Regina Playtest

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Regina Playtest
« on: September 10, 2014, 05:22:14 PM »
We started a playtest last night.  Kier (MC), wanted to start out by building some Peoples, and trying out the Battle moves before we build characters. 

Creating Peoples (Sorry I can't remember all the stats and names)

Kier (MC) created a Monastic order of Christians.
Enclave of 20 souls, 5 warriors.  War 0.  Harm 3 (spears), Armor 1.
Ethnically diverse, but defined by their worship of the One God. 
Known for their healing arts, their valuable relic, and their island stronghold. 
Notables include a professional soldier captain, and the abbot.
Kier also created a stronghold sheet, with archers, an island position, a bottleneck approach, and a well.   
Kier used the People's sheet #1, and found that he wished he had more of the arms and armor information.

Chad created the Kurkinen.
Fishing village of 50 souls, 8 warriors.  War +1.  Harm 3 (staves), Armor 1.
Known for their insularity, rich land, strategy and tactics, and mercy to their enemies.
Notables include a war-leader.
Chad used the Peoples sheet #2, and ended up writing his notables on the back of the sheet.

I created the Jenci (I'll post more about them in the Peoples thread). 
Clan of 30 souls, 8 warriors.  War 0.  Harm 3 (axes), Armor 1.
Defined by their nomadic river-boat lifestyle and their worship of the faeries.
Known for their sorcery, beauty, physical prowess, craft and skill.
Notables include Vencel, the honored raid leader, and Katalinka, a humble girl from a family with secrets.
I used the Peoples sheet #3, with the extra arms and armor detail.  We all found this to be the best Peoples sheet.

Equipping warriors
We equipped our warriors according to the rules for equipping characters from Households.  Those rules seem to say "choose whatever equipment you want", and we all ended up with 3-harm, 1-armor.  Kier also had archers.

We were a little unsure about how to equip the warriors.  Should a people's warriors only get archers or cavalry if they are known for such according to their War?  Is it appropriate to give a people a stronghold if they are known for it according to their Wealth, and then use stonghold options to give them archers?

The fiction
We decided that the Kurkinen share their river-valley with the Monastery, but that the monks deny healing to the pagan Kurkinen.  The Kurkinen hired the Jenci boat-people to lead a raid against the Monastery. 

We also created a map, and really liked how the map sheets suggest terrain areas or features.

Mustering war companies
We were also a little unsure about mustering war companies.  Since we didn't have any PCs, there was no one to roll+Strong to muster warriors.  Chad suggested that one of the Notable NPCs could roll their "In Single Combat" instead of Strong to muster warriors (or possibly in place of any stat for any basic move, as necessary).  We ended up skipping the War-Company sheet, and just sending our people's warriors into battle. 

To Battle!
The Jenci warriors row up to the island by cover of darkness, but before they could lead an attack, the Monastery used their superior position to harass them with arrow fire.   Kier rolled their War and missed.  We weren't sure how to handle this, as Kier was the MC, making a hard move against his own people.  He ended up saying the Monastery had lost their advantage of position, and that the Jenci had snuck in close enough to use grappling hooks to climb into the monastery.

The Jenci led an attack, striking hard, unexpectedly, and driving a wedge into the enemy.  They snuck right into the stronghold by night and started slitting throats.

The Monastery came under attack, striking back hard, and striking Vencel, the Jenci raid-leader.  Kier described the  captain of the guard striking Vencel down. 

Already, the Jenci were limping and the Monastery were both limping!  We were all shocked by how fast and bloody the battle was.  We were unsure when to apply the harm to Each of Us, so we applied it only as Losses in Battle, and to Vencel's Meeting Death.

With the Jenci driving a wedge into them, the Monastery could not counter-attack, so the Kurkinen led an attack.   The Kurkinen also struck hard, and unexpectedly, driving a wedge into the enemy.  Kier ruled that since the Kurkinen could climb the ropes that the Jenci had left in place, the Monastery's stronghold fortifications were effectively reduced by 1-harm, 1-armor. 

The Monastery came under attack again, striking back hard, spiriting the abbot over the causeway and into the hills, and surrendering. 

The Monastery was butchered, the Kurkinen gutted, and the Jenci still limping. 
   
The Kurkinen (known for their mercy) accepted the Monastery's surrender, and the battle was over. 

We counted our fallen.  Kier described how The mysterious Jenci girl Katalinka dragged the wounded Vencel away to safety.  We were unsure how to apply the losses terms to our small numbers of warriors.  We ended up deciding to interpret many as 1/3, and some as 1/6, rounding down (until butchered, when we rounded up).  Since our warrior numbers were so low, this meant only 2-3 warriors were dead from each people.  We also counted those warriors who were "no longer a threat to anyone) as no longer counting towards the people's warriors, though they were still numbered among its souls. 

Since the battle took place within the Monastery (which had been an advantage to them during the battle), we also decided to apply the Monastery's losses to its total souls, as well as its warriors.  Is this right?

The aftermath
The Kurkinen allowed the monks to keep their island stronghold, having made their point.  They will be expecting to have access to the Monastery's healing in future.  The abbot escaped into the hills.  Vencel owes Katalinka his life.  The Vencel hope to be paid for their part in the battle (although they do not have even the right to expect payment, do they?).

We plan to build characters living in the aftermath of this battle, and take this as our starting point for play.

Things we learned
Battle is a brutal, bloody business.  Unless you've really got something in fiction worth fighting over, it seems best to avoid battle.  If you must go to battle, take the time to muster a warriors from among diverse peoples, building a war company with the advantage of numbers.  And attack your enemy on the road, not in their stronghold. 

While we all liked the People's sheet #3 best, I could see using the #1 sheet with more notables, as long as you had the arms and armor detailed on your war company sheet.  I could also see using the sheet #2 for quickly creating minor Peoples in the middle of play.

Things we wished or wondered
More clear rules on mustering war companies, and equipping warriors.

We ended up feeling that we should have created a single war company from the Kurkinen and Jenci warriors, for the mechanical advantage of having greater numbers over the Monastery.

A Battle worksheet to help calculate final harm and armor after applying the number of warriors, fortifications, and other strategic considerations.

More guidance on how to apply the losses results to our Peoples and Notables. 

I think the biggest block all night was wondering how to handle the MC making a hard move against his own People when he missed their War roll.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2014, 09:48:48 PM by Allan Dotson »