Ghost Archipelago Campaign Game 4: The Floating Hulks

Don Hogge
My gaming group completed Game 4 of our 2018 Ghost Archipelago Campaign – The Floating Hulks.  We modified a solo scenario titled “The Floating Hulk” written by Joe McCullough (author of Ghost Archipelago) and published in the November 2107 issue of Wargames Illustrated.  For the game we had six of our regular players, two players being unable to attend.

In order to make the scenario usable by our group, a few changes needed to be made. Fellow campaign player Chris Palmer, and myself, worked on re-configuring the scenario so it would be playable by a group of 6 players, not just one.  We decided to make it a large “island” of derelict ships, kind of like a ship graveyard, that had all gathered together amongst some jagged rocky outcroppings, forming one large intertwined mass.   We then multiplied the mainmasts, with the central treasure and the nests of Talonjacks to a total of three; so there would be one for every two of our players.  We then assigned a Shark to be just outside the starting zone of each player.  We also upped the number of total Sharks and Talonjacks that could be brought into play during the game, and created a specialized Random Encounter Table that contained only Aquatic creatures, and some creatures one might find on derelict ships; like Pirate Skeletons, Swamp Zombies, and Sea Rats.  Also, a special rule of the scenario requires anyone trying to climb from one of the small boats onto one of the ships to make a special Move Roll with a target number of 12.  We decided to include climbing from the boats onto the rocks, climbing from a ship to a ship, or climbing from the sea onto one of the ships or rocks; figuring everything was a rocking, tossing, slippery deathtrap. (This paragraph blatantly copied from Fortrywn’s blog entry which you can read here – Ghost Archipelago Campaign ‘18, Game 4: The Island of Floating Hulks)
Skorri was lucky in being second in selecting his starting location.  A corner position was picked to protect one of his flanks from the other Heritors.  In the end, he ended up facing Fortrywn directly across from him, Kragmar to his immediate right, and Molly Malone to his right front.  Further down the table were Herndon and his arch-enemy Griffin.
 
 

Skorri’s Story
Looking out from the bow of his ship, Raven’s Beak, Skorri Drakenberg scanned the horizon.  His thoughts flashed back to the activities of the past couple weeks.  After recovering from his encounter with the Heritor Griffin, Skorri had to conduct a bit of recruiting.  First, he had to find a new warden willing to join his crew (His previous warden, Anemone, didn’t survive the last outing) and a new pearl diver.  He sent members of his crew out to inquire around the port town.  In the end, there were not many wardens available for hire.  Skorri settled for a young Beast Warden named Agger.  While he looked like a kid, he seemed to be a skilled magic user, and well versed in all things dealing with wild animals.  That might come in handy in the jungles Skorri planned on trekking through in search of the map stones to lead him to the magic fountain.


A view of the table with the various ships entangled with each other

Several of his crew came back with tales about a floating mass of lost ships that was recently sighted.  Skorri conferred with Kukala (Hunter) who was still recovering from a bad wound.  It was decided that they would sail towards the sea of lost ships before heading back into the archipelago.

Here, it is said, you will find a few rocks jutting out of the depths, eternally waiting for some unsuspecting ship to gut itself, spilling sailors and cargo into the ocean.  The area attracted a large number of sharks and other denizens of the deep, anxious to feed on the poor sailors whose ships met their doom on the rocks.  But not all the ships drawn into this morass were sunk.  Many were merely trapped here by the whirlpool like currents which causes ships and other debris to collect in a single area and became entangled.

A view of the dwarven ironclad

As they approached the area known as the Sea of Lost Ships, “Sails to the port and starboard” rang out from the crow’s nest.  Skorri turned his looking glass left and right, scanning the distant, looking for Griffin’s ship.  None of them seemed to be flying personal banners or flags.  That means they are most likely other Heritors, they tend to be a secretive bunch.

All of the ships looked like they had been here for quite some time. Skorri couldn’t detect any movement on the decks of the stranded, derelict hulks – manned only by the ghosts of their doomed crews.  He did spot several flying creatures with long, deadly looking beaks flying around the top masts of several of the ships.  “Those are called Taloned Jackclaws, or Talonjacks for short.  They like to grab you and drop you in the water.” volunteered Agger.

Another view of the ships

Afraid of becoming entrapped with the mass of rotting ships, Skorri directed his crew to heave to about a half mile away.  Adding his ship to the floating mass was not part of his plan.

Skorri’s crew in their boats approaching “The Floating Hulks”

Hopefully there would still be something of value waiting to be plundered.  And with that thought in mind, Skorri loads his crew on three small boats and they set off towards the entangled mess of old ships.  As they move forward, Taucher spots a shark swimming towards the boat.  Skorri directs his archers, Amras and Amrod to shoot it.  They both take careful aim and let fly their arrows. Amras strikes home but Amrod’s arrow glances off the shark’s tough skin.  Skorri sees that the extra archery training has not paid off yet.  He stands up and draws his bow.  His arrow flies true and strikes the sea creature in the eye.  The crew cheers as the shark turns belly up and slowly sinks beneath the waves.

Directly across from Skorri’s crew, on the other side of the mass of ships, the sounds of a fight can be heard.  Mostly screams and a lot of splashing noises.  Sounds like Fortrywn’s crew has run into a bit of trouble.  Skorri smiled at the thought.

Skorri’s crew moves forward

The boat containing Skorri’s new warden, Agger, moves forward towards the nearest ship.  On top of the mast, he sees a talonjack.  Agger calmly incants the words to Control Animal.  He thought he had been successful but the creature shrugged off the effects (Successful casting, the Talonjack resisted).  The Talonjack spotted the crew and made a diving attack.  The flight was cut short as Hat Chet swung his ax and severed the bird’s head with a clean cut.  As the ship’s cook, Hat Chet says “Keep the bird safe, that’s supper.”

Skorri and Taucher swim towards the black hulk

With the shark dead and sky starting to become overcast (Molly Malone’s warden cast Cloud Cover), Skorri directs his newly recruited Pearl Diver to follow him towards the black hulled wreck off to the left.  He checks to make sure his Piscian Helmet is secure before he dives in; Taucher jumps in right behind him.  Amras climbs up on the abandoned ship, carefully timing his jump with the up and down rocking motions of the two ships (Need a Move roll with a target of 14 to successfully move between ships).  Once on the other ship he slowly surveys his surroundings.  There are several ships entangled together.  On a nearby ship he notices another crew climbing aboard, he recognizes Fortrywn’s archer.  He takes aim at her and let’s fly.  The shaft flies straight as an arrow.  With a loud “thwack” it strikes the opposing archer in the back, dropping her to her knees (Hits Fortrywn’s archer for 10 points of damage).  While silently congratulating himself, strands of seaweed shoot up from the rotting decking and weave themselves around his bow.  Amras quickly cut them away but the damage had been done.  His finely crafted bow had a slight warp to it (Fortrywn’s Warden cast Warp Weapon, -1 damage).

Amrod successfully jumps to a another nearby ship.  As he lands, Agger casts Envenom on his bow.  Blue Boy runs over to a pile of trade goods and roots around.  He finds a small chest that he places in his backpack. Yen Lo attempts to jump between two ships.  His foot lands on a pile of moldy kelp causing him to lose his balance.  He unceremoniously lands in the water.  Hat Chet fares better and makes the move to an old Dwarf ironclad with ease.  As he lands, he finds himself staring down the barrels of two old, rusty cannon sticking menacingly out of a turret.  He decides to start climbing up to the crow’s nest on top of the turret to get a better look at the other hulks.

Meanwhile, Wu and Wat Lee have been rowing towards an old longship.  They make it there and climb aboard only to find they are not the first to board.  One of Kragmar’s crew members is already there – and it seems he has discovered a treasure chest.  Two against one, this should be easy pickings.

As the clouds continue to drop lower, further reducing visibility (14" LOS), Skorri and Taucher swim around to the black ship.  They can see several members of Fortrywn’s crew aboard.  They both attempt to climb up the hull but Taucher cannot find a footing in the slimy algae covering the hull.  Skorri almost makes it to the top before a piece of rotting timber sends him splashing back into the water.  Fortrywn’s warden looks down and sees Skorri in the water.  Skorri hears her chuckle as she intricately waves her hands as only a spell caster can do.  Skorri feels tendrils of kelp twirling around his sword.  His strength is sufficient to break free of the plant but he notices the balance of the weapon had been affected (Fortrywn’s warden cast Warp Weapon on his sword, -1 Fight).


Skorri and Taucher try to climb aboard the black hulk

Agger has now successfully climbed aboard the dhow.  He decides to provide the crew some assistance by attempting to cast Summon Animal.  He successfully called forth to the nearby creatures and could soon sense a large snake approaching.  He should be useful to distract Fortrywn’s crew.

Out of some hidden hole, Amras sees a mangy looking rat jump on Amrod’s back.  He moves forward, “Hold still, I’ve got it” yells Amras as he pulls his dagger and takes a swipe at the rat (The real rat, not Amrod).  Luckily for Amrod his aim is good and the rat flies off into the water.  Amrod says “Thanks” as he takes aim at one of Fortrywn’s crew.  The gentle rocking motion of the ship was just enough the throw off his aim.

Over on board the longship, Wat Lee and Wu engage Kragmar’s crewman.  Between the two of them, they manage to beat him back from the treasure chest.  During their scuffle, the clouds have descended far enough down that they are like a fog surrounding the mass of ships (visibility is 12" LOS).

Skorri and Taucher climb aboard the black hulk

Finally, Skorri and Taucher are able to find enough secure handholds to climb aboard the ship.  Once on board, they notice an entanglement of kelp and seaweed suddenly emerging from the rotting deck of the ship (Bramble spell) cutting them off from Fortrywn’s crew, one of whom is carrying a small chest.  Skorri Surges to pull out his bow and take a snap shot but fails to hit his target.  Taucher jumps as a large snake slithers it way aboard the ship.  He holds his breath as the snake moves towards Fortrywn’s crew (Agger’s Summoned Animal), “Good thing I’m wearing my brown pants.”
At the top of the mast of the ship Amrod has boarded, Agger spots another Talonjack.  He casts Control Animal but once again he feels the creature resist his charms.

