The Wardens of Gahyrst. Ep9.

So, going further into The Sunken Temple Scenario, I can’t write an actual play report without spoiling everything, so I decided instead to do a review and a summary of the entire thing, rather than ruining the experience for future players.

It’s laid out in 7 Chapters, and you can progress without reading the next part, keeping the surprise levels interesting. There aren’t any punitive choices during the scenario (e.g. if you did X in Chapter 2, suffer Y in Chapter 5), rather going with the flow of the rolled events.
It has variety in it’s encounters and variety in addressing the situations at hand. It is meant for a new warband, so there are times where my battle hardened Wardens had it too easy. After the first Chapter, it was mostly a walk in the park. The associated loot also is quite nice. For balance reasons (and due to having it too easy – the dice helped as well) I decided to nerf one item I found.

In the end, with the associated experience and a new party member, I ended up with 8 well armed heroes, and just one follower. I feel like my warband can tackle almost anything, let’s hope that once I burst the scenario bubble I’ll be able to continue the same.

Overall, I really enjoyed the scenario. Fun, and shows you what else you can do in 5L.

If you’re interested, the rosters at the end of the Sunken Temple scenario are here. I have two, since, one doesn’t fit the entire warband.
Wardens roster – Part 1
Wardens roster – Part 2


Note: The Five Leagues from the Borderlands core game has been updated to a new version, with several added features and some rule changes. A very important rule change has to do with Wounds.
So far, it was that Wounds accumulated, and if someone is Wounded, they would roll at the end of their activation and there was a chance per Wound, that they would perish. You could chose to not act at all, and save yourself from one Wound. The new rule update is more streamlined. Wounds do not accumulate. If a figure is Wounded, then, they’re more likely to become a casualty if Harmed in combat.
I like the streamlining, and will start following this rule, but I also liked how the previous rule made one think twice before running amok in the battlefield. Expect some homebrew rule in the future.

Returning from the Sunken Temple, the Warband spends a turn in Eerfeld.

Since I got further acquainted with the gameplay, I decide, to add the Optional rule of Village Events in the game.

Village Event: Field work needs doing.
Pay Upkeep: -1 Gold
New Rule Restock Ammunition: Since I fielded 3 Ranged Weapons, -1 Gold.
Healing Up: Rudiger RT, reduced to 1
Carry Out Activities:
Forage for Herbs: (Roving Wanderer): No herbs found
Labor: +3 gold
Armorer: (Warhammer): The item is beyond repair, and must be removed from the roster.
Where are we going?: Go Adventuring
Sell Unwanted Gear: Nothing to be sold
Trade: Helmet (Bought, Bruno), Rare Item: Set of Traps (Bought). -8 Gold
Outfit for Adventure: Ready
Recruit Some Villagers: None

Ladden with gold, the Wardens return back to Eerfeld. Nothing seems to have changed since the last time they were there. They take Rudiger to rest to the inn. “No reason to pay up the healing lady. I’ll get by on my own!” the stubborn veteran doesn’t want any help.
Ardus takes up the task of buying rations and restocking ammunition. Their numbers have grown and the cost is obvious.
The Roving Wanderer heads outside the town to forage for herbs, but despite his skills, he returns empty handed.
Gustav heads to the blacksmith, bringing him the damaged warhammer. The bald, muscular man looks at the crack right in the middle of the hammer’s head. He shakes his head. “I’ll give it a shot, but don’t expect any miracles”. He puts it back in the forge, takes, a couple strikes at it, and it cracks in two. He brings it to Gustav once it’s cooled down. “See this?” he points at the inside of the crack. “It’s no good, irrepairable.” Gustav sighs in dissapointment and leaves.
Bruno heads over to the merchant. He buys himself a helmet, and a set of traps. “These will prove helpful” he thinks.
The rest of the Wardens go out to the fields to help with any work the villagers might need. Some are paid in coin, some in goods, that they barter back in the town square.
Once everyone is back, Evie gathers the Wardens. “Where’s Rudiger?” she asks Gustav. Gustav raises a brow. “Seems he needs more time to heal up.” She scoffs. “Stubborn bastard…” she lets her phrase trail off. “Alright Wardens, you know the drill, let’s head out, clean this land from evil.” The warband cheers, and they head off.

Go Adventuring: Combat Encounter: Outlaws: Renegades: Attacked By Enemy: (Pathfinding: Encounter While Travelling): 6 Renegades (1 Archer): Enemy Leadership: +1 Captain
Deploying Figures: 11″, 3 groups, 6″ apart
Seize the Initiative: Not Seized
Fight It Out.
Table Theme: Edge of the Woods
Battle Objective: Hunt: Captain
Oddities: Marsh

Note: I’m also using the new Optional Rule for Battle Objectives, which seems a very nice way to try different things at battle, rather than just Hold the Field. Also I’m using the old Optional Rule for Oddities.

