Friday, December 25, 2015

Otherworld Skirmish, Raid on Pembroke Part 1

Post Operation Sting I’ve been on a bit of a painting and modeling kick, I’ve built, primed and basecoated all my models for next years  Adepticon  much earlier than usual (which left me some time to address my often neglected but always growing piles of Fantasy Miniatures.  While I put the breaks on buying too many new models in the last year, (I’m happy to say I’ve sold many more than I purchased ) I still like to collect models from a few particular sculptor’s and company’s.  Primarily these days its OtherworldMiniatures.

I’ve been well invested in all their crowd source funding projects they’ve run and when the Skirmish game came out I was excited to play and  I’ve finally gotten around to it, Its a much more complicated game than Frostgrave, which is fine as  it services a different beast, it’s a quite the nostalgic game as is Otherworlds line of miniatures,  and its quite different in terms of other skirmish games I’ve played of late,  I am going to do a rather lengthy blow by blow here, so if you are a fan of old school fantasy ramblings in that First edition AD&D kind of way , please read on.

The first scenario I’m calling the “Raid on Pembroke” isn’t  official , but its based on one of campaign scenarios from the book.  Its simple narrative: ‘A  trio of adventures is asked to help protect said village from an Ogre and his marauding band raiders”.  Nothing fancy here , standard RPG fare and I have the proper terrain to do it justice.  Otherworld Skirmish games legwork has a lot to do with creating your force there are a lot of options and abilities for what ever models you want to use,  let’s take a look at the antagonists first. “ The Raiders”  the game is 150 points per side or (150 gold pieces) 

The Factions

"The Raiders", miniatures by Otherworld, Hasslefree, Ral Partha and Games Workshop.
Ogre- 27 points, upgraded with Two Handed Axe.The Ogre is the “boss” creature on the this team, loaded with special abilities , a nasty two handed axe , and  skills that rely on fear and morale  tests from your opponent, Psychological effects and various statuses are very important in this game his statisticcs are lower than you’d think but the specials make the difference .  Not a powerful as the Heroes of Otherworld Skirmish and a strong opponent to challenge most figures in this fight for sure- value 
Goblin (Leader) 21 points with 15 point Leader Upgrade If you take a certain amount of a “type” you can upgrade one to “leader” this is the case here with this Goblin armed with a bow , his leader abilities allow him to activate additional models during the raider turn.  A few stat and skill upgrades are provided with extra cost..making him a solid character.. if the Ogre is the muscle , he’s the brains
6 Goblins- 36 points -generic troops here, nothing fancy..goblins…..most of them have shields giving them a 6+ Saving throw
4 Dire Wolves- 60 points at 15 points each they are fast with  decent abilities they are restrained by the animal ability which means they only do exactly what you want on 4+ , not the most reliable, but when they are they should be good.
Last up I’ve added a “Hobgoblin” whom I call “Hobgoblin Scout” a member of another Tribe along for the ride perhaps weighing the groups worthiness. Hobgoblins: larger distant cousins of Goblins , are throwback to old school D&D, replaced by generic orc as fantasy gaming evolved , there wasn’t a hell of lot of difference between  Orcs and Goblins in the first place, excepts back then Orcs where pig faced so Hobgoblins where todays Orcs, I suppose. Anyway for 9 points I used one of my favorite old Ral Partha Orcs.  A Good cheap fighter,
Hobgoblin Scout-  9 points

13 models, 153 points.

