Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Age of Sail - Duelling 74's

I have been working on a modified set of hex based naval rules (called KAOS) for fighting medium sized Age of Sail battles on hexes based on the old Avalon Hill Wooden Ships & Iron Men rules and using ships from the Sails of Glory range.

I plan to use a playing area with 40 mm hexes but for this test (under Corona-isolation) I used the grass green 35 mm hex playing are that I had readily available and hastily made ship bases.

This first battle was between two 74 gun ships of the line, the Royal Navy's HMS BELLONA and the French Navy's Commerce de Bordeaux. I commanded the BELLONA and Capitaine de vaisseau Branche de Bosquet commanded the Commerce de Bordeaux via a Skype link.

HMS BELLONA under full sail heading out to sea.



HMS BELLONA was broad reaching under full sails with the southerly wind from starboard and the Commerce de Bordeaux was broad reaching under battle sails with the wind from larboard.

They started 12 hexes apart, just out of cannon range.


1)
Both ships moved straight ahead. HMS BELLONA attempted to change to battle sails but hadn't yet finished. Neither ship had it's opponent in its broadside arc.


2)
Both ships turned downwind. Because HMS BELLONA was still moving faster with full sails, she managed to then cross the bow of the Commerce de Bordeaux, raking her with her initial starboard broadside. HMS BELLONA then changed to battle sails.


3)
Commerce de Bordeaux turned to her left while HMS BELLONA repeated her previous manoeuvre of turning left, running downwind and then turning right. HMS BELLONA was still in a position to rake the Commerce de Bordeaux without having fire returned.


4)
Both ships now turned downwind and fired their initial broadsides at point blank range.HMS BELLONA continued aiming at the Commerce de Bordeaux's hull while the Commerce de Bordeaux aimed for BELLONA's rigging. Capitaine de vaisseau Branche de Bosquet now ordered the Commerce de Bordeaux to start using chain shot.


5)
Commerce de Bordeaux turned to her right while HMS BELLONA turned left, both try to cross the other so as to get in a raking shot. Both ships were consistent in their tactics for choice of target. The BELLONA fired into her opponent's hull while Commerce de Bordeau fired her initial larboard broadside into her opponent's rigging.



6)
Commerce de Bordeaux turned tightly to her left while HMS BELLONA edged away to her right. This opened the range slightly. Commerce de Bordeaux continued to fire chain shot into the rigging and HMS BELLONA fired roundshot into the hull.

This fire from the Commerce de Bordeau did enough damage to the rigging of the BELLONA that her speed was now reduced. At the same time the fire from HMS BELLONA was seriously damaging the Commerce de Bordeau's hull, knocking out guns and killing large numbers of her crew.


7)
HMS BELLONA continued forward at reduced speed while Commerce de Bordeaux turned back to follow the BELLONA. Both ships could fire at the extremes of their broadside arcs.


8)
HMS BELLONA continued forward at reduced speed while Commerce de Bordeaux turned left close hauled. Both ships could fired their broadside arcs.


9)
The fire from the Commerce de Bordeau did enough damage to the rigging of the BELLONA that her speed was now reduced and she could not make any headway close hauled.

The fire from HMS BELLONA had seriously damaged the Commerce de Bordeau's hull, knocked out guns and killed large numbers of her crew.

Both Captains at this time decided to disengage and repair the damage to their ships.


As a first test of these rules the game played well. There will be a few simplifications before the next game.

The slightly too small, and very green hexes worked great for play-testing but will need to be replaced by an ocean map with 40 mm hexes when the corona situation allows. Even playing via Skype worked well; better than expected.

Great fun was had by both sides.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

A Fantasy Adventure – Act 16c.

This is episode three of a fantasy dungeon crawl using dungeon tiles from DMB Games and the Swords and Wizardry “Old School D&D” rules.

The party consists of 6 fifth-level adventurers: GIMLIT SON OF GROIN (dwarf fighter), ST.JOHN WILDBLADDER III (human paladin), BELWINA (human female ranger), KRANOVAL (half-elf magic-user), THE BISHOP OF BATHENWELLS (human cleric) and FRITO BUGGER (hobbit thief).

Additionally there is Frito’s dog FIDO, KOBBE the Kobold who had attached himself to Kranoval and MISDORA BONRYNSDÖTTIR OAKENSHIELD the dwarven bard who had attached herself to Gimlit in the hope of writing some epic songs or sagas.

The party were in a dungeon under a stepped temple on an island. They had managed to rest for the night in a room behind a stone steam breathing dragon statue. The room had one, as yet unopened, door.

As the party opened the door, they saw a 20ft square room. In a niche in the left hand wall stood a strange large figure which slowly came to life as the party peered into the room


Gimlit and Belwina bravely charged the Flesh Golem.


