Saturday, 25 February 2017

Cheap Animals for The Men Who Would be Kings in Africa

I've been wanting to get some wild animals for my Colonial Africa games, partly for dress setting but mainly to chase players around in some of my scenario games.

In Wilko the other day I saw they had a tray of assorted animals of various kinds, including a few African ones. Digging through the box I found a hippo, rhino and elephant, all of which looked as if they might do for 28mm (I didn't have a 28mm figure in my pocket so that I could double check, very silly of me I know!) but at less that £2.50 a pop I thought it worth a gamble.

Once I got them home I realised that the elephant was OK for a large bull, but the others were a little over size. Not that I was really that bothered. I'm playing "Pulp" Colonial Africa, not historically accurate Africa, where all the natives are fierce and the wild beasts are dangerous and very big.

They are just cheap plastic, but with a wash and a bit of dry brushing, they turn out acceptably enough. I've already had the rhino on the table, when it trampled a bunch of askari!

                                                          The Hippo - as it comes

                                                      The Elephant - ready for use

                                                         And in a gaming setting.

                                                       The Rhino - It's behind you!

                                              The Hippo again - still in need of sorting out

I hope the Hippo isn't feeling left out, but I'm not sure whether to base it in water or out, so I haven't done anything with it yet.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Find The Lady - a 3-way Lion Rampant Game

Mark & Henry came around to try out a scenario I'd designed for Lion Rampant the other day. We played the game twice, swapping roles for the second game. Interestingly the results were the same for both games,
Sir Roger won with 3 Glory, took the heiress off table +5, church looted -1, buildings burnt -1.
Sir William got 0 Glory, 3 buildings burnt +3, other player took heiress off-table -3.
Sir Simon got -3 Glory, other player took heiress off table -3.

In light of this I've tweaked the scenario and weakened the militia a bit (originally they were all foot Yeoman with mixed weapons).

The game is set in any period of civil war or when a weak king allows anarchy and baronial infighting, for example, England during the reigns of Stephen, John or Henry VI.

Lord Belmont has recently died leaving his unmarried daughter as his only heir. Now the vultures are gathering as the young girl has fled to the village of Little Smelling for shelter.

                          The residents of Little Smelling go about their business all unaware....

Each player has the same retinue:

1 unit mounted Men-at-arms
1 unit mounted Sergeants
1 unit foot Men-at-arms
1 unit foot Sergeants
1 unit Crossbowmen

Sir Roger - As a younger son of a impoverished baron, your future prospects are not good. Marrying a rich heiress like Lady Belmont would solve all your problems. Capture the daughter 3 Glory (5 Glory if you take her off table). You want to keep Little Smelling in good condition as it will become part of your lands and you want it to provide a good income, if any buildings are burnt lose 1 Glory for every 2 buildings destroyed and lose 1 Glory if the Church is looted.

Sir William - You have spend the past few years amusing yourself robbing passing merchants and pilgrims, until last year Lord Belmont captured you a threw you in his dungeon. The old fool died before he could hang you and you bribed a guard to let you escape. You are sure it was someone from Little Smelling village who led Lord Belmont to your camp, so you are going to teach the peasants a lesson. Set fire to the village, 1 Glory per building, up to a maximum of 5 Glory. If you can also capture the daughter gain 2 more Glory. If another player gets the girl off table lose 3 Glory.

Sir Simon - The church at Little Smelling is renowned for it's gold alter cross containing a relic of St Sebastian the Stupid. Every year pilgrims flock to the village, paying for the privilege to touch the relic. You are sure Lord Belmont was getting a cut of the money and you want the relic for your own church. For it's spiritual benefits of course, the cash it will bring in is incidental. Loot the Church 3 Glory (5 Glory if you take the relic off table). If you can also capture the daughter gain 2 more Glory. If another player gets the girl off table lose 3 Glory.

                                                    The retinues close in on the village

Village Militia - Lord Belmont was popular and the local people have rallied around to protect his daughter.
There are 2 units of foot Yeomen and 3 units of Bidowers. Militia will not voluntarily Attack any unit, unless in an attempt to rescue the heiress. Target priority is any unit within charge reach of the militia, then the nearest enemy unit.

                                                       The militia stand to.

Set Up - The village of Little Smelling consists of 7 buildings and a church, which should be at the centre of the village. You should also add in various other obstacles, such as a pond, fenced enclosures, sheds outbuildings etc. Each of the 7 major buildings should have a marker, which is revealed if the building is searched. These are:
1-5 Empty
6 A unit of foot Yeoman
7 The Heiress guarded by a unit of foot Yeoman.

The militia activate after all 3 players have had their turn.

The 3 units of Bidowers should be placed in 3 random buildings.

                                    Sir Simon's Sergeants attack the church.

Searching a building - if a unit starts it's turn in contact with an empty building, flip it's marker over, there is no need to pass an activation.
If the building is empty, a foot unit will occupy the building, a mounted unit remains outside (it's assumed that some have dismounted to search).
If the building contains a unit of foot Yeoman, immediately fight a melee, as if the active player had attacked. If the heiress' bodyguard are destroyed or forced to retreat, she will be found hiding in the building by the victorious unit.
Sir Simon uses the same mechanism to loot the church.

                            A battered Sir Roger has been given a bloody nose by the village militia
                                   (but in the background his sergeants have found the heiress!)

Burning a building - if a unit starts it's turn in contact with an empty building it may set the building on fire, there is no need to pass an activation.

                              Sir William gets peppered by Sir Simon's crossbowmen

Risk to the Heiress - If any unit escorting the heiress takes casualties, she is vulnerable to a Lucky Blow.