Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fighting the mara

A farmer's wife has come to Wilno, asking Father Dobrogost for help; her husband has been having nightmares that prevent any hope of sleep,  and he's weary unto death. The priest agres to come, and gathers up a few men; there have been tales of troubles, possibly bandits. One of the men, Bogdan, has some dynamite, and he and his cousin Casimir animatedly talk about using it to clear their fields of stumps and boulders. The third man, Andrzej, rides a little ahead, with the priest; and they talk of eternal matters. When they get to the Darga stead, there is no smoke from the chimney.  Father Dobrogost and the farmwife open the door as the others care for their horses. The woman steps inside and shrieks, the priest cries out; they stumble back away from the house. A burly figure appears in the door; it's the farmer, but he has a woman riding his back, her legs locked around his waist, her teeth in his neck. The farmer holds an axe in his left and but is making no effort to resist; the hag has him enthralled. Father Dobrogost says something sharp in French, then adds "Get it off him, kill it, kill it!"

Scene: Polish style farmyard, with house to the east, chicken coop to the southwest, smokehouse to the northwest.
Personae: the mara, Walenty and Oliwia Darga (farmer and wife), Father Dobrogost, and Andrzej, Bogdan, and Casimir (riders). The mara has Walenty under a puppet person spell, per the Elder Vampire ability.

Round 1:

Oliwia: Ace of clubs
Casimir: K spades
Father D: K hearts
Mara: K diamonds/J hearts
Bogdan: 9 clubs
Andrzej: 2 diamonds

Oliwia moves to the mara and tries to pull it off her husband. She rolls a d4= 4 + raise 1 = 5 on her strength check, versus the mara's d12+3 = 14.
Casimir doesn't really believe in the supernatural but Father Dobrogost was pretty vehement. He moves closer and draws his pistol.
Father D steps back and chants in Latin (to try to Intimidate the demon). He rolls an 8+1; the mara's Spirit roll is d10 = 10 + 10 + 7.
Mara darts over to the priest and makes two claw attacks, rolling 1 and 9. The Father easily dodges her first swipe but this leaves him open to her second, which scores with a raise. She does d12+3 = 14 for strength, d4 =3 for claws, d6 = 1 for the raise, total 18 vs Father D's Toughness 4, for three raises. The father goes down; his intestines, liver and appendix paint the wall of the house.
That's enough for Bogdan to take things seriously. He draws his pistol, moves a couple of yards left for a better line of fire, and shoots from a range of 8". He rolls a 5, -2 for taking two actions (Draw and Shoot), and misses.
Andrzej's horse shies violently but Andrzej manages to get the shotgun off the saddle before the horse runs off. Andrzej moves behind Bogdan and left, but does not fire.

Round 2:
Bogdan: A diamonds
Mara: 6 hearts, 2 spades
Oliwia: 4 diamonds
Casimir: 4 clubs
Andrzej: 3 diamonds

Bogdan fires, missing with a 1.
Mara decides that Oliwia is messing with the mara's prey, and flies at her in a jealous rage. She attacks twice, rolling 4 and 7 against Oliwia's parry 2, giving one hit and one with a raise. The first does 14 damage, the second does 18; the mara's claws tear through Oliwia's face and breasts in a splash of blood.
Casimir moves to the right around the smokehouse, trying to shoot the mara rather than Walenty, who is standing motionless despite his wife being clawed into gobbets right behind him. Casimir's shot goes wide right, through the farmhouse door.
Andrzej no longer has a shot, the mara has moved behind the farmer and the farmer is in the way. He Holds.

Round 3:
Andrzej: on Hold
Casimir: 9 spades
Bogdan: 8 hearts
Mara: 4 hearts

Casimir takes another shot and hits with a 5. His pistol does 2d6+1 for 8; the mara's toughness is 10, so there's no effect. Casimir starts having serious doubts about his participation in this little adventure. 
Bogdan moves right and fires past Walenty. Well, with a 1, it's through Walenty. Damage is 8, and Walenty's toughness is lower than normal because a vampire has been sucking on him; the farmer drops. Bogdan curses.
Since Bogdan has so helpfully removed the mara's cover, Andrzej has a clear line of fire. He raises the shotgun and fires, rolling d6 = 3 and wild die 5 for a hit. At close range, the shotgun does 3d6 for 11; the mara is Shaken but not wounded.
The hag rolls d10 = 3 but a wild die d6= 6 +6 + 1—she is unshaken and can take an action. She runs towards Andrzej but rolls a 1 on her Run die, and doesn't cover all the distance.

Round 4:
Mara: Q hearts, 7 spades
Andrzej: 10 diamonds
Bogdan: 4 spades
Casimir: 2 hearts

The mara moves up to Andrzej and claws at him. She hits with one attack, doing 16 damage—one point shy of three wounds.
Andrzej rolls a spirit check d8=8+2; he is unshaken and is able to take an action. He scampers back and fires the other barrel. A d6=5 hits; the point blank blast does 3d6 = 10 points, just enough to Shake it again.
Bogdan takes a few steps back and fires, missing with a 1 again.
Casimir aims and fires, hitting with a 5. The bullet does 2d6+1 for 5 damage; the mara doesn't notice.

Round 5:
Casimir: Q spades
Mara: J clubs, 7 hearts
Andrzej: 10 clubs
Bogdan: 3 spades

Casimir takes careful aim and fires, hitting with a d 6 = 6 +6+3 for two raises. Damage is 2d6+1 plus d6 for the raise = 15, enough for a wound. The mara elects to use the one GM benny for a soak roll...and blows it, with d12 = 2.
The mara is irritated. It rolls a d10=10 for its Spirit check and becomes unshaken. Andrzej has hurt it but it's smart enough to realize that Andrzej has fired off both barrels, and if it goes after Casimir it'll be out of line of fire from both the others. It goes after Casimir. She doesn't have quite enough movement, so elects to Run for an additional d6=5", which is plenty. Her attack rolls are 8 and 2, each -2; she gets one hit, for 13 damage. Goodbye, Casimir.
Andrzej's extra shotgun rounds are on the horse, and the horse has run off. He draws his sword. "Bogdan, you had that dynamite in your pack? I think we have a more urgent need for it than tree stumps!" He moves to Bogdan's horse, sword ready.
Bogdan doesn't realize that Andrzej wanted him to get out the dynamite while Andrzej fended off the hag; he figures Andrzej is at the horse, the dynamite is on the horse, Andrzej is going to get the dynamite. Bogdan steps around the smokehouse corner and shoots the mara in the back, hitting it for 2d6+1 = 6. The mara is annoyed.

Round 6:
Andrzej: Q diamonds
Mara: 10 and 6 spades
Bogdan: 9 diamonds

Andrzej keeps the horse under control and searches the for the dynamite, but doesn't find it. "Which bag?" he yells.
The mara, somewhat slowed by its wound, goes after Bogdan, who's closer. She claws twice and hits with both, on a 7 and 8. Damage is 12 and 13, and Bogdan falls shrieking and clutching the stump of his arm. Now it's just the mara and Andrzej...and God.

Round 7:
Andrzej: joker
Mara: 3 hearts, 3 clubs

Andrzej, realizing he'll never get to the dynamite in time, turns to face the hag. 
There is a sudden white light, far brighter than the sun on fresh snow, and a Voice. 
"What art thou about, son of Adam?"
Andrzej has no answer; he is crushed with shame and embarrassment under the gaze of the Glorious Judge. The fact that a monster is about to tear him apart isn't even worth mentioning--it is far less than his sins deserve. 
"Wilt thou then serve Me?"
Andrzej whispers, "O Lord, I am not able, for I am unclean. Remake me, that I may serve Thee."
And everything changes. 

The man raises his sword, yells "To God be the glory!" and charges. He rolls a 5 on both the regular die and the wild die, with +2 for the joker--the mara's parry is 7, so that is, barely, good enough. Damage is str d6 = 5, weapon d6=5, holy damage 2d8=9, joker damage +2, total 21—enough for two raises over the mara's toughness, doing two wounds. The mara, skewered by the glittering blade, sags against the man, hissing and clutching, and then she dies. The man, whose back and chest have been raked by the things claws, staggers and falls...but does not die. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Savage Worlds Lizardfolk

These are not the by-the-book Saurians

Natural Weapons: Str+d4 damage from teeth, claws, tail
Infrared vision
Cold blooded: -4 to resist Cold Environment penalties
Outsider: -2 Charisma penalty when dealing with non-saurians

Stone Tree
Agility d6
Smarts d4
Spirit d6
Strength d10
Vigor d6
Pace 6, Parry 7, Toughness 6

Fighting d10
Shooting d6
Notice d6
Healing d4
Climbing d6
Knowledge d4

Edges: Brawny, Berserk
Hindrances: Curious, Loyal

Smoke Viper
Agility d10
Smarts d6
Spirit d6
Strength d6
Vigor d6
Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 5

