No storytime this go around. This week we headed into the “campaign phase”
I find this whole structure to be amazing. It is replacing what in other games would be “downtime”, and focuses everyone at the table into the mindset of the game. This is probably my own biases talking, but I really feel that limiting the possibilities makes for a more enjoyable and imaginative game session. Yes, I know that RPGs are stereotypically “you get to do anything” games, but when you have to work within certain limits your imagination and problem solving kicks into high gear!
Anyway. Now this game became something very different! Roles. We got handed new playbooks (The Heavy, Scout and Rookie were Red playbooks. Now there were 5 green books on the table – Commander, Marshal, Quartermaster, Lorekeeper, and Spymaster. R took the Commander, P took the Quartermaster, I took the Marshal, but begged to take the Lorekeeper as well. M allowed it (as I write everything anyway) 🙂 We had some instructions on the sheets to ask questions from the GM and we got the Legion’s starting values. (I think P has an Outlander fetish, and we are in a very stylish legion)
Fierce Orite: Bold, Stylish & Crisp
– The undead will take time to recover and find the Legion… 0 pressure
– Made good time escaping, but the undead never sleep: 3 time
– No intel gained or time to scout. 0 intel
Proud Zemyati: Cautious, Grizzled & Stylish
– Commander didn’t break. 9 morale (-1 for val’s loss) 8
– Ensure 5 specialists
Valentina (Zemyati Heavy) – Dead
Blue Dancer (Panyan Scout)
Silver Striking Wind (Panyan Sniper) – Ambush
Arun Arani (Bartan Medic) – Attache, Field Dressing
Graf Luthar (Orite heavy) – Weapon master
– Initial Squad: The Shattered lions (don’t break from fear/morale)
Kaviya Dewa (Bartan)
Asa Elrik (Orite)
Eldred Elrik (Orite)
Prepared Bartan: Resourceful & Frugal, Stylish & Tired
– Only able to grab some wagons: 2 supply
– 1 mercy: Claire
– Food 1 (0/3 used)
– Materiel: Food, Supply Cart, Horses, Horses, Labourers
Famous Zemyati: Clever, Ink-Stained & Grizzled
Battle of Ettenmark Fields
– We underestimated the Undead. Assumed we knew them, we were wrong.
– Faced the Breaker Witches and magic! – the living were turned!
The workers and civilians we thought were allies were all amongst us, until they turned, unleashing bloodshed among the unprepared soldiers. When the armies were in disarray the forces of Render – his knights and armoured undead swarmed into the undefended trenches. So many were taken or killed! The Hexed corrupted the lands and people they touched – even the trees and skies were turned against us!
– Zora appeared and saved us! She gathered and inspired survivors, bringing us together and a chance to fight back.
– We learnt to be cautious. Anyone can be under the control of Breaker. Anything suspicious cannot be overlooked. The legion trusts its own and ALWAYS looks out for each other.
Back at Camp (8 morale, 2 campaign actions – scene: remembrance for the fallen)
- Scene: Blue Dancer and the squad are around Valentina’s gear.
Bluey saying words, remembering Val – Her left over gear is handed out to the rookies, each taking something.
- Kaviya takes a shield.
- Bluey takes a sword
+1 time, +1 pressure -1 food
(after we’d put the number down, seeing that this pressure, food and time happen every turn made us a little scared!)
Campaign action: (2)
(There are limited choices here. Aquire Assets, Liberty, Long-Term Project, Recruit, Rest & Recuperate)
The Legion has found some injured horses that wont be able to carry them further, and other perishable &/or heavy food&drink they won’t be able to take with them. The Quartermaster sets it all to be eaten… a wake in remembrance of the fallen of the Legion.
-3 stress +2 morale (10)
– Long Term Project: More Wagons! Bluey leading.
Bluey leads labourers to scout for wood, tools, etc in the remains of the Legion camp
2d – 5 4: 2 succ, +1 for labourers.
Zora’s special ability gives -1 pressure. Commander Rolls 0d: 2 4: (1 time adds)
(Shit! We’re already half way through summer!)
This realisation caused us to take a close look at Commander’s map – He has a map! Its really cool “point crawl” looking thing. We have to make it all the way from the battlefield to Skydagger Keep. Thats going to take about 8-9 advances (well 7-8 more) So if we’re really lucky it will take 14 more ticks, and 21 ticks on average: we have 25 left. We are under pressure! A couple of unlucky advances could eat away at this very very fast!
Anyway.. We’ve advanced to the Western Front
GM describes it as a nightmare-WW1 scene. Churned up mud, ruined shells of buildings, dust and smoke from burning fires. Wandering surviving soldiers, and random packs of undead lurking in the corners.
We’re asked what our mission priorities are. Commander R tells us that the Front has options for Assault and Recon Missions. She says our biggest needs are Supply and Time, which means Assault Missions. GM rolls a few dice and tells us:
- Special Recon Mission
Scout behind enemy lines in Karlsburg. Received signal – being hunted by a powerful Undead. 3 day trip
Reward: +2 intel, elite scout, 2 questions
Penalty: -1 morale
- Assault Mission
We’ve spotted a river bridgehead camp being setup by some of the undead. We need to go destroy it.
Type: Wild (river, cliffs, burnt forest)
Reward: +2 morale, +1 intel
Penalty: +1 pressure
- Recon Mission
Mountain Fort overlooking the Front and paths north. Scout and plan route.
Type: Route Recon
Reward: +1 intel, -1 time
Penalty +1 pressure
Some interesting options. We discussed these a lot. We only have the resources to follow up on 2 of these, and only 1 will be actually played through. We all agreed that the Special Mission sounded the most fun to play, so that’s going to be the first priority. But of the other two, we really want that reduction in time!
Now we’ve got to pick the troops.
As Marshal I theoretically get to pick the troops. Recon missions need a sniper or a scout. We want to “play out” the rescue mission and P wants to take Blue Dancer, which means the sniper needs to go on the other mission. So given the limited force of the Legion, we can take a medic or a heavy. Given the expected “powerful undead” we decided that a Heavy might be useful.
Next time – the engagement rolls and the mission.