Welcome dear reader to another session report for the great Ganesha Games title:
Song of Arthur and Merlin by Daniel Mersey
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.
When we rolled up our scenario for each table the first two games produced a Blood Feud and an Ambush.
Here is is Terry's warband advancing into an ambush. The ambush can be seen below. We used rune stones to ID each location for the real and dummy markers for Jon Mark's warband.
Rune stone location markers some of which represent the ambushing warriors below.
Jon Mark's warband footmen.
Across the room we see Mordred's men in Ted's war-band. Secundus the berserk has had a long standing feud with Bishop Kenneth the pure. Kenneth, a paladin by discipline, has brought his warband into the battle to kill Secundus.
An ambush revealed. Some of Terry's knights move through rough terrain and expose the hiding places of Jon Mark's foot knights.
The advance of Sir Morholt, Sir Lanvil, and Brave Sir Robin.
Back to the blood feud. Bishop Kenneth is unhorsed by the berserk and looks as if he was knocked dead from his horse. The only saving grace was his fortitude and Tough skill. So back in the saddle he returns to fight and kill Secundus.
I liked the use of rune stones for ID markers. They were expedient and I have had them for a long time and never really used them in wargaming. Now I have a valid use for them.
Second scenario of the evening created a "Kill The Monster" and "Rescue a Kidnap Victim" set of games.
Here we see the berserk as an object of a massive hunt and kill game.
And on the other table we have a kidnap victim that ends up being saved and rescued.
Dwaylin the Dwarf unhorses and kills nephew Connor. Bishop Kenneth's nephew.
Kenneth and two mounted men-at-arms confront the Knight of the Red Lance!! He is an Assassin and quite deadly in hand to hand combat.
Great night of gaming.
Thanks for looking in on the post.
Up next in this story arc will be the joust in Lincoln and then the Christmas Feast in Camelot.