Showing posts with label songs of blades and heroes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label songs of blades and heroes. Show all posts

Friday, 27 April 2012

Viking Village Raid

John came over this evening and we played a couple of games of 'Song of Blades and Heroes'. More to the point we played an honest to goodness scenario.

A village, in this case a Viking village populated almost exclusively by lady Viking warriors, is the home of an artefact of an unspecified but Can Be Carried By One Man kind of nature. It's in one of the four houses in the village. The village is surrounded by a rather rubbish palisade with great big gaps in it, and has a watchtower.

One warrior is on guard in the watchtower, whilst the others sleep, scattered through the four houses.

An enemy warband, in this case some skeletons, launches a dawn raid on the village, with the aim of searching the houses, recovering the artefact and escaping off their board edge with it.

And that was it. we played it twice, swapping sides after the first game.

In the first game I played the skeletons. They weren't very good at sticking together - a lone skeleton approached the village, and immediately alerted the guard. The fact that the village was built from interlocking plastic bricks tells you that these were Danish Vikings:

The rest rushed towards the village, with varying degrees of enthusiasm:

But the Vikings were up and alert, and were organising a defensive line:

Some skeletons tried a flanking move through one of the other gaps in the palisade, but the beserker saw them off:

The skeleton numbers were dropping rapidly:

And the last few were now just fighting for the show of it:

The game ended in an easy victory for the Vikings.

John now took the skeletons. He split them into two groups. Here's one of them, approaching the village in a more orderly fashion:

They were at the gates before the guard spotted them. She was a real hero; not only did she raise the alarm, but she then used her throwing spears to dispatch three skeletons in three shots, pretty much neutralising one of the groups:

The other skeletons rushed into the village. One warrior came sleepily out of her cottage to see what the fuss was, and was cut down in an instant:

The skeletons were soon all over the village, but the Vikings were waking up and starting to fight back:

Disaster - the artefact was in the first house the skeletons searched. One of them raced away with it; it was only a matter of time before it reached the safety of its home edge:

See those two Vikings in he distance behind it? They gave chase, risking all on their activation rolls, and caught up with the fleeing skeleton, cutting it down, and saving the artefact:

This took the fight out of the remaining skeletons; they were slowly smashed to pieces, with insult being added to injury when the last skeleton was destroyed by the Viking's bard - a figure added just to make up the points:

In the first game I was unlucky with activation rolls; I had a number of good opportunities to overwhelm individual Vikings which failed when key figures failed to move into the attack. the key to the skeletons is coordinated assaults on particular figures, and with failed activation rolls I never got to administer killing blows.

In the second game the skeletons were able to gang up on some of the Vikings, but the heroic spear-thrower hampered them in one part of the village, and the equally heroic sprint by the two other warriors stopped them escaping with the prize.

On the whole the balance of this scenario probably favoured the Vikings, but we both had fun playing it. Even with the somewhat improvised terrain.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Bonus Games Night

Just a short post, for once. Owing to John not being able to make our new Thursday night game session, I hosted him for a old-style Friday evening session. Most of the evening was spent playing a couple of games of Memoir '44. We ran through the Sword Beach scenario, swapping sides after the first game. The Germans won both of them, but I scored more points than John on my go as the British, so came out slightly ahead. In my attempt at the beach the British started well, but I quickly ended up with a hand of cards all directed at a sector where I had no troops, just as John managed to get a decent counter-attack together. I briefly held one of the objectives, but an artillery barrage put an end to that. I cleared a couple of the bunkers, though. When John played the British I was lucky, as the Germans, to have a good hand of cards, which allowed me to lay down a steady, deadly fire from the centre of the board. John managed to clear one bunker, but I reinforced it before he could carry the position. I'm not sure any of his troops got off the beach before he lost the game through casualties.

We then switched to 'Song of Blades and Heroes'. John took the Half-Orcs, whilst I tried out my Skeletons. The Skeletons lost as a cascading morale test caused them to crumble to dust just as they'd got to grips with their opponents. However a check of the SBH Yahoo Group suggests the morale rules for Undead have been updated since my copy of the rules was printed off; it looks like they no longer test for Gruesome Kills, and only crumble to dust on two or three morale failures, not any failure. That would certainly have made a bit of difference to our game.

Anyway, here they are, in all their bony glory:

They are original Citadel plastic skeletons which I painted about 25 years ago for use in our 'Chill' horror RPG sessions. They've been sat in a box unused for most of that time, so it was nice to have them out again, even if their first performance was less than stellar.

Hmm. The post wasn't as short as I thought it would be ...

Friday, 20 April 2012

Gong Of Blades And Heroes

Another Thursday night down at the university gamers' guild has passed. The role-players weren't there this evening, but there seemed to be a martial arts class going on in one of the rooms.

Anyway, the four of us played 'Song of Blades and Heroes', a session in which we rediscovered Geoff's capacity for rolling ones and learned of Caesar's ability to create powerful, cheesy warbands.

Here's some shots of the evening's games.

Middle Earth Goblins (who still have a cave troll) face GW's Politically Incorrect Pygmies, supported by a Steve Barber giant ground sloth. The green counter behind the troll shows that it has been knocked down. By a pygmy.

On the other table (which lacked a board, or even a green cloth) Caesar's cheesy Ratmen (all gregarious long shooters with a CV4 tough leader) fought Geoff's Wood Elves.

Back to the Goblins and Pygmies - this was a long game, with two large warbands.

The troll is felled by the ground sloth. It actually died of embarrassment. The Goblins basically spent the rest of the game running away.

