'Babbette's NIght Out.'
A Panzerfäuste Scenario by Mike Baumann
With Ample Help from Steve Blease and Matthew Hartley
Artwork by Piotr Chrzanowski
The Gnomish partisans of Dûn Nomin try to collect some supply crates dropped by their Orcish allies whilst avoiding the deadly Dwarf patrols in this Panzerfäuste scenario for two players and a GM.
The roar of the Orcish, cargo plane's twin engines was deafening. Captain Snadzley had to shout to make himself heard, even through the radio head-sets which all the crew wore.
"What's our position?"
"Three minutes to drop zone Captain." His navigator replied.
"Roger, three minutes. Murkin, get the door open and ready those crates."
Near the center of the plane Private Murkin heaved open the cargo door only to be blasted back by the cold, night air. The frigid wind cut through his leather air-orcs jacket as he turned to fumble with the lashings holding the crates in their place. Those crates held vital supplies: ammunition, food, weapons, all destined for the Gnomish resistance fighters lurking somewhere in the darkness below.
"All right Murkin, begin dropping those supplies now!" The Captain shouted.
One by one the heavy crates tumbled into the night sky, their black parachutes deploying moments after free fall. Slowly they drifted through the atmosphere to find their resting place in the fertile Gnomish countryside.
The Gnomish partisans of Dûn Nomin are in constant need of supplies to continue the fight against their Dwarven occupiers. Food, weapons and especially ammunition are all in demand by these brave guerrillas.
The Elven and Orcish military command has determined that continued Gnomish resistance is vital to their planned, liberating invasion of Dûn Nomin. Partisan actions tie up a great deal of Dwarven resources by occupying Dwarven troops which could otherwise be sent to strengthen the coastal areas. To this end, allied commanders have organized a series of airborne, supply drops to keep these partisans equipped.
These drops are coordinated by brave, Orcish Suspicious Operations Executors working within the occupied territories. In conjunction with guerrilla leaders, the time, place and munitions to be dropped are all detailed. A coded message is sent and, if all works out, the supplies are delivered at the appointed time. The precautions surrounding these drops ensure that the majority of the supplies make it through to the partisans. There are, of course, many occasions when things go wrong...
The scenario depicts the recovery of vital supplies dropped by the Branzhûm Royal Air Force. Gnomish partisans, desperately short of ammunition, must recover a series of crates in order to continue their fight. Unfortunately, the drop has been noticed by a Dwarven patrol who are determined to intercept the partisans and exact revenge for the previous murder of their officer.
The scenario requires two Players and a Game Master to be properly run. Of course additional players may be added by dividing the forces below into smaller sections, or by increasing the number of figures used in the game.
The partisans crouched in the sparse cover afforded by the orchard, listening to the drone of the approaching plane's engines. Babbette du Sarde crawled next to her lieutenant and whispered,
"Jaques, hand me your longue-vue."
Reluctantly, the grizzled, old gnome produced his telescope. The instrument had belonged to his great-grandfather. It was far too delicate to be used in this rigorous campaigning, but like all of their other equipment, it was the best they had at hand.
Babbette trained the spyglass in the direction of the noise emanated. She could barely make out the silhouette of the approaching plane.
"Orcish." She said softly.
"A noisy bastard." Jaques replied. "That thing will alert every KhÃ¢lly in the area."
He took a side-long glance at Lieutenant Viscous, the Orcish S. O. E. Officer who had organized the drop. He had felt uneasy about Babbette's decision to accept aid from Branzhûm. Centuries of intermittent conflict between the two nations had led to a healthy distrust of the Orcs. Viscous however, had been true to his word. The appearance of the cargo plane was proof of that.
"With any luck we will be out of the area before the Dwarves know we were here." Babbette said.
Luck was something the band had run short of, along with food and, most desperately, ammunition. These thoughts passed quickly through Jaques mind. Although he was a natural pessimist, he trusted Babbette's judgment implicitly. The old, fish-monger's wife had proven surprisingly adept at keeping her small band of partisans combat-ready. She was also an able tactician, leading several raids against Dwarven outposts with minimal casualties on their side.
