Monday, 18 November 2013

Rules for the tales of Shedwood

A momentous occasion !

Earlier this week I decided that I had to finish all the civilians for Robin Hood, Tales of Shedwood. With over Sixty miniatures to paint I set myself the daunting task of painting these by the weekend. I have been procrastinating over this task for some weeks and it doesn’t matter how hard you look at them they just don’t paint themselves.


There are a number of reasons why I wanted to get these done, chief amongst these is that I want to get the test games started. This coming Monday - Tonight !) we’ll be playtesting the rules.

Front Cover of the Rules

In time I’ll publish these but here is a flavour.


Each player takes the role of one of the main protagonists eg Robin Hood, Guy of Gisbourne etc in a particular scenario – more on this in a bit.

The Leaders have a number of units at their disposal ranging from Knights, Men At Arms, Outlaws, Trained bands and Peasants. These units each have characteristics ranging from combat ability (number of attacks per figure ) , Armour (saves in combat, movement) and Morale (From Fanatic to Panic !).

A unit will be typically sized from six to 12 men, all of whom will be of a similar class but can be bolstered with the presence of either a Leader or Knight.

Combat is very straightforward everybody needs a 5 to hit (d6) modified by things such as cover, mounted etc – with the defender saving hits according to their armour (+morale/calibre modifiers).

Mounted troops get to move faster and inflict more hits...afterall they are the tanks of the medieval battlefield.
The phases of play is where this game differs from others. At the beginning of each turn each player gets a number of command tokens based on how many units they are commanding. The commander then places these tokens on a Command Board that grids actions versus units.

The Actions a unit can take are Move, Defend, Shoot, Reload, Vigilance, Rally. A maximum of two tokens can be stacked in each unit column (ie a unit can perform two actions in a turn but this means something else will not have the option of doing anything). Once all the players have laid out their best plans they take it in turn to activate units.

Each leader will also have a set of leadership tokens (different colour) these can be used as order tokens (thereby generating more orders) or for the cost of two tokens they may add an action in the middle of play (eg a unit is about to be charged and cannot react). These leadership tokens are removed from play once used – ie they are finite. However more leadership tokens can be won for valourous/dastardly deeds.   

In addition each leader has a treacherous deeds or luck score. The luck points can be used to reroll failed dice throws, treacherous deeds work in the opposite way ! 

If a unit suffers damage in combat/or has a stressful situation (eg levy about to be charged by mounted knights) Morale checks will be taken. Units start on a Morale grade at the beginning of the game according to their calibre, position (eg in a castle), and presence of Leaders. Again the presence of a knight will bolster morale.

Morale tests are simple. The number of figures in the unit denotes the number of dice rolled) – the dice rolled are compared with the current unit status – any number that equals the morale of the unit is discarded. Those that better the morale are subtracted from those that fail and the balancing number is added to the current status. This does mean that fresh units can run in the presence of danger or actually harden their attitudes.

Why am I excited - well we get to playtest these the adventure of St Oswald's Tongue.

The Small Monastery of St Oswald lies on the edge of Sherwood Forest, a days ride from Nottingham. It is a famous pilgrimage in this part of the country for it claims the that it is the resting place of the old martyr known as St Oswald.
Oswald was beatified when he single handedly talked a marauding Viking war party to turn back from its evil ways and embrace the spirit of God.
Immortalised in tales and legend his tongue has now become a powerful relic (if rather wizened) and is said to inspire leadership and oratory.

It has long been known that the Sheriff of Nottingham covets this relic and wishes to add this to his collection. After all pilgrims are prepared to pay to see such treasures. He has instructed his henchmen, Sir Guy de Guisbourne and Black Hugo to recover the relic and bring back to Nottingham.

Fortunately for the Monks of St Oswald the Sheriff's intentions have not gone unnoticed and a message has been sent to the outlaw and hero Robin Hood. Said Robin has decided such a theft should not take place and has such determined to thwart the Sheriffs plans.
The Monastery of St Oswald

For the full AAR please come back in a couple of days time...


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