Tuesday, December 28, 2021

87. Feudal Patrol - Wrap up

Here is the second half of the game of Feudal Patrol I recently played.  Lots of pictures again.  You should probably read that one first to know what's going on here.

You may recall, at the end of the previous blog post, that a dragon suddenly arrived.  Not just any dragon, but THE dragon, so named Stench.  I randomly determined the board edge he would enter from, drew 3 cards for movement, and determined he would fly in a straight line.  This is where he ended up.

Bob the Bone Wizard is looking a trifle nervous, but fortunately for him, Stench was still settling in from his landing.

The Knights in Shining Armor activated...

 ...and easily dispatched the one Gnoll who had made it to their line.

Bob the Bone Wizard had a right to be nervous, because Stench activated before Bob was able to, attacked him from behind and...

...killed and ate him.  You could hear Bernie's aggrieved cry from across the battlefield, "Noooo!"  They may have really disliked each other (I mean, no one really seemed to like Bob), but he never wanted to see him eaten by a dragon.

Having eaten his foe, Stench advances a bit closer to some more tasty treats.  (The dragon won the roll-off for a tied activation.)

And he eats another crunchy-on-the-outside-chewy-on-the-inside human.

The Constabulary activated next, and one wise fellow promptly ran away.  "Fighting a dragon was never in the job description!" he shouted.  The Chief Constable was stunned, both at having his man eaten and at how quickly it all happened.

All he could do was un-stun, and his other man backed away from the monster.  The two crossbowmen reloaded, probably thinking, "What good will these pea-shooters do against that?"

Over on the other side of the battlefield, the Bugbears felt they had a challenge more to their bestial liking than puny humans (especially puny humans who killed 4 in one spell-blow).

Via the vagaries of fate, the Constables activated first on the 4s.  The Chief Constable, recognizing that discretion really was the better part of valor, advanced to the rear.  As he passed the crossbowmen, he ordered them to shoot.  "Hey, keep that thing away from me, would'ja?"

They shot very well, indeed, causing a total of 8 points of damage (to a creature with 15 points total).  "Hey, maybe these pea-shooters aren't so bad, after all!"

The Gnolls won the dice-off to see which 4 went next.  You may be wondering how they were able to attack the dragon when they still have all of those morale check markers.  The next pic will explain all.

The unit charged the dragon.  I suppose, technically, the KiSA might have been the slightest bit closer, but again, I kind of felt that the Gnolls would respond to the dragon the same way as the Bugbears:  a challenge not to be missed.  Think of the bragging rights at killing a dragon!

Their attack was marginally successful:  they wounded Stench and stunned him, but the new leader Gnoll dropped his weapon.  "That dragon hide is tough!" he growled in Gnoll-speech.

The last of the 4s were the Bugbears, who edged closer.  Not particularly fast.  Apparently Bugbears are not as stupid as some might think.  Stench was only able to remove the single stun marker this turn.

With a cry of, "For Bob!", Bernie entered the magical fray.  Knowing his most powerful spell, Fireball, would be useless against a fire-breathing dragon, the Fire Wizard opted for Web.  Meanwhile, the KiSA reformed their line.  Just in case.

Bernie was successful in casting Web, thereby stunning Stench for two full turns.

The Turn ended.

The Bugbears continued their cautious advance, perhaps waiting to see how the Gnolls fared.  (Really small numbers on the move part of the cards.)

The KiSA did nothing, but Bernie decided to get behind the hedge of armor they provided.  "I can only slow him down, I can't stop him," he rationalized.

Stench, having lost over half of his life points (dragons, I'm told, are very aware of that sort of thing), had pretty much decided he'd eaten enough and would be leaving soon, if only he could rid himself of this dratted web....  (He removed one stun token.)

The Bugbears continued their cautious approach.

The Gnolls finally activated on a 6 and became unPinned and attacked again.  (Sorry, but I don't recall on which turn they were Pinned; sometime during the previous game, I think.  Gameplay is very fluid and I'm writing this a long time after playing.)

However, the Gnolls succeeded in doing nothing other than distributing morale check markers to themselves and the dragon.

The crossbowmen fired to small effect.  I think everyone had decided the dragon was the bigger threat.  Stench wasn't feeling so "big threat-like" now, however.  His inner dragonsense was telling him he only had 4 life points remaining!

