Monday, July 9, 2012

Friday 6 July 1280, The Hour of the Wolf (Entering the Fight)

As the battle unfolds in earnest, the noise is earth-shattering, and the smell of death and burning flesh rises in the air. The magnitude of the danger and the potential scope of the carnage beginning to take place fills you with adrenaline as you quickly make your plan. Oloc scribbles the notes onto a small scrap of parchment which again Varros attaches to Karnak's leg before sending the raven to report to the Captain.

Arrows rain down from the Fairbrook archers into the ranks of their goblin counterparts. You see some goblins fall, but the majority, untouched, return a volley of their own. In the confused melee further on you see only shadows of men and goblins violently intermingled, while the large creature of flame picks up yet another man of the guard, and then tosses the burning body back in amongst his comrades.

Realizing time is of the essence, you quickly put your plan into motion. Duran, Varros, and Oloc carefully maneuver into position beyond the extremity of the goblins' right flank, ready to shoot missiles into the end of the goblin line. They keep themselves angled slightly to the rear of the goblins to minimize the chances of hitting one of Belloc's men by mistake. Though the enemy mage is too far off still to be seen clearly, by his silhouette against the flames of the elemental, he appears to be a hobgoblin. 

Meanwhile Gaven, Stan, and Ollie work their way into position behind the goblin archers, just out of bowshot (about 150' behind them), and pour Varros' three flasks of oil into small pools, connecting each pool with a line of oil. Gaven sends Stan and Ollie further back, then quickly, before the oil "fuse" can evaporate, strikes a spark to the oil-covered grass. A flame rapidly runs from pool to pool lighting them all as Gaven, too, dashes back to what cover is provided by the darkness outside the light cast by the newly set fires.

The hobgoblin commanding the archers notices the flames behind the group. The bulk of his company remains focused on returning the missile-fire of Belloc's archers, but the hobgoblin gives a sharp order to three of his goblin archers to move toward the burning oil and investigate. These three cautiously advance toward the fires Gaven set, bows at the ready. They do not yet see Gaven and the hirelings.

Once the diversionary flames erupt, Duran and Varros start shooting into the goblin flank, about 120 feet away. Each of them manages to take down a goblin in the rear rank. The other goblins  do not appear to notice the bodies fall to the ground with arrows in their backs. Out of dagger-throwing range, Oloc makes himself mentally ready to cast his charm spell when the occasion arises to use it.

Suddenly you hear another blast on the horn that sounded earlier and, a second later, a horseman – who can only be Belloc – can be seen by Duran, Varros and Oloc, crashing into the front of the goblins' right flank company. His warhammer rises and falls several times into the goblin ranks, and two new goblin corpses lie on the ground.


OOC:  Actions?

I assumed that the flanking group stayed out about 100-120' away or so from the enemy (medium range for the bows) which would prevent any goblins from charging the party in a single round if the group got noticed. Let me know if you wish to close the gap on the next round (or move back to long range). I assumed that Oloc is saving his charm for the M-U (still out of range); the flanking party is about 240' away from the enemy mage.

For every part of the battle in which you are not personally involved, I've come up with a simple abstracted casualty calculation system (so however active or inactive you are, the fight will eventually play out on its own). I'll report to you any of those casualties that your characters could actually see. Wherever your characters are directly involved, I'll play out those combats normally, rather than using the abstracted system.

Summary of what you can see now:

Rear: Gaven can see four goblin corpses laying on the ground among the company of Goblin archers. Discounting the three creeping back to investigate the fires, that leaves about 13/17 still shooting at Belloc's men.

Right Flank: On the far right flank, it appears Belloc's men are getting the better of the fight. Duran, Varros and Oloc can see no humans down on that part of the field, while they are able to count three goblins down, leaving about 17/20 vs. Belloc's left flank company of 10/10. Additionally, two more goblins in that same company are eliminated by Duran and Varros' arrows, and Belloc's charge takes out another two, bringing the right flank goblin company total down to 13/20.

Summary of your PCs' combat rolls:

Round 1 (surprise round for flanking party):

d20 = 4 + 1 (medium range) + 2 (flank bonus) = 7 (miss)
d20 = 10 + 1 (medium range) + 2 (flank bonus) = 13 (hit); d6 = 6 (goblin killed)

d20 = 6 + 1 (medium range) + 2 (flank bonus) = 9 (miss)
d20 = 18 + 1 (medium range) + 2 (flank bonus) = 20 (hit); d6 = 6 (goblin killed)

Out of range

Goblins do not notice Duran and Varros shooting.

