Friday, July 30, 2010

Song of Blades & Heros First Game

I've been collecting 15mm fantasy figures for awhile with the goal to eventually do mass battles.  But I couldn't find a rule system I really liked so I picked up Song of Blades and Heros, which is small skirmish but highly regarded.  Here is my first solo battle just trying to learn the rules.  The terrain is all stuff for my 20mm Vietnam project so it's a little out of place but all I have now.  This battle represents a small Orc Warband raiding a human village.   The game is written for 15mm on very small tables.  I've got a 3x5 table so I used the 28mm ranges for this game since I think it looks better.
The Human Defenders:
From Left to Right: 2 Foot Soldiers, 1 Wizard, 1 Medium Cav, 2 Archer Longbow Rear Rank 4 x Militia  Figures are Black Raven Foundry Evil Men of Ashur except the Militia which are from the Old Glory 15mm Crusader line.
And the Orc Raiding Party:
I like the way these guys came out so I'll post some larger photos so you can see the detail.  Great figures makes for easier painting at this scale.
Ogre Warrior (From BloodDawn I think) and the Orc Leader (Black Raven Foundry)
Two Orc Warriors from BRF

Two Orc Archers with Short Bows (Again BRF, I really like their orcs.  Cheap and not too large like some of their other races)
Two Savage Orcs (From Splintered Light - Amazing figs)
And on to the battle:
The Humans set up wide, defending their village.  With an archer on either flank and the block of militia hanging in the back not sure if they are up for the fight.
Off in the distance, the villagers see the orc raiding party cresting the hill in a classic wedge formation with a fearsome ogre taking the point.
Wedge formation, ogre flanked by two archers with leader right behind for support.  The orc warriors and savage orcs guard the flanks.
The mighty ogre leads the attack.  Unfortunately the rest were not so keen to follow.  The two dice represent the archers activation attempt.  Two failing dice and the orc turn comes to an end.
There was some positioning back and forth with the battlefield breaking into a west and east flank. On the west flank, a savage orc pokes his head around the corner of an old ruin only to get shot at by a human archer.
 Human 5 (die) +3 (Combat Factor) -2 Medium Range  versus Orc die 2 +3 Combat factor -1 Human aimed =6 to 4 

The human wins the roll so the orc falls to the ground to take cover from the archer but is unwounded.  In order to take an opponent out, you must double their score.  The human cav takes advantage of his prone position and charges the down orc but does not have enough activations to attack him. 
The militia are not so keen to enter the fray.  They have a poor quality (4+ while most proper troops are 3+) so I opted to only roll one die for them so as to not end the humans turn prematurely.  As a result, only one was brave enough to leave the shelter of the farmhouse.
"Umm, guys... Anybody coming with me?"
Meanwhile on the east flank the humans take up defensive positions.  The second archer launches at the approaching ogre but the arrows fall short.
Human 1 +3 CombatFactor -2 Med Range = 2 vs Ogre 4 + 4 CF - 1 aim = 7 No effect
The wizard and a bodyguard step up to support the archer on the east flank.  I was surprised to see how weak the wizards spells seem to be in this game, but they are not that expensive at least.
"Alright Greenskins, let's see what you got!"
On the orcs turn, the first thing they need to do is to activate the down savage orc about to be trampled by the human cav.  I choose to roll two dice to at least get him up and maybe a chance to attack but fate had other plans.
Savage Orcs have a quality 4+ so two failures again means end of the orc turn.
The humans start their turn conservatively rolling only 1 die for each of the militia figures.  They might not move fast but they won't end your turn before more important figures get a chance to go.
"Alright, I'll join you.  These orcs don't seem so tough."
Next up in the human turn is the Cavalry looming over the prone savage orc. 
Human 6 + 3CF +1vs fallen opponent = 10 versus Savage Orc 5 + 3 CF = 8
The Horseman tramples the orc  under hoof, killing him easily.  Since the orc is prone, you only have to beat his score to kill since he can't fall a second time when already down.

