sobota 8. listopadu 2014

Small Munera, Grand Melee

Munera as a Starter

The stars were right again on Thursday's evening, giving me the opportunity to have some fun with friends and dice. And little plastic humanoids, of course. We were waiting for the third to the party, so a few games of Munera Sine Missione (with house rules, as all games that evening) took place. I used my Mordheim pit fighters (described here), rules version 2.2 and a house rule, giving each player six tokens of value one to six to use instead of rolling for AP. 

In the first bout (quite short), I took Empire fighter and my friend took an Orc. The contrast between lightly armoured Empire and the heavy armour of his opponent promised and interesting game - which it was right into the moment we rolled double six on attack (special event, defender takes 2d6 dmg). Armour or not, the Orc went down. Fine enough.

Nimble and hard-hitting Empire vs heavy Orc

In the second bout I took the Undead, and thanks to my exquisite maneuvring (and opponent's tactical blunder) I managed to get an attack to opponent's rear - only to have my fighter knocked down because of a special event! The Orc then capitalised on such a turn of fortune by bashing his adversary with a shield, causing a second knockdown and ending the game. My friend was not too pleased with such an easy victory, so he played "what if..." attack with an axe instead of a shield - and rolled a special event knocking the defender down!
We politely ask the spectators not to throw banana peels to the arena...
This was too much for the both of us, so we made up another house rule: When doubles in attack are rolled, roll another d6. 1 - attack fails (as if the defender rolled higher), 2,3 - attack hits for 1dmg, 4,5,6 - resolve special event.

The third bout went smoothly, I could only regret not having the latest version of the rules to use "working the crowd" that gives you something to do with unspent AP after driving away the opponent. I am beginning to like Munera for what it is - light and quick gladiatorial game that offers itself well to modifications.

Main Dish - Melee on a Map

Recently I purchased D&D maps to use in our games, because proper terrain is not too portable and quite unwieldy to take into public transportation. (Not to mention it's time consuming to make one.)  I intend to use the maps for SoBH, Skulldred (as soon as the next beta or full version is released) and Melee. Melee was the first game with miniatures we played and it could accomodate any number of players, so Melee it was. As usual, I could not resist the temptation of house rules:
  • Damage was reverted to the original, however, characters could wield a single handed weapon in two hands, getting either +1dmg or reducing the ST requirement by one.
  • Dmg reduction and DX penalty of armour reverted to the original too, but every level of ST above average (see GURPS) reduced the DX and MA penalty by one
  • Squares: every 2nd diagonal counts as two units away, characters have three front squares, four side squares and a single rear square.
I cobbled together a scenario where the dwarves had to control the bridge and fort by 10th round and gave them one more fighter to compensate for the pressure. The dwarves split into two teams, four of them stormed the bridge while another three tried to flank the orcish garrison.

Moments before the clash...
The battle of the bridge was as bloody as expected, with occasional crossbow bolt to spice up the party. My orcish archers were good enough when shooting, but I made the mistake to equip them by a mere knife as CC weapon. They were able to inflict two damage at most, and as I decided not to use HTH combat, their only job was to distract the enemy.

Confined area did not offer much space for tactical finesse.
Pole weapons were deadly in both attack and defence, and their ability to jab at enemy two squares away created some interesting situations. One day I'd like to try a scenario where two bands of mostly pikemen or spearman clash; I believe the results would not be quite dissimilar to "bad war".

The bridge got slippery with blood.
Dwarven axemen had AdjDX of 9, which meant they missed three or more in five attacks. However, when they did hit, their enemy was usually hacked in half. If there were more space to maneuvre, they would be even more deadly in flanking attacks. 
In the end, the dwarves did not push hard enough. Although most of the orcs were either dead or almost incapacitated -with the exception of archers, who got as much as they gave (i.e. nothing)- the fort was still in their green hands by the end of the tenth turn. 

The game was enjoyed by all and the set of rules again showed its timeless qualities. I am looking forward to more games of Melee.

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