Monday, December 15, 2014

The Ever Expanding Dungeon: Session 37

Scene 1: Down Time
The party returned to town to rest up and buy a 10’ pole. After 3 days and resupplying, the party returns to the dungeon.

[Chaos 5, 1 = Alter Scene
Are they able to acquire the 10’ pole? 08, yes
3 days? yes 18
I decide the most logical thing is:]

Meanwhile, the innkeeper at the Zealous Dagger collects on their outstanding debts (5 gp each for food and board).

Scene 2: Traveling to the Dungeon

[Wandering monster check on way to dungeon: 1
Roll on wilderness encounter table for forest:1 = dragon. Good lord.
roll d10, 7= Wyvern, well it could be worse.

Wyvern(AC 16, Mv 6/24, bite or sting. Sting 60%, poisonous)
Reaction or Does it Attack?: 
 1 yes, and it surprises the party
2-3 Yes, but roll for surprise
4- 5 No but check again, if not, then it flies away
6 = no and it flies away ]

A dark reptilian shaped shadow fell across the party. 

[6! WOO!!!!]

High above a large flying lizard like thing let out a scream, circled, and then flew away, northward.

The party let out a collective sigh of relief and proceeded to the recently discovered entrance.

Scene 3: Obstacle

Maglom and Runolf led the party past the intersection to their right, to the door to the Gnoll Shrine (see map room 31) at which point the party assumed door opening order. Eomond took the torch from Lykidas so Leegand could get to work.

[Detect traps: 8 (no) - but given that they exited this way before, we’ll assume it isn’t.
Hear noise: 4 (yes)
Is the door locked? 80, no, and easy to open

What does he hear? 57, moaning (DMG 1e)]

The party assumed door opening order, with Runolf and Maglom in front, the torch passed back to Lykidas. Everyone prepared for the worst.

The fighters forced the door open and...

Scene 4:  Room 31
The room appeared exactly as they left it. Tapping with the 10’ pole, Maglom hoped to trip any trap that might be set. Finding it safe, the party moved in.

They spread out a bit - with  four ways into the room they had a lot to cover - while Ygg spiked the the North and South door. Both doors on the East wall, which includes the one they came in, were left alone, in case they needed to beat a hasty retreat.

[Wandering monster check: 4, no]

The party formed a semi circle around Leegand and Eomond, who again, holds the torch.  Maglom dropped the 10’ pole in favor of her weapon.

[Does he find any traps? 1, yes (if there is one he finds it), is there any? He does find a trap - the door is the trigger.
Can he remove it? 16, no, he is unable to disable it. Does it trigger?

1 yes and it efffects this side of the door
2 yes but whatever it does is on the otherside
4 no but roll for wandering monsters again
6 no and all is clear

6 WOOO!!!]

The party resumed door opening mode and

Scene 5: The Discovery

The door opens into a 10’x30’ room with one exit in the middle of the south wall.

[I rolled 3 story cubes and got the following contents: Empty, but Shovel, Sad, Empty Fuel Gauge]

On the ground, three more dead orcs, obviously wounded and somewhat emaciated.

Runolf, Ygg, Zilliny and Maglom covered the doors, while Lykidas Eomond and Leegand searched the bodies.

[Do they find anything?
yes but it’s not much - just their weapons and that one of the bodies has a crossbow bolt stuck in it.

Dead awhile? 28, yes

Leegand checks the door:
Traps: 2, is it trapped? (60, door is stuck, 78, lock is not the trap, 37 door is not a trap trigger either)
Eomond gives it a try? 1, yes, 66 Rustlng

Wandering enconter: 2, nothing]

Door opening order and...

Scene 6: Another Discovery

The hallway ends in a door.

[Wandering Monster 4, nope. Change torches

Check door:
Leegand: 8, does not detect a trap,
Listens: 16
Is the door locked? 62, stuck not locked
Door is a trigger

Eomond listens:6, nothing

The door opens and...
1 yes and it triggers on this side of the door
2-3 yes but whatever it does is on the otherside, check to see who sets it off
4-5 no but check to see who sets it off on the other side
6 no and all is clear

5. Damn.

10’ POLE: 1!! ]

Scene 7: Obstacle
The 10’ pole triggered a hidden pit trap on the other side of the door.

Beyond the trap, a set of stairs led down. They opted not to try to get around it for now.

[Wandering monster: 2, no]

Scene 8: RP to decide what to do

The party debated:
Ygg and Zil. wanted to try any one of the stairways down, arguing it’s time for the party to be first for once, with all deference to the memory of the great parties that have gone before.

Eomond and Leegand argued that there are two doors remaining on this level on the existing map and it would forever nag at them if they didn't check them out.

