SAVE THE VILLAGERS
The party consisted of Eduard "Eddie" Wizzard the wizard, Eldayondo the elf, Brother Christos the cleric, Bravely Bold Sir Robin the fighter, Ranger Sintamo and the dwarf who shall be as yet unnamed.
The table layout, the PCs are just entering on the road by the ford.
An orc brute sneaks up on the unsuspecting villagers.
The scenario started well with only a single orc blocking the PCs route into the village. He was swiftly dispatched and the party crossed the ford into the village. We had a plan (again), the shooty types would round up the villagers and provide long range fire support and the cutty/choppy types would act as blockers and get stuck into any orcs who came too close. We would not stop to loot bodies until we had achieved the objective.
Now the orcs started moving closer so Eldayondo rushed ahead, but some bad dice meant that the closest orc grabbed one of the villagers and cut him down just before help could arrive. The orc was shot down and as the rest of the party moved into the village the dwarf cut a swath through the orcs. Sir Robin took a couple of wounds fighting one of the Brutes before finishing him off. Eddie zapped a couple from a distance and Ranger Sintamo (smarter then the average elf) scoped up a couple of villagers, pausing to shoot down the odd orc who was getting too close. Eldayondo also grabbed two villagers and the two of them hustled their charges down the road and into safety.
Four of the villagers make the safety of the refuge.
Brother Christos had set off after the last villager but unfortunately triggered the nearest horde to advance, which was the three orcs with short bows. Once in range they sent a volley of arrows at the cleric, two hit and Christos only caught one of the on his shield. Rather than take the role of pincushion, Christos charged into the orcs cutting one down. In the ensuing melee he killed another but was himself cut down. Sir Robin boldly rushed to his aid but was in turn knocked to the ground. As the victorious orc raised his sword a final time, Ranger Sintamo rushed around the corner of the house and stuck an arrow in his head.
More orcs rush towards the ford.
Eldayondo and the dwarf "neutralising the threat" (the red counter represent unlooted bodies).
By now a lot more orcs had turned up so things were looking a little dodgy. Eldayondo and the dwarf had dispatched all the orcs that had reached the village so far, which gave us a small window of escape. Eddie grabbed the last villager and between them they carried Brother Christos towards the refuge. Sintamo slung Sir Robin over his shoulder and followed them.
It may not be dignified, but Sintamo gets Sir Robin to safety.
CLEAR THE VILLAGE
When we moved on to the next scenario, the random deployment really worked in our favour. There were no orcs in the village at all (although the houses were still a potential point for ambushes), we only had two solo orcs close to the refuge and most of the orcs were on the far side of the river! The orc chieftain was actually the one closest to the ford. We decided our best hope for victory would be to take the chieftain out, so his followers would lose heart. Bravely Bold Sir Robin charged off after the nearest orcs, we wanted to take them out asap. That would make the orc chieftain the nearest orc and with luck we could lure him forward and shoot/magic him to death without having to risk getting into melee with him. A good plan that almost worked!
Sir Robin did his job, also dealing with an ambush, but was tempted to break the "no looting" rule when he noticed one orc was wearing a rather nice piece of jewellery. Now a couple of failed activations got the orc chieftain advancing towards our ambush. Unfortunatly, as a leader he also activated the nearest orc/horde, which meant three orc archers were tagging along close behind. As soon as the orcs got into effective range Eldayondo, Sintamo and Eddie let fly scoring 2 wounds on the big beastie.
Now everything starting to go wrong. Eddie Wizzard set off a gas trap (or had he just eaten too much cabbage soup the night before?) Fortunately everyone survived.
GAS!Then the orc archers moved forward past the orc chieftain, effectively screening him. They were also in archery range themselves so a firefight ensued, which left two orcs dead but several PCs with nasty wounds.
The orc archers advance.
That's a lot of orcs!
With yet mores turning up at our backs and now a troll wandering onto the table, Sir Robin decided it was time for direct action. Nudging Brother Christos, the pair raced around the back of the buildings to try and flank the orc chieftain.
TROLL! We decided that there must be a bridge just off the table edge.
As the ran between two buildings the orc archer took a shot at Christos, but he caught it on this shield. Aware of the threat, the orc chieftain moved off the road towards Sir Robin. Passing 3 activations, Brother Christos overtook Sir Robin and jumped into combat with the chieftain, only to take a wound for his trouble.
Launching the flank attack.
Brother Christos takes a battering.
Now Bravely Bold Sir Robin charged into the fray and cut the orc down. With their leader dead the rest of the orcs fled in terror, shrieking! Victory for the PCs and nobody died (this time).
Sir Robin deals the fatal blow.
On reflection we felt that the scenarios were reasonably balanced for lower level PCs. The second scenario had been a lot easier for us, but that was the nature of random deployment for the orcs. If the bulk of the orcs had been closer and between us and the chieftain, it would have been a very different battle.
I need to tidy the scenarios up a little and make a couple of minor adjustments, then I will publish them on the blog for anyone who wants to try them out.