Short and Stout – A KPS Solo

Another solo game of Knyghte, Pyke and Sworde by Nordic Weasel Games. Now I went ahead and used the Fantasy Preview rules, and also took note of the mistakes I made during my last game, in order to not repeat them again.

The theme is undead vs dwarves and halflings. In contrast to the previous battle, feeling more safe, I only stayed true to the points cost of the opposing armies. I have created a new terrain board, which I wanted to try out. I chose a SAGA battle on the concept Pitched Battle.

Undead (88)Dwarves and Halflings (87)
Zombies Rabble (3)Arquebusiers Fire (3)
Skeleton Warriors Lights (3)Dwarf Warriors Shields (3)
Skeleton Knights Chargers (+1 Fighting,+1 Armor) (3)Halfling Spearmen Polearms (3)
Skeleton Spearmen Polearms (3)Dwarf Heroes Chargers (3)
Vampire Captain Captain – Cha:3Dwarf Lord Captain (1) – Cha:3
Vampire FighterHalfling Hero Fighter
Vampire ScoutHalfling Ranger Scout
Thematic options noted in Italics

Gilda was picking turnips by the hillside, when something odd happened. She saw the turnips around her shriver and die. She stoop up, as tall as possible for a halfling, and looked around her. All the vegetation withered. Where there was once green, patches of ash and dirt appeared and expanded.

A heavy chill clouded her heart.

She heard a weird sound… like clacking… bones, and looking up on the hill, what she saw she will never forget. Corpses marching, weapons drawn, with a course, towards her village.

Her feet were heavy as lead, she couldn’t move. She had to warn them. She was about to faint, when the loud sound of a horn blowing, woke her up from her stupor. Someone else had seen the dead too!

Dwarf and halfling warriors, all together in unison, took positions on the opposite hill. Gilda run towards them as fast as she could, and quickly she was in the safety of her village, hiding with the rest of the civilians, while on the outside, the battle for their lives was about to begin.

Turn 1

The dwarves and halflings win initiative, but there’s no combat as both sides run towards each other.

Some of the finest dwarves, under the leadership of Lord Kirim were already in formation. Ironshields and Skullbreakers as well as Thunderrers. Halflings, little folk from the hills, had sent their militia, armed with spears to fight on their side. Two halfling heroes, Ben the Tough and Larry the Sly lead them in battle.

Across the valley, what stirred the dead wasn’t a puny necromancer or cleric of death. A vampire coven thirsty for blood had used their dark powers to animate the corpses. Most likely the corpses of their own victims.

Eager to take up strategic positions, and maybe fortify themselves in the tower, the two sides run towards each other.

Turn 2

The Undead win initiative, but there’s still not blows exchanged, as the skeletons are barely outside the arquebus’ range

Avoidin the Thunderrers, the Vampires lead their troops downhill, to the south side, behind the tower and tree grove.

Hoping to avoid a broken flank, Kirim orders half his troops through the trees to face them, while the rest of his force continues forward in an attempt to encircle the enemy.

Turn 3

Dwarves and halflings win initiative

  • Arquebusiers (3) shoot at Skeleton Knights (3). No hits.
  • Skeleton Spearmen (3) Run forward.
  • Halfling Spearmen (3) Engage Skeleton Spearmen (3). 2 Halflings Hit. 1 Skeleton Wounded, 1 Skeleton KO.
  • Vampire Scout Engages Halfling Spearmen (3). Halfling Hits. Vampire Wounded.
  • Halfling Ranger Engages Vampire Scout. Halfling Hits. Vampire KO.
  • Skeleton Warriors (3) Engage Halfling Ranger. A Skeleton Warrior and the Ranger both score a hit. 1 Skeleton Warrior KO. Halfling Ranger KO.
  • Halfling Hero Enganges Skeleton Spearmen (2). Halfling Hero Hits. 1 Skeleton Spearman KO.
  • Vampire Captain Engages Dwarf Heroes. Vampire Hits. 1 Dwarf Hero KO.
  • Dwarf Lord Moves & Orders Halfling Spearmen (3) to Engage Skeleton Spearmen (1). Skeleton Spearmen (1) Hits. 1 Halfling Spearman Wounded.
UndeadDwarves and Halflings
Zombies Rabble (3)Arquebusiers Fire (3)
Skeleton Warriors Lights (2)Dwarf Warriors Shields (3)
Skeleton Knights Chargers (+1 Fighting,+1 Armor) (3)Halfling Spearmen Polearms (3-)
Skeleton Spearmen Polearms (1)Dwarf Heroes Chargers (2)
Vampire Captain Captain – Cha:3Dwarf Lord Captain (1) – Cha:2
Vampire FighterHalfling Hero Fighter
Vampire ScoutHalfling Ranger Scout

With the skeleton knights in range, the Thunderers fire a volley of lead towards them. But they’re so unnerved by the unreal foe, that all their shots miss.