Ygg suggested that they haven’t ever explored that part of the dungeon and so, in effect, it is unknown to them despite the few notes scribbled on the map about a mad king and evil priest.

[Does this sway the rest?25 yes.] 

With Lykidas, Runolf and Maglom agreeing that it might be more rewarding to explore an area untouched by the previous delves, the party chose to carefully work their way past the pit trip to take this new flight of stairs down to wherever it may lead.

Lykidas lit a new torch and they proceeded to the pit.

Scene 9: Crossing the Pit (obstacle)

To be continued....

Friday, December 5, 2014

Portable Wargame : Modern aka 1/32 WWII Antics on a Grid

I decided to play the same Escort the StuG scenario I played with Blitzkrieg Commander, but using Bob Cordery's Portable Wargame : Modern. All of his Portable Wargame rules can be found at this site.

My table is 4' x 4', divided into a grid of 6" squares and thus, 8 x 8.

Orders of Battle:
9 infantry units (3 platoons) 6 infantry units (2 platoons)
3 platoon leaders 2 platoon leaders
1 ATG 1 StuG
1 mortar1 Company Commander
1 Company Commander

German mission: Get the StuG across the table. Infantry are expendable.
USA mission: Destroy the StuG.

I diced for each side's approach. As fate would have it, the US would send 2 platoons around to their left while the center right platoon would fall back to hold the woods. The Germans would sweep to their own left, to cross the road south of the village.

Here's the setup, the US has quite an advantage of numbers, firepower and position.

The German infantry move slowly to avoid outpacing the StuG, which is stuck in the woods (movement reduced from 2 squares to 1). The US left platoon advances to the village, the right falls back to form a defensive line, per their orders.

Yes, the rubble pile in lower third of the picture moved from the 1st to 2nd turn. I had it in the wrong place!
I got too caught up in the action that followed to accurately record when the next two pictures were taken.

Below, US troops await the coming German force.

And here they come!

The battle was fast and furious; the US lost 4 or 5 squads, while the Germans lost two, with the StuG being hit repeatedly by mortar, ATG fire, and infantry close assault, but escaping destruction each time. 

(The StuG always rolled 5s and 6s to see what the result of a hit would be, and fell back 1 square each time, rather than be destroyed).

A brave squad made a last ditch close assault on the armored sides of the StuG but alas it was not to be. 

On the next German activation, the StuG made it off the table. German Victory. From set up to victory in 1 hour.

Of 3 games played, this was the first German success. In both the BKC game, and in the Big Board Portable Wargame, the StuG was destroyed.

Here's a picture I rather like, from the Big Board Portable Wargame played earlier in the day:

The layout I used was much more in line with my aesthetic preferences this time, and would have worked just as well with BKC. Note to self: if adapting a Crossfire scenario, go easy on the terrain and scenery.

Figures for the US are a mix of W. Britains and Toy Soldiers of San Diego. The exception being the ATG which is from Classic Toy Soldiers.

Figures for the Germans are a mix of Matchbox, Airfix and Classic Toy Soldiers.The StuG is 21st Century Toys.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Blitzkrieg Commander : Escort the StuG

Yesterday, I started having uncontrollable urges to play Blitzkrieg Commander again. 

After clicking around the Internet, I found a bunch of scenarios for company-level actions and came upon a number of Crossfire scenarios over on Lloydian Aspects.  (which I had bookmarked already, funny that). I liked the simplicity of the  "StuG smuggling" scenario, so that's what you see here, albeit shrunk down to a 3 x 4 playing surface, and with my 1/32 toys.

Unfortunately, as is often the case, it was too late to start gaming by the time I had the table setup. Luck was on my side though, and Pumpkin didn't launch the attack without me.

The mission for the Germans is to get the StuG off the opposite side of the table; infantry are entirely expendable. The US is there to try and stop them.

I got two turns in at lunch today. Here's the cluttered table after turn 2:

This is way more stuff than I usually put on the table - I tried to stick to the fact that the scenario was for Crossfire, which has tons of terrain and scenery. In retrospect, I probably should have used the whole 4 x 4 space, but as you can see peeking out the top of the frame, there's a pile of junk I would have to move.

It isn't pretty, but, still, I think it looks like playing toy soldiers.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Ever Expanding Dungeon : Session 36

Having disposed of their prisoner, and come up empty handed after looting the pile of orc corpses, the party turned their attention to the door in the west wall. It had gone quiet on the other side sometime during their skirmish.

With caution to the wind the party barreled into the room. (ie. i forgot about my door procedure!)

[This room had been mapped before, so i don't need to check to see its size or shape For contents, I rolled 1d6 per Moldvay, and got a 2, Monster. I then checked on my Is the Monster Here? Table and got No ,and Roll on the Signs table: half-eaten meal/prey/victim.

