"He's Only A Goblin"
A Flintloque After Action Report by Craig Andrews
For the history of Dreadloque, click here to jump to the notes section at the bottom of this article.
A while back, before writing one of it's follow up adventures, I sat down to give Danny O'Hara's fantastic original Dreadloque scenario a go. Armed with four sets of the amazingly useful Heroscape scenery I built an island on my gaming table and gathered some players. I took control of the Elves, my long term Flintloque partner in crime Jaffa took control of the Orcs and at the last minute we were joined by my usually non-wargaming housemate Tony who took the control of the hidden tokens which included the Wailers.
The game went something like what follows...
Dubois and his Elves landed on the islands South beach, they had identified a few possible locations for those damned Wailers and poor Glorfindelle (and off course her maid, Lobelia). After a quick check of equipment they headed into the dense vegetation with rescue on their minds.
They heard their quarry so they quickly advanced on the first possible location of the kidnappers. Dubois himself charged in, hoping to make a somewhat gallant impression of young Glorfindelle. However, much to his surprise upon leaping forward to confront the dastardly Halflings he was charged by a wild boar. It has not been the Wailers at all. A quick melee ensued and with the help of Soldat Cloutier the beast was defeated. Dubois knew it was imperative they found Glorfindelle as quickly as possible, noticing two possible trails he ordered his Elves to spilt up and he headed further into the island whilst Lejeune went up into the higher forested ground to the West.
Lieutenant Flassz-Orc and his men saw the Ferach Sloop moored off the southern side of the island. Damn, this was bad, if they managed to catch up with Bilbo first things could get ugly. Ordering his Orcs to land as far away from the nefarious Elves as possible they landed on the larger northern beach and cautiously advanced to one of the locations Bilbo had said they might be at.
Corporal Lejeune's party had no luck exploring the hills but near the central island clearing Dubois had once again picked up the trail and moved in quickly to hopefully this time confront the Wailers. Noticing the proximity of some damned Albion Orcs he ordered his men to tread carefully and take out the Orcish commanders if they could, Gagnon took aim and an unknowing Marine Sgt Griknak moved through the jungle.
Grignak had survived a few scrapes in his time and noticed some damned Ferach trying to pick him off. A few quick hand signals to his men and they were ready for battle (that damned Flassz Orc at the back as usual, being as usful as a fart in a wet paper bag). After a quick flurry of shots ringing out from the vegetation all around them, Grignak was relieved as there had not been as many casualties as one would have found on the battlefield, most likely due to the dense vegetation, and thank Art-tan his Orcs had held too. Not bad given how wet behind the ears some of them were.
Off in the undergrowth Dubois was not so happy, he was now down by a couple of Elves, they would be missed and those damned Orcs would pay. Quickly sending some orders out to his men they charged down what he thought was a clear trail to the kidnappers.
Flassz-Orc saw where the Elves were headed and barked for his men to get after the Ferach. Grignak was not so sure but followed the orders to the letter.
Neither side expected what they found just North of the islands only clearing. The Wailers had set a trap in case of being followed and as Dubois and Grignak charged in the spike trap went off, causing mayhem and carnage and a few casualties on both sides.
With all thought of the kidnappers put to one side, both parties charged into hand-to-hand combat intent on stopping their enemies before resuming the search for the Wailers. After a lot of complex combat with Elves and Orcs alike not really knowing who they were fighting, the Elves took a few more casualties but managed to bring down a few Orcs with them.
The remaining Elves ran off this time sure they knew the location of the Wailers but alas it was another boar. Thankfully it was quickly dispatched but not before the Orcs used this advantage to follow a new trail that was heading to the North beach. It must be the Wailers! The Orcs troops moved into Hand-to-Hand preventing the Elves from following whilst Flassz-Orc chased down the trail.
He caught up with them on the North beach and jumped into his boat but just before the Wailers could hand over the hostages some damned Elves had survived the skirmishes and leapt out of the forest and attacked the predominately Halfing party. Bilbo and Ganja quickly became embroiled in vicious hand-to-hand combat with the Elves and they could not break off. Pippin managed to force Lobelia into the boat but Flassz-Orc had had enough, things were getting a little dicey and he barked some orders and set off out into the sea with Pippin jumping onto the boat to avoid the fighting happening on the beach.
