In addition to Mr. Dunwich, Fr. Alexi has been provided with an escort of two of Her Majesty's finest British Regulars and three British-trained askari. Mr. Dunwich has hired on four native porters to carry supplies.
What follows is Mr Dunwich's account of the trip:
Day 1- A giant carnivorous plant of unknown species attempted to devour one of the porters. His flavor was apparently disagreeable to the thing and it spat him out. We had a good laugh at his expense.
Day 2 - Uneventful. A rare thing indeed. Fr .Alexi, in his heavily accented English, made the travel more enjoyable as he elaborated on the differences of Orthodoxy and other variations of faith. He is quite an interesting fellow.
Day 3 - Ambushed! The lizard tribes of Wellslandia wage a continuing war against humans, native and otherwise. A party of five spear attacked us and killed one porter (and destroyed the provisions he carried) and one Askari. It is tragic, but not unexpected. Fr. Alexi performed a simple ceremony for the fallen.
|The lizard folk are anxious to rid their lands of humans.|
|They fall to our superior fighting ability.|
|The loss of life reminds the party of the dangers they may face. But, they must continue!|
Day 4 - Confound it! They must be trailing us. Another small party of lizard harassed us. The askari could not hit a dead fish in a barrel. Trained? My foot! Fr. Alexi was struck during a vicious melee but the villain was dispatched. One of the devil-spawn retreated into the jungle. I fear he's gone for reinforcement.
|Father "Alexi" stares death in the eye and laughs.|
Day 6 - Mired in a swamp, our party became separated. One askari and a porter fell off the pace. Either they have been eaten by a crocodile or we shall see them again when we set up camp.
Day 7 - The porter and askari made their way to camp but they may have suffered the same fate either way. The lizard folk are tenacious. The battle was terrific and another porter is killed. With the loss of the provisions he carried, we are dangerously close to failure.
|Here they come again!|
Day 9 - So close to the village, it is with heavy heart that I note the deaths of Pvt. Smith and Pvt. Miller at the hands of the pestering lizard tribes. We buried the men in simple graves and covered them with stones to keep predators at bey. Fr. Alexi inscribed a prayer in Cyrillic on a piece of slate he placed at the head of the mound.
|This time would be different.|
|The body count rises|
|An unlikely hero, Ngenzokwami kills a lizard and protects the remaining provisions.|
|Father "Alexi" surveys the damage and orders the porters to follow him, while Mr. Dunwich finishes off the lizards.|
|He isn't a renowned explorer for nothing.|
Day 10 - Our party, so very small now, and on the brink, arrived at the village to great fanfare. There appears to be an abundance of women here. I shall rest awhile and enjoy it, before we prepare for the return trip.
|The welcome party!|
|"A drink sir? Chilled vodka perhaps??"|
|The aforementioned women and the science type old guy.|
Rules were a home-brew, inspired by this post by Chris at Just Another Wargames Blog and this one (which I've referenced before) from Fitz-Badger at Soweiter League.
Provisions (inspired by "Adventures in Jimland") - each porter carries 5 provisions. 1 provision is used per day under normal circumstances.
If a porter is lost or killed, subtract 5 provisions from the total. If there are less than 5, reduce to 0
If the party is reduced to 0 provisions, all rolls suffer a -1 penalty and starvation (1 on a 1d6, save as normal) is possible. Test for all members of party each turn.
6" (seems out of scale but it keeps things moving)
run/charge = 6" +1d6"
rough terrain, woods, etc. = 1/2 movement
Main characters have 3 hit points before killed
Troop ratings -
Poor = -1 to hit
Regular = +/- 0
Veteran = +1 to hit
Weapon ranges -
Pistol = 6"
Roll 1d6, hit on a 4,5,6
Shooting Modifiers -
short range = 1/2 weapon range, +1
long range = range to 2x range, -1
target in cover -1
can not shoot if running
1d6 each participant, higher score wins
more than one attacker, defender fights each individually
loser rolls saving throw on 1d6, on 6 ignores hit and continues fighting
main characters get +2 bonus on saving throw
Lizard folk - roll 1d6, if greater than number remaining, they retreat. Those that retreat are added to the next lizard folk encounter.
Porters - if attacked (and survive) roll 1d6, on a 1-2 they run until rallied by another figure (figure must get within 2" of porter). If makes it off table, porter is lost and presumed dead.
T. Rex (if it appears) has 5-10 hit points depending on size.
claw/claw/bite attack (roll 3x to attack) and can use tail for targets to rear (roll 1x)
Saving throw on every hit.
There are 10 possible encounters. Using a deck of cards, assign one card to each encounter and then 5 additional cards that are unassigned, i.e. blank (if creating more than 10 encounters, the rule of thumb is half as many "blanks" as encounter cards).
Shuffle. Draw a card. Play out encounter. Repeat until you've drawn 10 cards. You reach the destination after the 10th card is played.
The table I used (all are Clubs):
Ace - 5 lizard spear
2 - 5 Lizard sword
3 - 10 lizard sword - poor
4 - 5 lizard spear
5 - 4 lizard sword - veteran
6 - giant carnivorous plant - roll 1d6 on a 1 a giant carnivorous plant attacks 1 party member randomly determined. Save as normal.
7 - Swamp - Roll 1d6, on a 1, figure is delayed in swamp. If next encounter is combat ,arrives on 2nd turn.
8 - T. Rex (see above)
9 - Swamp, same as 7
10 - Herbivore stampede - roll 1d6 for each figure, on a 1, figure is caught in stampede. Save as normal.
This encounter idea (and the morale for lizard folk) is not my own. In "Aztec Gold", by Will McNally, which appeared in Lone Warrior #166, a system is presented that essentially replicates an ambush for the solo player. Each successive native attack is reinforced by the survivors of the previous one.
That same issue, by the way, includes the most requested article from Lone Warrior: "Enemy Behavior in Action: Renaissance Swiss". I highly recommend getting a copy -pdf or print - for both of these gems!
While I fared well this time, heavy losses are typical (the combat rules you use will influence this, of course) and I often do not reach the destination.