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"Song of Blades and Heroes: The Fall of Peldagast?" Topic

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1905Adventure18 Oct 2007 5:33 p.m. PST

After work today, my friend and I got together and decided to give another extreme/unbalanced army list a go against a balanced warband.

Execute Summary: Like the battle against the crawlers, this game also game down to some die rolls to see who won. It was a very powerful magic user and a very powerful daemon against a warband of 7 guys.

The Chaos Sorcerer Peldagast had made a lot of enemies over the last year or so. Mutating entire towns, engaging in brigandage, extorting local nobles, and more. King Theoric finally decided that enough was enough and put a reward of the weight of Peldagast's head in gold for his death.

Peldagast was no fool though. He had plenty of servants and mutants to guard his lands. And even if someone managed to sneak or fight their way to his tower, his bound greater blood demon would be more than a match for the gutless mercenaries that might try to undo all his work.

This time, my friend wanted to play the normal warband, so I got to take Peldagast and the Demon. Their stats are as follows:

Peldagast – Q2 C5 (Chaos Sorcerers also often have to be experts at combat in order to win the favor of their dark gods). Evil, Free Disengage (his chaos runes of shifting), Magic User, Hero.
145 Points

NOTE -- This character is illegal in the game. You can't spend more than a third of your points on personalities, but we wanted a super low model count of hard hitters, so we did it anyway.

Greater Blood Daemon – Q3 C7, Evil, Tough, Heavy Armour, Terror, Huge 150 Points

NOTE -- this demon is also technically illegal. It has a combat value higher than legally possible-- C6 should be the max. As well, his heavy armor means that beating him by 1 also counts as a tie. C7, Tough and Heavy Armour should make him pretty much indestructible.

The Mercenaries did manage to fight and sneak their way past his sentries and attempted to ambush Peldagast in his garden. Before they knew it, he had summoned his greater demon to his side and began to promise them an eternity of torment once he sent them to the realm of his dark gods.

Paymaster Zelius @ 20 points
Q5+ C1 Leader

3 Dark Elves w/ Crossbow @ 50 points each
Q3+ C3 Evil, Poison, Shooter-Long

Dark Dwarf Witchhunter @ 40 points
Q3+ C4 Short Move, Lethal: Magic User

Lesser Cyclops @ 57 points
Q4+ C5 Big, Long Move

Dark Dwarf Exorcist @ 30 points
Q4+ C4 Short Move, Lethal: Demon

NOTE: We decided to give two of the members of the mercenaries extra training against wizards and daemons to represent the fact that they were coming with that particular goal and to make up for the fact that Peldagast was stronger than legally possible-- he's a powerful wizard and fights better than an elite soldier. As well, the Blood Demon had a Combat stat of 7, when 6 is normally the max.

The Mercenaries ended up being the attacker.

Peldagast gets first activation.

P1: Demon moves up swiftly into some trees in the garden. Peldagast makes all three activations and moves up twice and then launches a magic bolt at a dark elf as an ambush attack. The elf gets knocked onto his back by the blast.

M1: The Paymaster, the dwarf and the Exorcist start scrambling over hedges. The elf stands up, moves up and fires at Peldagast. Then the other two elves move up and powershoot in turn. All three miss. The cyclops take a bit of a risk and rolls 2 dice -- with the leader's
help he makes both and charges all the way to Peldagast--
unfortunately he can't attack as he didn't go for 3.

P2: While confident of his ability to fight off the cyclops,
Peldagast fades into a cascade of multicolor runes that reform a few yards away. He then sends spectral chains to transfix the cyclops. The cyclops struggles in vain with the bonds. Sensing weakness, the blood demon rushes in to dispatch the cyclops. But alas, the trees get in the way and the demon only makes on of his activation rolls,
failing to get close enough to the cyclops (rolled a 1, 2, 4). He would have needed all 3 to engage and attack the cyclops.

M2: Paymaster Zelius thinks that the rest of his team should earn their keep while he stays safe and fails the single activation die. The elves open fire on Peldagast as he lurks on the edge of the trees. Two of the arrows, despite being as accurate as possible (rolled a 6 for both shots) are
snatched out of the air by magical runes circling Peldagast (also rolled 6s against both shots). The third elf snapped his bowstring and began to fear that Peldagast must have cursed them.

