldier with a bazooka.

Each Company is composed of three platoons each comprising:
3 Rifle Squads
1 Support Weapon
1 Officer

The Company is lead by a Commander

The objective of the battle is the building with the two orange bricks at the centre of the board. The small building can be occupied by at most 4 figures (e.g. a Rifle Squad and and Officer). I deployed the two armies symmetrically, with the two commanders attached at the central platoons.

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Initial deployment and major movements

I rolled a die and the Green army turned out to have initiative.

Turn 1: Since armies on the deployment lines do not have line of sight to the objective, the Green army was free to occupy the central building without risking Reaction fire from the Gray units.
The left and right platoon occupied woods at the sides of the objective. The central platoon split, leaving the Company Commander, Support Weapon and two Rifle Squads in a smaller wood. The third Squad and the Officer occupied the objective.

01a
Gray movement at Turn 1

Here the Green army simply gave up initiative [I am not sure this is allowed by the rules].
The Gray army moved forward in its turn, but was soon exposed to Reaction fire by the Green army. Here I made two major mistakes:
1. Most of fire in the game (Reaction or otherwise) was “group fire”. I handled cover by only subtracting a single die from the total, while I am quite sure I should have subtracted a die for each firing unit. I consistently made this error through the game.
2. Initial reaction fire by the Green army was quite effective, killing a Rifle Squad on the right of the Gray army and Suppressing two units at the centre (marked with the pink cubes). Effective fire should have resulted in the end of the turn, with initiative moving back to the Green, but during the first turn I forgot to do so and kept moving Gray units.

At the end of the turn, the Gray army tried to rally a few of their pinned / suppressed units. A squad on the right flank was successfully rallied, but than they failed with the suppressed units at the centre and the first turn ended.

01d
End of Turn 1 (it should have ended earlier because of successful Green Reaction fire)

Turn 2: the Green platoon at the top of the table moves out of the wood and crosses an open area to reach the rightmost building (a group movement). Since most units at the centre of the Gray army are Suppressed, Reaction fire was limited, but enough to kill a Green Rifle Squad in the open. [I am afraid that here I forgot Reaction fire from the Gray right flank that became possible when the Green units entered the building]. The Gray tried again rallying a unit and failed again. At the end of the turn, the Green gain their first Victory Point.

02a
End of Turn 2: the Green also occupy the building at the top

Turn 3,4,5: these turns were short exchanges of fire, with Gray fire concentrated against the objective. When the Green Squad inside the objective was killed, reinforcements tried to run in from the platoon on the right flank, but also this squad was killed while running in the open. But the Green still have an Officer inside the building, so they receive a victory point for each turn and they now have 4 VPs. [I think I made another mistake here: Gray units fired at the objective building even when there were other closer enemy target]

05a
Turn 5: Green casualties, but they still occupy the objective

Turn 6: the Green Commander, Support Weapon and Squad behind the Objective attempt a group move toward the objective. The Squad is pinned by Reaction fire and the Support Weapon killed, but the Commander makes it to the building. The Gray fire in their turn and Suppress the Officer inside the building, but the Commander gathers the fifth and last Victory Point.

06a

Thoughts:

This game is different from anything I have played. It requires a lot of difficult decisions: in particular, it is hard to decide if attempting rallying units (which is rather difficult) or keep moving / firing (which in the long run cannot work without rallying).

Questions and Comments [Edit: designer’s answers in brackets]:

It is clear that the first Turn is vital. Should I have placed terrain so that the Objective was visible from the deployment lines (allowing the Gray to take some early Reaction fire)? [Terrain placement is up to you, however as you play more games you’ll learn what makes for good matches and bad matches.]

What about having more terrain types? In this game, woods and buildings worked identically (blocking and cover). Maybe one could have something like soft cover (-1 die) and hard cover (-2 dice)? [That’s definitely something that we could do. In general we’ve been having a hard time distinguishing terrain types due to the no-measuring thing.]

Can a side just give up initiative because they have nothing useful left to do? I think this should be possible but it appears to be excluded by the rules. [Yes, you can pass the turn whenever you want.]

Do the Commander and Officer rally bonus apply to the Commander and Officer themselves? Does the Commander rally with +1 because he is “in sight” of the commander? [Yes]

Does the Commander receive a +1 rally bonus if he is adjacent to an Officer [Yes]

If an Officer or Commander is Pinned or Suppressed, does he still cause the rally bonus for other units? [Yes]

If two Rifle Squads and an Officer make a Group move, Reaction fire can focus on the Officer. What about having the moving player choose which of his units is hit by Reaction fire? This could also hold for “normal” fire, when target units are all in sight and in base contact. [The shooting player picks who he is targeting, as it makes the most sense.]