They were soon supported by Wildbladder and Bathenwells. The Flesh Golem fought fiercely. The rest of the party rushed into the room and the Flesh Golem was defeated.


One the far side of the room was another door, which after Frito checked for traps, was opened. Through the door was a large throne room with 4 large trolls and 2 smaller.


Frito blew a long steady note on his Silver Horn of Valhalla and five berserker warriors were summoned to fight the trolls.

However the party hadn't thought this tactic through, so they didn't support the berserkers. The trolls killed the berserkers taking damage while doing so. But the party had managed to forget that trolls regenerate. So having killed the berserkers, the trolls were still very nearly at full strength and not worn down like the party had expected. 


The party charged in to attack the trolls and a general melee occurred. Kranoval shot a lightning bolt straight through two trolls. After a while the first troll was chopped to pieces and went down. But yet again the party forgot about the regeneration and after a while, the refreshed troll jumped up to fight again with his comrades.

Finally the party had learnt it's lesson, and Misdora and Kobbe went round burning the trolls one by one as the party killed them,so they didn't have a chance to return to life.


With the trolls finally dead and smouldering nicely, the party searched the throne room.

In the bottom of the throne, Frito found a secret compartment containing 3 potions.

In the ceiling of the room there was a shaft going up. Light could be seen at the top of the shaft. A silken rope was hanging down the shaft.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

A Fantasy Adventure – Act 16b.

This is episode two of a fantasy dungeon crawl using dungeon tiles from DMB Games and the Swords and Wizardry “Old School D&D” rules.

The party consists of 6 fifth-level adventurers: GIMLIT SON OF GROIN (dwarf fighter), ST.JOHN WILDBLADDER III (human paladin), BELWINA (human female ranger), KRANOVAL (half-elf magic-user), THE BISHOP OF BATHENWELLS (human cleric) and FRITO BUGGER (hobbit thief).

Additionally there is Frito’s dog FIDO, KOBBE the Kobold who had attached himself to Kranoval and MISDORA BONRYNSDÖTTIR OAKENSHIELD the dwarven bard who had attached herself to Gimlit in the hope of writing some epic songs or sagas.

The party were in a dungeon under a stepped temple on an island.

They had opened a secret door and could see a 50 ft long 40 ft wide chamber. The roof was supported by 4 pillars and in the far wall was a large double door. In the middle of the chamber was a coffin. Chained to the walls, by neck, wrists and ankles, are 12 skeletons probably dead prisoners.


The party entered the tomb and examined the coffin; Frito and Fido waited outside with Eeyore.


Misdora tried to open the coffin, but it was too heavy for her. So the Bishop of Bathenwells stepped forward and pushed the lid aside. Up from the coffin rose the mummy of a king, on its head it wore a golden crown. It immediately attacked Bathenwells.

In the same instance, the chains fell away from the skeletons and they started coming to "life".


Bathenwells pulled out his Holy Symbol, held it up high, and shouted "Flee before the power of LAW, foul undead things of Chaos!". The three nearest skeletons crumpled to dust.

Gimlit, Wildbladder, Frito and Fido attacked the remaining skeletons.

Kranoval, Belwina and Misdora continued to fight the mummy, both Kranoval and Belwina taking nasty wounds.


Having finished off the skeletons, the rest of the party returned to help Kranoval, Belwina and Misdora fight the mummy. A final blow from Bathenwells magic mace was needed to finish off the king.

Wildbladder picked up the golden crown and placed it on his own head.


The party left the tomb by the double doors which opened in to a short wide passage terminating at another set out double doors.


On the doors was a brass plate inscribed with a text and 13 symbols:


After some discussion, Kranoval deduced that the odd one out was the Norse TH rune, when he pressed and the doors swung open.

The doors opened in to a short wide passage terminating at yet another set out double doors. Written above the doors in ancient glyphs was the text: “Here lies Yohualli-Ehecatl master of the hounds, who is like the wind and the night!”

When Frito opened the doors, a crypt was revealed. It was 50 ft by 40 ft, at the far end was a sarcophagus, standing along each wall are 4 large bronze statues of hounds. In the right wall was a passageway blocked by a large stone block.


The party except for Fido and Eeyore entered the room and examined the sarcophagus. Before touching the sarcophagus, Bathenwells and Frito went round the bronze statues of the hounds and tied silken rope round the statues legs, to hamper them if (when said Frito) they came to life.


Gimlit pushed aside the lid and Yohualli-Ehecatl rose up from the sarcophagus.

At the same time, the bronze statues started to come alive.

Kobbe hit the dirt when he saw Kranoval drawing his wand; a bolt of lightning flashed only a fraction of an inch above Kobbe's head and hit Yohualli-Ehecatl in the chest.


Frito drew his Silver Horn of Valhalla and blew four long clear blasts. Four berserkers appeared and on Frito's command attacked the nearest hounds.

