Sunday, 25 August 2013

Making forces for Song of Sword and Shield

Making forces for Song of Sword and Shield

Quick and dirty. If your not too fussed (as with our “End Games”) just assemble forces as you see fit without too much bother about points, or do a quick tot up from the list.

Matched points. I prefer to have balances forces pre-planned “off the shelf” that I can field or alter for a specific scenario. I'm a great believer that proper preparation prevents poor play. I started buying these troops as soon as the game was proposed. Plus, if you have a regular force, the fact that it's not tailor-made to the scenario gives you a bit more work to do.

Here are 2 I'm playing with.

The Warband of Odysseus

This is a warband in transition. If anyone was going to adapt, it's him.

Starting with 500 points, I wanted a core of pike supported by javelin troops and a few specialists. So I needed a maximum unit size (1/3) of 6, so needed a total of at least 18 bodies.

I needed Mavericks* to make use of the Achaean National Trait.

To save points (and it feels right) I didn't class Odysseus as a hero.

The 500 point Force

Odysseus (Maverick) Q3 C2 Armour3 Javelin Shield Sword 60 points
Spearmen x4 =120 points
Javelins x4 = 140 points
Runners (mavericks) x2 =108 points
C/o archers (mavericks) x2 =70 points

Total 498 points
Total 13 men. 1/3 rule allows units of 4.

This is a quality force, although lacking in skirmishers it can put out a fair number of javelins and one good archer can outdistance and kill enemy skirmishers. In fact, in one of our trial games two such took down Achilles (see below) with a 6:1 shot**. The spearmen can operate as a lance, protected by the others. Go for 3 activations, then use your Heroic Activation for the javelins.

If I was using a different National Trait I'd probably have a unit of skirmishers or archers in place of the runners and close order archers.

Here is an alternative, works with the rules but I'm hard pressed to see what scenario other than assaulting a bridge you'd use it.

Odysseus 60 points as above
Runners x2 =108 points
Spearmen x6 =180 points
Javelin skirmishers x10 =150 points

Total 498

Total of 19 men, allowing 6 men units. 1 of spear, 2 skirmish of 5 each, one runner to protect each flank.

  I can see the skirmishers being left behind due to proper use of the extras.
If using a different nationality, would probably field 2 spear units with Odysseus in one.

800 Points

As above 498 points

4 (more) Javelin =140 points
10 skirmishing javelin =150 points
Upgrading one figure as second in command 15 points
Total 803 points. You can always juggle the number of skirmishers for a closer fit.

This is the crew I've been thinking of. A good combined arms force of 27, so you could even have one massive javelin force of 8. I can see this as a good shipload, an ideal raiding party.

Achilles, sacker of cities.

One thing we can all agree on is that Achilles was the bronze Age version of a tiger tank. When not broken down or out of fuel, an unstoppable killing machine**. His kingdom was some small dump in the sticks of Thrace, Thracians fought on both sides. His Myrmidons were picked troops, but that's about all we know.

Achilles or Patrocles as leader Q4 C3 Armour4, Hero, Javelin, Shield, Sword, Leader, Terrifying charge 107 points.   Patroclese as second in command 89 points. Patroclese as companion 74 points.

I'm trying several “takes” until I feel I get it right. On my list there's a nod towards these:

Ok, they aren’t the “correct” historical miniature, but with some shield swaps they will fit in!

I'm in a phase of repainting and rebasing, so please excuse the odd less-than-perfect.

This list leans towards the Sea Peoples warband option

Achilles (maverick) =107 points
Myrmidons x8 =328 points
Javelin skirmishers x4 =60 points
Total 495 points


Achilles (maverick) =107 points
Patrocles (maverick) =74 points
Myrmidons x6 =246 points
Javelin skirmishers x5 =75 points

Total 502 points  A total of 12/13 gives a maximum unit size of 4

800 points

To round the force off, giving it some long distance hitting power:

Achilles (maverick) =107 points
Patrocles 2C (maverick) =89 points
Myrmidons x8 =328 points
Javelin skirmishers x7 =105 points
Bow or sling skirmishers 10 =170 points

Total 799 points
Total of 27 allows units of 9

To convert this lot into a Sea Peoples warband, lets invent another leader. The famous Popysus, (or perhaps Blutosus), husband/abductor of the lovely Oliveoilia.

Potysus in Achean service Q4 C3 Armour3, Axe, Shield, leader, Terrifying charge, 93 points

So for 500 points:

Popysus (maverick) =93 points
Companion Runner (maverick) =54
Warriors x7 =287 points
Javelin skirmishers x4 =60 points

Total 497 points

Total 13 = units of 4.

Blutotus in Trojan service Q4 C3 Armour3, Axe, Shield, leader, Terrifying charge, 93 points

500 points:

Blutotus (maverick) =93 points
Warriors x6 =246 points
Bow or Slinger skirmishers x 9 =153 points

Total 492 points

Total 16 = units of 5.

There's an idea for a mini campaign using 29 figures. Change of the leaders weapons or combat skill to even up!

If you get a plastic 1:72 box for about £5 you should get that number of usable figures plus a few casualty markers.

One that comes to mind is during a Roman civil war, 2 units on opposite sides meet on a road-.

*A maverick is a single figure as opposed to a skirmisher or unit. Each is activated on their own dice-rolls. The National Rule I use for Acheans is Heroic Attitude, which gives 3 automatic activation successes to single models (so a maverick or a chariot).

** Full story. Javelin heavy force vs Achilles. Achilles gets initiative, him & Patrocles starts knocking people off their feet. (At long range a missile hit knocks you back rather than wounds). My activation, I try the regroup option to buy time. Next, on comes Achilles out front, kills one of mine. My activation, start with my archers, who were in range of Achilles. One dead hero, game over!