Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The Hood Skirmish Game



I thought it was about time that I talk more about my Normans vs Outlaws project.

I give you Hood!

It's something that's been in development for a couple of years now, off the back of work done on my Dark Crucible project. Whilst quite popular amongst our gaming group, that particular project fell on its face somewhat when exposed to a wider audience. It was a great learning experience but it was time to move on. After simmering away for some time, it was Salute 2015 that gave me the kick up the backside to move Hood forward and see what can realistically be achieved.

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Our story is set in Medieval England, circa 1200ad. It is a dark place and a dark time. Those in power steal and feed off the toil of common people. The populace are starving and angry.

A crusade veteran turned vigilante stalks the rich and powerful from somewhere in Sherwood Forest. No one is safe, everyone will be judged. Is he a hero for the people to follow or a dangerous criminal to fear?

A mercenary is hired to dispatch this murderous thief and restore power to those in authority. Outlaws beware the man with no mercy. Is he a protector of the people or a warmonger on the loose?

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My aim throughout the project so far is to create something that I enjoy playing, something that generates a story and lots of moments to talk about afterwards. I want to play a game that sticks in the mind for years to come. I want to see moments of pure heroism and pure fear. I want players to care about the models in their army, where every casualty is heartbreaking. I want to see an ongoing story, where the game is never truly won or lost, just this chapter. Hence I settled on the story of Robin Hood.

Yet I don't want to see Lincoln green and Merry men – that all belongs in a movie from the 50s! 

I want things to be dark and gritty. I want both sides to feel like they're in a real fight and it doesn't always end happily ever after. The beauty of the Robin Hood story is that it's pseudo historic, so there are no hard and fast rules to follow and plenty of resource material to soak up. Any tale about Robin Hood has to be fantasy by nature so this allows the mind to wander and creativity to come to the fore. 

I wanted this story to lend itself to become a graphic novel style movie.

We've had great fun conjuring up characters for the first four factions. Some names you will know, some will be new. Regardless, you will not have heard this version of the story or these characters. The idea is that all the characters included have genuine use and that they had to be 'cool'. There are no superfluous characters here – I want players to agonise over who they will take and who will be left behind. I didn't want there to be any auto-includes or auto-excludes when it came to putting a roster together.

Now that's quite a tall order by any means. Whether it's achievable only time will tell, but stay tuned for more…

So who would you like to see in such an adventure? Any favourite characters come to mind?

Who Is Robin Hood?





8 comments:

  1. Best of luck mike, great to see the project out in the open.

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    1. Expect to be roped into some games very soon, lol.

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  2. How about Little John and Friar Tuck. Are you intending to put those characters in?

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    1. Absolutely… in one form or another :)

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  3. Hi Mike!! I love the ideas you've put in the post for "Hood". I've always thought that the story of the outlaw of Sherwood was ripe for a dark, gritty, violent overhaul. I liked the 70s film "Robin and Marion" for its more realistic take on the legend, and the 1980s TV "Robin of Sherwood" came close to what I was looking for, especially in the first couple of series. But they don't quite nail it! I really wanted more shadows, blood and dirt under the fingernails from both of them.

    So, I shall be following with great interest, and looking forward to seeing what you come up with. As for favourite characters - Sir Guy of Gisbourne (of course), Alan a Dale (no tights, please), and (back to the 1980s, again), possibly, Morgwyn of Ravenscar?

    Very best wishes on this one!

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    1. I think you're going to like my version of Guy – not the buffoon he usually is (though there is a replacement idiot). Whilst the Morgwyn from the tv series is not on my list per se, the basic concept is alive and well in an entire faction.

      I shall start to run through some of the characters in more detail soon.

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  4. Sounds like an interesting plan, I'll watch with interest!

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    1. BTW That artwork is totally kicka**. Reminds me of a grungy superhero sort of style that I wouldn't have chosen myself but it looks awesome. Really suits your 'dark and gritty' motiff.

      Do you see it as a development campaign style in the style of Mordheim ?

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