A personal setting for Thud & Blunder

Rather than adapt the warbands I have for a published setting, be it from a book or film, I thought that I would like to create a setting of my own. Then all the tales I tell of my warbands’ adventures will be unique.

So here is the outline of my campaign setting.

Bramlingshire

A land of high rolling hills, extensive woodlands and deep river valleys. Very like the county of Montgomeryshire in which I reside.

The Shire covers much of the north-eastern border of the Kingdom and protects it from the inhabitants of the Wilderlands beyond.

The largest river is the Bram, from which the Shire gets its name. This flows through the Shire gaining strength before leaving to descend into the plains below, and onwards to the sea.

The Shire is ruled by the High Sheriff from his seat in the county town of Bramlinghame. This is currently Lord Montague, a black-hearted but incompetent man of middling ambitions. He is much given to creating complex and dastardly schemes that usually fail catastrophically. His wife, Juliet (nee Capulet), is altogether far more intelligent, and spends her time ensuring that her husband’s schemes do not disadvantage her family’s affairs.

This town is at the highest navigable point on the Bram and is the commercial capital of the northlands. The Shire is well-known for its sheep and apple orchards. It exports much wool and cider, as well as some lumber and coal.

Across part of the border with the Wilderlands lies the Blackwood. This is prevented from spreading further south by an enchanted stone wall, though this does not stop the denizens of that foul place from crossing it to raid the villages and farms of the Shire.

Over the years, successive Sheriffs have built a series of keeps along this wall. Some are fairly well maintained, but most are only manned in time of peril and some have fallen into ruin.

The Blackwood is inhabited by elves, goblins and fomor, as well as a range of other dangerous creatures. It is full of dense thorny thickets, which conceal many mysteries.

The Wilderlands are bleak, with many bogs, high moors and dark forests. They are dotted with the ruins of an ancient kingdom of which few but the elves and fomor know anything. There are numerous burial chambers and barrows on the hill tops which are avoided by the wise.

Within the Shire the population is mostly human, though there are a few dwarven coal mines and a number of Halfling villages. The Halflings are superb weavers and dyers and make cloth for local use and for export. Despite their size they are fierce in the defence of what they regard as theirs.

Six noble families can trace their lineage back to when the Shire was a small kingdom. Each of these competes fiercely for the Sheriff’s coronet, and the wealth that position provides. For the last few decades only two have been successful, the Montagues and the Capulets. The remainder have been reduced to the level of Hedge Knights. Honoured, but essentially powerless.

Suitable warbands

It is my intention for form a couple of dozen, 400-point warbands to play with. This has been a project I have long awaited, and I have considerable materiel already.

Recently I have been picking up more figures, mostly from the excellent Frostgrave and Oathmark plastic ranges (North Star).

Although I do have a lot of painted figures, I am looking forwards to assembling and painting these newer ones. Each warband will be a project in and of itself.

It is worth pointing out that I am no great painter but feel able to produce figures to what I call a ‘basic army standard’.

As for the warbands themselves, I shall be naming every figure in each one. I have found in the past that this makes the games a lot more fun, and often quite personal.

img_8628 (1)

Those of the Shire

1. Nobles

The Montague and Capulet houses own huge estates and have many mercantile holdings. The current Sheriff is Lord Romeo Montague and is known to be more interested in wringing every last penny of tax from the poor than in defending the kingdom. Thus, a common sight is a Montague warband escorting a tax collector.

Figures: I have sufficient knights and men-at-arms to create a variety of Noble warbands. Some are 1980’s Essex miniatures, others are plastics I got recently from North Star’s sprue sale. There are some tempting figures being produced by Claymore Castings at the moment too.

2. Hedge Knights

The Corbusio, Falstaff, Eglamour and Genevieve houses each govern a number of villages or a small town. Sir Cedric Corbusio is the most famous of these Hedge Knights, having served in the Royal Household of the last King. It is fool man who underestimates this wily octogenarian.

Figures: See above, though there is a Lead Adventure figure I want to get for Sir Cedric.

