Sunday, August 11, 2013

BattleSworn: A Pictorial Playtesting Journey...

Maximan66 and I were lucky enough to be chosen to playtest Ganesha Games' newest game BattleSworn. Andrea Sfiligoi designed the game. Frequent readers of this blog will know that we are big fans of his games. Song of Blades and Heroes, Fear and Faith, and Flying Lead in particular are favorites of ours. 

Now, enter BattleSworn. A different take on the miniatures skirmish game. Like Andrea's other games, you are free to use minis you already have, so there is no buying into a line of miniatures sold by the company. I love that business model. It makes wargaming affordable and less stressful. This rule set is not a Song of Blades and Heroes inspired game; it is its own creature. Read the product description from Ganesha Games website by following the link above for more information. 

Maximan66 and I played several games over a couple of weeks time and we really enjoyed it...a lot! For this post, I will chronicle our games through captioned pictures. In most of the session reports, I included the warbands  used in the battles for your convenience. 

Playtest After Action Reports
7/ 22-23/2013


Max’s Defenders
4 Fighters
2 Brutes
2 Shooters
2 Rogues (1 extra shown in the picture was removed once I re counted)
1 Healer
1 Warmage

magehammer’s Maurauders
4 Fighters: Orc Warriors
2 Shooters: Orc Archers
2 Brutes: Orc Berserker / Ogre
1 Tank: Orc Spear shielder
1 Sorceror: Orc Shaman
1 Leader (Tank/Brute): Orc Warchief

Battlefield at beginning with screen removed

Melee combat
Fantasy Flight Games gaming tokens being used as status markers.

Battle done. Defenders crushed!

7/ 23/2013


Max’s Maruaders
4 Fighters: 2 Hobgoblin soldiers; 1 goblin axeman; 1 Bugbear axeman
1 Leader: Hobgoblin Sorcerer / Tank (agreed he had a protective magical
    talisman rather than armor). (Fire Jet, Curse, and
1 Cavalry: Goblin wolf rider
2 Brute/Tank: Arcane Giant; Troll
1 Brute: Demon (despite wings, we didn’t make him a flyer. “Like
   penguins,” said Max.
(We realized too late that he had 13 slots. We played any way.)

magehammer’s Maulers
4 Fighters: Human Footman
2 Shooters: Elven Archers
2 Tanks: Human Knight; Dwarf warrior
1 Healer: Human sage
1 Warmage: Human wizard
1 Leader (Sorcerer/Tank): Human archwizard
(The warrior off to the left in the back row was removed after I re-counted the slots).

Battlefield at beginning with screen removed

Battle done. Marauders  crushed!

7/ 24/2013

Max’s Dwarven Undead Slayers
5 Dwarf Fighters
2 Dwarf Berserkers (Brutes)
2 Dwarf Heavy Infantry (Tanks)
1 Dwarf Cleric (Healer)
1 Dwarf Wizard (Leader / Sorcerer)

Vampire Legion
4 Zombies (Rabble)
4 Skeleton Warriors (Fighters)
2 Skeleton Riders (Cavalry)
1 Vampire Sorcerer (Sorcerer / Tank)

Playtest 3: Battlefield at beginning with screen removed

For our fourth game, we ran the River Runs Red scenario from the rulebook. 

7/ 25/2013
Max’s Raiders
3 Goblin Fighters 1 Hobgoblin Fighter
2 Orc Berserkers (Brutes)
1 Orc Warrior (Tank/Brute)
1 Goblin Wolf Rider (Cavalry)
2 Orc Archers (Shooters)

Defenders of the Red River
4 Human Infantry (Fighters)
2 Human Crossbowmen (Shooters)
2 Human Heavy Infantry (Tanks)
1 Sorcerer
1 Warmage
1 Cleric (Leader / Healer)

Playtest 4: Battlefield at beginning with screen removed

Crossing a ford...

For one of our final playtest games, we decided to try a sci fi bug invasion scenario ala Swatters.

7/ 27/2013
Defenders of Planet X
4 Space Soldiers (Fighters/Shooters)
1 Lieutenant Dan (Shooter)
1 Captain Rex (Leader/Shooter)
1 Medic (Healer)
1 Chewtobacco (Brute)
1 Baccachew (Brute/Shooter)
4 Civilians (Rabble/Shooters)

Bug Raiders
1 Tank/Brute
2 Flyers
4 Warrior Bugs (Fighters)
4 Larva Fighters (Rabble)
1 Brute/Shooter

1 Queen/Brute

Max's Goblins
4 Goblin Fighters
1 Goblin Sniper
1 Troll (Tank/Brute)
1 Goblin Wolfrider (Cavalry)
1 Demon (Flyer/Brute)
1 Ogre (Brute)

Drow Strike Force
1 Drow Cleric of Lloth (Leader/Healer)
1 Drow Wizard (Sorcerer)
2 Drow bowman (Shooters)
2 Drow Assassins (Rogues)
4 Drow Fighters
1 Drow House Weaponsmaster (Tank)

As mentioned in a previous post, I playtested a game with SurfMonkey who was so excited by his experience, he wants to run a superhero battle at our next game night. I am really looking forward to what we come up with for that. But below is the details of the game we played at our last game night. 

4 Human Footman (Fighters)
2 crossbowman (Shooters)
1 Half elf Assassin (Rogue)
1 Heavy Footman (Tank)
1 Cleric (Healer)
1 battlefield general (Leader/ Tank)

My Orcs (Again, I know, but I love my Dungeon Command minis. :))
4 Warriors (Fighters)
2 Archers (Shooters)
1 Barbarian (Brute)
1 Shaman (Sorcerer)
1 Cleric of Grummsh (Healer)
1 Warchief (Leader/Brute)

Max and I also tried a zombies vs. survivors game chronicled below. 

Unfortunately, I didn't record the warbands, but you should be able to get the idea from the pictures below. This scenario was a total blast. The zombies got close, but in the end, the survivors won the day only losing two of their number. One of whom became a zombie himself. The other was put out of his misery before he could turn. 

I  REALLY enjoy this game. It was refreshing not to have to measure. You could focus more on strategy and where to move your forces. Bidding was fresh and exciting. You had to learn to read your opponent and try to guess what he would bid. 

I really like the magic system. A spell list, but little hassle that plays well in-game. 

Combat system is great! Roll a bunch of dice. The hit-misses mechanic is just superb. Evens out the big attacks and makes you think twice about rolling all 6 of those dice! 

It plays well in other genres. The zombie game we played really was one of my favorite sessions. 

I highly recommend this game for those looking for a different kind of miniatures skirmish experience. 

I know I will be playing a lot more of it in the future. Keep your eyes posted here for more BattleSworn and other gaming goodness. Until next time, good reader, roll some dice and have some fun!


  1. Thanks for the batrep, makes us eager to start playing!

    Where do your rivers sections (from River Runs Red scenario photos) come from? Homemade?
    They're really cool.

  2. You will love this game! The river is plastic terrain by Pegasus Hobbies. I bought mine here