Saturday 16 June 2018

Strongsword - Trial game

This weeks club game was a trial of the new fantasy skirmish rules from Westfalia 'Strongsword'. Written by Dan Mersey and released as part of a kickstarter with the usual plethora of mini's (all of which are very nice). Kev at the club jumping in to the kickstarter for the figs and picking up the rules to give them a try.

All the figs etc are Kev's (though not from the kickstarter) and Kev umpired the game with myself and Dave K being the willing victims for the rules trial.

The scenario (from the rules) chosen to trial the rules was a raid on a Troll village with a band of human ruffians (Dave) and a band of Goblin Veterans (myself) doing the raiding. 

Trolls in the middle of the village and another three at random doorways when approached and Humans and Goblins approaching from either side of the village. I won't go through a blow by blow account of the game but the victory went to the Humans on a scalp point count (so much for each of the Trolls and a varying amount for each warrior, veteran, hero or champion) with them picking up four of the trolls to bow fire early on.

Humans and Goblins advance on the innocent trolls

The fight was pretty even once contact was gained (similar stats for a goblin veteran to a human for instance) and the limited magic used was fairly minor mostly an add on to the combat rather than a game changer but that was on a one game only view. There's probably more to that with more games under the belt.

In fact all the game mechanics were pretty simple with everything being done on a D10 which I like and pretty similar to most of Dans' game mechanics in other rule sets like Dragon Rampant et al. Nothing there to tax the brain and easy enough to pick up a game with any issues. The rules are pretty inexpensive so not much to dish out and give them a try and certainly pretty on the eye with a clear typeface and decent layout.

Like most skirmish games, the enjoyment from these rules will depend on a good round of scenario's and there are some in the rules to get you going and more available online apparently.

Goblins take cover from the Human firing line

I quite enjoyed the game over all and for a small(ish) set of fast play rules thought they were fine and would be happy to air the rules again.. This may be the issue here in that there wasn't anything innovative or particularly unique about the rules and if you've other skirmish rule sets already, nothing in particular to drag you over to Strongsword. If you don't already, then these will serve you well without issue.

The rules do revolve around Westfalia's range of figures and obviously now a days you need to have a set of rules to support these (apparently) so thats fine and to be expected. The figures are very nicely done as always ( I particularly like the kobolds) are a suitably fantasy generic but with a few specific ones which are a bit different (like the arab style hobbits for instance) which fit warbands for the rules but will be used elsewhere without any issues to slow you down.

You can download a preview version of the Strongsword rules here.

Friday 1 June 2018

Battle Companies Campaign update

Another game under the belt for my Arnor Battle Company in our ongoing campaign in the wilds of Rhudaur.

Only a short update with a couple of players taking part this time to get some games in to catch up with the other players with Dave K's B team Elf squad, Alan L's Gondor, Kenny's Easterlings and my Arnor company taking part.

Alan and Kenny and myself having one game apiece and Dave's elves two.

My game with Alan's Gondor BC was a pretty hard fought affair with Gondor playing hide and seek while the Arnor force advanced cautiously. The one active Gondor Archer in hiding over the coarse of the game picking off three of the Arnor force while the tree he hid behind must had about forty arrows sticking in it. I soon abandoned this coarse as the Gondor Knight and associated hero's advanced into charge range.

Gondor plays hide n seek with Arnor while Elves and
 Easterlings battle in the background

Things went a bit pear shaped for Alan now as my archer heavy squad took affect and his numbers dropped quickly. Alan managed to get his knight and a hero into combat but his dice were lowsey and the Arnor force managed to take down his entire force bar one who broke in the face of the Arnor charge.

Dave's B team Elves managed to get two victories both hard fought and the second turned defeat into victory. You can check out his batrep here.

Campaign is certainly getting interesting as the companies beef up so looking forward to the next big get together at the end of the month for more games and the next Campaign story scenario.

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