Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Mean Guys

I tried another of the 'Palaeo Diet - Fireside Tales' scenarios at lunchtime. I'm not working through the campaign, so the mighty Herc was assigned two companions at random - he got one with a spear and one with an axe.

This scenario is 'Mean Girls' in which Herc and his friends are surrounded by a group of female hunters and must defeat them plus, if they can, recover the chief's splendid belt. I lack any prehistoric amazons, so simply used another tribe of hunters. They are run as beasts using a new Outfolk Hunters beast reaction table.

Herc and his friends, plus a couple of their foes in the distance. Herc and co win if they kill, or drive away, three of the five Outfolk.

Herc found himself by two opponents who seemed particularly aggressive. He wounded one.

Meanwhile his companions moved to attack two outlying Outfolk before their friends could move up and support them. Both Outfolk ended up wounded.

A third opponent attacked Herc, who decided discretion was the better part of valour, and fled the fight, turning to down one of the Outfolk with an arrow as he did so.

One of the Outfolk attacked Herc, who was now seriously injured. But a companion killed another of the attackers.

Herc's spear-armed companion was in trouble, and one of the Outfolk rushed past Herc to finish him off. Herc let fly with another arrow, and the third enemy fell.

At this point I could have ended the scenario; Herc and his friends had killed three of the five Outfolk in five turns. But I decided to keep playing to see if they could get hold of the belt. This involves searching dead bodies and hoping one of them is the chief.

Sadly extending the game cost Herc a companion, clubbed by one of the Outfolk.

They searched two bodies, but neither were the chief. And the two surviving Outfolk were closing in looking dangerous. Herc and the surviving companion decided to quit whilst they were ahead.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

The Power Of One

The Power Of One is a scenario in the basic 'Palaeo Diet' rules in which a single hunter, plus his faithful hound, must achieve a fairly ambitious hunting target within a tight time-limit in order to regain the good will of his tribe. I thought it would be a fun way to while away a chilly Sunday afternoon.

The targets - a couple of mammoths and some wild cattle.

And the hunter. I went with the basic spear-armed hunter for this game. he's accompanied by his hound.

I decided to bypass the cattle initially and take down a mammoth, as this would provide the majority of the bulk I needed to win. The aim was to send the hound round one side to stop the animals moving away, and then take one down as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately one of the mammoths seemed particularly stroppy. As he dog worked around the pair the mammoth turned and attacked it.

The hound tried to move away, but the mammoth attacked again, and killed it.

So really it was now down to the hunter to try and spear a mammoth without assistance. His attacks were pathetic. and the mammoth attacked and injured him.

With time running out I took the desperate decision to switch to the cattle.

I injured one, but the herd scattered.

Then stampeded away from the hunter.

I chased after them ...

... but they kept running and fled off the table.

Night fell and the hunter had nothing to show for his efforts. A failure.

I tried it again, this time switching to a hunter with an axe.

The hound moved round the side of the cattle, my target for this game. 

It got overenthusiastic, however, and moved in to attack one of the beasts, injuring it.

However this had the effect of driving the herd towards the hunter ...

... who killed one of them before they scattered towards some woods.

The herd was totally panicked by this stage, and disappeared into the trees. But I had plenty of time left, and decided to try and kill a mammoth instead. The hunter's first attack injured one.

The mammoth attacked, but this hunter dodged it.

The mammoth bellowed, and the hunter retreated, not wanting to incite another attack.

The hunter crept in for another attack, wounded the mammoth again but was wounded in return.

The mammoth ambled away, pursued by the hound.

The hunter kept up attacks, trying to direct the hound such that the mammoth didn't retreat too far away.

But the mammoth's bellowing kept the hound and the hunter nervous, forcing them to back off, and then begin the process of stalking all over again.

Another attack saw the mammoth on its last legs ...

... but neither the hound nor the hunter could finish the job before night fell.

So the second game was closer to victory than the first - one more hit would have finished the mammoth, achieving the necessary bulk for a victory - but it wasn't to be.