The sound of the planes engines had receded into the night when they saw the first of the crates crash down a hundred meters away. Babbette quickly issued hushed orders to her followers, who spread out and began to search for the vital supplies.
Babbette du Sarde: Guts: 9
An Experienced, Gnome Partisan armed with a Dwarf SMG, Gnome Pistol and Filleting Knife. Babbette is the partisans' Section Leader.
Jaques la Schlaques: Guts: 9
An Experienced, Gnome Partisan armed with a Dwarf Rifle, Dwarf Pistol and Bayonet. Jaques is the second-in-command and will take over if Babbette should be killed or routed. His confidence in his leader gives him a +1 Guts (already calculated into the above total). Should Babbette be killed or routed this modifier is immediately removed.
Bourne Talouse: Guts: 7
A Normal, Gnome Partisan armed with a Hunting Rifle (see statistics under Special Rules) and a Knife. A hunter, by profession, Talouse receives a +1 Guts modifier (representing his excellent marksmanship) in Fire Combat only.
Gui de Rôp: Guts: 6
A Normal, Gnome Regular armed with a Gnome Rifle and Bayonet. Cut off from his unit during the Dwarven offensive, Gui wandered around wounded and alone for days before being discovered by Babbette's band. He has decided to remain with the partisans until he can rejoin his old unit.
Claudette Coverre: Guts: 8
A Normal, Gnome Partisan armed with a Dwarf SMG and a Gnome Pistol. This witty and attractive girl joined the partisans to avenge her lover who was killed during the occupation. She originally fought with suicidal bravery against the Dwarves, but since she has taken up with Gaston (see below) her thirst for revenge has cooled leaving her with a +1 Guts (already calculated into the above total).
Gaston Debonaire: Guts: 7
A Normal, Gnome Partisan armed with a Gnome Pistol and Saber. A darkly-handsome Gentle-Gnome from Dûn-arbar, Gaston is an adventurer and a scoundrel who views life as a game. He has recently persuaded Claudette to become his mistress and, although he cares little for the girl, she suits his purposes at the moment.
Monsieur Smahté: Guts: 5
A Green, Gnome Partisan armed with a Dwarf Rifle and a Knife. Smahté is short, even by Gnomish standards, compensating for his stature by wearing platform shoes. As a result of this ridiculous footwear subtract an additional 10% from his Movement Rate, except when Crawling.
Claude Nômet: Guts: 5
A Green, Gnome Partisan armed with a Gnome Pistol. Claude is an artist who fears that his work will not be allowed to continue under the rule of the oppressive Dwarven regime.
Madame Sucrette: Guts: 7
A Green, Gnome Partisan armed with a Shotgun (see statistics under Special Rules) and a Rolling Pin (+0 in Close Combat). A feisty, old crone, Sucrette's ornery disposition. . . I mean. . . Patriotic fervor gives her a +2 Guts (already calculated into the above total).
Louis Tête-Fromage: Guts: 5
A Green, Gnome Partisan armed with a Pitchfork (+1 in Close Combat). Louis longs for a rifle so he can take the fight to the Dwarves.
Lieutenant Cullin Viscous: Guts: 11
A Normal, Orc Elite armed with an Orc SMG, Orc Pistol and a Knife. Viscous is a Suspicious Operations Executor operating in the occupied territory of Dûn Nomin, where he gathers Intelligence and coordinates supplies for the Gnomish partisans. He is independent of the Gnomish section and need not make a Guts roll if Babbette is killed or routed.
Feldwebel Schutzmann looked at the remnants of his patrol gathered in the burnt-out shell of a Gnomish villa. The Dwarves sat chewing their rations dolefully. Every sound, every night-noise seemed to make them look around in fear and check to make certain that their rifles were close-at-hand. The troopers nerves were stretched wire-taught and justifiably so. For weeks he had watched his section dwindle Dwarf by Dwarf; prey to ambuscades laid by a clever group of guerrillas. The latest happened only a few nights ago: Leutnant Grossmann, found dead in his tent with a fish-filleting knife (of all things!) buried deep in his chest.
