Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Siege of Fort Wolf’s Head

Last Sunday saw the players in my Labyrinth Lord campaign defending a remote frontier settlement against a horde of goblins. The scenario was lifted directly from Night’s Dark Terror, although the events leading up to the siege were a result of the players’ own actions. Putting them in charge of the fort’s defense was a great way to shake up the game for a session before returning to the dungeon crawl that seems to be the preferred style of play. I almost, almost sent out an email to players to suggest they watch Zulu or Assault on Precinct 13 before the game, but decided to not tip my hand ahead of time. Michael Caine references were made nevertheless.

The biggest problem in preparing for the battle was that I didn’t have a map of the frontier fort that accompanied the module. My copy of B10 is secondhand and is missing the big map and counters. If I was dealing with people who maintain a reasonable business model, I would normally have the option to buy a PDF version of that adventure and print out the map in pieces to tape together. Alas, Hasbro has an interesting method of doing business. Thankfully, someone was kind enough to provide me with a copy of the map so I could reproduce it on a sheet of Gaming Paper ahead of time. I’m attaching a photo of that reproduction to this post—just in case anyone else out there was wondering what the map of the outpost looks like.


Hamlet said...

Spiffy looking.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I wish I was in your game.

Question, though: How'd the map thing work out for you? I've found over the years that minis have a peculiar effect on a game. They serve very well to lift entirely the "fog of war" that comes from "standard" play where not everybody is 100% sure of where they are at and what's going on. It gives a general's eye view that an individual character might not have.

Just curious.

jaerdaph said...

That Gaming Paper battle map looks great!

Michael Curtis said...

Using minis and map had no detrimental effect to the siege situation. If you notice, there's not a lot of space outside the settlement's walls so it wasn't as if the players could see the enemy coming a long ways off. They had two rounds to prepare for the final assault and that involved a lot of scurrying about.

The players placed their characters in the positions they deemed best and waited for the goblins to make the next move. Lack of the fog of war wasn't an issue at all.

Of course, we're not a big war-gaming crew either so it's kind of a moot point anyway.

JoeGKushner said...

Reasonable business model ha!

Welleran said...

"He's a Peeler 716...come to arrest the Goblins."

Anonymous said...

"If I was dealing with people who maintain a reasonable business model, I would normally have the option to buy a PDF version of that adventure and print out the map in pieces to tape together. Alas, Hasbro has an interesting method of doing business."

Oh, really?

What companies have you been doing busiiness with that sell pdf versions of obsolete print products that were published 35 years ago (eight years before the initial release of Adobe Reader)?

Regardless of how poorly conceived their PDF policy is for current products, it seems a bit disingenuous to try to connect B10 to it.


Michael Curtis said...

To answer your question: Wizards of the Coast, up until a year or so ago. That's who I was doing business with before Hasbro made the asinine decision to pull the PDFs of "obsolete print products that were published 35 years ago."

Although I'd argue your use of "obsolete."

Anonymous said...

First - sorry, 25 years, not 35 years.

But as for obsolete - the old editions may well be playable still, perhaps even superior to the current offerings - but as a business model there is no question that they have been abandoned by the company.


Michael Curtis said...

Which is exactly my point: Hasbro has decided to abandon its out-of-print and "obsolete" books when there remains a market for them. Which is a ridiculous way to do business.

Removing the PDFs from the market does nothing to stop piracy and only limits those of us who would like to be able to legally purchase out-of-print title for our own personal use and convenience.

Companies such as Steve Jackson Games, White Wolf, Fantasy Games Unlimited, Judges Guild, hell even GDW and they went out of business offer there OOP titles in PDF form. Hasbro decided to stop doing so and is noticeably absent from the market.

When there is a market for your product, especially one where the work to produce the product had already been expended and paid for, removing it from sale makes absolutely no sense. Nobody is winning from Hasbro's decision which is exactly why so many people are scratching their heads and wondering is Hasbro has any idea what they're doing with D&D.