28 September 2022

Guilders: A Hanged Man's Friend battle report

In this battle report I'll cover a game of Guilders: A Life In Shadows. We played the heist called 'A Hanged Man's Friend'. The scenario can be played like any other, but there's also a chance it'll come up during campaign play. 

In our previous game my acrobat Lillie Lasander was knocked down by town watch. On the subsequent captured roll she was senteced to death by hanging. This lead to us playing the scenario. 

The objective is clear, my guild must rescue my character (that's for all game is considered a token). If there's too much trouble in the city (overall alertness 15+) the character is hanged and dead. If my opponent manage to free the character, there's a chance it'll join their guild instead of returning to mine. 


For the game we made a central placa with a gallow. Lillie Lasander and an executioner (City Guard) is on the scaffold. Any guilder in contact with the scaffold will be attacked by the guards. There's loot in all buildings and they're locked. The civilians in this scenario will not leave the central plaza as they want to see the show. 

The overall alertness will increas each turn, even if the guilds don't cause any alarm - as the crowds gets rowdy waiting to the hanging. 

The game
My plan was to put caution to the wind and rush the scaffold. I wanted to get my acrobat off it, before many extra guards entered the city. My enforcer, guild master and shadow priest all have the scout skill, so they move some extra inches onto the board right away. I didn't plan on stealing, I wanted these good fighters and the shadow prayer buffs into the centre. 

The guild master of my oppponent is a strong maniac armed with a two handed sword. Not being in as much of a hurry she hides in a crowd to avoid being shot be my guys. Still lurking close to the scaffold.

Here's my shadow priest Dusk Autumn, Enforcer Martha and Guild Master Fair Weather. A guard moved randomly close to them early on.

Grashuk is a half-orc brute workign for my opponent, like his guild master he's getting close to center, but also hiding inside crowds. 

My sharpshooter Durkhar climbed a building near my starting edge. It would provide a nice overview of the plaza and could let her take shots at both guards and opponents, helping clear the area around the gallows.

While my main focus was on getting to the gallows, I moved my theives and street urchin into good stealing positions. I didn't want to break doors and fail pickpocket attempts early on - as that would create alarm. And I needed to free my acrobat before the tension got to high. 

My opponent didn't have this issues and was stealing stuff left and right, trying to earn some cash. My enforcer is the best fighter in the guild and climbed the scaffold, becoming a prioritized target for all the guards on the board. 

The captive acrobat cannot be freed before the executioner has been taking out of action (could be from a knockout), I was going for the kill. 

A key mechanic in Guilders, is that the players don't know when the guards take their actions. After every player move, the guards might intercept and take their turn. Naturally this happened right after my enforcer (normally a beast in combat) failed to take out the executioner. And every guard moves toward the alarm on the scaffold. 

One town watchman even makes it all the way there, having my enforcer now needing to fight two people.

Here it's clear to see how the town watch are using both their actions moving towards the scaffold. They always prioritize alarm, the scaffold and infamous guilders - my enforcer is all of that. The brawler and guild master of my opponent can be seen close by, hiding amound civilian crowds.  

In order to turn the tide of the fight, my Guild Master jumps the scaffold as well. But characters have two health (all others only have one). This turn it's crucial that I win some fight, before the guards intervene. Luckily with the support of the guild master, the executioner is slain. 

At the end of each turn and based on the overall alertness, new guards are summoned to the board. Since there's a lot of fighting early on, more guards enter the board. In the beginning it's only town watch armed with clubs and staffs (not deadly). The swarm towards the nearest alarm, getting drawn towards the city center. 

My scum two-toes moved towards the stairs to block some of the guards. He's cheap, expendable and not really worth anything in a fight, but might buy the important people some time. 

While i battle the guards in the centre, my opponents is taking good time to steal from all the civilians. Here's a scum (the worst guild member), hiding in a crowd. 

With the combined force of the guild master and enforcer the guard and executioner is slain. It's a really close fight and only from wearing a lot of armor does the enforcer make it out. Not it's about keeping the acrobat close (carried as a token) and make it off the board. It was also very close, as overall alertness was on 14. At the end of this turn, no matter how the fight would have gone, the acrobat would have been executed.

As soon as Martha and Lillie makes a run for it, the half-orc Grashuk leaves hiding in the crowd and follows them. It's all about who takes the captive off the board. I have a good amound of victory point however, as freeing the captive and slaying the executioner offers good points. 

In all the fighting and violence, I've only managed to steal a bit of loot. There's three versions and if you want the bank to grow, you really should get some loot II and loot III of the board. My thief Gottlieb has stolen some loot II, but is being targeted by a town watch and his guard dog. Good thing there's a street urchin nearby, to take the loot and make a run for it. 

Despite only being a scum with a club, Two-Toes managed to know down two town watchmen and keep some heat off my important guild members. 

Normally a fight will generate a lot of alarm, but if you succesfully use a knock-out weapon it doesn't. Your opponents will wake up later, so they're not out of the game completely. 

As escalation continues and overall alertness gets too high, the town watch is changed to city guards. These guys are better armed and armored and will hurt your guilders. With a decent amount of luck, these guys entre the board directly in my path of escape!

The last part of the game is really hectic and close. The opponents scum is following my wounded enforcer, city guards close by. It's really an 'who activates first, when does the guards intervene' game. Cutting it all very close. 

In Guilders you have to weigh your options. Greed over security? There's XP for leaving the board, and you need loot to pay upkeep. But the situation is also getting hotter with more and deadlier guards on the board. 

In the end the scum Two-Toes is knocked down by the town watch, in greed he tried knocking down a priest to steal a bit of loot. Crowds will block the guards movement as they move randomely around. In this game the crowds carried the opponent guild master in my direction and blocked the guards - it was very nice. Unfortunately for my opponent, the guild master couldn't quite catch me - without facing city guardsmen. 

So they let me escape. 

In the end I managed to free my acrobat Lillie and return her safely to the guild. But it was a costly game. I didn't get away with much loot, only enough to pay my upkeep. So the bank stayed the same. My XP was very limited as loot gives XP and many characters was knocked down in the heist. 

I freed my acrobat, broke-even on costs. I ended up selling a bunch of stuff from the vault, to pay off the infamy my characters had gotten while killing guards. Two of my thieves would also have to spend two games being bedridden from injuries, one got a permanent concussion and one a ligh disease. 

My opponent, while not winning the game, got away with a lot of loot, having spend lots of guys on that. No focus on combat. They made some nice money and good a good amount of XP for the guild. 

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Guilders is a 28mm campaign skirmish game for pvp / solo / coop about thief guilds in a fantasy city. 

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