Monday, 2 April 2018

The Fall of Briskhill

The Earl of Fernbeck (aka Count Mikhail) had gradually continued with his plan to create a defensive ring of "plague villages" around Fernbeck House. After King Charle's misguided "Scottish War", the Earl is worried about the increasing levels of religious and political unrest affecting the country, which could well affect his safety if he relied solely on maintaining The Masquerade. This means he needs to take over the last adjoining village as soon as possible and fill it with walking corpses.
This rough map shows the plague infected areas shaded in red, and the green scribble denotes the extent of a waterlogged valley known locally as the "Suff Marshes" - a natural obstacle that helps to protect the eastern and southern approaches to Fernbeck House.
Once Briskhill completes the ring, Fernbeck House should be isolated from any wandering unwanted visitors.

Unknown to Mikhail, some of his Transylvanian mercenaries have been visiting the village of Briskhill - can't blame 'em, it's the last place where they can get a decent drink, but unfortunately, trooper Vasile ended up in a drunken brawl with a couple of locals and shot one of them.
He was duly arrested and tried for his crime where he received a suspended sentence - he's to be hanged at dawn tomorrow.
Miriana, the Earl's spy, was evesdropping on the proceedings and duly slipped away to report the incident to her master.

Mikhail is furious and despatches Nicholas Delcroix with a squad of guards to bring back trooper Vasile, and subjugate the village. He sends Mirianna to enlist the help of some of the local coven.
The 'plague bearers' will be let loose in the village as soon as the job is done - not only is he intent on keeping unwanted strangers out, but also errant members of his retinue IN!

Early the following morning, the militia provide an escort for the prisoner to protect him from the angry locals as he takes the short walk to the long drop

The Briskhill Volunteers have to get Vasile to the gallows, where his charge will be read out, a noose placed around his neck, a preacher will read from the good book, and the ladder will be kicked from under the prisoners feet.
Meanwhile, the family and friends of Vasile's victim will be trying to extract their own revenge and get through to the captive........

and of course, at some point Vasile's 'rescuers' are going to show up - which they did on turn two!
Nicholas Delcroix with his squad of guards approached unseen by the road from the south,

while two members of the Ladygate coven launch an aerial assault from the west.

The militia are taken completely by surprise and the leading musketeers fall prey to the razor sharp sickles. The rest of the matchlock armed troops fire wild shots at the fast moving targets but the witches are unharmed,

and complete their "fly by" with an elegant left banking manouvre.

Meanwhile, the Earl's troops have reached the edge of the cover provided by the market hall and the leading trio give fire with their pistols, killing two of the villagers.
Nicholas has made his way through the open hall....

and shoots Vasile's guard at point blank range - things are going very badly for the escort party......

...... and none too rosy for the gallows detail, as they now come under airborne attack from the broom riding witches!

While his mates frantically try and reload their muskets, one brave chap charges Nicholas, swinging his firearm as a club, while everyone else is attempting to flee for their lives and attempting to find cover.

Nicholas calmly raises the second of his brace of pistols and fires into the face of his attacker,

and his unfortunate assailant lies dead at his feet.

As quickly as the action started, it's all over, and Vasile is led away.
"Can I get my shoes back?"
"I wouldn't want to be in them - and anyway, Mikhail wants you back in time for dinner, and he said you could attend informally"

The rest of the defenceless villagers were either cut down or rounded up by Mikhail's squad, who held their prisoners for the arrival of the "plague cart".
To the outside world, Briskhill was now just another of the villages stricken with the strange sickness.
The rumours say it's down to a pestilence emanating from the Suff Marshes, but of course, that's just what the Count  Earl wants people to think!

On reflection, having the "angry mob" slowing down the hanging procession was perhaps a mistake.
The vampyre's forces were going to arrive on a random turn after turn one, and have to 'race' to the gallows (probably would have been the witches job).
Ah well, we have to play the cards we're dealt, so the action at Briskhill was short and bloody - I'm going to try a different set of rules for the next game in the campaign.

Hope you've had an enjoyable Easter weekend, and many thanks for dropping by.
As always your comments, suggestions and criticisms are most welcome.


  1. Well I thought that played out rather well, Greg, and certainly seemed to generate a fair few casualties on this Festive Weekend :-) What different rule-set are you planning on using for the next adventure?

    1. Thanks Simon, these kind of things happen I suppose - the escort couldn't move faster than half speed while dealing with the mob, so they were caught at the side of the market hall.
      They never saw their attackers until the carnage started - a classic ambush, even though it was unplanned :-)
      WfG has plenty of 'flavour', so I'm going to try and port it over to THW's Savvy & Steel to replace the 'Three Musketeers'-esque setting therein ;-)

  2. Yay, another victory for the Count! I do wonder if Vasile would have been better off facing the hangman's noose as I'm sure the Count's wrath and displeasure at him will surely be far worse! A very enjoyable batrep, Greg. I still love your witches!

