The original PDF supplement (all 172 pages of it) was created by James Diemer and hosted on his now-defunct Hour11 Wargaming blog. The supplement has been gone from the Internet for at least a few years, maybe more. All that’s left is a wasteland of broken links on gaming blogs around the world that had been inspired and energized by the crackling creativity in this massive tome of scenarios.
Of course, I had already downloaded a copy to keep handy on my computer. Little did I know it would become a rare artifact! I reached out to James via the email address in the scenario document and asked for permission to re-post this supplement on my blog. He never responded, but judging by the generous notes from the author on page 2 of the document, I don’t think he will mind.
So there you have it – a legendary lost resource has been rediscovered! This supplement takes Song of Blades & Heroes – one of my all-time favorite skirmish games as well as the game that single-handedly kickstarted my resurgence in this hobby – and adds in all of the glorious Warhammer and Mordheim scenarios you remember from your younger years. Share it, adapt it, enjoy it … above all, have fun with it!
Earlier this month we gathered for a game that really pushed the limits of our table space and our comfort level with the Age of Fantasy rules. We planned a 2-on-2 team game, wherein Vincent and I joined forces with our two mighty dwarven armies to oppose John and Daniel, who were fielding an unlikely alliance of humans (John) and vampiric undead (Daniel).
After dabbling in a few introductory games of Age of Fantasy, we felt ready to tackle a larger game, so each player brought 1,000 points to the table, for a raucous game totaling 4,000 points among the four of us.
We set this game in Realmlight, the “new world” lost continent that is being rediscovered after several failed colonial expeditions in our Uthdyn fantasy setting. The mysterious ruins on this battlefield may offer hints as to the fate of the explorators who came before … whoever controls the battlefield at the end of the day can plumb this forbidden knowledge to their heart’s content!
Behold these epic photos of our deployment zones, teeming with stout warriors, grim spearmen, and cackling skeletons!
First up: rank upon rank of stalwart dwarf warriors, ready to plant a flag in Realmlight and defend their new homeland against all invaders.
Vincent and I talked over our army composition before the gsame. I volunteered to bring the “big guns” – a battalion of artillery – and he filled out his roster with heavy infantry. It was the classic “hammer and anvil” approach. Did it pay off? Read on and judge for yourself!
We didn’t quite figure out the fluff behind why John’s humans would ally with Daniel’s undead warriors, but there had to be a good reason, right?
John’s humans were supported by two units of cavalry: chivalrous knights and the fearsome pegasus riders! These two hard-hitting units affected the game even before they hit the table, as they forced Vincent and I to constantly second-guess our deployment choices.
Daniel’s undead army consisted of several blocks of infantry backed up by a fearsome vampire lord, a terrifying skeletal dragon, and a ghastly unit of undead cavalry.
With so much cavalry on the opposing side of the battlefield, it appeared at the outset that the stout dwarves were likely going to get outflanked and run down amid thundering hooves and flashing lances! Let’s see how things developed…
As with our previous game of Age of Fantasy, we opted once again to go with the “Ebb and Flow” rules for the turn sequence, wherein we drew colored poker chits from a sack for activation. As before, this prompted some incredibly exciting and unpredictable moments!
On the first turn, John’s 20-man unit of spearmen had a tasty prize in sight: this ancient monument to the conquerors of old. He sent his troop of soldiers atop the stone platform to seize the objective and reinforce it with a wall of spears.
On the other flank, the dwarves smiled grimly and hefted their axes, preparing to meet the teeming undead hordes in a narrow bottleneck created by a ruined wall and a crumbling stone tower.
Between the two of us, Vincent and I had not two, but three units of Iron Warriors. These heavily armored dwarves boast the most potent defensive statistics in the whole game. In fact, none of us really knew how powerful their defense would be…these units would prove to be incredibly troublesome for the opposing undead legions.
And of course, in the backfield watching all of this unfold were the dwarf artillery units, ready to engage in a long-range black powder duel to the death.
In truth, 3 of my 5 artillery units didn’t do a whole heckuva lot this game. The bombard, which could shoot over intervening terrain and deal fearsome blast damage, didn’t hit anything the entire game! But the multi-barrel organ guns made their kinsmen proud by delivering fearsome volleys of fire turn after turn.
