Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Warrior Heroes - The rise of a star?

Warrior Heroes - Armies and Adventures

I finally got through enough of the rulebook to give this game a play. I have had ATZ (All Things Zombie) from Two Hour Wargames for a while, but had yet to try it out (I’ve since decided to stay in fantasy/ historical 25mm gaming). I’ve been meaning to purchase their fantasy version of their system, but when I saw this, I jumped at a chance. The rulebook is fairly robust, but that’s due to all the options that this game gives. I really need to get more historical/fantasy basic troops (I have a ton of hero types, but general troops are sorely lacking).

With that preamble taken care of, I followed the rules of how to make a star (there is a very nice download that goes through it as well). Since I had just bought a bunch of Confrontation models, I felt that the easiest army would be the Brethren.

Star – unnamed
Brethren (from the heart of Ekra) – Full Sun alignment
Rep: 4
Hardiness: 1
Weapon: Long Sword (IMP 5, FR 1”, MIN 4)
AC: 4 (scale)
Melee troop – Warrior (Elite Trained)
Social Standing: 2

This gave me 6 CV of followers. As it turns out, I rolled the exact same thing for all of them:
3x Brother Sergeants, Rep: 4, AC 4, Lance (IMP 7/4), Move 12; Elite trained

It’s funny that my star is the only non-mounted troop in the bunch!

So, March 986: My small band is in search of evil on the borders of Ekra. Most of the month goes by peacefully except for a confrontation in a small village. It seems that a knight and his retainers (a mixture of 8 foot troops) from Altengard were in the area and only some calm talking on my part, the matter ended peacefully (6d for the knight vs. 4d for Star and amazingly both passed 4 dice)!

[I rolled 10 CV worth of characters and ended up with a knight, 5 arquebusiers, 2 skirmishers and a spearman. We had a round of talk the talk in a village – clear terrain and it ended peacefully.]

April 986: We had a little problem with the local Authorities in a city of Altengard. It seemed that they did not want 4 heavily armed ‘characters’ in their town and I’d be damned if I was going to surrender my family’s blade. The knight would not back down no matter what and in a moment of distraction, charged me!

[I again got a walk the walk result on the encounter table with an even amount of CV – 9 in this case. Again there was a knight, 2 skirmishers, 3 infantry and 2 spearmen. This time, the knight scored a single success more than the star and the battle was on! I decided that the battle took place on one of the many city streets in the area. I don't have many buildings so I made due.]

Initial knight attack – Evenly matched (2 successes each).

Turn 1 (K6/S6): Nothing happens

Here you can see the 'city' setup. The small walled squares in the middle represent buildings. The other two sergeants move around to intercept the foot soldiers!

Turn 2 (K2/S1): Swordsmen charges star, passes enough dice and with a 1 pass on the quick move table gets to melee. 1S/1B (1 Success/1 Block) vs. 2S and are evenly matched. Knight attacks 6d vs. 4d and pushes Star back 1”. Melee continues 6d vs. 3d – Evenly matched. Knight’s footmen move to a side street to engage. Brother Sergeant charges (<>Turn 3 (S5/K2): Knight attacks Brother 6d vs. 4d (1S vs. 3S) and is only stunned due to protected armor (lance is IMP 4 since it isn’t the first round of combat). Melee continues 1d vs. 4d, but both are evenly matched with 1S. Swordsman moves and attacks outnumbered Brother with 4d vs. 4d (2S vs. 1S) and the horse rears back 1”. Melee continues 4d vs. 4d (4S vs. 2S) – Brother OOF. The closest two models make a morale check and one of the Sergeants routs!

Turn 4 (K3/S1): Knight charges flank of the final sergeant and a melee ensues (I determined that the sergeant would not get its lance special since it was being attacked in the flank) 6d vs. 4d – Evenly matched. Brother attacks knight 4d vs. 6d (4S to 3S). Melee continues 4d vs. 5d – Evenly matched!

The Knight Charges the flank of the sergeant on a side street!

Turn 5 (S5/K4): Knight attacks sergeant 6d vs. 4d (4S vs. 1S/1B). Brother OOF.

