Blog Archive

Friday, June 14, 2024

Make Way! Clear the Road! A new Ruckus Scenario

 


Here is a very quick, very simple scenario for Ruckus. This was written as the first of ten scenarios in the original rules from which we took the Freebie rules given away in Wi 437. This was my idea for an introductory game, Freebie of course, has a game with “Cut Down” Retinues instead.

This scenario has the advantages of getting everyone very quickly into action and not requiring a lot of space, you can easily play this on a 2x2 board.

Make Way! Clear the Road!

The Story so Far A solid fight for honour and precedence. Two equal forces of rival knights with their Retinues, meet on a road and neither is prepared to give precedence to the other. Soon insults begin to fly and the Retinues face off.

Set Up. Both players take turns to set the table with a scattering of terrain. Lay a road traversing the board from one side to the other. Terrain can be trees, bushes rocks, odd stretches of wall, the occasional cottage or can be an urban setting – a street through a town.

Both Retinues set up on or within 6 “of the Road, 12” from each other, 6” from the centre of the table. The Captains must stay on the Road at all times. This is a fast game and can be over in 40 minutes and can be played on a small board 2x2 should be quite adequate.

Winning the Game! Defeat the enemy by forcing the enemy Captain from the road, causing the enemy to flee or in a one off game by capturing or killing the enemy Lord.

 From a narrative point of view, it’s a good idea to have reason why the two Retinues can’t just pass each other. Here the very straight Roman road crosses a boggy area of ground over a culverted bridge. The boggy areas provide interesting choices as they are considered Hard Going, and are slow to cross and a prime place for a Peasanty ambush!


Big Bad Baron Harding is the local Lord, no newcomer  crosses before him! 









Jean Petre is a second generation French Knight of impeccable lineage, no local upstart takes precedence over him








The choice of setting is entirely up to the players, it might be themed to fit into a camapaign...


You could feature a narrow road through a built-up area of town with tall buildings either side…



Or maybe a bridge crossing over a river…


Whatever way you choose do it you can be sure that Make Way will provide a fast action-packed and very bloody  Ruckus









Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Here's the Ruckus!


 

Here’s the Ruckus, the medieval skirmish game, has been published! I am now a published author! Something I never expected to be and I could hardly be happier! How did that happen?  How did this come to pass?

Ruckus was actually inspired by playing Andy Callan’s excellent Never Mind the Billhooks Battle game, indeed, Ruckus actually evolved from using exactly the same rules, but with individual figures instead of units. Since then, Ruckus has developed into a distinctly different entity, for although Ruckus retains the use of cards for random activation and events, as well as the same dice rolls for hitting and saving throws, in every other way it is a completely different game. 

However, the origins of Ruckus lie far back through the swirling mists of time to the late 1960’s and a small boy playing Robin Hood on the carpet with his Airfix plastic 20mm figures, painted crudely in garish bright colours with no respect for the rules of heraldry, a scrap of paper with a few rudimentary homemade rules and a green wooden d6 purloined from the monopoly board game. I think throughout my adult gaming life I have always been trying to recreate the fun of those early games.

Rule writing mostly consists of having a single inspiration, (usually at 3 am), a sudden bright thought, a golden idea followed by hours of trying to make that idea work in a practical sense and then, the tricky bit, finding a way to convey that idea, in words, on a page, to other people that they may translate and absorb the information and use it to play a game. 

The principles of game writing

I thought that Ruckus should

·       use simple mechanisms with complex outcomes

·       be easy to learn

·       offer a mix of chance and strategy where luck is as much a factor as tactics

·       be narrative building-every game should tell a story

·       have in built friction-achievement in adversity brings real joy and satisfaction

·       have Flavour- Historical Accuracy is a subjective view point however the game should feel like what it is and the rules should reflect the era it is set in

·       have Fun rule over Realism

Growing the game, I find that game design is mostly an organic process, the game just grows as you play. You find a mechanism that works and you try to break it, refine it, polish its edges and sometimes it works, sometimes it breaks and produces an unexpected bonus and sometimes it just breaks. It is surprising how often a rule just works itself out as you play, particularly as you introduce more people to the game and benefit from their thoughts. I am fortunate to have an excellent team of play-testers and their help has been invaluable in honing Ruckus into its present form, I suspect between us all we have probably played more than one hundred games and as a result Ruckus has changed and evolved into its present form.

