AGE OF BLOOD
I had been wanting to play these rules for some time. I downloaded them a few years ago and they looked good fun but I had never quite got round the trying them out.
Rob (B) wanted to try them before investing in some Dark Age miniatures and everyone else was at a bit of a loose end so were happy to give it a go despite the fact that nobody had read them. Too Much Lead had also popped down for a mooch so was happy to join in.
I don’t have a lot of Vikings so the numbers were made up by some Normans that I have.
We threw some terrain on the table, Rob (B) insisted on using some sections of Castle wall we found in the depths of our Terrain Shed plus some other bits and pieces. We wanted to keep things simple so I threw a load of “treasure” markers on the table and split the miniatures in to 4 Warbands. Who ever collected the most treasure won. Simple!
At first the game stumbled along as I poured over the rules and we got used to the mechanics of the game and the various statistics of the troops, armour and weapons. However things speeded up rapidly as everyone got the hang of it.
You roll for initiative each turn and then get to perform up to two actions for each warrior. Combat is simple and based on “opposed rolls” against the attributes of the warrior (each warrior has a list of attributes that look similar to what you would see in Warhammer). We found this worked really well, It was quite easy to score a hit but if the target had armour, shield and a helmet then it was quite difficult to wound. There were no tables or other references to make and once you got to know the modifiers for your weapons all you had to know was the Strength, Prowess or Fortitude of your warrior and roll a D10
Mick and Too Much Lead were very civilised and advanced on each other steadily before forming a Shieldwall and trading blows. Craig and Rob (B) on the other hand threw themselves at each other in a flurry of axes which had no order and was a effectively a large beardy scrum.
Of course this does not lead to a great deal to write about as there was little in the way of tactical nuances or manoeuvre. Basically Mick repeatedly beat Too Much Lead over the head with an axe until he ran away and Craig repeatedly beat Rob (B) over the head with an axe until he was dead. (not literally you understand).
The result a draw between Mick and Craig.
The game was fun and has a lot more depth than we explored here. In particular the campaign system which is based on you creating, maintaining and attempting to develop a Warband by raiding and other such scenarios.
There is also an optional mythical element which introduces random events (Fate Cards) and event Sorcery and fantastical beasts should you so wish.
Rob (B) was convinced enough to order some Gripping Beast Vikings and expect further posts about this game in the future.
Age of Blood is free to download and kudos of Tom Hinchelwood for creating and sharing a really good set of rules.
Thanks to Mick for the photo's as I left my phone at home.
Next week. Black Powder!