Thursday, May 6, 2021

Ambush in Vienna (reduex)

A Headless Body Production

Venue: Another Undisclosed Downstairs
Event: Anno Domini 1666
Players: Phil Gardocki running Polish Nobles and their friends
Steve Turn running the King's Musketeers
Game System: Anno Domini 1666 by Wargamer Games Studio, Warsaw, Poland

We decided to replay the scenario of the previous week. Apparently the Musketeers got the short shrift using their special abilities.

The Forces:

The King's Musketeers with Aramis, Athos, Porthos and D'Artagnan.

The Polish Nobles with Colonel Pan Wolodyjowski, Longinus, Zagloba and Skrzetuski.

While the Polish characters are virtually unknown in the west, they are house hold names in Poland, and since Anno Domini 1666 is made in Poland, they are dominant characters in this game.

It is the year of our Lord 1666. Emperor Leopold is dead. The election looms. European monarchs send their envoys to Vienna to participate. But the struggle for the Empire's future takes place not only at the noble courts. In Vienna's slums and alleys swashbucklers, musketeers and thugs wage a secret war on behalf of their powerful superiors.

Anno Domini 1666 is a swashbuckling adventure game set with characters based on real-world history and famous novels.

I cannot play this game without music from Robin Hood and Zorro playing out in my head. Everything plays out like the massive swordplay scenes wrapping up these movies. The only thing missing seems to be a chandelier.

The game starts with cards defining your characters skills and equipment. Most are taken from famous literature, like the Three Musketeers, and from lesser known, in the West, Polish literature, Pan Wołodyjowski. A lot of the skills are directly combat related, but some are not. The Polish character Zagloba, is a drunk and a scoundrel. But is so charismatic, everyone is his friend.

This scenario follows on from the previous scenario, where the Polish Envoy's have managed to acquire the MacGuffin, (aka the sigel ring) It starts with Zagloba and Skrzetuski lurking in a Vienna slum, trying to get the sigel ring to a back room of a bar to a waiting homing pigeon. The other heroes of the story are guarding the bar.

D'Artagnan and a nameless musketeer lie in wait in the shadows for an ambush. Their allies are covering all the other approaches to the bar.

I am following my previous plan, Steve has adjusted his.

For one, his two unnamed Musketeers are drunk. Last game he selected Porthos.

The Polish deployment at the bar was also unchanged.
Seeing movement in the shadows, Skrzetuski attacks. While Zagloba races for the bar.

D'Artagnan is the finest swordsman in France, seeing the armor only protects arms and body, goes high-guard, adding what will be an impressive new scar to Skrzetuski's face.

One of the newly discovered skills of D'Artagnan is "Frenzied Attack", which gives him an edge on offense, and a Defensive bonus as well. This figure is now truly the finest swordsmen in the game.

Aramis arrives, and is immediately shot.

So much for keeping things quiet.

Skretuski is forced back by D'Artagnan's onslaught.
Athos covers one of the bar's rear exit. He stabs the Dragoon on guard, who trips and falls. In typical swashbuckling action, Wolodyjowski ignores the door, and leaps through the window. He stabs at Athos forcing him back as well.
Longinus is a bit slower in his response, barely getting to the door. He cannot go through the convenient window, for he is too big. Seriously, it's in his description for "Huge"
Skretuski acquires another wound.
Porthos arrives and takes a shot at the fleeing Zagloba. Off in the distance, there is a responding call of police whistles. Longinus engages a Nameless Musketeer, critically wounding him.
Athos is also critically wounded, and retreats. He is supported by a newly arrived, but staggering Musketeer.
The wounded Aramis, charges. Lightly wounding the an equally nameless Polish Dragoon.
Though also wounded, Skrzetuski mounts a furious attack. D'Artagnan is taken aback and retreats before his opponents fury.
Longinus tries to finish off the nameless Musketeer, but only forces him back. Aramis gets to use his special ability "stab through the heart", and transfixes the Polish Dragoon. Longinus and Zagloba are now surrounded and out numbered!
With an instinct found in finely choreographed movies, Wolodyjowski runs to the rescue.
Skrzetuski is also surrounded. He attacks the nameless, and drunk and wounded musketeer, but only manages a minor hit, and knocking him to the ground.
Longinus charges Porthos. Their size related abilities largely cancel each other out and Longinus is forced back. Aramis steps over the the body of the fallen Dragoon, and dispatches Zagloba, who drops a box, which cracks open, revealing the ring!

The ring? What ring? I'll save you scrolling back to the top, ..."trying to get the sigel ring to a back room of a bar to a waiting homing pigeon. The other heroes of the story are guarding the bar."...

Just to raise the tension by an infinitesimal amount. The nameless Polish Dragoon, facing a Musketeer who is both drunk, and holding a loaded musket, decides to retreat into the bar, slamming the door behind him.
Well the action in this screen has already happened in approximately this order.

1) Aramis picks up the ring.

2) Wolodyjowski charges out the door and slams Aramis into the fence, disabling him.

3) The ring rolls away.

4) His pistol spent, Porthos knocks Longinus out with it's butt.

5) The fence, which now has four bodies either hanging on or against it (Longinus, Zagloba, Aramis and a nameless dragoon) can take no more and collapses, 

6) Local cat screams and runs away.

The dramatic standoff at the bar continues.
7) The local police arrive, and arrest the bodies that are not running away.

The end result. 3 Polish, 3 French Musketeers in the ICU. One Dragoon in the grave. And a busy day lays before the Austrian Magistrate.

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