Managed to have a wargame with Greg last Friday 6. We chose to try out Mutants and Deathray Guns rules, one of the now many variations of Song of Blades and Heroes. For scenario generation we used the attached table (Hamurabi), an expansion and variation of a table I found in the Mythic forum.

This gave us the following results:

Terrain:

1) Ruins in a poisonous swamp

2) Drainage tunnel off the shaft

3) Urak stronghold with dungeon

Objects of significance:

1) Empty leather cylinder

2) Sword sheath but no sword

3) Arrows for a small bow

Twists/objectives for side A:

1) Friendly priests with slaves

2) Elder’s personal guards

3) Well in the middle of ruins

Twists/objectives for side B:

1) Remember the incident in the mess hall?

2) Assassin sneaks over the ridge

3) Sumerian reactivated ancient vehicles

From this we interpreted the following, and used the findings to populate the battlefield and select forces:

Side A (the Uraks) live in the reclaimed ruins of a pre-collapse building which they have converted to a stronghold. It is in a low lying area surrounded by dangerous swamps. There are drainage channels and tunnels that serve to keep the central part dry. These people are religious slavers with a single autocratic militaristic ruler–say a classic warlord.

The people are known for their use of small arrows – or blow darts perhaps – that have tips poisoned by an extract from a local toad.
In the centre of this structure is a shaft that goes to unknown depths.

This well has religious significance. Sacrifices are made to the old gods by turfing stuff into it. One of the sacrifices was a particular sword that had significance to side B. Another was an artefact. Only the containers for these two relics remain up top.

Side B have one primary objective, to assassinate the leader of side A.

To assist them they know that there is a drainage shaft. They learnt this from an escaped slave who told everyone back home. They also have a couple of pre-collapse mobile machines. A secondary objective may be to recover the artefacts.

Now prepared, we launched into battle. We found MDG to be slow going for a few turns as we had to flip between pages. But this passed very quickly as the rules are childishly (but appropriately) simple. Very soon we were running the game with only the occasional reference to the rules. These times were as a result of trying something unusual – essentially a role-playing element. This is consistent with Greg and my belief that a skirmish game is a lot more like a role-playing game than a ‘wargame’.

Without giving a blow by blow account, the game rolled out as follows: Greg’s bare-arses were on patrol as my stealthy goons, assisted by a couple of clunky old mechanical men, approached their ruined stronghold in the swamps. In short order, the murderous mutant pygmies slaughtered all the goons and the menhanical men, using astoundingly acurate arrow shooting, poisoned speartips, and a brash willingness to close up and assault.

However, my sneaky assassin had curled around behind his stronghold while the rest of the party was being carved up. Unseen, he made entrance and began his search. When he was spotted he dropped out of sight and scaled the walls, reentering the stronghold from the upper floors. While the search party spread out to find him he returned below, bumped off a couple of curious bare-arses and recovered the sword. Then he leaped out to assassinate the native warlord. The attempt was unsuccessful, and before the hordes could descend on him he fled into the miasmal swamps.

Result: a partial victory for me: the sword was recovered, but the Swamp Warlord remains at large.

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