15 December 2022

Guilders: Red Cobblestone

This is a battle report of a Guilders: A Life In Shadows heist named Red Cobblestone. As part of the 10 scenarios in the book, I wanted an attacker/defender game as well. But the game itself is not really about combat, but stealing stuff - so it shouldn't be too deadly. 

I've been thinking for a long while how to make a good scenario like this. This is the first time playtesting the Heist.

Two brothers as arguing over an inheretance and the guilds have been hired to steal it. The defender starts with all the loot inside the central building, half their guild being in reserve. The attacker can setup along all 4 board edges. 

The Setup
We build a normal city board, with the huge inn as a central building. The Loot II and Loot III was destributed on the three storeys inside. The usual amount of civilians and guards were moving around the streets minding their own business. 

In Guilders there's a list of 25 different Complications that can alter a scenario slightly. For this on we rolled up 'Tinkerers'. Two travelling salesmen are in the city with their carts. The tinkers carry d3 Loot I and the carts have a Loot II. Good extra money to grab. It does however give a lot of Infamy to knock out a tinker and every attempt at stealing from their cart. 


Two of my experienced thieves are bedridden in this scenario, my third thief is suffering a light disease (and have a permanent concussion). My Shadow Priest is shaken as is getting -1 to all his dice rolls. So the base for this Heist is shaky. I decided to place my best guys in the central building. My guild master and enforcer (both with 2 health), my shadow priest (for supportive prayers), a sharp shooter and acrobat. 

The reserve was 3 street urchin (wouldn't normally bring so many, but since the others were bedridden), my thief and a scum. The twist in this heist, is that you roll a test to see if the characters arrive on the board. And all these have Savvy 1. So small chances of them coming along. 

Lots of civilians moving around, all carrying Loot I, minding their own business. 

Here's one of the two tinkers who is currently visiting the district. Both tinkeres only rolled up to have 1 Loot I token with them. 

The Game
The first thing I did was to have my characters inside move to some Loot and pick it up. The characters can't start in base contact with it, so their first two activations will be to take the loot. Then I would plan what to do from their, based on how the opponent and the guards moved around. 

Since all my crew is inside the building, the opponent guild starts by closing in on the building. The dwarf thief Little Bowlin hides in a crowd, ready to pick their pockets. 

In most games of guilder there will be between 4 and 6 civilians crowds on the board. 3" round bases moving around, they move randomly, block line of sight and movement of guards. The player character can hide inside crowds and move freely along with them. 

Another thief from the attacking guild hiding in a crowd. Crowd carry around Loot I tokens. This is small loot, not really wort a lot. But if you carry of a Loot I token, you can sure it will cover the upkeep of the guilder.

Another thief. The opponent guild has three thief, unlike my guild they're not bedridden. So there's lots of chances to pickpocket some loot from civilians. My pickpocket and lockpick specilists are all out or in reserve. So I really have to carry off (the valueable) Loot from the main building.

The first turn ends with my scum entering the board and with a natural roll of 10, two-toes could even use two actions. This scum has been with the guild from the start and have multiple levels, so he has the skill charge. So right away he charge the enemy sharpshooter.

He's deadly man armed with a crossbow and has often taken a position of overwatch. This time he's guarding the entrance to the main building. My scum manage to knock him down, but unfortunately not hard - and he'll wake up at the end of the current turn.

And sure enough. In the beginning of the next turn the attacking guild has the initiative (their guild master have higher Savvy than mine, and often win the roll-off). The sharpshooter breaks away from the scum and shoots him point blank with a crossbow bolt. The scum Two-Toes is injuered and out of the game.

The guards in Guilders take their turn at a random moment, so the players can not truly avoid them. And right after the sharp shooter have killed a man, my sharp shooter takes revenge from the third floor of the main building. Getting shot tends to lead to shouting. So the town watchmen moves towards the scene where to guilders lie dead. 

In our last game, I had full focus on the rescue of my acrobat and didn't get away with much loot. One of my street urchin made a good roll and entered quickly as a reinforcement. Bug ran as quickly as possible towards the tinker, wanting to steal the loot II from the cart. 

On the opposite side of the table, a street urchin from the opponent gang had setup right next to a tinker. Having already failed to steal from the cart, the kid was making a lot of alarm (the tinker shouting at her) and getting infamy. Naturally the townwatch close to her, reacted and moved in. 

Unless the guards see a violent crime, they won't beat the guilders until the overall alertness is 10+. Until then they just harass the guilders, forcing them to spend more actions moving around. 

My shadow priest Dusk Autumn has a couple of shadow prayers. He cast shadow armor on my enforcer Martha, making her harder to hit. Before the opponent guild can concentrate to much, I made a run for it. Grashuk charge my enforcer, a brute with lots of strength. The fight is a draw and the characters keep standing there. 

My guild master Fairweather is a jack-of-all-trades, but he's decent in a fight. With the support of the enforcer, the half-orc brute is taken out of action, left bleeding in the gutter.

My enforcer, shadow priest and guild master have all left the main building on the same side. The shadow priest is hammered with projectiles from an angre bow-wielding apothecary and daggers thrown from thieves. He's brought down and an enemy thief quickly takes the loot. 

Another little thief, Little Bolin the dwarf pick pockets my guild master and takes his loot right out of his pockets. So a lot of the loot is already conquered by the opponent guild.

All the fighting and especially the shooting have quickly raised the overall alertness. At the end of each turn the active alarm is counted and added to the overall alertness. People being shot in the streets, fighting and failed robberies (on those tinkerers). The guards turn aggressive towards the guilders.

Litte Bolin makes away from my Guild Master with the loot he took from him. I really wanted to follow him, beat him and get it back. But guards were closing in on that position and I didn't want to get stuck. In Guilders the players take turns activating a single miniatures and the guards take their turn randomly - so you can suddently find yourself in a bad situation. 

In the end my Guild Master let Bolin make a run for it, let him figure out a route away from the guards - also avoiding me. 

Any heist with violence, will often see a point where everything cascades. Unable to get out of dodge by sneaking, death begets death. And the guild master of my opponnent, armed with a two-handed weapon and no knockout weapon, is racking up Infamy (again) for killing town watchmen. But it's preferable to taking the chance on the injury table. 

Bolin is a good thief and use one action two break away (1") movement from the watchmen and the next action to climb up on a ledge. If the watchmen have an easier target on street level, they'll go for that pursuit instead. 

The bloody alchemist armed with a bow, have been a nuiscance for the entire heist. The vantage point from the first floor, has had her make a ton of shots at my guilders. The character is not gonna gain any loot from this Heist, but has provided a lot of annoying cover fire.

My acrobat, Lillie Lasanger, who was recently rescued from the gallows is swarmed by town watch and city guards. There's no way she's making it out of it. I let her take the beating and don't fight back (no need to rack up Infamy, when it's a lost cause anyway). 

And that pretty much end the game. The rest of the characters have made it off the board. The plaza is crowded with watchmen and guards. 

This was an interesting Heist to play. I was the first time playtesting the 'direct confrontation' scenario, with an attacker and defender. It worked really well and there isn't really anything in it that needs changing. So that's really nice. 

The last words
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