I turned to Rory's Story Cubes and got a guy doing pull ups.]

Dangling from chains bolted to the ceiling, the remains of a dwarf dripped and oozed into a puddle of red-black gore that grew beneath it.

The party covered the doors, and Maglom and Ygg freed the corpse from the shackles. Ygg performed a simple prayer for the soul of the dwarf to enter into a weekend bender with the Hedonistic Lumberjack.

The door in the North wall of this room had been their objective, and after forcing open the door, they found steps going down.

Eomond, hunter and slayer of rats, looked for foot prints leading from the room down the stairs. 

[Does he find any?1d6, 1. Yes and they appear to be orc.

The question about whether or not the party would go down the steps was made based on the results of the survey of the characters' creators I conducted awhile back. Of those that responded, the split was 50/50, so my own preference to explore the level further was the swing vote.]

"Orc prints" said Eomond, pointing out a faint set of prints heading out of the room and down the stairs.

None the less, much of the party was intent on finishing their exploration of the 1st level.

Despite being in the mood for a fight to avenge the killing of the dungeon's dwarves, Maglom, the lone holdout, conceded to explore the remainder of the 1st level and attempt to complete the map - a decision made possible because Ygg, himself in no mood for fighting again, sided with Eomond and Leegand to finish exploring up here.

As a precaution, Ygg spiked the door to the steps, hoping to at least annoy the orcs a bit.

The natural next stop was the door in the north east corner of the East wall.

[I really should provide a map so you can see what I'm talking about. Oh wait, here's one.

They are in room 45. Room's 46 and 47 haven't been found at this point.
  • At the door, Eomond listened :3, and heard nothing nothing. Leegand checked the door for traps: 6 nope.
  • Using my Solo Traps table - I roll 67, 16, 68, which tells me that the door is unlocked,the lock is not trapped, and the door itself is not a trigger for a trap.
  • The door swung open and (using version 3.0 of my low budget dungeon generator, I rolled a d12, and got 9- an empty room). 
  • Version 3,0 used d10 for all dimensions which resulted in some seriously massive rooms and long corridors. I decided to take after version 4.1, but instead of card suits, I used 1d4 1= d4, 2=d6, 3=d8, 4=d10. The result would be used for the dimensions.
  • I rolled a 3 and used d8 for dimensions and applied the same rules I use in version 4.1. 6 and 3 = 3x3
  • 1d4-1, 2 = 1 additional exit - since the room abuts the door in the north wall of 32, well that's the door
  • Treasure- I used Moldvay's dungoen stocking table to check this - 5, nope
  • Few rooms are truly empty, so I turned to Rory's Story Cubes: apple, yelling stick figure, cauldron/pot]
The room was largely empty save for an old rusty cauldron and dozens of rotted apples. A curious thing to find in the dungeon for sure.

Checking their map, they could see that the door in the south wall should take them back to where they started, so Eomond pressed his ear to the door again and then Leegand checked for traps.

[At the door that led to 32, Eomond listened: 4, nope
Leegand checked for traps: 8, nope
Solo traps: 64, 93, 02 Door appears stuck not locked, the lock is not trapped, the door triggers a trap.]

Believing the door to be trap-free the party forced it open

[1-2 = front rank, 3-4 = middle, 5-6 = rear. I rolled a 2 and it sprang on front rank.
I rolled a story cube and got a flame.
flame jet trap (thanks story cubes)- 1d8 to front rank, save for half]

An unnoticed trip wire unleashed a jet of flame from the ceiling, briefly engulfing Maglom and Runolf.

[Maglom makes her save with a 14, I rolled 3 for damage, so she takes 1 point of damage. Runolf saved with a 16, I rolled 6 for damage, and he takes 3.
Wandering monster check: 3, nope]

With a general admonition for more caution, the party prepared to take the door in the north east corner.

[Eomond listened: 3, no
Leegand checked if locked and if trapped: 16 doesn't notice anything
54, door is stuck, 16 lock not trapped, 56, no trap on door]

Leegand suggested the party to open door and then probe ahead, but alas, no one had a 10' pole or even a spear.

Necessity is the mother of invention; the party forced open the door a and hurled an orc body through. It landed with a thud.

Satisfied the area wasn't trapped, the party peered through to spy a short hall ending in a dead end.

[Determined by a roll of 12 on the dungeon generator.]

[Zilliniy checked for secret doors (she can find one on a 1-3. I rolled a three, so she will find one if there.
I rolled a d6 and on a 1 there is one present. I rolled a 1. Version 3.0 of the random dungeon generator includes a 2nd roll to determine the whether or not the secret door allows passage in both directions or just one. I rolled a 3 and and it's bi-directional.]

The party assumed door formation and began their usual routine.

