Monday, December 17, 2018

Rangers of Shadow Deep, Mission 1: The Missing. , a complete play through.

As I mentioned last time, I recently picked up Rangers of Shadow Deep by Frostgrave author Joseph McCullogh. Since I am painting Frostgrave guys for Adepticon it was time to give Rangers of Shadow Deep (RoSD) Mission 1  a solo play-through. One of the things I presume that is making this game popular ( for a small indie game that is pushing 2000 members in its private Facebook group) is that its both Solo and Co-Op -something that until the last 3-4 years when all these Heroquest type board games started making a comeback hasnt really been a "thing"

Since it has an open ended narrative (within the context of each scenario) and you can use ‘whatever miniatures” I find it to be a cross between OSR RPG played as a tactical miniatures game. With a very cool atmosphere that I’ll dub Tolkien or even Glen Cook-esque in its background I think that McCullough has got something unique here and a great companion to the player vs player action of Frostgrave.

While conveniently after decades of wargaming, I have most everything needed already painted for the game, what I mainly needed was too build and paint my Ranger and his men plus some various tokens, of course  I could have used existing figures but where's the fun in that right?

Speaking of Frostgrave ,The game mechanics in RoSD are similar if not identical to FG, you only use 20 sided Die for the game. I write this assuming the reader has a familiarity with how that game is played.

Here is my gang for mission 1

L-R Thorvald, Skuti, Blackwulf, Guthrum, Sigurd, Gord

My Ranger is simply known as “Blackwulf”

For my starting build I took 3 points in stats with +1 bonus  Fight, Shoot and Health
4 points in skills with , Deadly Strike, Deadly Shot,  Steady Aim and the Spell “Heal”
And 3 points in Skills which he puts points in 9 skills 6 with +3 and 3 with +2

I have 103 resource points for My companions (100 base +3 for my Leadership)
So I take 5 – 20 point companions ( your maximum companions in a solo game is 7)
Your companions, when 1st recruited are allowed a skill bonus or bonus skill of +3

My companions are

Sigurd- Man at Arms, Armory +3
Thorvald- Guardsman, Strength +3
Guthrum , Guardman, Survival +3
Gord, Rogue , +3 to existing Perception skill for +5
Skuti, Archer , Track +3

Here are the roster sheets


Mission 1 : The Missing

“It has been less than a week since the destruction of Lorenthia and the appearance of the Shadow Deep but, in that time, the world has seemingly gone mad. Reports of strange creatures, and evil, robed men are flooding in from all along the new border. Even with every soldier, ranger, and volunteer mobilized, the kingdom is stretched thin. Three days ago, a veteran ranger by the name of Aventine went out to investigate reports of an attack on a nearby village. She has not returned. Determined to find the missing ranger, you have gathered what companions you can and set off for the village. It’s an eight-hour hike over difficult terrain”

Scenario 1: The Deserted Village

“As soon as you came within sight of the nameless village, you knew that something wasn’t right. There was no sound of man or animal, no movement except for the gentle swaying of the trees in the breeze. Closer in, you could see bodies lying in the dirt and smell the stench of death. Undaunted, you covered your face and carried on. Whatever happened here, it was your duty to try to discover the truth, and, if possible, determine the fate of Aventine. You had just reached the center of the village, and were about to split up to search, when a horrible moaning sound came from all around"

 After table is set up (placing figures and clue markers) there is special rule where one figure makes a perception roll (TN 8), Gord, or Rogue with is +5 perception rolls an“11”
Which allows me to move one clue marker 6 inches to the rogue, I choose the one in the SE corner of the map

This mission ends on the end of the 8th turn.




Calls  for a group activation which will also activate  Gord and Thorvald

He sees a Zombie S shuffling toward them slightly more 10 inches away
He fires his bow at the Zombie eyeballing him (14,14,) with his +2 shoot he wins (hits)
(note: I show all D20 rolls as  X, X  with the Heroes roll always being first)
Arrow does  4 damage its not enough- the Zombie keeps coming.
Blackwulf decides to stand his ground. for the moment


Move s 4” of his 7 toward a 1”  terrace wall of the large farmhouse - Gord want to climb over  the short wall and keep moving
( I don’t see any specifics in the book for things like low wall so please correct me if I off here)
Treating the Climb like a Jump 1 inch up and then  1 inch down for a total of 6 with his move of 7, he easily makes the check with a +5 Climb (if we use Jump rules it’s a TN 2) 
once over the wall. He sees a giant Rat and uses his throwing knife.  (13, 9) in his favor with +1 to his shoot for 14 he wins (hits)  throwing knives are -1 dam so 13- rats armor of 6 the Rat is killed.

