Vanilla and Dwarves (an SBH encounter)

29 June, 2011

Steve and I got a game of SBH last week. It was Steve’s first pretty much (there was one over two years ago) and my first for a year. I have the feeling that playing with warbands that have high factors makes for a less interesting game and also limits the potential for development: before the system breaks down one can’t go below Quality 2+ (the lowest possible) or Combat 5. If you start with Q3/C4 there’s not much room to improve. I noticed that SDS (Song of Drums and Shakos) goes for much more humdrum line figures Q4/C2. I’m working to set a lower baseline to see how things play. Therefore I scaled back the factors of my dwarven warband, making only Beli and his lieutenant C4 and the rest C3. They were up against a warband of Scots led by Duncan, none of whom had factors above C3 or below Q3. I took the dwarves and we faced off in an encounter.

Beli's band approach the humans.

The humans up close. Duncan on the left and his warriors on the right. At the back is a wizard, the standard-bearer and an archer.

The dwarves; on the left are the two crossbow shooters and their dog, on the right is a cluster of fighters.

The dwarves gained an impressive victory when Steve rolled a run of 1s at the start. Although he killed a couple, he was so out-numbered after the bad start he never had a chance. In hindsight I think he might have found the dwarves easier. The magic user was never able to do much, and he got a little spread out at the start. The slower move of the dwarves makes for more cautious movement and their crossbows are simpler to use.

One memorable incident was when the dwarven dog, Gifr, went after a fallen Scot and killed him. He fell to worrying the corpse (he’s Greedy), but was untroubled by a longbow shaft that by rights had every likelihood of killing him.

I’m keen to get a few more games soon, and to try even lower stats, particularly higher (i.e worse) Quality factors.


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