Sunday, July 25, 2010

Test Play Continues

So Steve and were able to continue our play test of the starship version of Song of Blades and Heroes.  We doubled the number of ships on the table and found some balance issues which I think were resolved.  We also spent some time brain storming some new concepts to add to the mix.  The biggest issue is the 'shooty' nature of the game vs. hand to hand.  It is a 'starship' game after all. :)

I think we are on the right track, and the 'double the size' seemed about right.  Steve and I broke out a list of other options we wanted to try, away from the 'preformated' ships that we hope to include.  These include a escort Swarm vs. Max Cruisers and Carrier centric vs. Gun boats among others.

I 'could' have posted this with Steve's re-post of the campaign, but man I've been to lazy and I needed to the count up!

Travel is my middle name in July!

Song of Blades and Heroes

I'll I can say is that work is conspiring against me.  It feels like eons since I've played in the campaign, but luckily Steve is keeping it going.  I missed the session a few weeks ago and now I'm in San Antonio for this weeks.  Here is Steve's recap from the previous encounters...


Something must have been in the air as five warbands became quite active last week.  The nefarious gnome and his rat-men warband were out and about and got attacked by a new warband.  Apparently some samurai from the Far East made their way to these lands and sought to make their mark with them.  Meanwhile Grut decided to take the orcs on a shortcut back to their lair - through the lands held by the Normans.  The Romans were also spotted but soon disappeared.  What was Tribunus Maximus up to?

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Gnome & Rat Men vs Daimyo Ogata & Samurai - Ambush
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As the gnome and his crew were wandering the countryside dropping off barrels of ale in random locations, they fell into an ambush by samurai and ashigaru led by one calling himself Daimyo Ogata.  The gnome and his rat men had faced many such challenges and moved forward boldly.  Deciding to flank about the large hill where he thought the bulk of the enemy lay, he sent rats to probe about a stand of trees.  There the ambush revealed itself and a samurai and ninja met the scouts head on.  While this battle was joined, a new addition to the warband, a large rat ogre, moved to get around the fray in hopes of flanking the two Asian warriors and put them down.  This is when the rest of the ambush revealed itself.  Daimyo Ogata showed himself and started yelling orders to hidden ashigaru bowmen - something about oni and apparently orders to engage it.  The bowmen quickly formed a battle line facing the rat ogre and let a devastating volley fly bringing the "oni" down.  While this victory seemed to embolden the invaders, it only redoubled the resolve of the gome and his gang.  Ratmen soon poured into the battle and threatened to overrun the lone samurai and ninja.  The Ogata ended up throwing himself into the fray only to find himself overwhelmed as well.  As the daimyo went down, so did the fighting spirit of the ashigaru.  The ambushers fled the field, taking their wounded with them and leaving the gnome and his gang to bask in another victory.

On the way to their camp, they had to cross a dangerous ravine where Shin, one of the yari spearmen fell to his death.  Back at camp the ninja recovered from her wounds but seemed a bit too fond of sake after that fight.  Daimyo Ogata was a bit worse for wear and had to rely on an elixir to ease his wounds.  While not a win, the loss could have been much worse.

The gnome and his gang sadly had to put down the rat ogre - his wounds too grievous to recover from.  While this was a set back, they stumbled across a wishing well and were rewarded with a charm stone. 

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Grut & Orcs vs Normans - Break Through
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After successfully driving the gladiators away from their lands, Grut decided to take a shortcut back to the orc camp - straight through the middle of the Norman holdings.  As much as Grut loves a good scrap, he thought that they should just push through any resistance that the Normans put up as they went home.  The Normans had a bit of an objection to orcs wandering freely and engaged them vigorously.  Seeing armed troops on the field was all Psycho needed to go off into a frenzy and charge into the Norman ranks.  Grut however, was content to try and get his warband to break through intact and pressed on while the berserker practically held the enemy back single handedly.  Psycho eventually fell to the weight of numbers against him and the Normans were able to run down a couple orc archers as well, but Grut managed to drag them away with the warband.

On the way to their camp, the orcs came across a tribe of lizardmen.  The shaman was being too belligerent so Grut just cut him down and looted their village for 25 gold.  After they made it home, the two archers made a full recovery while they recovered Psycho's body and got a priest to restore life to his corpse. 