Thorvald makes a double move toward the Zombie coming from the east table edge for a total of 9 inches.

The game started with 4 visible zombies and 4 Giant Rats on the board 

Zombie N moves 6 to heroes
Zombie W moves 6 to heroes
Zombie S moves 6 to heroes
2 Giant Rats move 9 inches toward Sigurd

Zombie E- moves  2 inches  into combat with Thorvald -they Fight  (19, 20) A 20 for the Zombie thankfully standard enemies do not do critical hits…Thorvald is Fight +3 vs the Zombies +0  = 22 to 20 , Thorvald wins  his Hammer is +2 damage for a total of 24 – the armor of 12 mean 12 damage for the Zombie or Thorvald crushes its head in dead.

Giant Rat 2 -moves 6 inches into combat with Gord and attacks ( 11,15) Gord being fight +1 Loses to the rat and is bit with his armor of 10 he take a whooping 5 points of damage from the Rat….( it latched onto his jugular??)  plus he has to make a Disease check at 5 health but rolls a 16 vs the TN 8



Sees the rogue is in trouble he moves  4” Climbs the Inch wall and enters the combat with the Rat and Gord (10,8) because Guthrum and Gord are both in Combat its a 2 v 1 so +2 to Guthrum's base +3 Fight 
Guthrum wins 15 to 8 ripping the rat off him and squishing it….

Guthrum to the rescue.., 

Skuti- fires and Arrow at Approaching Zombie W..(8,18) misses Doh,. Zombies and Rate Closing in he retreat Southwest toward the small farmhouse.

Sigurd- turns and Charges into combat with Zombie approaching Blackwulf exactly 6 inches away the fight (20,2)  critical for Sigurd , 1st of the game..that Zombies head comes clean off with the Critical (+5 damage ) its 19 damage!

I need some dead zombie tokens a headless one right in front of Sigurd here would be appropriate.


RED 2-  two more Zombies appear at Southern and Western board edges



Blackwulf -
Group activates  Skuti and Sigurd this time 
He the fires his bow at nearest Zombie W ( 7,17)  He misses Gah…he then moves 6 inches.


Turns and Fires 9” at the new Zombie who has just entered the board from the South. (19,18) hit shoot is +2  21 vs armor 12 = 11 damage An arrow in zombies eye socket, it falls over dead.

Sigurd moves twice toward the clue marker at the Small Farmhouses Livestock pen.


Zombie N moves 6 toward Blackwulf and Skuti

Zombie W1 moves 6  toward Blackwulf and Skuti   almost reaching them

Zombie  W2  only has LoS to Sigurd so moves 6 toward him but runs into rough ground doing only moving 4 inches..

Giant Rat reaches Blackwulf and attacks.. (15,11)  Blackwulf kills the rat easily
Giant Rat reaches Skuti and attacks..(19,13)  and he also kills the rat easily

Companion phase

Makes a double move  from the east heading toward the Zombie N approaching the others


Moves 5 inches thru the gate at the end of the terrace and then 3 into  SE clue marker
Revealed it is (roll 10) 

Mutilated Body. You discover a body with some strange bite marks that appear to have been poisonous. Make an immediate Survival Roll (TN6) to see if you can determine their nature.” coincidentally Guthrum is the guy with Survival +3  Rolling a 5 vs TN 8 he makes it!


Moves 6 and the attempts to pick the lock to gain entry into the house.. Pick Locks +5 vs TN 8
Roll is a 10, and he’s got the door open.


Red 6  - 2 More Giant Rats are placed out of Line of Sight of the heroes near the NW  Clue Marker




Can only Group activate Skuti

Blackwulf has had enough of these damn zombies and charges into combat  ( 14,11) at Fight +3 that becomes a 17 -12 for Zombie armor = 5 damage..its still standing, He steps back from combat.

Skuti attempts to put Arrow into Zombie  Blackwulf just fended off ….13,12  His +2 shoot makes sinks the arrow but its only for 3 damage..another one is down!

After his shooting  attack  Blackwulf orders him to back off 6” toward  Sigurd


Zombie N turns and engages Thorvald  (9,4) Thorvald wins but with +3 the 12 means there no damage to the Zombie,  he stays in combat since he’s  turn is coming

Zombie W2 has line of sight to Blackwulf who is closer so it turns  making both its moves to enter combat.

Rats move toward nearest clue marker where they then get LoS on Thorvald and proceed 3 inches toward him.



in combat with the Zombie 7,14….with +3 his 10 still loses the fight with his 11 armor he takes 3 damage.

moves 6 inches in to the livestock where he finds a clue marker  roll 18..Treasure..


