Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Campaign Week 2: The Setup

Last night, I managed to get in the second game in my Helvetica campaign. What follows is the prelude I generated during my lunch break yesterday.

Prelude to the encounter:

Having fallen back in good order, and in spite of rainy weather impeding travel, 
Baudrillardwas able to organize his forces to maneuver them to reach and cross the bridge at the river Qui ahead of his opponent.

Oberst Dietriech, victor of the Poirot Pass engagement, was stunned to find not one able bodied scout available to trail the Sauvignon-Blanc force. By a stroke of luck, one of the lizard folk tribes in the region was of a friendly disposition to Riesling and offered information about the direction and state of the Sauvignon-Blanc army. 

Only the efforts of the Sauvignon-Blanc scout managed to prevent his pressing any advantage. 

The  scout (a Soldat Vendredi) had succeeded in tracking the movement of the Riesling forces but relayed the information only just too late to be of use in Baudrilard's battle plans. Fieldworks were constructed, and a reinforcement of 9e Section, 5e Compagnie, fresh from the fort at Guillaume Le Roy would be his only advantage.

And so, when, on Monday, the rain of the past week turned to torrential downpour and high winds as a tropical storm hit the island, Dietrich was descending into the river valley to cross the bridge at the river Qui. Baudrillard, still stinging from his defeat at the Pass, for his part, had dug in and his troops were waiting.

Thus, the battle would be joined despite soggy ground making movement trying and wind and rain severely limiting visibility and effective ranged fire.


I decided to check to see if either side could gain any advantage as a result of scouting - which I would determine by using the decision table in IN-RADIC (a simplified Mythic - I do have Mythic, but again, I was at work when I handled this part). 
Inspired by posts over at Solo Battles on using Mythic, I decided not to ask "Does this side get any advantage?" but rather to try and build a case on evidence.

I handled Riesling first as they are the attacker:

Does Dietrich have any able bodied scouts? A Dead Certainty. No. My jaw dropped. Totally unexpected.

Are there lizard folk tribes in the area friendly to Riesling? Avg. Yes.

Do the Riesling forces encounter them on the trail of Sauvignon-Blanc? Even if lizard folk tribes are present, it doesn't mean they'll be encountered and so I rule that the chance is Below Avg. 

And proceed to roll a Perfect (equivalent to the Mythic "exceptional yes").

I take this to mean not only do they encounter friendly lizard folk and are given information to the whereabouts of the Sauvignon-Blanc force, but that they can gain surprise if Baudrillard doesn’t find out about their own troop movements

And so for Sauvignon-Blanc:

Does Baudrillard have any scouts? A Dead Certainty. Yes.

Is his scout able to monitor Riesling movements undetected? Above Avg. Perfect.

I interpret the "Perfect" as the scout discerns intended movement and deployment and returns undetected to his commander.

It's rainy weather this week, so I ask, given the weather, is the scout able to make it back to his commander before Riesling forces arrive? I figure that he would have departed well ahead of Riesling's columns and so decide it's A dead certainty. Yes.

Is it enough time to change deployment? Avg. No.

Conclusion: Both sides would deploy per the setup I had determined originally with no additional advantage or penalty.

This took less than a few minutes to roll out - it took longer to type - but I feel like it went quite a way towards fleshing out the battle by providing a narrative justification for the disposition of the forces.Plus, I now have another character, this Soldat Vendredi, that I can follow and develop if I choose.

The rainy weather, and then the storm, was generated using my simple system. In game terms, the storm left visibility at 1 grid space and movement rates cut in 1/2, which, given the overwhelming preponderance of infantry on both sides meant a very slow moving game.

I opted to rule that units could fire at a reduced rate out to two grid spaces as they might be able to make out the enemy just barely - this wouldn't come into play however. Mostly because I forgot about it.
Coming soon: The Battle at the Bridge Over the River Qui!

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