"Farewell to Two"
A Flintloque Tribute Scenario by Gavin Syme with Mark Lesney
Uncle Rogipoos and Bombardier Bedsforc face the evil Sproutoids and the roving Thumber Wumber Trees as they try to close the Vortex that wants to send them to the next world...
There had been a lull in the action and when a lull comes, a lullaby of a different kind of action occurs. Two gentleorc officers were sitting down in a field to a game of cards. This dear reader is where our tale sets of from.
“I say Rogi, that is a damn blast of informality you have taken there!”
Villiam Bedsforc leaned forward to look even more intently at the thick linen cards laid out on the green wood table. How the devil were you to tell which symbols had meaning when the card rolled up at the edges and had to be washed and ironed after being used as napkins during dinner. He was sure he was being gently cheated, but then when playing Whacky Families with Uncle Rogipoos, the Duke of Coldgood and hero of the infamous Cornetto Raid, one had to be on guard. Villiam pulled at his whiskers and then lifted his bottle of
ale to his lips. It was a fine thing that no one could call Rogipoos a cad, and there were no groats riding on this match up, or there would have been a huzzah and no mistake.
From the other side of the table an Orc with a monocle in his eye and pink fluffy slippers on his feet regarded Bedsforc before grinning broadly and placing his own linen cards on the table.
“You see Villi, that I am a mean hand at Whacky Families. After all, my own dear father invented the game after that dreadful Cryptmass incident with Mystic Mog and the be-headings. Rolling about every which way they were, and father was lament to see our tree any further pruned, so it was card games rather than blades what!”
Rogipoos took a card from where it was tucked into his collar and proceeded to unfold it open. It was the card of the great, great grandfather who lived in the sanitarium but everyone had to go and visit to take cold tea if they wanted their inheritance. Bedsforc swore quietly as Rogipoos continued to unfold the card which before long was so large he had to stand up before throwing it over himself and the table and his opponent. This was the winning card, and as they sat beneath the linen sheet, for that was what it was, business turned to the hour at hand.
“Rogi, you have me beat. Dash it all. Ok, next time we are in Londinium I wear the bloomers. Them was the terms. But I draw the line at fly fishing with the Belly Dancers at the Dreary Lane theatre. Not doing that ever again. Took months for the rash to go away!”
From a pocket about his person Rogipoos took out a paper packet of Ginger Biscuits and offered them to his fellow officer.
“Finest ginger in there, you rascal Villi. Have a nibble as it's about time we were to action. It's today you know. The place and time that Mystic Mog saw out from among the fumes of the Aribicia and liquorish. She told me that the branches of the Thumber Wumber Tree were the only thing that could be shaped to spear points that could work in the jabbing of Were Chickens. “Poultry of doom,” she called them. Loose about the streets of Notnum this very season if not stopped now here in Catalucia. Of course she also said that if you were not careful, the Thumber Wumber would do you some nastiness itself, what with its habit of stomping about the place and barking at people. In any case, it was this against those fashionless Armoricans or going another round with the Cavorting Witches of Easterly Wicke.”
Shuddering, Bedsforc remembered that night. He had been a member of the House of Commoners for the Torrid Party, and in his youth had hit upon trouble as one of the two most Dangerous Brothers, but the witches had been his bottom. A job for young ones that was. The Bombardier as he was now would rather take on the trees than the witches.
“Sproutoids you said. Infecting the Elves and making them even more dastardly and not Albion-like than ever, eh. Stinky Sprouts want the Trees in order to get the wood to power their infernal vortex. Blasted if I know what that is; sounds like some sort of carpet stain remover.”
There was a gentle knock on the outside of the makeshift card tent. Well, as gentle a knock as was possible when not knowing where a gentleorc's head was on the other side.
“Come in Nursie. Room for another, and is that Cocoa I smell? Lovely stuff. Fling it here.”
With a pained expression on her broad face, Nursie lifted the edge of the giant linen card and pushed two mugs of steaming hot cocoa under it and onto the table. She sucked at one of her tusks as she let go of the mugs. Better outside the linen by far, she thought.
