Monday, 29 December 2008

Miniatures and D&D - a few game sessions

So I got asked by a commenter recently if I was still using the Heroscape tiles for combat with Labyrinth Lords and the answer is that yes, I am. They have been a tremendous asset for building outdoor battlescapes. I had inserted a small wilderness adventure to break up all the dungeon crawling that the party were doing and now they've been exploring so much of the wilderness the balance has swung the other way, so they have been a very valuable asset. Last night, we played another session and I took some more photos so you can see how useful they can be...

This is a battle at the edge of the Monrag Swamp, a dangerous place. It is against wild boars, but alas I do not have miniatures for these enemies yet and so had to use my giant rat ones - slightly odd but it kind of worked. The mat underneath is a Lexan water terrain map, ideal for the wet terrain type were simulating. The party lost two characters in this battle; they had no idea that wild boars were 3HD creatures and were not afraid of facing five of them. They deployed badly too and I exploited that weakness - a combination of me going for the front of their wagon (a model they have built themselves!) and the water terrain ending their movement meant they were unable to bring their toughest (fourth level characters) to the front to save their beseiged weaker party members in time.

This is a shot of a battle at the edge of a graveyard. The underlying mat does line up but we set up the battle in haste and its slightly off in the photo. The ruined walls also come from the Heroscape game. This battle went very well for the party; the 4th level cleric rebuked the undead causing most of the skeletons to cower in fear of his dark god. There was an amusing moment where one of the skeletons fumbled (and drawing a card from the critical fumble deck) we discovered he had become blinded; he must have somehow got mud into his empty eye sockets and spent the rest of the battle wandering around like a drunken idiot until its eventual demise.

This last image shows a much smaller battlefield and was a combat that occured because the party had got wind that there was something nasty in a nearby cave and so dug a pit trap then hid and waited for something to fall into it. Something did indeed - a ghoul and the pit trap killed it. So they were resetting their trap, when out of the cave two more ghouls shambled, taking them by surprise. The area on the right is the cave entrance. Notice how the Heroscape hexes stack on top of each other very well, allowing you to create high and low areas with ease. This was a major factor in why I picked the game up to try them out - increased height complicates the battlefield and allows for more tactics in battles. In short, I think it spices up the combats. The party did very well in this encounter; one character got paralysed but the ghouls were quickly cut to ribbons.

The hexes have proved very flexible and are popular within the group so we are going to continue to use these hexes in all outdoor and wilderness encounters . The extra tactical considerations are great for fighter types and also for weapon selection (e.g. weapons can have reach and some weapons can power swing).

8 comments:

Samuel Van Der Wall said...

I like the visuals and the explanations for each picture. I have never gamed with those items before. Luckily my current GM is very resourceful in building that stuff out of hobby materials, but I might just give those a try for my game sessions!

Norman Harman said...

Thanks for the followup. Much appreciated. I'll check them out.

Noumenon said...

I just went back about 40 posts and hardly any of them are D&D -- they are all about Microsoft. Did you just start playing again?

The Recursion King said...

Yep recently, my brother is studying games design at university and when I found out that you could get the original D&D as a free PDF download I ran it past him as an idea for one evening. Anyway it went really well, he loved it so much he told his friends about it and I inadvertently started a gamer group. We've been playing every week since, but we use the Labyrinth Lord rules and a heck of a lot of house rules on top of it.

Bonemaster said...

I have to ask, where did the wagon come from?

The Recursion King said...

The players have made it themselves out of bits of wood and cardboard, then painted it. The canvas canopy is some material they picked up from the market. Very creative of them :-)

EvilMudWolf said...

If you like the wagon, i could send you a few ideas how to make you own?? It toke me about 2 weeks to build but that was just because it was fiddly and i was making test peaces though out.. but i'm sure you can make one like mine in about a week max :) this is due to glue setting and just getting your head around the fiddlyness of it :)

But thanks for taking an interest in the model ;-)

The Recursion King said...

I better be careful what I put on here about the campaign - my players are clearly reading my blog!!