Bones Battle Report: SoBaH

Chris Palmer

My friend, Rob Dean, (who also bought into the Reaper Bones Kickstarter), and I have been plotting for a while now to get together for a game, to actually put some of our Bones on the table and play with them.  Rob had suggested “Song of Blades and Heroes” (SoBaH), a set of Fantasy skirmish rules he owned, that he had only played once before.  We finally made a date for this past Saturday, and we met at his house for a couple games of SoBaH. He lent me a copy of the rules to read the week before, and I prepared a pair of 300 point warbands to use: and Elf one, and a Medusa and Skeleton minions one.
   For the first game, I chose my Elf warband because it was small and had only a few Special Abilities. I figured it would be easy to handle for my first outing with the rules. Rob chose a warband consisting of 9 Orcs and an accompanying Troll.

Team Elf:  Sneak, Commander, Elite Archer, and Elite Archer

My Warband consisted of an Elf Commander, two Elite Elf Archers, and an Elf Sneak.    We played on a card table using some of Rob’s beautiful terrain and two paper building groupings he had recently constructed.  Since he had set up the table before I arrived, I took the role of attacker, and chose which side I wished to enter from.

A look at the table as Rob moves one of his orcs.

 From the first turn, we immediately saw the difference in our two groups, and how important the Quality numbers were.  My Elves, with a Quality 2+, only lost their activation on a roll of two 1’s on two d6,the bulk of Robs figures however had a Quality of 4+ which meant that they would be failing on rolls of 3 or less.  Both of us forgot the Free Move rule on the first couple turns, so Rob’s figures entered rather strung out, and hesitantly.  My high quality Elves on the other hand, wasted no time dashing on to the field.  I was eager to take advantage of the disorganized enemy, and rushed my Sneak forward into a clump of woods on my right to try and Ambush the approaching Troll, and perhaps knock him down in time for my Commander to reach him.  Ah, the best laid plans….. On the next turn, my Sneak (Combat  3) burst froth from the woods, and ambushed the shocked Troll (Combat 4) . She only got two of her three activation dice, so was unable to do a Power Blow.   We each eagerly rattled the first dice of the game, and threw….   Troll : 6,  Sneak : 1 = dead Sneak. Oh, well, it might of worked.

A stunningly bad, turn-ending, activation roll by “Red” the archer.  She also managed to break her bow string in both games.  This is how a figure gets a reputation.   She is a new Bones I painted up quickly Friday, to use in the game, as I needed a second Elf archer to complete my Warband.  Look for her painting guide article soon.  

Afterwards, my Commander rushed forth to engage the Troll, as my two Archers took up position on some nearby rocks to lend support.  The Commander performed valiantly, wounding the troll, and dispatching several orcs that ran up to aid it.  The Archers, likewise did their job of picking off stray orcs, and helping the Commander when ever he got a Recoil or a Fall.   In the end, with the troll wounded and several of the orcs fleeing the table when they hit the +50% casualty point and had to roll morale, the Elves were declared the winner.  The quality of the Elves won, as the Orcs were just never able to get any coordinated effort put together.  We both learned the importance in future Warbands of having someone with the Leader quality present if you have a lot of over 3+ Quality members in your party.

Another view of the battle, near the end.  The Commander is surrounded by dead orcs, and bow-less “red” runs down the rocks to knife an orc archer that has fallen from one of her mate “Green’s” arrows.  

We had time to squeeze in  a second game; so for this I switched over to my Medusa and Skeleton minions Warbands, and Rob switched to a slightly illegal (two personality figures) All-Human Warband.  He borrowed “Red” the archer to pose as a human archer to complete his line up.  We rotated the table 90 degrees so we each had a different side to enter on.

Team Medusa:  Skeleton  w/Hand Weapon, two Superior Skeletal Archers, Medusa herself, the second Skeleton w/Hand Weapon  and two Skeletons with Spears (I used the “Lionman Skeleton” stats from the rulebook to make them a little tougher than the basic swordsmen).

   To begin the game, I sent Medusa and her two skeleton archers and one spearman to the rocks occupied by my Elves in the previous game, while the other spearman and the two swordsmen went on a flanking march.  Things seemed to really be going my way as on my first turn of shooting, Medusa’s Poison  and Shooting abilities, and a good roll from one of the Skeleton Archers dropped two of Rob’s figures in the third turn.

Medusa and her Archer’s take aim, as the Spearman stands guard at the base of the rocks.  Two enemy lay dead in the distance from their arrows…the only two they’d hit all day.

On the other flank things weren’t going as well.  My warriors moved to engage the Human Magic User, only for one of them to get transfixed, as the Human’s Steel Golem came trundling around the corner.  His metal might made short work of the trapped skeleton, and he moved on to engage the rest, as a couple of the Human warriors came to assist him.  Meanwhile, Medusa had lost her aim, and she and her minion archers were unable to hit anything else for the remainder of the game.  ”Red” however, as I mentioned before, did manage to snap her second bowstring of the day.  As the Human Fighters and Golem made bone dust  of the flank attack, I quickly reached +50% casualties, so we called it a game, as it was getting to be time we both had to head to other engagements.

An aerial view of the battle.  On the right, the first skeleton stands transfixed on his white poker chip , as the Wizard shouts, “Kill, Rusty, kill!” to the Golem behind him.

  So not a bad first outing for my Bones.  And I really enjoyed my first exposure to the rules.  I can see there are lots of nuances to be explored.  Most of all, the games succeeded in giving me more impetus to paint my Bones to have more Warband options.
  For a look at the games from Rob’s viewpoint, see his excellent blog: The Sharp End of the Brush

via All Bones About It

Author: hawksgameclub

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