Saturday, May 21, 2016


Mike and I tried out the new skirmish game Tribal. The game represents small groups of warriors from cultures that place a premium on the concept of honor in combat. Our game featured the Bronze Age Achean chieftain Proctocules (me) seeking revenge for a slight done to his family by a retainer in the service of his neighbor Mysoxargon. Both sides fielded their chieftain, two heroes and fifteen ordinary warriors in 3 groups of five men.

Proctocules presents a pre-battle review of Mysoxargon's questionable ancestors
The interesting thing about the Tribal rules is there are no dice or rulers. You might think that wouldn't work, but it actually does. A 'unit' consists of a single prominent warrior or a group of 5 lesser men. When two such groups engage they each get a hand of standard playing cards, the number depending on circumstances. Opposing sides take turns playing a card for either attack or defense. Attack cards can damage an opponent. Defense cards can prevent damage and also can tinker with the value of cards played in the next round of combat. There is ample opportunity for strategy in the combat rounds. Honor, which determines the victor, is won and lost in combat and in achieving scenario objectives.
"When the gods laugh at you", saith Mysoxargon, "all a man can do is laugh back"
In the course of the fighting the hero in Mysoxargon's retinue who had offended the (overly sensitive) Proctocules was slain along with assorted other men on each side. Honor was satisfied and the surviving enemy fled. The awesome pile of honor tokens in the foreground was loaded onto the backs of the pack serfs and the victors set out for home. 

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