Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Battle Report: Flintloque/Song of Drums and Shakos

Napoleonics have never really appealed too much. Not for any particularly logical reason, it's as interesting a period of history as most. I suppose I just associate it with the button-counting, 'realism'-at-all-costs style of gaming. If this is what floats your boat then that is all well and good, but I prefer a more heroic, cinematic style of game.

The other day though I bought some terrain from these guys:

The farm that inspired it all
They are a social enterprise who help people with problems learn skills to get them back into work. They also produce some really cool terrain at pretty good prices. But anyway, I'm digressing. The point is that I bought a farmyard from them. I intended to use it for various fantasy games (which I will) but it looks decidedly Waterloo-y.

This reminded me of Flintloque. If you don't know it's a fantasy game but in a Napoleonic type setting. Jordan, one of my regular opponents (some could even say friend, but you know, let's not be too touchy-feely about this) has had a unit of goblins for some time.

Looking into Flintloque the setting is pretty cool. Jordan's Goblins are analogous to the Portuguese, allies of the British, or Orcs of Albion. So I would need to pick some miniatures from the French side. In the end I plumped for some Ferach Dragoons (dismounted), the Ferach Empire being Elves.

The next problem was rules. Flintloque certainly has its fans. It's been around for years and by the looks of things has a pretty dedicated band of followers. I bought the rules and had a perusal, how ever I really couldn't get my head round them. They seemed (rightly or wrongly) reminiscent of the Wargames Research Group style of game, lots of tables and quite dry. This may well be very unfair, I've never played these games, if so I apologise.

However, Ganesha Games do produce a Napoleonic skirmish game. It is historical but using the Song of Blades and Heroes engine is easily convertible. Also the SoBaH variant rules suit my idea of a good time, simple, fast paced and fun.

Some Goblins advance...
And so to the game. As I said above, it was Jordan's Goblins against my Ferachi dragoons. This was Jordan's first game from the Ganesha stable, and only my third, so we decided on a simple set-up-on-opposing-sides-of-the-table-and-kill-the-other-guys scenario.

The Goblins had lower Combat and Quality scores than my elves, but they had rifles against my carbines. Thus my strategy was to advance as quick as I could under cover and get into combat. To be fair Jordan didn't really appreciate the differences in our side. Well he did, but only after they started falling like flies, my wily Elves ganging up on his Goblins one at a time.

... and then quickly run away again
Again moral was a deciding factor of this battle, at least this time I was on the right end of it. After I killed his leader, many of the Goblins turned tale and fled, one of them being hacked down in the process. They soon fell below half strength and had to test again. All bar one either ran away or died in the following chaos, he didn't last long and it was a pretty conclusive victory for the Ferachi, with just one casualty.

So how did the game work? Well I've never played using the Flintloque rules, so I can't really say if the stats we attributed to our miniatures were representative of how they were supposed to play. And really it doesn't matter, there are enough variables in the Song of Drums and Shakos/Blades and Glory rules to provide a variety of troop types. The gun rules from Drums and Shakos make the game play quite differently to Blades and Heroes, so to me the game felt right.

We plan to try the Forlorn Hope scenario next time, I think both the rules and setting will be more suited to narrative play. With a bit of tinkering to the stats, and a better idea of how the rules play out I think it could be a good game.


  1. I've no issue with you using Flintloque miniatures with other/easier rule sets, in fact I agree - as the whole ethos behind Flintloque/Slaughterloo is to have fun.

    Thanks for the game report - it looks like you DID HAVE FUN.


  2. We did!

    The person that writes a set of rules to suit every style of play will be a rich man... (moderately).

    I'm really enjoying the background and have just ordered some re-enforcements for my Elves!

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with Tony.
    I actually generally revert to the original Flintloque rules or Slaughterloo, which involve less complexity and tables!