Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bees of Iskedumdrum

I played another game of Song of Shadows and Dust with the kids over the weekend. This time I actually got them to make up their own factions (using my figures – for the moment). We thought we might start a campaign, but then later decided we’d play a few more one-off games to get a sense of how it works. I also wanted to try and make up a new campaign system with some elements from Song of Deeds and Glory.

I’ve been obsessing over this game for the last few weeks and have been thinking I might actually use it for the 11th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash in February (since this year’s skirmish campaign went over so well… We shall see… but part of the obsessing has involved trying to find the best deals on some armed ancient civilians so the kids could make their own factions and I decided that the Wargames Factory Numidian Light Infantry might be the best option – inexpensive plastic, lots of customizing options – they can all have bare heads (i.e. no helmets) and have a range of weapons that might be useful for a street fight (swords, slings, bows – clubs and other things could easily be converted – I could even leave the hands empty for unarmed civilians or add a little ball of green stuff to make them look like they’re chucking rocks).

So When I happened to be looking at them today I happened to notice that they’re 25% off (some sort of sale tied in with Historicon) and that the shipping to Canada for one box was $12, but the shipping for two was $14… so I ordered three boxes in the end… yeah…  and a couple of frames of Persian infantrymen that were on some crazy blow out sale (6 frames/12 figures for $2.40!?! plus they were 25% off of that too!? How could I NOT tack a couple of those one for a few more conversion options!?)

Anyway… the game…


Iskedumdrum, 69BCE

SITUATION

Marcus Petrificus Totalis, unsavoury Roman Noble and very corrupt politician, had had it with his political rival and was out for a bit of pay-back after a particularly effective smear campaign. Well… HE called it a smear campaign… all his opponents did was bring to light some of Totalis nefarious undertakings…


SCENARIO

The Girl rolled “Seize the Suburb” for her faction’s objective – meaning she gained victory points for “controlling” certain buildings – receiving points for every turn that she held them.

The Boy rolled “Aeneas’ Bees” for his. He had to retrieve a bee hive from one part of the table and throw it in through a building in another part of the table! Revenge is sweet!

It was midday, The Boy was attacking, The Girl went first.


FORCES

The Boy’s Faction

Marcus Petrificus Totalis – Faction Leader
Q 3+, C 2, 60 points
Leader

Phillipadonis – Cretan Bodyguard
Q 3+, C 3, 60 points
Agile, Armed, Bow, Protect Leader

5x Armed Henchmen (Sword or Spear)
Q 4+, C 3, 26 Points
Armed, Bellicose


The Girl’s Faction

Porcia Venustus – Faction Leader
Q 3+, C 2, 60 points
Leader

Canicula - Dog

Decimus Atrius - Assasin
Q 3+, C 4, 90 points
Agile, Poison, Quick, Stealth

4x Armed Henchmen (Sword or Spear)
Q 4+, C 3, 26 Points
Armed, Bellicose



THE GAME

The Boy, when I read his objective, decided that would be too hard to do and he’d just ignore it and try and kill all of his enemies… until I explained how the victory points worked for that particular objective – he only got 1 VP for every 100 points of enemy he took out (as opposed to the usual 1 VP for 25 points), but he got 10VP for delivering the bee hive to the house. Also considering how quickly The Girl couple potentially accumulate points if she managed to control any of the designated buildings AND she got 1 VP for every 50 points of enemies she took out… he decided he’d have a go at grabbing the bee hive.

Right from the get-go I though this was going to be a really interesting scenario – I will have to make some proper mini bee hives for when thei comes up in the future!

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)


The scene of the confrontation. The Boy’s faction is arrived  at the left, The Girls faction is arriving at the right of the picture.


Marcus Petrificus Totalis, Phillipadonis – his loyal bodyguard Cretan Bodyguard, and five other hired thugs arrive in Venustus’ neighborhood.


Warned of Totalis’ approach, Porcia Venustus and a few of her loyal followers spread out to protect the shops and abode of her loyal clients she thought Totalis might act against.


The Irritable Mule and the makeshift Objective Marker/Bee Hive.


Noisy Pigeons that would momentarily take to flight whenever anyone approached (negating any Stealth or Ambush bonuses)  


Porcia Venustus people spread out through the neighborhood.


