Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Giggers, Luddites, and Plot

Been planning this one for a long time. This is the first game of "Giglamps: The Early Years" where we explore the early career of our hero.

In this episode the Sew On and Soforths have been called in to assist the civil authorities in Badgers Drift. Luddites have destroyed the borough's first machine loom and have threatened more outrages, even GBH, until all machine looms have been destroyed.

Working closely with the Corston Street Irregulars, Lt. Giglamps set up a series of posts and patrols that greatly curbed Luddite activities. Now with the aid of Detector Chief Constable Barnaby's informant, one Jasper "Grass" Grazlow, Government forces are converging on a Luddite meeting in the dead of night. 

"Norcs" Norris, Giggers, and Plumborc in the lane.
DCC Barnaby can be seen lurking behind the stone wall in the background.
Stopping only to collect rising hand bill reporter "Norcs" Norris, Lt. Giglamps, Sgt, Tosh, Gigger's coverorc, Pvt. Plumborc, and Pvt. Curruthbog, headed for the rendezvous with the Irregulars.

Government forces lie in wait.

DCC Barnaby, his Detector Sergeant, Troy, and five other constables had already taken position in the field and wood adjoining the barn in which the furtive meeting was being held.

After a quick consultation it was decided that the Iregulars would place DCC Barnaby and three constables north of the barn and DS Troy to the west. Sgt. Tosh, and Curruthbog would take the south side of the barn while Giggers, Plumborc, and "Norcs" would await events in the lane to the east.

With a rousing shout of "Git yer trews on, yer Nicked!", Barnaby started the ball. Like rats from a sinking ship, the Luddites emerged from the barn and scattered to the south west and south.

General Ludd and his body guard make a run for it.

The ring leader, known to authorities only as "General Ludd", made a dash for the fields to the south accompanied by his armed body guards and an adoring lad simply called "the Runt". Hoofer tripped on the door of the barn and stumbled but "the Footman" followed Ludd, blunderbuss held ready.

The bulk of the Luddites fled south east, easily outpaced by a lean, long legged, figure in a tall hat...one of Emperor Mordrid's corps of Agents Provocateur!

Daniel D'Kless leads the breakout to the south east.
Who's that masked orc in the background?

Well the appearance of the foreign agent changed things considerably as Giggers saw things. He charged, Plumborc duly following. 

The Elf in blue makes Giggers see RED!

Meanwhile Sgt. Tosh made for General Ludd, Curruthbog in tow. To Tosh's embarrassment, his trooper shied at the fence and wouldn't jump. Curruthbog charged alone. 

Tosh's trooper refuses the jump.

The Corston Street Irregulars burst from cover as well.

DCC Barnaby leads the charge

With DS Troy and his orcs charging from the west, and Curruthbog charging from the east, Ludd and his bodyguard had little time to fire and a brawl ensues.

Hoofer's shot at Curruthbog misses as battle is joined.
Giggers finds the Elf no easy target. D'Kless is a skilled swordself. The hooded figure turns out to be none other than that notorious naer'do'well Plunkorc! The ruffian has been charged by Ludd with making sure that the Elf doesn't come to any harm...nor is lost to the movement by his own means.

Sword and sabre clash.
Meanwhile, just to the north, Barnaby and his men clash with more Luddites.

The fight has developed into several separate brawls.

While Giggers and D'Kless fight, Plunkorc and the orc "ladies" maneuver for advantage.

Mamma's don't let your sprogs grow up to be Luddites...

With a deft cut, D'Kless' sword is sent flying from his grip. Just then Plunkorc fires at Gigger's back!

Plunkorc is a back shooting son of a Troll.
Fortunately the shot missed. However Gigger's could see that Plumborc had suffered grievously and was losing his fight against another Luddite. Giggers ignored the now defenseless D'Kless and spurred to Plumborc's aid.

To the west, DS Troy and one his orcs has laid "the Footman" low, and move on to engage General Ludd. "The Runt" makes a fool of Constable Theresanelfbehindyou, and pushes his back but the doughty Irregular returns to the fray with a vengeance.

Troy and General Ludd have a bit of a dust up.

Slowly the Government forces began to get the upper hand.  First one than another Luddite collapsed unconscious or worse.

Casualties mount
Still the fighting is not all one sided. Pvt. Plumborc is severely wounded, and Giggers has suffered numerous cuts, bruises and even a pistol ball to the shoulder.

Troy finally beats General Ludd to the ground. The Luddites lose heat and flee.

