Monday, November 27, 2017

A Group of "A Christmas Story" Themed Pieces for Frostgrave

   As I mentioned in my latest Frostgrave Campaign report, for December we plan on doing a Christmas-themed game.  As part of that, I decided to make a few items that were inspired by the movie "A Christmas Story".  The first of these is based on the famous flag-pole double-dog-dare scene, and features an unfortunate citizen of Feldstad who had been dared by his friends into putting his tongue on a frozen metal pole at the time of the icy cataclysm that befell the city, and is now doomed to spend his days as a zombie who is trapped forever in an unfortunate situation. 

      Next up is a set of four treasure markers:  1) A blue bowling ball and can of Simonize, 2) A crate marked  "Fra-gee-lay", 3) A leg lamp, and 4) A Red Ryder BB-gun.   These were a lot of fun to make and took a little thinking outside the box to put together!

       I'm really looking forward to using all these in next month's game!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Frostgrave Campaign '17, Game 11: The Final Battle

     This past Saturday we played the 11th game of this year's Frostgrave Campaign, and the last scenario of the "Thaw of he Lich Lord" supplement book: The Final Battle.    Next month, we will be playing a special Christmas themed scenario, called Red Sled Down, for our annual Frostgrave Game Christmas Party.
     We had 6 of our regular players in attendance for Saturday's outing to face the Lich Lord in a final showdown.   The scenario has the Lich Lord using his powerful magic to lift a whole section of the city, including a fortified manor, high up into the air; where it sits suspended by huge chains above the ruins of Feldstad.  The Wizards and their warbands must climb these chains to get to the Lich Lord.  This required a different set-up then our usual long table, and because we had 6 players, we modified the more linear set up that is described in the Lich Lord scenario book.  So, I arranged the tables into a 6' x 7.5' surface, and on this I laid out a somewhat six-sided gaming area.  I then marked an entry point in each of the 6 corners, representing where the chains were attached and the players would ascend to the battlefield.
     There was also a host of the Lich Lord's minions waiting to face us that needed to be preset on the table.  This included 6 Wraith Knights, 18 Death Cultists, and 36 Armored Skeletons (plus one extra Armored Skeleton that the Lich Lord personally raises pre-game), and the Lich Lord himself.   We placed 3 Treasures each; either in, or adjacent to, the manor house ruins in the center of the table.  Also placed there was Lich Lord, with the spells Elemental Shield and Time Store, already in place.
     I got last set-up choice again, but with the 6-sided play area, it didn't make make much difference to me where I set up, as all roads led to a whole bunch of enemies.  I ended up with the Necromancer, Missy, on my left, and the Soothsayer, Gru, on my right.

For an account of last months game, see: The Bones Wheels
A look at the table at the start of the game.
The Report

