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".


abdul666 said...

Looking eagerly forward to enjoy the report!

Bluebear Jeff said...

This sounds like an interesting solo game/games mini-campaign . . . I will look forward to reading your account of the action when you write it up.

Also, what shoot & scuffles are you using for both the Brits and the Natives?

-- Jeff

Ross Mac said...

Sounds promising. The cards are a good idea for this sort of think (he said while taking notes.)

Fitz-Badger said...

Yeah, I like the idea of using cards. I can build up a good set of cards over time, with the figures I have, and add more cards as I paint up more figures or come up with other ideas. Then I can customize my starting deck depending on the kind of story I want to play out, and vary other things like how many non-event cards I add in or how many cards I deal out before adding in the "end game" card. The "end game" could just be the end of the episode and then I can start a new episode from there. lots of potential I think.

Danjou's Hand said...

Thanks for the mention and link!

I really like your method of varying the number of cards before you reach the goal while ensuring you'll have at least X encounters before you get there.

I may have to give this a try next time.