Johann and Gottfried have escaped the mountain village where they were held captive, but are now being hunted down by the Ekraen knights who took them prisoner.
“Eet eez like hunting, non?” says Sir Bertrand de Plastique. “Except ze prey eez more cunneeng, which makes eet even more fun.”
I next determine the size of the fugitives’ lead. This is (6 – ER) hours, or two hours. What of the pursuers? I roll 1d6 and add the ER for a total of 7; consulting the table on p. 55, this means the pursuers have twice my CV or points value. Hmm. The points value of my group has changed because there are only two of them now, with different statistics; a quick recalcuation puts it at 6, so there are 12 CV worth of pursuers. Ouch. Let’s see who they are; I roll 2d6 several times on the Ekraen army list, selecting figures until the Ekraen CV total is at least twice as large as the party’s. This gives us a force of three knights, four crossbowmen, and two infantry. This could be a challenge. However, they have to catch us first!
Each side now rolls 2d6 and tries to pass the lowest Rep in their group. Johann rolls 4, 6 and passes 1d6. The knights roll 1, 2 and despite having a lower Rep pass 2d6. As they passed one more d6, the lead reduces to one hour, and the pursued reduce their effective Rep by one point, to 3. As the lead is now one hour or less, the pursuers have caught us. It looks like we now set up a Battle encounter, which I assume is the pitched battle encounter from p. 70. Feh, it’ll do. I skip over generating forces as I already know what they are.
Each leader now rolls 2d6 trying to pass his Rep for deployment. Johann rolls two sixes, which would be good in most games but not Warrior Heroes, and Bertrand rolls 1, 6, passing one die. This means he is the attacker and has the advantage. The defender (Johann) sets up 12″ from his table edge, and the attacker sets up 18″ away from the defender.
I choose Johann’s table edge, and roll on the terrain generator to produce a town on a board mostly covered in hills and woods, but with one piece of clear terrain, which as luck would have it is on Johann’s table edge. Johann sets up 12″ onto the table, on the edge of the clear section. The knights set up on a road section, with 6″ of clear terrain, then 12″ of hills (which halve movement) between them and the party. All town buildings must be placed in clear terrain, so this board square is packed with them; it must represent a corner of a larger urban area.
The party rolls 2 and the knights roll 4; both activate, but the knights got the higher score, so activate first. What will they do? Well, I expect since they are pursuing the party they will want to close in, so they will try to advance 12″; they haven’t taken a test that will allow them to charge yet, so they are moving at a canter.
However, after they have moved 6″, they are within 12″ of the party; time for a Test of Wills. Sir Bertrand has Rep 5, so rolls 5d6 and is counting successes (rolls of 3 or less). 1, 3, 2, 5, 2 so four successes. As a star, Johann is allowed to choose the number of successes he rolls, and with Rep 4 he gets four dice. He chooses four successes, since any other result ends with the knights charging him and Gottfried, which is unsafe when you’re on foot with no armour. Both sides halt in place; I picture one of the knights launching into a speech in Ekraen, which Johann probably would not understand. This means the knights have not yet surged ahead of their crossbowmen and other infantry.
Now it’s the party’s turn to activate. Johann decides this is a good time for a Fast Move Test, and he and Gottfried turn and run. Both now roll 2d6 against Rep; Johann scores 3, 5, passes 1d6, and moves 150% of his normal move, or 9″. Gottfried scores 1, 6 and does likewise. The group are now 3″ from the table edge and 21″ from the knights (who stopped after moving 6″, on the edge of the hills).
New turn; the party rolls 1 for activation, and the knights roll 1 as well; a tie, so neither moves. The knights continue to pontificate in Ekraen, and the party looks frantically for somewhere to hide, as the townsfolk sensibly run inside and bar the doors.
Turn 3; Johann rolls 6, knights roll 1, so Johann and Gottfried stand about trying to look inconspicuous as the knights advance 6″ through the hills, becoming separated from their infantry. They are now 12″ from the party, so time for another Test of Wills. Sir Bertrand rolls 4, 4, 4, 3, 4 and passes one die. Johann opts to pass one die as well, since anything else will trigger a charge test which he could well lose.
Turn 4: Johann rolls 1, knights roll 6, so Johann and Gottfried activate and the knights don’t. Our protagonists move 8″ and sneak away off the board, mingling into the crowds.
Another encounter survived, another set of advancement rolls; Johann’s Hardiness increases to 3, and his Social Standing to 4, while Gottfried’s Rep increases to 5, and his Hardiness to 3. I decide that their actions in this encounter don’t constitute running away, since the precedent in other THW games I have is that running away only counts against you if it was the forced outcome of a reaction test.
Lesson learned: I could have played episodes 1, 3 and 4 without setting the table up at all. So, in future I won’t bother putting lead and terrain on the table until combat is joined.
“Was nun, Kleiner Mann?” asks Gottfried, as he liberates some disguises from a washing line.
“We tool up,” says Johann. “Then we go looking for the knight that rode Alexa down. And make him sorry.” Pause. “And don’t call me Kleinermann. My name’s Johann.”