A wall of brambles springs up to block Skorri and Taucher

Amrod spies Skorri on board a nearby ship, along with one of Fortrywn’s crew.  He slowly takes aim at Fortrywn’s crewman and pulls back on his bow string.  With a careful aim, he successfully hits him with a poisoned arrow.  “That should help out the boss some” he thought.  (Being hit and successfully damaged by a poison arrow reduces the number of actions from 2 to 1)

On the longship, the fight intensifies.  Wu and Wat Lee team up to take down Kragmar’s crewman.  Unfortunately, Wu’s attack is parried and Kragmar’s crewman takes him out with a clever riposte.  While Kargmar’s crewman is slightly off balance, Wat Lee’s thrust takes him in the side and drops him to the deck.  As the opposing crewman falls, Wat Lee sees a large crab rear up out of the water, two massive claws snapping in his direction.  He manages to avert the crab’s attack and drives it back (caused 1 point of damage).  Just as he thinks all is well, a giant shark leaps up and swallows him whole before disappearing back into the murky water (End of game Recovery roll for Wat Lee was a 2).

Wat Lee just before he is swallow whole by a shark

Back at the black hulk, Skorri looks at Taucher, “We have to climb over, don’t let him get away” (talking about Fortrywn’s crewman carrying the treasure).  He watches as Taucher carefully makes his away across the tangled mess of kelp vines and seaweed.  Taucher then charges into contact with Fortrywn’s crew.  The crewman turns around to confront Taucher and sees Skorri easing his way through the brambles.  Skorri also charges towards the crewman, drawing his sword along the way.  He then feels his blood boil as he Surges to attack the crewman.  The crewman frantically tries to defend himself from the onslaught but he knows he is no match for the Heritor’s skills.  Nicked and bleeding from several small gashes, the crewman tumbles into the water below.  Taucher manages to grab hold of the small chest before it too falls into the water.  Just as he grabs it, an arrow nicks his arm (1 point of damage).


Skorri and Taucher fight a crewman for a treasure
Skorri wins, Taucher grabs the treasure, the crewman falls into the water

On the dhow, Agger reaches out mentally to control the Talonjack.  This time his mind is stronger and he feels the animal bending to his will (Successful casting of Control Animal).  Agger directs the creature to fly over to the dwarf ironclad and attack any non-friendly crewman he finds.  The Talonjack flies over to the ironclad and attack’s one of Molly’s crewmen carrying a chest.  Agger feels the bond with the Talonjack break as the crewman manages to easily overcome the creature.

On the ironclad, Hat Chet found a treasure inside the crow’s nest.  He pulls it out and drops it to the deck of the ship.  Yen Lo waves as he runs over and picks it up.  He then jumps back into the crew’s small boat.

Taucher says, “Its faster to swim over to the dhow ” and jumps into the water.  Skorri agrees and jumps in also.  He lands beside Fortrywn’s crewman who is floating in the flotsam.  Skorri quickly checks on his condition to make sure she doesn’t drown herself.  Seeing that she will recover, as long as she not eaten by a shark, he climbs aboard a small seaweed covered raft.  Spying one of Fortrywn’s archers on a rocky outcrop, he once again Surges to shoot an arrow in his direction.  Even though it was a snap shot, the arrow strikes its target in the chest.  Without waiting to see the outcome, Skorri turns and follows Taucher.  During this time, the large snake slowly slithers towards the archer.  The archer looks from Skorri to the snake, trying to decide which to shoot.  He decides on the snake and puts an arrow into its thick body.  Ignoring the pinprick, the snake continues its way up the rocky outcrop in pursuit.

Amras getting ready to claim a treasure
TWACK  No he’s not……

With the agility of a monkey, Amras quickly climbs to the top of the mast.  After hauling himself onto the upper spar, he notices a treasure sack stuffed inside the crow’s nest.  Amras called down to Amrod and Skorri, “I found something."  As he leans over to pick it up, he fails to see the arrow speeding his way.  The shaft embeds itself in his back pack.  The force of the strike spins him around, arm flailing in an attempt to regain his balance.  In the end, Amras tumbles into the water below.  The impacts knocks the breath out of him and he floats there trying to recover his senses. 

Random creature captures my chair.  I think Fortrwyn paid him to distract me

Over on the longboat, Hat Chet watches as another of Kragmar’s crew is taken down by the giant crab.  "YES” he cries out but then realizes his mistake.  The crab’s antenna-like eyes swivel in his direction.  Before he can react, the crab scuttles across the deck, its claws menacingly clicking together.  Hat Chet dodges the crab’s initial attack and leaps upon its back.  Deftly performing a balancing act, he swings his axe down hard, striking the crab between its eyes.  As crab’s legs collapse, he thinks “Too bad I can’t get him back to the kitchen."  Hat Chet, seeing the treasure chest laying on the deck, triumphantly runs towards it.  He has to negotiate a mound of unmoving bodies but he manages to reach the chest.

Seeing Amras fall, Skorri’s keen eyes scan the nearby ship for the perpetrator.  Through the light fog, he could just make out the silhouette of Fortrywn’s archer standing at the rail and reaching for another arrow.  Skorri climbs aboard the ship and pulls out his bow.  Grabbing an arrow from his quiver, he pulls back and lets it fly.  He watches in dismay as the arrow skims off some rigging and misses its target.  Uncontrollably, Skorri feels his blood boil and Surges to fire another shot.  This time the arrow flew straight and true as Skorri watched the offending archer fall out of sight.   

Hat Chet just before Fortrwyn’s Warden charges

Hat Chet picks up the chest, pausing a moment at the carnage all around him,  and then moves to his rowboat.  As he is getting ready to climb down, he hears the pitter-patter of small feet on the deck.  He quickly turns just as Fortrywn’s warden swings her sword.  He ducks under her swing, deflecting it with his axe as he spins to face the diminutive young girl.  "Go home little girl” he says as he makes an overhead swing at her.  To his surprise, she manages to deflect his aim.  Instead of smacking her on the side of the head with the flat side of his axe, the momentum forces the axe to slice downward along her leg before embedding itself in the toe of her boot.  The young warden loses her balance and her head strikes the deck with a hollow thud.  She’s out cold.  With little effort, Hat Chet pulls his axe out of the decaying decking.  “That’ll leave a scar” he thinks.  Hat Chet turns to carefully climb down into the rowboat with the hard fought over treasure (five crew and one warden were taken down trying to recover this treasure – Kragmar lost three, Skorri lost two, and Fortrywn lost his warden).

Hat Chet trying to escape with a treasure

Skorri climbs up the mast towards the crow’s nest.  As he nears the top, he hears the flapping of wings and looks up to see another Talonjack settle on top of the crow’s nest, and his treasure.  With a burst of energy, Skorri climbs the final few feet to the top and draws his sword.  With some fancy sword play, he manages to feint to the left before twisting his sword into an upward swing that severs the Talonjack’s head.  Feeling a bit of pain as his blood heats up, Skorri Surges forth to pick up the treasure.  He drops the treasure to the deck below and quickly climbs down.  He then signals to his crew to climb into their boats and return to the ship.

Skorri fights off a Talonjack and secures a treasure

Back aboard the Raven’s Beak, Skorri saw to the welfare of his injured crewmen.  Wat Lee was the only crewman who did not make it back.  He authorized a double ration of rum and they drank a toast in honor of Wat Lee – “May he give the shark indigestion."  He then headed into his cabin to look over the day’s haul.  Incredibly, five treasures were recovered:  Ring of Will, Jade Figurine (Crocodile) w/30 gold, Superior 2-hand weapon +1 damage, Magic hand weapon +1 Fight w/10 gold, and a Water of Life Potion and some Scalegrass herb.  The magic hand weapon would be a welcome replacement for the sword he lost last time.

Epilogue
Well, another enjoyable and action packed game that kept me on my toes for all 9 turnsModifying the solo scenario into a multi-player version turned out better than we thought.  Plus it helped that the group happened to have a good number of ships to use as the floating graveyard.

Skorri and crew took advantage of Fortrywn’s first turn misfortune of losing three crewmen to a single shark.  With that and Molly Malone occupying his attention on his flank, they secured five treasures.  And only loss three personnel in the process.

When I recruited a new warden, I decided to change from a Wave warden to a Beast warden to try some different (Plus I had one of the new Wiz Kids pre-paints I wanted to use).  I’m hoping his spells will be a benefit to the crew.

Already looking forward to the next game…….

A final view of the table showing Kragmar’s snd Molly’s crews

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Halfling Cook: Bones 3 Figure

Chris Palmer

     This past week I painted the Halfling Cook from the Bones 3 Townsfolk set. 
     I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.    I then glued the figure to a black-primed 7/8" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue.   And, when the glue was dry,  I put it in my Citadel painting grip.

      I began by painting his head, arms, and feet with Americana “Shading Flesh”.   I then painted his shirt with Accent “Mustard Seed”, his pants with Accent “Real Umber”, and his vest with Ceramcoat “Black Cherry”.

     Next, I painted his apron and hat with Americana “Dove Grey”.  I then did his hair with Crafter’s Edition “Spice Brown”, and his spoon with Ceramcoat “Territorial Beige”.  After everything had a while to dry, I went back and went over his head and feet with a wash of Citadel “Reikland Fleshshade” wash.

    When that wash was dry, I then gave a wash to all his clothing and the spoon with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash.   After I let this second wash I dry, I painted his eyes, and then highlighted his skin areas with a mix of the “Shading Flesh”, and some Crafter’s Acrylic “Flesh”.    Afterwards, I highlighted his hair with Americana “Sable Brown”, and the spoon with Americana “Khaki Tan”.

     Next, I highlighted his hat and apron with a mix of the “Dove Grey”, and Americana “Snow White”.   I then highlighted his shirt with a mix of the base “Mustard Seed”, and some Crafter’s Acrylic “Bright Yellow”,and then did the highlights on his vest with some Reaper MSP “Holly Berry”.  I followed that with highlighting his pants with Folk Art “Teddy Bear Brown”. 
    I then worked on the pot, painting it first Americana “Black”, and then painting the soup with Folk Art “Porcelain White”.  When the “Porcelain White” was dry, I gave it a wash with some Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.  When the wash was dry, I added a few highlight dots to the soup with the base “Porcelain White”.    I then highlighted the pot with some Americana “Zinc”. I finished up by painting the base with Americana “Mississippi Mud”.
       I let the figure sit all day, and that evening I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.  The next afternoon I gave the figure a coat of Testor’s “Dullcote” spray varnish.

   A fun little figure; nothing to get excited about, but I’m pleased with how he came out. 

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2018/04/halfling-cook-bones-3-figure.html
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Elven Blacksmith: Bones 3 Figure

Chris Palmer

    This past week I returned to working on the Townsfolk set from Bones 3, and painted the Elven Blacksmith.
      I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.    I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue.   And, when the glue was dry,  I put it in my Citadel painting grip.

