Friday, September 7, 2012

NNW Patrol, part 4

When last we left things the outpost was being overrun by bands of mounted and foot hillmen, and the patrol from the main fort was starting to arrive.

Turn 7
Captain Whillikers, Lt. Flanagan, and the remaining mounted hillmen continue their struggle. Lt. Flanagan is cut down, leaving Captain Whillikers the only member of the outpost left alive on that front.
On the other side of the outpost 2 Psmithshires and Captain Spaulding fight band 3, killing 2 of them. The other 2 Psmithshires and Lt. Hyde-Psmith fight band 2 and kill 1 of them.
Meanwhile, the Hussars spur forward towards the mounted band still struggling with Captain Whillikers. The Highlanders and Woostershires advance towards the outpost as well.
The lone survivor of band 3 runs away from the outpost towards the woods to the northwest.
Band 2 attacks the Psmithshires, scoring 5 hits! Lt. Hyde-Psmith makes his save, but Sgt. Psmythe succumbs to the attack. At the end of this turn the only members of the outpost left alive are Captain Whillikers, Captain Spaulding, and Lt. Hyde-Psmith.

Turn 8

The Highlanders move forward and reach the outpost wall. 
The mounted band turns to face the Hussars, killing Sgt. McLachlan, 2 troopers and the Dragoon who had accompanied them. The remaining Hussar and Captain Cholmonderleigh fight back but score no hits.
Captain Whillikers also fights the mounted hllimen, killing 1.
Lt. Hyde-Psmith and Captain Spaulding fight band 2. The lieutenant hits the leader, but the leader makes his save. Captain Spaulding kills 1 extra.
Band 2 fights back, scoring 1 hit on Lt. Hyde-Psmith but he makes his save.
The lone hillman who had fled to the woods takes potshots, but hits no one.

Turn 9

The Highlanders attack the mounted band and kill 1 extra. The mounted band fights back and kills 2 Highlanders. Captain Whillikers, the Hussar and Captain Cholmonderleigh also fight the mounted band, but only hit Yusuf, who saves.
The Woostershires make it inside the walls of the outpost, just as band 2 downs Lt. Hyde-Psmith and Captain Spaulding. While the lone sniper in the woods manages to hit 1 of the Woostershires.

Turn 10

The Hussar, Captain Cholmonderleigh and the Highlanders continue their melee with the mounted hillmen. The result is the Captain kills the last extra, Abu kills 1 Highlander, Yusuf kills the Hussar, and the Highlanders kill Abu and Yusuf, thus wiping out all of the mounted hillmen. 
Over on the other side of the outpost the Woostershires and Captain Flynn fire at band 2, killing 1 extra and the leader, Omar. The remaining hillmen in band 2 charge the Woostershires, killing 1 extra and Lt. Bertie.

Turn 11

The Highlanders get inside the outpost wall.
The Woostershires and Captain Flynn attack band 2, scoring 2 hits.
Captain Whillikers and Captain Colmonderleigh move around the outpost towards band 2.
Band 2 fights the Woostershires, killing 1 extra and Captain Flynn.

Turn 12

Captain Whillikers attacks band 2, killing 1. The Highlanders move in on band 2. Band 2 fails morale and runs away.

Well, that was a bloody affair!

Final tally of survivors in the outpost:
Captain Whillikers, sole survivor of the original garrison
Captain Cholmonderleigh
Lt. MacCaber
Sgt. Basset
Sgt. MacGowan
1 Woostershire
4 Highlanders

Looks like the outpost will need reinforcing, and a punitive expedition may be in order to quell the uprising of hillmen. Time to send the Malamar Field Force?

Monday, September 3, 2012

NNW Patrol, part 3

Meanwhile, back at the outpost...

We cut back to the outpost as the local hillmen start their attack prior to the relief patrol arriving.

The forces at the outpost:
In overall command - Captain Whillikers, hero: scuffle 15, shoot 16, save 13
The balance of the Ballyfoole Dragoons, 3 extras: scuffle 9, shoot 9
Lt. Flanagan, leader: scuffle 10, shoot 7, save 9
Sgt. McCormac, veteran: scuffle 6, shoot 9, save 7 (Is the sergeant getting a little up there in years? Or maybe he's a little too fond of his Irish whiskey? His scuffle isn't very good.)
The Psmithshire Muskets, 6 extras: scuffle 9, shoot 9
Lt. Hyde-Psmith, leader: scuffle 13, shoot 9, save 8
Sgt. Psmythe, veteran: scuffle 5, shoot 9, save 7 (An even worse scuffle. hmm, sergeants "ain't" what they used to be, eh?)
Famous American adventurer/explorer, Captain Spaulding, adventurer: scuffle 11, shoot 12, save 13

In all cases, characters were rolled up on the tables in GASLIGHT.