[Eomond listened: 3, no.
Leegand checked if the panel was trapped: 7, doesn't find any]

They find the mechanism ad try to open the door.

[It occurred to me that a secret door doesn't have a key hole that can be picked, so that's not an issue. I roll to see if opening the door triggers a trap. 02. Sure enough.

I rolled on some table or other and generated a pit trap. Again it was triggered by the 1st rank. Maglom and Runolf each fell 10’. Maglom took 1 damage, and Runolf took 3]

After fishing out Maglom and Runolf from the 10' deep pit, they noticed 3 dead orcs in the smallish room.

Wandering monster check: 2, nope

A quick examination of the bodies showed they bore several wounds each.

[Mythic, 50/50, were they wounded in battle?13. yes.]

It appeared to the group that the orcs sought sanctuary here, but died of their wounds. Looting of the dead commenced, but yielded nothing

[I used Moldvay's Treasure roll - 1-3 = treasure when a room holds a monster, but I rolled a 5.

I rolled for additional exits, 1d4 - 1 and got a 2, so 1 additional]

Ready to press onward, the party took their usual door opening positions. '

[Eomond: 5, Hears nothing]

And as usual, Eomond heard nothing. Leegand dutifully checked the door.

[Door procedure: Leegand checked for traps: 18, nope
Is door locked? 10, yes
Tries to pick lock: 3, SUCCESS!! WOOOO!!!!
Is the lock trapped? 100, nope]

Elated over Leegand's successful lock picking, the party remained cautious as they moved through the doorway.

Is the door a trigger for a trap?: 56, no door trap
I rolled on the dungeon generator and the result was 70’ and a t-intersection ]

As the party moved down they hall and approached a T-intersection, it was clear that to their right was the door to the former gnoll shrine room (31).  To their left, they found a previously unmapped entrance to the dungeon [thank you random generator]

This seemed a good time to get back to town with Runolf down to 9 HP and Maglom and Zilliniy minorly injured with 2 HP.

In the end, a rather quiet session and given the danger faced in some of the recent sessions, a welcome change. No one swung a weapon and no treasure, but, everyone survived and will get some XP to boot (using my home brew XP rules).

I discovered (or remembered as the case may be) I rather like the Is the Monster Here table, and i don't know why I had stopped using it, except out of forgetfulness. 

The total playing time was about an hour, and that included gathering my materials.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Picture, 1000 Words, Yadda Yadda

Although my postings here are a bit slow of late, I've been posting more elsewhere: G+ and especially on Instagram. 

I really like the latter, as I don't feel compelled to say more than a few words about what's pictured. 

Sometimes, i don't want to slow the game down to take a dozen pictures, and then type and edit a summary, especially when I'm learning to play (like Song of Blades and Heroes presently - and which I'm really enjoying. There's something about fantasy skirmish that brings out the kid in me. More than usual, that is.) but I still want something for posterity. 

I find it's also a great way to share painting progress. A picture or two is all it takes, and since I'm using my phone anyway, a few finger taps later and it's posted. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Current Painting Table

Seriously, it must be the change in weather.

Here's what's currently in my painting queue:

I'm rather pleased with how the horses are coming along. I'm using this tutorial from Ken of All the Kings Men Toy Soldiers and despite being written for 54s, it works quite well on the 1/72 figures. These figures are Zvezda mounts for Russian Dragoons.

I am trying something new with this batch of Swedes (the guys in blue and yellow) - a white base coat for one (which I hate), and blacklining after the fact, rather than leaving a gap between colors (can't do that with a white base coat). After this group is finished, I will be focusing more on dragoons for both sides. And not just because i really like painting the horsies.

The Soviet riflemen may not look it, but they are primed; I use PVA. This has been my method of choice for most of this year for the big figures - so far, it seems to work. I will follow this up with a second coat of PVA once the figures are finished.

The buildings are birdhouses from Jo-ann's and Michael's that will be pressed into service for my 54mm games. The cabins, with a little work, will serve on the Eastern Front, primarily.

Another fantasy figure? (well several, if you count the rodents of unusual size)

What can I say, Song of Blades and Heroes is rather enjoyable and it's a great motivator for painting up some of my Bones minis. I have to say, they really don't take primer well at all, and still feel tacky a week later. A base coat of black acrylic seems to resolve that issue, however.

Oh, yeah. This guy., Skeletor, the Wraith Lord!! 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Paint Table Friday

I started in on Song of Blades and Heroes (part of my 10 games, 10 times challenge) and it's done two things: got me psyched about paper figures again but also, maybe I should try to paint some of the Reaper Bones figures I've got taking up space.

Shields need some touching up and the swords aren't finished yet.
And here's a blurry picture of a portion of my paper goblin warband (led by the red chaos knight):