North Gondal 1870s – A trip to the forest to gather herbs accidentally interrupted by a Forest Indian Hunting Party.
Lost in the forest, Captain Snortt and Miss MacGuffin square up to four startled Forest Indians.
First card of the Duelling draw … disaster!
Snortt now knocked out, Kate MacGuffin the Major’s daughter is now faced with three Forest Indians intent on taking her hostage.
All she has to defend herself is her hiking staff, concealed pistol and brave dog Patch.
Should she open fire? Kate has a hidden pistol but she is out of pistol range and outgunned two or three to one by the three Forest Indians who are carrying hunting rifles and muskets. These muskets or rifles fire twice pistol range, much longer ranges than her.
She climbs the nearby hillock and backs towards a tree guarded by her dog Patch.
D6 thrown for how quickly Snortt and Redjacket will recover from being knocked out. Snortt will recover after two more turns (Active again in Turn Four) whilst Redjacket recover in three turns (Active again from Turn Five).
One of the Forest Indians named Redbonnet recognises Miss MacGuffin from the attack on the supply column and tells the other two not to open fire. They realise that this woman is a valuable hostage to bargain with the Redcoats, as is Captain Snortt. She is best captured alive.
Redbonnet is not carrying any ropes otherwise he would stop and quickly tie Snortt up.
Snortt is now active. Where is his sword though?
The d6 dice throw for which side moves first this turn is won by the Forest Indians who move in on three sides of Kate MacGuffin.
RedBonnet heads around the back of the tree to prevent her escaping. They are wary of her and of her dog Patch who has positioned himself in front of her. He is growling fiercely at them.
Snort staggers to his feet, sizes up the situation and groggily rushes towards Kate on the hill and the nearest Forest Indian Greenbreeches. He is too faraway for melee this turn.
The Forest Indians move first and continue to try and encircle her on the hill. Active again, RedJacket staggers to his feet and heads towards Snortt and Greenbreeches.
Greenbreeches heads into Melee with Snortt.
Stop Thrust matches / cancels Stop Thrust.
Next card is drawn by Greenbreeches (Attacker) who draws the ‘Killed’ card!
Big problem. With Snortt now active and one of the Forest Indians dead, rifles may be used, at least on Snortt.
The Forest Indians both fire at Snortt. Yellowfeather misses at Close Range. RedJacket scores a hit but Snortt is saved by a lucky Casualty Savings Throw.
Snortt has no rifle to return fire. Kate uses her concealed pistol at Close Range on Yellowfeather but fails the shot.
d6 throw – Snortt and Kate move first .
Kate backs round the tree into shadow and cover to keep watch for the out of sight Forest Indian Redbonnet.
Snortt moves into a melee attack on Yellowfeather.
Snortt closes with Yellowfeather, after two successful hits reducing Yellowfeather’s life points or melee points, Snortt finishes the knock out with a Parry and Lunge countering Yellowfeather’s Stop Thrust. Yellowfeather is knocked out and topples back down the slope.
Snortt still has no rifle, so it is Kate who fires her pistol close range at Redbonnet but again misses. Redbonnet knows she would be more valuable as a prisoner, so a d6 is thrown to see if he fires back. He does not, hoping to take her alive as a hostage.
Turn 7 Movement and Melee
D6 thrown, Snortt and Kate move first. I threw a d6 to see if Kate would attack Redbonnet directly or retreat round the tree, closer to Snortt. She retreated out of Red Bonnet’s way.
Snortt headed for RedJacket as he arrived at the brim of the slope. He swung his staff but after a slip (hit on Snortt), Snortt next drew a “Run away” card! Rather than running downhill, he headed back into the cover of the trees only to meet Redbonnet coming round the corner of the large trees on the hill.
On the Forest Indian’s turn to move around the trees, Redbonnet closes as the attacker on Snortt for melee.
Snortt is attacked in melee by Redbonnet as they grapple and fight, staff to musket – two stop thrusts cancel each other out.
Redbonnet’s parry and lunge is deflected by Snortt’s cut to the head – first blow on Redbonnet. Two more stop thrusts cancel each other out.
Redbonnet’s stop thrust is countered by Snortt’s parry and lunge, another blow on Redbonnet.
Weakening, Redbonnet again parries and lunges at Snortt, only for this move to be countered by a cut to the head with his hiking staff – a third blow – and Redbonnet staggers back and topples down the slope towards the stream.
Snortt has knocked him clean out! Can he grab the rifle before Redbonnet staggers away? D6 throw – no luck, Redbonnet keeps his grasp on his rifle as he rolls down hill.
Meanwhile a few yards away Kate faces up in melee to RedJacket.
Redjacket aimed to grab or fight Kate MacGuffin but would he first have to fight off Patch the Dog? Patch had bravely put himself between them, growling fiercely. A d6 was thrown – Kate or the dog? It was her brave dog Patch who needed dealing with first, giving Kate time to prime her pistol, ready her staff and prepare her next move.
RedJacket swung at the growling dog, knife in one hand, musket in the other.
Kaptain Kobold rules using dice were used here for the Dog vs Man melee. Each has three melee or life points.
First move – 4 rolled – both Miss.
Second move – 3 – both Hit, both lose a point.
Third move – 4 – both Miss.
Fourth move – 5 – Hit on Patch the dog, defender – loses another point.
Fifth move – 6 – disaster, another hit on Patch the dog, defending his mistress, his final life point lost. He slumps sideways with a whimper.
