First playtest of Sword and Spear Fantasy

War in Aegyptus !!!

 

 

I started wargaming back in the 80s with Warhammer Fantasy Battle 3rd edtion. We built pretty large armies and even continued using 3ed edition with house rules as new editions were coming out. Over tiime I shifter to historical wargaming but my love for fantasy battle wargaming never dimishished, it is just that I couldn’t find a set of rules that would catch my interest.

In recent times some great sets of rules for ancients/medieval wargaming have been released and I kept waiting for official versions of them to appear for fantasy. My favorite set of rules for ancients is Field of Glory, but that one has never spawned fantasy version. Others have appeared and I’ve tried them, but none of them so far caught my interest.

Fantasy is sometimes difficult because it can often be the case that the rules have to be tied to a setting; well recently Sword and Spear fantasy came out, and although I had never tried S&S ancients, since they were designed for generic lists I thought it would be good to give them a try.

This past weekend with my friend Chris we took my Wargods of Aegyptus troops for a spin with Sword and Spear Fantasy. My armies are a bit smaller than what appears to be a reasonable force for S&SF, but I just wanted to get a feel of the rules and do all the things you do wrong on your first game so you can learn for the first REAL game 🙂

The objective was well achieved, we had fun, and we did do a bunch of things wrong, particularly since one army was undead and they operate quite different than non-undead armies.

The rules are fun and fast to pick up, the key element is their activation mechanic where you roll dice and assign them to units trying to match or beat their discipline. The game looks like ti flows very much into the mechanic of putting pressure at what you consider to be the key focal point of the battle. Generals help this particularly by improving the discipline of the units making them easier to activate and operate.

The combat mechanic involves opposed D6 die rolls with the main modifiers consisting of adding dice to reflect troop advantages or the extra pressure from the player commanding them since you can assign better activation rolls to specific units to make them perform better.

Magic users do not have access to fluff based spells like other systems, they are more generic in that they have a series of tactical spells, attack a unit, protect a unit, boost the qualities of a unit, heal/recover units. The undead magic users are critical as the undead armies do not get the normal benefits that living troops can get from activation dice and commanders so the rely on the magic users committing their magic points to put them at an advantageous position.

My armies were designed in a pretty basic way, few troop types and special characteristics, so the game was pretty straight forward and less “tactical” but that is ok for a learning first game. It does seem that their is more tactical depth in the game once you use more variety in the armies.

This is not a full review since I would need more games to make up my mind, the initial reaction for us was good and we hope to try a bigger and more interesting battle soon.

 

The rules include rules for terrain set up, scouting, different scenarios. All the army lists are available on excel from their website and they are really just a guide as the excel allows you to create forces from scratch to match your setting.

In our game our main battle lines advanced in group moves pushed by the army commanders while the missile troops provided support from the sides trying to tip the balance.  In the end, although the combined Anubis and Horus army where able to gain a slight advantage on the flanks this was too little too late as the pressure from the undead horde in the center was too much and the forces of evil were victorious.

We are hoping to run a new game soon maybe using Arthurian armies with some fantasy elements.. that should be fun.

 

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