Giggers fires a parting shot,
D'Kless made a break for it. Giglamps fired a carbine at his retiring form.

Luddites flee the field, leaving behind eight of their number.
In the end the Luddites lost eight fighters against the sole loss of Pvt. Plumborc. Surprisingly only one of the she orcs was lost, and the one holding the baby beat up a constable and escaped!

With the capture, and not doubt eventual execution of General Ludd, peace has been restored to Badger's Rest. With the escape of Daniel D'Kless, future trouble in the region is a certainty.

This game was actually played with two sets of rules with which I have no connection other than as a happy customer. I started the game with Strange Grogge, a set of skirmish rules for piratical, or should that be "pyratical", mayhem in "The Land". I finished the game with another set from Wessex Games, Gangland, a set that covers urban mayhem from about 1800 to 1900 but can stretch quite easily to an earlier period and less so into towards the present.

Both games use a variation of the GUTS system, whereby each figure has a single stat and over the course of the game this stat, "salt" in SG, and "spunk" in Gangland, is reduced by combat and possibly other circumstances until the character is no longer capable of continuing the fight.  

Both implementations have their merit with Strange Grogge much more focused on small combats with some narrative detail, while Gangland  lends itself more easily to larger crowds of figures by simplifying  and streamlining things just a bit. 

One aspect of Strange Grogge is that as figures become more battered their ability to hurt one another in melee is greatly diminished, which sounds quite logical actually. In practice as you get to the end game you have a bunch of fellows on each side who cannot really do much to hurt their opponents unless one of them rolls really well and the other really poorly. Fair do as this should be when the forces break off anyway and the players should figure out the need to call it quits.

However I felt that didn't really fit in this situation where the Luddites would just as soon run and avoid capture as stand and fight. That is to say they would fight until it was clear they were losing and then slip away into the night. Here Gangland was of considerable use as in that system, figures in melee test in a different manner and whichever scores higher wins, limiting shouting matches to tied scores. Gangland also has some nice rules for finding the will to enter into melee in the first place and I prefer that game's turn sequence.

Balanced against that is the simple fun of Strange Grogge. That's where the "disarmed" results stemmed from with other comedic consequences like tripping and falling and horse that decide they would rather not jump.

Bottom line is these rules are inexpensive and if you have any interest in them you should go ahead and buy both!

I hope to play this same scenario using some other rules such as Flintloque and Sacre Bleu and see what happens. Mind you those rules are oriented more towards "proper" combat and less towards police work so we shall see how it all works out.

Hope you enjoyed the tale and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Shelia's Lair

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”  - - J. R. R. Tolkien

Shelia is a grass spider that has set up shop under our bird bath.

At least I think she's a grass spider. Never got a good look at her. How do I know she is a "she"? Males don't get that large generally.

Thought it would be a shame to let such a good "set" go to waste.

Mind you I would have moved the figures closer to get a more dramatic effect but I didn't want to spoil the old girl's web.

Hope you enjoyed the photos and thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Today's post takes a third view of the Outlaws on a Balcony theme.  This time we look at the incident in the context of an Encounter generated by the Six Gun Sound: Blaze of Glory rule book.

This encounter is called Gunfight 2 (GF2) and represents an unexpected fight between two groups of figures. Either the posse and outlaws have been having a "conversation" and have reached an impasse, or neither side was prepared for the appearance of the other.

Nerves are taut as each man goes for his gun!

As this is a full encounter the first thing I needed to do was to see was where the fight would take place. Rather than rolling for it I decided to have it take place on our friendly local balcony.

Next up was to determine who and how many were on each side. This was also easy. Our two outlaw friends would square off against our posse. As for how many...well the rules would max out the posse at four characters in this case and so I gave Mudslide Sam the day off.

Next was to determine how many saddled horses were about. El Indio wisely had his mount saddled and right out front. The posse had their mounts saddled and in the livery. Poor Nino had his mount unsaddled and in the livery.

There were an additional five saddled horses at the  buildings adjacent to the fight.

In this sort of show down the first thing to do is to check everyone's nerve by rolling 2d6 versus their Sand.

As it happened every man jack of them Flinched, which essentially canceled this handicap out and all started on nearly equal footing. Nearly equal because when it came time for the draw, El Indio, Unca Bob, and Ling Ho were penalized for carrying long arms.  Nino and El Indio were also penalized for being outnumbered.

The Draw broke down to El Indio versus Unca Bob and The Captain, while Nino faced down Ling Ho and the Swede. Dice equal to Rep plus or minus modifiers were rolled and successes tallied as below. Note that here the dice simply show the number of successes and not the actual dice rolls for the test.

