Monday, 20 February 2017

Campaign Turn #7 Part 2

The Attacker closes the gap while the Defender bunches up.
We concluded Campaign Turn #7 this past week.We had a Patrol scenario game. We tweaked the scenario in a few ways to get the proper feel for a Patrol. In this scenario the defender starts on the board with one group and brings the rest of his troops on the board once the attacker is spotted. The attacker for his part starts off the table and enters turn #1. The Defender must move through three patrol points in order to win the scenario. The Defender in our scenario was outmatched in terms of figure count, even though it was the second tabletop battle of the turn for the Attacker and he had wounded warriors.
In the Campaign Game you can only fight two tabletop battles in one campaign turn. Without going into too much detail, you can take a Forage Order, which is meant to be an aggressive, attacking campaign order, and if you do you can issue a challenge but still be challenged by another player who performs a Forage Order as well. This player had been an Attacker and then had been challenged by a another player so it was his second battle this turn.
The Shaman takes on Wolf Form. Figure from Reaper.
The game progressed quickly with the Attacker being very aggressive, picking up Furs Markers and moving quickly towards the Defender. The Defender for his part packed his warriors together, sent a Stripling forward to retrieve the first Patrol marker and started his Shaman into the `Create a Spell`action. In a few actions the Shaman transformed himself into a Wolf Form and charged towards the Attacking warriors. He was promptly shot by the enemy Great Warrior with the Shining Wood. The player rolled a five for the Shooting Damage and added five for the Damage value of the Shiny Wood for a total of ten. This caused a Gory Death result to the Shaman in wolf form, which promptly fell to the ground and reverted to Shaman form.
I have added some pictures of painted miniatures here. Here are some examples of two different paint jobs on the same miniatures. In each picture the figure on the left was painted by Mike Manning, and the figure on the right was painted by Dave McKay. Mike used a much darker paint job then Dave. It is interesting to see the difference a paint job can make. In the picture below Mike has put a club in the left hand of the miniature from the Accessories pack as a secondary weapon for the figure. Each painter has used a different coloring on the skin for the warriors, but both are acceptable.

Below is a picture showing a Flint and Feather figure beside some of the other models available on the market. There are two interesting things to see in this picture. First notice the size difference of the five different figures. Second, the Flint and Feather figure is a cast by itself, in that the other figures are more for later period Native Americans.

Front Rank, Warlord Games, Flint and Feather, Muskets/Tomahawks and Old Glory in order from Left to Right

Friday, 10 February 2017

Campaign Turn #7

His Great Warrior surrounded by comrades
We have been working thru Turn Seven of our campaign game.This turn seemed to hold a lot of discussion. First we had a player make a successful Trip to Kebec. This brought on discussion about what should be available there to trade with the Europeans. Other than the obvious "Shining Wood" we have added the European Axe and the European Knife. Both of these items give you a bonus in close combat. The European Axe gives you a bonus of +1d6 when using the Counter Blow Card. The European Knife will negate the bonus against using a secondary weapon and is therefore good to give to warriors with bows.  You can also acquire glass beads and metal cooking pots. Both of these items have a positive effect in the campaign game.
We then ran thru the Aftermath Phase for Turn 6 and started our Turn 7. In this turn we had a player get challenged twice in a turn. This has never happened before so we needed to work out the effects of it in the Campaign Game which is why we are here.
My Companion in Full Wood Armour grabs a Furs Marker
We also took the opportunity to revise one of the Campaign Scenarios and make up two new ones. This adds variety to the Campaign as each scenario tells a story which adds excitement to the game.
I was involved in a Blood Feud scenario against the player who had been challenged twice in the turn. I got to play against him first.
In the Blood Feud scenario the challenging player chooses the side of the board that he wants, lines up his warriors first and has the initiative on the first turn. The objective of the Blood Feud is to fight to the bitter end. If you are the last player on the board with figures standing you get three War! Dice. If you leave the field with figures remaining than you give up two War! Dice to your opponent while gaining one yourself. Also, there is a victory condition where both players may agree to end the feud and each player retires with one War! Dice. There has to be a minimum of one Close Combat in order to evoke this deal.
My Great Warrior and Companion both had bows
My Great Warrior is named White Feather
My opponent was playing a very defensive game, keeping his warriors in one Group and moving slowly forward. This gave me the opportunity to move my two Groups about the field gathering Furs Markers and I was able to get five of the six markers before any combat was joined.
Medicine Card Event - attacked by a wolf
Another interesting event occurred on my second turn. For Activation I rolled a Medicine Roll. We then pulled the card Heavy Rain. This event reduces visibility to 18", applies a CV-1 modifier to all shooting, and causes fuses to go out on Shining Wood. Well my opponents Great Warrior was armed with a Shining Wood and had yet to fire it. He lost the use of the weapon for the rest of the game. A great turn of events for me!
The Warriors face off after their first round of combat
The game ended after the first close combat, with me convincing my opponent that he was going to have to fight another tabletop battle this campaign turn so it was in his best interest to agree to leave the field. I had already collected five Furs Markers and this extra War! Dice gave me a total of six dice for the game. A great deal for me. He agreed and we called the game a draw as my warriors galloped off the table with Furs in hand (figuratively of course).
So the Campaign Game is progressing well. We have added plenty of material and ironed out much of the game play. It is well in hand and the rules are typed up for the manuscript. I have been editing on a weekly basis and keeping it up to date. We have also begun art work for the rulebook. This project is well in hand and we are looking forward to getting the rulebook published.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Campaign Turn #6

