Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Somewhere on the Border: The Boar Company Ride Again!

Hi!

Well I have just played out the first game using my Boar company in many moons and I thought I would post a little bit of a report here!

I have been using Song of Blades as my rules of choice for the last few years and the game played out using them with a few minor modifications.

The Boar Company have wintered in the frontier outpost of Dur Zamor while carrying out occasional forays into the high mesa country that borders the Barren Steppes keeping the region free of Orcish foraging parties sent from the grim fastness of Krull's winter encampment.

The Axeblades in Winter

With the coming of the spring, the companies scouts have spotted a warband of Orcish warriors accompanied by the notorious human renegade sorcerer, Marik Goldhelm near a Dwarven Black Water storage facility.

The company have been despatched to find out what mischief Marik is up to and Grimli is determined to deal with Marik permanently but upon arrival at the boxy structure, the Dwarves find nothing amiss so settle in to await the arrival of their foe.

They do not have long to wait as from the fungus forest to the East, guttural cries can be heard and soon, several groups of Orcs emerge, their foul breath steaming in the cold morning air. With bellows of surprise, the Orcs begin to lumber forward towards the Dwarven encampment and battle is joined!

At this point I had hoped to include lots of photos of the skirmish but discovered that only a few turned out so bear with me!

The Orcs had deployed in several groups to the East and South with their line being anchored by a grunting and scarred Great Orc with two groups of warriors, each led by a Khan in the centre. To their flank, a unit of Orcish archers skulked amongst the Fungal forest accompanied by a Goblin Sneak.

Of Marik, there was no sign until Grimli spotted him at the far corner of the battlefield accompanied by a number of underlings.

Marik and Underlings

Seeing the Orcish intention was to capture or destroy the Black Water storage tank, Grimli had to bite angrily on his beard and order his troops to defend the position. Revenge would come later. 

The Dwarven battleline centred around the facility itself with the Boar company swordsmen led by Grimli to one side and the hunter squad making a dash for the ramp up to the roof in the centre and Gunnar Demonbane and the Wildling on the far flank.

On the side of the battlefield closest to Marik, stood the companies Battlerager, Ragnar Ironhelm with the companies mascot, Piglet. Maybe he could bring Marik to bear...

Gamewise, the Orcs seized the initiative and poured into the clearing intent on coming to grips with the Dwarven troopers. The Great Orc got perplexed and spent much of the game doing not much as can be seen here:

Dur!

The Dwarven line marched forward and met the Orcs in front of the Black Water tank and the battle was to rage back and forth here for much of the game. The Wildling proved its worth by piling in early and flattening a couple of Orcs before the Orc Khan floored him and pausing only to run him through before hurling himself at Grimli.

Combat heats up around the Black Water storage tank

On the flanks the hunters climbed onto the roof of the tank but poor activation rolls meant that they did so too late on in the battle to do much more than watch.

Ragnar and some angry Orcs...

The Orcish archers spent a lot of time shooting at the Dwarves as they approached but to little effect as their crude arrows simply bounced off the thick Dwarven plate, at some points it would force back a Dwarf or knock him off his feet but the archery just couldn't do any damage.

The Battlerager, Ragnar and Piglet had set off to get Marik but the wily sorcerer kept him at arms length with a barrage of bolts of raw Earthpower which, while not doing much damage, did stop him from getting within axe reach of the renegade.

It was at this point I called it a day as I found things were beginning to bog down a bit, the combat around the Black Water tank had ground on for several turns with both sides bring pushed back and forth but no casualties being caused while the shooting was so ineffectual that I gave up.

I think the problem is that Song of Blades is a good, fast and simple little game but I keep finding the combat a bit too simple and a bit too difficult to really do much more than push the two opponents about. Similarly ranges of shooting is far too short for my liking and its loosing a bit of the fun factor for me.

Therefore, I am going to be taking the opportunity to look for another ruleset that better represents the sort of game I want to play. I am also thinking of retiring my existing Boar Company and sculpting up some replacements which better fit the world I am building for them!

I really want to do some steampunk style Dwarves so watch this space!

All the best!

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