Battle for the Crow’s Nest – A KPS solo

I return to Knyghte, Pyke and Sworde by Nordic Weasel Games. Since I had so much fun the first time, I decided to delve a little deeper and went ahead and printed the rules and Reference sheet to accompany me during the game.

I still don’t have any mounted miniatures, so I prepared a roster for two opposing forces on foot. I went ahead with a Fantasy theme once more, without introducing any new rules, except for one hack that I will describe. The troop classes and descriptions are enough to give the dimension I want for my game.

The theme is orcs vs humans. For fairness (until I devise some solo play AI), I did a symmetric terrain with woods and hills at the corners of my 2×2 table, and a ruined tower (the Crow’s Nest) in the middle. I chose a SAGA battle on the concept Fight for the Hill (in our case the hill is the tower).

I’m still getting used to KPS mechanics, so I didn’t add any upgrades to the troops, but calculated the Points Cost for balance.

Orcs and Goblins (86)Humans (86)
Orc Archers Missile (3)Pikemen Polearms (3)
Goblin Archers Missile (3)Champion Fighter (1)
Goblins Rabble (3)Knights Chargers (3)
Troll Big One (1)Ogre Big One (1)
Orc Boss Fighter (1)Lord Captain (1) – Cha:5
Orc Warriors Light (6)Footmen Shields (3)
Orc Chief Captain (1) – Cha:1Bowmen Missile (3)
Goblins Rabble (6)Rangers Missile (3)
Thematic options noted in Italics

So the fantasy hack concerns the Big Ones – a Troll and an Ogre. I gave them a 5″/+1/2/3 with a +1d6 to damage and -1d6 to receive damage. Apart from the Big Ones which don’t have a cost, the Points Cost of the rosters are equal at 86 points. It be interesting to see how equal points forces, but with different qualities and sizes, will fare. Essentially, the Orcs and Goblins have 6 more figures.

As for the Charisma of the Captains, it was all rolled out, and the dice were in favor of the humans.

The Crow’s Nest. Once a tall tower measuring over 30 meters tall, now in ruins, only the ground floor and basement remains. But it is in this basement that long forgotten tomes and scrolls have been left unguarded.

Ulmug cares for one such scroll. The one detailing the fortifications and defense of the human kingdom. With this in his hands, he can plan his raids unopposed. But they are not alone. Human scouts detected their presence, and they mustered a force to meet them.

As they reach the tower’s clearing among two hills, Ulmug makes out the enemy in the distance.

Turn 1

Humans win Initiative.

  • Rangers (3) Run to the top of the hill. Exhausted.
  • Goblins (6) Run in front of the woods. Exhausted.
  • Archers (3) Run to the top of the hill next to the Rangers. Exhausted.
  • Orc Chief Runs behind the tower.
  • Footmen (3) Run next to the hill. Exhausted.
  • Orc Warriors (6) Run towards the human missile units. Exhausted.
  • Lord Orders Archers (3) to Shoot at Goblins (6). 3 Hits – 2 KO, 1 Wound. Goblins (6) test Bravery. They are Routed. Lord moves behind Footmen. NOTE: I made a serious mistake here. I applied the Captain’s Order to the entire group, but the rules state that it applies to a Single Figure in a Group. I only realized it after the game ended. Thankfully I made the same mistake for the Orc side too, so things got evened out.
  • Orc Boss Runs next to the tower.
  • Ogre Runs forward.
  • Troll Runs forward.
  • Knights (3) Run forward. Exhausted
  • Orc Achers (3) Run to the top of the hill. Exhausted
  • Champion Runs forward.
  • Goblin Archers (3) Run to the top of the hill. Exhausted
  • Pikemen (3) Run forward. Exhausted
  • Goblins (3) Run forward on the hill. Exhausted
Orcs and GoblinsHumans
Orc Archers Missile (3)Pikemen Polearms (3)
Goblin Archers Missile (3)Champion Fighter (1)
Goblins Rabble (3)Knights Chargers (3)
Troll Big One (1)Ogre Big One (1)
Orc Boss Fighter (1)Lord Captain (1) – Cha:5
Orc Warriors Light (6)Footmen Shields (3)
Orc Chief Captain (1) – Cha:1Bowmen Missile (3)
Goblins Rabble (6)Rangers Missile (3)

The two sides close in on each other. Archers and Rangers take position upon the hills.

Lord Albert orders the rangers to rain arrows on the advancing goblins. Their aim is true, and under the casualties, the goblins rout. Screaming for their lives, they run away.

Ulmug with his right hand, Zilug, close in next to the tower, to make sure none of the puny humans block their way.

Turn 2

Orcs win Initiative.