     The Sigilist Quailelyn sat at the long table in her tower's great hall and sipped quietly at a cup of tea.  Though she looked the picture of peace and serenity, her active mind whirred frenetically as she puzzled and fretted over the growing Evil which lurked just a couple miles away in the ruined city of Felstad.  It had been months now since the Evil had revealed itself, and she seemed no closer to discovering what exactly It was, and where It dwelt.  There were rumors, of course; a great Necromancer, a Foul Demon,  some unknown Thing that the wizards of the old city had created and then laid waste to their city trying to destroy.  Surely, Quail and her fellow Wizards had been able to defeat the Evil's many efforts to gain more power, but the face of Evil itself had never shown itself.  
    Bailisette, the Sigilist's Apprentice walked slowly into the room, saw her Mistress was deep in thought, yawned quietly, and headed towards the fire to see if there was still any tea left.   She had not gone more than two paces into the hall when the morning sun outside suddenly darkened, then a bright flash of green light lit the room, followed by a loud BOOM in the distance. Quail's head shot up, and she glared at Bailey as if she caused the disturbance.  Bailey looked back at the Wizard with surprise, and made a gesture indicating she had no idea what just happened. 
     Without a word, Quail shot up, and headed for the nearest window. There were two more bright flashes in quick succession followed by another tower-shaking , BOOM and then a loud CRACK, like metal striking rock, only amplified several times over. 
    "With me." the Siglist barked, and headed for the stairs leading up the tower to the parapet.  Quail stepped out into the cold morning air, followed closely by her Apprentice, and stopped suddenly in shock.  Bailey almost ran into her.    TheWizard looked out over the ruins of the city and saw black clouds roiling out towards them.  The green flashes cut through the darkness almost continuously now, and the thunder-like sounds came in quick succession, as if the very city was being torn apart. Something hit Quail's cheek and she instinctively looked up as her hand went to her face.  It was an ice crystal.   Then another.  Fine snow-like ice crystals were falling, and the Wizards nose now detected the smell of rock dust in the air.  The two Spell-casters could do nothing but stand there in awe, and watch in disbelief.   Quail silently prayed that the world was not ending. 
Quail's warband enters in a ruined building and takes a moment to get its bearings.
     Then, as suddenly as it started, the sounds and lights stopped.  The dark clouds, and the ice and dust falling from them, began to pull back towards the city as if being sucked towards some central point; like water flowing down a drain.  It was then that Quail first saw it, in the distance:  a great hunk of rock floated in the air just a few dozen yards over the tallest spires of the old city. She estimated it was the size of a full city block.  As the Sigilist peered into the distance, trying to see details, she realized the top of the huge rock was flat, and she  saw ruins up on top of the rock.  It was as if a whole section of the city had been torn up and now sailed in the air. Bailey, her youthful eyes a little better, said in disbelief, "There are chains coming off of it;  holding it to the ground." 
     Quail turned to her, said with fierce determination,  "We must find out what this means."
The Sigilist had read about many magical events in her years, had seen some bizarre things herself,  but nothing compared to this.  She felt lost, a feeling she was not used to.   Pacing on the parapet, the Wizard tried to form a conclusion.  Then, Bailey suddenly drew Quail's attention. "Look", said the young woman, and she pointed up in the sky where a small bird flew in a haphazard course directly at them.  It landed at Quails feet, and as the two women gazed at it. They saw it wasn't a bird at all, but an intricately folded parchment.   Quail snatched it up.  Hurriedly, she unfolded the bird.  "It's a letter." Her eyes went down to the bottom first. "From Bemis".  Her eyes danced back and forth across the page.  "There's going to be a meeting of Wizards, at least those of us who aren't heading for the hills already,  in the tavern. In an hour.  To discus what this..." and she flourished a hand towards the city, " all about."   The Sigilist looked up at Bailey, "Good.  We'll get some answers."