     I began by painting her skin with Apple Barrel “Flesh”,  When it was dry, I gave it a wash with some Citadel “Reikland Fleshshade” wash.  When that was dry, I painted her leggings with Americana “Zinc”, and her skirt with Crafter’s Acrylic “Storm Cloud Grey”.  I then painted her top, and the borders on the skirt, with Crafter’s Acrylic “Navy Blue”.

    Next, I painted her apron, and her eye wrap, with Folk Art “Platinum Grey”, and her gloves with Crafter’s Edition “Taupe”.  I then painted the handle of her hammer with Ceramcoat “Territorial Beige”, and her hair with Accent “Golden Harvest”. After that, I painted the bark of the tree trunk with Americana “Charcoal Grey”, and the interior of the trunk with Reaper MSP “Ginger Cookie”.

     I let everything dry for a while, and then gave the tree trunk, her hair, the gloves, and the hammer handle, a wash with Citadel “Agrax Earthsahde” wash.  When the wash was dry, I then gave her leggings, skirt, apron, and top all a wash with Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.  When that was dry, I worked on highlighting her hair, drybrushing it first with Americana “Moon Yellow”, and then Apple Barrel “Lemon Chiffon”.  I then touched it with a few Americana “White” highlights.

     Next, I painted in her eye and mouth, and then highlighted her skin with the base “Flesh” and the “Flesh” mixed with a little Americana “White”.  I then highlighted her leggings with the “Storm Cloud Grey”, and highlighted her skirt with a mix of the base “Storm Cloud Grey and some of the "Platinum Grey”.  After that, I highlighted her apron, and her eye wrap, with a mix of the “Platinum Grey” and the “White”.    I then highlighted the border on her skirt with Americana “True Blue”, and afterwards, used the “True Blue” to paint the decorations on her apron. When I was finished, I went back and highlighted those decorations with some of the “True Blue” mixed with a little Crafter’s Edition “Tropical Blue”.

    Next, I painted her boots with Americana “Black”.  I then drybrushed the tree trunk with, first, “Americana "Neutral Grey”, and then with Folk Art Barn Wood".   After that, I painted the anvil and the head of the hammer with Reaper MSP “Scorched Metal”, and I painted the sword with Accent “Princely Pewter.   I followed that with painting the vine on the trunk with Reaper MSP "Christmas Wreath”.

     After the new colors had time to dry,I gave the hammer head, anvil, and sword all a wash with the “Nuln Oil”.  I then drybrushed the anvil and hammer head with Folk Art Brushed Metal “Brushed Bronze”, and then painted the scrolling on them with Ceramcoat “Wedding Gold”.  After that, I worked on making the sword look like it was still a little molten by layering on Reaper MSP Bones “Cinnamon Red”, Reaper MSP “Holly Berry”, Reaper MSP “Hearth Fire”, and Reaper MSP Golden Glow"  I had to keep doing it several times and in different thinnesses until I got a look I was happy with.
     When I was happy with the sword, I moved on to the vine.  I thought I’d try something a little different, so I first tried doing the  highlights with Folk Art Color Shift “Green Flash”, but I felt it was too drastic of a color difference from the base “Christmas Wreath”. So I went back and tempered it with Crafter’s Acrylic “Wild Green”.
      When I was done painting the figure, I used some white glue to glue some fine brown sand to the base.  When the sand was dry, I painted it with a coat of Americana “Raw Umber”. When this was dry, I drybrushed the sand with the “Territorial Beige”, and then with some Folk Art “Butter Pecan”; lastly I drybrushed it with a little Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”.
      I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.  When dry, I glued on some bits of grass tufts.   Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote".

     I’m really happy how she turned out!     Particularly the sword and the anvil.  I messed up her face a little on her left cheek; but given her missing eye, I figure she is a retired warrior, so a scar on her cheek looks fine to me.

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St. Mere Eglise Battle (part 2)

Buck

A couple of posts below you will see part one of a battle report that Brian Ivers sent to me with permission to post it here.  This article is part two.


Pvt Anderson signals the approach of Armor coming down the Cherbourg road. Mad Mike informs Buck, who warns his teams to hold their fire.  There are 4 Hawkins mines on the road waiting for the German column.  (The identification of the tank is usually hit or miss, as the actual vehicle is a Stug.   It leads a column of two along with a Panzer IV and two Hanomag halftracks.)

The table with all the various play aids, including Action Decks, the Activation Deck, and small rubber bands to use as markers during the game.

As the enemy draws closer, the type of vehicle is confirmed. The yellow dice represents the number of Hawkins mines on the road, the medallion on the road is the mine field.

An explosion beneath the Stug’s left track rocks the tank, wounding the driver and stunning the rest of the crew who bail out.

The supporting German infantry fires into the hedges without effect. Hauptman, Ernst Flick, orders his Grenadiers to flank right and calls up the second.

Mad Mike opens fire with his support team and sends a principle direction of fire down the hedge. The green dice represents morale hits on the team leader.

Buck decides to charge down the road as he knows he can flank the Germans next to the field and he has support, by fire, from Mike.

A Stug begins to spray death into the Hedgerow in front of Mike, so he pops smoke. Buck continues his charge.  The church signals friendly armor coming from the beach road.  Buck can’t see it, but Mad Mike swears and crosses himself in thanks.  Corporal Cromer tells the Sgt in the Stuart where the trouble is, and the Stuart heads to the city square.  A very nice Sherman follows close behind.

It’s getting nasty at the cross roads. Everything the platoon has left is committed.

The Stuart rolls into the square and positions itself behind a sand bagged position.

There is a mortar team in the M-3 Half track that unloads into the sand bagged position. The Sherman is waived over to the left flank where a MkIV has been spotted.

The German commander feels like he is getting the upper hand and wants Lt. Heinrich Schmutz to push.

Meanwhile a column of armor approaches from the South: a Puma, a MkIV, and a truck full of infantry. The Puma fires at the Stuarts rear without effect.

The Sherman wheels around and fires at the Puma, engulfing it in flames as the crew bails out.

The Hanomag pushes across and is missed by the bazooka team trying reaction fire.  A .30 cal opens fire from the 2nd floor of the house to the left and almost wipes out the supporting infantry team.

The MkIV sees the Sherman rounding the corner and fires, missing it.  The Sherman returns fire, and Sgt Oddball scores a hit.  The Mk IV loses its right track and is immobile.  The crew doesn’t bail, but they are stunned.

The Mk IV, seeing the Puma disappear in smoke and fire, steps on the gas to come upon its right side.  The Sherman pushes forward to get a better view of the road.

The Stug in the meadow supported by the Hanomag is causing a lot of tactical issues for Buck and Mike.  Finding that the newly arrived Mortar team was up, Mike uses colorful language towards his runner, who advises the Mortar team to barrage the meadow to Mike’s front.  The sweet sound of outgoing mortars punctuates the air as Mike and his team hit the deck.

The template covers the Hanomag and the Stug.  In Combat Patrol™, indirect fire lands on the Reroll and Reshuffle card. 1 dead, 2 wounded, and a burning halftrack.  The Stug is stunned.

Buck’s charge kills and wounds the Panzer Grenadiers who are in panic and are pinned as displayed by the black dice.  That was the last straw for Strasser.  He formalizes a retreat, which was already in progress.

The Airborne troopers held.  Buck lost 9 men KIA, 12 wounded.  The Germans lost 18 KIA over 20 wounded, 1 Mk IV, 1 Stug, 1 Hanomag, and 1 Puma.

The object of this game is fun.  There are role play elements added.  The most important thing is the Random Events table and interaction between teams and players.  [I posted Brian’s Random Events tale on Combat Patrol™ Yahoo group.]  At any time, the Airborne troopers could pull back and hit again.  If allowed to do this, they can play for tactical advantage and usually beat their opponent.  Combat Patrol™ is very good and allows for large scale battles even with vehicles.  We had up to 4 players on the allied side and I played the Game Master and Germans.  This scenario was played over three nights, seven hours total playing time.

I hope you enjoyed this After-Action report.

Brian Ivers

from Buck’s Blog http://bucksurdu.com/blog/?p=7590
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from Tumblr http://tumblr.hawks-club.org/post/172976634318
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Ghost Archipelago Campaign ’18, Game 4: The Island of Floating Hulks

Chris Palmer      This past weekend we got together for the fourth game in our Ghost Archipelago campaign.  We had 6 of our regulars players, and we used an 8’x3’ table.   For this outing, we decided to use a scenario from the November ‘17 issue of Wargames Illustrated, called “The Floating Hulk”.  This was a scenario written by core-rules author, Joseph McCullough, and was designed for solo play.  It featured a derelict ship floating on the ocean, that the player’s crew decide to investigate.  It is guarded by Sharks in the water, and “Talonjacks” (think pterodactyls) in a large nest at the top of the mainmast.  Also, the larger ship is difficult to climb up onto, so requires a Move roll with a target of 12.
     In order to make the scenario useable by our group, a few changes need to be made. Fellow campaign player Don Hogge, and myself, worked on reconfiguring the scenario so it would be playable by a group of 6 players, not just one.  We decided to make it a large “island” of derelict ships, kind of like a ship graveyard, that had all gathered together amongst some jagged rocky outcroppings, forming one large intertwined mass.   We then multiplied the mainmasts, with the central treasure and the nests of Talonjacks to a total of three; so there would be one for every two of our players.  We then assigned a Shark to be just outside the starting zone of each player.  We also upped the number of total Sharks and Talonjacks that could be brought into play during the game, and created a specialized Random Encounter Table that contained only Aquatic creatures, and some creatures one might find on derelict ships; like Pirate Skeletons, Swamp Zombies, and Sea Rats.  Also, a special rule of the scenario requires anyone trying to climb from one of the small boats onto one of the ships to make a special Move Roll with a target number of 12.  We decided to include climbing from the boats onto the rocks, climbing from a ship to a ship, or climbing from the sea onto one of the ships or rocks; figuring everything was a rocking, tossing, slippery deathtrap.

A long view of the table, showing my start position, and the locations of the central treasures.

       I was once again terribly unlucky in my choice of starting location, drawing chip #6, and being stuck with the spot no one wanted.   Across from me was Skorri Drakenberg, and his new Beast Warden,  Agger. (His Wave Warden, Anemone, having perished last game)   To my left was the Heritor Molly Malone, and her Storm Warden, Niskaru.  Diagonally to my my front left was Kragmar of the True Blood, and his Storm Warden, Samael Gale.

    To read my account of the previous game, see: The Drichean Cages

My crew’s deployment, and the location of the killer Shark.