On the Boy’s first turn two of his henchmen advanced towards buildings to try and challenge The Girl’s control of them… and then rolled a turn over – the first of MANY early turn-overs in the game… Not being able to make it to the one building The Girl’s faction was already in contact with, The Girls scored her first victory point


On his next turn they spread out a bit more...


On the Girl’s third turn she got one of her henchmen in contact with one of the Boy’s that was in contact with one of the buildings she needed to control to score points… the two were set apart from the rest of the groups and would always selected last to activate as they would not enjoy their leader’s activation bonus… as there were so many turn-overs rolled they stood there in contact for many turns… so we figured without their bosses eyes on them or any sort of back-up, both parties were reluctant to engage and stood in the street circling each other trying to taunt each other while a nearby citizen implored them to calm themselves and that there was no need for bloodshed! 


The two groups spied each other as they rounded a corner in an alley way in the middle of the table. With all the failed activation rolls it seemed they were a little reluctant to engage…


First Blood went to Phillipadonis – the Cretan Bodyguard – with his first shot he took down one of Venustus’ henchmen! So incensed by this sudden violence in the street one of the nearby civilians activated to join The Girl’s side.


Venustus’ henchmen rushed forward to get at the Cretan Bodyguard before he could get off another one of his deadly shots.


One of Totalis’ men took out the newly activated civilians – in hindsight, not the best idea – easy to take out but counted towards the total dead which would bring the end of the scenario quicker.


Rolling to activate Phillipadonis who – when within the leaders command range - activated on a 2+… this was the third or fourth time this had happened… so he decided they were cursed and switched dice.


On his next turn… first activation... yellow dice didn’t seem to be working so great either!?


The Cretan Bodyguard – outnumbered and knocked down!


Some of Totalis’ men rushed back to help out the body guard – distracting them for their objective and getting them bogged down in a brawl in the middle of the table which they couldn’t come out of on top…


Venustus’ dog joined in the fray.


Another of Venustus’ henchmen cut down in the battle.


Finally on the Eighth Turn The Girl was able to activate the separated hanchman and…


Knocked down his opponent!


Just when I thought The Boys luck couldn’t get any worse… SERIOUSLY!? 

Later I started joking that if he rolled that again he should just quit because he clearly did not have the favour of the gods today. 


The back street brawl drags on turn after turn.


“Just stay down there until I can activate again…”


The Cretan Body guard finally extracted himself from the brawl and loosed another arrow – missing Venustus’ henchmen – before joining his boss and making for the Bee Hive.


Four henchmen and a civilian lie injured in the street.


Totalis grabs the bee hive.


On his following turn Totalis makes it past the Irritable Mule…


Venustus’ henchmen finally takes out the downed opponent…


Venustus’ dog and remaining henchmen at the street brawl in the center of the table gang up on  the last of Totalis’ men there.


He is driven back into the corner…


The Cretan Bodyguard sneaks past the Irritable Mule… but one of the henchmen is kicked and recoils.


The last of Totalis’ men fights desperately to keep the game going (once the death toll reaches seven the game ends…)....


...but is finally slain.


As it turns out it was probably for the best – for Marcus Petrificus Totalis – tottering down the street with his beehive – the building in view – he suddenly heard shouts of “THE GUARD IS HERE! THE GUARD IS HERE! RUN FOR IT!” knowing this was the end and he could not possibly make it to the building and get away before getting caught by The Guard, Totalis cursed, tossed the bee hive to the ground and ran for it – little did he know it probably save his life, for hiding behind the corner of the building he would have to pass to get to the target building was The Girls assassin!! Without the support of his body guard and henchmen –who were still trying to slip past the Irritable Mule – Totalis could not possibly survive against the assassin!

Another totally exciting game – we played TWELVE TURNS – which seems like a lot, but I don’t think either of the kids got through an entire turn without rolling a turn-over – often it was on their first activation!!

In the end The Girl ended up with four victory points – two for holding buildings for a turn, two for taking down 100points of The Boys faction. The boy, on the other hand, ended up with nothing. The civilian he took out was worthless, and the two Henchmen weren’t worth 100 points.

Checking afterwards both of Venustus’ and the civilian died of their wounds. Two of Totalis’ men died as well, but the third escaped with minor wounds and would have been fit to fight in the next scenario – had we continued on with a campaign…



Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

More Song of Shadows and Dust, and some more Romans followed by a few greeks then on to the Egyptians and Nubians! 