3. Town Guard

These include Bramlinghame’s renowned Town Guard, and the generally less effective Watches in the smaller towns. The Bramlinghame guard is led by the redoubtable Captain Flack.

Figures: I already have a fully painted Town Guard, including three mastiffs. These are all Reaper Bones plastics (complete with bendy spears).

4. Brigands

The best-known bands of brigands are the Greenmen, and the infamous d’Ordonnais Sisters. The former are disaffected militia men and peasants, led by Sir Robin B’stard. They specialise in robbing local Nobles and tax collectors. The sisters are a ruthless, all-female warband, who will rob anyone that takes their fancy.

Figures: I shall be building each of these two warbands from Oathmark Human Soldiers and Frostgrave Female Soldiers, with one or two character figures from my collection.

5. Thieves Guild

The Bramlinghame Blacknoses are the only properly organised guild in the Shire and are the mortal enemies of the Town Guard. There are also a few robbery and smuggling gangs who are affiliated to the Guild.

Figures: I do have a number of roguish figures in my collection but may need to look for others.

6. Dwarven Prospectors

Amongst the several itinerant bands of prospectors, Captain Thunderboots and his Company are well known for their not entirely legal approach. He calls it ‘guerrilla mining’.

Figures: I shall build Captain Thunderboots warband from my small collection of dwarves (roughly 400+). Like Neil Shuck I have a weakness for them.

Last year I also acquired the Oathmark dwarves from North Star and have enough of these to field about a thousand points in T&B.

7. Halflings

Most halfling village militias are named for their villages or their favoured pubs, such as the Rose & Crown Militia (and Thwacket team).  They are a crafty lot, well versed in guerrilla warfare.

Figures: I need to find and purchase a suitable band of bad-ass Halfings for the Rose & Crown Militia and Thwacket team.

8. Necromancer

In recent years there have been a number of zombie risings across the Shire, and most have been put down to the mysterious necromancer known only as ‘The Black Todger’. Some believe he maybe a disgruntled former student of the College of Wizards.

Figures: I have all the figures I need for this already, including an entire box of Zombicide, Black Plague. Though I do prefer my venerable Heroquest Zombies and Skeletons.

9. The College of Wizards

The Bramlinghame campus of the Royal College of Wizards is fairly small but provides many services to the inhabitants of the Shire, and acts as a guild house for the more solitary wizards and witches out in the sticks. It is led by Chancellor Ambus Bedworthy.

Figures: I have about forty wizards and similar figures that I can draw upon for this. The Porters and Guards can come from the Oathmark Soldiers box.

10. The Chapel Guard of Saint Thomas the Dubious

Most churches and chapels rely on the local town guard to protect their premises and followers. However, following the tenets of their faith, the priests of Saint Thomas trust no-one. Thus, they have a fanatical, but poorly led, guard company.

Figures: I’m wondering if I should get the Frostgrave Cultists box for these, and how I’d get it past the missus…

Those of the Wilderlands

1. Barbarians

A few savage tribes of men inhabit the wilderlands beyond the Blackwood. They war constantly with the goblins, fomor and elves, and have been known to raid the Shire.

The best known are the Commonthen Boys and the Redfoots.

Figures: I have dozens of barbarians going right back to the early 80’s, though I am tempted to just get the Frostgrave Barbarians set to get a consistent look.

2. The Elves of the Blackwood

These remember when the entire Shire was theirs and covered in woodlands. However, the arrival of men forced them back through a series of ruinous wars and now they exist only in a tiny portion of their former lands. Their numbers are much reduced, but they are no less dangerous for that.

They call themselves the Wood Wraiths and are skilled in hit and run tactics. Their leader is the infamous Green Carbuncle.

Figures: I shall be using 80’s Alternative Armies Wood Elves, plus one or two character figures from other ranges.

3. Orc & Goblin tribes

These exist both in the Blackwood and the Wilderlands beyond. They compete with the elves, fomor, barbarians, and each other.  Warbands tend to form around charismatic or intimidating leaders, and only last as long as that leader survives.

