- Written by Mark Lesny
"The Round Up"
A Frontear Scenario by Mark Lesny
In which Billy the Looser tries to get some Dodo's past some nefarious bandits.
Fully Compatible with Alternative Armies'
Frontear? What's That Then?
In 2008, after the success of Flintloque Reloaded, Alternative Armies released a follow up using Reloaded's updated "2nd Edition" ruleset which told the history of the Amerkan continent in the West of Valon far from the Mordredian Wars in Urop. The background was tremendously detailed telling of it's original beginnings all the way through to the 4th Age (when the Mordredian Wars are set) and even saw the dawn of the 5th Age as new types weaponry were discovered. It also introduced a host of new races including insectoids, avians and ursidaens. A number of miniatures were released focusing on a couple of periods detailed in the rulebook (which can still be ordered from Alternative Armies). Orcs in the Webbe threw itself into supporting the game throughout 2008 and beyond a number of articles and adventures were published. Sadly the scope of the book was a little too broad and many people wanted full ranges of miniatures for all of the new races to be released. As with any new ruleset releases this was not really viable at the time. With only a small range of miniatures released, interest in Frontear waned and is now effectively out of production.
However, never one to let the unavailability of a game affect its releases (after all, that's how it all started back in 2004) Orcs in the Webbe shall continue to support Frontear in the hope that one day it will be re-released updated to 3rd Edition (perhaps in smaller, easily digestible sections with conversion notes on how to go about creating the fantasical characters and races found within...)
Billy the Loser is a cousin of Joccia’s Bobby the Boozer, and according to some folks, they look and act alike. Billy borrowed a large sum of money from Bobby, and then absconded to Texecas. Perhaps that is one of the reasons Bobby drinks so much.
Billy decided that the secret to getting rich quick in Amerka was to go into cattle ranching, so he spent Bobby’s money on livestock. Since there were many other cattle ranchers in Texecas, Billy figured that he needed an edge, so he bought both cattle and dodos. Things went tolerably well until it was time for the long cattle drive to the market. By the time Billy reached the stockyards, he had only dodos left, because the dodos got mighty hungry along the trail, and...
After losing all his cattle, Billy stuck to being a dodo rancher, but he never gave up his dream of making a fortune. Then Billy had an ingenious idea. While he drove the dodos to market, he could strap barrels on them, and the dodos could, like a caravan, transport goods from one town to another. Billy could be in the overland freight business. Unfortunately, Billy quickly learned that the advertising needed to attract customers for his shipping business also attracted the local banditos. The bandits would bushwhack him and steal all the goods. This is how Billy got his nickname, because he lost all the items that people entrusted him to ship.
Just as Billy was going to give up the shipping business, he met Father Gulo Diablissima, of the Benevolent Order of Friendly Catatonic Inquisitors. The good priest said that he had a solution for Billy’s bandit problems. Near Father Gulo’s homeland, Catalucia, is a country called Al-Garvey, and there the goblin soldiers strap bombs onto their dodos. Father Gulo suggested that if Billy did this with half his flock, folk would think twice about robbing him.
Father Gulo also suggested that Billy was working for the wrong sort of customers, namely honest folk. There was much more money to be made for smuggling goods for the banditos, and if he was providing the bandits with such a service, they would have no reason to rob him. Father Gulo said that the banditos of Texecas were a pious lot that often visited his church to make confession and donate to the Inquisition, so he could arrange a meeting. That meeting was two weeks ago. Now Billy and his hired hand, Slow Draw Pete, are herding barrel laden dodos northwards. Father Gulo is travelling with them for church “business”. Billy and Father Gulo do not know it yet, but five lawmen have gotten wind of this fledgling smuggling operation, and they are waiting in ambush to put it down once and for all.
Map and Set Up
The game should be played on an area about 120 cm by 120 cm. The GM, if you are using one, should scatter about a dozen small pieces of terrain like boulders, clumps of bushes, or other western (think Texecas) trail items that could provide either side with cover. If there is no GM, then players should alternate placing 6 terrain items each such that no item is within 15 cm of a board edge or another terrain item.