Chopping it up Ruckus has existed as a full set of rules of 60 pages for over a year and condensing those pages down to just 32 pages without losing the essence and flavour of the game has been a challenging process, particularly as the rules are written with no pictures, no examples, and no explanations. When you add the pictures, examples, and explanations to sixty pages of close written text you end up with a 140-page book!

This is where the Editor steps in. This was a whole new world to me. I was fascinated by the process and what could have been a traumatic and painful time was actually three very pleasant days spent in the company of James Griffiths Project Manager at Wargames Illustrated as we stripped my beautiful creation to its bare skeleton and rebuilt a slim, streamlined more orderly version. We changed the whole structure of the rules without altering any of the essence of the game and rewrote it so that the various processes followed a natural progression and were easier to understand. Simpler but not worser. James even invented a new Movement Gambit the Dramatic Entry!

There was no way we could include all of the scenarios, but deciding which ones to use and which to leave out was a real head scratcher, as it happened, we could only include one scenario in the freebie, there simply was not space for any more. The decision to omit the steeds and mounted combat rules was a no brainer as the initial game is set in England at the time of the Wars of the Roses and so most warriors could be expected to be on foot. Leaving out the campaign rules was a wrench as they are very much at the heart of the game but they will be published at a later date.

Fun First.

Is it possible to attain realism in our wargames? Is it something that we really want? The reality of war is misery and I think most of us are looking for fun. I do not believe you can achieve realism in wargames even if you marched for three weeks to get to your game wearing somebody else’s shoes and slept in a wet field in the rain the night before and only ate half a slice of stale bread the whole day, and then, before you started the game, set fire to the curtains, and stabbed each other in the leg with a bread knife! I think we play games to escape from reality and games should be fun. 

History or Yourstory? I like a game to have a feel of where and when it is set but I think that like realism, Historical Accuracy is something of an unachievable goal. You can avoid obvious anachronisms such as Vikings riding Quad bikes or Uzi toting Zulus but otherwise accurate according to who? Which history written by whom? Ask any two gamers about the history of a campaign or battle or any aspect of historical warfare and you will get at least two different answers. We all build knowledge of a period through exposure to various sources and we develop our own understanding of what really happened so that each of us has a different take. I hope Ruckus conveys a feel of the period but I hope to expand Ruckus to become a period agnostic game and so I do not want to get hung up on historically accurate terminology or even the games anachronistic title!  Ruckus is a game of Heroes and is unashamedly more Hollywood than History!

Pointless endeavour. Ruckus avoids the use of points values for creating Retinues partly because I had not thought it necessary for play testing the game, and when I did think of it, we had played so many successful, well-balanced games that we found it was not needed.

I think where points values are applied in games they are done so rather arbitrarily, there are always profiles that seem Over Powered and others that just do not get used because they are not worth the points cost. There are so many subtle differences between profiles in Ruckus you would need a points system similar to the three figure systems that you find in RPG like D and D, and I would not know where to start rating the various different skills!

At its heart, Ruckus is a simple game, the Retinues are written to be balanced, where there are strong Characters such as gendarmes, their strengths are tempered by having very poor militia crossbowmen and some negative traits such as Proud.

Players should feel free to try various combinations of Retainers in their Retinues however be warned, too much tampering will certainly unbalance the game.

Mishaps and Calamities. It is not possible within the confines of a small introductory rule set to cover all the Heroic deeds that Players may wish to perform during a game therefore Players should feel free to be creative with the Gambit rules.  You want your hero to leap from a moving wagon onto the back of a horse but it is not in the rules?  Agree a Mishap and a Calamity event for each Gambit you wish to try. In the above example roll for a Mishap when leaping from the wagon 1=Mishap, the Wagon hits a pothole and the Hero has to cling on and misses the opportunity to jump, he remains stationary for this turn. Calamity, he falls from the wagon, roll for injuries.

