Thursday, 14 March 2019

"You ate my father - prepare to die!" - planning a skirmish session (part two)

The Avengers of Zarak-Zigil (with hobbit and wizard friends)

So, after yesterday's thoughts, I've got half a skirmish game ready. Magrtrur's orcs are trying to take control of something, and, being orcs, they're going to be at each other's throats.

To recap: Magtrur wants to capture valuable territories and treasure while keeping his son and heir alive; Morgrat (the son and heir) wants to capture territory and treasure while - ideally - making sure that his father dies in the process; and Vargram, captain of wolves, wants to capture territory and treasure while ridding himself of Morgrat and the shaman Graghuz in the process.

That gives us common goals for the orcs and individual goals for each of the three orc players. But of course, they won't just be fighting each other.

No, the orcish expansion is going to be opposed by a motley crew of dwarfs, lizardmen (by popular request) and either elves or adventurers. Here's the dwarf warband:

The Avengers of Zarak-Zigil (398)
Karak Proudcrest: Q3, C4, Block, Group Fighter, Heavily Armoured, Leader, Short Move @86
2 x dwarf scouts: Q3, C3, Crossbow, Good Shot @44 = 88
5 x dwarf warriors: Q3, C3, Block, Short Move @32 = 160
1 x dwarf berserker: Q3, C3, Berserk, Short Move @32
1 x dwarf axeman: C3, C3, Heavy Weapon, Short Move @32

The dwarfs are motivated by vengeance and greed. Vargram, the orcish captain of wolves, ate Karak Proudcrest's father. So, Karak's player gets a sliding scale of rewards for Vargram's death: perhaps 1 point if he's killed (not routed), 2 if he's killed by a dwarf and 3 if he's killed by Karak himself.

This sets up a nice quandary for the dwarf player: he's saddled with Short Move, but wants to kill the fast-moving wolf-rider captain. Some tactical thinking will be required. And he should also get to spout the immortal line "Vargram, captain of wolves! You ate my father - prepare to die!".

So much for vengeance. But what about greed? Well, the obvious answer is to locate an Arkenstone-type object in the underground section of the table. And if we're stealing from The Hobbit, we might as well go the whole hog and say that a dragon has been occupying an ancient dwarven redoubt that contains all manner of treasure. The dragon flew south two nights ago, giving the dwarfs (and the orcs) their opportunity. The dwarfs have hired help, promising a share in the treasure that the dragon has abandoned. But the unscrupulous adventurers and cold-blooded swamp-dwellers that have answered Zarak's call may not recognise the off-limits nature of the "Arkenstone" ...

And as we'll be using wandering monsters in this scenario, we've got the unluckiest roll in the form of the returning dragon. We've also got a name for the scenario: While the Great Wyrm's Away.

Next up: the lizardmen of the Long Jaw tribe.