Thursday, March 24, 2011

Quatres Bras Redux

Reille's Corps advances.
Quatre Bras is one of those scenarios that I keep coming back to for various reasons. This time it was the acquisition of the Irregular Miniatures LTD. Napoleonic Boxed Rules and order counters for A.G.S. available from Angel Barracks.

This also spurred the completion or rather first table use of another approach to built up areas on the wargames table.
Thyle, foreground right, Quatre Bras, background right and the settlements of Piraumont,  
Gemioncourt, and Pierrepoint, center foreground to background.

I love nice building models but for games where the ground scale is 1" to 25 yards or more (the game pictured is 1"=100 yards) the building foot print is all wrong. 

The standard solution  is usually to call a single building a town, or complex. Others prefer to use buildings of a smaller scale than the figures being used, for example 15mm buildings with 25mm figures. However neither approach has proved very satisfying.

It occurred to me that card facades stood around an open area would work and would also allow for figure placement within the built up areas. As it turns out there is precious little 28mm card Napoleonic buildings out there and if you know of any please drop me a line or leave a comment : )

Armed with scans from Mike Robinson's excellent "The Battle of Quatre Bras 1815", I cobbled together a couple of villages from period art work depicting Quatres Bras and a farm from photos of Gemioncourt. 

Would love to make similar built up areas for the other theaters of the Napoleonic Wars but as yet have not had much luck finding suitable illustrations.

While I am sure this approach will not win any scenic grandeur awards, it works and looks quite tidy on the table.
Dutch Belgian militia rout as the Prince of Orange rides to join the defenders of Grand Pierrepoint

As for the went quite well actually. The opening cannonade took the head off Saxe-Weimar but his troops fought with great tenacity, routing Marbais' brigade before being forced to retire into the Bois de Bossu.

Bylandt's brigdade was routed by Campy's and flanked to the left by Husson who took up position in Piraumont.

Ney then sent Jerome's Division supported by the cavalry straight up the road to Brussels where they are about to collide with Picton's men who are arriving a bit tardy.

As for the rules they are quite simple although require a good deal of addition and subtraction which can get tedious after a while. Units are organized into brigades and each brigade is rated for its manpower down the tens, and cohesion which is generated using an average dice and some factors. Units lose both headcount and cohesion as a result of combat. Losses will eventually render a brigade a mere shell if not routed completely off the table..

Turns run thus: Approach movement, Artillery, Musketry, Maneuver, Melee, and finally checking to see if any units increased their cohesion by resting. 

Approach movement is basically straight ahead and used to get within 150 yards of the enemy. New orders are also issued and sent on their way to the target brigades at this time.

Artillery fire uses the poundage of the battery multiplied by the number of pieces to determine casualties inflicted and these may be doubled or halved by a number of factors.

Musketry uses cohesion plus a few modifiers to generate a factor that is cross referenced with the percent of the brigade able to fire as indicated by the brigade's formation.

Maneuver is used to adjust formations and heading as well as to close for melee. This can be quite tricky as suits the period as firefights may result in loss of cohesion stalling the advance.

Melee again cross references cohesion and modifiers with headcount modified by formation.

Finally units that have not been in combat this turn, and are a certain distance from the enemy may slowly regain lost cohesion.

All in all it works quite well. There are a few iffy areas that any experienced wargamer should be able to hash out and of course there is a good deal of bookkeeping.

Well that's all for now and as always thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Giglamps at Fugitive's Drift: Save the Colours!

Lt. Giglamps of the Dragoons
We last left Giglamps amidst the chaos of the Albion defeat at Isandlwana. Although only attached to the regiment as a supernumerary, as one of the only mounted officers left, Lt. Col. Lugdush entrusted the Kyng's Colour of the 21st "Eyes in Gourds" Regiment of Foot to Giggers for safe keeping as Lugdush and his remaining Orcs steeled themselves for the final onslaught of the Halfling amabutho.

The road to Orc's Drift had already been cut by the advanced elements of the uNodproudfoot Corps so Lt. Giglamps was forced to take a more southerly route over broken country to a somewhat more treacherous crossing of the Buffalo River, now, and forever, known as Fugitive's Drift.

This is his story.

Feel free to skip over the bit between the dotted lines if you want to skip the background and get right to how events unfolded.

With the impending release of the "Muskets and Mohawks 2" rules from Two Hour Wargames, I decided to use these rules for what could just as easily have been a Flintloque scenario.

The core system of M&M2 was actually written to cover the entire spectrum of what is commonly called "the Horse and Musket" period of military history. When Ed asked me to collaborate on  a re-write of his Muskets and Mohawks and Black Powder Battles, I was only too happy to oblige. The system already covered all the required troop types and weapons as well as some rules for things like volley fire and taking trophies off of the fallen so it was an easy fit. Ed added in some great canoe and artillery rules and while I have not seen the final product I expect those of you who are fans of Two Hour Wargames and Horse and Musket gaming will be well pleased with the result.