“Spot on, or should that be Sprout on, Villie? That is the game of the day. Risk to life and limb, and no doubt finger nails too, but musts be done, as the white washer said to the painty fellow at the lane wall. Bank A or Bank B, it makes no difference on any account if you are third from the Bank, off it still comes. So yes we must stop the Sproutoids and save the world in the process. Typical day really, and we will have some of your lads to help, eh?”
Bedsforc jumped as something brushed his leg under the table. His hand went for his sword, but he stopped as Rogipoos continued.
“Jose! You sneaky git. I knew you would not miss this jaunt. So are we all sparkly tips and ready nibs?”
It was the eccentric Orc's pet and staunch ally, an invisible Armadillo, which could deliver a significant amount of pain if needed. The Bombardier relaxed and lifted his now near empty bottle once more. Inclining the flagon towards Rogipoos he assented as was his manner.
The Scenario and Objectives
This is a scenario nominally for two players; though it can be played solo as well using the bolt on mechanics in your game book. The first player takes the part of Uncle Rogipoos and Bombardier Bedsforc while the second player takes the part of the Sproutoid menace. The Orcs must try to prevent the activation of the Vortex while the Sproutoids must try to activate it, and both sections try to avoid the Thumber Wumber trees that are out and about. There is a third force in play, and that is the Thumber Wumber Trees. These are controlled by the solo play bolt on mechanic in your game book.
Rogipoos and Bedsforc (Grand Alliance)
Use the character insert for Rogipoos as well as Nursie and Jose and the character insert for Bombardier Villie Bedsforc. These four are joined by ten Albion Orcs. Use 5025 War in Catalucia to generate the rest of the section with Rogipoos as section leader. All of these non-named characters are Regular Infantry with Bessie Muskets and bayonets and are Average rating with skills, traits and flaws assigned as per the rules. Use the profiles of the named characters as they appear on the inserts.
Sproutoid Menace (Ferach Empire)
Using mind control and a foul smell, the Sproutoids have managed to gain control of twenty Ferach Elves who are Infantry. Use 5025 War in Catalucia to generate a section with an Experienced Officer with sword and standard pistol and nineteen other characters as normal armed with a Ferach Musket. None of these characters have any skills, traits or flaws due to the Sproutoids. None of these characters has bayonets. See special rules.
Thumber Wumber Trees (Own)
These magicke trees are out to protect themselves and as a result treat everyone else as hostile. Use the special rules in this scenario for a total of five Thumber Wumber trees. See special rules.
Scenario & Map Setup
You will need a standard playing area of six feet by four feet for this scenario along with terrain as outlined here. Lay out the playing area as per the instructions and add the forces as per the set up areas having your section rosters, dice and measuring tape and so forth ready to use. The playing area is flat grass with a scattering of rocky outcrops (use between ten and fourteen outcrops) randomly scattered. In the centre of the playing area is the vortex portal. There is no other terrain.
Rogipoos and company begin at one table edge, and the possessed Elves begin on the opposite table edge. All must be within 5cm of the edge and each other within their own sections. The five trees begin within 25cm of the table centre, at least 15cm from each other and as evenly spaced as possible. Play begins as normal with attention paid to the special rules for the scenario.
Scenario Objectives and Victory Conditions
This scenario has no turn limit. The game continues until the victory objectives of one side are met, or play can no longer continue due to casualties on both sides. At the end of a turn in which a victory condition is met, cease play and announce the winner of the scenario. Here are the objectives for all sides in the scenario:
Get a Tree, prune it, get to the centre of the playing area and break the vortex portal while trying not to die or get sucked into it!
Get to the centre of the playing area and try to stop the vortex portal from being broken while trying not to get sucked into it!
Thumber Wumber Trees
Patrol the playing area and get rid of these pesky non-magicke creatures as best you can. The vortex does not bother you, and you will not be sucked into it. Try not to get pruned.
Special Rules for This Scenario
This scenario has a few unique conditions and rules which you should read and make use of in play.
