Saturday, April 5, 2014

Black Bart escapes!

As promised, here is my game report for the Escape from Castle Grayrock scenario.

Finding himself under siege in Castle Grayrock, the Bluderian Viceroy called a conference of his top commanders to discuss measures. True to his nature, General "Black" Bart Blackwell urged that the garrison should sally forth and drive the rebels from the street. The Viceroy was more cautious, pointing out Blackwell's recent failure. Instead, the conference decided to send a messenger to the main Bluderian army is southern Grayrock. Disgusted by the lethargy of the other commanders, Black Bart offered to provide the messenger. Actually, he planned to do it himself in order to get away from the Viceroy and rejoin his Greenglade comrades with the main army.

Blackwell waited until a dark, moonless night. Clothed in black, he armed himself with a pair of pistols, a sword, and a dagger. He carried a couple of lengths of rope hidden under his black cloak. Deep in the night, he set forth.

A section of Grayrock City.
Black Bart (the green figure because I don't have a black one) is in the Castle (bottom)
 Notes: Pardon the bare bones nature of the board. I was in the process of making a proper castle and city walls, but Tommy demanded a game immediately! Instead, I used a few stone walls from Village in a Bag and a lot of imagination. The red cobblestony areas are the main streets. The gray areas represent built up areas - buildings and narrow alleyways. It is possible to move through the gray areas.

Black Bart dropped a rope from the wall and shimmied down. About halfway, he slipped and fell with a thud to the street below. He rose, but felt a stabbing pain in his ankle.

Limping, he managed to cross the main street and ducked into an alleyway. As he hobbled through the alley, he heard arguing from around the corner. He peaked and saw two local citizens, recently armed and acting as a rebel patrol. Ge decided to avoid an encounter, sneaking by in the dark. Fortunately, their argument was so loud that they did not hear him.

Black Bart sneaks past the citizen patrol.
 Turning a corner of the alley, Blackwell stumbled across a mangy dog. It began to bark at him. He gave it a swift kick and it ran away. Fortunately, no one was alerted.

He then had to cross a major street. Huddling under his dark cloak, he scurried across as quickly as his injured ankle allowed., but he did not go unnoticed. Someone called out to him. "Hey buddy!" Blackwell ignored the call, but the man repeated it. Blackwell turned, his hand reaching from his sword hilt. A ragged man came up to him. "Can ye spare a coin?" As Blackwell hesitated, the beggar stated, "I can see yer tryin' to remain hid. Spare or coin or should I make a row?" Blackwell pulled a coin from his pouch and gave it to the beggar, who smiled and moved on.

Black Bart meets a beggar.
 Blackwell moved back into the alleys. After a little way, he heard another voice saying "Hey Bud." Blackwell turned, whispering "I have a coin I can spare." The man approached out of the dark, with a dagger pointed to Blackwell. "I want ALL yer coin, and anything else on yer person, or else." Blackwell was having none of it. He whipped out his sword and lunged. The thug deftly dodged, Back and forth the two of them went - striking, dodging, and parrying as silently as each could. Neither one wanted to alert the patrols. At one point, Blackwell slipped and fell to his knees. The mugger rushed in, but Blackwell recovered and his parry disarmed his enemy. The thug kicked Blackwell and then jumped on him. Blackwell's sword rattled to the ground. The two men wrestled until Blackwell managed to draw his dagger. Two quick stabs and the fight was over, with the thug's life blood pouring from his veins.
Black Bart after an encounter with a thug.
 Blackwell fled from the scene, eager not to get caught. Fortune was with him and he was able to make it to the wall. His only encounter was with another mangy dog that he drove away with ease. Blackwell then tried to scale the wall, but his injured ankle made it difficult. He slipped and fell to the ground. He heard a crack and his ankle throbbed with greater intensity. Probably broken. He tried again, and through sheer determination, he made it to the top. 

Black Bart on top of the wall.
Tying his other rope to the top of the wall, he dropped the other end down the other side and slid down (falling once again!). He was able to make his way to his secret contact, who provided him with a horse. He rode off into the night! After a long, painful ride, he, and the Viceroy's message, made it to the Bluderian army.

I played this game using my rules-lite RPG rules (as described in my Kevin's Krawl and Space Templar posts).

Each turn, Bart could move 1 square. I then rolled for an encounter in the square. An encounter would occur on the busier streets on a 1-3 but only a 1-2 in the alleys (to make the streets more tempting, I should have allowed faster movement). If an encounter occurred, I rolled on the encounter chart.

1. Dog (Power = 6)
2. Beggar (Power = 6)
3. Drunk (starts a brawl) (Power = 6)
4. Thug (Power = 7)
5. Unruly citizens on patrol (Power = 7)
6. National Guard patrol (Power = 8)

The patrols would consist of 1-3 men. The Power number was what Bart had to roll to successfully attack or defend. For example, in his fight with the thug, Bart needed to roll 7 or better to hit and to avoid being hit. In a fight, Bart could take 3 wounds before succumbing to unconsciousness (and failing his mission).

When an encounter occurred, Bart had 3 options: sneak by it (using the encounter's Power number as the target for success), confront it (not always requiring combat, such as the beggar encounter), or run from it. I would roll the dice and interpret the result (very free-form; I just decided what seemed logical).

Bart also had to roll to climb up or down the walls. Again, I would interpret the die rolls. Also, after each failure I rolled to see if an encounter occurred.

Bart was fairly unlucky in some regards (6 encounters in 10 moves; had trouble climbing walls) but he was fortunate in the nature of the encounters (no National Guard patrols, for example) and in his rolls during confrontations. I thought about adding a second "level" of the game where Bart had to make it from the city to the army, avoiding highwaymen, wolves, and enemy patrols along the way, but I decided to take it easy on him.Throughout the game, I felt a sense of anxiety as I made the rolls so I consider the scenario a success (as it was for Bart as he made it out of the city).

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