Yohualli-Ehecatl was defeated but not until both Gimlit and Wildbladder had taken serious wounds. Upon being defeated, Yohualli-Ehecatl turned to smoke and returned to his sarcophagus. At that same second, the hounds turned back into brass and teleported back to their original positions.

Frito examined the inside of the sarcophagus, he found a staff of striking and a lever. He gave the staff to Kranoval. Then he pulled the lever which caused the block in the passage to the right to slide to one side, with a loud squeaking noise, leaving the passageway open.


The party followed the passage which then turned left, inclined upwards and then came to a stairway. Just after the bend Frito noticed a pressure plate in the floor, which the first half of the party jumped over without trouble.


When Frito and Gimlit went up the stairs, they stood on a pressure plate which caused a stone statue of a dragon to roll forward. They continued to walk up the stairs causing a jet of steam to shoot out from the statue's mouth, burning the first half of the party.

Frito managed to climb up to the statue using handholds on the wall. He tried to push it back but wasn't strong enough. So Gimlit and Bathenwells charged up the stairs to join him, unleashing a second jet of steam on the party.


Once up the stairs, Gimlit and Bathenwells could push the statue back to whence it came and the rest of the party could climb the stairs in safety.

Eeeyore tramped on the pressure plate by the bend and the loud squeaking noise of the stone block sliding back into its original position could be heard by the party.

To be continued, next week, same time, same place, same channel...

Monday, February 24, 2020

A Fantasy Adventure – Act 16a.

This is a fantasy dungeon crawl using dungeon tiles from DMB Games and the Swords and Wizardry “Old School D&D” rules.

The party consists of 6 fifth-level adventurers: GIMLIT SON OF GROIN (dwarf fighter), ST.JOHN WILDBLADDER III (human paladin), BELWINA (human female ranger), KRANOVAL (half-elf magic-user), THE BISHOP OF BATHENWELLS (human cleric) and FRITO BUGGER (hobbit thief).

Additionally there is Frito’s dog FIDO, KOBBE the Kobold who had attached himself to Kranoval and MISDORA BONRYNSDÖTTIR OAKENSHIELD the dwarven bard who had attached herself to Gimlit in the hope of writing some epic songs or sagas.

The party had returned to the city, to find a very worried Frito being tailed by a depressed looking Kobbe. They had worked out that financing the renovation and staffing of their new house was going to cost the party all their gold and lots more besides.

However Frito remembered an old map that he had picked up in the wererats' lair. The map showed an island surrounded by reefs, but there was a safe anchorage marked in a bay. It appeared to have it's coordinates shown but none of the party were sailors so couldn't decipher them. In the interior of the island, a stepped pyramid shaped temple was marked.

Frito went down to the North Docks to try and discover more. There he went into The Thirsty Sailor, an infamous dive. Frito asked around for information about the island and for a ship's captain that could take the party there. Sax Dread, a notorious hobbit thief and knife-fighter, challenged Frito to a knife-fight; if Sax won he would get Frito's knife, if Frito won Sax would help the party find a ship.


The challenge was, as usual, the best of five. Frito won surprisingly easily, he got the first three "touches" with his knife. Maybe there was more to Frito's past than anyone else in the party knew about.

Sax took the party to meet Captain Finn "The Ghost" Morrow on board his 70 ft 2-masted ship, the Golden Hind. Wildbladder, the paladin, took over the negotiation and managed to persuade the captain to give them passage there and back for 300 gp. The captain was so happy with the deal that he even offered to take Eeyore, the party's pony, free of charge provided that Wildbladder mucked out the hold after Eeyore.

The next morning, the party boarded the ship and set sail for the island.


The Golden Hind arrived at the island and Captain Finn "The Ghost" Morrow carefully followed the navigation instructions on the map to pass through the reef into the bay and anchored up. The party was sent ashore in a rowboat. Once ashore, they found the track leading inland as marked on the map and followed it.

They arrived at the temple just as dusk was falling. They camped overnight and in the morning proceeded towards the temple.


The party moved towards the temple's steps. They trod carefully across cracked and overgrown flagstones, stepping over fallen and shattered pillars, pushing aside vines and briars.  Then the earth shuddered and gaped open beneath their feet and they fell amidst the roar of collapsing masonry. Dust filled the air and the sunlight disappeared as the darkness swallowed the party.


As the dust settled it was no longer pitch dark. Although there was no sunlight coming in, 6 small reddish oily glowing lights could be seen moving slowly towards the party. The Bishop of Bathenwells tried to remember his light spell, but before he could the giant fire beetles attacked.


Frito ran behind the first beetle, jumped on its back, and stuck his short sword into the beetle killing it with one sure thrust.


The second beetle went for Kranoval, but was chopped up by Gimlit.


Wildbladder finished off the third.


