With my Song of Blades and Heroes drive, I got to read Song of the Splintered Lands. I had bought it a long time ago and never got to read it. I heard it was pretty good, but when the time came to read about talking animals and elves in some kind of conflict, specially considering the figures from Splintered Light minis are 15mm, I always found something else to do.

Well, I got around to read it, and all I can say is: go get your copy. It is an amazing piece of fiction and wargame scenario design. The universe is rich, lacks most fantasy clichés, it’s deep and scary and makes you want to learn more. The conflict between the Druid, the elves, his “awakened children” (the animals), the dwarves of Mountain Home allies, and the Moonglade goblinoid empire is just amazing. The book sets three different campaign paths, completely different from each other, with clear rules, objectives, fun mechanisms (which I’ll use with other SBH material) and amazing narrative. I mean it, it made me go out to SL minis site and realize the designer for most of the figures is the great great Bob Olley (you already know of my obsession with his Dran figures!). The fact that they kinda match Lord of the Rings figures well (for big, talking animals) as shown in the SL minis blog does not help my burning pocket.

So after playing a few solo SBH games, thinking hard on either adapting SSL or simply getting my paws, I mean hands on the SL minis range, I thought it was a good time to try the always interesting Rich Jones’ set based on SBH, Flying Lead. Yeah, that set probably got more good press than all the others together, but the first supplement didn’t get my attention and I must have misjudged it. It is pretty amazing as well. It’s really good how someone can get a good, fun ruleset, keep all the fun stuff intact and add to it that extra twist to make firefights fun, unpredictable, and deadly as they should. I’m not one to enjoy generic games, meaning I like period flavor a lot. But who can argue with SBH’s base rules? With the Flying Lead basis, and the original system of simple, clear, fun special rules, I can see myself playing sci-fi and WW2 skirmishes the way I was hoping to for some time.

And no, before you ask, Ganesha did not pay me to write this stuff. In fact, both rulesets are written by freelance designers rather than Andrea, who obviously scored a big hit with his basic game. There’s some very interesting wargames material being created all over the place as of late, and some amazing new designers doing their stuff thanks to the internet possibilities for publishing. Now, if I could only get my head around the price tag for Rich’s new samurai skirmish game…

EDIT: Made some kind of mistake evidently. Bushi No Yume’s price tag is the same as most Ganesha Games rules. Yeah, I’m off to get them now.

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