Postgame results: Both OOF sergeants are still OOF and the router is heading for home. The star completely recovers, but I determined that he was captured. On the advancement front, the star gets a Rep increase to 5, a Hardiness increase to 2 and a social standing increase to 3, but is immediately back to 2 due to being taken out of the fight (which I don't think I agree on the social advance).

Yep, it took longer to create the scenario for the second month than it took to actually play the game. How will the star get out of the dungeons alive? – Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Escort the Priestess - SBH game

While Durgon and Flashfire recover from their wounds, Jareth is enlisted by the local church to escort a priestess of renown to a nearby shrine. The only issue is the shortest route is through Wolfen lands. The Wolfen are very territorial, but hopefully a small band of adventures will be able to slip through undetected.

Being down two characters and two still recovering from their wounds, I am in a real pinch since my total combat value will still be used for the game (300 points). To that end, I enlist the use of some followers. I figure with two spearmen and a swordsman that I’ll have enough muscle to get through the Wolfen territory. Also, it’s all I can buy with my fame points so it will have to do. Followers don’t add to your total combat value so it’s a good way to supplement your warband if you have the fame points.

I roll for the enemy warband and it’s going to be 3/2 bigger than my own. That’s means I’m going to be facing off against 400 points of Wolfen. It looks like I’m going to be hard pressed in this game.

The Wolfen (399 pts)

Onyx @ 132
2x Hunters @ 57
3x Fangs @ 51

Models from Rackham - I got a great deal on them

Onyx – Personality (132)
Quality: 3+, Combat: 4
Special Rules: Big, Hero, Long Move, Stealth, Tough

Hunter (57)
Quality: 4+, Combat: 3
Special Rules: Big, Forester, Long Move, Stealth, Shooter Medium

Fang (51)
Quality: 4+, Combat: 3
Special Rules: Big, Forester, Long Move, Savage

Here are the stats for the Priestess (named Verlia):

Verlia – Personality (65)
Quality: 4+, Combat: 2
Special Rules: Cleric, Fearless, Independent*, Magic Resistance, Pacifist*, Short Move, Stealth, Tough

New Special Rules:

Independent (0) – Models with the Independent special rule do not gain the benefits (or penalties) from a figure with the Leader special ability.

Pacifist (-5) – A model with the Pacifist special ability is oppose to the use of violence as a means to settling disputes. As such, this model may not move into base to base contact with an enemy figure, does not grant any modifier in hand to hand combat and may not initiate combat with an enemy figure.

Scenario rules

If Verlia makes it across the board in 10 turns or less, the player will gain 10 x # non-killed models in silver pennies. If it takes 15 turn or less, the payment is 5 x # non-killed models in silver pennies. If she makes it across the board at all, it’s 3 x # non-killed models in silver pennies.

Since this was played solo, I had to set up the ambush rules. The Wolfen does not start on the board, but roll a single die on their turn to determine if they are placed and get to take actions. Each model in the enemy warband will take a Quality test rolling 3 dice to determine how far they must set up. On 3 successes, not within 1 medium; on 2 successes, not within 2 Mediums bands; on 1 success, not within 3 Mediums bands and at no successes, must be set up at the board edge.

Turn / Activation #
1 / 6+
2 / 4+
3 / 2+
4 / Automatic

Turn 1: Jareth rolls a 1 and 2 and the activation ends with only Erdan and Pip moving up. The Wolfen do not activate since I rolled a 2 for them.

Turn 2: The Heroes all move up and the Wolfen again don’t activate [1] - Dice rolls in bold.

Turn 3: Heroes move up and are close to the center woods. The Wolfen activate this turn with a roll of a 6. Onyx passes 2Q and sets up within 2 M. The Hunters pass 0 and 1Q and the Fangs pass 0,1 and 2Q. With the Wolfen having Forester, there is going to be a lot of ambush bonuses (I rolled up the terrain randomly).

It's an ambush - Protect the Priestess at all costs (road from terrain pack by Your Move Games)!

Turn 4: Erdan takes a shot at the Fang in the open, but misses [3 + 2 vs. 3 + 5]. A Hunter was closer, but due to Stealth and next to the woods couldn’t be targeted. I assumed that a character could then ignore that model for targeting purposes. Onyx moves up and with the help of a fang, kills a spearman [5 + 5 vs. 2 + 3].