Now clearly the adventures of Giglamps are not only not set in the French and Indian wars but are indeed not even set on Earth. Giglamps inhabits the world of Valon, the setting of Alternative Armies  Flintloque and Slaughterloo games. Valon is populated by the usual suspect races and a few others. However what sets Valon apart is that due to the machinations of Mordred the Usurper, Emperor of the Ferach Elves, Magyke has been relegated to the wilder places of the world and cold steel and black powder are the rule rather than the exception. The technology is currently about the same of that of the Napoleonic Wars here on Earth, the Elves locked in an unending series of wars with their neighbors, perhaps foremost among them the Orcs of Albion led by Good Kyng Gorge.

Our story takes place in a remote corner of Valon, the Naal, at the very tip of Afri.The events of the clash between Albion's forces and the rebellious Halflings of Shaka Sackville-Baggins are recounted elsewhere on this blog.

For our purposes it need only be stated that that move rates were taken from Flintloque by quartering the fastest move in that game, given in cm and using the result as the normal move in inches in M&M2.

Orcs have the attribute Brawler. Halflings, being the tough little blighters they are, also receive the Brawling attribute but this is canceled out by their other attribute; Runt. Hobgoblins and Goblins receive no attributes and play as standard grunts with the exception of their differing move rates.


The Table:
View of the table at start. Giglamps is in the far center, just entering  play. 
Terrain was set out on a 4'x8' surface representing the the broken terrain leading to the Drift. I wanted this to break down easily after play so didn't go all out with brush and boulders. However the far half of the table where Giggers enters is a plateau with very steep sides that extends about halfway down the play area.

In order to descend from the plateau a figure must first find a practicable path. In order to do this a figure moves to the edge of the plateau where they wish to descend and throw a single d6. The result of the roll is the value for a path test. The figure then rolls 2d6 compared against the path value. If both dice "pass" the figure may descend at half speed. If only one dice is passed, the figure may descend only to the bottom of the slope and must give up it's mount if any and proceed on foot. If no dice are passed this part of the slope is impassable and the figure must move at least three inches further along the slope in either direction and try again.

Six "Possible Enemy Forces" or PEF's were placed on the table at the start of play, each one in the approximate center of  1/6th of the table surface and out of sight of Giglamp's entry point. As these PEF's come into Giglamp's Line of Sight a die is rolled to reveal what figures are place on the table in their stead:

1: 1 mounted Goblin or Hobgoblin also fleeing the Halflings.
2: 2 dismounted Goblin's or Hobgoblins also fleeing the Halflings.
3-6: That number of Halfling Warriors are placed on the table and will endeavor to attack the nearest Orc, Goblin or Hobgobin for the remainder of the game.
Giglamps enters the table.
Giglamps is a Rep 5 character armed with pistol, carbine, sword, and standard.
Any Goblin or Hobgoblin will be Rep 4 and armed with a carbine and big knife.
When any Halfling  has the opportunity to throw a spear a dice will be rolled and on a 5 or 6 a spear may be thrown.

With any luck Giggers will recruit a few friends along the way to ease his passage,. In any event the PEF's make the scenario endlessly re-playable.
First two PEF's resolved.
Giggers came on the table at the gallop and quickly rode abreast of the first two PEF's. These were resolved as 4 Halfling and 3 Halflings. Not a good start. Naturally the warriors started out in pursuit. Their furry little feet cannot hope to keep up with a horse on the level, however Giggers may be slowed at the slope down to the Buffalo River Gorge.
Two more PEF's revealed
As Giggers approaches the slope, two more PEF's are resolved. Each is replaced by 5 more Halflings. Seventeen to one are long odds but Giggers is made of stern stuff indeed!
In a stroke of good luck, Lt. Giglamps finds an easy passage down the slope and puts all the Halflings behind him.
Down in the valley
How long will his luck hold? PEF 5 is revealed as 5 more Halflings near the river bank. Things are looking grim for our hero.
Two of the fastest warriors managed to attack as Giglamps rode by. A throwing spear missed and one warrior was killed outright, while the second, attacking from the rear was kicked out of the fight.
Ride Giglamps Ride!
Things are starting to look up! Giggers has almost reached the river...
Almost Home.

...and is soon crashing through the shallows. The final PEF is resolved as...SIX Halflings.
What little luck the Lieutenant has been able to count on finally deserted him as the Halflings activated first in the following turn.
The noose tightens.
Swarming onto the banks the Halflings behind Giggers loose a hail of throwing spears, while those to his front race to meet him on their side of the river.
Unhorsed, Alone, and Unafraid...

The Lieutenant's trusty steed was skewered by a long blade. Giggers managed to dismount rather than be dragged down the raging river with his dying mount. He even managed to retain the standard. Giggers took advantage of the Star attribute; "Shot Out from Under Him", to survive the loss of his mount and manged to pass a simple challenge test to hold on to the flag.
The far shore offers no respite.
Dragging himself, and the weighty standard, from the current a bedraggled Giglamps was met by a welcoming committee of six warriors. He raised his pistol to fire, only to have the flint fail to ignite his damp powder.

The warriors charged home, some throwing spears as they came.

