Monday, April 25, 2011

Chaos In Carpathia Battle Report - The Victorious Von Krumms

Jordin and I decided to get together on Good Friday night to play some Chaos in Carpathia. I used the same objective-based approach that we used during our big three-player game a few months back with a couple of changes. First of all, each warband could search each objective once, even if the opponent had already successfully done so. Secondly, some of the objectives were worth double points. The catch was, these double-bonus objectives were kept secret from one's opponent until the game's end.

My Hungarians deployed at opposite ends of the main road running through the village.

Jordin's vampires deployed on the side-road coming in by the church and near the river.

When everyone was deployed, we each took a hand of eight playing cards from Ace to 8 with one card assigned to each of the eight objectives on (and under) the battlefield. We each secretly chose one of these to be worth double victory points and laid it aside. Then, our opponent randomly drew two more cards from our hand (without looking at them of course) and laid them aside. These three cards, then, would be worth 2 VP each when the game was over as long as the character miniature holding them was still standing.

The eight objectives were: the Hilltop Monument, the Pagan Stone, the Water Barrel, the Church Garden, the Village Tree, the Great Chair (under the longhouse), the Hall of Statues (in the underground crypt), and the Alchemist's Workbench (in the center-most cottage).

With deployment finished and objectives established, we were on our way.

The Hunt:

A major part of the conflict took place near one of my deployment zones. The Village Tree was in the fields nearby and, as we learned at game's end, that was a bonus objective for each of us. One of Jordin's vampires raced across the fields and found the objective. The two wolves with her charged towards my hunters. The brave Ernst Holdt downed one with a crossbow bolt but the other one made it to my leader, Konrad Von Krumm.

Lazlo the Wanderer, after failing to find the objective at the Village Tree, charged the vampire to keep her from charging his master or, more likely, from leaping in through the window of the nearby cottage to attack Dr. Grunberg, who happened to be inside searching the Alchemist's Workbench (another one of my bonus objectives). Lazlo spent the game holding up two shape-changing vampires in combat until he finally went down valiantly.

Meanwhile, the Count Von Krumm and Ernst found themselves incapable of dealing a killing blow to the wolf. The master vampire crept towards them in the darkness. The foul creature charged towards them, took the form of a wolf, and a savage melee ensued.

After Lazlo went down, one of the vampires from that engagement swooped in to relieve the master vampire. Freed from combat, the master vampire smashed in through the door of the nearby cottage and succeeded in kidnapping Emmalina Grunberg while her protector (the Count Von Krumm) was trapped in combat.

While all of this was going on there were other sub-pockets of action spread across the table.

The Old Woodsmen and one of the vampires were both heading for the Hilltop Monument. The woodsman, who was smart enough not to try to go head to head with a vampire, stayed hidden in the woods until the vampire had finished searching. She took the form of a bat and headed for the Church Garden where she found another objective. When she had cleared out, the Old Woodsman came out of hiding and also found the objective on the hill. He tried to jump the river later but fell in and wasted the remainder of the game thrashing around in the water.

After deployment, Helmut Von Krumm and his faithful hound Zeus left the Old Woodsman to his fate and headed off for the Old Graveyard. Once there, Helmut broke down the door to the crypt and spent a couple of rounds in the catacombs beneath searching through sarcophagi and was lucky enough to find a wildcard victory point. However, as a slayer, he thought his efforts would be more effective fighting vampires so he headed back to the surface. It turned out the be the right move as he charged a vampire (who held two objectives) and destroyed her thereby making her finds null.

The real superstar of my warband turned out to be Dr. Franz Grunberg. As a scholarly type, he is far more equipped for finding objectives than for fighting monsters. As the game progressed he found objectives at the Alchemist's Workbench, the Church Garden, and, during the last turn of the game, in the Hall of Statues with a vampire chasing at his heels.

