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Author Topic: Old Style BB Narrative  (Read 256 times)

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Old Style BB Narrative
« on: December 13, 2020, 07:39:34 AM »
One of the things that I liked about RFCM systems was the narrative that could be generated around the pre battle systems.  I don't have the new version of Bloody Barons to see how much changed but this was a preamble that I prepared for the old set. 


"It had been a miserable week.  The raising of a force to oppose Edward across the heartland had taken its time and the incessant rain had made travelling a miserable task.  Gloucester and Hastings were reported moving up to join Edward addressing the numerical advantage held by the Lancastrians.  Gloucester was close with Hastings still a day away.
Somerset, Wenlock and Courtenay had agreed to strike as early as possible before Edward had time to integrate his forces.  Scouts and Agents in the area had forewarned them as to the approach of the elements of the Yorkist host; Edward and Gloucester had already joined forces and Hastings moving south to join them.  Hoping to gain an advantage Somerset’s plan was to set out once their forces had assembled and strike the Yorkist forces before they could be joined by Hastings.

However, as the early morning mist cleared the alarm was raised by the picquets.  It was now apparent that Hastings forces had marched through the night and joined with the main Yorkist Army.  With the banners of Gloucester, Hastings and Edward advancing to the fore, the order to stand-to was rapidly issued through the Lancastrian force.
Wenlock, in the centre, took a deep breath as he observed Edward’s Royal standard; fighting for ones affinity against a rival was one thing but to take arms against the King.....Looking rearward he could see the units at the far side of the encampment would take some time to reach the battleline  His plan, observing the difficulty of the heavily armoured York household crossing the minor stream in front of the Lancastrian position, was that he could engage and defeat the discomfited Mainward before they had reorganised.

Somerset on the Left flank looked across at Wenlock’s standard on the hill.  "I hope he knows his duty", he muttered under his breath. He knew of the reservations expressed at the Council they held at the Inn last night but hoped that the oath they had undertaken would steel the minds against the task they faced.  Defeat Edward, march to London and retrieve Henry from the tower.

Courtenay looked on as his forces arrayed themselves for battle.  He had been fortunate to lead the vanward battle, the early reveille to start them on their  advance had meant that they were more prepared that the Main and Rearward battles when Edward's troops appeared. Now, his troops were trading ribald comments with the levy that had come up to support them.  That spoke volumes, they were in a good position with the attackers having to come up the hill to them and his men could shoot as well as any in England."

The narrative above was generated using the Bloody Barons "Events" system. This generates unique engagements and a large element of unknown in any engagement in this period.  My opponent had pressed for the attack committing 21 dice out of 25 to attack.  I had opted for an even handed 14.  Poor rolling on his part meant I was the attacker but with a poor advantage.  Only two Lancastrian units were going to be late, one opposing my right flank, and one in the Centre.  My left flank would be evenly matched.

The rest of the events produced a range of results.
His Bribery and Subterfuge meant that his spies were very effective and my right flank general (3) was swapped with the left (1) to offset the advantage of only facing one unit to start with.

Scouting and Supplies were both inconclusive

Loyalty went my way with one general receiving -1 on his motivation rolls until motivated by another general.  Looking for a bit of "Somerset persuasion" with a battle axe.

Order of March went the lancastrian way and my opponent nominated my Household unit in the centre to be pushed back two widths.  Again hoping to offset his late arriving retinue unit.

Royalty went my way with a re-roll of one generals rating, so as I couldn't do worse than a 3 anyway I rolled for the new right flank general coming up with a 1 so the advantage on the right swinging back my way.

In summary I am the attacker with 7 units facing 5 on table with 2 defender reinforcements.  My left flank is evenly matched with the opposition,  The centre is slightly out of line with the Household being behind the rest.  Hopefully I can get the alignment sorted out before his Household can do too much damage.  My main hope is the right flank where I outnumber him 2:1 to start with.  His reinforcements match my attacking disposition so this will be an evenly matched engagement.

Simon

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Re: Old Style BB Narrative
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2020, 07:54:03 AM »
Simon---Enjoyed reading that, Do we have a budding Bernard Cornwall in our midst?

Terry

martin goddard

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Re: Old Style BB Narrative
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2020, 08:46:43 AM »
The pre battle background stories were a lot of fun.
I really liked them.
The problem was that a lot (about 50%) of players said it took them about an hour plus  to get through it. This then caused the game to become very long and in their eyes "unplayable" in a normal gaming session. A lot of these problems stem from the massive gaming choice that wonderfully allows groups to play a different game each time they meet.

The narratives are a feature of CWB (ACW), WA (AWI), BAW (Samurai) and some of the "replaced" edition rules such as BB and ROF 1.

They might form part of campaign supplements in the future?

martin

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Re: Old Style BB Narrative
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2020, 10:26:16 AM »
I enjoyed that little tale, Simon.

While maybe not quite as specific in the current rules, I still think that - with a little imagination - players can still construct a narrative for the pregame phase and continue into the battle itself.

I find that the new rules give an elegantly simple - but far from simplistic - game. The plethora of known leading characters - and the ability to readily identify them by their historical standards - just cries out for a narrative approach to any after action report.

A campaign supplement to further enhance this aspect of the game is a great idea, Martin. But no rush  ;)

Simon

Leman

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Re: Old Style BB Narrative
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2020, 01:01:45 PM »
Yes indeed, the narrative context of a game really sets the scene. It enhances a one-off game and is an essential part of a campaign.

Andy