Monday, 6 July 2020

Challengers of the Great Beyond

A new skirmish game from Ganesha Games is Challengers of the Great Beyond (CotGB), intended for use with miniatures in a space opera style sci-fi world. This is a standalone game that is a progression of the fantasy Battlesworn rules written by Andrea Sfiligoi. As I wrote CotGB, I though it would be good to outline some of the differences with Battlesworn.

Battlesworn, which came out in 2013, is really a unique set of rules. It has a twist to most other sets of rules in that it uses a bidding system to determine initiative, as well as melee and shooting attacks. It also does not use measuring sticks - terrain instead dictates the extend of movement.

A traditional game will often determine how many units or figures you can activate with a random dice roll or multiple dice rolls. Here, you instead bid between 1 and 6 how many units you get to activate. If your bid is lower, that is how many you activate, if you bid higher, you activate the difference between both bids. There is a mechanism to deal with drawn bids. The lower bidder moves first and can attack, the higher bidder moves second, mainly reacting to the lower bidder or move around, they cannot initiate attacks. This provides a fair amount of agency, as you have to think of what you want to achieve this turn, and what your opponent wants to achieve, and try to get the bid right. It also gives the game at times a chess-like feel, where it can feel like you have out-witted your opponent with a good bid!

A difference between both rules is that in Battlesworn, you can bid any number between 1 and 6 throughout the game. In CotGB, standard playing cards are used instead, each player gets 12 cards, two 6's, two 5's, two 4's etc. Two cards are put aside as you play out 10 turn. Apart from helping with counting down the turns in the game, a big effect of the limited bid numbers is that you must plan the tempo; at what stage of the game you want to bid low? At what stage you want to bid high? It also reduces the number of drawn bids - for example, in the original Battlesworn, both players may be going for low bids of 1 or 2 towards the end of the game, and might continually bid the same number.

The mechanism for melee and shooting bids remain unchanged from the original Battlesworn. Here you instead use a six sided dice, place your bid face up on the table, but cover the dice with your hand or a lid. Both bids are then revealed at the same time. Unlike initiative, the higher bidder gets the full value of their bid (not the difference) - but the lower bidder goes first, so may defeat their opponent before they strike back.

Another difference between both sets is the introduction of squads. Battlesworn has the "rabble" concept, 1 life point models (rather than 4 life points) that were cheaper but acted as individuals. Squads in CoTGB are 4 or more models of 1 life point each that stay together. However, unlike rabble they do not act as individuals, the whole squad instead acts as if 1 figure. This was an important thing I wanted to represent in the game - large numbers of "mooks" that blaze away at heroic characters but are not as effective (important for Space Opera!). This also increases the figure count from Battlesworn where you generally had up to 12 figures, in CotGB, you can get up to 30+ figures a side. With the extra figure count, the rules have also been modified as to how line of sight and cover work.

The classes are also quite different to that in Battlesworn. They are probably closer in feel to those in Knights and Knaves, where each class has a number of abilities rather than just one. This also means that there is no multiclassing, but enough variety is represented so that you can run most figures available. Some abilities are similar to Battlesworn, most are completely new.

Psionics in CotGB is similar in effect to a lot of the magic powers in Battlesworn. A change here, however, is that they operate independently to the action point system - instead, psi users draw on a pool of psi points that reduces each time a power is used. This helps give psionics a powerful impact in the game, as they can be used in addition to the initiative bid, and allows characters to combine them with an action to pull off heroic feats.

Overall, CotGB was born out of a desire to bring Battlesworn into sci-fi. I had played the game with various futuristic mini's and thought that with a few tweaks, it would work well in a shooting heavy, high tech environment. The few tweaks became many as the game developed. Some key philosophies were that despite the shooting, in space opera fashion, hand to hand fights would remain a decisive way to win. Powerful characters should also be able to survive against gauntlet a expendable squads. This also flows through to the victory system where 5 squad figures are equal to most single characters - so beating up on squads will not give victory in many cases, you still have to take down the enemy characters.

I hope that those who play this game get as much enjoyment from it as I do!

For some more reports and resources on Battlesworn and CotGB, there is some excellent information at the Stronghold Rebuilt.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Arena Games Campaign

In my last blog post, I statted up a group of 54mm gladiators for playing Munera Sine Missione and Arena Games. I thought I would play out the suggested campaign at the back of the Arena Games rules. The campaign takes the form of a knockout competition, so that 7 games are needed to play with 8 figures - round one the 8 gladiators fight in pairs over 4 games. Tis then halves as the winners paly each other in pairs in two games, then there is the final fight.