Now that Gord has picked the  opens the door and enters the building inside a clue marker and a Zombie!  Of course…Guthrum  engages the zombie  (1,13) OFF  guthrum wiffs and the Zombie hits him fortunately its only for 2 damage

Gord- has a tough decision to make..go in and loot, or help in the fight…he actually can loot because he cant get around the fight without getting dragged into it.. his bonus with Guthrum is in the combat is only plus 3..Guthrum tell  him to secure treasure from Sigurd so he moves 9 leaving Guthrum to his fate 1 vs 1


Red 5 – a Giant Rat is placed as near to hero as possible while still being in contact with building. In this case about  2 inches away from Sigurd!



Blackwulf can group activate only Gord this turn..
Blackwulf engaged with Zombie Fights..20,17..Blackwulf 1st critical… 23 to 17 he lands a mortal blow doing 11 damage to the Zombie..he then moves 6 toward Thorvald
Gord  moves 9” getting contact with Sigurd to take the treasure token off him.

Zombie N vs Thorvald 14,8  Thorvald with a 17 does 5 points of Damage to the Zombie it keeps fighting!

Zombie in Large House Fights Guthrum 10.20  OOF  not Guthrums days he take 9 points of Damage having only 1 Hp left  they  stay engage
Giant Rat charges Sigurd 7,5  giving a Sigurd a 10 to win..against a Rat with 6 armor and 1`hp that’s enough to kill it!



Drops the Treasure Token for Gord to take and moves the Small Farmhouse door where he attempts to smash the door down- he does with a (12) vs TN8 -finding the building empty


In combat with Zombie near the well at the center of the board (15, 3)…his 18 total from his hammer pulverizes the zombie to paste with the needed 6 damage


Goes for broke with his 1 hp  fighting on ( 7, 19 ) battling some evil dead type super  Zombie he goes down hard and is Out of Action
The first companion falls.


Hears Guthrums'  war cry  as he falls in battle . He sees he has astraight line of sight on the Zombie that put Guthrum down.  He fires an arrow. The shot is - 2 one for moving one from intervening terrain of the terrace wall and shootimg thru the doorway is giving the zombie some light cover. Skuti's shoot is +2 so its an even shot –(18, 5) Woot! 
Payback Skuti sinks an arrow into its skull putting the zombie down,,,
Dramatic and lucky---



"Any figure that is reduced to 0 Health during this scenario must make a Health Roll (TN16) or suffer from disease in the next scenario. Use a figure’s starting health to make this roll"

Ugh ..Looks like we be rolling for Guthrum so far in the post game

Only rats on the board..4 clue markers need uncovered.


Blackwulf cannot group activate anyone as he is more than 3 inches from any companions

Blackwulf sees those couple rats headed his way and decided to try his "Steady Aim" ability to take one out with his bow . Steady Aim is +5 for a total of +7.. he shoots  19,18 ! hah -he didn’t even need it that Rat is skewered dead.


One rat moves toward Blackwulf his short to reach him with a double move by just over an inch.



Moves inside the  Large Farmhouse with 9” for a double move he is short of the Clue marker.

Picks up the Treasure Token that Sigurd was carrying to move toward the  table edge..he is about 2 inches away from leaving the board

Moves North toward the Ruined Farmhouse and its clue marker


Moves to the stone farmhouse and smashes down the door  +3 vs TN 8 rolls a 16
Door flies open inside is a Zombie and a clue marker!

Event Phase

RED 7 

Collapse. One of the buildings, determined randomly, collapses. Any figure in, or within 2” of the building, suffers an immediate +4 attack

I roll randomly it’s the ruined farmhouse that no one is currently at , we are lucky



Blackwulf cannot group activate anyone as he is more than 3 inches from any companions

Blackwulf fires his bow and the approaching rat.. (10,7 ) winning with a 12 for his +2 shoot enough to kill a rat…
He then moves toward Thorvald


Stone Farmhouse Zombie engages Thorvald  (2,5)  with Thorvalds +3 fight we have our first tie both figures deal damage but because of the low rolls armor blocks damage to either figure



fights on!..(8,3)  he wins with an 11 but against armor 12, its going nowhere


 moves 9 toward NW clue marker, and just reaches it!
We roll a (5)  he finds a survivor hidden in the bushes near the stone wall!


finds the clue marker in the large farmhouse

He rolls a (15)  ..Herbs. we will find out what they are later.

Skuti can make a second move back toward the door of 3 inches


 leaves the board with a treasure token secured!

Gord , securing the treasure thats what Rogues do...

Event Phase

Red 3  just as things seemed to be slowing down  Two Zombies show up. One North and South from center table edge..