Charging into each other, the little folk spearmen and the skeletons clash. Ducking and dodging, the short people evade their enemies blows, while managing to send one into oblivion and damaging another so much that their ribcage shatters in half. Assisting his animations, a vampire minion swoops down into the halfling spearmen. The little man is scared, but in his fright, he turns his spear toward the vampire, who receives a nasty wound and backs off. Larry sees the creature grasping its wound, and quickly but decisively drives a wooden stick through its heart. It screams in an unknown language and dies out, vanishing in dust. Unstoppable, the skeleton warriors, charge at the ranger, he fights valiantly but is outnumbered. He falls under the undead, taking one skeleton with him. Ben screams and joins the fray, wanting revenge for the loss of his friend, he sends one more skeleton into oblivion

On the other side of the valley, in the plains, the vampire lord and his minion move towards the Skullbreakers. He engages in close combat, and with supernatural strength, he kills one of them, drinking his blood and sending shivers of fear in the rest of the brave dwarves.

Lord Kirim screams at the little folk. “Go on you little bastards! Show these rattlebones what you’re made of! Your kin rely on you! Destroy the unholy abominations! Charge!”. The spearmen charge, but the skeleton is indifferent. With cold precision it wounds one of the halflings and pushes them back.

Turn 4

Undead win Initiative

  • Vampire Fighter Engages Dwarf Heroes (2). Vampire Fighter Hits. Dwarf Hero Wounded.
  • Dwarf Heroes (2-) Engage Vampire Fighter. 2 Dwarves Hit. Vampire Fighter KO.
  • Zombie Rabble (3) Bravery: Routed.
  • Skeleton Knights (3) Bravery: Retreat.
  • Vampire Captain Moves & Orders Skeleton Spearmen (1) to Engage Halfling Spearmen (3-). Skeleton Hits. 1 Halfling KO.
  • Arquebusiers Shoot at Skeleton Spearmen (1). 1 Hit. 1 Skeleton Wounded.
  • Skeleton Warriors (2) Engage Halfling Hero. Halfling Hits. 1 Skeleton Warrior KO.
  • Halfling Spearmen (2-) Engage Skeleton Spearmen (1). Halfling Hits. 1 Skeleton KO.
  • Dwarf Lord Orders Halfling Spearmen (2-) to Engage Skeleton Warriors (1). Skeleton Warrior Hits. 1 Halfling Wounded.
  • Halfling Hero Engages Skeleton Warriors (1). Skeleton Hits. Halfling Hero Wounded.
  • Dwarf Warriors (3) Engage Skeleton Warriors (1). Dwarves Hit. 1 Skeleton KO.
UndeadDwarves and Halflings
Zombies Rabble (3)Arquebusiers Fire (3)
Skeleton Warriors Lights (3)Dwarf Warriors Shields (3)
Skeleton Knights Chargers (+1 Fighting,+1 Armor) (3)Halfling Spearmen Polearms (2-)
Skeleton Spearmen Polearms (3)Dwarf Heroes Chargers (2-)
Vampire Captain Captain – Cha:2Dwarf Lord Captain (1) – Cha:1
Vampire FighterHalfling Hero Fighter (-)
Vampire ScoutHalfling Ranger Scout

The vampire minion flies onto the Skullbreakers, wounding one with his claws. They rebound quickly and strike back, flanking him. One hurts him, which isn’t enough to kill such a vile creature, but the second one aims for the neck while the vampire is stunned from the wound, instantly decapitating him.

A wave of dark energy is released, and the zombies crumble to the ground, inanimate. The skeleton knights, held by a stronger spell are not affected as much, and they are pushed back away.