Meanwhile Caesar showed that he could be cheesy with Greek mythology too, pitting Minotaurs against Geoff's hapless Elves.

Finally his Ratmen faced a small, but motivated, force of Elves under my command. The Elves won, but we forgot to apply the Tough rule on the Ratman leader, so they probably wouldn't have done. The game ended with the last elf killing the last rat; everyone else had been killed.

Things that can shoot, hiding in woods, ruled the evening.

(My 50th blog post!)

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Goblin Horde

In my continuing search for warbands for 'Songs of Blades and Heroes' I dug out some Games Workshop Moria Goblins. I painted these nearly ten years ago:

Well, nearly all of them; the pointing chief was a bare plastic archer this morning; I chopped him up and painted him today.

Aside from the leader there are nine warriors and four archers in the warband.

Oh, and ...

... they have a cave-troll ...

I bought him about ten years ago as well. At 8am this morning he was unassembled and still in his blister-pack. It's now 4pm and he's pinned, glued, assembled, undercoated, painted* and based, although the glue on those little rocks is still wet. But he's ready to fight ...

*Painted to 'Two Foot Distance Wargaming Standard'. Which is all any of my stuff gets.

Update: The cave-troll had his fight; he was mobbed by Ratmen early on in the game and killed, without inflicting a single casualty.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Rats Rout Orcs

Half-Orc Chief and Beserker
Since I've found myself playing a lot of 'Void and Stars' recently, I thought it would be a good idea to go back to basics, as it were, and play some more 'Songs of Blades and Heroes'. The problem was that, whilst I have played the game a couple of times in the past, I didn't have any warbands of my own to do it with. Or, at least, that's what I thought. Those that know me will know that my 15mm fantasy figures are pretty much tied up in HOTT armies. But rummaging through boxes and piles of unpainted lead and plastic showed that I had far more 25/28mm figures that I'd care to admit owning. Some of them were painted. And most of them are more than suitable for SoBH.

The biggest source of figures I have is GW's 'Lord of the Rings' line. Many years ago I subscribed to the part-work that accompanied their original release, and so have a pile of sprues and unpainted metal personality figures. I even have a handful of figures that I managed to paint before the allure of the game wore off. This line provided my first warband - Half-Orcs:

Ok, they're Uruk Hai. But let's not go all official shall we? For this game they're Half-Orcs.

The warband is as follows:

Chief - Q3, C4, Leader - 70pts
Beserker - Q3, C4, Fearless, Savage - 52pts
3 x Warriors - Q3, C3 - 30pts
2 x Crossbows - Q3, C2, Shooter: Medium - 28pts

I already had the warriors and crossbows painted, and did the chief and beserker last night; a black undercoat and some swift dry-brushing saw to it in no time at all.

(The bases are very basic and I will do them all up properly at some stage.)

Whilst I have other LotR factions to fight them with, I thought something different would provide a better looking game. Tucked away in a box I found a handful of plastic Skaven my son painted some ten years ago. They were pretty much of the quality you'd expect when you let a child of six loose with paints and a brush - the colours were OK (I suspect there was a lot of paternal advice), but some of the painting wasn't entirely 'between the lines'. Not to worry - I patched up the worst of the missed bits with some brown paint, then ran a dark brown wash over the figures. A little drybrushing on the metallic areas, and the figures were good enough to put on the table. I found a metal Skaven personality I'd bought and never painted it, and spent 20 minutes getting him 'table-ready' as a suitable leader, then added in some GW giant rats I painted 25 years ago for use in a Victorian Horror role-playing game we played at that time.

And so I ended up with this:

Clan Chief - Q3, C3, Leader, Tailslap - 66pts
7 x Warriors - Q4, C3, Gregarious - 27pts
3 x Rats - Q4, C2, Animal, Gregarious - 15pts

And so to the game. This was the setup:

Basically it was a couple of areas of ruins. The Rats are on the left, and the Half-Orcs on the right.

Here you can see the Half-Orcs advancing, their commander leading from the rear:

The Rats show what it means to be gregarious:

The two forces quickly closed:

The beserker went it alone, but was quickly surrounded and overwhelmed:

The Rats followed up this success by rushing the Half-Orc's chief, and killing him too:

The morale tests saw the Half-Orc force break up, with a couple fleeing the table.

Meanwhile in the ruins, the giant rats were fighting a couple of Half-Orcs:

The gruesome death of one of the rats saw a general rout, however, leaving one giant rat to face both Half-Orcs.

Back in the main battle the beleaguered Half-Orcs formed up for a last stand:

It didn't last long. In the ruins the last giant rat killed a Half-Orc, forcing them to another morale test for 50% losses:

The resulting tests saw two Half-Orcs cut down attempting to flee from close combat. With only two Half-Orc figures left, I drew the game to a close.

The early loss of the beserker and the leader really saw the downfall of the Half-Orcs; whilst individually slightly better than their rodent foes, the fact that the Rats could activate as groups right until the end of the battle gave them a real edge, especially with the Gregarious ability.

A couple of things I wasn't sure about. Firstly if a figure fails a morale test whilst in close combat I assumed that their opponent got a free-hack. If that resulted in a knockdown, I ruled that the figure was killed. In other words, the morale test forces a break-off, followed by a free-hack. Once the free-hack was  resolved I then resolved the flee based on the figure's post-combat position. In addition, I assumed that a figure that was prone was automatically killed if hit by shooting; the rules just say 'combat', and aren't entirely clear on the matter.
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