The Dwarven Witch Hunter and the Exorcist continue to close, with the Witchunter closing the distance to the forest and reaching Peldagast. The cyclops roars in triumph as he breaks free from the chains and moves into contact with Peldagast (made all 3 activations on a 4+).

P3: "The fools! They keep charging in and I keep fading away," thought Peldagast as he once again shifted out of combat and attempted to transfix the Witch Hunter. But the Dwarf knew his tricks and easily banished the chains with his mind.

The blood demon charges forward, contacting both the Dwarf and the Cyclops and swings his mighty perpetually blood dripping axe down… The cyclops and the dwarf face their fear and the cyclops turns the axe aside with his massive club having tied the combat roll.

M3: The paymaster moves up as the mercenaries see their chance. With some good activations they can completely surround the terrible demon and the Exorcist and the Cyclops can beat it into the ground. All manage to surround the Demon except for one elf who quaked in fear and refused to approach. The Exorcist moves up and swings his mighty
blessed hammer down on the tough demon, wounding it and reducing it to Q4+ in the process. Now it's the cyclops' turn. His great club knocks the demon off balance into a tree.

The Dwarven Witch Hunter would love nothing more than to cleave the fallen demon, but decides that his axe is better used hacking at the root of the evil, Peldagast. Three dice are rolled for activation with 2 successes. He charges Peldagast through the trees and swings-- Peldagast narrowly
avoids the axe and then in a flurry of lunges and slashes with his sword, forces the Witch Hunter away.

P4: Peldagast decides to cast a power 3 transfix on the Exorcist. He manages to get 2 activations and fills the zeolot's mind with images of Chaos demons eating his friends and family.

As the man grabs his head and screams in grief, the Greater Demon rights himself and swings his axe down on the destracted man, sending his crumpled form into the
turf. If the cowardly elf had been willing to help, the exorcist would have been saved (the demon rolled pretty low, enough to kill a transfixed model only by one-- the extra elf would have reduced the attack enough to make it not a kill).

M4: The Paymaster now realizes that he needs to fight for all he's worth if they are to survive. He charges in taking the fallen Exorcist's place and urging the elf to help. All of the elves bravely slash as best as they can at the beast and manage to knock it off balance. Now it's the cyclop's turn to step up. He smashes his club into the demon, wounding it again and reducing it to Q:5+.

It's time for three dice for the Witchhunter. He makes all three! The power attack means that he's even with Peldagast and his training makes even the slightest victory lethal for the Magic User. Once again, Peldagast shows his skill and knocks the Dwarf down onto his belly.

P5: The demon roars and rights himself, Peldegast rams his sword into the back of the fallen dwarf and steps over his corpse to close with the Paymaster.

M5: Almost! Both lethal guys are gone. The cyclops needs to do a power attack on the demon. But alas, the mercenaries only roll 1 success on 3 activation dice. The demon manages to shove the cyclops away.

P6: Peldegast cackles, "Fools! Now you pay!" and sticks his dark blade into Zelius' heart. Dark energy flows from the blade and reduces Zelius to a pile of wriggling grubs. A gruesome kill! The cyclops manages to hold, but all three elves run, with the daemon managing only to cut down one and knock down one.

Morale check for being under half! The cylops flees the field of battle as does another elf. The prone elf is too petrified to flee as the demon raises his axe and lets it fall. Makes the activation and gets a 15 to 4. Another gruesome kill to rid the field of battle of the last of
the Mercenaries.

Peldagast vows that King Theoric will pay for sending mercenaries to assassinate him! He's not the only one with assassins at his disposal!


I thought it was actually quite even despite how horribly strong my demon was. Peldagast was no slouch as well, but he did get himself in a couple risky fights with the Witch Hunter. Magic User and Free Disengage is an awesome combination.

The demon was actually only 2 more good hits away from death-- if Peldagast hadn't transfixed the
exorcist and if the Cyclops didn't botch his last roll to attack, he well could have fallen.

