Monday 6 March 2023

Rangers of Shadow Deep Scenario 2


As it had been eighteen months since I played the first one, I thought it was high time I play the second Rangers of Shadow Deep scenario, the Infected Trees. 

While it’s not essential to make special trees, and cocoon tokens, and Halloween spiderwebs to jazz up the table, I have to admit I was pretty pleased with how everything looked when I was setting it up:

So, having investigated a rash of disappearances at a village on the edge of the Shadow Deep, the Paladin and her band of merry men (one of whom was enthusiastically waving around the magic sword previously owned by the Ranger they’d been investigating the disappearance of) followed a set of spider tracks deeper into the woods.

Unfortunately, my tracker failed her tracking roll, the one thing she’d been brought to do, and so we made especially poor time through the woods. On the brighter side, she did find a dose of Farlight Leaf though, which she immediately ate, much to her companions’ surprise.

Stumbling into a clearing, the party spotted a series of roughly man-sized web cocoons, and so set about popping them open to get at the goodies inside. 

Obviously the first one they came to popped open to reveal a zombie, because that’s just how my luck runs.

Thankfully Five Trees falling (my tracker) is able to take it out with a well placed arrow before it can get it’s fetid claws into the Paladin.

Brother Eoin, not being the most fighty of party members, starts making a dash up the flank to try and start burning down the spiders’ nest trees rather than getting stuck in like his companions:

The Paladin, on the other hand, approaches the situation as she does any other - with a prayer on her lips and a sword in her hand:

Luckily for her, River Wind the barbarian charges in to assist and (despite me rolling a 4) wins the combat, cleaving a spider in two thanks to his two handed weapon!

Drawn by the sounds of combat, more spiders enter the fray, but thankfully far away from the melee breaking out in the centre of the board.

Brother Eoin, emboldened by his companions’ success at smashing up spiders, charges into one with his hammer held high…

And promptly gets clobbered, left with only 2HP. And poisoned.

Things are going much better in the centre though, as Five Trees Falling and the Paladin taking out a spider each with their bows. As a brief aside, despite my usual luck with dice, for the first half of the game I was rolling hot, and seemingly taking out an enemy with every attack!

The spider that was previously dominating Brother Eoin managed to whiff it’s follow-up attack, and was put down with a swift bonk from a hammer.

The next web cocoon opened also turned out to contain a zombie, suggesting that the delay caused by Five Trees Falling falling that initial tracking roll meant that the spider venom had plenty of time to ripen the missing villagers into zombies! 
Jarreth (the conjuror) however finds a web cocoon that must have been a little fresher, and manages to pull out a surviving villager.

As a zombie has managed to get into reach of Brother Eoin, Phinneas (the halfling rogue) dashes over to support him, followed by Five Trees falling, who snipes another spider on her way over. 
Between massively outnumbering it and carrying Aventine’s magic sword, Phinneas was easily able to dispatch the zombie, and then headed off to start putting nest trees to the torch:

On the other side of the table, Jarreth used the spell Swat to destroy the last enemy on the board, and so the party set to hurriedly completing their objectives before any more reinforcements turned up! The fourth cocoon investigated unfortunately contained a dead body, but on the other hand, better that than another zombie I guess…

As everyone heads to burn nest trees and investigate the last cocoon, River Wind manages to get himself tangled up in a spiderweb:

Although to be fair, if I had to choose someone to get stuck in a situation that requires strength to get out of he’s the one I’d choose! 

By the end of the following turn, the party had burned down all of the nest trees (Phinneas doing most of the heavy lifting here, with poor poisoned Brother Eoin limping along behind him) and investigated the last cocoon (revealing another survivor, hoorah!), so the party mostly formed up in a defensible position in the centre of the board to prepare for any more enemies appearing.

A zombie shambles up, and so both the Paladin and Five Trees Falling take up positions to take it out with their bows. Unfortunately, my usual luck with dice resumed and despite both landing damaging hits, it wasn’t enough to actually put the zombie down.

Jarreth, chilling on the side of the board waiting for the right moment to step in with his remaining spell and other wise generally stay out of trouble, looked up to see a giant spider descending on him from a previously unnoticed nest tree…

On the bright side, just before noticing the spider he’d stubbed his toe on a barrel, which might turn out to contain something valuable…

Heading Jarreth’s high pitched scream, the Paladin bundles around a large briar bush and takes down the spider with a single arrow, to her surprise as much as the spider’s. ‘I wasn’t scared…’, mumbles Jarreth as he sets the tree ablaze…

As the remaining zombie shambles towards River Wind, Phinneas leaps forward to try and strike it down with the magic sword he was brandishing. Despite managing to land several seemingly telling blows, the zombie doesn’t actually seem to notice. Shrugging, River Wind steps forward and knocks the zombie’s head clean off (as I rolled a Critical Hit!)

At this point, the sun went behind the clouds, limiting the effectiveness of bow fire, so everyone decided it was time to get while the going was still good and makes for the edge of the board. 
Jarreth scoops up the treasure token and begins shepherding the rescued survivors to safety, as the Paladin Heals Brother Eoin (although alas not enough to cure him of his poison, so he is still limited to only taking a single action each turn).
River Wind manages to get himself tangled in another web, presumably from poking at something that he shouldn’t have due to boredom at the lack of enemies to slay, and unfortunately isn’t able to flex his way out of it straight away as he previously had…

Another zombie shambles into the board, but alas time was running out and River Wind and Phinneas weren’t able to harvest it for XP, as the party need to get off and report their findings to their superiors…

And thus, next comes the best part of any campaign game:

All in a success, as nobody got taken out of action and I managed to get 97XP for this scenario, putting me on… 99, 1 short of levelling up. If only I’d managed to kill that last zombie! 

Phinneas gives back Aventine’s sword. Grudgingly.

Rolling for the treasure token, it turns out to be an enchanted set of Heavy Armour, that can be used to blind enemies, which the Paladin gladly dons.

So, another eighteen months or so until the next scenario I guess? I just need to make a river, a bridge, a ford, some rocks, paint a vulture… I’ll probably play some more Frostgrave first, as that’s a lot less terrain dependant!

The week after playing this game, the Tally took a hit too, which I’ll amend into this post:

I grabbed the last two minis of the month from GW, a masked cultist looking chap with a bow and a Khorne cultist type for my bits box, which puts the Tally at:

9 vs 9 = +0

Not back into the red yet! Although Salute looms ever closer…


  1. Looking really good. Of course the work on the infected trees was essential! Even more, critical! The pics look much better and the whole thing is truly enjoyable. Cool!

  2. Awesome battle report! I really need to rummage out my copy of Rangers but I seem to be getting awfully distracted by other things at the moment!