The Adventures, all models by Otherworld, except the Thief which is Citadel
Moving to the defending faction, “The  Adventurers”.  Designing the heroes , is a bit more complicated as you weigh through Good or Evil factions, the character archtypes, there companions and then Henchmen As these are a lot of options and choices to be made in basic profile.  For my first warband, I just stuck to basics and some common sense.
You’ll also notice I choose No  character with Spells or Magic Items for this first run just to keep it simple.
I choose a  Legendary Warrior for “The Adventurer’s” leader  –“Good”  Archtype is called “Valiant Warrior”. He’s  got lots of skills and special abilities, which I’ll go into as they come up. The “Legendary”  profile dictates he has 3 hits which the most of anyone on the board ( Models in Otherworld Skirmish , hence OWS have 1 to 3 hits as I have seen)  I spent no extra points on him and took the basic 50 point model.  I do have some choices to make, and since I am using the Barbarian Chieftain model, I choose things that seem to fit.  You also need to buy the weapons for hero characters so he comes out at  54 points armed on with a Spear.
Legendary Warrior 54 points
His Companions are  a Ranger and Thief, both 25 point models, each having 2 hits and host of neat abilities (Thieves in this game are awesome)  they both come in a 29 points each.  (while you can add additional weapons on the hero profile, since everyone comes with “brawl” skill for free its not really necessary unless you looking for something very specific)
Ranger Companion 29 Points
Thief (Burglar) Companion 29 points
And for the Hirelings,  right (or wrong) place at the given time, a trio of berserkers have agreed to help repel  the Raider attack in exchange for Free ale and housing for a month…cheap at 9 points 
have the useful Rage ability and very high Morale,  but as Berserkers always are, hit hard, die harder.
3- Berserkers 27 points
Finally The Village Constable- using the “Mercenary” profile (and figure) from the rulebook the  Constable is organizer of the defense, recruiting  the  Adventures and aiding in the teams defense… a decent mid level fighter at 12 points , he has the useful “Blocker” ability which will come up later.
1- Mercenary- 12 points

7 Models, 151 points

Note the Chests on the map are the games "Adventure Tokens" I swap these out for the actual tokens the game provides before starting as I felt the token we easier to move over.

The game has interesting system of live dynamic that adds to the scenario narrative as play moves along.  called, “Adventure Tokens”,  the amount of these per game are standard  at 8 but this amount varies , either plus or minus by each  factions “Treasure Hunter” Ability.  Adventure tokens are really only used by “attacking faction”, the “defending faction” ideally wants to limit their use and keep them at a minimum. The Attackers, in this case “The Raiders’ to use this measure progress  or score thru the scenario,  each token when touched by a model in play results in a card from the adventure deck . As the “attacker” you’d  like these cards to all be treasure which result in Victory points,  but there are risks in the deck that are a boon for the Defender,  These can be  “wandering monsters”, “Traps” and then some random effects cards which can be for either side depending.  The Defenders score thru defeating the Attackers, and limiting there card successes. There are no wandering monsters in this scenario (as I need to pay for them out of my defending faction and don’t have the points)  so these cards are removed from the “Adventure Deck” Because  only the Defending side has any models with the Treasure Hunter ability, (the Thief) the game has 7 Adventure tokens on the board.
Attackers set up with 4 “ of any table edge, defenders must be within 4” of the Village Tavern
Scenario determines that Attackers go first, but I need to roll Initiative any way to determine Fate (more on that later)  OWS is an I GO U GO system, something I have moved away from a late in favor of alternating activation's however as  you’ll see moving ahead I think this one works quite well.

Victory Conditions- Standard VP are going to be applied here, which I'll go over at the end.
Unique models for scoring are the Ogre, The Goblin leader and the Hobgoblin on the Attacking side for the Defenders, its the Warrior, Ranger, Thief, and Village Constable

and with that Dice are rolling.....

Adventure Token Sample

The Raiders start the turn with  7 Activation tokens and 1 Fate.
Activation 1- The Goblin Leader  , The Goblin Leader has the “Mob Leader (3)” ability which lets him activate 3 models for as well as himself during his activation without using additional tokens, this is good thing with only potentially 7 Activations of a 13 unit Warband,
The Goblin Leader sends 3 Goblins in a double move toward a horse and wagon on the board and an Adventure Token, he then positions himself near the corner of a building as a good shooting position, he has no valid targets so his activation ends.

