Tuesday, 5 August 2008

1st Battle Report - Song Of Blades & Heroes.

Last night was my first read through of the rules and first battle. This was a solo effort, as I want to know my way around the game well enough before I try to explain it to my 7 year old son.

The game is surprisingly quick to get to grips with and requires minimal references to statistics. The 3 stick movement system is also fantastic. Both these factors leave you free to concentrate on where to move your figures. It's also a nice quick, easy system for assembling a fighting unit.

This first battle was between a raiding party of orcs seen here in the bottom right hand corner - and a group of dwarf fighters in the upper left.

The breakdown is as follows :

ORCS - 1 Standard Bearer / 4 Archers / 5 Warriors

DWARVES - 1 Commander / 1 Orc Slayer / 1 Skirmisher / 3 Crossbows / 2 Elite Warriors.

The game lasted a 13 full rounds. (a round being 1 turn each for the orcs and the dwarves.)

The orcs took the initiative, with the archers being ordered to take position in the trees, and the warriors moving onto the road toward the ruins. The flag bearer took up a central position so that he was able to command either group. During the first part of the battle, the dwarves were dogged by misfortune, and as a result unable to move more than a couple of figures. With this in mind the group of archers were ordered to break cover and make for the ruins.

The 2 elite dwarves moved to the North end of the ruins and ran into the wall of archers. the first volley of arrows failed to cause any damage to the lone elite, but the second volley brought both dwarves down.

At the same time one of the orc warriors had moved through the ruins to engage the orc slayer, but was surounded and quickly despatched by the skirmisher. this caused the onlooking warrior to panic and flee from the battle.

The orc slayer and commander were now free to approach a pair of archers who had become seperated, but were both forced to give ground on their first attack. The orc archers re-grouped, but before they could let off another volley, the orc slayer had executed one of them, which sent another 2 scampering for safety.

During theis time, the orc flag bearer moved into the ruins to order the group of warriors to attack the now undefended crossbow units. The order went unheeded though. This gave the commander and orc slayer time to join them with moral support. There was a small amount of scuffling in which both sides withdrew a little. A lucky shot from one of the crossbows dispatched the orc flag bearer.

This lowered moral of the last 2 orcs, and with the time at 1.am, drew the conflict to an end.

Final score - Dwarves 2 dead / Orcs 3 dead - rest fled.

I really do recommend this game, as a quick and easy introduction to fantasy battles. The simple mechanics, and minimal use of complex tables is ideal for the novice, yet still allows for hardened gamers to concentrate on tactics. With a price tag of just $4 / £2 for the PDF, it's hardly a massive risk investment either.

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