"A Stroll in the Park"
A Flintloque Scenario by Tony Harwood
Photograph, Miniatures and Terrain by Tony Harwood
Tony Harwood brings us a three-part scenario for Alternative Armies Flintloque setting veteran Ferach Marines and Dwarf Sappers against a poorly defended Algarvey signal tower.
The interior of the Ferach tent was heavy with the stench of cheap Brandy and those infernal Algarvey cigarellos. Errole Flynne staggered slightly as he forced back an urge to gag on the smell and then as any fine Ferach officer should, straightened his uniform and swiftly marched in to the tent of Generalle Foche the commander of the Armee of the Sud. As he approached the makeshift desk Errole stopped, clapped his heals together and was immediately bolt upright and standing to attention. Despite the poor state of his now heavily repaired uniform and tattered Shako it was clear to all that Errole was of obvious High-Ferach blood, something that irritated many of the lesser officer class.
Foche, a huge red-faced Elf, waved a long and delicate feather ended quill in the direction of the Marines Officer and mumbled something that Errole took to be “at ease”. He was expecting the meeting with his new commanding officer to be a mere formality, ‘a stroll in the park.’ As the news around the camp was that Errole and his now greatly depleted group of Marines had been promised some much deserved (and needed) R&R.
Before any other words were spoken, the dark figure of a Dwarf, dressed in a similarly thread-bare uniform caught Errole’s attention and without turning his head, he made a mental note of the dark bearded and ruddy cheeked complexion.
“These dwarves were all the same – as if they had been hewn out of the very rock of Valon.” Thought Errole.
Foche (without looking up) pointed with the same feather quill to the seated Dwarf.
“Herr Schist is on a special mission, direct orders from the Emperor’s Spy-Master himself. You will escort him on his mission and then make sure that his team of Sappers are picked up by some Ferach Gunship on the coast of Algarvey.”
Flynne started to protest, but Foche dismissed both him and the brooding Dwarf with the now familiar flick of the feather-ended quill while an aide placed in the Marines hand a piece of parchment which carried the heavily encrusted Imperial Cipher. Outside the canvas tent, Flynne took a deep breath, both to calm his temper and also to clear his lungs of the stale smoke and bitter liqueur fumes. He was about to address the Dwarf, - Schist. Was that his name? When he saw four more similarly dressed Dwarves reclining against a low stone wall between him and his squad of nine Imperial Marines.
“How was he going to explain this turn of events to his tired and war-weary companion’s?
Schist anticipating that something was not right signalled to his Dwarves to stay where they were and turning to Flynne saying.
“Not what you expected Yah?”
“NON.” Was the single word reply.
With every piece of self control Flynne placed the folded parchment into the breast of his uniform, slowly turned to Schist and formally saluted the stocky figure, then held out his right hand and in his highest Ferach said.
“Major Errole Flynne of the Quarante-quatre Imperial Marines in the service of his Most Excellent Emperor Mordred at your service.”
Schist may have been taken aback, but returned the salute with equal stiffness and replied.
“Captain Herr Shubert Schist. Engineer third class and leader of this small (but lethal) group of Finklestein Dwarves.”
Flynne pardoned himself, turned and marched quickly to the group of Elf Marines. As Schist watched, there was a noticeable lowering of shoulders as Flynne spoke to the soldiers and many dark looks in the direction of the singular Dwarf as the situation was explained to them.
Later as the hot sun was just dipping beneath the stark hills to the West, Schist and Flynne met.
It seems that Flynne and his Marines were to escort this small group of Dwarf Sappers to an Algarvey signal tower or as Flynne referred to it – ‘A Chappe Tower’. Once there the Dwarves were to destroy the building and then Flynne would deliver the Dwarves to a small cove and signal a waiting Ferach ship which would take Dwarves and Elves to safety. All-in-all the whole operation should take no longer than five days. A simple stroll in the park.
Set on a 4foot x 4foot gaming table with a dry, sunken riverbed running from East to West. The terrain should be rough stones and sparse vegetation. The Ferach and Dwarves should enter from the East and exit on the Western edge.
Errole Flynne and his Marines are to infiltrate the Algarvey lines to a point about halfway between their current position and the Algarvey coast using a dry riverbed as the means of cover and access. It is imperative that they proceed quietly and without any surprises. However the remains of a Caçadores Rifles Regiment are also operating in the area and should the two groups make contact with one another then the operation could be placed in real jeopardy.
Major Errole Flynne an experienced Ferach Marine armed with a superbly made sword, Ferach musket and pistol.
Sergeant Julian Bree an experienced Ferach Marine armed with a sword and Ferach Carbine.
Private Simone Camembert an experienced Ferach Marine armed with sword and Ferach Musket.