    1. Cheers Bryan - I think the vampyre is going to make an example (and a meal) of Vasile, though he might reflect on the sequence of events later.
      Events in London are forcing the kingdom towards Civil War, so Mikhail could be glad that he completed his 'buffer zone' around Fernbeck House early ;-)

      The witches could well be featuring more prominently in the upcoming AAR's :-)

  3. Bit of a fun bloodbath (if one can ever have a 'fun' bloodbath). Some info on the the map and the rules you're using would be welcome.

    1. It was a fast moving and fun game to play Joe, even though it didn't pan out the way I imagined.
      I thought I'd already posted info on the mechanics I'm using for the campaign(s), but having just checked, I've only mentioned them briefly, so apologies for my oversight.
      They deserve a little more than an entry in a comments box, so I'll make it the subject of the next post :-)

    2. How does one not have a fun bloodbath?

    3. Too true Stu :-)
      So far, the villagers have been facing off against the Vampyre and his cronies on their own, and unsurprisingly had a hard time of things - I expect once the witchfinders and 'properly' trained militia arrive on the scene, the body count will increase even more!
      Of course, this means BIGGER bloodbaths and even MORE fun ;-)

  4. Great bit of coven action for the weekend, it went really well for the counts men, but could have easily swung the other way, with the luck of the dice. Great work Greg and keep them coming

    1. I've only just packed the game away Dave, and I took a few measurements before I did, and you're quite right.
      If the Dice Gods had been benevolent to the villagers and allowed them to make it across the road, the encounter would have gone very differently :-)
      If it was a "one off" I'd be tempted to play it again, but since it was part of a campaign, I'm letting the result stand.

  5. Hi Greg - the mapping card system seems to work well, are you happy with it, I guess it will come more into its own once the ECW armies are on the move.
    Will you combine this local skirmishing into the bigger picture of using your ECW armies or will it be two separate entities?
    I like your take on the famous civil war painting of the interrogation of the boy, I can't remember it's title.
    The game seemed to go well, your write up flowed along smoothly so what are the reasons for the rule change to the 2HW set, anything specific?
    It's great to see the witches in action, flying around and causing a nuisance.
    Regarding the campaign, a bit of background would be good, I checked back to the previous game, three months ago, doesn't time fly, to see if I had missed something but I don't think so.
    That Nicholas seems to be a tough nut, looks like they need to gang up on him.
    Looking forward to the next installment.

    1. Do you mean, 'And when did you last see your father?'

    2. I can only put it down to dotage John, there SHOULD have been a post explaining how the 17thC campaigns run, and I'll correct the omission asap - including why I'm test driving a couple of different sets of rules :-)

      The witches did really well in the Briskhill incident, and Nicholas showed why he was chosen as the captain of the vampyre's guard.
      To date, the self-titled "Earl" has put his trained European mercenaries up against untrained civilians and militia - he'll probably have a tougher time if a Witchfinder turns up ;-)

      Vasile's trial scene was a bit reminiscent of "When did you last see your father", but only by sheer accident ;-)

    3. Michael - that's the one, I didn't realize it was in Liverpool, we have a plan to go and see the Terracotta Soldiers there this summer so I will probably call in and have a look at it.

      Greg and there's me thinking I was going to get a gold star for recognising your carefully staged photo :)Ah well, better luck with the next quiz.

      I think that you have to recognise that we do actually read what you write, which I guess might be a bit disconcerting as far as continuity goes.

      When you do the bit about the campaign, if you have time and the inclination I wouldn't mind a bit of an overview on how the witches fly and attack.

    4. Actually John, I'm awarding gold stars to both you and Michael for associating the scene with the painting. It surprises me how many 'Brit' wargamers know so little about the Civil Wars, which is a shame considering the impact they had, so well done you two! :-)

      I hold my hand up and take full responsibility for the poor continuity issue - even though the voices in my head were telling me I'd already written the missing post ;-)
      In an attempt to make amends, of course I'll not only explain the witches abilities, but also how I intend porting them over to the THW system!
      (It should get done this evening)

  6. A cracking episode and in some ways all the better for being fast and furious. The angry mob didn't really stand a chance, but they add so much character that I can't envisage the scenario without them. Fabulous fun.

    1. Thanks Michael - I know you're a fan of Witchfinder General, so can I ask if you use any specific mechanics for solo play?
      I've just played each side in turn. - great fun, but I wondered if it could be even better?

    2. I am afraid I haven't got round to specific mechanics myself, but like you just played each side in turn. I enjoyed the immersion into the world that this brings.

    3. Thanks for the reply Michael :-)
      They are a great set of rules, and I just love the concept!

  7. I love these batreps mate, those witches are excellent minis!

    1. Cheers Andy - hopefully plenty more to come as I move the campaign up a gear :-)