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Thursday, 13 June 2019

Palaeo Diet – The Blood Bath

The Rock Ugly Clan having trained their “wolves who don’t eat you”, into “hounds who eat others”, are on the hunt for fresh meat.

Having killed and lived off dried Mammoth meat for a very long time, they tried their hand at more succulent horse meat before their last known escapade, entering a wolves den and stealing their cubs. The idea was to rear them as an aid to hunting, as well as a form of hot water bottle, useful in the long, cold, ice age nights, and then if the hunt went badly they would always be nourishing - roasted. Waste not want not as the old Shaman said, although Yani the new Shaman, or Shawoman, in this unlikely egalitarian clan was not quite so pragmatic.

The Clan had given themselves a strong Clan name, The Rock Clan, but after a series of hunting accidents, the sort where the prey fight back, most of them had suffered a series of disfiguring wounds, which to be honest is better than the alternative - being dead.

You will notice the grumpy one - Akoba doesn’t have a hound by his side, he was the only one not to rescue a pup from it’s evil wolf parents, and as he maintains they are nothing but trouble. They have to be taken for a walk twice a day, fed regularly and if not they start to eye you as their next meal, and then there are the plastic bags which you have to carry round and when full, hang them on trees as some form of offering to the gods!!!!

The Clan had been forced further south by the onset of global cooling and were looking for fresh succulent meat, the roots and berries they had been living on for the last few days were proving a tiresome and not very enjoyable diet.

Things were looking up though and they had come across the tracks of a small herd of mountain sheep, they had finally caught up to the herd and were making their plans to chase them down. There had been a lot of argument about using the hounds, Akoba obviously favoured just eating them but the others had spent time training the hounds and were convinced they would be a great aid in hunting creatures faster than themselves, and in this primitive world everything worth eating was faster than the Rock Ugly Clan.
Text relating to the pictures is below it.

The herd were on one side of quite a large river and the Clan hoped to use this as a barrier to stop them escaping.

An over view from the drone shows the herd is between a low range of hill to the south (nearest the camera) and the river, the Clan are to the East and out of shot. Yani has gained great esteem with them and is proving to be the moving force in the Clan but of course she can’t be the Clan leader because she’s a girl. Akoba and Tumak know one of them has to be the leader, but neither of them wants the job, the pay is poor, the hours are long and it’s much more enjoyable to sit in the sun and be de-loused by someone else.

Yani has decided that their normal method of hunting will prove effective and has sent the others on ahead, skirting the herd, they will form a ring around them and once this is complete Yani who has stayed downwind to the east of the herd will drive them onto the rest of the Clan. She hopes her young wolf which she has named Dog will help drive the sheep forwards into the trap and save her a lot of running about, shouting and howling, this is probably the original labour saving device!

The 2 males are in place, they kept failing activations and on each failure the one or other of the sheep would move away but only gradually, the river is to our left and Yani is moving towards the herd but so far they have not reacted to her or Dog.

The rules call for 1, 2 or 3 activation tests each move per figure depending on what you wish to do, the 3rd test is harder but the 1st 2 tests require a D6 roll of 1 to fail an activation, I have never rolled so many 1's before. Each failure means that the nearest animal reacts, usually by moving away but not always.

This is Akoba’s view of the herd, he can see that there is a natural obstacle behind them that will prevent their escape, he doesn’t have a hound but does have something to prove.

So he rushes out from his hide prematurely and trips up, double 1!!! This causes the herd to react.

They stampede away from him and through a gap he hadn’t seen, if they continue they will go past Yani and escape. Akoba quietly swears to himself. I’m assuming early cavemen would have created swear words before other less useful words, like cooperation, help, common sense and so on, and although these words are lost in time I’m sure we would still understand their meaning today.

Fortunately Yani activates next and move forward to block the path. She has her faithful friend Dog on a leather leash, because although she has spent a long time training him, she does not have a lot of control when there are other animals about and he is likely to go chasing after them in spite of her commands.

The sheep stampede away from her and go behind the obstacle which is now acting a bit like a corral or a sheep pen. Akoba is going to claim this is what he intended when he came running out and set the herd off in the first place. Of course we know better, and so does the rest of the Clan.