Turn 7 – Firing phase.
Distraught at the loss of her dog, dead or knocked out, it was Kate’s firing move. She coolly raised her pistol at Close Range and fired. Redjacket staggered backwards. A hit at Close Range and failing his saving throw, he staggered and rolled down the hill, dead. Patch was avenged.
Relief! Snortt and Kate were safe for the moment – two Forest Indians were dead, two more dead or knocked out – but for how long? They were also still lost in the forest. Patch the dog was dead or unconscious, it was hard to tell. The pistol and rifle shots might draw attention from the Redcoats at the Fort. Equally it might attract more Hunting Parties of Forest Indians.
At that moment, they heard the signal cannon from the Fort fired, the sound echoing around the trees. It was hard to pinpoint exactly where it came from. Moments later, a signal flare streaked into the air to the Northwest, from the direction of the Fort. This would give Snortt a rough idea which direction to aim for. It also told him that a foot patrol of Redcoats had been despatched by Major MacGuffin, the Fort commander, anxious for news of his daughter. They should have been back at the Fort by now.
Tired and lost as they were, Snortt said they should not hang around for the Forest Indians to wake up or more to turn up. As they made ready to head northwest towards the direction of the signal rocket, Kate MacGuffin pleaded with Snortt not to leave Patch’s body behind.
It would be quicker without him, Snortt argued. That dog saved my life, Kate said.
They agreed that they would try to carry Patch between them using their hiking staffs, the spear and an Indian jacket as an improvised stretcher. It would slow them down but hopefully they would soon stumble across a Redcoat patrol.
Snortt quickly removed Redjacket’s Indian tunic, which looked much like one stolen and cut down from a Redcoat jacket long ago as a hunting trophy. He tucked Redjacket’s hunting knife into his belt and gathered up Redjacket’s musket.
Snortt and Kate lifted Patch gently onto the stretcher and gathered up the herb basket.
Grabbing an Indian rifle or musket each, ammunition and powder, they laid these in the stretcher alongside the faithful but unmoving hound. Worryingly, struck several heavy blows by Redjacket, Patch still showed no obvious signs of life.
They set off as quickly as they could, carrying the stretcher, heading northwest through the forest towards the Fort, keeping watch for any further Forest Indians.
The Forest Indians would not be pleased when they found the bodies of several of their warriors. There was more trouble ahead for the Redcoat defenders of Fort MacGuffin.
Sometime later that day, dodging Redcoat patrols in the forest, a Hunting Party of the Forest Indians comes across the dead bodies of two warriors of their tribe, Redjacket and Greenbreeches.
Nearby they find two unconscious warriors, Yellowfeather and Redbonnet. When they wake, no doubt they will have brave tales of fierce fighting with an overwhelming number of Redcoats. The four warriors are gathered up and the Hunting Party slowly makes its way back towards their hidden encampment deep in the Forest. They carry with them an officer’s sword of the Redcoats.
The story continues …
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 27 May 2020
14 thoughts on “A Romantic Walk in the Forest, Interrupted – The Skirmish.”
Thrilling tale of daring do! Shows the power of narrative and a small collection of figures, as if we didn’t know already. Your trees are growing on me more and more, pity they weren’t more easily available. There is a blog where a chap games in 54mm with collector figures. He uses quite thick sawn pieces of branch to represent trees but without the upper branches and foliage. Your technique reminds me of it though they are very different.
It was a thrilling switchback of a tale – I pretty much thought we were looking at a hostage situation as an ongoing scenario, especially after some poor firing throws. It was all played out in such a tiny space.
The Bold Frontiers trees worked well as they are 3D and figures can be out of sight round the back so easily.
The cut off branches or twigs sounds interesting – painted white, I have used this twig technique on a Christmas railway before. Quite simple and effective.
Finally found the link to it
Thanks for this link. This is the type of cluttered terrain I like – clever tree trick.
Knight fights giant snap, Radio 4 medieval marginalia documentary on now or Sounds / Iplayer https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000jgfv
To process with magnets, a cunning plan indeed.
Very clever and simple style.
That was thrilling! I thought it was all over when Snortt was knocked unconscious, but it goes to show that you just can’t tell. I’m upset about poor old Patch, though. I hope he makes it – would any of the medicinal herbs that Snortt and Kate were going to collect come in useful?
I too thought it would be swiftly over. We shall have to see if Patch, almost the saviour of the day, makes it through. That basket of herbs may come in very useful!
Too upset about Patch to say much more than “what a thoroughly thrilling yarn”!
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Let’s all hope Patch pulls through … he could become the Snowy to her Tintin!
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Very good story, right up my street. I agree with other comments that the herbs Kate collected must be used to save Patch, maybe another throw of the dice. This is a story that keeps on giving, there are still many more yarns and skirmishes to be had. Don’t forget the wood chopping party, they will need wood for fuel, indeed, if it comes to it, the Patch burial party could even be ambushed. Such fun, a real winner.
I think on the basis of public opinion (and the Peter Pan / Tinkerbell option) if I get more such comments that Patch must survive to fight another day.
The wood chopping Party is another good scenario, likewise the fresh meat hunting Party. Both would friction / tension as they cause upset and annoyance to the local Forest Indians according to their beliefs, sacred sites and game laws. All they what is the Redcoats and settlers gone and peaceful forest again. There may be trouble with some illegal loggers and miners too over time.
That is superb- an excellent example of games producing a narrative.