"A Bridge Too Fur"
A Flintloque Scenario by Gavin Syme
Miniature and Photo by Alternative Armies
Ordinance Officer McTavish is tasked with heading to Aegpyt, into the arms of a mad Othari warlord who thinks he is the Duke of Wheeling-Turn, to blow up a bridge held by veteran Ferach troops with nothing more than some raw recruits and a few barrels of powder. 'Nay bother', says McTavish...
The politics of war and a world beyond the concern of one Joccian Ordinance Officer. Why question orders? Why wonder if being sent all the way to Aegypt is a good use of your time and talents for demolition? Why make a fuss? Well you could say that asking questions is a good thing when your mission is rather hare brained and quite a few other soldiers would have run screaming for the hills rather than take it on. But that is not McTavish’s style, oh no. Aye he says, send me to Aegpyt, into the arms of a mad Othari warlord who thinks he is the Duke of Wheeling-Turn, to blow up a bridge held by veteran Ferach troops with nothing more than some raw recruits and a few barrels of powder. Nay bother he says…
The sun beat down and made a slick of sweat under the thick fur of Ordinance Officer McTavish's neck and shoulders. It was hot, hotter than the warmest day ever recorded in his native Glasgee (but then in Joccia warm rain was a once annul event!) he was standing in the sands of Aegypt. Aegypt, a war torn province in the vast and rickety Otharmann Empyre fought over between the Elves of Armorica and the forces of Greate Britorcn with the Othari rulers playing both sides off pretty much equally. One of these seemingly endless power struggles was now nearing its end game and that was why this Joccian Ratman, an expert in demolishing anything from castles to maidens was currently standing outside a grand domed tent await an audience with the warlord Ahumana Humanai ruler of these empty lands.
Well these lands were not quite empty. They had to be traversed to get from one side of the massive Nhile river to the other which was essential to winning any war in Aegypt. McTavish had had a lot of time to consider his actions during the two week sail from Al-Garvey to Abbukar. Sure he had probably over stepped the mark with General Rukermann but that ruddy Ogre had it coming. He might well have been four feet taller than McTavish and three times his weight but nobody calls this Joccian a 'coward' without getting a slap! It had turned out that the Hunvarian was asking him if he wanted some sparking Nepolise wine he had liberated that week but it was too late by then. Hauled up in front of the Iron Duke himself McTavish was actually worried for a change, not that he would have shown it. The provosts had carried him bodily into the commanders field office and dropped him like a sack of coal on the carpeted floor.
To McTavish's credit he had sprung upright and saluted within mere seconds. Sat behind his desk Wheeling-Turn had not even deemed it needed to look up from the paperwork he was busy with. Still scribbling, the nib of his goose feather scratching the papers he spoke.
'Mr McTavish I see you received my request for an audience. I know your reputation, no, don't say anything sir. Your actions at the Polredio armoury is something of a legend now among the Filthy Arf Undred so I hear. Even with that I cannot forgive brawling with your fellow officers, you knocked out nine of his teeth sir. I should by rights have you blackguarded and take your commission from you. No, don't say a word McTavish'
'It does seem though that your gods favour you. I received a note requesting aid in demolishing a structure to aid the Otharmann in their expulsion of the damned Ferach. I am sending you, they need an expert and someone with the ability to hand out a damn good thrashing. That is you my fellow. Go. Pick up the dispatch from Colorcins in the outer office on your way out.'
McTavish was puzzled but he said nothing until he reached the polished doors of the commanders office. Before he opened them he paused and asked the Iron Duke how would he know the Othari he was to serve on this mission.
'You will sir, you will. I hear he is a fellow after my own heart!'
Wheeling-Turn was actually laughing as McTavish pulled the doors shut behind himself. The general took up the vellum note from the warlord and read it once more. It was as Major Wogan had said the poor Othari blighter was a fine officer but he was quite mad with it. He thought himself not only to be cast in the same mold as the general but instead that he actually WAS Wheeling-Turn!
With a chuckle still on his lips the most famous soldier in the Army of Albion forgot McTavish and Aegypt and put his talents back to the destruction of the Ferach Armees in Catalucia.
McTavish had sailed the seas and ended up here in the desert. He now knew he was to blow up a bridge. He now knew he was to work for the Othari. He knew now that the warlord Ahumana Humanai was a bit eccentric. What he was about to find out was just how eccentric. The Orcs onboard the Neptunne had just grinned when he asked questions.
