Sunday, August 1, 2010

Red Sand, Blue Sky

After reading all the battle reports on this game I went ahead and picked it up. After reading the rules for myself, it was time to get into the arena and finally play a game. So excited about this game, I made an arena for all my gladiator combats using a pizza pan (see previous entry). I don’t have any actual gladiator figures, but I have a ton of fantasy figures laying about so I grabbed a couple and placed them in the arena for the first contest! I have been thinking and talking about working a more fantasy spin on RSBS since I purchased it. However, since this is my first technical game of RSBS, I decided that I should use the regular rules and not add any specials, weapon or armor modifications into the mix.


In the early morning light, two gladiators face off for what could be the start of their glorious careers. Our first combatant is a lizardman Retiarius named G’agg and our second combatant is a human Secutor named Fetch. Both are REP 4 on the Fringes of the Empire (whatever that would be in my fantasy world)…
Both combatants are sent into the arena and the fighting (and betting) begins in earnest…

The first turn sees both move straight towards each other. Fetch closes the distance, but it looks like G’agg will still get to throw his net! G’agg lets it fly, but Fetch grabs it out of the air and causes a tug of war! Both gladiators fight with all their might, but in the end, the net is flung useless to the ground.

Both square off in the arena

Fetch moves in grabbing the initiative (again) and strikes at G’agg (not having enough movement for a bash). What looked like a telling blow turned to be a mere scratch on the left arm of G’agg. G’agg doesn’t opt to flank and attack and both exchange ineffective attacks. G’agg grabs the initiative, but both fighters fail to damage their opponent. Fetch seeing a possible opening attempts to flank and attack, but G’agg was ready for him and all Fetch does is tire himself out (G’agg passed one more die then Fetch). Wanting to conserve strength, Fetch backs down for this attack and it works. It looks like G’agg saw an opening that wasn’t there and wastes energy on nothing (Fetch rolled a single die, where G’agg rolled 3 – no successes for either however).

Current die pools:
Fetch at 12, G’agg at 11

G’agg retains the initiative looks to flank Fetch and end this, caught a bit off guard, Fetch wastes some energy and gets a spear shot into his upper Left Leg causing him to stumble back (G’agg passes one more die then Fetch and forces him to spend a 1d10 to keep G’agg to his front). On the attack, G’agg hits Fetch in the unprotected upper left leg and causes a wound that does a total of 3d10 and pushes him back an inch). Not to be outdone, Fetch rushes back in to attempt to win this battle, but G’agg is faster and stabs Fetch for a deep cut into his chest. Exhausted Fetch falls to the ground. G’agg is awarded his first (of many?) Laurel wreaths (and 4 AP). In the coming months both of Fetch’s wounds do not heal correctly and he is sold off never to combat again…

G'agg stands victorious over his foe!

Final thoughts: The game plays great. Between this and Fight Night Fights, I feel there is a lot more options available for the player to choose in RSBS than in FNF. Still, I can't wait to play again.


Mahon @ said...

I agree with your opinion. I also feel there's more depth and room for decisions in RSBS than in FNF.

Both are enjoyable, but while with RSBS I feel I have some serious influence on how my gladiator fights, in FNF I feel more like watching a boxing match. Exciting match, but not more than watching it. In RSBS I participate in the fight...

Chest of Colors: All About Miniature Painting

Brendan Mayhugh said...

I think you got it correctly. RSBS feels like I'm fighting in the arena and FNF feels like I'm watching a boxing match...

That said I was talking to a friend that I forced FNF on and we discussed 'reworking' the rules to more of a complete die pool with your stats being the target numbers for the different tables.

For Example: If I have a boxing of 4, instead of rolling four dice each time I'm on that boxing table, I count successes of 4 and lower. I haven't figured out how to do the die pool yet and how to work with the different rounds, but it was just a thought.

Mahon @ said...

That sounds really interesting.
Ed suggested allowing to use Bonus Dice for all tables. I think it would require at least doubling the number of bonus dice available.

Or maybe (wow, I've just had the idea!) give the player several types of bonus dice - one kind for every stat with numbers of dice equal to the stat.
Eg. Agility of 3 would give you 3 Agility Bonus Dice. Easy to keep track of because you would keep them as dice pools on your boxer's card.
Then you could use these dice for tests involving these stats (eg. agility bonus dice for tests involving agility). Only one bonus die allowed per test. Normal bonus dice would be allowed as per the rules, so in some cases you could get 2 bonus dice (1 normal and 1 stat-related) if both players agree.

What do you think about it?
And I am looking forward to the results of your attempts.

Chest of Colors: All About Miniature Painting

Brendan Mayhugh said...

Curse you! :) All this talk is making me think more about it...

First off, I think you put in the RSBS mechanic for initiative. Using that, you can make the round end when the total number of 10+ cards (aces are high) equal 5. In my quick and dirty trial of 15 'rounds' the average was 7 actions for each boxer (two were 9+ which was larger than my sample size, and the lowest I had was 4 compared to the statistical lowest of 3). Mt thought is that each boxer gets so many dice back to their pool during the break (perhaps a use for the stamina skill).

I'd like to see this converted into a miniature game (since I own 5 of the THW boxers). My thought is to change the stalking table to 'hexes moved' and make the ring be 5 by 5 (hexes or squares I haven't decided).

I looked in vain for my rules, but I have misplaced them in an effort to clean up my gaming area... Now that's a statement eh?