Things got interesting on turn 2, when (after a full turn of tiptoeing and tap-dancing to stay out of range of my artillery) John committed his horse-mounted knights to a wily skirmish action. His bold maneuver prompted an immediate response from Vincent and me – we had to deal with this threat; we couldn’t just let him go prancing around in our backfield.
Sidenote: the Ebb and Flow activation rules really encouraged all manner of bold, kinetic activity on both sides of the board.
And that wasn’t all. The pegasus knights swooped in at an opportune moment and absolutely shut down my entire artillery brigade. Granted, they got peppered with hot lead the next turn, but still … mission accomplished.
So the dwarves pivoted to deal with the cavalry that was thundering across the field, and in doing so that allowed the undead to advance several units and take up positions to oppose the dwarves.
It was really shaping up to be a big mess … we had strong infantry units angling for the best charge lane, vampires lurking, ghouls flailing, and a big ol’ skeletal dragon spewing death and destruction.
Here’s a look through the ruins at the ranks of advancing dwarves as they edged closer to the undead lines. Looks like something out of a Warhammer rulebook, circa 1989!
This glorious set-piece arrangement quickly devolved into a howling melee as the dwarves charged into the massed spears of the skeleton horde. Daniel sent his two leaders – the vampire lord and the ghoul king – wading into the scrum to support the undead infantry.
Both of these guys proved to be absolute beasts in combat and single-handedly chewed up their way through some units. But the dwarves were not falling fast enough, and the game was speeding toward its conclusion.
Even the mighty pegasus knights, their hooves drenched in the blood of the dwarven artillery crew, found themselves in an improbable situation when they were charged – and routed off the table – by the dwarven runemaster. (In game terms, they were “wavering,” which meant that any subsequent attack or charge would finish them off.)
Ultimately the dwarves held on long enough to prevail in this game. The undead horde had failed to slay enough of them in the killing fields near the stone tower, leaving the survivors able to reform and contest the central objective.
All in all, Age of Fantasy gave us another fun game full of memorable moments and photo-worthy finishes. For now at least, all of the One Page Rules games seem to scratch our itch for generic 28mm fantasy battles as well as grimdark sci-fi games.
And while the published army lists and units are satisfactory, there’s also some interest in tinkering with the list builder and creating some custom units. Thankfully, the raw points calculator is scheduled to be released later this year through the OPR Patreon. Until then, let’s roll some dice!
One of my goals for last year was to finally get some paint onto my Nurgle daemon prince. I’ve had the model itself for a few years — it’s the Wargames Exclusive Chaos Rotten Prince of Daemons. A very cool model, with lots of biomechanical details that put him firmly in the grim darkness of the 41st millenium
I didn’t have a ton of free time last year to tackle this model, and I particularly don’t really like painting large centerpiece models (they stress me out, and this hobby is supposed to be a stress reliever, what!). So I dithered for awhile until I remembered that I had some cash sitting in my Paypal account, just collecting dust, and it hit me — I could have someone else paint this sucker up for me!
So, I commissioned a paint job from a painter I found online whose style matched mine pretty well.
I present to you Krummholz the Twisted, daemon prince of Nurgle.
I’ve known this guy’s name for years, well before I got the model itself. I keep a note open on my phone where I jot down all sorts of cool words and names that might make their way into my narrative games. I always name my champions and unit leaders and even vehicles and warbeasts, so I’m constantly on the hunt for names and phrases with gnarly, death-metal affectations.
Krummholz is a German word that describes the stunted, crooked trees that grow at the very top of windswept peaks and cliffs. They are constantly battered by gale-force winds, never able to grow up straight and strong. Ever since I heard the term, I knew it would make a great name for a hunched, monstrous daemon prince.
In my narrative, Krummholz is a former officer in the Death Guard legion who has long since surrendered his humanity in exchange for the fecund gifts of Nurgle. He leads the Maggot Magnates warband and has been particularly active in planning and executing the massive encirclement operation in Warzone Endymion. If we ever play out the mini-campaign that I have been developing in my head, Krummholz will be a key participant.