Overall Battle Strength Summary End of Round 1: 

Goblin Left Flank: ???
Goblin Left Center: ???
Goblin Right Center: ???
Goblin Right Flank: 13/20
Goblin Archers: 13/17
Goblin Archer Scouts: 3/3 (creeping back to investigate the fires)
Fire Elemental HP: ??? (appears unwounded)
Hobgoblin(?) Mage HP: ??? (appears unwounded)

Human Right Flank: ???
Human Right Center: ???
Human Left Center: ???
Human Left Flank: 10/10
Human Archers: ???
Belloc HP: ??? (appears unwounded)


  1. Oloc - Mage

    Oloc is clearly at a loss to figure out how he and his minor skills could affect the outcome of the battle. The best chance still seems to him to be to get in range of the hobgoblin wizard. Then an idea comes to him. "Perhaps I can charm a goblin and have him do the work of disrupting the spell."

    He looks about for any possible goblin in range of his spell.

    ooc: Sorry for the delay - now back home so posting should return to normalcy! Can Oloc see a gob in the area that he may be able to use his spell on?

    1. OOC: Glad you're back!

      As for finding a goblin in range of the spell -- that's no problem. The charm has a range of 120'; so you're already in range of the goblins on the right flank.

    2. Oloc - Mage

      Ooc: Oloc wil hold off on casting the spell for the moment. If it looks like an opportunity will arise where a few gobs break off to investigate the party, then he will try and charm one of them.

  2. Varros - Fighter

    "Oloc, your spell could turn the tide if you can get a hobgoblin or the mage, it could maybe be our only hope if the tide of battle shifts. Hold it if you must, but make it count my friend."

    OOC: Varros will continue to attack the flank, taking special care to engage any hobgoblins if possible.

  3. Duran - Fighter

    OOC: Duran will continue to fire into the goblins on the flank making sure to avoid the humans and Captain Bellco.

  4. Ooc: are the three scout-archers in range of Stan's bow or Gaven's spear?

    1. OOC:

      Just for reference, the three gobs are about 250' feet away, maybe a tad less; the nearest fire to you is about 150' or so.

      Stan's bow has a max range of 210' (no modifier); medium range for him would be at 140' (+1 modifier).
      short range for him would be 70' (+2 modifier).

      Gaven's spear has a max range of 60' (no modifier); medium at 40' (+1) and short 20' (+2).

      S&W White Box is very generous with the movement rates (since combat rounds are 1 full minute), so both Gaven and Stan could run up and shoot/throw in a single turn from any of the ranges listed.

      The only decision you would have to weigh are the pros and cons of being closer to or farther from the enemy.

    2. OOC: If Gaven were to take Stan's bow and 2 arrows and move into max range, would the goblin's be able to see him easily? That is, does the fire screw up their darkvision?

      My idea is: Gaven moves into range unseen by the goblins and tries to kill off a couple, which may scare the goblins back to the hobgoblin captain to report that there is a force sneaking up from behind.

      The plan depends on if the goblins would see Gaven firing at them all alone.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. OOC: The fire would definitely mess up their darkvision but they might still see him "normally."

      Even if they do see Gaven, they may assume he is alone, or they may assume there is some larger number of enemies there shooting at them

      Historically it's not uncommon for men in a fight to exaggerate the number of enemies shooting at them, especially if taken by surprise, if they can't see the enemy clearly, and if the shooting is coming from the flank or rear -- almost all of which would apply here (complete surprise might be doubtful, since the goblins are on the lookout).

      It will all come down to the dice, but given what he can see Gaven would estimate that there is only a small chance the goblins will realize a lone archer is shooting (he'd figure probably no more 20-25%, maybe even less). He'd estimate his chances of sowing some sort of additional confusion/disorder to be pretty good (in the ballpark of 75% perhaps even a tad more if he's lucky).

    5. Gaven - cleric

      Gaven whispers, "Stan, lend me your bow and arrows. You and Ollie stay out of sight and range of the goblins bows."

      Gaven hands his backpack and spear to Stan and slings his shield on his back and hangs his club from his belt.

      Gaven moves into range to fire at the goblin scouts. "Light, guide these arrows home and keep me hidden from scouts eyes."

      Ooc: Gaven will carry out the plan as described above.