Weakened by his ordeal and sporting a fair array of throwing spears where their ought not to be any, Giglamps was overcome at the last.
The spoils of war.
The whooping warriors trod on him with their furry feet and carried off the banner. One warrior carried out the ritual disemboweling of the foe...Giggers was fortunate indeed to have been carrying a stock of sausages in his coat, saved from the camp during his hurried flight. He would live to fight again : )

Well that certainly could have gone better. Figured I would at least get some help rather than the 28 Halflings that turned up. Still might have made it had the throwing spears not killed the horse, or had activations gone differently.

Oh well. You rolls your dice and you takes your chances as my Daddy always said (he never really said that).

The scenario worked out well and was very exciting right up to the end. With a little tweaking this could be used for a number of similar situations; fugitives from Braddock's defeat must escape pursuing Indians, or a century later fugitives from Custer's defeat must do the same. Put the moccasin on the other foot and warriors must flee Bad Hand's men in the Palo Duro. This kind of "run the gauntlet" scenario has many uses.

The rules worked great although the way this played out some aspects of play played no role. In Muskets and Mohawks 2, I've introduced a number of new concepts to THW. One is the difference between volley fire and independent fire. Figures firing independently fire pretty much as in previous offerings, however as the force commander the player can never be sure they will be loaded and ready when you need them to be. Firing by volley allows you to rely on their being able to fire although with less accuracy, and all of this is determined by player choice and figure placement. No extra bookkeeping is involved.

The other major introduction is that of the Universal Charge table. Rather than one side testing to see if they charge, and the other to see if they stand, both sides roll opposing dice in a manner familiar to players of WHAA. However the results are tuned to Horse and Musket warfare and result move often in one side or the other baulking at the last moment rather than closing in with cold steel.

Well as always, thanks for stopping by,
and until next time, keep your powder dry!

BTW Terrain is from the Terrain Guy and Warzone GTS. Giglamps is an Alternative Armies figure and I don't know who made the Zulu.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chapter Three: Something's Rotting in Montaigne

Brother Sergeant Hengist and his companion Silva the Elf are the characters from the front and end pieces of Warrior Heroes; Armies and Adventures.  I want to assign them the investigation into the disturbance at Spoil’s Farm. With that in mind I thought we should catch up with them as they go about their current assignment...

Brother Sergeant Hengist

Following the trail of the Worm that Writhes Beneath had led Hengist to Montaigne.  Capturing a suspected cultist was his first real break in the case. Davenport’s initial “interview” had provided tantalizingly little evidence on which to proceed. Tomorrow the villain would be put to the question again… if only.

Only… Hengist cleared the sleep from his mind as he answered Davenport’s repeated pounding on the door of his chamber. “Brother Sergeant, we are needed at the Watch station immediately!”

“Stop that infernal racket dwarf, I hear you well enough. I trust Silva as well as half of Montaigne have heard you by now.”

A moment later the Witch Hunter and his companions were on their way.

The Watch station was in chaos. “Captain Bayard, what in the name of all that is Holy is going on here?”
The duty Captain, face begrimed with dust, looked much the worse for wear. “It is your prisoner, Brother. Gone from his cell through a breach in the floor.”

“’Gone’ Captain? You mean to tell me that he simply tunneled out of your jail?”

“No Brother, he was closely watched and had no chance at digging. Something bored into his cell, taking him and two of my men in an instant.”

The Party inspect the jail cell.

In country, Ekra.
Brother Sergeant Hengist, Rep 5, Hard 3, Pistol, Sword, Stake, Elite Trained, Social 3, Move 8
Silva, Elf, Rep 5, Hard 3, Long Bow, Sword, Elite Trained, Healer, Move 8
Davenport, Dwarf, Rep 5, Hard 2, Two Pistols, Short sword, Cheroot, Elite Trained, Theif, Move 6
Combined CV 16.

Caster Alphonse  Zunft der roten Hemd Rep 4 AC 2, move 8 sword, caster, CV 1

2 x Watchmen Rep 3, AC 2, move 8

Total CV 19

Some game notes:
Again the plot is a mish mash of pulp literature and Hammer-esque films. This bit owes a great deal to the "Witch Hunter" cycle of stories by C. L. Werner. The books are published by Black Library and if you like this sort of thing, do seek them out and have a read.

This series of games also made use of "The Creature Crafter" by Tom Pigeon. This book is a supplement usable with any game. It provides a scheme for possibly altering the stats and capabilities of "stock" monsters, providing an element of surprise to encounters.

Now back to the story...

Sewer of Dooooooooommmmmm... 

The party enter the tunnel to find it filled with sewage.

Caster passes 1 on water proof spell with a passing die of 3 and may protect only three items: Hengist’s powder, Davenport’s powder and his spell book. Silva will be unable to use her bow.

The place stinks and the tunnel leads to the main sewer system. No traps are triggered.

First encounter minor demon and sorceress.

The beast charges Hengist who holds it at bay long enough for Silva to join the fight. From the other side of the channel, Davenport repeatedly fired into the flanks of the beast. The fight raged on for many turns with first one side then the other having the advantage.

