Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Rangers of Shadow Deep, Mission 3: Descent into Darkness, Scenario 3: The Last Stand , Part I

 Mission 3: Descent into Darkness, Scenario 3: The Last Stand 

Having pushed through the swamp, the land becomes firmer and the gnarled trees less dense. The rolling black clouds above still cast everything in a perpetual twilight and ash and smoke still drifts in the air. For the most part, the land is quiet. No birds sing, no insects call out. Occasionally, a small animal twitters from the shadows or scampers through the dead leaves. Twice you have spotted small patrols composed of gnolls and masked men, but both times you have been able to find cover and remain undetected. With few indications of the passage of time, you are forced to rely on your own reckoning and the growl of your stomach to know when to call halts, rest, and eat. You have passed several streams, which seem to contain fresh water, though you remain wary of drinking from them.
Just as your companions are starting to tire, and you are considering calling a halt for sleep, you
spy a broken structure in the gloom ahead. Crawling forwards you can see that it is a partially collapsed
stone farmhouse, of a kind that is common in both Alladore and Lorenthia. Creeping closer, you see
shifting shadows within, and, closer still, you hear whispered voices. There are several people inside,
definitely humans. As you focus on the speech, you begin to pick up the lilting accent of Lorenthia, and
although the words are still obscure, you can hear an undercurrent of fear. Making up your mind, you call out softly to the house ‘Lorenthia’. The voices go silent, but you hear a shuffling from inside. You call out again, ‘Lorenthia’. A moment of silence, and then a reply comes from within, ‘Friends’.
Standing up, with your hands open before you, you walk slowly towards the door of the house. A
man is standing there, in the tattered remains of a Lorenthian uniform. A battered and notched sword
is in his hand. ‘We are friends. From  Alladore.’ You say. The man lowers his sword and grunts, ‘We’ll take friends from anywhere. ’Inside the broken house, you see several more soldiers as well as a group of women and children. The man in the tattered uniform speaks again. ‘I don’t know how long it has been since the world ended, but for all I knew, we were the only survivors. There are things out there, Orcs and worse, hunting us.’ ‘Lorenthia is destroyed,’ you reply, ‘but the world endures. Alladore still stands. We can take you there…’ But even as you say the last word, a horn sounds in the distant gloom, and your companions come running. Everyone draws their weapons and prepares to face the onslaught.

Pre Game Notes:

This scenario is the conclusion of the introductory scenarios from the rulebook. Its a tough scenario where you’ll face the largest numbers and hardest enemies yet.  Rangers should be 5th level or very close by its conclusion., You’ve got help in the manner of 7 survivors  but you also have to carefully manage them as their survival is worth  56XP alone and we have averaged  60 XP a game
With the highest being the intro mission at 97. I see this one being similar or even breaking 100 xp depending,  its 12 turns. It will be the longest game yet as we have 14 protagonists. So we are going to have much longer turns.  At  12 turns we also have the longest event deck yet at 16 cards, 3 of which are drawn to start the game to determine what enemies are attacking you from Turn 1.

Given that this write up of the complete game is going to be at least 2 parts maybe 3, this first part
Will be the board Set up , terrain, special rules and character stats.

Set Up

The centerpiece of the scenario is abandoned farmhouse the Heroes and Survivors are defending. I had several ruined farmhouse buildings from Warlord Games . I had built them  for Bolt Action that easily double as late medieval/ high fantasy type ruined dwellings.  My problem was they weren’t big enough.  I thought about building something from scratch but I am trying to stick to my guns as much as possible to use/reuse my vast collection of wargaming terrain.  I did have a 3 other unbuilt buildings on the shelf from  another boxed  set ,  which had been languishing there 3-4 years at this point. Happy to put these to use  I modularized them  building pieces to fit gaps , additional wall and adding some second floor sections and a connecting section .  The end result is two  sections  9” x 5” and 8”x 5” which is 85 square inches vs the specified 8”x 6” and 6”x6”  at 84 square inches

The rest of board is covered with trees , the is another small ruined building and well which both have treasure tokens by them if we can get to them .  I wish I had some more creepy wasteland style terrain or game mat to further  represent the Shadow Deep, I am going to pick up some game mats soon,  I am kinda of waiting to what I find at Adepticon in March.

Section 1

Section 2

The added bits 

Full layout of Farmhouse there are three sections of  the upper floors\

Special Rules

 During the event phase of every turn (except the 12th) draw an Event Card.

The Target Point for this scenario is the center point of the table.

Evil figures cannot enter the farmhouse through windows, although they may attack
through them (suffering a -2 Fight penalty). They may only enter through the two doors or by
climbing onto the roof, requiring 4” of movement, and climbing down inside, requiring another
4” of movement.

There is a 1 inch stone wall around three side of the house and to keep it simple I am going to use the Frostgrave Obstructions rules here in which case  a 1 inch wall will cost 2 inches of movement to move over.

