Thursday, 13 February 2014

Battlesworn our first series of test games

In the Hall of the Mountain King Liche Mage.*

This is an idea for a quick n easy Battlesworn test game. Inspiration, Solomon Kane scenes at start (Arab fort) and end (castle) plus Stargate's (film) first fight, and a particularly poor fight in Troy, just of the beachead. Too many Conan novels.

Four floor tiles, as this is 15mm, gives a basic playing area. Spare dice (forgot bluetac) marks positions of support pillars. 

Smaller pieces of tiles can make raised areas.
A few bits of clutter to break things up.

 I may add treasure and/or prisoners to be rescued in later games.

Cheap shops sell poker chips that paint easy, better for larger scales but works for 15/18mm. Other colours can be used to track spell effects, reloads and the spell-raised. I'm all in favour of anything that prevents confusion. Get graded D6, big as betting dice to keep tabs of initiative/reaction, another medium set for shooting/combat betting and 8D6 for combat & shooting.

This game starts with skeleton rabble doing the job of statues in niches against the walls. Liche Mage is at the other end protected by others. The aim is to rattle through various combinations, so the 10 bet maximum rule is a good way to go as you get a good idea as to who's going to win by then. I'd recommend this approach as a club intro. Respectfully suggest that any youngster requiring weaning off any other game system that seeks to restrict choice and imagination this might be an ideal choice.

Liche Lord's Lads

Liche Sorcerer Leader 2

5 Fighters 5

2 Brutes 2

3Skeleton rabble (6 figures) 3

14 figures

We tried this (pictured above) first with 4 fighters and 3 tanks. Tanks end up as a slugging match, you tend to use “6” each time as they can take the hits. Leaving all the shooting to the mage is deliberate, making this a “get stuck in” force. Skeletons are like the prawns in chess.

Achaean Warband
Leader/Brute 2
7 Spearmen Fighters 7
3 Shooters 3
11 figures
This works quite well, a good, solid force giving a good game. A balanced force will always be fun to play with. You could get a “winning” army of tanks, shooters and sorcerer – but who's going to fight you?

Mention in dispatches Spearperson Big Bertha the Bone Buster, who “killed” four skeletons and in the 10th took on the Mage in hand to hand, being the only “ranker” in our games to do so. I used my normal shooter/spearman teams and these worked very well. One team shot a brute to red.

Amazon Warband
Leader/Brute 2
Sorcerer 1
7 Spearmen Fighters 7
2 Shooters 2
11 figures
With two sorcerers you have the initial game of spell-choosing.

Rogue/Leader 2
Rogues 4
Brute/Warmage 2
Fighters 4
10 figures.
 Rogues are fun to use, this force naturally splits into 2, or rogue-fighter-rogue “battles”. It's another get stuck in force. The warmages spell can change the nature of the force.

Tank/Leader 2
4 fighters with blades 4
1 Arquebusier 1
1 Sniper pistolier 1
4 rogues 4
11 figures

Sniper and Arquebusier
make an attempt on the mage,
 skeleton getting in way.

The sniper is the type of pirate who has lots of pistols and throwing knives to get around the reload problem. Both sniper and arquebusier are skeleton magnets. Main advantage was to keep the mage moving, so that there was no LOS, effectively forcing it out of the game. They “soaked” up the rabble sent in to deny other targets.

Tank vs Tank, our most boring fight to date.

A solid line of rogues being snuck up on be ye olde rattlin' bones.
These are pendrakens 10mm giant skeletons done up for OGAM, hence the tower shields.
A solid line up of fighters face off a baby ('is mum loves 'im!) liche -
watch out, he's behind you!
Trained Men (Napoleonic)
Brute/Leader 2
Brute Sgt 1
4 Arquebusier/Brutes 8
Sniper 1
7 figures

These chaps in green are a rough, tough bunch. All hangs on the shooting. In our game the Officer made a sharp charge against the mage early on only to be defeated and killed by the intervention of a raised Tank (a giant snail, so possibly French?).  Brute on brute fights are furious fun rather than the boring tank on tank fight. Break the multiples rule and you pay the numbers penalty. Must fight the pirates sometime!

Adventurers Club (VSF)
Rogue/Leader 2
Fighters Stewards or stout chaps 4
Sorcerer Professor (or Dok-tor) 1
Professors Niece Warmaster 1
Sniper Hunter 1
Rogues 3
11 figures

Everyone concentrates on the protection of the magic users. Raised “creatures” can be fun, mechanical creations on biological horrors!

Near Future (Modern/SF)
Shooter/Leader 2
4 Shooter/Brutes 8
Brute/Sniper (sgt) 2
6 figures

This was our quickest game to date, both sides saw the benefit of being fast and aggressive. Brutes might seem an odd choice, but if you think of a modern soldier armed with grenades, knife and a machine pistol you'll find it fits. These need to advance by fire and movement, often facing combat odds of 3:1. Change leader to Shooter/Tank and you could do original Stargate baddies. Another force of Shooter/rogues with a shooter warmage and Shooter/Tank makes the other force.

*Sound track available