All the while Alphonse and the cultist engaged in a dual of magic, while ephemeral shapes could occasionally be glimpsed in the murky effluvia beyond the monster.
Battle Rages

At one point the cultist became dazed after attacking Alphonse. Seeking to take advantage of this, Davenport made his way past the monster and towards the sorceress. He managed a shot which hit the caster but resulted in no damage.

Just as this was going on, the Beast struck Silva down and out of the fight. Stunned, Alphonse fell back while surprisingly the watchmen did not.

Silva is down, the Casters are stunned!

Hengist kept the monster occupied while the watchmen pulled Silva to safety. She was carrying a couple of healing potions so one Watchman fumbled through her pack in search thereof.

With a flurry of blows the beast felled Hengist, who sure must have been killed had he not slipped at an opportune moment. However his fall resulted in a blow to the head that left him too out of  the fight.
This was all too much for the Watchmen who promptly fled.

Alphonse however, emboldened by the circumstances cast against the beast with good result. From here on Alphonse and Davenport would emanate a sense of Dread that was even too much for their demonic opponent.
With Hengist down, its up to Davenport and Alphonse.

Davenport turned from the caster and fired at the beast. The shot caused no harm but did divert the creature from finishing off Hengist and Silva. The beast launched itself at Davenport who cooly fired his other pistol. This shot struck some vital spot and the creature was dead when it landed.

Seeing her creation destroyed the cultist fled into the dark. Daveport made no move to follow, rather he helped Alphonse see to Silva. The Elf was restored with one of her own potions and then saw to Hengist, who also recovered (at -1 Rep due to “cheating death”.

The remaining PEF’s turned out to be nothing at all.
And so ended the first encounter.

The Haunted House:

After resting a bit our heroes decide to press on, in the direction the cultist fled.

Hengist, the leader of the group, had been reduced to Rep 4, having cheated
death last encounter. Silva, Davenport, and Alphonse the Mage are at their
starting Reps, although Silva has but one healing potion left.

The men of the Watch have fled, the cramped conditions, reek, and demon
infestation of the sewers having proved too much for them.

With four PEF’s down already, I decided to reset the clock so to speak.

The trail through the sewer led to a basement in a shunned part of town. The neighborhood used to be the residence of the rich and fabulous that was until they were wiped out by some seemingly supernatural plague a few years back. 

Since then only the indigent can be found inhabiting the once opulent, now sadly tattered townhouses. As rule the Watch refuses to enter this part of the city, which is OK as even the most hardened criminal element shun it as well.

The basement proved empty of any but rats caught gnawing on bones protruding from a couple of shallow graves in one corner of the room. However the sound of muffled chanting, and feint taste of ozone in the air led Hengist to believe his quarry could not be far off.

Crawling up the basement ladder led the group to a rotting wooden stairwell that followed two sides of the wall, ending by a door on the second floor. Hengist, then Silva, Davenport and finally Alphonse started up the stairs.

Opening the door, Hengist barely had time to register what once must have been a very luxurious room. Broken sofas, torn, wall hangings, and a huge discolored fireplace were all that remained of its past glory,

The far end of the room was graced by magnificent double doors but this is not what drew his attention. For on the right hand wall, a wall panel stood ajar, and from it scuttled a hideous figure. The size of a large man, it had the aspect of an octopus, yet could climb on wall and ceiling with the ease of a spider.
The Cult surprised.

The demon was followed by 8 screaming cultists, while beyond them, Hengist could see the same mage from the sewer and and an older gentlemen of extremely cruel countenance moving towards the room’s double doors.

Hengist fired before the beast could reach him. The shot struck home, and while the beast winced in an all too human parody of pain, it did not slow. In a moment it was upon him and bore him back down the stairs a few steps.

Davenport fired on the creature and Alphonse raised his hands in an arcane gesture yet neither had any visible affect on the creature. Silva was by his side, repeatedly striking the hideous creature and nimbly dodging its
counter moves.

The stairway worked to their advantage, preventing the cultists from joining the fray while the walls to the vestibule blocked visibility to the casters above. Indeed the stair was well wide enough for two the party to battle the beast, yet the beast in its bulk had to fight alone.
Battle on the (2D) steps.

Still not recovered from the head wound he had suffered in the sewer, Hengist soon began to sway on his feet. Burly hands grabbed him, pulling him back while Davenport gruff voice told him to rest while he took over the fight.
Davenport into the breach.

Silva and Davenport fought a long battle vs. the demon. First one side then the other would gain ground, only to lose it moments later. Silva took a wound that knocked her out of the fight. 

Hengist jumped back into the fray while Alphonse administered the remaining healing potion. While the potion stabilized Silva, the elf would remain out of the fight this day.

Enraged at the Elf’s fall, Davenport redoubled his efforts, stunning the beast repeatedly before finally beating it to death with the silver accented butt of a pistol.

As the demon died, the bulk of the cultists fled. One made to charge the party. 
Fanatic cultist charges while the others flee.

Hengist’s pistol put an end the depraved reveler.

Two cultists remained with the mages at the far end of the room.  The three remaining heroes moved into the room only to be met by a blast of magic energy that knocked Hengist and Alphonse to the ground. 
Our heroes assaulted with magic.