You can increase the Risk factor for Movement Gambits to perform particularly risky acts of heroism. In the above example you may feel that this very risky deed is a High-Risk Gambit and so roll 2 d6 for Mishap any 1’s resulting in a Mishap occurring. You could include a rule for Very High-Risk Gambits and roll 3 d6 but this should be used only for the most ridiculous and potentially disastrous stunts you can imagine, crossing a burning tight rope with both hands and one leg tied behind your back for example

Remember, that the risk of Calamity increases as the game progresses and that Heroes add their Prowess to the Calamity roll.

Individual Combat- Initially, Ruckus used multiple combats and the three rounds of melee occurred over three consecutive turns. This produced some very interesting situations, particularly at objectives and choke points, and provided an opportunity to try different tactics, however, we could never really resolve the challenge of new combatants joining an existing melee and keeping track of which participants were at which round of melee proved to be a brain fog inducing logistical nightmare, far from the concept of the simple game that I wanted Ruckus to be. The decision to go for single combats fought to conclusion one at a time, proved to be the right one for this game, and created the need for other tactical decisions, such as in which order to charge, when to Fend, whether to follow up or push away. 


Heroes and their Weapons. Ruckus is a game of Heroes and it is the fighting skill of the Heroes that is important rather than the weapons that they carry which is why we have focused on Heroic skills rather than weapon choices. Historically, Medieval warriors of the knight class and Men at Arms practiced their Martial Arts in full armour. One French knight, Jean le Meingre, Marshall of France, and leader of the vanguard at Agincourt, known as Boucicaut, (the Mercenary) is said to have run miles in full harness and could do gymnastics, even somersaults in his armour. He could leap onto his horse without using the stirrups! “Fully armed in a coat of mail, he could climb right to the top of the underside of a scaling ladder leaning against a wall, simply swinging from rung to rung by his two hands – or without the coat of mail, by one hand only.”

   Although Boucicault was evidently an exceptional warrior, all knights were taught to fight from an early age. Such men practiced with all manner of weapons and could as easily kill with a dagger as with a pol axe. For this reason, Heroes in Ruckus may be armed with any weapon, it is their fighting skills that distinguish them, not what they carry in their hands. Picture from Osprey website 


Retainers. Retainers are more defined by their weapon type and have generic profiles with Traits that are specific to their role, there is no reason why they should not attempt Heroic feats, however they are far more likely to suffer a Calamity as result of failure.





The One Rule to Rule them All is there as a final arbitrator and although it is possible that some players may try to abuse this rule by using it to attempt impossible or highly improbable actions it is my experience that such players will try to abuse the system regardless of how we write the rules. This game is not written for those people but for the majority of wargamers who wish to escape to a different world and have fun with their friends.  


Play your own game Ruckus as an introductory game is set in the England of the fifteenth century, a world dominated by men, and as such is written for male characters for the most part. However, I would invite players to make the game their own. Use whatever figures you have to hand, whatever their gender, give them an appropriate profile, name them whatever way you wish and just have fun writing your own Ruckus story. My daughter will certainly use her Arwen Evenstar figure when she plays and quite probably her Rincewind and the Librarian too!


Above-Rangers of Ruckus?

Where is Ruckus headed? There will be cards, counters, and figures to accompany the game. 

There are 25 figures that are being planned, they will be released as stl’s and then as metal casts. The first ones should be ready for release in the very near future.Its been a privilege to be part of the design of these. These are all being sculpted by the Giants in Miniature Sculptor






The artwork for the back of the Divers Alarums cards. I love this, it reminds me of Brian Bolland’s work. He really does look alarmed! There is similar art for the Cunning Plan cards, a very Baldrick looking fellow resides there and a Suitable Hero in a similar style, dons the back of the Herocard 

The Ruckus Campaign will be published in the magazine probably in the June’s edition. It’s a very simple form of campaign, it’s primarily about character development and gives Ruckus more flavour.

There are at least twenty scenarios written for Ruckus and they will all get published in one form or another

Then, I go back to my childhood with the Outlaws of Shirewood campaign. This has three of its six scenarios written and is looking good.

