Friday, August 12, 2011

Savage Worlds AAR

Just finished running a quick and dirty Savage Worlds game.

The Backstory
A lone patrol through the jungle wanders its way back to base. Two orc grunts and their Sergeant, accompanied by an Elven Ranger and human medic. The grunts are very low on ammo and the Wild Cards are down to around twenty rounds each for their respective weapons. The orc Sergeant carries a single grenade.

The opposition
Ten Lizardfolk militia members have moved into a blocking position on the ford, using the river to penetrate deep into the supposed safe zone. Nine tribesmen armed with bows and axes led by their chieftain look to take revenge on the foreign invaders of the great swamp.

[Out of character rules explanations and game developments out of character will be in brackets]

After Action Report, Elsinore Skyhawk reporting:
I was on loan from the Rangers in order to accompany a patrol on deep patrol into the Red Zone north of the great swamps. Seven days in the jungle skirmishing with irregulars, but with real engagements to speak of. The village we had been sent to clear was a dud, no such settlement on the map coordinates. Anyways, we made contact with an enemy force around 1400 hours, about a mile out from the Extraction Zone. I was on point and the rest of the squad was in wedge formation behind me. I think they were as surprised as we were because about seven of them were in the water, trying to cross. Three were stationed on the opposite bank behind a pair of fallen trees. The range was between one and two hundred feet, but closed quickly in the beginning moments. [The group of three began in the third range bracket, but was in the second range bracket for the M1's carried by the squad within the first turn. The Lizardmen on the opposite bank had less range for their bows, and would need to use every other turn to aim in order to get a -4 to their attacks)

Our medic, Corpsman Copeland was the only one close enough to immediately get to cover, the rest of us attempted to move towards a rocky area. Fortunately their arrow fire was ineffective, as only three of them were able to fire, the rest struggled to get on land. The group of four to the west was the closest, and Sergeant Barnak sprang up and raced towards them, tossing a grenade. Two of the lizardmen were killed immediately in the blast, but the others made it to shore and began returning fire with their bows. I engaged the second group of three to the east. They had made it to cover, but I managed to feather one. Privates Grumnash and Krugnar moved up to support the Sarge along the west side, as well as providing covering fire for Copeland to dart forward.

In a display of battlelust, and despite the arrows falling about them, Barnak and Grumnash moved to engage one lizardman near the center of the skirmish in hand to hand combat, they succeeded in taking it down. Krugnar was less successful, and they engaged in axe work while I attempted to keep the other group of archers that had made land at bay.

[At this point the lizardmen were dealt a Joker, giving them a bonus to their trait and damage rolls]

The lizardman in combat with Krugnar was able to slip beneath the private's attack and plunge its axe into his stomach before moving back into the water. Barnak and Pvt Grumnash elected to retrieve their rifles in favor of going in after the lizardmen. Now three were in the water, with the three on the far bank continuing to pepper us with arrows, to little effect. Copeland moved towards the fallen Private, but it was obvious he would not get there in time.[Medic edge allows him a chance to revive an extra, but only if he gets there in the same turn]

I moved forward and managed to injure one of those in the water, the rushing river carried it off, and I can only assume it dies of its injuries. Two of them made it to the opposite bank, and those on the opposite bank got their first solid hit on us. Pvt. Grumnash fell to an arrow, I laid down covering fire, and gave a glancing hit to one of the Lizardmen[Shaken, but still up]. Corpsman Copeland, displaying great bravery, ran to where the Private was sitting wounded and immediately began administering first aid[He succeeds in his healing roll, and instead of wounded Grumnash is merely shaken].

Ineffectual fire from myself and the Sergeant is met by a return volley, just as the Private looked to be getting up, an arrow pierced his eye, there was obviously no return from that.

[Lizardmen again get a joker] Copeland bravely tried again to save the Private's life but as soon as he knelt down to work, he was hit by an arrow. [A very lucky arrow, in fact causes two wounds, and he fails his soak roll] Our return fire tags one of the Lizardmen on the opposite bank, it seems our greater range has been telling.

At that point the Lizardmen fall back, fading into the swamps, while we do our best for our medic. A short run back to base brought reinforcements, although last I heard Corpsman Copeland remained in serious condition. With two of ours killed and one grievously wounded, I do not know if we can call our engagement a victory, despite having accounted for Seven of them.

All in all I move that Corpsman Copeland be given the Silverleaf Medal of Valor with Holly Clusters, in addition to any awards his own service grants, and that Sergeant Barnak be given the Oaken Star.

Post Mortem:
Little modifiers from cover and range can add up quite quickly when one only has a D6 in shooting. Only the Ranger(D10) had a better shooting die, and accounted for most of the kills. In addition the Lizardmen suffered worse from both range penalties and damage rolls as a result of having bows to combat rifles. Next time I may have them using captured rifles instead, as they were seriously outgunned. They did have some good turns of luck, with two joker draws.

The big break for the heroes was probably that early grenade, there would have been more close combat otherwise that would have helped to negate their range advantage. Also, I should have played the Chieftain closer in, as it was he was lobbing arrows from the back and not really contributing any more than the extras. Either that or changed him up for a Shaman with a power or two in order to spice things up.

All in all I think the engagement took about an hour including looking up rules we had become rusty on. A quite satisfactory little Vietnam/Fantasy mashup that took little time to set up and little time to play. We used primarily the Explorer's Edition and Tour of Darkness to set it up, with a little help from the Fantasy Companion just to add in the elf, orc, and lizardmen races.

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