Some believe that these are the remnants of the army of the last Dark Lord, or perhaps the one before last.

Figures: I am torn between my Ral Partha goblins from the 80’s and my more recent Reaper Bones orcs (which are really big and savage). I also have a sackload of GW Night Goblins. Oh decisions, decisions…

4. The Fomor Kindred

This accursed race live only in The Beneath that runs below the Blackwood. From there they prey upon their neighbours and, occasionally, the villages of the Shire.

Border villagers threaten their children with being eaten by Long Meg, a notorious Fomor hag. Actually, she cannot stomach children, but a nice fat merchant, slow-roasted, suits her fine.

Figures: I recently backed my first ever Kickstarter when Atlantis Minatures revealed that quite a few of their Ogres would be female. Big angry women, who wouldn’t want them? Every day I sit by the letterbox in anxious anticipation…

5. Gnome Caravans

These diminutive artisans live along, and maintain, the enchanted wall that holds back the Blackwood. They try to remain neutral but will fiercely defend their masonic caravans when challenged.

Figures: I have had about fifty of Tom Meier’s dwarf sculpts for Ral Partha since the early 80’s. They suffer from scale creep, being only about 18-20mm high, so would stand in beautifully for gnomes. My friend Matt Cook, an incredible painter, is working on these for me at the moment. I shall showcase these on the blog when they arrive.

6. The Guardians of the Dead

These are most often encountered by adventuring parties trying their luck in one of the many ancient burial chambers and barrows in the Wilderlands, or down in The Beneath. One notable Guardian is The Dead Pirate Roberts, who occasionally leads his dead brethren into the Shire to plunder a village or two.

Figures: I have nearly a hundred suitable figures for these classic undead, so I should be OK here.

7. Gnoll Raiders

Guddog’s small band of hunters has been pestering farmsteads and villages along the Shire’s borders for years. Guddog is very cunning and has been able to elude every force sent to capture or kill him.

Figures: I could not resist the Frostgrave Gnolls box when I set eyes on them in a Model shop in Porthmadog (Wales).

8. Rat-men

These occasionally break out from The Beneath to raid and plunder. Their holes can come up anywhere in the Shire.

Figures: My good friend, Hairy Dave, has an entire Warhammer army of these, so I have no problem getting some on loan.

 

One must also include all the figures owned by my regular opponents, Phil & Hairy Dave. There are going to be some really interesting new warbands coming from them.

 

There shall be a number of other significant figures, mostly to be used for scenarios. They shall include:

  1. Jack-in-Irons, a moody and unpredictable giant.

Figure: Looking for this at the moment.

  1. The Bridge Trolls. Generally peaceable but can become dangerous if irked.

Figure: I have trolls but would really like some very characterful ones. Much more Paul Bonner than classic D&D or Warhammer. Indeed, there is a suitable Paul Bonner figure that is part of the Zombicide: Black Plague I shall have a look for.

  1. Sir Fortinbrass, a questing Knight. Endlessly seeking a dragon to slay.

Figure: I have a suitable figure for this, though there are several Lead Adventure figures that are tempting.

  1. Hobnob the Goblin, leader of the secretive Five Goblins named Moe.

Figure: A GW night goblin will serve.

  1. The Blackish Knight, no-one is quite sure who this is, but he is believed to be behind numerous (failed) conspiracies.

Figure: I have an old GW Chaos Knight that will be perfect for this.

  1. Miracle Mike, the Mad Mage of Mandragore, and his Marvellous Menagerie.

Figure: I have a suitable figure for this, Rincewind from the Discworld model series.

  1. Duff the tragic Dragon. Always on the run from Sir Fortinbrass.

Figure: I have a French toy dragon that is full of character.

Terrain

I do love building my own terrain, so this is an excellent challenge for me.