Do friendly units block Line of Sight? [Yes]

Unit A has a wood area between itself and enemy unit B. When does A and B get LOS to each other? As soon as A enters the wood (Position 1), or when it reaches the edge of the wood towards B (Position 2)? [As soon as it enters position 1, however I think maybe we could add a terrain type for it where you can only see units at the edge and you can only see out if you’re at the edge]

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Keera the Sunderer 8 – Vel and Perca counter-attack

An Ironsworn solo campaign, with battles fought with the Commands and Colors Ancients and Scenario-X boardgame rules. I have reduced armies to 10 units (instead of the standard 12 in Scenario-X) and set the end of the game to 5 victory points (aka Banners) instead of 6. Hex-Crawling is based on the Macchiato Monsters Map Generator by Eric Nieudan. See campaign set-up here. [This is a gaming campaign: please do not expect historical accuracy]


Previous Events: Keera is the leader of a Gallic clan: the Sunderers. She allies with the Wind-Riders, lead by Mogurix, in order to march South towards the richest lands that are now controlled by the Romans. Keera swears to find the tomb of their mythical ancestor Dag. While the two clans travel South, the druid Beltros announces he must leave to follow a mysterious quest: he names the young Anunna as his replacement. After several fights against the Romans, the Gauls reach the tomb of Dag, on the Southern shore of a large lake. They attack the Etruscan city of Axevena, but are defeated by the princes Vel and Perca.

NPCs:

Mogurix; the leader of the Wind-Riders, a clan allied with Keera’s Sunderers

Lavinia:  Mogurix’ wife. A Healer who was born a Roman but was adopted by the Gauls when a child.

Beltros: a Druid and the oldest member of Keera’s Sunderers. He disapproves the expedition South, believing that the risks of war should be avoided whenever possible.

Anunna: a young and honest priestess who replaces Beltros when he leaves he clan.

Vel: an Etruscan prince from Axevena. After fighting for years as a mercenary for the Romans, he rebelled against them and declared Axevena a free city.

Perca: Vel’s ambitious twin sister; she rules Axevena together with her brother.

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[binary oracle] Is the next battle against the Etruscans (likely) or the Romans? Etruscans

Vel and Perca push forward, chasing the retreating Gauls.

The two armies face each other in a marshy area: all river hexes count as marsh.
At the centre of the field there is a farm, whose conquer is worth 1 victory banner. The first side to conquer 5 banners wins.

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Keera deploys at the centre and Mogurix on the right.
Perca has the disadvantage of deploying behind the marshy river. Vel starts from the Etruscan camp (which is also worth 1 banner, if conquered by the Gauls).

Perca leads her soldiers through the marshes. Some join Vel on the left wing. She charges directly across the marshes and finds tough opposition by the Celtic warriors. The Gauls loose one of their units, but their Light Infantry occupies the farm [Gauls:1; Etrurians:1]

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The Gauls conquer the farm

The Etrurian Auxilia are destroyed while trying to dislodge the Gauls from the farm [Gauls:2; Etrurians:1]. The Etrurians insist in their attack and finally the Celtic Infantry has to retreat [Gauls:1; Etrurians:1]. A Celtic cavalry unit is destroyed and Vel’s elite Infantry also defeats Keera’s warband [Gauls:1; Etrurians:3]

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The Gauls reconquer the farm with Mogurix’ Cavalry [Gauls:2; Etrurians:3], an Etruscan infantry unit is also destroyed [Gauls:3; Etrurians:3]. But Vel leads the final charge: Mogurix’ infantry is destroyed and the farm reconquered [Gauls:2; Etrurians:5].

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Keera lost the battle and she must
Pay the Price: -1 Supply, now at 0 (I mark Unprepared)
I also check the Pay the Price Oracle: A surprising development complicates your quest.
Action/Theme oracle: Challenge Strategy

Someone question’s Keera’s strategy.
[binary oracle] Is it Mogurix (likely) or Anunna? Mogurix

Mogurix openly says that attacking the Etruscans was a mistake. The Romans are their true enemy. They should negotiate an alliance with Vel and Perca.


