"The Fur of Moskova"
"Hounds with Frowns"
A Flintloque Scenario by Gavin Syme
Can your Finklestein Dogmen, caught unawares at camp outside the charnel city manage to escape the Undead in time?
Captain Otto von Scratch awoke with a start, his tongue lolling as if he were baking in a comfortable inn house, though he knew as he had done for weeks now that he was in the icy chill of the ever frozen Witchlands. Through the hide lined canvas of his tent the Captain could hear the distant retorts of musketry which did not seem right as the morning was just upon the camp.
The Captain had been a soldier since his home city of Dogsden had first sworn its allegiance to the Ferach Empire and in the time that had followed he had seem much action. Any soldier who survives this long gains a second sense of danger and the heat he felt despite the ice inside his very tent was the sign of danger...and it was near.
In the days that followed Otto von Scratch would reflect on those few moments that he had laid in his wooden crib under that canvas and debated whither he should ignore the sound or, as he had done, raise himself and the rest of his company and make ready for action.
He had made the right choice. He had made the choice despite the continued assurances among the ranks that Marshal Ney had given his word that the Armee was safe and the surrender of the Witchlands was merely a matter of signatures on a piece of parchment. A soldier trusts to his sense of survival above all.
Still in full uniform with his greatcoat on the Captain rose from his crib and buckled on his sword before lifting his loaded musket from when it stood against a fabric support. He undid the clasps that held the tent flaps shut and ducked out into the dawn.
The sound of musketry had grown closer and now he could see the flash of powder being ignited and the howls of fellow Finklesteiners in pain. Over all that the more worryingly he saw the great bulk of Moskova in the distance, dark and squat against the horizon. It was aflame.
The Captain hurriedly worked his way along the line of four tents that made up his company’s billet on the endless snowfield. Each of them was coated in a thin layer of ice, it had come in fast, the tents had been up only a few hours. The troops within were dead to the world, exhausted by the long marches to reach the capital of this forsaken country.
Ripping open the flaps of each tent the Captain barked at his troops and woke them. He woke them hard and fast with strong words and the threat of being bitten by his own sharp teeth if they did not rise and report instantly. They stirred and through drill and through trust in their leader they rose to their feet and lifted once more the heavy stocks of their muskets and filed out in to the lightening day.
First to salute and request orders was the Captain’s second in command Lieutenant von Barch,
sleep still in his eyes. The Lieutenant spoke hurridly;
'Vot is ze commotion about mein Kapitan? Vot are your orders for ze Hundes?'
The Captain considered this and then he committed a direct betrayal of orders which under any other circumstances would have resulting in a firing squad. He knew now what was occurring. In one simple word it was ‘trap’. The Dark Czar had tricked the Emperor and now his army was falling on the sleeping Dogmen like fiends of the night. They had to save who they could and flee to fight another day.
Looking about the camp he spotted the central depot of the regiment’s supplies located on the nearby hill. They would need the food and the extra powder and ball that the barrels and boxes of the depot held. He replied to the Lieutenant;
'Get ze Hundes unt zen get up ze hill. Ve are leaving, ve cannot save ourselves unt also ze others too. See now ze stinken tote walkers are nearly upon us.'
Von Barch saluted and then hesitated. He would obey but this was mutiny as sure as his fur was black. Then he looked to where the Captain was pointing and he could see the very edge of the camp burning and a mass of the shambling dead belching into the sleeping Dogmen and slaughtering them. He knew the Captain was right, it was survival now. He shouted at the other soldiers in the company, now all standing an a rough line;
'Attention mine Hundes! Ze Captain has given ze orders. Ve are to to ze hill unt full our knapsacks mit der supplies fur ein march. Der Tote are upon us unt ve must retreaten here before we are torn apart!'
The Dogmen shouldered their muskets and ran for the hill, all the while the Undead lurched closer. It was chaos now. Other soldiers were outside their tents, their eyes blurred and their senses not heightened enough to realise their peril. Zombies fired into their bodies at point blank range, or beat them to the ground with rotten fists before using rusting bayonets to cut throats or even saw off heads. The Undead do not kill with finesse.