The Normans fared reasonably well as only their mounted knight required any serious care and an elixir tended to that nicely.  As they mopped up and this incursion into their territory, one of the men found a keg of ale that apparently was randomly dropped off in the countryside.  Who could have left it there?

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Grut & Orcs vs Daimyo Ogata & Samurai - Accidental Encounter
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The orcs were out and about the countryside foraging as they awaited Grut to make plans for their next raid.  Meanwhile Ogata and his samurai were in that same area gathering wood and supplies and generally putting Shin's twin brother through his paces to make camp in this new land.  Not knowing what to do about the other in this accidental encounter, fighting soon broke out.  While the orcs were badly outnumbered, the samurai and ashigaru were scattered about which posed a problem for them as they were not accustomed to fighting autonomously.  The orcs however were used to this style of combat and soon gained the other hand.  The ashigaru bowmen Gisaku turned and traded arrows with Pin who while a more skilled bowmen, did not enjoy the benefit of the superior range the daikyū gave.  It was not long before Gisaku found his mark.  Meanwhile Shin's twin brother Shin was staring down the gullet of an angry lizard and his orc rider.  Needless to say, a yari wielding ashigaru was little match for for the orc and his mount who then turned for other prey.  Yohei was not in any better shape as an orc rushed him before he could get a shot in with his daikyū.  While he fought surprisingly well for an ashigaru, he did succumb to the relentless assault of the orc swordsman.  Slick rushed Ogata and while he fought well, the daimyo got the upper hand and cut him down.  Daimyo Ogata and Grut soon found each other on the field and were trading blow after blow but neither could get the upper hand.  Heihatchi seeing his Daimyo in trouble, moved to assist him but was shot down and the sashimono fell to the ground.  Distressed, Ogata tried to protect it but before long an orc archer charged down from a nearby hill and grabbed it.  Waving it in triumph, the fighting spirit soon left the samurai and they withdrew from the field.

As they made their way back to camp, Ogata came across a corpse by the road - a victim of the rampaging orcs no doubt.  Oddly enough they had left his coin purse of 20 gold.  Heihatchi and Yohei made full recoveries while Shin ended up a bit shaken from the experience but otherwise ok.

Grut and his warband celebrated their victory and teased Slick for having a case of nerves after his run in on the battlefield and drank to Pin's memory.  Hearing all the commotion, a centaur champion came upon the orc camp but seeing as they were an evil lot, decided to move on.

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Tribunus Maximus & Romans vs Normans - Dungeon Raid
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Somehow the Normans caught wind of what the Romans were up to.  They got word that the Romans were busy secreting their treasure into the dungeons beneath an old ruin in their territory.  With great stealth, they managed to slip into the Roman lands undetected and sought to uncover the secrets and treasure Maximus had hidden below.  Unfortunately between the secrecy of the Romans in hiding their wealth and the stealth by which the Normans sought to extract it, little is known about what went on down below.  

Two legionaries were later spotted getting some medical attention but otherwise in good health.  There are also reports that a patrol was sent out to try and retaliate against the Normans for defiling Roman ground but all that turned up was an empty cave.

The Normans were also spotted sometime after the incident honoring one of their dead.  Another Norman warrior in attendance was seen with some bandaged wounds but appeared un-phased by his injuries.  However they could have used a better day to honor their fallen as the cold, damp weather caused another soldier to catch a cold.

My apologies for any inaccuracies (but that's what a comment section is for right?) and for those whose names I left out (gnome, Norman leader, etc.) please drop in the comments so future reports are more complete.

Steve aka Daimyo Ogata

Monday, July 12, 2010

Test Play and Ivanhoe

On Saturday night Steve and I gave our new development hobby a test go.  It is a star ship combat version of Song of Blades and Heroes.  It went pretty well for a first test and we found a 1/2 dozen positive changes.  Afterwards Eric, Paul, Suzanne, Steve, and I played two rounds of Ivanhoe. This is a great little deck building game set in a medevil tournament.  As the players you have to win four of the five different tournaments; Jousting, Swords, Axe, Mace, Hand to Hand.  You have special cards that mess with things as you try to build the largest point total during rounds.

Paul had a great come from behind win in the first game and I took the second after four of us had one three tournaments.

