Sunday, August 17, 2014

Warhammer Quest (simplified) with my children

Introduction
I mentioned on some forum that I occasionally played Warhammer Quest with my children.  The response was that I should post a report of one of the game, just to show how it goes.

The box

Background

The game
My best friend gave me the option of getting a lot of his games when he moved interstate about 4 years ago.  One of those games was Warhammer Quest. I put it away but about two years ago, I thought it would be fun to get out and just push around some figures on the tiles with my children (at that time 3 and 5 years old).  We pushed them around and had fun.  Late last year, I dragged it out again and actually skimmed the rules this time (I had played it once in the 90's I think, possibly I have never played it) and put something together.  Lots of fun.

Heroscape
Early this year I found Heroscape in a charity store going cheap and just had to buy it, although I had never heard of it.  Glanced at the rules and played my own version of it (very simple!) with the children a few times.  The reason I mention Heroscape is the combat system: Heroscape combat uses d6s with two blank face, two faces with red skulls and two faces with blue shields. the attacker rolls a certain number of dice and it looking for skulls, the defender also rolls some dice and it looking for shields.  compare skulls to shields for a result.  While this could be implemented just as easily with normal d6's and just look for 5s and 6s, my children caught onto this straight away,unlike using dice.  although, naturally they are good at reading dice - but comparing dice...easy.

Putting it together
So we have played about 3 games of Warhammer Quest in the last 6 months. My children are 7.5 and nearly 6.  Applying the Heorscape combat system has made it great.  I can vary the length of the game by the number of passageway cards and the numbe rof monsters that appear.  The game I am posting is one that they asked about playing after about a month had gone past since the one previous.

The simple rules
If you know the rules to Warhammer Quest you will recognise some of the rules below. I write them down only to serve an example of what I have done! Note I have still only skimmed the rules.  Once. About 2 years ago.  I do make stuff up on the spot but that is rare. The rules I write below I keep in my head - I need no charts, QRSs etc.  I have never had to refer to the rules, only as that will slow the game down!  I don't use the character sheets. Why?  Because I want a game that will take less than a hour.  That is about the amount of time I have at night to play a game with them. Some of the stuff in on the cards, which makes it easy. I do look up the adventure book.  I do expect as they get older I will actually read the rules and play them!

Shaun's simple WQ rules (skip if don't care)
Note these rules are for 3 players.  Normally I am the barbarian, my son is the Wizard or the dwarf and my daughter is the elf or the Wizard. I end up the Barbarian every time. They take turns each game being the Wizard as the Wizard gets to roll a die at the start of each turn.

One of them picks the end board.  I then randomly pick 3-6 dungeon cards (3 for a short game, 6 for one hour).  I do not use the T sections (no splits).  I make sure there are 2-3 rooms and 2-3 passageways.  The end board dungeon card goes on the bottom.
The actual game has a really nifty system for T intersections and ensuring you never know when the end board appears. The children do not count cards and so do not care.

Starting the game - draw the first dungeon card and place the characters on it.

Game turn
Wizard rolls the die.  A 1 indicates a random event so draw a card and perform the event.  Remember the other number - that is the Wizards spell points.
If no event, everyone can move about 6 spaces. Whatever is required to get to the next door.
Draw an event card when you enter a new room (not a passageway).
That's it.

Events 
Events are normally monsters (but not always).
I fudge the amount of monsters as there are only 3 characters, but it is about 2/3rds of what is on the card. Normally the characters get to attack first. Monsters will fire bows if they have them, or move to fight a character if no bows.  Each monster will pick on only one character and just keep attacking them.  Monsters will also distribute themselves fairly evenly against the characters.  If there are both strong and weak monsters, the weaker pick on the Wizard, while stronger monsters pick on the Dwarf/Elf/Barbarian.  They don't gang up on one character.  And characters generally cannot move if attacked - they have to keep attacking the monster attacking them.

The events that are not monsters, such as poison gas, I convert that into something that works with the combat rules.

Draw a treasure card after every event.

Combat
Combat happens first for all the characters who have an attack, then all the monsters have an attack.