At the top of the low hill the company of Dogmen awaited further orders, their faces contorted with horror as they watch the living dead come ever closer. Even now the tents they had barely left a minute before were now being trampled to the snow by feet that were a putrid greyish green.
Captain von Scratch ordered his lieutenant to take half the soldiers and to break open all the supplies they could find, fill their packs and their pockets, while he stood at the edge of the hill with the rest of his troops. They levelled their muskets at the approaching Zombies and awaited the command.
'Ready mine Hundes... unt... Fire!'
Ten shots blasted out and three Zombies fell never to rise again. One missing half its head, another split in two by the lead balls and the third scratching at the snow with the one arm that it had left of its four limbs. More of the Undead simply trampledover the fallen corpses crushing them and continued to advance.
'Reloaden unt fire at vill. Leutant make ze search schneller!'
'Ve are out of Time!'
This is a solo play scenario for one player so the forces in use are two fold.
Firstly a large Finklestein Dogman section from the Finklestein city of Dogsden and secondly a much larger array of Zombies led by some very nasty fellows indeed.
3rd Company - 14th Dogsden Line Infantry (Ferach Empire)
Captain Otto von Scratch (Veteran / Regular / Elite / Dogman)
Standard Musket, Sword.
Lieutenant von Barch (Experienced / Regular / Elite / Dogman)
Standard Musket Standard Pistol.
Sergeant Durrgh (Experienced / Regular / Dogman)
Halberd, Standard Pistol, Knife.
Sergeant Fauster (Experienced / Regular / Dogman).
Soldat Achen (Average / Regular / Dogman)
Standard Pole (large improvised weapon), knife.
Soldat Rottervile (Average / Regular / Dogman)
Drum (small improvised weapon), knife.
Soldat Eichhunde (Average / Regular / Dogman).
Soldat Gerbner (Average / Regular / Dogman).
Soldat Gotthunde (Average / Regular / Dogman).
Soldat Hertzer (Raw / Regular / Dogman).
Soldat von Junken (Raw / Regular / Dogman).
Soldat Konigg (Raw / Regular / Dogman).
Soldat Sehrlange (Raw / Regular / Dogman).
Soldat Mauter (Raw / Regular / Dogman).
Soldat Nachthunde (Raw / Regular / Dogman).
You have a pool of 6 Skills taken from the Generic Skills and the Finklestein Dog Skills pages of 5026 to allocate as per the creation rules for this Section. You have a pool of 6 Traits taken from the Generic Traits and the Finklestein Dog Traits from the pages of 5026 to allocate as per the creation rules for the Section. You must also allocate 4 Flaws to this Section from the list of Generic and the list of Finklestein Dog flaws in the 5026 book. You may roll for each character for Wylde Magicke as per the Flintloque rules. If you are using the points system then calculate the points values of the characters and then adjust them to take your allocation of Skills / Traits / Flaws into account.
1st Company - 89th Graviski Line (The Witchlands Army)
Count Dravitch Tolsov (Experience / Regular / Elite / Vampyre)
Sword. Psychological State - Calculating
K.G.B Officer Awefuliche (Experienced / Liche).
Sergeant Yarkov (Undead - Fresh Zombie).
Standard Musket, Standard Pistol
Sergeant Zymm (Undead - Fresh Zombie).
Standard Carbine, Knife
Private Toltec (Undead - Decayed Zombie)
Standard Bearers Pole (large improvised weapon)
Private Urghov (Undead - Decayed Zombie).
Drum (small improvised weapon)
Private Boris, Private Andorvich, Private Justkildovich. (Undead - Fresh Zombies)
Standard Musket, Bayonet.
Private Egor, Private Klutzov, Private Gregori (Undead - Decayed Zombies)
Standard Musket, Bayonet.
Private Disintegratov, Private Stinkov, Private Urgich, Private Litlefleshski. (Undead -
Standard Musket, Bayonet.
Private Bonivich, Private Calciski, Private Skeltov, Private Corpsov. (Undead - Skeleton).
Standard Carbine, Bayonet.