I have three, 36″ square, neoprene mats (Deepcut). One is Rackham’s Corner for my village/small town set-up. The second is fully cobblestoned for a city layout and the last is forest green for wilderness & rural games. I am also looking for another one, to use for dungeons, but don’t want it covered in 1″ squares.

img_8621 (1)

I already have all the medieval urban terrain I need, so I now need rural and wilderness stuff, such as:

  1. Enchanted stones, menhirs, trilithons and henges; Many stones, will be carved with spirals and other celtic symbols. Some of these carvings will be painted as glowing blue, green or amber.
  2. Streams and troll bridges; I want to create at least three feet of stream/small river, using techniques I have been watching on Luke APS’s YouTube videos. The Troll bridges will be a feature of Bramlingshire, so I will put some work into these.
  3. Mysterious pools, reedbeds and bogs; These are a must for wilderness terrain, and something I have not made before.
  4. Gateways to The Beneath; These could be magic portals, entrances in the sides of hills, or deep pits. They will be the way down into the dungeon levels.
  5. Ancient stone ruins; I am getting pretty good at making buildings, so these should pose no problems for me.
  6. A ruined keep; I did one of these a few years ago and might just rework it.
  7. A length of enchanted, dry stone wall; I bought a few feet of resin drystone wall last year and will be using this both for the famous Blackwood wall, and for field boundaries for farmsteads.
  8. A guerrilla-mining camp; Captain Thunderboots needs a base camp, so I am thinking tents, a mine-head, spoil heaps and mining equipment.
  9. An ambushed caravan; I have wanted to do one of these since I saw one in Diablo II. Dead horses and guards, abandoned and wrecked wagons, broken barrels and crates etc.
  10. Village palisades; I shall need about two feet of these, plus gates.

The Map

I shall need to draw a simple map of the Shire, showing the towns and villages, the Blackwood etc. I may do it freehand, as I really haven’t got the IT skills to use an online generator.

There shall be a base map, then one divided into districts/zones, for us to run campaigns across.

The Campaign

I have not sketched this out yet, but I have a great bunch of friends who have already been playtesting the rules. The fun we have had bodes well for these rules.

Once this is done, I shall publish regular reports from my local club.

Advertisements
Posted in Announcement, Thud & Blunder | Leave a comment

The Christmas Missive

The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare would like to extend its most sincere contrafibularities for this magical season.

May the sound of tiny marching feet echo around your homes and clubs on Christmas morn, and the traditional Christmas showing of Zulu! bring a small tear to your eyes as you sing along to Men of Harlech!

Zulu

Charles and myself, as we like to see ourselves (he’s on the right)

On a more serious note, it you are able to contribute to a veteran’s charity or event over Christmas or the New Year, please do so.

The Ministry promises that in the New Year there shall be news to warm the cockles of your hearts and set alight your imaginations.

Posted in Announcement | Leave a comment

Thud & Blunder – Warbands revealed!

As the Gamma version of the rules is currently with our reviewers, I thought I’d share the list of warbands that we have included in the book.

It should be noted that these are fairly generic, allowing you to create the warbands you want for your own chosen fantasy setting. There were quite a few more, but we felt these gave what you initially needed to get playing. Some of the extra ones will be released for free on the blog, and we shall also be sharing warbands created by the playtesters and other players as we go on.

9.4.1 Adventurers
9.4.1.1 Experienced Adventurers
9.4.1.2 Inexperienced Adventurers
9.4.2 Assassins
9.4.3 Barbarians
9.4.4 Brigands
9.4.5 City Guard
9.4.6 College of Wizards
9.4.7 Dwarves

9.4.8 Elves
9.4.9 Evil Overlord
9.4.10 Fomor Reavers (ogres)
9.4.11 The Guardians of the Dead
9.4.12 Gnomes
9.4.13 Halflings
9.4.14 Hedge Knight
9.4.15 Necromancer
9.4.16 Noble Knight
9.4.17 Orcs and Goblins
9.4.18 Thieves’ Guild

Also, in 9.5 Creating your own Warband, we build a list for Gnoll Hunters.

