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"Tie a Ribbon Round the Old Dogs Neck"

A Flintloque Scenario by Gavin Syme

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Some moments in war are brought on by having to utter 'yes, sir, right away,sir' through clenched teeth as some medal bedecked moron orders to you do something totally crazy and really, really unnecessary.  

This is one of those moments...

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The war between the Confederation of Finklestein and the Ostarian Empire does not always involve big battles and famous events. Sometimes it’s down to those moments that try the mettle of every soldier. Those moments brought on by having to utter ‘yes, sir, right away,sir’ through clenched teeth as some medal bedecked moron orders to you do something totally crazy and really, really unnecessary. This is one of those moments, one of the worst, and of course with it being so insane it’s got to be the Emperor Klaffenhunde giving the orders.

A spent musket ball smacked into the fir tree with a wet crunch and lodged there stuck tight. It did not have the momentum to kill but that did not stop Captain Snarf von Wormit of the 9th Ostarian Grenadier Guards from flinching. He flinched, not only due to the musket ball now barely half a dozen feet from his chest, but also with the knowledge that soon the Dwarves would be close enough to aim properly and then his trouble would really start in earnest.

Not that von Wormit was not already in a state of extreme agitation, you would not know it of course his eyes and muzzle betrayed none of the chaos inside him. His sword lay propped against the injured fir tree and his arms were covered in draped pink ribbons. Yes, ribbons! Here he is an officer of some ten years campaigning experience, his loyal soldiers around him, pandering to a madman. This madman also, by happy chance, happens to be the ruler of an Empire to which nearly two-thirds of all the Dogmen in the whole of Valon belong.

That madman was none other than his most imperial majesty ruler of the Empire of Ostaria and Bohundia; the Emperor Klaffenhunde. Rapier thin and immaculately dressed the Emperor inspected the draped ribbons, with no obvious worry that he and his few guards were about to become Dwarf fodder, his monocle in and out of his right eye tutting to himself. The Dogmen had been like this for more than twenty minutes. The whole army had moved on and left them behind…on purpose? Captain Snarf von Wormit was beginning to think so. Dwarf soldiers from one of the Legions de Nain, enemies of Ostaria, were closing in.
Private Bix skidded to a halt beside his commander and tongue lolling hurriedly reported.

‘Sir, ze enemy are within mere moments of overrunning us. Why are ve still here, why are ve not moving on sir? Ve are going to be killed. What damn fool…’

With a glare that could have melted solid iron Captain von Wormit made the Private stop mid flow. It suddenly dawned on the pup that the Emperor himself was not only right in front of him, but also that he had just called him a fool to his face and the Emperor was looking Private Bix right in the eyes. The Private swallowed hard and his ears went flat on his furred head. He was as good as dead. He could see the gallows now.
The Emperor spoke in a high and intensely irritating voice.

‘Ah, there you are Jeeves, good. Now these drapes for Bertie just won’t cut the mustard. Not a hope old boy.’

Private Bix stood to attention so violently that three buttons popped off his white uniform jacket. He had no idea what the Emperor was talking about but it was not an order to arrest him and that was what mattered right now. Klaffenhunde continued.

‘Righty ho. Now you chaps go and get the rest of the drapes and be quick about it. Bertie needs to look nice for the parade at dawn. Do you hear me? Good, now get stepping.’

All of the Dogmen looked to Captain von Wormit for answers. The Captain had realised already that the Emperor might be mad but he sure as hell wanted his horse, or Bertie for some reason, to have pink ribbons tied to it. There were lengths of the pink satin nearly a hundred feet in every direction (the Emperor had been at this a while). He grabbed his sword and beckoned to the rest of his troops to huddle close to him. They did so as the Emperor began to ask his horse if he knew the strudel house on Kappute Strasse in Venna and to ask for a serving girl called Martina when he ordered lemon schnapps.

‘Listen to me. Bix and Ruffus stay with the Emperor and protect him with your lives, trust me your lives do depend on it. The rest of you with me, lets give those stumpies a bloody nose. Oh, Sergeant von Hunde, your on ribbon duty. Get the damn horse rigged up in pink so we can get him on it and get out of here. Now go!’

The Dogmen raised their weapons and advanced to meet the oncoming Dwarves. Private Bix hoped that that the Sergeant was as good at dressing a horse as he was at shouting. It would be an interesting few minutes!

Map and Set Up

This game of Flintloque is set up as follows. The table is a standard size (four foot by four foot) and on it is a flat grass surface. There are three level one hills from centre of table to the north, south and east each is about 30cm long. There are eight groups of four trees each placed randomly across the table and also two small outbuildings to the west of table centre. Players should take turns placing hills, trees etc.

The Ostarian force sets up in table centre with the horse dead centre, the Emperor is placed within 5cm of the horse, and all other Ostarians are within 10cm of the Emperor and each other. Confederation of Finklestein forces set up in one group, all within 10cm of each other on any table edge (within 5cm of table edge). First turn begins as normal.

Scenario Objectives

The Ostarian Guard – Get the damn ribbons on the damn horse and try not to get yourself or the Emperor killed in the process.

The Dwarves of Finklestein – What a golden chance to do the Ostarian war effort some good! Kill the Emperor.

Game Length

The game lasts until ten turns or until the horse has the needed number of ribbons on it. At the end of the tenth turn, if play is still ongoing, the game ceases as the Ostarian reinforcements have piled into the fight forcing the Dwarves to flee.

Victory Conditions

Victory is achieved by the Dwarves if they manage to kill Emperor Klaffenhunde by the end of the tenth turn. A minor victory is theirs if they manage to wound the Emperor or kill his horse by the end of turn ten. Victory belongs to the Ostarians if they manage to keep the Emperor alive AND they manage to place five ribbons on the horse by the end of turn ten.