As the Wardens march on the country road, suddenly Wigmar stops them. “No, no we must head back. This is a common spot for bandits to ambush travellers. We should take this small path to the side.” He points out to a narrow trail.
Mosquitoes and flies buzz around them. “Where did you get us into, Wigmar!” Evie exclaims, seeing the marshland. But as she does, she notices across the marsh, 7 outlaws, weapons drawn, coming out of the edge of the woods. The woods that are next to the road.
“You saved our skins.” She adds. “We would have been sitting ducks against them.”
“Isn’t that…Crogar the Fell?” Ardus says pointing at the outlaw who seems to be the leader of the group.
“He is!” Evie nods. “Don’t let him leave this field alive. Wardens! let’s show them!”

Corgar
Battlefield

Combat

Turn 1:

Initiative

Evie shoots at the Crogar with her Longbow: Hits: Armor didn’t save: Harm: Casualty
Alida shoots at the enemy Archer with his Crossbow: Hits: Armor doesn’t save because of the crossbow penetration: Harm: Casualty
Wigmar advances near the marsh edges

Wigmar advance

The enemy closes in as well avoiding the marshland

Enemy advance

The roving Wanderer closes in 2″ and shoots his self bow at the Renegade in the open: Hits: Armor doesn’t save: Harm: No harm
Ardus faces off against two renegades

Ardus alone against two

Ardus: Telling blow: Armor doesn’t save: Harm: Stunned. The renegade wins the next exchange and becomes the attacker: Ardus wins a critical but loses the next exchange: Armor: doesn’t save: Harm: Casualty. Ardus is down.

The rest of the warband advances on the south side
Morale: One enemy flees.

End of Turn 1

Evie aims her longbow at Crogar. She takes a deep breath. Crogar removes his helmet and yells at her. Her arrow flies true, hitting him right in the throat. He falls, gurgling blood.
Alida has his crossbow cocked and ready. He aims and his crossbow bolt hits the outlaw archer as he reached for his quiver. Straight in the chest. The breastplate doesn’t protect against the strength of the crossbow bolt and he falls down.
Wigmar moves faster on his own, he closes in from the north as three renegades approach, avoiding the marshland. Ardus, faster than him, passes him by and clashes blades with two of the outlaws. His first strike is very strong, stunning the renegade with his pommel, but the enemy recovers quickly and gainst the upper hand. Two strikes, and with a slash of his sword, Ardus is down.
This is not enough to keep the spirits up of the brigands. One of the three, still hears Corgar gurgle blood. “I ain’t dying for this shit!” He screams and runs off back to the edge of the woods.
On the south front, the two parties close in on each other.

Turn 2:

Initiative

Evie shoots at the renegades: Hits: Armor doesn’t save: Harm: No harm.
Evie, Will point spent: Evie shoots again: She misses. She’d be out of ammo if it wasn’t for her large quiver.
Alida shoots his Crossbow: Hits: Armor doesn’t save against the crossbow extra penetration: Harm: Casualty.

Wigmar goes to take revenge for Ardus, attacking the remaining outlaw.

Wigmar melee

Wigmar loses the first exchange. A telling blow by the enemy on the second: Armor doesn’t save: Harm: Casualty: Wigmar is down

A renegade charges at Bruno

Bruno melee

Bruno, assisted by Frans, wins the exchange. Bruno hits the renegade at the next exchange. Armor saves. The renegade wins the next exchange ending melee.

The other renegade attacks Frans

Frans melee

Frans deals a telling blow winning the exchange and stunning the renegade: Another telling blow: Armor doesn’t save: Harm: Casualty

The Roving Wanderer shoots at the renegade who fell Ardus and Wigmar: Hits: Armor doesn’t save: Harm: Casualty

Gustav attacks the last renegade

Gustav melee

Its a draw. The renegade is pushed back.

Bruno attacks the renegade

Bruno melee

Its a draw. The renegade is pushed back.
Frans goes around, can’t reach the enemy.
Morale: no enemy leaves.

End of Turn 2

Evie shoots at the outlaws. She misses. Through sheer will and confidence, she finds the time to take another shot. She misses again. For a moment she barely managed to find another arrow. But her hand reached in the quiver and found that there are enough.
Alida aims and shoots his crossbow again. The breastplate of the outlaw is an easy target. He hits it straight on, and pierces it, dropping another of his enemies.
Wigmar charges at the renegade who defeated Ardus. His bastard sword is unyieldly, and the renegade takes the upper hand. On the counterattack Wigmar is hit hard. The blade finds him on the head, striking his helmet. Wigmar falls.
On the south of the marsh, a renegade attacks Bruno, but the thick headed man, with sheer strength overcomes the strike and counters, his strike stopped by the enemy greaves. The outlaw parries successfuly, and the two men disengage.
The outlaw next to him attacks at Frans. The monk now wears a leather armor underneath his robes, and brandishes a sword. The outlaw didn’t expect to meet such resistance. Frans wins the combat and rebounds with a swift sword strike. “By the might of the gods!” He screams as he sinks his blade in his enemy’s guts.
The Roving Wanderer takes a shot at the renegade who brought down two of his brothers at arms, and now closes in on the missile armed wardens. His arrow flies straight, killing him.
Back to the south, Gustav attacks the renegade with his fencing sword, but the outlaw is on the defensive. He parries Gustav and is pushed back. Bruno closes in as well, but doesn’t get a clear hit, pushing the renegade further back. Frans can’t get an opening to close in melee with his brothers. He tries to flank the last renegade, who is intent on fighting. He doesn’t think he can run away with the Wardens so close, and keeps on fighting, despite seeing most of his friends perish or flee.