After the terrain is placed, players should roll dice. The high roller selects his board edge, and the other player gets the opposite edge. The lawmen’s edge is referred to as the North edge, and the Smugglers edge is referred to as the South edge.
The lawmen are deployed secretly within 3o cm of the Northern edge of the board. See the “Pop Goes the Lawman!” special rule below. The smugglers all enter the board on the first turn from any single point on the Southern edge of the board, but all the smuggler models enter from the same point.
Just when Billy found ways to protect himself from bandits, now lawmen are trying to kill and rob him. Sometimes a poor sod can’t catch a lucky break. There is nothing for it but to take a long swig of booze, and then try to get your loot past those badge toting robbers.
Hickorc knows that successful smuggling makes robbery more profitable, which leads to more bandits and more robberies. Best to nip this operation in the bud and make an example of this lot so others won’t get a notion to try it.
The scenario ends when one side or the other has no models left on the board.
The smugglers win if, at the end of the game, at least one smuggler and one cargo dodo (not bomb dodo) has exited the North edge of the board. Successfully smuggling even part of the loot encourages the bandits to set up a large scale smuggling operation that corrupts the territory for years to come.
The lawmen win if they put down either all the smugglers or all the cargo dodos, and if at least one of them survives to tell the tale. The news that the whole smuggling operation was a failure grows into a local legend and discourages future attempts for years to come.
If all the lawmen die but the smugglers cannot meet their victory condition, then the game ends in a draw, and other lawmen and bandits will fight a rematch as each side tries to establish control in this territory.
The Lawmen – a posse of 5 to 6 deputized gunmen for 25o points.
This scenario was written for the characters in the Frontear book, assisted by the bounty hunter ogre (232 points). However, any posse of 5-6 gunmen, duly deputized to uphold the law (at least for this scenario), should do fine. So if you have a favorite Frontear posse, Partner, use it.
Otherwise use Wylde Bill Hickorc’s Section as described page 99 of the Frontear rulebook (179 points) with the following addition:
Bounty Hunter Tiny Tim Krusher (Experienced / Scout / Ogre) 53 Points
Kolt Frontear Revolver, Knife
The Smugglers – 1 Half Orc, 1 Orc, 1 Inquisitor, and 8 carcass dodos for 250 Points
Billy the Loser (Experienced / Regular / Half Orc (Joccian) ) 48 Points
Perkussion Pistol, Joccian Cow, lit cigar (can be used to light bomb fuses) and bottle of whisky (can be lit and used as an Elf Fyre grenade), Section Leader
Father Gulo Diablissima (Average / Regular / Dark Elf) 33 Points
Holy Book, cigarettes (can be used to light bomb fuses), Section Second
Slow Draw Pete (Raw / Regular / Orc) 37 Points
Perkussion Musket, Knife, Light Horse, cigarettes (can be used to light bomb fuses)
4 Bomb Dodos (20 points each) 80 Points
4 Cargo Dodos (13 points each) 52 Points
Scenario Special Rules
Pop Goes the Lawman!: The lawmen are trying to ambush the smugglers. To simulate this, the lawmen player secretly records where his pieces (the ambushers) are hiding as the start of the game. They must be within 30 cm of the North edge of the board. The can hide in the open, as this represents hiding behind tall grass, or in ditch, etc.
All the lawmen pieces are kept off the board until the lawmen player chooses to reveal them, or circumstances force them to be revealed. The lawman player can opt to reveal any number of his models during the initiative phase of any turn (before the initiative is rolled for). The lawman player must reveal any of his models that are still hidden in the initiative phase after a dodo gets within 45 cm of the North edge of the board. The dodo smells the food and starts looking towards the hidden characters, revealing their locations. The lawmen player should give his models orders during the declaration phase even if they are hidden, as some orders have effects that carry over into the next turn and may affect what a model can do when it is revealed.
