Friday, April 4, 2014

Donnybrook Scenario: 1681 Escape from Edinburgh

Pork bellies full of loot... the most valuable pigs in Edinburgh!

This scenario was perhaps born when I was having a dream or under the 'fluence. It seemed logical at the time. It is loosely based on a historical incident, that being, the imprisonment of the 9th Earl of Argyll, Archibald Campbell in Edinburgh Castle in 1681. A reluctant signatory to a document recognizing the Divine right of Kings he is at odds with the House of Stuart. He actually escaped from the castle disguised as a woman, fleeing to England and then Holland.

Jeanie McCall knifes Belfast Billy leader of the High & Mighties

In our scenario the Earl is being spirited to a safe house in an outlying part of the city. His retinue is comprised of a small group from his household accompanied by Bonnie Jeanie McCall a 'working girl' and sometime cut throat from the Grassmarket, four Dutch assassins led by William of Orange's agent Oscar de Block, men from his estate in Argyll known as the Inverary Eight led by his champion Mad Malky McSkimming and a 'rent a mob' paid in gold and frequenting a rough ale house known as Jock Tamson's. They call themselves The Taverners. This desperate band will decoy the King's men allowing the group accompanying the Earl to reach the safe house.

The Inverary Eight start their mission.

In pursuit of the fugitive is his nemesis John Graham of Claverhouse or Dundee as he is sometimes known. He leads militia from the Cowgate and Leith together with a detachment of his own dragoons and a small team from the Royal Scots under a very experienced sergeant - John Rebus. Their mission is to recapture the traitor Argyll, protect the house of the Lord Provost and recapture the main square to prevent further riotous assembly.
One from four. John Churchill trysts with his mistress

To complicate matters the capital has been subjected to repeated rioting and civil disorder over the previous weeks. Mobs run amok throughout the town, looting and destroying anything in their path. Good citizens are murdered or assaulted, women despoiled and property taken. On the night of the escape a particularly ugly riot is in progress right in the path of the Earl's route to freedom. This disturbance is orchestrated by the notorious gang leader known as The Big Yin. He has gathered three of the most vicious factions in the city for a spree of violence well beyond anything seen so far.

Darwin Awards - fire bomb the barricade then try to vault it!

From the High Street come the rough occupants of the tenements calling themselves the High & Mighties. They are led by a thug from across the water known as 'Belfast Billy'. From the Grassmarket come a gang of religious zealots known as 'No Popery' under the sway of a hellfire minister Calvin Knox. From the Cowgate come a salty crew hailed as the 'Skelpers'. Finally, a mother and toddler group called the 'Braw Laddies' and led off by a street urchin hero named Wee Ginger Davy will create some of the worst mayhem on the table. The mission of the Mob is to raid the Lord Provost's(Mayor) house and destroy all of the arrest warrants for mob members contained therein.

The Braw Laddies and their Mammies assemble in the square

In addition to these known missions each faction was given a secret mission! Argyll's retinue was told to deliver a weapons cache in an old cart to the safe house. The player was not told which was the safe house but given the clue - House of the five barrels. At the beginning of the game I failed to notice that two of the model houses had five barrels outside! When someone pointed it out I realised this mistake added an extra dimension to the game. I knew which one I meant but they'd have to take a chance as they were far apart.

Mind that pipe!! The Cowgate company come to grief.

The Mob were given a base of pigs and a swineherd. The player was told than during the rioting they had gathered much loot and jewels which was of course stolen. In order to smuggle it out of the city the pigs were made to swallow them! By getting the pig bases to the edge of the table they could then be slaughtered and the loot recovered. The was no card for the pigs but they were discretely moved when the End of Turn card appeared each turn.

Grenadiers massive misfire - two bombs go off prematurely

Finally, Dundee's faction was given three grenadiers initially positioned at the Provost's house. They guarded a mysterious lady. She was the lover of John Churchill who was secretly in the city to tryst! The dilemma was - get the lady to the secret trysting place whilst at the same time protecting the Provost's house containing the warrants.

Provost's House - top of shot centre. Grenadiers in the yard

We played this game four times and had so much fun with it. Amongst other lunacy; Churchill was killed in a street brawl after attacking his friend Dundee who he accused of losing his bird to the mob. Dundee arrested the pigs but he wasn't sure why. They got away when he was mobbed by the Mob. Ginger Davy killed Dundee when he hit him on the temple with a rock. Jeanie McCall slit the throat of Belfast Billy after luring him and the High & Mighties around the back of the stables.

Churchill arrives to kill Dundee.. he was himself dead next turn!

She murdered someone else who I can't recall too! The Cowgate Company were blown to pieces when they stopped the Duke's weapons cache with lit pipes which ignited the powder. Toggy Bob's grenadiers threw grenades two of which blew up in their hands killing all three and nearly killing Churchill's mistress. One player proudly set fire to a Royal road block and then lost seven of his men trying to jump through it when he realised it was blocking his way to freedom. Darwin Awards candidates there. The Big Yin changed sides when the Councilman character Bawbag persuaded him to join the Earl's Taverner mob. Councilman Bawbag was also responsible for wee Ginger Davy being grounded for 10 turns by his Mammy!

Thomas Campbell .. the Earl's Factor and head of Household

Only one player managed to get the Earl to the safe house. The wagon never reached the safe house. The pigs got away once. Churchill met his bird once. The mob got the warrants and destroyed them twice.

L'il Nell sprays the Inverary Eight and Mad Malk McSkimming

When the mob managed to get into the abandoned Provost's house and were looking for the warrants the player had to take me on at 21s with a deck of cards. Altogether a fantastic scenario with one iteration lasting 5 hours.. now that IS a record for Donnybrook!

10 comments:

  1. THIS is how Donnybrook was meant to be played. It is extremely gratifying to hear about these kinds of games!

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  2. Absolutely fantastic terrain setup on the table, and what a great story with characters like the notorious "Billy Belfast". Simply wonderful.

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  3. Looking forward to playing this scenario with you, Bob and Gerry,

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  4. It's an excellent scenario Dave. Having run it for three games on the Saturday, it was an absolute laugh watching the guys all try different things to achieve their missions.
    Needless to say, I was afflicted by the dreaded misfires at some point in all three games

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  5. Considering this was a 'last minute' drop in scenario I am very happy hat you all liked it so much. It was not even on the stocks 7 days before the event. A need to reduce table size in the room prompted some serious head scratching but clearly, I mus have scratched the right bit!

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  6. Looks and sound excellent! Can't wait to have a game myself!!

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  7. Your games are the best on the internet. It's museum quality work.

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  8. You are very kind. Such remarks make it all worthwhile. thanks

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  9. In its full form, appearing in a magazine near you over the next couple of months!

    ReplyDelete

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