Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Song of Blades and Heroes

I’ve been tangentially aware of Song of Blades and Heroes for some time. Aware as in I was aware there was a game called A Song of Blades and Heroes and it was quite popular with some folks (though I didn’t know anyone who played it) and that it was popular enough that it had spawned a number of variant games for different settings all using the same game engine. When I saw
A Fistful of Kung Fu I thought it sounded like fun, but had been woefully disappointed with In Her Majesty’s Name so I wanted to see if I could find out a bit about other games the author had written. I discovered he not only wrote A Song of Blades and Heroes, but also wrote Of Gods and Mortals - which I had already picked up, but hadn’t gotten around to reading… I figured it couldn’t be that bad and pre-ordered it.

Now I’ve been pretty focused on Ronin – Skirmish Wargames in the Age of the Samurai for the last little bit - and I still love – but I needed to look at something else for a bit and thought I’d look into A Song of Blades and Heroes and maybe read Of Gods and Mortals. So I looked into A Song of Blades and Mortals and read Of Gods and Mortals. Of Gods and Mortals looked pretty neat and everything I read about A Song of Blades and Heroes lead me to believe it might be something I’d be keen on and could play with the kids.

So I bought it.

It arrived on Monday. (along with Tales of Blades and Heroes and Song of Shakos and Drums… but that’s a whole other story…). I ordered hard copy printed books, because that’s how I roll… read them… and decided to throw down with the kids between violin lessons and my Cycling Advisory Group meeting.

Here’s how it turned out.

First of all I let the kids play with miniatures of their own – which they were SO stoked about. They’ve been painting miniatures for the last year and have been amassing quite a collection… but we’ve had little opportunity to make use of any of their miniatures. So today they quickly picked out 200 points worth of their own minis and did battle!


Finnegan decided his lizardmen had been raiding farms in the area for some time so some of Keira’s Womyn Warriors that guarded the communities decided to put and end to that.


Finnegan’s Lizard Men

Lizardman Leader (82 Points) Quality 3+, Combat 4, Amphibious, Tailslap, Leader

2x Lizardman Warriors (@52 Points) Quality 3+, Combat 4, Amphibious, Tailslap,

(so Finnegan ended up with more points worth of “personalities” than he probably should have… but.. it was our first game…)

Keira’s Womyn Warriors

Human Leader (60 Points) Quality 3+, Combat 3, Leader

Human Elite Archer (50 Points) Quality 3+, Combat 3, Shooter (long), Unerring Aim

2x Human Archer (@44 Points) Quality 3+, Combat 3, Shooter (long),


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

As the game room is a bit of a mess, we set up our quick game on the dining room table.

The lizards approach another farm in search of tasty chickens and small children.

The Warrior Womyn prepare to defend their lands.

Turn One – both took some fairly cautious free moves to approach each other.

The Warrior Womyn’s advance was slow but deliberate.

The first volley of arrows knocked down a lizardman.

He got back up on his next turn and charged towards the Warrior Womyn

Unfortunately the other lizardman diced for activation and totally choked. DOH!

The poor lone lizardman went down in a hail of point blank arrow fire….

Hmmmmm… usually I leave dead figures on the table to show where they fell… but fallen figures in Song of Blades and Heroes has an entirely different meaning (i.e. not dead, just knocked down…). SO how am I to show dead guys in game reports and not have people who understand A Song of Blades and Heroes not get confused…

Well… the dead are supposed to be removed from the table, so…

The poor lone lizardman went down in a hail of point blank arrow fire….

Now that just looks silly! WHAT LIZARDMAN!?

Maybe I’ll have to come up with some more dead counters… or have a Grim Reaper miniature handy – like I used to use with old HOTT game reports to show where elements had been lost!

So… then the leader charged in… but didn’t have enough actions left to actually HIT his opponent – the devastatingly accurate elite archer.

On the Warrior Womyn’s turn the Leader stepped around into the melee – now outnumbering the Leader and knocked him to the ground.

The Elite Archer Womyn then stabbed the fallen leader and finished him off.

The remaining Lizardman failed morale and RAN!

The two remaining Archers gave chase and fired arrows after him!

But the lizardman was too quick and slipped off the board before they could make him into a pair of boots too! Not dead. 

There were smiles all around at the end and a consensus that this game must be explored further! Stay tuned for more!

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Hopefully I’ll get a bit more work done on the game boards tonight and perhaps we’ll get in a game of Song of Blades and Heroes tomorrow… 


  1. It's a fun system, looking forwards to more of your thoughts on it!

    1. I'm really enjoying it so far. It looks like a definite contender to replace my previous go-to skirmish game (Savage Worlds) - it is, so far - faster, more furious, and so far a lot of fun!

      Expect more game reports in the near future!

  2. Nice report, sounds like a good game...and long live to the lizardman!

    1. Yes! At least there was one survivor to go start a new warband!

  3. thank you for your batrep, if you do not mind I will share this with the SOBH/OGAM/Ganesha Games communities ...

    1. Cheers!

      Please feel free to share! That's what the blog is about - sharing my gaming experiences with the community.

  4. Great report! It is a very good system, but I have found that it can sometimes drag out a bit with the knockdowns and all (but maybe I just need to get the hang of tactics). I love how flexible it is, with lots of character, not many figures or space needed, and lots of variety possible, all while remaining pretty simple, too. I, too, look forward to more reports.

  5. In Her Majesty's Name is written by Craig Cartmell, not Andrea Sfilgoi.

    1. Yes, I am aware. I guess I wasn't clear in that statement - What I was trying to say was that I had bought a few Osprey Wargames, (because, when buying them from Amazon at least, the price was low enough that I can buy something without knowing anything about it, and if it's not something I'm interested in it's not that big of a loss) and I've ended up loving some, and others... well... not so much...

      And when I say I was "woefully disappointed" I should probably clarify that it was mostly because there had been a lot of hype building up to it's release (with the Nickstarter and all) and I was pretty excited about it... and it turned out to be... well... not nearly as exciting as I felt I was lead to believe it would be.