IntroductionIt's Tuesday evening again, but this time I've no doubt about what game to host at my local club. I've already trailed that I'll be running Song of Blades and Heroes. We'll use my fresh Robin Hood & Sheriff of Nottingham warbands (initially described here, but adapted slightly since then). OK, that's the easy bit - but I still need a scenario.
I had been thinking of an archery tournament in or near a town. However, in the end I decided that I hadn't got the time to develop special rules for the tournament itself (i.e. before the battle itself kicks off and everything becomes a free-for-all). I still want to run such a game, but it'll have to be for another time. So, I need a new idea...
|Blue dots mark the 3 possible locations of the Bishop's group.|
With relatively little time to prepare, I decided to adapt one of the scenarios from the rulebook: Treasure Hunt. I can't remember if this is from Song of Blades and Heroes or from Song of Arthur and Merlin, but that doesn't really matter. In the standard scenario, 2 warbands race to examine 3 possible locations for treasure; when the loot is discovered then one side wins by carrying it off.
My adaptations were as follows:
- Rather than treasure, the hunt is for the Bishop of Lichfield and his entourage. The unfortunate cleric's party is lost near the fringes of Sherwood Forest. Depending upon your point of view, he either needs to be guided to safety away from the greedy authorities (and persuaded to part with any excess riches in order to feed the poor), or rescued from the threat of rapacious outlaws (and questioned about his tax affairs).
- Once discovered, each member of the Bishop's group can be moved by spending an action from a model who is in base contact. Since there are several people in the ecclesiastical party, I don't imagine that they'll move very fast!
- I had 4 players and (roughly) 600 points of figures on either side. It seemed sensible to split them into 4 separate warbands, each of which was roughly equivalent. Obviously, the bands are split into 2 pairs of allies.
- Robin Hood, 5 outlaws and Maid Marion. Note that Maid Marion was an Inconvenient damsel bought by the Sheriff's side and then given to Robin. It was priceless to see the look on the face of the player who thought he'd got the best character in the game, only to have Marion attached to him!
- Little John, Friar Tuck and 5 outlaws.
- Sheriff of Nottingham, Yorik the Jester, Sir Stanley, 2 crossbowmen and 10 men-at-arms.
- Guy of Gisborne, Sir Walter, 2 crossbowmen and 11 men-at-arms.
The Sheriff split his force: most of the troops accompanied him and Yorik while a smaller detachment entered Sherwood Forest to search for the Bishop. However, the churchman wasn't hiding amongst the trees.
Little John himself made a dash for the bridge. His outlaws moved forward, skirting the edge of the woods and ready to dive into the cover of the trees if the enemy came too close.
In the inevitable disaster, first two men broke and ran. The Sheriff promptly knifed them in the back, at which point the others had to take 2 further morale tests (for seeing their buddies killed in this manner). More men tried to flee; they were also slain for cowardice and so on. By the time the cascade had finished, the Sheriff stood alone behind a pile of bodies...
When Guy eventually came into close range (he and his troops were advancing with glacial slowness), Robin took a single shot at him and killed the knight outright.
|Note the Bishop of Lichfield's monk to the left, keeping his head down and praying that he won't be hurt!|
ConclusionThis game was enormous fun and much enjoyed by all the participants. On balance, I think I have to give victory to the Merry Men - after all, they still have all their characters and over half of their troops left. The Sheriff was the only man left standing of his group (he'd killed most of them himself!) and Guy's band was suffering as well.
It seems that an Evil Leader is a tricky character to play in SoBH. On the one hand, you want to be within "Long" to motivate your followers. On the other hand, if they flee within "Short" of you then you'll kill the cowards yourself. It's a fine line (and who'd be part of such a man's entourage)!