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  • giorgis 1:51 pm on February 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: KPS   

    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).

  • giorgis 10:53 am on January 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: KPS,   

    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.

  • giorgis 2:29 pm on December 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: KPS   

    A Hard Day’s Knyghte 

    So far, one will have gathered that I have painted quite a few miniatures in the past year. A quick count gives me 141 medieval/fantasy and 40 more sci-fi 15mm miniatures. Since I have failed the timeline for the #gygax-worldbuilding-challenge, I have decided to at least reach 200 before the year’s end. 19 more to go. But I digress.

    All these miniatures won’t see action soon, unless I explicitly try to put them into action. I can’t wait for when my Five Leagues campaign comes up with the appropriate enemy. My Warhammer Fantasy Battles Ruleset isn’t meant for the skirmish gaming these miniatures are based on, and RPGs don’t require such a vast amount of fighters. And here’s where Knyghte, Pyke and Sworde comes in.

    Knyghte, Pyke and Sworde (KPS for short) is a set of miniatures gaming rules for “mass skirmish” games ranging from 4-5 figures on each side up to battles with 30-40 figures each. The publisher is Nordic Weasel Games, and I’m becoming more and more a fan of their work. I had the game for a short while, and after a quick recent read, I liked what I saw.

    Quick, fast, simple rules, easy to remember and look up. I skimmed through the most advanced chapters, since I wanted to get a battle running. In less than an hour I had set up my table, and prepped the battle based on the Level 1 of the Starter Scenario. A very simple Scenario to get you started.

    At this point I’d like to say that KPS isn’t solo-oriented. The simplistic nature of the scenario doesn’t require much ruling, so I decided to just play both sides fairly. Given some experience with solo play, I doubt that a more advanced theme would pose much trouble, but that’s just a feeling that I haven’t put to the test.

    Note: This is less a review of the game, and more an actual play report, so I don’t want to go into details explaining what is what. To help understand some things better I will not use the KPS terminology, but the meaning that derives. If I’m going to use a KPS specific terminology, I’ll put it in CAPITALS.

    The starting battle is quite simple. Just a fray between two small, equal sized forces. My current table is small, 60x60cm, so I wanted to have only a few figures. There’s one group of three archers, one group of three footmen and one hero per side. Without giving any different characteristics, for fairness sake, in theme only, it’s going to be Humans vs Elves.

    The uneasy truce between the Tyl’danor Elves and the Border Prince Jacob has come to an end. In the frontier, fighting erupts among the garrisons of the opposing towers of each side as news reach of atrocities against civilians and mobilization for war.

    The messengers ride off away, having delivered the news, and Sergeant Rollo quickly orders the archers to the tower. Across the small gorge, Lady Lindarel points the Elf sharpshooters to the hill behind the barricades.

    Swords are drawn, shields are worn, and the opposing sides march off to battle.

    Round 1

    Humans win initiative.

    The human archers position themselves on the tower.
    Elf sharpshooters take position across them.
    Sergeant Rollo and Lady Lindarel move towards each other.
    The human footmen advance through the woods.
    The elf warriors advance in the open, resting their hopes in their tall shields.

    Carefully, the two sides take up positions across the border.

    It all feels weird to them. Up until yesterday they were waving at each other in a cordial manner. Now they have swords drawn, shields strapped and bows strung.

    The archers take up position on higher ground. The elf sharpshooter hide behind the barricades while one human climbs the narrow garrison tower, having an overview of the entire field.

    Fearing the elf skill in the bow, the human infantrymen advance under the cover of the woods, while the elves, fearless, advance in the open.

    Two veterans, Sergeant Rollo and Lady Lindarel look at each other. The don’t show any fear, and carefully, move towards each other under cover.

    Round 2

    Humans win initiave.

    The archers take shots at the elf sharshooters across them.

    Two sharpshooters are hit! One’s KNOCKED OUT, another is WOUNDED. They roll for BRAVERY and succeed. They shoot back and miss.

    Seeing their enemy fearless, the human footmen advance from the woods in the open.
    Lady Lindarel charges with fury against the leader of their group, facing him in hand to hand combat.

    The human footman leader is equal in combat with the elf hero, and because of that he wins! He also scored a CRITICAL. But can’t score a wound.

    Sergeant Rollo charged at Lindarel as she disengaged from melee.

    He wins the combat and scored another CRITICAL. Lindarel is KNOCKED OUT.

    Nevertheless, fearless, the elf warrriors advance.