One challenge was that I was doing this solo, and there is a dice allocation mechanic in the rules which involves a bit of bluffing and setting up a future move. I decided initially on using a dice roll to work out how the points were allocated, but his gave some strange results. Eventually I just used judgement on how to allocate the points.

I am using 54mm gladiators that I covered in my last post 54mm Gladiators. The initial draw looks like this;

Fight 1: Flamma (Myrmillo) vs Proculus (Thracian)
These two evenly matched gladiators traded blow for blow until Flamma took too many hits to the legs and was reduced to a one hex move. Proculus could not finish it off and ended up losing his shield. This was down to the wire with both gladiators down to 4 or 3 attack dice from 6. The critical time came in the 6th turn where Flamma won initiative and had Proculus against a wall, and then getting the critical body blow, so it did not go to appealoculus. For his efforts, Proculus gained a +1 to inititaive skill. Here is the final position:

Fight 2: Piscator (Retiarius) vs Ferox (Contra-Retiarius)
This fight started with a successful net toss by Piscator, who was able to inflict 4 wounds before Ferox broke free. Piscator tried some fancy manoeuvring rather than trying to retrieve his net which backfired when Ferox got some solid leg hits reducing Piscator to a one hex move. With the movement advantage gone, and the net too far away to retrieve, Ferox closed out the fight in the 3rd turn with an attack to the head, which was another mortal wound. The main lesson was for the Retiarius to always retrieve the net...Ferox gained a popularity skill. Here is the final position:

Fight 3: Memnon (Myrmillo) vs Brennus (Velite)
This was going to be interesting, as in some test games earlier, Brennus was very hard to beat. Brennus was a lot more successful in his attacks, doing 7 hits on Memnon, but they were all scattered. Brennus only too 4 hits, but 3 were to the head meaning....another mortal wound in game terms. A win to Memnon, who also gained a popularity skill. I'm not sure that skill is too useful, however, as none of the fights have gone to crowd appeal yet. Here is the final position:

Fight 4: Diodorus (Dimachaerus) vs Clitus (Hoplomachus)
Clitus had better armour, but Diodorus was faster with a good double sword attack. Diodorus was finding it difficult to break through the armour after 2 turns of trying. So he gambled on getting rear attacks by trying to finish the turn at the back of Clitus, hoping to win initiative. Clitus won initiative on the 3rd turn and made Diodurus pay. Diodorus tries again, but again lost initiative, eventually losing on the 4th turn with another mortal wound to the head. Clitus only took one wound in the whole fight, which sent an ominous message. He also gained the +1 initiative skill, which seemed appropriate. Here is the final position:

The position after the first "round 1" fights;

Qualifying Fight 5: Ferox (Contra-Retiarius) vs Flamma (Myrmillo)
Flamma started with a strong attack that only caused one wound to the heavily armoured Ferox. Then Ferox countered with a quick 3 wounds to Flamma, who was now reduced to 5 attack dice. It seemed that Flamma was now doomed. Flamma tried the (failed) Diodorus tactic of ending the turn at the rear and attempt to win initiative. Flamma pulled it off and was able really damage and wear down Ferox. Unlike previous fights, the wounds were fairly scattered so Ferox was tkane down to zero stamina by the 4th turn - the +1 initiative skill to Flamma worked. It went to appeal. Being the 4th turn, Ferox needed a 6 on a D10 to survive, but had the popularity skill giving a +1. He rolled a 5, so that skill worked 2. The first time the loser has survived a fight. Flamma gained the initiative skill.