Back on board the HMS Monstrosity Flassz-Orc quickly issued orders, not thinking about his men, he was safe after all. And within minutes they sailed off and headed off into the sunset and Flassz-Orc welcomed the Halfing slave Lobelia in a way that only Flassz-Orc would.
What had happened to the rest of his squad. Did any of the Elves survive ? And what would Glorfindelle do trapped on such an island with traps, boars and a handful of soldiers, sadly that is a tale for another time...
All three of us enjoyed the game immensely, and I thoroughly recommend people giving the scenario a go. Even if you use your own troops, the random encounters are brilliant and the cry which went up when the trap token was flipped was brilliant.
The Heroscape terrain performed superbly as well. We said that each hex was 2cm and used them to calculate all movement and firing ranges for the entire game. Green hexes were the forested area and beige hexes were used for the clearing and the beaches. It sped things up tremendously and is something we're going to use again. It does mean you get a smaller/faster battlefield but with the jungle movement modifier it worked quite well. It'll be interesting to see how much it effects a normal skirmish on standard terrain, we might have to change each hex to 3cm.
Tactics/playwise all three of us did quite well. The Elves were at a disadvantage as they're a bit pap in hand to hand and the jungle made it practically impossible for ranged firing. We used the misfire rules from the original edition of Flintloque and had two guns explode during the game, its a rule I love and always causes much hilarity. Watching Jaffa's cry of yes as the tens dice settled on a 4, turn into a groan when he watched the ones die settle on a four as well seconds later, was brilliant, hehe. Tony's playing of the tokens and the Wailers was excellent too, I think he used a bit of dramatic licence with the trap token but that's what would have happened with a GM and it really did enhance the middle section of the game. We found the ten turn cut-off a bit limiting as it left quite a few things left unfinished but we had agreed on it before hand and had amended our tactics in the last few turns because of it. It did mean Jaffa was able to role play Flassz-Orc well though by having him abandon all his men on the island whilst he ran off with the pretty slave girl, definitely behaviour fitting the character I thought :)
All in all this is the sort of scenario that has made Flintloque such fun to play over the years. I've picked a top sounding one for next time too, oh yes...
Dreadloque and it's sequels are Danny O'Hara's piratical take on Flintloque - Alternative Armies skirmish wargame set in an alternate Napoleonic war featuring fantasy races - but are set in their own part of that world called The Windy Isles. A place of pirates and treasure far removed from the smoke hazed battlefieds of the Mordredian Wars in Urop.
Danny's first pirate tale, simply called "Dreadloque", was originally published back in the mid nineties on his website, Filbanto Stew, and it introduced the Windy Isles as a group of Halfling rebels kidnapped an Elven Governor's daughter only to be pursued by the Royule Orc Navie and Elven marines.
It was a favourite among Flintloque players and in 2008 Danny returned to the Windy Isles with the follow up tale, Dreadloque II "Dead Dwarf's Chest" which came in three acts with a prelude. This prelude, “Strange Winds and Unusual Currents”, set the scene for our heroes. It's first act, "The Wild Island", featured a rousing bar brawl. It's second act, "Return to Traitor's Island", saw the characters take up a frantic search across a feral wilderness. The third and final act, "Search for Shambog's Gold", was an old school style dungeon crawl featuring monsters both magical and undead.
In 2009 Danny let me play in his sandbox and I began the third Dreadloque epic, "The Goblin in the Smoke". The prelude, "Rise of the Baron", moves events on a year from Dreadloque II, things in the Windy Isles have changed and not for the better. Act I:"The Beautiful Daughter" saw our erstwhile heroes battling the Baron's men on the docks of Toblerona. The next installment, "Something Strange in Them There Tydes" was a nautical interlude in which our heroes' ships raced across the Windy Isles and came face to face with a giant Kraken. Act II: "The Baron's Mansion" was an unusual adventure using elements from the boardgame Cluedo which saw our heroes searching Bron's mansion for that which they most desired. The third and final act of "The Goblin in the Smoke" will be published here on Orcs in the Webbe as part of it's 2013 Advent Calendar.