My opponent didn't think my 2 heavy hitters were too strong either. It came down to some pretty even dice rolls (maximum surrounding on a fallen opponent with a power attack works pretty well to cut down a Combat 7 tough creature). The demon also rolled quite excellently when it came to activation later in the game. Reduced to Q5+, he was making better activations than he should have.

As for the Lethal: Demon and Lethal: Magic User, I thought it was completely reasonable to have one of each in an assassination attempt on a Magic User who's known to have a greater demon bound to his will. The wiley Paymaster Zelius was wise to hire them-- too bad he ended up as a heap of wriggling grubs :D. I understand why my opponent sent
him in (to get the extra -1 for the Cyclops' attack), but I don't think I would have risked it.

I also think that the mercenaries made a lot of mistakes. They shouldn't have charged. They should have played the ambush game and worked around the two big guys instead of charging head long into combat. The dark elf crossbows could have done a lot more damage even against the demon, had they held back and had the leader give them concentrated fire orders. Even a couple more shots before engaging in close combat could have made all the difference in the world as the poison arrows could have drastically impacted Peldagast's and the Demon's activation checks.

All together I think the game held up under the conditions of using two illegal creatures against a mixed warband. Some might say that tailoring the attack force against a wizard and a demon wasn't sporting, but neither was two illegal units :D. Especially with the combination of C7, tough and heavy armour. And a wizard who could also walk away from any fight and couldn't be pinned down in melee. That is so strong.

From here on in, we're going to stick to the amount of models per side that the game is intended for-- like 6-15 or so.

And I can't wait to give the Song of Gold and Darkness rules a go and get some dungeon crawling going on.

1905Adventure18 Oct 2007 5:51 p.m. PST

I actually think that the Free Disengage ability made a huge, huge difference here. Without it, Peldagast would have been stuck trading blows with a cyclops-- not a pretty predicament for any mage, even if he was also a great warrior. Instead, he was able to fade away and start casting Transfix on his enemies, which lead the splattering of a key enemy by the demon.

Broadsword18 Oct 2007 6:17 p.m. PST

Wow! Great After Action Report, Nathaniel.

Magic User + Free Disengage. Gotta remember that combo.


Al |

1905Adventure18 Oct 2007 6:51 p.m. PST

Start using it regularly and your opponents will show up with an assassan with Ghost Blade* from Song of Gold and Darkness. :D

*Ghost blade is a special ability representing weapons or training so that a model always gets free hacks on disengaging opponents, regardless of whether or not they have Free Disengage.

Assassin and Ghostblade are both pricey abilities though. Q4, C4 Assassin Ghostblade is 56 points and counts as a personality, leaving only 44 points for any other leader or special character.

I just realised that there were three ways Peldagast and the Demon were illegal. Peldagast is over 100 points of Personalities, the Demon had combat 7 when the max is 6 and also his Tough ability means he also counts as personality points, so I actually had 300 points of personalities when I was only allowed 100.

But it was a special scenario to see how two super characters do against a balanced warband.

Also, using the points system to custom deign everything isn't really what should be done. I think between the two books there are already over 300 profiles of various fantasy monsters, races and characters. If one of those profiles represented a given miniature well, it'd likely be best to use that rather than always custom tweaking everything. That's what they're there for.

Broadsword18 Oct 2007 7:17 p.m. PST

Some of the past few games we've played at the club were goblins, ratmen & skeletons right out of the lists from SONG OF BLADES AND HEROES book, and a "Viking" warband custom made using the unit builder rules (basicly humans with a special rule or two) to showcase some of the other special abilities.

Al |

Ganesha Games Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Oct 2007 11:47 p.m. PST

Thanks for the great report. I must stress out that the above was done with the NEW point system currently in playtest.

Ganesha Games will soon publish a free update PDF with the reworked point totals of all the 300+ profiles in Song of Blades and Heroes and Song of Gold and Darkness. The new point system will also be used in Song of Wind and Water, out in early December. For the moment, an Excel spreadsheet (done by the indefatigable AcarJ)is available on the SBH YahooGroup.

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