Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Half Century

I don't know if it's customary, but I'm celebrating today since this is my 50th blog post and I thought it should have a bit of a "bang" to it................ so here it is..............

The first two guns and crews for the ECW project got painted and based this week, and a few more trees that I picked up from the Games Emporium shop in Mansfield have also been based up and are table-ready.
The trees complete the "bottle brush style" forestation that I'd started for battle style games, and any additions from now on will be the more "realistic" looking variety to try and visually enhance skirmish games.

Now then, here's a pleasant surprise - I've managed to get a (late night) game in, and here's the first AAR using the Witchfinder General rules!
As you may have previously read, a group of angry villagers from Bradshaigh  have taken umbrage with the "foreigners" over at Fernbeck House and have marched off seeking retribution.
Unfortunately, their path takes them through Hadden Wood in the vale of Crimbledyke, where an unfortunate "surprise" awaits them!

The "mob" makes its way through the wood, now 12 strong with 7 'ordinary' villagers and 4 'trained' musketeers following the 'veteran' ringleader

The villagers at the centre of the encounter area while the 'Abominations (6 Nocterlinger and 6 Barghests) have entered six inches from the edge - the villagers have won the roll for the "Upper Hand" and will act first.

The encounter is taking place at night, so "Gloomy Conditions" apply, two D10  determine visibility in inches (19 inches - it must be a full moon and a clear night!)

Seeing the advancing Nocterlinger on the track, the villagers attempt to bring their muskets to the fore, but another of the foul creatures has been spotted  to their right!

Shots ring out in Hadden Wood!

Shooting is straightforward, rolling a D6 against the firer's ability, in this case 'Trained Clubmen' who hit on a 3+ , so they managed to score two hits from the members of the Trained Band, while the game keeper missed abysmally!
A second dice is rolled for damage with any "hits", but unfortunately, the  musketeer who'd hit with a "4" only caused a flesh wound (Tis but a scratch!) and the Nocterlinger came on!

A second abomination had appeared on the right flank, and the remaining musketeer with a loaded weapon aimed and gave fire. The white dice shows that his aim was true, and the red dice next to it indicates that damage should have been inflicted (a 4 would have been a "body shot" and removed 1 constitution point, which would be enough to kill a Nocterlinger) - however, since there's a bank in the way, the abomination was allowed an "Avoid Harm" roll, and his red dice indicates that he ducked just in time! Reducing the fatal shot to "a mere scratch!"

"Fisticuffs" then broke out on the road, as the Nocterlinger charged through the black powder smoke and wass met by a pitchfork wielding villager (+1 to his 'Defence' roll). The white dice are the 'Attack' and red are 'Defence' scores.
The Nocterlinger attacks with a factor of 2+1D6 (his white dice) =4
The villager defends with a factor of 1+1(pitchfork)+1D6(his red dice) =3
So, the Nocterlinger scores one "Blow" against the villager who's response is a factor 1+1D6(a 2) =3 against the abomination's 2+1D6(a 3) =5, failing to land any Blows.

The "Blow" is then checked against the fisticuffs table with 1D6 per success - the villager died from a terrible head wound!

Moments later, the ringleader is attacked and bravely holds off the vile creature in the first round of fisticuffs (Neither combatants landed any successful blows)...........

...... but the situation is looking grim for the defenders as the ambuscade progresses and a "Loose Formation" of Barghests smell blood and close in..........
........ before bursting from the trees upon their hapless victims!
Here's how the combat went :-
The two lower Barghests have awful attack rolls, so use their "Rage" ability to re-roll....
..... MUCH better! Now, the musketeer is "trained" so his combat base value is 2, the other two villagers are "ordinary" with base values of 1, and the Barghests have base values of 3. Adding the attack and defence dice and comparing the results as per the previous example sees the 'Hell Hounds' delivering 3,3, and 4 "Blows.
Normally only the highest score is used to deal damage, with the exception of double 5's or 6's when both are used on the "Fisticuffs Result Table"
All three villagers receive mortal wounds, and in this scenario the Barghests must attempt to turn that  result into 'knocked unconcious'  (by scoring 3+ on a D6) so they can carry their victim off alive for their undead master.....
..... the musketeer is heading for the vampyre's larder, but the other two villagers are torn to shreds!