More Ancients – Mostly Roman Soldiers

Another Batch of Romans… I thought this would be the last, but I found a few more I thought I’d paint up as individually-based skirmishin’ figures (they were originally earmarked for potential DBA armies… but I don’t think I’ll ever get around to doing a FIFTH Early Imperial Roman Army… so…)

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):


This weeks work… Mostly Roman Soldiers.


One batch of Roman legionnaires – these are a mix of figures from Gripping Beast and (I think…) a few really old Citadel Miniatures.


Next Batch of Romans – this time with a few Auxiliaries in the mix – again Gripping Beast and the old Citadel and the two Auciliary spearmen… I have no idea… got them in a trade.


Last batch of Romsn Soldiers – these are all old Citadel Miniatures (I think…).


A few Greeks – the Archer is from Black Tree Design, the dead Spartan I got in a pack from  Warlord Games and the other fellow, that I initially also thought was a casualty – but I now think is actually just a drunk lying in the street, was from Wargames Foundry (could be handy for Song of Shadows and Dust - possibly instead of an “Irritable Mule” I could have and “Angry Drunk Lying in the Street”)


An Irritable Mule and some Pigeons – which I will be using for Song of Shadows and Dust.


One more ancient Roman citizen – a young lad from Wargames Foundry


Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I’d like to get in another game of Song of Shadows and Dust, but the kids have also been trying to convince me to run a Tale of Blades and Heroes/A Song of Blades and Heroes campaign set in the world of the Ancient/Mythical Greeks…

I have hoped to be done with painting Romans this week, but I have a few more to finish up… I had be planning to start in on the Egyptians and Nubians this next week, but I’ve got a handful of Greek on the go… perhaps after them I’ll get going on the Egyptians and Nubians. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Song of Shadows and Dust


I finally got around to reading Song of Shadows and Dust and have been pretty excited about getting it on the table since. The kids finally humoured me and played a game I set up for them.

I actually got so excited I briefly thought I might use it (along with elements of the campaign Song of Deeds and Glory for the 2015 Winter Wargaming Weekend – give the popularity of the skirmish campaign we had at the 10th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash this past February… But then I got thinking I’d potentially have to come up with 80-10 civilians (for 4-5 tables) and another 6-7 gangs worth of guys (I could easily field two – maybe three…) and BUILD another 3-4 tables worth of buildings!? Not saying it wouldn’t be possible… but I had other plans already and those plans involved painting figures I already HAVE! Maybe I’ll have another wargaming weekend… I’ll definitely get a little campaign going with the kids and maybe Amanda and anyone else local that wants to get in on it…


Weaver’s Quarter, Iskedumdrum, 69BCE

SITUATION

The Weaver’s of the Weaver’s Guild in the Weaver’s Quarter of Iskedumdrum had enough of paying taxes to the municipal authorities and then having to pay their “extra taxes” to some corrupt militiaman for “protection”. The Weaver’s were a force to be reckoned with. They were very skilled and relatively wealthy and well respected. The cloth woven in Iskedumdrum was becoming famous and sought after throughout the empire. They shouldn’t have to pay “extra taxes” they figured… so they stopped. Not wanting the other craftsmen and guilds in the other district any funny ideas this situation had to be brought to a quick end or the Militia would find every quarter not bothering to pay their “extra taxes”!!


FORCES

The Weavers Guild (played by The Girl)

Textora Majorica - Demagogue – the outspoken and eloquent leader of the Weaver’s Guild.
Q 3+, C 2, 74 points
Demagogue, Dogged, Plebian

Urus the Dancing Bear
Q 4+, C 0, 23 points
Animal, Distracting

Julia - Armed Hench(wo)man
Q 4+, C 3, 36 points
Armed, Bellicose

5x Henchmen
Q 4, C 3, @27 points ea
Grey


The Militia (played by The Boy)

Gaius Foetidus Flatus – Militia Officer
Q 2+, C 3, 95 points
Armed, Leader, Lucky

4x Veteran Militiamen
Q 3+, C 3, @50 points ea
Armed, Bludgeon, Determined


SCENARIO

Rolling for objectives:

The Militia got “Looking for Trouble” – so they were just there to kick butt and remind those pesky Weaver’s just who was in charge!

The Weaver’s rolled “Keeping the King’s Peace” which meant they were trying to maintain control over the populace by showing they could protect them – they would loose Victory Points for any civilians killed! (Not a good start for a side with a Demagogue – that depends on help from those civilians!)