We have written a Hundred Years War Supplement and Landsknecht/Swiss one. These introduce five new Hero profiles and a stack of new Retainers, Rules, Scenarios and Divers Alarums. It’s not certain yet how these will be released, they may appear as online content or as articles in the magazine or they may be released each with their own figures rule and cards and as complete physical supplements

Ruckus has a bright future at Wargames Illustrated… 





Friday, March 15, 2024

Ruckus-latest news!

 




Well, I had a very productive couple of days at Wi Tower editing and rewriting parts of the free version of Ruckus with James Griffiths who really knows his stuff. We have developed an excellent working relationship and have become friends, and I have learnt a lot about how to frame and take photos and how to write rules in a manner that leaves little room for confusion (hopefully)

What we have is a 28-page booklet that includes the bulk of the rules minus steeds, campaigns, and a lot of the profiles, however, we should have seven or eight scenarios in there.

The game will look quite different to what we have become used to as the order of some things has changed and the wording is far more lawyerly than I would have used. And of course, some terminology has changed, its all Cunning Plans and Divers Alarums! There will be an introductory game where a smaller pre rolled Retinue is used to ease players into the complex game that Ruckus has become.

I have seen the cover art and it is rather lovely. A few details were incorrect, a 14th century dog face visor on a 15th century sallet, gaps between the poleyns and the cuisses where the knee was exposed but these will be corrected. Overall, it looks really good, two knights duking it out with a crowd of Retainers looking on with half-timbered houses in the misty background…

I have seen some of the 3d art for the various figures and they are looking good too. We had an online chat with the sculptor in USA and I was able to give a few pointers about how the armour should look. And I held in my hand the first of the figures! I was a bit tempted to pocket it! There will eventually be a range of twenty-four or five of these available in metal as well as in stl form.

And while I was there the editor Dan gave the go ahead for 13, 000 copies to be published, 12, 000 to go in the magazine and a “Spare” 1,000 to be sold separately at shows and on line. Fantastic!

So, what next? Well, the edit goes to Spain, via the interweb, to Wi’s digital artist there who will fill in the gaps with illustrations and edge art and then the edit is returned to Wi who add the pictures and then its ready to go.

Date of publishing may be as early as 13th April but will not be available for a week or two after that.

It all feels rather strange…

 

 

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Causing a Ruckus

 

Causing a Ruckus

Although set in an Historical context, Ruckus is very much a narrative event that the players create between them as such it is as much about your story as it is about History and there are many ways in which you can adapt the game to suit your own particular narrative. You should feel free to take ownership of Ruckus and make it your own. Here are some ways in which various players have been using the game to create their own adventures.


Above Mark's Beautifully painted Landsknechts

Mark Taylor My major wargaming adversary and special pal, Mark has been playing Ruckus since its first outing which is surprising since Mark has an aversion to skirmish games! His Gaston Villa Retinue has already been featured in previous articles but Mark also has created some beautiful Landsknecht and Swiss Retinues. Mark persuaded me to write profiles for Robin Hood et al and that led to a whole Outlaws of Sherwood campaign.

“When my good friend and wargaming buddy Mike told me he was thinking of designing a skirmish game based on Billhooks I replied with my usual positivity “I don’t like skirmish games, they’re rubbish!” So encouraged by my enthusiasm he set about writing Ruckus. A couple of months later, chained to a chair I agreed to a play test. Within a few minutes our heroes were name calling and boasting about their impressive codpieces. I can honestly say I have never laughed so much and had so much fun playing a wargame. I now have half a dozen retinues, from Robin Hood to the Italian Wars, yes, I am hooked! I don’t like skirmish games but I love Ruckus!”

and his Swiss Retinue

Ben Mallet Ben is a Ruckus veteran, an early convert to the game who has been a great help with play testing.  “Rob Squires and I decided to combine Billhooks and Ruckus and fight two interlinked games over a small village. We began with a scouting mission to the village, a perfect moment for a game of Ruckus. This developed into us setting out three objectives across the table ready to be captured. Whoever held the objectives at end of the game, would acquire a benefit for the subsequent clash of Billhooks. Our three objectives were as follows: an abandoned artillery piece, capturing this would allow you to add it into your army; some wandering priests who would grant a “Wandering Cleric” event card from the Gallia theatre in Billhooks Delux; and last but not least, a cart in the centre of the table would allow you to take a special event card of your choosing before the battle!”

