Saturday, 8 June 2019

The stealthy adventures of Herakles and Hippolyta

One of several ideas I am currently tossing around for games is a Palaeo Diet derived game of stealth that, should it come to fruition, will ultimately be themed around Robin Hood (and similar outlaws) fighting against oppressive local authorities. I have a clutch of Normans and outlaws sitting on the shelf waiting on paint (and time, that most irrecuperable of concepts). In their absence, but with a few core mechanics nutted out, I sat down to play around with some Greek proxies. 
This adventure took place in the ruins of a long abandoned temple somewhere in Thrace.

Our heroes, Herakles and Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, start together on a grassy knoll in one corner of the table. They had been enjoying a quiet romp together before Herakles departed back to Argos. He'd been tasked with bringing back Hippolyta's girdle to present to King Agisthos to satisfy a girdle fetish. The Amazon found the whole idea so humorous that she was glad to oblige. 

However, their immediate objective was to rescue a dryad that they had just heard was being held captive in the centre of the ruins.

Around the temple, there were four vicious looking Thracians and a couple of satyr archers.

For their opening moves, Herakles and Hippolyta split up, moving either side of the ruins, but keeping to the low bushes. 'Villains' have a 180 degree line of sight with a 16 inch range, so it was important to try and stay hidden. At least until the time was right. The plan was for Herakles to draw off the guards while Hippolyta ducked in and rescued the dryad.

Hippolyta, however, soon found herself in range of the satyr archer guarding the eastern limits of the temple. It was too hard to resist and, from the shelter of her shrubbery, she fired off a shot which flew wide of its target. Although it did alert the satyr to her presence, his return shot also failed to hit its mark.
Over on the western approach, Herakles went to sneak forward, but tripped and alerted the other satyr archer who came forward to investigate.

With the curious satyr now too close for comfort, Herakles sprung forward. The satyr reacted with a weak attack which Herakles shrugged off.

Herakles then swung his club. It connected with the satyr but only caused a single wound. The satyr stepped back to reduce the risk of being hit a second time.

Hippolyta's next shot found its mark, but also caused only a single wound. Her satyr again shot back, but still could not find his target among the bushes.

Herakles stepped forward, but before he could swing his mighty club, the satyr called out in alarm, drawing the attention of all four Thracians who ran towards the action.

Herakles swung his club again, causing the satyr to collapse in a crumpled mess on the ground. The mightiest hero in Greece then turned and ran, hoping to draw the Thracians after him.

Hippolyta loosed one more shot from the bushes and took down her own target.

So far, so good; the plan had worked remarkably well. Hippolyta had killed one guard to the east, Herakles had killed another to the west, and all four remaining guards were in hot pursuit. 

Herakles snuck off, behind the line of sight of the Thracians, angling back towards the temple. 

As the Thracians kept up their search, he climbed - quietly - in among the ruins.

... and then Hippolyta failed to activate, alerting one of the Thracians who turned around to investigate.

As soon as he saw the Amazon, the Thracian called out in alarm, drawing all his companions back over to the eastern side of the temple.

One of the Thracians threatened Hippolyta who moved back, but then another Thracian ran in to attack.

In the scuffle which followed, Hippolyta failed to harm the Thracian, but he was able to wound her as two more Thracians closed in.

The fourth Thracian lingered by the ruins, unaware that Herakles waited in the shadows above him.

In one quick move, Herakles dropped down in his blind spot and cracked his skull from behind. The Thracian dropped like a sack of aubergines.

Meanwhile, Hippolyta was not having much luck and was wounded a second time. She did eventually manage to wound the Thracian in turn, but the fight was still not going her way.

One of the remaining Thracians turned around and advanced towards Herakles...

... while another taunted the wounded Amazon, causing her to charge in to a fresh melee.

Herakles had a much better fight with his own antagonist who was felled after a single blow.

Herakles grabbed the dazed dryad and dragged her away from her captors. 

Unfortunately it was all too late for Hippolyta. Surrounded by Thracians, she was attacked again and succumbed to her wounds.

Herakles and the dryad escaped, but at what cost. Was the life of a dryad worth more than the life of Hippolyta? How would Herakles explain himself to her people? If he left now for Greece, would he even have to explain himself to her people? After all, he was already wearing her girdle...

The rules worked very well for a first run through. Obviously, Palaeo Diet is a stable core, but AI humans need to handle differently to prehistoric beasts, so the game mechanics need a bit more nuance. Having a front and rear arc allows for some fun stealthy moves and sneaky back-stabs, but the risk is always there that an enemy ('villains' as they are termed) will turn at any moment.


  1. Wow, gorgeous report, the terrain is awesome and so atmospheric, excellent!😍😍

  2. Good reading and report.Thx.

  3. Great story and pics. Good luck Hercules!

  4. great Battle Report and excellent tabletop set up.

    1. Do you think to creat a new PALEO DIET supplement with this ?

  5. The moral: Never go clubbing with Herakles.

    Great report and lovely pictures.