The Adventurer’s warband is of particular interest to those of you who want to replicate their favourite gangs of murder-hobos on the tabletop. It allows you to build a set of unique characters/heroes to go forth and take on fabulous quests (or dark missions).

As we get closer to release, we shall share more about the rules to whet your appetite.

Posted in Announcement, Thud & Blunder | Leave a comment

Colours 2018 – Newbury, UK

Well, that’s Colours done for 2018.

It was our first time at this illustrious show and I was much impressed with the layout and organisation (thanks Sophie & the Colours crew). The show is set across three levels of the Newbury Racecourse stand, with traders on the first two floors and all the demo and participation games on the third. Luxurious surroundings indeed.

We ran the Witch’s Cat game for the last time, and seven pairs of punters turned up to enjoy this now classic tale – you can see the game on question in the T&B page header.

I think that the final score was four games to the Orcs and three to the City Guard. The hapless men of the Guard were wiped out completely in one game. Greebo the cat racked up four kills, punishing down foolish humans who would take him away from the fish stall.

We were busy the whole day so I had no time to take any decent photos. We were right next to Simon & Andrews’s humongous For King & Parliament game, which featured more figures than I actually own. Impressive as always.

Overall the standard of demo and participation games at shows has increased every year, and Colours was no exception. There were still a few ‘demo’ games where nobody actually demo’d anything and ignored the punters, but these were a tiny minority.

I would like to thank Billy, in particular, for running over half of our games, and Lorna and Cat (not Greebo) for running front of house, catering support etc.

I would also like to thank all the people who came up for a chat or to look at the IHMN board game. This excellent game, created by Mark Byng, attracted a lot of attention. We are still looking for a publisher for this and if we don’t get one soon, may look into the mechanics of a kickstarter.

Several of my oldest gaming friends turned up to celebrate 40 years of gaming together. These included; Mark, Ian, Jim, Tim, Simon and Paul. Good to see you all together again guys. It is sobering to think that we have all been playing that long.

So, onto the swag. I sent off my procurement agent (Lorna) to acquire a number of items and she did not disappoint. I now possess two more Deep Cut Mats – an entirely cobbled one to use for cityscapes from the medieval to the Victorian periods, and a more rural one for farms, forests and wilderlands. Both shall feature in next year’s show games.

We also now have a copy of The Sheriff of Nottingham boardgame, and some nice resin pieces from Fenris games that I picked up from Bad Squiddo. Then there are the sheep… I was admiring the sheep that Simon had on his battlefield, so Lorna headed off and rounded up a small flock for me.

I got to meet and chat with another of my gaming heroes, the inestimable John Treadaway. I remember way back in the eighties being agog at his huge Stingray game, and have read hundreds of his articles, show reports and AARs since. He turned out to be just as I had hoped, a lovely bloke.

Other good people worth mentioning included; the blue giant and his companion on the Deep Cut stand, first class chaps; Guy Bowers of WSS; Dan of WI; the lovely Annie Norman and her manservant Bruce; and innumerable IHMN, Daisho and Blood Eagle players who dropped by.

This was our first visit to Colours and will be one we shall repeat. It is also the last show we shall be at this year. Next year’s programme is still being worked upon, but we shall certainly be trying to get to; Crusade, Salute, Partizan and T’Other Partizan along with several other shows. We’ll publish our full programme once we have the necessary confirmations.

Posted in Announcement | Leave a comment

Thud & Blunder – progress report 2

IMG_8626

So, it has been a slow month due to holidays and other interruptions, but we are very close now to issuing the Gamma version to our internal review team. We are talking mid to late September for this.

We have also been talking to our hard and soft copy distributors, layout artist and printer. More on them closer to release.

Yes, you read that right – hard copy. Initially we were considering a soft copy release only, but we have decided this game needs a physical book.

You should note that this will be a lot bigger than Blood Eagle or Daisho, with more content in most sections.