The next turn saw the villagers win the "Upper Hand" again, and more fisticuffs ensued (apart from the hapless musketeer who'd been desperately trying to reload and finally succeeded!). The villager with the club forced the Barghest to drop its prey when he attacked the horror, while his neighbour with the bill hook single handedly tried to protect the group's flank. 

The ringleader was still locked in combat with the nocterlinger, and stared in horror at his dice rolls -
- he too was destined to be vampyre fodder, so it was small compensation when the musketeer's aim was true and his shot hit the target (but only removed 1 point of constitution from the monster's total of  3). The clubman also inflicted a wound on his opponent before being savaged by a flurry of claws and teeth.
The brave flank defence had been in vain, as the Nocterlinger dragged the unconcious body off towards the treeline.

Things were not looking at all good for the remaining villagers, as three of their number were being carried off into the woods and four of their friends lay dead on the track.......

.... unsurprising then, that when the foul creatures pushed their advantage........
..... and rendered another musketeer unconcious.......
...... their will was broken! (In fact, they'd now lost 75% of their starting number, and had to take the "Self Control" test - and failed miserably!)
Poor Tom, who'd now completely forgotten about his stolen cows, attempted to flee....
..... but Earl Lichtenfels servants had been instructed to leave no survivors!
The last to fall was the gamekeeper - a case of the hunter becoming the hunted?!

I stuck with the "basic" rules, and made a bit of a hash of the sequence in the first turn (but that's what play-through's are for isn't it???), and really enjoyed the game. I still intend trying out some other sets of rules for the campaign, but these are definitely "in the running" for now.
I've tried to explain some of the mechanics in the batrep, and hope it's not too long winded (or gobbledigook), but it's been a long old day and I'm wilting!! Please don't hesitate to ask me for any clarifications.

Finally, many thanks to all the bloggers out there that have helped me make it to this 50th landmark, and I hope everyone's Christmas preparations are going to plan!


  1. Great advertisement for "the Witchfinder General rules!", Wargame Addict. I thoroughly enjoyed this despite the 'goodies' being butchered to a man :-) It was great to see your recently painted minis put to use as well - something I always enjoy seeing myself. Top stuff, and thanks for taking the time to 'doctor' the photos to help show what was going on.

    1. Thanks Simon, I thought an explanation of the mechanics might be in order for a first AAR, I just didn't realise how long-winded it would make the report, so "pictures save words" ;-)

  2. Having never played this ruleset, I found it very informative, and the pictures of the great painted models were a real treat

    1. You're too kind Dave - my painting leaves much to be desired, but they "do the job" :-)
      I was pleased that the play-through helped me make sense of some of the rules (which I couldn't get my head round when just reading them). They certainly have a 'feel' for the period, and I'm looking forward to the next game with them.

  3. I can’t believe it’s 50 posts already - congrats!
    Nice playthrough, the pics were great and a win for the dire Vampyre made my black heart sing!

    1. Cheers Andy :-)
      First blood went to the villagers, but after that they only managed to wound 3 Barghests - mainly because the dice went against them.
      The Vampyre will have to deal with the rest of the village now, before word gets out that "the menfolk have gone missing" and blows his cover!

  4. COngraulations on reaching your milestone!
    Good aar to celebrate, but I bet the villagers wished they had staed at home!

    1. Thanks Joe, I'll be a 'veteran' at this blogging lark before long ;-)
      I reckon you're right about the villagers, especially the ones that have been dragged off for the Vampyre's pleasure!

  5. That was a lot of fun, even though I know nothing about the rules. What made it so enjoyable for me was seeing the Vampyre's minions perform so well and totally wiping out the villagers. A most impressive victory. Let the blood flow! Cackles maniacally!

