El Lupe's Secret Passage"
A Scenario for Two Hour Wargames Reaction System by Craig Andrews
Set in Valon, the World of Alternative Armies' Flintloque.
El Lupe, hero of the down-trodden Dark Elf peasants of El Dorado, must battle the despotic Alcalde Jamón's soldiers as they search the desert looking for clues to the entrance to his hidden desert hideaway.
The Swordplay and Chain Reaction page reference below refer to version 3.0 of both rulesets not the newer 3.1 versions. - Craig, Editor
This scenario was written for use with Two Hour Wargames' excellent Reaction System rulesets. It was written so it could be played solitaire with the free to download Chain Reaction rulesets but can easily be played using any of their game systems thanks to the modular nature of the games with their central Reaction System mechanic.
It is set on the world of Valon, the world of Alternative Armies' 28mm skirmish wargame Flintloque. Valon is a world inhabited by fantasy creatures such as Elves, Orcs, Dwarves and Ogres - all immersed in a bitter war. The ancient order of the Darke Age has been ripped down and crushed beneath the iron heel of the Elven tyrant Mordred. Once a world bathed in the aura of Wylde Magicke, Mordred has manipulated the very fabric of Valon's reality creating a new era of science and blackpowder.
If you prefer gaming the real world as opposed to Valon it will soon become clear (if it hasn't already) that El Lupe is based on a very popular literary character and you can play it using the normal rules for humans found in any of Two Hour Wargames' rulesets.
Setting the Scene
Sergeant Queso paced back and fore outside Alcalde Jamón's office. This was the third time this week he'd been called here. El Lupe, that damned masked avenger had a lot to answer for. Before he'd started causing trouble this had been an easy command, the people were afraid of Alcalde Jamón, as well they should be. He was a monster but as sergeant of the command it was Queso's duty to do as he was told. True it meant annoying the occasional family he'd grown up with but he wasn't exactly in his prime and the money was good. And with him in charge he could at least make sure the Alcalde didn't do anything too bad, couldn't he. Anyway, he couldn't resign, if he did the Alcalde would most likely have him shot for cowardice. No, things were okay as they were, until recently anyway. El Lupe's continued attacks not only annoyed the Alcalde but gave hope to the people. What would happen if they refused to pay their taxes. Surely the Alcalde wouldn't order them to open fire on civilians would he. No, the best thing for the moment would be to follow orders and hope things settled down. Having justified his position to himself, something he was doing a lot these days, he entered the Alcalde's office, moping the rivulets of sweat from his neck and face as he entered and belatedly remembered to take his hat off holding it in his right hand.
"You wanted to see me Alcalde?", he queried as he walked over to the expansive wooden desk, noting that the Alcalde was framed in the window, looking down on the town square below.
"Of course I wanted to see you. Tell me,” he threw a sheaf of papers down on the desk causing them to spill everywhere, some onto the floor, "What are these Sergeant?"
Queso paused, cautious that this may be one of the Alcalde's tricks, he'd recognised the papers instantly. "They are my reports sir,” he ventured, “the ones compiling all the sightings and activities of El Lupe from the last few weeks."
Alcalde Jamón did not respond. Queso waited, a long time had passed since he felt the need to fill silences with his bumbling words, that habit had got him into plenty of trouble over the years. No, best to wait it out. He'd doubtless get blamed for something anyway, no need to make things worse.
After what seemed like forever, Jamón turned, with the bright sunlight behind him his outline was still in silhouette, Queso wasn't yet sure of the level of this reprimand, he couldn't see the Alcalde's face.
"Yes they are indeed sergeant. And can you tell me why I may have summoned you here and brought them to your attention?"
Queso’s mind whirled, he had no idea. He'd been really drunk when he'd written the last few and pretty drunk when he wrote all the rest, they all said the same thing. They didn't know where El Lupe came from or where he went, there was nothing in them, that was the problem. It was no use, try and he might he couldn't think of anything he'd not written down. He knew he had to answer, silence wouldn't do in this case, hells, perhaps the Alcalde was about to shoot him regardless. “Um,” he gulped, and it came to him, flattery, flattery might just get him out of this, “if I were to guess sir I would assume you have discovered something that my office has not been able to?”
"Of course I have!", his tone seemed lighter and Queso assumed his gamble had paid off and he breathed a little easier. "What do you think that might be?" continued the Alcalde.