Fighting d6
Shooting d10
Notice d8
Survival d6
Tracking d6
Knowledge d4

Edges:  Alertness
Hindrances: Hard of Hearing, Cautious, Phobia: Heights

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Death before Dawn

Up before dawn for the Morning watch, with Mr. Melen in command on a cold grey morning, with fog and cloud blotting out star, sky and sea. At the forward rail we found the barbarian Warrior asleep in the air, being not used, as I imagine, to sleeping in Hammocks nor belowdecks; but, there being no Harm in it, nor reason to disturb him, we left him there, and returned to the quarterdeck. Whereupon, I discerning a Noise, but not able tell where it came, nor what manner of thing it might be, I ran up the Ratlines to the maintop, and spake with Laithoren, who heard it also, and hazarded that it came from off the starboard Quarter.
As I returned to the deck, a Thing flew past me, which had I seen in time I had caught, but in the Darkness I could not, so it shattered upon our Deck, and a cloud of Fog billowed out, and I cried out to Rouse the Watch, and Repel Boarders. We heard the glass of the galleries breaking, so I sent Greyson below, to Defend the great Cabin, and the Captain, who will be wroth, for the glass hath scarce been repaired for two days, and broke again. I cast Light upon the wheel, to aid us in our fight, and began to chant an old war song. Melen fell to a single arrow. No other Prospers being near, I took to engage the first boarder, he being a Raider of rough mien coming over the side from a long Boat at our starboard side. A quick feint and double thrust, and I slit him from knee to Crutch, and he fell.
An archer shot at me, but missed; about the same time I heard an aggrieved cry from Kanak, on the fo'c'sle, and wonder if the shot intended for Me, might have wounded the blue warrior. If so, it can scarce have done him much harm, for quick thereafter he gave a great roar, and I heard raiders cry dismay from the ship's waist, as he lept down upon them and with mighty strokes he cleft them in twain. I struck my archer foe, yet it little profited me, for two swordmen came to my right, and I chided them, saying, Lo, three great men, to face a single Halfling, be ye not Ashamed? but they wounded me. I took healing, a little, from my Belt, and  wounded the archer again, driving him back, but lo, behind me came two more of the foe, and over the rail, two more again, and I alone in the midst of them.
Having heard glass break belowdecks, I thought raiders might be in the Great Cabin, and the Captain in need of aid; and I misliked to stand and fight alone against six skilled warriors. Therefore, before my foes could strike, I vaulted the rail and, sliding down the tumblehome, landed atop a raider climbing. He, much surprized, lost his hold and fell into the Sea, while I stepped Lightly to the sill of the quarter gallery. Finding the Glass unbroken (although, I shall tell the Captain otherwise), I kicked it in  and stepped into the gallery, and thence into the Great Cabin, where I found Greyson at sword's points with a raider, and a second raider down, and Garrity also, sore wounded. Twas the work of a moment to drive steel into the foe. I tended the Captain, and sent Greyson forward to gather his men, thinking he would Lead them up to take the main deck. Yet in moments heard I the clash of steel on the Lower deck, and hurrying towards the sound, I found Greyson alone engaged with a Raider, and two more besides. I joined him, and dealt with one foeman and he a second. The third fled up to the Main deck, and I hounded after him, but I scarce had put blade to him than he tumbled back over me, cleft from shoulder to brisket, for Kanak stood at the top, and gore dripping from him. I hastened past him to the Quarterdeck, for our Marines were engaged there right hardly, rapiers to axes, and Arrows whirring left and right. We finished them, the last being the angry and wet raider who I had knocked into the Sea, and I offered him Quarter, but he would have none, and struck at me, but my blades were the quicker, and so he fell.
And then it was the weary business of tending the Wounded, bringing the longboat alongside, binding the prisoners, and making reports, and lo, the Sun not even risen yet.

The Men are telling tales of the fury of the half Orc, and if twere that I credited all they say, then Kanak slew fifty men or more, reaping three or four at a time with a single stroke, or tearing them asunder with his bare hands. I saw almost none of this myself, but, pouring the whey off the curds, the true tale, I believe, is that  the raiders clambering onto the Waistdeck, Kanak, in the foc's'l, hurled himself upon them and knocked them all ajumble, and slew three or four. The pirate chieftain being there, Kanak flung him into the longship, where there were still a dozen raiders, and Kanak, though alone and Feathered with half a dozen arrows, leapt down among them, and slew the Chieftain, and his lieutenant, and one or two more besides, and cowed the rest. The half orc then leapt back up to Prosperity's rail, a distance of eight Feet or more as I judge, and slew a man at the Foremast in succor of our archers, and another in the waist who nigh fell on top of me, and then one or two more on the Quarterdeck. And so I make the count to be as Many by his one blade as Greyson, and Laithoren, and I, all together.

That evening
The wind being fitful, the Captain ordered out the Boats to tow, the raiders, having been despoiled of Arms and armor and put back aboard their longship with Kanak to watch, serving also thus. At the end of a long and hungry day, still all a-mist and the Oarsmen weary, the Captain ordered, that the raiders should be released, and let to row away into the night and fog. This was more Mercy than I should have ordered, viz, a quick Blade, but belike he had some reasons.
Our woe that evening was not only over the fallen of our Company, but also for our Prize money, for despite the Travail of the fight, we had of it scarce enough Gold to cover the palm. Yet the Captain, being rueful, divided among us those small Trinkets of magics, which had been taken from the Foe, my own being a Gem of life drinking, the virtue of which, once bound to a weapon, is to heal the Wielder, each time the blade bites home. Tis but a small thing, and I scarcely satisfied at first, but on Reflection, it might fetch a few hundred gold, and moreover, since this voyage seems beset with Peril, I having fought spies and ghosts, robbers and beasts, in our few days out of Waterdeep, a trinket of healing may, perchance, be of some worth.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Under a Leaden Sky

First morning out from Moonshaes, was called to the Great Cabin to open that certain Box which I had looted from Silver Rose. I discovered by careful examination that said Box had a lancet armed with Poison; this Fang having been pulled, I was able, with much vexation, to trick the lock Open, although I was first obliged to sing a Spell, for to rake the lock required Three hands and so I must conjure for myself a third.

The box having been opened, we found what the Captain said were deeds to various properties, be they shares in a Dwarven mine or some northern Forest, or estates around Athkatla or Waterdeep. Of what use they might be, I know not, for were I possessed of the Estate, as I imagine agents of Sanremi must be, I would not easily give it up with just the waving of a slip of paper, but nonetheless I hope they are valuable. There were also within the box Ingots of precious metals; a carven Figurine of a falcon, wrought of some ebon stone and with a leather thong bearing a white Feather at the base; a plate of worked metal etched with Symbols; and a pouch bearing Coins of many nations, some strangely wrought, being squares or octagons with holes punched through, others graved with strange Letters from unknown tongues, some mere chips of stone with runic marks.  I had hoped and expected a share of the Wealth within the box, for without my Daring and skill it had still been safe ensconced on Silver Rose, but, alas, this has not come to pass.

Passed the forenoon watch with Mr Hazlitt, who must grudging admit that I know lines and knots, although there are many other facets of a naval Officer's education on which he stands ready for discourse.

We have added a new Crewman, signed aboard at Llewellyn, viz a half Orcen warrior who calls himself Kanak Angrod of Ashenfirth, who is nigh twice my height and six times my weight, and bears a sword as tall as he is. And this is a marvel, for his skin is a blue green like watered Turquoise, or the shallows of the clear Sea, and his hair like seaweed, and his breastplate has the sheen of Mother of pearl. He had difficulty facing Captain Greyson at this afternoon's sword play, taking many touches and giving, as I saw, only the one; yet I warrant that in battle, that one might cleave a man in twain. He is not given much to speaking and what words he has are blunt, but he seems honest enough. He reminds me of Laithoren, a fact I shall point out to neither of them, but this I think is because they both hail from distant lands and are, it seems, little familiar with cities. I like him well enough, but then I like all travelers far from home, as indeed am I myself.

Gunther, having examined the Slate that came with the keg of Dwarvish ale, and the markings thereon, said that the word it bore was Uzzik, viz Friend of the dwarves. At dinner, I and the midshipmen hauled out the said keg, and passed tankards all round the wardroom, not forgetting Gunther, and the company received it most gratefully.

Passed the evening in Study of the chart of the Moonshaes, and the mathematick arts, and, more happily, adding lines to the Lay of the Seawarder. And so to bed.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Father Paul

A character for a Monster Hunter International campaign, using Savage Worlds rules, set in Upper Canada in 1870. Father Paul is almost certainly a priest and may have been a cavalryman before that. He may be Polish, although he's not sure. He doesn't know why he's in Canada; indeed, he doesn't know his name.

  • Agility d6
  • Smarts d6
  • Spirit d8
  • Strength d4
  • Vigor d6
  • Charisma +0
  • Pace 6"
  • Parry 5
  • Toughness 5 (+1 leather coat)
  • Faith d8
  • Fighting d6
  • Healing d6
  • Notice d6
  • Riding d6
  • Shooting d6
  • Language 1:  Latin (Greek accent)
  • Language 1: French (Russian accent)
  • Heroic
  • Priest/Vows
  • Fractured Memory
  • Arcane Resistance
  • Arcane Background (Miracles): 10 power points
    • Boost/Lower Trait
    • Heal
Gear: Yataghan (STR+d6), knife, Starr revolvers (.44 cal, 6 shot), Colt Police revolver (.38 cal, 5 shot), double barrel shotgun, leather coat.

Weapon kit: ammo, lead, molds, powder, whetstone, oil, strop
Horse kit: horse, saddle and tack, grain, blanket, curry comb, etc
Priest kit: Bible, cross, liturgy book, wine, holy water, chalice, incense, vestments
Traveler kit: bedroll, rations, camp cooking gear, rope, tent, matches, lantern
Miscellaneous items:
  • half melted ropy silver thing, might have been a three branched candelabra 
  • ivory oval plaque carved with a raven
  • spyglass
  • dynamite, 17 sticks

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Eshiel the Paladin

A character I played many years ago in a D&D campaign, Eshiel was a paladin. Two examples from his brief but glorious career:

The party was traveling through uninhabited lands, when we heard the cries of a woman in distress.
Uninhabited lands, note. We all knew it was a lamia or similar monster, something which would use false distress cries to lure travelers to their doom.So the party planned to bypass this and keep moving on...except Eshiel.

Eshiel: "I'm going to go investigate."
Party: "It's obviously a trap!"
Eshiel: "Yes, of course. Well, it could be a legitimate cry for help, in which case I ought to respond. Or it could be something evil which preys on travelers. In which case, I ought to respond."
Party: "...But we want to avoid it, not fight it!"
Eshiel: "I said I am going. I'm not trying to make anyone else come with me."
Party: "But if you go alone, you'll get killed."
Eshiel: "So? That's my god's problem, not mine."