The Report

     Lord Fotrywn collapsed the spyglass and handed it back to The Silver Sword’s captain. The Elf Heritor turned again to peer out across the waves at the black mass that lay along the blue horizon in the distance.  It surely appeared to be an assortment of derelict ships, all trapped in an area of jagged rocky outcroppings jutting from the waves; their falling rigging and frayed sails causing them to become intertwined and locked together. The Elf Lord’s mind calculated the prizes that might await in the holds of those ships; already bought with someone else’s blood and effort in the deadly jungles of the Archipelago.  Ready to be reclaimed by anyone who dare investigate the hulks.  It was a risk he was willing to take.  The Silver Sword’s Captain advised the Heritor that it would be too dangerous to bring the big ship in close to the rocks, they would need to use the small boats. 
     Lord Frotrywn decided on three of the ship’s small landing boats so he would have more options where to land, and be able to cover more area.  He divided up his party so that he would have his trusty Hunter, Gwynwater, with him; along with Salin, the Pearl Diver, and the able Crew-woman, Arbyn, who had proven her worth on more than one occasion.  Lord Fortrywn assigned his niece and Warden, Marnilyne, to a second boat; along with Randilas the Archer, and the Crew-woman, Meriwyn.  In the third craft were the three crew members; Vilkse, Finil, and Bry.
     As they approached the floating mass of seaweed-covered wood and rotting sails,  they could make out large bird-like creatures flying lazy circles above the remaining tall masts of the hulks.  Arbyn identified them as Talonjacks, a kind of pesky lizard-like shore-bird with a nasty bite, and sharp talons.  They also saw the fins of  several shark swimming lazily near the shipwrecks. Further out, they could discern the sails of other Heritors’ ships, and the small dots of their landing boats in the water.  They weren’t alone.  Lord Fortrywn steered his boat towards towards large vessel on the right of the “island” that looked promising.  It had once been a fine ship and it’s bright blue and red paint could still be seen on it’s hull, though much of it was sun-bleached and peeling.  They reached the side of the ship and found it was rocking up and down so and covered in  slimy algae, which made climbing up aboard difficult, but they all managed it.  Gwyn immediately turned and shot an arrow at a Shark, who was  prowling the waters by the ship, but missed.  Arbyn spotted a promising chest under a nearby gangway and moved towards it, while Salin and Lord Fortrywn moved off to the left to investigate a large old Dwarven ironclad, whose hull was now about half rusted over and covered in barnacles.   As the Heritor went, he could see the small boats of the other crews nearing the island of shipwrecks. He quietly cursed to the gods and pressed on.

Lord Fortrywn, Salin, Arbyn, and Gwynwater, reach the blue-hulled ship.

     Marnilyne, with her boat, moved off to the right to check an old black-hulled ship, whose masts and rigging lay in a tangled heap upon it’s deck. She thought she saw movement, and the bobbing head of another crew approaching the black ship from the far side, so took the precaution of casting Brambles on the front of the black ship’s deck.  While she worked her magic, Randilas the Archer , also in her boat, turned and fired at the Shark, missing like Gwyn the Hunter had. 
     The third boat, with the three ship’s crew aboard, moved to intercept and deal with the Shark.   Bry and Vilkse had their weapons at the ready as Finil guided the boat at the beast.  The two crew slashed and stabbed at the Shark but  missed. The creature however leapt suddenly at it’s attackers and it’s mighty jaws clamped down on Bry’s sword arm.  She cried out in pain and shock as the Shark suddenly twisted and yanked her clear off the boat.  Vilkse leaned forward to help, but instead caught the full brunt of the beast’s tail as the Shark completed it’s twisting turn, pulling Bry under the water.  The force of the tail dislocated the crewman’s jaw, and unbalanced him.  With a grunt his feet went out from under him and he fell forward, his knees cracking on the side of the boat, and he tipped forward into the murky blue water.
     Finil now found himself alone on the little boat.  Desperately he scanned the choppy waters for some sight of his companions or the Shark itself; but he saw nothing.   As he leaned forward searching, the creature came from directly below the boat and rammed it with his head from underneath.  The lone Crewman pitched forward out of the boat.  As he hit the water, he felt the Shark’s jaws clamp around one of his boots, and with a yank he was pulled beneath the surface. Gwyn, watching from the nearby ship, could not believe how quickly the three had disappeared.  Far above the choppy surface of the water, grey clouds began to boil up in the sky, as the Warden, Niskaru, cast Cloud Cover above the shipwreck island.
     A melancholy mood settled on the rest of the party, but knowing there was a job to be done they all returned to their tasks.  Lord Fortrywn called to Gwyn, “Kill that Shark!”

Vilkse, Bry, and Finil begin their fateful first turn fight with their hungry friend. 

        Marny, the Warden, and her group finally reached the black-hulled derelict and despite the slippery old wood, and bobbing of the ship, managed to climb up on board.   The Elf-girl reached the railing of the ship and stood up on it to get a view of her surroundings.  Sure enough, there were crew belonging to the Heritor Skorri Drakenburg scurrying like rats over the hulks on the far side of the floating island.   As she watched, one of Drakenburg’s Archers drew an arrow and let it loose at Gwyn.  Marny tried to shout a warning, but it was too late.  The shaft hit the Hunter in her muscular back and sunk deep through her leather coat.  The tall warrior fell forward on her knees and let out a gasp of pain. (Reduced to 3 HP)  Marny began chanting the spell for Warp Weapon at the Archer, and thick vines grew from the seaweeds on the side of the ship, and wrapped themselves around the enemy’s bow, trying to bend the wood. Quickly, the Archer drew his dagger and cut his weapon free before the plants could do much damage (Rolled a 20 for the -1 Damage Warp Weapon result)
    Next to the Warden, Randilas, the Archer, fired another arrow at the Shark.  He hit the beast, but the missile merely sliced through the creature’s fin (-1 HP).  Meanwhile, the third member of their group, Meriwyn, spied a promising chest near the middle of the deck and clambered across the rigging-strewn planks towards it.
     On he blue-hulled ship, Gwyn had painfully gotten back to her feet. Beyond the sharp stab of the shaft in her back, she could feel an exquisite spike of heat when ever she inhaled deeply.   She knew her lung was punctured.  Gritting her teeth, knowing she had a job to do while she still had breath, the Hunter drew back her bow as fire burned across her back, and she launched another arrow at the Shark, missing.  Below the injured Elf, on the prow of the ship, Arbyn had secured the chest she found there, and dragging it over to the edge,  let it drop into their boat below.

Marny, Randlas, and Meriwyn reach the black-hulled ship.

     Meanwhile, Lord Fortrywn had raced along the gangway over to the rusty old Dwarven ironclad, and quickly climbed down the engine house.  Seeing some of the Heritor Molly Malone’s crew rounding the front turret of the vessel, he Surged froward to pick up a chest that lay just behind the metal structure.  Salin, the Pearl Diver, followed on a lower path, crossing over an old Barbarian ship, with it’s tall dragon masthead and a few old shields still adorning it’s sides.  He jumped for the deck of the Dwarven ship, but miscalculated the roll of the two ships, and ended up short; one foot getting a brief hold on the edge of  the smooth metal deck of the Ironclad before he slipped backwards and tumbled into the sea in a small area between the Barbarian ship, the Ironclad, and a large slime covered rock.   The zing of a crossbow bolt from one of Molly’s crew, shot over the Pearl Diver’s head and imbedded itself in the Barbarian ship behind him.
     Back on the black-hulled ship, Marny could see that Skorri himself, and his Pearl Diver, were approaching by swimming through the sea around the island. (Skorri had a Piscian Helmet.) Once again, the young Elf cast Warp Weapon, this time at the enemy Heritor, and the seaweed vines wrapped around his sword, bending it only slightly before the powerful Heritor yanked it away.  (Rolled 12 for -1 Fight result.)
     Meriwyn reached the chest on the deck and picked it up.  Behind her Randy fired an arrow at a pesky Needlefish that appeared, leaping high out of the waves off the Starboard side of the ship, killing it instantly.
     Over on the blue-hulled ship, Gwyn fought through the pain and fired at the Shark again, missing it once more. She cursed, at her own weakness.   Arbyn looked at her concerned, and asked, “Can I help you?"  The Hunter merely shook her head, and through gritted teeth said, "Get on the boat, and get that chest safely out of here.  I’ll be fine."  By the gods, it hurt just to talk.  Her breath gurgled with moisutre.  Gwyn knew her lung was beginning to fill with blood.

Lord Fortrywn reaches the treasure on the Dwarven Ironclad, but is quickly swarmed by the Heritor, Molly Malone, and her crew.

        By now, Molly Malone herself, along with a couple of her crew, had reached Lord Fortrywn.  Clutching the chest in one arm, the Heritor acrobatically Evaded his three assailants by leaping up, twisting, and planting his right foot on the side of the engine house to aid in propelling himself past the third attacker, then jumping down behind the man,  The Heritor thrust his sword into the enemy’s back, and the man crumpled to the ground before he realized what had happened. (I rolled a 20 for my attack!) Turning quickly, the Elf Lord attempted to get away.  He reached the edge of the Ironclad, and dove onto the Barbarian ship.  A third member of Molly’s crew approached, and gave chase; leaping after Lord Fortrywn, and landing practically on top of him.  The man was too close to even swing his sword, so he struck the Heritor in the back of the head with his fist wrapped around the grip. (Does -2HP damage.)
     Down below the fight, in the water between the grinding, rocking, hulls, Salin tried desperately to climb out to help the Lord Fortrywn, but he was finding it a chore just trying not be smashed against the rock or a hull. (Failed his climbing Move Roll again.)
     Gwyn’s health continued to decline, but she didn’t give up; focusing all her energy she aimed at the Shark, and this time hit it squarely.  (Shark reduced to 2 HP).  Randilas, over on the black-hulled ship, followed up her shot with another true hit, finally killing the beast.

Lord Fortrywn tries to make his escape, but is caught by one of Molly’s crew; as Salin flounders in the small patch of sea, literally caught between a rock and two hard places. 

