Sunday, April 19, 2015

Notes, Casualties, and Mopping up: Cold Fens 2 Part II

Last session in the Cold Fens was just one big nasty brawl between the PCs and some bandits.

So how much damage did the PCs do to the bandits last session?

They engaged a group that - as far as they know - consisted of the following:

5 swordsmen in mail with bucklers and swords
1 swordsman leader
5 spearmen in leather with spears
1 spearman leader
5 bowmen in leather with regular bows
1 bowman leader
5 halberdiers in leather with dueling halberds, one with a peg leg thanks to session 1*.
1 axe-and-shield carrying halberdier leader
1 plate-armored swordsman (the leader?) aka Commodus/Marcus Aurelius/the Centurion/Crismus Bonus.
1 wizard

All in all, 26 bandits vs. 7 PCs, 2 NPCs (Korric and Orrie), 2 zombies, and a fire elemental. So 26 vs. 12, or roughly 2:1 odds, with most of the bandits being around the Korric-and-Orrie level of skill and ability. Still, they fought in units, generally fought fairly cautiously, and had some magical support. This gave the PCs, who started out fighting a little uncoordinatedly, a lot of trouble. They used a lot of the tactics I mentioned in a previous Melee Academy. Those worked really well when they were able to get local superiority, which happens in at least three big phases of the fight (swordsmen vs. zombies and elemental, spearmen vs. Asher, and halberdiers vs. Rahtnar). Despite only 2:1 odds they generally fought 4-6 vs. 1-2, until the PCs massed up.

After the last session, the PCs basically controlled the battlefield but couldn't stay to impose their will on it, thanks to the severe damage suffered by many of their members. The bandits fled, or at least retreated, and took their wounded with them. The PCs rounded up the enemy casualties near them, looted them, and left. No one mentioned dismembering bodies, or taking heads, or whatever, so they didn't do that. They did say yes to finishing the wounded, so no one down on their side of the battlefield lived.

Here is the damage the PCs are sure they did:

1 plate-armored swordsman (the leader?) aka Commodus/Marcus Aurelius/the Centurion/Crismus Bonus: Killed, legs cut off at the knees, armor and weapons stripped and taken.
5 spearmen and 1 spearman leader: All killed, no weapons or armor taken. At least two, possible three, burned to cinders.
1 axe-and-shield carrying halberdier leader: Killed, mail armor and axe taken. Potion of Strength taken.
3 halberdiers: Killed, halberds taken.
1 swordsman: Killed, mail armor and sword taken. Shield burned.

So that puts the bandits down 11 dead, between 3-5 of whom are badly dismembered or burned and probably can't come back usefully as zombies, which is a big concern the players have.

How about the wounded?

Most of the swordsman, and one of the halberdiers, and the swordsman leader, were taken out with leg or foot strikes. Some of them certainly will have been dismembered or crippled badly. It's clear the enemy has healing, but isn't able to fully heal all crippling injuries. They also put down the leader of the archers, but it's not clear if he was killed or not. If they nearly all spring back, the PCs still managed to inflict about 40-50% casualties on the group.

Third time is the charm?

Perhaps, we'll see! It's certainly been a painful slog for the PCs, but the bandits have suffered losses from contact each time - and more permanent losses.

* Clearly I mixed up the minis, as the guy I designated to have a peg leg wasn't the same mini that was dismembered in that way. Oh well. Maybe they switched clothes. And skin color. Oh well. Why I didn't double-check the pictures I don't know.

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