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"Lich Besieges City!... Film at 11:00." Topic

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737 hits since 26 Aug 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2017 10:10 a.m. PST

Back in the mid-90's, I had an AD&D group of players stumble upon a huge underground cavern, filled with various skeletons from several races, standing at attention. It was an entire army's worth of skeletons. They discovered that it was an army being assembled by a Lich, beneath a large city, and they knew it was a bad situation in the making.

Fast forward 20+ years, and I finally had the card stock models of castle walls, and towers, a gate, battering rams, and siege towers, to actually play out the Lich's attack on the city. I amassed the skeletons needed, along with their controllers: the Lich, using an artifact he had spent centuries creating; vampires, loyal to the Lich, and some priestesses who worship an undead god, and want nothing more than to unleash their undead god upon the world, and the Lich can help to advance their plans…

Also in the works, is a custom-built gaming table which is nearing completion, and it was complete enough to play the siege game upon. Here is a link to some game photo's, which also demonstrate the table's features, and the battle in progress: link

The battle involved almost the entirety of the 2e BattleSystem rules: aerial undead cavalry, undead (Barrow Wights, Ghouls, Skeletons, Giant Skeletons, and a Draco-Lich); Heroes, including a 25th Level Lich, a 19th Level Mage, a 16th Level Cleric, and many other heroic types of figures; ultra-heavy cavalry, ultra-heavy infantry; along with siege weapons, siege towers, battering rams, and a castle wall, with towers, and a gate. There wasn't much in the way of rules that we did not play (skirmish units are about the only thing we didn't have…).

The Lich's artifact was a cube which allowed him to take command of any one unit of undead, from wherever he was on the battlefield, for one turn. He could direct them to attack a given target, then move onto the next unit, on the next turn. Likewise, he had the vampires controlling undead units, as well as the evil priestesses, who, because of their undead god, could immediately take command of any undead unit, including the Barrow Wights, without dicing for it -- command was automatic, as a Granted Power (they were each 8th Level).

The Draco-Lich was a toy dragon figure, from Safari, Ltd. I made up a new breath weapon for him: breathe a cloud of lethal, magical gas, from which the victims had to save or die, and if they died, they immediately rose as a Zombie, under the Draco-Lich's command, and attacked living figures within their unit! I modeled his breath weapon on the Green Dragon, of 2e BS rules for size: 2" x 3" x 1" tall. It was not terribly effective, but it did provide great humor value: "Fred! What happened to you, Fred? Why are you attacking us, Fred?!?!?" Which quickly turned into: "KILL FRED!!! SOMEBODY KILL FRED -- HE'S TRYING TO KILL US!!!"

The Lich had been building his skeletal army for centuries. The players who stumbled upon his army, beneath the City, upset his plans terribly: he simply was not ready to attack yet, but he had little choice once he was discovered, so he forged ahead with the attack anyway.

The attack did not go as expected: the Lich player opted to soften up the defenders with his Trebuchets, and held his army out of range of the City's ballistae, while he attempted to destroy them, which he was partially successful in doing. Unfortunately, his Battering Rams moved all of 3" per Turn, and the Siege Towers moved all of 6" per turn! They had to move more than 24" to reach the walls! We played 10 turns, total, but the Rams never made it to the walls, nor did the Towers.

The Lich planned to destroy the city, overwhelmingly. When it became obvious that it wasn't going to happen, he opted to withdraw, to build a new army. After all, he has eternity to prepare, and, he never sleeps!…

The castle walls, towers, and the gatehouse, were all made printing Fat Dragon Games' Borderland Keep PDF set out on 20# paper, on a color laser printer. They were then cut up, and glued to 3mm thick cardboard, cut to size. I used balsa wood square 'dowels', glued in the corners, to hold them together, and to prevent warping. This gave them tremendous strength, and weight.

The Rams, and the Siege Towers, were similarly constructed. One Ram was from another company's Siege Engine set -- Dirt Cheap Strongholds Siege Engines.

The figures are a mish-mash of many makers. The Giant Skeletons are 54mm toy skeletons, painted, and based, to represent Hill Giant Skeletons, per the sizes given in the 1977 AD&D Monster Manual, where a Human is assumed to average 6' tall, at 25mm tall for a figure. This makes the 54mm Skeletons perfectly proportioned as Hill Giant Skellies, per Gygax. The Human figures were a blend of Mage Knight, a few different boardgame sets of figures, WotC D&D pre-painted figures, pre-painted Paizo Pathfinder Centaur figures, and a smattering of other figures.

The game was probably the largest I've ever put together. I had laminated spell cards for all of the priests, and the mages, all in BS terms. It was a lot of work to prepare this game.

The custom table is solid hickory: 10x stronger than Oak; takes stain of any color, but this one is clear-coated, to display the beautiful character of the wood, as is, sans stain. It features pull-out drawers, with hickory doors which swing up, out of the way; the magnetic latches, to hold the doors up, out of the way, are not completed yet, so we used yellow tape to hold them up, as seen in the photo's. The drawers are a push-in desktop surface for papers, pens, and dice; when you need to stand, to push figures around the gaming well, you simply push the drawer in, stand, move your mini's as needed, then sit down, and pull out your desktop drawer to reach your papers and dice. Cheers!

Oberlindes Sol LIC26 Aug 2017 12:45 p.m. PST


M C MonkeyDew26 Aug 2017 1:49 p.m. PST

Thats FAB. Love paper terrain and your table is superb!


21eRegt Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2017 6:07 p.m. PST

Well done. Always great to see a plan/dream come to fruition.

Kianadog29 Aug 2017 5:32 p.m. PST

Great stuff Slag,
Thank you for sharing, inspires me to finish up my dark age fortress and post up some frost giant siege pictures

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