"This is no way to fight a war." He thought to himself. "Where is the honor in simple murder?"
The Dwarven army had smashed through the defenses of Dûn Nomin with lightning speed. The Gnomish defense had quickly fallen in the face of the Dwarven onslaught, but the civilian population had refused to accept defeat. Their partisan bands would not meet in open combat. Each group had to be ferreted-out individually. It was an exhausting job and proving to be consuming both time and Dwarf-power.
At the sound of the approaching plane these ruminations quickly disappeared.
"Take cover!" He ordered.
The feeble campfire was doused as the soldiers scrambled to conceal themselves amongst the ruins. Schutzmann crawled to an opening in the crumbling wall and focused his binoculars on the approaching plane.
"Orcish!" He realized.
He saw the tiny parachutes as they were briefly silhouetted against the low moon. So it was true. The Hels-damned Orcs were aiding the murderous Gnomes after all. He marked the spot where the first crate hit the ground: near a small orchard little over a kilometer away. He hurriedly explained the situation to his men and got them moving out. Now was the time for revenge!
Feldwebel Schutzmann: Guts: 10
An Experienced, Dwarf Regular armed with a Dwarf SMG and a Dwarf Pistol. He is the patrol's Section Leader.
Unterfeldwebel Gould: Guts: 10
An Experienced, Dwarf Regular armed with a Dwarf SMG and a Knife. Gould is second-in-command and will take over if Schutzmann is killed or routed.
Schütze Dunnkauff: Guts: 8
A Normal, Dwarf Regular armed with a Dwarf LMG and a Dwarf Pistol. The machine gunner becomes very upset when his name is mispronounced as "dumkoff". The Dwarf player may use this to his advantage. Once during the course of the scenario he may be incited into acting with a +2 Guts for 1D6 Turns.
Schütze Dregsbrau: Guts: 8
A Normal, Dwarf Regular armed with a Dwarf Rifle and Bayonet. Dregsbrau has a dose of Magickal Schnapps in his canteen.
Schütze Stütschtill: Guts: 6
A Green, Dwarf Regular armed with a Dwarf Rifle and Bayonet.
Schütze Kesselhoff: Guts: 6
A Green, Dwarf Regular armed with a Dwarf Rifle and Bayonet.
Schütze Grimmsbauer: Guts: 6
A Green, Dwarf Regular armed with a Dwarf Rifle and Bayonet.
No map has been provided for this scenario. This allows the Game Master to choose the table size and terrain for the encounter. Two suggestions are offered on the set up: One, the table area should be relatively small, to allow the Gnomes a chance to find the supply crates in a reasonable amount of time. Two, an orchard should be located at the western edge of the table. The Game Master should feel free to add hedge rows, low walls and maybe a burned out barn to the table. Remember, the scenario takes place in agricultural lands, so don't clutter the table with too much terrain.
The Gnomes begin in the orchard near the western end of the table. The Dwarf force enters the table on the eastern edge 1D4+1 Turns after the scenario has begun. The Gamemaster should randomly distribute eight crates by penciling their locations in on his copy of the map. The location of these crates should, initially, be kept secret from the Players.
Terrain and Conditions
The scenario begins at night, but with otherwise clear conditions. Daybreak occurs 2D6+2 Turns after the scenario begins. All the crates will become visible when daybreak occurs. The Orchard, although somewhat unkempt since war broke out, is relatively easy to pass through, imposing a -25% Movement Modifier. Hedge rows are treated as Low Walls for Movement purposes and Light Cover for Fire Combat.
The Gnomes, as has been alluded to, are severely short of ammunition. Prior to the scenario the Gnome Player should roll 2D6 for each firearm a figure possesses. This is the number of "shots" remaining in the weapon. A "shot" is equal to one round fired from a Rifle or Pistol (SS) weapon or a controlled burst from a SMG (CB). Firing a Burst (B) from any weapon takes two "shots". Lieutenant Viscous and the Dwarves are assumed to be carrying a full combat load of ammo and do not suffer from this rule. The fact that the Gnomes are low on ammunition should be kept secret from the Dwarf Player.
