Friday, December 16, 2011

The Return of the Ballyfoole Expedition

The Illustrated Ballyfoole Gazette
"Where we never let the facts get in the way of a good story"
Second Expedition Explores the Interior of Afrodesia

Yet again those intrepid Ballyfoole Explorers set off into the wilds of Afrodesia. Lead, as always, by Captain Flynn, with O'Ryan the hunter and Maggie O'Hara, and joined by their new scout, McGonigle, who replaces McGillicuddy who perished during the last exploration. The balance of the expedition included two soldiers of the Gunderland Highlanders, four loyal askaris and 12 bearers. Their starting point this time is an area of savanna they explored during previous outings.

Day 1 they head off into the savanna. Except for some ancient ruins where they find loads of loot the area is deserted. (since they are just starting out they have no empty bearers, so I'm not sure if the others can carry the loot or if it has to be left where it is)

Day 2 they march farther into the savanna. During the march a rockslide nearly takes out one of the askaris, but quick action saves him. Still no natives are encountered

Day 3 they continue to march into the savanna and discover a new plant species - a large poisonous yellow savanna rose. They also encounter some natives. The expedition gives the natives some trade goods. The natives are friendly.

Day 4 they march eastward into more savanna, where they encounter a survivor from some lost expedition. Just a lone empty bearer. (this was an even I added to the mix; rolled on the same chart used to find who succumbs to events to find out who it was the expedition found. This individual will only stay with the expedition until they return home. So, even if it turned out to be an explorer he would not stay with the expedition for future journeys.) No natives encountered.

Day 5 they march south into more savanna and discover another new plant species - a large poisonous herb (maybe hyenasbane?). They come across a river and meet up with some natives. After offering them some trade goods the natives appear friendly and the expedition buys a couple of days worth of food with some of their remaining money.

Day 6 they march east, losing sight of the river. Later 2 of the bearers succumb to bad water, 1 trade bearer and 1 food bearer. They encounter more friendly natives and buy 2 loads of trade goods from them.

Day 7 They march south into more savanna, but suddenly they are ambushed by natives. 3 natives with rifles fire from a stand of trees on one side, while 4 more natives armed with swords and other hand weapons charge from the other side, but no casualties are inflicted. 
The expedition returns fire, killing 1 rifle armed native and 1 native armed with a hand weapon. All of this commotion stirs up a lion who springs forth and attacks a bearer, but the bearer fights back.

The natives fire again and miss again, the natives armed with hand weapons charge hit, but cause no hits, and the lion continues to struggle with the feisty bearer.
The expedition fires at the rifle armed natives, killing both of them. While one of the Highlanders dispatches one of the hand weapon natives. The struggle between the lion and the bearer is still inconclusive.
At this point the remaining natives flee (and, as that ends the encounter, I also figured the lion gave up on the bearer, maybe to chase after one of the fleeing natives.)

Day 8 they start to march, but the day proves to be filled with oppressive heat. So they decide to recuperate from yesterday's ambush and try to relax in what shade they can find.

Day 9 lost

Day 10 they march on and into desert; sometime during the day the last man in the expedition, an askari, disappears. Later they encounter some natives, the expedition give them some trade goods, and the natives are friendly.

Day 11 they continue to march through the desert and discover a lake. No natives are encountered.

Day 12 the march back to their starting point.

Another successful bit of exploration, if fairly uneventful this time, helped by bringing along trade goods to pacify and placate the natives they encountered. It just goes to show that although, in Afrodesia (or Jimland), anything can happen, sometimes it doesn't.

This was the second game I played in honor of Solo Wargaming Day back on 11/11/11.


Jim Wright said...

Hi Fitz-Badger

"Day 1 they head off into the savanna. Except for some ancient ruins where they find loads of loot the area is deserted. (since they are just starting out they have no empty bearers, so I'm not sure if the others can carry the loot or if it has to be left where it is)"

There is a definite hierarchy in an Expedition. The pecking order is, from top to bottom:

1. Explorers.
2. Soldiers.
3. Askaris.
4. Bearers.

If Bearers are in the Expedition, they must be assigned the loads to be carried. They can only fight to defend themselves and may not attack.

If you have more loads than Bearers, you may work your way up the Expedition hierarchy, assigning Loads to Askaris, then Soldiers, and then Explorers. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

If a figure is a BEARER with or without a Load or a NON-BEARER assigned a Load to carry, it
1. cannot shoot
2. can only fight to defend itself

So you could:

1. Have some bearers drop less valuable loads and pick up the loot.

2. Have some bearers drop less valuable loads and pick up the loot. Someone else in the party can carry the dropped loads.

3. Have someone else in the party can carry the loot.

4. Leave the loot, lost in the Wilds forever.

I don't know what you did, probably left it. But you have options. But you can't eat or trade loot. Decisions, decisions.

More terrain! Even if it is just felt pieces.

I am happy to see folks enjoying the game.

Ever Forward,


Fitz-Badger said...

Hi Jim,
Thanks for the info! Next time I will know better. ha ha

As for the terrain, it was in savanna and I only rolled up one terrain piece. I am trying to use bigger terrain bases. Maybe I need to increase the size, but I think the size I have is comparable to what you described in another comment.

tradgardmastare said...

Looks like you had a fun game there.
Has the colder weather brought you back to painting more or are you busy/tired as we run up to Christmas?
Hope we will see some more Soweiter League stuff too in 2012...
best wishes

Jim Wright said...

Hi Fitz-Badger,

Ah, Savannah. Say no more.

What do you think of the "sorta random" Terrain Type table? Does it feel ok moving around the chart?

What do you think of the Terrain Setup tables?

(I'm feeling chatty this evening.)


Fitz-Badger said...

The only thing I dread about the terrain table (so far) is getting into mountains and getting stuck there! I haven't seemed to come across many rivers. But that's just luck of the die.

The terrain tables for the tabletop encounters seem fine, but you make me wonder if I need larger terrain pieces or maybe need to increase the number rolled. (maybe I shouldn't complain since it's mostly worked out well for my expeditions so far! lol)

I might try making things tougher as I go. I am looking at adding in more types of "native" encounters, even some esoteric ones like lizardmen or somesuch, ones that can't be bought off. Or possibly trying to play out the tabletop encounters with more fleshed out wargame rules (not that there's anything wrong with the rules in the game itself. Simple rules are good. It's just one possible idea to keep things interesting if they seem like they're getting too easy.)

I've been lucky in the animals I've encountered, no big carnivorous dinosaurs yet. I've also played it pretty cautiously, not extending the expedition too far from a quick return from their starting point. And I'm learning to play the natives a bit better as well. So the expedition may not get off so lightly as time goes by.

Fitz-Badger said...

Not much painting (or gaming for that matter), I'm afraid. As you guessed, tired from work and "real life" when I even have the free time to do anything. Not that that's a bad thing in this economy.
At least I have some energy to do more reading and catch up on dvds and such. Things that are a bit more passive.
Hopefully that will ease up soon. I do have plenty of stuff on the painting table and have started prepping more as well. I have ideas concerning where the Soweiter League and Batrachia will go in the future, so there is hope for more on that front in 2012.

Conrad Kinch said...

Nice work. Merry Christmas Badger.