Native forces:
1 unit of mounted hillmen, 4 extras: scuffle 10, shoot 7
Commanded by Abu, adventurer: scuffle 12, shoot 11, save 11
His lieutenant, Yusuf, leader: scuffle 12, shoot 12, save 15 (Now we're talking! Too bad he's with the enemy.)
3 bands of hillmen on foot, 6 extras each: scuffle 10, shoot 7
Leader of band 1, Kasim, leader: scuffle 8, shoot 12, save 6
His lieutenant, Nadir, veteran: scuffle 8, shoot 9, save 10
Leader of band 2, Omar, leader: scuffle 8, shoot 8, save 10
His lieutenant, Jamal, veteran: scuffle 9, shoot 6, save 6
Leader of band 3, Haroun, leader: scuffle 7, shoot 9, save 11
His lieutenant, Jabbar, veteran: scuffle 7, shoot 9, save 9
And finally, the three mounted hillmen from the previous encounter, all extras: scuffle 10, shoot 7
I realize these are Arabic names, but I didn't have quick access to more suitable names if any.

To keep the post from being too long this part will cover the battle up until the arrival of the relief patrol on turn 6. I'm having them arrive on turn 6 because it took them 6 days to arrive. I know it's not a one to one time relationship. It's just a device to tie together the journey of the relief patrol to their arrival at the outpost.

Turn 1

Hillmen are spotted approaching the outpost from the woods to the northwest, the rocky ground to the southeast, and among the crags to the northeast. The woods and rocky ground are at a normal distance from the outpost and halve the movement of figures only within them. The mountains are more distant. It takes 1 turn to reach the foot of the mountains, and halves the move rate of figures moving away from the foot. A house rule I just made up to "telescope" the distances on the tabletop.

Turn 2
As the hillmen move in towards the fort the Psmithshires fire at the first band in the woods, killing 2 extras.

Turn 3
As the hillmen approach a flurry of shots ring out all around, but it's all at long range and no hits are scored.

Turn 4
Things start to heat up as the first band of hillmen reach the walls, as does the small band of 3 mounted hillmen. The latter encounter a strong volley from the dismounted dragoons and Lt. Flanagan, destroying the small band. The Psmithshires fire at band 1 at the walls, killing 1 and striking the leader, but he makes his save. Captain Spaulding also fires at band 1, bringing down another extra.
The main band of mounted hillmen charge the Dragoons, killing 1.

Turn 5
The dragoons fight back against the mounted hillmen. Lt. Flanagan hits the leader, Abu, but Abu saves. In return the mounted band strikes back, Abu kills 1 extra, Yusuf hits Lt. Flanagan, but the lieutenant makes his save. Captain Whillikers hits Abu, but again the tough hillman leader emerges unscathed.
Band 1 of the foot hillmen attack the Psmithshires, but score no hits. Band 2 reaches the walls. The Psmithshires fight back against band 1, killing all of the remaining hillmen in that band.

Turn 6
The patrol can be seen arriving to the west. It will take them a little time to reach the outpost. They're placed on the tabletop, but can't move or fire this turn.
The mounted hillmen continue their fight against the dismounted dragoons, killing all except for Lt. Flanagan who makes his save. Both Abu and Yusuf also hit Lt. Flanagan, but again he makes his saves. Captain Whillikers kills one mounted hillman.
Band 3 of foot hillmen reaches the walls unopposed, and attack the Psmithshires, killing 1 extra. The Psmithshires fight back, killing 3. Lt. Hyde-Psmith kills another. And Captain Spaulding kills the leader of band 3. Band 2 of foot hillmen get inside the walls and attack the Psmithshires, killing 2 more.

to be continued...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

NNW Patrol, part 2

Following the attack by mounted hillmen on the first day out the patrol continues onwards.

Day 2
Falling rocks! With a lot of luck on the die rolls only 1 Highlander was injured. During the next encounter he will be at minus 1 on shoot and scuffle.

Day 3 A messenger from the outpost meets up with the patrol. The messenger had been sent off to the fort to inform the Colonel that the outpost was under attack and bring back reinforcements if possible. The messenger is a trooper from the Ballyfoole Dragoons (same shoot and scuffle as the Hussars, who he joins up with). After previously coming that way he leads the patrol around 2 bands of hillmen on foot, saving the patrol some time.

Day 4
Nice and quiet. Nothing eventful happens as the patrol progresses towards the outpost.

Day 5
More of the same. It's quiet (too quiet? shh! Don't say that!)