The turn ended.  I decided to include this because it helps me remember the sequence of events.  I never write it down as I play, that would slow the game waaaay too much.  But I do wish I had thought of this sooner.

The Bugbears finally worked up the courage to tackle the dragon...

...to no real effect.  Stench took one more morale check marker, and Gronk somehow managed to break his weapon, the big dummy.

The KiSA did completely nothing, waiting to see the outcome of the battle between the various monsters.

The Constables re-grouped and the crossbowmen reloaded...just in case.

The Constables activated again, and the crossbowmen decided to shoot after all...missing completely.

Stench finally got rid of his last Stunned marker.  He was beginning to regret his "snacking between meals" habit and was hoping to escape soon.

The first morale check caused a Gnoll to charge.

The result was inconclusive.

But after clearing the last morale check marker, the Gnolls charged anyhow!  The could smell blood and really wanted to claim the kill before the Bugbears!

But they achieved nothing more than a morale check on themselves.  That darned crater, um, er, I mean, broken ground made it difficult to land a substantive blow.

Seizing their chance, the Bugbears rushed in to steal the kill away from the Gnolls!

They did manage to wound the mighty beast, but couldn't seal the deal.  Both sides took more morale check markers, Stench was Stunned and one of the Bugbears dropped his weapon.  Stench was getting pretty desperate to fly away now.

But before he could activate again, the turn ended.

And then Stench's luck returned.  He activated, and rather than breathe his deadly breath weapon on the monsters in front of him, or try to eat anyone else, he took off like a scalded cat and flew away across the table, in the direction from which he had originally come, in order to nurse his many wounds.  That was one expensive snack!

The Bugbears followed rather desultorily, just in case the dragon came back.  One Bug-gy stopped to pick up his weapon.

The Gnolls got Pinned when they cleared their morale check marker.  Then the KiSA activated but did nothing, continuing to watch; and the same with the Constables.  And then the turn ended.

Stench was again the first to activate, and flew away, with his one life point clutched securely in his great paw (metaphorically speaking).  The Bugbears were on the wrong side of the table, with a lot of terrain between them and their human foes, so they just decided to call it a day.  The Gnolls, severely reduced in numbers and strength, and a bit tired from fighting dragons and whatnot, also decided to exercise the caution for which they are not well known, and withdrew.

This left the field of battle, and the victory, firmly in the grasp of the humans.  Other than the casualties caused by the dragon, the human side was intact.  A few folks would mourn Bob the Bone Wizard, but probably not that many.  No one could actually remember the soldier's name who got eaten, but the Chief Constable vowed to erect a marker to honor him, someday.  Eventually.  He'd at least propose a toast to him at the feast next week.  Oh, and one Knight in Shining Armor was wounded, but the more grievous wounds were the jeers and snide remarks behind his back by the other Knights.  "Ha ha, you got stabbed by a Gnoll!  A Gnoll of all things!  What a maroon!"  Yeah, some of those KiSA are PitA's.

Hey, anyway, that wraps up this battle report.  Thanks for reading, and have a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 6, 2021

86. Feudal Patrol - Scratching a Fantasy Itch

I decided to break out Feudal Patrol again.  I really like it's double-random activation, especially playing solo the way I do.  It helps to break up the monotony of I-go-You-go.  I used many of the optional rules (when I could remember them) but not all of them.

I've got a metric-ton of pictures to follow to show the game.  Please enjoy.  Click on them to enlarge them.

The battlefield.  The hordes of evil approach from the bottom of this picture.  And yes, that is a Car Wars 6th Edition 3'x3' neoprene mat.  Hey, it was handy and sand-colored (mostly).  (Just ignore the tire tracks; obviously some peasant was doing 'donuts' in their horse-drawn cart.)  The terrain was laid out in such a way so as to minimize the roads underneath, and the roads played no part in this game.  Mere decoration.

The Heroic Defenders®©, the Knights in Shining Armor (KiSA), emerge to meet the Monstrous Menace.  Led by Sir Pompous on the left with the flaming sword.  They are backed up by the Fire Wizard, Bernie.

They are all wearing plate mail armor with shields.  Bernie has as his spells:  Tanga Beehive, Web, and Fireball (my own creation, since the rules do not list it as an available spell).