The scenario took place at high noon so there were 12 civilians on the table.

The Weavers were defending.

THE GAME

One thing I really like about Song of Shadows and Dust is the “interactive terrain” I suppose you could call it – there can be piles of civilians wandering the streets – depending on the time of day – that could potentially aid you our just run away… There’s animals that make noise that makes it hard for people to sneak around near them and there’s an irritable mule that kicks anyone that comes too close…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)


There’s supposed to be “poultry” set up by the defender which make noise when anyone is near and negates the Stealth special rule and nullifies any ambush bonus anyone lurking near them might have otherwise got. Lacking poultry, we set up a barky dog that barked at anyone that came near…


I did have a mule… but I’m thinking I’ll have to put a mule on a larger base this one didn’t really have a big enough one to block anyone’s way anywhere – except right here in a passageway.

Or perhaps I need more buildings and tighter corridors!?


Gaius Foetidus Flatus leads his militiamen into the Weaver’s Guild.


Having been warned by look-outs that the Militiamen were approaching, Textora Majorica, leader of the Weavers’ Guild, escorted by a few of her most trusted guild members heads out to confront them.


The scene of our confrontation: the Militia are at the right of the picture, the Weavers at the left.


The Militiamen at the end of their first turn.


The Weavers enter the square and spot the Militiamen.


At this point The Girl was anxious about using the Demagogue to rally the citizens of her district because the Militia would get an extra victory point for each one that was killed… so she just hung back to see what happened.


The Militiamen rushed forwards – there was a clash of metal on wood and bodies tumbling over each other a few fell to the ground in the scrum.


At one end of the line a Weaver got up only to be cut down by one of a Militiamen’s gladius. At the other end a pack of the Weavers ganged up on a Militiaman and brought him down.


The militiamen cut down another Weaver and reformed into a line.


At this point it was looking grim for the Weavers – the advantage the armed and armoured Militiamen had was great… Textora Majorica cried out and plead for help from the citizens of her district – would they allow such violence and barbarity to go on in their quarter!? Especially at the hands of those who were ostensibly there to “protect” them?

The denizens gathered in…


The Militia carried on with their attacks – 6 civilians were within one short of the first attack – two fled, but the other FOUR joined the Weavers! (as the militia were armed and fighting against unarmed defenders and the defenders were “Gray” – meaning they blended in and looked like honest ordinary citizens that were being attacked for no apparent reason – they had hefty bonuses to their Quality rolls to see if they got involved!)


One of the citizens was quickly cut down as he tried to stop one of the militiamen from charging in against the Weavers. (I need to make some civilian casualty markers…).


Things went downhill quickly for the militia, in one turn one of their number was ganged up on in melee and taken down (knocked down by one in contact, finished off by another). A second Militiaman was knocked down by a large crock that had been hurled at him from a short distance by one of those newly joined citizens – and then was finished off by a second newly joined civilian who was throwing… er… chickens!? (the figure was holding chickens and the kids were delighted by the fact that a militiaman was taken out by someone hurling dead chickens at him… they’re 8 and 10… who am I to complain as long as they’re playing games with me and having fun!)

The remaining Militiaman in the scrap then failed morale and dashed out of there – thankfully before he had been surrounded! At that point the Militia decided to call it a day and scarpered back to their guard tower with their legs well and truly between their legs…

Don’t mess with the weavers of Iscadumdrum!

In the end the Militia scored 3 Victory Points for the two weavers and one citizen taken out during the game. When we checked after the game both the Weavers survived with light wounds and could fight again the next game (if we had one), the citizen, however had been slashed across the neck with a gladius and bled out in the street…

The Weavers got 6 victory Points for the three Militiamen they took down and a further two for the remaining ones that fled off the table… of the downed militiamen only one survived. The other two, if they weren’t killed in the actual action, were quickly beaten to death by the angry gathering mob! The one that slipped away was only lightly wounded.

I am pretty fired up to get a campaign of this going.

I will have to find a few more figures to act as faction members… perhaps I could use a few of the Greeks that I have… I suppose I do have some Egyptians that I could press into service…?


Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I have one last batch of Romans that I’m finishing up this week that hopefully I will be posting pictures of shortly. I think the kids and I will definitely get Amanda trying out Song of Shadows and Dust over the weekend!