One thing I did try was having terrain affect the movement of beasts. In the game as written only impassable terrain and sheer drops have an effect on their movement, but I like the idea of slowing prey by forcing them through rough or tricky terrain. So for thickets I assumed that, like hunters, beasts would move one stick slower (except S, which would stay as S), and that any L move through tricky ground would be reduced to M. I might try some more with line of sight as well, as this seems to have very little effect in the game.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

HOTT 52 - Week 26 - Weird WWII Soviets vs Skull Island

It's Week 26 of my HOTT 52 project, and I'm now halfway through it. I'm as amazed as anyone that I've actually stuck it out this far. But there you go. I have.

Anyway, this week's game sees Comrade Stalin leading an expedition to colonise Skull Island, and turn it into a Comunist tropical paradise. His forces have already established a beachhead.

The proletariat hordes are ecstatic.

The Soviet stronghold.

But the inhabitants of Skull Island aren't going to stand for this act of aggression. Led by their king, Kong, they assemble and launch an attack.

Kong was accompanied by his best friend. Obviously a capitalist American agitator, who has convinced the inhabitants to fight their own liberation 

Anyway, here are the two armies lined up and ready to fight. Do you want lists? You do? Well, I'll put them at the end.

Skull Island made the first serious move. As the apemen moved into the edge of a patch of jungle, horses of beasties swarmed out and overwhelmed them.

As the Soviets moved forward in order to gain more fighting room, some heroic workers destroyed one group of creepy-crawlies.

As the armies approached, the air chilled as General Winter arrived to support the Soviets.

The denizens of Skull Island charged.

The Soviet line collapsed as screaming natives sliced their way through the hordes of soldiers that made up the main part of it. A Hero of the Soviet Union moved to halt the enemy advance, as did the spirits of earlier Russian heroes. And Stalin faced kong in an epic duel, driving him back in the Soviets' only success.

General Winter chilled a pterosaur, driving it back.

The heroes charged some natives as a brave workers held of a ferocious dinosaur attack.

See the proletariat hold off an attack by the dinosaur lackey of a giant feudal gorilla.

(I mean, come on, if your HOTT games don't look like this, what are you really doing?)

That very same giant gorilla was, at that very moment, locked in an ideological struggle with Comrade Stalin. I say 'ideological struggle', but actually they were just hitting each other.

The crisis point of the battle. Things were actually looking pretty desperate for the Soviets.

General Winter moved to aid Stalin. He took a moment to point out that even the worship of a god that obviously exists, in the form of a giant gorilla, was still simply the opium of the people.

Then he joined Comrade Stalin in freeing the natives from the shackles of their religious belief, by killing Kong.

But the Soviets had taken so many casualties that even the loss of their king and general wasn't enough to break Skull Island's forces, who regrouped for another attack and killed more heroic workers.

Unfortunately the thing with the proletariat is that there's an awful lot of them. Stalin ordered up reserves, and this brought the Soviet army to a point where Skull Island's losses were now greater than those of what were now their liberators from kaiju oppression.

From a game point of view, the Soviets brought back some lost hordes which meant that Skull Island ended a bound having lost their general and more points than their opponent. It's a passive way to win a battle, but totally legitimate.

As the fighting petered out, General Winter began to educate a dinosaur.

"This law of capitalistic society would sound absurd to savages, or even civilised colonists. It calls to mind the boundless reproduction of animals individually weak and constantly hunted down."

As promised, here are the armies:

Weird WWII Soviets
1 x Behemoth General (Comrade Stalin in his Steel-Man Battlesuit)
6 x Hordes (Workers and Soldiers In Glorious Solidarity)
2 x Knights (Heroes of Old Russia)
1 x Paladin (Hero of the Soviet Union)
1 x Warband (Genetically Engineered Ape/Human Hybrids)
1 x God (General Winter)

Skull Island
1 x Behemoth General (Kong)
1 x Behemoth (King Carnivore)
1 x Beast (Smaller Dinosaur)
4 x Warband (Skull Island Natives)
1 x Shooter (Sailors with Guns)
1 x Flyer (Pterosaur)
2 x Lurkers (Giant Creepy-Crawlies)

These two armies last met some eight years ago.
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