Friday, October 17, 2014

Song of Arthur and Merlin

Welcome dear reader to another session report for the great Ganesha Games title:

Song of Arthur and Merlin by Daniel Mersey

Part 1
The Joust:

As we recall, the knights of Camelot have been journeying northward to the realm of Duke Aeron of Lindsey on a progress ordered by Arthur to receive and exchange gifts of fealty from the Duke and his fief.  The event of a king's entourage will of course call for feasting and a tournament.  In preparations the duke's men have started clearing and refreshing the list at Lincoln castle.  Join us now table side for images of the jousting game as played in the Lion's Den using the mechanics of Song of Blades and references to how we did it back in the day.  Our rules are not as written in Song of Arthur and Merlin.  We have resurrected our old format and will demonstrate here for you now...

The knights are characters from SAM with all stats and specials intact and in use.
The jousting field or list is prepared from a terrain feature that is six increments long.  We used the medium move distance when constructing our jousting rails.  See the image and click for a closeup view.
The participating knights are placed as demonstrated on the list facing each other and ready to move toward each other in traditional jousting fashion.  Now in SAM and SoBH the mechanic is move counter move based on a success throw of a set of D6.  What we actually feel is different in a joust is the Rochambeau mechanic of "ready, steady, shoot," in that both participants are acting in unison or in synchronous order.  To model that with the already in place mechanic of SAM we salute and require each knight to throw 3D6, (the full set of SAM success die.)  For each success the knight may advance one move increment down the rail.   

So as you can see in our demonstration joust, 3 rolled successes will leave you at mid-point on the rail.  Any failures and you will be caught closer to your start point by a more successful knight opposing you.  From beyond the midpoint you get to add +1 to your combat score for each full section you have moved past midpoint and closer to your opponents start point!

We assume that a contact will occur when the two knight figures pass in the same segment of the rail. At this occurrence we roll a combat roll with and if there are any left over successes to use for combat.  ALL special abilities are in play.  Passing blow especially.  If you don't have enough successes to make an attack then you simply defend or if both are out of successes than it is a pass by.

In the combat roll.
In our joust if you are beaten by an even roll you are unhorsed and defeated.  If you are beaten by an odd roll you are recoiled and remain in the saddle however the opponent has "broken" a lance on your shield and scores 1 point.  The knights continue to the end of the list and pass again.  Three broken lances are equal to a win or "unhorsing" of the opponent.

With this format we play-tested our old jousting rules from Pendragon and within the new rules set of Song of Arthur and Merlin we experienced unhorsing, ties, wiffs, and broken lances.  Some of the knights had to make several passes before the contest was decided.  The +1 per increment of rail past midpoint was fun and key.  If you get "up" on your opponent and hit him close to his end of the list it is really demoralizing.  We allowed passing blow and that was sometimes very significant.  We discussed Assassin skill and our group is really wrestling with this in Arthurian background but we decided that an assassin in a joust isn't trying to kill someone ....

Will take a break for now and continue this post in a bit.

Part 2  Blood Feuds and an Ambush
The entourage is traveling by many roads  and the knights are free to roam and experience adventure as it presents itself.

The rumor of a knight bearing an evil red lance has circulated.

A kidnapping has occurred.

And of course Mordred's men dog the column and present sorites for blood at nearly every crossroad.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Song of Arthur and Merlin

The Battle at the Ford.
The table.

Mordred and his retinue.

Round table knights from Camelot enroute to Lincoln for a tourney.

Crossing a disputed ford.

None shall pass.

Song of Arthur and Merlin.

Mordred's forces defend the ford.

Arthur's knights just keep coming and in stronger numbers.

Mordred is unhorsed and will eventually leave the field.

The retinue fights on but the victory goes to the knights of the round table.

The ford is captured.

Great game and wicked awesome figures.  Stay tuned this one is heating up.

Recruits Convention September 2014

The pinnacle wargaming meet up has come and gone in the heartland.
Lee's Summit High School's Recruits convention is a great show and always a fun time as a GM and a player.  Here is one fellows tour of duty...