In this weeks campaign playtest we had one tabletop game. We also made a two minor tweaks to the rules to try to make the game slightly more flexible. The first change we made was to the Warband Recruitment Chart. This is the chart that you roll on to determine what, if any, warriors decide to join you on your expedition. We just made this chart more flexible allowing more variance to come up more often in the rolls. This is because we found that the players were rolling the same amount of dice on most turns and had very little variety in the Warbands. The second change we made was to the cost of adding warriors to the Warband. Previously you could put one or two War! Dice aside to buy a Special Character or Key Character to join your Warband. This allowed the player some control over the consistency of his Warband but at the cost of taking less overall total figures with him to the tabletop game. We simply made these costs cheaper due to the lack of War! Dice that appeared each turn. We made this change to allow the players more flexibility and control in what they can take to the tabletop game. We will continue to test these changes and make a final decision keeping them.
The Warband portages the Canoes thru some trees.
In the tabletop game we tried one of the only scenarios that has not been playtested yet and made some final revisions to the set up. The scenario that we played is titled "Trip to Kebec". This scenario is one of the harder scenarios to roll on the chart and it is the only way that a Warband may trade with the Europeans and get the Matchlock, European Sword or European Breastplate, at this point in time.
This tabletop game turned out to be one of the longest and most interesting games that we had played so far in our campaign playtesting. We had three Medicine Rolls in our first four Activation rolls. The game also went for seven turns, which was the longest game we have seen in the campaign. Both these things made for a very interesting and fun game.
My warriors close in on the canoes.
In the Trip to Kebec scenario the Attacking player must carry two canoes across the board to an exit point chosen by the Defending player. Canoes are each carried by two warriors and move at the lowest of dice of two d6 in inches per turn. This can be as slow as 1" but the player in our game rolled double fives not once, but twice, in the game and veritably scooted across the tabletop. We also had torrential rain come thru, which limits visibility to 12" and provides a -2CV on Shooting. The following turn we had this change to Heavy Rain, which actually improved visibility to 18" and reduced the penalty to shooting only -1CV. As this is the only card in the Medicine Deck that can improve the weather from Torrential Rain it was shocking, and cool, that we pulled it on the very next turn.
Some of my rather ineffective Warriors with Bows.
The fighting in the game was bloody and long. I had taken a Warband with no less than seven bow armed warriors. The bow fire in the game became ineffective, due to the change in weather caused by the Medicine Cards. So when it came to hand to hand melees my warriors were at a disadvantage due to lack of melee weapons. Also my opponent had rolled a more varied force for his Warband in the recruitment phase. So he had two Veteran Warriors, one of which had been grown during the game and was a named Special Character so he could choose cards. He had more experienced warriors than my generic War-bearers and this proved to be my undoing in Close Combat.
The fight was actually pretty even with both sides trading light wounds in multiple rounds of close combats. Then in the final conflict of the game the dam burst and three War-bearers went down. This of course decided the game but it was a well fought close combat until this point in time. It was great to see warriors that had grown thru the game get a chance and see the difference in Warbands that the rules provided in the tabletop game. The long game and the great outcome were very exciting. We are looking forward to wrapping this playtesting up and move on to playtesting some of the multiplayer scenarios designed for one off traditional wargames.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Campaign Turn #5

