Monday, 9 April 2012

Songs of Blades and Heroes: Beyond the Andraswald

Saturday saw the hordes of the Cantwara descend upon the Suth Sexena. A crossing of the border through the great Andraswald was needed to disguise the numbers involved. Upon arrival at Chez Dunc, battle, or more accurately three battles, commenced.

We started off with a Songs of the Splintered Lands match up. An ambush was set up by the lord Basil Stag Hare and his two cousins; Sage Longfletch (an archer of reknown) and Thyme Grass Runner (a spearman of great repute). They were aided and abetted by Salt Brockley (a heavily armoured badger) and a motley assembly of four shrews who were contantly foaming at the mouth in a berserk rage; perhaps they hadn't had enough beer the night before or the Easter Bunny was not due in their neck of the woods on the morrow and they would miss out on the chocolate eggs?

Anyway, Dunc has pictures and a Bat Rep of the encounter in his Tome of Legendary Encounters. I really must start taking down a camera so I can report on these shindigs too. This first battle consisted of my SSL warband above fighting against a well-balanced crew of badgers, mice and magic. What we took away from this encounter was the effectiveness of the Hare archer, the unpredictability of raging shrews and that one must protect the magician at all costs if there are ranged attacks available. This time my dice rolls were either very high (resulting in my badger staying alive against far superior foes) or very low (especially the inability to activate due to many very low rolls in succession). This first encounter all turned on the Gruesome kill and the resulting Morale checks, followed almost straight away by loss of the Mouse leader resulting in further Morale checks.

The second encounter had my same SSL warband encounter a bunch of doughty Dwarfs. This time Dunc did the ambushing. His Hero on Bear made short work of my Hare archer (a wise move considering how effective he was in the previous battle) before he could inflict any damage and due to my poor activation rolls, my other hard hitters (the Badger and other two Hares) hardly moved before the Dwarfs got to them. I lost the Hare Spearman very quickly too, but in reply I was able to take out the Hero on Bear. My host started to break up due to poor activation rolls and were spread all over the field and were sure to be butchered one at a time. Then my luck changed with the dice and the whole tide of battle turned. A couple more Dwarfs fell and due to the small size of the warband, soon hit 50% and required a Morale check. "Hold Fast!" seemed to be the battle call of the Dwarfs (Dunc was beginning to catch my bug of activation failure) from that point on and the remainder were quickly mopped up. Two nil to the Kentishmen.

The third, and final, battle saw Dunc's all conquering Saxon army pitted against a very small but heavily armed Dwarf warband (in 28mm this time). The board was twice the size to incorporate the larger scale. Dunc charged his cavalry at the slow moving Dwarfs only to have them cut down very rapidly. His infantry followed up and some got into the combat quite quickly. A Dwarf fell to his champion but he was then beaten off by the rest of the slow moving warband. A couple more kills courtesy of the Dwarf Crossbows led to a rout, and from then on the war cry of the Saxons was "Run Away! Run Away!" The rest of the Saxon warband were slaughtered or ran off the board, the final chap being Gruesomely Killed. We learned a good deal from this battle -
1) Do not split your forces, especially fast moving cavalry as they wind up isolated and easily cut down.
2) Dwarfs are rock hard and will generally win a toe-to-toe battle.
3) Dwarfs also have crossbows and can hit from a distance.

Anyway, frivolities over, we retired to Dunc's Great Hall to repast on more fantastic cuisine courtesy of Mrs Dunc and a chat about all things gaming and books we are currently reading.

A rematch is in the offing - maybe Dunc has something up his sleevies to crush the eastern barbarians next time round? We also both thought about the possibility of playing Saga, which we both promised to pick up maybe at Salute or elsewhere before we next meet. I have a big stack of Norman cavalry on my painting bench, so maybe I could pit those against Dunc's Saxon dogs?

1 comment:

  1. It was a fix, sick as a parrot, game of two 'alves, jumpers for goalposts, etc etc.

    It seems the reputation of Lord Basil Stag Hare is growing, and causing some consternation throughout the realm... Waywatchers have uncovered cloven tracks through the forest... and the Owls have reported great bats abroad at night. The Beastlands and Goblins stir?

    Meanwhile, Abbot Sugar - having been dragged unconscious from the field - is scheming and plotting to bring down this insolent carrot-chewer. Envoys have been sent to the badger lords (asking mainly for some less hopeless badgers), to the Tassletail brothers in their fir-tree fastness, and to the riverbanks to seek audience with the Otters.

    The Dwarfs, for their part, remain allied to none, and returned to the mountain - perhaps they'll return with Royal Guard and Rangers, maybe even a runepriest?