The rest of the party, somewhat in a daze, found themselves following Eshiel to investigate. And of course it was a trap, but we wiped out the monsters handily.

Later on, we found ourselves facing a monster who could shoot magic missiles every turn and was tearing the party up. Eshiel was badly wounded but still on his feet. The elf was down and close to death. The monster launched another magic missile to finish the elf. Magic missiles are guaranteed to hit, which meant the elf was doomed--except Eshiel stepped in front of the elf and cast his last healing spell to keep the elf from dying, and took the magic missile hit himself. And died from it. But the elf insisted the party carry Eshiel's body back to civilization, and established a shrine in his honor.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sailing from Llewellyn

Scarce had I finished my previous entry when behold!, Alarums and Excursions on Silver Rose, the which is understandable in honor of their recent visitor, and also on Prosperity, rather less so, but with both vessels indulging in much marching of marines, lowering of boats, and making of sail, and Govan being conveyed back with haste to his own Vessel. And then, to our great Astonishment came two Dwarven war galleys, low and lean, past the Mole and bearing down on Silver Rose. As our jolly boat was by now close aboard Prosperity, I gave to Davon the Fisherman certain messages to return to Peony and Violet when he alighted ashore, and further, I passed the word for our Cook, the dwarf  Gunther, to come on deck, for, not knowing why the Dwarves were out in force, but desiring to encourage them in whatever Mischief they meant against Silver Rose, I spake with Gunther, whence he called across the water to remind his Cousins that Sanremi traffics with the accursed drow, which information I had that very afternoon imparted to Harda, as I have written before. Yet the war galleys did not strike, mayhap from confusion and some vile Sorcery, for I saw an evil and unnatural Fire kindled in the stern of one galley, the which caused much dismay amongst her crew.  Nonetheless Silver Rose dared not set out her boats, but only maneuvered with sweeps, which did profit her but little against the tide; while Prosperity's boats did, with much labor, tow her from the Harbor and to seaward, until she was able to catch the wind--a matter of some hours, but I, while at the tiller, did produce a song, which I shall call The Jolly Oarsman, and the same amused the men greatly, as well as keeping them on their timing, but would have Fra Veritan in a dead faint, an he were to hear it, which I hope he shall not.

At last returning from longboat unto Prosperity, I reported to the Great Cabin and gave the Captain what loot I had gathered. Of great interest was a Letter, written under the hand of Sanremi, to instruct Captain Govan to join with a second ship, the Courser, in supposition that she is now cruizing off the Isle of Ketabet, and in her company to take Prosperity, and to dispose of  prisoners in any manner Convenient. Captain Garrity was not as surprised  at this News as one might have expected, and says that we must indeed sail near this Ketabet, but that Courser is not about, and he hopes that we can outrun Silver Rose as he is not presently minded to spend the time necessary to Take her. I perceive some deep game is being played here, and could Wish that the Captain had told me more, before I went aboard Silver Rose, that I might more Effectually have discomfited her, but doubtless he had his reasons.

After midnight, found I our good Captain Grayson watching at my door, he said in ward of temptation, which puzzled me, yet in a moment all was revealed, for in my cabin was a cask of dwarven ale.
Atop it were two letter, the first, being a note from Govan's swordswoman, Jessa, to inform me that It is rude to keep a lady waiting. Which made me laugh, for tis true enough, but methinks she is no lady; and one day I may be able to tell her, albeit likely at swords point, that I indeed called upon the Silver Rose ths e'en, but did not find her there. The second, was a summons to the High Hall in Llewellyn, on charges of defamation and corruption of kin, filed by Hobart Waringford, father of Peony. This also made me laugh, for I neither defamed nor corrupted, love not being any corruption, and privily Peony no blushing maiden neither, but rather bold as brass, and indeed  it occurred to me, that perhaps Master Hobart was able so swiftly to transact this summons, because he has much practice of her. Yet despite the folly, in my eyes,  of the charge, I know I must deal with it, or avoid Llewellyn henceforth entire. I suppose I must consult the Captain on it.
The ale I suppose must have come at Harda's orders, although I know not why, nor what service I have done him. There is a slate with dwarven runes on it, which I cannot read; perhaps on the morrow Gunther will aid me, or Fra Veritan. Verily, I know many will be willing to aid me in the drinking!

Second Battle of Dover Strait

Ryan and I played two games of Destroyer Captain, using the "Evans of the Broke" scenario based on the Second Battle of Dover Strait. On the night of 21 April 1817, two British flotilla leaders (large destroyers) surprise six German torpedo boats at close range. Both sides start in line ahead going in opposite directions; each side will be passing the other's port beam. They meet at two-hex range, which is the maximum gunnery range at night. Due to surprise, the German ships may not fire torpedoes on the first turn, and are only allowed to make one 60° pivot on the first turn; the British are unrestricted. In addition, the British have a superior commander (Edward Evans) and know what the Germans will do with their first two movement points each turn (with maximum movement being five or six points), so the Brits are not in as dire a situation as the three-to-one odds would suggest. The scenario lasts four turns.

In round one, the Germans tried to evade the inevitable British torpedo salvo but couldn't move far enough; the Brits had unusually accurate torpedoes and sank two of the Kaiserliche Marine vessels. Both squadrons turned into the other, with HMS Broke trying to ram three times in one turn, leading to the situation in the photo and lots of point-blank fire. As HMS Swift circled helplessly with a wrecked bridge and jammed rudder, Broke finally rammed the lead German vessel and finished it with gunfire. The tally at the end of the game showed three Germans sunk in exchange for to heavily damaged Brits--a decisive victory for the Royal Navy.

We traded sides and played it again. In round two, the Germans split into two squadrons of three and passed through the British line, evading the opening torpedo salvo, at the cost of a collision. The lighter German vessel was crippled in the collision and Broke easily administered a coup de grace with gunnery; however, the Broke was herself seriously slowed. The German squadrons came about, launching torpedo salvos as they came, and closed with the British. HMS Swift turned to meet the lead squadron, ramming one vessel and nearly sinking it; Swift herself was undamaged except for a minor fire and a jammed rudder. She and the remaining member of that squadron traded shots; the cripple, between them, cringed as shells from both sides whizzed past, but managed to survive--until an errant German torpedo sank her. On the last turn of the game, the four surviving Germans went for Broke. A storm of shells converged on the British vessel...but only a few hit, and those did minor damage, knocking out a gun and starting two minor fires. The British returned the compliment, starting a fire on one of the German boats. And with the conclusion of turn four, the scenario ended, with the Brits clearly ahead; the only thing left was to douse the fires. The German crew quickly and efficiently put theirs out, with no additional damage. The British crews, on the other hand... they tried, and tried, and tried....Swift was heavily damaged by her fire but finally managed to contain it; the conflagration on Broke reached a magazine, and she went down in a blaze of ignominy. The bill was two Germans sunk and one scratched, for one Brit heavily damaged and one destroyed, and Evans killed--a significant German victory, and due almost entirely to the hapless British firemen.

In the historical action, Swift torpedoed and sank the German boat G85.  Broke, with Evans commanding, rammed G42; the German crew boarded but the Brits repelled them with pistols, fixed bayonets, cutlasses, and hurled mugs of hot cocoa. G42 snapped in half and sank, and the action ended with the remaining four torpedo boats escaping, Swift lightly damaged, and Broke heavily damaged and in need of a tow. Evans was promoted to Captain and awarded the DSO.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Secret Mission