You have a pool of 2 Skills taken from the Generic Skills and the Vampyre Skills pages of 5026 to allocate as per the creation rules for this Section. You have a pool of 1 Traits taken from the Generic Traits and the Vampyre Traits from the pages of 5026 to allocate as per the creation rules for the Section. You also have 1 Skill and 1 Flaw to allocate to the Liche in the Section as per those pages in 5206. You may roll for the Vampyre for Blood Magicke as per the Flintloque rules. If you are using the points system then calculate the points values of the characters and then adjust them to take your allocation of Skills / Traits / Flaws into account.
Scenario Map and Set Up
You will need a standard playing area of six foot by four feet (though if space does not allow feel free to change this, but keep the length and width in the same ratio). The terrain required is outlined as follows and it along with the forces on all sides of this scenario should be laid out as per the map for this adventure.
The surface of the playing area is covered in light snow which hinders movement to the normal degree. In the centre of the playing area is a level one hill which runs the length of the game area. There are scattered dead trees and a ruined house as well, both offering cover as per the rules. There are also some tents and piled sacks and barrels in the Finklestein camp.
The 14th Dogsden Line set up in their camp on the hill, set up area 1, arranged as the player sees fit. The Graviski Infantry begin in set up area 2 with all Undead in communication range of the Liche and the Vampyre and Liche at the furthest rear edge of the set up; area nearest the playing area edge.
Since this is a solo based scenario we will assume the human player is controlling the Dogmen Section and the solo rules control the Undead Section. With this in mind the objective for both sides is as follows:
3rd Company - 14th Dogsden Line Infantry (Ferach Empire)
You have been taken by surprise, it is the dawn of the living dead. Camped outside the charnel city of Moskova your entire regiment has been caught by a vast horde of advancing Undead troops.
The Emperor Mordred and his elite guard have already fled and it is only the fact that your company was at the rear of the regiment’s camp that has thus far saved you. Awakened by the screams and howls of fellow Dogmen being murdered in their sleep you have pulled your hounds together and have realised that all is now lost. You must flee and begin the retreat through the snow back towards Diberia and possible safety.
But here is the trick. The Undead are about to reach you, but you know that you need the supplies in the camp, up on the low hill, before you flee because if you don’t you will surely die from exposure and hunger if not by musket ball.
Muskets crack and the sounds of battle are all around, but focused, you and your hounds split your attention between grabbing supplies and holding off the leading edge of the advancing Undead horde.
Your objective in this scenario is to collect enough supplies (see special rules) and then leave the table by the southern edge carrying them. If you manage this and lose less than 50% of your Section rounding down, it is a victory for you. Otherwise the Undead win.
1st Company - 89th Graviski Line (The Witchlands Army)
The trap is sprung! Through a web of intrigue and machination the 1st Armee du Norde has been embroiled in a storm of Zombies, Skeletons and blood seeking Vampyres. While the hated Mordred has escaped, for now, the majority of the Ferach army is in the Dark Czar’s clutches.
While thousands of others deal with the enemy within the walls of Moskova your troops have been given the delicious task of mopping up the sleeping battalions that surround the capital. In the first rays of morning you begin your murderous work with a smile on your fanged face.
Sleeping Finklestein Dogs are little challenge and the task seemed to be worthwhile but somewhat boring...that was until you spotted the sight of some of the furry enemy trying to grab supplies, trying to shoot your troops and what’s worse trying to steal the potential glory and advancement your will get from this escapade!
Driving your shambling minions on you are determined to climb the hill and then drive your sword into the neck of this upstart officer who dares to challenge your mastery of the field.
In this scenario your objective is to storm the hill and to end the lives of all of the Dogmen before they can escape, with or without their vital supplies. If you manage to kill more than 50% of the enemy you win. Casualties in your Section are meaningless.
This scenario continues for as many turns as required until one side or the other reaches its victory conditions.
Special Rules for This Scenario
This scenario has some special conditions that must be adhered to and they are as follows:
1. The Undead Section is governed by the rules of the Set Up and from that point on by the Solo Rules engine in 5026 on page 90 of the game book. The stance of the Undead will be Aggressive at all times.
2. If a second player is available to you then they should take the role of the Undead Section and play them as they see fit.
3. If you want to try this scenario as the Undead and make the solo engine control the Dogmen then do so! The stance of the Dogmen will be Defensive and they will allocate as many characters as needed (never the Section Leader) to collecting supplies and once supplies are collected the Dogmen will prioritise escaping the southern edge of the table over all other actions.
