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Author Topic: Sellswords and Spellslingers campaign Action report - Game 5 (Final) - 7th Dec  (Read 2417 times)

Offline 6mmfan

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Re: Sellswords and Spellslingers campaign Action report - Game 4 - 12 Nov
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2022, 12:40:14 AM »
Looks like a great game and set up.  The dungeon furniture is amazing. 

I have quite a few games of SS&SS under my belt and have fiddled with the rules here and there.
The activation and card system is great at creating tension and unpredictability.  I have played a few games where I became more and more frantic as wandering monsters turned up or scenario events were activated - it can make for a very suspensful game.
But it can be quite limiting in some respects.
I have played games where repeated failed activations  and resulting endless hordes of monsters saw my parted penned in one corner of the table all game - this became a long slog with no "adventuring" involved.
There have been other games where there are few monster activations, so they just stand in place as the player characters zoom around them.


Yes we have had the same, and a lot of it is down to the dice. We found we had stopped looting bodies as there wasnt much to do with the money, and that meant less actions used by PCs. For this campaign I've introduced a upkeep of 10SP per PC per scenario, so we have been looting a lot more.

Also in this campaign there is a lot of wandering monsters, and you can get bogged down as you mentioned. I went back and read the scenarios in the rules and there is a good mix of scenarios with wandering monsters, or a handful of powerful monsters. I think its a matter of mix up the different scenario styles a bit more or they can be a bit samey.

Now, as I mainly paly this as a solo game I have the luxury to alter rules as I see fit in a way that suits me.
I eventually decided to make activation easier BUT the monsters also had some reactions that were not card driven (but were dice determined):
Archers could roll to evade people charging them.
Melee troops could charge characters who wander into range but had not engaged the monsters.  Likewise, archers that have characters wander into range may be fired upon.
Monsters that are shot at might stand, charge, or try to move into cover.

With the easier activation I also allowed group moves - allowable to lower level grunts with or without a hero in teh group. This roll was more difficult.  Group activations couldn't be done by a group of "hero" level characters and could not be done if in combat.

All this allows characters to do stuff (I play the game more as an RPG than a skirmish game).  Despite the reduction in failed activations and cards drawn, the  mosters get to behave less haphazardly and the reaction system compensates for fewer card activations of the monsters.

Interesting ideas and not something we had thought of. There can be times where you party stands around while the monsters pile in, and we very rarely use the opportunity shot. I've thought of tinkering with the event deck and others have tried that too. Also Andrea has reease some new event cards through Patreon, although there isnt any guidance on how to use them, it helps with some ideas.

Also have you seen the Conan variant which have some great ideas, and I like how they use cards

I like the idea of group moves as there can be times where a PC is lagging behind due to poor dice and can get ambushed or worse.

Moving into proximity of unexplored terrain or buildings I had scenario-dependent encounter rolls.  The forest on the left might be clear and provide good cover, or there could be a group of Orcs hiding there etc.

I have not worked out how to do dungeon delving, yet.

As far as strong bows go, they are particularly nasty.  I find they destroy large opponents with their +1 to hit and 2 damage.  For some large creatures it seems appropriate that, while they are easier to hit and might get shot somewhere critical (such as an eye) their thicker/heavier skin and greater muscle bulk serves as protection from arrows.  These get a save throw against each point of damage so an arrow hit might do 0, 1 or 2 damage depending on the save.
Each extra arrow fired by a model in a round gets -1 to hit. 

None of this might be to your tastes, but it works well for me.  I use a large table so that my characters can explore as much as they fight.  I hope this is of some interest.

Yes we have starting fighting more monsters with saving throws and that helps, but I think strongbows are over powered, and that's why I don't think they should always cause 2 damage. But you kind of need a strong or bow or a fireball caster in a party, or it can be too tough, which I think goes back to your point regarding making activations easier and reactions .

The great to see other peoples perspectives and you've come up with some innovative ideas.

Offline 6mmfan

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Re: Sellswords and Spellslingers campaign Action report - Game 5 - 7th Dec
« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2022, 07:40:01 AM »
This game is the 5th and final adventure in the Demons gate campaign. Ours parties have scraped through the games barely surviving and quite often carrying each otherís lifeless bodies to safety.

For this scenario, the parties have entered a large cavern and their goal is to kill or wound the High Priest and then escape with their lives. All the while the priest is busy summoning all manner of creatures and the parties have to cut their way through the minions to get to the priest.

I didnít have any cavern scenery so I reused some scifi boards I made, along with rock crystals, clump foliage, lichen and GW Azrite ruins. Once again I used a large Reaper bones piece, this time as the portal where the creatures would enter.

The priest is protected by a Chaos Champion, hordes of cultists and imps (we used goblins instead) and some rather tough Cult warriors.

Onto the game.
After the party deployed on the opposite side to the portal, one of the first activation failures, caused a Minotaur to arrive through the portal (I used a large Gnoll as I couldnít find my Minotaur figure).

A few more failed activations produced a Monster frenzy, Thatís a big one and then Monster activates cards to come out. A cultist charged one of the Rangers but was cut down.

Then the horde of red cultists activated again and charged the Ranger. 

Another Ranger rushed into assist and they made quick work of the cultists (unlike prior games where their dice were woeful, the rangers were rolling well tonight)!

