The encounter in the Tall Timbers

8 May, 2010

Last night Beli’s Band met the Knights of George St. in a couple of encounters at John’s place. Despite promises, Keith never showed, so what was to be a three-way encounter was just between the two of us. There was a ‘treasure’ in the centre of the field, which was worth VP for the one that opened it. Surprisingly, despite short moves, I got there first (John had trouble with activation rolls). John also didn’t have much luck in combat, as Woodsman William was killed by Lhadr, when he was in combat with both Flakki and Bofor as well. Then Snorri and Holgar defeated Sergeant Bob, who had fallen, so his armour did not protect him in a close fight. Lhadr took on Sir Cumference ably supported by Gramr (I think Flakki or Bofor may have shot at him first); anyway, it was a gruesome sight, and the rest of Sir Cumference’s band did not stick around.

The scene of the carnage; the dwarves get massed around three corpses, while the remains of Sir Cumference's command are about to flee on their second morale check).

Gramr and Lhadr (both Greedy) prepare to despoit sir Cumference's corpse while the rest of the band look on.

Squire Robert, Woodsman Wayne, Squire Geoffrey and Squire Micheal beating a hasty retreat.

In the second encounter we sought magical treasure. The terrain was similar to the last encounter, but moved a little more centrally. We placed three corpses to indicate the possible location of the treasure. Two were in a central wood and one was atop the crag on the side. I went after the two in the wood, reaching one with Lhadr (his greed seemed to get him to these things quickly!) and one with Gifr. Both proved elusive, and it was left to Squire Geoffrey to climb the crag and find a ring (I think) of regeneration. Given he’s already tough, this seemed less useful. Anyway, he was soon shot at by the two crossbow armed dwarves and took a kip (fell and never stood) for the remainder of the encounter.

The real action was between Woodsman Wayne and most of the dwarves, who went after him with a will, but despite the numbers, couldn’t beat him. Holgar was in the thick of it, and Gramr went in to provide first support. Wayne despatched Gramr messily, causing his handler, Bofor, to retire a little, but the rest were unmoved (actually, I forgot that Holgar was not Fearless, so he didn’t take a morale check as he should have. At one stage Wayne was surrounded by Holgar, Snorri, Lhadr and Nar (he’d forced Grifr to retire (lucky dog!)); at odds of 3-1 or 4-1 he won each encounter until finally Snorri, I think, proved too much for him. Certainly, it was the last of the four combats; a very valiant fight; he was spurred on, no doubt, by the rude gibes of the dwarves, ‘Pick on someone your own size’ and so forth.

With Wayne down, Sir Cumference, who’d been trying to direct an encircling attack, found himself isolated. Beli attacked him, supported, I think, by Gifr, and he went down in a gruesome mess—again! At this point resistance collapsed, although Woodsman William was not routed, but chose to retire, as he had no support.

This was the first time we ventured into difficult terrain (because of the treasures), which was hard work for the dwarves, and created command and control issues for the leaders.

  • Review:

The dwarves proved a tough warband (though good dice helped them); the short move was not much of a problem, as their warriors had high qualities and could usually make two moves. The high combat scores made them pretty tough as well. The dogs did well, though they didn’t succeed in killing anyone while he was down (they got at least one attack like this). They did get to add numbers to others’ attacks, though they are very vulnerable if the enemy gets to hit back.

This is a fun warband and I’m keen to use it again, though next week I’ll probably try out a mounted one to see how it works. I’ve got a few Byzantines I’ll use for this. John, after having Sir Cumference die horribly in each encounter, is planning to revamp his warband’s stats. Wayne’s valiant performance has got him thinking of a promotion (assuming the dwarves gave him a restorative brandy and bandaged his wounds).

We’ve now played three games of SBH and are starting to get the hang of the rules. What slows us down is the search for clarification in the FAQ that are scattered around the rules and the Free Hacks. Anyway, we’re getting faster and starting to see different tactics.


6 Responses to “The encounter in the Tall Timbers”

  1. Stephen Says:

    Great stuff, I see that SBH have a Dark Ages Britain / Arthurian supplement from the guy who wrote Glutter of Ravens…

    • Mark Davies Says:

      Very true, and I have it. When we get familiar with the rules we may do something in that setting (Sub-Roman); John’s keen and we have the figures.

  2. Stephen Says:

    Well I’ll look forward to reading about that… sometime this year?

  3. Little Odo Says:

    Fantastic write up and an excellent little project. I will continue to read your blog with interest.

    • Mark Davies Says:

      Thanks; I’m finding 15mm SBH a great way to use my unfinished DBA/HOTT armies, especially when I’ve not got time to do much painting at the moment.

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