Isle of Dread, Chapter 3: Big trouble, small bridge

After having raided the pygmy village Malcon and his party continued in a northbound direction, following the trail which ultimately should lead them to a large lake of tar called Kukos by the natives in Tanaroa. The dense jungle surrounding the party was gradually beginning to change character, becoming more open and giving way to some hills and cliffs, however, no tar lake in sight. Continuing northward the group suddenly could hear the sound of running water, followed shortly after by some very odd bird calls. Clearly something was amiss and when the travelers beheld a stream of muddy water running through the jungle, across which someone had put a cloven bole, Malcom and his fellow knew they were approaching a trap.

Slowly they started approaching the stream and as soon as Daff, one of the henchmen, began walking across the water on the toppled tree, foul reptile men charged.

Malcon’s travel route and position (the X) after three sessions of play

In this third chapter of our Isle of Dread-campaign Malcon and his party are being attacked by a mixed warband of lizardmen and troglodytes led by the nefarious snakeman Zzifth. Three lizardmen guards were hiding by the tree bridge while the remainder of the attackers entered the table from the flank. The scenario was a classic bottleneck situation made extra difficult by the fact that the two packmules had next to no inclination to cross the stream.

The rules for the scenario were simple; the main part of Zzifth’s warband, including Ziffth himself, would arrive on the table edge at a 6+ roll – the target number being lowered by one each turn. Malcon and his party would thus have some time to attempt to cross the water and get off the table before the majority of the reptile warband arrived on the scene. Fighting from the bridge was difficult (-1 to hit) and if hit, the model should make an Initiative-test or be pushed into the stream.

Moving through the stream was difficult, reducing movement to 1”. This applied for everyone except the small lizardmen, who could move freely in the muddy water. To get the packmules across the improvised bridge a Leadership-roll was needed. Something which worked fine for the first mule, but the second mule absolutely refused to move and blocked the bridge for several turns. Moving the mules trough the muddy stream would demand a Leadership-test for each 1” and the bridge was accordingly the preferred way across. The aim of the two forces was fairly simple; Malcon had to cross the table with as many men alive as possible, while Ziffth had to prevent this and kill as many as possible.

The game was great fun and ended in a big, bloody fight around the bridge. Two of Malcon’s henchmen succeeded in holding of the lizards for a while and thereby giving the rest of the party time to come across the stream. Sadly this heroic sacrifice led to the death of Henk, who did not make his recovery roll after the game. May he rest in peace.

It is funny to note how the crossbows really were a major force in the previous game, while they did absolutely nothing this game. Then again, our halfling thief Jolly Drake, suddenly did surprisingly well with his sling, killing several lizardmen in a series of surprisingly lucky dice rolls. Good times! Our next game in the campaign is schedules to mid-September.

This is what the game looked like.

The 4×4 table lay-out.

Malcon’s party enters the table edge carefully scouting for enemies

Malcon’s party of jungle explorers

Kenza, the warhound, was the first to run across the cloven bole

Once Daff stepped out on the bridge lizardmen came forth from their hiding place and attacked

Daff was quickly downed due to the restrictions imposed on him for fighting from the bridge. The rest of the reptile warband was now entering the table

More of the party began to cross the bridge while being attacked by the small, fast lizaardmen

In the last scenario the party rescued the barbarian Ghimar and he was now leading the party across the bridge. Sadly Ghimar proved completely worthless in this scenario where he went down facing the first lizardman he faced

Lizardmen and troglodytes approaching

Kenza bravely started chasing the advancing reptile creatures

Charging enemies

The first mule across thanks to the efforts of Peter the Melancholic. The rest still had to cross, while the reptiles came closer and closer

Without much help on his side of the river, Peter was soon charged by a fast lizard warrior

Enemies getting still closer

The champion of the reptile warband, the vile Zzifth, was now out in the open

Henk charged down to hold off the lizards while Malcon attempted to drag a stubborn mule across the bridge

Henk outnumbered

Ricco coming to Peter’s rescue. In the two previous games Ricco has been fairly incompetent and this game proved nu different!

Finally Malcon got the mule across the bridge

Fighting was going on at both sides of the bridge now

Jolly Drake fired his sling from the bridge with great effect

Zzifth leaving his men for greater prey

Malcon joins the fight on the other side of the bridge

Malcon’s party prepares for another lizard charge

A lumbering troglodyte approaching through the underbrush

Killing all around

A brave trog trying his dexterity on the bridge

Foolish Panna charged Zzifth but was quickly downed by the hideous snake creature

Peter the Melancholic succeeded in gathering his magic and wounding Zzifth with a fireball. The snakeman was now angry

The party was slowly backing away in order to leave the table with the precious mules carrying all the supplies

Zzifth by the bridge

Zzifth succeeded in using his hypnotic gaze on Ricco, paralyzing him on the spot. Malcon thus had to run back and rescue his friend from the approaching lizards

Fierce Mulio killing a lizard

Malcon fighting the last troglodyte

Finally Malcon reaches the paralyzed Ricco and shakes him free from the hypnotic spell of Zzifth

Malcon and his party leave the table, effectively winning the combat and leaving the very angry Zzifth behind. “We will meet again,” he shouted in his dark, reptile tongue

Welcome to the Jungle…

In November I participated in the splendid Horison Convention in Odense where Claus and I had brought along a little Oldhammer-scenario entitled Koka Lustria. The name more or less sets the stage.