Keera’s current situation:

Stats – Edge:1 Heart:2 Iron:2 Shadow:3 Wits:1
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:0 Momentum:4
UNPREPARED
Assets: Loyalist, Sunderer, Shadow-Walker
Vow: find the tomb of Dag in the South (Dangerous) – ACHIEVED
Vow: establish a settlement near the lake (Dangerous) – Progress:2
Background Vow: plunder a major Roman city (Extreme) Progress:1

Keera the Sunderer 7: defeat at Axevena

An Ironsworn solo campaign, with battles fought with the Commands and Colors Ancients and Scenario-X boardgame rules. I have reduced armies to 10 units (instead of the standard 12 in Scenario-X) and set the end of the game to 5 victory points (aka Banners) instead of 6. Hex-Crawling is based on the Macchiato Monsters Map Generator by Eric Nieudan. See campaign set-up here. [This is a gaming campaign: please do not expect historical accuracy]


Previous Events: Keera is the leader of a Gallic clan: the Sunderers. She allies with the Wind-Riders, lead by Mogurix, in order to march South towards the richest lands that once were Gallic and are now controlled by the Romans. Keera swears to find the tomb of their mythical ancestor Dag. While the two clans travel South, the druid Beltros announces he must leave to follow a mysterious quest: he names the young Anunna as his replacement. After several fights against the Romans, the Gauls reach the tomb of Dag, on the Southern shore of a large lake. They are confronted by the Etruscan princes of the city of Axevena and defeat them.

NPCs:

Mogurix; the leader of the Wind-Riders, a clan allied with Keera’s Sunderers

Lavinia:  Mogurix’ wife. A Healer who was born a Roman but was adopted by the Gauls when a child.

Beltros: a Druid and the oldest member of Keera’s Sunderers. He disapproves the expedition South, believing that the risks of war should be avoided whenever possible.

Anunna: a young and honest priestess who replaces Beltros when he leaves he clan.

Vel: an Etruscan prince from Axevena. After fighting for years as a mercenary for the Romans, he rebelled against them and declared Axevena a free city.

Perca: Vel’s ambitious twin sister; she rules Axevena together with her brother.

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The Gauls proceed East along the Southern shore of the lake, determined to attack the city of Axevena, ruled by the twin princes Vel and Perca.

They face the Etruscan army below the walls of the city [bottom right of the board].
[The Gauls have 4 Command Cards; the Etruscans 5; victory requires 5 banners; the Gauls receive two banners for each unit that successfully climbs the city walls]

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Both armies deploy their cavalry in the Northern part of the field. Keera leads the Celtic warriors at the centre, opposite to the Etruscan elite infantry lead by Vel.

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Mogurix’ first charge; the Etruscan Auxilia conquer the hill

Mogurix leads his cavalry in an early charge: both sides loose cavalry unit. Perca is forced to retreat and join a light infantry unit [Gauls:1 Etruscans:1]. The Etruscan Auxilia is attacked by the Celtic warriors on the hill at the centre of the board: the attackers are destroyed [Gauls:1 Etruscans:2]

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Mogurix and Perca repeatedly clash

The battle is furious on the Celtic left flank: both sides loose 2 infantry units in the fight [Gauls:3, Etruscans:4]. Mogurix insists in his direct attack against Perca and destroys another Etruscan Medium Infantry unit [Gauls:4, Etruscans:4], but the princess manages to escape again.

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Perca resits a last charge and fights back forcing Mogurix to retreat. Her brother leads the final attack: Mogurix is forced to retreat again and finally a last Celtic warrior unit is destroyed [Gauls:4, Etruscans:5]. The first defeat ever for Keera!

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Vel’s final attack

Keera must Pay the Price [Oracle: the current situation worsens]
The Gauls are forced to retreat to the marshes near the Tomb of Dag: they are almost out of supplies [-1 now:1].