     There were six Wizards and their Apprentices who were brave, or foolhardey, enough to stay and attend the meeting.  Quail and Bailey, and of course their fellow Sigilists, Bemis and Agarn; also the Elementalist Alfred the Unready and his boy Apprentice, and Gru the Soothsayer and Agnes, and the Summoner Challara and his Apprentice.    As they pooled their information, Quail learned that, sure enough, it was the Great Evil that had done this; and the belief amongst those of them that had more information, was that it was an immensely powerful Lich.    The consensus between all six of them was that tearing the city apart like had been done, must have taken an immense amount of magical power; and no matter how powerful the Lich might be, he was surely drained and weaker after such a feat.  If they were going to have a chance and strike against the Evil, now was the opportunity.
    Back at their tower, there was no time for Quail or Bailey to look at the their Magical Atlas to detect any hidden treasures in the raised section of city, (Both fail Reveal Secret), and certainly no time to get involved with brewing any potions (Both fail Brew Potion).  Everyone gathered their things as quickly as possible and headed for the rendezvous point.  Quail, however, did take the time to grab the scroll of Illusionary Soldier out of the vault, and she read it quickly when they reached the base of the chain they were assigned to ascend.
Quail and Bailey Fog their flanks as a group of Ghouls climbs up over the edge of the floating rock. 
     The climb up the large chain was arduous at best.  Her months in the frozen city had certainly made Quail leaner and more muscular, but she was quite winded when the group finally reached the top.  The Sigilist quickly surveyed the area they had come up in; it looked to be the middle of a mostly ruined building.  She immediately detected they were flanked by two groups of Armored Skeletons  milling about along the edge of the rocky ledge not far off, both to their left and right.  "Fog" she said to Bailey, still huffing and puffing from the climb, and pointed over to their right.  Quail then proceeded to cast a wall of white mist on their left, effectively blocking the skeletons' view of them. Her Apprentice did likewise on the right.
         Through the crumbling window frames to their front, Luc Demic, the Marksman, spotted a Death Cultist in the distance and fired his crossbow, hitting the man, but only wounding him.  Then, Sir Cardidil the Knight spotted three Ghouls climb up from below the ledge, not far from where they all stood. (Treasure generated Random Encounter.), and shouted out a warning.  Cirvid, the Warhound, lumbered forward and fiercely leapt at the nearest; sinking his teeth into the creature and killing it.  Unfortunately, this allowed a second Ghoul to fall upon the distracted dog, cutting a deep gash in the animal's flank with his ghastly claw like hands.  The poor beast fell to the snow and lay motionless.  The third Ghoul advanced at the Illusionary Soldier, who had obediently moved towards the danger.
         Seeing Cirvid fall, Quail extended her right arm with her hand palm outwards, and recited the Push spell.  The Ghoul, turning from the downed Warhound, was suddenly hurled a few dozen yards off the edge of the floating rock.   Then gravity took effect, and it fell down towards to the city below, disappearing from view.  With so many undead creatures lurking about, Bailey quickly tried to cast Awareness on herself, but she had little to no experience working the spell, and only ended up giving herself a splitting headache (Takes 2 HP damage).  Meanwhile, Barc, the Man-at-Arms, ran up, and before the Ghoul could strike at the Illusionary Soldier, the Man at Arms, ran the creature through with his sword.  Luc took a second shot at the Death Cultist, who had started advancing towards them despite his wound, and killed the man.   Sallisee, the Ranger, was surprised to see one of the Armored Skeletons come round Bailey's fog wall, and took a hasty shot, missing it.   As she curse her aim, Clol the Barbarian bounded by her, and with one swoop of his mighty Club of Battering, he smashed the skeleton into a pile of broken bones.   In the far distance Quail could make out the Lich Lord himself standing up in the middle of the main floor of a ruined manor house.  He was all dressed in cursed red armor, and his head was nothing more than a skull with glowing eyes.   As she watched he turned and fired an Elemental Bolt at some unseen target towards the distant left.  The Sigilist tried to remember who had come up the chain in that direction, and recalled it was Alfred the Unready.  (Lich Lord hit, but did no damage.) 
A lone Armored Skeleton approaches around Bailey's fog wall.
             Quail and the rest of the warband slowly and hesitantly advanced.  The Sigilist knew they were here to do a job, and they couldn't just wait forever on the edge of the rocky ledge.   Bailey paused to extend her Fog wall with another section of the white mist. She didn't want anymore surprises to see them and come in their direction.   And, she knew Gru the Soothsayer was over there; and even though she knew they all had agreed to be on peaceful terms for this encounter, she didn't trust him and the strange yellow creatures that he used as his minions.   Quail watched as the Lich Lord turned to his right rear now, and fired another Elemental Bolt in that direction.  Bemis' area, she thought.  (Hit Bemis, doing about 8 HP of damage.) 
          As Quail moved forward, she saw the bright green words of a Drain Word spell for Telekinesis appear in the air.  As Drain Word was one of Bemis' calling cards, she figured he must not have been wounded too badly by the Lich Lord.  Looking towards the Lich Lord again, the Siglist spotted a promising chest just inside an arch of the manor house, and despite the Draining Word in effect,  she successfully casting Telekinesis and watched as the chest slowly drifted towards them, and dropped gently to the the snow.   Then, the Wizard's jaw dropped as the chest started moving again, but this time towards where Gru was located.  Quail was infuriated, and called to Bailey, "That Soothsayer is stealing our chest! Block his view!"   Bailey didn't want to question Quail's order, but all the young Apprentice could see from her position was the two Fog walls she had already made,  she had no idea where Gru was located. So, despite her better judgement the young woman stepped forward and passed through the Fog walls she had made to the far side, just at the juncture between the two.  She spotted Gru's location, and easily threw up a wall of Fog blocking his sight from the chest.  As Bailey finished the spell, she felt a stab of excruciating fire in her side, and she cried out in shock and pain.   Looking down she saw the spike of a Bone Dart protruding from just under her ribcage on the right side. (Thrown by Gru's Apprentice, Agnes.)  Bailey felt faint, and the ground beneath her feet seemed to roll and pitch. (Bailey reduced to only 2 HP.) As she tried to stay conscious,  a second stab of pain shot through her left shoulder, and through blurry eyes, she turned her head to see a crossbow bolt from one of Gru's Marksmen sticking at an angle into her arm.  Her eyes lost focus, the world gave a last roll beneath her feet, and her body pitched  backwards into her Fog wall as all went black.
