The Deserted Village
Having played Frostgrave loads of times in the past I decided to throw myself into a game of Rangers of Shadow Deep the new game from Joseph A McCullough. Think I should have waited a bit longer and prepared a bit more as I definitely made some errors during the game. Oh well :-)
Cadman, my ranger, had gathered his small team in order to investigate the Deserted Village and find the clues to the whereabouts of Aventine another experienced ranger.
The team included: Bearcb, the Templar, Neale the Rogue, Divone the Archer, Gildas the Arcanist and Birgit the Conjurer.
A very mixed group not altogether very martial, possibly a mistake.
They start the mission in the centre of the board.
Six clues are scaterred about the board, 2 in the nearby houses and the other 4 towards each corner of the board. These have to be uncovered to complete the task.
There are also, 4 zombies on the board and 2 giant rats.
Cadman started his ill fated command by sebding the Rogue towards the first clue in the nearby house, he has the pick lock skill and I thought he would be able to access the clue easily.
However I ignored the rat at Neale's peril, a fluke dice roll laid him low in the first turn, a nasty bite sealed his fate.
The Templar made his way towards the other clue in the right lower building, his high strength should allow him to break the door down.
The Conjurer cast Magic Bolt at the nearby zombie, but failed to hit.
(I should explain that in the event part of the game a playing card is drawn that relates to a table specific to the scenario, so you'll see picture like this dotted about. A very nice feature which made the game feel like you were playing against an opponent, almost)
The Rogue would have to make a check for being injured by the rat, as it turned out a mute point but there you go.
Cadman launched himself at the giant rat and failed to wound it.
In the centre of the board, the Archer fought with the other giant rat but managed to kill it relatively easily.
Here come the zombies!
The zombies catch up to the team far quicker than I expected. I felt completely surrounded.
Things did not look good for the Archer and the Arcanist.
Here the zombie has just shaved of 7 of the Templar's health, a scary start to the game.
Cadman battles on and despatches his zombie.
In the centre the Archer suffers 1 wound and the Arcanist suffered 5, not clever.
In the event phase a couple more zombies turned up.
Cadman picks up his first clue which turns out to be a survivor.
The Templar fights on ineffectually with the zombie.
While the Archer falls to his attacker, I think I must secretly been on the zombies side!
Think I got my dice in muddle here, but ended with the zombie smashed to bits.
With no support from the Archer Gildas the Arcanist is looking fragile.
Another zombie appears from the very earth this time.
Birgit the Conjurer healed the Arcanist for 5 health, but....
When the zombie player, doh, keeps rolling 20's what chance does he really have?
I could see at this point that I was running low on bodies with which to complete the task.
The Templar, free at last set off on his run towards the building.
Birgit tried to fry another zombie with magic bolt again, at this point I looked up the rule and realised that spells could only be cast once per game, mmmh.
Below, 2 more zombies appear, heavens!
Cadman shoots at a zombie in order to stop it threatening the Conjurer, but fails to kill it.
The poor slow Templar runs into another zombie and finds himself held in place.
A quick overview of the board, the rangers group are becoming surrounded.
Another angle of same scene. Notice bottom left, the survivor claims another clue for the rangers. At least someone is helping.
An interesting development, lucky not near any of the warband.
Birgit breaks off and makes a run for a more remote clue.
Cadman uses his Frenzied attack heroic ability to attack the zombie above, but to no effect. The zombie inflicted 6 damage on Cadman.
Both Cadman and Bearcb the Templar are beginning to get bogged down and surrounded.
So Bearcb decides to push away and make a stumbling run for the next clue.
The survivor found some Herbs, nice if you have time to do some cooking :-)
The Conjurer discovers the clue she has run so far to get was another bloody zombie.
Another 4 zombies join the party!
The demolished house.
Last turn, in Rangers OSD you only have so many turns to complete the task. This is my last turn to snatch victory from utter failure.
But ineffectual combats thwart me.
Cadman and the Templar are surrounded.
However Cadman manages to survive 3 separate attacks, the zombies failing to wound.
However the Templar goes down to a flurry of blows. Can zombies do that, "flurry" really?
Birgit holds her own in combat but can't quite do enough to kill her foe.
And that brings the game to an end, with the warband led by Cadman not really getting to grips with any of the clues that would have helped them find Aventine.
In the post game sequence poor Neale the Rogue died and will not be playing again, while Bearcb suffered a "close call", and Diovone lost some of her toes.
I will need to recruit another team before I can play another game, although most will be returning.
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the game and will be playing some more, but do need to be more organised next time, and better read.
Hope you enjoyed this rather long ramble.