Day 6
Scouts find a shortcut, saving the patrol more time. They reach the outpost ahead of schedule or expectations.

Aside from the first encounter I was very lucky with the card draw and die-rolling. It could just as easily have gone a different way with more attacks, accidents and delays.

Next up, the showdown at the outpost. At this point I realize I don't have suitable structures to represent the outpost so I will have to make do with buildings more suitable for Europe. C'est la guerre.

NNW Patrol, part 1

The patrol, as described in the previous 2 posts, sets out from the fort. Just 1 day out they are attacked by 2 bands of Hillmen on horseback. Each band consists of 5 extras and 1 leader.
The leader of band 1 is Ali Baba, leader: scuffle 14, shoot 13, save 11
Obviously a well-seasoned fighter, excellent at close combat and shooting.
The leader of band 2 is Aka Akbar, leader: scuffle 12, shoot 13, save 10
Only a little less intimidating than Ali Baba.

Using a mix of regular GASLIGHT and Battles by GASLIGHT rules from the Compendium the battle played out as follows.
Apologies for the fuzzy pictures! I didn't realize I had the flash of until later. Call it "fog of war".

Turn 1
Scouts spotted the approaching tribesmen and the column was able to deploy quickly. I rolled 1 die, 50/50 chance to spot the approach. If they had failed the patrol would've had to remain in column until their first turn.

The Woostershires got off the first volley as band 1, led by Ali Baba, arrived within long range of their muskets. The first and only hit was against Ali Baba, but he made his save. Then Lt. Berite and Sgt. Basset fire. Sgt, Basset hits Ali Baba again, but this time the hillman leader fails his save and is struck dead.
In return the band of hillmen pass their morale roll and return fire, but score no hits.
The Highlanders also fire at band 1, but score no hits. These rounds of firing are all at long range, which halves the chance of hits.

Meanwhile, band 2 fires at the Ballyfoole Hussars, killing 2, including Lt. O'Toole, who fails his save.

Turn 2

The Hussars pull back behind the infantry to regroup.
Band 2 moves in towards the Woostershire Musketeers. The Woostershire Musketeers fire at band 2, scoring 2 hits at close range now.Lt. Bertie and Sgt. Basset also fire at band 2, with the Sgt. scoring a hit.
The Highlanders fire at band 1, scoring no hits. Lt. MacCaber and Sgt. MacGowan each score 1 hit on band 1. Band 1 fails its morale roll and runs away, its movement taking the remaining hillmen of that band off the table.

Turn 3
The Highlanders swing around to flank band 2 of the hillmen. As does Captain Flynn.
The Woostershires fire at band 2, killing 1 hillman. Captain Cholmonderleigh fires and hits Aka Akbar, but the hillman leader makes his save.
Band 2 fails their morale throw and fire and random. Aka Akbar fires at the Woostershires and kills i extra.

Turn 4
The Highlanders fire at band 2, scoring 3 hits. Aka Akbar fails his save and the last hllman is killed, ending the fight.

Final tally: 3 mounted hillmen survive to join the next encounter. 2 Ballyfoole Hussars and 1 Woostershire Musketeer are dead.

By luck of the die the sergeants made more hits than most of the officers.

A quick little action which altogether took well under 2 hours, even with time for taking notes and pictures and leafing through the rulebook and all. With greater familiarity of the rules (and maybe a quick reference sheet for the firing/combat tables and morale) something like could be played out in less than an hour I reckon.

One last picture that came out a bit sharper. A parting shot if you will.

Stats for the NNW Patrol forces

I followed the suggestions in the GASLIGHT Compendium for the "extras", and rolled on the tables for the characters. In addition there are several scenarios laid out in the book with various forces outlined for further ideas of suggested values and makeup of forces.

The Patrol:
Captain Flynn, hero: scuffle 13 | shoot 15 | save 15 | move 12 inches (on horseback)
Captain Cholmonderleigh, adventurer: scuffle 10 | shoot 10 | save 15 | move 12 inches (on horseback)
Ballyfoole Hussars, extras: scuffle 9 | shoot 9 | save na | move 12 inches (on horseback)
Lt. O'Toole, leader: scuffle 10 | shoot 10 | save 10 | move 12 inches (on horseback)
Sgt. McLachlan, veteran: scuffle 10 | shoot 10 | save 7 | move 12 inches  (on horseback)
Gunderland Highlanders, extras: scuffle 9 | shoot 9 | save na | move 6 inches (on foot)
Lt. MacCaber, leader: scuffle 10 | shoot 9 | save 12 | move 6 inches (on foot)
Sgt. MacGowan, veteran: scuffle 10 | shoot 10 | save 7 | move 6 inches (on foot)
Woostershire Musketeers, extras: scuffle 9 | shoot 9 | save na | move 6 inches (on foot)
Lt. Bertie, leader: scuffle 8 | shoot 11 | save 10 | move 6 inches (on foot)
Sgt. Basset, veteran: scuffle 12 | shoot 10 | save 9 | move 6 inches (on foot)

generic extras: scuffle 10 | shoot 7 | save na | move 6 on foot or 12 on horseback
characters rolled as needed

