Song of Blades and Heroes

Song of Blades and Heroes

Song of Blades and Heroes

Song of Blades and Heroes cover
Publisher: Ganesha Games
Designer: Andrea Sfiligoi
Genre: Fantasy Skirmish
Song of Blades and Heroes (SBH) is a fantasy miniatures game, written by Andrea Sfiligoi and published by Ganesha Games and edited by John Mcbride in 2007 in both electronic (PDF) and printed book format. It is a skirmish game, meaning that every figure in the game is singly-based (the base is generally a small coin or a cardboard square the figure is glued on) and represents a single man or monster. It has been designed to be fast playing and simple enough to be taught and used with younger players and at gaming conventions as an introduction to tabletop wargaming.

Players control warbands of 5 to 10 models each. Song of Blades and Heroes is non-scale specific: it can be played with miniatures of many scales, although 15mm and 28mm are the most widely used. Song of Blades and Heroes is not tied into any miniature line or product by a miniature manufacturer, and players are encouraged to play with any miniatures they may have from other games. The game is played on any flat surface (as minimum, a square 2x2' area is recommended for 15mm models; 3x3' for 25/28mm models) and requires at least three regular six sided dice.

Unique features

Song of Blade and Heroes doesn't use centimeters or inches for measurements. All measurements are taken with three measuring sticks (one short, one medium and one long) that the players are instructed to make out of balsa wood laths, wooden skewers or cardboard strips. All the moves and weapon ranges in the game use these three sticks.

Players may create the game stats of their models through a point system. More than 180 typical fantasy creatures are already described in game terms in the book.

Game Play

Every model in Song of Blades and Heroes is described by two numbers, a Quality and a Combat score. The Quality score is a number from 2 to 6 and represents the morale and the ability of a single creature to take the initiative. It is the number to be rolled on a six-sided die to have a model perform an action. Players alternate in activating models from their warbands. The models are activated one at a time. The player can opt to roll one, two or three dice versus the model's Quality. Every successful roll entitles the player to make one action, such as an attack or a move, with that creature. If two or more failures are rolled, play passes to the opponent.

Every model may have one or more special rules. The special rules describe what the character can do -- for example models with the Stealth rule cannot be targeted by ranged attacks as long as they stay adjacent to game terrain pieces such as forests or walls; models with the Magic-User rule can cast spells, and so on.

Hand to hand combat is resolved by having any adjacent models roll a die and add their Combat score to the result. The results are compared. Every combatant may knock down the opponent, kill him, force him to recoil or even score a gruesome kill -- a specially violent death that forces friends of the killed model to pass a morale test or abandon the battlefield.

Ranged combat is resolved with the same mechanics, but the die rolls are adjusted by factors such as cover and distance between shooter and target. Magic is very simple -- magic-using models can either use their power to hinder an opponent (this ability is called "Transfix" in the game) or attack in ranged combat. The magic system is expanded in the game's supplements.

Campaign rules

The models in a warband may become more powerful as play progresses, gaining combat experience, magic items and new abilities. As the game is fast-playing (a typical game is concluded in less than one hour), the campaign rules allow players to recreate a short campaign (3 to 5 battles) in a single evening of play.


As of 2008, Ganesha Games have published a supplement called Song of Gold and Darkness, which adds rules for exploring dungeons. They have also produced a stand-alone game using the same mechanics, Mutants and Death Ray Guns, which has a non-realistic, post-apocalyptic setting similar to Gamma World.

External links

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