“The billhooks game was, for my Wars of the Roses force at least, a sorry affair. After a few failed morale tests my army had crumpled. A less than majestic test of this combination of the two games, it was nonetheless an exciting evening of games. For future games we may experiment more with the rewards from the preliminary Ruckus game. And there is the possibility of playing the games in reverse order with the Billhooks game result determining which leader is found in a Warwickesque retreat fighting off pursuing combatants in the fog? Whatever we do next, this experiment definitely gave us much to think about for future Ruckus/Billhooks combined games”

Ben's  de Lyne Retinue is based on one of his ancesetors and Ben has even written a family tree for his Retinue!

Anthony March lives in New Zealand. “Tom Swan and the Mongrel's Arms. I aim to play some games based around Christian Cameron's books set in 15th Century Italy. Much of the action is urban brawls so men are typically unarmoured and using their arming swords.  The main characters will have three versions - unarmoured, in half armour and in full harness.”

Rob Squires has been an invaluable help in creating this game,Rob is always looking for a way to break a game, exactly what is need for playtesting.

 Rob Squires “Over the last couple of months, I have been playing a Ruckus/Billhooks campaign with some friends, set during the fictional Second Breton War of Succession 1400 using HYW rules for both systems. This has essentially been an RPG where I initially acted as the games master, controlling adversaries and NPCs. Making use of the Push RPG system We have played 2 session so far, totalling 9 games of ruckus and a billhooks battle. The first game we played at Bristol Independent Wargaming. The 3 players each had a spear in the same Ruckus Retinue, each composed of different types of Retainers, one of archers, one men-at-arms and the other Jinetes, their objective was to find an undisclosed holy relic.   At the end of the first session, whilst playing the "Oh brother where art thou mission", despite a straightforward capture of brother Ambrose, one of the Hero’s betrayed the other two - killing several of them and absconding with the monk!”

“The second session was at my house we played for 11 hours! Which I think is testament to the joy, and unpredictable humour Ruckus provides. This centred around a chase where the two players betrayed in the last game chased the other, the key events for this session were an ambush played using billhooks rules and a city escape at night using Ruckus.” 

Stuart Reynolds "I am 32, moved from Kent UK to Kanagawa Japan in March 2023, I have been here for almost a year but plan on staying indefinitely. I was working in Sports Direct for 8 years in the UK and decided it was time for a life change. I am finally putting my history degree to use and am teaching here in Japan. Warhammer is sparce here, and historical games are non-existent. There is a fairly sizable expat gaming community, but I wanted to introduce Japanese people to the game. We cannot hope to build a community here without the support of the locals, so I have been putting the work in to teach and translate some rules for various games so that people can get involved. Japanese people love gunplay, card games, and train models, so getting them into tabletop wargames just seems like the next logical step, it has been a great way to share my culture, improve my language skills, and have a great time doing it.

I have played a few dozen games of Ruckus now, using proxy miniatures until my Perry minis order arrives, and I have to say this is one of my favourite skirmish games in recent years!  I particularly love the duelling system! 

Also down South, on the Isle of White, Elliot and Nigel Davie have been using Ruckus to play Samurai against Ninjas, with no major changes to the rules"

Elliot Davie "Our Never Mind the Naginatas campaign made its first debut today. Overall it was really good fun and managed to piece the rules together from my frantic notes having only read them a couple of hours previously Both my samurai were knocked out, however both on the road to recovery, looking forward to our next campaign game and to see the characters develop further.


We had a couple of thoughts, we debated switching the push back from whoever did the most wounds to whoever did the most hits in order to make the fights more mobile like an Errol Flynn duel even if no wounds are scored, and the other being some form of mishap in melee with if you roll all ones however, we have not trialled this at all."