     After Randy finished off the Shark, he turned back and caught sight of a Large Snake gliding through the waves towards the ship.  (Summoned by Skorri’s Warden.) Between the appearance of this new threat, and knowing Skorri and the enemy Pearl Diver were almost upon them, he moved back and up onto a large rocky outcropping at the back of the black-hulled ship.  Marny cast Brambles once again along the centerline of the ship in a desperate attempt to slow Skorri and his Pearl Diver, and then she herself fled too, back onto the ships’ fallen mainmast, by way of the top yard. 
     The pair of enemies had now climbed up the side of the black-hulled ship, and were just crossing over the railing as the Warden’s thorny vines grew to their full height.  Meriwyn moved away as fast as she could, picking her way through the fallen masts and rigging, carrying the heavy chest.  Frantically looking around, she decided her best route was to chance crossing the fallen mainmast, like Marny had, over to the blue-hulled ship.  As the Crew-woman stepped out on the yard with her heavy load, she felt a sharp stab of pain in her side as an arrow hit her from one of Skorri’s Archer’s, almost knocking her into the water.  The Elf sailor gritted her teeth and with her free hand she yanked on the shaft, located just a few inches below her ribcage.  Crying out in pain, she removed the projectile, but was suddenly overcome with dizziness, and her whole side began to heat up into extraordinary pain. The skin all around the wound was turning bright red. (The arrow had Envenom cast upon it.)  Realizing she had been poisoned, Meri prayed she would make it across the mast.

As Meriwyn tries to escape with the treasure, the Heritor Skorri Drakenburg, with his Pearl Diver, reach the deck, while Marnilyn the Warden prepares to cast another Bramble down the centerline of the vessel.

     Arbyn had obeyed Gwyn’s command, and dropping down into the boat, untied it, and shoved off.  As she turned and picked up one of the oars, she noticed a sight that filled her with dread; less than 50 yards away, the Crew-woman saw the tell-tail tentacles and large fin of an Octopike.  Gwyn saw the beast too, and straining, fired an arrow.  Her shot went far wide as her ability to hold her arm steady was diminishing.
      Frantically, the Crew-woman began to paddle, but the creature had seen the small craft and sped towards it.    Arbyn set the oar down and, standing, brandished her sword.  She had been sailing most of her life, and was not afraid to face any monster of the sea with a good Elven blade in her hand. She smiled, and braced her feet in the rocking craft.   The Octopike disappeared a few yards from the boat; then with a shower of spray 8 powerful tentacles burst from the waves right next to the tiny vessel, and shot forward to wrap themselves around it’s next meal.  But Arbyn, daughter of the sea, was not prepared to die that day; and before the tentacles could tighten their death grip around her, the Elven sailor pulled back her arm, and leaning forward plunged the long blade down the very gullet of the beast, her hand nearly being sliced on the rows of sharp teeth in its yawing mouth.  (Rolled 20 + 2F!) The Octopike writhed, and released it’s tentacles as it pulled back, an off the blade; disappearing again beneath the waves.  Arbyn stood still for a moment scanning the surface of the water,  then turning she set the sword down beside her and picked up the oar once again.

Arbyn prepares to make her escape, as the Octopike approaches.

     Back on the Barbarian ship, Lord Fortrywn turned to face his assailant as Molly, and her other Crewman, arrived to support the first attacker.   Once again, the Elf Heritor skillfully Evaded all three assailants, and dodging, leapt onto the side of the ship so he now only face one.  The Heritor swung at the enemy Crewman, but his opponent blocked him.  Lord Fortrywn was now in a vulnerable position, poised forward on the edge of the ship’s side, and his enemy took advantage and quickly moving from his block to an upward thrust, struck the Elf in his gut. Between the downward momentum of the Elf Lord’s blocked attack, and the power of the enemy’s  thrust, the blade pierced right through the chainmail at the bottom of the Heritor’s chest plate. Lord Fortrywn gasped, as  his face formed a look of shock and surprise.  Losing his balance, the Elf Lord fell backwards, landing hard on the deck, and a blackness overtook him.  (I rolled a 1 for the combat… the enemy didn’t.)
     Back on the fallen mast of the black-hulled ship, Marny knew instinctively that something had happened to her Uncle.  As Skorri and his Pearl Diver easily climbed her Bramble obstacle in the center of the ship, the young Warden tried to ignore the feeling she was having about her Uncle,  and once more attempt to cast Brambles in the path of their pursuers; but her mind was too clouded and the spell failed.  She called to Meriwyn, "Hurry!”, then turned and climbed up the stern of the blue-hulled ship.   But it was no use; in a blink Skorri was upon the Crew-woman and sliced her callously with his sword while nimbly grabbing the treasure from her.  She toppled from the mast, her body falling to the waves below.
    Over on the rock, Randilas the Archer fired at the Large Snake, but missed.  He then turned and attempted to follow Marny by jumping from the rock to the back of the blue-hulled ship, but he miss-judged, and dropped into the sea below.

The chase across the fallen mainmast, as Drackenburg reaches the wounded Meriwyn.

          Back on the Barbarian ship, Molly Malone laughed at the sight of Lord Fortrywn sprawled on the deck. “Arrogant Elf,” she spat.  “He got what he deserved."   Turning, she made to jump back onto the Ironclad, but misjudged the pitch of the two ships, and splashed into the water next to Salin; who still was trying to free himself from his watery prison. (Failed Move Roll again!) She swung her sword wildly, and it hit Salin in the shoulder.  It was not a direct hit, but there was enough power in her Crushing Blow, to give him a deep cut. (-4 HP).
      From the back of the blue-hulled ship, Marny immediately saw Gwyn and noticed the arrow sticking from her back.  There was small pool of blood on the deck by her left boot, and the Warden could see the Hunter’s face was almost pure white.   Running towards the tall Elf she began chanted the spell for Waters of Life.  Running and casting was a mistake though, as quickly she lost the cadence and began to lose the spell.   The young Elf, stopped and concentrated; the Warden could feel the spell continue  to slip and focused her brain with all her might.  A fire began to burn behind her eyes, and her knees gave out.  Marny fell to deck hard.  (Pushed spell for -5 HP) But slowly, the waters rose up the side of the ship, and began to pool around the Hunter, washing away the pool of blood and climbing up her boot.  Gwyn could feel a slight relief from the pain.  It would have to be enough.
     Out at sea, Arbyn was paddling to get away as best she could. Suddenly, the there was a thud against the side of her boat, and the tentacles appeared again! She hadn’t killed it after all.  From the deck of the ship Gwyn hastily fired at the beast but missed.  On the little boat, there was no time  for Arbyn to reach her sword, so as the tentacles probed the boat ,she reached out her booted foot and stamped on the nearest. (I win but do 0 damage.) It was enough. Once again the beast withdrew for good.
     Over by the Barbarian ship, Molly Malone soon realized what a dangerous place the small space between the ships was, and leaving the Pearl Diver to be ground to pulp on his own, used her blood gift strength to pull herself up and on to the ironclad.   Miraculously, Salin, too, was able to finally get the leverage he needed and hoisted himself up and onto the rock. (Finally made my Move Roll!)   At last he was free!

Gwynwater, on the far side of the blue-hulled ship’s deck, fires her final arrow at the enemy Archer in the crow’s nest.

     Back at the black-hulled ship, the Heritor Skorri Drakenburd and his Pearl Diver  jumped down from the fallen mast onto a seaweed covered raft a short distance away.  Upon landing, the Heritor turned to see if anyone was following.   Noticing Randilas in the water below the rock, he fired his bow, striking the Archer in the chest below his right shoulder.   (Reduced to 1 HP left.) Randy fell backwards, trying to stay conscious.  Desperately, he began to climb back up the rock, but saw the Large Snake come around it and move towards him.  As best he could the Archer gingerly un-shouldered his bow and fired an arrow at the Snake, hitting the creature near the tail.  (-4 HP).  Then, using his good left arm, he hoisted himself up onto the rock.
     Marny reached Gwyn and asked how she was doing.  "Better Now. Thank you” the Hunter replied, thought the Warden could see the pain and weakness in the Elf woman’s eyes.
    “Are you sure you’ll be alright?” the young elf asked.  Gwynwater nodded.  “I need to go find my Uncle, and see if there’s anymore treasure to be found,"  Marny explained.  And with that the Warden turned and ran off in the direction Lord Fortrywn had gone.
       The Hunter watched the girl go, and took a deep gurgling breath.  A shout behind her caught her attention, and turning she crossed the deck.  Looking up, she saw one of Skorri’s Archers up in the crows nest of a small derelict sloop right behind the blue-hulled ship.  He seemed to have found something, and was calling to his friends on the larger vessel behind.  Slowly, the Hunter raised her bow and notched an arrow.  Determinedly, she drew back the bow, despite the fiendish pain it caused her.  Gwynwater could feel a trickle of blood going down her back,  but she did not waiver.  A brightness shown in her eye for a brief flicker as she sighted down the shaft at her target.  "Let it fly true.” she whispered to herself, and released the arrow.  her trained eye followed the shaft all the way, and a slight smile formed t the corners of her mouth as she saw the shaft hit home.  The man tumbled backwards out of the crows nest to the deck below. (I rolled a 20!) “Perfect.” she said softly to herself, and she closed her eyes for second.

“Are you sure you’ll be alright?” the young Elf asked.  Gwynwater nodded.

          Across the way, Skorri Drakenburg, form his position on the raft, saw his Archer fall from the crows nest.  Turning, the Heritor looked for where the shot came from. He could just see the top half of Gwyn over the rail of the ship, her tall frame silhouetted against the bright blue sky.  Drakenburg quickly readied his bow, and drew the arrow back with all the strength of his blood gift.
      Up on the blue-hulled ship, Gwyn began to look for another target when her delicate Elven ears heard the distinctive twang of a bowstring over the sound of the waves and the creaking and groaning of the ships. Instinctively, she turned her head in that direction, and caught site of the shaft in the second before it hit. Being a trained Archer with decades of experience, she knew; and gently she closed her eyes. The Heritor’s black shaft struck true high on her chest with enough force it threw her back as it pierced her breast bone.  For a second Gwynwater Lighteye had the sensation she was floating before landing hard on the deck. She thought of the Warriors Hall on the Golden Shore.  There would be a seat for her she knew. Puzzled, she thought she heard the crystal sound of a silver horn sounding in the distance, as the darkness grew around her and all became quiet.
         As Salin stood on the rock by the Barbarian ship, he noticed a lone Crewman, one of Molly Malone’s, sitting in a small boat guarding a treasure.  It seemed ideal, and the Pearl Diver dove in the sea and swam towards the unsuspecting man.  With his strong swimmer’s muscles he covered the distance in no time.  Like a shot he sprung from the water and began to climb aboard the little boat, much to the man’s astonishment.  But the Pearl Diver did not notice one of Molly’s archers on a dilapidated barge at the front of the ironclad.  The man drew his bow with skill and fired at the newly appeared threat to his group’s treasure, hitting Salin’s sword arm, almost pinning it to his side. The Pearl Diver fell back, blacked out, and sank beneath the waves.
     Over on the rock by the black-hulled ship, Randilas weakly climbed higher to escape the Snake, but it was no use.  It eventually caught up to him, and try as he did to defend himself, the Snake was able to get ahold of his leg; and as it clamped down, with a snap of his head, the creature yanked the Archer from the rocks, and he fell into the sea below, passing out as he fell.