Yani frees Dog and shouts kill, he chases after the sheep and attacks the nearest and smallest one.

An overview to show what a good move Akoba made when setting the herd in motion, they are just about to burst out of the trap. In the distance you can see Dog has killed the lamb but it’s mother has turned on him and inflicted a nasty wound with her curly horns.
Sometimes even the meekest animal will attack in self defence and this is the stone age, nothing is that meek here.

Nuponda is the only one sticking to the plan, she is still waiting for the sheep to be driven into her ambush. She realizes it’s hopeless expecting the others to stay close to the simplest plan and sees that the herd will escape if she doesn’t stop them. So she sends her wolf forward. Interestingly she was so impressed with Yani’s choice of name that she has also named her wolf - Dog.

To the left you can see Dog, maybe I should refer to him as Dog 2, the Clans counting skills go 1, more, lots so they don’t recognise he might be Dog 2 but it will save any confusion for my reader – if there is one!

Anyway the sheep are now headed back the way they have just come and are probably getting dizzy. You may remember one of the tenets of hunting is make your prey dizzy this saying stems from our days hunting Dinosaur’s and is just as relevant in this Ice Age as When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth.

There is a loud trumpeting sound and a small family of Mammoths march onto the scene.

Just as the Rock Ugly Clan are closing the trap on the herd of sheep. You will note that as these are robust and vengeful sheep they are not a flock and to illustrate the point the sheep in the foreground has attacked Dog 3. Yes Tumak was also impressed with Yani’s wolf’s name and so his wolf is also called Dog. They had very little imagination regarding naming their wolves, Rover, Spot and Bosun as names are a long way in the future, beside would you want to eat Rover, Spot or Bosun? Dog is much less intimate and infinitely more digestible.

If you look hard in the distance the Mammoth family are moving closer to the Rock Ugly Clan, this is going to mean trouble.

Another Drones view of the situation, the Mammoths are getting closer to the Clan which is unusual, they would normally avoid these two legged creatures, they may be small but they have a vicious streak as well as sharp pointy weapons and the mammoths know this. Yani has left her wounded wolf, Dog behind and he eats the lamb he killed.

Akoba could be right about the usefulness of these animals.

The reason for this unusual behaviour becomes clear, they are being hunted by Monkey Men, something even more primitive than Homo Sapiens, I know that’s hard to believe. They are being driven onto the Rock Ugly Clans hunt, there is a danger the sheep will break out if the Clan have to move away from the mammoths.

Various events were controlled by random timed dice rolls, the mammoths arrived after the 2nd 7 was thrown on 2D6 and the Monkey Men after the 3rd 7.

Akoba who’s as smart as a three toed sloth and brave as a cave bear moves towards the advancing mammoths and howls, an old hunter trick, this has the effect of turning the Mother and calf back onto the advancing Monkey Men. The male mammoth halts and stares malevolently at Akoba.

A view the Monkey Men were hoping to avoid seeing.

Look away now if you are under 18 or of a nervous disposition.

OK who didn’t look away? You know who you are and so does Google.

The slaughter has started, the herd is now a flock and are being hunted down.

As a bit of light relief, drawn by the blood a Sabre Tooth Cat appears on the scene, fortunately for our Clan he is on the far side of the river, but he arrives randomly next to a small troop of 3 Baboons.

To escape the slaughter the remaining sheep jump into the river.

Which might not have been the smartest move!

The Baboons are classed as pack predators and decide unwisely to attack the apex predator.

Meanwhile Akoba has moved nearer to the male mammoth and howled again, this caused it to turn and flee, he was joined by the female mammoth but the calf didn't follow it's parents.

Straight at the Monkey Men, a savage fight ensued and the male was killed. These guys might be small but they are as hard as nails. Well they would be if anyone had heard of nails back then.

The victory dance starts.

The Rock Ugly Clan has finished their slaughter and knows they will have to drive the intruders away, besides it might mean there is some mammoth meat to be had.

I know it’s tough and not very tasty but it’s better than nuts and berries.