Qualifying Fight 6: Memnon (Myrmillo) vs Clitus (Hoplomachus)
It looked like Clitus had the edge in this fight, better armour, the same initiative, and a long reach spear. Memon had to start fast, which he did, scoring 2 hits on Clitus. However, Clitus got probably the best combat rolls of the tournament so far, inflicting 6 wounds on Memon, 5 on 1 leg, so reducing Memnon to a 1 hex move. Against a gladiator that has a 2 hex attack range with the spear, this become mission impossible. Memnon could have thrown his sword, but that was a low percentage play against a relatively healthy Clitus. Memon was worn down to below zero stamina, ending the fight. Clitus gained the popularity skill (though there has only been 1 appeal in 6 fights....), not sure why these gladiators want the crowd. Here is the final position:

Here is the position leading up to the final fight:
Final: Flamma (Myrmillo) vs Clitus (Hoplomachus)
The final fight. Of the 2, Clitus had been the more convincing so far. This was to prove an epically dour fight, as neither gladiator wanted to take too much risk. The first breakthrough came when Clitus took enough hits to lose his shield. This turned the fight to Flamma's favour. The critical point came where Flamma skirted with the Arena wall to get a rear attack, and Clitus won initiative and tried to rein a flurry of blows upon Flamma, but the attack failed. Clitus was taken to zero Stamina by the 7th turn, the longest fight so far. It went to appeal - on the 7th turn, a roll 4+ was needed, and Clitus had +1 for popularity. He rolled a 2..... Here is the final position:

This was quite a deadly campaign, only two gladiators from eight survived. A lot happens in each turn, and though the games last a maximum of 10 turns, the average length was 4 turns. The games did provide a lot of action and there was plenty of movement.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

54mm Pegasus Gladiators

A while ago I acquired a couple of packs of Pegasus 54mm plastic gladiators. They seemed quite cheap (compared to the metal ones that can be bought), have some good action poses, and cover all the standard gladiator types. I thought they might be good for use in conventions, as they are a lot easier to see from a distance. The Pegasus gladiators are a bit shorter than the metal ones (scale creep in 54mm...!), and not as detailed, but I have them anyway so thought I'd paint them up for use with one-on-one gladiator games using either Munera Sine Missione or Arena Games.

Arena Games (AG) are a simple seem more geared towards convention gaming, where you rush in and roll dice. They are far more basic than Munera Sine Missione (MSM), particularly with weaponry and shields which AG treats mostly the same. However, AG has a nice system for handling armour (distinguishing between metal and leather/padded) and damage in different body areas, which is good for 54mm, and are easy to use.

This is the first time I have tried painting 54mm. I painted them the same way I've painted 28mm figures, but realised out later on that doesn't really work. The parts I'd normally pay less attention to actually have the detail to put that little bit more effort into. I ended up going back and blacklining them (fine tipped black pigment pens worked well for this) to make the paint pop a bit more, and painted in extra details like eyes and bootlaces.

I thought I'd use the convention of assigning permanent names to each figure. I am going to restrict myself to only using names that are in the book/game Gladiator: The Game of Deadly Arena Combat in Ancient Rome. This book has wonderful background information, though the rules seem better suited to large skirmishes rather than one-on-one fights.

I'll work out stats for both MSM and AG, as an interesting exercise in how different rules interpret the same set of data....

Flamma. MSM: sword, light armour, helmet, large shield. AG: Initiative=6, Armour=6, sword
Proculus. MSM:sica, light armour, helmet. small shield. AG: Initiative=6, Armour=6, sword.
A Myrmillo and Thracian. In AG, both gladiators have identical stats. Swords and sica's are treated the same, and there is no difference between small and large shields. Both have metal armour in the same locations. In MSM, there is a difference between sword and sica, and the small and large shields.

Diodorus. MSM: 2 swords, light armour, helmet. AG: Initiative=6, Armour=6, two swords
Ferox. MSM: sword, cone, heavy armour, helmet. AG: Initiative=5, Armour=5, two swords
A Diamacheri and Contra-Retiarius. In AG, there is no rule for the cone or arbelas, so I'm treating it as a sword with metal armour. Apart from heavier armour on Felix, both are the same. In MSM, there is a difference in weaponry as there are rules for the arbelas, otherwise, Ferox is treated as heavier and less agile as well.

Clitus. MSM: long spear, sword, small shield, light armour, helmet. AG: Initiative 5, Armour 5, long spear, sword.
Memnon. MSM: sword, light armour, helmet, small shield. AG: Initiative=6, Armour=6, sword
A Hoplomachus and a myrmillo with a small shield. I like the Clitus figure it looks like a proper hoplomachus - though I re-speared it with a wire 10cm long spear. The Memnon figure in AG is the same as a Thracian or Myrmillo (such a Flamma or Proculus above), though in MSM it seems a hybrid between both - having the straight sword of the myrmillo, but the small shield of a Thracian.