Bailey fatefully moves through the fog to cast a blocking wall to prevent Gru from stealing their treasure.
     Quail heard her Apprentice's cry, and had to fight every instinct to run to find out what was wrong, but there were eight other people depending on her at that moment.  In the back of her mind the Sigilist told herself over and over, "Bailey has the Crystal Rose, she has the Crystal Rose...", as a way to sooth her anguished thoughts.  She calmed herself enough to cast Telekinesis on a second chest in the Manor House; this one on the grand staircase leading up to the main floor.  But the Wizard's mind was still distracted, and she had to force herself to complete the spell correctly, causing a spasm of pain in her brain. (Pushed for -2 HP)
      Meanwhile, the Treasure Hunter, Innis Flynn, followed by the Illusionary Soldier rushed forward to retrieve the chest Gru was trying to steal.   Quail saw them advance, then watched in horror as the new Fog wall Bailey had made melted away. (Gru used an Ivory Scroll of Dispel Magic.)  With the wall gone Innis was exposed to all of Gru's force, and he too felt the stab of one of Agnes' Bone Darts, followed in quick succession by a bolt form a crossbow.  His momentum caused him to pitch a few feet forward, as he came crashing down to the snowy pavement, where he lay motionless.  Quail could see a trio of Gru's soldiers running forward now. They reached the chest, and the Sigilist cursed under he breath.   Sallisee tried to fire at one, but missed.    Dorchesman ran forward to retrieve the second chest, and Clol, and the little halfling Treasure Hunter, Kinny, ran towards the steps of the ruined manor house.
Kinny and Clol ascend the stairs of the manor house as nearby Dorchesman carries off his chest.  Over on the right, Gru's troops reach the disputed chest and start hauling it away.   
    As the big Barbarian and little Halfling headed up the steps of the manor house, they could see that soldiers from Alfred the Unready's group, as well as Missy the Necromancer's, and Bemis contingent, with Bemis himself,  were also approaching the Lich Lord.  Kinny also spied a couple other treasures upon the floor, not far from where the Lich Lord stood. all the confusion... 
     Outside the ruined manor house, a skirmish was developing between Gru's warband and Quail's.  Quail tried to send a Furious Quill at Gru's Treasure Hunter, but the yellow creature successfully batted it away.  Luc, however, fired at the creature with his crossbow and killed it.  Gru launched a Bone Dart at Barc as he approached, hitting him; but the tough Man-at-Arms kept advancing.  The Soothsayer's Marksman fired at the Imaginary Soldier, hitting it.  The magic dissolved and the soldier slowly turned to a fine mist and floated away. 
The noose closes around the Lich Lord.
     Meanwhile, up in the Manor House,  the various groups of soldiers quickly looked at each other, and with no word spoken, charged at the Lich Lord.  Alfred's men hung back, but Missy's Treasure Hunter was first there, brandishing her sword.   Clol charged in next with his magic club held high, and he was soon joined by one of Bemis' Treasure Hunters.  Kinny, unnoticed by the rest, scooted forward and grabbed the treasure directly in front of her.  The Lich Lord, in his weakened state, seemed momentarily confused by all the attackers charging him; and that moment of confusion was his undoing.  Bemis' Captain, Nigel, ran up behind the foul creature, and raising his sword high, brought it down with a furious power.  There was a crack of energy that knocked them all a bit back as the sword cleaved halfway down the Lich Lord's body, nearly splitting him in two. The Lich fell with an agonizing shriek and his body quickly turned to black ash as if he was being consumed by an unseen fire.   (Bemis will surely give the details in his report, but as I remember Nigel went into the attack, with all his Captain benefits, the 4 additional attackers, and his magic weapons, having a +19 Attack.  He then rolled very well. )
     They all nearly fell as a shock wave went through the ground, and they felt the entire floating rock drop a couple inches in  a single lurch.  It didn't stop dropping either.  The floating city block slowly continued descending.   As everyone scrambled to leave the house,  Clol turned towards the second treasure, only to see one of Gru's soldiers coming up the far steps and snatch up the prize.  Infuriated, the Barbarian ran forward to strike this thief, but the strange yellow creature was quicker than the big human, and stabbed at him with his sword, cutting a deep gash.  Clol stumbled backwards, bleeding and shocked. (reduced to 3 HP)  Thinking better of pursuing, the Barbarian turned and joined those fleeing from the ruined manor house. 
The final battle, while Kinny uses the distraction to sneak forward and grab the nearby treasure. 
          Back outside the manor house, Quail once again cast Fog to try and block her people from Gru's soldiers.  She needed this fight to end soon, as she could tell the floating rock was sinking.  Sally finally had an arrow go true and hit another of Gru's Treasure Hunters, killing it.  The rest of Gru's soldiers seemed disinclined to press the issue further, and joined their master in retreating.   Quail, too, gave the fall back call, and raced over to check on Bailey. She ordered Barc to check on Innis.  She reached Bailey and let out a gasp when she saw her there laying in the fog.   She knelt down and was relieved to discover that the Apprentice seemed to still be alive, though barely.  Quail called to Sir Cardidil, one of the few of her warband not wounded,  to help get the girl down.   They all made their way to the chain where they had come up.  Kinny dragging her heavy chest, being the last to descend.
Those who left the battle under their own power, along with their two treasures.
     Back at the their tower base. Quail had Sir Cardidil carry Bailey to her bed.  And Innis was taken to his.  The Sigilist sat on a chair near her Apprentice and tended her wounds with Healing spells and magical ointments.  Bailey's eyes fluttered open, and she looked at Quail with sadness and pain. "I'm sorry", she whispered weakly.
   "There, there, my child" Quail said soothingly.  "There's no need.  We succeeded.  The Evil is gone. Rest now."
     Later that night, when the Sigilist had time to look at the chests that had been retrieved, she found one held a pair of Boots of Leaping, and the other had a Grimoire of Forget Spell.  There was also 160 gold coins.  As she sat and leafed through the Grimoire, she was surprised to hear a familiar barking at the main door; and sure enough there was Cirvid, his fur bloody and matted, who somehow had survived and returned home.
    Returning home was a good thing, she thought to herself.  Her mind turned to her library back at the University.  While a year ago she had been desperate to escape it's dark cold halls, she now longed for its comforting familiarity, and its quiet security.