Plus seven Ferach Marines - The remainder of the section can be diced for or use a section of Ferach Voltigers from one of the existing Flintloque scenarios/rule books.
Capitan Herr Shubert Schist an experienced Dwarf Sapper armed with a Dwarf Mk II Musket
Sergeant Herr Gustav Granite an experienced Dwarf Sapper armed with a Dwarf Mk II Musket
Private Herr Hans Hardcore an experienced Dwarf Sapper armed with a Dwarf Mk II Musket
Private Herr ‘Rocky’ Stone an experienced Dwarf Sapper armed with a Dwarf Mk II Musket
Private Herr Flint an experienced Dwarf Sapper armed with a Dwarf Mk II Musket
Each Dwarf carries with him a heavy knapsack which contains Black Powder charges and restricts the Dwarves to walking pace.
Captain Enrico Bordasse and experienced Caçadores armed with a superb Bakur Rifle (+1 to aim – one column move).
Caçadores as per scenario notes below or use an existing Caçadores section from War In Catalucia, Flintloque rule book. Armed with Bakur Rifles and assorted knives.
To replicate the stealth mode of the Ferach Marines and the poor visibility along the dry valley bottom I recommend a pack of standard playing cards are used.
Each game turn a card is turned over with any non-picture card being ignored and the Ferach moving forward. If moving at anything faster than a walk – two cards per turn should be turned over (this is to take into account the greater noise and disturbance – however you are free to move at a charge and tempt fate if you so wish! But draw three cards a turn.) Once a picture card is revealed the following table should be consulted.
Jack of Clubs A group of small animals is disturbed, draw another card.
Jack of Diamonds A group of small animals is disturbed, draw another card.
Jack of Hearts A group of large animals is disturbed, draw two more cards.
Jack of Spades A group of large animals is disturbed, draw three more cards.
Queen of Clubs The Group are spotted by 8 Cacadore Rifles and a chase begins. The Caçadores are 24 inches away, to the North.
Queen of Diamonds The Group are spotted by 12 Cacadore Rifles and a chase begins. The Caçadores are 18 inches away, to the South.
Queen of Hearts The Group are spotted by 16 Cacadore Rifles and a chase begins. The Caçadores are just 12 inches away, to the North.
Queen of Spades The Group are spotted by 18 Cacadore Rifles and a chase begins. The Caçadores are just 12 inches away, to the South.
King of Clubs A group of 8 Caçadores have ambushed the Ferach coming from a feature to the North.
King of Clubs A group of 12 Caçadores have ambushed the Ferach coming from a feature to the South.
King of Clubs A group of 16 Caçadores have ambushed the Ferach coming from a feature to the North.
King of Clubs A group of 18 Caçadores have ambushed the Ferach coming from a feature to the South.
Once the Caçadores are encountered (drawing a Queen or a King) then ‘normal’ Flintloque rules of engagement take precedence and the encounter should be fought to a finish. There is no need to draw any additional cards.
Should the Ferach successfully navigate the agreed terrain without an encounter with the Caçadores then the Ferach have successfully reached the Signal Tower without having to fight or having raised the alarm.
Should the Ferach navigate the terrain in spite of the encounter with the Caçadores then the first part of the scenario ends, with one exception. The inhabitants of the Tower are pre-warned and are given 1xD6 moves to prepare – including the sending of a message on the Signal Tower semaphore system.
Set on a 4foot x 4foot table with the simple signal tower placed on a slight rise in the centre of the table. Additional terrain can include some dry-stone walls and the odd tree.
The Ferach and Dwarves enter from the East.
The small signal tower is situated on the edge of a marked promontory or small hill. The tower has a stone built base and lean-to outhouse which houses;
Retired Exploratory Offices Sykes, a large and well-fed Orc armed with various knives, an Orc Bessie and a box of 6 grenades.
Hettie his overweight maid, armed with an Orc Bessie
Corky an ex-Redcoat Orc armed with an Orc Bessie
Ferach – as scenario One, but keep a note of any casualties/injuries.
Dwarves – as scenario One but keep a note of any casualties.
Caçadores – as scenario One but keep a note of any casualties.
Further to the above, should a signal be got off. Then reinforcements will appear as detailed below.
Turn over the next card in the pack.
If the card is a Club then a squad of 4 mounted Orcs will appear, read the number on card and half it, for example an ace or two will mean that the squad will appear one turn after the card is turned over, a three or four and two turns later, a five or six will mean that the squad will appear three turns after the card is turned over etc. etc. Picture cards (Jack, Queen and King) will not count and should be ignored.
If the card is a Diamond then a squad of 12 Goblin Caçadores will appear – see same rule exceptions as above relating to turns to arriving on the table. Picture cards have no effect.