   The Captain directed me to go theftily aboard Silver Rose for the end of spriting away her Log book, in aid of which, Lady Inae and I spake into the night of what Blessings and helps might she give me. One of which she feigned shouldst require that we twain be Intimate in body, and when, out of a perhaps misplaced gallantry, I demurred, she did laugh and admit that she but jested, which is a Thing she had scarce done before. Perhaps there is a lively person there within her? albeit verily hidden under layers of rules and proprieties.
   On the morrow I arose and made such preparations aboard ship as may be, viz, to gather certain tools and materials, chief among them being simple wedges and hand drills. Having done what I could, and being under Orders to take a liberty party of ten ashore, I took the men to the Sign of the Feckless Firbolg, where I left them, having first charged them most Straitly to remain therein, and to be ready at an appointed hour to return to the Ship, and set certain of them in Authority over the rest to ensure that they did. Then I hied me to the shipping office, passing in the street many bullyboys of the Silver Rose, whose swaggering made the townfolk timorous, although in truth I know of no scandal or riotousness the bravos made, despite the townfolk's many nervous expectations. At the shipping office my letter of Credit proved to be without worth, for there was no coin or specie was to be had, for many days yet to come. I was sore amazed that neither merchant nor moneylender had sufficient wit or Enterprize as to buy said letters at a discount and them redeem at full value, profiting thereby when the shipping offices coffers were replenished--but so it was, and nought to be done about it.
   Thence to the Smials. I found a goodly suit of clothing, jacket and trews of of sober brown and chestnut, which colors be difficult for the eye to see at night; and a second set, Red and gold, not of the Waterdeep fashion, but gaudy enough to play Cock o' the Walk in the port of Llewellyn; and indeed I soon profited thereby, catching the Fancy of two comely lasses, Peony the fair and doe eyed Violet, and spending some hours in pleasant dalliance with them. I left them most regretfully.
   I had yet some need to prepare for the adventure of the evening, and thus I spake again with Davon, the fisherman whose boat I had bought, and made certain arrangements; and spake also with a Dwarf of the Great Mole, which the folk of Llewellyn call the Quay, and has smithies and workshops in the depths thereof. This dwarf, named Harda, bought from me a little device which I had taken from Moffrey, and I warned them that Moffrey might come to them, or others of Sanremi might come, and that they had certain tokens of the Drow and were not to be trusted, and I had never thought it wise to sign aboard a Sanremi vessel, for some ships be more easily joined than left. At this news Harda and the other dwarves were very grave, and said that one of their number had that same day signed aboard Silver Rose, and they sent messengers after him.
   As dusk fell, I and my band of Men, and Davon who met us at the Mole by arrangement, went back aboard Prosperity. And captain Govan of Silver Rose and the woman Jess his lieutenant were already aboard and in the Great Cabin, dining with Captain Garrity who had acceded  to my suggestion and  invited them, publicly to return the compliment from our Dinner the night before, but privately to get them off Silver Rose and give me the opportunity to go aboard her.
   And so I did. We hoisted out the jolly boat, Davon took the oars and rowed us near the Sanremi vessel, and, with Inae's blessings, I swam from boat to ship. I clambered right readily up the Side to the gallery, found the stern lights latched but not locked, and swiftly invaded the Great Cabin. Being forethoughtful, I set wooden Wedges to block both doors, and screwed them to the deck boards with hand drills, so that I need not fear violent Interruption whilst I plundered. After that, twas a simple matter of searching the cabin, quickly and quietly, and indeed the log book was in the drawer of the captain's Desk, so easily found. Easily found, not easily obtained--for I had picked other locks here but this one Lock defeated me, and the joinery was too fine to obtain purchase, so I perforce must turn the desk on edge and verily hacksaw the latch to open it. But Perseverance was at last rewarded, and I gathered the Spoils and departed.
   And in the very nick of time, for as I reached the water I heard shouting and pounding on the door I had wedged, my burglary having been by some means Discovered. So I swam as hastily as I might, which was not very, for the boat where Inae and Davon were casting for squid--that being our pretext for the boat being on the water at night. The deck archers quickly espied me, and shot their Bolts at me as I struggled in the water, but the Luck of Longstaff held, for of a dozen or more arrows, only one struck me, the which did me but little hurt, and twice I heard my foes swearing most vilely as their bowstrings broke, which amused me greatly. Inae, seeing me close at hand, conjured a Fog for to hide us, and then it was a little matter of climbing over the gunwhales and into the boat, and rowing straight away, until we were out of range, and safe.
   So here I am once again, as I was scant days ago, in an open boat on the water at night, with Inae and a poisoned man--for remember as Captain Greyson and the men had been struck by vipers, so Davon's hand had been struck by some spiny fish, and not yet healed. Our profit for this adventure is certain papers from Govan's desk, and the log book of the Silver Rose, and a curious box or casket, made with gold and ivory inlay, which I shall examine more closely when we are back aboard Prosperity.
   Davon is casting his net, thereby to lend verisimilitude to our tale of innocent night fishing, and we have lit the lantern to lure the squid. It is by this light I write.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Battle of Havana, 1748

Albert Parker hosted a Close Action game portraying the the Battle of Havana, which took place in 1748. This was a hypothetical scenario, with the 36 gun Galga replaced by the formidable Fenix, 80, to make a more balanced game. Each side has seven ships; the Spanish vessels are larger and tougher, the British have better crews. Players included (Spanish) Dave Cross (admiral), Richard, Al Cook, Andrew, Pete and Ashlee; British player were me (admiral), Josh, Will, Albert, Heather, and Shawn.

The wind is from the southeast. Both fleets start in line ahead, with the wind on the port bow; the British start to the northeast of the Spanish line, with a weather gauge advantage over the last few Spanish ships. As the British, we expected the Spanish van to wear and come back towards us while the Spanish rear kept running away; our plan was to cut off the closest two Spanish ships and defeat them. This is pretty much exactly what happened.

 It was a bit more difficult than I expected--partly because the gamemaster rolled a lot more 6's for the Spanish than he did for us, even though he was playing on our side....Another factor was that the two Spaniards we cut off were the two biggest and toughest ones; as we approached, these two ran into each other and fouled, which made them easy for us to catch, but not easier to pound into submission. The other reason it was tough was because the starting situation meant that the British were strung out and had to arrive piecemeal, one ship every turn or two rather than en masse; with the Spanish continually moving away from us, our rearmost two ships never got into the action at all.

Fortunately the Spanish divided their own forces as well, and and rather than ganging up on us as we trickled into the action, most of the Spanish fleet milled around in circles away from the action. Our lead two ships, Stafford and Tilbury, took a lot of hits as they sailed into the midst of the enemy, but then the rest of our fleet started arriving and most of the Spanish started leaving, and it quickly became five of us against three of them; shortly Fenix withdrew and it was five to two. A lucky hit set Africa on fire, demoralizing her crew; a few turns (and a few volleys of chainshot) later, she surrendered. That left Invencible isolated; all we had to do was knock off one of her masts so she couldn't escape. In fact, the rest of the Spanish had the wind gauge and could have succored her if they'd tried, but Invencible's player was told "we British are the wolves, the Spanish are the elk, and you are the baby elk at the back of the herd", and that was pretty much the way it went.

Afterwards most of us adjourned to Five Guys for the "debriefing, recriminations and courts martial" phase before the drive home.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Savage Worlds action

First playthrough of the Savage Worlds: Deluxe rules.

Dramatis Personae
  • Axel Mann: d6 fighting, d8 strength, axe and pistol
  • Marcus Mann: d8 agility, d8 shooting, two pistols and knife
  • Father Mann: d4 vigor, pump shotgun
  • Jack (pistol) and Jill (knife)
  • Bonnie (pistol) and Clyde (knife)
  • Ken (knife) and Barbie (knife, wildcard, d8 smarts)
  • also appearing: Molly McGuffin as The Captive
  • All skills and traits are d6 unless otherwise specified. Good guys each have two bennies left unused. Cultists other than Barbie are Extras, and are in pairs for initiative.
    Our team bursts through a door and finds they're at the top of a stairway that leads down to a large vaulted cellar. Molly is chained to a wall and the cultists are preparing to do Unspeakable Things (tm) to her. Flickering torches, bodies of previous victims against the wall, the usual props. 

    Round 1: the Mann team lucks out and gets high cards for initiative.
    • Axel: bound down the stairs and chop at Ken. He rolls a d6 = 6 and wild die d6 = 3; the Ace roll for the d6 is a 6, with another ace roll of 5 for a total of 17. Against Ken's parry of 5, that's a hit with a raise, which give 1d6 extra damage (extra raises beyond the first don't add anything). Damage is strength d8 = 4 plus weapon d6 = 3 plus 1d6 for getting a raise on the to-hit roll = 2, total 9. Ken's Toughness is 5 so this is a success and a raise. Ken is Shaken and Wounded, which takes him out of the fight.
    • Marcus: tries two gun mojo, firing at Bonnie and Jack. His right hand attack rolls Shooting d8 = 3 and Wild d6 =1, and his left hand rolls d8= 2 and d6= 4. Both attacks are at -2 for taking two actions, and the left handed shot is at an additional -2 for offhand, so Marcus realizes that two-fisting gunning isn't for everyone.
    • Father: leans down and fires his shotgun at Jack, rolling d6 = 1 and Wild d6 =1. Even with the shotgun's +2. these are misses. Clearly the Mann team's luck was all in the initiative.
    • Jack fires at Axel as the most obvious threat, and hits with a d6=6 + ace roll d6=3 for a total 9. This is a raise and adds 1d6 to damage, in addition to the pistol's normal 2d6, for a total of 2+1+5 damage = 8 damage. Compared to Axel's 5 Toughness, this is not a raise, so Axel is Shaken. 
    • Jill charges Axel and slashes. Her d6= 2 isn't enough to beat his Parry of 5.
    • Bonnie fires at Marcus, and misses with a 2.
    • Clyde goes in and hacks at Axel, and predictably misses with a 2.  
    • Ken bleeds.
    • Barbie takes partial cover behind Molly and chants.
    Round 2:
    • Axel: rolls a Spirit d6 of 1 to fail to remove his Shaken status. He sighs and spends a Benny, which means he can act normally. He hacks at Jill with a d6 = 5 and a Wild d6 of 5. That's a normal hit. He rolls Strength d8 = 6 and weapon d6 = 4 for a total of 10 damage. Jill is Shaken, Wounded, and out.
    • Father: consults the initiative sequence and fires at Jack. He rolls his Shooting d6 = 4, his Wild d6 = 6, plus an Ace roll of 2, plus the shotgun's +2, for a total 10. That's a hit and a raise. The shotgun does 3d6 damage plus 1d6 for the raise, which works out to 5+4+1+1 = 11. Jack is Shaken, Wounded and down.
    • Barbie: chants
    • Jack & Jill: both down
    • Marcus: fires at Bonnie with a d8 = 5 and a Wild d6 = 6+3 = 9, which is a raise. His shot does 2d6 +1d6 = 4+2+1 = 7 damage, which makes her Shaken but not Wounded.
    • Bonnie & Clyde: Bonnie rolls her d6 Spirit to recover from being Shaken, and gets 6+1, enough to pass but not enough for a raise. She can only take "free actions", so she moves to a spot behind a pillar, to gain Cover. Clyde slashes at Axel but misses with a 3.
    Round 3:  Bonnie & Clyde’s Jack of Spades beats Axel’s Jack of Clubs to win initiative.
    • B&C: Bonnie aims (+2 to hit) and shoots at Father, who had partial (-1) cover, and hits with a 4. Her pistol does 2d6=4+5=9; Father Mann is Shaken and Wounded. Father decides not to try a Soak roll.
    • Clyde tries to knife Axel, gets a d6=6+ ace 2= 8, which is a hit but not a raise on Axel’s Parry 5. He does damage of Strength d6=5 and weapon d4=3 for a total 8, against Axel’s Toughness 5; Axel is Shaken again.
    • Axel tries a Spirit roll d6=4 (Wild d6=2) to recover from being Shaken, and succeeds. He could take a free action but doesn't see anything useful to do, and decides to Hold his action.
    • Father Mann rolls Spirit d6=6+5=11 to easily recover from being Shaken. He blasts Bonnie, firing d6=2, wild d6=3. Add 2 for shotgun, subtract 1 for cover, and the 3 is a hit. He does 3d6 damage = 6+3+6 plus ace 6+3 plus re-ace 2 for a total 26 damage, which is a hit with 5 raises (5 is a hit, 9, 13, 17, 21 and 25 are raises). Bonnie is so dead, she’s not even eligible to be a zombie.
    • Ken, however, is. He rises to his feet; Axel uses his Hold action to move to the other end of the room, denying Ken the chance to bite. However, this gives Clyde another chance to attack as Axel moves out of melee. It's a regular attack; he rolls d6=2, which misses.
    • Barbie, seeing which way things are going, stabs Molly out of spite, and then flees, exiting through the small door towards the back of the room.
    • Marcus, whose card was a 2 of Hearts, fails to get a shot off in time to stop Barbie. Instead he aims (+2) with a Called Shot (-4 for the Head), and shoots Ken, rolling d8=6 +2-4, which is barely hits. Damage is 2d6 = 5+4, +4 for the head shot =13.
    At this point, Clyde realizes his leader has abandoned him, the rest of the cultists are dead, and if he's killed now, he's likely to become a zombie. He decides that surrendering might be worth considering.

