Saturday, April 30, 2011
Song of Blades and Heroes with the Firstborn
This picture says it all and the to be honest, this wasn't a posed shot, what you see here is genuine, unbridled eight year old enthusiasm for what is about to commence. I gave my daughter her first true geek gift, a set of rules for Song of Blades and Heroes. You read through the first few pages like a trooper and on errands in the the car I would quiz her about, "What's the quality mean?", "How many actions do you get if you pass two dice?" and the like. We started small, just one hundred points per side, but we followed all of the rules from set up to finish. For one, I get some miniatures gaming in, but for two, obviously I get to spend some quality time with my girl as well.
Song of Blades (SBH) is a great skirmish fantasy game, not just great really, but really really great. It's simple enough to start out with, the rules are solid and unencumbered, and you can get right down to the actual gaming itself with little effort. It's minis-generic so you can use whatever you have on hand and have a ball with it. I've done quite a bit with it on here in the past, here's the related posts for it.
My daughter's "force" consisted three figures, all female not surprisingly! I'm proud to say that she personally painted two out of three of them too (I painted the one in the middle). I'm trying to teach her right so right off the bat I let her know about 'what you see is what you get' as far as models, and secondly...you never play with unpainted figs!
She was enamored with my old Citadel "Viking chick" and took her on as the leader. She did her rosters all of herself and said because this figure had a winged helmet that she got to be a barbarian instead of "just a human".
For my crew I just took three identical and basic human 'marauders', just stand-in troopers from my Viking Warband. These guys are just your average human with hand weapons and minimal protection with zero skills or special abilities. They're still not to be counted out however!
Our table setup was roughly three foot by three foot with a scattering of terrain pieces. We whipped up a quick little backstory for the battle. Basically wars in the area had the men of the village off fighting while the women took care of things at home. The Elf was visiting her friends when bandits emerged from the woods intent on stealing livestock and whatever else. Thinking the place was undefended the bandits moved in, little did they know that there were 'warrior women' left behind!
Moving and measuring between two buildings...
Getting ready for the big fight
The first few turns as you could see consisted of just movement and maneuvering. As you can see here, one bandit in the top left has managed to close with a target while another bandit at top right is about to do so. The third bandit hides behind some vegetation at the bottom of the screen. The girls' movement and placement was actually much better than my own as they held a good defensive line across the middle of the table.
"Wait a minute, these girls be armed!"
The first fight was over quickly as my daughter's reliance on choosing to power attacks every turn paid off (and made me think I should do them more often). While the two were fighting, the third strolled in and the overwhelming numbered proved in the girls' favor. These two would then move on to attack the bandit previously hiding behind the giant mushrooms, they made even shorter work of him than they did their first target!
The final fight of the game was about to occur. I should state at this time that I wasn't pulling any punches during the game and I was helping my opponent with obvious and helpful advice as often as I could or when I saw fit. After seeing my first two groups get thoroughly dusted however, I was kind of hoping to win this last combat.
As you can see from the first roll of combat, it was going to hard for me to even pull out a moral victory. This was actually a hard fought battle, with neither side gaining the upper hand, and oddly enough we kept bouncing back from melee instead of one side falling down.
Once the 'difference maker' barbarian female showed though I knew it was over. I took the tactical withdrawal approach, actually weathered a few free hits, and then began to flee off the closest table edge.
Well I'll say the game was an utter defeat for me, and as I said before I certainly didn't throw any rolls, rules, or the game itself, she beat me fair and square. Well, technically the Elf warrior she had in there put her a tad over the one hundred point agreed limit, but I'll let that slide.
How was it? It was great of course! I've played tons of boardgames with my girl before, and even some made-up-on-the-spot miniatures (basically rolling for highest d6 using Mage Knight figs) but this was the first "official" tabletop game, played while sticking to actual rules, with figures painted by both parties. Typing all of this it kind of makes me glad I've got a place to record this stuff in the first place. Until round two...enjoy!