The Captain with four successes scored the highest and as he had scored 3 more successes than El Indio, the Captain got the drop on the outlaw chief. El Indio took a Got the Drop test and in a surprisingly cool headed fashion lowered his weapon and surrendered peaceably.

This left Unca Bob devoid of an opponent and he relaxed accordingly. 

Nino on the other hand scored two more successes than both of his opponents ans shot them both dead! The big man emptied his revolver in the process.

So ended turn 1.

Activation for turn two was a tie so Nino managed to reload before the action continued.

The lawmen got the edge on turn three and both the Captain and Unca Bob fired at Nino.

Nino suffered a total of three hits to his gun arm and dropped out of the fight.

The shooting was over and it was time to move on to the aftermath.

Both outlaws had to undergo the Captured test with a negative modifier for having killed Ling Ho and the Swede.

El Indio was shot while trying to escape.

Nino was taken into custody for trial.

Before Nino be could tried he needed his wounds seen to. Unfortunately for him the town doc had a skill rating of 3.

Nino's gun arm was amputated.

Nino's trial was a short one and the one armed bandit was sentenced to 3 seasons (9 months) in jail. Guess he had a good lawyer or his boysish charm won him some sympathy.

And there you have it, a full encounter from Six Gun Sound.

Hope you enjoyed it and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 17, 2012

SGS: Outlaws on the Balcony 2

Same situation, different approach from the baddies...

This is the same scenario and participants set forth here. This time, however, El Indio decided that both he and Nino should act as a single group and both badmen rush out onto the balcony to confront the posse more or less simultaneously.

 Whereas last time the outlaw leader tried to use his sidekick to soak up enemy fire, leaving El Indio with a better chance of facing enemies with empty guns, this time the idea is to split enemy fire and hope that one or both outlaws can get off telling shots before their opponents.

The game starts with the outlaws appearing on the balcony. This results in the posse members taking "Got a Shot" tests.

Mudslide Sam, The Captain, and Ling Ho all pass their tests with both dice and will be able to fire before the outlaws.

The Swede only passes one dice and, if any of the outlaws are unharmed by his three companions fire, the outlaws will have a possibility of firing before he does.

Old Unca Bob passes no dice and so does not get to fire at all.

Mudslide Sam fires and misses both outlaws. Actually that is not quite true as El Indio would have been hit but for the cover provided by the balcony.  In his haste, Mudslide has fired off his ready ammunition and will have to fumble for cartridges and reload when next able.

The Captain fires at both outlaws and grazes El Indio's head. The wily outlaw recovers from the blow but will be unable to fire before the Swede. The Captain has done a better job of ammunition conservation and will be able to fire when next called on.

Finally Ling Ho fires a shot at Nino and misses!

Nino now gets to roll to see if he can fire before the Swede. He can and does, firing at both the Swede and the Captain. The Swede takes a hit to the chest and falls dead! Nino misses the Captain though and the Captain has to take a Been Shot At test.

The Captain passes and returns Nino's fire, hitting the big outlaw in the gun arm.

Nino's wound is such that he is done firing for this turn. El Indio on the other hand recovers and is able to fire. He fires at Ling Ho and the Captain missing them both.

Both men pass their Been Shot At tests with both dice and return fire. Ling Ho misses but The Captain hits El Indio in the chest.

El Indio dices to recover and while he does not drop out of the fight, he is now saddled with a -2 to his Rep when firing.

This ends the first turn. The Swede is dead. Mudslide has to reload. Nino has taken a hit to his gun arm that gives him a -1 penalty to Rep when firing. El Indio has taken a hit to the chest that gives him a -2 penalty to Rep when firing.

The outlaws are in bad shape but a lot depends on who gets to fire next.

The activation dice are rolled and...

...exceed both sides' Rep. There is a pause in the action and the activation dice are rolled again.

This time its a tie. Neither side can act with the exception that both sides can reload. As only Mudslide needed to reload this benefits the posse.

Activation dice are rolled again.

This time both sides pass but the posse gets to act first. As all figures are in sight of one another, there is no need for any Got a Shot tests and the posse opens fire on the outlaws.

In the hail of fire that follows Mudslide would have hit El Indio but the shot was blocked by the balcony.

Unca Bob hits El Indio in the head and the outlaw drops out of the fight.

The Captain hits Nino in his gun arm. This second hit renders the arm useless and Nino is unable to return fire this turn.

