After a dry spell of almost two months(!) without a miniatures game, I arm-twisted my brother into trying Sellswords&Spellslingers. We played The Healer’s Hut scenario from the Sellswords rulebook.
The whole thing was rather short notice, so I quickly slapped together a roster of heroes to choose from based on the figures I had at hand. and I set up the table.
In hindsight that boulder-kicking contest he’s gotten himself into wasn’t the best idea, Marius the Drunkard mused as he hobbled along the rocky trail, favoring his injured leg. A good party with a band ending. Marius is flanked by his comrades who take turns ribbing, mildly reproaching and cheering him up. Monty Indigo picked up on a romour of a capable and possibly deranged healer living in a hut nearby. He might help Marius with the leg injury.
As the heroes approach the healer’s hut on the hill they notice groups of armed men with nasty demeanors advancing towards the hut as well. They obviously are up to good.
A warband of nasty brigands want to attack the healer and kill him for denying them his services. The heroes have to move up to the healer’s hut, get him out, and evacuate him off the table before the Malfried’s Warband of brigands get their hands on him.
Each of us two players get two characters each.
My Brother chose to play Grystal. She’s got the Spellcaster and Smart traits and gets the Frostblast spell. For the second character he chose Marius. He is heavily armoured (Armour III, Strong), wields a huge two-handed sword and is a Heavy Drinker. Due to the sobering effect of the leg wound he seems to be alright that day.
I went with Henni Hinkel von Hammerfels. She’s got the Tough and Battlelust traits and comes equipped with light armor (Armour I) and a two-handed sledge hammer. She’s a dwarf, so she also gets the Slow Move trait. My second character is Monty Indigo, who is an accomplished fencer, (he’s done nothing but study swordplay) and thus has the Fighter II (Sword) and Whirlwind of Steel traits.
As usual the game is played on a 36″x36″ table. The game starts with 6 brigands on the table, plus Malfried. Our heroes enter the table from any side.
Especially the horde of three brigands at the centre is dangerously close to the hut already, so we have to act quickly. Grystal and Marius want to take out Malfried, the brigands leader, right away. So we deploy next to him (lower left in the picture).
Quite confidently we start rolling for three actions each and things kick right off. Grystal’s spells have a hard time getting going, but at the third time she frostblasts the brigands leader. The winds of magic are in her favor from that point on. Marius, slightly hampered by his injured leg, rushes toward Malfried, but steps on a scorpion and loses a hitpoint. At least he manages to narrowly avoid the bear trap he passes on the 2 metres he has to charge toward the baddie. As he arrives he cuts him down with a mighty swing.
Henni immediately runs for the healer’s hut at full speed. Monty tries to keep up and things start to happen. Here’s an overview of the first phases of the game:
First another group of five brigands arrive on our table edge (upper left). Some extra-nasty brigand brought some Greek fire and throws it at the hut to set it on fire and drive the healer out.
On top of it all a Minotaur, hired by the brigands, arrives at the top table edge!
Right in the last moment before the centre group of brigands get their damn dirty hands on the healer Henni throws herself in front of them.
The brutal assailants are very dedicated though and quickly reduce her to 1 hit point.
Again in the nick of time Monty arrives, slays the first brigand, and immediately charges on into the other two (Whirlwind of Steel). He’s less lucky this time (inconceivable!) and takes a wound. these brigands are tougher than you’d think.
Meanwhile Grystal and Marius keep an exit corridor open by frostblasting anybody who gets close.
Henni, at 1 HP, turns to grab the healer to take him off to safety as a sneaky brigand crawls out of the well and ambushes her! She drops to the ground.
Monty fends off the other brigands, dashes back to the ambushing brigand, takes another damage, but eventually kills him too. He’s down to 1HP now, but manages to look after Henni who’s barely alive (Thanks to the Tough trait! Otherwise she’d been killed outright). Monty, heavily wounded himself, has just enough time to grab the healer and with his help carry Henni off toward Grystal and Marius.
While fending off the brigands Grystal senses the presence of a artifact between the boulders. One of the famous Skeleton Keys! In a quieter moment she moves to the boulders to grab it.
Just as she pockets the key she gets ambushed from between the boulders. Grystal has no choice but to get out her dagger and fight a bloody mêlée. She kills the brigand, but the keep on coming and an epic struggle next to the boulders emerges.
The thing is that the brigands, being ambush specialists, got this special rule which makes them a lot more dangerous when fighting right next to cover. Marius and Grystal are in danger to be overwhelmed by the attackers several times, but barely hold their ground. The surge of magic energy fades, making it harder for Grystal to cast spells. It starts to rain.
…as Monty, the healer and the unconscious Henni slowly make their way off the table. Grystal and Marius are on their own now, trying to disengage and get away. Easier said than done. At one point Grystal is struck down and Marius’ leg gives out and he falls to the ground. Despite being in combat he, at 1 HP, manages to get up an look after Grystal. Luckily it was just a flesh wound and she gets up again with 2 HP!
Still, the situation is bad. In the end Grystal barely manages to get away, but she has to leave Marius for dead.
Well, the goals have been accomplished, but at what price. Above all, the one guy we wanted to get the healer for we had to leave behind and is to be assumed dead or captured.
The healer, now without home, decides to join our group of adventurers and Monty, who realizes he’s done nothing but study swordplay, decides to become his apprentice in the healing aspects of alchemy.
A sombre ending to a hard-fought battle with low dice rolls and high drama. It was my brother’s first game of Sellswords&Spellslingers, but he was really involved with the game from turn#1. It’s just a fun, fast game which manages to develop memorable narratives for each game.
Good game, that. I hope that you enjoyed this little battle report!