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.

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