The party left the room via the door and entered a hall which was 20 ft wide and 60 ft long. It had a dead end. In the middle of the hall, with its back to the left wall stood a 12 ft high stone statue of an ogre. The party searched the room.


Frito examined the statue. Its eyes appeared to be black shiny glowing gemstones, its nose and forehead are chipped and scratched. With Gimlit standing guard, Frito climbed onto Wildblader's shoulders and then onto the statue.


As Gimlit attempted to pry out its eyes, the statue fell forward. Both Gimlit and Frito jumped to one side but were both hit by the falling statues. The gems worth 50 gp each could now be prised out.

Behind the statue was a short hallway ending in a door.


The party went down the hallway led by Gimlit and Bathenwells to the door. On the door were inscribed the words: “Behind this portal is death”.


Gimlit opened the door, and out shot three magic missiles and hit him straight on the chest. Behind the door was a small alcove, the far wall from which the bolts came radiated magic.


Gimlit, Bathenwells and Frito went into the room and searched. Finding nothing, they closed the door and searched again.


Bathenwells opened the door to leave, and three magic missiles hit hon straight in the back.


Deciding that the door was just a detraction, the party searched the passageway and Kranoval, with Gimlit's help, found a secret door or the right hand side. Frito and Kranoval opened the door.

When the door was pushed open, the party could see a 50 ft long 40 ft wide chamber. The roof was supported by 4 pillars and in the far wall was a large double door. In the middle of the chamber was a coffin. Chained to the walls, by neck, wrists and ankles, are 12 skeletons probably dead prisoners.


To be continued, next week, same time, same place, same channel...

Sewers for D&D finished

I have now completed my sewer tiles and wall facades and it was time for the party to adventure down into the dark, damp, foul-smelling sewer system under the city.



The party enters the sewer system...



They fight off some evil-smelling (warhammer) zombies...



From out of the slime, two (Ral Partha) sewer worms attack...



A pair of (Ral Partha) sewer ogres challenge the party...




My four previous posts on crafting sewers are available here: first, second, third, fourth.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Crafting wall facades to add to my sewer tiles.

I have now completed my sewer tiles with which I am very happy and it was now time to add some wall facades. I decided that walls all the way round would just get in the way of playability. So I made special wall facades for use only where they were needed. I also have dungeon tiles which are made using Hirst Art's moulds and I wanted to be able to join the sewer up to them.


As before, the base of the tiles was made from 4 inch wide 5 mm foam core. The paving stones were also made from 5 mm foam core, which I had first soaked in warm water for a short while so I could then peel off the paper covering the foam.

The wall was made of XPS foam, 4 inches wide, 2" high and 1" deep.

Using an HB pencil, I then drew the individual bricks and details, pressing hard enough to make indents which would show up well when ink washed and dry-brushed. I then rolled up a piece of kitchen foil into a ball and rolled it all over to give the stones a more rough appearance which will show up well when dry-brushed.


For the sewer entrance I added two extra pieces of 3mm foam to increase the height of the wall to make room for a door.


To join up with my dungeon tiles I made a collapsed wall. This was faced with 3mm foam core. The collapse was cut out using a hot wire cutter. Individual bricks were added cut from both foam core and XPS. The paving stones were added at a height compatible with my dungeon tiles and then painted in their colour scheme.


Painted as follows...

Overall:

  • Matt Mod Podge mixed with black hobby paint (80% / 20%).

Brickwork:

  • Dark Grey
  • Heavy Dry Brush of Medium (Rain) Grey
  • Mix of Liquitex Brown ink and Black ink in equal quantities with a drop of washing up liquid and a drop of water added.
  • Matt varnish
  • Dry Brush of Stone Beige, but use Light Grey on some details for contrast (this is the opposite of they way I painted the floor tiles)

Paving Stones:

  • As brickwork but final  dry-brush with Light Grey.

Sewage:

  • Raw Sienna (you may need a couple of coats to cover thoroughly)
  • Mix Raw Sienna and Lime (Leaf) Green (66% / 33%) and paint a line down the edges of the sewage nearest the paving stones.
  • Using the same paint mix, take a small piece of sponge and use it to dab paint randomly onto the middle of the sewage flow.  
  • Create a liquid effect using Liquitex Gloss Heavy Gel. Apply quite thickly and work with a Sculpting Tool to give a running water effect. 

Earth:

  • GW Steel Legion Drab
  • Wash with Liquitex Brown ink 
  • Dry brush of Steel Legion Drab
  • Light Dry brush of Yellow Ochre

Job Done!



The ladder was made from matchsticks.
For details of how I did the door see my previous post.

The earth was covered with sand to give texture before painting.

The sewage exiting from the pipe was made by first using the hot glue gun
before painting and covering with Liquitex Gloss Heavy Gel.

My three previous posts on crafting sewers are available here: first, second, third.