    Sunday, October 7, 2012

    Shore Party at Llewellyn

    Reported to Captain Garrity who, being much pleas'd with my having safely brought back Inae, Grayson and the sailors, and also myself (and twas clear that was the order of preference, which amused me). I turned in my written account of the confounding of Moffrey and the events of Seawarder's Cove, and chose to cast Light--my first spell weaving--upon the parchment, to be sure the Captain fully understood that I had been changed by the Moonwell.* The Captain, having a vacancy of senior midshipmen and, presumably, being desperate, offered to promote me thereto. I weighed the offer with some misgivings, for being responsible for aught save Kestrel is not much to my liking, being often a care and a burden, but accepted nonetheless.

    The next morning Prosperity, having rounded the cape while I slept, made Llewellyn port, wherein we found the Silver Rose and many another ship and boat, sheltering from the weather. I was assigned to command a shore Party of ten men, at once shewing that my Misgivings on promotion were well founded. 'Tis fortunate that the town is small and I well liked by the men, for in the first furlong, only two of my chicks wandered off, and those we found at the Feckless Firbolg, a tavern popular with seamen, although in truth the Port was so swelled with sailors, that any House with food, drink or girls had a share of custom. The shipping Office was even depleted of coin, making it impossible to exchange our Writ of credit for gold. This troubled me somewhat, the Captain having ordered me to purchase a jolly boat to replace that taken by Moffrey, but through judicious inquiry and much walking, we found a fisherman, named Dovon. This man having been wounded in the hand by a poisonous Fish, was unable to row or cast nets, and much troubled by want of money, whereupon my offer, to buy his boat for the Ship, was gladly received. This sum I paid out of my own pocket, although I despair of wringing specie from the purser in a timely fashion.

    After making said purchase, being aided by Lannel, captain of the maintop, we shepherded the Men back to the Feckless Firbolg, wherein they had merriment, and I did not. The Women of the tavern being neither sophisticate nor adventurous, I found no interesting Companionship, which vexed me, although it was perhaps as well, for I was able to keep my Party under my eye, and return with them to Prosperity at the allotted hour. As we came to the Mole, a lad gave me a Message, namely, that a certain Woman, of the Silver Rose, desired to speak with me. This woman I had indeed met at the Feckless Firbolg, she being strong featured and with a warrior's scars, and had spoken to her somewhat, and saw that our Grayson had spoken yet more; but I thought it unlikely that this message was in good Faith; and if it were thought that dancing attendance to her call not likely to win her; and in any wise I had no Time to pursue the matter before nightfall, when I must by order return to the Ship.

    My vexations in the Tavern were somewhat repaid in other means, for Silver Rose invited the Captain to dine, and I accompanied him, and her Master, Harret Govan, sets a very fine table indeed. Captain Garrity and I were the only guests, although Govan's shadow, that selfsame scarred woman, stood behind him. We might have been merry with more seats filled; yet the fewer Guests, the more Food to each, so I regretted it not in the slightest. A sharp liqueur, followed by a delightful cheese of triple cream, toasted with soft bread and porter; a cream of barley soup, very good; a rich Goose roast with white wine, Almonds, basil and a giblet onion gravy; raspberries and apples to clear the Palate; crusted rare roast of Beef, with mushrooms and pudding and a red wine reduction; a mix of root vegetables, viz, parsnips, new potatoes, carrots, sweet beets, onions. and something crisp and sweet which I did not recognize; watercress and cucumber vinaigrette; most excellent Pastries of duck foie gras and bacon; a rapturous smoked cheddar, taken with much good port; suet pudding and spotted dick, with a hot custard for sauce; and to finish, walnuts and hazelnuts and ratafia biscuits and more wine.

    I had very nearly eaten my Fill, almost, when it came time to leave, and take boat back to the Prosperity. No rest yet, though, for Captain Garrity has charged me with a secret Mission, and I must plan it now, for tis to be put into Execution tomorrow night.

    *It was a glowing report.

    Sunday, September 16, 2012

    Kestrel Langstaff, called Ghostbane

    Rogue 1 / Swashbuckler 3 / Bard 1 (Bardic Sage)
    STR 12 DEX 18 CON 14 INT 14 WIS 8 CHA 14

    • Two weapon fighting: rapier and dagger
    • Combat Reflexes
    • Deft opportunist
    • Weapon finesse
    • Daredevil acrobat
    Other abilities:
    • Trapfinding
    • Grace (+1 to reflex save)
    • Insightful strike (+INT mod to damage)
    • Flaw: Shaky -- -2 to ranged
    Bard spells:
    • Prestidigitation
    • Light
    • Message
    • Read Magic
    • Detect Magic
    • Bardic Music: Healing Hymn, Inspire Courage

    Saturday, September 15, 2012

    A Million Sparks of Song

    The trees of Tor Wood are tall, such that in the evening gloom and the mist that pervades this land, I could little see even the tops of the trees, and the Sky not at all. And it is quiet, with no buzz of insect or trill of birdcall, nor any sound save the chuckling of the creeks and the footfalls of my companions on the moss and stone. The journey was uneasy, with much climbing up and down, and us troubled by our wounds, and the wood brooding. But at the end of this journey we came unto a place which was a fane of the Earthmother, wherein stood three Trees, not like the others, for those were straight and slender, but these, mighty and spreading, in the manner of an oak, and their roots tumbled together, and old, old. In the compass of the roots before them was a hollow, and in that hollow was a Pool, being about a rod across, and very deep, and unruffled by any breath of wind, and even I, who am more inclined to merriment than reverence, knew it to be a Holy thing, numinous and fearsome. Inae was troubled, for there should have been a Guardian but none appeared, but she saw no hurt to the Well. She knelt there and prayed, and drank of the Well, and then bade me do likewise, and I did.
    And here is a wondrous thing, for behold, when I drank of the Well, I saw a mighty shower of sparks, as from some great smith's hammer, but each spark was a Song, and I could see them and hear them, all at once, the myriad colors and melodies, a thundercloud of butterflies, and the stars sang together, and all my wounds were healed.
    That night, in the first watch as Inae slept, Owain and I spake, and he taught me songs of virtue, that could make bold a fighting man, or bring light to darkness, or diverse other things. He taught me also the Lay of the Elder King of Moonshaes, and another concerning Three Northlander Brothers and the Clever Ffolke, which I shall turn into a merry tale of Foxwit the Halfling and the Biggers. I in turn told him the news of Waterdeep, and the tale of a roguish halfling and the Admiral he bearded, the which Owain will make into a song, and I taught him also the halfling song Beer Comes in Pints, which amused him.
    In the morning we arose, and with proper ceremony filled our Flask of the moonwell, and departed the Forest of Tor. And it came to pass, as we traveled, that we espied a light, as from a candle, but naught which might make it. I crept upon it, and coming close, perceived that it was a snare or trap, but before I could say aught to my companions, there sprang upon me a mighty Beast, which smote me with claw and fang. I could not overcome its Strength but, being nimble, slipt from its Grasp. The beast then rounded on Inae, who had burnt it with Spells. It charged her, and mauled her, wounding her grievously, but I stood over her, and smote the creature with sword and dagger, and slew it. Inae named it a Swamplight Lynx, and said that the beast makes a dancing light, as a will of the wisp, and thereby lures its prey, which, it would appear, includes halflings and humans. I took its claws as a trophy. Inae prayed and healed our hurts, although her dress was much rent, and I lent her my Cloak to cover her.
    When we came to that dell wherein the Bandits had attacked us, we saw that the bodies had become mere bones, and the mail rust, as if many years had passed, although these were verily the bandits I had slain but yesterday. Inae said that this was the work of the Earthmother, to restore balance.
    As we came to the cliffs we spied a man, and I thought it Laithoren, but could scarce credit it, and speculated that perhaps the elf ghost had returned, or Grayson had regained his strength, or I knew not what. But lo, it was indeed Laithoren, come to search us out, for Prosperity had found our cove and landed boats. Inae gave of the water of the Well to Grayson and the two sailors, and their vigor was restored, and they were able to go on the boats. Owain, seeing that we should depart, gave me a jewel of some virtue, saying that it would reveal danger on my path. And so it came to pass that we bid farewell to Owain Dylan, and took to the sea, and returned to Prosperity.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012


    Kestrel has achieved 5th level !
    He's adding Bard to his current Rogue / Swashbuckler build.

