26 July 2012

SBH - Turnip munchers victorious!

Sunshine and gaming - what a lovely summer's day - and news that my softback copy of Swords and Wizardy has been shipped:

Yes, I used this picture last time, but I hate to post without ANY images at all
No photos, I'm afraid, but I popped over to Chris' place today to play a few games (his first) of Song of Blades and Heroes. I set him up with the starting list of knights and retainers that I used so successfully at school a couple of weeks ago, while I took my halflings, purely for speed of setup as both of us were on limited 'child-free' time. We had been going to play outside but it was so hot that the resin river pieces got too hot to touch and (boo-hoo!) the grass sheets on my gaming boards started to peel off, so we decamped into cooler conditions.

We played each game as a pitched battle (my turnip-munchers defending their fields from human imperialism) so Chris could get the hang of the rules (he's a more experienced gamer than me by far but this was his first stab at SBH). We slapped down a bridge in the centre of the table and extended river pieces to the edges, a couple of hills and woodland pieces and then went at it. It turns out that my previous pondering on the ineffectiveness of missile combat were utterly mistaken. The key is group shooting. Frankly, it's marvellous :) I had five archers alongside my Leader and we raked that bridge with a storm of arrows as Chris' knights tried to establish a narrow front to counterbalance my numerical superiority. In the first two games I managed to cause gruesome kills through shooting which broke his position in the resulting morale cascade and allowed me to gang up on his separated fighters. The bonus for being on horseback also proved crucial, as did the poor dice that reliably appear when his wife appears mwahaha!

One thing that Chris remarked upon (quite correctly) was that I almost always knocked him down when I won a combat, whereas he almost always pushed me back which gave me much more opportunity to kick him when he was down.

In the third game, a couple of failed moves combined with Chris carefully trapping my leader in unadvantageous combat and causing morale check after morale check as he brutally slew my leader and took my numbers down. So, it finished 2:1 to me and a fabulous time it was too.

We were left with a couple of questions, which I'd be happy to hear your thoughts on:

  1. Supporting figures - do all adjacent fighters contribute bonuses, or only 'unengaged' ones? 
  2. Negative combat scores - we played it that if modifiers took your score to zero or below, you were automatically brutally killed
  3. We played that prone fighters cannot assist in combat (heritage of our bloodbowl gaming, I guess), but it seems that was wrong
I look forward to your comments. Happy geeking,

21 July 2012

A yearning for oddly shaped dice

Look at these dice; aren't they lovely? Don't they whisper to you of deeds to be done, evil to be defeated, and glory to be won? Of dragons? Perhaps to be found in dungeons?

Gripped by nostalgia, I popped up into the loft to retrieve my 'red box' basic Dungeons and Dragons set . As well as some of the above dice, it also had an introductory adventure module that I got as a get-well present from my parents (thanks, Mum and Dad) when I had my tonsils out, aged about ten, complete with the pencil marks left by my younger self. I always had to be Dungeon Master because I was the eldest, it was my game, and my siblings and friends of the time "wouldn't have done it properly". I'm still a bit of a control freak today :/

Suddenly, having volubly mocked roleplayers for years as being the sorts who can't separate reality from fantasy, I want to do it all again. I want to roll up a dwarf adventurer, or human cleric and get stuck in, in true 0e style; I've even downloaded two of the apparently best retro-clones. Properly old school, I'd love to play with a DM who runs it smoothly, puts some life into it, and always leaves open the possibility of a total party kill if the players do something stupid.

So, my (online) name is Rab, and I want to roll funny-shaped dice.