Marny crosses over the gangway to the Ironclad, spotting her Uncle along the way.

          While all this was going on, Marny was hurriedly moving across the gangway above the Barbarian ship.   She spotted her Uncle lying on it’s deck, and could see him move a little, so knew he was not dead, though he seemed to be unconscious.   She would need to find a way down to him.  But before she could do that, she heard shouts from the far side of the Ironclad about an unclaimed treasure.  A spark lit behind her eyes; if she could recover another treasure, her Uncle would be so proud!  She dashed across the rest of the gangway, and climbed down onto the top of the engine house.  From there The Warden could see the treasure lying in a large mastless boat.  As she climbed down the engine house, one of Skorri’s Crewmen reached the treasure first. Even though Marny was already weak and tired from the magic she had been doing all day,  she worked up her courage and launched herself at the sailor,  sword drawn.  The man easily deflected the Elf girl’s attack, and with his backswing prepared to finish her off.  But the young Warden had good reflexes, and she was just able to bring her sword around and deflect his blow, knocking it downward.  The Crewman’s sword sliced down the front of Marny’s boot, neatly pealing the leather away from her leg, and the steel landed with a thunk in the top of the boot, sinking through her foot and into the deck below.  The pain shot up the young Elf’s leg, causing her stomach to flip and her head to spin.  She tossed backwards as the boat rocked, her foot still pinned to the deck, and the girl’s ankle twisted as her head hit the side of the boat with a crack.   The Warden’s world went black as fire and sparks danced behind her eyes…

         Lord Fortrywn awoke with a start, and found himself in his bed on the Silver Sword.  The first thing he noticed was the noise, and the bright light streaming in through his cabin window.  It was loud…his mind was foggy but he tried to put the pieces together. The indiscernible shouting, chains jangling, somewhere a horse whinnied…then the smells hit him; fish, tar, spices…it was a port. He quickly looked around, and he saw his Niece sitting by his bed, and at the foot stood the ship’s healer.  The old Elf looked at him with concern, “How do you feel, my Lord?"  Lord Fortrywn’s thoughts turned to himself.  He seemed to be in one piece. What had happened?  He shifted in the bed, and that’s when the pain hit him; a hot spike in his chest. "Try not to move too much, my Lord”, the healer added. “It was a very bad wound." 
    The Heritor stopped moving, and asked hoarsly,"Where are we?”
    Marny spoke up at that point, “Uncle, we are docked in Corlair, on the mainland.” Her face reddened, and she talked in short bursts.. “I didn’t know what to do… And the healer said you might die…if we didn’t get a special healing potion…  And there was no one left I could get advice from…  So I gave the order to leave the Archipelago… and head for the closest port.”
    All the Heritor said was, “Where is Gwyn?”
    Marny’s face went from reddened to white, and she swallowed deeply and then fought back tears, “She’s…she’s dead, Uncle."  And a tear began to run down her face.
    Lord Fortrywn closed his eyes, and the room felt like it was spinning. Gwynwater gone? He couldn’t believe it.  But somehow he could feel it was true.  She had passed on to the Golden Shore.  He wished he had been there for her in the end.
     With his eyes still closed, he said, "Leave me.  I need to rest, and think.” and then he turned his head, and opening his eyes, looked piercingly at his niece,  “Later, I want to hear everything that happened.”
   The healer exited the cabin as the girl stood awkwardly, “Yes, Uncle."  And she reached over and grabbed a delicately carved crutch from where it leaned against the wall.  It was covered in small green leaves and white flowers, and Lord Fortrywn realized it was a living plant as well as a crutch. Tucking the crutch under her arm, the girl turned to leave, and the Heritor noticed then the bandage around her foot and lower leg.
    "You’re foot, girl?” he snapped.
     And Marnilne stopped at the cabin door, and turned.  Looking down at the foot, not meeting her Uncle’s gaze, she said simply, “I lost two toes, Uncle.  Fighting for a treasure."  Sadness welled up inside again. Her uncle had no reply, as he absorbed this information.  She shrugged resignedly to herself, and backing out of the cabin door, closed it softly behind her.

The final post-game roll call.

 Epilogue:

     I feel like I say this every week, but: Wow, what a game!  And a long game, too!  Losing three of my party in the first turn was a big letdown to start off with. And then the carnage continued for 8 more turns!  (The game was a total of 9 turns!)  One by one my crew fell, with only Arbyn with her treasure being able to escape unscathed.
     And the bad luck continued in the after-game stage too, with me rolling Badly Wounded for Lord Fortrywn, and then Permanent Injury for Marnilyne; with her result roll for that being "lost toes”?!  Not even something heroic or dramatic.   Hoping the bad luck was behind me, I started rolling for crew, and then first off rolled a 2 for Gwynwater the Hunter.  Dead. 😦  I was so sorry to see her go; she was a favorite.  I really liked the figure I used for her, and she was fun to write.  The rest of the rolls were better, with everyone being okay; except for Bry, who ended up being Wounded in her fight with the Shark.
     I ended up with only one treasure, but that was Magic Light Armor +1 F, which is pretty nice.  But no gold though.
     With my Hunter dead, and the loss of an Archer a couple games ago, I decided it was time to head back to port; as my firepower was now too under-strength to be competitive.  I sold the Magic 2-Handed Sword (350 GC), and the Superior Dagger (80 GC) I found in the last game to fund the trip back to the mainland (-200 GC), and pay for a new Hunter (-100 GC), new Archer (-50 GC), and the Healing Potion (-75 GC) to let me use my Heritor at full strength next time.  Ah, well; easy come, easy go.
        The scenario was treacherous.  Luckily I did do better than many of the others with the climbing from ship to ship; with Salin the Pearl Diver being the lone extreme exception; ending up stuck in the water for 3 turns!  Unfortunately, where he fell in the sea was closed off on all sides and allowed no way for him to swim away.  Also, thankfully, the Talonjacks all but ignored me.  When they appeared, Skorri did a good job of either shooting them out of the sky, or using his Beast Warden to control them.  Others weren’t so lucky.
     Final analysis, I shouldn’t have gone fool-heartedly chasing after treasures with lone figures.  I need to be more conservative, and stop risking my key crew on wild chases.  I think I also need to stick together better.  It won’t allow me to cover as much ground, but it will allow me to have the strength I need wherever I do go.
   

via One More Gaming Project http://onemoregamingproject.blogspot.com/2018/04/ghost-archipelago-campaign-18-game-4.html
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Battle in a Box Contest at Fall In 2018

Buck

This is a reminder to being to prepare your submission for the Battle in a Box contest.

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Brian Ivers’ St. Mere Eglise Game with Combat Patrol

Buck

Brian Ivers sent me another battle report from one of his Combat Patrol games.  He agreed to let me post it here.  Brian does a great job of taking pictures during his games.  I never remember to do that.  (And I love the name of the platoon leader in this game.)


Imagine if you will, paratroopers from many different units scattered throughout the Normandy countryside. The full moon overhead is darkened by the shadows of the bocage.  The sound of anti-aircraft batteries populates the night air. The constant drone of hundreds of aircraft overhead provides a comforting hum. The sleepy village of St Mere Eglise is fighting a fire near the town square.

Its dark:  maximum visibility is 6 inches in the bocage and 9 inches along main roads and in the middle of the fields. The Paratroopers can’t see the anti-aircraft batteries, only the flash and sound of their guns.

Lt. John “Buck” Surdu has 25 Paratroopers, a machine gun team from the 101stAirborne with three men, and a .30 Cal Machine Gun with 400 rounds, a team from his own platoon, 4 men of the 82nd All American, and apparently all lost in Normandy Divison.  Buck has his Platoon Sergeant “Mad Mike” Monagan. There are two other rifle sections of 6 men each from various units of the 82nd Airborne plus a bazooka team.  The dice seen in the pictures represent the units’ activation numbers.  If a figure is a leader it gets a command die that indicates the unit activates when that card is drawn from the Activation deck.

They advance towards the village. They hear anti aircraft batteries peppering their buddies above. The flashes represent  the area the fire is coming from.  “No animals, real or plastic, were injured during the playing of this battle.”  One of the teams lose a Browning Automatic rifleman as they move forward and have to stop to look for him. These random events happen in war, I made a random event table for it.  Mad Mike is choking private Jones’ team leader, when Buck interupts his councelling session to deploy the teams for battle.

One of the teams finds a parachute in the bocage, a random event, and with it a weapons and ammo pod containing grenades, .30 cal linked ammo, and bandoliers of M1 ammo.  “God must love paratroopers,” Sergeant Masters says to no one in particular.  The platoon distributes ammo and moves on.  [Editor’s note:  Why is the sky blue?  Because God loves the infantry.  And he loves paratroopers too!”]

The Americans resume their marching to the sound of the guns and their objective past the cross roads in the city.  The anti-aircraft position is up ahead.  The plastic orange fire markers indicate general direction the flashes and sound are coming from.

The platoon splits once the recon elements discover the Anti-Aircraft positions. One half attacks the Germans on their left of their advance, the other the right.

A base of fire with the .30 Cal, Screaming Eagles team covers Buck’s advance towards the preoccupied German AA team.  The AA team is rated Green for Guts (morale in Combat Patrol), while the paratroopers are rated Elite.

Buck sets up a base of fire, leaving Mad Mike and the 101stguys with a rifle section.  Buck pushes forward with the assault element, fixed bayonets, and a bad attitude. “Mr. hand grenade is your friend.”  Training came in handy as the paratroopers rain grenades on the unsuspecting Germans.

The plastic overlay indicates the grenade blast radius.  Cards are flipped, and casualties assessed.  One German dies as he is thrown on the grenade by his courageous buddy.  Another is wounded, and all are concussed except two outside the cone.  The different elastic bands indicate wounds and morale condition.  Tipped over figures indicate dead/incapacitated Germans.  Buck cleans up the bad guys in the AA pit and pulls his support element forward.

Buck secures the first AA position and displaces the base of fire, who under Mad Mike, push towards Buck’s position. Corporal Josh Cromer handles the rest of the platoon across the road and into an awaiting sand-bagged position. “Geronimo!” and hand grenades take the position.  [It’s a good thing they found the weapons pod with all those grenades!]