    Monday, September 10, 2012


    Josh took the Brits, who are tasked with attacking in this battle, although there's no real terrain objective or time limit. He launched a quick bayonet assault on a unit in my center, destroying ith, and then withdrew because he had no other cards to use. After that it was some long range artillery fire which wiped out my battery on the right, plus lots of reshuffling of troops, both sides wishing that we had useful cards.
    I brought my light infantry on the right up into the town; the Rifles whittled it down to one block, but I played a Rally card (even though I had no other damaged units) to save it and got two blocks back. I fired on the Rifles, killing two of three blocks, and they retreated. The next turn, I fired on a five-block British Light Infantry unit, with a +1 for the card play, and ended up rolling five dice--for five hits! Josh was disgusted. He directed artillery at my Legere until he wiped it out, but they will live on in song and story.
    After that it was more shuffling units around and waiting for cards. I tried a cavalry charge but ended up losing my squadron without doing anything to the target. That left me with three infantry and nothing else on my right; after a while, Josh amassed the cards to send his three cavalry (two heavy, one light) across to force my units into square, after which he sent three battalions of infantry to finish them off.
    Final score: Brits 6, French 1.
    I've read about the difficulties of attack in C&C:N, but the defense is also difficult. As the attacker, at least you get to hoard all your "left flank" cards, if that's where you want to attack; as the defender, you have to be prepared to respond in any sector, and not enough cards for a reserve.

    Saturday, September 8, 2012

    To the Moonwell

    At first light Inae prayed, and I gathered stones for my sling, the three things to be had in abundance at the cove being stones and salt water and fog, and nought else. Left Grayson on watch, though in Truth he is not fit to stand, being still sick from the poison, but the sailors are yet more so than him, and Moffrey bound and gagged for we dare not set him loose. We gathered lines from the boat's rigging, and water, and set out, Inae and I and her otter, for the moon well, in hopes the water thereof would be a Curative proof against the venom.
    The cliffs around the cove being wet and fog-covered and steep, would be not easy for me to climb, nor at all for Inae, therefore our sole way inland led up a defile or gorge, floored in loose stone and roofed by the gloom but otherwise not ill, we thought. We had gone a scant half mile when a Spirit appeared, an elven Lord of antique raiment and angry mien. In his hand was a ghostly sword, and from there tip thereof leapt a Spark of blue flame, like lightning, which struck me in the chest, burning me sore and also ruining my shirt, the second in two days, which Vexed me greatly. The Spirit gave forth a great wailing cry, and, being unable to stand its Power we fled. We took counsel and advanced again, to the same end, I being wounded again at the hand of this ghost. There being no other Path to the moonwell, we perforce essayed a third time, this time with my blade anointed with a mystical oil, and with Inae's blessing upon me. The Spirit had hidden in the depths of a great stone, and sprang upon me from close behind, but this proved his Undoing, for in his eagerness he came within reach of my Blade, and one shrewd stroke dispersed him, like smoke in a wind.
    At this, a Man came forth from hiding, and said that we had done him a great favor, but that the Spirit had not been slain but would return, but with our Help the ghost might be laid to rest. The man, hight Owain Dylan, is an itinerant minstrel, as my mother was, and indeed he took a great interest in the Mandolin she passed down to me, although his own instrument is a Bodhran, which is curious kind of Drum. He spake of the Spirit, who he named Elereisolon the Seawarder, a ghost who had guarded this coast for many long years. The Sprit, being roused by the landing of foreign boats, might be placated if said Boat, viz, ours, withdrew, and the elven victory dirge was sung in his hearing. We loosed Moffrey and gave him bread and water and his dirk whereupon he, being addled by Inae's arts, was agreeable to take the Yawl and its oars, and set out to sea, and did so. We took the yawl's mast and yard and sails, for a shelter for Grayson and the men, and also so that Moffrey, without sail, cannot return against the current to the cove, for he might work a Mischief upon Greyson, or the men. Owain then taught us the Song, in a bygone Elven dialect, a mournful thing which laments the Cost of battle even as it recognizes Victory. We set forth up the gorge, singing, and the Spirit manifested, but the music verily wrought upon him even as Owain had said, and he rested at last from his long watch, and we passed by in peace.
    Owain coming with us, and he and I speaking of many things, we marched towards the Moonwell, it being some ten miles distant, and we hoping to reach it before nightfall. The gorge floor rose and at last let us out on the level of those tablelands whose end is the sea cliffs. The land is heath* and rocky shelves, not the easiest for travel but no great difficulty for those afoot. And so we continued for some hours until, in the afternoon, I espied bandits, viz, three Archers and two Swordsmen who lay in wait, having perhaps heard our singing, I know not.
    I called out to the nearest swordsman, but he answered not, but instead, seeing their Ambuscade was discovered, he raised his sword and rushed at us. Therefore I gave a mocking bow, and spake again to him, saying, Shall we dance?, whereupon he stumbled, and his stroke went wide, and my counter took him easily through the Brisket. Their bowmen, seeing their man thus felled, took aim at me, and one did me great harm, though the others missed. Not liking to stay where the Ambushers meant to have us, I sprang through the bushes and engaged one archer, wounding him and turning him so he stood between me and his fellows, who evidently cared not Overmuch for him, for they continued to loose arrows at me, and pierced him instead. I heard Owain begin to play his drum, which I did not understand at the time, although he has since said that the song lends Strength and Courage to those friends who fight under its influence, and he promises to teach me the way of it. A valuable skill, I expect, although the art of the Blade is, I warrant, more useful in such times. I sped to the second archer, and with a few strokes Dispatched him. The second swordsman, having sorely wounded Inae and Owain, turned to me, but Inae summoned a Wolf, or the phantom thereof, and set it upon him, and while he was distracted thereby, I slew him, and the last bowman as well. I examined the bodies, but they seemed simple Bandits, with nothing of great worth or note. Not desiring to delay our mission, we left them where they lay, and came at last to the Forest of Tor, an ancient wood, dark and deep, wherein lies the Moonwell.

    Wednesday, September 5, 2012

    VSF / Colonial Factions

    If you're exploring Lost Worlds, what foes and factions might you run into?
    • Ordinary tribes
    • Unusually savage tribes
    • Cannibals / headhunters
    • Dinosaurs
    • Expeditions from other modern nations (Russia, Japan, USA, Confederacy, Prussia, French Foreign Legion, Belgium, etc)
    • Rebels from other modern nations
    • Martians (Tharks, Barsoomian red men, War of the Worlds Martians)
    • Mad or irritable scientist with fighting machines
    • Jungle gods
    • Descendants of ancient civilizations (Romans, Carthaginians, Aztecs, Egyptians etc)
    • Combinations of the above

    Saturday, September 1, 2012

    Going Ashore

    Spent the night at Sea in the boat, alternately, Wet & Cold, then Cold & Wet, then Drenched & Cold & In Fear Of Capsizing, then Cold & Drenched, etc etc. The next day, in the forenoon sighted a reaver Longship, whereupon we, with some effort, stepped the second mast and made all speed toward the Coast. Continued wet, cold, sleepless, & hungry, but as Inai also was cold, and wet, and wearing nought save thin silk, I thought it not mete to complain on what Fortune gave.
    Discovered the said coast was inhospitable, viz, breakers on Cliffs & no place to land. Uncertain of position, but as a Storm brewed to the south, we sailed North. Found a break in the cliffs and a hidden Cove. The boat, being lifted by a Swell onto a submerged rock, did Capsize, but by clinging to oars, we came ashore without loss. No sign of Habitation nor shelter, but used the Oars, cloaks & branches of certain Trees to form a rude Lean To against the rock face, giving some little shelter against the Rain which has continually beset us.
    Spoke with Moffrey, who, he says, was an agent of Sanremi House, sent to discover that device in the Great Cabin. He says he was discovered by Ventir in the Great Cabin, and, being attacked by the latter, stunned him, whereupon, he says, Ventir through mischance fell and broke his neck, whilst also driving his own Dirk into his side. Some fraction of this Tiradiddle could be, I suppose, in some wise true--albeit not much. He spake also of his magickal Belt, the which I have taken as spoils, and which, upon the speaking of certain words from an Elvish lay, reveals pockets, of the same likeness as my haversack albeit better hid and less capacious. There are divers vials, flasks, and tools therein.
    Secured the Yawl and a mast through some effort on the rocks and in the water, then slept. Greyson and the two sailors are still weak from Poison, and cannot walk any distance. We must consider whether to send one or two of us west to find a road, or north where Inai hopes to find a moonwell, or all to put to sea again. And what is to be done with Moffrey? I favor a moment's work with a bodkin but Inai thinks ill of it.
    It is now the second Morning after leaving the ship. I write this by candlelight as we await the dawn.

    C&C Napoleonic QRS

    The reference sheets for C&C: Napoleonic suck. Just....suck. A QRS should be one sheet. Not four pages for the Brits, four pages for the French, plus another one for Terrain.

    Sunday, August 26, 2012

    Two Hour Wargames

    I've ordered the print copies of Colonial Adventures, Lost Lands, and Lemuria, from Two Hour Wargames. When you buy the print copies, you also get PDFs, so, I'm reading the rules now.