    A volley of arrows flies from the human side. One arrow finds an elf in the eye, killing him instantly. Another one, wounds their leader, lodging itself in her knee. She grits her teeth, and orders to fire away. Their arrows though fail to reach their intended targets. Hitting the battlements or the barrel covering their enemies.

    Not wanting to be mocked for cowardice, the human footmen, leave the safety of the tree cover, and move into the open.

    Lady Lindarel wastes no moment. She charges at the Leader of the human group. Blades clash and shields clatter. Despite her skill, she opened herself too much in her charge. The human has the upper hand, and pushes her back.

    Sergeant Rollo doesn’t leave from a good challenge. He joins in combat with Lindarel. His skill matches hers, but she’s already tired from the previous clash. A flash of Rollo’s blade and she’s down.

    The elf warriors scream out at the loss of their heroine. Quickly, they advance to save her body from any desecration.

    Round 3

    The elves win initiative

    The warriors, want to save Lindarel’s body, so they charge against the humans.

    Sergeant Rollo is equaled against the two elf warriors. But a GLANCING BLOW, passes and he’s WOUNDED. The other elf warrior leader wins against the human footman leader, but he can’t overcome the armor.

    The elves are pushed back.
    The human archers take shots against the elf sharpshooters once more.

    But all shots miss, hitting the barricades instead.

    Seeing Sergeant Rollo in the open, the elf sharpshooters take shots at him. One arrow hits him, causing another WOUND. This means Rollo is KNOCKED OUT, and the nearby human footmen must test BRAVERY.

    They lose, and must RETREAT.

    The humans turn tail and run away.

    Now the elf warriors, with renewed fervor, attack Sergeant Rollo who stands above Lindarel’s body.

    Two of them lock in combat with him and wound him, as his large sword can’t handle two opponents at once. The elf warriors leader takes it out on the human footman leader and, but the human heavy armor saves his life.

    The human archers release a second volley against the elf sharpshooter, but all the arrows hit either the hill or the wooden crates.

    Instead of shooting back, the elf sharpshooter leader order and aims at Sergeant Rollo. The dead are important to the elves, and they would be held accountable if they left their heroine to the enemy vultures.

    Their arrows strike true, bringing the wounded Sergeant down, hitting him in the eye slits of his helmet.

    The human infantrymen hearts fill with fear as they hear the singing of the elvish arrows. Rollo dropping down dead, tips the scales. Their leader gives the command for tactical withdrawal, and they retreat away from the battlefield.

    Round 4

    The elves win initiative.

    The elf warriors advance on the tower.
    The human archers shoot at them.

    They miss and are out of ammunition.

    The elves shoot from across, using up their last arrows, hitting and KNOCKING OUT a human archer.

    Lindarel’s sacrifice has turned the battle. Decisively, the elf warriors climb the hill, and come dangerously close to the human archers.

    The human fingers tremble. Their shots miss. Their quivers empty. Another volley of singing elvish arrows, kills the archer who was out in the open.

    Round 5

    The elves win iniative.

    They close in for the kill while one elf close in on the tower entrance.

    Two elves against one archer win the ENGAGEMENT quickly, and KNOCK him out.

    Without any more arrows the battle comes to an end.

    The elves have clearly won the day.

    Two elf warriors charge at the human archer, who draws a short sword to fight it out. His slash is blocked by the tall elvish shield. The other elf drives his arming sword deep in the humans ribs. And he drops dead.

    The elf leader comes knocking on the tower door. The archer on top just looks down in horror as he’s out of arrows.

    The elf sharpshooter across the hill lower their bows. They’re out of missiles, but a weak smile is drawn on their faces.

    They have won the day.

    Session summary

    So fast and easy! I loved every minute of it. It took me an awful lot more to write out this actual play report than to run the game! And I was taking pictures at the same time!

    I find combat faster and lighter than Five Leagues, but at the same time ‘just enough’ to keep things interesting. It’s said that multi-player rules are more complex and with more bookkeeping than solo-aimed rules. This isn’t the case with KPS. I didn’t find anything that would make me think “I need a second person to help me with it”.

    It wouldn’t be an actual play from my side if I hadn’t messed something up. I completely forgot about the EXHAUSTION rules. Retrospectively, the only impact of EXHAUSTION would be in Rollo vs Lindarel (where Lindarel already perished, so no impact), and the Elf Warriors against Rollo (who was wounded, so it might just save me a volley of arrows against him). Considering the outcome, there would be no change to the end result. Maybe… just maybe an additional human archer being wounded. I’d like to have the rules in mind, because it would give me an even better feeling of the game.

    To sum up, I will be doing more light, fun, actual plays with KPS. This system has come to stay in my bag of active play games.

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