Gnome partisans may gain more ammo by opening a munitions crate (see below) or scavenging it from dead characters. It takes one Turn to strip a dead character of its ammo. The looter must remain adjacent to the body for the entire Turn. Remember that ammo is specific to a particular weapon. For example, Dwarf Pistol bullets will not work in a Gnome Rifle, but there is nothing to prevent the looter from grabbing a dead character's weapon while he takes his ammunition.
The civilian hunting weapon is more accurate and has a longer range than any military rifle, but is not as rugged as the latter. Add +1 to any rolls on the Weapons Malfunction Table.
Weapon Type Hunting Rifle
Fire Type SS
Guts Modifier +1
Short Range 30 cm
Effective Range 60 cm
Long Range 90 cm
This smoothbore weapon fires a cloud of pellets, or buckshot, rather than a single bullet. Roll for damage on the Burst (B) table, but ignore any "Suppressed" results.
Weapon Type Shotgun
Fire Type B
Guts Modifier +1
Short Range 5 cm
Effective Range 10 cm
Long Range 20 cm
The location of the supply crates should, initially, be kept secret from both players. The Game Master should make a note of their location on his copy of the map. The crates are rather hard to locate at night. Any character that comes within 10 cm of a crate is allowed a Guts roll to spot the crate (no Critical Success or Fumble, it's either spot them or not). Once daylight has come all the crates will become visible and may be placed on the table.
If a crate is located roll on the table below to determine what is inside it. It takes one Turn to open a crate, during which time the character can do nothing else. Crates count as Heavy Objects for lifting purposes and characters carrying them may move at no speed greater than a Walk.
2D6 roll / Contents
2 / Magkical Foodstuffs: Four doses of a random Orcish Magickal Food. Unfortunately it is a little hard on the other races digestion. -1 to Guts for effects.
3 / Clothing: Needed, but no effect on the scenario.
4-5 / Food: Needed, but no effect on the scenario.
6-8 / Munitions: Several Different types of ammunition. Each crate can supply three Partisans with full combat loads of ammo for all their carried weapons.
9 / Orc Rifles: Four Rifles, unloaded.
10 / Orc SMG's: Four SMG's, unloaded
11 / Crate Damaged: Roll on the chart again (rerolling 11's and 12's) and halve the amount of material in the crate.
12 / Crate Totally Destroyed: Nothing to salvage.
I dislike setting victory conditions for my scenarios as they often require Players to do stupid things just to achieve the letter of the condition, if not the spirit. With that in mind, I have given the following play guidelines to help the Players determine what motivates their section. Please feel free to ignore the following victory conditions and choose a winner from the Player who performed the best during the scenario.
When the Dwarves arrive, the partisans should be keen to get out of the area. Babbette is intent on preserving her small band, but this desire is tempered by the fact that she needs these supplies to continue her fight against the Dwarves. A major Gnomish victory is achieved by getting at least four crates off his table edge without suffering any casualties. A minor victory is achieved if the Gnomes inflict more casualties than they receive and escape with four (or more) crates.
The Dwarven Player should be intent on gaining revenge for the murder of Leutnant Grossmann. The Dwarves win if they inflict more partisan casualties (by killing or routing) than they themselves sustain. A major victory is achieved if they are able to kill Babbette du Sarde in addition to the previous condition.
'Babbette's Night Out' was originally published on Mike Baumann's website 'Filbanto Stew' on the 17th November 1998.
Its history on Orcs in the Webbe is, like Mike's Flintloque scenario 'Kraggy Tour', somewhat all-over the place. It was originally reproduced on the 19th december 2008 as part of that year's Advent Calendar with kind permission from the author. However, due to an editing mistake it was 'recorded over' if you will, like a mislabelled VHS video tape of old, on the 18th January 2011 (with Gavin Syme's 'The Du Lac Inheritance') and was absent for many many years.
That wrong was righted and it returned on the 10th December 2023 as the tenth entry in that year's Advent Calendar and is of course as part of Orcs in the Webbe's ongoing Flintloque Archive Project.
Any comments in maroon italics are mine and have been included to to provide additional information or clarity. I may have also made small changes to grammar and layout but have not marked these.