Friday, 28 April 2017

Song of Broken Legions?

Following my first playtest of the Broken Legions rules I decided that they really weren't for me. They didn't fit my solo gaming criteria of quick, fun games with bugger-all maths. Which isn't to say they aren't solid rules, just that they aren't for me. So I decided to recreate the Soldiers of the Eagle and the Argonauts using the Song of Blades and Heroes system. Very few special rules to worry about. The Romans got shieldwall to represent their discipline. The leaders got,, errr, Leader and free disengage. The Praetorian got steadfast, the Oracle was a magic user with a ranged attack that I dubbed 'the arrows of Apollo'. The Heraclean Champion was combat 4 and savage. Finally the Frumentarius was given stealth .
How did the game go?

The two sides lined up at the beginning of the scenario - capture the sacred tree!
The Argonauts on the far side of the ruined temple complex. Both sides are 400 points.
First moves bring the Heraclean Champion and Praetorian into contact. First round goes to the Praetorian, but the Champion gets back up! Sacred Tree just behind the Argonaut Captain.
Now it's the Heraclean's turn to knock his opponent over! More Romans arrive to contest the tree.
Both sides now plough into the central killing ground. The Romans do what they do best and form a shieldwall.
But it isn't all about defence for the Sons of the Eagle! Note a fallen Argonaut in the background, felled by an arrow from a Cretan Archer.
In this turn there are a few less Argonauts. The fallen figures in front of the shieldwall never got the chance to stand up, and the Frumentarius sneakily makes his way beside the shot Argonaut and dispatched him.
The Argonauts are thinning out. The Oracle attempts to cast her magic and fails - twice in a row. But third time Apollo listens and she takes out the Centurion.
The Heraclean Champion and the Argonaut Captain both go down, and the Oracle hightails it out of there!
All that is left of the Argonauts is a Mercenary Hoplite, and he isn't planning to stick around...
The body count compared - a little uneven...
And so the Romans were clearly left in possession of the sacred tree.

Despite the lop-sided body count, the sides weren't that uneven. I played the shield wall wrong for a good part of the game so that figures wouldn't recoil or get knocked down if they were beaten at all, instead of by just one point. I didn't use the leader activation rules properly either, so this is all good learning. The scenario design was also pretty simple, being a basic head to head, and next time I'll look at including a bit more subtlety. Also, the Argonauts rolled some terrible activation dice at times!
However, this was a great solo game. My brain wasn't hurting at any stage as I tried to keep track of both sides, it played to a conclusion within an hour, and there were some fun moments. That is what I ask for in a game, and I'll look at creating a narrative for the battles I fight. This is good, because having painted both sides up, I want to be able to use them in this fantasy setting, and I'm keen to expand with a Cult of Set and some pretty cool looking Celtic Barbarians as well.
So for my Six x Six challenge I'll now be playing 'Songs of Broken Legions' rather than the original Osprey game.



  1. I'm with you. I skimmed the Broken Legions rules and felt it was much too involved and fiddly for me.

    1. Yeah, and when you play solo or with kids fiddly isn't much good.

  2. You aren't the first person I've heard say that they are rather too fiddly for what they are trying to achieve.

    1. It's a pity because the setting is great. I'm still going to use the scenarios from the book, but it might make it easier to branch out with what I include in some of the factions. I've officially changed my six by six challenge games to Song of Broken Legions by the way.