Heroic Defenders Jr, the not-as-good-as-the-guys-with-plate-mail-armor squad, the Constabulary.  Led by Norman the normal man, second from the left.  Backed up by the Bone Wizard, Bob.  Everyone is a bit leery of him based on his strange dress.  No one wants to eat lunch with him because he's just a bit...odd.  Which is a shame because he's actually a nice guy and knows a Healing spell.

They are all clad in chainmail, with shields as appropriate, steel helms, and two Constables have crossbows in addition to their swords.  Bob has as his spells:  Heal, Lightning Bolt, and Wall of....

A patrol of Gnolls (a gnollpatrol?) with the expedition's leader, Fido.  They wear a smattering of chain-style armor and carry shields and flails (mostly).  The Shaman, Rover, has as his spells:  Magic Missile, Web, and Lightning Bolt.

Their goal is to pillage and kill.

A congress of Bugbears (I'm fairly certain that's the correct terminology), led by Gronk.  They also wear a smattering of chain-style armor, with shields and big, spiky clubs.  They have no Shaman, 'cause these Buggies don't do no magickin'.

They also wish to kill stuff.

This is the initial positioning of the Heroes.  Spotters saw the Monsters approaching and they have exited the safety of the castle walls to do chivalrous battle!  ...hopefully.

This is the reverse view of the positioning of the Monsters.  They're using the classic, time-testing "cornering" approach, as seen in battles too numerous to mention (at least on my table....).

The first few moves of the game have the respective forces jockeying for position.  The Monsters generally advance, while the KiSA advance and the Constables move into the relative safety of the crater.  Wait, a crater?  In Feudal Patrol?  What could possibly make a crater that big here?  No no no, it must instead be just simply "broken ground" or something.  Yes, that's it, it's broken ground.  Even so, it will possibly provide some protection.

A couple of card-draws later, the Heroes advance again (in close order), while the Bugbears also seek the broken ground "crater-like" area.  The Gnolls attempt to move into melee, but unfortunately for them, the broken ground slows them just enough to prevent them from making contact with the Constables.

The Gnolls not making contact can be seen slightly better in this color woodcut illustration.

Here is a closer view of the Bugbears in their protective terrain.

This is simply a battlefield's-eye view of who can see whom.

Thus ended TURN 1.
And so began TURN 2.

Coincidentally, both the Gnolls and the Constables rolled 6s on their activation dice.  I drew cards to see who got the initiative.  The Humans won and moved forward more into the broken area, but not directly into melee.  The Gnolls then moved into melee where they could.  Their movement was small on the card-draw, so only a few could get close enough, especially with the rugged terrain.

The fight did not go well for the Gnolls at all, and after their dust settled, 
the very next card draw was for the 6s again and the Humans won the tie again, so the Humans fired their crossbows, and Bob blasted his Lightning Bolt, causing all sorts of mayhem... but not actually killing anyone.  There was a lot of shouting and flailing of arms though.  I'm pretty sure I heard Bernie laugh at Bob's lackluster result.  Those two seem to have some issues between them.

I played this game several days ago, and so I'm a bit fuzzy on the exact sequence of events.  The gameplay is so smooth and fluid that things just flow one into the other.  I'm pretty sure that what happened here is:  The Gnolls activated second, drew cards to get rid of their Morale Checks, and one of those resulted in the whole pantheon of Gnolls (I'm pretty sure that's the correct terminology) getting Stunned.

And since you must clear the Morale Checks before your actual turn starts, the only thing the Gnolls could do was clear the Stuns.

The next card draw was 2, which the KiSA and Fido shared.  But since they didn't interfere with each other, this was the end result:  The KiSA decided to let the enemy come to them, with the exception that Bernie moved closer so as to cast his signature spell; and Fido and Rover moved closer too.

Bernie really wanted to cast Fireball, and who was I to say no?  This is my own homebrew rule for it:  10" range, does Pentagon damage and Pentagon-diameter area of effect on the first turn, then Square damage on the second turn, and Circle damage on the third turn, to any figures that were affected by it; with the option that the recipient can use their action to "put out" the fire on themselves on the second or third turns.  The range of damage on the Pentagon is from 2 to 5, but 5 seems to be more rare than not.  Here, I originally used a 12" range for casting, but have decided after to use 10".  You'll see why.