Queso's heart sank, he was not out of the line of fire yet. He went over what he could remember of each report in his mind, they were practically the same, each detailed El Lupe coming out of the desert, wreaking havoc with the Alcalde's plans throughout the region and then disappearing back into the desert. A germ of an idea took root in Queso's mind, he concentrated, wishing he'd not had that third sangria with breakfast. The Alcalde took another step into the room and Queso saw his face for the first time, blind fury had contorted Jamón's features into an angry snarl like that of a demon. As quickly as it had started the idea that could have saved him faded away and Queso was left with nothing but his childhood stammer. "U-u-m. I'm n-n-not..."
"The bloody desert!", screamed the Alcalde, cutting off Queso's reply. "He comes and goes to the bloody desert every time."
"But s-s-s-ir, he is t-t-t-oo fast for u-u-u-s to c-c-chase!', Queso managed to blurt out.
"I know that you idiot. But to be able to strike as he does and disappear again he must be using somewhere in the desert as his base of operations. He might even have a hideout somewhere."
Queso composed himself slightly, as he realised he might just get out of this confrontation intact, his thoughts swam lazily into focus "Y-y-es sir. I could take a group of soldiers out to the sight of each incident and track the details of each report to see if there's any common facts. We might even be able to find this... this... hideout?"
The Alcalde, his voice now dangerously low, replied, "Yes, why don't you just go and do that. And next time Sergeant, to help you think about the reports, you'll write them slower."
Not one for repartee Queso frowned, "I can indeed s-sir, but why would I write slower?"
The Alcalde whirled, his screaming voice causing Queso's heart to stop, "because you'll need to do them left handed!!!"
Queso did not see the blade as it lashed out, he heard a thud as something hit the floor just to his right. Then he felt the pain. Then he felt nothing as blackness took him.
When he awoke the first thing Queso did was glance down at his hand, it was still there thank the Gods. There was a bandage on his hand, he flexed his fingers and realised the Alcalde had simply slashed the back of his fist, the noise had been his hat hitting the floor. He shook his head. One day it really would be his hand that was cut off, or... he shuddered, something worse. He really hoped he could find El Lupe's hideout today.
El Lupe must prevent Alcalde Jamón's soldiers, led by the bumbling Sergeant Queso, from locating the secret passage that leads through a subterranean walkway to his secret lair beneath his father's house.
The down-trodden peasants of El Dorado cried out for a hero to release them from their oppressors and their calls were answered. Known only as El Lupe (pronounced loo-pay), this dashing, masked avenger rode forth to right the wrongs of the cruel Alcalde of Los Diablos. Trained by the finest swords-elves in Catalucia. His secret identity, known only to his deaf-mute manservant Manuel, is actually that of a local gentle-elf: Don Diego della Toyota. Don Diego presents the facade of a scholarly Elf with no interest whatsoever in local politics. Jamón, the Alcalde, has been completely fooled by this pretence and is at a loss to explain who is perpetrating these cunning raids.
In this scenario you play the heroic team of El Lupe and his horse Cycloné (although with a little bit of tinkering, there is nothing stopping you playing the soldiers).
In Chain Reaction: Final Version (CR:FV) El Lupe is a Rep 7 Dark Elf (yes, he's that good. He's the hero!). He counts as a Light Troop so when firing he may roll an extra D6 and discard the lowest result. As a Dark Elf he has a Move of 7", a Tough score of -1 and a Melee score of 0.
These stats and the rules for playing games set in Flintloque's world of Valon are all taken from Bob Minadeo's rules supplement, Flintloques & Muskets, which are reproduced her for ease of play. Tough is a modifier subtracted from a weapon’s impact when shots hit El Lupe when testing on the Ranged Combat Damage Table. As he has a negative number this actually serves to increase the weapon’s impact by 1, Dark Elves aren't that hardy. Likewise Melee is the number of dice the figure adds to its Rep when conducting hand to hand combat. Normally Dark Elves have -1 Melee, meaning they would reduce the number of dice they roll by 1, but El Lupe is an Expert Swordsman and does not suffer the penalty.
He is armed with a Saber (HW), a Whip (see below), a Knife (HW) and 2 loaded pistols (Range 10", Targets 1, Impact 3).
El Lupe's whip is treated as Throwing Axe (From CR: Swordplay, p.17 - Range 6, Targets 1, Impact 3) but can also be used to disarm an enemy. This must be stated before the Ranged Combat roll is made. If the attack is successful do not roll on the Ranged Damage Table, the targeted weapon flies off D10cm in a random direction.
Cycloné, Lupe's legendary steed, is a Light Horse with a move of 13" and a Tough of 1. Normally a Light Horse would bestow a -1 melee modifier on it's rider, Cycloné suffers no such penalty. Lupe's horse is a character in his own right. A powerful, intelligent, dark black creature. He can be moved as an independent Star with Rep 5.