Each figure has attack dice and defense dice and hit points.
Dice are Heroscape dice with 2 skulls, 2 shields and 2 blanks.

The attacker rolls their number of attack dice and counts skulls.
The defender roll their number of defense dice and counts shields.
If more skulls than shields, the defender takes that many hits.

If a monster reaches their hit points, they are dead.  If a character reaches their hit points they are unconscious, but if they exceed their hit points they are dead.


Character Stats
Elf and Barbarian have 4 attack dice and 4 defense dice and 4 hit points.  The elf also has a bow that fires with 2 attack dice.
Dwarf has 4 attack dice and 5 defense dice and 5 hit points.
Wizard has 2 attack dice and 3 defense dice and 4 hit points.  The wizard also has, once a turn, a fireball spell of 4 attack dice.  And it also gets a number of attack dice to use based on the roll of the dice at the beginning of the turn, unless a 1 was rolled.  These attack dice can be used once or added to any attack or attacks, including the fireball spell.
Note the barbarian comes out fairly poor in comparison to the rest.  I think I will be going with 5 attack dice next game, just to make hum a little different.

Monster Stats
Minotaurs (my son's favourite's) are 4 attack, 4 defense and 4 hit points.  They are tough!
Orcs are 3 attack, 3 defense and 3 hit points
Skaven are 3 attack, 2 defense and 2 hit points
Goblins are 2 attack, 2 defense and 1 hit points
Snotlings are 1 attack, 1 defense and 1 hit point
Bats get to attack first and are like Snotlings

Healing
The Elf has the healing potion.  Each turn (unless an event is rolled) each injured character can roll 3 dice and the number of shields is the number of hit points received. If they are unconscious, restoring hit points will allow them to wake up.

The Game

Note: we play on the carpet on the floor.  For some reason, we play all our games sitting on the floor.

And before you ask, Sacha is a boy (he is the one nearly 6).

The early game
The Wizard, the elf and the Barbarian ready to enter the dungeon. 
First tile is an empty passageway.
The next room see some bats appear.  But they are easily dispatched (note this is not always the case but this time, it was all over in two combat rounds). 
The treasure found in the bat room was the Chalice of Fate.  Wizard Nadia saved this to near the end. See later for details.  
A '1' is rolled meaning an event.  3 orcs!
Sacha the Flf roll brilliantly - this is just one example.  4 dice and 4 hits.  I think 2 orcs were dispatched by Sacha the Elf alone!  
The party continue on down some stairs.

The dwarf, the dead body and the Minotaur

The next room has a dying dwarf in it.  We go over for a chat and he gives us the key to the portcullis. This is only useful if you get the portcullis event, which we did not. 
..but we did find a treasure.  And a good one too.  To convert into my rules, Sacha the Elf can roll 1 extra die (3 dice rather than 2) when firing his bow.  This was used to great effect for the rest of the game. 
Another passageway.  Boring. 
And another passageway. Boring.  unless you roll a 1 for an event and get...
..a dead body  that I take the bag from and roll a 1 - Poison Gas!
We take a few hits each...
Just in time for a minotaur to show up (another 1 roll at the start of the turn).  Wizard Nadia was tempted to re-roll this event, but held off.
Sacha the Elf fires his bow (at top) for a great result.  The Minotaur defends (at the bottom) for an even better result.  I was starting to panic a little at this moment. 
The three of us ran up to the Minotaur, who managed to swing his axe and miss, and each had a go with great dice, and his dice were poor beyond belief. Obviously he had used up all his good defense dice on the first arrow.  Sacha the Elf heals us all with no unexpected events interrupting us.

