Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The Road to Merlinas

Finally the first engagement to be fought in the series of skirmishes and massacres that will lead up to the bloodbath at Orc's Drift has taken place!

 I used Dave King's fantastic Skulldred rules (sorry SOBH!) and they were very quick and easy to pick up - even for the wife! Not sure we got everything completely right as we were playing whilst reading them through pretty much for the first time! It all worked out nicely as they're a really quick and intuitive rule set with minimal dice rolls, no charts and no difficult mental maths! I took some crappy in game photos (which I might post later to show a better view of the whole table) but have reshot most of those afterwards to get better pics of the more tense moments!

The story follows the misadventures of the Wood Elf night patrol led by Herndil Merl. I've slightly changed the course of events - instead of being completely wiped out in one stroke I've given the Wood Elves a small chance of escaping...

Having interrogated the half orc spy, Silas Meel, the Kachas Pass garrison commander, Erdolas Thringal, sends out Herndil and a patrol of 10 elves to scout out the Orc War party hinted at by their captive. Unfortunately for the Elf patrol they run into the aforementioned Orcs in the hill fog that descended in the night and lost 4 of their number. Herndil beats a hasty retreat down into the valleys - outnumbered and realising there is not much hope in returning to defend the garrison the determined Lieutenant decides to make a break for the road to the nearby town of Merlinas to raise the alarm...

... and this is where the action spills onto the tabletop -

The Road to Merlinas

The seven surviving Wood Elves hurry away from the uplands, racing for the nearby road to Merlinas.

Meanwhile, having descended another gully with the scent of elves thick in their nostrils, a second band of orcs, drawn by the recent sounds of battle clatter into the valley just ahead of the beleaguered patrol...

Urging his comrades to make all haste, Herndil catches his foot in an upturned root and falls heavily to the ground. He urges his fellows on through gritted teeth!

Spotting the stricken Elf part of the Orc warband peels off and heads towards him...

Seeing the danger Herndil hauls himself to his to his feet and staggers a short distance before turning his ankle once more! Two of the Elf archers snatch off a volley as they run to buy their leader some time, although their hasty shots whistle harmlessly over the pursuing Orcs. Two Goblin archers join in the firefight to no avail.

The two archers, forming a rearguard, stand and fire, whilst the other two turn and add their weight to the hail of Elven arrows - Two Goblins fall dead and an orc has a narrow escape with a clumsy sidestep. The Goblin archers return fire but once again their cruel arrows fail to find their mark.

Herndil finally finds his feet and dashes to join the ranks of his comrades. His rearguard continue to give him covering fire, forcing the pursuing orcs to duck and weave.

The two swordsmen, heeding Herndil's cries, turn and move to head off the Orc advance and buy the archers time enough to make their escape. One is stopped in his tracks by a black arrow as the Goblin archers finally find their range.

Two of the bowmen climb a nearby hill to spy out the land, and the best route to the road. They are horrified to see another group of Orcs marching purposefully to cut their escape to the road off! Worse still a shambling troll emerges from the wood licking his lips and making for the Elf swordsmen...

The downed Elf wipes the blood from his wound and stands up, yanking the Goblin arrow from his shoulder. Two Elf Bowmen let fly a volley at the Goblin archers but agian their arrows fall wide. Their Orc pursuers approach a little more carefully, regrouping in preparation for the final rush. Turning to the threat posed by the advancing troll the archers on the hill fire. The foul creature side-steps one arrow but is struck in the eye by the second! Falling heavily to the ground the troll writhes at the feet of the Elf swordsmen, pawing at its wounded eye...

Seeing their opportunity, the two swordsmen and Herndil rush the prone troll in an attempt to kill it outright...

They rain down blows on the monster but fail to pierce its warty hide!

And that folks is pretty much the end of Part cos its past my bedtime! o_o

Next time in The Road to Merlinas...

Will Herndil kill the troll before the Orcs reach him and his swordsmen?
Will the archers manage to tear themselves away from the fight to escape to Merlinas and raise the alarm?

What has the second band of Orcs heading for the Woodcutter's cottage got in mind?

Will the Goblin Archers ever hit anything else?!

Stay tuned - Part 2 coming to a blog near you!

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