Brennus. MSM: Trident, no armour, large shield. AG: Initiative=9, Armour=9, sword
Piscator. MSM: Trident, net, light armour. AG: Initiative=9, Armour=9, trident, net
The two light gladiators in the group, Brennus is a sort of velite, whereas piscator is a retiarius.
Despite the padded arm armour on Brennus, there didn't seem to be enough justification to rate the armour above "no armour" in MSM. I had to scratch build the net for Pisactor, but I think I made it too big.

Veleda. MSM: sword, light armour, small shield. AG: Initiative=8, Armour=8, sword
Acquilina. MSM: sica, light armour, small shield. AG: Initiative = 6, Amour=6, sword
These are the two gladiatrixes in the set. Interestingly, under AG, there is a reasonable difference in armour, Brunhilda has 2 pieces of metal armour (the chainmail and the shield), while Acquilina has 4 (the arm guard, greave, helmet and shield). In MSM, the armour works out the same, where both are counted as as light armour. Technically, Acquilinas helmet is not enclosed (no thick metal & face protecting grille), so is treated as part of the light armour instead. Overall, they are both light gladiators in MSM, but in AG, Aquilina is heavy (equivalent of a Thracian).

Hilarus: MSM: sword, light armour, small shield. AG: Initiative=6, Armour=6, sword
Felix: MSM: sica, light armour, small shield. AG: Base Initiative=6, Armour=6, sword
Felix looks like a Thracian, and Hilarus has a secutor helmet but with a small shield.
Stats wise, both gladiators are identical in AG, but in MSM the sica and the sword are treated differently. One really odd feature with these figures is that their padded arm armour is on their shielded arm rather than their weapons arm - not sure why they are modelled this way.

Lucius. MSM: sword, light armour, helmet, large shield. AG: Initiative=7, Armour=7, sword
Another Myrmillo. in MSM, this figure is identical the Flamma stats wise. In AG, it differs from the Flamma figure in that Lucius is slightly lighter with armour (having 1 less metal greave), as AG has more granularity in its treatment with armour.

Overall, there is a wide variety of figures in the pegasus set - there were others, such as a netted gladiator, a fallen one etc, but I didn't paint those. It seems to be missing a secutor, apart from the dwarf. The large figures look great, however, which isn't borne out in the above photos. Here is a size comparison with a 28mm figure:

All that is needed now is an arena with 5cm square hexes:

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Seige of Tyre

I recently read a very interesting online article titled Was Pontarii Fighting the Origin of the Gladiator-Type Retiarius? An Analysis of the Evidence. It indicated that the pons fight scenario was a recreation of the siege of Tyre, derived from the following text by Diodorus Siculus 17.43.7-9;

When the Macedonians moved up towers as high as the walls and in this way, extending bridges, boldly assaulted the battlements, the Tyrians fell back on the ingenuity of their engineers and applied many counter-measures to meet the assault. They forged great tridents armed with barbs and struck with these at close range the assailants standing on the towers. These stuck in the shields, and as ropes were attached to the tridents, they could haul on the ropes and pull them in. Their victims were faced the alternative of releasing their arms and exposing their bodies to be wounded by the missiles which showered upon them, or clinging to their shields for shame and perishing in the fall from the lofty towers.

So, using the Munero Sine Missione v3 rules, I tried to recreate the pons fight. Firstly, I had to modify a Retiarius to become a Pontarius (essentially abandoning the net for throwing rocks) - the Moonraker Miniatures retiarius seemed to fit the bill for this as it held the trident in the left hand, allowing for the net to be cut out from the right and replaced with a throwing rock. As to the "secutors", I thought it would be fun to get some secutor/murmillo gladiator figures and replace the heads with Macedonian phalangite heads - the plastic figures from the Spartacus Blood & Treachery boardgame with warlord heads from a Macedonian pike sprue looked like a good fit as proxy roman style Macedonians.