Then another complication card was drawn, and a Chaos Champion arrived through the portal.

The parties continued to advance and were getting close to the 1/3rd mark

Two ďTheyíre at our backsĒ cards arrived in quick succession, and suddenly a horde of 8 cultists loomed behind the parties.

Ignoring this the parties pushed onto the center. A horde of goblins got closer and a bigger Goblin broke off, while the Minotaur was killed by some bow fire.

A Horde activates card was drawn and the horde of goblins contacted the rangers.

The high priest started firing magic blast at the two closest PCs, but they successfully dodged

Then a Monster frenzy which the large goblin and a horde of cultist contacting a couple of fighters.

Another creature arrived through the portal, this time a Mutant Souldrinker

The scrum in the middle continued and the Rangers had dispatched the Goblin horde, while other foes got closer. One of the Cult warriors gained a mutation in the form of an extra arm.

Next the Chaos Champion is dropped by the rangers. They definitely brought their A game tonight and so far have had their best dice of the entire campaign. The 2 fighters are not making any progress against the horde of Cultists though.

Now the path was clear to the Warlock, the Rangers magic user let loose with a fireball! This was successful and the damage was enough to cause the Warlock to flee, through the portal, closing it behind him.

Game over or so we thought, until we read the victory conditions and realised we had to exit the table from where we had started!

Next one of the rangers was contacted by the multi-armed Cultist warrior, while the fighters in the middle made progress whittling down the cultists. In the back a horde of Goblins who had been slowing moving up attacked.

One of the Rangers was in a spot of bother with a Chaos Champion and a Mutant souldrinker bearing down on him.

And near the entrance two groups of cultists stood blocking the way to the entrance/exit.

After dispatching the Mutant Souldrinker back to the underworld, the 2 parties began to retreat towards the entrance. Most were wounded (the red markers indicating the wounds they had suffered).

Then one of the archers was taken out of the game by a Cultist, and a Chaos Champion (the Warlocks bodyguard) was getting very close to the PCs.

A Ranger who had fallen over with a Loss of balance at an inopportune time, now had a Minor Demon breathing down on him. With the best dice of the night and the best use of a Leadership bonus, the PC turned all the 7ís turned into 8ís and stood up and ran for his life!

On the other side of the table a group of Cultists had been moving up and now threatened the flank of the retreating PCs.

More good activation dice for the Rangers meant the Magic user (who had run out of casting magic) got to the exit, while 3 PCs were close behind.

However the fighter was valiantly fighting the Chaos Champion and a Cult Warrior while his friends abandoned him to his fate. The other PCs only had one wound remaining each. After heroically killing the Chaos Champion, the PC was killed by the Cult Warrior.

The Cleric who had been carrying the fallen Archers body to safety dropped the body near the exit and returned to help the other Archer, but he was too late to save the Archer, who was also killed.

At this point with 3 down PCs and only 2 alive, the party had to abandon the other fighters body, vowing to return, and carry the 2 Archers bodies to the exit. The Rangers also completed their exit and it was victory to the PCs in the campaign!

We actually had a plan this game which was to not split the parties up and charge straight up the middle and kill the Warlock as fast as possible. This went well but we didnít realise we had to exit again, so we should have had guys defending the return route.

The Rangers probably had their best dice of the campaign, and it was a good time, as the opposition in this game were a lot tougher. Overall we enjoyed the campaign and found some nice ideas and challenges in the scenarios. At times it was a bit of a hack/slash because there were a lot of foes on the table, and it did get overwhelming dealing with massive hordes of monsters.

What next? Well Iím writing our own campaign which we hope to playtest in the new year (or maybe sooner). Also Ganesha games have been drip feeding new monsters and other ideas through their Patreon so I plan to incorporate so of those into the campaign , along with what we learned from playing this.

« Last Edit: December 07, 2022, 07:47:21 AM by 6mmfan »

Offline Burgundavia

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Awesome conclusion to your game - looking forward to seeing what you play next (the Lich scenario I co-wrote with Andrea is very very nasty). We just finished the 5th game ourselves, I should write it up more fully here and on the blog.

Offline 6mmfan

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Awesome conclusion to your game - looking forward to seeing what you play next (the Lich scenario I co-wrote with Andrea is very very nasty). We just finished the 5th game ourselves, I should write it up more fully here and on the blog.

Yes were we looking at that but our parties and especially the Ranger party, barely gained any XP during the campaign! Either they were out of action or the scenario didn't have a lot of XP rewards (we bumped those up for the last few games)

Offline Burgundavia

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Yes were we looking at that but our parties and especially the Ranger party, barely gained any XP during the campaign! Either they were out of action or the scenario didn't have a lot of XP rewards (we bumped those up for the last few games)

I bumped the final battle to 7 XP. We kept forgetting who killed what, so we had to retrofit that.

Offline 6mmfan

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It was mostly me getting the extra XP's  :o and the other party lost too many PCs during the campaign and so didn't gain a lot. I thought I read that a PC doesn't gain XP if they were carried off, but we may have got that wrong.

Offline Sunjester

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All survivors in a party get XPs. So if they are carried off, but survive the Out-of-Action roll, they still get their share of any XPs.


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