Saturday 25 February 2012

17-20 Thaumont 1000AC

After a night in the castle, the group headed back to Threshold. They reported the results of their expedition to Caldwell, who said that he would see if he could find anyone to open the locked door. With that room still unexplored, the group's contract was not yet fulfilled. So, the group decided to heal up and sort themselves out before returning to the castle.

Three days later everyone was healed and Caldwell had returned with a scroll, which he said would open the door. Once this room and any cellars that might be present were cleared, Caldwell would consider the group's contract to be complete, and he would pay their reward for this work.

16 Thaumont 1000AC - Eviction Notice Part 2

After few days in the fleshpots of Threshold the group returned to the castle. The bloated corpses of the evictees were still present in the ground floor, although some had clearly been eaten by scavengers. The remaining treasure that they could not carry had been picked up by someone else too. Time to evict the denizens of the upper floor.
Castle Caldwell - Upper Floor
The group advanced up the stairs in the south-western tower and into the upper floor of the castle. The first room north of the tower was empty of all but rubbish and guano. The next room was occupied by a small group of dog-like humanoids (Kobolds as our heroes were to later learn). Without preamble the group charged in and carved up the Kobolds.

The next two rooms to the north were empty but for the usual mess. The north-western tower appeared empty until a large spider dropped from concealment onto Lacrimos. Its effort to gain a meal was in vain as it was soon carved up by a variety of sharp weapons.

From here on the going was easier. Whatever denizens had inhabited the castle, they were no longer here. Exploration showed that there was a large trophy room containing more treasure hidden behind a secret door in the centre north of the castle, but other than this there was little to be found. The castle was clear apart from the one locked room downstairs.

Time to return to Threshold and report this to Clifton Caldwell.

12 Thaumont 1000AC - Eviction Notice Part 1

After a short delay organising themselves, the group prepared to continue the eviction. Breccia and Vladimir would wait outside with the mule, while the rest of the group continued on into the castle and informed any residents present that they were no longer welcome here.

Castle Caldwell - Ground Floor (Click for a larger image)
The first task was to check out the store room to the south of the kitchen. A quick search showed it to be full of rotting sacks of food, old cupboards and a bloated, blackened body on the floor. As the group searched the room, suddenly Bogdan cried out. A large snake had been disturbed by his rummaging among the sacks. It bit him before anyone could kill it and soon his arm was beginning to turn black. Fortunately, Callinicus was able to suck the poison out of the wound and administer a healing potion that restored Bogdan to full health.

With no other exits, the group chose to head into the western corridor, where they encountered a group of four Goblins. The Goblins were carrying a deer on a pole between them. They eyed the group warily and greeted them. Fortunately, Shalander speaks Goblin, so he was able to greet them and assure the Goblins of the group's peaceful intentions. The Goblins proceeded past the group and into the tower room in the north-west of the castle. The group headed south. Stopping at the first door they were unable to open it by any means so they continued southwards into the next room, where they were attacked by Stirges. The bloodsuckers managed to suck a fair bit of blood before they were crushed under foot.

The next room south of this was a chapel. Its glass windows were shattered and the furniture was old, but the room was otherwise in reasonable repair. A cleric in plate armour was praying here when the group barged in. She was clearly annoyed to be disturbed but did not attack the group. Instead she introduced herself as Olga and led the group in prayers to bless their venture. Then she departed the castle, having been informed that its new owner was making every effort to take it over properly.

Continuing southwards and focusing on the western rooms, the group found a starving giant shrew in the nest room. At first it hid under the beds but then hunger overcame its cowardice and it attacked the group ferociously. All too soon the shrew lay dead and the group was bandaging its wounds before enetering the south-western tower, where they were attacked by a pair of wolves. Once more fortune favoured the now battered group and the wolves became nothing more than rugs to lie before the fire.

The group now headed eastward and explored the entrance hall and dining room in the south and centre of the castle, finding some treasure in the rubble. Moving to the south-eastern room and tower, they heard arguing from beyond the door. Shalander recognised Goblin voices arguing over treasure. Bursting in, the group found four Goblins standing around a table laden with treasure. Their swords were drawn and they were clearly none too happy about what constituted an equitable division of that treasure. In the ensuing fight, the group made short work of the Goblins and then started wondering how they were to carry all this treasure away with them. A lengthy discussion ensued, but finally the group was able to agree to cart back to Breccia and the mule as much as they could fit into the various sacks and backpacks they had with them.

Returning to the scene of their 'crimes' the group then continued their methodical progress northwards up the eastern corridor. The next room up proved to have been a library. The books were not in good condition but the room was occupied by two fire beetles, who were reduced to eating the carpet since they became trapped in here. The fight was short and in short order Elias was soon hacking the beetles up to extract the glands that emitted the glow that gave them their name.