The Crocodile seems to be able to swim faster than the sheep, especially as the adult is injured and seeping blood into the river.

The calf mammoth startled by the fighting panics and attacks the nearest monkey man.

The Rock Ugly Clan led by the belligerent males move towards the fighting.

Still doing their victory dance, these two are oblivious to what’s going on around them.

And don’t see that the mother and calf are making mince meat out of the rest of their troupe.

Another look away moment is coming up soon.

The mother succumbs to weight of numbers and two 6’s on the dice and falls to the ground, but the young calf is still fighting grimly, de ja vu.

The Clan charge in, Monkey Men fall to the floor but one of the victors who had killed the male mammoth has defeated Yani.

He beats his chest in triumph.

Just before Dog 1 attacks and tears his throat out.

The final Monkey Man falls to Tumak and Dog 3

The calf turned and attacked Akoba who responded quickly and wounded it, but Nuponda was just behind the calf and with her faithful wolf, Dog 2 kills the poor defenceless creature.

Yani looking very grumpy from this angle has to test to see if she survives the double wound. She throws a 6 and is fine except for an ugly disfiguring scar. Now how did that happen.

This didn’t end well, but the scene was edited out so I could get a certificate 15. The Sabre Tooth Cat ate both baboons and the third baboon ran away.

The Rock “very” Ugly Clan prepare for their next hunt.

Well it’s been a long time since I had a proper game. Since I moved house I've had 3 games of Wings of War and a couple of Sails of Glory but this was the first time I got any scenery out and onto the table. It’s really weird, I now have a brilliant games room, light, airy and freshly decorated but I’ve virtually not used it, where as with my other dingy dark and cramped room I played a lot of games, hopefully that will change in the future. Unfortunately life has been a bit busy lately, it’s this damn summer, roll on winter and I can stay indoors all the time.

I have started to make some jungle terrain for Becky’s next adventure, I have decided to go for small individual bases rather than big groups of blocking terrain, my thought is that I can group it together but remove individual bases so that figures can move through it, I'll see how that pans out.
The method I'm using is very quick and involves putting a dollop of brown acrylic sealant dapped onto a big washer, then stick the plant in and dropple it about a bit, then dropping flock on top. Dead easy and quick, you can see some in this game, they’re all aquarium plants and I will either matt varnish or dry brush them to get rid of the plastic sheen when I've finished some more of them. So far everything seems to have stuck well using the acrylic sealant, fingers crossed.

The lichen that I picked up from various walks is starting to get a bit brittle, I wonder if I should stick a damp sponge in the bags to try and revive it, any thoughts on this would be much appreciated.

Well hopefully this will be the start of a gaming renaissance for me but who knows, I always intended that the blog would be a record of my games rather than a weekly diary so it’s likely to be a bit sporadic for a while.

Well if you've read this far I would appreciate you letting me know, and if not, you won't be reading this.


Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Going Dark

House move going ahead, this is the big head line news of this year so far.

Tomorrow we should move house, it's been quite traumatic but up untill about 15:00 today we didn't know it was confirmed for tomorrow.

Things have been a bit quiet on the blog lately, I still have to write up the games from DevLAM and there has been some WWl planes flying around the house lately but no game reports forthcoming. I'm really slacking with this.

I don't believe we will have internet for the next week, and things might be a little fraught with Mrs V insisting on us concentrating on what she considers the important matters, like decorating and unpacking, but it probably means I shall be focussed on the trivial day to day minutiae rather than on the important things of a wargaming nature.

Hopefully it will be short lived.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

The Attempt to Rescue Fukushima Masanuri. Part 2

This the follow on story from the previous post.

Time moves on - the Shinobi is back in his tree and a plan has been agreed with Matsuki. The Shinobi will enter the prison house during the night and hide in the rafters of the building. In the morning when Fukushima is unchained and Ichi goes for his breakfast, Matsuki will lead a picked band of warriors to rescue Fukushima, the Shinobi will then prevent any enemy from entering the house and dismembering Fukushima before they arrive.

