Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Water Margin - Outlaws of the Marsh AAR#1

Games seem to have been a little thin on the ground recently, but last week saw the opportunity to grab a few hours and a chance to put the new Advanced Songs of Blades and Heroes through it's paces.

The latest rule book does not contain any scenario's but their are plenty in the orginal rule books.
We randomly rolled and ended up with "Burn them out"

The defender places a building, which represents an HQ, food store, armory, etc. that his warband is using, in the middle of the table. 
The defender’s models are first setup within Long distance of the target. The attacker then rolls a die,  the number rolled being the number of characters that are bearing torches (I our case 4).
The attacker announces which models have torches, then places his models within Short distance of any table edge, and not within Long distance of any enemy model. 
Victory conditions: the attacker wins if he succeeds in destroying the target building. If all attacker models carrying torches are killed or flee the table, the defender wins. 

So our scenario saw Lin Ch'ung until a week ago an honourable officer in the imperial army. Now a victim of a plot by Kao Chiu to discharge him from the the army in disgrace, on route to
Tsang Chou jail. 
He is taken in by Shih Chin - Tattooed Dragon local land owner when the compound is attacked by elements of the Imperial Army looking to kill Lin Ch'ung.

With the approach of the attackers at dusk, in Ch'ung emerges from the farm house with a number of local's standing ready to defend their homestead.

The corrupt Army approach the farm on three sides, with archers taking down a number of the farm hands who are unable to return fire only being armed with hand to hand weapons. They fall back to the far end of the road out of close range.

Shih Chin and Lin Ch'ung having sort cover in the walled compound emerge to stop the advancing soldiers dispatching two of the torch bearers before they could come within reach of the farm house.

Seeing the heroes standing up to the oppresive garrison bolsters the farm hands resolve, who advance on the attackers grappling with the remaining torch bearer.

In a bloody fight in which many on both sides are killed, Lin Ch'ung is knocked to the ground by a cunning billman who stuck him in the back while he faced off against the Army Officer.
As it looked like our heroes journey would end the soldiers morale crumbled as the last torch was snuffed out and they fled into the darkness.

The Soldiers flee having seen over half their number fall. Leaving the farm in the hands of the locals and our two bruised heroes.
Had fate intervened for Lin Ch'ung?

A great scenario played through in a little over an hour and half.

The Advanced rule book has a great feel to it in particular the new failed reaction rule makes for a interesting amendment to the game style, it allows you to slow or block your opponent and hinders potentially that show stopping move.
In our scenario above, that one action was enough to allow a peasant to throw himself in front of Lin Ch'ung's would be killer.

It certainly gives you more to consider - without destroying the overall feel of SoBH.
"Do I take the turn over or take the single actions and allow my opponent to finish their turn?"

Plenty more to come in the following weeks as Lin Ch'ung continues his journey to Tsang Chou jail.

Until then remember.
"Do not despise the snake for having no horns, for who is to say it will not become a dragon?"


  1. What a cracking good blog post.

  2. Looks to be a great Skirmish Battle- a lot happening...the action reminds me of the late 1960s TV Series 'Shintaro' (Japanese Ninja and Samuri). Do like the figures and terrain - well done Stuart. Regards. KEV.

    1. Good fun all round Kev.
      Hopefully the start of a few more games.