Seeing the battle lost at that front, the vampire lord switches to the other side, near the tower. He commands his skeletons to attack the halflings, and with his focused strike, one halfling falls under the scythe. The Thunderrers shoot at the skeleton, one bullet hitting it, smashing some bones but not destroying it. The skeleton warriors charge at Ben, who fights furiously, showing his skill, and destroying one of them. The halflings push back, attacking once more, eliminating the damaged skeleton. Kirim shouts at them “Again! Again! Leave no bone unturned!” and one of them pushes back into the fray, but tired as he is, he receives a nasty wound on his side. Ben joins into the fight, to cover the gap, but this leaves him in the open, and a rusty scimitar slashes his arm. He stumbles back, just in time for the Ironshields to reach him. They close in, and with their maces and axes, smash a skeleton to pieces.

Turn 5

Dwarves and Halflings win initiative

  • Halfing Hero Engages Vampire Captain. No Hits.
  • Skeleton Knights (3) Move forward.
  • Dwarf Warriors (3) Engage Vampire Captain. 2 Hits. Vampire Captain KO.
  • Dwarf Lord Moves & Orders Dwarf Warriors (3) to Engage Skeleton Knights (3). Skeleton Knights Hit. 1 Dwarf Warrior Wounded.

The battle is over. The Dwarves and Halflings have won.

UndeadDwarves and Halflings
Zombies Rabble (3)Arquebusiers Fire (3)
Skeleton Warriors Lights (3)Dwarf Warriors Shields (3-)
Skeleton Knights Chargers (+1 Fighting,+1 Armor) (3)Halfling Spearmen Polearms (2-)
Skeleton Spearmen Polearms (3)Dwarf Heroes Chargers (2-)
Vampire Captain Captain – Cha:2Dwarf Lord Captain (1) – Cha:1
Vampire FighterHalfling Hero Fighter (-)
Vampire ScoutHalfling Ranger Scout

Ben, wounded, sees eye to eye with the vampire. He charges, but it’s a half arsed attempt, and scores no hits.

The skeleton knights, with the spell back to strength, close back in, while the Ironshields attack the vampire. Flanking him, they bash him down to a pulp.

Wanting to eliminate the last enemy, Kirim shouts at the Ironshields to attack the skeleton knights, and as one of them does, he receives a swift blow from a rusty bastard sword. It was a wrong call, as soon, the skeletons stand motionless. The spell holding them together has been broken.

Cheers sound across the battlefield. Dwarves and halflings hug together yelling for victory. Some of them go quickly to tend the wounded. This will be a day to be remembered.

Session Summary

The more I delve into skirmish miniatures gaming, the more I love it. KPS can definitely handle varied styles of combat. I liked the Fantasy Preview. There are some things I would have done a bit differently, especially coming from a WHFB background, but I decided not to touch them now, as I want to see the upcoming complete KPS Fantasy before doing so. Ivan from Nordic Weasel Games has shown more than often that he tweaks the rules to just the right amount. The end result is 90% common to what I have in mind, which speaks a lot, as I consider myself a very demanding person in terms of rulesets.

I’d love to have made the Vampires stronger, but I’m still learning, and also I had to abide by the number of miniatures at my disposal. Maybe I should do so, and balance the dwarves by giving them stronger foot units. Food for thought.

This time I didn’t make as many mistakes. Overall I was very careful. Maybe I missed a bravery test when the Vampire captain was KO at the end, but I can’t remember for sure (I wrote this AP report several days after playing the game, and had to rely on my sketchy notes).

Something else I noticed is the importance of tokens. In my previous game I had used some tokens to count casualties and wounds. This time I decided against it, and their lack thereof was evident. I intend to make some more token for exhaustion, activation and volley statuses, as they are very helpful with bookkeeping.

Finally, I loved my new terrain boards. I made them from corrugated cardboard, foam, paper mache, speckle, coffee grinds, ash and flock. It was quite easy. If I had more flock they’d be more uniform, because I run out, and I had to cover the second board with more coffee grinds and ash, giving a different color and texture. This variety isn’t bad though, it’s just not what I had in mind when I was making them. The size of the two boards together is 2×3 (its 2×1.5 each) which gives a very nice room to play, and they are a bit modular depending on how I chose to place them together (4 different configurations).