Saturday, May 24, 2014

POWER LEGION – Playtest #1

Almost two weeks ago I volunteered to help out with the play-testing of Power Legion – a new Super Hero game from Ganesha Games using the ever popular Song of Blades and Heroes game engine. In fact one of the first thoughts I had while reading the first rule set I picked up by Andrea Sfiligoi (which was Of Gods and Mortals) was that this would be perfect for Super Heroes… After a week, however, I was feeling a little guilty about not having even READ the rules., let along doing any play-testing!? (it’s a CrAzY-busy time of year… those regular followers might have noticed a bit of a drop-off in posts and production of miniatures…). So I enlisted the help of The Boy. I handed him the rules I printed off and said; “read these, set up a game…” and this afternoon, he did…

He was having a little trouble sorting out point values and stuff so I told him – pick some figures that are cool 2-3 per side. Give them some stats and abilities based on what you might think they should have… don’t worry about the points…. Here’s what he came up with...

(I was asking a lot here…. He’s ten and hasn’t has a lot of experience with designing scenarios and teams – especially for brand new games that he’s just read the rules for….)

River City, 24 may 2014


Dr. Switzler and the Mean Guys (the super villain group) challenged the River City Crusaders to a battle in downtown River City. Part of the City was evauated and the two teams faced off in Downtown River City


Two Teams – Do Battle! (and figure out the rules as we go)


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

Dr. Switzler and the Mean Guys at one end of the street…

Aaaaand ANOTHER picture of Dr. Switzler and the Mean Guys…

Finnegan takes the first move and advances the River City Crusaders up the street.

AT the end of my first move – Zoomer has raced across the table and gotten into contact with Silver Warrior (I think he took a swing at him, but missed), Dr. Switzler has flown onto the roof of the Super Pawn, and Sharkzilla and Rulk just trundled up the street a bit…

Ba-DAM!!  The Armoured Avenger flies up to the roof of the Super Pawn and Knocks down Dr. Switzler!

Ska-DOOOSH! The Silver Warrior Knocks Zoomer right out!!

Dr. Switzler springs back up and flails about in a slap fight with the Armoured Avenger. Mr. tough Guy continues to trundle down the street.

Sharkzilla and Rulk trundling up the street a bit more…

Sharkzilla and Rulk Try teaming up on Mr. Tough-Guy. Armoured Avenger is reeling from one of Dr. Switzler’s blows.

A big ol’ gang rumble in the street… which bogged down a bit and we decided to call it. We’d learned enough of the basics to go back to the drawing board and make some better heroes and villains and re-read (or READ for the first time – in my case) the rules to try and find the things we missed or got mixed up on. Finding balance is very hard in superheroes games - in most I've played they seem to bog down and end up with guys standing toe-to-toe hamering on each other without any ability to actually DO anything to each other!? The bogging down in out game was probably due to the design of our Super Heroes and Villains (like I said, despite his enthusiasm, it was a lot of ask of a ten year old...) 

General Impressions

AWE-SOME! This is going to be SUPER fun when we figure out what we’re doing – the game seems to have a LOT of potential. Stay tuned for more play-test reports!

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I finished up painting a batch of Dark Age figures over the last week, I just haven’t had a chance to flock the bases and take pictures and post them… I’ve started prepping and priming a bunch of Egyptian and Nubian warriors (both singly-based for skirmishing and ones on temporary painting bases that will ultimately end up on DBA element bases)… but now that I’ve played a game of this I might get motivated to paint up a few ofhte other Super Hero and Villain figures I have kicking around that I haven’t gotten to painting just yet… 


  1. This is really cool, thanks for the playtest report. I own Songs of Blades and Heroes plus some expansions but have yet to play any of them. My version of The Boy is only five, so it may take a bit still.

    1. I'm pretty sure I started playing Hordes of hte Things with Finnegan when he was 6 (and Keira 4). Song of Blades and Heroes is about the same, if not easier (I wish I'd stumbled on it earlier). I credit those early games of HotT for Finnegan's learning to add and subtract, double and halve single digit numbers in head so quickly in a way pages and pages of math exercises could never do!

  2. "in most I've played they seem to bog down and end up with guys standing toe-to-toe hammering on each other without any ability to actually DO anything to each other!?"

    In my own games (using my own rules in which pretty much any character of a given level can pretty much hurt any other character of that level) I have got around static fights by using objective markers, which generally have to be found, identified and moved in order to win. They make for a very mobile game.

  3. Excellent report. Looks like a lot of fun.

  4. Love the buildings and the fact that you added a comic store. I sent you comments on the playtest list.

  5. Super job! (Pun intended) I did a play test this a few years ago and it was a ton of fun. I will be glad when a final version is available.

  6. Awesome battle! Thanks to your blog I'm looking forward to getting into 'Song of Drums and Shakos' asap =)

  7. I see a lot of dice up there in the first picture. Does this game not use the 3 d6 like SBH?

    1. Power Legion is a bit of a departure from the usual SBH engine in that it does use different dice. Modifiers end up being dice shifts - similar to the Ambush Alley Games engine or, I think, Stargrunt (it's been a LONG time since I played Stargrunt, but I seem to recall there were dice shifts)

  8. You model town is fantastic; right out of the Simpsons.

    "Up and at them!"

    "No, up and atom!"

    "That is what I said, up and at them!"

    1. Thanks! I figured cartoony was appropriate for super heroes.

      (of course I originally made these for Zombie games...)