Goblin Leader looking for something to shoot at.

Collect that treasure!, watch out for traps!

Activation 2-4-  I move 3 other Goblins move toward another nearby Adventure Token placed between two houses on the edge of town,  since they can touch it easily they use a free action to search and we flip the first card of the game.
We get the “Treasure Chest” which is big Treasure card worth 3 VP, apparently the Town buried the majority of its valuables on the edge of town to hide them?,  not  too well it seems, however the Treasure Chest is supposed to be cumbersome so each turn you hold it you lose an activation token , The Raiders can not have that this early in the game so the Goblin abandon the Treasure Chest for now. I place a treasure chest on the board and leave the card up for grabs for either faction later in the game.

Activations  5-7  I bring the Ogre and his Dire Wolves into play and have them  move twice toward the center of town. The Wolves make an “animal” check and both do what they are supposed to, The Ogre barrels in after them grabbing an adventure token on the way, we flip the card and it is “A Golden Platter” a treasure item worth 1 VP , that the Ogre apparently snatched off someone table thru an open window, throwing it in his sack his activation ends.

First Turn , Right up in your face , with loot in hand.

At this point “The Raiders” are out of  activations but have 3 unactivated models on their side.  The Raiders have 1 unused fate token , which can be used to purchase another activation. So I do.
Just hanging around waiting to Activate.

Activation 8- The Hobgoblin Scout is with 2 Dire Wolves on the far side of the board,  1 Wolf makes the Animal check and succeeds and moves toward a nearby Adventure Token, digging it up (( draw a card) and it’s a Poison Trap!, Looks like our Thief planted some traps around town to slow the Attackers down, its a very strong poison and Dire Wolf is done for (fail the check, and must roll to damage, it easily succeeds) since the Wolf has 1 hit and takes 1 damage it’s currently "incapacitated" with "Zero" hits  And will be removed  during the rounds “End phase” since there isnt any hope of healing it before then.

Skull tokens are marking "Incapacitated Models" these here are by Dragon Forge Design
The Raiders first turn ends, with 8 activations resulting in 11 of 13 models moving, One is a casualty but they located the Treasure Chest,  to potentially grab  later and I have secured 1 VP in their hand.


The Adventurers start the turn with  4 Activations and 2 Fate,  normally the side going first gets the extra fate tokens, here we had a predetermined starter so we rolled initiative strictly for  Fate allocations, the defenders won. so they got the extra Fate

Activation 1- Berserker I, The nearest Berserker charges the  nearby Dire Wolf , that’s what any crazed Berseker fighting for free beer would do anyway right?  Charging is a Single Action, which gives you an additional free attack at -1 to your attack die roll.  Berserkers also have the “Rage” ability which forces your opponent to  make a morale test  if it fails the attacker get another normal attack..In this case, The wolf fails.  The Berserker now has 3 attacks: 1 normal, 1 for charging (at -1) then one for Rage, he ends up  hitting all three time and wounding twice more than enough to put the wolf down.  Now I forget here that this guy still has an other action in his activation ( each model has two actions per activation) the charge was 1, so he could have followed up with an additional move 
but not another Charge, the rules are clear you can only "charge" once per turn, regardless of your number of Activations.  I forget, either way so he just stands there admiring his handy work and potential free beer.

Activation 2- Berserker 2, tries the exact same thing on the other Dire Wolf, however everything goes wrong he has none of the luck of his comrade, he stays in Combat with Wolf his charge resulting in nothing but an angry Wolf.

Activation 3- Berserker 3,  decides to help out Berserker 2, he cant Charge, LoS is blocker so he does two moves to get into a good flanking position on the remaining  Dire Wolf, and potentially the Ogre, next turn.

