Friday, 30 August 2013

BattleSworn - The Adventures Of The Fellowship

We played BattleSworn at the Gong Garage Gamers tonight. With two games under my belt I was the most experienced player, and adjudicated whilst John and Caesar played a couple of games.

John had brought along his Fellowship of the Ring figures, and it was the work of a few minutes to throw them together into a force:

Aragorn - Brute/Tank
Gandalf - Leader/Brute
Boromir - Fighter
Legolas - Sniper
Gimli - Brute/Tank
Frodo - Rogue
Sam - Fighter
Merry - Fighter
Pippin - Fighter

This was a combination John thought he could play and that we thought would be reasonably useful.

Caesar used my Politically Incorrect Pygmies ("Why are the politically incorrect?", asked Ralph. "Have you seen the figures?", we replied. "Oh. I see.", said Ralph, after he had as well.).

Chief - Brute
4 x Warriors - Fighters
Witchdoctor - Healer
Blowpipes - Rogue/Shooters
King Kong - Brute/Tank

We played a straight fight - ten moves (or maybe more, depending on a roll), and the side who inflicted the most casualties won.

I didn't take lots of picture - just some highlights.

Here we see Aragorn and  Frodo taking on the Pygmy Chief. They killed him.

Boromir got surrounded by Pygmies.

Aragorn and Frodo rushed to his aid.

But Kong was after Aragorn.

The Pygmy healer saved the day, bringing one of the warriors back from near-death.

Boromir died heroically. But look at all of those wound markers.

At the end of the game the Fellowship had killed four Pygmies (and got Kong down to Red - Frodo just failed to administer the coup de grace). They lost Boromir and Legolas.

In the second game the Fellowship fought some Uruk Hai. The game was dominated by two crossbowmen (Arquebusiers), and the fact that both sides had a Leader, who were often cancelling each other out.

In this picture Legolas is about to be chopped to pieces by a Uruk Hai Beserker (Brute).

The Fellowship spent most of the game hiding in a wood. With Legolas gone they had little to oppose the crossbows with, and Caesar put a lot of effort into keeping them reloaded.

The Fellowship tried to sneak around using the cover of some buildings. You can see the crossbowmen right at the top of the picture, hiding behind some pikemen.

The Uruk Hai force was:

Chief - Tank/Leader
3 x Warriors with Shield - Tanks
4 x Warriors with Pike - Fighters
Beserker - Brute
2 x Crossbowmen - Arquebusiers

The Arquebusiers proved very good, but I think our battlefield was too open, which favoured them. Boromir died again, shot down on his baseline.

As for the Fellowship, in an ideal game I'd run them like this:

Aragorn - Brute/Tank
Gandalf - Warmage/Leader
Boromir - Fighter
Legolas - Sniper
Gimli - Brute
Frodo - Rogue/Tank
Sam - Fighter
Merry - Fighter
Pippin - Fighter

Frodo's Tank rating reflects his mithril coat. If any Hobbit aside from Frodo gets killed, swap the figure for Boromir instead (the Hobbit taking his position on the field, and his wounds. This rule is purely aesthetic, and ensures that Boromir dies a lot.

Two great games. We're still not totally clear on how some of the rules work, but we enjoyed it. And there was a lot of discussion on using it for other periods as well. Next time we will have to try magic.


  1. Yes very entertaining to watch as you figure out what the players are going to bid...With my megalomainia rarely too far below the surface I am not normally one for skirmish games, but....

    The highlight for me was when Caesar,after masterfully winning a bidding round, fully loaded with a max of 6 attacks, displayed a tactical master stroke in attacking with his brute Uruc Hi berserker against a lightly armoured dwarf, and then rolled his dice for the coup de grace...

    and threw 3 1's and 2 2's!

    I think we can already see the potential for outrageously bending the core mechanics to apply to a whole host of periods....

  2. A really slick game, Battlesworn. Moving and terrain are extremely simple and the initiative system makes for some fun double guessing. It will be some time before we fully fathom the game tactics (if ever!) but the rules are very easy to absorb in one or two sittings. An ideal pick up game with very little prep required.

    Now, if only I could roll dice better!

  3. Thank you guys. Remember to post any rules queries on the yahoo group or on the Song of Blades facebook group, I generally reply within 24 hours. Excellent batrep and keep on playing Battlesworn.


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