Turn 5: Erdan shoots at Onyx (closest in view), but fails to hit [5 + 1 vs. 4 + 5]. The swordsman moves next to Onyx and the spearman attacks [4 + 1 vs. 3 + 1] and forces Onyx to retreat. Xaria tries to transfix a fang with a 1 power spell and succeeds as it rolls a 1. Onyx attacks swordsman, but are evenly matched [5 + 1 vs. 2 + 4]. A hunter ambushes pip and kills him [5 + 3 vs. 2 + 2]. The transfixed fang rolls 3 dice, but fails all dice.

It's looking grim for the heroes with Oynx blocking the route out!

Turn 6: Erdan shoots at the hunter than just killed Pip and knocks him down [5 + 2 vs. 3 + 2]. Xaria casts a spell and fails two dice so this will end the heroes’ activation. She wants to spell the knocked down hunter, but the better target is the transfixed one and kills it [4 +5 vs. 3 + 1]. She was outside the short range band on the fallen model, but not the transfixed one. I went with the better kill chance. Onyx attacks the swordsman and knocks him down [5 + 4 vs. 2 + 4]. The Fang next to the swordsman gruesome kills the fallen warrior [6 + 6 vs. 2 + 4] – he’s savage after all! A fang ambushes Jareth after the heroes retreat and they are evenly matched
[5 + 3 vs. 2 + 6]!

The Hunter in the forground is 'Fallen' (notice the new counters).

Turn 7: The Spearman attacks and knocks a fang down [4 + 6 vs. 3 + 3], but the heroes can’t capitalize since Jareth rolls two failing activation dice and the turn passes. The fallen warrior stands up, but then Onyx fails two dice as well and can only move up.

Turn 8: Spearman gets 3 successes and power attacks a fang knocking it down [1 + 6 vs. 2 + 3]. Jareth rolls 3 successes and power attacks the fallen model but can’t get a kill stroke [4 + 1 vs. 3 + 2]! Xaria moves back and spells the fallen fang [4 + 6 vs 3 + 4] killing it! Onyx power attacks the spearman and gruesomely kills him [5 + 5 vs. 1 + 2]. The heroes move back, but Xaria flees. On the 50% loss morale check, Verlia flees and the heroes have nothing to escort and retire off the board.

Wrap up: What a mess. The Wolfen builds with how the terrain was set up were brutal. Being able to avoid the penalties from the forest with a big move made them a tough opponent. Add in the fact that they are Big and with ambush, they are a force to be reckoned with. At 132 points, I was worried on how much I spent on a single model, but Onyx was worth every penny. I guess the next campaign game will be to save the priestess!

I was awarded no silver pennies since I lost the priestess, but I did gain 102 VPs. With 4.5 shares (Followers count for shares, but don’t actually gain XP), Jareth and Erdan gain 2 XP. Pip and Xaria gain 1 apiece. Pip is again wounded (+1 Q per rulebook this time), but at least I’ll have my full warband for next time. I’m down to 61 silver pennies after paying for the upkeep costs on my warband (after each game, you lose a number of silver pennies based on the number of characters played in the game) and the lost followers. I’m still working on this part of the campaign rules so things might be changing as I play

Final Thoughts: I don’t want all these games to be on equal footing so that’s why I made a table to determine the amount of the enemy’s point total based on the heroes warband, but an extra 100 points might be a bit too much! Of course, if I would have rolled 2/3 of my warband size, I wouldn’t be complaining. I do need to tweak that chart to make the values a little closer. Lastly, I’m not sure if the point costs for the new special rules are right, but since they were used on a model that didn’t adjust either warband’s size; I’m okay with them for the time being. Honestly, Pacifist probably should be adjusted (or just be a scenario special) since that model can just be ignored by the enemy since it can’t do anything in the battle in anyway.

