Battleshed Diaries

Friday 14 November 2014

Liquid Courage, a Buxom Barmaid, a drink spilled...

Bayaz, First of the Magi, suspecting mutinous thoughts amongst his weary warband, leads them to an infamous drinking establishment hoping to re-tie the bonds that have led them thus far on their adventure. As he enters the forecourt and sights the huge Ogre bouncer brooding next to the entrance, with snatches of laughter, pipe music and a curious mix of odours emanating from inside, he halts the warriors. "The Blue Oyster Bar: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious."  With that warning, the warriors gleefully head inside...

After a bruising encounter for Bayaz's human warband previously, it was some relief for me that the scenario for game 8 in our Songs of Blades and Heroes campaign, 'Last Orders', centred around a bit of a ruckus in a bar, with serious injury being the worst outcome. Considering The Dogman, Caul Shivers, Nicomo Cosca and Jezal dan Luthar have all gone back to the mud, the Bayaz Fellowship is quickly unravelling! For this scenario, the owner of the Inn, Fat Eddy, decided to turn in early. Taking the evening off, he leaves his customers in the capable hands of a full complement of bar staff. A drink is spilled! The brawl begins...

As usual, Arabainknight supplied some excellent scenery representing the Inn with two rooms and an outer yard.  The warbands are scattered about the inn when the trouble starts. We determined who had the most expensive model points-wise, (Bayaz, 120), which dictated how many points may be initially deployed by each player. We then randomly determined which section, either of the two rooms or the yard, each warband character starts in.

The scenario includes rules for searching for improvised weapons. However, as the warbands had to surrender their tools of the trade to the ugly ogre at the door, we dispensed with this rule for this campaign game. In addition there are also 'random happenings' which each player rolls on a D6 at the start of their turn. We decided to incorporate three of these rules (out of the 6 provided) - Kitchen Hands, The Buxom Barmaid and Liquid Courage.

This proved to be a most entertaining and thematic game! Whilst Arabianknight's elves outnumbered my humans, the knowledge that the muscle-bound and injury-free Rudd Threetrees would be making a unwelcome return to Bayaz's crew, had them very nervous indeed. Especially with Rudd more than a few flagons down! And on cue, a drink spilled and the eves and humans were at it, fists flying, elves leaping over barrels, characters from both warbands crashing through and out of doors, spilling into the yard with the ogre bouncer paralyzed with indecision given the turmoil about him.

The elves even somehow started fighting amongst themselves, after the Machiavellian 'Buxom Barmaid' had worked her intrigues! Rudd Threetrees, the great hope of Bayaz's crew, proved to be too lathered to do anything useful; he staggered about mostly arriving to help his friends just as they were flying across the furniture. When he did finally get a chance for a one-on-one with an elf, he swung his great fist so clumsily the elf could all but stand from laughing.

The greater number of the elves, haphazard dice rolls - suitably reflecting the mutual warbands state of inebriation - and the general mayhem in The Blue Oyster bar, finally ended with Ferro Maljinn, the lone 'conscious' survivor from the humans still standing, completely surrounded by the remaining elves. As she was too 'drowsy' (ahem!) to move due to a Liquid Courage roll, she forewent her usual tactics of stealth and agility, and instead thought she could do what Threetrees couldn't; she traded a few jibes and them launched into a frenzied, drunken mix of martial art disciplines. Inevitably, it didn't go well.

And so ends another campaign battle, with the elves picking up yet another campaign point to add to their hoard, whilst Bayaz's crew collected many, many bruises and one hell of a group hang-over.

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