    Saturday, August 25, 2012

    To the Boats

    When we recovered our sight, the imposter had cut loose the jolly boat and drifted astern. I ordered the Men to swing out the yawl* so that we might pursue. Ghostly voices confused the crew, and some tenebrous Fog covered the quarterdeck. Laithoren and I went to the taffrail in hopes of Sighting the jolly boat before it passed beyond arrow shot, but it was Invisible.
    Grayson and Inai cried to us to join them (and two sailors, and Inai's otter) in the Yawl, it being adrift and the Prosperity surging past it, therefore I caught up a Line and swung down**. Laithoren demurred, I know not why, but speculate not for want of Courage; for he is no sailor, and likely could not shoot well from a small boat in the open Sea, and may have thought instead to take Aim from the quarterdeck. But as we in the yawl pulled away, a mighty Thunderclap smote the ship, coming, as it seemed, from the wardroom or the Great Cabin, the lights of which blew out with spray of Glass and stench of vile Alchemy. The rudderhead was sundered, and I know not what further Hurts the ship may have suffered; for Prosperity being rudderless was unable to Wear, and, sailing on, was soon lost to our sight in the Rain.
    We in the yawl espied some Flaw in the veil of invisibility over the jolly boat, and our brave sailors pulling lustily at their oars, we drew closer. I flung several sling bullets at the dimly seen shape, but know not whether I hit. I believe, though, that I must have discommoded the imposter, for he rose up and cast a bolt of black fire, and then another, the both of which hit me and burned, but not too severely. We drew closer, and it seemed we would soon be able to leap into the jolly boat and finish the matter, but the imposter hurled some thing which, landing in our boat, was shewn to be a dozen Snakes, who struck at us. Grayson and I slew them, but Grayson and the sailors having taken Venom, were unable to pull at the oars, and we drifted further away from our Prey. Inai's otter, however, being in the water, knew where the jolly boat was***, and discerning this, I, with Inai's blessing, leapt into the water, and swam with the Wings of the Sea. Upon reaching the jolly boat, it was Out Steel, up over the Transom, and have at him. His blade was the longer, but I slipped past his point, and put him down with one thrust. Thence it was a simple matter of binding and gagging him, and steering back to the others. Him being unconscious, Mellon's visage faded from him, and behold, the magician was the hapless Moffrey! Inai tended his wounds, and he awoke, and would have stirred, but I vouchsafed to him that, I having thought hard on whether to bandage him or to put a dagger through his eye, and having made the one choice once, I should, an he gave me cause to rethink it, be inclined to try the other choice. He took my meaning at once, and subsided.
    Prosperity still being beyond our sight, and maybe sunk by the injury done her, we took counsel. With the help of Inai and Grayson, I stepped the mast, and set course as best I could for Llewellyn, the wind being from the northeast and favorable, and that being the nearest city, and further a likely choice for Prosperity to seek repairs if she is able. By good fortune I had foodstuffs in my haversack, and was able to give sausage, cheese and brandy to all, and a bit of chocolate to Inai, who had never known it before. Night is falling now, but the rain has let up, the wind is fair, and we sail to the sunset.

    Sunday, August 12, 2012

    Lying in Wait

    Last night late with much busyness. Discussed our plans first with Inai, after which posted a marine at her door with thought to keep her safe in the night.
    Young Raelan remarkt that when Ventir's body was Found, Moffrey was sent to fetch the Captain, but took an uncommon long time returning from the Great Cabin, the which is only a few steps and a ladder from the Wardroom.
    After reporting to the captain, was taken aside by Fra Veritan who advised that Ventir's neck was broke and that likely the cause of Death, the wound in his side being Bloody but not fatal.
    And so to bed. Whereupon heard ghastly Whispers, viz, You will all die, the sea will take you as it took her, etc etc. Investigated but found nought save Mr Hazlett, very irritable, and Mr Hazelwood likewise. Still puzzled over why Ventir had a knife Wound, with his neck being broken. Slept with this Paradox in mind, rather than a pair of doxies, as I should Prefer.
    Up in the morning for a grey wet dawn watch at the masthead, the Dawn scarce being seen through the brooding Clouds. Then to breakfast, where the company's mood was dismal despite my endeavors to Light it. Many heard the whispers in the night and were Troubled thereby.
    Summoned the officers, midshipmen and others to the Great Cabin, where Inai called for a blessing of truth. I asked questions of those gathered, Know ye how Ventir got his wounds and died?, What manner of thing is It which Laithoren wounded with his Knife in the great cabin?, Mean ye any Harm to the ship or any one of its Companie, and Have ye been Evasive in answering these my Questions? Moffrey could not answer clearly Yea or Nay. It was seen that Hazelwood touched Moffrey upon back or Shoulder when he struggled to answer. Some Spells, we know, are effectual when the Caster touches the Victim. Perhaps Hazelwood has wrought some Magick to control Moffrey? Who, being a Lackwit would be easy to control. Perhaps Ventir was controlled in the same Manner?
    One of the Marines admitted that, while standing sentry at the Wormerie door, he found himself asleep, at noon, the which explains how Tol Ventir came out from the Great Cabin unseen but does not answer Why nor who Slew him.
    No villain having been unmasked by the Questions, we had all doff their shirts, save Hazelwood who insisted, by right of age and dignity, to do so Privately, the Captain accepting this. We then paraded the Men on the forecastle and examined them, but found not suspicious Marks nor wounds.
    So with no Suspects, we devised a Plan of the captain shewing himself upon the Quarterdeck so that the Unseen might think empty the Great Cabin, wherein we lay in ambush. After a time, the Door opened and shut, and the latches of the Device moved. We saw no one and could strike nothing, but a thick Fog formed around us and we knew that our Enemy was there. Inai summoned a Light, and keen eyed Laithoren, discerning a Shadow among the beams overhead, shot it with three Arrows, and it cried out. The Shadow being high up, I vaulted upon the stern Bench and leapt Up, sticking it with my Rapier, drawing forth red Blood in plenty. Whereupon the Thing scuttled across the ceiling with great rapidity and out of the Great Cabin. The three of us gave Chase, not stopping for Tolen and the sentry who were Asleep, Laithoren following the blood trail down to the Berth deck.
    We met there an Unnatural beast, like unto a clawed Crab the size of a Bull, and slew it by blade, arrow, and lance of light. Its blood or ichor was a sickly Grey, so we knew this was not the Unseen from the great Cabin. Laithoren traced the red blood down to the lower deck and bow, where the elf Mellon keeps a nest, and there indeed we found Mellon unconscious. Inai and the ship's Carpenter brought him Out to the herbarium, whereupon Raelan found us and said that strange things were happening on the weather deck and desiring that we should go thereto.
    We found what seemed to all to be Mellon, who we had left unconscious in the herbarium, but now seemly awake and ordering the jolly Boat lowered. The men having done this, he descended the ship's side and into the Boat. We called upon him to Halt but he did not, nor gave explanation. Knowing this was some Imposter, and having neither catapult shotte nor Dwarf to drop through the bottom of the Boat, I gave the word and Laithoren did shoot him with arrows. The imposter fell wounded, but nonetheless he was able to speak arcane words, and our vision went dark. When I could see again....

    Sunday, July 29, 2012


    Lord Ventir having been found dead, the Captain was sent for with haste. He, apprised of the happening, returned with Lady Inai and I to the Great Cabin for a privy conference, and summoning Laithoren as well, the Captain warranted us to investigate. There is a Second binnacle in the Great Cabin, and concealed therein is a Device of rare design. Perceiving that one of the Latches of this devyce was Undone, I asked the Captain what was it? Whereupon the Phantasm appeared and rushed at the Captain. Laithoren cut at the Phantasm, but it took no harm thereby, nor did it work any ill upon Captain Garrity. The hunter saw some little sign of movement by the door, and slashed at it with the dagger, drawing blood from an Unseen foe but not enough to lead to capture.
    Examined Lord Ventir's body, finding a bruise on the Head and a stab into the liver, which wound was, from the blood trail, inflicted as he lay in his cot. There was also a strand of caterpillar Silk. The Wound was covered by his shirt, which was not pierced through.
    Upon questioning various officers and marines, I believe the story to be thus:
    • Shortly before noon, someone told Mr. Moffrey to pass the word that Lady Inai wanted to see Mr. Tolen in the herbarium. Mr. Moffrey does not remember who told him this, but he passed the word to Mr Raelan, who told Mr. Tolen, who went on a fool's errand.
    • The marine Sentry at the Wormerie door reports that Lord Ventir entered after Mr. Tolen left. Neither the Sentry nor his Relief saw Lord Ventir leave.
    • The noon sight, with the captain and Mr Hazlett in attendance, and myself and the midshipmen, the noon sight being one time when it is certain the Captain will be out of the Great Cabin.
    • The phantasm at the yardarm frightened the Men, and one fell into the sea, attracting the attention of all on deck.
    • The man being rescued, a second phantasm appeared at the rail, which I attacked.
    • The Captain, Lady Inai and I went to the Great Cabin, where Lady Inai sought whether any Magick was imbued in my blades. I expect if someone unseen was in the Cabin, Lady Inai would have become aware of the enchantment rendering the lurker invisible.
    • Blood spots were found by the Second binnacle, and a hair from Lord Ventir; a further blood spot was found by the Wormerie jamb, and the ladder to the wardroom, and a blood soaked bread crumb under the wardroom table.
    I believe Lord Ventir entered the Great Cabin to look at the Marvellous Device, but was struck down by the unseen Assailant, who then used the Phantasm to distract the sentry and others on deck. The Assailant then carried Ventir down to his cabin and slew him, but covered the wound. The Assailant then returned to the Great Cabin as he had opportunity, until Laithoren heard him.
    Questions which trouble me:
    • How did it happen that both Lord Ventir and the mysterious Unseen both picked the same time to enter the Great Cabin? Noon, yes, as the Captain would be at the noon sight, but still it is a Coincidence which troubles me.
    • Why would the Unseen attack Lord Ventir at all, instead of remaining hidden?
    • Why carry Lord Ventir back to his cabin, instead of opening the stern lights and dropping him out? Mere distraction would not be enough to remain unseen. But the blood trail leads that way. Why did the Unseen expect to remain hidden?
    • Why is there a crumb with blood under the wardrobe table?
    • Why try to conceal the wound?
    Things to do:
    • Keep Lady Inai safe, as she is able to detect magic and lies.
    • Examine every man for the knife wound which the Unseen got by Laithoren's hand.
    • Hide in the Great Cabin by whatever strategem, and lay in wait for the Unseen to enter.