Nigel Davie "First games of Never Mind the Naginatas. Suzuki the novice of Shimano Kawasaki. Did a good day’s work badly damaging two other samurai, but was shot down by a cowardly gunner!  We had a few thoughts based on our first try out, but all seemed to work well with Elliot doing his first bit of player refereeing. "








Thoroughly Tested I am fortunate to have such an excellent team of play-testers and their help has been invaluable in honing Ruckus into its present form, I suspect between us all we have probably played more than ninety games. Ruckus has existed as a full set of rules of 60 pages for over a year and condensing those pages down to just 32 pages without losing the essence and flavour of the game has been a challenging process. There was no way we could include all of the ten scenarios, but deciding which ones to use and which to leave out was a real head scratcher. The decision to omit the steeds and mounted combat rules was a no brainer as the initial game is set in England at the time of the Wars of the Roses and so most warriors could be expected to be on foot. Leaving out the campaign rules was a real wrench as they are very much at the heart of the game and hopefully, we can publish them at a later date.

Mishaps and Calamities. It is not possible within the confines of a small introductory rule set to cover all the Heroic deeds that Players may wish to perform during a game therefore Players should feel free to be creative with the Gambit rules.  You want your hero to leap from a moving wagon onto the back of a horse but it’s not in the rules?  Agree a Mishap and a Calamity event for each Gambit you wish to try. In the above example roll for a Mishap when leaping from the wagon 1=Mishap, the Wagon hits a pothole and the Hero has to cling on and misses the opportunity to jump, he remains stationary for this turn. Calamity, he falls from the wagon, roll for injuries.

You can increase the Risk factor for Movement Gambits to perform particularly risky acts of heroism. In the above example you may feel that this very risky deed requires a separate Gambit roll for leaping from the wagon and another for landing successfully on the horse, or that for such a risky enterprise a Mishap will occur if the Player rolls a one or a two or more on the Mishap roll.

Remember, that the risk of Calamity increases as the game progresses and that Heroes add their Prowess to the Calamity roll.

Heroes and their Weapons. Ruckus is a game of Heroes and it is the fighting skill of the Heroes that is important rather than the weapons that they carry which is why we have focused on Heroic skills rather than weapon choices. Historically, Medieval warriors of the knight class and Men at Arms practiced their Martial Arts in full armour. One French knight, Jean le Meingre, Marshall of France, and leader of the vanguard at Agincourt, known as Boucicaut, (the Mercenary) is said to have run miles in full harness and could do gymnastics, even somersaults “fully armed” He could leap onto his horse without using the stirrups! Although Boucicault was evidently an exceptional warrior, all knights were taught to fight from an early age. Such men practiced with all manner of weapons and could as easily kill with a dagger as with a pol axe. For this reason, Heroes in Ruckus may be armed with any weapon, it is their fighting skills that distinguish them, not what they carry in their hands.

Retainers. Retainers are more defined by their weapon type and have generic profiles with Traits that are specific to their role, there is no reason why they should not attempt Heroic feats, however they are far more likely to suffer a Calamity as result of failure.

Fun First. Although it is possible that Ruckus may have a future as competitive game, it was a deliberate decision to not write the rules in such a manner, as such an approach would require attempting to predict every possible situation or combination of skills, and writing clauses and subclauses for each one. It is not possible to predict every outcome, and I did not want to use energy that could be used more profitably on extending and improving the game, trying to do so.

The One Rule to Rule them All is there as a final arbitrator and although it is possible that some players may try to abuse this rule by using it to attempt impossible or highly improbable actions it is my experience that such players will try to abuse the system regardless of how we write the rules. This game is not written for those people but for the majority of wargamers who wish to escape to a different world and have fun with their friends.  


And not forgetting my good friend Jordan, represented above in the form of the redoubtable Sir Henry Graves, who has put a lot of thought into the game and helped me put the original game together.






Friday, January 19, 2024

The Raid -Another Ruckus Scenario

 


The Raid

The Hundred Years War campaign continues…

We decided to play the Raid from the main rule set next as it fits quite nicely with the campaign and it has not yet been play-tested.

The Story So Far A Retinue launches a Raid into enemy territory, taking as much of value as they can and burning and pillaging as they go. The Alarum has been raised and the local Captain is on his way!