Cycloné can also perform simple tricks, such as coming when called and attacking on command. As an action (Added to the list found in CR:FV, p.9) El Lupe can issue an order to Cycloné is he is within 12". You can assume that he is capable of doing anything you’ve seen a horse do on television or in the movies.
All the soldiers encountered are Dark Elves (Move of 7", Tough of -1, Melee of -1). They are al armed with Muskets (Range 25”, Targets 1, Impact 4). They are Regular troops so must remain within 15” of section leader or suffer -1 to Rep for Reaction Tests. All the soldier’s encountered are Rep 3 (remember the pitiful Shot rule, CR:FV, p.19)
Sergeant Queso is the Non Player Star Leader used in this scenario. He is also a Dark Elf but has a slightly reduced movement of 6” due to his indulgences. He is armed with a Sword (HW) and a Pistol (Range 10", Targets 1, Impact 3).
Generate terrain as you normally would using Chain Reaction: Swordplay (p.24) but give things a leaning towards terrain found in a desert (Google "ironwood forests" for some inspiration).
No figures start on the table, generate 3 PEFs as normal (CR:FV, p.31) and place them on the table.
El Lupe and Cycloné will enter from any the table edge bordering sections 7, 8, and 9.
The Encounter takes place during the day.
Roll to determine the starting Enemy Activity Level or EAL using the normal rules (CR:FV, p.29)
PEFs are resolved using the normal rules (page, 31).
Searching for Clues
This scenario uses a slightly modified version of a new mechanic written by Bob Minadeo, that of clues. As well as PEFs, this scenario uses Clue markers.
In this scenario they represent clues to the location of El Lupe's secret passage. You should place 7 of them, each identified with a different number, around the board. Spread them around in likely places; a trail head where tracks could be found, a stream where Cycloné could have drunk from, a grove where El Lupe may have rested etc. They should be at least 8" away from each other.
When moving PEFs using the CR:FV rules any result of 'nearest PEF' or 'nearest enemy' is replaced with 'nearest Clue marker'.
Once a PEF moves to within 4" of a Clue marker it counts as having collected that clue. Leave the Clue marker where it is and make a note on the PEF. PEFs will carry clues around with them. If revealed to have been a dummy PEF the clues are simply ignored.
El Lupe can destroy the clue markers, getting rid of the evidence that leads towards his secret passage. He just needs to move into contact with them and make an action (replaces combat, so he can move and destroy a Clue marker in one turn).
Whenever a PEF first collects 4 clues, the entrance to El Lupe's secret passage has been located. Roll 1D10 and place a marker in the section rolled (1-9, just roll again if a 10 is rolled).
The PEF with 4 clue tokens is now resolved, if you have not had a C result this PEF includes Queso, the NP Star Leader. This group of soldiers will then Fast Move every turn until it is within 4" of the entrance. Once it has done this it will move at Fast Move off the nearest table edge. Any subsequent PEF that gains 4 clues is resolved and treated in the same way. If any soldier from a group that has discovered the entrance escapes off the table El Lupe has lost the scenario and will shortly be in quite a lot of trouble...
When I relaunched OITW back in 2008 I actually wrote out a schedule of things to be published in an online spreadsheet. As well as a timescale of things I planned on scanning/uploading I also used it to write down basic information of some scenarios I was planning on writing. The snippet below was intended to be an El Lupe adventure for Alternative Armies' then-recently released 5th Age of Valon game, Frontear. It's planned release date was the 10th March 2008.
“Have a group of soldiers looking for El Lupe's secret passage on a desert based table top. El Lupe's player places the entrance tile underneath another piece of scenery before the game starts. El Lupe moves in secret from one table edge disabling soldiers and trying to get into his tunnel. Based on episode 1x02 of the 1950's series.”
I expanded on the idea whilst in Papallacta, Ecuador, in October 2013 and the finished version you see above for Two Hour Wargames’ Chain Reaction rules was written in my little flat in Bristol, UK on the 9th and 10th of January 2014.
I must pay special thanks to Bob Minadeo who not only made gaming in Valon using Two Hour Wargames' Reaction System possible with his excellent supplement, Flintloques & Muskets, but also for creating the excellent Clue token rules that can be used in any of Two Hour Wargames' rulesets.
“El Lupe’s Secret Passage” was written exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe and was first published on the Friday the 10th January 2014.
El Lupe and Cycloné were both created by Mike Baumann and first appeared on his Filbanto Stew website.