The defender sets up around an objective marker.
Once again this week we got together to pursue our creation and playtest of the Campaign Rules for Flint and Feather. Things are going well and all the players are very happy with how the game is running. We are just ironing out things that come up as we play and trying to cover all the bases. For instance in this evenings play we rolled a new scenario, picking and choosing to try the ones we have not playtested yet. Please note, a couple of the scenarios we have played multiple times. As stated we wanted to try something new so we put together a Defense scenario. This is designed for one a player who is on a Forage Order challenges a player which is on a Rest Order. So it is intended as a surprise attack against warriors working in the field or some such. Not necessarily in a fortified village which is the Assault Scenario that is mentioned earlier in this blog.
A War-bearer captures an unprotected Objective Marker
Archers trade fire.
Defenders leave a marker uncovered to better shoot at their opponents
Advancing through the crevice gap.
The Defender is given three objective points to defend. These represent, supplies or tools or some other implements that are worth keeping. The defender places two of these markers and the attacker places one. No marker is allowed to be withing 12" of another marker. The defender also gets 6" of defensive works, like boulders or logs that can be placed at will within 3" of any of the objectives. The defender can also choose to leave any objectives undefended and in our game he did leave one undefended.
The difference between an Objective Marker and a Furs Marker is keen. The objective Marker must be picked up by an Attacking figure and carried off the board in order for that objective to be achieved. The defender cannot move the markers. The winner is the player that ends the game with more Objective Markers than his opponent.
In our particular game the defender choose to protect two of the three markers and leave one uncovered. The Attacker promptly moved a War-bearer up the steep mountain spine in order to collect the closest Objective Marker. However, he had difficulty getting the marker back down on the cliff. As the game progressed the player ran into activation problems and the War-bearer spent several actions "collecting" the Objective Marker.
One of the things that has been noted in this playtesting is the importance of leaders to activate groups in this game. Several players have tried to divide Warbands into four and even five groups, sending separate figures out to "collect" Furs Markers or achieve objectives only to find these figures stuck for turn after turn failing to activate.
The game we were playing devolved into two different battles on either half of the board. Archers traded fire across the cliffs on the right half of the board while on the left side the Attacker advanced through a crevice in the terrain only to be met by the Defender who sallied with his melee armed warriors to beat off the advance of the Attacker.
The Attacking player got the first charge in and both groups led by Companions met each other. The Attacker won the first fight and wounded the Defending Companion. However the defender only failed his Nerve Test by one and only had to back away a walk move. He was ready to strike on his next activation. However, first he softened up the attacking group with some well placed bow fire. Then as a reaction he charged his opponent.
Another view of the Attackers advance with the lone War-bearer seen collecting an Objective Marker at the top of the spire.
The final melee was a victory for the Defenders. They knocked the Attacking Companion down and caused a Deep Wound on him. The player failed the post combat Nerve Test and the two War-bearers fled leaving the downed Companion to be captured. The Companion was promptly trussed up and carried home to be left to the whims of the tribe. The Stripling that caused the telling wound was promoted to a War-bearer and becomes a Named Warrior for the Defending players.
Attackers and Defenders clash

In the Campaign game the only figures you track for your warband are the Key Characters and Named Characters. This has elevated the importance of Striplings as they are the only figures that can become Named Warriors and progress to Veteran Warriors and get enhanced Attributes and equipment. Of course the Great Warrrior and Companion may also improve. Also the only figures that you are assured of having with you each game are the Great Warrior, Companion and up to three Striplings. Striplings may also choose to become Healers or Shamans which gives you a Named Warrior of this type in your Warband which can now grow in attributes and equipment as the Campaign progresses.
The final resolution of the game was a 5 War! Dice to 4 War! Dice victory for the defender. Not a bad result except the Attacker lost his Companion and needs to create a new Companion for his Great Warrior. One would think this would also affect his ability to convince the Council in the upcoming Campaign turn. We will see...

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Campaign Playtest Continues II

Some Figures painted by Mike
In this weeks update we moved into Turn #3. War! Dice were tallied and Councils were convinced. All four players performed a Forage Order and challenges were issued.
At the Ambush site
In the first game a Skirmish scenario was rolled and the players set up opposite each other. In the Skirmish scenario the Attacker moves his forces onto the table after the Defender is deployed in the starting area. The game was a success for both players. The defender grabbed four Furs Markers before being pushed off the table. The Attacker however captured both the Great Warrior and a Stripling from the Defenders Warband. In close combat the Great Warrior was knocked down, the Stripling was knocked down and a War-bearer was killed. The Nerve Test was failed by three or more and with no warriors to retreat the Great Warrior and Stripling were left to be bound by their opponent. In the Aftermath Phase the Great Warrior is automatically killed but the Stripling was adopted into the opponents tribe on a successful die roll. Rumor has it that a young maiden named Bounces in the Woods was used as a bribe to turn the young warriors head.
The players came out of the game with a score of five War! Dice to four War! Dice acquired.