The approach of the Secutor/Macedonians was met with a lot of rock throwing - it didn't cause any damage, apart from knocking off a shield that was then picked up, and gave the Pontarius some virtus points from working the crowd. Eventually, the bridge assault began;

The attack was repelled with a trident thrust pushing the invader off the bridge, and a rock throw bringing about a "double 2" critical event, the save from which was failed. One secutor was down, but the other used the opportunity to try to approach the bridge from the other side;

This began a real tussle, the remaining secutor managed to scale up the ramp and just push the pontarius back, but did not have enough remaining AP to get to the top of the bridge to secure victory;

The pontarius, using the built up virtus points albiet some clumsy attacks, was able to get back on top and slowly push the secutor back down. The secutor was wounded and started accumulating fatigues;

The secutor was determined and was able to scale the bridge again, even losing his shield which fell to the ground out of reach. The pontarius was quite unlucky at this point and had some ineffective attacks, notable some double 3 critical events fatiguing him. A big push from the secutor with an AP roll of 6 allowed him to push back the pontarius and seize the top of the platform;

On top of the loss, the bad luck continued for the pontarius who failed in an appeal to the crowd. So a "historical" result was achieved with Macedonians winning the siege of Tyre.

It was a close fight in the end which could have gone either way, and gives an interesting alternative to the 1 vs 1 fights on sand.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Panzer Miniatures Rules

Tonight I played Panzer Miniatures Rules with Doug at the Sutherland Shire Gamers in 15mm. We have found these rules to have a lot of depth and better "realism" (if this concept is possible) as opposed to other commercial rulesets. Tank penetration is deterministic - you either beat the armour value or you don't, it is not a random dice fest. The rules are also very fast to play, and we can easily finish a game on a Friday night.

We ran a WW2 scenario using the map from campaign 2, scenario 2 "Panzerschlact" from the Armored Combat Scenario's and Additional Rules for a Sergeant's War and other WW2 Games. The scenario's in this book are quite good, giving intelligent and coherent rules for terrain, and where tanks can get hull down positions etc, even to defining the height of hills.

We ignored the force composition in that scenario and ran with the following (theoretically equal) force from Panzer Miniatures Rules instead;

Soviets (769 pts)
4 x IS2 (496 pts)
3 x T-34/85 (273 pts)
Cohesion/Breakpoint: 4 tanks

Germans (768 pts) 
4 x Tiger I (372 pts)
2 x Panther (200 pts)
1 x Ferdinand (111 pts)
1 x Panzer IV/H (85 pts)
Cohesion/Breakpoint: 5 tanks

This picture shows the Soviet deployment, with tanks either taking up hull down positions of hills, and some being in a gully (the brown felt)

This next picture shows the German armour arrive on table (looking from the perspective of the Russian player);

Initially, an IS2 fired on the Ferdinand but could not penetrate the turret from the range it was shooting at. It seemed a bit grim for the Russians, but the IS2's were able to quickly take out 2 Tigers, and then the Panzer IV who advanced to a hull down position on a hill, but to no avail. Meanwhile, the T-34/85's advanced to a gully to get closer ranged shots in, but experienced very hard going against the Panthers and the Ferdinand. Despite being hull down in the gully, they were slowly being battered, with one being KO'd. On the Russian right flank, a Tiger scored a track hit on an IS2, and the crew decided to bail. The Ferdinand then took out another T-34/85. Each side was now 3 tanks down. The position looked like this;

The remaining damaged T-34/85 managed to load a HVAP round (this is a nice touch in the rules where there is a risk/reward in trying to use better ammo) and took out a Panther. Both sides were now only one loss away from reaching their breaking point.

The Russians won initiative, letting them shoot first - this was grim for the Germans as 2 IS2's were in short range of the remaining Panther. The first IS2 missed, but the second got a hit. Luckily for the Germans, and against all odds, the shot only damaged the tank. The Panther now had it's turn to shoot. Despite the negative modifiers for the damage, shooting through hedgerows etc, it hit and brewed up the remaining T-34/85, bringing Russian losses up to their break point.

Any game that finishes this close is good. It easily took less than two hours and just confirmed how good the rules were.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

VSF Diversions with Hordes of the Things

Mark Stevens recently sent me some reports of Hordes of the Things games he had, and kindly gave permission to post them onto this blog. I'll put up subsequent battles as separate posts;

I had a free evening recently, so out came my VSF HoTT armies that haven’t seen action for a long long time.

For both games the French and British faced off at the village of Prosecco, in the Lombardy countryside. There’s obviously a missing back story here, but I can’t find it right now.

Royal Bicycle Artillery to the rescue!

The first battle of Prosecco was a standard 24AP affair. The French were nominally defenders, but with way better PIPs for most of the game they attacked with their customary elan.