Game Epilogue

    It was a frustrating game from start to finish.  I should have known when I failed both my Reveal Secret rolls, and both my Brew Potion rolls, that it was going to be one of those days, and it was.  I couldn't roll to save myself.  I feel extremely thankful that I even managed to get two treasures, and that no one died. 
     The Lich Lord himself proved to  be a bit of a disappointment.    I can see where having a player actually play the Lich Lord himself (as is recommended in the book) is much better than using the programed actions like we did.  It didn't help that all but one of his Elemental Bolts did no damage.   The programed actions also allowed me to easily evade the skeletons with my Fog.
   The final battle proved interesting, though very anti-climatic.  It really showed the value of an experienced Captain in Frostgrave.   And gave me a brief glimpse of what playing with a Heritor in Ghost Archipelago will be like. 
   And on a final note, last game Quail matched Kodak's achievement by reaching level 29; this time she rose past him to level 33.

To read Bemis' account of the battle, see: Death of the Lich Lord

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Fall-In Saturday in the HAWKs Room

     I was only able to get up to Fall in for Saturday and Sunday this year, so only have shots of some of the Saturday games we ran in the HAWKs room.  Sunday, I sold in the flea market.   I had a great time at the con, and the crowd and energy seemed at a higher level than I have seen in a while.  All the HAWKs games had players enough to run, even the hard-to-fill Saturday night sessions; and the newly-redesigned Dealers' Hall seemed to be humming with activity when I was there.
    There were very few visible improvements to the Lancaster Host still, other than the Dealer's Hall, and the new white plastic tables everywhere, that replaced the old wooden splinter-and-staple infested ones.  But signs like the absent boiler truck, and no more roof tarps, are indicators steps are being taken in the right direction down a very long road.   On the down side, most of the reports I heard of the food quality were poor; and the water dispenser, moved from the hallway into the HAWKs room itself, never seemed to be refilled after it's initial reserves were exhausted on Friday.  The flea market was humming; and at the Sunday session that I did, every table was filled with a seller, and some folks even had to drag some of the tournament tables over into a new ad-hoc sellers' row to make more space .

