Friday, 1 June 2012

Celtic Arthurian warband for SBH

This was my original Arthurian Song of Blades and Heroes warband, created before Song of Arthur and Merlin was finalised. The stats are quite different to those published in SAM, as I knew that Arthur would need to be a little more sanitized in the published rules. Why? Basically because I know that most players probably won't enjoy playing Arthur as the troll-like thug shown here. But I love it! I might not win with them very often, but I have enjoyed using them whatever the outcome.

The figures used are Games Workshop Lord of the Rings, mostly from the Rohan range. Although the armour and weapons are fantasy designs, they look good for later Celtic folklore. I have some Westwind Arthurians waiting to be painted which will become alternative figures for this warband - I'd like to resurrect it for games in the near future.

Figures: 6
Personality Points: 128 (42%)
Warrior Points: 174 (58%)
Total Points: 302

Arthur - Personality
Heavy Armor, Hero, Leader, Tailslap

Dashing, Lethal, Savage, Steadfast

Fearless, Savage, Steadfast

Menw - Personality
Danger Sense, Forester, Magic-User

Warrior 1

Warrior 2

Arthur is often a flawed hero or anti-hero in Celtic folklore. In my warband, he's a heavy hitter but a bit slow on initiative. Tailslap is his knife (named Carnwennan), and his other famous named weapons are factored into his C score, which is absolutely formidable (from the story of Culhwch and Olwen, his weapons and armour are: Caledfwlch his sword, Rhongomyniad his spear, Wynebgwrthucher his shield, and Carwennan the dagger noted above; don't ask me to pronounce the shield's name!). I don't think I've used any other C6 characters before, but wanted Arthur to cause some real carnage if and when he finally does hit someone.

Cai and Bedwyr are good warriors. Cai is lethal versus animals, as he was recorded as killing the Cat of Palug; alternatively he could be lethal versus giants although in Culhwch & Olwen he does this more by trickery than combat. They are the warband's real action men, much like a sixth century Lewis Collins, as fleeting glimpses from Celtic stories show.

Menw is a wizard, mentioned in Culhwch & Olwen as a warrior with magical powers (and also able to transform into a bird and make his friends invisible). I had an ambition to add Myddrin/Merlin as a character at a late date with different stats, but let's face it: he's Myrddrin in all but name in this warband. He may be seen as a druid, I suppose; I'm not entirely keen on the druid connection, but this seems better themed to this warband than either a saint/cleric (often in conflict with Arthur in the Lives of the Saints) or a Bard (rules didn't exist at the time I created the warband).

The two warriors are decent fighters but cowards. In various early stories, Arthur's men are bullies rather than chivalrous knights, better at roughing up the innocent or failing to kill an old witch than they are at slaying monsters. They'll do well for you when you're winning, but... well, you know.

The warband has more than 100 points of Personality, which I felt was reasonable given the heroic characters present. This was made official with the Triad rule I introduced in Song of Arthur and Merlin.