American Civil War in the West.  The battle of Wilson's Creek.  I have toured this battlefield and even wargamed on the actual battle location at a scouting event.  This was my first game to play in at the convention.  This game was presented by Alex McDonald in 9mm scale.  When we asked him about the scale it turns out that a lot of these minis are old Scruby 9mm ACW!  So that was cool in itself.
I played as Franz Sigel and commanded the attack on the Confederate cavalry encampment.  We did pretty well and scattered almost all of the mounts. (our objective.)  So that too was cool.  However I exhausted my command in the Fire and Fury system and was ineffective after this series of attacks.

Marching through the encampment kicking over frying pans and getting dirt in the reb's coffee!

Click images for a close up.

Further afield from my command.

My overall commander over on the hill top.  I don't think it was named bloody hill after our replay.

And then to close out Friday night I presented my game called "Angry Birds."  This is a cock-fighting game ala gladiator rules and some feathered models I got  off of E-Bay.  The presentation was entirely to get a reaction from passers by and to that end it was a success.  However, it did not get played a lot and was only marginally successful.  Anyway, take a look at the pixels because it was funny.  Look close at the cock's eyebrows - Angry Birds!

To cap off the night I played Thunder Road from Ted Conn's collection.  This is a scaled up miniatures version of the MB boardgame and it was a hoot.  Ted has really created something marvelous with these minis and his Axles and Alloys game.  See below.

Running and gunning in the wasteland.

Saturday morning I arrived early enough to get in on Scott Newberry's Medieval FUBAR.  Wow!  A massive collection of toy soldiers from the Warhammer BattleMasters sets was amassed on the table for an interesting look at mounted warfare.  Scott is a veteran wargamer and showman.  His games are wonderful and have been a formative aspect of my learning about the hobby from years ago when I used to frequent his hobby shop.

Pre-battle line up.  The great thing about this presentation that Scott put in the event were: player created terrain selection, hidden initial deployment by use of screens between the two sides and catapults that operated kinetically by shooting sponge boulders at the target troops.

The fray! FUBAR.

Scott looks on from behind the center of my opponents.  I commanded a convergence of catapults in the center.

Great game.  Thanks Mr. Newberry and Mr. Yates of the Park Forest Gamers.

Nest stop, the Sudan.  The HATSOFF wargamers are another keystone in the region.  They too have been presenting games at local conventions for over 20 years.  This Bod Davis production involved a relief column from the Gordon Relief Expedition pushing towards Khartoum.  I landed overall British commander status and was place in the center of the square.  The square was broken in a couple of ways and we suffered mightily in the contact with the Dervishes, Ansar, and Baggara horsemen.

From the sandy desert to the deck of a frigate!  Only at a wargame convention right.  Next battle I played in was Sails of Glory, presented by Tim Harwood.  I envy this game however it came out 10 years too late for my collection.  I already have all the ships I need for naval gaming but wanted to try this rules set to see what it offered.  The rules are great.  The miniatures superb.  My style of naval gaming wouldn't fit with this because I want way more ships on the table than this could handle.  I did have fun except for the jackanapes players that were commanding the rest of our squadron.  You know those convention games where your side forgets the overall objective of the scenario only because they want to go shoot at one of their friends/family on the opposing team.  Yea- you get it.  Anyways I got my taste of this game rules system and I would play again on someone else's dime.

Egregious doohickey.  That's our flag ship t-boning our squadron because he wants to go shoot a friend.

And finally the masterpiece of gaming that is Ted Conn's 

Axles and Alloys.Fuel Run

from the convention program:
Fuel. Fuel is everything. It`s so rare, you`d do practically anything to get it. When you hear there`s an entire truck filled with fuel heading through the Dead Zone to Summit City, you round up your posse and head out to intercept. Problem is, you`re not the only gang with that thought. Who will leave the Dead Zone with the fuel, you or another gang? Will the fuel truck survive to deliver its goods? Not if you have a say in things! Axles and Alloys is a quick-playing, over-the-top sci-fi vehicular combat system based upon Full Thrust rules. Think Mad Max meets Car Wars, but with simpler rules.

This was popular.  Well presented.  And amazingly fun!

That is Motherload.  The objective of all the gangs desire.  Get that beast and win the game.

Well maybe next time.
And that my friends is Recruits.  They also have always had really nice signage and branding.  This is the convention program.  I keep these because I like them to look back over and see what games my club presented and also they always look really cool.