A statue in the next room northwards gave the group pause. The room was empty but the group leaders quickly determined that they would not go anywhere near the statue, so they closed the door and headed northwards to the last room before the tower. Here they found a small group of brigands taking a rest from banditry. The group launched into the assault immediately and were victorious after a short but bloody fight. They tidied up the corpses and put them into the beds in this room, before they searched it and gathered up the bandits' loot. The final tower room proved to be empty, but upon exiting it, they encountered the same group of Goblins that they had met with earlier in the other corridor. The Goblins greeted them warily and unsuspectingly made to pass the group in the corridor on whatever errand they were running. As they did so, the group fell on the Goblins and slaughtered them in a brutal, short and effective ambush.

Everyone in the group was now injured and even though the ambush had been effective, the group had still taken some heavy wounds. This being the state of affairs the group decided to head back to Threshold to bank their loot and heal their wounds before cleaning out the rest of the castle.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

More fun with CC3

As I mentioned in my last post, the more I use CC3, the more I like it. This post covers my use of Cosmographer 3, the space add-on.

Our science fiction campaign will hopefully involve space battles at some point. After all, I have a Brigade Models SAC fleet or two sitting in the ULP, awaiting the addition of paint. Our fleets should be fairly small, given the small budgets available to our Pocket Empires, so we plan to use Starmada: Admiralty Edition for our games. Starmada is geared towards hex-grid play and they recommend a playing area of something like 22 hexes by 24 or so. For our purposes, the hexes need to be about 40-50mm across. We could just set up a space mat and play counting each hex as 2" on the table and measuring turns in increments of up to 60 degrees. I have a CorSec Engineering mat for this that I bought as a pdf and printed out. It is nice, but I suddenly got to thinking about how I might do this for myself in CC3 using Cosmographer. Hey presto, a couple of hours later I had a battle mat that I can print out for our games. It has a 2" hex grid and measures approximately 44" by 44". It still needs some fettling, but here is the Mk1 version for your delectation and edification (Click the image for a larger version):
I can't wait to start playing games on this, but first I need to buy some more ink! :-) I have also noticed that the more I work with CC3, the more I want to play with it and produce more maps. Perhaps I should give up wargaming as a hobby and take up map-making instead!

Monday 6 February 2012

Battlemats in CC3

I have been experimenting with making battlemats in Campaign Cartographer 3. The more I use this program, the more I like it. My first efforts were for a Labyrinth Lord game that I ran over the past couple of weeks. I'm a figure gamer at heart so I decided to try printing out the dungeon floorplans from CC3. To my surprise, it worked really well. All I had to do was print the dungeon plan onto 160gsm card, cut out the elements and tape them together as the adventure progressed. Marvellous. CC3's facility for scaling and tiling the dungeon plan worked beautifully. Had I been willing to do so and had more time, I could have cut out each room and glued it to foamboard to make a more permanent set. I chose not to for reasons of expense and utility. The rooms are quite specific to that particular dungeon so reusability is limited. Still, it is an option for another time, when I have more time to think through the best way to do this. Of course, to 'save' money, what I really want now is a table with a rear projection unit built in so that I can just project the floorplans onto the table and save ink!

This is the ground floor of the castle that the players were evicting unwanted tenants from (Click the pics for larger images):
 Here are some photos from the session, showing the battlemat in use:
You'll always find the party in the kitchen
The party leaves a dead giant snake in the storeroom

An encounter with a cleric in the castle's chapel
Massacring defenceless goblins

Wednesday 1 February 2012

February is ... More Vikings!

Primary Objective: add 100 points of Vikings to my Viking army.
Secondary Objective: begin work on remodelling the 15mm Bwendi army for our forthcoming sci-fi campaign.

After discussion with Steve, we have concluded that February will be another month of Vikings, because he wants to paint more of his Saxons. I had considered moving the Norman army to the painting desk, but Vikings it shall be for this month. We shall play Impetus using the small armies this month as part of the overall project and my goal will be to expand my Viking army so that we can play larger games next month once we have a better grasp of the rules.

My secondary objective will only be engaged if I meet the primary objective early enough. I do not hold out any great hope of that because Real Life(tm) is going to impinge even more on my gaming time this month, a problem that is compounded by it being a slightly shorter month. For our forthcoming sci-fi campaign, we are both preparing our forces. I have a version of the Bwendi army for the Laserburn universe, but it is not suitable for a Traveller-esque setting, so I bought some GZG New Israelis in the sale last year. These are part-painted and I plan to complete at least a platoon's worth plus transport for forthcoming Tomorrow's War games. The platoon transport is provided by QRF Ratel 20s, which seem suitable for the background of the army and the near future setting of our initial games. I have modified them slightly with bits from the GZG packs, but overall I think they look right regardless. If this objective is not achieved this month, it will become the March objective instead.