The first photo, taken from an observation balloon behind the French lines shows the Foreign Legion (3xSh) advancing up the road to take the village. At the rear of the column is one of the new wonder weapons from Louis Vuitton - a power armour suit (Pd). To their L the line infantry (4xHd) cover the flank. To their R the steam tank is a Bh(G), and on the R flank a cuirassier brigade on the latest ‘bicyclettes’ (3xKn) also advances. The weird Bh thing on the baseline is the French stronghold. Note to self: make a plausible VSF stronghold.

In the distance perfidious Albion awaits its inevitable fate, seemingly transfixed by the sight of the advancing French (or perhaps, a run of terrible PIPs). They have a thin red line (6xSh) supported by a power armour suit (Hr(G)), troop of lancers (1xKn), a Sn (great detective & loyal companion), and a battery of the Royal Bicycle Artillery (1xArt).

The French pushed forward, taking the village and threatening the British L with the cuirassiers supported by the Pd & Bh. The British Sn was swept away (flee move) by the advancing cuirassiers. It played no further part in the battle, although it was beginning to line up an attack on the steam tank Bh(G) as the game ended.

The second photo shows first contact (not counting the Sn road-bump), when the Pd destroyed a company of redcoats, but a cuirassier element was forced to recoil. I bungled that, it should have been destroyed (beaten by Sh with which it has just moved into contact) and didn’t realise until too late to change.

Anyway, the French piled on the pressure. Casualties were low but positionally the French had all the advantages. The British desperately used their few PIPS to hold them off hoping that something would turn up.

Which of course it did! The last photo shows the final turn of the battle. The British L has almost collapsed. And although the British Hr(G) and surviving Sh are giving the French L a hard time, it looks like the Frogs will win by turning on the exposed British flanks.

And then, the gallant chaps of the Royal Bicycle Artillery saved the day. They took a shot at the French Bh(G) and the dice in the photo tell the story. The final score: 4-8G to the Nation of Shopkeepers! The frogs lost a Sh, a Kn, and the Bh(G). The lobsters lost 2xSh.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Treasure Hunters of Charlemagne

The latest adventure from Ganesha Games in the Four Against Darkness (4AD) series is Treasure Hunters of Charlemagne. I wrote this supplement, and thought it might be a good idea to say a little about it...

From cover to cover, it is 44 pages, and requires two of the core books to play, the original Four Against Darkness and Four Against the Abyss, written by Andrea Sfiligoi. The reason is that the party starts at 5th level, so all the rules in Four Against the Abyss come into play, such as expert skills, madness, lycanthropy, hirelings etc. I really love the additional things Four Against the Abyss brings to 4AD, and this adventure has been developed with those rules in mind.

Treasure Hunters of Charlemagne is set in Europe in the late 8th Century. You use a party of 4 characters which can be of any class, except for elves, dwarves and halflings. Despite being in a real world setting, it is outright fantasy, so you still have wizards with all their spells, clerics, barbarians, rogues, warriors and swashbucklers.

Inspiration is drawn from mythology of the time and works such as chanson de geste. The world is full of mythical beasts, enchanters, and magic items. It is also full of deceit and intrigue, some of which makes its way into this adventure.

The game takes place on a map of Europe. You decide which areas to travel to. Each area has its own fixed encounter and background, so you have a lot of control in the path taken and developing the unfolding story. The campaign is not meant to be scripted, there is no one correct answer. Many different paths that can be taken to achieve the end goal.

Random encounters happen as the party travels around Europe from place to place, from things jumping out of forests and mountains, to bustling towns. The game is meant to play like an "edited highlights reel", where sometimes you travel without incident, at others all manner of things start to go wrong.

Towns are very important, it is here where a party gets to recover and engage in other activities; there might be a jousting tourney for warriors, thieving opportunities for rogues, wizards might try to track down ancient books for spells and clerics pray in a monastery. You might also bump into interesting people and hire some help. Things can also go terrible wrong here, such as characters getting into drunken brawls and even be arrested.

Another aspect I wanted to model was party unity, or fellowship. Unlike a one-off dungeon bash, here the game could represent many months of travel, so keeping the party motivated becomes an issue. The party will face tests of its fellowship, that could see a character storm off!

The ultimate aim is for the party to find clues, survive all the various challenges, including political and other intrigues that may be thrown its way to recover the spear of destiny and deliver it to Charlemagne. No doubt that once this happens, new chapters will be added to the chanson de geste!