Monday, 18 July 2016

Battlesworn: Death of Sherlock Holmes. The Gangs of Gravesend.

This game has grown in the waiting. I was planning a series of games, using different rules, ending in a large game. 

 Life got in the way. After our Battlesworn game of February 2016, “One of our dinosaurs stolen by vampires” we moved shop and I came up with this as an “emergency” game playable in the new shop.

Scenery. I wanted to recreate the cramped feel you get in old town that has grown organically. There are several around here and we had gone on the best of the Jack the ripper tours. Amazing what has survived both Hitler and the 60's planners. A modern trip down Brick Lane on a winters night is not a comfortable experience. To then dive into a poorly lit sidestreet-. Although this scenery was aimed at a different place, I think it did us good here. I'd picked up a bag of plastic Britains fencing a few years ago. Cut down, mounted on stirrers, sandwiched between cork tiles with more no-more-nails than plastic.
The board was made of layered tiles on an A3 foamcore sheet. This made everything removable and provided texture to be used as terrain, slowing the figures down whilst giving a more realistic play. 

 I think Tony's monochrome aftershots gives the idea, but it's difficult to simulate poor streetlighting without giving yourself eyestrain!

The Story. You may like to acquaint yourselves with the events of “One of our dinosaurs stolen by vampires” of February 2016. The lorry is tracked to Gravesend (a port below London that handles coastal trade) and Shrerlock Holmes and a police squad race in pursuit. The game is afoot!

The lorry is spotted in a backstreets yard. As they arrive they are accosted by a frantic gaggle of local, um, ladies who are “fed up with being food for the undead”. It seems that the problem with Gravesend is too many vampires. The trap has been sprung.

The figures Whilst I stated in my last article that “Old Glory will provide the great detective, more vampires and Victorian civvies”. The 2 former are featured here, the latter have yet to be painted, as they were a back order. These packs are a wealth of ready made forces. I don't think we've ever done a game so easy to replicate. There's a Tarzan pack and Africans with figure 8 shields that would do for Trojan War- I must watch the new Tarzan film.

The sides. Don't be put off by Battlesworn's apparent simplicity.

The Villainous Vampires of Madame Synn
8 vampire fighters (those with arms outspred)
Brute Leader Madam Synn herself
Brute, top 'at 'n cane, a propa swell
Tank, the old one 7ft of Nosferatu

Law and Order
Holmes fighter/leader
Watson, Inspectors Whatt and Why, shooters
5 police constables, fighters of the legal law
4 ladies of the night (rabble, killed on first hit)

Playing. As the defender, I had to be careful to “play the game” and react to what I could see rather than what I knew. There was (from Holmes point of view) a gaggle of street women policed and some sort of altercation at the main gate well in the capabilities of the constabulary.

Tony played the vampires. And a blinding game too. He based the bulk of his forces in the road to my right, feeding in vampires (fighters) in a steady flow. This pulled my constables and inspectors to the gate. Two constables would lay to a vampire while the inspectors used their service revolvers to good use.

What's this! A vampire has broken through and attacked a poor young lady! The sergeant steps up and he is no more. There is always a cusp, and this was it.

From the dark menacing figures are moving. Down the back passage towards the back gate a silent shape approaches. Mere cast iron is no defense and the back passage is broached! The crack! Of Watson's pistol warns the party of his approach.

 A constable is the first to feel its icy touch. Meanstwhile the sergeant and a young lady tackle the Gent (brute) who underestimates the effects of a brick filled handbag & truncheon and goes down redeaded!
Watson, realising that there's still a threat to their flack from the survivors of the main gate heads for the young lady.

Meanstwhile Holmes grapples with the old one who dispatches him! That leaves the sergeant, Watson and the young lady to get away in a conveniently parked tourer. The papers say that the great detective has retired to Sussex for his health. But we know better, alas. There is a rumour amonst they who do say that his last words were “Clever girl”.