This model turned out very well and overall I was pleased with this commission. It’s not something I’d choose to do regularly, but it was a nice splurge during a year when we all needed to practice a little self-care.
The second day of our mini-game con kicked off with a morning session of Zona Alfa. Astute readers of this blog may recall my general infatuation with Stalker-inspired gaming, and that is what Zona Alfa delivers in spades. The game was released in January 2020 and Comrade’s Wargames got its grubby paws on an advance copy to read and review.
I was pleased to return to Zona Alfa for this session — and to incorporate some exciting elements from the new supplement Kontraband.
I designed our session as a cooperative scenario that tasked four groups of stalkers with traveling the length of the infamous Khimbruk Road deep in the anomalous Exclusion Zone. There were a several points of interest along the road, and each crew also had its own unique goal that they could work toward.
The road, as you might imagine, was fraught with both threats and potential rewards. Only the hardiest crews would survive to reap the benefits and return home with packs bulging with salvage.
Zona Alfa and Kontraband both use a system to generate random bad guys and loot when players interact with “points of interest” on the map. We had 7 such points of interest on our map, each corresponding to a particular Good Thing or (more likely) a Bad Thing.
The first firefight erupted when John sent his commandos tiptoeing up to a leaking chemical tank. Turns out it wasn’t just a chemical burn he was risking…
A swarm of nasty rad bugs surged out to attack the crews. Thirty years ago their descendants might have been locusts and cockroaches skittering around the irradiated ruins of the Zone, but today they were fearsome chitinous monstrosities that had to be dispatched with brutal prejudice.
While this was happening, Paul’s tunnel scavengers hoofed it to the roof of a nearby outpost and looted another objective marker — drawing the attention of a nearby band of raiders in the process! They popped out of cover and began pouring automatic weapons fire into the unlucky crew! We’re not alone, comrades!
Nearby, the crews noticed a swirling, pulsating energy field that seemed to warp the laws of physics. This could only be an Anomaly — one of the enigmatic hazards that frequently occur in the deepest reaches of the Zone. At great personal risk, the crews moved in to explore the Anomaly.
Well, they didn’t die! That much is certain. Will they sprout vestigial third limbs a few weeks from now? Perhaps. Only time will tell.
The crews continued to battle their way down the pockmarked asphalt of the Khimbruk Road. The presence of enemies ebbed and flowed as points of interest were searched and bad guys dispatched. Rad bugs continued to be an ever-present threat. Thankfully, Vince’s warband was comprised of medics led by a doctor, so there was a limited supply of first aid on hand to keep the injured on their feet.
By turn 6, the warbands had nearly crossed the entire length of the tabletop and had achieved their individual objectives. Remarkably, nobody died — though we had several close calls that required med-kits to patch up warriors in the heat of the moment.
Special props to Vincent’s sniper, who scaled a tower early on and provided pinpoint fire support throughout the game. I doubt the outcome would have been quite so favorable if not for the guardian angel watching over them from above.
As with our previous game, we planned lunch at the conclusion of the game. I had prepared a Russian-themed meal to reward the stalwart Zone explorers. Hearty dark rye bread, gigantic dill pickles, and cold salami — a fine spread to be eaten whilst squatting in the dirt at the end of the Khimbruk Road. Давайте есть, comrades!
Hullo dear reader! I’m back after an uncharacteristic pause on this here blog. It’s been a busy summer without a lot of time for gaming, I’m afraid. But now that the days are getting shorter and the autumn winds are picking up, I’m once again finding some time to chuck some dice and play with toy soldiers.
This month, my local game group had expected undertake an expedition to Olympia, Washington, to attend Enfilade, the annual game convention from the Northwest Historical Miniatures Gaming Society. Alas, the rise of the delta variant this summer convinced us to skip the convention. We had hoped to host a game or two, and it seemed a shame to let all of that prep work go to waste, and thus Majesticon was born!
For our inaugural event, we planned a modest weekend of games, with plenty of breaks in between to attend to other obligations. Four players participated, with a few more dropping by to hang out periodically through the weekend. John graciously hosted our games in his converted garage “War Room.”