A flap opened in the domed tent and a furry head came out. The Joccian could see the red coat, the acres of gold ribbon and medals, the bicorne and...oh hell...the rubbery and obviously fake nose and ears he wore too. That nose was infamous.
'Ah... Misser McTarrvish. Come in. Let us discuss how to give Mordy a damn good thrashing eh!'
Sighing McTavish stepped into the shade and the charade.
Map and Set Up
This game of Flintloque uses the 3rd edition rules and takes place in the sands of the Aegyptian destert, well not quite, its a small valley approaching the river Nhile. At one end of the table is the edge of the river and the embankment and start of the span of a wooden bridge leading off table over the waters. The playing area is made up as follows.
A table three foot wide by six feet long. All of the surface is light sand and scrub which does not hinder movement except for the last foot of the table length which is all deep water (any non swimming character who enters it will drown!). Starting 15cm in from the water in the centre of the width of the table is the anchor point of a wooden bridge. The bridge leads up and off the table over the water and is 10cm wide (enough for four characters side by side). The anchor of the bridge is held by THREE big stone posts, one on either side, the last in the centre much further away. Count each of the side posts as being where the bridge starts and 10cm apart; the centre post is between them but its 30cm away towards the desert (it hold the span upright, the others anchor it). There are seven randomly scattered patches of palm trees (three in each) on the playing area; players take turns to place them. There is a rough path from the anchor of the bridge across the length of the playing area, its 5cm wide and anyone on it gains a +10% modifier to movement rates while travelling on it.
When the scenario begins the Otharmann forces are all within 10cm of each other and 30cm of a bridge anchor stone post. Its recommended the McTavish begins near one of the stone posts though you can change this if you desire to make it more of a challenge. The Ferach forces begin at the opposite end of the playing area within 5cm of each other and 5cm of the table edge. Otharmann set up first.
The Otharmann Empyre
Destroy the bridge before the Elves over run you. And try to keep the engineer alive!
The Ferach Armee of Aegypt
Save that bridge! The Emperor demands it. Anyone aiding the Othari must be captured for interrogation.
The game lasts until McTavish is captured, dead or the all three of the stone support posts are blown up.
Its a major victory for the Otharmann Empyre if the bridge is knocked down and McTavish remains alive and not captured. Its a minor victory if the bridge is destroyed and McTavish is lost (he is only a Rat after all!). Any other result is a lost game for this side. For the Ferach its a major victory if the bridge remains standing and McTavish is captured. Its a minor victory if McTavish is dead and the bridge is standing. If the bridge is downed then its a loss for the Ferach.
The Otharmann Empyre
This is one large section with an attached character (see pg91 of Grapeshotte). Assemble the section as follows. Sixteen Othari on foot; one of which is an officer, one a sergeant, one a standard bearer and the rest Household Infantry. Class them all as Militia and they are two Experienced, seven Average and the rest Raw. They are armed with four standard muskets, four spears, four swords along with three standard pistols and a standard bearers pole; divide as you prefer among your Othari forces. The additional character is Ordinance Officer McTavish. He uses the character rules found in the VLE packaging (and online here) and he suffers NO penalty for being any distance from the section officer in this scenario. Note his keg of powder may be used as a static grenade but this will NOT work to demolish a stone pillar; these must be properly demolished as per the rules below.
The Ferach Armee of Aegypt
The Elves have assembled a strike force, might not be enough but its all there is, to take the bridge. Assemble TWO sections. The first is composed of five mounted Elves on heavy horses, cuirassiers with swords, one is Veteran, one is Experienced the others are Average all are type Cavalry. Assign skills, traits and flaws as normal. The second section is composed of ten characters on foot, Elf Line Infantry, armed with Ferach Muskets and Bayonet except for the officer who has a sword and the sergeant who has a standard bearers pole. One is Experienced, four are Average and the rest Raw all are type Regular. Assign skills, traits and flaws as normal. You will need either 5025 or 5026 for creating your forces.
Scenario Special Rules
There are few special rules in this scenario, those which there are apply as follows.
Boom Boom Bang: The stone posts must be destroyed to win the game for the Othari. To do this use the Grapeshotte rules for demolition, see 5027 page 22 for details. McTavish counts as an Engineer for this and automatically succeeds with placement of powder charges and it needs only one keg per post to assure destruction, this counts as a Small Artillery Piece for blast radius and template. Fuze length and so on are as normal for players choice.