New Campaign rules

Followers: Each character participating in the game may locate a follower for the upcoming battle by spending fame points. The point cost of the model is the amount of fame points that must be spent in order to recruit the follower. The follower’s point cost must be less than or equal to 2/3 the recruiting character’s point cost (round normally). Followers count for purposes of XP shares, but do not gain XP. If killed in action, must be paid 1/10 their point cost in silver pennies (rounding up) or 1/5 their point cost in fame points (rounding normally). A follower that survives the battle may be kept for the next battle by spending 1/5 their point cost in fame points. A follower will stay around for a total of 2 battles before seeking instruction somewhere else.

Upkeep costs: At the end of the battle, a number of silver pennies must be spent for the warband’s general upkeep (provisions and maintenance). The cost is dependent on the number of models participating in the game. Followers count for this total, but Mercenaries do not. If the group does not have enough money to pay for the upkeep, each model that did not get the required upkeep makes a 2 dice quality test. Each failing results lowers the quality or combat of the model by 1 for the next fight.

# of models -> Cost
1-3 -> 10 SPs (Silver pennies)
4-6 -> 12 SPs
7-8 -> 16 SPs
9-10 -> 22 SPs
11-12 -> 30 SPs
13-15 -> 40 SPs

Character Advancement: The following table shows the number of XP needed to move to the next level in both quality and combat. To add a special ability, it cost the special’s point cost in XP (so heavy armor cost 5 XP). In order to add any of the personality specials (Leader, Hero Tough, etc), you must first spend 10 XP to become a ‘personality’ and then they cost as above. After any expenditure, remember to recalculate your character’s new point total.

Quality / Combat / XP
-- / 1 / 1
5+ / 2 / 4
4+ / 3 / 9
3+ / 4 / 16
2+ / 5 / 25

So to raise your combat from 2 to 3 costs 9 XP points.

That's it for now. Look for the Priestess rescue in the next episode!

Friday, December 12, 2008

More painted miniatures?

Yep, I can't believe it either, but while I was finishing those boxers, I finished painting some fantasy figures I had in various states of completion. I like the cleric one so much (mini from Privateer Press) that I made an upcoming scenario for her. With my vacation done, I’m not sure when I’ll get back into painting, but I have plenty of unpainted Warmachine and Hordes models that could keep me busy until… well, forever!

In other news, Fantasy Flight Games were selling off their stock of Confrontation and AT-43 models for 66% off and I couldn’t resist getting my hands on some fairly cheap, pre-painted plastic miniatures (most boxes were 10 dollars apiece). In the end I spent way too much, but I now have a good selection of models from the Army of the Griffin and the Army of the Wolf. I’m definitely going to be using them in an upcoming scenario!

Friday Night Fights on Pay per View!

In honor of the first thing that I have painted in a very long time (months probably), I wanted to get them used in a game as quick as possible, These boxers are from U-Play Sports (a division of Two Hour Wargames – THW for short) for use in their new (to me anyway) boxing game called Friday Night Fights. The price was right and even though they aren’t in the normal 28mm scale that I play, I picked 5 boxers up. They painted up pretty nicely all things considered.

Here are my 5 boxers all ready to go!

So I decided what better time than to have some boxing matches then on Friday night! Convenient, eh? I played a couple of face to face games with the system and even though it’s a lot of dice rolling, it’s fairly entertaining and you can get through an 8 to 10 round match in about 30 to 45 minutes. In classic THW style, there are rules to play solo and I had a couple hours to kill, so why not build a boxer and see how I do in a couple of warm-up matches? Since your first few bouts can be short 4 round matches, I figured I could get in 3 or 4 games before I needed to finish up. There are even boxers with ranks and the like in the back to make this process even easier.

So without further ado:

Enter Jacob “Mac” McGrath, a 5’8” 162 lb Middleweight with decent boxing skills (level 4) and is fairly aggressive (level 3), but his real advantage is his Quick Reflexes.
…And in this corner weighing in at 158 pounds, Lamar Hart. His key ability is his resilience. Can the new comer had down this vet who is currently 10-4?

Round 1: The boxers move about the ring, but neither boxer gains any advantage. The move in and Lamar scores a flurry of punches which Jacob answers back with a flurry of his own. Lamar seeing an opening lands a series of quick jabs, but Jacob again answers with a series of body blows before the referee steps in. Late in the round… Both boxers stay away from the ropes. Jacob hits with a quick strike to which Lamar covers and the referee steps in. *Ding* It looks like Jacob has won this round.

