As you may know, I'm a backer of Fightin' Funghi,or, Advanced SoBH. The new ruleset includes bunch of interesting special abilities, now called "Traits", new rules for armour and shields (still w.i.p. with at least three variants possible) and reactions (Even in SoBH, it may always be your turn! :) How does it play?
Read on (and brace yourself for another bunch of crappy photos)!
After his adventure in the Northern Mountains, Lothar managed to rebuild his Bad Company, and soon found a offer fitting such highly skilled professionals - deliver a secret message. A single messenger could do it, sure. But a messenger could be captured, interrogated, killed and replaced by another. Having a slight doubt about this, Lothar accepted.
Little did he know that Gorm's Ironclads were after him, paying spies here and there just to get a trace of the man who shamed them.
Objective: Pass the most men through the opposite corner.
- Lothar the Black: Q3+ C3, Leader, Light Armour, Shield
- Antar: Q3+ C3, Veteran Group Fighter, Unruly
- Wilhelm: Q4+ C2, Fearless, Crossbow, Good Shot, Light Armour
- John: Q4+ C2, Good Shot, Shooter: Long, Reload (taken from Short Bow)
- Udo: Q4+ C3, Light Armour, Shield
- 3 Halberdiers: Q 4+ C3, Heavy Weapon, Light Armour
Objective: Get Lothar.
- Gorm: Q3+ C3, Leader, Group Fighter, Medium Armour, Shield, Short Move
- Goth'Rack: Q3+ C3, Boiling Blood, Fearless, Unruly, Stubborn, Shield, Short Move
- Ragnar: Q4+ C3, Hammering Blow, Medium Armour, Short Move, Steadfast
- Gimli, Robur the Scabby: Q4+ C3, Medium Armour, Shield, Short Move, Steadfast
- Lorm and Skadi: Q4+ C2, Crossbow, Good Shot, Medium Armour, Short Move, Steadfast
Lothar was not surprised. Something always had to go wrong, just as this time, with those dwarves blocking his way. The last time, he had ran away from them, leaving his dead men behind - he had to. Through clenched teeth, Lothar muttered "No more running." At his command, his men began a cautious advance towards the dwarven barricades.
|Shooters are being sent as a vanguard, while the dwarver take positions.|
|Wilhelm takes cover while a dwarven bolt whizzes past.|
Seing that the enemy has crossbows, men of the Bad Company took cover wherever they could. At Lothar's nod, Antar headed into the woods - he enjoyed working alone anyway. The rest of his men dashed to Wilhelm.
Sometimes I read laments that ranged attacks are weak in SoBH - give me a pair of crossbowmen, and I'll teach such people the error of their ways. Crossbow is a trait in FF, it is really powerfull to one long distance and still menacing up to two. You have to reload it, however, and in order to do so, you must stay in place.
|Strange as it may seem, noone is eager to buy the farm.|
|Poor Ragnar can't stay but fears to leave - because it's always my turn.|
FF Reactions are new to SoBH - generally, if you fail any activation dice, your opponent may use them to attempt actions of his own. Although the reaction rules still need some adjustment (my oppinion), they shift the whole tactical paradigma and present more choices for both players.
|No reload on my watch!|
"Aye, I'm watching you..." said John in a low tone, as he drew his longbow. One of the dwarven crossbowmen just bent to reload his weapon, which was quite a lucky decision as he took an arrow on his shoulder plate. Wasting no time he vanished behind a rock few moments before Gorm ordered all his lads back.
Seing their enemy retreating was a welcome sight, so Lothar's men needed little incentive to rush forward. However, their advance was contained by Ragnar and Gimli, while Robur stomped to the forest to check Antar.
|See those two? Surely the beginning of an epic duel.|
Ragnar swung his hammer at Udo, but the swordsman managed to avoid the attack and seeing the dwarf off-balance, he returned the blow. Steel rang on steel, but aside from a notch on the helmet, Ragnar was unharmed.
Armour is yet to gain a final form in FF, but there is a variant available on Facebook group where it provides an armour save roll. If it is successfull, the result turns to a less harmful one: OOF to Knockdown, Knockdown to Recoil, Recoil to a tie. This rules add one more roll to combat, but we didn't feel it as an inconvenience. It brings more granularity without adding another combat roll modifier.
|Near the edge, the blood starts to boil.|
Armoured or not, there's only so much two fighters can do against trained men in more than twice their number. As his dwarves fell, Gorm could not restrain himself any more and lanched himself at the enemy. Loud roar from his left suggested that Goth'Rack finally got out of his gloomy mood into a more productive state of mind.
However, cold blooded John was not the one to be scared by a tattoed madman. The ferocius attack broke his bow and threw him back. John got ready for a hand-to-hand, only to see his foe collapse!
I like Boiling Blood. It is something like more controlled berserk, empowering you significantly - however, you'd better clean your surrounding in the rage, because you may collapse at the end of turn. My opponnent was quite unfortunate, getting a decent bonus to C but lousy combat roll.
|Have at them!|
Reactions can be great indeed. In one case (following picture), Robur got one failure and two actions - no doubt he was about to use them on a power blow, but Antar managed to react and strike first (although not that hard). It didn't matter in the end as both combats were tied, but the possibility was there.
|A very private battle.|
Finally, Lorm had had enough. He sneaked around the stunned swordsman, sprinted, drawing his shorsword, and finally thrusted it into Lothar's side. Lothar collapsed, and something had broken in his men. Two managed to sneak past the Ironclads, but rest of them ran away in random directions.
|The dreaded morale check cascade about to begin.|
"Hold!" Shouted Gorm, as the crossbowman raised his shorsword for a coup de grace. "I have a better idea..."
All of the Bad Company had ran away, without any casualties except Lothar. Perhaps they were able to deliver the message without him, but I doubt it - the confusion was too great. Moreover, the dwarves achieved their goal, which means a decisive dwarven victory!
Summary: The game didn't take any longer than our usual games of SoBH, and the new rules for reactions, weapons, armour and special abilities were fun. However, the reactions need to be either changed or house-ruled, because currently, there is no limit as to who can react to what, which may lead to quite gamey approach, like reacting with a figure on the other side of the table.
Anyway, I'm glad I took part in this Kickstarter project.