Before the game, I may nominate one figure to make a Traps Roll (TN6). If successful,
they may make one free +3 shooting attack against any figure at any point during the scenario

( I choose Gord with Traps +5 he a rolls a (9) so he succeeds that my come in very handy.)

Also before the scenario begins I am draw 3 cards from the deck to who my starting enemies are

I draw:
RED ACE- Place 4 Orc Fighters at a random point on the table edge
RED SEVEN - Place 2 Giant Flies at a random point on the table edge
RED TEN Place One Troll at a random point on the table edge

OK , 4 Orcs, 2 Flies and a Troll, Lets get this party started!

Fight +4 , Armor 14, , Health 16 adn +2 Dam..the Troll is no joke and we could draw a second in this scenario.

Usual Orc rabble, no super concerned about them except there is up to 17!!! who can join the battle.

My Ranger

Ranger Blackwulf- My main man has been a pretty tough hombre, he only almost went down for the count during M2 S1: the Battle of the Bridge guards.  He’s taken some other wounds but nothing major. His heroic abilities have been 50/50  After 7 missions I only used both my Deadly Strike and Dead Shot Abilities , ONCE..its just hasn’t come up  where hes won a combat  or shooting contest on an 18 or 19 , I want really thinking about the fickleness of the D20 when I picked them. His Heal spell and Deadly Aim abilities have been very useful . SO for this last mission he happens to get a new heroic ability having hit level 4, I choose something that I know I will be able to use every scenario no matter what:  Hand of Fate. 

The Companions

Our companions have fared very well also, thou that would be due to luck.  Both Gord and Skuti
Have survived every match so far, Sigurd has fallen once,  Thorvald three times and  Guthrum four. 
Xavos has only be with us since the start of mission 3  and almost died right from the start, so Im trying to keep him out of combat where I can.

Osprey miniatures, mostly the Barbarian kit..with a few random pieces from other kits 

A House Rule

We have had No deaths and No permanent injuries.  Having only a 20% chance of rolling a 4 or less.  Moving ahead  I am going to house rule that every time some is knocked out of action they receive -1 on the Survival table for each proceeding time they are knocked  “ Out of Action “ so in Guthrums case he would be – 4 to his die roll the next time he is knocked out of action, This can be offset by medicine like the Athalas herb.  This will up the risk for your characters because eventually everyone's number comes up and I want to rotate in new characters as Resource Points gaining process is pretty slow. Of course I can reorganize my companions  after any game,  and bring in or swap out whoever I want  , its just makes more sense as a narrative if once in a while we get a KIA.

 The Lorenthian Survivors

This Scenario features Seven survivors who find at the ruined farmhouse just before the forces of Shadow Deep attack.  3 Soldiers and  4 Civilians. One of the soldiers on Leadership check TN12 can be upgraded to  a Knight from a Man at Arms.  Blackwulf has +5 Leadership skill I was sure he would do it but he rolled (4)  or a “9” nope. Man at Arms it is.  Here is my breakdown of our Survivors

4 Lorenthian Soldiers
-The Sergeant – a Man at Arms
-The Corporal- an Archer with Crossbow
-The Scout - a n Archer with Crossbow
-The Rookie (aka Rook) a new recruit who was previously wounded ,  -2 to fight so he has Civilian Stats

3 Civilians
 Whats left of the large family and neighbors  that once lived in the area before Lorenthia fell to the Shadow Deep
- A Farmer named  “Otis” ,  This was his family home he is all that remains of his large Family
-The Widow ,  the lone survivor of a neighboring family ..the men call her  “Ma’am” but in gameplay we will call her “The Widow”
-An Old man, no one knows who he belongs to, he doesn’t either, they call him “Grandpa”..

So our seven survivors: Sergeant, Corporal, Scout, Rook, Otis, The Widow and Grandpa.
We will see how many make it thru


I need to set up everyone first then draw my three cards from the event deck, I have already drawn them so I will randomly place them after I set up.

My plan is have a Man- at Arm and Guardsman cover each door.

 Have the Archers inside moving where the need to where they can shoot both inside and out

Ranger Blackwulf is going to roam the grounds being mindful not to get surround, falling back to house when he needs to.

Gord and Xavos are going to work as a Pair trying to retrieve the Treasure Tokens then will fall back to the house

Rook, Otis, The Widow and Grandpa will be inside the house staying together backing up any Archers and trying to stay alive.

With the preliminaries out of the way we are now ready to place our initial bad guys and start turn 1
The dice roll in Part 2!!

Final set up before I start rolling dice at the Beginning of Turn 1


Codsticker said...

Great work with the Warlord Games buildings. I found the size an issue to so did something similar with 2 of them: mashed them together to make one larger structure.


blogger templates | Make Money Online