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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Strange Aeons Dark Ages: Part One -- Intro and lists

OK, so here is a rough draft of the first part of the first part of my three-era Strange Aeons scenario. Now, because this involves futzing with the basics of how SA works, I need to tinker with the setup a little bit. If you know the system, I invite feedback!



The keel of the Bison hissed and crunched on the soft shore as the men splashed into the shallows. Gudbrand touched the hilt of his sword, checking it for the tenth time that day to see that it would slide freely from the scabbard. 

"Now remember, lads, we're not staying. Grab things you can carry, things that'll fetch a good price, and then let's get out of here before reinforcements turn up." Around him his crew formed up into a loose pack, jogging steadily toward the trickles of smoke that showed the village waking up. Snorri chuckled cruelly to himself as he hefted his axe. 

Osfrid squinted down the length of the beach, licking his lips reflexively and smiling at the taste of the salt spray. Yes, the Northmen were definitely advancing down the beach. He smiled, revealing unusually sharp teeth. 

"All right. They're coming. Send the signal. We must make sure they don't get away."

Choosing forces: One player chooses a force from the Viking list, while the other chooses a force from the Villager list. These lists are specific to the scenario, but allow some choice so that you can fit the selection to the available models. Give each player the briefing text for his or her faction (below).

Set Up: Players place scenery to mutual satisfaction. The terrain represents an Anglo-Saxon village in 9th-century Essex, and can include features such as houses, a church, animal pens, a well or other village impedimenta. In addition, place four Treasure Markers in the village, at least 5" apart. Choose sides as per "Retrieve the Artifacts," (p. 59). The Villager player should deploy half of his or her models within the village. Models can be in groups of up to two, and should be at least 5" apart.

Special Rules: Viking models can move Treasure Markers, but suffer a -2 Movement penalty. If a second model starts the turn in base-to-base contact with the Treasure Marker, there is no Movement penalty that turn.

Once the Viking player has retrieved two Treasure Markers, the Villager player may deploy his or her secondary force (described in the list below). These models appear on either or both of the long edges of the board, no less than 5" from any Viking model or the Viking board edge. Once the Viking player has retrieved three Treasure Markers, he or she should read the second set of scenario objectives (again, reproduced below).

Starting the Game: The Viking player goes first.

Ending the Game: The game continues until all the models from one side have been removed from the table or escaped. The number of Vikings who survived the scenario will influence the setup of the next instalment!

Weapons of the Dark Ages

The following weapons from the Strange Aeons core book are available in this scenario:

Unarmed, club, seax (treat as Bowie knife), sword (treat as civil war sabre), spear

In addition, the following additional weapons from Shocking Tales #1 are available: torch, battle axe, javelins (treat as short bow), long bow

Body armour in the Viking age was relatively rare but lighter than we tend to think. Mail armour works like a Light Armoured Vest, but doesn't impost any Movement penalty. Its characteristics are otherwise the same.

Shields provide a parry in close combat: against ranged combat, they give a 5+ save.

Vikings

Jarl (leader): 5 BP

M 5, Dex 4+, Con 6, A 3, W 2, Res 3+

Skills: Command, 1 free skill
Weapons: sword, javelins, shield

Berserk: 5 BP

M 5, Dex 5+, Con 6, A 3, W 2, Res 5+

Skills: Heroic
Weapons: battle axe

Berserks are subject to the Madman rule (p. 32). Berserks may not buy any additional weapons or armour.

Drengr: 2 BP

M 5, Dex 5+, Con 6, A 2, W 1 Res 4+

Skills: 1 free skill
Weapons: seax, javelins, shield

Bondr: 1 BP

M 5, Dex 5+, Con 5 A 1, W 1, Res 5+

Skills: None
Weapons: seax or javelins

Attack Dog: 1 BP

M 7, Dex 4+, Con 4, A 3, W 1, Res 4+

Skills: Man's Best Friend
Weapons: Teeth and Claws (+1, D+1)


Villagers

The villager player builds not one but two lists: the first list is entirely mundane and represents the cultists who are in the village at the start of the game. The second list consists of the reinforcements that arrive once the second Treasure Marker has been captured by the Vikings. Because the point total for this scenario is variable, it's not possible to give precise point values, but the starting force in the village should be significantly weaker than the Vikings, while the total force including reinforcements is stronger. This should help to offset the fact that the two forces deploy separately.

Village occupants

Village chief: 5 BP

M 5, Dex 4+, Con 6, A 2, W 1, Res 2+, Command

Weapons: Seax, javelins, shield

Villager: 1 BP

M 5, Dex 5+, Con 5, A 1, W 1, Res 5+

Weapons: Seax or club

Reinforcements

Reinforcements can be chosen from any of the following models: Villager, Maniac, Fishman

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