Wednesday, 27 April 2011
SSL: A Fistful of Badgers
One of the many points I like about Songs is the ease at which you can get a game in. Last night Oli and myself elected to play a 450pt Song of Splintered Lands game at about 7.30pm. Convened for battle at 8.30pm, placed some scenery on the table, had a smoke, lined up the little animals, and off we went. Here's how it happened;
Druid's Children - Brace Badgerlord (146pts!), 4 x Badgers, 1 x Hare Spear, 1 x Squirrel Sword
The Rebels - Wolverine Hero, Rat Warlord, Rat Sorcerer, 2 x Fox Archers, 1 x Stoat Brigand, 5 x Rats
Two Celtic round huts borrowed from Arthurian 15mm in the middle, seven trees dotted around them.
The Druid's Children got to deploy first - not much imagination required with seven troops; line up Badgers with Lord in the middle, Squirrel to the left, Hare to the right. The Rebels formed an inverted wedge of rats with their warlord and sorceror at the back, the Wolverine in front of them, Foxes lurked to their left, and the Stoat hung around on the right.
Druid's Children moved steadily up; Badger line advanced up the clearing in the middle, Hare bounded off to the right to lurk around one of the huts, ready to spring forward and take out the pesky Fox archers. Squirrel moved to the left into the trees.
The Rebel's also advanced steadily through the trees, Wolverine and Stoat hung back, with Rats surged forward in formation. The Fox archers moved to their left to find a firing position. A couple of arrows flew towards the Badgers but failed to find their mark.
The Badgers considered charging the mass of Rats now immediately to their front, but decided it was too far - started the advance from the left of the line and the second Badger rolled double 1. Turnover.
The Rats saw their chance with a disjointed Badger line to make a mess of things, but they too had an attack of indecision and rolled a double failure.
A sigh of relief! The Badgers consolidated their line and continued the advance - wary of the tactical consequences of a failure, the approaching Sorceror and Wolverine, they played safe and moved up. The intention was to charge the Fox Archers with the Hare, but first the Squirrel decided the Rat Sorceror was a tempting target - another activation failure, but did get to move into contact.
The wily Sorceror used his free disengage to step away from the Squirrel, and the Rat warlord detached himself from the back of his gang and charged in, making short work of the Squirrel for the first casualty. The Fox archers found their mark on the Hare and knocked him down. The Rats moved en masse into the Badger line, but to no real effect, the Stoat moved in behind the Rats, and the Wolverine (bizarrely) moved across to engage the fallen Hare
Things had begun to look grim for the Druid's Children - Badgers returned the combat but only succeeded in pushing the Rats back before yet another activation failure cursed them to hand the proceedings back to The Rebels - Hare remained on the floor.
The Rebels seized on the opportunity to splatter the hapless Hare spear all over the hut. The Stoat moved around the Rats onto the end of the Badger line and pushed one back. The Rat Sorceror transfixed one of the Badgers, but the Rats were unable to capitalise on that dazed Mustelid. The Fox Archers pushed back the Badger on the right of the line. The Rat warlord rounded off the turn by moving into the dazed Badger
Having survived what could have been a disasterous combat, the Badgers finally got their act together. The Stoat on their left fell, as did the Rat next to him. The Badger on the right moved in and squashed a lone rat, and the Badger Lord moved to the right to engage the Wolverine but combat ended in a draw. The transfixed Badger came to his senses to hand play to The Rebels.
The Wolverine-Badger Lord Combat resulted in the Badger being pushed back. The Rat Warlord knocked down a Badger, but the rat next to him failed his activation for an immediate turnover!
The Badger Lord hurled himself at the Wolverine, and killed him. The remaining Rat Brigand also died to a Badger to take The Rebels to below 50% - amazingly all passed the morale check with only a Fox wavering. The Rat Warlord continued to hold off the various Badgers - knocking two down in the process, but with the death of the Wolverine, Stoat, and all bar one of the Rats, the Rebels called it a day.
Victory for the Druid's Children after 25 minutes of gameplay, for the loss of just the Squirrel and Hare.
Post game summary - the Druid's Children (me) were exceptionally nerfed with 5 Badgers. I don't normally deploy such a one-sided force, preferring a big mass of Mouse Spears. The Rebels did suffer from some unlucky dice - especially the Wolverine rolling a 1 (+5) to the Badger Lords 6 (+7) in Turn 6.
Moving the Wolverine into the usually ineffectual Hare was probably a mistake too, retrospectively. However, the Rats did a surprisingly good job holding up the four Badgers.
I think the critical moment was the Squirrel Sword dropping out of the tree into contact with the Sorceror. Although he paid for this move with his life, it detached the Rat Warlord from the back of the Rat Brigands, and their loss of Group activation against the Badgers meant that their poor Quality caused a turnover just when it wasn't needed.