  • Orc Archers (3) Shoot at Champion. 0 hits.
  • Champion Engages Orc Archers (3). Tied Melee. Orc Leader wins. No effect.
  • Goblin Archers (3) Shoot at Pikemen (3). 0 hits.
  • Rangers (3) Shoot at Orc Warriors (6). 0 hits.
  • Goblins (3) Move forward around the hill.
  • Bowmen (3) Shoot at Orc Warriors (6). 1 hit – 1 Wound.
  • Orc Warriors (6) Move forward.
  • Lord Orders Footmen (3) to Engage Orc Warriors (6). 1 Orc Wins – 1 Wound. 1 Human Wins – 1 KO. 1 Tied Melee – 1 Wound to each side. Orc Warriors (5) and Footmen (3) need to test Bravery. Orc Warriors (5) Rout. Footmen (3) Retreat and reach the table edge. NOTE: Again the same mistake.
  • Knights (3) Engage Orc Boss. Knight Leader and a Knight are in engagement with the Boss. Knight Leader Wins – 1 KO. Boss wins Knight – 1 KO. Orc and Goblin Archers and Goblins need to test Bravery. Orc Archers (3) Rout. Goblins (3) Retreat and reach the table edge. Goblin Archers stand.
  • Orc Chief Orders Goblin Archers (3) to Shoot at Knights (3). 2 hits – 1 Wound. Knights (3) need to test Bravery. Knights (3) Rout. NOTE: Again the same mistake.
  • Ogre Moves towards Troll.
  • Troll Engages Ogre. Tied Melee. Glancing Blows. No hits.
  • Pikemen (3) Move forward.
Orcs and GoblinsHumans
Orc Archers Missile (3)Pikemen Polearms (3)
Goblin Archers Missile (3)Champion Fighter (1)
Goblins Rabble (3)Knights Chargers (3)
Troll Big One (1)Ogre Big One (1)
Orc Boss Fighter (1)Lord Captain (1) – Cha:5
Orc Warriors Light (6)Footmen Shields (3)
Orc Chief Captain (1) – Cha:1Bowmen Missile (3)
Goblins Rabble (6)Rangers Missile (3)

Sir Robert sees the orcs take aim at him and shoot their black feathered arrows, but miss. He charges at them with his bastard sword, coming face to face with the bigger orc, but his enemy parries the attack and manages a weak strike on his plate armor.

The goblin archers shoot at the advancing pikemen but miss. On the other side of the battlefield, the rangers shoot at the orc mob, and miss as well. The bowmen next to them shoot at the same enemy, and an arrow wounds one of the orcs, who reach the hill’s foothold.

Lord Albert orders the footmen to charge at the enemy. Fierce fighting ensues, with wounds and casualties on both sides. The orcs weren’t ready to find so much resistance, and the footmen were just the pampered sons of nobles, one or two puke at the sight of gore. The orc mob disperses and they flee in all directions, while the nobles retreat back in a cohesive manner, away from the battlefield. Bunch of cowards Lord Albert thinks.

The dismounted knights are near the tower and charge at Zilug. A knight and the sergeant close in on the orc boss. Zilug kills the knight, but as he does so, he exposes his side to the sergeant, who slashes with a strong overhead strike, decapitating him instantly. Fear strikes at the orcs surrounding them. From the top of the hill, they saw everything loud and clear. The orc archers and goblin mob flee from the battlefield, leaving the goblin archers alone to face the music.

Ulmug orders the goblins to shoot at the knights, in an effort to restore his troops morale. A knight is seriously wounded. The sergeant tries to convince him to stay, but he’s afraid he will perish in the middle of the battlefield, and the two of them scurry away.

The earth trembles as two hulkering figures close in on each other. The humans have an ogre mercenary with them, while Ulmug has brought with him a troll. They clash, but equal as they are, there is no winner.

Turn 3

Humans win Initiative.

  • Pikemen (3) Engage Goblin Archers (3). 3 Orcs Win – 2 Wounds, 1 KO. Pikemen (3) need to test for Bravery. Pikement (3) Retreat but remain on table.
  • Goblin Archers (3) Shoot at Champion. 1 Hit – No effect.
  • Ogre Engages Orc Chief. Tied Melee – Chief is KO, Ogre is okay. Goblin Archers (3) need to test for Bravery. Goblin Archers (3) Retreat and reach the table edge.
  • Troll Engages Ogre. Ogre wins – Troll is KO.

The Humans have won.

The pikemen have reached the hill. They charge forward, their long pikes, negating any advantage the goblins have due to higher ground. Nevertheless the nimble short goblins dodge underneath the pikes and wound two pikemen, killing the other. The wounded pikemen retreat in cohesion, reaching the rear of the battlefield, but not abandoning the battle.

With the pikemen out of the way, the goblins shoot at Sir Robert. An arrow hits him, but is deflected by his armor.

The ogre now sees an opening, Ulmug is alone. The ogre isn’t the smartest fella around these parts, but he can add one and one. Seeing the orc shouting orders, he knows he’s the leader. He charges with his heavy footing with his huge axe. Ulmug tries to deflect the blows, and only receives a glancing blow, which is enough to send him tumbling back to the tower walls. Ulmug is down. Seeing their leader down, the goblins scatter and flee the battlefield.

The troll charges at the ogre, in an effort to show who’s the strongest in the battlefield. The ogre is the strongest of the two and cuts the troll’s club in two with his axe. The strike doesn’t stop there, and reaches the troll’s skull, splitting it in two.

With no orc, goblin or troll remaining on the battlefield, the humans have saved the day. The kingdom is secured.

Session Summary

It was an exciting battle! KPS can handle many figures easily, and I had no trouble monitoring what had happened. I need to make a few more tokens for Exhausted and Activated statuses to help me with bookkeeping but even without them, I didn’t lose the grip on what was going on. As I noted above, I made a serious mistake with regards to the Captain Orders, which made the game a bit more swingy than it normally is.

Looking forward to the next battle. As I get more experienced, I’ll be adding more and more options. Eagerly waiting for my mounted figures and bases for cavalry to arrive so that I can expand my roster options.