This area of the website is my hobby blog, it contains articles about games that I have enjoyed playing together with paining and model making articles.
Last weekend Lewis and I had a great game of Otherworld Fantasy Skirmish.
The scenario idea was based on the classic western story, The Magnificent Seven. The villagers worked hard throughout the year but made barely enough to live on. Every fall for the last three years two terrible giants 'Tiny' and 'Tim' came down from their hills with their hangers on and lackys demanding tribute.
This year the miller had persuaded the villagers to gather together their wealth and head off to town to engage the services of some famed trouble shooters 'The Fab Three' to help them in their negotiations. In this scenario the defenders needed to set up within 4" on the mill. The various crates and sacks represent the produce the giants war band are trying to claim as tribute.
The valient fighter, Oz positions himself to hold the bridge, the torch holding villager behind him assures him that the villagers will all back him up.
'Tiny' and 'Tim' have brought along some extra musle to help carry the loot away including a Bugbear and a handful of Orcs.
Both the bugbear and the dwarf burglar use their set traps ability to create some 3" diameter areas of difficult terrain to try to slow their opponents down.
Unfortnately our heroes were easily picked off by these huge brutes, Oz the fighter has been knocked prone by a mighty blow from the giant 'Tiny' leaving the Jaz the female dwarf burglar to fend off the unwelcome attentions of the bugbear and Orcs.
Meanwhile at the other side of the mill pond the villagers are all scared by the other giant 'Tim' who had paused for a spot of roaring to intimidate before getting down to the serious business of squishing them with his big club.
The villagers are assailed from both sides and after a couple more rounds of combat we declared the game a victory to the giants.
The game was a lot of fun. We both really enjoyed the game mechanics of Otherworld Skirmish. On reflection, we had been short of preperation time and the force lists were unbalanced, the 12 villagers stood no chance at all against any of the bad guys, and as soon as the giants roared and scared them they were as good as dead. We will replay this scenario next time we get together and try to chose some toughre defenders to reflect a couple of weeks hard training before the bad guys arrive.
Miniatures are from a number of sources including some repainted 'Ral Parth 1977' Giants that I brought while at school 35 years ago together with some D&D Orcs and some fantastic figures from the Otherworld range. The water mill is a 3D printed model, the files are from Printable Scenery and the other buildings are from the range that I made for Pocketbond / Conflix many years ago. The modular terrain boards are from the Sally 4thTerra-Former range. These are kits to make 12" terrain squares with embedded rare earth magnets to hold them together and a range of 35 different profiles including streams, rivers, roads, cliffs etc.
Last Saturday, we had our first game of Otherworld Fantasy Skirmish. What a fantastic game system! We only played the introductory scenario, which is a good old fashioned Barroom Brawl. This uses very basic, low level characters to introduce you to the principals of the Otherworld rules. Each side had the same characters, a Veteran, Pickpocket, Worshipper and Beserker. The rules are designed to be played by two players, so we had to develop a way to allocate initiative and fate to three or more characters.
In a game of Otherworld, Initiative and Fate are very important. You do not get to activate every model, every turn, but if you spend two fate you can buy an additional activation. At the start of each turn, in the standard twio player game, both players roll a D6 to determine starting initiative and fate counters. The higer score goes first and the lesser roll is subtracted from the higher roll, the result is halved and rounded up and this determines the amount of fate the starting player has. Anything left over from high roll minus low roll is the second players fate. What I did to take a mechanism that would work for any number of players, was to write down all of the combinations of two dice rolls and work out how much fate would be allocated. Their are 36 combinations possible, so a number from 1 to 36 was engraved on the top of a counter and the amount of fate on the bottom half of a counter. This gives the same odds / distribution as rolling the two dice. These chits were then drawn from a bag to determine order of activation (lowest first) and number of fate points.
At the start of the game all of the characters are unarmed. The Innkeeper has wisely decided that weapons should be kept in a chest in the backroom behind the bar. A sensible precaution. This of course made the area of the bar and the room behind it awash with blood!
In Otherworld Fantasy Skirmish you always have hard decisions to make as you never have enough resources to go around so you need to be continually thinking about what your priorities are and focussing your resources there. To start off with you can only get enough activation counters for half of your models each turn, so the first decision is who to activate, secondly Fate tokens are very scarce, if you get one or two a turn you are lucky. You can spend one token to adjust a dice roll by one or two tokens to buy an extra activation.
Combat is pretty straight forward, what you need to roll to hit is determined by your skill with a particular weapon. If you have scored a hit you check to see if you have inflicted any damage by comparing the strength of the weapon you are using with the defense attribute of your opponent. If your opponent is wearing armor they are entitled to roll a saving throw. This is a simple but fast, effective and enjoyable (because it is easy to use and remember) system. Most characters have between one and three hit points.
The quick reference sheets that Otherworld supply as a free download are very handy and have pretty much all of the tables you need to reference during the game.
We made up some character cards that fit inside deck protectors with a photo of the character and all of it's stats for easy reference during the game. If any one is interested in having some of these as I design them let me know and I'll get them added as a free download from our website.
Our bar-room was put together with components from the Terra-Block terrain system. The pieces we are using are standard pieces that come pre-painted and just need gluing together with PVA glue. In the future we are planning to make a set as part of our 'Old School Dungeon' range which will have downloadable medieval stone cover sheets, like the dungeon sets.
The Otherworld system worked smoothly, and with the addition of our initiative / fate chits supported multi player gaming really well. Next weekend we will be playing a more advanced game to check out how the adventure deck and wandering monsters etc. add to the gaming experiance.