Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Campaign Week 3: The Adventures of Soldat Vendredi

The Setup

Utilizing a simple scouting game from Lone Warrior #167, "Indian Scout Game", with some modifications for my setting as detailed previously, I set out to see if Soldat Vendredi and his guide, He-who-eats-the-eyes-of-his-enemy could get back to Baudrillard with intel in time to be of use before the next battle.

The game uses a simple board game type path from point A (in my case, his location while scouting/spying on the forces of Riesling) to point B (a Sauvingnon-Blanc fort) using 1d6 to determine how many spaces to advance. Each space contains a number from 1 to 11 that corresponds to an encounter table. Given the weather for the week is stormy, I reduced all rolls by 1 (thus it's possible he'd be stuck in the same square for more than one turn).

I decided that if Vendredi can get to the fort in less than 4 rolls, Baudrillard will gain a significant advantage: either 1d3 field works in addition to any fortification or the opportunity to spring an ambush on the Riesling force, if he should be so inclined. Six or less and he gets a free roll on a random event table that negatively impacts the Riesling army. Ten or less and no benefit or penalty. More than ten and Baudrillard is himself caught off guard - and I came up with a simple table of possible penalties.

The Game

The weather has gone from bad to worse. The ground gives way beneath my boots, takes hold of them and only relinquishes after a struggle which I lose as often as I win. I volunteer for scouting missions to get away from the drills and the forced marches. When the rain falls like this, I do not know which is worse: to be miserable in camp or to be miserable on my stomach in the mud alongside one of the native intelligent "lizard-men." My companion such as he is, has the most horrifying name, He-who-eats-the-eyes-of-his-enemy. I can not stress how glad I am that he is on our side.
-excerpt from the diary of Renault Vendredi, Helvetica, 1889
Turn 1 - I land on a possible encounter with an enemy patrol of 2+ 2d6 enemies. I roll to see if they spot our heros.
Today we were nearly discovered by a Riesling patrol. Tense moments passed and I held my breath. My finger never left the trigger of my rifle. A torrential downpour afforded us the opportunity to slip past their watch undetected.

Turn 2 - Another encounter. This time there is no possibility of avoiding combat. I roll on the encounter table I generated and get mantis-men. Since these are recently painted, I'm rather glad of it! I'm using the free Chain Reaction: Final Version from Two Hour Wargames. Our heroes are both Rep 5, Soldat Vendredi is the leader and star. There are 3 mantis-men and I roll for their Reps using the rule book - all are Rep 4.

As we made our way back to our fellows, we were set upon by three savage humanoid mantis creatures crashing out of the forest behind us:

Here I used my old copy of Six Gun Sound to devise a mechanism determine how far away the mantis-men started. I rolled 1d6 * 3" and then placed them with die rolls. One of them started in sight and so I decided he, Vendredi and He-who...(the problem with such a name is that typing it takes too much effort) would all take in-sight tests.

There is no love lost between the lizard folk and the mantis creatures. My companion growled viciously, set his spear and charged the first visible:

Our heroes

He-who... scored highest with 4 successes, Vendredi 3 and the mantis 2. He-who... rolled on the grunt table and passed. Lacking any means of firing, he charged.

The mantis-men showed no fear however - a feeling of which they are incapable!
The villains! boo! hiss!

I advanced the lizard-man to within 6" of the mantis, stopped and checked both the mantis and lizard man on the charge table. They tied and thus the lizard moved up to melee. In so doing, he triggered an in-sight test for one of the hidden mantis (the one not in the woods) who passed 1 success - so he will get his turn when the in-sights tick down to the 1s. The melee was quick - the mantis ended up stunned.

As a star, Vendredi can do as he likes and I opt to have him hold where he is.

The remaining mantis with an in-sight success rolls on the grunt actions and charges, only to be knocked down stunned as well. 

I roll activation - the mantis win with a 6, but they can't act as none of them are a Rep 6. Vendredi advances with a fast move and He-who auto kills the second stunned mantis.

Activation again and the mantis roll another 6! He-who auto kills the first stunned mantis.

Vendredi takes his own sweet time advancing.

Activation again, He-Who enters the woods and the mantis charges him. The results are pictured below.
He-who-eats-the-eyes-of-his-enemy tore into the mantis with savage fury. There was nothing left for me to do! By himself, he killed them all. A terrifying but welcome fact!
Behold the carnage!
Turn 4 - our heroes advance but no encounter or incident.

Turn 5 - Another encounter, this time friendly.
Today we encountered a friendly patrol of lizard folk in alliance with Sauvignon-Blanc. They showed us a quicker route back to the fort. They gave us food and fresh water and we were on our way.
Turn 6 - the fort is reached without further incident.


After thoughts:

I don't normally include everything (setup, game and thoughts) in one post, but this was a rather short game - or would have been if I didn't have to look up the rules constantly in addition to taking pictures and notes.

The mantis men, all Rep 4, were no match for the Rep 5 lizard man - both sides got an extra d6 for melee, which essentially eliminated any advantage it might give. Poor die rolling didn't help the mantis cause- rolling 6 for activation, while higher than that rolled by my side, left them without any option other than reaction.

I enjoyed using CRFV even more this time.My "roster" worked as I hoped and kept the table clear (the skull and crossbones is something I use regularly for kills, so I don't consider it part of the clutter). Here's a picture of the roster:

My board-decluttering Roster

Dice and markers go in appropriate boxes as needed to remind me of in-sight scores, who needs to take reactions resulting from in-sight actions, as well as who is fast moving, who is ducked down, etc. I failed to include a few things however, so I need to update it before I use it again.

For a very small skirmish, such as this, I'm starting to think I could live with these rules - I didn't feel like I was rolling tons of dice, even when I was. The games go fast however, and there are times (most of the time), when I want a longer game even with only a few figures on the table. 

I am a little disappointed I didn't get more than one combat. I had hoped to evaluate the rules further. Still,I stuck with what I rolled on the scout encounter table in order to be as impartial as I can be. The result of 6 turns will give Sauvignon-Blanc some small advantage in the next battle.


  1. great idea with the marker sheet.. I dislike using a lot of counters on the table.

  2. Thanks! I got the idea from a hex-and-counter game I have. The biggest downfall to the marker sheet that I found is that it increases the surface area required to set up and play.