    1. The "forces of darkness" certainly had it just about all their way with the evil ambuscade Bryan, which I thought would please you ;-)
      The campaign is finally under way, so I hope you stay tuned as it unfolds :-)

    2. Oh, you can bet I will, Greg.

  6. I still have the wichfinder rules sitting unread. I have next to no interest in the ECW but suddenly add witches and I am interested.

    I would like to see more wichfinder as I feel it is something I could enjoy as a gateway into ECW. Bravo sir.

    1. Thank you Clint, there'll certainly be some more WfG to follow now I've managed to get the ball rolling.
      I understand what you say about the ECW - it's definitely a "Marmite" topic when it comes to gamers ;-)

  7. I thought I was the only person playing games using the Witchfinder General rules, so it was a lovely surprise and a joy to see a Witchfinder AAR played out so enjoyably on this blog. I thoroughly enjoyed your report and felt I was there all the way from the opening turn to the last.

    {{{{my painting leaves much to be desired, but they "do the job" :-) }}}}

    I think your painted models look just great. They have that certain look and style I really like... not fussy and not messy. Not notch in my book. As for ECW, I love Marmite and I sure love this genre and period in history too: just throw in some withes and some undead and things just get better and better hehe.

    1. Thanks very much Steve (says he, munching on cheese & Marmite on toast as he types!) - praise indeed from one of the masters of the AAR :-)
      I know you're VERY busy with other projects atm, but I really hope you revisit your "King, Parliament & Zombies" campaign at The Game Cupboard, because I would LOVE to read your take on the genre :-)
      I'm planning on one more post before Christmas, and it will almost definitely be WfG ;-)

    2. uuugh! spotted a major typo in my comment above haha,!! Meant to say TOP notch not `Not notch` LOL, sorry for that, my bad.
      MMmmmmmm cheese and Marmite on toast.. how absolutely scrummy.
      That`s interesting you mention "King, Parliament & Zombies" as this is something I mess about with quite a lot here, and have been playing at our club (The Fellowship) for nearly a year now: the campaign is well under way and... well, the original idea had been to write it all up for The Game Cupboard but the `stuff` written and up on the blog simply didn`t seem to generate any interest and so I never continued to write up any more :-( but the game/campaign IS going strong and well and we`re having an absolute blast doing it hehe. Sort of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies but done to the Court of King Charles. Splendid stuff :-)))
      I will look forward massively to your next WfG AAR, and if you manage it before the big day, wow what a lovely cool Christmas present that will be.

      Merry Christmas my friend.

    3. On the one hand, I'm really glad to hear that "King, Parliament & Zombies" is being played and enjoyed by The Fellowship :-) - while on the other, I'm sad to have "missed out" on what I'm certain would have been awesome and inspirational game write-ups over on your excellent blog Steve :-(
      No worries, I fully understand that these things happen, so I want you to know that you, and TGC will never be far from my thoughts when I write up my own campaign :-)

      "Happy Yule" (it's the Winter Equinox (shortest day) today, so the lighter evenings are on their way! :-)

    4. A lot of it will make my next novel (which is a book for solo gamers and solo wargaming) and features a lot of quasi historical -`what if` ECW in it.

      Yule Equinox and home made cakes and barley wine, Ahhhh what more cold we ask for )o(

  8. Congrats on #50! It goes by fast :) Great report on Witchfinder, and I always enjoy seeing reports with creature/animal attacks lol!

    1. Many thanks Ivor - for one reason or another, this whole YEAR has gone by very fast!
      Apparently, Time is Relative - the older we get, the smaller fraction of our "life" is measured by a year. So for a 5 year old, one year is a whole fifth of their life, while for an old codger like me, 'tis but a small percentage ;-)

  9. Merry Christmas, and a massively happy New Year. This site is so cool and I wish you all the very best for 2018.

  10. Merry Christmas to you too Tarot, and all the very best for for the New Year, which I know from your comments on TGC is bringing MASSIVE changes your way.