Sunday, 4 March 2012

AAR: The depressing battle of Björnåsen.

"I have a no good feeling, sir", said the hardened soldier in the heavy armor. The young noble kept silent, but nodded deliberately. With the wastelands in front of their eyes, the soldier's feeling would prove to be correct. The party would, in just a few minutes, meet what mortals call death.


INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the first AAR (After Action Report) on this blog! The game played was a solitaire session of Song of Blades and Heroes, using my solitaire module SBH-SOLO (downloadable here for anyone interested in trying it out).

I was leading a gang of cautious humans passing through the wastelands of Björnåsen, located around five thousand steps South of the large town of Borås. Five civilians equipped with swords and bows, escorted by three armored soldiers, were on their way back home to their manor in Kinnarumma. They've been visiting the King of East Borås for a couple of considerable matters. Halfway home, their journey was interrupted when they ran into a group of bestial green-skinned creatures -- eight bloodthirsty orcs. The battle was an actuality, and it did not end in favor of the humans; all men lost, except for one rider, escaping the battle in fear of his life.


BATTLE INFORMATION

Human warband
* Young noble, with sword, [PTS=50; Q=3+; C=2] and [Leader].
* (x2) Young noble's close friends, with swords and [PTS=30; Q=3+; C=3].
* Young noble's brother-in-law, on horse, with bow, [PTS=60; Q=3+; C=2] and [Mounted; Long Move; Shooter (med)].
* Young noble's cousin, on horse, with bow, [PTS=45; Q=4+; C=2] and [Mounted; Long Move; Shooter (med)].
* (x3) Armored soldiers, with swords, [PTS=26; Q=4+; C=4] and [Short Move].
=> 293 PTS

Orc warband
This warband was entirely controlled by SBH-SOLO, i.e. my imaginary opponent.
* Orc leader, hand weapon, armor, [PTS=100; Q=3+; C=4] and [Leader; Tough].
* Orc warrior, hand weapon, armor, [PTS=42; Q=4+; C=3] and [Long Move; Steadfast].
* (x6) Orc warriors, hand weapons, armor and [PTS=23; Q=4+; C=3].
=> 280 PTS

The game was played using 15mm miniatures, on a 60x60 cm board, with a few pieces of terrain (mix of self-made ones and a few Games Workshop hedges). The board was crafted and given to me in Christmas present by my father. He used an old green billiards rug and attached it to a wooden board! Looking really good and very steady! Extremely grateful for that piece! =)

The game was played over two evenings and ended after 12 turns. Or actually, the battle never ended, one last human, the young noble's cousin on horse, fled when he was the only survivor. (He did not flee by the terms of Song of Blades and Heroes rules, but I made him flee, since there was no idea of continuing the fight with just him on the board, and four orcs! Who wouldn't have left the action by then!)

I had a lot of fun playing this battle! I think the SBH-SOLO module did a good job in simulating a real live opponent. Found some minor problems in the SBH-SOLO rules that I will correct, but apart from that, the game ran smoothly. I will definitely run a similar session again soon. Will have to paint a few more 15mm fantasy miniatures first though, so the variety of miniatures increases.


BATTLE HIGHLIGHTS

I will here present a number of highlights from the battle, in the shape of photos. I will not go through the battle in detail, just present a few distinctive moments.

The wastelands of Björnåsen. The humans in the lower
part of the photo, and the orcs in the upper. They have
just spotted each other, and the fight is ineluctable.
Turn #3: The young noble's cousin rides up on a small cliff
and fires his bow. He makes the closest orc temporary
drop his weapon to the ground and lose his balance.
Turn #4: The human warband fumbles and loses one turn.
In game terms; two failures on the first activation
roll attempt made in that turn! Seldom a good start of
a turn... ;-)
Turn #8: Two orcs charge a human rider. Later, in the
human part of this turn, the rider leaves the hand-to-hand
combat using the Free Disengage a mounted model is
entitled to if it disengage a foot model. Lucky him!
Turn #8: One of the noble's close friends attacks one of the
orcs charging into the rider previously in this turn. He succeed
in making the orc fall to the ground!
Turn #9: The fallen orc from the preceding turn is killed!
Unfortunately, the human is soon to be killed too...
Turn #9: The armored soldier slays one of the ugly
creatures, even though he is surrounded by two
more of them. Good work!
Turn #10: The fourth orc is killed and the remainder of the orc
warband must perform a Morale check (since the warband
was reduced to half in size). Three of the orcs runs off
toward the board edges. The one in the photo stops just
a few centimeters from the edge!


Turn #12: End of game! The last remaining human is seen
in the lower right of the photo. He is desperately leaving
the battlefield. Four orcs watch him leave in panic, while
they dismissively laugh...