In order to try the new activation, I played a battle between dwarves and orcs, using profiles given in the book. Note that now the standard force size is 400 points (up from 300) with more allowance for personalities.
The dwarf warband was composed of Captain Tormak (Leader Swordsman w/shield), Brelik (Hero Swordsman w/shield), 2x Trained Heavy Axeman, 2x Veteran Heavy Axeman, and 2x Veteran Crossbow Wielder.
The orcs had Warchief Krakk (War-Leader), 4x Armored Spearman and 4x Chosen Bowman.
The new book does not include scenarios so I used the Treasure Hunt scenario from the "basic" Song of Blades and Heroes. There are three treasure markers and both warbands compete to find the treasure and take it away through their starting edge of the map. This is the initial board setup. The treasure chests mark the possible locations of the treasure.
|For some reason, the short movement stick was not included in the exported screenshot.|
The orcs split in three groups, with the leader and two spearmen going for the farthest marker, and two teams of spearman and bowmen going for the other two markers.
The orcs won the initiative and moved to the forest patch closer to them. However, the treasure was not there. Captain Tormak led his team to the other forest patch and had better luck. A dwarf crossbowman took the opportunity to move and fire at the orc warchief but missed.
|I replaced the treasure chest with a red marker to represent the found treasure.|
|The pairs of axemen and spearmen spent most of the time idling.|
|The knocked down dwarf managed to react and stand up before the orc could shoot him again.|
Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes remains the same fun game as usual. The new reaction option is probably great when playing against other people. For solo play, it adds another decision that is not particularly easy to automate. I will probably keep using the basic rules, maybe with some of the new traits and spells, when playing solo games.