Dark falls again and Soko is back on guard, gazing hopefully at the lantern, waiting for it to go out so he can climb into Yoshiie’s warm bed. The hut at the end of the village has been commandeered by Katagiri, the Samurai in charge of guarding Fukushima.

He seems to have had more success with Kami than Inori did.

The night passes and as the guards change the Shinobi moves stealthily into the village, he easily enters the hut that is acting as the prison and has devised a clever way of replacing the bar on the door so that no one knows he is inside.

The bar is hinged at one end and drops into a bracket at the other, by slipping a loop of line around the opening end Ichi who is inside can put her arm through the window and hold the line, keeping the bar open and then when the Shinobi is inside they can lower the bar into the bracket and slip the line pulling it inside. No one can see the bar has been tampered with and the only downside is they are all imprisoned.

Morning has arrived, Mate has sent the children off with the water carrier, peace reigns around the cooking area, Oe takes his first sip of Rice wine and greets the day.

Inori emerges from the warehouse with Hidemoto, before anyone asks, they are only sleeping together for convenience.

He makes his way over to the prison hut and unchains Fukushima, he is completely unaware that there is an armed warrior 3ft above his head in the rafters.

Seeing the bright yellow kimono of Ichi crossing the road, Matsuki and his band of trained killers start to move towards the prison hut, Hidemoto has his back to them and fails to detect they’re there.

How does it go - altogether - “He’s behind you”.

Matsuki has instructed the two Ronin to remain behind and guard the road, they are to stop anyone escaping from the village and raising the alarm. He believes that there is only one Samurai to deal with, who will almost certainly be un-armoured and will be no match for three heavily armoured opponents. He does not expect any resistance from the villagers, they will be cut down like rice in the field.

Hidemoto finally hears a noise behind him and turns, it is too late for him to run or he was too brave to run but he raises his garden hoe to defend himself against the long Nodachi of the famed samurai warrior Kobayashi Yoshiro. On this side of the road Yoshiie is on guard and surprisingly he stands his ground when charged by the fearsome figure of Ishida Takeshi. The alarm is raised and everyone is alerted to the presence of the intruders.

The fighting is swift and deadly, deadly for the villagers they are both killed at a stroke, well 2 strokes but that’s just being pedantic.

The village brats look on in horror as their relatives are cut down.

Inori knows he is not going to be forgiven a second mistake, he is responsible for keeping the prisoner secure and so against his better judgement he attacks Yoshiro.

Katsumo hearing the commotion has grabbed his Katana and rushes straight at the victorious Takeshi, sure enough he didn’t have time to don his armour so he is at a major disadvantage.

In the mean time Matsuki has entered the prison hut and is bowing low to his master the Lord Fukushima, the Shinobi has already dropped from the rafters and is prepared to leave, but etiquette has to be observed first.

In spite of having some protection from his light armour Inori has been cut down quickly.

You might not have noticed so I’ll point it out, Oe the wine drinker has risen, and thrown off his old clothes to reveal he is the renowned swordsman Hanzo who is working for the Lord Hirano to ensure that Inori and Katsomoto obey his orders.

Katsumoto is fighting for his life and has been pushed back across the beaten earth of the village compound, but Katsua Takenori his friend emerges from the hut, this is a bit of a surprise to Takeshi he was only expecting one Samurai opponent.

The water woman shouts to the brats to stay out of the way, they might be young but they have enough sense to obey her.

I was hoping they would get in the way and trip one or other of the fighters to make it a bit more interesting.

Katsumoto is a demon fighter, his attack is better than Takeshi’s defence and in spite of Takeshi’s armour he takes a bad wound that lay’s him low. The defenders are fighting back and wounding Takeshi is a major point in their favour.

In the prison hut, etiquette is still being observed.

Katsumoto has reached the door of the hut and drops the locking bar in place, inside the hut, etiquette is still being observed. They failed to activate for 3 moves and now all three of them are prisoners.

Just in sight on the left Hanzo has attacked Yoshiro and beaten him back, pushing the fence over in the process and things are now starting to turn in the defenders favour. Yoshiro’s defence is much stronger than Hanzo’s attack, but sometimes lady luck is on your side.

