As the various Battle Companies make their way North towards the Ice Bay of Forochel they come across battle sites where different groups have fought. Sometimes survivors can be hiding among the fallen.
At just such a site The Taken from Minas Morgul come across Ozzy and his Outlaw band. The Companies form up in skirmish lines and proceed to sweep the field for survivors.
It was a warm clear day and with such good visibility searching the sparsely forested woods would be easy… except for those that would try to hinder each other by force.
The Taken seize the initiative, securing two piles of casualties. At first it appears they only found enemy survivors but it turned out only one held a single enemy mercenary while the other held a friendly mercenary (thanks to underdog rerolls). The Outlaws find two friendly mercenaries at the location they secured.
The Outlaws then seized the initiative and recover another friendly mercenary at another location. One of the Marsh Specters uses it’s Fell Lights to lure an enemy mercenary into a trap, where he is surrounded and killed by the Orc warrior Nagduf.
The Outlaws hold the initiative and secure the final location, uncovering two enemy mercenaries.
Seeing so many Outlaws in front of them the Mercenaries look to the the dark figures of the Taken for assistance and both groups decide to break contact. With each side having recovered three living survivors the skirmish is declared a draw.
With a draw and being underdogs the Taken got +3 (Draw) and +6 (Underdog by 94 points so six rerolls as well which made a big difference in the game result) Influence for a total of +9 Influence.
Nagduf aus recognized for promotion but since he can not be promoted instead gets +1 Influence, making the total +10 Influence since they had no saved Influence on hand.
The Black Numenorean Kalamir is recognized for promotion and becomes a Morgul Knight.
Looking at how the bonus recruiting is supposed to be done for the custom scenario we decided it did not work for us as written. We decided to instead allow the Taken to recruit 3 Black Numenoreans but as they were at the limit of their Company size (18 members by house rule) they had to give up 3 Orcs. The narrative of this is that the “friendly mercenaries” turned out to be injured Black Numenoreans. Three Orcs were ordered to return to Minas Morgul to carry word of the Taken’s progress.
With a draw the Outlaws got +3 Influence.
Ozzy leveled and got the skill “Wise Advice”.
Viktor the Lame leveled and got +1 Courage
William Whipperwill leveled but failed to be recognized.
Einar leveled but could not be promoted so gained +2 Influence.
Norman Brewer leveled but also could not be promoted so gained +2 Influence.
We decided that the three rescued mercenaries turned out to be Corsairs of Umbar with bows and that since the Outlaws were already at their max company size (20 +1 wanderer by house rule) three ruffians would desert in the night. Since three Corsairs are hardly worth three Black Numenoreans we gave the Outlaws +3 additional Influence, for a total of + 10 Influence this game. Having 4 Influence already but having to spend 1 to keep their Mercenary they are now at 13 Influence.
This is the second time we have tried this custom scenario. It was very fast. Too fast. It really came down to the roll of what was in that last objective. Which our son decided as he woke up from his name adjust as the Outlaws seized the objective. So since he woke up, a quick game was convenient and his roll was the key moment to make it a draw instead of a victory for the Outlaws (although the underdog rerolls for the Taken helped). However the conclusion to the game felt oddly premature, just like the last time we played this scenario. So we are thinking of changing the game end rule a bit. Instead of ending once the final survivors are determined we are thinking of making it a rule that survivors have to flee off their friendly table edge.
The Aftermath scenario special reward reinforcements as per the written rule in the “Jonathan Baker Battle Companies Unofficial (House) Rules 2016” is not working out quite the way we want. The numbers and options seem off. At this stage we intend to just role play results that make sense to us based on how the game goes… as we have done both times we played the scenario so far.
I still need to play the scenario with my Dwarven Company and we are adding a Gundabad Battle Company. Makes sense to pair them up and give the Gundabad Company an underdog boost to their influence as well as a chance to recruit something interesting.
Both Companies had pack horses. These still feel a bit broken to me. Mrs. GG is not that fussed but these creatures seem a very expensive item to have that does very little in game. Both Companies left their pack horse without a handler as none is required by the rules. But this just felt odd to me. I keep thinking there must be a way to make these more interesting. Perhaps have a rule where every company must have a pack animal and an enemy company can capture it with everything on it (ie spare equipment and saved up Influence points in the form of supplies). This would add an element of attack and defend “capture the flag” to each scenario.
Do you play a game with pack animals? What rules do they use? I am thinking of how they are used in Sharp Practice and trying to find a way to come up with something for MESBG. Do you have any suggested house rules for pack animals?
So now I need to paint some Corsairs and I am still not completely satisfied with our current Black Numenorean solution of using Army of the Dead figures. I wish GW would make plastic Black Numenoreans to match their Morgul Knights. But that would likely be expensive. I think I may make up some proxies but what to use? I have some Perry Armored Knights, on foot and mounted. Or I could use some Fireforge Templars on foot and horse that I have tucked away. I have some great Fireforge Medieval Russians and Byzantines that I could kitbash but only on foot. Hmm. Do you have any suggestions?
The table had some interesting features that Mrs. GG came up with but it was far too sparse for my taste. I have some more terrain bits to paint up but waiting for Dwarven Forge to restock and deliver our Wildlands Kickstater pledge is a bit frustrating. Once we get those things sorted and our Monster Fight Club Icy Wilds Kickstarter pledge delivered our table should look a bit more lively.
Ofcourse I have a ridiculous backlog of things to paint, both terrain and minis. Never enough free time!
As always suggestions, advice and questions are welcome. We would love to hear about any house rules that you use. Anything that you think would help our gaming is most appreciated!