   For the report on the linked, 2-part special episode, Doctor Who games Greg Priebe and I ran, please see: Doctor Who and the Pirates of the Cyberiad Main.

  On the the photos!

Eric Schlegel's "Action on the Pratzen" 15mm Napoleonic game using "Le Feu et Fureur" modified Fire and Fury rules. 

Geoff Graff's Lego Pirate game is always a favorite with the kids, using Plastic Pirates rules. 

Rob Dean running his Chaos Wars fantasy game with 25mm figures.

Patrick Byrne's "Hold the Fort" 28mm modern game using Force on Force rules

Kevin and Mike Fischer's "Welcome to the Jungle" 12mm Mobile Suit Gundam game.

Chris Johnson's "Gorilla My Dreams I Need You" 54mm Pulp kids game using Valley of the Ape rules.

A close up of some of Chris' beautiful big figures.

Bill Molyneaux's "Zulu Morning Patrol" game using home rules.

A closer shot of some of Bill's brave British preparing to meet the Zulus.  

Kurt Schlegel's reprisal of the "Action on the Pratzen" scneario, this time using his Fast and Fun Napoleonics rules.

Don Hogge's "All or Nothing" WWII game featuring Greek's vs Italians, and using Battleground WWII rules. 

A close up of some defending Italians in Don's game

Jim McWilliams "Saga of Lower Uncton Continues" game, using SAGA rules. 

A close up of some of the Dark Age forces battling in Jim's game. 
   A big thank you goes out from all the HAWKs Gamemasters to all the great players who came by our room to take part in our games!  We hope to see you all at Cold Wars!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Fall-In Doctor Who Game Reports: "Pirates of the Cyberiad Main", and "Dead Men's Chests"