Blackwulf can group activate with Thorvald this turn

 He moves and joins the combat with Thorvald  attacking with +5 from the  2 vs 1 bonus, (18,3 ) off comes the zombies head at 23 to 12 equaling 11 damage

Then  enters the small cottage and reaches the clue marker rolling “1”
He finds the body of lost ranger Aventine he makes an armory roll and rolls a “4” failing
He doesn’t notice her sword…Hes too obsessed with his hammer I guess oh well.

They find the missing Ranger- Aventine.


Both Zombies have Line of Sight on heroes and move toward the with double 6” moves.


Engages the oncoming Zombie with some encouragement he gets the Survivor to join in so he can get the combat bonus..(17 ,1 )  the zombies are going down hard  with the +5 that’s 11 damage another Zombie dies

Getting the survivor in the battle probably not the best idea..but it worked.


Fires an arrow at the oncoming Zombie  20,14 the is -1 for intervening terrain but its still a critical another dead zombie
(its not lost on me I am getting very lucky here, I watched some other play throughs of this mission that didnt go so well)

Lets hope Skuti continues to be so lucky, somehow I dont think  so

Event Phase

RED 4  Zombie…I place a Zombie on the Last Clue marker.



Blackwulf can group activate Thorvald only.

 Blackwulf moves around the corner of building he can see the last clue marker but cannot reach it with a 9’ move  so he moves his full 6 and shoots his bow. (6,12) missing.

Thorvald moves out of the building and  right next to Blackwulf with a double move.


Last Zombie moves to engage Blackwulf, Thorvald snaps to the Combat (3, 6)
With +5 win the combat with a 8 and we don’t damage it but push it back.



Leads the Survivor toward the town well to reunite with his companions

Moves around the large farmhouse taking unlikely potshot at the pushed back Zombie
Intervening Terrain and light Cover..(12, 20)   , a miss Zombie brush arrow away like a fly.



FOUR more Zombies show in original starting positions…

lucky for me the games ends here ..when Sigurd returns with the Survivor and knowledge of Aventines fate  uncovered  The Ranger and his companions sneak out of the village to rendezvous with Gord, rather than battle the seemingly endless horde

Scenario ends where it began. now lets get out of here......


•  +2XP for each giant rat or zombie killed.
7 Giant Rats where Killed.   =14XP  10 Zombies where killed  = 20 XP
• +6XP for each clue marker uncovered.
5 of 6 Clue Marker where found   =30 XP
• +12XP if Aventine’s body is discovered.
  Her Body was Found = 12 XP
• +5XP if Aventine’s sword is recovered.
The Sword was not = 0XP
• +15XP if a survivor is found and lives to the end of the scenario.
One Survivor was found and lived = 15Xp
• +6XP if the tracks are discovered and their nature successfully determined.
No tracks where found =0XP
• +6XP if the mutilated body is discovered and the nature of the bite marks successfully

     Yes Body was found and spider bites determined  =6XP

Not enough to make it the 1 level, 3 point shy …

Out of Action Characters


 Rolls a (7) on the Survival Table "Close Call"

loses all non standard equipment (didn’t have any) but recovers normally,…

DISEASE Check - with 12 Health Guthrum needs a 4+ and rolls a 10…not Diseased.

Treasure Table

I Rolls ‘3’  =Gold and Jewels, I know idea what these did…nice
tough call as I could give Guthrum his Progression Point he's losing from going OoA but I think
 Ill be taking the 10 XP, 
Blackwulf thank yous for level 1

Herbs and Potion

  -  Roll 8. one dose of Haikwheat

Blackwulf the Ranger XP 107
Level 1  -SKILLS +5

1 Progression Point

I am liking this game a lot,  the FG mechanics are clean and not fussy, I found myself looking for a few rules here and there based one things I am used to that weren’t there. Game balances the simple with the fun,  only concerns were I only used one of my Heroic abilities , I might of the picked things that are more useful  (come up more often) but we will have to see how that goes, This scenario good have been a lot harder had that Red Ace come up turn 5 or 6 and I had not had as good rolls , it a whole different ballgame.

Companion Reorganization Phase - at the Tavern


Next Up Mission 1: The Missing -Scenario 2: The Infected Trees


Robert said...

Nice battle report and review. Looks like a fun game. Thanks!

Codsticker said...

Your table looks great- very nice job on the buildings.

Phil Curran said...

An excellent battle report.

Tim Kulinski said...

So John, is this loosely on Lord of the Rings, or is it just a generic fantasy game?

John@Plastic.Legions said...

Hi Tim
its generic fantasy however, the whole "Shadow Deep" background definitely has a Tolkien influence and the author is clearly a fan of classic dark fantasy..
its basically parallels Frostgrave in style and design. It certainly ticks all the right boxes with me.


blogger templates | Make Money Online