Saturday, February 12, 2011

A solo ambush scenario for Song of Blades and Heroes

Today I created a simple solo scenario for Song of Blades and Heroes. I have playtested it three times (yeah, not much but I'm only one) adjusting rules and rosters to make it more interesting.

Basically, the player controls a group of humans escorting a noble through a wooded area. Why are they doing this? I don't know, maybe they've just survived a larger attack, or they intended to move under secrecy. Anyway, a group of orcs and goblinoids learns this and decides to ambush and eliminate that noble.


For this scenario I have used only unmodified units from the rosters on the basic book:
Humans: Human Noble (Q3+ C0), 4x Human Warrior, 1x Human Magic-User, 2x Human Archer.
Orcs & Goblinoids: 2x Goblin Wolf Rider, 2x Bugbear Guard, 2x Orc Archer, 2x Savage Orc Warrior

You may notice that the ambushers have some advantage in terms of total warband points. That is to compensate their limited behavior routines (see below).

Draw an imaginary line through the middle of the board. Place two obstacles along a line 1 Long from this on each direction. Then place five markers 1 Short further away, regularly spaced. The following diagram should clarify this:
Now, place the noble on the center line, about one third from the left edge, and deploy other human models up to 1 Short away from him. Place an exit marker on the right edge. The following picture shows an example of the setup for the scenario.
Victory Conditions
The humans win if they manage to bring the noble in contact with the exit marker (with no enemies within short range of the noble) or if they remove at least six enemy models from play.
The orcs and goblinoids win if they manage to defeat the noble or cause him to flee the battle (i.e. leave the board) not through the exit marker.

Game Start and the Ambush
The humans start the game, activating and taking actions normally. When turnover comes, the ambushers are revealed.
Separate the orcs and goblins into six ambush groups (each separate wolf rider, each separate bugbear and pairs of orc warrior and archer). Place them on a line in any order you like. You'll be resolving the location of each group in that order.
For each group, roll a die. On a 1-3, they appear on the top side. On a 4-6, they appear on one of the markers on the bottom. In either case, roll another die to find out on which marker they appear. A result of 1-5 means the corresponding marker, from left to right. A result of 6 means they appear besides the exit marker. If you roll twice for the same marker on the same side, re-roll the marker die.
Place each ambushing model in base contact with the corresponding marker, then remove the marker. Select a placement that makes sense, based on their relative position to the human group and obstacles. After all models are on the map, remove the remaining ambush markers. The following picture shows an example of ambusher placement.
 After the ambushers are on the map, they may activate and act. In this turn, all of them gain ambush bonuses if they engage in combat. Game proceeds normally, using the following rules to determine the behavior of the ambushers on their turns.

Enemy Behavior
The following rules have been adapted from discussions in the Song of Blades and Heroes forum, especially the activation system from this other blog.

First, we must consider the order in which figures are activated. Since they have the goal of attacking the noble and anything that gets in their path, the priorities are:
1) All figures engaged in melee combat with the noble;
2) All figures that can shoot the noble regardless of range penalties. If more than one, choose the closest ones first;
3) All other figures engaged in melee combat;
4) Fallen or transfixed models;
5) All other figures with valid ranged targets;
6) Melee combatants that can engage the noble in a single move;
7) The remaining figures, from the closest to the noble. If two or more tie, Wolf Riders go before Bugbears, who go before anyone else.

To find out how many activation dice the figure will use, follow these rules:
1) If the figure is in melee combat with the noble, activate with two dice;
2) If the figure is transfixed, activate with two dice;
3) Otherwise, roll a die and consult the following table:
1-2 = 1 activation die
3-5 = 2 activation dice
6 = 3 activation dice
Note that the same rule is used for all figures because all of them have the same quality value.

Lastly, you must figure out what the figure will do. Here are their rules:
1)Shooters will move and maneuver to attack the Magic User unless they have the opportunity to hit the noble.When they have two actions, they will favor attacking any target rather than moving twice unless all targets are at double range or farther;
2) Other models will try to get into melee range with the noble as soon as possible. If there are closer targets that they can move into contact and attack on the current turn, roll a die. On a 5-6 they will switch to that target. Target priorities besides the noble are: Magic User, Archers, Warriors, in descending order.

Closing remarks
If the scenario still feels easy, change the noble to Q4+ C0. For even more challenge, remove one warrior.
If, on the other hand, the scenario feels difficult, adding a couple of warriors or changing one warrior into one Elf Heavy Cavalry might do the trick.


Aleksandar Šaranac said...

Hi, I really like your scenario, and I'm going to test it as soon as possible. Do you mind if I add it to my campaign from here
as scenario 5,moving final scenario to place 6? Of course with all credits to you...
sharanac at

Ricardo said...

Sure, I would really like to see it added to your campaign. By the way, good work, those scenarios seem fun to play, I'll try to run them with minis or at least in RPTools.

Slorm said...

I like this scenary, I've tested it today and really the noble must be scorted, or he could die by an orcs shoot.

Soon I will publish the photos in my Spanish blog.

Felicidades :)

Ricardo said...

Cool! Please post a link when the photos are available!

Slorm said...

I have uploaded it, and I hope that in this next week I will have sometime to translate it into Spanish.

Happy Hunting!

Slorm said...

OK, the url of the blog is this: