Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fall-in! Gnomes #1 or "Don't Pee on the Statue!"

Alright, it's time for the report that everyone who comes here actually wants to see: Hordes of Things

Just kidding

At Historicon, the Irish had kidnapped Lon the Lunkhead and must have successfully fought off the German rescuers. My gnomish geography might be a bit off but they escaped the seaside fortifications and ended up... in Yellowstone Park? The theme for the Stanton-led Gnome Wars games was basically "Escape for Yellowstone... with Lon." The first game was before the train arrived. The second was fought while the the train was arriving, and the third while the train was trying to leave, hopefully with a Lon, a few Irish, and Union gold. As in American (Northerner).


Game One: The Irish/American alliance was set up in their stronghold to the left. Swiss were at the upper left hand side of the table and a sizeable German contingent just across a river at the upper right hand side. Highlanders set up around some odd burial mounds in the middle, and some hyperactive Sikhs were near the tracks, but eyeing the far side of the board.

Although most groups had the main objective: Seize the compound/rail station/beer trucks, each group had secondary objectives as well. The Germans were hunting big game that was hiding in each cluster of trees. Wolves, bears, and even a dinosaur or two were ready to pounce unsuspecting gnome. The Swiss wished to capture these beasts and save them from the Germans. The Russians, apparently, just wanted to capture the "Gnomish Wild Men" (Gnomo Sapiens). The Sikhs needed to get to the statue on top of the burial mound. I was the Highlanders and my objectives were twofold: Steal the beer truck at the compound, but also steal the airplane at the German camp at the other side of the board.

Early Turns: Lots of posturing and troop relocation. We discovered both the German Bunny Cav and the Witch can't swim (one will drown, the other will melt), and a good portion of German forces couldn't wade through the river. A bottleneck at the bridge was formed, with the Swiss encampment harassing them.

The hunting/saving of the animals took up a lot of the Swiss/Germans time. A few brave Swiss decided to engage the American forces protecting the Irish flank, and the Americans went berserk, charging headlong into numerous Swiss units.

The Sikhs were very whiney, begging not to be shot at as they trekked across the board.

I played the Highlanders very cautious. One group inched along the table edge under cover, trying to find the sweet spot in the Irish defenses to charge. The other group actively engaged the Irish/American defenses at the station, traded some serious casualities and fell back to the high ground (the burial mounds).

Mid-Game: Now I had just gotten to the con as the game was starting, so I completely missed the pre-game briefing, both for the players, and Jim sharing a few little secrets beforehand. When I realized I was out of range, I declared no action for the Tan Highlanders on the mound, deciding to watch things develop. I seriously though Jim was just being Jim when he asked me, "Are they going to do anything to the statue?"

Figuring I am playing Highlander, I said, "Sure, they all whipping 'em out and peeing on the statue. " I mean, with no MBA outhouse on board, the rock is the next best place!

Highlanders Descecrating the Sacred Statue

The clouds darkened, the Earth shook, and Jim and Mike Lung giggled as Mike opened up a container and littered the center of the board with Znombies!

Oh, Did We Do That?

Znombies: group movement (10 figs) 2d6 inches random. Fights in melee with a d6. Weapons fire must first hit the Znombie then roll 1-2 on a d6 for the head shot.

Needless to say most players dropped everything and attacked znombies. The following turn the znombies on the hill wandered away, so I continued to descecrate the statue, creating even more znombies! "If we pretend we're garden gnomes, perhaps they won't notice us!"

With the chaos in the center of the board, the Sikhs and Pirates finally decided to join the fray. The Pirates shot Lucky Lon out of the Lon-a-pult and he began spinning through the hordes. The Sikhs decided a more direct approach was in order and declared a charge with the war elephant. It created a swath of destruction, mowing down, Swiss, German, Highlander, and yes, a couple of Znombies. The driver was eventually shot and killed and the elephant spent the remainder of the game milling about a grove of trees, everyone afraid to get near it.

A Charging War Elephant creates an escape route, and the German bunnies prep for a charge.

The wandering undead little damage to most troops. The Highlanders took the brunt of the Znombie attack just by trying to get out of the way! With angry swiss on one side, Germans on another, Pirates working their way up the river, and a war elephant tearing up the hill itself there were few safe escape routes. Down to two men, the Berserker down off the hill and into the overwhelming odds of the Znombie horde, hoping to win enough battles to go into berserker rage...

He was killed in the first combat.

My other Highlander managed to sneak across the river and spent the rest of the game trying to steal the German plane.

Final Turns: A unit of German Bunny Cav finally got around the burial mound and made a breakneck charge through the Znombie horde. It wasn't even fair to pointy-hatted undead. The bunnies got through without a scratch. However, they ended their charge right on top on some long-fused pirate bombs that were set to go off the following turn. It was tense when the initiative cards were shuffled, the Germans hoping they could go first and get the heck out of dodge in any direction.

First Card: Pirates


When the smoke cleared, nary a bunny was present.

The Charge of the Light Hare Brigade

On the other side of the burial mound, the Znombies showed how brainless they were by attacking some Samurai Cav. It wasn't even a fair fight, twelve Znombies swarmed in and all but one was destroyed. Often missed fact. While all cavalry units have d10+2 to melee rolls during a charge, Japanese Samurai Cav ALWAYS gets d10+2, even in defense. Besides a few stranglers, the Znombie menace was over.

We ain't afraid of no znombies!

It's unfair to say that Znombie carnage was the only thing occuring on the table. The American Cavalry kept pressing a very dense pack of Swiss troops and crumbled before game's end. The Germans kept moving cautiously towards the rail station, trading only long range fire with the Irish, who were hunkered down in their compound.

Those other Highlanders? The ones who were last seen slithering through the woods. Their mercenary nature showed through, and for a little gold, and a couple flagons of ale, they would help defend the compound for the second game.

It made sense... it was the safest place on the board to be in case more of those firk-ding-blasted zombies showed up!

Many thanks to Mike Lung, who brought over 70 of his znombie creations to Fall-in! for all of us to play.

Next: The OTHER Gnome Wars Games, plus my Battle of Yellowstone Historical Recreation... avec gnomes.

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