The paratroopers set up another assault and push into the second AA battery.  Cromer’s team lays down suppressive fire as Sgt Andy Krieg’s team rushes to the second AA position.  With fixed bayonets and no serious adult supervision, the teenage paratroopers close with the enemy who have been killing their buddies in the air.

Corporal Sanders gets a bullet in the throat going into the bunker and dies with his bayonet embedded in the chest of the man who shot him.  The German AA garrison is alerted, and men begin to come out of their quarters to assist their comrades.

An arial shot shows the two AA positions and relative advances of the two teams.

It’s all over.  The AA crew lies motionless, their weapon silenced.  A fierce hand-to-hand took place, but trained elite infantry will usually defeat untrained artillerymen.  The paratroopers must press on.  There is a hidden team inside the town who had dropped with F Company where most had been killed or captured.  They make their presence known to Sgt Krieg as he occupies the wall across from the road. The team has almost no ammo but a nice .30 cal.

Buck has a determined counter attack heading towards him.

The counter attack is broken up by concentrated fire.  Enfilade fire from Cpl Cromer’s team in the sand bagged position and Buck’s forward element firing from behind the cover of a hedgerow. The Germans await the paratroopers in the town.

The German garrison has no idea how many or what kind of support the Americans have, which is good news for Buck, Mad Mike, and Sgt Krieg’s’ teams.

Two groups of paratroopers occupy the road before the town. The Americans have 5 wounded, two dead, and another guy who went missing.

Someone is yelling at them from the bakery in front of them. “Sounds French,” Pvt. King yells. (Another random event.)

Corporal Dubois from Church Point, Louisiana, said, “They are saying ‘don’t shoot.’”  It’s a family, and they say the house is empty, but the boche are in the houses across from them.  The bazooka team, led by “Lumberjack” Hansen, begins to shoot holes in the house to support Buck’s advance.  Buck and his troopers move towards the house.  The Germans are stunned and begin to withdraw from the town.

The Germans take casualties and are ready to scram as their morale is low and casualties high.

The team that pushed across the road took 2 dead and 1 wounded.  The lower floor opened up on them just after the bazooka round impacted.

The objective is taken, but can they hold?  Buck organizes the defense of the town. He places teams in the church tower and places teams in the buildings near the cross roads.  It’s getting light.

A team of 101st come running down the road.  Mad Mike yells at them to get in a building. “Damn right, Mac.  There’s a tank chasing us.”

The 101st team runs into the destroyed house while their brothers attached to the 82nd begin to feed their MG and mow down the supporting grenadiers of the Puma armored car.

The Germans advance slowly.

The machine gun “processes” the advancing Germans.

Mad Mike empties his Thompson into the crowd as his team lays on the lead. “ Where’s that bazooka?”

The Puma can’t see the fire from the church tower, so hoses down the buildings in front of him, wounding a Screaming Eagle and killing an All American.  The German  grenadiers are caught in a cross fire and are cut to pieces. The Puma begins to pull back.  The battle will continue.

Waiting for the Sherman’s to give us a “very nice edge.”  To be continued….

The game system is Combat Patrol™: World War II.  The action is generated by cards drawn for each side. This produces movement morale, casualties, etc.  The models are Flames of War. The buildings are a mix of 4Ground. E-plastic, and Flames of War prebuilt.  The trees and hedges are from kits and scratch-built railway hobby parts.  We have 4 people playing, and I am the Game Master.  This plays quickly and has a lot of role play elements to it.  The mat on the table is for ease of movement and is GMT product from Command Colors.

Hope you liked it.

Brian.

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Torture Equipment- The Rack: Bones 3 Figure

Chris Palmer

   It was another busy week this past week, so I selected the last piece from the Bones 3 Torture Chamber set to paint.
      I prepped the pieces of the figure in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving them a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying them.    I then assembled the rack with Gorilla superglue gel.  When the glue had set, I glued the rack to a pair of primed 1"x 1" steel bases with Aleene’s Tacky glue (I would have just used a 2" x 1", but I didn’t have one.), and then glued the mounted figure to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of Elmer’s glue.

      I began by painting the whole thing with Americana “Neutral Grey”.  When that dried, I gave the whole piece a wash with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash. 

      When the wash was dry, I drybrushed the whole thing with Folk Art “Barn Wood”.   Next, I painted the ropes with Folk Art “Porcelain White”, and the metal fittings with Reaper MSP “Scorched Metal”.

     I let everything dry for a bit again, and then gave the rope and the metal bits a wash with Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.  When the wash was dry, I highlighted the rope with the base “Porcelain White”, and I highlighted the metal with Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey”.  After that I dabbed on some Winsor Newton"Peat Brown" Ink here and there on the table to look like assorted stains.  I also put a little of the “Nuln Oil” on the wheel spokes to look like stains from constant hand contact.  Lastly, I painted the base with the “NeutralGrey”.
     I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote".

     I’m really happy with this one.  I think the aged wood looks just right, and the  addition of the staining adds a nice touch of authenticity.

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2018/04/torture-equipment-rack-bones-3-figure.html
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Torture Equipment- X-Rack and Hot Iron Brazier: Bones 3 Fgures

Chris Palmer

     This past week, because I was getting over a cold, and it was Easter weekend, I selected something relatively easy and quick to paint; the X-rack and Hot Iron from the Bones 3 Torture Chamber set.
      I prepped the figures in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added and then rinsing and drying.   I then glued the X-rack to a primed 1.5" square steel base with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and the Hot Iron brazier to a 7/8" black-primed fender washer.  I then glued the figures to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue.

      I began by painting the Brazier Ceramcoat “Black”, and the  X-rack with Americana “Mississippi Mud”.   I then drybrushed the Brazier with Folk Art “Medium Grey” followed by Crafter’s Acrylic “Storm Cloud Grey”.    I moved then back to the X-rack, and gave it a wash with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash.  When I was done applying the wash, I went back to the Brazier, and gave the coals a light wash with some thinned Iron Wind Metals “Orange” Ink to hopefully make them look like they had a heat glow.

      When the “Orange” ink and the “Agrax Earthshade"  wash were dry, I drybrushed the X-rack with some Folk Art "Barn Wood”.  I then painted the Brazier itself , and the little bit of the poker sticking out, along with the fittings on the X-rack, with Reaper MSP “Scorched Metal”.  After the “Scorched Metal” had time to dry,  I applied a little Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash to the “Scorched Metal”. When that was dry, I hit the fittings on the X-rack with some thinned Accent “Golden Oxide” to try to give them a little rusty appearance.  Lastly, I painted the bases with Americana “Neutral Grey”, then when it was dry, I gave the carved rocks under the Brazier a little dab with some of the “Nuln Oil” to help accent the crevices between them.
        I let the pieces dry overnight and the next day I gave them a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, another overnight dry, and I sprayed them with Testor’s Dullcote". 

        Well, they’re very nice.  Nothing exciting; but they’re done, and thats a good thing.

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2018/04/torture-equipment-x-rack-and-hot-iron.html
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Ghost Archipelago Campaign Game 3 – Drichean Cages

Don Hogge
“You know where you are?  You’re down in the jungle baby, you’re gonna diiiiiiiieeeee…….”

The lyrics bounced around in my head as we were preparing for our next Ghost Archipelago Campaign Game, the second one in the rule book titled: The Drichean Cages.  We ended up with five of our regular players plus one guest.  We placed three cages containing prisoners down the center of the table, placed treasures, and then drew for starting positions.  I was able to select a corner position which would give me at least one protected flank.  Across from Skorri was Heritor Griffin, to the right was Heritor Herndon, and diagonally to the right was Heritor Kragmar (guest player).  Further down the table were Heritor’s Gregorious and Fortrywn.



One of the cages with prisoner and guards

You can find Lord Fortrywn’s report here: Ghost Archipelago Campaign ‘18, Game 3: The Drichean Cages

Skorri’s end of the table

Skorri’s story begins here:

“GRIFFINNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!” Skorri bolts upright in his bed and immediately feels the pain in his head from his encounter in the jungle a few….not even certain how many days ago it has been.  He can tell he is on board his ship and that they are under sail.  Other than that, he is not sure how he got back to the ship, nor the status of his crew.  His hand went to his head and he could feel the bandages wrapping his head, as well as a steady throbbing pain.  Skorri laid back down on the bed and ran through the events that led to him being here…….

The sky was clear and a gentle, salt-laden breeze was blowing from the southeast.  Waves lapped gently again the hull of the ship as it pulled against the anchor chain.  Skorri and his crew climbed down into their boats to head to shore, once again following obscure passages written on moldy and decaying scrolls.  Hopefully this will be a productive exploration.  Anemone was busy praying to the Goddess of the seas and casting a few coppers into the water as a small sacrifice for good luck.

The boats slid into the white sand and the crew members nimbly leaped ashore.  Skorri consulted with Kukala and they quickly obtained their bearings.  Today’s target was the rumored location of a map stone near a large waterfall.  Of course the rumor included the usual tale of a large beast protecting the area.  With Kukala in the lead, the crew headed into the jungle.

A view of the table from atop the waterfall

After an hour of hacking there their way through the thick jungle underbrush, the crew emerged near a small stream.  Far off to the right, a majestic waterfall could be seen.  Immediately to the front, about 100 meters away, four Drichean warriors can be spotted.  They appear to be guarding a small cage containing a prisoner.  From the way he was dressed, the prisoner appears to be crew member from a sailing ship.  A quick conference was held and Skorri decided it was worth the risk of freeing him to see if he had any useful information.

Skorri’s crew

After moving slowly forward, Amras and Amrod find a good spot to snipe at the guards.  They both take aim at the nearest Drichean guard and let fly their arrows.  The guard is hit hard and falls to one knee, surveying the surrounding jungle looking for his assailants.  The other members of the crew move forward through the heavy brush trying to keep in cover.

Skorri notices movement in the brush behind the cage.  The way they appear to be sneaking up and keeping hidden makes him think its another crew, probably thinking of freeing the prisoner as well.  His thoughts are confirmed as he sees several arrows flying towards the Dricheans.

Further back in the brush, Anemone decides her talents aren’t needed yet.  She thinks it would be helpful to hinder any other crews who might be in the area today.  Anemone calls forth to the denizens of the jungle and successfully casts Beast Cry.  Blue Boy spots something laying in the brush and rushes forward to check it out.  It turns out to be a small chest which he quickly picks up and places in his pack.  His job done, he turns to head back to the beach.

Skorri shoots at a Drichean guard and misses his target.  He is angry with himself and feels his blood burning as he Surges to shoot again – and once more misses.  Kukala and Amrod fare no better as both of their shots fail to hit their mark.

