Saturday, January 8, 2022

Silver Bayonet: Somewhere in the South Pacific

For months Captain Black, of the Royal Navy and commander of the HMS Albatross has pursued his quarry around the world. Finally, the Canard Noir, captained by the infamous Capitaine Leblanc, a wizard in service of the Emperor of France rumoured to be travelling the globe seeking out new supernatural creatures and spells to help his emperor gain dominance over Europe, and eventually, the world! 

On 6 January 180X, the Canard Noir was spotted in a bay on a remote island in the South Pacific. The Albatross dropped anchor in a cove on the opposite side of the small island and a small shore party was despatched to certain what the French Devil was up to and put an end to his dastardly machinations.

The two shore parties met in a village in the saddle between two small mountains that rose up out of the deep dense jungle. There was a foulness about the settlement that gave all that approach a sense of unease. The villagers had an entirely unwholesome appearance, with large bulging, unblinking eyes. Deep rhythmic chanting from robed figures on a precipice nearby added to the general malaise. 

(The French captain is no wizard and is, in fact, doing the same things that Captain Black is doing - and has the very same suspicions of Captain Black and the HMS Albatross) 

Finnegan and I decided to take a break from our co-op campaign try out a few competitive games of The Silver Bayonet (mostly because I have to finish painting some miniatures to play the next scenario in the solo/coop campaign included in the book). This scenario we just made up on our own. 


FORCES

HMS Albatross Shore Party

  • Captain Black - Officer
  • Lieutenant Phillips - Junior Officer
  • Corporal Blake - Marine 
  • Private Frost - Marine 
  • Private Hudson - Marine 
  • Private Lucas - Marine 
  • Petty Officer Nickels - Sailor 
  • Seaman Knibbs - Sailor 

Canard Noir Shore Party

  • Capitaine Leblanc - Officer
  • Lieutenant Tardi - Junior Officer
  • Lieutenant Chartier  - Doctor (Ships Surgeon) 
  • Caporal Delisle - Marine 
  • Soldat Remi - Marine 
  • Soldat Guscinny  - Marine 
  • Soldat Giraud  - Marine 
  • Matelot Lemire   - Sailor 


SCENARIO

The two shore parties meet in a village occupied by Deep One hybrids. The cultists in the village have spotted the ships and are engaged in ritual to summon a Gug (Demon) to fight them off. 

Shore parties start on the pathway through the Jungle leading to the village - within 6" of the board edge. The jungle is very dense and considered difficult ground. Line of Sight cannot be traced through it. Any figures at the edge of it are in cover, and further in cannot be seen. Opposing figures within cannon trace line of sight beyond 3". 

SET-UP

There is a village of 4 Buildings, an Idol, and a sacrificial altar. All are locations where a clue can be discovered. Buildings must be entered to search for clues.   

There are six Villagers in and around the buildings of the village, as well as a Priest and five Cultists at the sacrificial alter. 

SPECIAL RULES

Deep Ones 

(use Hobgoblin stats - but with handweapon instead of heavy weapon) - one arrives at either the center of a random table edge or one of the pathways on the first Monster phase immediately after any of the Villagers or Cultists have attacked or been attacked or a Deep one has been discovered at a Clue Location. Another arrives ever turn thereafter. 

Cultists and Priest

The Cultists and Priest are performing a ritual. Unless disturbed (attacked in melee or shot at and wounded) the will continue and at the beginning of each Monster Phase roll d10 and add the turn number, if the total is 12 or more a Gug appears at the alter and joins the Monsters. Once the Gug appears or the Cultists have been disturbed they will act like normal monsters (moving towards and attacking the nearest enemy), except the Priest. The Priest will always attempt to leave combat and on it’s activation who will move away from the nearest enemy in a direction that will not take it closer to any other enemies uses the Spells attribute to curse the nearest enemy that has not yet been cursed.  The Priest otherwise uses the Cultist stats, but with -1 Defence, +2 Courage, and +2 Health. 

Villagers 

Until an individual Villager starts a Monster Phase with an enemy figure within 6” they will simple move d10-5” in a random direction. Once a Villager starts a Monster Phase with an enemy figure within 6” roll d10:

1-3 Run Away - the villager moved 6” directly away from the nearest enemy  - but will stop before moving into contact with any other enemy. If the contact a building and would move further they enter than building. 

4-5 Move in a random direction, as above, but will stop before moving into contact with any other enemy. If the contact a building and would move further they enter than building.

