Sunday, 20 March 2011

Bladestorm Battle Report and Review

Hi!

I managed to play a quick game of Bladestorm this morning and even managed to get a couple of half decent pictures of it so without further ado here we go:

The Scenario

Grimli, Flint and Gunnar have ventured into the abandoned mine workings following the battle with the rogue sorcerer Marik Goldhelm. In search of treasure they don’t realize that the mine is the lair of a gloom hulk until they stumble into it.

This is a variation on the first scenario from the Bladestorm rulebook and uses the introductory rules, which cover the basics of movement and combat.

The Battlefield

The Abandoned Mine

A subterranean cavern with a number of columns holding the ceiling up.

The Forces

The Dwarves

Grimli
Movement Rate: 6” [15cm]
Melee Attack: 2d6+d10+3
Melee Damage: High+Low+2
Defense: 9
Endurance: 18

Flint
Movement Rate 5” [13cm]
Melee Attack: 3d6-2
Melee Damage: High+2
Defense: 7
Endurance: 10

Gunnar
Movement Rate 5” [13cm]
Melee Attack: 3d6-1
Melee Damage: High+2
Defense: 7
Endurance: 10

The Fallen

Gloom Hulk
Movement Rate 7” [18cm]
Melee Attack: 3d6+4
Melee Damage: High+2
Defense: 10
Endurance: 51

The Game

Dwarf Turn 1

The Dwarves get to move first with Grimli leading and Flint and Gunnar following closely they move along the corridor.

The Dwarves Begin Their Exploration

Fallen Turn 1

Enraged by the Dwarves presence the Gloom Hulk rushes them bellowing.

Seeing Grimli as its main opponent the Gloom Hulk attacks him, sorely wounding the stalwart dwarf and causing 8 points of damage.

Grimli attacks back with a mighty swing of his sword causing 11 points of damage to the Hulk. Flint and Gunnar both strike at the fell creature Flints blow strikes home causing 8 points of damage but Gunnars sword strikes off the Hulks armoured hide without effect.

Dwarf Turn 2

Despite his wounds, Grimli strikes again causing another 8 points of damage to the gloom hulk. In return the raking claws of the Hulk causes a further 8 points of damage to the embattled boar company commander.

Flint strikes the hulk for a further 7 points of damage but once again Gunnars blow fails to damage the beast.

Combat Hots Up!

Fallen Turn 2

By this point the hulk has taken 35 points of damage and is gravely wounded but sensing Grimlis strength is failing him, the creature once again lunges at the hapless dwarf hoping to drag him down with it. The blow strikes home felling Grimli but as the mass of the Hulk crushes down on him, he manages to run his great sword into the beast belly before darkness claims him. Enraged by the loss of their commander Flint and Gunnar proceed to hack the beast to death with a total of 14 points of damage.

Aftermath

It takes Flint and Gunnar some time to heave the Gloom Hulks carcass off their fallen leader and is alarmed to see the extent of his wounds. Gunnar produces a small bottle of evil smelling liquid; a potent brew of fermented wildling sows milk and forces it down Grimli's throat. Grimli's eyes flicker open and he moans as the fiery liquor burns its way down his gullet.

Although gravely wounded Grimli has survived the Boar Companies first brush with the Fallen. He will wear the scars for the rest of his days and has an abiding hatred of the fell creatures, which will see the Boar Company attack on sight, any of the Fallen they meet in future.

The mine cleared of the Gloom Hulks evil, the Dwarves set up camp at the mine while they await the arrival of a group of miners who will take over its workings.

Review

In the game players take turns activating all of their models with movement being given in both inches and centimeters.

Bladestorm allows each combatant to choose one opponent per turn. This resulted in the combat between the Gloom Hulk and Grimli being a bit of a race against time as the dwarves needed to cause as much damage as possible to the Hulk before Grimli succumbed to his wounds.

During this combat both sides get to attack simultaneously which is a good idea as it means both sides get to participate in the combat rather than one killing the other without ever having the chance to fight back.

In order to damage an opponent one must roll their attack dice, in the case of the Gloom Hulk, 3d6+4 and beat the defenders Defense stat or 9 in Grimlis case.

If you succeed in damaging, you then look at the dice to see how many points of damage has been caused. The Gloom Hulk causes High+2 damage which means that it chooses its highest dice roll and adds two to the result, for example if it rolled a 6,4 and 1, it would cause 8 points of damage.

Grimli on the other hand causes High+Low+2 damage so if he rolls a 10,5 and 3, he would cause an impressive 15 points of damage.

I must admit that I like this method of combat as its nice and simple and can result in a wide range of damage ratings rather than the more usual one or two wounds.

Another element of note is the large amount of damage most combatants can take, with the Hulks impressive 51 points and Grimlis 18. This does result in some extra record keeping but adds a more roleplay style element to the game.

The rules themselves give plentiful examples of each stage of play both visually and clearly described which is an excellent element that doesn’t get used enough by other rules. Also by splitting the rules into basic, intermediate and advanced sections the game has been nicely designed to ease the player in slowly and makes sure they understand each rule before moving on to more advanced stuff.

About the only criticism I can come up with is that the illustrations throughout the book are of a somewhat basic standard. It would have been nice to see pictures of actual miniatures or some higher quality illustration but it’s not a big problem really!

As I have only covered the introductory rules, I don’t want to make any premature comments about Bladestorm but even at the most basic level it makes a rather fun game and I look forward to trying out the intermediate rules that add a host of new options for play.

All the best!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for review/report... i'm guessing that given the increased mathematics/log keeping that this favours smaller skirmishes than perhaps battles? or does it scale up to be unit stats, rather than individuals?

    Your first picture and the 1ft square gaming table is definitely an advert for all those who say they have no space :)

    Are the scenery straws/diy variant?

    Happy gaming

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  2. Hi!

    It does indeed favour small scale skirmishes, possibly with about a dozen a side at most as the record keeping would bog it down quite a bit!

    I will be trying the intermediate game soonish and see how it plays!

    The scenics are made from a load of plastic tube off cuts I got at my local resource exchange and have found to be handy for all sorts of basalt columns and scenic goodness!

    Alas my flat is full of both mine and my girlfriends stuff so theres not much space for gaming so a small modular board is perfect!

    All the best!

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