Swearing an oath, Hengist rose and fired a shot that hit the old mage, and yet did no apparent damage.

Alphonse remained crumpled on the ground, barely conscious and out of the fight.

A short exchange of magic and shot ensued. The cult magus was hit at least five times before he finally fell. The remaining cultists fled while the remaining mage, made to drag her leader to safety.
Hengist charges the retreating Magi.
Hengist and Davenport charged! Davenport was felled by a blast of magic, but Hengist managed to cut down the sorceress.
The Cult Sanctum beyond the paneled wall.

 Hengist saw to his companions. They all lived, if only barely.

The witch hunter examined the room from which the beast had attacked. Clearly it was a site of debased ritual. This house could only, indeed MUST, be purified by fire.

Seven cultists had fled down the grand stairway and out the front door. However now that the cult had been beheaded, literally and figuratively, Hengist believed that local law would be able to handle the clean up.
Some game notes:

The house consisted of only five rooms. The basement, the back stairs, the grand room, the cult chamber, and the grand stairway/entrance hall. The game started with a PEF in each.

Oddly enough the PEF in the grand stairway/entrance hall withdrew on the first TWO game turns. So the room was emptied and I left the door to the street open.

The octopoid demon was indeed a Major Demon. I lucked out somewhat using the Creature Crafter as it turned out to both have a lower hardiness than the stock critter, but also a vulnerability to a certain substance. I used Brother Sergeant Hengist’s Social Standing as a value to test against to see if we had this substance with us and indeed we did. I decided it was silver as any witch hunter worth his salt must carry some silver shot and weapons : )

The news wasn’t all good however. The beast could still cast spells, shoot projectiles, and climb walls. Fortunately only the last came into play giving the creature a bit of an advantage on the rickety back stairs.

The Big Bad, the old mage, was a Rep 6 which saw off Alphonse and nearly did in Hengist. In fact Hengist was lucky that this Hardiness didn’t desert him as had Silva’s and Davenport’s. 

On the flip side, Hardiness served both demon and cult leader well. Davenport stunned the demon four times before finally being able to kill it. By much the same token had the cult leader lived and had a drink of water he would have made a useful lawn sprinkler.

Finally I didn’t search for any treasure figuring it would be tainted by the demonic. Better to play it safe and burn the lot!

Haven’t yet figured out what changes if any experience will bring. At least
Hengist is now free to investigate the matter of Havenbrook.


On a final note, the walls and doors are from Black Platypus, the terrain tiles from Paizo, and the figures from many manufacturers including Citadel, EM-4, and Reaper.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chapter Two: The Tale of Sir Bebe

Sir Bebe Talks the Talk with a Hykar hetman.

Note: This installment contains detailed descriptions of game play. I have tried to put all such references in italics. If you would like to just get on with the story, feel free to ignore the italicized text...except this bit of course or you wouldn't know to skip the other bits of italicized text.

After the events at Spoil’s Farm, we left Sir Bebe in need of atonement for having fled before the Lycans. The event, while unfortunate had allowed Sir Bebe to draw on an inner strength that, formerly, had been lacking.  

His Hardiness rose to 1.  This rise was unfortunately mirrored by his declining means as he is now a pauper knight.

Retiring to the cathedral of St. Cyril, Sir Bebe fasted and sought spiritual guidance regarding his failings and how to atone for them. For his faith, Sir Bebe was rewarded with a vision.

It was long ago, he could see the legions of Tropilium marching back to defend their homelands from the rising Dark.

Time passed and Ekra was in torment. Goblins, Orcs, and creatures more foul, despoiled and burned fields once green and fertile. Farm houses, villages, and even cities burned as well, centers of human misery surrounded by a bleak land of death and darkness.

Then a light came from the west. Dim and flickering at first, growing ever brighter and pushing back the darkness before it.

It was the divine light of Charles the First, shield of Ekra and Hammer of the Orcs. Wherever he traveled men of war gathered, and together, they beat back the night.

More time passed … here lain out before Sir Bebe was a battlefield. A huge host of Ekran men at arms faced an even larger horde of green hatred. Battle was joined and the Ekran chivalry, led by King Charles, was piercing the center of the orc line.  Charles smote all before him but one by one his men were dragged down behind him.  Charles’ courser stumbled and the King fell! The Ekran charge had stalled.

The King regained his footing and, with blade drawn, hacked a macabre island in the center of a tide of filth. The orc lines parted and a mighty, misshapen, one-eyed, giant lumbered forward. Barely avoiding one sweep of its huge maul, King Charles fell back, and the Cyclops closed in of the kill.

It was then, with the King on the very brink of death, that Sir Bebe saw motion in the sky.  It was a hawk diving from on high.  With unerring aim the bird of play streaked towards the giant’s face. With a sickening squelch the bird pierced the giant’s eye. The giant staggered back for a moment and in that moment Charles was on his feet again. With a blade in each and he climbed as the giant staggered in agony trampling Orcs and goblins left and right. Finally the King was able to slit the giant’s throat. Spouting gallons of crimson like a fountain the giant fell back, crushing even more of his allies.

