Saturday, August 14, 2010

Second Battle of Song Of Blades and Heros

For this battle, I used a scenario from Song of Wind and Water.  The ratmen are attempting to summon a demon around an ancient stone circle, while my trusty orcs attempt to stop them.
The Armies: Ratmen
Splintered Light Miniatures Rats and Weasels as the archers.  I cut off an axe head and put a small candy on the end to represent a magic wand.  Not too happy with it but it will do until I can find a smaller object, maybe something with a gem cut.  Now it looks like a giant lollipop.  :(
Two Rat Archers, White Rat Wizard and Grey Rat Leader.

More Splintered Light Rats.
And the backbone of the group, five rat warriors.  Their Gregarious ability (+1 Q when taking a mass action) proved very useful when combined with the +1 from their leader, allowing them to activate on anything other than a 1!

The Armies: Orcs
BloodDawn Orc as an Ogre and Black Raven Foundry Orc
I love Ogres so one shows up here again.  And an Ork Champion.  I thought I'd go without a leader, big mistake.  I think they are a requirement for an army with base troops at Q4+.

Black Raven Foundry
Two orc archers.  Medium shooters so the rats have an advantage there with long range.

Black Raven Foundry
And five Orc Warriors.

The Setup

The board:
South end pictured at bottom was more open ground but longer to the stonehenge.  North flank pictured at top has rough broken ground but shorter as the crow flies to the stonehenge.  This image is pretty distorted, the table is long top to bottom and short left to right.

The rats are circled around the stone temple with the archers as scouts on either side.  The wizard can power up the summoning circle, one point with each successful action.  By the book, it's 9 actions to summon a demon but I upped it to 12 since I play on a bigger table.  The summoning can be interrupted by models entering the circle or knocking over the stones.
I recently made a really large two level, modular hill.  The base is about 2'x3' and flat on top so I can put other features on it, like this stonehenge model. 
The orcs split into two flanks.  One the north edge, three orcs and the ogre to allow the ogre to take advantage of his longer move to run through the rough terrain there.
On the south flank, the remainder of the orcs including the champion,  He gets one automatic success on all quality checks!

The Battle!

The rats win in initiative, alerted to the orcs loud advance.  Then send forth the scouts into a defensive position.
The White Rat Wizard starts his chanting to power the summoning circle.  Using the bonus from the nearby leader, he's able to get it going quickly.
The main body forms up to accept orders from their leader.
Using the red d10 to keep track of the summoning points.

On the orc turn they get off to a slow start, moving out cautiously.  Not sure what the rats are up to but they need to be driven out of Orky lands.

The assembled rats use group orders to quickly advance in an attempt to lay an ambush for the orcs on the north flank.

The orcs quickly lose their turn with poor dice, rolling snake-eyes on their first activation.

The orcs ineptitude, turning over initiative early several times, allows the rats to quickly power up the summoning circle.  Next turn they will be ready to summon a nefarious demon to do their bidding.
Keeping the leader nearby really saved the rats turning three failures into two successes.
On the south flank, the rat archer fires at the approaching orcs, forcing one to duck for cover.
-2 modifier for range cause this to only be a drop instead of a kill.
Allowing a brave rat warrior to rush in and finish the job.
Enough for a gruesome kill since the orc is already down!
The orcs on the south flank head back towards their board edge, fearing the brave lone rat, hereby dubbed the Thunder Rat!

When the orcs turn rolls around, they are a little more successful on the north flank.  The ogre and an orc team up on a single rat in the rough ground.
Even with the horrible roll, the ogre still kills the down rat.  +2 for down, +1 high ground, +1 Ogre is Huge, +1 Double Team and -1 to the rat for a 2 action mighty blow from the Ogre.

The other orcs on the north side are able to push back the defending rats.
High Ground and mighty blow only get this orc a tie.
On the rats turn they are able to open a portal to the netherworld and summon...
...Just a small imp.  But hey, it's something at least.  He moves out quickly and confronts the advancing ogre.  The imp is able to drop the big ogre.

But attempting to follow up, the ogre is not as vulnerable as he appears and drops the Imp.
The ogre and imp both attempt to activate to stand up and finish the other off but both fail their activations.  Games like this require a bit of artistic license to make a good narrative.  Instead of both of them unable to stand, it's better to think of it as they are locked in combat, focused on each other and vulnerable to a third soldier coming in to attack (the +2 to attack a down model)

Meanwhile on the south flank, the orcs have recovered and the Champion and Thunder Rat get into it.
The Thunder Rat continues his domination.

On the hill, the White Rat Wizard has a clear connection to the underworld and summons something much bigger this time.
Both demons are old Games Workshop Nightmare figures.

The bigger demon charges forth, causing Terror in the overwhelmed Ogre.  The Ogre heads back the way he came as fast as he can.
I've had enough!
And on the south flank, the Thunder Rat is able to kill the prone Orc Champion, causing the entire army to take a morale check as the orcs have suffered 50% casualties.

The Aftermath

The rats watch as the orcs head for the hills and safer, less demon-infested ground.
All in all, a better game than the first.  Flowed much better.  But once again, it seemed that whenever someone had an advantage and tried to push it, the dice were against them.  I think a leader might be a requirement for all armies.
Morale checks seem pretty devastating.  You have to roll all three dice versus your quality.  You're only completely broken if you roll three failures.  But it's very easy to break up an attack with a single morale check as it's almost impossible to stand your ground.

If I were to try this scenario again, I'd add a orc leader to the mix for free.  The rats have an advantage both as the defenders and the ability to summon demons.
SoBH might not be the most detailed of minis games, but it's not trying to be.  Great fun for a quick game you want to grab and play once in a while.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice battle report. And great paint jobs. I've got the SLM Rats on my want list.