Scenario Forces

The Ostarian Dogs – 8 Dogmen Grenadier Guards and Emperor Klaffenhunde

The Emperor Klaffenhunde (Raw / Militia / Dogman)
Special Scenario Rules: This character never suffers any morale rolls for any reason. He never panics.

Captain Snarf von Wormit (Experienced / Grenadier / Dogman) Sword and Standard Pistol

Sergeant Wulf von Hunde (Experienced / Grenadier / Dogman) Spear and knife

Private Ruffus, Private Von Waggy (Average / Grenadier / Dogman) Dog Grenadier Blunderbuss, Bayonet

Private Bakstcratch, Private Grosshunde, Private Bix (Raw / Grenadier / Dogman) Dog Grenadier Blunderbuss

The Confederations Dwarves – 10 Dwarf Infantry and 1 Mounted Officer

Kaptain Sehrgutt (Veteran / Regular / Dwarf) Pony, Sword, Standard Pistol

Sergeant Vonflagg (Experienced / Regular / Dwarf) Halberd

Sergeant Bloefeld (Average / Regular / Dwarf) Drum and Knife

Private Schwartz, Private Weiss, Private Rosa (Average / Regular / Dwarf) MkII Dwarf Musket

Private Punkt, Private Schlag, Private Bindestrich, Private Komma, Private Von Anschlag (Raw / Regular / Dwarf) MkII Dwarf Musket

Scenario Special Rules

This is a unique scenario and as such it will not make a whole lot of sense to some players. But trust me on this it is GREAT FUN! Remember the aim of the scenario is to get ribbons on the horse and also to either keep the Emperor alive or to off him with a well placed shot.

The Emperor’s HorseThis beautiful white stallion is not at all happy, he is a proud and powerful beast meant for a hero, and here he is saddled with this idiot Dog who insists on ribbons (pink ribbons by gad!) being tied to his mane and tail! The horse is in such a huff that he will not move for any reason during play. He is treated as a standard Light Horse as per the Flintloque rules for purposes of being in melee (where he will defend himself) or being shot at.

Pink Ribbons - For the Ostarian player the aim is to tie some ribbons (five) to the horse. This will please the Emperor so much that he will then decide to get on the horse and ride off. To place a ribbon on the horse requires one action by one character (the Emperor will not touch a ribbon, it’s below him you fool) in base to base contact with the horse. To pick up a ribbon requires one action within 2cm of the site of a ribbon on the table. You cannot place ribbons on a dead horse.

Where are the Ribbons? - When setting up the table, after all the Ostarian figures are placed, take a ruler marked out in centimetres and place it in front of each Ostarian character including the horse and the Emperor and then roll 3D10 dice twice for each character. Place a small piece of coloured ribbon or a marker the rolled number of cm directly in front of each character after each roll. This will result in a random spread of twice the number of Ostarian figures in ribbons to be collected. Please note that a character can carry only one ribbon at a time (yes not fair, but its got to be a challenge!).

The Emperor Klaffenhunde - My dear Ostarian player, you really did not think we were going to let you control the idiot emperor did you? The Emperor does not take orders or even advice from anyone, he will do as he pleases and is totally oblivious to the enemy. Each turn the Emperor will move towards the closest ribbon to his starting position at a rate no more than Slow March until he reaches it. He will then summon the closest allied character (not himself or the horse) to pick up the ribbon. The closest friendly miniature MUST do this to the best of their ability upon activation. The friendly character MUST also then take the ribbon to the horse before then being free to act again (they must follow the Emperor’s instructions to bedeck the horse in ribbons). The Emperor will then move to the next closest ribbon and repeat the process. The Emperor will not ask a ribbon carrying character to pick up another ribbon (that would be mad!) and will ignore that character for the next closest when looking for someone to decorate bertie. When there are five ribbons on the horse the Emperor will move at a Quick March to the horse and game ends when he reach it as he will then ride off.

There are no special rules for the Dwarf player to note.

Scenario Notes

This special Flintloque scenario (for use with Flintloque 3rd edition) was written by request for the excellent fellows at Orcs in the Webbe for use in their superb 2009 advent calendar. Its in celebration of one of the rarest and most prized miniatures in the Flintloque range, that is the Emperor Klaffenhunde on foot which was given away free with all orders for one month at Christmas in the year 2000. Only about one hundred of this miniature exists and it fetches more than £50.00 when traded among players (as of December 2009).

Also we recommend the more experienced player takes the role of the Ostarians. It's mad and its great fun!

For those who wish to play out the scenario you will need the following miniatures. The Emperor Klaffenhunde on foot Promo2000 miniature. We realise that most of you have no chance of owning this miniature so we also recommend any other Dog Officer such as those on foot in 56510 Dog Command. A horse, any will do, but the best is the actual horse with ribbons on it from LE020 Emperor Klaffenhunde (mounted). For the Ostarian Guard you could use 56514 Ostarian Grenadiers and for the Confederation Dwarves use 52005 Legion de Nain Command and two packs of 52003 1er Legion de Nain. Check the Alternative Armies website for more information on these codes.

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Webmaster's Notes

An Orcs in the Webbe Original! "Tie a Ribbon Round the Old Dogs Neck!" was written exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe's 2009 Advent Calendar and was published on Friday 4th December 2009.

It was absent for several years due to a prior regeneration of the website not transferring everything over correctly, the wrong has now been righted and it returned on the 18th November 2014 as part of Orcs in the Webbe's ongoing Flintloque Archive Project.

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