Billy the Looser: Billy is so much like Bobby the Boozer (some say they came from the same mold) that they both use the same special rules. These can be found in the article AA New Release 2008 17 on the Notables website. In summary, Bobby is immune to all morale checks (he is too drunk to care), and he is so revolting (because of his vomiting and swearing) that enemies suffer a -1 column shift when shooting Billy or any target within 15 cm of Billy. You must roll on the Tipple Table for Billy at the start of every turn as described in The Compendium No. 1, page 42 (also found in D&A 1 article, “The Demon Drinke”, on the Notables website). Because Billy is tied to his Joccian cow, he cannot fall off her. If Billy becomes unconscious within 20 cm of an enemy, his cow, Whisky, will move towards the nearest friendly model.
Father Gulo: The padre is a Catatonic Inquisitor, and as such, follows the special rules for inquisitors. See The Compendium No. 1, page 45, or the Journals of Valon Article 3 on the Notables website. In short, the lawmen suffer a -1 penalty to their initiative and morale rolls while the inquisitor is present, as well as a negative one column shift to any attempt to shoot the inquisitor. Dark Elf and Goblin lawmen (like Pistol Petro) suffer an additional – 1 to morale checks. The inquisitor has a special attack that he can use once each turn against a single enemy within 15 cm of the inquisitor by reading his holy book to them. It the victim fails a (pushed back) morale test, he may take no actions for one turn. The inquisitors are not allowed to make any other attacks, but in this scenario Father Gulo is allowed to direct a dodo and light a bomb bird fuse each turn instead of using his special Inquisitor attack.
Dodos: Dodos can be moved by the smuggler player where ever he wishes, but it is useful to keep them near the smuggler character models, so that the smugglers can direct them.
Munch Time!: If an undirected dodo is within 15 cm of an enemy at the start of the dodo’s movement, the dodo will charge and attack the nearest lawman character in melee. This is true of both bomb and cargo dodos. Dodos fight in melee using the stats found on page 92 of the Frontear book.
Sic em, Bird! If a smuggler character starts his turn adjacent to a dodo, he can direct the bird towards a particular enemy model. The target enemy can be any distance, but both models must have a line of sight to it. Like a guided missile, the dodo will charge the selected character for turn after turn and engage him in melee when the dodo catches him. If the chosen target perishes, the dodo will return to the nearest smuggler character.
Bombs Away!: If a smuggler character starts his turn adjacent to a bomb dodo, he can also light the fuse before directing the bird towards an enemy. Whenever this bomb dodo comes within 5 cm of any enemy, target or not, it explodes. Use the stats for an Orc grenade (Frontear rulebook pg. 95). This counts as an interrupt action for the dodo, which is always killed by it. (For accuracy there should be complex rules to determine how long the fuse burns before the bombs detonate, but the unrealistic approach above will add more drama and humor to the game. In short, this rule uses the physics of a Roadrunner cartoon, where the worst outcome always strikes the coyote no matter how unlikely).
Grief Stricken Dodos: If all the smuggler characters are killed before they can exit the board, then all the remaining dodos will pursue and attack the nearest lawmen models until either the lawmen or dodos are eliminated. (The dodos hate losing the hands that feed them.) However, if at least one smuggler survived by exiting the North edge of the Board, the birds will not do this. Instead the birds behave as “normal”, undirected dodos where the smuggler play controls their movement unless there is an enemy within 15 cm as described in “Munch Time!” above.
For a truly wonderful scenario using bomb dodos, please see Gavin Syme’s excellent “The Isle of the Dodo” scenario on the Notables website.
Smugglers, try to leave nothing but footprints. You win by getting at least one character and one cargo dodo off the North edge of the board. Don’t get carried away with engaging the enemy, unless doing so distracts him long enough for some of your force to get off the board. Be ready to sacrifice bomb dodos, cargo dodos, and even characters if it will create the opening you need to exit the table.
Lawmen, the only good smuggler is a dead smuggler. Your best bet is to try to put down the smugglers before they can reach the northern edge of the board. But don’t ignore the dodos, as they can easily wipe out your section.
Originally published on Orcs in the Webbe on the 2nd December 2008 as part the 2008 Advent Calendar.
It was absent for several years due to a prior regeneration of the website not transferring everything over correctly, the wrong has now been righted and it returned on the 15th November 2014 as part of Orcs in the Webbe's ongoing Flintloque Archive Project.