6-8 Stand Still - they just stand there and watch with their huge, bulging, unblinking eyes. 

9-10 ATTACK! They will move to contact with the nearest enemy and will for the rest of the game act as a Cultist. 


CLUE MARKER TABLE

Ace of Spades -  Secrets Man Was Not Meant to Know - something the figure sees opens their eyes to the darkest secrets of the universe. They must make a Terror Check at -10. If they survive they gain the Monster Expert Attribute, but have a permanent -2 to Courage.

King of Spades -  Deep One - Place a Deep One next to the Clue Marker (or in the building) 

Queen of  Spades -  Cursed Ritual Knife - treat the investigating figures as having a Blessed hand weapon, but also has -1 Courage for the rest of the scenario. 

Jack of Spades -  Deep One Skull - add two Monster Dice to your Fate Pool 

Ten of Spades -  Deep One - Place a Deep One next to the Clue Marker (or in the building) 

Nine of Spades -  Most Foul Stench - The figure that investigated this Clue must make a Courage Check (TN10) or suffer -1 Melee and -1 Shooting for the rest of the scenario. 


REWARDS

+2 experience if the unit investigates two or more clue markers 

+1 experience if the unit kills the Priest

+1 experience for successfully disrupting the Ritual

+1 experience for each of the Deep Ones the Unit kills 

+2 experience if the unit inflict three or more casualties on the opposing unit. 

+2 experience of the unit kills the Gug (+1 extra bonus experience for the soldier that deals the finishing blow!) 


THE GAME

The village in the saddle between two small mountains (long dormant volcanoes that formed the islands millennia ago) 

The French shore party approaches the village from the southeast, unaware the British are even there... but they do hear some distant chanting which casues them some concern... 

The British approaching the village from the Northwest, looking for the French, certain they are up to no good. They too hear the chanting and are concerned they may be too late - that the French have found the help they are looking for and dark rites are being performed. 

The source of that chanting - A Hybrid Deep One Priest leads cultists in a summoning ritual. The summoning stone is one of the searchable clue locations. Might be a challenge to get to... I may have put too many cultists up here... 

On the far side of the village stands a silent sentinel - an eerie monolith carved from a strange green stone that is definitely not native to this remote island. Also a searchable location

Four huts make up the small village. Each of these is also a searchable location, but must be entered to be searched. 


ROUND ONE

Finnegan won the initiative, meaning half of his crew (rounded down, minimum one) would activate in Primary Player Phase I.

Corporal Blake, along with Private Frost, Petty Officer Nickels, and Seaman Knibbs rushed up towards the village in Primary Player Phase I. 

In the Monster Phase, the Cultists failed to summon the Gug. 

Some of the Villagers shuffled about. 

In the Secondary Player Phase, The French all advanced upon the village at double-quick pace. 

In Primary Player Phase II, the rest of the British crew, Captain Black, Lieutenant Phillips, Private Hudson and Private Lucas advanced towards the village - the latter two veering off into the jungle to make a flanking maneuver... 


ROUND TWO 

Finnegan, again, won the initiative. This time with double Tens - prompting an Unexpected Event- The Wheels of Fate Turn - no Fate dice can be used this turn. 

Corporal Blake moved into one of the huts to search and discovered a Most Foul Stench. Passing his courage check, he found that, rather than causing uncontrollable retching (which would have made fighting and shooting -1 for the rest of the game) it simply reminded him of growing up around slaughterhouses and tanneries in London and the only sickness it caused him was a touch of homesickness... 

Private Hudson and Private Lucas continued to push through the bush... at a very slow pace... 

Petty Officer Nickels also moved in the Primary Player Phase I

In the Monster Phase, the cultists, again, failed to conjure the Gug. Most villagers shuffled about, but one of them slowly turned his head and set his large unblinking eyes upon the approaching Capitaine Leblanc. The villagers countenance quickly shifted from dispassionate indifference to one of all rage and fury and charged at the French captain. The captain parried the villagers wild blows, but was unable to land one himself amongst the flailing heavily laden baskets at the end of the villagers pole  

In the Secondary Player Phase, Capitaine Leblanc rejoined his attack, but was still unable to land a blow. 

Soldat Guscinny followed up his attack (not sure why he didn't just SHOOT him!?). Guscinny was also unable to land a blow, but the villager clobbered him solidly upside the head, knocking him clean out! 

(reduced to exactly 0 health - Guscinny was left on the table, laying down, as I actually had a DOCTOR this time that could revive him!) 

