Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chronicles of Blood - impressions after the first game

Based on what you played when you first entered miniature wargaming, you either have 3 to 4 miniatures on a single base (DBA) or each model individually based and then mounted on movement trays (Warhammer).

For some time, the first type of gamers have their solo fantasy wargame in 2HW Rally around the King. For us with GW legacy the game needed too much rebasing to be played comfortably.

And then we got Shane Gavrey’s Chronicles of Blood solo wargame, published by Cristal Star Games.

Chronicles of Blood are a simple set of rules, taking only 16 pages booklet for all rules and sample army lists. These basic rules are free, so if you are reading this, go and download them. Paid premium content is expected in the future for those who will want to expand the game.

This is the solo wargame played with 28mm figures mounted on movement trays with 10cm frontage, so typical unit consist of 8 to 10 infantrymen, 4 cavalry or 2 ogre sized models with monster handler or a gnobler in the middle. Just what ex-Warhammer players were waiting for :).

And the best thing with this game is that it is open for modification. As Bard noticed on his blog game can easily be played as skirmish, (but, I have to say, 50 points game with regiments looks mighty on the game board).

Also, it is easy to adjust army lists to the models on hand. Basic book has only two sample army lists, but they are enough for player to deduct the way the point system works (with lowest value of each battle stats being worth 0 points, and then adding 1 point for each increase plus one point for each special characteristic). This allows player to easily create their own armies the way their want it, in accordance to the miniatures they have on stock. It is also easy to adjust some of the simple excel tools like Universal Army Creator to help create roosters for the game.

Therefore, for my first game I selected to play Undead (as my army) against Ratmen (system).


Chariots, cavalry, 25cm, Fd6, Dd8, A3, W6, Archery, Charge! , Undead, 12 points

Light cavalry, 25cm, Fd4, Dd4, A1, W5, Archery (50cm), Scout, Undead, 7 points

Archers, infantry, 15cm, Fd4, Dd4, A1, W5, Archery (50cm), Undead, 5 points

Guards, infantry, 15cm, Fd8, Dd8, A3, W6, Charge!, Undead, 10 points

Vultures, flying cavalry, 35cm, Fd6, Dd6, A1, W5, Fly, Undead, 9 points

Swarm, infantry, 15cm, Fd6, Dd4, A3, W6, Undead, 7 points


2x Thunderrats, infantry, 15cm, Fd8, Dd8, A2, Mo d6, W6, Charge!, Spears, 10 p

2xSpearrats, infantry, 15cm, Fd6, Dd4, A1, Mo d4, W6, Spears, 3 points

Slingerrats, infantry, 15cm, Fd4, Dd4, A0, Mo d4, W5, Archery (50cm), 1 point

Ogrerats, monsters, 15cm, Fd8, Dd8, A1, Mo d6, W6, Monster, 8 points

Monkrats, infantry, 15cm, Fd6, Dd8, A3, Mo d8, W6, 8 points

Hunterrats, infantry, 25cm, Fd8, Dd8, A0, Mo d4, W5, Scout, Thrown weapons*

*This is another example how open is the system. Thrown weapons is special rule added by me to represent throwing knives visible on models I used to represent Hunterrats. If a regiment with Thrown weapons is charged to the front, they are allowed to shoot at the charger with -1 modifier to the fight dice and using d4 as damage dice. If they manage to inflict any wounds, charge is unsuccessful; attacker will stop 2cm from target and take morale test.

The game itself was fun. Some rules are a bit unclear (for example, if regiment can charge the unit it can not see), but whatever interpretation one select it will not change the course of the game as long as the rule is applied identically to the both sides.

Table of unexpected events makes a fun addition to the rules.

Finally, after the first battle, Chronicles of Blood leave impression of a good game, and I am certain I will play more of it in the future.

It is worth noticing that Cristal Star Games published first of the planed additions to the game, called Heroes of the Battlefield.

It introduces 4 types of characters: Unit Champions, Banner Bearers, Wizards and Commanders. Unit champion and Banner bearer just increase some regiment's characteristics, and act more like a make up then a real need.

As a house rule, instead of playing as written, I will allow units with champions to re-roll combat dice once during the game, and units with banners to re-roll morale dice once in the game but with -1 modification.

Wizards introduce simple but effective magic system and can be really useful, as well as the commanders who allow player to re-roll unwanted unexpected events.

I hope that next expansion will introduce battle machines like catapults, ballistas and guns.

One other good thing is that CSG listen to it's players, and makes changes to the rules, so that rulebook was changed since this post was first written according to feedback from people who play the game...


  1. Really nice report -- I'm now even more eager to give it a go myself.

  2. Also -- thanks for mentioning the first supplement release. I wasn't aware it was out there.

  3. Thanks for the feedback. We actually have been made aware of some rules problems that crept through (stupid gremlins!) and will be posting updated versions of the core rules and expansion soon (including reducing the points costs of the champion and banner bearer).

  4. @Bard - be careful, protect your flanks... I managed to get my back kicked twice already. Tonight, after my kid goes to sleep, I have to check out if I have learned something from experience :)
    Also, download again both main book and extension, Shane changed some important things.

    @Shane - changes look good at the first read, play should be quicker and bloodier now. I will check them in action tonight and let you know the result :)

  5. Looking forward to hearing it!

  6. I've been looking for some "quick start/low brain power" solo game for some time. I had downloaded these a while back, but only just got around to printing them up today. They needed to be fairly simple, as the minute I get any figures out, the little ones (10yrs & 6 yrs) want to be involved.
    So, the first game wasn't really solo. My little girl took control of the Elves. Me and the boy were the Fun-lovin' Orcs. Play was very straight forward - few dice rolls, few modifiers, fast and fun. Five turns later, it was a draw. Kids loved it.
    Later, I'll play properly, and solo. See what comes up.