Turn 3:

Initiative

Evie shoots at the last renegade: Miss
Evie: Will point spent: She shoots again: Miss
Alida shoots at the last renegade: Miss
The Roving Wanderer shoots at the last renegade: Miss

The last renegade attacks Bruno

Bruno melee

Bruno telling blow: Renegade Stunned: Again Bruno telling blow: Armor doesn’t save: Harm: Wounded, Stunned status: Bruno hits: Armor doesn’t save: Harm: Casualty

We hold the field!

End of Turn 3

All the shots are aimed at the last renegade, Evie, Alida and the Roving Wanderer all shoot at him, and they all miss. Feeling assisted by the gods, he charges at the tall brute that Bruno is. Bruno easily parries and kicks him back, stunning him, he hits back with his axe, gashing an open wound, and while still stunned, sinks his axe blade deep in his chest, finishing him off.
The Wardens of Gahyrst have won the day.

Aftermath

Frans: Heal: Ardus: Failure

Injury tables

Ardus: knocked out
Wigmar: dead
Medical Herbs: Wigmar: Knocked out: Equipment damaged: Helmet

Loot

Unusual find: nothing found
Loot: Saddle Bags, Full Armor+Helmet

Note: Another rule updated is the fixed threat reduction after the battle is won and the field is held. I will still go by the old rule, where there is a random chance, I have no problem with frustration over dice rolls. It’s still part of the game.

Threat reduced by 1

The Wardens close in on their wounded. Frans goes to heal up Ardus, but it seems he had but a scratch. “Nothing to do here.” He scoffs. In the mean time, Wigmar doesn’t seem to recover. They yell at him, splash water at his face, but he seems lost. Frans quickly grabs the medical herbs, but can’t reach the wound without cracking the helmet open. He splits the helmet in two and applies a paste that quickly alleviates the pressure in Wigmar’s head. Slowly the Warden recovers.
“Once more saved from the brink of death Wigmar.” Evie says. “What are we going to do with you?”. Wigmar just smiles, happy that he hasn’t left for the underworld.
Going through the enemy’s possessions, the Wardens are happy to have found a full set of armor, with a helmet, as well as a pair of saddle bags.

Experience

Party gains experience. Evie and Bruno level up, while the Roving Wanderer gets a Follower roll.

Evie: +1 Combat Skill
Roving Wanderer: Random Skill: Barter
Bruno: Skill Choice, Parry

Updated Wardens Roster part 1
Updated Wardens Roster part 2


Summary

I loved this fight! We won but at what a risk! Two heroes down. And to think we’re adequately armed and experienced as well. Threats has been reduced further, and maybe just maybe we will clear out the surroundings of Eerfeld.
For the next period, I see that I need to expand on my terrain features. Marshlands, rocky formations, houses. I’m getting the hang of using corrugated cardboard as a primary material, and I intend to build some more things for the board.
I like the rules improvements. I’ve started reading at the optional material and additional expansions I’ve gotten, and will slowly be introducing them to my next games.
I will also be doing some hacking and homebrewing, albeit minor. My major change so far (that I used in almost every single game so far) is that I initiate combat at base contact instead of the 1″ distance of RAW. It is just a matter of personal feel. Therefore the ganging up bonuses have been reduced to 1″ against the 2″ described in RAW.
Considering that I really love hacking games to my desires (as one might have noticed from my solo RPG play reports), the fact that I have done only these minor changes, means that for me, this game fits my skirmish needs as closely as possible.

The only thing that bugs me so far (which doesn’t have to do with Five Leagues, but miniatures wargaming more or less) is that due to the variable nature of the characters (mainly in gear), there will be some inconsistency. I either will have the same miniature representing a character, over and over (which will be inconsistent if the character changes weapons and armor), or change the miniature to represent the character (which will be inconsistent with the previous looks of the same character). I’m slowly leaning towards the first option, and maybe rename the weapons as required, for Fluff. E.g. Warhammer which gives a +1 to Armor Penetration, could be a Battle Axe for a figure carrying an axe, or an Estoc for a figure carrying a sword. Bastard Sword which gives a +1 to Harm, could be again a Battle Axe for a figure carrying an axe, or a Maul for a figure carrying a hammer. Armor can be more troublesome. I don’t care so much about helmets, but shields can pose an issue, since it’s a major part of the attire. Thankfully regarding the main armor, Five Leagues has more vague descriptions. So a Partial Armor could be a Chain shirt, or a Breastplate, even a Scale suit of armor. Unless the figure I have chosen is a bare breasted barbarian, I won’t have issues there, since sometimes armor is covered under clothing.

This was my last post for this year, so I wish you all a happy new year! Best wishes!