Monday, July 30, 2018

Caged...Like Rats! Second Fur-grave Game

A Splintered Light Miniatures Weasel explores for hidden treasures among jungle ruins in our Ghost Archipelago game
We played our second game of Fur-grave last night. A few of the regulars could not make it, so I fielded a crew to make it an even six players. I had chosen one of the scenarios from the rule book, Drichean Cages, to play. Of course, since I substituted Splintered Light Miniatures Rats for the Dricheans in my campaign, I renamed it, "Caged Like Rats!" I set up a fairly symmetrical 6'x4' board with two scratch-built, wooden cages each containing a prisoner, as central treasures. There were 11 ordinary treasures scattered about the table, too. This table did not feature any temples, but just random ruins overgrown by jungle.
Looking down the 6'x4' table - you can see the two cages in the center. Most jungle patches towards the center had treasures, as well. Captain Hugh and crew advance at the bottom left.
Since narrative AARs are becoming quite the rage with Frostgrave, I will do ahead and try my hand at it here, since I actually got to play this time...!

The hard-eyed, hulking Heritor motioned his crew forward, after inspecting the bodies of the slain adventurers. He thought he recognized some of the crew as belonging to a rag-tag band that had been successfully exploring the isles of the Ghost Archipelago for years. Yoti, his hunter, murmered, "Rats, sir -- this is definitely their work. I see their tracks everywhere." The Coyote was seldom wrong, and the Wolverine captain had grown to rely on his advice through the years. Captain Hugh was contemplating an idea. If he could find any captives, perhaps they could be Shanghaied into his crew and persuaded to show them where they'd hidden their treasures.
Three Ratmen guard one of the two cages containing a prisoner, which acted as the central treasures
Soon, the five adventurers entered a clearing in the jungle. Yoti pointed out a wooden cage just beyond a small patch of trees. Inside, was another crewman from the unfortunate band. Surrounding his cage were three large ratmen, heavily armored and carrying swords. His warden, Jack, another wolverine gestured to ask if he should call out to summon help. Jack had a way with the animals of the jungle, and his howls often brought creatures to assist the crew in their mission. Hugh nodded, and the wolverine warden's piercing howl rang through the clearing. Simultaneously, Yoti trotted forward, followed by the two Beavers, Bucky and Bentley. Hugh's chainmail jingled as he ran forward, as well.
Early success for my crew! Bucky finds a treasure amid jungle ruins, while Capt. Hugh and Yoti dispatch a Ratman
The five split into several groups, Jack leading Bentley off to the left around the patch of trees, while Yoti and Hugh went to the right. Bucky ducked into the trees, having spotted something hidden amidst the vegetation. It turned out to be a moss-encrusted oaken chest. The beaver scooped it up, and checking with his captain, began to carry the heavy chest back the way they'd come. Yoti snapped off a couple bow shots at the closest guard, the second shot wounded the rat who growled in pain. He scurried towards the Coyote hunter, slowing his approach at the sight of the menacing wolverine captain when he appeared around the grove of trees. Yoti fired again, wounding it further, then dashed in with is sword out. Captain Hugh followed in his wake, and with one mighty swing of his axe, dashed the rat lifeless to the ground.
Action raged around the board as players seek to scoop up as many treasures as possible! Counter-clockwise from right, Mike S (Mouslings), Brian (Weasels), Joel (Squirrels), Keith (Raccoons), Mike W (Pine Martens)
Yoti advanced on the next closest guard, feathering him with an arrow, too. Both then waded in on this guard, swinging their blades. Hugh felt a tingling run up his arm and recognized the blue glow surrounding his axe -- it was Warden Jack, casting Mystic Energy upon his weapon. His swipe staggered the rat guard, but he could see it was still alive and preparing to strike back. Hugh narrowed his eyes and summoned the Surge of energy which would let him act again, quickly, before the enemy could respond. His eyes twitched in pain, but the Surge worked and his axe struck again before the rat could reply. Another guard lay lifeless at their feet, and neither had suffered a wound.
Cute, but evil! The Mousling Crew were my main opponents on the table, felling my Warden
Meanwhile, Jack was hurrying along to catch up with Bentley, who had also spotted something that looked valuable in a clump of overgrown ruins. Bentley was surprised that no jungle creatures had appeared in answer to his call. Perhaps the rats infesting this area had slain all the animals? He did successfully cast a couple more spells -- empowering Bentley and Captain Hugh with Beast Strength. Just as Bentley reached the grove containing the ruins, he spotted several figures hurrying towards them from across the clearing. More rats? No, he could see they were Mouslings  from a rival crew -- probably also intent on absconding with the captives. Just then, the Jack's fur began to stand up on end and he could almost smell the electricity in the air. He ducked, but too late -- BZZZAPP! A massive bolt of lightning arced across the clearing from the Mousling Warden and knocked Jack to the ground. Bentley looked back at the still form of the warden, " Jack...? You okay?" No reply. The beaver growled in rage and charged into the mousling who'd entered the grove after the same treasure. They exchanged blows, but neither was hurt. 
Freed! The Raccoons and Squirrels team up to free the prisoner while keeping the Rat guards busy
 Meanwhile, Captain Hugh and Yoti stood before the stout wooden cage. The other rat guard had been felled by the Mousling crew. Both hammered on the wooden bars, but to no avail. The prisoner was a bedraggled-looking Satyr who looked at them fearfully. The wolverine and coyote hammered on the cage again, and still the wood held. Suddenly, Yoti tugged on his captain's arm and pointed. Across the clearing, a horde of rats was pouring from the jungle, headed towards the cages. "Sorry, mate!" Hugh growled to the Satyr. "Time to go! Bentley, Jack -- back to the boat!" As the captain turned around, he saw a wounded Bentley carrying his warden Jack in his arms as he followed. Yoti turned and fired a few arrows into the rat horde in the hopes of slowing them down. He snickered as he noticed the Mouslings also taking to their heels. He also caught sight of a couple more crews rapidly absconding -- they looked like Weasels and Pine Martens, but the hunter couldn't be sure. Up ahead, he could see Bucky still waddling along with the chest he'd found. "Well," the hunter thought, "at least they'd have something to show from this landing on this rat-infested island!"
From the other side of the table, the Raccoons cast Brambles to wall off the guards temporarily,
With six players, things moved relatively slow at times. We need get better as players in with taking our turn if the previous player is on the other side of the table and our move will not affect his. As it was, we had to cut the game off early -- just as my Heritor and Hunter arrived at the cage! Bad luck. A series of horrible die rolls kept us from opening it up -- more bad luck. In fact, my rolls were pretty bad in general. After a successful casting of Beast Call, I managed to never roll a 10+ the rest of the game (5+ turns?) to summon any random creatures. Luckily, Warden Jack would survive on the post-game die roll and was just knocked out. The Lightning Blast spell is TOUGH! It is a +6 shooting attack, to 1d20 roll? My Mousling opponent almost maxed out on damage, but did enough to take the warden out on one roll.

All in all, it was fun to play a game and not just GM. On the other side of the table, Keith's Raccoons managed to free the prisoner in their cage, with assistance from Joel's Squirrels. The Weasels ignored the cages and scooped up as many treasures as they could. The Pine Martens, also in the center but on my side of the table, also ignored the cages for the treasures. Captain Hugh's "Crushers" -- as I called my crew -- came up on the short end in the treasure hunting. They'll be back, though, and hopefully fortune will smile upon them on that day!

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