Yesterday Doug and I got together for a little medieval skirmish gaming. We had both been big fans of Cry Havoc (a medieval skirmish board game by Standard Games & Publications) when it had first came out..probably about 30 years ago. Cry Havoc had some great scenario ideas, which were so much more fun than the line-up and advance to contact games that so often get played when time is short. We therefore decided that it would be a lot of fun to take the Cry Havoc scenarios and adapt the for medieval skirmish gaming. We are currently helping out our good friend Buck Surdu, who is developing a new set of miniatures rules for ancient, dark age, medieval and fantasy skirmish called Feudal Patrol.
The Knight Errant scenario takes place in a village that has been terrorized by a company of marauding mercenary soldiers who have been threatening the villagers with dire punishment if they do not pay with both money and 'in kind'. A goodly wandering knight, Sir Richard had heard of the villager’s plight and has encouraged the villagers to stand up to the bullies. The mercenaries have decided to teach the villagers a lesson. In the photo above we see the eastern edge of the village waking peacefully with no idea of the dramas the day ahead has in store for it.
Sir Richards force consists of Sir Richard (a superior knight) and Sir Lacy (an inferior knight) both on foot but with their horses to hand. They also have ten peasants armed with clubs and axes, a short bowmen and two civilians (Audrey & Edith). The dastardly mercenaries are Led by Sgt Martin assisted by Sgt Tyler. They also muster four men at arms with halberds, four with spears and a crossbowman.
Victory conditions were: Sir Richard incapacitated or six other characters from Sir Richards force incapacitated - Mercenary victory, five mercenaries incapacitated a Villagers victory.
Picture above shows western edge of village.
We rolled for sides. I got to play the mercenaries. I divided them into three groups. Two groups entered from the southern road, four halberdiers led by Sgt Martin and a group made up of the crossbowman and a spearman to protect him.
My mercenary spearmen led by the cruel and unprincipled Sgt Tyler entered from the western road where they immediately set their sights on Edith & Audrey who were loitering outside the inn.
Doug deployed the bulk of the knights and the villagers in the courtyard of the Inn, as he was not sure which way the mercenary attack would come from and this was a central location. The knight’s horses are tethered outside the stables.
Two villagers provided sentries on the Eastern road.
As soon as I could, I rushed my Crossbowman and his escort to the stone wall opposite the Inn, as this seemed a good position to fire upon the villagers as the rushed out on to the road. In Feudal Patrol you can elect to sprint. In effect you take two moves at once, but end up stunned, which is indicated by the token with an exclamation mark. If you are stunned the only thing you can do in your next activation is to become un-stunned. This represents your troops getting their breath back. It is however a useful tactic to get your forces into cover quickly.
Sir Richard and Sir Lacy rush forward to get to grips with the evil marauders.
The ladies had fled down the side of the Inn. Goodness knows why they did not head up the stairs to the safety of the building. The unscrupulous Sgt Tyler saw (in game terms) to easy victory points and he and his men got stuck in with their spear points (so to speak).
The ladies defended their honour the best they could, in the first round they even caused one of the attackers to become stunned, but eventually the inevitable happened and Sgt Tyler and his men grinned with satisfaction as they 'pocketed the 2 victory points'
Meanwhile at the Eastern end of the village Sgt Martin hurries through the narrow lanes to engage Sir Richard, unaware that Sir Lacy is also fast approaching.
Sgt Martin and has Halberdiers get the better of Sir Richard causing a serious wound. They caused 5 points of damage. Sir Richards Endurance was 3 but two points were absorbed by his metal armor and he managed to utilise his medium shield to absorb a point as well bringing the damage down to 2 points: A serious wound, but he was still on his feet and fighting. In Feudal Patrol strikes in melee are resolved by looking at which weapon has the longest reach, so because the halberd has a longer reach their strikes are resolved before Sir Richards sword blows. Meanwhile Sir Lucy had easily dispatched the mercenary facing him.
Back outside the Inn, my crossbowmen had moved out of cover to reduce the range.. He let fly a crossbow bolt, aiming at the villagers advancing from the side of the Inn. He scored a significant hit. Feudal Patrol uses a card based resolution system for shooting and melee that is innovative and intuitive. You turn a card to see if you hit. This is based on the skill off the shooter and tactical factors such as range, moving target, being wounded or out of command. If you score a hit you turn a second card to work out the effect; who in the target was hit, how much damage, where and if there was a cover save. Unfortunately for Sir Richard and the villagers, it was the leader of the peasants who was hit, in the face with the crossbow bolt for five damage with no cover save. Ouch! I guess it was probably quick and unexpected. At this point the tally was 3 victory points to the mercenaries and 1 for Sir Richard.
But alas in the next turn the two mercenaries with halberds managed to land the killing blow on Sir Richard, handing a definite win to the vicious bullies.
It was a great game, great ebb and flow and some tense and exciting moments. Feudal Patrol is in early play test, some ideas for improvements came out of our game which we will pass on to Buck.
The expected publication date for Feudal Patrol is March 2020.
The game was played on my 'Blackstone Heath' terrain project. If you'd like to find out more about the terrain,