  • For example, in most of our books we have provided 10-12 companies/ buntai/warbands. However, confirmed warbands for this game include:
    Adventurers
    Assassins
    Barbarians
    Brigands
    City Guard
    College of Wizards
    Dwarves
    Elves
    Gnolls
    Gnomes
    Halflings
    Hedge Knight
    Necromancer
    Noble Knight
    Orcs & Goblins
    Templars
    Thieves’ Guild
    The Guardians of the Dead
    Ogre Reavers

And… there may be more, or we may keep the extras for blog freebies.

As with all our games these warbands are templates for you to build on and amend to fit your own chosen fantasy setting.

We are also including a complete guide to creating your own, unique warbands in the rules as well.

If you’d like to see the game in action, and are at Colours next month, drop by our table and try it out.

20180819_092238

Posted in Announcement, Thud & Blunder | 5 Comments

Thud & Blunder – progress report

For many years Charles and I had wondered if we could evolve the mechanics of our skirmish rules to a point where they could support a full-on medieval fantasy game. Each game we wrote moved us towards this goal.

IHMN laid the foundations; Daisho allowed us to experiment with points based magic and lethal swordsmanship; Blood Eagle improved the magic systems, introduced heroism and grim monsters, and here we are.

So make no mistake, Thus & Blunder is an evolution. Contributions from players across the world, dozens of shows and hundreds of games played by our friends and ourselves, have helped us refine and change the core and supporting rules.

This will be our largest book to date. There is more of everything. More magic, more monsters, more traits, more warbands, more landscapes, scenarios and complications. New sections on magical items, and creating your own unique warbands.

As we have said before, fantasy is our passion, so we want to get this right. This is why it is taking longer than our previous books. The Beta was released to our play-testers in the spring. By the end of August we hope to release the Gamma to them and to our reviewers/proofreaders. This always reveals a few more tweaks, clarifications and necessary corrections.

Then we will be gathering in the illustrations/photos, getting the layout done by Millsy of Cobalt Peak Design, and talking to our distributors about release dates.

Thud & Blunder will be a generic, high medieval fantasy, narrative skirmish game. Like our other games, it is neither tied to a specific world nor to a specific manufacturer’s figure range. It’s intended to allow you to use the figures you have to populate either the warbands in the book or create your own.

Being generic, you will be able to recreate scenes or stories from your favourite fantasy books, TV series and films. Adventures in Hyboria, Llankhmar, Middle Earth, Westeros, Mordheim, Melnibone, the Forgotten Realms, Albion, Lyonesse and even Narnia will be possible.

You will be able to create a unique warband of fantasy Adventurers, perhaps replicating a party you have played in a RPG (many of the  figures used in the book’s examples are just such from our own RPG games).

The game covers all the classic fantasy settings; cities, villages, castles, ancient ruins, wilderlands and, of course, dungeons. The campaign system gives you the opportunity to create your own fantasy narrative and gives your warbands opportunities to fight for territory or to follow a quest in a simple, structured campaign system.

Even with all this we have kept to our original design principle – KISS. Running participation games of T&B at shows this year, we have been able to get most players up and running in under ten minutes. It has been a joy to see players as young as eight years old get stuck in and hammer their parents.

If you have played any of our previous games the core mechanics will be familiar, though there have been subtle improvements. For example, the armour bonus for helmets introduced in Blood Eagle have been ditched. This is because the range of armour in T&B is wider and adding 2 points of armour rating for a full helm would have made the best armour AR17, i.e. effectively invulnerable. So, a separate AR bonus for helmets is out.

The largest number of pre-calculated  warbands will be in the book. Roughly twenty as I write this, but there could be more. Everything from classic Barbarians to heavily armed Noble Knights. Elves, dwarves, goblins, orcs and ogres all make a showing. Necromancers raising your dead comrades to fight once again, and colleges of wizards dominating the battlefield with fireballs. Then there is the humble City Guard coming in to clear everything up…

There is also a section on how to build a warband of your own imagination, or from your favourite books and movies.

There is still much to do… but we are three quarters of the way there. So, watch this space.

Posted in Announcement, Thud & Blunder | 5 Comments

The Saint Dewi’s Day Massacre

Last night I had my first game since the house fire.