Round 2: Jacob cuts off the ring and lands a solid punch. It looks like both boxers are reaching into their reserves and Jacob tries to take control (both boxers use bonus dice), but Lamar covers up and the referee splits them apart. Late in the round… Again both boxers can’t seem to force their opponent into the ropes and after a couple landed quick jabs, Lamar covers and the referee steps in. *Ding*
Another round goes in favor of Jacob.

Round 3: Both boxer step and move, but can gain no advantage and the referee finally pulls them apart. Late in the round… Lamar manages a flurry of jabs… a second set of body blows and a third… and a fourth set of punches followed by a solid uppercut. Jacob looks to be digging deep into his reserves to get himself out of the corner, but another shot for Lamar and Jacob holds on and finally the referee stops the onslaught (Jacob rolled 3 successes on 3 dice and Lamar got 3 successes on 5 dice)! *Ding* Definitely a round won by Lamar.

Round 4: Jacob connects with a solid uppercut and Lamar is backed into the ropes, but the referee steps in before Jacob can capitalize. Late in the round… Jacob cuts off the ring and scores a combo putting Lamar in the corner, but Lamar holds on and even manages to score a jab before the referee can split the boxers. *Ding*

Winner by Unanimous Decision, Jacob McGrath (39 to 37)! Crowd goes wild.
My first win gains me 6 fame points and a 1-0 record. I don’t get any stat increases so we move to the second match.
…And in this corner weighing in at 154 lbs, Edgar Garcia. He’s known for his decent boxing skill and his slipperiness in the ring. Can Jacob stay undefeated?

Round 1: Both boxers dance about the ring, but Jacob scores a decent combo forcing Edgar into the corner. Using some of his inner strength, Edgar holds on and the referee pulls them apart. Late in the round… Edgar stalks Jacob and gets two full sets of punches in before Jacob covers up and the referee steps in. *Ding* Round won by Jacob.

Round 2: Jacob comes out swinging backing Edgar to the ropes, but Edgar holds out and the referee steps in. Late in the round… Again Jacob sees an opening pushing Edgar to the ropes, but fails to land any solid punches. Referee pulls them apart. *Ding* Round is tied!

Round 3: Coming out striking, but boxers and evenly matched and the referee resets them. Late in the round… Jacob pushes Edgar to the ropes and scores a solid left hook... followed by a right hook! Edgar holds on and Jacob gets in another hit before the referee pulls them apart! *Ding* Round won by Jacob!

Round 4: The actions stays in the center of the ring where Edgar gets in a solid uppercut forcing Jacob to the ropes, but the referee steps in before Edgar can mount much of an offensive. Late in the round… Both boxers dance in the center of the ring and the round ends with them evenly matched *Ding* Round goes to Edgar.

Winner by Unanimous Decision, Jacob McGrath (39 to 38)! I get 3 more Fame Points bringing me to 9 and a 2-0 record.

Edgar wants a rematch so the stage is already set! The boxers smack gloves and the bell rings!

Round 1: Edgar gets sent to the ropes, but they are evenly matched so the referee finally steps in. Late in the round… Boxers move about in the center of the ring, but no telling blows and the round comes to the close *Ding* Tied round.

Round 2: Boxers stay in the center of the ring, Jacob connects with a flurry of punches and Edgar retaliates with a set of his own. Jacob lands a solid left hook and manages to take control using his inner fire (Jacob uses 3 bonus dice). Edgar’s in real trouble in the corner (on the KO table, but Edgar doesn’t add any bonus dice)… Edgar is knocked to the canvas and doesn’t get back up. Jacob scores his first KO of his career!

You can see my FNF setup here. The left container are the rolls for Boxer 1 and the right one is for Boxer 2. The KO of Edgar Garcia in the second round!

Since this is my third win, I can try to raise a stat and I pick Power. With two failures, I manage to increase my Power to 3.

I did get a fourth bout in, but I’m not going to detail the entire bout. It ended with a TKO against Chris Scorch in the fourth round and I failed to add to my Quickness stat. Here is a part of that fourth bout.

