Thursday, August 14, 2014

On the Way to the Forum

Rick stopped by Thursday evening to pick up his Mummy and play a quick game of Song of Shadows and Dust. Seriously, it took us longer to set the game up, sort out the scenarios and objectives, and go over the differences between Song of Shadows and Dust and Song of Blades and Heroes (which we’d played last week) than it did to play the darned game… not that it wasn’t FUN! Actually it was a bit of a riot.

Iskedumdrum, 69BCE


Decimus Biggus Dickus was spending a quiet evening making his rounds of the neighborhood – making sure everyone was paid up or feeling a little… uncomfortable… when a mob led by Titus Ricius Lowellus marched into the neighborhood determined to put and end to Biggus Dickus’ usury and strong-armed collection tactics… 


As I had already set up the table we called me the defender and Rick decided his table edge after we’d figured out our objectives and I’d finished setting up the irritable mule and such.

I rolled “It All Happened on the Way to the Forum” for an “objective”. It sucked. Basically Rick’s faction had caught me unawares and HE got to set up all my guys – but my leader – pretty much anywhere he wanted, not within one long of his table edge and at least 25 points worth of guys had to be in each quarter… He did a really good job of spreading them all out… fiend… I could conceivably gotten more victory points per enemy taken out (1VP per 20 points of enemy taken out, ass opposed to the standard 1 per 25…)

Rick rolled “Looking for Trouble”… pretty much the standard “there they are, go get ‘em” deal (1VP per 25 points of enemy taken out)

It was evening so there were 18 civilians spread about the table – including Mad Abdul at Mad Abdul’s Magic Carpet Stall.


Decimus Biggus Dickus – Money Lender/Faction Leader
Q 3+, C 3, 60 points

5x Henchmen
Q 4+, C 3, 27 points each

2x Henchmen (with swords)
Q 4+, C 3, 36 points
Armed, Bellicose

1x Henchmen (with staff)
Q 4+, C 3, 32 points

Titus Rickius Lowellius – Demagogue
Q 4, C 2, 74 points
Demagogue, Plebian, Dogged

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

6x Henchmen
Q 4+, C 3, 27 points each


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

The View from my end of the neighborhood. Yup, good and spread out. With the exception of two guys – everyone in my faction was at least one long away from anyone else in the faction…

I didn’t even get to have a turn to try and regroup before Rick’s guys were on top of me as he got the first go…

One of my lads was quickly surrounded on the first turn.

On the first activation of the second turn he was down…

…and the next activation he was brutally murdered.

The brutality of the murder sent one of my guys scampering away – which, in all likelihood, saved his life…

Titus Ricius Lowellus started speechifying at the local well gathering a small crowd around him. On the next turn he had three of them joined his cause.

But in the meantime his Cretan Bodyguard loosed an arrow down the road, missing the henchmen he was shooting at, but got two civilians so angry they joined MY faction – bloody foreigners, shooting arrows down the street at honest ordinary Roman citizens and all that…

And further away Decimus Biggus Dickus was gathering his men about him, getting ready to put an end to Titus Ricius Lowellus’ antics.

My two henchmen gathered the civilians that joined them close by to tell them more horror stories about those cretin Cretans… (can you say “meat shield” – oh how Dave will love this game…).

That Cretan archer actually shot that poor civilian in the purple toga! 

Decimus Biggus Dickus stormed past Mad Abdul’s Magic Carpet Stall and into the square about the well…

Biggus Dickus stormed into the square and shouted: “There he is lads! Get ‘im!!”

(I activated the leader and moved him and used his remaining activation to issue a group move order…)

The group activation roll…

Not so good.

His men hesitated.

“I don’t know boss… he’s got a pretty big crowd this time… and they look angry”

"uh... guys...?"

Biggus Dickus was quickly surrounded by the angry mob… lots of single activations – enough to get guys in contact… none of them could attack… not that he needed to there was always next turn.

So I decided to activate Biggus Dickus first, hoping to get his lads a bi ol’ group move to come and rescue him…


…and that was the end of my turn…

... the end of Decimus Biggus Dickus...

...and pretty much the game for me!

Rick’s first activation on his turn was to attack Decimus Biggus Dickus…  He was outnumbered by lots… it was totally a Gruesome Kill… they beat poor Biggus Dickus right there in the square with stones and whatever else they had handy… Gruesome Kill… Leader Kill… the rest of my force vanished from the table… I can’t really blame them – the guy that was paying them was very, very dead and not going to be paying them no more… and there was a very large angry mob looking at them so as to say – you’re next!

Rick - 11 Victory Points (only because my force was slightly less than 300)
Me - 0 Victory Points (zero, zip, nadda...)

I had hoped if maybe I could kill the leader and hopefully end the game by killing of his enough civilians to bring the total to seven deaths (which automatically ends the game)… I might squeak by with a minor VP win… but wow… was that ever decisive…

Well played, Rick… Well played…

Now that I’ve got all the stuff out, hopefully I’ll get in a game or two with the kids over the next few days. The big order from Wargames Factory I placed a few weeks back has arrived and the kids are busily assembling and painting their OWN Song of Shadows and Dust factions! I also picked up some more MDF so we can all make some new buildings too!

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

MORE Song of Shadows and Dust game reports and some more figures for my various different factions I am building… 


  1. Great AAR, I like the way citizens a can suddenly join a gang dependent on events on the table.

    1. Thanks! The rolling to see how civilians react to violence taking place near them is one of my favourite features of the game as well... Demagogues are great fun too!

      I am curious to try out the "Dynast" as well...

  2. Nice report, these pictures are really great and atmospheric, love your streets...

  3. Looks like great fun Tim! There seems to have been a surge of Song of Blades being played at the club. Those buildings have done you well to be sure, so adding to something that works so well is more icing on the cake.

    1. Thanks Terry! I have gotten a lot of mileage out of these buildings...

  4. Great AAR! Makes me want to start playing skirmish games in this period!

    1. Thanks Beast! The kids and I have been reading books about or set in this era so it's been extra fun for us to play games set in the same period.