Welcome to Calf Creek. A Five Leagues short campaign.

After so many sci-fi games I wanted something radically different, so I decided to try Five Leagues from the Borderlands 2nd Edition from Nordic Weasel Games. 

This rulebook lets you play dark Fantasy setting solo campaigns with a group of eight or so adventures, in a somehow similar style to what it was Mordheim.

The game has two main parts, the combat and the non-combat part, which is the creation of your warband and its progression through the campaign, helped by the many detailed charts so characteristic from Nordic Weasel games.

So our story starts when our group of adventurers found out as soon as they disembarked that there was a small village on the highest mountains in the centre of the island called having mysterious and terrible encounters.

Calf Creek is a village with independent and fierce men famous for the honey the collect from the wild bees in the mountains as well as for their beautiful almond tree copses. But they are also known by the coal they made by burning pine trees and then sell down in the coast. They also have a numerous and varied life-stock from where they get meat, milk, wool and leather.

After hearing about these people in trouble, the group decided to walk up to the village and offer their services. The group is all formed by proud warriors of the same tribe. Their leader is Tigor, (my Avatar) which means leading light. He is good at scouting and scrounging and carries a good sword plus a decent armor, shield and helmet. His second in command is skinny Bruco (the Retainer), a fast fighter armed with a fearsome two handed hammer (+1 vs armor & Tough). Then there were two powerful warriors, (Heroes) Orone the conqueror, an archer who had made a secret pact with some old gods nobody knew about except him (-1 to be hit by archery), and Ancor whose name means brave warrior and who's carrying a fence sword and dagger.

There were also two respected followers in group: Afur the thief, a gambler armed with a dagger and Arguin (calmed waters) with bow and dagger.

After two days of walking towards the top of the central mountains and right before they reached the village, they had an encounter with an errand and cursed knight (a personality) who had made a pact to keep his fallen followers to carry and protect all his treasures (Grave Walkers from the Dark Secrets).

Although the light was already dying Tigor could observe with greed the fine sword and armor the knight was carrying, so he took his best men, Bruco and Ancor to get him while the rest distracted his followers. But first they had to pass across them. Surprisingly, Arguin wounded one of them with an arrow.

Only after the first combat exchanges I realized how incredible tough the Walkers were and also that they couldn't be stunned. 
Seeing another Walker was closing from the ruined house (it was supposed to be a tower) I sent Afur to help them, leaving my two archers on their own.
During the melee Tigor could parry several strikes from his opponent but his shield resulted damaged after that and in the end he resulted wounded, but it was just a scratch (he used 1 point of Will to shake-off the wound).

In the second turn Afur spent all his arrows. And then in the third turn it happened the same to Orone, who hadn't even hit anybody yet. A 5+ with 1D6 is usually needed to hit somebody, but Orone even failed at close range! (3+ to hit).

After that, Ancor could eliminate one of the Walkers with one accurate thrust, but at the same time Bruco and Afur fell down wounded.

Sensing the enemy was too powerful to defeat them, our intrepid warriors wisely decided to run for the hills and live to fight another day.

Well, the game lasted around 15 minutes and it wasn't very tactical as Undead move in the last place, and don't take into account cover or morale considerations. Also, I lost miserably as this was my first game and the Grave Walkers were more, better and tougher fighters than my men. I couldn't even get close to the knight to kill and loot him.

Talking about loot, as I lost the encounter I couldn't do one of the most fun things in any game which is looting!
So yes, the encounter was a bit disappointing, but the creation of the warband as well as all the little details the game has about places, plots and characters, was so good that it has kept me totally involved about my group of troubled warriors.

Thus, after fleeing from the field of battle my warriors finally reached their destination, Calf Creek. There I decided to stay for two days as Bruco was seriously wounded and needed some medical attention. During that time Afur also fully recovered from his light wounds. Tigor had to pay 5 GC for the lodging those two nights, but he felt his men badly needed some time to gather themselves.

Tigor also tried to use some money to recruit a few followers but failed (Carouse). However, he met an old companion of adventures in the tavern (I spent 1 story point), a woman called Inopona, a scrappy survivor (I spent another story point to roll in the Unusual Backgrounds) who gladly joined Tigor's group.

That night in the tavern they decided they would go on adventure early in the morning. But that is another story ;-)


A review of 5150 Gaea Prime - First Defense.

 It happened. Somebody tried the game and wrote a review. You can read it all here.

Let's face it, whenever I see a new sci-fi skirmish game, it seems like the first thing anybody asks is "Can it do X-COM?"  If for some reason you're not familiar with X-COM, it was an old computer game of tactical skirmish combat that explored fending off aliens infantry, raiding their crashed ships, and inevitably researching to reverse-engineer all of their cool tech to use against them.  Great game.

Gaea Prime: First Defense is basically that.  GP's first encounter with alien slavers raiding the Earth for resources, and the adventures of GP's armed forces as they kill the aliens and loot their bodies for research fodder.

Here's how my first game went.. Red Player One