Saturday, 1 November 2014

Randomly Generating Mythology: The Battle of Ixu

So this is something that I find intensely interesting, that is, Mythology, whether it's real or invented for the purposes of fleshing out a fantasy world I do love a good bit of Mythology.
Rather than inventing my own I wanted one to be generated infront of my eyes, and as I looked across the room I saw to one side an unopened box of Italeri Barbarian Warriors just the ticket! I opened the box and examined the sprues, and planning on gaming without painting I divided them up, I took one of each sword pose, and one of each axe pose, which amounted to two forces of 3 models each. I decided they were gods, and so I randomly generated their names using the name generation table, there was:
Axes - Tutok, Kuote, Ijoi.
Swords - Tuze, Keryx, Eyox.
They were all male, except for Kuote.
The battle was to decide whether the gods would carry swords or axes, swords to represent purity, heroism and nobility, axes to represent hard manual labour and a bond with the common man. The two groups of gods collided on the plains of Ixu.

The rules I used were fairly simple, each model has an experience rating - 3 for inexperience, 4 for regular and 5 for elite. Roll a no. of dice for each model equal to its experience. 1 die each of those rolled is attributed to - movement, combat and defense. You ignore any extra dice.
A game turn works in four phases - 1 roll and attribute dice, 2 movement, 3 combat, 4 health checks.
1) Roll 1D10 for each model, this determines order of attribution and activation in a phase. Then roll and attribute dice.
2) Move each model in turn upto a number of inches equal to their attributed movement die.
3) Each model fights in turn another model in base to base contact. Roll a number of dice equal to their combat value trying to beat the targets defense score. Each die that does so causes 1 point of damage. If a model is totalled (all its health points are lost during the combat phase) it is killed immediately and does not get to attack if it has not already done so.
4) Roll 1D10 for each model damaged this turn, if the die scores equal to or less than the amount of damage they have been dealt in the game so far the model is killed and removed from play.
That's all there is to it! I'll work in ranged attacks when I need to, but it shouldn't be too hard.

Here's a quick summary of the battle (appologies for the lack of pictures, but the camera isn't working, plus it was 6 italeri 1/72 barbarians, on pennies, on 6 scouring pads to represent a field, not much to look at!):
The gods charged each other, with Ijoi staying back from the fight. Tuze engages Kuote and Keryx engages Tutok. Tuze slashes Kuote with his sword, as she strikes him in the arm, both recoil in pain, Kuote coming out the worse. Meanwhile, Keryx lashes out at Tutok, catching him in the leg, but exposing himself to a blow from the two handed axe, it grazes him but not lightly and he backs off. Eyox tries to charge Ijoi on the right flank, but he backs away. Tutok follows Keryx as he flees. Before he can bring his axe to bear, Keryx lunges, forcing his blade through Tutok's chest, felling him. Ijoi and Kuote both retreat after seeing their companion killed. Kerxy, Tuze and Eyox all charge, trying to take advantage of the lapse in their enemies morale. Eyox and Ijoi strike ineffective blows against each other, while Kuote takes the initiative and charges Keryx. Not wanting to charge a woman from behind, Tuze opts to join Eyox and overpower Ijoi. While Kuote and Keryx parry each other's blows, Tuze and Eyox impail Ijoi, they watch as his body goes limp, and hits the dust. All three swordsmen surround Kuote, for a moment she considers falling on her own dagger, and not allowing the three men the satisfaction of killing her, but instead she focuses her mind, and readies herself for the fight of her life. She successfully protects herself through two joint attacks from the swordsmen, they come again, this time underestimating her abilities, and she decapitates Keryx. Eyox and Tuze look on in disbelief and attack again, with greater ferocity. She sees them off again, and the second time they come she buries her axe in Tuze's chest. Eyox retaliates but she sees him off once again. Kuote and Eyox lock eyes, in their fatigued state they know this will be their final charge. Eyox lunges, and this time Kuote is taken by surprise. He runs her through, and instead of letting her drop like the others, he lays her down and closes her eyes.

So why do all this?
Well as I've mentioned before, I enjoy writing as well as gaming, and for a long time I've thought about gaming the battles in my stories to get the outcome, rather than inventing the outcome. I'll properly write up the Battle of Ixu and use it as the foundation for a fantasy universe, in which all the battles will be gamed, in the hope that the combat will feel more real and dangerous than it does in other universes.

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