Yoshiro has shouted for the two Ronin to come and help, they were more afraid of disobeying Matsukis command that they didn’t obey at first but in the end decided one of them should go and the other stay and guard the road.

They’re turning out to be a right pair of Jobsworths.

There is a loud ringing of steel, blade on blade but Yoshiro has pushed off the fence and is fighting back against Hanzo’s attack, the fence relieved of the pressure flips upright again.

The Continuity Dept is going to get it in the neck if they don’t pull their finger out.

If you go back 5 or so photo’s you will see Ichi is behind the village defenders, I hadn’t really thought she would take part in the fight, after all she’s only a girl.
(Although if you’ve read many of my games, you will know the female is usually much more deadly than the male).

Anyway I hadn’t generated any stats for her but I decided she would help in the fight at least by pushing one of the enemy fighters off balance so I rolled for her stats. I’ve not got round to creating the full cards for these figures and so I’m only using Rep as a catchall, Brains, Guts, Constitution, Attack and Defence. As usual I used an average dice to roll stats and she got 4,5,5,5,5 and 5, high is good. So it turns out I was completely wrong when I said she was Fukushima Geisha, she was his bodyguard incognito, she kept that from me as well as everyone else.

OK no problem she will attack Takenori in the back, but she rolled 6 and 6, she needs 5 or less to attack, bugger that didn’t go well.

Soko sees the involuntary move she was about to make, he gets a rush of blood to the head and attacks her, his intention is to subdue her rather than hurt her.

Well he’s no fighter and she is, but he beats her with a quick smack to the head, she is stunned for a minute and in that time the old man joins in the fight.

Together the two of them are stronger and manage to overpower the poor woman and tie her hands behind her back.

While that was going on the last Ronin had decided to abandon his post guarding the road and as you can see in the distance the village women are making a run to fetch help. Unfortunately with some bad dice rolls this is going to take a long time.

The fighting is starting to shift in favour of Yoshiro and Juro and our two hero’s are being pushed back as the final Ronin tries to get in the fight to help.

This is complicated by the fact that Yoshiro adhering to the Samurai code tells him to back off.

Quick close up of the fleeing womenfolk.

Ichi is being escorted away, hopefully not to a fate worse than death.

As they hadn’t invented TV she couldn’t be forced to watch 2 episodes of East Enders back to back, so it can’t be a fate worse than death can it.

The fights went on and on and on, Hanzo bottom left is being pushed back and back and back, but every so often he revives and stops Yoshiro in his tracks but he can not defeat the armour of the Samurai.

The Ronin and Takenori top, are very evenly matched and the fight sways one way and then the other.

Katsumoto bottom right had decided to stand guard by the door and hold the prisoners in place but the second Ronin had attacked him and has forced him back away from the door.

In the distance the Ronin Juro has finally been defeated, but Hanzo is still here fighting for his life. The problem was that they both have a blistering defence but a poor attack and Yoshiro’s armour meant that Hanzo could never get enough hits to inflict any damage.

Out of sight the other Ronin has also beaten Katsumoto, so we are still 2 on 2 with 3 locked up in the prison hut, it could go either way.

The Ronin rushes across the road and attacks Takenori.

Just as Yoshiro finally defeats Hanzo.

He turns and staggers up the road shouting for the Ronin to stand back, this is a fight for Samurai.

They are both tired but.

It’s over quickly and the interlopers are victorious.

All the villagers have disappeared there is no one left to fight, Yoshiro opens the locking bar and greets his lord Fukushima Masanuri.

They can hear horns sounding and know that Hirano Nagaysu is coming with his retainers and so the remaining members of the Fukushima clan make haste to leave, but in a dignified manner.

Hirano arrives in the village and is greeted by the dead and wounded, there is no sign of his prisoner, the only good news is that the Geisha Ichi is still a captive of Soko.

Well that went this way, and then that, and then back again.

I realised I’d made it too difficult to hold the prisoner, but at that point Katsumoto locked the door taking out 3 fighters and so it swung back to quite an even game. Not sure where this goes now, will they declare all out war or call it a day, honour satisfied.

Well if you’re still here, thanks for reading and if you’ve any thoughts let me know.