Round 1 (early): Jacob scores a solid left hook (2pts) after pushing Chris to the ropes, followed by a solid right hook (2pts) pushing him to the corner. Chris covers dipping into his reserve (adds 2 bonus dice), but a third solid hook connects (3pts). Chris is in real trouble (KO table and add 2 bonus dice), but no knock down (3pts). By this time, the only dice Chris is rolling is his bonus dice having lost all 3 boxing dice and losing the aggression/quickness dice due to being in the corner. Jacob pours it on scoring a combo (3pts) followed by a solid left hook (3pts). Chris is again in trouble but manages to hold on (3pts). Jacob fights him off with a set of punches (3pts) and an upper cut (3pts). Again Chris is in trouble, but holds on (3pts). Jacob scores another combo (3pts) and a solid body blow (3pts) and Chris is back in peril, but holds on (3pts). Jacob scores a combo (3pts) and a solid punch (3pts) and Chris is in trouble, but holds on (3pts). Finally the referee steps in (2pts)…

Yep, I scored 55 points in the first part of the round. Now against a real person, this shouldn’t happen since you could throw enough bonus dice to break the cycle (in theory), but I was rolling 8 dice on both the Taking Control and the Clinch table against zero dice from my opponent from early on and it was a beating. This cycle happened again in the fourth round, but I managed to get the needed successes on the KO table to have him hit the canvas.

So after 4 bouts, Jacob McGrath is 4-0 with 2 KOs and a fame of 12.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kill the menacing Chieftain - SBH game

“Brave Men and Women – we are in desperate need of heroes to find Or’lath and his band of murderers. He is wanted by the crown for multiple attacks of the surrounding farms. A reward of 65 silver pennies will be given to the band that can kill Or’lath and 38 silver pennies for the death of Murlk, his Shaman. Others in service of Or’lath will be worth a nominal amount”

That is the posting that got Jareth into this mess three days ago. All of dirt, grime and crappy rations were worth it if they could get the drop on the huge bugbear Or’lath. Even after finding the trail, it was still mid-day before Jareth and his friends finally found the Chieftain and his minions that were running amok in the nearby countryside. The stage was set near a burnt out husk of a farm building…

This is the first battle for Jareth and his (self- proclaimed) Saviors of the Savage Lands (see earlier post). The mission is simple; kill Or’lath the Bugbear leader and/or his Shaman Murlk to save the nearby farms. This game was played with the Song of Blades and Heroes rule set. I decided that it would be easiest if I just played against a normal 300 pt warband to get myself re-acquainted with the rules before I made a large campaign out of the thing (I played a quick game at Origins – I split a force with a very cool gent who let me kill both of his savage orcs in two combats. Yep, I can sure roll 1s with the best of them). Both the Chieftain and the Shaman would be rewarded for cost in money if they were killed during the scenario but other models would be worth 25% their cost (not sure what the money is going to be used for just yet). The total amount in money would also be the amount of fame points (used to buy followers) that the characters would receive. Experience will be determined on the models killed in cost/10 with surviving characters getting a full share and OOA (out of action) models receiving one half share rounding all fractions normally at the end (not sure how I’ll handle XP yet either). Yep, I’m making these rules up as I go…

All Models from the ‘evil’ band were taken straight from the rulebooks. There were:
1 Bugbear Chieftain @ 65 pts
1 Orc Shaman @ 38 pts
3 Hobgoblin Bowman (used crossbowman stats) @ 38 pts
3 Savage Orc Warrios @ 27 pts
Total cost: 298 pts.

Here is the board layout. I didn't have a 3' square felt so I made do with what I had.

Turn 1: Heroes are considered the attackers and go first. I activate Erdan with 2 dice and roll snake eyes. Play passes to the Villains (or as I called them, baddies). Have played this game before, the quality 4+ figures all stay close to the leader to help them with their activation dice (now to be called AD). The three archers get an impressive group move that gets them close to the defensive hill in the middle.

Turn 2: Most heroes move up, but Xaria fails both AD dice and play passes with Flashfire getting a chance. The evil band continues to move up. Two archers attempt to shoot Jareth (one even aims) but both fail to do anything

Turn 3: All the heroes actually get to move forward and are taking command of the hill. Durgon get surrounded by three attackers and is unable to stave off the incoming attacks and is killed [6 + 3 vs. 3 +1 (die rolls in bold)].