Result: Victory for the Hungarian Monster Hunters

The Hungarian Monster Hunters earned the following victory points:

  • The Alchemist's Workbench (secret objective) - 2 vp
  • The Hilltop Monument (secret objective) - 2 vp
  • The Church Garden (regular objective) - 1 vp
  • The Hall of Statues (regular objective) - 1 vp
  • most wildcard victory points from searching sarcophagi and chests - 1 vp
The Nosferatu earned the following victory points
  • The Hilltop Monument (secret objective) - 2 vp
  • The Church Garden (regular objective) - 1 vp
  • The Water Barrel (secret objective) - 2vp
  • The Village Tree (regular objective, lost) - 0 vp
  • The Pagan Stone (secret objective, lost) - 0 vp
  • held Female Victim at game end - 1 vp
The final score was 7-6 for the Hungarians. If my slayer hadn't killed that vampire in the last turn, Jordin would have held on to those four victory points making the score 9-7 in his favour.

The changes we made were all for the better I think. Allowing each side to search objectives that have already been searched by the opponent encourages more interaction on the table. Furthermore, the secret objectives give each player a reason to strive for certain locations and to make sure that models with lots of objectives do their best to survive. Can't wait for the next one and, as always...

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Playing 1st Edition AD&D

You heard me. Around a month ago or so I went up into my parents' attic digging around. I found a box with lots of old AD&D goodies that had been buried for almost 20 years - my Player's Handbook, DM's Guide, Monster Manuals, and some old modules, including the infamous Temple of Elemental Evil. The day after I found the stuff I bumped into a good friend from back in those days who I hadn't really seen much of for over 15 years. It seemed rather serendipitous and, when I learned that the other guys in my group all used to play 1st edition before we had met each other, it seemed like it was time to resurrect the past a little.

So, about a week ago I ran a game with some of the guys. We spent some time making up characters in advance. Each player rolled 6 sets of the six attributes (using 3, not 4 dice) so many of the characters are quite average. Here's the party make-up:

  • Marc - Dwarf Fighter
  • Chris - Gnome Fighter/Thief
  • Terry - Human Magic-User
  • Ken - Half-Elf Druid
  • Keir - Human Cleric

I actually printed sheets with 1-inch squares and cut out all of the dungeon rooms and hallways in advance. We used a mix of miniatures and counters to keep track of things as I laid the floorplan out before the players. As it turns out, there was lots of old school fun to be had - a mysterious NPC, the transporting of a mysterious object to a far-off city, camping out in an abandoned temple crypt, and fighting baddies all the way along.

However, after all of these years playing war games, we seem to be playing differently than I remember playing in junior high and high school. First of all there's the miniatures and the props instead of a single piece of graph paper being handed around. Secondly, we are going out of our way to use rules that I don't even remember using when I was a kid - proficiencies, weapon speed factors, encumbrance, and role-playing according to a characters actual scores in Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.

It was great fun and everyone was pumped to play again. We are aiming to get together around once a month to see how long it goes on. Perhaps we'll get a nice little campaign developing.

As for my painting, with recently going back to work, a teething baby, and working overtime, I haven't picked up a brush in over two weeks. Fear not though. I feel the juices beginning to flow again. Last night I walked past some primed 15mm Norse Irish and some unfinished goblin spider riders and I felt myself drawn to the workbench.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Impetus Battle Report - Sir Jonathan Deere Takes the Field

It had been a while since Stu put his Arab army on the table so we decided to have a good old throw down. We tried out a minor house rule as well - instead of both armies fielding a camp, only the defender would field one. We figured that this would cause the attacker to act a little more like a defender.

As usual, I pushed my army a little to far and had some disorder issues as a result.

As you can see, Stu has been having some issues with his spears either coming off or going all spaghetti on him. It's a real shame but I think he plans on doing some replacing over time.

Sir Jonathan Deere (think about that name and look at the model for a minute) was on my left flank and succeeded in routing a unit of light cavalry and pushing back another.

Peter Redgrave's javelinmen prepared to meet the cavalry assault.

My humble peasants find themselves biting off more than they could chew.

By the halfway point the middle of the field was packed with my army clashing with Stu's cavalry.

Before too long, Peter Redgrave's command was broken. However, Stockwood's command of men-at-arms, archers, and knights was still in very good shape.

Etienne de Guarde and his knights had a great romp through Stu's line and managed to take out a couple of units of enemy cavalry.

By the game's end, Stu had one unit of light cavalry making a run for my camp but it was too late. I took out half of his larger command and, by the end of that turn, his entire army was routed.

I admit that I over-extended my unit of English knights but I couldn't resist making a run with them - fresh paint often has that effect. I'll try and use them more sensibly next time. Until then...

Thanks for reading,