Activation 4-  The Ranger.  The Ranger moves 6 inches climbing the stairs to the dock to get a nice vantage of the battlefield and use his Longbow. He’s got a clear shot at the Ogre and is 18 inches away, His range is 24” , and he’s has the Eagle Eye ability which allows him to negate the range penalty on an Aimed shot, this however is not an Aimed shot (he moved) so I need a 5+ roll a “2” and Miss

Nice Shot at the Ogre but nope! , must have been the wind.

At this Point the Adventures are out of Activations but I have 2 Fate Tokens, so I use them to purchase two more activations.

Activation 5- The Warrior,   Activates and using his Leader (1) ability also activates the Thief. The Warrior moves to a good spot to keep some cover and keep in potential attack range to the Ogre whom he wants to take down. The Thief moves around to the rear of the Tavern where he hears Goblins coming, hiding behind the Supply Wagon, he uses his “set traps” ability to thrown down some caltrops in the clear path of travel for the Goblins..

The "set traps' ability of the Thief is one of the cooler things I have used in play in awhile, making there guys super useful. The 3 inch template marks the spots where I muse he's thrown down some Caltrops making the area "rough ground"

Activation 6- The Village Constable….The Constable follows the Thief to the rear of the Tavern to hope to put stop those goblins.

Turn 1 END Phase 

Raider models reduced to 0 hits are removed from play . That is 2 Dire Wolves.


INITIATIVE is rolled to see who goes first, The Adventurers could get a huge break here but lose “6” vs “5” which result in only 1 Fate token being generated and that goes to the Raiders


The Raiders start Turn 2 with 6 Activations and 1 Fate token

Activation 1.  The Ogre.   I bring the Ogre in to play with big charge at the Berserker who proudly put down one his pet Wolves.  Like the Berserker he has “Rage” as well and he always causes Fear which a Berserker with a high morale of 5 should ignore (passes on a 2+) and he does. However the Ogre has a Two handed Axe which is "unwieldly" meaning he loses his charge bonus but gains the "Brutal" ability , The Ogre wins the "Rage" roll, so he gets two brutal attacks with his Axe, he ends up hitting twice and damaging once ,enough to put the Berserker down, He also has the “smash” ability which allows to throw the victim 2 inches and put him prone, which I do.
Rules Note: The Ogre also has the Rend 4+ ability which is basically as same as the Axe without the penalty, so in reality if I used the “Rend” attack of would have retained the Charge bonus, So the Two handed axe upgrade is somewhat of a liability here,  and not really an upgrade at all the model has it so I just rolled with it.

Like I said, Berserkers "Hit Hard, Die Harder"

Activation 2-  Hobgoblin Scout.  The Scout didn’t get to activate last turn, so I was anxious to put him into the fray, But he was a double move away to another  Adventure token on the second floor porch of the Merchant House he started behind, so I have him move twice to grab it!  I flip the card and it’s a Spike Trap!  Ugh..the bloody thief and his traps strike again!…it’s a tough stat check on Agility, the Hobgoblin needs to roll a 5, and rolls 2 so he takes a Strength 4 hit,  and  the die needs a 3+ to wound him and rolls a 5…last chance he has the Shield ability and gets a 6+ save, misses…he’s down and out, Or "Incapacitated" as the rules say…so much for him. and that 1 VP for the Defenders as he's a "unique" model for scenario purposes.

Activation 3  Dire Wolf,  the now lone one Dire Wolf on that side of board activates, I make the “animal” check and he passes again!..alone he heads toward his Wolf brothers and charges the first enemy he sees which is Berserker 3, despite the reroll from  the Onslaught ability he fails to wound the Berserker.

Activation 4- Dire Wolf, the other Dire Wolf locked in combat with Berserker 2, gets to attacks, while only having one attack, he finds his mark and puts the Berserker down.
Things are looking grim for the Berserkers..

 Activation 5- The Goblin Leader, again uses “mob leader 3” to activate the Goblins by the treasure chest. He figures the Ogres got the middle covered lets push the all the goblins hard on the soft flank where the Thief and Town Constable are.  The Goblin Leader uses his bow to shoot at the Town Constable , clear shot, range, aimed…needs a 4+ misses with 2, If it was “3” I would have used the Fate Token to bump it to a hit but I cant. Its just a miss.

