Tuesday 4 October 2011

VESPERS - A Bat Rep for the soon to be released Joust

"Are you okay?" she asked.
"Yes, I'm fine," he replied.
"Well you didn’t sound fine," she continued. "I mean do you always throw…"
Sir William cut her off with a look. "I must be going; the tourney will be starting soon."
Sir William gave her a hug and headed to the stables.
The serving wench went back to work, muttering to herself that he didn't sound fine and he probably left a "fine" mess for her to clean up.
Sit William led his horse down to the Pavilion and drew lots for the order. It was the Vespers Tourney, the night before the Market Tournament where the younger knights and squires could show their mettle. Hopefully one could win favor and fame to actually be allowed to compete tomorrow but first things first.
Sir William turned to see a fair young lass running towards him. Before he could protest she had planted a kiss on the cheek and pressed a scarf into his hand.
"Good luck!" she said with a smile and ran towards the grandstands.
"Good luck, Billy," Sir Percy mimicked with a smirk. He had drawn Sir William and couldn’t wait to see what the dandy had.
Sir William just glared and mounted his horse.
This is a Bat Rep following the career of Sir William of Pink, the third son of the house. Consequently he has no inheritance and has decided to make his way in the world as a knight moving from tourney to tourney making a living.
Sir William, or Billy as he is often referred to, will be entering the Vespers Tourney as this his first real joust. Billy starts with 5,000 Gold Florins, his whole life savings.
He also starts with three Attributes:
·         Martial Skill - A measure of how well he has trained and his skill with weapons, in this case the lance.
·         Prowess - His overall strength and toughness. The higher the Prowess the more damage he can deliver.
·         Horsemanship -His skill at riding his horse and ability to stay in the saddle.
Billy has Martial Skill 4, Prowess 3, and Horsemanship 3 for 10 total Attribute Points. This places him in the lower end of the local Fairs & Markets Tournaments.
He will start with 10 Bonus Dice.
In addition he is allowed one Signature, a demonstrated behavior in the Lists that helps to differentiate him from other knights. Billy has chosen, Ladies' Favorite, which allows him to use three Bonus Dice anytime during the joust and in any combination without having to burn them. In effect he has three free Bonus Dice.
For those of you who are familiar with Red Sand Blue Sky - Heroes of the Arena, the Bat Rep will feel familiar as the mechanics in Joust - Heroes of the Lists are similar.
Anyway, time to launch Sir William's career.
Sir William took up position at his end of the Tilt while Sir Percy stood at the other end. The blare of trumpets signaled the start of the tourney and Sir William would be in the first run.
Actual artwork from the game. Includes 6 Knights and the Lists.

First Run - The Kick

Both knights watch for the signal and there it is, a herald waving a flag. Billy puts his spurs to his mount and the joust begins.
At the start of each run both knights declare the speed that they wish their horse to travel. Once this is done each player rolls on the Kick Table to see how their mounts respond. Horsemanship plays a big role in this.
Sir Percy has Martial Skill 4 Prowess 3 and Horsemanship 2. He has no Signature.
·         Sir Percy rolls to determine his Speed and scores a Trot. However his horse rears and moves forward at a gallop. This costs him one Bonus Dice.
·         Billy chooses to Gallop and succeeds.
·         Both knights move down the Tilt at a Gallop.

Billy spurs his horse on and plants himself in the saddle. Now's the time to steady his lance; to aim it level at the target. All the hours of training are to be put to the test. He braces for the impact and the horse race towards contact.

First Run - The Charge

After the Kick it's time to roll on the Charge Table. This table determines how well the knight aims his lance and the power that he is generating.  The goal is to line up your lance for a straight attack.
·         Sir Percy burns 4 Bonus Dice. As I am playing solo the amount is determined at random. The object is to score more successes than your opponent. Sir Percy rolls a total of 8d6 and with some auto-success scores a result of 7 successes.
·         Billy decides to use his 3 free bonus dice, his Signature, and 3 more for a total of 10d6 being rolled. He scores 7 successes as well.
·         Neither knight has gained an advantage.
·         Both knights now move to the middle of the Tile and it's time for Impact.

Billy's stomach clenches as the knights crash home. Lances break as both deliver hits! The knights remain in the saddle and pass to the other end of the Tilt.
First Run - The Clash

Yikes! Crunch time and now each knight roils for impact.
·         Sir Percy scores 8 successes with a combo of rolled successes and auto-successes.
·         Bill score 7 successes.
·         The difference of one means both have landed blows on their opponents. Billy is struck on the shield and Sir Percy is hit in the helm!
·         Neither is with much strength but good enough for both to break their lances and score 1 point apiece.