My old friends Phil and Hairy Dave put on a three-way Blood Eagle match between Phil’s Welsh Prince Rhodri the Giant Slayer, Dave’s Picts (aka The Unnamed), and a rebel Welsh Lord called Cadris (kindly loaned to me by Phil).

Prince Rhodri gained his name when he landed the killing blow to a Frost Giant in a game last year (it was surrounded by Vikings, Welsh and Picts at the time).

Anyway Prince Rhodri’s force consisted of a couple of archers (with skirmisher, hawkeye and war bows), a few lowly spearmen, a couple of mail-armoured Uchelwr (heroes) and himself (hero) on a mighty pony. This pony should be called ‘Huey’, after the way it transported him around the battle field. Rhodri also had a legendary sword called Gerd.

Cadris (hero) had more men, having not invested points in so much armour and heroes. He had two archers, one with (with skirmisher, hawkeye and war bow) and the other with Stealthy as well, four hardy spearmen, and a couple of unarmoured girls carrying spears. Cadris is a equal opportunities employer.

The Unnamed were a tough bunch with a Lord, a Champion and a Druid (who used Second Sight so many times it eventually burned out), as well as a few spearmen and a couple of hunters (skirmisher, hawkeye, hunting bow). Most of their upper echelon had poisoned weapons (nasty, nasty stuff).

Prince Rhodri began the game calling upon Cadris to return to his service and drive back the Picts, but to no avail. We were to witness some vicious Welsh on Welsh action. They only united (briefly) when the Picts got in the way of their own inter-tribal wrangling over a pig.

The games had four relics of Dewi Sant (Saint Dewi) in a ruined chapel (worth one point each), and three happy pigs wandering about the centre of the field (worth two points each). The pigs would move randomly 1d6″ until accosted. The pigs became free whenever the person leading it was engaged in a fight.

The table itself had plenty of terrain; three hills, one of which was tall and steep, a bog, the chapel, four small woods and a hedged enclosure containing one of the pigs. The chapel was type three terrain unless you entered by one of the four doors.

In a game with lots of Welsh war bows, cover would be important, especially that which blocked like of sight, as the hawkeye trait seemed to be the standard.

In the first few turns there was a rush to claim relics and pigs. The odd figure here and there fell to bow fire but things did not really get serious until Cadris was slain and the Picts began cutting a swathe through Rhodri’s lighter forces with their magic and poisoned blades.

The game then went very narrative as Rhodri’s men and the Picts began to concentrate on each other rather than the objectives, allowing Cadris’ forces to begin marching loot off the field.

In the end Prince Rhodri’s force was decimated and had only a couple of figures left, along with one relic (one point). The Picts had several men left standing and had got two pigs off the field (four points), despite the Apache Gunship, which was Prince Rhodri on his mighty pony, charging around the length and breadth of the field mowing down pretty much anyone he came across.

This included Blodwen, a fourteen year old girl, whom he missed on his charge, but then used a Hero point to reroll his attack and slay her as she ran with a relic. Amongst Cadri’s men, Rhodris will be forever called ‘Rhodri Girl-slayer’.

Cadri’s force managed to get a pig and three relics off the field for five points and the match.

Honestly this was the funniest match I have played for a long time, with Dave and especially Phil, taking on the roles of their leaders with gusto.

One pig changed hands between the three forces at least six times, and I have named it Lucky Lleu. In one engagement there were three of Phil’s Welsh, two of mine and two of Dave’s Picts all fighting over the confused sow.

In the after battle survival checks Cadris managed to crawl from the battlefield to fight again. He is plotting his revenge against Rhodri as I write this…

Overall it was nice to play a battle where the players had not chosen to field a handful of well-armoured heroes each. Instead the forces were more balanced and reflected the period. This led to a much more enjoyable match, instead of a slugfest.
Prince Rhodri’s legend is growing.

My apologies for the lack of photos, but we were playing for fun, not an AAR 🙂

Posted in Battle Reports, Blood Eagle | 2 Comments