The situation right before Durgon is slain. Notice how far up he and Pip are.

Turn 4: Erdan shoots at an archer making it ‘fall’, but Jareth fails 2 AD and the turn passes to the Baddies. The chieftain moves up to Pip with a buddy and slays him [6 +5 vs. 3 + 2].

Turn 5: Heroes seeing their chances dwindling conducts an all out advance towards the chieftain but Flashfire gets only a single success and can’t press the attack. Jareth recoils from an attack which allows Flashfire to be surrounded by enemies and is killed by the chieftain [5 + 4 vs. 4 + 1]. Heroes must make a morale check due to being at 50%. All heroes flee one or two movements but none off the board.

After the heroes fled from the loss of Flashfire. Perhaps it was just a strategic retreat?

Turn 6: (The turning point for the heroes. I was so ‘inspired’ by the action; I had to go tell my wife!) Erdan moves forward ignoring the closest savage orc (Erdan is worth 60 pts so he can ignore a model that is 27) and shoots the chieftain [6 + 5 vs. 1 + 4] slaying him! One bowman flees the board. The elf moves forward with grace and determination shooting his bow and manages to catch the chieftain square between the eyes felling him. All the evil models move to get close to the shaman.

The lone elf makes ready his bow...

Turn 7: There is an ineffective shot from Erdan, but Jareth knocks a bowman down. The bowman stands just as a buddy helps knock Jareth down.

Things don't look good for the Jareth (who can barely be seen).

Turn 8: Jareth stands and Erdan shoots killing an orc warrior [4 + 4 vs. 1 + 3]. Jareth gets surrounded by three attackers and is gruesomely killed [6 + 3 vs. 2 + 1]. The remaining heroes must take two morale checks which doesn’t make either run off the board.

Turn 9: Erdan moves, performs a powerful attack and gruesomely kills an orc warrior [6 + 4 vs. 1 + 2]. This forces two morale checks (the kill and @ 50%) and most flee at least one movement. The shaman flees off the board. Interestingly, the now lead model made 6 successes @ 4+! The Orcs try to consolidate, but with 4+ quality, it’s slow going.

Turn 10: Xaria moves to cast a level 1 transfix spell on an archer behind cover who fails the check [3]. Erdan aims at the transfixed model killing it [5 + 5 vs. 2 + 2]. The remaining archer gets 3 successes, moves and aims at Erdan pushing him back [3 + 3 vs. 1 + 3].

Turn 11: Erdan shoots archer knocking him down [4 + 4 vs. 3 + 2]. Xaria seeing an opening moves and casts a power 1 spell at fallen archer, but it resists [2 +3 vs. 4 + 3]! The archer only gets a single success and stands.

Xaria in the forefront trying to slay the knocked down archer!

Turn 12: Erdan fails on 2 AD [2, 1] and play passes. Archer moves up to attack Xaria and they exchange blows with no real victor [1 + 3 vs. 2 + 2].

Turn 13: Erdan moves and attacks archer but merely pushes him off the hill [5 + 4 vs. 5 + 2]. Xaria casts a power 2 transfix spell at the archer and it fails [4, 1]. The final warrior moves to engage Xaria, but the archer is still transfixed [4, 2, 1].

Turn 14: Erdan again fails on 2 AD and play passes. Warrior attacks Xaria and the Mage manages to push it back [2 + 3 vs. 5 + 2]. The archer still transfixed [5, 3, 1].

Turn 15: Erdan shoots at transfixed archer and kills him [3 + 6 vs. 5 + 3]. Xaria fails to activate. The final warrior rolls 3 AD, but only gets a single success. Move to engage Xaria.

Turn 16: Erdan gets 3 successes and performs a powerful attack with Xaria by his side gruesomely kills the final warrior [4 + 4 vs. 1 + 1].

