Friday, March 20, 2015

2 Hour Dungeon Crawl Overview and Battle Report: Yorgen's Fall

 So I've always been a fan of dungeon crawls ever since my first foray into crawling with Warhammer Quest. A great game in itself with a lot of good memories of getting stomped in the dungeons with my cousin, Will. Then came Mage Knight Dungeons, which was quite different from the former as you played head-to-head or at least that's how we played it. You could also play solo or cooperatively. In both cases, the players controlled the monsters and while acceptable, it's always fun to have no control over your opponent either when playing alone or with a buddy.

The crawl to end them all!

 Enter 2 Hour Dungeon Crawl by Two Hour Wargames (THW). A game of high adventure down in the depths of the earth plundering dungeons, slaying orcs and goblins and all manner of monsters while amassing wealth and glory or leaving an unmarked grave deep in the caverns. This is not a review of the game (which I plan to do once I have sufficient experience under my belt!) but just a quick battle report and a quick overview of the THW style of games.

(Scroll down for battle report!)

 Overview: In classic dungeon crawl fashion you lead a band of adventurers (grunts) into the dark depths of a dungeon looking for treasure and fame in 2HDC.  At the head of the party is your character (the star). As a star you have almost total control over your character's actions and you also get "star power," which is a unique ability to stars that allows them to shrug off damage but it's not fail safe! You can die still but you, as the star, are not as fragile as a grunt. If you are in danger of taking damage, you can try to reduce it by rolling up to your reputation (rep) in dice to try and reduce the damage. Every 1, 2, or 3 reduces the level of damage by one. If you roll a 6 though, you lose that star power dice for the rest of the adventure. For example, I roll 5 star power dice and get a 1, 2, 2, 5, and 6. I reduced my damage by 3, failed 2 dice, and lost 1 star power, so will only roll 4 star power dice next time.

 The other unique ability as a star is that you can choose your crisis test result.Instead of running for it, you can stay and fight, duck back amongst your part, or get the hell out of there with the rest of your fleeing grunts.

Yorgen, the star in the battle report!

 This brings us to grunts. They're the adventurers under your command, or at least, sort of under your command. You don't have full control over them. They'll follow you down into the dungeon but don't think they'll obey every command you give them! They react, based on their reputation to different situations. Sometimes they'll charge heroically into battle, other times they'll run screaming for their life after they see a man go down to the floor in a bloody pulp at the wrong end of a troll's club. That's what makes THW games unique. You don't simply have control over your entire force. The grunt's reactions are determined by tables and the roll of dice. Does my torch bearer charge into melee? Roll on the Charge Into Melee table. What does my mage do after seeing his friend eaten by an ogre? Roll on the Crisis Test table.

 Then there's the bad guys. THW also has a brilliant "fog of war" system, the PEF or Possible Enemy Force. In 2HDC you generate PEF's in two different ways, either by entering a new room (not a corridor) or during the activation phase if you roll double numbers, i.e. two 5's and then a PEF marker is placed as many rooms equal to the number that was doubles (in this case 5) tiles away or as far away as possible if there aren't five tiles in a single direction. A PEF could just be nothing, it could be a trap that was sprung, it could be a group of minions, or it could be the Big Bad, the dungeon's boss. Enemies reactions are run off tables as well to determine what they'll do, just like grunts. They'll charge, shoot, flee, take cover, etc. all on their own. Also, the bigger your party, the more enemies you will encounter.

 The game is tracked on a map that you draw out as you go or you can even use your own dungeon tiles but graph paper, in my opinion, works the best. Once a PEF is resolved into a bad guy, it's time to hit the battle board! The battle board is either a room (4x6 square tile) or a corridor (2x6 square tile, assuming you're caught by a PEF in a corridor). On the battle board the opposing forces are placed on opposite sides and then a Charge Into Melee test is taken and the fight goes from there, as you will see in the following battle report. After all enemies are slain, if you're lucky enough, you can plunder the bodies, search for secret rooms (only inside rooms or dead ends), or look for treasure.

 Ok, let's get on with the Battle Report!!!

Here's my finished map:
 My mission was to descend into the dungeon, get to the last room of the dungeon (4x tiles of the Big Bad's rep, so 16 tiles in this case), and steal the Big Bad's treasure then make it out alive....No simple task, as you will see!

Room 1-4:  Just twists and turns but on room 4 I generated a PEF!

Room 5: A trap! Thankfully, my armor protected me from any damage.

Room 6: Contact!
An ugly orc staring me down!

Yorgen charges!
 Yorgen charged in and made short work of the orc. I rolled a 1 on the damage chart for an "obviously dead" result, meaning he's pushing up dasies! I looted 1 bronze coin for the kill but the room was empty and had no secret rooms.

Note: Here's another cool thing about 2HDC, you generate your foes randomly each encounter. You might roll an orc but it might be armed differently or be tougher or might even have a magic item that it will use against you! This last feature is something I really thought was a nice touch.

Room 7: Another trap! This time, Yorgen didn't fair well, he got an "obviously dead" result but, being a star, used his star power saving his butt, although burned a star power in the process and now is down to 4. For my troubles, I snagged 2 bronze coins searching the room.

Room 8: Contact!
Another orc warrior!
Again Yorgen wins the charge into melee and once again skewers the orc with an obviously dead result!
See, he really is obviously dead...
Room 9: Trap! I managed to avoid any damage again. I rummaged around the room and discovered 2 more bronze coins. Coins can be used in a campaign or series of adventures where you can increase your reputation by buying free reputation increase rolls, pretty nice!

Room 10: Was a T junction, moving on!

Room 11: Dead end! At this point in the adventure, I had two PEF's following hot on my trail and with a dead end, I'd have to double back and surly have to encounter at least one PEF next turn!
Stalkers in the deep...
Room 10: Back to room 10! The first PEF resolved as nothing. The next one would be an increased chance of contact. The second PEF then entered and it resolved as another very weak trap, which I easily blocked away with my shield.

Room 12: Nothing, not even treasure!

Room 13: Contact! This time an orc shooter came at me.
Come at me, bro!
Yorgen won the charge into melee but promptly got his face punched in by the shooter and burned up more star power to save his buns. After some back and forth battling, the orc proved too much for Yorgen as he went out of the fight (OOF) and couldn't save his bacon with his star power and was put down by a meager orc shooter's dagger...What a sad way to go!

 Had a blast tonight playing! A few things of note:

1. I need to organize my QRS (quick reference sheet) stack better! These are the tables you'll use, so you should have them in order of most used and different piles, such as combat, dungeon, treasure, and minion lists.
2. If you want faster encounters, just go with what the minion generator says not rolling for +/- rep or possible magical items equipped. I really like this feature though! You want that magical sword of +1 badasssery? Well, you've got to take out that nasty demon first whilst he uses it against you!
3. Get a thief to go along with me next time to disarm those pesky traps! As you go down stairs (none this adventure), the traps power gets stronger for each level. These first level traps were a piece of cake to avoid but later on? I'm not so sure!


  1. Nice write up. I like your room by room breakdown. Where did you get your 4x6 battle board?

    1. Thanks for having a read! I made them from the Inked Adventure PDF files here:

      I did some customizing in a paint program. Nothing special, just some simple cut and pasting with a little smudging here and there to blend things in.