Monday, 14 November 2011

Songs Of Blades and Heroes - First Campaign Thoughts

Campaign Thoughts:
This campaign has been a while in coming - there was a years delay between agreeing to play and actually rolling he first dice. The intention was always to get a flavour of how the warband developed during a run of games and to see how the variable battle conditions effected play. I never expected the weather rules to have such an impact on the game. But the snow, heat waves and thunder storm all had vital roles in the games we played, impacting on the movement and activations of the both forces. Similarly the terrain board terrain played it's part - more so than we've seen in general one off games. I will definitely be using these generators for one off games in the future, as they add a bit more thought to how you play your force and dice. The scenarios also helped even the playing field as well. There was no way my Ratmen could ever face up to the Dwarves in a straight to-the-death battle. But victory conditions being applied they had a chance to at least snipe round the edges and pick up enough victory points to sneak a win. I would recommend their use to those players who fancy fielding the "weaker" races to make the battles more competitive.

I don't think either players managed to fully change their dicing tactics. By the end of battle #5 it was noticable that with the leader bonus there were mostly 3 activation dice being rolled for most figures (with 2+ being the target). I think this is where the Thunderstorm caught us out in the final battle (although MacSver needed to roll at least 2 to get his dwarves to move).

The warband development was interesting. I had thought after the first two battles that the rats were onto a hammering every time, especially as the cash reserves of dwarves vastly out weighed those of the rats. I thought that Vargen's force was going to become huge. But with a couple of wins battled back it became apparent that the cash being generated was in many cases hardly covering the costs of the loses. We both ended up with more powerful warbands (point wise) but not as much as I'd invisaged. Only one warband (Blightvale Autho-RAT-y) made it over the 400pt mark, and that was put to rest that very battle with a tactical mistake by myself and a mass moral failure from a Leader kill. With a much longer campaign (planning has started already) we will see how they develop. Riches won; experience points spent; casualties replaced: will be interesting to see how they balance out.

Overall the main thing was that we both had a lot of fun. Even the final battle, in which only one, hopeful, aggressive action was taken was entertaining. It was nice to be able to field a thought out themed force. I know that MacSver, who has invested in quite a few extra dwarves now, is looking to continue his dwarves into the next campaign. My rats have also been fun, if not difficult at times. But then I managed a couple of wins with them (no mean feat), so they can hold their snouts high.

A different force for the next campaign, though. I've a lot more unpainted figures I want to press into action in another theme...


  1. This has been very interesting and thanks for pushing it out to the web. The note about scenarios is key to weaker races - you will loose a lot if the game is a straight slugfest.

    Looking forward to the next set.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. And you're right, Andrew. This has given me greater comfort when looking at what type of warband to choose for the next campaign - otherwise I'd have to start looking at large numbers of High Elf archers, and no-one wants that :-P