The Chasm!
We arrive at the final room - the bridge over the fire chasm.  Defending the room are two minotaurs, 2 goblin archers and 2 orcs.  We have to eliminate them all, and also destroy the bridge.
Things are not going so well.  The goblin archers do some damage to the wizard and the Elf.  I do manage to put a few hits on a minotaur.
Wizard Nadia's  fireball takes out the minotaur.  4 dice, and another 5 from the wizard spell roll. Sacha the elf takes out one of the archers. 
Despite me calling out not to move on the bridge, Sacha the Elf''s blood is up and he advances onto the bridge.  Now he faces the minotaur alone and no one can help him.  He defeats the minotaur with ease, taking two hits in the process.  The minotaur falls off the bridge into the lava below.  Sacha the Elf likes that, especially as one of his favourite things in Minecraft is lava!  
The Goblin archers shoot me for a few hits and I am down and unconscious.  Not to worry though, Sacha the Elf has dice that can do no wrong and dispatches a blocking orc while taking only 1 hit.  Another monster falls into the lava!  The Wizard and the Elf take out those pesky archers!
For those making it this far, Wizard Nadia very early on had the chalice of fate allowing a re-roll once.  Wizard Nadia had been saving it for when things were really bad. Very handy right now as we are all very wounded and she rolled a 1 for the start of the turn.  This would normally mean an event - and with the Barbarian unconscious and the Elf with only 1 hit left.  She re-rolled to something else. Whew.  
We all get healed and hack at the bridge until is is destroyed.  We gloat over the amount of treasure in the room.
A shot of the whole dungeon.
Verdict
This gamer took about 10 minutes to set up and just under one hour to play after that.  The last 10 minutes was over their normal bedtime but we were at the Chasm - no way were we going to stop.

Post script: Heroscape
The Heroscape box is out, and we have played it before.  So, a few days later, my son and I play about 3 games over an hour.  It is not Heroscape - it may look like it but we just run around the battle board trying to get counters and fighting over them.  It works really well.

A small Heroscape battle setup. Normally we play on something larger.   Combat is a light version of the Heroscape rules and works a bit similar to the Warhammer Quest combat I use and is described earlier.



Friday, August 15, 2014

NUTS Comic WW2 battle report - North of Cheux Normandy Game 02

Introduction
This is the second game in a short campaign following a British section post D-Day.  First game is here:  28 June Cheux Normandy Game 01 

I am using my streamlined version of the NUTS! rules and 20mm figures on a 2'x2' table and am halving all distances in the rules. The terrain generation is from Platoon Forward and the wound effects and random events are based on Patrol:WW2.  The writeup is using Comic Life.

Background
I am loosely basing the campaign on the journey of the British 7th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment of the 43rd (Wessex) Division in 1944.  28-30 June 1944 saw many patrols and a few German stragglers captured.   

It is my second game with NUTS! and I have done some streamlining to the rules, mostly converting it to single d6 rolls but it is still mostly NUTS!.  First games was 5 soldiers, this time it is the whole section, well 8 of them as one died in the first game and another is recovering from his wounds.

Game

Click on the picture for a larger image.










In NUTS! terms
A random reinforcement turns up just behind the LMG team.  Like the first game, the random placement put it right next to some British soldiers.  The LMG team gain the initiative from the In Sight test but miss.  The German LMG'er receives a light wound and goes prone while the assistant hunkers down (going prone).  Next activation the British charge and the LMG and assistant surrender.

For the other section members, once near the buildings, no PEF appears in either.
Box and others advance into the barn, resolving the PEF for in the barn, becomes 3 Germans.  The British win the in sight and the room is sprayed with SMG and rifle fire for a dead German and the other two duck back to behind the building.
The British then charge into melee with the 2 remaining Germans and win that too!
All of the three PEFs on the table at the start resolve to nothing.

Verdict
Another fun game.  It is really interesting as you have no idea what you will come up against, nor how it will play out.  I think two things helped with no casualties for the British.  Firstly, the dice were with the Allies and so bad for the Germans.  And secondly, I fudged it when Box and the others stormed the barn.  I could just visualise them kicking down the door and firing the SMG into the room.  So that is what happened (the Germans did roll poor dice for whatever test would apply). but the damage and result was rolled for.

The game still took too long (just over 1.5 hours excluding setup but it does include taking about 100 photos and writing some notes).   Mostly it was looking up some rules clarifications on the tablet and also how PEFs moved.  I have created a cheat sheet for PEFs and random events and my recent third game (yet to be posted) was 1 hour excluding setup.  Getting faster!