A chance encounter… with Old Ozzy’s Outlaws

Oswald Thistlemoss figured it was time to carry on with the next step in his plan to recover the treasure that he felt was his by rights. Now with three groups to clear the path of obstacles he just needed to gather some minions to deal with any remaining survivors and help carry his treasure home.

He had approached the unofficial leader of the more unsavory elements in Old Oak, Victor Briarthorn. Despite a childhood injury, or perhaps because of, he had a bullying nature that somehow commanded respect of rougher sorts. They called him Victor the Lame but his cruelty kept them in line…. until he told them they would be joining Old Ozzy in heading North to get a bit of payback on the three groups of strangers that they had tangled with of late. Viktor particularly hated the Dwarves and intended to get his vengeance.

But not all of the Ruffians of Old Oak were up for it. Especially if it meant following Victor, who no longer looked so invulnerable after the Dwarf had so easily incapacitated him.

Old Ozzy, as Oswald was called by many, had connections with many strange outcasts, misfits and outlaws… including Ruffians, Hillmen and Wildmen from far and wide. He called on some to join his venture. It came as quite a surprise when several of the Ruffians in Old Oak turned on him and Victor. They fought them off with the help of some Hillmen but were forced to flee the village.

In addition to Oswald and Victor there was the Hillman sergeant Dolf Greymane. With him were the Hillmen Braga Big Axe and Pyotr, called “Bald Pete” by the men of Old Oak. Those men included William Whipperwill, known for his use of a bullwhip. “Fancy Jack” who was actually Belamir, a wanted murderer from Minas Tirith. The archer Alfred “One-Eye” Rosebush. And finally Edgar Dogwood.

Heading North towards the Blue Mountains, in footsteps of the Dwarves, they were again surprised. This time by those same Dwarves, who had noticed they were being followed by a group of Men.

Rori suspected the Men were the same that had caused trouble for them in Old Oak. He had little patience for a delay but it would not do to have the Men ambush them later so best to teach them a lesson now. He split his company into two parts and sent them into defensive positions in the rocks. There was a clear sky but the sun would be setting soon.

Ozzy’s Outlaws were confused by the actions of the Dwarves. Once they had been spotted they expected the belligerent Dwarves to furiously charge them. It looked like they would have to dig them out of their rocky positions.

The Dwarf sergeant Brimir looses an arrow and hits Dolf Greymane but fate saves him from being incapacitated. More arrows are exchanged as the Outlaws continue to advance. Brimir looses and incapacitates Edgar with a grey fletched arrow. Then Onar looses and hits Fancy Jack, removing an Outlaw archer.

The Outlaws now are almost on the first group of Dwarves, who have climbed to the top of the rocky outcrop they have chosen to defend. Rori throws an ax and hits Victor. Only fate prevents the Ruffian sergeant from being incapacitated. In exchange William uses his whip and hits Rori. Fate yet again steps in though and mightily prevents Rorik from being knocked out.

The Dwarves have placed themselves in the rocks in such a way that the Outlaws can only approach them one at a time. Victor charges Rori and is cut down by the Dwarf for his effort. William however has better luck and incapacitates Rori!

The Dwarves have the initiative now. Archers exchange arrows but fail to find their mark. Ozzy uses his club and knocks out Snorri. Bili however manages to cut down William, Bald Pete and finally Braga Big Axe.

The sun has set, the Outlaws are Broken and Oswald’s Courage fails him. The Outlaws decide discretion is the better part of valor and the Outlaws withdraw. Victory to the Company of the Golden Boar!

Quite an interesting game. My wife was surprised by my use of rocky terrain to nullify her numerical advantage. In hindsight perhaps I should have put my archers into cover rather than just on top of the hill but I was intending to use my better armor to allow better fields of fire. As it was my wife kept her archers alive largely because I struggled with the “In the Way” rolls of her cover.

The Outlaws only had on injury, Edgar Dogwood will miss the next fight. Due to how our house rules on experience work William Whipperwill leveled twice and was recognized for promotion each time… however the stats for Sharkey’s Rogues has no promotion for Ruffians. So we used a house rule from Johnathan Baker, granting D3 Influence for each. The Outlaws got 4, giving them a total of 6 (the 2 they got from their first narrative scenario went to get a bow and two handed axe)…. 4 of which they spent on a reinforcement. The Hillman, Korg.

For the Hillmen we are using the Dunland Wildmen… but we changed their Hatred rule from Rohan to Dunedain. The Ruffians had two rule changes to make them this Hobbit specific… First they all have manacles. My wife chose not to use them in this fight. And we gave them +1 Fight if they are in a duel where they outnumber their opponent…. hence why I was quick to get elevated positions for my Dwarves!

For the Dwarves, the casualties all had full recovery. Rori leveled and chose the Path of the General. I rolled +1 Courage. I have not settled yet on how I want to spend the 7 Influence points I have. Better kit for my heroes or a Rallying Horn… hmmm….

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4 Comments

  1. I’m really impressed by the emerging narrative in these last couple of scenarios. I love the backstories you’ve created for the ruffians in particular. You’re really showing what Battle Companies can do lately and it has got me thinking about giving it a shot in the future. In terms of shooting, maybe I have bad luck but I tend to find that I rarely successfully kill anything with shooting when I actually really need or want it 🙂 It almost feels like a nice bonus when it actually does something good but I’m sure it is just my own bad luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My wife and I both feel the same way, a nice bonus but unreliable. This seems particularly counterintuitive for Elven archery. My wife was surprised to find Dwarven Rangers have the same bow skills as her Elves. I have suggested a house rule to try to improve Elven archery for all Elves but with a commensurate point cost.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Perhaps reroll 1’s to Wound with archery. Basically equivalent to poison, which Good can not normally get. With the same point cost. Otherwise we are looking at +1 shoot value or some sort of improvement to in the way tests.

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