Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Five Leagues Campaign Battle 003 - Heroes & Heroines against Goblin Slavers

My jaunty band of adventurers set forth on another expedition to clear the Bree-lands of the forces of darkness.  A little bit of time has passed since the last fight, since the previous expedition encountered no enemies...

In this encounter, the  adventurers have picked up the rumour and later the signs of a group of slavers.  Tracking them back to their encampment in the dell beneath a couple of old barrows, the group use the cover of the relief and the trees to get quite close...before a watching goblin screams the alarm and everyone starts running at once... 

The Set-Up:

The goblin slavers are based in the dell in the centre, surrounded by barrows and other hills.  The adventurers spotted the sentries by the track previously (right) and so had moved around to attack from the opposite direction (top-left), but they hadn't counted on the other goblin watching from near the river (bottom-left)

The slavers are led by an Orc, who was conferring with one of the goblins just before the adventurers were spotted.

The pair of goblins by the track.  They really weren't expecting any pursuit into this secluded, desolate and (some say) haunted area...

The other watching goblin (foreground) spies the adventurers advancing gingerly through the woods by the river (centre-left)

The Battle:

The archers Nuna and Sommeryth (top) were shooting off their arrows, but managing to miss the mark every time...tricky shooting in the dark dell, perhaps?!?  Meanwhile the rest of the adventurers and the nearest goblins have converged at the edge of the dell...

...which you can actually see better in this shot (top-left); the two goblin sentries (foreground) start running back down the track

A fierce melee has erupted by the edge of the dell; this goblin (foreground) got the upper hand against Ruda, but Gillion (centre) has stepped in; the slaver's chief, the big Orc, has been felled by Leothain (centre-right)

Clahanar felled the goblin escorting the Orc that Leothain defeated (centre); the other goblins have now arrived, as the two archers continue to miss everything!

One of the goblins out-fought Gillion (centre) and was pushing him back up the slope towards the barrow (centre) when finally one of Nuna's arrows hit home, and the goblin fell.

With the majority of the goblins down, the last goblin (the other one was killed at the extreme left of the photo) runs away down the tracks.

Nuna and Sommeryth continue shooting...and continue missing!  The goblin escapes.

Peace returns to the gloomy dell...

Game Notes:

Simple and straightforward fun this one with the Five Leagues Over the Borderlands (first edition) rules.  The absolute numerical superiority of the adventurers, and the local numerical superiority at the initial point of contact, and the firepower superiority, and the generally heavier armour of the adventurers, all added up to a relatively easy fight compared to the two previous fights, which could have gone either way.  
The mechanisms are really intuitive, I feel that I am not actually looking at the rulebook that much during the battles - I spend more time looking at rules details when I am doing the 'campaign' bit than re-fighting these tactical battles. All of which is exactly how you want it for games of this type!  The initiative system is finally balanced to allow the player a bit of agency, usually - but not that much.
The solitaire system built in to the rules is basically fine.  It is easy to administer which is the most important thing.  It might benefit from being a bit richer in terms of tactics and so on but since keeping the administration overhead down is pretty key, I am fine with it at the moment.

I did mess up on the figures slightly - I have some goblins who would have done much better as the slavers than the ones from Heroquest I actually used! Oh well, maybe next time...

The Band:

As a reminder to myself as much as anything, the party currently consists of:
Gillion (a Dunedan fighter, uses a sword and a mace)
Annungilgweld "Nuna" (a Dunedan fighter, uses a bow and a sword)
Clahanar (a Dunedan fighter, uses a two-handed axe)
Herudoina "Ruda" (a Northwoman, uses sword and shield)
LĂ©othain (a former Northman soldier, now a hero, uses sword and shield, wears full armour)
Davron (a Dunedan squire, learning from Clahanar)
Serronsel (a wily rogue Northwoman, but attached to Ruda)
Sommeryth (a hopeful young Northwoman, archer)
Clahanar, Hero, Dual Weapon fighting style, Full armour, 1/4/+1/5, +1 Luck, Quality Sword; Helmet; Skills: Organization, Teaching (the Partizan free 'Martin Schwartz' figure)
Gillion, Hero, Two-handed weapon, Full armour, 1/4/+2/4, Helmet; Skills: Dodge, Parry (Perry 1450-1500 Mercenary captain figure)
Ruda, Heroine, Sword & shield fighting style, Light Armour, 1/6/+1/3, Helmet, Shield; Leadership, Medicine (Shieldmaiden figure - Bad Squiddo possibly)
Nuna, Heroine, Archer fighting style, Partial armour, 2/5/0/3; Skills: Tracking, Pathfinding, Foraging (Shieldmaiden figure - Gripping Beast?)
Leothain, Hero, Sword & Shield fighting style, Full armour, 2/4/+1/3; Skills: Tactics, Library (Perry 1450-1500 Mercenary captain figure)
Davron, Follower, Light Armour, 1/4/03; No skills (Perry 1450-1500 WotR Billman figure)
Serronsel, Follower, Light Armour,  1/4/+1/3, Shield; Skills: Barter (Shieldmaiden figure - Gripping Beast?)
Sommeryth, Follower, Light Armour, 2/4/0/3, Crossbow; Skills: Dodge (Oathsworn Amazon figure?)

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