A cold weekday night has led me to play test two sets of rules I quite like - Song of Blades from Ganesha games and Warrior Heroes from Two Hour Wargames. In both games I match 4 Human Warriors against 4 Orcs warriors to see how the games end out. This was done in 15mm, I did take photos but they are terrible so I have left them out.
Song of Blades:
Both Forces start a distance of around 24inches apart. The humans and orcs both move slowly at first with activation switching between both sides (No one seemed to pass more than one activation and only had one action to use). Suddenly the lead Orc, Thraka Ughead sprints forward towards the Humans (He was successful on three activation roles and sprints 24cm). Seeing the Orc isolated Harry the barbarian charges in the same manner and enters into melee while his comrades watch from a safe and cowardly distance. After a few poorly aimed blows the melee is tied and so continues to the next round. More dice rolling but Harry looks tired and seeing an opportunity Thraka launches a powerful thrust that forces harry back several yards whilst the 3 other orcs rush to join the fray. Unfortunately for Harry he is distracted (and worried) by the other orcs advance and Thraka manages to knock him down onto the ground. Seeing a good chance for a kill, Zaghal joins Thraka in an attempt to finish off Harry who is desperately fending off blows from the ground. He does indeed manage to knock Zhagal back with a kick to the groin to buy himseld a few seconds but it isnt looking good.
This spurs the other barbarians (Bob, Reginald and Clarence) in an attempt to save Harry, so they advance however just as they are about to reach the melee Harry is dispatched by Thraka and the orcs surge forward for more. The Morale of the barbarians slumps, Bob and Reg fall back but Clarence is made of sterner stuff and stands his ground which is a shame as the Orcs pass all activation roles and Clarence is cut down, he never really stood a chance. With the orc frenzy on full tilt Reg and Bob can't run fast enough and are gradually run down, knocked to the ground and slaughtered.
Results - I enjoyed the game as there are no move as such, you keep rolling activation until you fail and then it passes to the other side until they fail. (I think I did over 30 activations in 30 mins ) The first few moves were very slow but Thraka charging like a maniac caught the Barbarians off guard and the lucky hit on Harry to force him down sealed the deal. The Orcs them seemed to speed up and once Clarence was cut down the other two humans had woeful move roles and retired far too slowly while the orcs moved at lightening speed. The rules are simple and fun though lack any Solo controls that the TwoHour wargames have but I can see myself using them a lot. Thrakas charge looked like suicide but he inspired his men to victory and the game had a very cinematic feel to it.
Warrior heroes -
I match a group of 4 Orcs against 4 Barbarians same as before. The Orcs win the activation role with a 5 but dont have anyone they can move as they are all Rep 4, so the Humans actually move first. Humans win the second activation and advance to 12" off the Orcs, both sides takes a test of wills and come to a halt. Orcs win activation on 5 again but cant move and humans advance to within 4 inches, orcs fail again and humans charge (As they were so close no charg test was needed). A melee of 4 on 4 both sides count as frenzy (Humans were classed as Borderers) so both get an extra dice. One orc (Beezul) is knocked down (OOF - not dead but out of fight) by Reginald while the orc leader Thraka forces Clarence back with a frenzied attack. From the rules I interpreted that as Clary and Thraka were still going I had to reroll another round, which I did so and Thraka was knocked down by Clary OOF as well. As the leader and another comrade were down, Orcs take a crisis test and bolt. Thraka and beezul then become dead as they are finished by the Humans, while Reginald gets cocky and charges single handedly at the retiring orcs, who fail the charge test and bolt away even faster.
Results - I liked the solo mechanic and the reactions though this ruleset is a little more complicated than SoBH but will be great for solo games where I only control one side. It will be interesting to see how larger games go given the reactions etc that occur when figures are split from groups etc.
More test games to come with photos.
Im also looking at gaming mats\cloths for the table .