Post game report: The heroes gained 98 silver pennies, gained 98 fame points and also gained 195 exp. With only 4 shares that gives 5 exp (195 / 10 / 4 = 4.8 rounds to 5) to both surviving members (namely Erdan and Xaria) and 2 exp (195 / 10 / 4 / 2 = 2.4 rounds to 2) to the rest. Both Flashfire and Durgon received grievous wounds and will miss the next scenario. Jareth and Pip were wounded and be a -1 combat for the next game. It looks like I’ll need some reinforcements if I plan on winning the next one!

Final analysis: This game rocked. I was on the ‘edge of my seat’ the entire time. It played quick and the action was awesome (you can see the measuring sticks I made in the pictures which helped a ton. I definitely need to make range sticks for shooters). After the heroes lost 3 of their numbers, I thought I was going to have to follow Or’lath and his band in a campaign considering how awesome they were doing (and it looked like the heroes were going to be wiped out)! The tide turned when Erdan shot and killed the leader since I had just reread the rules that morning and could skip the closest warrior. Like I said, I had visions of Lord of the Rings during that and had to explain my excitement to my wife (much to her chagrin). Actually, if you think about it, Erdan did almost all the work himself (Xaria transfixed the archer that allowed Erdan to finish him off).

The only issue with this game is that I played it to the last model. Once both personalities of Or’lath’s warband were dead or had fled the table, the rest should have dissolved away (they didn’t have any reason to continue really) and I maybe I should have stated that in my pregame decisions. Another sore spot I had is once the heroes had been taken to 50% and no casualties on the other side, it felt dirty of me to continue the game (none of their personalities were gone at that time however), but I don’t have the answer on how to fix that one. Of course, that would have ended it in turn 5 and I’d not have had the joy of the Erdan shot! Perhaps some self preservation check or some such.

Saviors of the Savage Lands

Since I bought the Song of Blades and Heroes rule book at Origins, I have been inching to play it. I wouldn't say it's the only reason that I finally got the work completed on my gaming area, but it is definitely one of the reasons. The first thing I needed to do was to create a warband for a campaign. I figured that I would stay within the 300 pts (with 100 pts of personalities) and after thinking about it, I came up with this. As you can see from the picture, the band poses for a picture near the ruins of a farmhouse.

Jareth - Personality (60)
Quality 3+, Combat 3
Special Rules: Leader

Xaria - Personality (38)
Quality 4+, Combat 2
Special Rules: Magic-User

Erdan (60)
Quality 3+, Combat 4
Special Rules: Forester, Shooter: Long

Flashfire (49)
Quality 5+, Combat 5
Special Rules: Animal, Flying, Heavy Armor, Long Move, Shooter: Short

Durgon (50)
Quality 3+, Combat 4
Special Rules: Fearless, Heavy Armor, Short Move

Pip (40)
Quality 3+, Combat 3
Special Rules: Free Disengage, Shooter: Short, Short Move, Stealth

I hope to be using this band of characters soon. We will see how they do in their first outing!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gaming Table

As you can see in this picture, we (my dad and myself) are working on making a gaming table. Two actually, since the construction of a second one wasn't going to be all that different from the first. I was going to have them at gut height while standing, but in the end went with about normal table height off the ground. So with a single piece of 4x8' plywood and a few 2x4 boards I will have 2 4x4' gaming tables. As you can see, the first table is taking shape.

I'll spare you with the complete how-to guide as there are enough of those already on the internet. Once at the completed stage (at least building wise) it was time to stain them. At the right, you can see the drop cloth under the table ready for the staining.

The gaming area!

The first post is always the hardest or in my case, since this is a gaming blog, the start up is always the hardest. I have a lot of gaming stuff, but I never seem to play with it. I have countless miniatures, rulebooks and solo games that go unused since I don't ever 'feel' like playing. In late August, I decided to change that. I figured if I started a gaming blog that I would play more games so I would stay current.

The first mission was a place to actually game. Folding tables or dining room tables are nice, but the game needs to be cleaned up once the day is done or you get some angry family members. I have an unfinished basement that I was leary to do anything with since the more stuff you put into the area, the harder it will be to move all that stuff once the time and money for finishing the basement begins! Of course, all of my gaming stuff is actually down there, so why not add a bit more to the 'clutter' and start on my project! That in mind, I figured that I'd need some more lighting and a couple of gaming tables to get this off of the ground.