Rather than have Nino try to continue the fight in his condition I decided to end the game.

So how did charging out together compare to the one at a time approach?

I suppose the outlaws did better having killed on of their pursuers, but anytime you go up against 2 to 1 odds or worse in SGS without benefit of higher Rep and Sand scores you are facing long odds.

Hope you enjoyed the report and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

SGS: Outlaws on the Balcony 1

I can't find a saloon with balcony so the Mercantile is standing in.

The situation that sparked this series of posts was a seemingly simple one, and yet one that provides a great range of play options to explore. Paraphrased it is something like this:

"Five members of a posse are approaching two outlaws in a saloon. The outlaws know the posse is  out on the street and move out onto the balcony to confront them.

In what order do events unfold?"

Now this post is not about "should the outlaws move out onto the balcony", rather it is about what happens when they do. Now five against two is long odds. If it were me, I'd either duck out the back and make a run for the horses, or move in such a way that I can at least start firing out of window rather than from the limited cover provided by the railings. So let's begin!

The Captain and his men approach the outlaws

In Six Gun Sound: Blaze of Glory, characters have three main stats plus a profession that determines which Reaction table they use. Characters are rated for "Rep", which is essentially their combat skills, "Toughness", used to withstand damage, and "Sand", representing their coolness under fire and determination to win. Most characters will also have a stat for equestrian prowess, but we can leave that out for now as no horses appear in this example.

To keep things simple for the example, all character stat's are rated 4, and all use the Outlaw/Ranger reaction tables.

With the posse deployed we can presume that the outlaws have the opportunity to act or else they couldn't move out onto the balcony.

Now here is the outlaw side's first decision. Should they move out onto the balcony one at a time or both at the same time? It says in the rule book that players have to decide how they want to group their figures together at the start of play. These days we allow figures to be grouped together and separated on an ad hoc basis, with the decision being made at the start of each activation. Game works just as well either way but I digress.

In this first encounter, El Indio has decided to chuck Nino out the door first in the hopes that the posse men will exhaust their ready ammunition on the big guy, and not be able to shoot El Indio when  he comes out later.

Nino comes out to start the ball

After Nino steps out on the balcony, the posse men each roll 2d6 against their Sand in a "Got a Shot!" test. This test will determine if they are ready and able to shoot, or if Nino is faster. As all of the posse see Nino, he will have to wait the result of all their tests before he gets to fire.

Got a Shot test scores
 Unca Bob, Ling Ho, and the Swede each pass both of their dice and so will fire immediately. Mudslide Sam and the Captain passed only one dice each. If Nino is still standing after the others a done shooting, Nino will test to see if he can fire before Sam and the Captain.

Opening shots
Unca Bob empties both barrels of his shot gun at Nino. One shot misses and the other does no damage, mostly hitting the railing. Unca Bob will have to reload before he can fire again.

Ling Ho fires a shot from his Trapdoor Springfield carbine and misses. Fortunately he has kept some additional rounds ready and will be able to shoot again when the chance arises.

The Swede blazes away with his six gun, hitting only the railing and emptying the gun in the process.

Nino now rolls two dice against his Sand to see if he can fire on the Captain and Sam before they fire at him. Nino gets to shoot first. Sam and the Captain are too far apart for Nino to fire on both of them so he fires at the Captain and Ling Ho. Firing wildly, Nino empties his revolver like the Sweded before him.

The Captain is hit in the leg but remains standing and game.

A veritable hail of lead...

Now the Captain and Sam get to fire at Nino. The big outlaw goes down with a slug from the Captain's pistol in is gun arm and drops out of the fight.

Sam has emptied his shotgun, but the Captain has shown some fire discipline and is ready to fire when next able.

Nino is down but El Indio's plan seems to be working. Only the Captain and Ling Ho are holding loaded weapons when El Indio makes his move!

When El Indio appears the Captain and Ling Ho take another Got a Shot test.

The Captain passes both of his dice and fires!

The Captain fires!

His bullet creases El Indio's skull. Having been hit he is in no position to fire and Ling Ho gets to fire next, missing his target.

El Indio is wounded
 Now El Indio has to try to recover from his wound. While he avoids unconsciousness, his nerve is shot and flees!

El Indio shows his colors
And with that the game is over. Technically I should see if the posse can catch El Indio before he flees the scene but frankly as he is upstairs and is not going to offer any resistance it's just as easy to call him captured.

End Game

So ends case 1, moving into view singly. Next up we will see what happens if the two badmen step out together.

Hope you enjoyed the post and thanks for stopping by!