(not sure if this format is the best or easiest to follow. I wish blogger would add support for doing tables.)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Setting up for a Patrol on the NNW Frontier

I played the first part of a scenario/game today, inspired by Danjou's Hand at
his tabletopdiversions blog. I have garnered quite a bit of inspiration from that blog, from ideas for random dungeons, solo play, and the ideas that I adapted for this scenario.

The scenario is this, a small outpost several days from a main fort on the North-by-Northwest Frontier of Afrodesia has not been heard from for a bit too long. The area has seen some recent agitation on the part of the local hill tribes. So the colonel in command of the fort sends out a patrol consisting of 1 unit of Gunderland Highlanders, 1 unit of Woostershire Musketeers, a unit of Ballyfoole Hussars, with Captain Flynn in command and Captain Cholmonderleigh (pronounced "Chumley") as second in command. They're mission is to head to the outpost, find out what's happening and help out if needed.

I wrote up a few possible encounters and events on small index cards:
1. 2 units of Hillmen (Pathans or similar) on foot, 8 figures and 1 leader each. Roll 1D6, 1-4, shoot from cover if possible; 5-6, shoot once and then move in to close combat
2. 1 unit of mounted Hillmen and 2 units of foot, 8 figures and 1 leader each. Full attack/battle as best as they are able.
3. Cobra! Random figure startles a cobra and is killed. If it's a main character roll for save.
4. 1 unit of 5 mounted Hillmen and 1 unit of 8 foot Hillmen, each with a leader. Roll 1D6, on a 6 the Hillmen withdraw; add 1 to the die roll each turn.
5. Snipers! Shots ring out from the hills. Roll 1D6 for number of hits. Randomly determine who is hit. Characters roll to save.
6. 5 mounted Hillmen with 1 leader. Roll 1D6, 1-4, hit and run - they try to get close enough to shoot, from cover if available, and ride away if they take any hits; 5-6, they shoot once and then try to charge in and engage in close combat.
7. Messenger from the outpost meets up with the patrol. The messenger had been sent to notify the fort that the outpost was under attack by local hill tribes. He leads the patrol onwards, and since he has already had to evade armed bands he guides the patrol around the next potential encounter and saves them some time. Remove the next card from the deck. Any forces listed get added to the next encounter on a die roll of 1-3 on 1D6.
8. Falling Rocks! (whether a natural event or Hillmen trying to cause some damage, who knows?) Roll 1D6 for each figure, on a roll of 6 the figure is injured and is at -1 for all abilities (scuffle and shoot) during the next day's encounters/events. Characters roll to save as usual.
9. 2 units of 5 mounted Hillmen, each with one leader. Roll 1D6, 1-2, hit and run attack as in number 6 above; 5-6, they shoot once as soon as they are in range and then try to close into close combat.
10. Rope Bridge. Only figures on foot may cross. Others have to find another route. If the patrol decides to split up only use the foot figures in encounters or events until the others can rejoin. Roll 1D6 each day, 1-3 they rejoin the patrol; 4-6, try again the next day. If the patrol doesn't use the rope bridge they have to go around and lose time; add another card to the deck.
11. Scouts have discovered a shortcut. If there are any cavalry figures present remove the next card from the deck. Any enemy forces are bypassed this time and get added to the next encounter on a roll of 1-4 on 1D6.

I also added added 2 blank cards, representing uneventful days. I shuffled the cards and dealt out 4, face down. Then I dealt out 4 more cards and added in another card labeled "The outpost is reached" and put these 4 under the first 4 cards. So I now had a deck with 9 cards, with the "outpost" card somewhere in the bottom half. When that was reached it would be time for the battle at the outpost. The longer it takes to get there the more outpost soldiers will be found dead or wounded. Also, enemies surviving from encounters along the way would be added to the final battle at the outpost.

The events and encounters are meant to provide some possible quick small skirmishes, to make the arrival time uncertain, to possibly affect the condition of the patrol when it reaches the outpost without seriously debilitating it, to allow for some uncertainty in what enemy forces will be encountered once the outpost is reached, and to add some "color" and interest to the "story" of the game.

I am using the GASLIGHT rules for these encounters and battles, as I did for the battle described in the previous post.

Next up will be a report on the patrol "so far".