Back on the east flank, the wizard and archer unload at a safe distance.  The power of a wizards blast spell depends on the number of actions you put toward the spell.
The Wizard has a quality 3 so gets two successes here.  So a medium blast spell.  The rules just have one generic blast spell & a transfix spell.  So I like to call them by different names depending on the number of successes, Magic Missile, Lightning Bolt and Fireball.
The Lightning Bolt doesn't score high enough to affect the mighty ogre.
The archer is also ineffective but at least all the humans get to act this turn.
Back to the orcs and they put their attention on the west flank first.  Several orcs charge up but only one has enough actions to reach the human lines and attack.
Orcs need a 4+ to activate normally but he is within Long Range of the Leader so he gets a +1.
 Orc Bowman 3 + 3CF = 6 versus Human 6 + 3CF -1 outnumbered = 9  The human wins but does not double.  Since his roll was even, the orc falls down.  Had he rolled odd and still won, the orc would be pushed back.  Never saw a single push back the whole game!
Not going well for the orcs.  They need more muscle.  The mighty ogre will help!
"Umm, you want me to go where again?"
 Thus the orcs lose their turn again.  And the humans jump on the attack.  The horseman runs around the ruins to help the outnumbered footman.
Human 2 + 3CF +1 Mounted +1 Ambush bonus = 7 versus  Orc 5 +3 CF -1 outnumbered = 7
A stand off!  The humans rush more troops into the fray.  These big scrums seemed common on this game.  Interested to see if that is typical for SoB&H.
"Have at them, boys!"

On the orcs turn I still have faith in the power of the ogre and he actually activates this turn and charges the horseman.
The ogre finally gets to attack but is put on his ass by the horseman.
Meanwhile on the east flank, the orcs take advantage of the poor missile fire to charge right up on the wizard.  Again using all their actions to move and not being able to attack once they got there.  Thus starting the second giant scrum on the game.
"Die human weaklings!"
The mighty orc leader presses forward on the west flank. He charges the horseman that has been giving them so much trouble and cuts him down.
"Let me show you lads how it's done!"
The humans proceed to move some warm bodies forward on their turn.  The militia finally decide to enter the fight to defend their own village as it seems the tide has turned against the humans.
'I've got a long stick so watch out!  It's not pointy but still.."
On the west flank the humans are managing to fight back and keep the orcs down but have not caused any casualties.

But on the orcs turn, the Warchief flexes his muscles.
"And stay down!"
Now if only the ogre could keep the momentum going, the orcs could clear the west flank.
Only one success so all the ogre can do is stand up and dust himself off. But he does end the orc turn early.
Two failures and the ogre ends the orc turn yet again.  I decide to be a little more aggressive with the militia since the humans need more bodies but again the dice didn't cooperate.
Two failures turns the game back to the orcs immediately.  The militia man regrets his decision to try to help out as he gets dropped by an orc arrow.
The orcs try to press the attack on the east flank only to get killed by the human warrior.
"Take that, you filthy greenskin!"
With the west flank secured, the orc leader turns his attention to the east where the humans are battling back bravely.  He shouts at the ogre to charge and in typical ogre fashion, he stands dumbfounded instead.
"You want me to go get those humans?  Nah, I'll just stand here and pick my nose, thank you very much."
The turn switches to the humans due to the ogres incompetence yet again.  The militiaman has finally gotten to the front lines and attempts to give the savage orc the business end of his long stick.
The Humans gold dice are from Talisman and it's hard to see here but the funky symbol is a 1.
The savage orc doubles the score of the militia man.  Normally if you triple their score, you get a "gruesome kill" which causes all other nearby models to make a morale check.  But the brutish savage orcs get a gruesome kill by just doubling which he did here.  So as he tears out the poor militia mans entrails all the other defenders head for the hills.
The orcs drive off the human defenders and are free to loot, pillage and rape the sleepy little village.
I called the game at this point since the outcome was clear.  I like the game flow but think that this particular game was a bit off from the crazy die rolls I was getting.  I look forward to trying it again.  Then I want to try Chain Reaction 3 Swordplay to compare and contrast.

No comments:

Post a Comment