Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Few More Songs of Blades and Heroes

We’ve played a few more games of A Song of Blades and Heroes over the last week or so. One was before the big Ronin Campaign last weekend, and the other two were during this past week. Here are a few quick reports of the action….


We decided to introduce Amanda to the game. I tried to run it as a sort of tabletop adventure. I gave Amanda and the kids each 100 points (300 total) to select a force of “adventurers” to play a quick game with. Finnegan took a Lizardman Champion, Amanda took an Elite Elf Archer and a Halfling Archer, and Keira took two human archers and a human warrior (I think…? It’s been over a week now, so I’m not entirely sure what they were all classed as)


Our heroes were making game near a marsh in a wilderness area when they suddenly realized they were surrounded by Orcs!


The Adventurers set up in the center of the table. The orcs were set up witin one short stick of any edge of the table.



Elf Elite Archer (70 points) Q2+, C3, Shooter (Long), Good Shot, Unerring Aim

Halflling Archer (17 points) Q4+, C2,  Short Move, Shooter (Medium)

Lizardman Champion (82 points) Q3+, C4, Amphibious, Tailslap, Tough

Human Archer (44 points) Q3+, C3, Shooter (Long)

Human Archer (44 points) Q3+, C3, Shooter (Long)

Human Warrior ( 30 points) Q3+, C3,


Orc Boss (60 points) Q3+, C3, Leader

5x Orc Warriors (@23 Points) Q4+, C 3

4x Orc Archer (@29 points) Q4+, C3, Shooter (Medium)


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

Amanda and the Kids getting ready to play!

Our Heroic Adventurers setting up camp realize they are surrounded by Orcs!

Yup. Surrounded.

Totally surrounded.

Some Orcs charged in and attacked the Human leader and the Elite Elf Archer.

And took out the Elite Elf Archer!? Yikes!

The Orc Boss also charged into the camp, but didn’t make it into combat with anyone.

More orcs moving in…

Finnegan’s Lizardman Champion stepped into combat with the Orc Boss and cut him down. Most of the Orcs failed morale and fled off the table.

Keira’s Human leader chased down one of the fleeing Orcs…

And cut it down…

Then chased down another of the fleeing orcs.

The Lizardman Champion joined her

The two of them together..

Chopped him to bits…

Another fast and furious game.


I played another quick game with Finnegan and Keira earlier in the week (Monday, maybe?). I made a couple warbands for them to try out… Keira chose the Elves, Finnegan chose the Orcs.


The Orc raiders were trying to cross a ford into Elvish lands to romp about causing havoc and detruction.



Elf Elite Leader (70 points) Q2+, C3, Shooter (Long), Unerring Aim, Leader

Elf Elite Archer (70 points) Q2+, C3, Shooter (Long), Good Shot, Unerring Aim

Elf Elite Archer (70 points) Q2+, C3, Shooter (Long), Good Shot, Unerring Aim

Elf Archer ( points) Q2+, C3, Shooter (Long),


Orc Warcheif (100 points) Q3+, C4, Leader, Tough

Ogre Warrior (50 points) Q4+, C4+, Big, Long Move

4x Orc Warriors (@23 Points) Q4+, C 3

2x Orc Archer (@29 points) Q4+, C3, Shooter (Medium)


Keira’s Elves

Finnegan’s Orcs

The orcs make their way toward the ford.


One of the Elf Elite archers takes down an Orcs with his first shot!

The four of them line up and rain arrows down upon their foes.

The orcs are a bit more cautious in their approach

(I think Keira hit the Ogre a number of times here – but only ever managed to make it recoil…)

Another Orcs approaches the ford.

More of them splash across the shallow water.

TWANG-THWIP-THUD!  Another orcs falls dead just as he steps onto the far bank.

And then the Ogre went on a rampage – he charged out of the river and into contact with one of the Elves!

The elf was struck down!!

Thre remaining three elves fell back.

But the Ogre pressed forward and struck down another elf…

Actually I’m not totally sure what happened here. One was killed and antoher knocked down…? I seem to recall there was a morale check made and the Elf leader fled off the table!?

Wow… I really expected the Elves to do a whole lot better…


On Saturday evening Rick stopped by to play a game and we tried out A Song of Blades and Heroes. Though I had an additional Dwarf Warband prepared, we ended up using the same forces that Finnegan and Keira has used in the previous game.


Again with the Orcs trying to force their way across the river.



Elf Elite Leader (70 points) Q2+, C3, Shooter (Long), Unerring Aim, Leader

Elf Elite Archer (70 points) Q2+, C3, Shooter (Long), Good Shot, Unerring Aim

Elf Elite Archer (70 points) Q2+, C3, Shooter (Long), Good Shot, Unerring Aim

Elf Archer ( points) Q2+, C3, Shooter (Long),


Orc Warcheif (100 points) Q3+, C4, Leader, Tough

Ogre Warrior (50 points) Q4+, C4+, Big, Long Move

4x Orc Warriors (@23 Points) Q4+, C 3

2x Orc Archer (@29 points) Q4+, C3, Shooter (Medium)

My trusty band of Elves… faltering… The first Elite Elf Archer marched ahead but wasn’t quite close enough to hit any of the Orcs. The second Elite Elf Archer tried to follow up but rolled two failures and one success when dicing for activation!? ONE A 2+!? So that was it for the Elves turn!?