In the second game the two players once again played an Ambush scenario. In this outing a Shaman was employed to little avail when not placed with a leader figure (either Companion or Great Warrior). In fact the Warband was light on leadership as the Companion was stuck in the campground due to being dealt a Wound in the previous tabletop battle. It is interesting to see how the campaign game can cause changes in strategy and tactics due to previous turns events. Needless to say the ambushing Warband had difficulty activating in the game due to lack of leadership. One Group consisting of War-bearers and Striplings had trouble Reacting. The Group needed a three or less to React and did not pass a reaction roll in the entire game.
Moving to the Creek

We have added rules for Orenda Points to the Campaign Game. This system actually determines the winner of the Campaign Game. Each Tabletop Battle you win gains your Great Warrior an Orenda Point. Other events are awarded with Orenda Points as well. The Great Warrior with the highest total Orenda Points wins the Campaign Game. Alternately the players can agree to play to a certain number of Orenda Points. The Orenda Point system also opens the door to game events that can add Orenda Points to the Great Warrior. For instance if your Great Warrior is slain and you have to promote your Companion to replace him then you open the Avenger event. This event gives you extra Orenda Points if you win a tabletop game against the Great Warrior that killed your Great Warrior.
We think that all these ideas add to the Campaign Game and give the players a better feeling for the period.

Fighting over a Furs Marker

Monday, 16 January 2017

Painting Flint and Feather Figures

One of our Campaign Playtesters, Mike, recently painted up some of the Flint and Feather figures so that he could use them in the Campaign playtesting. Below is some of the tips and tricks he used when painting the figures. Mike also glued some of the extra accessories onto some of the figures which gives them a new look. Read on and let us know how your painting is going with the figures.

These are the first 28mm figures I've painted in many years.  I was a little brush-shy at first, not being used to this scale.  However, once I got started things flowed quickly.  They are very easy figures to paint.  In particular, the castings were very clean with no flash to remove.

I began by reading Bob Murch's notes on how to paint the figures.  I took particular notice of his comments regarding selecting a consistent pallet for my war band.  Then, I did a Google Image search for "Iroquois war paint" and another for "Iroquois tattoos" to find good examples to model my work on.  I then set to work, in this sequence:

  1. Glued figures to 1"-round bases.
  2. Undercoated in black gesso mixed 50:50 with matt medium, both Liquitex products then dry brushed with  Folkart "Charcoal" to highlight details.  Also, makes flint spear tips look "flinty".
  3. Mixed Folkart "Dark Flesh" and "Terracotta" at 4:1 and painted all flesh.  Washed flesh with very thin coat of Galleria "Burnt Umber".  Highlighted flesh with Folkart “Dark Flesh”.
  4. Wet brushed wood with Folkart "Spice Brown" or "Walnut".  Dry brushed wooden armour with Americana "Fawn"
  5. Painted leather with a one of Folkart "Camel", "Spice Brown", "Terracotta" and Americana "Fawn".
  6. Wet brushed feathers and added decorative details with Folkart "Raw Linen".
  7. Painted balls of war clubs and decorative details with Folkart "Terracotta"
  8. Added war paint using "Terracotta" and a 5:1 blend of "Black" and "Charcoal", all by Folkart.  Also highlighted hair with the Black/Charcoal mix
  9. Picked out beadwork and other decorative accents with Folkart "Sea Blue" (a turquoise colour).
  10. Used an artist's marker with the finest tip to add tattoos and decorations to weapons and shields.
  11. Textured bases with Lepage "Walnut" Wood Filler.
  12. Flocked bases with "Italian Blend" bulk spices.  Once dry, stained the flocking with a 40:40:20 blend of water, PVA glue and Galleria "Burnt Umber".
The figures were a lot of fun to paint.  They didn't take that long, perhaps a full day's effort, spread over several days to allow things to dry.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

War! Dice and Campaign Cards in the Campaign Game

On Thursday we sat down to another playtest session using the new Campaign Rules we had brewed up. We had just finished our tabletop battles from Turn #1 and we had gone thru most of the Aftermath phase. We were ready to begin our second turn. It was interesting that the players all wanted to take a Rest Order in the second turn. So learning the rules, and creating some new ones as we went, it was determined that you could only carry over half your War! Dice from the previous turn. This makes it important to spend your War! Dice especially if you have any extra because you do not round up, rather you round down any dice you carry over. War! Dice are what you earn for winning tabletop games and they are what you spend during your Campaign Turn.
For instance if you take five dice into the next turn you would get two War! Dice to add to your total for the next turn. So why not spend the one and only carry four over, if you were going to hold any dice over the next turn at all.
We felt this was an important consideration because it stops players from creating or whole large bag of War! Dice that they can then use to attack one player on a subsequent turn. We also felt this more accurately reflected the period when breaks in warfare to clear the fields and hunt were a natural requirement due to the need for survival among the tribes.
The fact that the players all took Rest Orders allowed us to work through how this order would work in the game. You can either take a Training session or a Build Session for your Rest Order. If you choose a Training session then you can take a free Campaign Card. Campaign Cards have many different effects on the game but the basic purpose of them is to allow your Special or Key Characters to get better. The cards also have some random events that can effect the Campaign Game or even the tabletop game.
All in all I think the game is developing well. The players are having fun and the game is playing with relative ease so far. We play again this week with all four players lined up for a tabletop battles. Please stay tuned for the results.