Saturday, February 6, 2010

[Duty & Honour] 200 Muskets for San Sebastian, Part II

In the final session of Duty and Honour last night, the PCs awoke in the barn after an uneventful night. The two privates on watch heard horses and spotted movement in the trees even in the weak light. A horse and rider came bursting out of the treeline, hotly pursued by another rider.

The pursuer fired on the lead horse and brought it down in a squeal of pain. Private MacTaggart determined that the shooter was a Frenchman and he and McNeb fired, injuring the cavalryman. Sergeant Owen joined in and the three brought him down as the early morning sunlight filled the field.

The party quickly took control of the situation and put down the injured horse, made sure the Frenchman was dead (yep), stripped him of possessions and pistols, and checked on his quarry, who turned out to be a Spanish woman.

With no one in the group able to speak Spanish, she conversed with Sergeant Owen in French, which led to an very fun bit. Her name was Dolores and she was escaping the Frenchman on his companion's horse (after stabbing said companion). The Frenchman sought some "forced romance" with her. She made some comments about Lieutenant Vanderbottom (he's very pretty, he must be a nobleman's son, there are many Spanish noblemen's sons who are the very same).

Vanderbottom grumpily ordered the men to find out what she knew and send her on her way, then stalked away in disgust. With some French money, a pistol and the worst horse from the group, the Sergeant and Privates let her go. On a far hillside, the group spotted a lone rider in black. Sergeant Owens raised his hand in salute and the rider did the same, then disappeared into the trees.

The PCs continued on to San Sebastian. On a narrow part of the trail, they encountered some old woodcutters and their donkey. Both groups stopped at a distance to look each other over and the husband spoke to the wife and they moved on, leading their wood-laden donkey past the party.

Sharp eyes on the Sergeant and Private MacTaggart spotted something wrong about their pile of wood, so they stopped and searched the donkey, finding 15 Baker Rifles! How did these guns, English guns, get here? Questioning the couple, they were lead to an ambush of a patrol from the 11th Queens Own. It was a complete killing box and the Englishmen were wiped out.

From clues around the site, they determined that a group of mounted French cavalry ambushed the Englishmen, and then left quickly, not even looting the bodies. Private McNeb noted that the horses were ridden almost to the point of death (at least until they were killed by the French) but the party had no idea why this patrol was here. Where were they going?

The woodcutters had happened upon the scene and took advantage. Sergeant Owens made sure the old folk didn't have any of the 11th's property and they hastily departed. With heavy hearts, the PCs arranged the dead for later burial and marked the spot on the map to return there, continuing on to San Sebastian in order to fulfill their mission.

Along the trail to San Sebastian, they encountered the black-clad rider again and discovered he was an English officer, Lieutenant Bruttenholm (pronounced "Broom"), with the 3rd Prince of Wales Hussars, detached, "because he spoke the Spanish." He didn't tell them his mission, only that he'd gotten lost so he would travel with them at least to San Sebastian.

Upon reaching the village, Lieutenant Vanderbottom insulted and in turn challenged to a duel the head man in the village. The man agreed to the fight, choosing swords and both Privates tried to make bank in bets with the Spaniard's men. Sergeant Owens convinced Lieutenant Bruttenholm (pronounced "Broom") to intercede and make the duel to "first blood," rightly figuring that if Vanderbottom succeeded in killing this man, their contact, El Zorro, would be displeased. Vanderbottom and the Spaniard agreed to first blood.

The duel was short and but no-one got hurt very much (both sides had one normal success each, even though the Spaniard drew 9 cards to Vanderbottom's 7). With honour satisfied, the Spaniard identified himself as El Zorro and Vanderbottom managed to avoid another social gaffe. With the muskets delivered, most of the men of the village took them to other partisan bands, leaving the party, El Zorro and five of his men to discuss future actions.

The French cavalry decided to attack during the afternoon meal. A young boy brought the news the French were coming. Splitting the village in two, the English defended the west side and the Spanish the east, as the French attacked both sides.

The battle went very well for the English, with no injuries and the death of the French commander. Lieutenant Vanderbottom (surprisingly) managed to lead the men effectively and the 11th Queens Own paid back the French for their dead comrades!

The game ended with attempts at promotion. Lieutenant Vanderbottom tried for a captaincy but there were no openings available. The enlisted men attempted to be promoted through valour but only Private McNeb succeeded - now Corporal McNeb.

All in all, the Corvis Monkey Troupe had a good time trying out Duty & Honour and several players expressed interest in continuing the adventures of the 11th Queens Own Rifles or trying out a game of Beat to Quarters (the sister game to D&H, set on the high seas).


  1. Too bad about Lt. V. Perhaps he's too pretty to become a Captain? Great mini campaign, Matt.

  2. The other players were cracking up about that. V was definitely too pretty to become a captain.

  3. I played McNeb, and the brilliant thing about that characters promotion is that I tried from the moment I started creating him to avoid functional and applicable skills, other than farming! He's skilled in brewing, riding and carpentry, and only qualified for a promotion because of a daring (and mostly stupid) dash during the last battle directly at the big bad guy! Awesome fun.

  4. It's awesome to see a group have so much fun. Say, you guys ever think about moving to Los Angeles? ;)


Unfortunately, due to spam, I have set up comment moderation. I will review and approve your comment as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.