Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Reavers of the Weird: a By This Axe Mini-Campaign

A recent idea by Deep Evan to run a wargame side counterpart to his Dark Country rpg one has fired me up for designing sections of the campaign supplement By this Axe (my medieval fantasy battle rules set).

Below is a free mini-campaign for 2-4 players to be used with BTA's battle and draft skirmish rules (drop me a line for a copy of that, it will only make sense if you have a copy of BTA). The campaign is hard-wired to have some interesting trade-offs against a small-scale warfare backdrop. Do I send out a small raiding party with less chance of getting caught—and less chance of creating havoc? Or do I send out the big guns? How should I spread my forces to guard my precious pigs and other assets?

Background and Set-Up
Countless centuries of gavelkind succession laws have cranked up the fractionalizing, autarkic, hair-splitting pettiness—so typical of life in places with a foot in the Weird--to a feverish pitch in the Translittoral Canton of Hoimatbuch. That chilly, windy easternmost bastion of the Overkingdom is further plagued by a strangely-virile nobility creating a maddening over-proliferation of hyphen-crazy micro-fiefdoms as each holding is divided equally among the male children of each line.

You are the holder of one of these tiny sub-divided micro-states, your neighbor is a similar such asshole. You both want to kill and take each other's stuff, but are limited to the rules of low-intensity warfare that the Overking imposes.

Each player as part of his squalid little holding receives 30 pigs in his sties, 20 horses in his corrals, a village filled with tax-paying chumps, three blood-apricot orchards, a swollen (yet strangely beautiful) prize pig, a fine Southlands horse, and a charming (almost), rustically-decorated, black-timbered manor house. Ridding your opponent of his assets being the object of the campaign.

Each player receives 250 points to buy their initial retinue. Each band receives one Wildgraf or Boyar (that's you) and one Lieutenant for free. All figures must be grouped into units of two or more figures (who represent five warriors each) on their roster.

Forces Available
Wildgraf or Boyar (Hero-General)
Fighting Capacity: 5, Armor Save 4(s), Heavy Armor, Shield, Lance, Sword, Horse (lose this if fine horse stolen in raid).

Reaver Lieutenant (Hero-Leader)
Fighting Capacity: 5, Armor Save 4(s), Heavy Armor, Shield, Lance, Sword, Horse

Reaver Lancer (light raiding cavalry, cost 25),
FC: 3, AS: 2 (s), Light Armor, Shield, Lance, Javelins, Sword, Horse

Reaver Foot (light raider-archers, cost 15)
FC: 3, AS: 1, Light Armor, Longbow, Sword

Dopplesoldiers (landsknecht foot, cost 12)
FC: 3, AS: 2, Medium Armor, Pike or Two-Handed Sword

Men-at-Arms (mercenary foot, cost 9)
FC: 2, AS: 2, Medium, Polearm

Crossbowman (merc foot, cost 9)
FC: 2, AS: 1, Light, Light Crossbow, Sword

The Campaign Turn
Each turn (roughly a fortnight) the player can elect to mount 0-2 offensive actions (see below) and as many defensive actions as he cares. All actions are considered to occur simultaneously. The campaign ends after six turns and victory points are computed.

Offensive Actions
Each turn can assign a leader or general and accompanying units to conduct a raid (each force must have a leader). He picks one of the options from below.
Pig Raid
Steal Horses
Humiliate Villagers
Burn Blood-Apricot Orchards
Raze Manor

Defensive Actions
Each turn the player also assigns his non-raiding units (again each must have two or more to various locales.
Assign Guards to Pig Sties
Assign Guards to Horse Corral
Assign Guards to Village
Assign Guards to Orchard
Assign Guard to Manor house
Assign Reserve (assign figures to serve as a reserve for pursuits and defense)
Buy Reinforcements (useable once per turn gain 30 points of figures, see Victory Point penalty)

Raid Resolution
Raider rolls d6 when on a raid to see what resistance she faces. Battles involving 4 or less figures per side will be resolved with the BTA draft skirmish rules. Battles involving more than that with the full mini battle rules. After a battle or skirmish, the victor regains all routing forces, the loser only a third.
-1 Raiding Force has 1-4 figures
-1 Raiding Force all mounted
+1 Raiding Force has 11 and over figures
0- Get Away Scot Free (Roll on Plunder)
1 Escape with No Plunder (No Effect)
2-3 Fight Locale Guard Only (Victorious Raider Rolls for Plunder)
4 Fight Locale Guard and 30% of Reserve (Victorious Raider Rolls for Plunder)
5 Fight Locale Guard and 60% of Reserve (Victorious Raider Rolls for Plunder)
6+ Fight Locale Guard and 100% of Reserve
Victorious raider roll a d6 on the follow charts.
-1 Raiding Force has 2-4 figures
+1 Raiding Force has 11 and over figures

Pig or Horse Raid
1- Nothing stolen
2-3 1d6 animals stolen
4 2d6 animals stolen
5 3d6 animals stolen
6+ 3d6 animals stolen plus Prize Pig or Fine Horse

Village Humiliation
1- Local folk laugh and ask “is that all you got?”
2 Village idiot forced to wear Eld helmet
3 Blacksmith tarred and feathered
4 Village headman (notable) cuckolded
5 Local temple Sun Lord priest (notable) beard shaved
6+ Relative of Boyar (notable) speckled with dung

Orchard Burning
1-3 Fire doesn't catch
4-5 Orchard burned
6+ Fire spreads to other orchard. Two orchards burned.

Manor Razing
1-3 Broke a window, take that. Minor to no damage.
4-6 Trashed the place. Manor partially destroyed. If previously partially damaged then manor is completely destroyed (bummer)

Victory Points
Add up after six turns. The highest score wins.
+1 VP for each pig in possession
+2 VP for each horse
+5 VP for each Prize Pig or Fine Horse
-2 VP for each village commoner of yours humiliated
-3 VP for each village notable of yours humiliated
-5 VP for each reinforcement taken
-5 VP for each orchard burned
-5 VP for partially destroyed manor house
-15 VP for razed manor house

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