IntroductionRobin Hood and the bishop of Lichfield". It was always my plan to play more games in this setting, so here is another one. Actually, we played the scenario twice, since the first game was very short. Read on to find out what happened...
The ScenarioThe Sheriff of Nottingham and his dastardly men have taken Maid Marion prisoner. It's not important for the game how this occured - perhaps she was hiding out in a local nunnery, or maybe she was in disguise and visiting a sick aunt. Anyway, Robin Hood has heard about this and is giving chase through the forest, along with some of his men (the others are away on a raid elsewhere in the county). If the Sheriff can just drag his captive to within sight of the town of Nottingham then Robin's band won't dare to follow any further. Will Robin catch up and rescue the lady? Or will the Sheriff succeed with his nefarious plans?
We decided to play the Kidnap scenario from Song of Arthur and Merlin. Roughly speaking, one warband has captured someone important and must escort their prisoner from one side of the board to the next. They have a 1-turn head start over the rescuers, who are pursuing them. One figure from the kidnapper's band must spend an action every turn to keep the captive under control; a second action may then be used to move the prisoner and captor together. If the captive ever becomes uncontrolled then the rescuers may move that model as part of their warband - if thy make the requisite action rolls, of course!
Victory is determined as follows: 5 victory points to the kidnappers if they move the captive off the far table edge, or to the rescuers if they move the captive off any other table edge. 1 VP is also scored for each 50 points value of enemy figures lost. Since we were playing with 400 point warbands, this would give an absolute maximum of 8 points in the unlikely event that the enemy's warband was slaughtered to a man. The fate of the captive was more likely to determine who won the game!
The Sheriff's Men
- The Sheriff of Nottingham: moderate fighter, leader, evil
- Guy of Gisborne: good fighter, armour
- Yorik the Jester: poor fighter, dodge, distract
- Lesser Knights (Sir Stanley, Sir Walter): moderate fighter, armour
- 4 crossbowmen: modest shooting, rabble
- 13 men-at-arms: modest fighter, rabble
- Lady Marion: captive!
Robin's Men(Sadly, I didn't have enough personality points to field both Robin Hood and Little John - Robin is a very expensive character! I suppose that Little John is leading a different search party somewhere else)
- Robin Hood: good shooting, good fighting
- Friar Tuck: modest fighting, inspire
- 9 Merry Men: modest shooting
It proved remarkably difficult to bring any of the rescuers onto the table at all [the Song of Blades system allows you to roll 1, 2 or 3 dice per figure for actions - but if you get 2 failures then your turn is over. I tried rolling 2 dice usually, but had a stunning number of double failures]. After 2 turns, only 3 outlaws, Friar Tuck and Robin Hood himself had arrived. Rather than bring them on close to the mass of men-at-arms, I chose to try to outflank them and run for the knights and the prisoner.
The poor outlaw's horrible death unnerved Friar Tuck; he took a few steps away from the grisly sight. Robin Hood also had to take a morale test [because he was within "Long" distance of the kill (just)]. It shouldn't really have been a problem, but he rolled 3 failures and promptly legged it off the board. Oh, man! How could I possibly recover from this - I don't think that Friar Tuck was going to tackle all of the baddies on his own and even if more Merry Men had arrived, there was no certainty that they could catch up with the prisoner or overcome the escort. Game over, man!
Or was it?
As the knights jeered at the famed Robin Hood for running like a bunny rabbit, Maid Marion slipped from Sir Walter's grasp. She immediately ran in the opposite direction [Marion activated on a 5+ and was 2 moves away from the side edge of the table. If I could roll 2 activations out of 3 dice then she was off and safe - but I only rolled 1].
Well, that was unexpected. Final scores: 3VP to the Sheriff for vanquished foes, but 5VPs to the Outlaws for a prisoner escape. Victory to the Merry Men!
Game 2Whilst it was satisfying in some ways, the first game was over so quickly that we had enough time to play the same scenario again.
Meanwhile, the lesser knights and the jester, encouraged by the Sheriff, were crossing the table alarmingly fast. The Merry Men really couldn't afford to hesitate if they were to have any chance of rescuing Marion.
Result: 6VP to the Merry Men (for casualties caused), but 7VP to the Sheriff (2 for casualties cause and 5 for the captive). The bad guys win, Lady Marion is captured!