12 July 2012

Change is coming to the graveyard

A bit of a filler post while I sort photos of tonight's gaming, but one I hope will be useful for undead gamers of SoBaH.

We (me and some gamer-kids I teach) played a bunch of games of Song of Blades and Heroes after school this evening. As well as assimilating a new chap into the joys (and frustrations) of tabletop gaming, there was pizza delivered and a spot of Space Hulk as well. It was great fun as well as giving me a chance to use the bits and bobs of scenery that I've been tinkering with - my first terrain!

Here is one picture from my first game against Barnaby who was running some of my skeletons as a pure undead warband, accompanied by a ghoul and led by a vampire. He suffered the fate of the ungodly when I smote down one of the accursed revenants to take the bridge.

Return to dust, fiend!
Despite his truly abysmal dice-rolling at key moments (I think his dice might have had multiple ones on them), the undead problem is quite often discussed on various websites where SBH gamers chat. Fittingly enough, the following was posted by Andrea (author of SBH) over on the Ganesha Games Yahoo! group today, explaining how the next rules update will address this issue of brittleness in pure undead wabands:

Undead is already officially changed, you do not have to wait for the next version of the rules. Here is the text of the rule (it is unedited so the phrasing may change a bit but the essence of the rule will remain the same) I will send the final text to the editor at the end of the week so the revised SBH book is not far.

Undead models are immune to Poison and Terror and do not make Morale rolls for Gruesome Deaths. Shooting attacks against Undead models are at -2, either because they are skeletal, and arrows fly through their bones, or because they don’t have vital organs that missiles can pierce.
Spells used as ranged attacks hit them normally. Magic-users are assumed to recognize Undead as such on first sight, so they will use bolts of “positive energy” or burst of sunlight to attack them.
Undead never flee from a combat. They have +2 on all Morale rolls but crumble to dust if they roll two or three failures on a Morale roll. However, if they have a friendly Standard on the table when they fail a Morale roll, Undead do not crumble to dust – they may make fleeing movements towards the Standard or remain where they are, as the player sees fit. If the Standard is destroyed (not just taken by an opponent -- to destroy it, the opponent must state that he is doing so, and one action must be spent to destroy it by a model adjacent to the Standard), all Undead models must make a Morale roll or be destroyed.
If the Standard bearer moves off the table, the Undead must not make a Morale roll -- just use the normal rules.

We'll be putting these changes into effect immediately... if I can persuade Barnaby not to give up entirely on his shambling hordes!

Happy geeking,


  1. I recall a friend of mine and avid Undead-ite (?) unsurprisingly plumping for the rotting ones in his first game of SBH and decked his force out with loads of Zombies. Who I believe have an activation of 6. Two of them moved out of their deployment area: the rest stayed put for the entire battle! Needless to say he wasn't happy!

    1. I can imagine that being rather galling!

      To make matters worse for the lad when I put together a mixed 'evil' band for his next game (Black Knight, couple of goblins, couple of skeletons, giant and troll), he went up against a Fellowship style band and got 'transfixed' and slaughtered again; not his evening!

    2. The activation system of SBH, whilst fun, can be frustrating. One way around it is to ditch the activation rules and instead assign each model a number of 'actions' (1-3) according to their ability which they can use these each turn, ensuring that even rubbish models get a chance! This does however change the dynamic of the game somewhat.