Okay, so obviously there has to be some kind of strategy to this game and I wish I would have spent more time thinking of one.
In any case the first of three runs is complete and each knight rolls the Bonus Dice that they used. On a score of 1, 2 or 3 they can recover it while a result of 4, 5 or 6 means it is gone until after the joust is complete. This is important in that each knight is allowed three jousts per day.
Sir Percy tosses his 8d6 and recovers all 8! This gives him a total of 9.
Billy tosses his 7d6 and recovers 5 of them. Not great but it could have been a lot worse, Billy now has 8 Bonus Dice.
 The knights return to their end of the Tilt and ready themselves. The flag is waved and each knight spurs his horse forward.
Second Run - The Kick
·         Sir Percy, after using two Bonus Dice, gets his horse up to a Gallop.
·         Billy decides to use two Bonus Dice and attempts to Run but is unsuccessful, getting his horse only to Gallop.

The two knights gallop forward to the roar of the crowd, both straining to keep their lances level, content to strike a blow, any blow on their opponent.
Second Run - The Charge
·         Sir Percy adds one Bonus Die so tosses 5d6. With his auto-successes he has a total of 5.
·         Billy burns 3 Bonus Dice and rolls 7d6. He scores 5 total successes.
·         Neither knight gains an advantage.

Second Run - The Clash

The knights collide and roll on the Clash Table.
·         Sir Percy scores 7 total successes, burning 2 Bonus Dice in the process.
·         Billy burns 3 Bonus Dice and .Rolls 6d6 in total. He scores 5 successes which added to the auto-successes gives him a total of 9.  By scoring 2 more successes than his opponent he has managed to score a hit with his lance while Sir Percy has missed!
·         Again he strikes Sir Percy in the helm but only enough to break his lance and score a point.
·         Billy now leads 2 points to 1 but I can’t help but think of the opportunities that have been lost.
Both now roll for their used Bonus Dice. Percy scores better and will have 7 Bonus Dice for the last run while Billy will have 5.
The knights return to their end of the Tilt and ready themselves. The flag is waved and each knight spurs his horse forward.
Third Run - The Kick
Both knights roll for Speed on the Kick Table.
·         Sir Percy goes at a Gallop.
·         Billy tries to Run again, burns 2 Bonus Dice and succeeds. He will move at a Run, harder to hit but if he does it will be with more force.

Third Run - The Charge

Both now go for the Charge, leveling their lances.
·         Sire Percy burns 3 Bonus Dice and scores a total of 6 successes.
·         Billy burns two of his last three Bonus Dice and scores 7 successes total.
·         Billy scores 1d6 more and line sup for a sweeping attack, a plus to hit but a minus to inflict damage.
Third Run - The Charge
Moment of truth, the impact on the Clash Table.
·         Percy burns 2 Bonus Dice and scores a total of 6 successes.
·         Billy burns his last Bonus Die and scores 7 successes.
·         Both knights have scored a hit but the speed of the horse will not come into play. A definite disadvantage for Billy.
·         Sir Percy strikes Billy square in the shield and breaks his lance scoring 1 point . Billy remains in the saddle.
·         Contact! Billy strikes Sir Percy a stout blow, Percy waivers but remains in the saddle. Billy scores one point as his lance breaks on contact.
·         The joust is over.
Battered but not bloodied Sir Percy and Sir William ride to the center of the Grandstand or Berfrois. The Queen of the Court rises and declares Billy the winner. First joust and a success.
Well that was interesting and I must admit a bit different than expected. I'm used to playing RSBS but this is a totally different animal. Anytime during the game one mistake and you can lose. Time to figure out a strategy. But first, let's collect some booty.
·         Billy receives 900 Gold Florins from Sir Percy representing the ransom that must be paid to recover his armor and horse.
·         Billy also earns 9 Fame Points, equal to the total Attribute Points of Sir Percy. Billy can use this towards increasing one of his Attributes but he can’t do that until after the Day of Events, i.e. after his two more jousts.
·         Including writing the game was about 20 minutes long. Next I'll do just a quick report of the next two jousts following a standard form.


  1. Do you plan on release this rules? Sounds fun.

  2. Rules are scheduled for release early next month.

  3. I've got a complete set of Steve Barber Minatures Joust collection. I'd be quite interested in demoing this game for Skirmish 2012. Drop me a line if we could work together.

    Steve Miller
    DFW Irregulars

  4. If I wanted to move this to the miniatures table, what type of movement rates, table size would you recommend for 28mm figures?

    Thanks again...sorry for all the bandwidth use!

    Steve Miller
    DFW Irregular