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    Brits vs Americans

    My Saturday afternoon game at Historicon was a fictional Close Action scenario, pitting Brits vs Americans in 1821. The Brits had 10 ships, ranging from 74s to a 110, while the Americans had super 74s and super 44 frigates. All ships had A or B crew quality, and were heavily armed. (One ship got a 45 gunnery result without either Initial Broadside or Rake modifier).
    The scenario started with both squadrons in line ahead, close hauled, with the Americans a little closer to the point where the lines would meet. The Americans were in two lines, with their four frigates behind the line of battle ships.
    The Brits wanted to keep the action at medium long range, where the American carronades and medium guns would be less effective; consequently we planned to turn in succession to a broad reach and then fade away from the USN line. The American plan, as it turned out, was to let us do what we planned while they sent their first few ships around to windward to come down and break our line. The American plan worked pretty well, trapping most of the second squadron (four of whom were inexperienced players) to windward, making it difficult for the other RN ships to come to their aid. The Americans did have a couple of ships fairly thoroughly beaten up, including Delaware which was sacrificed to break the line, but they definitely came out ahead. Both sides played well, including the four new guys on the British side, and it was a very intense battle. I'm still trying to figure out what the best British plan would be.

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    Mars by GASLIGHT

    Buck Surdu and Chris Palmer put on "Mars by GASLIGHT" for Saturday morning at Historicon 2012. Twenty-one players, and generally each player got two infantry units plus a vehicle, gun or special unit. There were a variety of factions, each with different (and sometimes conflicting) objections; as best I could determine, the factions included:
    • Sand warriors with cannon (my faction)
    • Redcoats and Sikhs with steam-powered spider tanks
    • Prussian female hussars with helicopters and a machine gun
    • Russians with steam tank and cavalry
    • Nameless Ones with armored pennyfarthings
    • Red Martians with air skiffs and champion
    • Green Martians with thoat-riding champion
    • Navy landing parties with ironclad monitor in the canal and a steam tank
    • War of the Worlds cephalopod Martians with tripod
    • Rockmen with champion
    • Lizardmen with gun
    • And probably a couple others that I missed
    The table was set up as a long battlefield with a canal running down one edge; halfway down the length there was a bridge which led through some buildings to a fort. The Sand Warriors started on the battlefield side of the canal; our objective was to rescue our captive chieftain from the fort, which was held by Red Martians.

    The bridge was a bottleneck; we elected to move into position at the mouth of the bridge and then wait, letting the Russians cross the bridge and go past us, particularly since they led with their tank. As we waited, my partner spotted a pack of Green Martians coming along with Dejah Thoris as captive. We quickly negotiated a deal with the men of Helium: "we'll attack the Green Martians, capture the princess, and then trade her for our chieftain."
    The Green Martians were already being attacked by rock men, so it was an opportune moment. One of my units destroyed the remnants of a Green unit, while my other unit took down the Jeddak in a glorious and honorable moment of "attacking someone from behind while he was fully engaged on the other side", and so we captured Dejah Thoris. Around about this point we realized the rock men also wanted D.T. We'd been planning to carry the princess up to the fort and trade her there for our chieftain, so as to leave the least opportunity for treachery; however, as the rock men advanced, that plan started to look a little risky. We hastily called a conference with the Red Martians and told him to send his air skiffs to pick up the princess, while my remaining units held off the rockmen; if he'd give us his word as a Prince of Helium, we'd trust him to deliver our chieftain. And so it was. One of my units was destroyed by the rockmen, but held on long enough for the Red Martians to deploy and avenge us; the other unit put Dejah Thoris safely aboard an air skiff and then turned and--with the help of our gun crews, who had finally figured out what this whole "aiming" thing was about--broke the pursuing rockmen.

    GASLIGHT is a pretty simple game, not too worried about realism--when it's Martian tripods vs Sikh steam spiders vs 1880's Prussian helicopters, you can't be too worried about realism--and consequently the game moved pretty quickly even though there were 21 players and about 60 units on the board. Lots of color, lots of fun.


    Best quote: (in reply to a question about converting rules from 10mm to 28mm)

    "Anything worth doing, is worth doing in three scales"
    --Buck Surdu

    Sunday, July 15, 2012


    I'm planning to play in a couple of GASLIGHT games at Historicon next weekend, so I tried out a small skirmish just to get some familiarity with it.

    First I wrote up a Quick Reference Sheet, a good way to get familiar with the rules. This is not a complex game; everything I needed easily fit on one side of an 8.5 x 11 sheet (although I left out vehicles and artillery).

    I contemplated having an evenly balanced game--each side getting one Main Character, one Unit and one Vehicle--but where's the fun in that? Our heroes, Major Garnet Wooley (Hero, stats 14/14/14, only one card in the turn order because I forgot he should have two) of the Albionic Army and his reasonably faithful companions Beau Brummidge and Clytemnestra Crumpet (Adventurers, 12/12/12), are exploring a ruined city on the lost continent of Mu. They hear the tramping of goblin boots approaching, and hastily take cover behind a broken wall. The goblins, all greencoats of the Guz 16th ("Blood Moon") Regiment, are a sergeant and two squads. The sergeant (Leader, 10/10/10) has a brace of pistols and a cleaver; each squad has seven infantry (Extras, 8/6) armed with flintlocks. They are patrolling the road that runs past the wall where our heroes are hiding. The first squad marches on, unaware, but as Beau peeks out to keep an eye on them, a goblin spots him. Action!

    Turn 1:
    Goblin Squad 1 is abreast of the explorers, marching in column past them. Most of the squad turns to get ready to charge, but three have line of sight and fire. The hapless Brummidge is hit and falls.
    Goblin Sergeant Thurk fires one barrel of his pistol; the ball whizzes over Wooley but misses.
    Blood Moon Squad 2 charges through a gap in the wall; their charge is not very enthusiastic (d6 for extra charge distance = 1) and only two of them make it into contact with the adventurers. The Major draws his saber and meets them with a menacing "Baa!", the battle cry of the Wooley clan. He cuts one down, and fends off the other. He calls over his shoulder, "Doctor, may I suggest that you gather up Brummidge and make an expeditious withdrawal?"
    Clytemnestra decides that this might be one of the rare occasions when she should pay attention to the Major's instrctions. She scoops up Brummidge, flings him over her shoulder and scrambles away over fallen stones to take cover behind a small structure; she tentatively identifies it as a wellhouse. The carvings are fascinating.
    Wooley circles left a little, and beats down his opponent's guard; a moment later, he beats down his opponent as well.

    Turn 2
    The five remaining Guz soldiers of Squad 2 are undismayed by the fate of their two fallen fellows, and press in. Three of them surround Wooley, incidentally blocking the line of fire from Squad 1 (although goblins have been known to fire through their own units, to get at the enemy...). One of them even pinks Wooley with his bayonet, although the Major manages, barely, to twist away from the point without serious harm (made his Save by one). Wooley lays about with the saber and a third goblin falls.
    Sergeant Thurk circles to his right, intending either to flank the explorers, or to keep Squad 2 between himself and the deadly Albionic steel.
    Squad 1 fires at Clytemnestra, but she (and Brummidge, who is limp but jabbering in Old Haptic) are protected by the stone wellhouse. One round does come uncomfortably close, snipping off a plume from her hat. Dashed ungentlemanly of them, to fire at a woman!
    Cly returns the favor with her Lady's Patent Galvanic Death Ray. She remembers to aim low. The goblins are on the other side of the broken wall that the adventurers had been hiding behind; the galvanic bolt scorches the stone. She makes a mental note to aim a little less low, next time.
    Wooley withdraws a few steps, and then lunges to strike down an overeager pursuer. Four goblins now lie victim to his blade.

    Turn 3
    Wooley retreats to the wellhouse.
    Squad 2 breaks and the three surviving goblins scamper away.
    Sergeant Thurk had been intending to clamber over the wall and take Wooley in flank, but without Squad 2, this is no longer looking prudent. He fires the second barrel of his first pistol at Wooley, putting a hole through his coat but not injuring him. Wooley, thinking of the distance to the nearest acceptable tailor, expresses himself with a few soldierly words.
    Clytemnestra had qualms about leaving Wooley to fend off the goblins on his own, but he seems to be doing quite well. She calls out "I'm away, heading South! John, do be careful!" Wooley spares enough attention from his swordwork to say "It's Garnet!" but by then Clytemnestra has sped away, with the babbling Brummidge still over her shoulder.
    Greencoat Squad 1 has no target, so they advance in skirmish line over the broken wall.

    Turn 4
    Clytemnestra continues her retreat.
    Sergeant Thurk draws his second pistol, fires at Wooley again, and misses.
    Wooley yanks out his Nemesis Liberator Mk III Hand Cannon and returns fire lefthanded. It's a poor shot, but the round crashes into the wall and sprays stone chips into the Sergeant's torso. The goblin falls, feet drumming on the stones.
    Squad 1 could charge Wooley, but they are aware that didn't work so well for Squad 2. They have no line of sight to either of the adventurers, and upon reflection, decide that they're quite content to leave it that way. They withdraw, "awaiting reinforcements".


    Simple and straightforward. The goblins would have done better to stand and shoot; in melee, only the ones in contact (maximum of three) could attack, and Wooley got to counter attack. Their Shoot number was better than their Scuffle, so in theory that would be another reason to fire; however Wooley also didn't get the benefit of cover, so that was a wash.
    One key point, mentioned by Dr Vesuvius of the Axis of Naughtiness, is that colour is all-important.
    "Whatever the setting of your GASLIGHT game, whether it's lacepunk pyrates or Darkest Africa, try to give everything colourful names. If you start feeling obliged to put on a silly accent then you're probably doing it right."