The Set-Up A rural setting. The table should be liberally strewn with small walled and fenced fields, animal pens, sties, eel ponds, orchards and maybe a Farm House or a few scattered cottages representing prime farmland. 9 objective markers are placed evenly across the board, one in the centre and the others at least 12” or so apart and surrounding the central marker in a circle or a box shape

Each animal is an objective marker and represents the Booty! A deck of cards, the Booty Deck, is prepared with 6 black cards representing Booty in the form of ducks, sheep, honey, a complacent Longhorn Bull and other movable assets and three red cards representing Resistance from the locals, Angry Peasants, a local village head man, a furious Longhorn Bull bull…


Rob’s English enter the table








“Look! A cow!”

   “Shoot it!”

   “No, you fool, tis Booty!”





Rob is trying a slightly different set up with two men at arms and fewer archers.











 Enter Gui Seigneur de Roche Guyon and his Gendarmes, Bernards de Mantes Jolies is having a nice lie down after his nasty fall from his horse in the last encounter. The unstoppable Gui has become even more monstrous Prowess 4 Health 4 he has since added Berserk Rage



Enter the crossbows…the Laurel and Hardy team of the Ruckus world, they are totally inept and may need a buff of some kind, in a game where points are used for game balance, these guys would be very cheap…something to think about






The Spears, not quite as useless as the crossbows, I suspect they might do better with shields, once they deploy Pavise they are stationary.  They would probably come into their own with dismounted men at arms to support





A brave sight as they thunder through the little hamlet 


Oxford feels drawn to the sheep…










Imminent arrow storm!










“Can I shoot it now?”

“And how will we get it home? Drive it with a stick!”








Long Legs the Archer has two skills Odds Bodkins which means he can pick targets at long range rather than randomising his hits and Strong in t’Arm which increases his range…verily he is a medieval sniper! Luckily I got the Special event "Hic!" and played it on him! This character has been heavily imbibing of the local fermented produce and becomes Feckless even when in command 5,6 = pick a fight with the nearest character -friend or foe! 


While the riff-raff secures the farm, Gui leads his gendarmes to look for a fight








the bigger picture. Two volleys of arrows hit the Gendarmes. Laurens and Ponset’s horses are hit and they both bolt


When Ruckus horses bolt they do so spectacularly and in a random direction, Laurens horse takes him straight to de Vere










Ponset’s horse carries him off into another hail of arrows that brings him down and takes him out of the game











Meanwhile the Earl takes out Laurens









Gui takes out a squire but picks up a Wound, he takes two more before he triumphed in the melee, a tough fighter this Englishman!










Gui’s charges a billman and takes him down, his Berserk Rage kicks in and he charges Oxford














The Doughty Earl takes him down!

















Here’s Denis. He became Feckless very early in the game and spent three turns counting his toes before deciding to catch up with the others and join in the fray












By this time the English had snatched three booties and removed them from the table. Raid is a real snatch and run game, but as you get more Booty so the Retinue gets smaller 







 

The hapless crossbows deploy their pavises...well...it gives them something to do






The Spear men burst out of the Farmhouse, Jehan fails a Mishap for sprinting and becomes winded denoted by the purple counter








“Look boys! Target practice!”  Spearman Perrin soon resembles a pin cushion







And to add to their grief Rob plays an ambush card and the angry family that had been hiding in the farm house emerge to ladle out the laldy! Sergeant Cardin is soon Wounded and when he is taken out of the game the French have lost half the force. They roll their Will to Fight test and roll 4, they rout from the table leaving the English victorious!








This was a good fun game; Lady Luck redressed the balance of the previous two games and sat solidly at Robs’ end of the table! The scenario played well I thought. Rob took a magnificent, complacent longhorn bull, a small flock of sheep, a quack of ducks and a hive of honey to earn 11 Prestige Points. I retained some pigs and cluck of chickens so scored 4 Prestige Points. As Rob won the game he scored a total of 21 PP and I scored a total of 9.

This seemed to work well enough. The idea is to play the scenario again with the French as the Raider. After three games in the campaign, Rob is leading 31 PP to my 29.


Every game is a learning experience and although the main rules are pretty much finished , I made few tweaks to the campaign rules, the rules for Steeds and the Hundred Year War supplement