If the card is a Heart then a group of 12 Guerrillas appear – see same rule and detailed exceptions as above relating to turns to arriving on the table.
If a Spade is turned over – the Ferach are in luck and a small section of 10 Ferach Voltigers arrives. It is more fun if the Ferach player does not realise that this lucky turn of events is in his favour and the umpire should suggests that a group of 10 (non-descript) troops are seen moving from the East, they will arrive in ‘X’ amount of moves! This rule is not always practical – but does add to the uncertainty and fun of the game.
Remember that the initial Caçadores can still pursue if they had been enabled in the previous scenario.
The Dwarves have as long as they like to destroy the tower, however any dithering should be frowned upon by Errole and the destruction of the tower should be seen as an imperative.
For every Sapper in base-to-base contact with the tower – throw a D6 per game turn, this denotes how many charges are set. When this total reaches 24 the charges are deemed to have been set and the tower is destroyed. (Poor throws will mean that the Ferach and Dwarf Sappers can be hanging around for some considerable time).
Another 4foot x 4foot gaming table with a beach or cove to the West. No major structures but dry-stone walls and even ruins can be placed on the sparsely decorated table to make the table look lived-in and offer some cover.
You should now have a group of Ferach and Dwarves making their way Westwards towards the rendezvous with the waiting Ferach gunboat.
Oh no. Nothing is that simple.
Make a note of any wounded/injured. Each wound will reduce the movement of the whole group by 5%. So seven wounded will reduce the group as a whole by 35% (round down). Then you have the pursuers. Once the tower is blown up every Goblin and Orc (also Guerrilla and Ferach) in the area will be making for the billowing trail of black smoke.
Turn over the next card and read the suit and repeat the actions detailed above (for example the five of Clubs will mean that a squad of four mounted Orcs are just three moves away and intent on finding the perpetrators of this dastardly action.)
One final point to add some spice to the whole scenario thread. What if the Ferach Gunship has not been able to find the cove or is late in arriving?
When the Ferach and Dwarves reach the cove. Cut the remaining card and read the chosen or top card. If the card is a black suit (Spades or Clubs) then the Gunboat is waiting and the Ferach and Dwarves can embark to safety.
If a Heart then the Gunboat is late and the exhausted troops will have to wait three whole turns for the row boats to arrive and take them to safety.
Finally if the card is a Diamond – then the Ferach Captain is very late – a whole seven turns before the rowing boats arrive. In the meantime the ‘last-ditch’ action on the beach of the cove is something that will have to be fought out using standard Flintloque rules of engagement.
Ferach – the destruction of the tower is a victory, should this be accompanied with no Ferach casualties then a major Ferach victory should be declared.
Dwarves – the destruction of the tower is their main concern and if accomplished a victory to the Dwarves is awarded. Should they then make it to the waiting ship; a major victory will be recorded in Dwarven folk law and no doubt sung about for eons..
Sykes and Hettie – To survive the encounter will be seen as a victory, after all the tower can be rebuilt. If Sykes and Hettie survive and the tower is not completely destroyed – then a major victory for the Grand Alliance. Huzzah!
Caçadores – any dead Ferach is a victory and the more that are sent to meet their ‘pointy-eared’ ancestors the better. Finally if the Ferach do not succeed in destroying the tower and more than half of their number are killed then a major victory for the Rifles.
Any troop types not fully detailed in these notes can be diced for in the usual Section Building rules which can be found in the Flintloque rulebook/books or found on Orcs in the Webbe or the Notables Yahoo Group. Similarly the troop types/races can be changed to suit whatever figures available.
Based on a famous Errol Flynn film – Objective Burma in which a group of US Marines are dropped into Burma to destroy a Japanese Radar Station before making their way to an extraction point in the Burmese jungle. The scenarios should be played as a three part campaign and possibly a solo game. With Flintloque rules and stats used throughout.
The random or chance encounters are intended to add a certain amount of uncertainty and fun to the games. I have also found that they speed things up and these games tend to move at quite a pace.
Finally the signal tower can be represented by a simple upturned plastic cup; however a scratch-built Chappe Tower with huge semaphore signal arms would make an interesting project or terrain piece. For inspiration check out the Richard Chamberlain film The Count of Monte Cristo.
This Flintloque themed scenario was originally written for Ragnarok – the SFSFW newsletter way back in 2012 but was never published. The magazine and content is much missed.
As Tony mentions above this cracking article was written for Ragnarok but sadly never published so Orcs in the Webbe is proud to bring you this exclusive from Mr Harwood. It was first published on the 13th December 2017 as part of its 2017 Advent Calendar.
You can order all the miniatures referenced above from Alternative Armies by clicking here or on the big AA graphic below. Once there click on the little magnifying glass icon in the top right to use thier excellent search feature to find the miniatures you want.