Thursday, January 20, 2011

New game: Song of Blades and Heroes

For the first time in a long time, I made it to the Lone Star Historical Miniatures Tuesday night gathering at Dragon's Lair-San Antonio.  It was well worth the trip--I was able to get in a game of Hordes of the Things (which I will discuss in a later post), and I also got to play a game I recently acquired and have been waiting to try out: Song of Blades and Heroes, by Ganesha Games.

SBH is a quick-play fantasy skirmish wargame.  Fast is good when you don't have as much free time as you used to, and the skirmish means you don't need that many figures, which is good when you don't have as much cash as you used to.  The rulebook is inexpensive and available online along with several official expansions.  There's also a Yahoo group  as well as plenty of fan supplements.  Best of all, like HotT, the rules work with pretty much any figure, so I was able to draft some Heroscape minis for this battle (of which I have a ton), and I didn't even have to rebase them.  My apologies for the poor quality of the pictures below; once again I forgot my camera and had to shoot photos with my phone:

My robot warband.  That's right, robots in a fantasy wargame.
My opponent, da Baron Aaron, is starting up a SBH campaign, and he offered to show me the ropes.  His warband consisted of recycled World of Warcraft miniatures, some of which he had repainted.
The leader of the warband scans for the approaching enemies.
 The scenario we played, Treasure Hunt, resulted in my warband finding the marker with the hidden treasure just inches from my own board edge.  I thought the game was pretty much over by then, since I believed I would be able to scoop up the maguffin and haul ass off my edge of the board for victory.  The dice had other plans--failed activation rolls on my part and smart playing on my opponent's part got his warband over to my edge of the playing field pretty quickly.  And since my robots apparently have the shooting skills of Imperial Stormtroopers, it wasn't long before we were in hand-to-hand combat.
The enemy, who made a lot of activation rolls, approaches.
Lucky for me, my robots proved tough when things got up close and personal.  The organics lost some close combat rolls and got knocked down (it's either this or get knocked back a base width when you lose but your opponent's roll is less than double your roll).  Once knocked prone, the life forms were easy pickings hand-to-hand or with a quick shot from afar.  I destroyed three out of his five figures this way (the three he had painted), causing one more to flee, leaving the leader by himself.
Ashes to ashes, all fall down!
It was a fun game, and the activation roll mechanics make for interesting turns--you could miss your rolls and not get to move anyone, or you could make all your rolls and let everyone do pretty much anything, or something in between.  Also, warbands take about five minutes to create with an online calculator, so I will be coming back to this game again and again.  After all, I have plenty of Heroscape figures ready for action.


Bartender said...

Love the second photo! Very cinematic!

Desert Scribe said...

Thanks, Bartender! I was feeling kinda creative when I took that.

HoldFast said...

Love the Robo-Dillos!