Keera’s current situation:

Stats – Edge:1 Heart:2 Iron:2 Shadow:3 Wits:1
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:1 Momentum:4
Assets: Loyalist, Sunderer, Shadow-Walker
Vow: find the tomb of Dag in the South (Dangerous) – ACHIEVED
Vow: establish a settlement near the lake (Dangerous) – Progress:2
Background Vow: plunder a major Roman city (Extreme) Progress:1

Keera the Sunderer 6: the Tomb of Dag

An Ironsworn solo campaign, with battles fought with the Commands and Colors Ancients and Scenario-X boardgame rules. I have reduced armies to 10 units (instead of the standard 12 in Scenario-X) and set the end of the game to 5 victory points (aka Banners) instead of 6. Hex-Crawling is based on the Macchiato Monsters Map Generator by Eric Nieudan. See campaign set-up here. [This is a gaming campaign: please do not expect historical accuracy]


Previous Events: Keera is the leader of a Gallic clan: the Sunderers. She allies with the Wind-Riders, lead by Mogurix, in order to march South towards the richest lands that once were Gallic and are now controlled by the Romans. Keera swears to find the tomb of their mythical ancestor Dag. They advance slowly, with frequent fights against the Romans, in which the Gauls are always victorious. After a few days, the druid Beltros announces he must leave the clan to follow a mysterious quest: he names the young Anunna as his replacement. The Gauls reach a large lake: they find that the tomb of Dag is not far. They are again confronted by the Romans: another great victory for Keera.

NPCs:

Mogurix; the leader of the Wind-Riders, a clan allied with Keera’s Sunderers

Lavinia:  Mogurix’ wife. A Healer who was born a Roman but was adopted by the Gauls when a child.

Beltros: a Druid and the oldest member of Keera’s Sunderers. He disapproves the expedition South, believing that the risks of war should be avoided whenever possible.

Anunna: a young and honest priestess who replaces Beltros when he leaves he clan.people2_1200


Undertake a journey: Challenge:9,6 Action:4+1=5 Weak hit (Supply -1, now 3)
Journey Progress now: 8

Reach Your Destination: Challenge:7,4 vs 8 STRONG HIT

The Gauls proceed West around the lake. The area is still marshy. When they reach the Southern shore, the ground rises somehow. They find a high heap of stones, some with engravings they recognize. It’s the tomb of Dag!

Keera and Mogurix agree that some celebration is due, but they know that they do not have much supplies and the area does not offer much. Keera is decided to find somewhere near where they can establish a permanent settlement. At the end of the celebrations, she swears a vow to do so:

Swear a Vow to establish a Celtic settlement near the lake: Challenge:3,4 Action:2+2(Heart)+1(Bond)=5 STRONG HIT
(+2 Morale, now 4)

Since the Gauls have managed to travel this far into Roman territory, I will also mark 1 progress on Keera’s background goal to plunder a major Roman city.

[I decided to roll on Settlement trouble for inspiration about the new challenges for the Gauls]
Oracle: 99 (roll twice)
18: Revolt against a leader
50: Provisions are scarce

The Gauls proceed East, along the Southern shores of the lake, looking for a place where they can settle. They meet some Etruscans fishermen and they come to know that the nearby Etruscan city of Axevena has revolted against the Romans. The rebels are lead by  two twin princes:

Vel [Weary Adventurer] has been abroad for years, fighting as a mercenary in the Roman army;
Perca [Aloof Guide] when Vel returned to Axevena, she convinced him to use his military skill against the Romans, who were distracted by the incursion of the Gauls.

vp

The next day, the Gauls are confronted by an Etruscan army lead by the two twins.

[Based on ScenarioX Army 68:
1 Medium Cavalry (Perca)
3 Light Infantry
4 Medium Infantry
2 Heavy Infantry (Vel)
1 Auxilia]

I rolled that the Etruscan will have one unit more than the Gauls (11 vs 10). They also have one command card more (5 vs 4). Victory is set at five banners.

00.jpgLAT8

Mogurix leads the cavalry on the left flank; Keera the warriors at the centre. Light infantry is deployed on the right.
Opposite to Mogurix, Perca leads the Etruscan Cavalry and Light Infantry. Vel is at the centre, leading the Etruscan Heavy and Medium Infantry.

06.jpgLAT8

Mogurix leads the first attack against both Light Infantry on the flank and Vel’s main forces. The Light Infantry evades, almost unharmed. The clash at the centre is more effective: two Etruscan Infantry units are destroyed, but they fight back effectively, annihilating a unit of Gaul warriors [Gaul:2, Etruscan:1]. But three more Etruscan units are left badly damaged at the centre of the field, with Vel forced to retreat back.

07s.jpgLAT8
Three damaged and isolated Etruscan units, with their leader Vel forced back

Keera attacks with all her might [and the super-powerful “I am Spartacus” card] destroying two of the damaged units. She also loses a second group of warriors [Gaul:4, Etruscan:2]

The fifth and last banner is acquired in a Coordinated Attack, with Mogurix again leading the decisive charge. [Gaul:5: Etruscan:2]

09.jpgLAT8

Another Strong Hit for the Gauls. Their streak of victories is impressive.

