Song of Bricks and LEGO

Last weekend I had the chance to play a few games of Song of Blades and Heroes with 3 fellow members of the Northern Illinois LEGO Train Club.  Being that we were all fans of LEGO, we of course used LEGO for the terrain and units. Chris, Adam and I met at the home of Matt, one of our members, who goes by "Pepa Quin" online and is a very respected LEGO builder.  For terrain, we decided to take full advantage of his collection of displays and layouts.  

Two tables were arranged. The first was His diorama "Andy's Room" from "Toy Story" with the walls removed and the furniture shifted a bit.
The second was various buildings, including the Planet Express, from his "Futurama" layout.
You can see full online coverage of both of these amazing MOC's (LEGO fan shorthand for "My Own Creations") here and here.
For warbands, I arrived with three premade 300 point warbands based on recent and classic LEGO themes.
I also stated up a special Olympian warband for Matt using the Limited Edition GB Olympic collectible minifigures.
Adam arrived with a very cool undead/vampiric themed warband -- which I forgot to photograph!
Here are a few pics from the various games we played.
Game 1 - Vikings vs. Orcs in Andy's Room
My vikings faced off against Chris's Orcs in Andy's Room. A lucky early group activation allowed me to quickly rush all my vikings most of the way across the field.  Chris split his forces and advanced around the bookcase and western toy chest.
Much mayhem ensued, but a gruesome kill forced a morale check against Chris's warband which turned the tide against him for the rest of the game.
Game 2 - Olympians vs. Undead in Futurama
On the Futurama layout, Matt's Olympians attacked Adam's Undead.
The battle raged for quite a few turns with almost no casualties, but Matt took control with enough kills to destroy half of Adam's warband, forcing the undead bats to flee and securing the victory.
Game 3 - Olympians vs. Vikings in Andy's Room
Matt wanted to swtich tables, and I preferred to play again in Andy's Room, so we faced off there. He quickly seized the high ground with his archer, who was able to knock down a few of my Vikings, but he didn't score any kills.
With their poor quality, my bears were quite inactive for the first part of the game, allowing Pepa's Equestrian and Strongman to sweep in and score a gruesome kill one of my Vikings.
However, nearly all the Vikings stood fast and then swept back into action. 
Two pairs of lucky activation rolls for my bears saw them rush the flank and attack Pepa's leader, who was killed, prompting a morale check that would see the Olympians ranks thinned enough for the Vikings to press for their second victory of the day.
Game 3 - Orcs vs. Undead in Futurama
While the first game had taken place in the streets, the second game on the Futurama table immediately went to the rooftop of the Planet Express! Adam seized the high ground with his bats and skeletons.
Chris followed up with his Atlantean Orcs, whose improved stats allowed them to advance faster than their less assertive brothers. Unfortunately the rest of the warband was not as fast, allowing Adam to engage and defeat Chris's Orcs piecemeal and secure victory.

A great time was had by all. Two of the other members had played Song of Blades & Heroes with me once a long time ago, but they didn't remember much, so I ended up teaching everyone the rules again. As always, SBH proved to be easy to learn and fast to play. The others enjoyed it a lot, and I think we will be playing SBH with LEGO again.

I'd like to briefly compare SBH to Brikwars, a reasonably well known building-toy combat system. Though Brikwars is made specifically for plastic building block toys, and it's tongue-in-cheek style is an enjoyable read, I found the actual game to be slow-moving and rules-heavy. On the other hand, the fast play and simple nature of Song of Blades and Heroes was much more suited to the light and fun nature of LEGO toys. Brickwars can accommodate larger engagements, but after trying out the rules, I decided I'd rather stick with Song of Blades and Heroes.

-- Karl, Chicago Skirmish Wargames club member

8 responses to “Song of Bricks and LEGO

  1. Cool stuff – great to see Lego being used for gaming and fantastic terrain layouts 🙂

  2. Andy's room reminds me of playing Team Fortress in rat mode. Running behind the wall and through the cabinets and such.

    Look like you had fun!

  3. Very inspirational. I have wanted to wargame with Lego for a very long time, now, seeing these images, i think i will. I might even take some photos and share them online.

  4. This (wargaming with Legos) is what Brikwars is for.

  5. Orcs vs. undead in Futurama is my new favorite game description!
    Very fun stuff.

  6. "This (wargaming with Legos) is what Brikwars is for"

    As Karl points out BrikWars is slow and tedious and very 90s. There are lots of good alternatives. SoB&H is quick and a lot of fun – almost ideal for minifig battles. If you want vehicles then you have to look for something a bit more complex.

  7. Very cool post.

    Two quick questions from someone looking to get into SoBH using Lego:

    -About what measurement scale do you use for minifigures? They're about 40mm, if memory serves, but I haven't seen much 40mm scale stuff in the SoBH fandom yet.

    -Would you use SoBH for something science-fictiony(sort of the drunken orgy lovechild of Star Wars, 40k, and Warmachine) or would you go for one of the alternative games, like Flying Lead? Looking to keep army options as open as possible.

    Thanks for any help you can offer, and may your games end in glorious victory.

  8. Hey Jason,
    I use the standard SBH measurements for 28mm. LEGO figs seem to work well with those measurements, even though they're a bit taller (and much wider) than 28-32mm figs.

    As for Flying Lead, I didn't enjoy it as much as SBH. The system for weapons seemed to over-complicate the wonderfuly fluid SBH mechanics. Still, it has many fans and you might like it.

    For those kind of battles, you might check out the SBH based systems: Flashing Steel (swashbuckling), Mutants and Death Ray Guns (Gamma World'ish). I use the free rulesets:
    -WarEngine (the rules engine from Shockforce)which offers a larger size of game than SBH, and would definitely accomadate the kind of setting you mention.
    -In The Emperor's Name: Warband size fighting in the 40k universe (very adaptable though) using a modified version of the FUBAR rules.

    Best of luck in your gaming endeavors.

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