Mike, Phil and Alex played further in their campaign against Darryl’s evil empire. This time it was the incredibly difficult scenario with the dreaded terminals in the general’s secret base. Mike and Phils as Jedi and smuggler headed north to the first room. Luke skywalker headed east towards the other room supported by Alex as the sniper. Each team destroyed the Probe droid in the way. However the Nexu then came north up the western corridor towards the sniper.
In the northern room Mike opened the door and Phil entered heading towards the terminal guarded by a Nexu. Meanwhile Luke raced back to take on the Nexu but missed completely ! The Nexu would take some killing but at least it missed skywalker on its turn whilst the sniper took shots at it as it retreated back down the corridor. Eventually it was slain but it took a lot of valuable time and stress n the Sniper.
Back in the northern room Phil and Mike dealt with the Nexu. Phil then attempted to decipher the terminal. With two dice on eye attribute tests he thought he would do better than no successes at all! Mike therefore had to deal with it wasting more precious time. Phil then opened a crate and claimed a Bactra infusion he would later use to heal Mike’s Jedi. The pair then headed towards the eastern room and tminal picking up another crate and a medikit en route.
Now heading towards the Southern door Luke was taking a lot of damage whilst The sniper kept in cover behind. They partially damaged a probe droid which then healed itself but they did take out the e web engineer who simply respawned in the eastern route to bother Mike and Phil. Luke opened the door quickly with his light sabre and Alex raced his sniper towards the terminal! With three dice in his spanner attribute this should not be too hard he thought. Six dice rolled later and only one success things were looking bad. Luke had to sacrifice himself to finish it off. Luke was then defeated by the probe droid but at last there was only one terminal left.
The general in his walker had by now appeared in the central area cutting off the two groups from each other. More probe droids, imperial storm troopers and Nexu were apppearing all over the place and harrying our heroes. The jedi was sorely wounded but there was just ni time to heal her and so they staggered towards the final door. Armed with only a blaster Phil’s smuggler found the door tough to open but eventually blasted an opening for Mike to head towards the red strength terminal. Phil’s worst attribute with just one die so Darryl concentrated his fire on the Jedi. Mike became wounded. Disaster this reduced her strength attribute! However using his Jedi forseight and defensive stance she became focused!
So ignoring all their foes Phil tried his luck on the final turn against the terminal. No succcesses on either of his rolls. It was all down now to the Jedi. As Phil despaired Mike rolled trusting to the Force. Two successes and the heroes had won with seconds to go. Well done players. Evil Darryl though gained influence as the players took so long to achieve their goals.
In the upgrade phase the Imperials bought some secret upgrades. The Jedi bought a meditation skill and the sniper some expertise. The smuggler saved her xp. The players pooled their resources and bought the famed vibro axe for the jedi to go with the extended haft plus an imperial blaster rifle for the sniper. The smuggler got nothing but had gained a better pistol last time round.
Next up the players will attempt the gain resources side mission.
Mike introduced us to Police Precinct. First time round the players were defeated quickly due to unchecked emergencies getting out of hand whilst they concentrated too much on solving the crime. Second time round they played much better as a team. Phil and Bruce concentrated on detective work plus solving any emergencies they came across whilst Darryl and Mike worked hard on keeping the emergencies and hoodlums under control. Eventually Mike arrested the criminal before he could escape past the road traffic accident. Well done Police Team.
We then played Sherlock Holmes the card game. Phil won and Mike got the record high score.
Ran a playtest of Advanced Song of Blades.
The rules are updated from the original and are indeed Advanced. See post below for pictures of the terrain and figures.
My first game involved the company of dwarves taking on the Undead. The profiles were mainly taken from the Hammer and Forge supplement. It was interesting to see how the two different types of leaders worked once I got the rules straight which took a little time.
The scenario was a Treasure Hunt with 3 treasure locations based on the map which was set up as the old Fortresses ground floor with a large feasting hall or audience chamber in the centre with a smaller raised platform within and then several rooms surrounding this. One of the Treasure locations would contain a valuable chest of gems and artefacts which each side was searching for. Either defeat the enemy or take it back to their baseline which would end the scenario and then VPs would be calculated. The dwarves were searching for gemstones and a map rumoured to be inscribed upon a large crystal. The Undead had been instructed/ impelled to stop them by their Lich Lord.