The loss of the giant was too much for the morale of the orc host and they fled, first singly then in small groups until finally they were routed. The Ekran reserve battle pursued and soon the knights came upon the form of their fallen leader. King Charles was still breathing although badly wounded and there, lying next to him, was the body of the hawk.

More time passed and now Sir Bebe could see King Charles enjoying a victory feast in his hall. The enemies of Ekra had been defeated and the Realm was secure again. A new land, The Border Kingdoms formed a buffer between Ekra and Old Night as hardy younger sons bid to carve their own estates from the wilderness.
Above Charles' throne, in a place of honor in his hall, was the stuffed body of the Hawk of Ekra, a constant reminder of that long ago day when the fate of Ekra lay in the balance.

The Hawk of Ekra! This Holy relic had gone missing over the years. Some said it had simply disappeared one day, perhaps reuniting with the force that sent it to the King’s aid in his time of need. Others leaned toward a more sinister explanation. Treachery wrought by some of the King’s ministers. Without the Hawk the fate of Ekra could not be in the ascendant.

Whatever the cause, it was agreed that one day the Hawk would be recovered by a knight of rare virtue and heart. Many had set out to find it, few had returned, none had succeeded.

This then would be the Quest of Sir Bebe. Adopting the mantel and arms of the Hawk of Ekra, Sir Bebe set out to find his destiny.

Game Notes
This is the start of a Warrior Heroes Armies and Adventures Quest adventure. I plan to play this out recording dice rolls and noting which tables are used for each step of the game.
Normally one would roll 2d6 on the Quest table to determine the object of a Quest. In this case you can see that just chose “recover and item” as the goal. Important point here that cannot be stressed enough. All of the encounter tables, and etc. are there to give direction when you might need some. If there is certain scenario you have in mind to play, just do it and ignore the rules.

1st month, May. I have chosen May as that allows for the preceding encounters in the campaign, the Massacre at the Farm, and De Ristalier’s expedition, to have occurred in March and April respectively. Sir Bebe travels from on the border of Ekra to "on the border" of the Border Kingdoms.

Roll on the “Is it Here” table:  1+1 = 2 giving a result of “object not in the area”. Sir Bebe must now roll for an Encounter. Checking the ER by Country table, being on the border of the Border Kingdoms yields an ER of 5, modified by +1 for Spring. This means an Encounter is inevitable.
Roll of 1d6 to determine if Sir Bebe encounters locals or someone else: 6 = 6 sends me to the Border Kingdoms encounter table and another d6 roll: 3 = 3 Hykar. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
Now to find out where they are: 6 = 6 Woods. And a second d6 for the type of settlement involved: 2 = 2 reduced to 1 for being on the border: A farm.

The “Now What” section directs me to the Adventurer’s Encounter table for a 2d6 roll: 6+4 = 10 C, Talk the Talk involving 6 = 6, a hostile group with unknown intentions. Is Sir Bebe alertr? 4 2  vs 5 = Pass 2, Sir Bebe is on the Alert.

Rolling for “How Many Enemies” gives: 5+6 = 11 or 50% more CV than Sir Bebe. Sir Bebe is currently CV 4 so that means near on 6 CV of Hykar.

Consulting the Hykar army list and rolling 2d6 gives us:
2+5 = 7 Cavalry CV 1
1+4 = 5 Jurgan Archer CV 1
2+6 = 8 Cavalry CV 1
5+2 = 7 Cavalry CV 1
6+1 = 7 Cavalry CV 1
1+5 = 6 Cavalry CV 1
Total CV 6.
That gives 5 horse archers and one archer on foot. Hope they will talk nicely, as Sir Bebe might well end up doing a fine impression of a pin cushion.
Are they alert: 4 6 vs 4 = Pass 1.  
The story of this encounter is shaping up. His search for the Hawk having proved fruitless in this province, Sir Bebe is lodging with a farmer’s family for the night when he hears riders approaching. Five mounted Hykar and one of their Jurgan footmen. They certainly aren't from around here and have a warlike cast. Sir Bebe tells the farmer to stay inside with his family while he goes out to see what business the riders have at this place. The Hykar hetman rides out ahead of his men to parley.

Sir Bebe and the leader of the Hykar are 2” apart. The rest of the Hykar are 12” to the rear of their leader, two Hykar to each side of the Jurgan. Sir Bebe and the Hykar leader must now test for talking the talk.

Sir Bebe, Rep 5, rolls 5d6, 5 4 6 6 1  vs 3 = Pass 1
Hykar, Rep 4, + 1 for outnumbering, +1 for opposing alignment, 6d6 3 6 4 1 6 5  vs 3 = Pass 2
Hykar passed one more d6 than Sir Bebe.

The hetman demands "a fee" foe leaving the farm intact and Sir Bebe in possession of his fine horse. Well Sir Bebe didn’t ride all this way to get hassled for change by some chumps. Using the advantage he gained in the alertness test, he charges!
Hykar are meant to be "Hunnic". However Huns have I none, so my trusty Plains Indians take up the slack.

