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!


  1. Get 'em, Giggers!

    Lovely to see the young Giggers in action. I've been wondering where our adventuring gentleorc would appear next. How could it be that he isn't married? Surely, ladies from all over the land would be swooning at the mere gaze of such an experienced and capable officer!

    1. Alas, poor Giggers. In matters of the Heart, fate has been unkind.

      When he was first a Cornet, then Lieutenant back home in Albion he had the opportunity but not the means to pursue a suitable match.

      Now that he is a Captain, and brevet Major, he has the means but stuck out in Afri he has the means, yet lacks opportunity.

      I fear he must make it back to Albion or, more like, on to Inji, there to await the "fishing fleet"!

  2. Hello Bob,

    Fantastic posting. Great read and very much fun. Also loved the account of the rules too.



  3. Great gaming experience! Love the story.