I mark progress on the Settlement Vow (now:2).

Keera’s current situation:

Stats – Edge:1 Heart:2 Iron:2 Shadow:3 Wits:1
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:3 Momentum:4
Assets: Loyalist, Sunderer, Shadow-Walker
Vow: find the tomb of Dag in the South (Dangerous) – ACHIEVED
Vow: establish a settlement near the lake (Dangerous) – Progress:2
Background Vow: plunder a major Roman city (Extreme) Progress:1

Keera the Sunderer 5: the great lake

An Ironsworn solo campaign, with battles fought with the Commands and Colors Ancients and Scenario-X boardgame rules. I have reduced armies to 10 units (instead of the standard 12 in Scenario-X) and set the end of the game to 5 victory points (aka Banners) instead of 6. Hex-Crawling is based on the Macchiato Monsters Map Generator by Eric Nieudan. See campaign set-up here. [This is a gaming campaign: please do not expect historical accuracy]


Previous Events: Keera is the leader of a Gallic clan: the Sunderers. She allies with the Wind-Riders, lead by Mogurix, in order to march South towards the richest lands that once were Gallic and are now controlled by the Romans. Keera swears to find the tomb of their mythical ancestor Dag. They advance slowly, with frequent fights against the Romans, in which the Gauls are always victorious. After a few days, the druid Beltros announces he must leave the clan to follow a mysterious quest: he names the young Anunna as his replacement.

NPCs:

Mogurix; the leader of the Wind-Riders, a clan allied with Keera’s Sunderers

Lavinia:  Mogurix’ wife. A Healer who was born a Roman but was adopted by the Gauls when a child.

Beltros: a Druid and the oldest member of Keera’s Sunderers. He disapproves the expedition South, believing that the risks of war should be avoided whenever possible.

Anunna: a young and honest priestess who replaces Beltros when he leaves he clan.people2_1200

 


 

Undertake a Journey: Challenge:5,6 Action:6+1=7 a Strong Hit! (progress on the journey towards the tomb of Dag: 2)
Keera leads the Gauls through a an increasingly marshy landscape. The area appears not to be inhabited: no signs of Roman presence.

Undertake a Journey: Challenge:6,4 Action:4+1=5 Weak hit (-1 Supply; journey progress now 4)

Undertake a Journey: Challenge:2,2 Action:3+1 Strong Hit and Matching Dice!
They reach the shores of a great lake. They meet some Etruscan fishermen which are quite friendly: they have heard rumours of the victories of the Gauls against the Romans and they are pleased with the news. They tell Keera that the tomb of Dag is not far from the Southern shore of the lake.
(journey progress now 6)

They proceed West, close to the lake. The area is still occupied by marshes.

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Undertake a Journey: Challenge:4,5 Action:2+1 Miss
After about one week of undisturbed advance, they make camp in an area with some sparse woods, but still adjacent to the marshes. A large Roman farm has been spotted and they plan to attack it early next day. But, once again, they are faced by a Roman army.

Keera deploys on the right flank, behind a small river (treated as marshes in CCA). Mogurix is at the extreme left, next to the woods. The Gallic camp is in the middle. One of the two Roman leaders is attached to a Cavalry unit, deployed in front of Keera. The second leader is at the centre, together with the Roman elite infantry.

[I am using a slightly smaller Commands and Colors board (10×9 hexes instead of 13×11) – I randomly rolled for the number of cards for each side (4 or 5) – the Romans have 5 command cards, the Gauls only 4 – the farm at the centre of the board is treated as clear terrain and worth a victory banner – the battle will end when one of the two sides conquers its fifth banner]

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The Gauls advance more quickly, even if crossing the marshes causes some losses. The Roman cavalry lead by the general also advances, aiming at a clash with Keera.

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Keera crossing the marshes, ready to face the Roman cavalry

The Roman cavalry is repelled and two Roman infantry units are destroyed; the Gauls occupy the farm, but not without losses [Gauls:3; Romans:1]

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The farm is conquered!

With a classical pincer manoeuvre, Keera and Mogurix attack on both flanks the Roman units that were already damaged by the previous fights near the marshes and the farm. Each of the leaders destroys an enemy unit and secure one more victory for the Gauls [Gauls:5; Romans:1]. This is a strong hit (+2 Momentum).

