Daily Archives: March 1, 2019

A Battle Near Dale

Rob Dean

Last Saturday (February 23) was a busy gaming day.  After the Ghost Archipelago game and a lunch with elder son Norman, I came home and played out a battle on the new table.  My brother Norman (yes, it can be confusing at family gatherings) called in by FaceTime to help me out.  We played Dragon Rampant using two armies composed entirely of vintage Minifigs Mythical Earth (ME) figures.  The MEs were the first fantasy figures I bought, and I think of this as an effort to do things the way I would have wanted to 40 years ago, had I been able to paint…
On one side we had the Orc King (a three figure “reduced model unit”) as elite foot, a unit of elite foot bodyguards, a pack of wolves (regular war beasts) , and two units of orcs, a lesser unit of light for, and a better unit of light foot with mixed weapons (i.e., having some bows and shooting capability).  On the other we had the allies of the Lake region, led by the Elf King (a reduced model heavy foot unit).  The elf king commanded two units of elvish light foot with mixed weapons, a unit of the men of Dale (light foot), and a unit of dwarves of the Lonely Mountain (elite foot).
Sketch of the opening moves

Overview of the start of the battle

We rolled for sides, and I ended up commanding the allies.

Aggressive as ever, the orcs rolled forward, with the wolves and bodyguard engaging the two units of elves, while the lesser orcs advanced to threaten the men of Dale, and the better orcs headed around the woods in a flanking maneuver.

The wolves attack the elves
The battle on the orcish left was bloody on both sides, and, at the end, the elves and the orc bodyguard both broke on the same turn.

That left the kings to engage each other.

Meanwhile, on the orcish right, the lesser orcs formed a hedgehog to deal with the appearance of the dwarves out of the woods on their flank.

The dwarves eventually drove the orcs from the field, but the flanking maneuver finally culminated in the arrival of the better orcs within shooting range of the men of Dale.  Unprepared for the volleys of arrows, they withdrew.

That left just four units on the table, and we rolled for game ending in accordance with the scenario instructions.

Position at end of game

That turned out to be the last turn, and, with more points left on the table (and in better condition, though it wasn’t a scenario criterion), we deemed the orcs to have won.

The total time elapsed was about an hour and a half.  It would probably have been half an hour shorter if we hadn’t been compelled to discuss the moves over FaceTime.  Nevertheless, it was a fun little game, and I look forward to getting a few more units done so that we can add a bit of variety to the encounters.  Two years of auction haunting have left me with a generous pile of these figures awaiting my attention.

via The Sharp End of the Brush http://sharpbrush.blogspot.com/2019/03/a-battle-near-dale.html
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2019 Ghost Archipelago Campaign Game 2 — Spider Island

Rob Dean

     We played the second game of our 2019 Ghost Archipelago campaign on Saturday, 23 February.

From the log of the Manticore:

     Word reached us of a place called the Island of Spiders.  Spider eggs are said to be of value in certain alchemical processes, and I thought it might be prudent to put in and collect some, the state of our treasury being of some concern.

     We landed and passed on toward the center of the island, finding ourselves near a ruined temple of the Dricheans.  As we approached the temple, I took several of the crew with me around to the left, toward a smaller structure visible through the underbrush.

Our area of operations
Our Warden, Quartz, Thorn the archer, and a pair of crewmen started around toward the right-hand side of the temple, attempting to take some cover among a patch of tree stumps.
Taking cover among the stumps
Suddenly, advancing on them from the distance, several of the tribesmen making up the crew of the Heritor Arkhan appeared.  We had run into them recently, and Quartz was naturally concerned. 
     Ali, one of the crewmen with me, had found an interesting chest concealed in a thicket, and I ordered him to carry it back to the Manticore.  Ahead of me, I saw an archer pop up out of a thicket, and I threw a heavy rock at him.  He staggered, and Thetis (our pearl diver) ran forward to finish him off.  She stood for a moment afterward, considering whether she should enter the small structure (which had proved to be flooded) and dispute the ownership of a treasure being recovered by a pair of halflings.  As she did, an enormous fellow appeared and attacked her with an axe.  Despite the axe, we later learned that he was a Warden serving with the crew of Barley Gibletberrysauce, or some such outlandish halfling name.  She barely escaped with her life, and perforce left the treasure to the little people.  
     The crewman Redhand, spying some remaining gold work in the upper reaches of the temple, had carefully scaled one of the ruined columns.  Dislodging the golden carving, he dropped it to the ground, were the wounded Thetis picked it up and started for the ship.
     I heard the sound of swords clashing within the ruins, and clambered up to see what was afoot.  I found two of my crewmen attempting to drag away a large chest.  They had been set upon by the Heritor Arkhan himself.  Both of them were knocked out, and while I briefly stunned Arkhan with another rock, I thought it best to quit the area while I still could.
     As I dropped back to the jungle floor, I met Quartz and Thorn retreating hastily around the temple corner.  Arkhan’s tribesmen had laid low the two crewmen who had accompanied them.  Moreover, a prodigiously huge spider had been attracted by the commotion.  We heard screams from the enemy crewmen, and had no interest in getting any nearer to the beast. 
     Once all were gathered, I signaled for a retreat.  Redhand was nowhere to be found.  He later showed up at the Manticore carrying a knapsack full of spider eggs.  It seems he was trapped in the upper works of the ruin, and escaped by waiting for nightfall and the departure of the monster spider.
     We waited for some time, and were rewarded by the sight of our wounded crew members straggling in.  Eventually all members of the landing party returned, although two of the crew were seriously wounded.  
     While the treasure found was meager, at least no hands were lost, and it is to be hoped that the experiences will prove to have imparted a useful lesson or two.
Those left to retreat

via The Sharp End of the Brush http://sharpbrush.blogspot.com/2019/03/2019-ghost-archipelago-campaign-game-2.html
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