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   @Rob Dean convinced me to give Rangers of Shadow Deep a try, and today we sat down to wrap our heads around the rules and play the first mission.   Rob provided everything from his traveling Battle in a Box collection.  As a change from our usual forays into the McCullough-verse, where we usually use stuff from our 28mm collections, the figures we used were ones selected from Rob's collection of beautifully painted 1/72 plastics. 

  Rob chose, besides the given Ranger (Marcus), an Archanist (Corvus), an Archer (Alana), and a Hound (Duke) for his companions.  I selected, other than my Ranger (Churchill),  a Rogue (Firefly) and a Guardsman (Cromwell).

  The mission had us investigating the disappearance of a fellow Ranger in a nearby town.  As we gathered in the town's center to discuss the fact that the town seemed abandoned and awfully quiet, a nearby moan made us aware of the approach of 4 zombies; one each from each table edge. 

   Quickly we jumped into action, and while some of us battled Zombies, others in our party attempted to tracked down the clues.  Of course some of the clues, and the Random Events each turn, produced more Zombies, or Giant Rats.  As the game went on, our wounds mounted, and we kept having to divert our clue-seeking in order to battle the creatures who kept getting in our way.  Eventually though, one by one, we were able to uncover the clues within the 8 turn limit while only two Companions were brought down during the game (Alana and Cromwell).  We never found the the missing Ranger, but we were able to determine what was going on and who was responsible for the apparent attack on the village and appearance of the Zombies. And, after the game, no one was found to be diseased, and all made a full recovery.  

 

We really enjoyed the game; especially the narrative aspects of the small personal nature of only controlling a few figures, and the inclusion of Clues and random Events.  We are looking forward to the next mission.

 

 

A look at our heroic band after the battle.  From left to right: Firefly the Rogue, Churchill the Ranger, Cromwell the Guardsman, Corvus the Arcanist, Marcus the Ranger, Alana the Archer, and Duke the Hound.

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We gather in the village's center to discuss our plan. Behind us is a house with a clue (as well as a pair of Giant Rats), another house with a clue can be seen just on the left edge of the photo.  (Note the clues are inside the buildings, but the interiors of Rob's buildings can not be accessed)

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We jump into action as the 4 starting Zombies approach.  Alana the Archer releases an arrow at the one entering from the bottom of the photo, hitting it and doing 3 HP damage.  My Ranger, Churchill, fires an arrow and kills one of the Giant Rats near the clue building at the top of the photo.  Firefly the Rogue moves to the building with a clue on the left and picks the locked door, as Cromwell the Guardsman runs up to the other clue building and dispatches the second rat with his mighty two-handed axe. .

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The fight continues as more Zombies appear.  At the top of the photo, Cromwell the Guardsman has successfully found the clue in the house which, after busting down the locked door with his great-ax, turned out to be treasure(!) and he now moves to investigate a clue by some nearby rocks. But has he moves towards the rocks he is set upon by another Zombie.  Alana and Churchill battle a Zombie near the other house, while Corvus faces off against a Zombie as well.  Firefly the Rogue had in the meantime discovered tracks in the clue house he searched and was able to determine what caused them, but ended up battling a Zombie and being reduced to 1 HP,  so he discreetly ran off to check a clue at the village's edge near some other rocks.  Corvus also at this point had found a clue by a small stream, off the upper right corner of the photo, which was a mangled body with mysterious bite marks for which he was able to determine the source.

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The badly wounded Firefly finds a lone survivor hiding behind the rock, who tells him what happened in the village.  Having just 1 HP left, Firefly asks if she minds if he hides behind the rock with her.

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Just when the sun shines brightest...  the Guardsman Cromwell, having found the treasure in the first building he searched, subsequently went off, and after killing a couple zombies, found a cache of valuable herbs behind the rocks he had gone to search.  Very content, with the treasure tucked under one arm, his great axe over his shoulder and the herbs stuffed in his pouch... he thought himself quite the hero as he passed by the house he had searched earlier.  But, at that point in the turn, the next to last turn, we rolled for the random event and it turned out to be Building Collapse!  Roll for random building, and it turns out to be the one he is standing next to.  We suspect he hit the house a little too hard earlier to bust the door in; and according to the event table upon its collapse everyone inside and within 2"  of it must take a +4 attack.   Unfortunately, Cromwell rolled poorly and couldn't withstand having a building drop on him and he was reduced to 0 health points.. his treasure and herbs lost amongst the debris.  Luckily, as I mentioned earlier he did roll to be Fully Recovered later that night, but when questioned about what happened he had no memory of the event. 🙂 

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Edited by Chris Palmer
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I took almost no pictures, but I did get an overview of the table.  As Chris mentioned, this was deployed using my Portable Fantasy Game just for fun (and because I painted zombies and sourced flies for the basic missions).  

 

As can be seen from this picture, we had one physical copy of the rules and one on pdf.  I am reminded how difficult it is to flip around a pdf rulebook.

 

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Neither of us had actually done our homework, so it took a little while to set up the heroes, and we may have made a few minor rules errors where we just went with the general Frostgrave/Ghost Archipelago rules.  After five years of *Grave campaigns, we have the basic fighting rules pretty well internalized.

 

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Posted (edited)

I also have to note that immersion during actual play mostly keeps me from noticing the creases.  The ground cloth has been in storage for a while, and I’ll see if I can iron it before the next scenario.

 

Someone elsewhere asked Chris about the figures; I looked them all up, and they are sourced from seven different 1/72 scale sets, both fantasy and historical, as well as including some early Bones giant rats.  More Bones will be coming up in future scenarios; quite a few small Bones monsters translate handily into the 1/72 scale environment.

 

(Oh, and buildings are all card models from Dave Graffam Models.)

Edited by Rob Dean
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