I managed to play out a quick game of Song of Blades and Heroes last night and thought I'd post a bit of a battle report up here!
The Boar Company have handed over the guardianship of the outpost at Kar Morn to troops from the Engineering Guild and headed out into the wastelands of the High Mesa in search of their longtime foe, Marik Goldhelm with a mind to settling accounts with the Sorcerer who recently killed one of their number.
"It's him alright chief!" exclaimed the Erro, the Dwarven hunter to his taciturn commander, "I spotted Marik and his thugs camped out on the other side of that Mushroom forest!"
"Good!" Grunted Grimli, "Go and take up your position with Flint and the others on the other flank and we'll move on him from two sides and finally catch the scum!"
"Be careful chief. I spotted deathcaps in the mushroom forests around here. Get near one and it'll choke you with spores!"
"Let the others know to avoid the fungus if they can and by the ancestors, let's go get Marik!" With that, Grimli unsheathed his sword and motioned to the troopers accompanying him. They'd wait until Flint got into position and then move out...
I plan on making this the first game in a campaign so am following the guidelines from Songs of Deeds and Glory, the campaign supplement for Song of Blades so the two forces start out with 300 points to spend and each has a home territory comprised of three different types of terrain.
The Boar Company
Commanded by Grimli Gundrusson, the Boar Company is a force of Dwarven volunteers who patrol the wild frontier in search of adventure. They currently hold a grudge against Marik Goldhelm for killing one of their company at Kar Morn.
1 Dwarf Commander
1 Dwarf Elite Trooper
1 Dwarf Crossbowman
4 Dwarf Warriors
Home Territory: Dur Zamor. Lonepeak, the easternmost Dwarven that lies in the high mesa and overlooks the Endless Plains. From here, the Dwarves have been dispatching patrols to explore the surrounding territory and also keep the local Goblin tribes in check. They also overlook the old trade route to the East, along which the Orcish hordes travel to lay siege to the Axebite Pass to the west.
Marik Goldhelm's Retinue
Marik Goldhelm is a renegade sorcerer and troublemaker along the border of Dwarven territory. He is constantly searching for artifacts from the ages past that he can use to give himself more sorcerous power and seeking somewhere to set up a fortified base to operate from. He had thought that the abandoned Dwarven outpost of Kar Morn would be ideal but no sooner had he arrived than the Boar Company had driven him out from it.
1 Human Warmage
3 Human Swordsmen
2 Giant Bats
The North Woods
Home Territory: The North Woods. Bordering the mesa and the Endless Plains, the North Woods are a grim and dangerous place. Inhabited by wild and dangerous beasts and consisting of dark pines, fungal growths and dotted with ancient barrows, no sane person would venture into the place but Marik seeks to loot the burial mounds in search of artifacts.
The Dwarves have discovered Marik's camp and have elected to attack it but their scout has spotted that all the patches of cover in the region are infected with Deathcap mushrooms which will eject choking spores if anyone touches them. To reflect this, any model that enters a terrain element needs to roll a D6. On a 1-2 they have stumbled across Deathcaps and are immediately removed from play!
The Dwarves separate into two groups, Grimli leading two troopers one in the centre and accompanied by the crossbowman while Flint leads the other two from the flank. Marik, sensing the approach of the Dwarves separates his force into three groups, two minions scurry towards the flank while he stands with his Wight and another minion in the centre and the two giant bats follow their masters command to move along the other flank.
The Dwarves, perhaps exhausted by their long trek, suffer rather poor activation rolls leaving them spread out in both groups while Mariks forces move in a more cohesive manner. Flints group moves to intercept the bats but one of the troopers, possibly keen to avenge his slain kin, hurtles forward outpacing the others towards the great bats.
Grimli's group stays somewhat closer together but still cannot seem to stay in a tight group. The crossbowman moves towards the flank, hoping to keep out of the way and sneak in a shot or two a the approaching minions.
Grimli's group advances
Outraged at being chased, Marik moves forward in an uncharacteristically bold move accompanied by his minion. The Wight trudges along behind, it's ancient bones creaking as it follows its masters mental commands.
Marik advances vigorously.
The group led by Flint attempts to charge the giant bats but can't quite reach but in return the bats swoop down on the stout Dwarves and a swirling melee ensues with the bats managing to push back or knock over the Dwarves several times but not able to capitalise on their advantage.
Chop! A Bat falls in combat.
In the centre, Marik pauses and summons up a bolt of magic which he unleashes at the approaching Dwarven trooper but the bolt fails to do more than make the Dwarves hair stand on end and the Boar Company begins to close with their foe.
A swirling melee
The minions and Wight engage the Dwarves in combat with Marik watching on and in the swirling melee, many a blow is landed but not much damage occurs until a trooper drops one of the minions with a well placed strike.
Meanwhile on the other flank, the Giant Bat, realising it is outmatched, uses it's free disengage to soar off towards the other combat, leaving Flint and the two Boar Company troopers a long way from the action. Can they close with the melee which is seeing their companions hard pressed before they are overwhelmed?
Where'd he go!
The next turn saw a stalemate in the main combat as both sides once again struggled to damage their opponents but the Giant Bat's appearance turned the tide as it defeated the remaining trooper and knocked him to the ground. Flint and co, following a great deal of sprinting, began to close in on the melee but not before Marik, in a fit of spite, ran into the melee with the downed Dwarf and gave him a serious kicking which took the trooper out of combat.
Marik applies the boot to the downed Dwarf.
At this point, Flint and co finally approach the melee but once again, Marik opens up with a blast of magic which takes another trooper out of combat before beating a hasty retreat.
ZZAP! Marik once again proves to be a menace with magic.
Grimli sombrely paused next to the fallen troopers and cursed the impetuousness that had caused him to rush after Marik instead of waiting for a more suitable time to deal with the rogue sorcerer. His rash actions had left one of his troops dead and another wounded.
"Damn that accursed sorcerer!" He fumed. Time and time again the golden helmed renegade had escaped but the last two skirmishes had been fatal.
"Don't worry chief." murmured Flint as he put a hand on his commanders shoulder, "It was their time and you did nothing wrong. We were all just as keen to gut the bastard."
"That may be the case Flint, but it was my duty to keep you lot safe and I've failed in my oath and the name of Gundrusson won't be cleared until I seperate Goldhelms head from his body but that will have to wait."
"Fashion some litters together and we will take Olof with us as I refuse to bury him in this accursed place!"
"He will rest with his ancestors back at Kar Morn and will have Welde for company." "We'll get some rest and then pick up Marik's trail once our injured are recovered and our dead decently buried."
Flint moved off to carry out his chief's orders and left the older Dwarf to his thoughts. Marik would pay for his insults and the Boar Company would see to it!
Gosh! Well that was a thrilling game! The Boar Company have taken a bit of a beating over the last couple of games but won the scenario as they managed to kill one giant bat, and injure the other as well as one of Marik's minions. Marik himself has turned out to be a total villian in the best sense of the word, sriking down the good guys and evading capture time and time again and I have no doubt that the next time they meet, there's going to be some grudges settled one way or another!
All the best!