4. Collecting Supplies. As per the map and set up there are several bundles (composed of sacks, barrels, bags etc) of supplies on the hill and the Dogmen must collect them and flee. Its up to the player how many characters he allocates to the collecting task, with the usual mixed blessing of faster collecting and fleeing over less protection. To collect enough supplies one character must spend one Turn in base to base contact with a bundle of supplies.
The Dogmen have enough supplies to allow them to flee once nine characters have collected supplies. A character may only ever collect supplies ONCE. If the character is then killed in play it makes no difference to the collection total and the ability of the Dogmen to flee the table. Any character who has collected supplies then moves at 25% reduced rates in all movement bands before any other modifiers are applied.
5. Climbing the Hill. Unknown to the Undead the snow on the surface of the slopes of the hill are covering a layer of ice which gives a chance of slipping.
When a character enters the slope roll 1D10 and -2 for Undead +1 for Mortal, on a result of 5 or less the character slips and falls back to the bottom of the slope and may attempt to climb it again next turn. If the character has a loaded firelock, roll 1D10 on a result of 1 -2 the weapon discharges and the shot is wasted in the fall. These rules also apply to any Dogmen trying to walk down the slope or back up it.
In order to play out this scenario you will need the following wargaming items. Some are essential and others can be exchanged for items you have in your collection. Just make sure that you and any other players are aware of what miniatures represent which forces in play.
5026 Flintloque 3rd Edition - Death in the Snow.
Flintloque Game Book will all needed rules and background.
56506 Dogman Line, 56510 Gulash Command, 56506-I Dog Line Drummer, 56506-S Dog Line Standard Bearer.
These miniatures provide the needed figures for the Dogmen, though you may well benefit from two packs of 56506 Dogmen Line to bolster your collection and give you a few spare miniatures to expand the scenario.
55508 Zombie Line, 55507 Moskova Volunteers, 55005 Latrinislav Command.
These miniatures provide the needed figures for the Undead. Your collection of Undead miniatures will always benefit from a couple of sets of 55508 as these miniatures feature in most Undead adventures.
You will also require what you feel to be suitable terrain and several D10 or percentile dice.
Expanding The Scenario
It is perfectly possible to expand this scenario to take more forces into account and here is one way to do so.
Double the size of the Undead Section using the same number of Vampyres and Liches but adding another twelve to fifteen Zombies and Skeletons as per the creation rules for characters in the 5026 book. If you add no more characters for the Dogmen this makes the scenario VERY hard for the player as he has no chance of slowing or stopping the advance of the Undead.
However if you do double the size of the Undead Section in the scenario you can then add another second section on the Ferach Empire side which can be controlled by you, by another player or the solo engine (count as aggressive). We recommend a passing section of Dogman Hussars, five characters on light horses (use 56509 Dog Hussars) who can act as a shield against the advancing Undead, of whom two must escape the playing area.
I had great fun assembling and then playing out this scenario, both against myself and against some hapless foe (who, yes did beat me!) at Alternative Armies.
When reading the background material in Death in the Snow I was very interested in doing something with the poor lads who were outside of Moskova when the Dark Czar sprung the trap to destroy the Grande Armee. So it came to me to create a scenario featuring those long suffering allies of the Ferach Elves, the Dogmen of Finklestein.
There have been other scenarios featuring the stealing of supplies from the enemy but to my knowledge none published that involving stealing your own supplies while trying to escape the shambling dead. So here you are!
While playing this scenario I can offer a small amount of sage advice to win. This is against the solo play engine of course. When the game begins send seven characters (all of the Raw experience level ones to start) to collect supplies and at the same time send all the others to the edge of the hill facing the Undead. Wait until the Undead are near enough for a volley to be effective and then let them have it! Then begin to retreat with the seven who have supplies and use two of the now unloaded characters to collect the rest. After this run!
If you are lucky you will be able to begin to flee just as the Undead crest the hill.
Oh, and you could be a bit of a sod and leave some of your Dogmen to slow the advance of the Zombies... callous but it does sometimes work.
This article was originaly published on Alternative Armies' content portal, Barking Irons, and is reproduced here with permission.