Published on by Chris Abbey
We've been meaning to try Thud and Blunder, the fantasy skirmish rules by the 'Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare' ever since they were published which must have been a good four or five months ago. Last Friday, my son, Lewis came over to visit for a couple of days, and it seemed like a great opportunity to give them a go.
We had both read through the rules when they had been published, and they seemed pretty intuitive and sensible, but as it was a first game we limited it to 300 points a side, which is a pretty small skirmish.
I had my 'Blackstone Heath' terrain set up on the big games table, so we decided it would be fun to play a game set on that (it also meant we could get stuck straight in as the terrain was already set up on the table, down to furniture in the buildings!). A 300 point game plays well on a 3' or 4' square table, so we decided to use the Inn and a single tile around it, which gave us a 4' square gaming area. Lewis choose the scenario, which was an attack and defence style game and choose sides. He chose to play the verminous horde of 'Red Claw' the notorious sea rat captain, which meant I got to play the Redwall mice and woodland allies led by 'Mathew the Warrior'
The defenders got to set up first. It was rather a large area to try to defend with so few. We had taken to Hares from the Long Patrol, Major Whitetail and Harriet, both pretty handy with a bow. They were positioned on the first-floor veranda, as that covered a number of approaches. The mice set up in the Inn the best they could, knowing that they would probably have to redeploy when we saw which approach the rats took.
Red Claw got an extra 150 points to spend on his attacking force, (as if Sea Rats were not a tough enough opponent already), and he got to choose 3 deployment zones.
Red Claw concentrated his forces against the closest side wall of the Inn, with a few diversionary troops approaching from the other directions to keep the defenders spread thin.
In the first few turns the Rats ran to get into position, and particularly to reach the dead ground where they would be safe from missile fire from the veranda. The Long Patrol, proved pretty handy, taking a good handful of rats down as they approached. Harriet was armed with a war bow, and this was really a better weapon than Major Whitetails Crossbow as it did not need to take alternate turns reloading.
Red Claw and his cronies soon made it to the window of the back room of the Inn, sending a couple of scurvy sea rats round to the staircase to silence the aggravating Harriet the Hare. Two Oar Slaves with slings were left to provide covering fire while the assault party moved into position.
The rats make it into the backroom of the Inn. Mathew and Raymond his trusty Lieutenant fight back to back while the mice defending the main area rush to their assistance.
Red Claw directs the combat and urges his crew on from his position on top of the bed, while even more reinforcements come in through the far window.
Lewis moves his troops up and as the fights break up into a handful of smaller conflicts focuses on maximising his advantage.
One of the mice slingers makes it into the fray, and pluckily gets stuck in with her shortsword.
Meanwhile, on the veranda, Harriet the Hare is holding her own. The second rat on the staircase elects to climb the last bit of wall in order to bypass the melee and challenge Major Whitetail.
In the main area of the Inn things are not going well for the mice, but they pluckily go down fighting the tough veteran 'Old Hands' with their cruel two handed weapons.
At the end of six turns, the Redwall mice had notched up a respectable body count, dispatching the two Oar Slaves and all of the regular 'Sea Rat' crew for the loss of three of their own, however victory conditions for the scenario were measured mainly by the number of attackers inside the defended area at the end of turn six. This gave Red Claw a decisive victory of 45 victory points against the defenders 15.
Well done Lewis and the verminous horde!
Rules Used - Thud and Blunder
Figures are converted from various manufactuers using Albedo Critter Conversion Kits
Figures are all mounted on Sally 4th Clear Perspex Bases