Fortuitously, I have 4", 3", and 2" round markers from some other game.  Bernie successfully cast Fireball.  The spark flew out from his fingertips and exploded at the limit of his range, blossoming into a spectacular, well, ball of fire.  The card damage, as you can tell by the 4" diameter marker, was for 4 points of damage.  I had given the Gnolls 4 points of Endurance.

The next card draw indicated the damage was done to their heads, with no shield or terrain protection.  Boom, four dead Gnolls.  That's partly why I reduced the range to 10".  And there was no one left to burn on subsequent turns.

Ironically, the Bugbears activated next.  There weren't much of them left, and after the Morale Checks, one pretty much ran away.

The Constables then activated, and the shield-men moved backwards out of the crater, while the two crossbowmen reloaded.  Bob the Bone Wizard, not liking the looks of the approaching Gnoll Shaman, blasted him with a Lightning Bolt!

And he blasted him very successfully, too.  That's 5 points of damage to the head, no shield protection (not that the Shaman had a shield).  Boom, one dead Shaman.

Fido cleared his Morale Check with no penalty, and moved closer to Bob the Bone Wizard to exact revenge.  Well, really, just to kill him.  He was going to try to kill him anyhow.

This is an aerial overview of the state of the battlefield taken by one of the wizards' drone apprentices.  It makes very detailed woodcut illustrations.  Rather amazing, actually.

Something happened here that I don't remember.  Maybe Bob blasted Fido with Lightning to no effect?  I'm afraid I don't remember.  But at any rate, Fido cleared his Morale Check and moved up to avenge Rover's death, just slowly.

Thus ended TURN 2.
And so began TURN 3.

Fido tripped a little stepping over the rough ground, not quite able to reach the Bone Wizard.

The KiSA shifted backward to get room, and the crossbowmen reloaded.  The Bone Wizard moved backward too, distancing himself from Fido.  It's not cowardice, it's a tactical redeployment.

The Constables' numbered card turned up twice in a row, allowing Bob to blast Fido with his Lightning Bolt...obliterating him.  See?  Tactical redeployment.  The KiSA remained still, seeing no reason to move.  "Let the enemy come to me," solemnly intoned Sir Pompous in his deep and melodious voice.  Everyone felt a little more at ease when he spoke, except for the fact that he almost always talked about himself.

The Gnolls decided to take the clear route between the rock columns.

And the Bugbears also re-approached closer.  That one guy decided to bugbear-up and get back to the fight.

Thus ended TURN 3.
And so began TURN 4.

Seeing the massed, stinky Gnolls, Bernie tried to duplicate his previous Fireball feat...and failed.  Instead of a massive Fireball, all he got was a tiny pfft.

Bob laughed in mockery and called out, "You call that a spell?  This is a spell!" and he cast Wall of....  This creates a 1" x 6" wall of whatever that cuts movement in half.  I had nothing readily handy, and didn't feel like cutting some cardboard or whatnot, so just grabbed some DungeonMorph Dice from Inkwell Ideas that are 1" square.  Bam-o, instant wall.

However, wall or no wall, that didn't stop the Gnolls.  Slowed them down, yes, but did not stop them.

The new leader of the Gnolls, after Fido's demise, Spot, managed to get two card draws in a row, and two of his "men" made it into melee with the KiSA.

It didn't work out all that well for the Gnolls, though they did put some hurt on the KiSA, but the price was high:  1 Gnoll dead vs 1 Knight wounded.

The Gnolls had won the roll-off (or card-draw-off) between them and the Constables for who got to go first on the first Card 1.  Now, the Constables won the roll-off on the second Card 1 and, in Close Order, charged to the attack at the (hopefully) disorganized Gnolls.  Bob moved closer in possible support.  A few wounds were dealt.

After the dust had settled, one more Gnoll had bit the dust (that had settled).

Things looked pretty good for the Heroic Defenders®©.  They had suffered no casualties, only a few mere wounds.  They had significantly more spell power than their opponents, and the Monsters had lost almost half of their numbers.  Yep, things were looking pretty good.

That's when the Dragon showed up.

To be continued...!

Thanks for reading.