Big thanks to Eric for picking up the game!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Again with the slow reporting!

On Sunday Steve, Eric, and I got together for some holiday board games.  We started with Race for the Galaxy with the new expansion.  Solid game with I think Steve winning.  Susanne came by while we finished so I taught her the game quickly while the guys scarfed on home made chili and hot dogs.  

The second game had Susanne getting some great cards and she played them well for her first game.  In the end it was very close with me eking out a win at the last by one point.

Susanne took off and the three of us played a new game that Eric picked up called Cave Troll, as in "They have a Cave Troll" fame.  :)  It was  a fun little game.  I know Eric was hoping for more PvP in the game, but it was still a good, quick played dungeon crawl type.  I one our game with a solid lead thanks to Steve and Eric beating each other up.

Rob came by just as we finished and he joined in a game of Agricola.  I do enjoy this game, but I need to remember that it doesn't play as fast as I think it does.  I had to pack up an bail at 5 and we were only on round 8 or so which was sad, but the guys pressed on with Steve taking the game after Eric gave him a solid run.

On Monday Steve, Susanne and I took to the road and went to the Star Wars in Concert event in Des Monies.  The concert was pretty good and they had Anthony Daniels as he narrator.  We all enjoyed the show which lasted about 2 1/2 hours or so.  The orchestra was very good as were the chosen visuals.   Afterwards we met TJ and Casey for dinner at Fong's Pizza which is one of the coolest themed pizza places I've been to.  I had a slice of the Thai Pizza that was outstanding.  It was good to see TJ and Casey, but they were off to the late version of the show and we all took off shortly after eating.

This month looks to be a grind at work.  Most likely traveling every week...  Grrrr....

Hope you all get some good gaming in!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Thursday Night Song of Blades and Heroes

I had to travel for work this league night and wasn't able to make it.  It also look like life conspired against several others and only Steve and Eric made it out to play.  Much sadness. :(

Here is the report from Steve, hopefully Eric can describe his band of Orcs a bit.


Ended up being just Eric and I for the league and so we only played one game.

Eric decided to retire his previous war band as they had gotten pretty banged up over the weeks and brought in a new one - Grut's Orcs led by Grut himself.  I'm afraid you'll have to get in touch with Eric to get the details, but they were eight strong and scrapping for a fight.

It seems that this orc war band decided they wanted to take a walk through the escaped gladiator's lands - break through scenario to be precise.  Well Hunk and his gladiators weren't about to let the orcs get a free pass and decided to intercept them.  So four gladiators marched out and things started out slow for both sides - each approaching cautiously (i.e. only one activation on each side before turning over the turn) before the violence broke out.  Hunk went charging in as is his way and soon ran into his orc equivalent.  Unfortunately for him, Hunk's charge fell short and after butting heads with the orc berserker, Hunk was soon out of the fight and Celeris who was flanking Hunk broke off at speed.  Maximus and Tyranus on the other flank engaged and brought down an orc beast rider.  Flushed with his success, Max came around the hill to prep for the berserker's charge whom Celeris was leading right to him when orc archers fired from the woods in ambush.  While he shrugged off most of the arrows, one did graze him, stunning him temporarily which was all the opening the orc leader needed.  Charging down the hill, Grut ran Max through and Tyranus and Celeris opted to withdraw from the field.

From some reports, the orc beast rider made a full recovery.  Meanwhile, Hunk shrugged off his wounds, but Maximus did not recover and joined the ranks of the dead.

Both war bands made their way home through a haunted forest without event.

With that the gladiators opted to part ways as trying to hold their territory had become far too costly.


While I was badly out numbered, my guys were pretty good quality by comparison, but Eric's dice warmed up where I never really got going.  Eric taking out my two strongest models - particularly Hunk in the early part of the game - pretty well decided the scenario.  My major mistake was letting Max get into short range of the archers Eric ran into the woods.  He got 3 shots at me at a 4 v 5 combat and I was just asking to be knocked down with one of them.  

With the gladiators now worth only 277 points and having lost their 2nd best guy, I think they're down and out.  In the process of putting together a new band for next session.  Could go either undead war band or maybe samurai/ninja.  I'll be playing with options and looking at models so we'll see.

 Thanks for the update Steve!  Looking forward to some good Race and Agricola on Sunday!