I’d hoped to play Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes last night at my local gaming club’s Monday night meeting. In preparation for the evening’s skirmishes, I prepared three warbands using Ganesha Games’ Warband Calculator, and assembled some new terrain from Dave Graffam Models. I made sure I had ready squads of cardstock minis from Okumarts, Paper Forge and Printable Heroes. I was ready to rumble. Unfortunately, real life cropped up at the last minute. I was late arriving for the game session, and didn’t have time to set up a table and recruit an opponent, so my ASoBaH ambitions were for naught.
Still, I want to share the warbands I put together, in case you’re looking to get started with this great, elegant skirmish-level tabletop wargame. So in this post, I’ll share the warband lists, along with photos of the miniatures.
Since I’m still new to the game, and I’m likely to be teaching the game to my opponent as we play, I deliberately kept the lists simple. A typical game of ASoBaH game is played with 400-point lists, but I limited these lists to 250 points, and kept the model Traits—special qualities that apply special rules to certain figures—to a minimum. I also wanted to use figures that are readily and inexpensively available, and that represent a variety of my favorite cardstock miniature artists.
I created the lists using the official Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes Warband Calculator, on the Ganesha Games website. For convenience, I reformatted the figure data into two columns, so that each list would print as a single-page PDF. Apart from that, these downloadable lists are presented exactly as they appear when created in the Warband Calculator.
The simplest list I put together was the band of goblin raiders that appeared in my first ASoBaH game, reported here a couple of weeks ago. The baseline Goblins have no Traits at all. The Goblin Bowmen have the Shortbow Trait (attack at range using the Medium range stick) and the Poison Trait (chance to erode the target unit’s Quality value on a hit). The Goblin Worgriders predictably possess the Long Move Trait (use Long range stick instead of Medium when moving) and Mounted Trait (+1 in Melee combat vs. non-mounted figures).
The goblin figures are by Paper Forge, including #1 Goblin Warrior, #2 Goblin Archer, and #45 WorgRider. Paper Forge is a Patreon content creator, but they offer a free version of each of their minis that includes a single color variety of each, with front art on both sides. Minis with back art and reskinned versions in a variety of colors are available for a modest monthly patron fee. The ruined walls in the photo are a mixed set from Dave Graffam’s Crosspiece Ruins Set #1 and Set #2, and Archway Ruins Set.
I revamped the Wood Elf warband from my previous game a bit for this outing. First, I removed the Forester Trait that I gave to all the elf figures last time—since there was no forest terrain on the board, Forester was a waste of points that disadvantaged the elf warband unfairly against the goblins. I also swapped out one of my Infantry figures for a Spearman, mostly because a single page of Okumart’s Wood Elves figures includes two armored elves with sword and shield, and two with spears. So the final Sylvan Patrol list includes a Captain with the Leader (improves Quality score of nearby models, and allows group activations) and Long Bow (ranged attack based on the Long range stick) Traits; two more Archers, with only the Long Bow Trait; two Infantry, with the Block (chance to reduce damage when hit) and Heavily-Armored (improved Combat score when determining damage) Traits; and a Spearman, with the Heavily-Armored and Long-Reach (may strike through allied figures in melee) Traits.
The figures for the Sylvan Patrol are from Okumart’s Darkfast Classic Fantasy Set Two: Wood Elves; the set includes several more archers, a pair of elven sorcerers, and four elves mounted on stags, all of which would be easy to create in the ASoBaH Warband Calculator. The ruined walls in the photo are Dave Graffam’s crosspiece ruins, while the bushes are found in one of the Fat Dragon’s Castle Winterhawk sets, though I can’t recall which one at the moment.
For my last list, I wanted to create a warband that included a rabble of low-quality soldiers supporting a single huge figure. I felt that the recent orc and ogre figures from Patreon provider Printable Heroes fit the bill nicely. The central figure in the warband is an Ogre, with the Big Trait (+1 Combat in melee vs. smaller figures, but +1 Combat for ranged attacks against the Big figure) and the Bludgeon Trait (50% chance to knock enemies Prone on any Recoil result). Leading the warband is an Orc Chieftain with the Discipline Master Trait (+2 on Activation rolls by nearby poor-quality allies). The front line of the orcish assault consists of three Orc Spearmen with the Dashing Trait (free attack action when first entering melee combat) and the Long Reach Trait. The orcish rabble consists of four poor-quality Orc Javeliners, who possess only the Javelin Trait (ranged attack using the Short measuring stick). Due largely to the poor quality of the Javeliners, this Orc Warband has even more members than the Goblin Raiders, above.
The Orc and Ogre figures that make up the warband are from Printable Heroes on Patreon. Like Paper Forge, Printable Heroes offers free versions of all his minis with a single color scheme and mirrored front art on the back in most cases. Happily, the free version of the Ogre mini has full back art, and the file Onion_01.zip contains a green-skinned version of the Ogre with full back art! The ruins in the background of the photo are Dave Graffam’s Ruined Longhouse paper model.
More to Come…
I plan to play Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes again soon, and give these new warbands a field test. I fear that the Orc Warband is going to be tough, at least until the Chieftain falls. Once he’s down, the Javeliners will probably crumple, but the Ogre will still be a threat. And the Sylvan Patrol will certainly be more formidable than last time out, now that they’re not wasting points on Forester in a fight outside of the woods. I’ll let you all know how it turns out. If you get a chance to play these ASoBaH with these warbands, or with your own armies, comment below to let us know about your battle!
Until next time, keep printing, and keep playing!