Sir Bebe rolls 5d6, while the Hykar leader rolls 4d6 and they both check Wanting to Charge:
Sir Bebe 6 4 3 3 4  vs 3 = pass 2
Hykar 4 3 4 5  vs 3 = pass 1

Sir Bebe scores one more success and charges while the Hykar looses an arrow.

Hykar shooting at Sir Bebe.
Hykar starts with Rep dice (4), and armed with a bow (1) for a total of 5d6: 1 5 3 4 1  vs 3 = Pass 3
Sir Bebe starts with Rep dice (5), and armor is protected vs weapon (1) for a total of 6d6 3 6 5 3 3 6  vs 3 = Pass 3 for a net of Each side passing scores same number of successes and a miss.

The Melee:
Hykar Leader Rep 4 with no applicable modifiers gives 4d6 1 6 2 4  vs 3 = Pass 2
Sir Bebe Rep (5), pole arm on contact (1), armor is protected vs weapon (1) gives 7d6 6 6 5 2 5 2 6  vs 3 = Pass 2 with 3 shield dice. Both sides pass 2 so the combat ends with two figures in combat.

This ends the first turn and now activation must be diced for: Hykar 5 = 5 , Sir Bebe 1 = 1 . The Hykar are unable to activate while Sir Bebe is.

Sir Bebe initiates another round of melee. The Hykar still rolls 4d6 2 4 2 6  vs 3 = Pass 2. Note that had the Hykar been carrying a shield or second hand weapon he would have scored a shield as well.
Sir Bebe can no longer count pole arm on contact as he started in contact and rolls 6d6 3 6 4 1 2 5  vs 3 = Pass 3 and 1 shield. The Hykar is pushed back 1” and now the combat is continued with the Hykar using one less d6, for a total of 3d6 4 6 4  vs 3 = 0 successes.

Sir Bebe still rolls 6d6 5 6 2 4 4 3  vs 3 = 1 success and 1 shield. The Hykar is pushed back another inch and fights again with one less die. Now the Hykar is at 2d6 6 3  vs 3 = 1 success.
Sir Bebe still rolls 6d6 4 1 2 1 3 6  vs 3 = 4 successes and a shield. Sir Bebe passes 3 more dice and delivers a killing blow! 

The Hykar leader tries to loose an arrow, but Sir Bebe's onslaught was to fast. Dropping his bow and drawing his war axe the two combatants engage. The Hykar look on as if in a dream as their leader is cut down and falls to the ground stone dead.
When parley fails.

Winning by 3 successes grants Sir Bebe a ride through, but first let’s see how the Hykar’s followers respond to his demise.

Lost leader test:
Hykar 2,  4 4  vs 4 = Pass 2
Hykar 3, 5 4  vs 4 = Pass 1
Hykar 4, 3 2  vs 4 = Pass 2
Hykar 5,  1 4  vs 4 = Pass 2
Jurgan 1, 6 5  vs 3 = Pass 0

Hykar 3 retires from the field. Jurgan 1 flees the field. Hykar 2, 4, and 5 hold their ground. They are not within 4” of the leader’s body and do not try to recover it.
Now the Hykar have to take Crisis tests caused by their retiring and routing fellows.

The routing Jurgan causes Hykar 2 and 4 to test:
Hykar 2, 5 1  vs 4 = Pass 1. Hykar 2 does not have another friendly figure within 2” and so routs, causing an additional test for Hykar 4 and one for Hykar 5.
Hykar 4, 3 6  vs 4 = Pass 1. Hykar 4 is within 2” of Hykar 5 and so retires one normal move.
 Retiring Hykar 3 causes Hykar 4 and 5 to test:
Hykar 4, 2 6  vs 4 = Pass 1.  Hykar 4 is within 3” of Hykar 3 and retires from the field. Causing another test for Hykar 5
Hykar 5, 6 3  vs 4 = 1 pass 1, There are no friendly figures within 2” of Hykar 5 and he runs away.

As the combat began, the Jurgan took advantage of the commotion to beat a hasty retreat. With the demise of their hetman, the remaining Hykar lose heart and flee. 

The Hykar flee.

Sir Bebe has won the day! As Neil Young wrote “Red means run son. Numbers add up to nothing”.

Post battle:
Sir Bebe rolls to see if he made any advances:
Rep, 6 = 6, increases to 6.
Hardiness, 4 = 4, increases to 2.
Social Standing, 1 = 1, remains at 0.
Sir Bebe’s CV has increased to 7.

The farm has been saved and Sir Bebe receives the gratitude of the farmers.That is really all he receives as the Hykar hetman was carrying nothing of value. Sir Bebe takes comfort in having done the right thing and honing his fighting skills.

End of Encounter 1.
Second encounter: June.
Riding towards the Goblin lands in search of the Hawk, Sir Bebe is now “inside” the Border Kingdoms.

First he checks to see if the object of his quest is here: 1+2 = 3. Three on the “Is it Here?” table gives a result of “No”, and Sir Bebe has to roll for a regular encounter.

Checking the ER by Country table, being inside the Border Kingdoms yields an ER of 3, unmodified for Summer  yielding an of 3. A roll of 2d6 on the Encounter table yields: 3 3  vs 4 = Pass 2d6. There is an encounter and on to Encounter specifics.