     At last weekend's Fall-In convention in Lancaster, PA, Greg Priebe and I ran a special 2-part-episode pair of linked Doctor Who games, entitled "Pirates of the Cyberiad Main" and "Dead Men's Chests".    The idea for this originated in the plan our club had to set up a single Caribbean themed table for the HAWKs gamemasters to use all weekend for different games. So Greg and I took this opportunity to devise two linked Doctor Who games.
   We ran my game, entitled "Doctor Who and the Pirates of the Cyberiad Main" first, on Saturday morning, and Greg's follow-up game, "Doctor Who and the Dead Men's Chests" we ran on Saturday night.
     Here's the description of my game from the convention program;   Can't the Doctor enjoy a nice restful trip to a sunny Caribbean island in the early 1700's without something going wrong? It seems that Pirates have arrived to plunder the town, and they've brought some unusual stowaways: a group of Cyberman have hitched a ride after their spacecraft crashed in the ocean; and they're looking for new recruits amongst the local population! 
     So, the premise was a Cyberman spaceship had crashed somewhere in the ocean, and the survivors had made a deal with a passing pirate ship, that they would help them plunder a nearby town, if the Pirates would help them gather some captives to be "upgraded"; and then return them to their damaged ship, where they could then start making more Cybermen.  On the island there was a garrison of British Marines, and some hastily assembled townsfolk to offer defense.  There was, of course, also the 11th Doctor and Amy Pond.  The Doctor had in tow the island's Governor as well as the Governor's Daughter.
    I used the "To Be GASLIGHT" rules, slightly modified to allow disengagement from combat.
A look at the table at the start of the game
   The Pirate/Cyberman players' objective was to capture 6 humans (either garrison or townsfolk) and carry them back to their landing boats.    The townsfolk's objective was to prevent this. And, to help them, the Doctor had to make some special gold plated ammunition for the muskets and pistols of the populace.  (Cybermen are vulnerable to gold) Without the special ammunition, the Cyberman were nearly invulnerable with a Save number of 20. With the special ammunition the Cybermen's Save became just a 10.  To make the ammunition, the Doctor needed to travel and gather components from  three different buildings on the island, and then spend a turn in his Tardis creating the  ammo.  He would then have to physically deliver it, by moving into contact with any figure carrying a firearm.
Cybermen and Pirates come ashore.
     The game started off with the Doctor whizzing off in his Tardis to get the first objective, a chest of gold coins in the warehouse; while the townsfolk both exited the buildings where they had initially gathered.    Over in the barracks outpost down by the beach,  here was some disagreement amongst the commander and the sergeant, as the commander thought it was prudent to fall back into the town, while the sergeant thought they should take the case of ammunition that was stored in the armory with them so it would be easier for the Doctor to get later.
   The Cybermen and Pirate teams advanced up the beach with two Cybermen/Pirate groups heading right, towards the warehouse where the Doctor was, and the third group heading left towards the barracks. 
Half the Garrison gets trapped in the barracks outpost and is overrun
     Like the half of the garrison led by the commander, the townsfolk decided to adopt a plan of slowly falling back before the advance of their enemies, with the pair of musketmen in their ranks stopping to fire a discouraging shot at the attackers when they could.
  Meanwhile the Doctor was able to grab the first objective right as the initial Pirates and Cybermen reached the warehouse.  He then flew off  in the Tardis to the center building where the second objective was, and the pursuing enemies attempted to follow.
   As a Gamemaster I started to worry at that point, as the Pirates and Cybermen weren't going to succeed if they remained one step behind the doctor all they way.  They knew where the items he needed were, so at least at one of the buildings they needed to cut him off before he got there if they were to succeed.  Likewise, if all the defenders just ran to the back of the table, it would be next to impossible for the Cybermen/Pirate groups to get to them and  carry captives all the way back to the boat before the Doctor achieved his mission. 
On the other side of the town, a real furball of a battle develops as Townsfolk, Pirates, and Cybermen clash.
         I didn't need to worry though, as things soon started to unravel for the defenders.   Back in the barracks outpost, the sergeant realized the heavy chest would probably slow his men down too much in the face of the onrushing attackers, so he formed his troops into a line behind a low wall, and fired at the oncoming Cybermen in an effort to do some damage to them.   The time it took to enter and exit the armory, and then form up and fire from behind the wall, was this troop's undoing, as it allowed the Pirates to get around behind them, and they were trapped in their outpost. 
    Likewise, with the lone musketmen stopping to fire and reload while the rest of the townsfolk moved, their units soon became strung out and they needed to pause to regroup.  This allowed the speediest pirates to make contact.
    It didn't take long for the combined power of the leftmost Cybermen and Pirates to overwhelm the Sergeant and his men.  In some tense moments, the last of the defenders fell just as the Doctor got to the armory.  A Cyberman and Pirate where able to dash in to try and stop him, but he was able to grab the chest, (which was the third item he needed) and with the help of the Governor, was able to disengage and make his way back into the Tardis
In the armory, a short skirmish develops between a Cyberman, Pirate and the Doctor!.
     The Doctor then went to work concocting the special ammunition.  When this was done, he flew off to there the Garrison Commander was with his half of the troops.  The Doctor took them all aboard the Tardis and started handing out ammunition. 
      By this time, with the overrun of half the Garrison and a long and bloody skirmish with the townsfolk, the Cybermen had more than enough volunteers for "upgrading".   The highlight of the Townsfolk battle was the ninja-trained "Grandma Sam", (who was one of the leaders of the townsfolk), who lasted nearly the whole game, taking out many an enemy with her Broom of Death, before she was eventually taken down by a Cyberman.)
Last stand on the beach.  The surviving Garrison troops get off one good shot, but the special bullets miss their targets, as the Cybermen and Pirates rush from the woods with their captives.
     As the Cybermen and Pirates headed for their boats with their booty,  the Doctor tried to cut them off at the pass by flying his Tardis right down on the beach with the Garrison troops inside for the ride.  He then deployed them  in a line blocking the passage of one of the enemy groups.  Even the Governor and Governor's Daughter joined in to help.    The other Cybermen and Pirates  made their way to the beach, dogged by the few surviving Townsfolk. 
    The final turns were a real exciting nail-biter, as the Cybermen and Pirates on the left decided to rush the defenders in a last ditch effort to get to their  boats.   This worked, as the Garrison was only able to get off one good shot with their special ammo, before the Cybermen were upon them.  Likewise,  the Cybermen facing the Governor and his Daughter soon realized that rushing the defenders was the best way to avoid being shot.   In the end, the Governor's Daughter was the only one to take out a Cyberman; but it was too little too late.
     Even the Doctor succumbed to a Cyberman blast, and Amy had to drag his unconscious body back into the Tardis in the closing moments of the episode game.   With the defenses crumbled,  I declared the game a Cyberman victory. 
In the final moments, the Doctor is knocked unconscious and falls into the surf.  Amy has to drag him to the Tardis.   The Governor and his Daughter can be seen defending the low wall near the center of the photo , just before they are overrun by the two Cybermen there.
    It was an exciting game, and really went down to the last turns.  In the end the defenders just weren't able to disable enough Cybermen in the battle.  Even with a Save of 20, in playtest games the Cybermen lost a third to a half of their strength, just from the fact if they roll a lot of Saves, the 5% chance of rolling a 20 will eventually catch up with them. And then the defenders should get a couple shots off with the special ammo.  But in this game, only one Cyberman fell.  The garrison formed up so close to the woods along the beach, the Cybermen were bale to be on top of them in one turn, so they only got one shot.  And it didn't help that two of the Cybermen players were kids.  Kid luck will always carry the day!  :) 