Here’s the blurp which gives you an idea of the set-up.

This game takes us to the lush jungles of Lustria. Scaly lizardmen have captured the amazon novice Maka who was soon to be initiated as a priestess of the most sacred goddess Rigg. The vile humanoids are planning to use young Maka in one of their hideous fertility rites. Such blasphemy must be prevented at any cost and the fanatic servants of Rigg thus launch a rescue mission to free their sister before she suffers defilement from the cold hands of the walking lizards. A small warband of koka-crazed amazons, led by the most illustrious priestess Tototic, is thus sent off into the jungle to bring back their sister with the support from their pygmy allies. Will they succeed?

So the setup for the scenario is fairly straight forward. An alliance of amazons and pygmies have to fight the lizardmen in order to free young Maka before a huge snake rapes her during the weird fertility rite of the lizardmen. Yep, pulpy stuff, I know. The rules we used were more or less Warhammer 3rd ed. by the way.

This is more or less what the scenario look like. We played the game twice with four gamers each time and two GMs and the pictures come from both games. Sorry for crappy quality of many of the pictures! Thanks to those wo participated. We had a blast.

I’ll upload the rosters and technicalities of the scenario for further inspiration during the weekend.

Cheers

The game table with the ancient lizard temple in the middle

The game table with the ancient lizard temple in the middle

Lizardmen led by the by their snakeman leader

Lizardmen led by the by their snakeman leader

Koka-crazed amazons

Koka-crazed amazons

Pygmies rushing to the aid of the amazons

Pygmies rushing to the aid of the amazons

Things get into motion

Things get into motion

Young Maka captured in her cage while the snake waits for the rites to begin

Young Maka captured in her cage while the snake waits for the rites to begin

Troglodytes and dragon newt crawl slowly towards their attacking enemies

Troglodytes and dragon newt crawl slowly towards their attacking enemies

 

The dragon newt

The dragon newt

Pygmies ready themselves to throw their grappling hooks and scale the temple walls.

Pygmies ready themselves to throw their grappling hooks and scale the temple walls.

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The piece of cotton is poison gas released by the dragon newt

The piece of cotton is poison gas released by the dragon newt

More gas

More gas

The lizardmen

The lizardmen

Giant snake

Giant snake

The pygmies have arrived

The pygmies have arrived

The pygmy warlord Mu-Mu his fierce gorilla steed

The pygmy warlord Mu-Mu his fierce gorilla steed

Amazons and troglodytes clash

Amazons and troglodytes clash

More clashing

More clashing

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Lizard warriors gang up on the pygmy shaman Tiki-Tu

Lizard warriors gang up on the pygmy shaman Tiki-Tu

A brave attempt to rescue Maka is finally foiled as the lizards Cath up with Mu-Mu and his gorilla

A brave attempt to rescue Maka is finally foiled as the lizards Cath up with Mu-Mu and his gorilla

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Tom Meier’s Spectacular Lizard Warriors

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I have been working on some very old stuff lately and the first batch is now to be considered done. It’s the magnificent box of Tom Meier’s Lizard Warriors released simultaneously, I believe, in 1984 by Citadel and Ral Partha. To my mind Tom Meier’s lizardmen are some of the best reptilians out there. The lizard warriors are petite, slender creatures covered in exotic armour and wielding equally exotic weapons. Strange runes are shown on their shields and some of the minute belt buckles are shaped like snake heads.

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This is great fantasy stuff. You really get the feeling that these lizard warriors are part of a particular, alien culture. To emphasize the idea that the nine of them belong to the same tribe I painted them in the same colours and I’m quite happy with the result.

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The keen eye will undoubtedly spot some small conversions on a few of the models. I bought the set rather cheaply on Ebay as a so-called job lot. This meant the some of the quite thin arms and weapons were broken off. Most of the loose bits were still in the box but some I had to replace. Thus the conversions were an act of restauration not a creative urge to tinker with the originals.

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These cloaks are a rather intriguing. I find it at the same time odd and rather fascinating that the lizardmen should wear such large cloaks – I’m not sure why.

These cloaks are a rather intriguing. I find it at the same time odd and rather fascinating that the lizardmen should wear such large cloaks – I’m not sure why.

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I’m so happy to finally have this set painted. Next time I’ll be back with a band of coke-crazed Amazons also straight out of the magical year of ’84.

See you around

Cheers

Martin