Said doctor fired his pistol at the Villager, missing and rushed to Guscinny's aid. Soldat Remi was a bit better of a shot, and his musket ball dropped the villager! 

Caporal Delisle moved up and past the others to cover them while Lt. Chartier gave aid to Guscinny. Soldat Giraud moved into one of the huts to investigate (in a later turn... he had to run to get there!) 

Matilot Lemire and Lt. Tardi started making their way towards the idol to investigate - giving the other villagers a wide berth. 

Private Frost, spotting the French at the other side of the village, took a shot at Caporal Delisle - missing! 

The Officers moved towards one of the huts and Seaman Knibbs joined Petty Officer Nickels, going the other way, to investigate the source of the chanting. 


ROUND THREE

This time the French won the initiative! 

Coporal Delisle returned fire at Private Frost, wounding him severely (seven damage), then quickly reloaded. Soldat Remi also reloaded and fired at Private Frost, missing. 

Soldat Giraud searched the hut he was in and discovered the Cursed Ritual Knife! 

Lt. Chartier gave aid to Soldat Guscinny, returning him to consciousness. 

At the beginning of the Monster Phase, the first Deep One appeared - heading up the same path the French arrived on! 

Still no Gug. 

A villager attacked Captain Black dealing NINE damage with her fruit laden baskets! Attacking back, the Captain also dealt nine damage! 

A second villager attacked Captain black striking him down with a brutally sharp slice of mango! 

(we kind of forgot about damage reduction... which probably could have saved Captain Black and kept him in the game a touch longer... we said he was aggravated about his uniform being so soiled and stormed back to the ship to have it cleaned!) 

In the Secondary Player Phase. Seaman Knibbs and Petty Officer Nickels approached the Chanting cultists and between the two firing their pistols, killed one of them, disrupting the ritual. 

Lt. Phillips fired his pistol at the villager that soiled his captain tunic and then followed up with a charge, cutting the insolent local down. 

There was a bloodcurdling cry as Priavte Hudson entered the nearby hut and say Things Man Was Not Meant to Know! The Terror check left him Shaken (-1 to all checks for the remainder of the game) but what he say gave him the Monster Expert ability and permanently reduced his Courage by -2! 

Forst continued his exchange of fire with the French. Cpl. Blake, spotting the French officer moving out in the open, took aim and fired, striking Lt. Tardi in the buttocks! (Dealing SEVEN damage!) 

IN Primary Player Phase II, Lemire and discovered a Deep One skull laid at the base of the edifice! 

Under the cover of the other marines fire, Lt. Tardi and Sdt. Guscinny began making their way back down the path towards the ship. Little did they know what awaited them around the bend! 


ROUND FOUR

Lt. Tardi and Sdt. Guscinny, rounding a bend in the path, spotted the Deep One heading straight for them and gave fire! Tardi hit it with his pistol, injuring it slightly. 

Delisle shot at Frost, hitting him again and finishing him off! Remi also reloaded and fired on the British, but missed. 

The Deep One Charged Guscinny - Finnegan finally remembered to make use of Monster Dice and the Deep One finished off Guscinny! 

ANOTHER Deep One appeared just down the path behind the first! 

Their ritual interrupted the Angry cultists stormed down the path after Knibbs and Nickels. The Priest, chanting in a foul tongue, cursed Knibbs. 

Cpl Blake shot and severely injured Delisle (TEN damage - taking him out of action - but being reduced to exactly zero health, there was still a chance Lt. Chartier may be able to save him!).

Knibbs and Nickels reloaded and shot at the cultists charging their way, wounding one of them! 

Lr. Phillips shot and killed one of the other villagers that had accosted his captain so rudely. 

Hundson staggered out of the hut mumbling something about stars... and "Their EYES!?"... and angles...? 

Lt. Chartier reloaded his pistol as he moved to aid Caporal Delisle. 

Giraud shot Cpl. Blake, dealing six damage. 

Lemire, not wishing to pass through the middle of an intense firefight, began making his way through the jungle. 


ROUND FIVE

Blake reloaded and shot Lt. Chariter (dealing two damage - after I remembered to actually use a fate die for damage reduction!) 

Knibbs and Nickels reloaded and fired on the Cultists one last time before being over run. 

They took one more out before they were over run and cut down. 

One Deep One charged Lt. Tardi and took seven damage for his troubles. 

A second Deep One then charged and was also seriously injured by the french officer. 