The Orcs surrged towards the ford on their turn.

THWIP-THUD! One Orc down!


THWIP-THUD! Another Orc down!

Rushing this ford is getting costly…

One makes it across the ford… and gets cut down by the Elves.

THWIP-THUD! Another Orc down on the far side of the river!

And that is half strength… So Rick tested Morale (I realized afterwards that this was a tad premature – it’s not when a warband reaches 50% - it’s when there are more dead/fled than active members that they check). Two orcs and the Ogre held fast…

But the Orc Boss suddenly remembered he forgot something back at the… er… where was it …?

Pressing on on their next turn another Orcs makes it across the ford – only to be cut down point blank by the Elf leader

Now THIS is going how I kind of expected the first game to go…

Only three left… but they are bad news those ones…

The Ogre and Orc boss make it across on their turn but don’t’ have enough actions to actually attack… so I needed to be clever in my activations to make sure I can get multiple guys into contact with the Ogre so we can gang up and take it down… then I roll ANOTHER pair of ones on my first activation…



Luckily for me the the absurdness didn’t end there… Rick started off his turn with a pair of failed activations and it switched back to me…

Yeah, that could have goen very poorly for me!

Instead I was able to gang up on the Ogre and knock him down with one Powerful blow from the Elite Elf Archer that stepped in.

And a second powerful blow from the Elf Leader finished off the Ogre…

Okay… just two of them left… we can do this…

Aaaaaand then the Orc Boss smashed down one of the Elite Elf Archers!

Trading blows, knocking down foes…


Finihsed off the last of the Orc minions.

So it was just us and the Orc Leader…

And I neglected to take anymore pictures after that!? There was a LOT of moving about as the Orc Boss repeatedly charge in against one of the Elves or another… WE would try and gang up on him… then he would recoil.. then it would start all over again… one time we got lucky and doubled his score in a combat… but being Tough it only reduced his quality… Which meant he didn’t get in any more powerful blows as he never got more than two successes and had to use one to move in and the other to make a regular attack…

We just couldn’t finish him off, though… when we reduced him further to Q5+ Rick decided to pack it in as, though it might take a while, it seemed pretty obvious we would eventually whittle him down…

This game took a bit longer… there was lots of dancing around, jockeying for position… but that’s what I like about this! With other systems two guys move into combat and they stand there going at it toe-to-toe for turns on end until someone finally gets lucky and kills the other. With this there was a lot of movement as the Orc boss charged in and then recoiled, then the elves moved to try and shoot him and force him to charge the lower ranking archer – so the elite Archer or Leader could activate and move in to help and already have one in the combat to outnumber the Orc…

One thing I'm not so sure about is when Morale tests are taken - there's only a couple things that cause them to be taken - death of a leader and the moment when the warband has more dead and fled than active - and that's only taken once... after that... smooth sailing... My gut reaction is to say that once you reach that threashold (more dead and fled than active) you should test every time another member of the warband dies... Maybe we'll test that out for a few games (after getting in a few more games of the rules as written to get a better sense of how they're supposed to work!)

I'd like to get some sort of casualty figure/markers to show where figures have been cut down. I guess the Grim Reaper works okay... Or maybe the Ghosty figure I picked up a while back...? 

I am quite keen to try a campaign. I hope I can get Dave and Patrick and Christian (and maybe Curtis) to get in on that action… Or maybe I’ll just start a little campaign with Amanda and the kids…

Of course there’s A Fistful of Kung Fu that’s just arrived as well…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Some painting… I’ve finished up the first Fistful of Kung Fu faction: The Cops – you can see them over at Analogue Hobbies right now – or see them here on my own blog tomorrow! After that I will have some Halflings I’ve finished up for use with Song of Blades and Heroes. After that…? Maybe some more game reports…? Perhaps a post about what I’m planning to do now that the 10th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash/Winter Wargaming Weekend is all over…? 


  1. Cool! You shouldn't need to take more morale tests; I find that my warband melts away after they've gone through 50% anyway. PS Nice Hong Kong cops, I love the goggles and markings on the SWAT team.

  2. More impressive reviews and great fun, too! With the family getting in on the gaming too, makes it all the better - nice one ;)

  3. Another great set of reports! I always enjoy the pictures, and your descriptions give a good taste of the action and of the rules, without getting too bogged down in mechanics.

  4. I have bookmarked that set of rules. Looks like something I could take to my boardgame group.

  5. Nice one. Or three, actually.

    You're doing Morale correctly - whenever there's a trigger for a morale test (leader dead, <50% alive, etc.), each figure takes a morale test immediately but just the once. If they don't run off the table or roll 3 failures (= destroyed), then they pull themselves back together and get on with it (usually the dying, that is...).

    And the ford board (hehe) looks wonderful.

  6. Nice to see I'm not the only one who lets his kids play with his toys! My little guy was so jealous to see all my kit in storage back in Nova Scotia. Have to let him have a game with me when we go back on a visit in 2 summers.