"Parley Vous Boche"
A Pax Bochmannica Scenario for Two Players by Tony Harwood
A Noman Orc
Painted, Based and Photographed by Tony Harwood
Cornilius Boucie, Tribune to the ‘Great Geezer’ - Emperor of All Nome, suspected it was a trap. Who the hell was he kidding, of course it was a bloody trap, since when had those shaven headed, hairy-toed buggers ever wanted a parley?
As the mist rose from the dark forest and the first signs of dawn lit up the sky, Boucie pulled his red cloak tighter around his neck, placed his gnarled hand on the pommel of his sword and trudged forward for the glory of Nome. What the hell, today was as good a day to die as any other.
The small group of Noman Legionaries - consisting of Boucie and two loyal troopers armed with Pilum, short sword and shield - made furrowed tracks in the newly fallen snow. All three were thinking of the dry, parched and warm land of Nome where the sun always shone and the cloak was for display rather than necessity.
Watching them from the tree line, two Halfling brothers waited.
Del and Rodknee - two Boche ‘wanna-bees’ were plotting. Well, actually Del was plotting, whilst Rodknee was worrying. He worried a lot. Del’s plan was a simple one; having arranged a ‘parley’ with the stupid greenskinned buggers, they would take the Noman Emperor’s emissary prisoner, nick both his sword and chain of office, then pop back to the Nag’s ‘Ed for a well deserved booze-up and a bag of boar scratchings. The sword would be his own trophy to keep, the chain of office would guarantee his position as ‘Diamond’ (the leader of the Peckham Irregulars, locally known as the Reliant Robins) and the ransom for the Noman snob would help to pay-off some of his many and varied creditors keeping his beloved Rachel from moaning about having to scrimp and save. Of all those things, he thought, the ransom was the most important – Rachel could ‘moan for Nome.’
Del’s lads (a group of about eight Boche - I say about because it was never certain if Trigger, who was actually there was ever in in fact truly there, and Granpa, a Boche so old he had a huge white beard, was never fully there!) waited for the order to attack.
Boucie and the two Legionnaires moved forward. As they closed to within hailing distance a Halfling Boche, wearing on his head what he assumed the Halfling thought looked like the skull of a great bird but actually looked like one of those Noman ‘fertility statues’ from back home, emerged from the cover of the trees and gestured for them to come nearer. Behind him, in the shadows of the dark treeline, Boucie noticed a second Boche - taller, paler and definitely more timid than the first - skulking in a way that was less menacing and more mincing than he thought was intended.
As Del approached the armoured Nomans, Rodknee, ever the thinker - sorry, worrier - was having second thoughts; these Nomans looked much bigger close-up than those that he had thrown stones at and called names only last month.
“He who dares, Rodders, He who dares.” Was the half whispered call from Del, noticing his bother’s hesitation. With a silent signal the remaining Halflings emerged from the cover of the treeline.
Boucie and the Legionnaires tensed upon seeing the new arrivals, the cold momentarily forgotten as their hands involuntarily closed around sword, spear and shield. On the other side the Halfling gang shivered with anticipation as greedy Boche after greedy Boche counted and re-counted their expected share of the spoils.
“Del!” mouthed Rodknee as the distance shortened.
“Cushty!” replied Del.
“Shit!” murmured Boucie.
Slushy step after slushy step, both sides moved closer and closer, closing-in for the showdown.
Del, in his best Noman, spoke first “Hailed Geezer, We ista Booshe, we ista waiting parley, youista capisha?”
Boucie, surprised this little grimy bugger could speak Nomish at all, albeit like a Skirtan Elf maid, replied in an offhand manner.
“We understand. Of what do you wish to speak?” And under his breath, “because it had better be bloody worth it.”
The trap was about to be sprung...
What follows is up to you. This first encounter between The Peckham Irregulars and the three Noman Legionnaires can be fought out using a variety of wargames rules but were written for use with Maveryc’s S.P.Q.Orc – Pax Bochemannica rules and figures.
As per the introductory story this scenario should be fought over a barren, snow covered clearing on the outskirts of a thick forest.
The Noman Orcs – as stated above a Noman Ignoramus and two Legionnaires all wearing segmented armour and all armed with a short sword and shield, the two Legionnaires also have one Pilum each.
The Halfling Boche – Del and Rodknee plus a group of eight Boche all armed with small buckler shields and at least one hand weapon. Del wears the skull of a dead bird on his head as he thinks it makes him look important - despite this not being true in any way, shape or form it is pretty sturdy and offers a +1 modifier to defence and does help to identify Del as the leader.
The Noman Orcs - A simple objective, Boucie must survive and leave by the table edge that he entered by. What happens to the other two Nomans is of little consequence to him, however a second victory point should be awarded for every Legionnaire that survives and leaves the table by the same edge.
The Halfling Boche - The Peckham Irregulars win the encounter if Boucie is taken alive as a prisoner. There is a second victory point if both Del and Rodknee survive the encounter. One more victory point for every three Boche who survive the encounter.
Should neither of these actions happen, then it is a draw.
Boucie will, instead of being killed if the dice fail him, be taken prisoner. In addition, if the two Legionnaires are killed, Boucie himself will, if engaged in melee combat, surrender rather than continue to fight. Not in a cowardly way obviously, but to... umm.. fight another day... yes, that’s it, fight another day for the Glory of Nome.
Optional Special Rules
For added interest I suggest that on any natural roll of 13 during the game a randomly generated patrol of Noman Legionnaires enter from one of the non-forest sides. If this happens then the ‘leaders’ of Peckham Irregulars (or Reliant Robins – whichever name takes your fancy) should retreat back to the forest when the reinforcements engage the rest of the Halfling Boche, after all they are not known as the ‘Yellow Peril’ for nothing*!
* or in fact, at all.
Try to keep Del, Rodknee and Boucie alive. I have other, future adventures planned for these characters.
An Orcs in the Webbe Original!
"Parley Vous Boche" is the first of several articles for Pax Bochemannica that OITW has planned over the coming months.
Pax Bochemannica (or Pax Boche as it's affectionately known) is a 'heroic' scale set of miniature skirmish rules pitching Orcs of the Noman Empire (as the name suggests, based on the Roman Empire) against the Halfling Boche (based on the varied tribes of Britain around the time of Boudica). Pax Boche was released after rigourous playtesting early in 2013 but sadly was withdrawn from sale soon after release, now it's back!
The miniatures are available to buy from the MiniFigs website here. They really are wonderfull character miniatures and well worth a look if alternate history featuring fantasy races is your kind of thing (and if you're still reading this, it probably is ;) )
The rules are also available to buy, either the standalone rules if you've got the miniatures, or in the superb value boxed set (I've just spoken to MiniFigs and whilst not on the site at the mo, they are indeed available and coming to the site soon).