"A Most Noble Carriage"
A Frontear Scenario by Craig Andrews
Hickorc battles LaRegreet once more, this time on a gold laden train hurtling through the mountains in this two player scenario for Alternative Armies' skirmish game, Frontear.
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. You can read more about it on Orcs in the Webbe by clicking here.
LaRegreet looked down at the dossier on the table and attempted to meet the gaze he felt from behind the veil of the figure sitting across from him, "All the details are in here, like we agreed?"
"Yes." purred the heavily accented voice of the mysterious figure, "Inside you will find the detailed itinerary of the train."
"The 7.40 from Red Rock?" queried LaRegreet.
Almost imperceptibly the figure noddded "As requested. Take what you will from the safe on the train. The train will not be guarded."
"If you don't mind me asking, what do you gain from this miss?"
"I do, and know this Paule LaRegreet" The Ferach Elf glanced up quickly, no-one should know who he was, not in this town. "If anyone should learn of my involvement in this you will not get a chance to spend the gold you liberate from the train."
With that the mysterious female stood and headed for the door of the saloon. As LaRegreet watched her lithe figue move through the crowd, he thought it odd that no one else had seemed to notice her glide past them. Involuntarily touching his necklace of Buon-Partee he stuffed the envelope into his waistcoat, finished his drink and headed to the door to met up with his men in the hideout across town.
On the other side of the room Bill Hickorc raised his head, his identity having been previously hidden by his wide brimmed hat, he gazed across the table at the Ferach Elf Vickars, "You hear what he was bablin' on 'bout?".
Vickars nodded and took a swig from the bottle in front of him, "Yep, darndess thing I ever saw. He was just talking. To himself I mean, answering questions as if there was someone else at the table with him. Perhaps LaRegreet's finally lost it."
"Maybe." growled Hickorc, "but at least now we know the next train he's going to hit we can worry about where he's getting the information another time."
With that the Orc stood up, pulling on his duster. "Get the men together, I'll go and speak to the clerk at the station and arrange our little welcoming party for LaRagreet. Don't worry my friend we'll get him this time."
With that Hickorc threw some dollurs down on the bar and headed out the side door of the saloon.
It's freaky talking to that woman in the dress. But hey, who's complaining, she's managed to rustle up details of the next ungaurded train out of Red Rock. So far this association is working well. Looks even easier than the last job. This time you can send men some ahead and try to get on the train from the bridges. If only all jobs were this simple, get on the train, get the gold and get off. The itineray shows when to expect the bridges, pretty good information that, might've saved Carlos' life if you'd had that last time. Hehe. Stupid Dark Elf, should've looked up. Anyways looks like you've got a while before the river, the perfect place to jump off before the train heads into the mountains. A few more of these jobs and The General might even consider making you his second.
The Rescue Party
Damn that LaRegreet, four trains in a month, this has to stop. Ideally you could've got to his source but the loss of life on the last job he pulled has forced you into action. It's time to stop him once and for all. Luckily after a quiet word with the clerk he's more than willing for you to setup a surprise for the bandits.
Both sides use the forces as detailed in the Frontear rulebook on page 99. The only exception is that in addition to thier normal weapons each bandit carries one dynamite boom stick.
Set Up and Scenario Length
Ideally for this scenario you should place a model to represent three carriages and a steam engine. The inside of the carriages should be accessible as miniatures can move inside them as well as on top. If you do not have a 28mm scale train to hand just draw out some floorplans. You will need to seperately draw the roof of the train for any brave soul trying to traverse the length of the train that way. There should be a small area at the end of each carriage, a ladder on each side going up to the roof and the roof itself should have 2 hatchways on allowing access to the inside of the carriage.
The 'Getting Onboard' rules below cover how the bandits get onto the train. The safe is in the third carriage along directly behind the engine. Hickorc and his posse can setup anywhere they want inside the train, the locations should be written down and the miniatures only placed when discovered by the bandits.
The scenario lasts until one of the sides completes thier objectives or after fifteen turns when the train arrives at it's destination. Any bandits still on the train at this point are subdued and captured by the guards at the station.
The bandits win if they manage to get six bags of gold off the train and at least two surviving bandits (see 'Getting Off the Train' below). The defenders win if they prevent this from happening before the train arrives at it's destination (fifteen turns).