08.jpgLAT8
Two more Roman infantry units are destroyed

Keera’s current situation:

Stats – Edge:1 Heart:2 Iron:2 Shadow:3 Wits:1
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:4 Momentum:2
Assets: Loyalist, Sunderer, Shadow-Walker
Vow: find the tomb of Dag in the South (Dangerous) – Progress:6
Background Vow: plunder a major Roman city (Extreme) Progress:0

The Call of Darkness: steps 3 and 4

This game is based on Cthulhu Dark by Graham Walmsley and Nine Steps And A Bloody Heart (NSAABH) by Lino Pang aka Riccardo Fregi. I am also using the subset of the Game Master’s Apprentice (GMA) deck from Alone (Larcenous Designs) for inspiration.

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Since Gwendolyn seems so passionate about their investigation, Carlos and Bessie ask her to find someone skilled in the Hebraic language to read the rest of Abel’s notes.

[This is an attempt to draw an additional card: something that NSAABH allows to do once during each group of scenes 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, and, optionally, when drawing the Ace of Hearts. To make things interesting, I decided that the heroes must roll a 6 to have access to the extra card. They cooperate in convincing Gwendolyn, also rolling an Insight die.

Carlos:5 Bessie:3 Insight:4 – not enough]

Gwendolyn says she has no idea where to find someone qualified and trustworthy. She will try asking her connections in the next days.

Step 3 – Card: Ace of Diamonds. The Horror is not the Great Cthulhu, but some lesser creature

[I think I need an NPC who has witness the rites of the cult. Oracle: is it Farema or a new NPC (50/50) New NPC Male or Female? A man GMA: Bargain Religious Knowledge ]

The City Newspaper publishes an article about an English student gone lunatic. Livius Lyndon studies anthropology at the City University: he contacted the police narrating a story about a group of people worshipping blood-thirsty aliens of maybe demons. He was terrified, possibly under the effect of drugs. Livius was promptly assigned to the local mental asylum. Gwendolyn this time is able to help: she has a friend in a leading position at the asylum. She obtains permission for Carlos to visit the patient.

[Investigate: Human die + Insight die: 1 + 2. Carlos will find out very little]

Livius is still terrified. He refuses to speak with Carlos. As speaking to himself, he says half sentences like: “they called that thing and it came…. it spoke to them… I even paid to be there, my greed for knowledge has doomed me…”

Step 4 – Card: 4 of Clubs – The main meeting point of the cult is not at a warehouse

_warehouse

On a free night, Carlos and Bessie explore the industrial area, where the deceased Eruk (see Step 1) used to work as a security guard. They hope to hear the mysterious pounding music reported by Eruk.

[Investigation Carlos:1 Bessie:2 Insight:6 – they found more than they wanted to, and they will need to roll and Insight test. GMA: meet fraudolent]

They hear noises from inside a warehouse: when they look inside, they see smugglers unloading crates of tequila from a truck. The men see them and chase them. [GMA: stones of all shapes and sizes]

Bessie and Carlos manage to hide in a yard full of building material. In the dark, they stumble upon a heap of dismembered bodies.

[Insight test – Carlos:6 (new Insight level:3) – Bessie:6 (new Insight level:4)]

The two heroes are totally terrified.

[Since this double 6 roll is so exceptional, I decide it’s a good moment to try getting the bonus card for steps 4-6. Investigation – Human dice + Insight die: 3,5,6 – Success! But a new Insight test will be needed. Carlos: 5 (new level:4) Bessie:4 (level unchanged:4)]

Bonus Card – 2 of Spades – A Clergyman

[Oracle: Christian or Zoroastrian? (50/50) Christian]

Carlos recognizes the head of Father Miguel, a priest at a Catholic church he sometimes frequents.

Investigation deck summary:

Who is the leader of the cult? – SPADES: 1.Sen.Irving; 2.A Clergyman or woman; 3.An Artist; 4.The Owner of the Sun Palace Hotel(Gwendolyn); 5.Prof.Heidelberg [Only 3 suspects remain as the leaders of the cult: the Senator and the Professor suggested by Gwendolyn and as still mysterious Artist]

What is their main meeting place? – CLUBS: 1.A Mountain Lake; 2.A Graveyard; 3:A Mansion; 4.A Warehouse; 5.The Sun Palace Hotel; 6.A Church

What is the inhuman horror they serve? – DIAMONDS: 1.Cthulhu; 2.Fthaggua; 3.The Deep Ones; 4.The Mi-Go