Game 1 – Into the Haunted Woods
Saturday morning was the first session, and John had planned a two-part mini-campaign of Nightwatch, the monster hunting skirmish game from Patrick Todoroff (creator of Zona Alfa). In Nightwatch, players create warriors, rangers, alchemists, and wizards who band together to defeat evil denizens of the darkness. It is a narrative co-op game, which I’ve really come to appreciate in this era of meta-heavy, combo-centric games that reward absolute beatdowns of the opposing player.
The first session took place in a spooky forest, shown in the photo above. The players were tasked with journeying through this forest, dealing with any randomly occurring monsters, and sanctifying the three stone cairns placed on the tabletop.
Each player had one figure for this introductory game — not a lot, but good for a tutorial game as we learned the ropes.
The bad guys began to arrive almost immediately. Nightwatch uses a series of random tables to generate progressively more dangerous waves of enemies. The rulebook doesn’t describe them in specifics, but instead just characterizes their threat level and behavior … it’s up to you to find a suitable miniature from your collection. Is this mob of vermin a group of giant spiders, or bloodthirsty imps? This ensures that Nightwatch games can features a wide variety of monsters and assorted bad guys.
The baddies spawned from one of four portals placed around the periphery of the battlefield at the start of the game. Here they come!
For fun and cinematic glory, we decreed that each “vermin” unit would be represented by TWO (2) zombie models, to better represent the palpable fear felt by the characters as they journeyed through the haunted wood.
The bad guys did a good job of harassing the players as they explored the forest and sanctified the cairns. We got a good sense of the game mechanics, which equipped us well for game two!
Game 2 – Defend the Church!
After a quick break, we set up the battlefield for game two. Having reached their destination, the hunters had to defend a stone church against seemingly endless waves of foul demons and hellspawn. This session featured a much more dangerous array of enemies!
We were tickled pink to have a chance to build a tabletop battlefield featuring our collection of gorgeous hand-painted medieval village terrain. Much of what you see in these pictures comes from Tabletop World. This doesn’t even include Lawrence’s TTW collection — I’m convinced we could build an entire city with our shared batch of terrain!
One of the spawn points was located near an outhouse, and we were lucky that Vincent had a suitable array of models to represent the shambling horrors that poured forth from the foetid maw of the crapper. This was the catalyst for a number of toilet-themed jokes throughout the rest of the weekend. Don’t forget to wipe!
If game one was a walk in the park, game two was certainly a meatgrinder. The waves of enemies just kept coming! Each time a new group of bad guys spawned, John would roll randomly to see if they would 1) shamble toward the church and start attacking it or 2) come straight at the defenders! As the game picked up and the defenders began to get overwhelmed, the random rolls sent more and more monsters to attack the church.
Alas, despite our best efforts, the church was destroyed in an orgy of destruction and blasphemy. The defenders escaped with their lives, but just barely. A follow-up mission seems imminent, to reclaim the holy site from the terrible invaders.
All in all, Nightwatch was a blast to play. We agreed that the co-op mechanics provided a superb narrative framework. We all got big-time “Witcher” vibes from our two games.
Interlude – Lunch is Served!
What is a game convention without food? Luckily, John’s spouse served up a platter of delicious nachos, plus a carafe of hot coffee, to keep us fueled up and ready for more game action to come in the afternoon.
Game 3 – Goblin Slayer!
Our hunger sated, we gathered for another game in the afternoon. Vincent hosted the third session, a game of Open Combat set in the blood-drenched world of Goblin Slayer. Players each commanded a small 4-person team of warriors, and collectively we were tasked with defending a farm from relentless waves of goblins.
The game featured a wave mechanic where the groups of goblins, seemingly weak in their own, would return to the battlefield in their deployment area after being wiped out. There was no escape from the unstoppable green tide!
Through savage combat, magical mastery, and sheer force of will, the players gained the upper hand and managed to defeat several of the larger goblin champions in single combat. Slaying the big guys seemed to turn the tide in our favor, and the heroes prevailed in the scenario.
Open Combat was quick and easy to play, although we remarked that the rules struggled a bit with the big mobs of goblins. The game is definitely at its best when each player handles a small team of 5-10 figures.
All in all, day one of Majesticon was great fun! It’s been tough to get everyone together these days, so it was really nice to get some sustained game time (and hang out time!) with everybody.