We started making jokes about how, obviously, Lt. Tardi had been a second son to a fisherman or fishmonger - to know the anatomy of a fish well enough to strike such telling blows... and a backstory began to develop. 

This is why I LOVE playing with Finnegan. The STORY is ALWAYS more important than the outcome of the game... 

Capitaine Leblanc charged to the aide of his subordinate, finishing off one of the wounded Deep Ones. 

The, Lt. Tardi redoubled his attack on the other Deep One and finished it off! 

The Firefight continued in the village. Lt. Chartier was able to restore Delisle to consciousness and the group began a fighting retreat down the pathway. Girauds parting shot took out Cpl Blake! 


ROUND SIX

The last of the french departed the village and began making their way back down the path towards the bay in which their ship, the Canard Noir was anchored. 

The British were, once again, attacked by villagers! Lt. Phillips tunic was also soiled! 

The remaining British beat a hasty retreat dragging their injured with them. 

Cultists also chased after the retreating British. 

Oh you've got to be kidding me!? 

The two French officers charged this last Deep One, but were unable to land a blow. Tardi was gravely injured by a telling blow from the beastie. 

We kind of called it here... Finnegan was kind of tired.... His guys were effectively out of it... WE just said that this Deep One would have been dealt with in short order by a French Marine firing line and the rest of the crew made their way back to the ship without any further troubles. 


POST GAME

Checking on Tardi, the only French crewman out of action at the end of the game (thanks to Docteur Chartier!). Tardi suffered permanent internal injuries - not sure if that was the musket ball in the bum or the blow from the Seep One... but his Health was permanently reduced by one. 

All received one experience point for surviving the ordeal Capitaine Leblanc and Lt. Tardi received bonus experience points for taking out Deep Ones, and Lemire and Giraud gained a bonus experience points for searching locations in the village. 

Chacking on the British... Knibbs recovered, having only received a flesh wound from the cultists before falling to the ground, rolling into the forest and making his way back to the ship under cover. The body of Petty Officer Nickels was never recovered - Seaman Knibbs reported he had been hacked to pieces by the Cultists and his brave stand against them was what allowed Knibbs to escape. Captain Black was slow to recover from the mental anguish of his favourite tunic being permanently stained (his despondency will be represented by starting the next game with -3 Health). The rest of those taken out of action, turned out to have received only flesh wounds and their disappearance from the battle was simply them retreating from the battle to dress their wounds. 

Blake and Hudson received a bonus experience point for searching huts (and Hudson received the Monster Expert ability and a permanent -2 Courage for what he discovered). Seaman Knibbs received a bonus experience point for disrupting the ritual. All that survived the ordeal received one experience point as well. 

I actually kind of like the "opposed" or "competitive" play. Theres a bit more going on - more fate dice, potential random events due to initiative rolls... almost makes the solo/co-op play feel like a BIT of an afterthought - though it was in the core book, and not added on as a PDF or a later book... so there is that. 

Making up our own scenario was fun. There MIGHT have been a few too many cultists to realistically make that one clue location viable... but... maybe that's okay...? 

I feel like the french arrived to search the village, found some things, were attacked by the British and retreated away in good order before things got out of hand. The British, for their part, probably felt like they had succeeded in disrupting the Frenchies dastardly plans, but as a cost... 

Looking forward to seeing the further story of these two nemesises (nemesi? nemi... whatever...) develop!  


10 comments:

  1. Son of a fishmonger! Oh, the Mango Incident, what ho!

    Great looking terrain, with the jungle plants, huts, volcanoes, etc.

    Sounds like a lot of fun! Yeah, I do like those stories/backgrounds that arise out of game play or just mental play. Even when I'm painting minis sometimes tidbits start to come to mind about characters, backgrounds and such.

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    1. Thanks!

      I totally do the same thing while painting. What's this guy's story? Where'd he come from? Where's he going? What are his hopes and dreams? What scenarios can I see him in?

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  2. A fine scenario and engaging narrative. I'm wondering about that jungle foliage...?

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    1. Thanks!

      The foliage I made myself from plastic fish tank stuff I bought at a pet store. wired a few sprigs together and affixed them to a base. Instant jungle foliage!

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  3. A nice change from the solo aar's. I liked it a lot

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  4. Great looking table- love the jungle plants.

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  5. Love the village/jungle terrain and the two teams are great, does seem like a bit of a tough scenario though!
    Best Iain

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    1. Ha! Thanks! Yeah, I may have overdone it on the baddies. Still trying to feel out balance with this one..

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