Part 2

     That evening Greg ran his half of the 2-part battle.  His game picked up the action a short time after where mine ended.  This is the description for the Convention program:  Pirates and Cybermen have already plundered the town and been dealt with, and the Doctor's tropical vacation has gone horribly awry. He can finally relax; or can he? As now, a cache of mysterious crates have washed ashore. Do they bring untold riches or unknown peril?
The East India Company arrives in their spiffy boat.
      In this game a couple new factions were added.  First, Marines from the East India Company had just arrived at the dock to collect taxes from the town.  Secondly, as the description indicates, strange chests of valuable antiquities have been washing ashore.  While a few have just washed up at the start of the game,  this had apparently been going on for while, and some more of these strange chests had been stored in various buildings in the town.  These chests it turns out, were from some ancient Silurian vessel wrecked for eons on the ocean floor,  some seismic shift on the ocean floor had freed them and they were now coming to the surface.  Once on shore, their mere presence had called out to their original owners; and so a group of Silurians had tunneled their way to the surface in one of the buildings at the back of the town to recover the chests. 
     Also, joining the fight were more Townsfolk, just now returning from working in the fields.   There were also some of the Pirates left from the earlier battle, and the Cybermen were bringing back some of the newly upgraded citizens in the form of a few more Cybermen.   
Amy and Rory direct some members of the East India Company to secure a crate for the Doctor.  At first the men seemed happy to be taking orders from the redheaded lass.  Later though, when they realized she might be a Jacobite, they took some potshots at her! 
    This was more of an everybody for himself kind of game, with the Silurian crates and the chests of Tax Money, the objectives of most of the teams.  The Cybermen, of course, were also after more volunteers for upgrading.   The Doctor was just trying to get everyone to get along with each other.
    For this battle Greg used the old Doctor Who Miniatures Game rules.
More troops from the East India Company and some Pirates battle for control of a crate.
      It's hard for me to say exactly what happened in this game as it was so joyfully chaotic!   Early on, the Doctor met with he Silurians and formed a truce with them in exchange for helping them get back their rightfully owned crates.  He was just as happy to commandeer the chests of Tax Money gold as well.  (Presumably so everyone would stop fighting over them.)    And of course the Cyberman enjoyed just cutting a merry path of destruction through everyone!
Cybermen, Silurains, and Towsfolk clash. 
     One of the highlights of this game was the Cyberman player who asked if he could repair one of his downed Cyberman by doing an expedient "field upgrade" using one of the Townsfolk he had captured.    He then decided that the upgrade wasn't quite successful and so the Cyberman could only walk backwards, and at half speed.  Everyone christened the Cyberman "Abbie Normal", and much laughter was had at this poor Cyberman's antics. 
A view of the table from the landward side.
     In the end, Greg declared it a three way tie for victory, between the Doctor, the Silurians and the Cybermen. 
A poor citizen receives a "field upgrade"  to revive a fallen Cyberman.  
     Both games were a ton of fun to run, thanks mainly to a great bunch of players.  Everyone got into the spirit of the Doctor Who, and much hilarity and fun was had.   As Gamemasters, both Greg and I had a great time.