Monday, February 12, 2018

The Blackbarrow Chronicles, Episode 2, The Gauntlet Part 1 - Preview

The Blackbarrow Chronicles,  Episode 2, The Gauntlet  Part 1 - Preview

Blackbarrow Chronicles is a series of reports on the  fantasy games played on my Village of Blackbarrow table. A long term project that I have been working on in large and small parts for just about a decade.   The rules for Episode 2 are again a “hacked” version of the OSR “The Black Hack” ruleset  designed with specifically miniature gaming in mind. 

Blackbarrow -from a longview from far above the Dungeon section
I spent the last month and then some of my hobby time getting ready for this post and I’m happy to report as I write this I have painted about dozen miniatures since last post and have four more to do before we start rolling dice. This first part of Episode 2, is going to explain the set up,  the factions and involved and cover some the general improvements I made in town since last post. I fear that If I left this all for one post its be far too long and that would just delay me getting the whole episode posted but the end of the month.

The Gauntlet run, the caravan will start just around the corner from where you see it here, its about 40 inches to the Bridge..

"The Gauntlet" , at face value is a pretty stereo typical skirmish game type mission, The defenders must transport the caravan from point A to point B, the attackers must make of with the goods, while delivering as much damage as possible . The Defenders or protagonists in this case are the Merchants Guild. The antagonists or attackers are the local band of thieves, the curveballs to make this interesting are the corrupt Sheriff of Blackbarrow and his men are working as double agents paid off by the Thieves to slow down and distract the Merchant Caravan, but order by the Towns Castellan to protect it. To add another layer to the mix, the Merchants is sending three chests in the caravan but only one contains the loot, the other two are decoys . Even the Merchants themselves purposely don’t know which of the chests contains the prize, we will roll off after the mission to find out which one.

This public market area is a work in progress , I have a few tables and one stall so far, it wont get too much larger, The bandits arent painted yet, but here is Rob Roys wanted poster..
The objective is to transport all three chests to from the Merchant House and Moneylenders to the Castle once the Caravan reaches the bridge (being physically on it, ) It is considered “safe” as its in range of the Castle Guards heavy crossbows.

The Sheriff and his men will intercede at the Bottom of Turn one and at the Top of Turn 4, if  involved in combat they will withdraw, but they main goal is to “inspect” the caravan while “escorting it” in order to hopefully make off with on of the chests.As the Distance traveled is just about 40 inches and the movement of the slow moving caravan is 6 inches..we should be running about 7 full turns not counting combat delays.

The town blacksmith finally made it onto the table!

The Story:
With local coffers dwindling due to Banditry and Corruption , attracting new recruits for a life of soldiering at Blackbarrow Castle has become difficult. With the disappearance of his Sergeant at Arms and 4 good men whose daytrip to investigate strange glowing lights seen at night from the Castle at nearby Fellcross Ruins has left the Castle Garrison woefully understaffed. The Castellan has been forced to sell off some his heirloom jewelry  in order to pay for the hire of the esteemed Iron Tower Mercenary Company. 

    The Merchants Guild was quite willing to come to his aid and and knows it can fetch a great price for the jewels at the regional port city. Already in possession of the jewels (which were discretely passed off days ago to the Guildmaster- Zilchus while at the local market.) All that’s left to do is move a large chest of gold crowns from the very secure Merchant House to the Castle so the Castellan can pay his mercenaries when they arrive.
Zilchus and the Merchants Guild, with the three Chests they will marching down the street, The three in the middle are just henchmen, the buff fellow on the end is a Warrior
      Zilchus is no fool he knows any number of local groups will be on the lookout for   opportunity to steal the loot. The Castellan,  not being able to spare any men at the moment,  orders the local sheriff to make sure his gold gets to the Castle "or else".  The Merchants wisely assume its worth the extra gold to hire some protection of their own out of the pool of  transient adventurers..

Thrum , a Barbarian half breed of some long forgottern giant race and his cohort- Reynard , a Wizard who probably should have retired already, a hires by the Merchants Guild this time around.
The notorious local Bandit Rob Roy, and his gang, called “the Lowlanders” picked up word of the cash caravan from Zilchus’s own henchman , overheard talking about it while drinking at the Wayside Inn, they have conspired with the Sheriff to slow down the Caravan as much as possible so they can swoop in and steal the gold, Rob Roy isn’t stupid there a price on his and all his gangs heads. Despite promises to the Sheriff for "his cut"  Rob Roy knows the sheriff will betray him at first chance if things dont go perfect , So the bandits plan to let the Sheriff grab the gold himself, - then steal it from him- which if successful will kill two birds with one stone, With the Castellans wrath getting the Sheriff locked up in the Castles Dungeon..

The Sheriff of Blackbarrow and his men.
 The Sheriff looks out for himself, he’s been working with the bandits looking “ the other way” for a 20% cut for some time. He’s much better off with the Castellan’s power somewhat destabilized as it allows him much more freedom to operate. The Castellan recently upped Rob Roys Bounty to 250 crowns and 50 a head for his gang. The Sheriff and his men while too far to be seen at the end of turn one from the Castle will take any cheap shot they can on the Merchant Caravan, on turn 4 they will be much more careful looking opportunity’s hidden from view or looking for easy money  with “Out of Action”  Bandits to snatch up or better yet  loose chests from the Merchants Caravan to “safeguard.”

Blackbarrow and its current environs, Keyed, with a view from the large tower.
As far working on the Town itself -I haven’t bit the bullet on digging into the next project yet, I haven’t decided whether I want to build the Mill or finish up the Caverns in the Dungeon. I did do a little town maintenance, I cleaned a few transitions that sometime appear unsightly in some of the photos, I added a sewer grate over what makes sense to be a drainage ditch running from the Inn, past the Merchant House, Under the Hall of Tyr to the river, I cast some reduced profile stone work done and some odds and ends for the beginning of  the Market area, added a small bridge for the transition from the main table to the castle, more varying bushes and landscaping and probably some more I have forgotten about by now.
Something is always going on at The Inn, This time we have a couple of new visitors - a pair of elves from the Dungeon Decor Kickstarter a couple years back, I gave one them a hat from an old GW kit and the other Lute from the same KS.
  The next steps are getting started onwhatever the next large project is going to be which probably dictate where we go with Episode 3, and what ever models are getting painted up.I still need to finish painting the Bandits this week for this scenario and the we are rolling dice. Which I am hoping will happen this coming weekend, putting this preview together has got me ready to go.

Our new Travelers in the Ox Cart, the Cart and the Ox from those Wizkids D&D pre-primed line, way more work than I anticipated,    I often overlook that most D&D players are NOT remotely in anyway miniatures hobbyists, reviews I read on these are VERY kind and overlook ALOT of flaws, in the end I think it came out fine, it just was more of  a "project" than I expected.


daveb said...

Looks fantastic. I quite like your selection of figs, lots of very characterful sculpts in there. Where is the sheriff from?

John@Plastic.Legions said...

Hi Dave

The Sheriff figure and the Tax Collector (the one right next to him ) are from Lead Adventures excellent Bruegelburg Line, The rest of the ones in this post are Reaper with a few Otherworld figures. The Big guy Thrum is from Diehard Miniatures...

Joe Procopio said...

This town set up is truly a wonder. Would love to play on something this evocative. And those are some lovely figures you have, too.


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