Sproutoid Infected Elves: The sprout menace is not unknown on Valon, and in this case has an evil plan to use the Vortex Portal to bring more of their own kind from beyond the stars to this world. Gaining control of Elves through a digestive and rather smelly method, the Sproutoid Infected Elves act fairly normally in play, moving around, firing, reloading and fighting but with a difference or two. Firstly they never take a SHAKEN token for any reason since they are mind controlled. Secondly each character may once per game emit a toxic cloud of sprout emissions. This cloud is 5cm wide and 5cm deep and should be marked on table with the miniature as the centre. It remains in play for the rest of the game. Any Orc character who enters a cloud (not Jose) must roll 1D10, and on a result of 1-3 they are disabled by the cloud and lose their next activation. Record on your section roster which Elves have used up this ability.
The Thumber Wumber Tree: A magicke creature that looks like a living tree, and it has a nasty temper. It has the movement rate of a Goblin but with the Steady, Wounds and Discipline and Melee Modifier of a Bog Orc for combat. However a tree never takes a SHAKEN token and may only attack in melee. They are treated as Average for modifiers, and their branch arms count as a large improvised weapon for close combat. Each activation a tree will move as fast as it can into melee against the nearest character who is not a tree and will fight until it or the foe is killed. They are not affected by the Vortex Portal.
The Vortex Portal: A shimmering globe that floats in the air, the Vortex is truly powerful, yet it can be stopped, however, this is dangerous. It strongly resembles a giant tennis ball, which can be used to represent it. It does not move, but each turn one to four characters (1D10 divided by two, -1) are dragged 5cm towards it directly regardless of who they are and what they are doing. Determine which characters by tossing a coin, on heads its the nearest characters of both sides and on tails it is the furthest away characters on both sides. Thumber Wumber trees are not affected. Any character who is dragged or otherwise moves into the vortex is transported to an alternate world where metal tubes fly in the sky, and the worship of airheads is normal. They are out of the game. The vortex can be broken by throwing the body of a Thumber Wumber tree into it. The tree must be dead, and it can be carried only at Half Step March by any character. Its magicke body will throw off the focus of the vortex and save the day! Note that if two characters are carrying the tree then they may move at Slow March rate as they are helping each other.
If a character is dragging or carrying a Thumber Wumber tree when the Vortex catches him then the tree is dragged with him. If this carries him into the Vortex roll 1D10, and on a 1-5 he clings onto the tree as it is carried into the unknown and on a 6-10 he lets go and is left behind as the Vortex closes.
Solo Playing the Scenario
This scenario can be played solo with the player taking the part of Uncle Rogipoos and his section. In this case the Sproutoids are treated as Aggressive and will focus on firstly shooting down or melee combat with the enemy and secondly on avoiding the marauding Thumber Wumber Trees.
In order to use this scenario you will need some normal wargame equipment such as a playing area, terrain, dice and miniatures along with rosters, tokens and so on. In more precise terms the central needs for the scenario, once the playing area is set up, are as follows:
5025 Flintloque 3rd Edition – War in Catalucia game book
VLE10 Uncle Rogipoos Set
VLE12 Villiam Bedsforc the Bombardier
54503 Orc Line
51504 Elf Line
51507 Elf Command
VNT5 Demonic Tree
These miniatures provide all the characters needed for playing the scenario, and of course they can be almost endlessly re-used for other adventures. All the above miniatures and packs are available now from Alternative Armies webstore.
Sadly this scenario came about as a result of two events in 2014 both of which made the world a little dimmer. The passing away of Roger Willcox, a veteran Flintloque fan and creator of the characters of Uncle Rogipoos, Nursie and Jose, and the passing away of comedy legend Rik Mayall, star of Bottom, The Young Ones and many other programmes. After some discussion it was agreed here that a tribute scenario was the right thing to do. Mark agreed to proof and make suggestions. Craig Andrews at Orcs in the Webbe was eager to accept this special tribute scenario for the advent calendar.
So enjoy the scenario and best of fortune for the new year 2015. Who knows what the future will bring us all but I hope that somewhere beyond the vortex portal two men who brought us all joy are aware that we paid them a nice nod in festive shape.
GBS, November 2014
This article was written exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe and was first published on the 5th December 2014 as part of it's 2014 Advent Calendar.