The Company advanced rapidly into the main hall and the thief headed towards the dais or platform. The Undead moved more slowly towards the Hall opening the doors but not entering whilst the Wight adanced quickly also towards the dais. The Thief reached the top of the dais first but was unable to cause any damage through sling shots at the advancing Wight. The Dwarves decided to advance towards the Undead in a line with their leader in support. The Undead formed up to meet them and then both sides stood and faced each other for a split second. The Wight charged the unfortunate Thief with incredible speed. Hoping to disengage the Thief attacked but suffered a terrible wound, falling to the ground out of action.
The Undead charged led by their Leader (lead from the front) and supported by the spear armed Undead warrior. They managed to force the Dwarves into combat and then were able to push their advantage subsequently. The Leader moved forwards to assist a downed colleague but was struck down mortally wounded in turn. This caused consternation amongst the dwarves who were already hard pressed in combat. Soon they were down to half their original strength and a further morale roll sealed their fate. The Wight picked up the treasure finding it on the first attempt and the Undead claimed a Major Victory.
I learnt about the two different types of leaders and how the new Lead from the front is useful when the lines are closing for battle. The other form of leader is still useful especially with his quality bonus but he can be left out of position when the lines close plus he cannot React with his groups during the opponent’s turn. The Reaction rules certainly added a great deal. It made moving low Q troops like the Healer harder and it gave good Q troops like the well led dwarves very quick on the battlefield despite their short legs. The biggest difference was that no longer can you just throw 3 dice with your final model and just get away with it.
Next I played a straight forward engagement as the goblins and the Dwarven Infantry set about clearing the caverns below the fortress. The Dwarves moved quickly into the chamber being split into two groups. one the leader with his axemen and the others in the second. The Goblins also had to split with their Leader (old style) with the archers to their left and the rest in the centre having to move around the shallow Lake (difficult ground).
The Goblins found it very difficult to activate at Q4 or 3 and this gave the Q3 (2 with Lead from Front in their Group) plenty of Reaction opportunities which they tended to pass. The Goblins always seemed to fail their reactions.
The result was that the Cave troll entered the main chamber quite isolated and was set upon by a large force of Dwarves. The Acolyte created a Wall of Wood to channel him towards the warriors. Meanwhile the archers and throwing axe armed dwarves took the high ground. The Goblin infantry charged and was looking quite bad for the archers until one defended himself so well with his short sword he scored a gruesome kill on the attacking goblin who failed to block. As can be imagined this caused a minor rout jut at the wrong time for the isolated Troll. To add insult to injury having finally got his group of archers into position for a concentrated shooting attempt they failed to activate. The Goblin Chosen bowman did score a great kill on one of the dwarves which was quite fun to see The Tough Troll though was eventually pulled down and the dwarves began to threaten the Leader breaking through the Goblin shield line. The Goblins decided at this point to give up.
This game really made me see how poor quality Q4 troops can have a hard time. It was difficult in old SoBH but with the new reaction rules it is even harder as your opponent keeps benefitting from your fails. I think a new player might get quite dispirited being given a Goblin Horde to fight off the mighty dwarven infantry backed up by a Healer and a Hero in their ranks. So I have created an alternative Orcish warband who are slightly better in terms of Q rolls and with less troops it is easier to benefit from the old style Leader. It transpires that a Leader can only issue one Group activation order a Turn and it is his final action of his activation so having two large groups of cheap goblins is not always ideal.
I also liked the new weapon types and spells which add a lot more detail and flavour to the game.
All in all I much prefer the new Advanced rules but it is definitely worth remembering that poor Q troops are rated poor for a reason. Q4 is considered poor whereas most trained troops would be expected to be a Q3 at least and the game is designed with this in mind.
Bruce introduced Mike and Phil to this game set in the Star Trek Next Generation Universe. Mike quickly grabbed some Klingon War-like crew and a new ship and then set about attacking and destroying Phil’s ships every time a Battle occurred. Phil managed though to take a lead on VP’s thanks to having a more diplomatic crew and Bruce too pursued a less militaristic path. Bruce though relied heavily on certain characters who suffered some bad luck and were not able to help him at the right moment. Phil had some bad luck with his ship being attacked by star ships drawn as events which weakened him. Eventually though Phil was able to get a superfast ship and keep out of trouble more easily. Mike steadily accrued VP’s mainly it seemed through defeating any star ship foolish enough to attack him be it a shuttle, hospital ship or a raider vessel. Bruce benefited from VP’s when Phil and Mike mutually destroyed each others ships. Finally though Phil was able to take a convincing lead with a big 100VP event only he could match and then soon made it to the finish line to claim victory. A good game and certainly fun and challenging to play!