The Goblins double time it toward the Mule Wagon with the rest of their ilk

Activation 6-  One Goblin from the front group closes in and reaches the adventure token at the supply wagon, I flip the card. “Jewels” worth 2 VP, he then moves on toward  the Thief but is slowed down by the Caltrop trap ( which makes a 3 inch template rough ground)

I use the Fate token to buy another  Activation here as you lose them at the end of turn if you don’t use them.

Activation 7 -Another Goblin again follows  toward Thief,  he clears the Caltrops but slowed  by the rough ground cant reach the thief either.

2 goblins  remain unactivated this turn.


The Adventures start their second turn with just 4 Activations

Activation 1.  The Warrior.   On paper it looks like the Legendary Warrior can take down this Ogre no problem.,  So I go for it.   I Activate him using his Leader (1) ability also lets me activate the Ranger.  I move the Warrior First and have  Charge in.  He must Morale Test as the Ogre is a “Fearsome” model . it’s a 3+ test, and the Warrior is “Courageous” so he gets a re-roll should I fail. He passes 1st try.  He Rolls a 5 and 6 on both attacks hitting the Ogre twice, but unfortunately only one hit wounds, so the Ogre still stands.  He has a second action so he attacks again. Hits again but misses again!.

Looks like we will see if the Warrior can face the full force of the Ogre next round.

Free Activation  (via Warrior)  The Ranger.  While I am tempted to fire into combat to try to put the Ogre down. There is a Dire Wolf right near by and I don’t need him joining the fight next  turn.  Its clear aimed shot, The Ranger needs a 3+ to Hit and 4+ to wound and gets both, The 3rd Dire Wolf is 

Activation 2  Berserker 3, locked in combat with a Dire Wolf, use both actions to attack twice, he  needs 4+ to Hit and 3+ to wound..should be easy right? He hits once and fails to wound..the combat continues.

Activation 3, The Town Constable.  Considering the Supply Wagon is lost , The Town constable and Thief  have 7 goblins bearing down on them, I figure it time to regroup and try to finish off the Ogre and maybe they can Break the Goblins will to fight, The Constable does a move times 2 back toward to town square.

Activation 4  The Thief, does the same however along the way he uses his Set Traps ability along the way to further slow the advancing Goblins with another 3 Inch template of Rough Ground…this will force the Goblins to go back around the other way, if they want in the fight…(or make climb checks as the docks) it’s a good move.

All Defending models activated !

End Phase,  2 Berserkers and 1 Dire Wolf  and the Hobgoblin are  removed from play, The Ogre is wounded with 1 hit remaining.  In each End Phase the Traps the thief threw down can fade away on a "6" I roll for both, they remain!
Attackers have  9 models in play once, they'll need to lose 3 more in order to start taking morale tests for the Faction being "Shaken"
The Defender are 2 losses away from the same fate.  Looking at the board, things are looking good for the Adventurers right now,  If they can just win Initiative the next turn, its going to be very important dice off.

The Battle Continues in Part 2.

A Merry Christmas to all!


Anonymous said...

Nice report. Will keep an eye on this ruleset. Too bad there are so many and time is limited... :D

daveb said...

I'm really appreciating a chance to learn about this rules set. Thanks for the detailed writeup.

Richard Strachan said...

Great write up, thanks. I love Otherworld, and you're really showing how tactical it can be with the limited number of activations, something I was sceptical of at first but which I think works brilliantly once you start playing.

Andrew Burgoyne said...

Sounds interesting. I like the small number of models and the variable number of units that act each turn. Thanks for the AAR; it was fun to game vicariously!

Unknown said...

This is really cool! Keep it up!

TheOtherOne said...

That is one GREAT looking board. :)


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