I am the Iron Duke: The rather eccentric, well ok totally mad, Othari Warlord who organised this bridge wreaking mission has arrived in person to over see the operation. Is this a good thing... well sort of. Place a mounted Othari (on a Gnoll) within 5cm of the end of the bridge, on the wooden span, that exits the playing area over the water. No one controls the warlord and no character will attack him (they are all in awe of him) as he rides around with a big bicorne atop his head and a large rubber nose on his furry face; not to mention his Gnoll is painted, yes painted, grey like the Iron Duke's favourite nag. Move the warlord 10cm per activation in a straight line down the bridge and across the table. In the Initiative Phase of each turn both players roll 1D10 whomever gets the highest roll wins. If the Elves win they may cancel the activation of two characters on the Othari side (though not McTavish...he does not care!) for the turn. If the Othari win they may elect to make up to two Elves discharge a loaded firelock in a wasted attempt to shoot the warlord down. This represents the shock and awe! If struck by the template of an explosion the warlord is 'killed' and removed from play.
Hafling Havoc: All this shooting and merriment has attracted some Halfling Warriors who serve the mighty trader Ebby Bay. It will be chaos as Halflings are not too discerning when it comes to slaughter. Generate six Average, Regular type Halflings armed with melee weapons only and place them within 5cm of each other at the Ferach end of the playing area. They activate FIRST each turn and will attempt to trade with (read this as rob!) the nearest characters to their position. This involves moving into base to base contact and then rolling a D10. On a EVEN roll (2,4,6 etc) the Halfling has stolen that characters primary weapon, he will then move directly away from the victim and attempt to leave the table. This can only be stopped by attacking the Halfling and once this is done the Halfling will focus on that character and try to KILL them and we all know those little blighters are lethal in melee combat! Lose your weapon or git shooting boy!
This special Flintloque scenario was written exclusively for the Orcs in the Webbe 2010 Advent Calendar 2010 by Gavin Syme, creative manager of Alternative Armies and head of the World of Valon and Flintloque since 2003. He asked me to do something that involved one of the Very Limited Edition Miniature codes (VLE), so I chose McTavish (he said if I chose Foul Mouth Freddie than Tony would give me a right good kicking!) and a setting not often visited. For that I selected the Otharmann Empyre and the hot sands of Aegypt. Plus of course some input from Grapeshotte 3rd edition as summit needed to go boom during play!
I only got to lay out this scenario and play it ONCE, that was all the time I had. I must admit actually that, the once was three plays with the SOLO rules so its never been played at the time of publication by two human beings. The scenario works and can be quite random depending on the first few turns and how fast you can blow up the stone posts holding up the bridge. Personally I would set up and try to knock out the centre post first, its the first one the Ferach will reach on their advance. The Elves have the advantage in speed and firepower but a lot of table to cover. I would just drive the cavalry through the Othari and just KILL McTavish, its a minor win but it counts! As the Othari player I would say, protect McTavish even to the point of surrounding him (keeping the spear and sword armed characters nearest) and moving with him from post to post. Good luck in any event and watch out for the blasts!
While the official book for the Otharmann Empyre (Blood on the Sand) is not scheduled for release until 2012 you can find all of the creation mechanics you need for Othari characters in Flintloque Lite which can be had for free as a PDF from Alternative Armies directly or on the Notables Yahoo Group in the files section. You will need a Flintloque Game Book to play this scenario, any will do but I recommend 5025 War in Catalucia for the job. For the demolition and such parts of the game you will need a copy of the excellent expansion book 5027 Grapeshotte 3rd edition.
For those of you wanting to try this adventure you should use the following miniatures as a suggestion. McTavish himself comes from code VLE04 Ordinance Officer McTavish which is now sold out but comes up quite often in the 'swop drawer' at Alternative Armies (email and try your luck). The Othari can be found in packs 57013, 57014, 57015 and 57028 Household Warrior codes. For the mad warlord use code 57004 Othari General. In the Ferach ranks you can use code 51501 Le'Esprit du Garde for the cavalry and 51038 and 51041 Elf Catalucian Infantry for the foot troops.
An Orcs in the Webbe Original! "A Bridge Too Fur?" was written exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe's 2010 Advent Calendar and was first published on Wednesday 8th December 2010.
Gavin has also written scenarios for the first three Very Limited Edition releases, all of which can be found here* on Orcs in the Webbe.
* Coming to OITW soon.