The Improbable Action Roll: This scenario makes alot of use of the Improbable Action roll from the original release of Flintloque. It's reprinted here for ease of play. This rule is intended to cover those jumps from bedroom windows onto horses waiting below, swinging from chandeliers, leaping chasms and in this case much much more.
For a character to perform an improbable action they must make a base percentile roll to succeed. If they fail, they automatically suffer one Wound.
Raw Character 10%
Average Character 20%
Experienced Character 30%
Veteran Character 40%
Legendary Character 50%
Sometime these percentages (and the penalties for failure) might be different, they are detailed in each individual rule below.
Getting Onboard: The bandits do not start the game on the train. They start on horses running alongside the train and have to jump from thier horses onto the train. No miniatures need be placed to represent them (although they can be if you have them). To acheieve the jump each character makes a standard improbable action roll. Success means they succesfully get onto the train, place the figure on the back of the train or on any ladder on the last carriage. A failure does not mean loosing a wound in this case, however, rolling a double (even a normal success) is a critical failure and the bandit falls off his horse and takes no further part in the scenario. Any riders who are not on the train at the end of turn two are also out of the game as the horses are too tired to keep up.
Reinforcements: Because of the detailed itinerary provided to the bandits they have prepared in advance and have backup on the bridges of the route ready to jump down and help their colleagues. On the turns that the train passes under a bridge (three, six and nine) the bandit player gets to roll for reinforcements, one for every character who did not make it or has been killed up to the original number of eight. They have stats exactly the same as the character they are replacing. To jump onto the train the character makes an improbable action roll modified by -10% as it's a very difficult jump. If they suceed they land succsfully, place the minature on the roof of the desired carriage. If they fail they stumble on landing, take 1 wound and have to roll on the 'Falling Off the Train' rules below. If a double is rolled it's a critical failure (even a normal success) and the character is killed in the fall and removed from play.
Moving on Top of a Moving Train: It's not that easy to walk along the top of a train. Any character can move at their prone speed with no penalty and no risk. Any other faster movement is made at a two negative shift penalty and they need to make an improbable action roll, if they pass they move as normal, if they fail they roll as per the 'Falling Off the train' rules below. A double represnts a critical failure and the character falls off the train and is killed. Characters on the roof of the train also suffer a -1 morale modifier for any morale rolls.
Jumping from One Carriage to Another: Once again an Improbable Action roll. Success means they carry on as normal. Failure means they fall down onto the platform below between the two carriages. A double is a critical failure and the character falls off the rain and is removed from play.
Melee on Top of the Train: Characters engaged in melee on top of the train roll as normal. If a pushed back result is achieved then they are pushed back but cannot be pushed off the train. If they suffer any wounds the attacker can choose to inflict no wounds and make them roll on the 'Falling Off the Train' rules below.
Falling Off the Train: If a character falls off the train because of any of the rules listed above then they have to make an improbable action roll to grab onto the edge of the train. If they suceed they manage to hang onto the edge of the train. If they fail they fall off the train and are removed from play. Any characters that do manage to hang on can either 'shimmy' along the train at thier prone speed, climb back up (which costs them thier whole move for a turn) or attempt an improbable action to swing into the train through a window. If they suceed in this they can place themselves inside the train up to 2cm from the window they break through. If they fail they take one wound but may try again next turn. If they roll a double it's a critical failure and they fall off the train. Characters 'hanging on' suffer a melee penalty as if attacked in the rear.
Splat: On turns three, six and nine the train is going through tunnels or under bridges. Any character on the roof of the train and not prone at the start of the turn is killed instantly.
The Safe: The safe can be blown open by any of the bandits. If it is within the blast area of a boom stick it is considered opened.
The Loot: The safe contains ten bags of gold. The bandits can carry one bag of gold each with no movement penalty. Each additional bag gives them a negative shift to movement. The penalties stack and can mean an individual has no movement, they need to drop some loot to move.
Getting Off the Train: On turns ten, twelve and fourteen the train is passing by a river. This is when the bandits need to jump off. There is no improbable action roll required for this, once they jump they are out of the game.
"A Most Noble Carriage" was written exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe and was published on the 11th February 2008.
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 in August 2018 as part of Orcs in the Webbe's ongoing Flintloque Archive Project.
Hickorc, LaRegreet and thier respective bands are from Alternative Armies' Frontear rulebook.
The improbable action rules were written by Steve Blease and Mac Coxhead.