Friday, May 11, 2018

IHMN: The Witch King Strikes First

"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn."  Ghycni, Captain of the Ruga-Ruga guard could hear his master chanting as he entered the musty room and waited patiently for his command.

"The most merciful thing in the world, I think Ghycni", the Witch King started, "is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that they shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of my new Dark Age. We have a new enemy, one that may foil our plans so we will strike first.  We will kidnap Professor Nightengale."

The unsuspecting, and somewhat goofy, Professor Nightengale.

From the private journal of Dr. John Watson, MD:  I was not surprised. Indeed, my only wonder was that he had not already been mixed up in this extraordinary case, which was the one topic of conversation through the length and breadth of England. For a whole day my companion had rambled about the room with his chin upon his chest and his brows knitted, charging and recharging his pipe with the strongest black tobacco, and absolutely deaf to any of my questions or remarks. Fresh editions of every paper had been sent up by our news agent, only to be glanced over and tossed down into a corner. Yet, silent as he was, I knew perfectly well what it was over which he was brooding. There was but one problem before the public which could challenge his powers of analysis, and that was the singular disappearance of the public's favorite explorer and the failure of his brother to anticipate and gather the company that was needed in time . . . and if tragically if Mycroft could not anticipate the moves of the Witch King, what help could we depend upon in this most secret of wars?  

Honorable Son #5 and myself decided to pitch the new list for the Witch King of Sokur against the new formed Department H (there is no Department H) of Mycroft Holmes.  Honorable Son #5 would led the Witch King adventuring company while I, the experienced and soon to be humbled Colonel, would lead Department H (there is no Department H).  The scenario suggested by Honorable Son #5 would be "Bring Him Back Alive" from In Her Majesty's Name and the VIP in question would be the world famous Professor Nightengale.

The layout.  Professor Nightengale is on the island in the exact center of the table.

My plan was to be simple and straightforward:  Use Colonel Armstrong's Meticulous Planning talent to move the famous Sikh swordsman Ranjit Singh twice a turn and rescue Professor Nightengale while the rest of the company provided covering fire.  Unfortunately, I forgot to use the talent until halfway through the game . . . 

Victory Conditions: 2 VPs per enemy figure taken out of the game; 5 VPs per enemy leader taken out of the game; 20 VPs if the VIP is recovered and safely removed from the table; 10 VPs if the VIP is taken out of the game while in enemy hands.

 The Witch King and one of the Ruga-Ruga guard.  The Witch King has an ancient cursed sword.

 The heroes advance.  In the front from left to right is Private Hook, VC, Ranjit Singh and Gunsmith O'Donnel.  Behind them is Miss Nightengale with an Arc Rifle and Steam fist with Colonel Armstrong.


 The company takes cover while Ranjit advances.  Yep . . . forgot about my Meticulous Planning talent.


 Troglodytes rush toward Professor Nightengale with shield and sword.

 Ranjit Singh moves to face the evil alone.

 O'Donnell takes careful aim but misses the running Troglodytes.

 More Troglodytes arrive in a flanking move . . . 

  . . . while members of the Ruga-Ruga guard take up enfilade firing positions. (The die kept track of the turns the Mystical power "Harden" lasted which increases the armor by +1 when conferred by touch by the Witch King.)

 The good guys set up their firing position while Colonel Armstrong seems confused and befuddled.

 "I say, the smelly Trogs are getting closer!"

 Now I remember Meticulous planning.  Ranjit Singh advances quickly toward the professor with troglodytes breathing down his neck.

 Pulwar vs. foul blade.


 Miss Nightengale and the rest of the company conduct covering fire but to no effect against the Witch King's minions.

 Commercial Break:  This roll, not that I am complaining, is typical of most of my die rolls for shooting, fighting and pluck during the entire game.  Now back to the adventure.

 Ranjit Singh falls to a sneaky hit.  Wait a minute, he has the Fanatic talent and gets to re-roll his first failed Pluck roll!


 Nightengale is captured.

 Armstrong to the rescue!

 Miss Nightengale is caught by volley fire and is out of the game.

 The Witch King thinks to himself, "do I even need to get in this fight?"

 Private Hook, VC takes a swig from his brandy bottle, takes careful aim and nails a troglodyte right between the eyes.  They don't give those VC's out to just anybody.

 Colonel Armstrong is successfully mobbed . . . and boy did that fanatic skill come in real handy (sigh).

 Going . . .

 . . . going . . .

. . . gone.

Well that was embarrassing.  Final score:  Witch King: 42, Department H (there is no Department H): 2.  $@3##&!! 42 to 2!  Lesson learned: know your talents and use them!  Don't underestimate fast troops that can mob.  Find some better dice. Now what will the forces of good do with Professor Nightengale in the hands of the nefarious Witch King of Sokur?


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. Other than the disastrous die rolls it was a blast.

  2. You should ask yourself, "What will the Witch King do when he finds out that is is not the REAL Professor Nightengale, but in fact Rory Kean, relatively unknown and hence unsuccessful West End actor hired to pose as Professor Nightengale." A sly devil indeed is Mycroft Holmes.

    That's your story, just stick to it.

  3. Great game.
    Goofy is a word you don't hear often these days.

    1. Professor Nightengale's most memorable moment was when he dropped a gas grenade on himself and another team mate.

  4. Looks like a great game. Sometimes the uncooperative dice are what make a game session truly memorable!

    1. Just the laughter toward the end of the game every time I rolled a "1" really made it worthwhile.