Anemone joins in by casting Wrath of the Waves.  The water from the nearby stream rises up towards the Drichean but looses momentum at the end, merely drenching her target without damage.
Kukala reels back as he is hit hard by an arrow from Griffin’s crew (11 points of damage – ouch).
Off to the left, Chen lee moves forward to contest a treasure.  Unfortunately he doesn’t last long outnumbered three to one and Griffin’s crew claims a treasure.

Chen Lee challenges three of Griffin’s crew for a treasure

The clear, sunny day suddenly starts to darken as low cloud begin to form.  Gregorius and his Storm Warden must be nearby (Cloud Cover was cast).  Skorri, still angry at himself for failing to hit with his bow, draws his sword and charges forward.  He slams into the Drichean guard, spins around and skewers him with his sword.  Skorri then turns to face the other guard.

Skorri takes out a guard

As he moves into better cover, Kukala hastily fires an arrow towards Griffin’s crew but fails to hit anyone.  Anemone watches as Kukala pulls the arrow out of his shoulder.  She draws forth on her mastery of the power of the waves and casts Water of Life on him.  Kukala immediately feels better but is still far from being healed.

On the right flank, Hat Chet moves into the ancient ruins of an old temple and finds a small leather bag.  As he reaches down to pick up the satchel, he sees another crew member he doesn’t recognize climb into the ruined tower.  He pulls out his hatchet and signals to Wu and Amras for some support.  Fortunately the interloper, seeing Skorri’s three crew members, decide its not worth the trouble and climb back out of the ruins (He was a members of Kragmar’s crew).  With their departure, Hat Chet decides it is time for him to get the treasure back to the beach.  Skorri didn’t think too kindly of those who fail to properly recover treasure items.


Hat Chet claims a treasure

The clouds continue to thicken, further restricting line of sight.  Skorri moves into contact with the other Drichean guard.  A quick series of thrust, feints, and parries ends with the Drichean face down in the brush.  Skorri’s feels the hairs rise on the back of his neck as his heritor senses alert him to a spell being cast his way.  His blood burns as he activates his Spellshield, immediately putting an end to Griffin’s warden’s attempt to cast Wrath of the Waves.  Amrod and Amras both continue their poor shooting form by missing everything they shoot at – Skorri takes note to schedule some target practice time for them.

Skorri takes out another guard

 Anemone cast Water of Life on Kukala again.  Kukala takes a quick shot at Griffon but the arrow flies wide.  Skorri thinks to himself that all of his crew’s arrows must be defective.  But not those belonging to Griffin’s crew, Chen Lee is dropped with a single arrow to the chest.  Amrod finally hits a target with his bow, cause one whole point of damage to Griffin – I don’t think he even noticed.
Anemone reached into her tunic and pulled out a small bone whistle.  She blew hard but no one could hear any sound. A few moments later, a bone chilling roar rang out off in the distance – Anemone smiled, “Mangia bene amico mio.”  (A monarch had been summoned by the Beast Cry spell and entered directly behind Gregorius’ crew.  Beast Cry allows the caster roll at the end of each turn to see if a random creature enters the board)

The Monarch chases Gregorious’ crew through the jungle

Visibility has been greatly reduced as the clouds thicken once again (Line of sight reduced to 12").
Griffin picks up a huge stone and Hurls it at Skorri.  Skorri ducks but the stone still glances off his shoulder causing some minor damage.  One of Griffin’s crewmen charges into contact with Skorri.  Skorri goes through his thrust, feint, and parry maneuvers but is shocked when he feels the cold steel of the crewman’s sword bite deep into his side (caused 9 pints of damage).  Amras sees Skorri is in trouble and charges into the crewman, momentarily distracting him.  Skorri takes advantage of this and strikes the crewman in the head, knocking him to the ground.  Amras then has to quickly duck as an arrow flies out of the brush.


Skorri takes out one of Griffin’s crew

Kukala manages to hit Griffin with another arrow but it simply careens off his breatplate.  Anemone had witnessed the Skorri’s fight and the wound he received.  Knowing Skorri would be weakened by his injury, she manages to cast Water of Life on him.

Skorri falls to Griffin’s hurled rock

Skorri turns to thank Anemone.  In that same moment, hidden in a clump of jungle bushes, Griffin Hurls another rock at Skorri.  He fails to see it coming and the rock strikes his helm with a loud clang.  Skorri eyes roll up and he drops to the ground unconscious.

At this point, Amras entered Skorri’s room, “Good morning Sir, I see you are finally awake.  We are heading to the nearest port."  Seeing Skorri’s confusion, Amras adds, "Let me fill you in on what happened once you…..ummm…..got injured.”

Amras’ Story

The battle with Griffin’s crew continued without any quarter being given by either side……

Wu fights off one of Griffin’s crew, inflicting a severe wound to his arm (9 points of damage).  Amras is hit hard in the side by an arrow (9 points of damage).  Ignoring the wound, he draws a bead on Griffin and with vengeance on his mind, lets an arrow fly.  His aim is on target but Griffin is saved by his armor.  Anemone, still stunned by seeing Skorri fall, draws upon her anger to successfully call forth the power of the water to strike a fatal blow against one of Griffin’s crew.  The water rises up and crashes down on Griffin’s crew member drowning him (Successful casting of Wrath of the Waves).

Anemone’s Wrath of the Wave spell takes out one of Griffin’s crew

Another Drichean warrior runs out of the jungle and takes up a position to guard to the prisoner in the cage (random creature).  The chances of releasing the prisoner had pretty much vanished but the remaining members of Skorri’s crew were not about to let Griffin capture him.

Griffin Hurls another rock, this time the target is Kukala.  The rock hits his left arm, the shock causing him to blackout.  Later, when  he wakes up, he finds his arm had been broken.  That will take some time to heal (rolled Badly Injured on the Recovery table, will be sitting out the next game).  Amras and Amrod return fire but once again they both miss.  Anemone casts Water of Life on Amras, pushing it for 5 points of damage (which is okay since she is safely hidden behind cover).

Amrod dodges an arrow and is immediately attacked by Griffin’s man-at-arms.  The man-at-arms easily bests him.  Anemone counters by casting Wrath of the Waves on the man-at-arms but the water dissipates just before it strikes, causing no damage.

The dead pile up around the prisoner’s cage

Anemone watches as Griffin emerges from the thick brush where he had been cowardly hiding.  She quickly incants the words for Wrath of the Waves only to have Griffin activate his Spellshield ability and cancel her spell.  And while she was concentrating on casting, Griffin’s archer managed to sneak around behind her and fire an arrow.  Amras was momentarily in shock as he sees the arrow bursts out of Anemone’s chest, he knew right away she was gone.  She fell to the ground in a heap of robes (rolled a “1” for Anemone’s recovery roll).  Anemone’s death momentarily stunned the rest of the crew.

The roar of the nearby monarch galvanized everyone into action.  Griffin and his crew withdrew into the jungle carrying their wounded but leaving the prisoner still in the Drichean’s control.  One of Griffin’s crew looked like he was carrying a map stone.  Looks like the old scrolls were correct.

Amras and Wu rush to Skorri and quickly rig a stretcher.  Amrod groggily wakes up.  He moves to assist Kukala who is tenderly holding his broken arm.  He fashions a suitable sling for him.  They all pause momentarily beside Anemone, knowing that she had finished her last adventure.  A few silent prayers were said.  they then turned and headed towards the beach, and the safety of their ship.  They arrive to find Blue Boy and Hat Chet waiting for them.

Tiefer tries to take out an archer – spoiler alert – he fails

“I do not know what happened to Tiefer.  One moment he was there but when I looked back, he had disappeared.  We called out his name a couple times but didn’t have any time to conduct a search for him.  We could hear the roars of a monarch nearby – no one wanted to stay and face that creature.  We waited at the beach as long as we could but he never showed up.”

While the crew waited for boats to be rowed ashore, Chen Lee manages to stumble onto the beach before collapsing from a loss of blood.  The crew place him in a boat along with Skorri and Kukala and they all row out to the ship.  Their heads are hung low in the shame of being beaten so badly.  Even the two treasures they managed to recover brought no real joy as Amras realized Skorri’s magic sword was not in his scabbard.  There’d be hell to pay for that (Skorri rolled a Close Call on the Recovery chart meaning he lost all items he was carrying).  They knew they would lose valuable time sailing back to a port to recover and refit.  But none of them would ever forget the name of Griffin.  His name was written into the book and underlined twice.  Retribution will be had.

“We did manage to recover a magic looking helm (Piscian Helmet) and 40 gold coins.  Get some rest, we’ll wake you when we near the port,” and with that, Amras got up and closed the door.

Tiefer had been slowly moving around to ambush Griffin’s archer.  He charged out of the brush, knowing this would be an easy fight.  The archer wass startled by Tiefer’s charge.  He spun around wielding his bow like a staff.  The bow struck Tiefer on the left temple with a loud crack.  His knees buckled and his newly acquired sword slipped from his grip (Superior Hand Weapon +1 Fight found during the last game).  Tiefer had a look of astonishment on his face as his eyes closed for the last time (rolled a “3” on Tiefer’s recovery roll).

The end of game photo

Epilogue

What a great game as player’s fortunes waned back and forth!  Skorri and his crew got spanked hard with 60% of them out of action.  The loss of Anemone will force a return to port meaning some of the few magic items will have to be sold off to make the trip.  She will have to be replaced so I have some decisions to make concerning what kind of warden to replace her with.  In hindsight, Anemone shouldn’t have pushed that last heal, she would have survived the arrow hit.

Anemone’s Beast Cry spell bringing in a Monarch on the other end of the table was great – not so much for Gregorious and Fortrywn but at the other end of the table, everyone was entertained.  The game was a bit unusual as the six crews seemed to be playing three separate battles, centered on the prisoner cages.  Little to no flank action – which was probably a good thing given the number of Drichean guards.  No one managed to get away with a central treasure (the prisoners).   Fortrywn came close but between “Hail Mary” crossbow shots and the Monarch devouring Gregorious’ last crewman, he was denied his hard fought over prize.  When Skorri heard the story, he got a good chuckle out of the final outcome.

As for Skorri’s tribulations this game – Griffin – we shall meet again……

“I’ll chase him round the Lost Isles, and round the Ghost Archipelago, and round perdition’s flames before I give him up!”

A view of the action between Gregorious and Fortrywn at the other end of the table
 

from Wargaming Notes http://wargamingnotes.blogspot.com/2018/04/ghost-archipelago-campaign-game-3.html
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from Tumblr http://tumblr.hawks-club.org/post/172489728513
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