I was ambushed by the young lad (age 8) this week asking for a game of 'Knights'. He wanted to get his new posse led by Sir John on the table and have a game. I opted to use standard Song of Blades and Heroes with simple warbands. Sir John and his retinue came in at just under 150 points, so I built an outlaw band the same strength.
Sir John's Posse
Sir John - Q3 C3; Hero, Heavy Armour, Steadfast
Swordsman - Q4 C2; Steadfast
Spearman - Q4 C2; Steadfast
Crosbowman - Q4 C2; Shooter - Long, Sharpshooter, Steadfast
Robin - Q3 C3; Hero, Good Shot, Shooter - Long, Forester
John - Q4 C2; Forester
Will - Q4 C2; Forester
Much - Q4 C2; Shooter - Medium, Forester
To get the game moving quickly, we used a 2' square board and deployed 1x Short in from our chosen table edge. Robin and Much are top right, Will and John bottom right. Sir John is out of shot in the lower left, and his men are spread out to the left - the crossbowman in the middle.
Sir John's swordsman activated first and ran straight to the the cover of the building. He had some sort of idea in his head that he didn't want Robin to be able to maintain line of sight. His crossbowman, however, moved over to line up a clear shot at Robin or Much next turn. On Robin's side, John and Will both managed to get up to the shelter of the empty cart in their first activation. I figured that this would stop them being attacked from that side. I was wrong.
Sir John moved cautiously down from his hill, still keeping his distance from the impending scrap in the middle of the table. Sir John's spearman moved up to the far side of the cart from Will and John.
At the same moment, the swordsman dashed around the far side of the building and engaged Robin is a bit of friendly swordplay.
The excitement at this point was already palpable as can be seen in the expression of the audience.
Robin took one swing at the swordsman and cut him down. Satisfying, if a bit of an anticlimax.
Much then lolloped forward and, over the next couple of turns, he and the crossbowman exchanged a number of ineffectual shots.
My thoughtful opponent queried whether his spearman could run up into the cart. I confessed there was no reason why he couldn't, and a moment later John found himself in a pickle. Sir John metaphorically looming down on him from the front, while the spearman literally loomed down on him from the cart on his flank. Far from being a useful as a barrier, the cart was now being used against the merry forester!
The spearman struck down at John and beat him to the ground. Although he was still alive, it didn't look promising.
Sir John's crossbowman loosed another bolt at Much which likewise failed to kill the lad, but knocked him to the ground. Robin ran up to Much's side and returned an arrow, but it went way off the mark - one of many 6/1 splits in the game.
Much and John both dusted themselves off. In the John-off at the lower end of the table, John managed to defy the odds and forces Sir John to recoil out of the fight. For Much, it didn't go quite so well. He moved forward to get a better shot at the crosbowman, and was taken down by a crossbow bolt for his troubles.
As Robin moved down past the building to where he could line up shots at both the crossbowman and Sir John, John and Will both now took the attack to the knight. Sir John was now on the back foot, defending himself against the furious blows of both foresters.
And that, dear reader, is when Sir John demonstrated what a lifetime of martial training can achieve. He smote - most decidedly - both Will and John on the spot. Robin, seeing his comrades dropping around him, decided discretion to be more expedient than valour, and legged it off the table like a frightened bunny. This despite being a Q3 hero.
It was a lovely little game. My young opponent understood everything going on, practiced his maths without noticing and, to his great joy, won. I'm fairly confident this won't be the last meeting of Sir John and the forester Robin.