We got to talking on the Two Hour Wargames Yahoo Group about the differences between Warrior Heroes: Armies and Adventures and Warrior Heroes: Legends. Here’s a very short dungeon crawl using WH:AA with some editorial comment about how Legends would handle it differently. As always, images are clickable, but in this case, why? I was in a hurry and used unpainted plastics from the WotC D&D game, Castle Ravenloft. Same with the tiles (until this fall and my Dwarven Forge Kickstarter tiles come in.)
In this case, we have a typical D&D style adventuring party (Fighter, Thief, Magic User (called caster in WH) and Cleric (called healer in WH)) entering the suspected crypt of a vampire. I pre-loaded three PEFs (Possible Enemy Forces) and would be randomly placing them as the dungeon is explored.
Fast forward one game turn. The entrance is a passageway with more passageway around the corner; the thief has checked for traps twice without finding any. One difference is that the second section of passage does have two doors, and the “south” (facing you, the reader) door is unlocked. In WH:L terms, this is equivalent to drawing two non-face cards from the deck.
The thief cracks open the door and sees a group of Kobolds inside a fairly large chamber (randomly generated with 3 doors in total). While their caster is investigating a coffin, the others appear to be trying to leave the room. Basically, to speed things up, I generated three sets of “monsters” before the game to be encountered; this one was my comic relief – a group of Kobolds lost in the crypts trying to find their way out and home. In either AA or L you could randomly generate the monsters as needed, but most all of us find it much easier to pre-generate them and then just randomly (or not so randomly) select one as the encounter. In this case, the thief has opened the door right into one Kobold, so we roll insight tests for everybody. In this photo, I have just rolled and the die next to each figure indicates the order in which they will take an action.
This is another bit of fast forwarding. What has happened is that our brave fighter rolled the most successes on the insight test and gets to take the first action, so she charges the Kobold into whom the thief bumped. Step 1 is a Charge into Melee Test. The fighter rolls 4d6 (a Rep 4 character) while the Kobold, being only Rep 3, rolls 3d6. We’re looking for “successes” here; a roll of 1-3. As to be expected the fighter rolls so many more successes than the Kobold that the Kobold attempts to flee the area by hiding behind the Kobold Sorceror. Following through in her charge – chasing the little bugger – I decide that the fighter will run smack into the Kobold Caster and attack there. As both figures in this case are Rep 4, they each roll 4d6 and in curious fashion, the Kobold somehow manages to bring down the fighter in one blow! I was so amused by this that I decided not to use any THW Star Power rules to keep the fighter on her feet. Now, keep in mind that since this is a THW CR game, this is still turn 2 of the game.
Second to take action from the insight test are Kobold Caster and the Healer, who has temporarily traded in bandages for a big-ass war hammer. I decided the Healer would attack the Kobold Caster while the Caster would attempt a Dazzle spell (in Legends this is also the Dazzle spell) on the Healer. A charge test put them evenly matched, but a botched (and opposed) roll by the Caster resulted in that model being unable to cast any more spells during this encounter. The Healer headed in with his attack and the Kobold once again had tremendous dice luck. The combat result was Evenly Matched, so they stay locked in combat. Quite a feat for a Kobold.
Next up we have the Thief and two Kobolds. One of those Kobolds was the first to be charged, and it panicked and ran for cover, so that one is no longer a factor. I roll a charge test between the bloodthirsty Hobbit and the enraged Kobold and being evenly matched I decide they countercharge each other. Being bloodthirsty, as Gollum will tell you all Hobbits are, the Thief easily kills the Kobold, triggering a Man Down Test on our remaining unactivated Kobold, who fails miserably and I decide begins attempting to dig an escape tunnel. The final figure to act is our magic user, who moves to a protected position from which he can attempt to cast the Steel Wind spell (in Legends, this is Damage) on the Kobold in the corner. As our heroes are not having the best of days, the spell has no effect.
New activation, the adventurers go first. Right away, I attempt to resolve the combat between the Healer and the Kobold Caster – the result is that the Caster is pushed back 1″. Next, the Thief charges the panicked Kobold in the corner. Feeling merciful, I decided that the Kobold would get to counterattack at minus one die. My mercy was predictably not-so-rewarded by a result of Evenly Matched. Finally, the magic user moved around the pillar and cast Steel Wind successfully taking the remaining Kobold Out of the Fight. Now for the Kobold turn: The Kobold and the Thief and the Kobold Caster and the Healer all get the result Evenly Matched.
A new turn, and I roll doubles for activation, which in AA means a Chance Encounter. (In Legends, this is a little bit like a Random Event: Monster, except that in Legends, those only happen during the exploration phases and never during an ongoing combat.) Now, in AA a Chance Encounter is always a monster, so having two pregenerated parties ready to go, I rolled high-low and rolled for my Big-Bad, the vampire and his retinue of ghouls. (In Legends, Random Event: Monster can never be the Big Bad)
Now, the way I see it, and Ed from THW may see it differently, having just placed a new group on the table, I have two options for determining the way things go down right now. On one hand, I’m rolling activation for a new turn, so I could just see who gets to go first. On the other hand, when a PEF is resolved, as the Chance Meeting has done, I could roll an insight test for all the figures on the table. I decided that since everybody except the newcomers were in combat, or had LOS to the new group blocked, the simple thing was to roll activation; one die for the adventurers and one die for all the monsters. I rolled a 2 for the adventurers and a 5 for the monsters, meaning that the vampire went first, then the adventurers, and the Kobolds could only react. So, the vampire decided to send the ghouls to perform overkill on the Thief and Kobold-in-the-corner, while he would investigate the ruckus behind the pillar himself. The ghouls did in fact perform overkill as ordered, and when the vampire rounded the pillar and the magic user had his back to him, I decided he would get a free attack – resulting in one very dead magic user. Then, something that made sense happened: the healer finally knocked the Kobold Caster OOF. Of course, at this point the Healer was the only adventurer left on his feet, and he was very much outnumbered.
Now, since the vampire had already seen the Healer, and it was time for a new activation, I decided once again that an activation roll was more appropriate than an insight test. Not surprisingly, the vampire won the activation, and with a simple flick of the sword, dispatched the Healer.
Several caveats about this “game” I just described: first, this was more of a work of reference so that I could note the differences between the two versions. Second, I did NOT calculate the combat values of the monsters vs the adventurers; I just grabbed some minis and played.