"Five Leagues" is a fantasy solo campaign skirmish game, designed with easy to use rules that are optimal for solo play without being boring. You start with a party of (usually) four Heroes and four Followers, and a few villages suffering the depredations of Outlaws, Border Tensions, and Dark Secrets. Each of these Threats has a rating, and your goal is to bring them to zero, eliminating the Threats and rescuing the villages.
Normally, I'd go through the setup and tell you about it, but I've been playing with proxy terrain and figures for a while now, and I'd certainly not subject you to that. The unpainted figures are bad enough. Instead, I'll give you a brief synopsis of the campaign turns so far, and pick up from there.
Every turn you heal up anybody who's hurt and then you get two town actions, and then you can trade and then see what kind of trouble you can get into.
Campaign Turn 1:
Unsuccessfully foraged twice. Bought some bandages. Couldn't afford a Shadowy Cloak. Wandered around looking for adventure, but found nothing.
Campaign Turn 2:
Helped the villagers in the fields (where one Hero's Farming skill came in handy) for 3 Gold Coins.
Met a priest who asked us to help drive out some smugglers (that I assume are importing crudely drawn pornography to the faithful). Raided a camp full of Fanatics, but we were driven back and lost a couple of guys.
Campaign Turn 3:
An Iron Shortage hits the village, but it's not a problem for me right now. We visit the healer and carouse to hire on some new blood. We decide to look for those Smugglers, and we find them on the road. They get the drop on us, but we defeat them. They don't have much loot, though.
Campaign Turn 4:
Herbs are in bloom, so we do some foraging, and visit the healer again. We meet a nice pilgrim, heading for some local holy site.
Campaign Turn 5:
The omens are good this week as we help the villagers in the fields and do some (fruitless) studying. Then we go adventuring, and find some people ridden by dark spirits, the "Taken". They come howling and gibbering out of the forest, and we are nearly cut down to a man. One of ours manages to flee the encounter. Luckily, nobody dies.
Campaign Turn 6:
A wandering merchant comes to town, but we're too busy healing and studying to care. One Hero learns the "Library" skill, which will make it easier to study later. Again we encounter fanatics, this time in an old battlefield by a ruined tower. We win the day, and find a magical amulet of water breathing and vital information about the threats facing the village. We also dig up evidence of dark rituals that will finally get the local lord to take the problem seriously.
At this point, the Outlaw problem is rated at 2, Border Tension at 1, and Dark Secrets at 2. I'm doing pretty well and will probably be eliminating a Threat in the near future.
My roster has changed up a bit since the beginning, but here's where it currently stands:
Cyrano, my Avatar.
Skills: Leadership, Tactics, Thick-Headed
Falko (the bard)
Skills: Tactics, Barter, Lance of Pain (a spell)
Waltram (the tough guy)
Skills: Scrounging, Endurance, Farming
Gorman (the new guy)
Gorman was a follower, but got upgraded at some point.
The followers are:
Petr (the apprentice)
Petr was a Hanger-On, and apprentice to Gorman, but he advanced to be a Follower.
Gil (the villager)
Gil was a Hanger-On, a seat-filler while others healed, but he did well for himself and now he's a follower.
I forget how Luitwin came on board, but he's agile, so that's cool.
Unfortunately, Luitwin is recovering from an injury, so we trawl the village for brave (or foolhardy) volunteers, and get Lorem and Ipsum, a pair of brothers that fit the bill.
Anyway, my niece was visiting, so she got to play my guys. This is what happened.
Campaign Turn 7:
Petr's pipeweed habit got to be a problem, costing me 1GC to keep him stocked. We visited the healer (because we are hurt all of the time) and helped out in the fields (because we're also always low on funds). I bought some light armor for Gil, and some Medical Herbs. Then, while out adventuring near the village outskirts, we were attacked by Brigands! Five of them, plus a tougher Sergeant. A couple more rolls tell me the fight is near the village outskirts, and that there are no "oddities" (special effects, like "Fog", or the ghost of the "Pallid Wanderer").
|The edge of the village, near the forest. There's a hill with some standing|
stones just inside the treeline. Then enemy are in two groups.
|Some of the player characters hide behind these copses.|
|The others hide behind this cottage.|
|"Cyrano, what's the plan?"|
|That scene where everybody is charging and screaming.|
|No, Gorman is not actually a lizard man.|
It's... it's a skin condition. Yeah.
|"Ho! Ha Ha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin! HA! Thrust!"|
|"I just need to lie down for a minute. Come back to me."|
The other player characters move in toward the baddies. Cyrano actually gets into an exchange and comes out wounded as well, but doesn't succumb to his wounds.
|"You can't kill me! I'm the main character! The nerve!"|
|"'Hisssssss! Twang! Gack!"|
The three guys on Cyrano attack him, and one impales himself on Cyrano's sword. Does Cyrano run? Heck no, he stands there and applies a bandage to his wound without breaking eye contact. Hardcore!
The other slow characters do some maneuvering, avoiding contact with the enemy. Now that the enemy have lost a guy, I roll a d6 for morale. I get a 4 (not a 1 or 2) so nothing happens.
|"Should we attack him while he's distracted by the bandaging?"|
"Seems like a trap. Let's wait."
|"Oh, crap! Dude, I'm sorry! I didn't see you there behind me!|
Are you alright?"
|"I REGRET NOTHING! GACK!"|
|"I HAVE REGRETS!"|
[Flees and re-applies to that online beauty school.]
|[Watches blood drip to the ground. Composes new theory of gravity. Profits.]|
|"My mom said I have to be back home when the street lights go on. Bye!"|
Gorman ends up with a light wound that will see him recuperating for three campaign turns. It turns out that Waltram was just knocked out, and is otherwise fine. Poor Ipsum doesn't even get a roll. Maybe he's dead. Maybe he's just scared off. Nobody even bothers to check. Poor guy.
Checking for unusual finds, we discover a few battered weapons that we can use or sell later. We also loot 5 Gold Coins and a decent helmet!
Having won the fight (but having killed less than 5 enemies) we need to roll 4+ to decrease the Outlaw threat. We get a 4, and succeed. Because we killed a leader, we get a second roll at 6+, but only get a 5.
The Threats stand at:
Outlaws - 1
Border Tensions - 1
Dark Secrets - 2
Adding up Experience points, Cyrano, Falko and Gorman have enough to level. I roll on a chart, which gives me some options. Cyrano gets +1 Agility (because going first is usually a good thing) and Falko and Gorman get +1 Combat (because I feel like if you kill the other guy first, you don't need increased Endurance).
And that's the game! Unless I end up facing Dark Secrets next Campaign Turn, I'll almost certainly destroy one of the threats, and then I can roll on the "The Wheel Turns" table to see what side event happens! (Maybe it will be an incursion of Rat-Men, or the Shadowed Knight will show up!)
I'm really looking forward to the next game. Maybe I'll even have my minis painted! (Again, I am indeed mortified.)
You can get "Five Leagues from the Borderlands" HERE on WargameVault.com
- Jason "Ludanto" Smith C;E