Roll of 1d6 to determine if Sir Bebe encounters locals or someone else: 4 = 4. Locals!  One d6 for Where are they? 4 = 4, gives me mountains and another roll of 4 = 4 gives me a village.

What kind of encounter?  Two d6 are rolled, totaled and compared to the Adventures Encounter table: 6+5 = 11, which cross referenced with a village gives C, Talk the Talk. Well that seems reasonable. Foreign knight rides into view, looking trail worn and with no retinue. Suspect I’d want the authorities to check him out too!

Who and how many of them are there? 5+3 = 8 gives equal forces. Sir Bebe’s current CV is 7 so it is time to roll on the Border Kingdom’s army list until a force of at least 7 CV is assembled.
1+2 = 3 Borderer, CV 1
1+3 = 4 Borderer, CV 1 (2)
1+4 = 5 Retinue Cavalry, CV 2 (4)
4+1 = 5 Retinue Cavalry, CV 2 (6)
2+2 = 4 Borderer, CV 1 (7)

So there it is. On approaching a village, two armored horsemen backed up by 3 footmen emerge from the village to confront our hero. 

One rider moves forward to the obligatory 2” range.

Are they alert? No modifiers on 2d6 vs. leader Rep  of 5 reduced to 4 for first contact of encounter: 6 4  vs 4 = Pass 1d6. Target group is aware and may act normally when called on to do so.
Is Sir Bebe Alert? 2d6 vs. leader Rep of 6 modified down to 5 for first contact of encounter: 3 3  vs 5 = Pass 2d6. He is alert. 

Talk the Talk:
Sir Bebe rolls 6d6 for his Rep of 6: 6 6 5 4 3 4  vs 3 = 1 success!
NPC who has introduced himself as one Morrad the Black, rolls a total of 7d6 (5 for Rep, +1 for outnumbering Sir Bebe. +1 because Sir Bebe is a foreigner in these parts): 1 5 2 5 2 4 6  vs 3 = 3 Successes.

Morrad passed more than twice as many dice as Sir Bebe and it’s time to Walk the Walk. 

Sir Bebe is ready to spring into action at the first hint of a fight. Being neither an invader nor a robber knight, he is hoping for a peaceful outcome. However being ready for anything is rule number one in the “The Dummies’ Guide to Quests”. The leader identifies himself as  Morrad the Black. Although he claims he is simply invoking his right to question strangers approaching "his" village, his manner has become impertinent. Perhaps some item of Sir Bebe's has caught his fancy and seeks only to start a fight that he might claim it as his own.?  Even though Sir Bebe is a peaceable fellow, he is not about to walk away from a fight when that his foe insists upon.
Sir Bebe charges! 
Morrad the Black becomes increasingly impertinent.

 Or at least he intends to. Here are the rolls:
Sir Bebe, Rep 6, no mods for 6d6: 1 3 4 2 2 2  vs 3 = 5 Successes!
Morrad the Black, Rep 5, no mods for 5d6: 4 1 3 4 6  vs 3 = 2 Successes!

Sir Bebe has scored 3 more successes than his foe and a sniveling Morrad flees the field!

What do Morrad’s followers make of this turn of events? Lost leader tests all around:
Retinue Cavalry, Rep 5 rolls 2 5  vs 5 = Pass 2d6,
Borderer 1, Rep 4 rolls 6 5  vs 4 = Pass 0d6.
Borderer 2, Rep 4 rolls 5 4  vs 4 = Pass 1d6.
Borderer 3, Rep 4 rolls 2 6  vs 4 = Pass 1d6.

Faced with the fury of Sir Bebe's charge, Morrad the Black turns tail and flees!
The borderers retire (well one with undue haste!).

The remaining Retinue Cavalry has to test for three fleeing friends. Since he stayed on to fight after his craven leader fled, let’s give this guy a name: Danyr the Gold. Here are his Crisis test results:
  1. 6 4  vs 5 = Pass 1d6
  2. 6 3  vs 5 = Pass 1d6.
  3. 4 3  vs 5 = Pass 2d6.
The unfortunate  Danyr the Gold is caught up in the flight of his party.. His resolve failed him in the end and he retired with the Borderers conceding the fight to Sir Bebe.
Will no one stand before him?

On to the spoils.

Sir Bebe takes his advancement rolls:
Rep? 4  vs 6 = as he needed a 6 to advance, no change there.
Hardiness? 2  vs 2 = No advance there either.
Social Status? 2  vs 0 = Finally an advance on his SS. With a social standing of 1 Sir Bebe is a pauper knight no more. Wooo-hooo!

It seems that the locals were none to pleased with the over-lordship of Morrad the Black.  They give Sir Bebe the contents of Morrad's coffers. 

Sir Bebe now has the means to support a retainer or two. 
Still I’m not sure he wants to spend the month required to recruit as that means one month taken away from his quest…

So a clearer picture of Sir Bebe has emerged. He is not a flatterer or smooth talker but he's a good man to have in a fight.