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Band of Blades
Publisher: Off Guard Games
by Marcus G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/09/2019 16:24:05

This game, like Scum & Villainy, uses the same wonderful task resolution system of Blades in the Dark. The "Position / Effect" mechanic is simple and inspired, and it makes other task resolutions look archaic and needlessly complex.

That is the good part.

The parts that I do not connect to seem to be the very things that distinguish this game from others. 1) the downtime (Mission) phase involves the players taking on the roll of various members of the army they are in, and 2) the setting is centered on a large band of mercenaries deeply entrenched in war.

1) Playing Assorted Characters

This is not a bad thing, nor poor design, but it does necessitate a certain type of approach to the game. It requires players to hop between characters and responsibilities periodically, which is great if you get bored with a character really easily, but not great if you just want to play your character immersively. Legacy: Godsend has a very similar concept; hopping from one character to another based on what you're doing.

This gives the game a very high-level feeling. It insists that you don't get overly focused on your character, because you will be playing another one depending on which phase you are in. This feels like more of a story creating exercise than it is a role-playing game.

2) Embattled Band of Mercenaries

This concept is really cool, and it sounds like it would be a great one-shot (if it weren't for the 1st problem). Or, if it's a long running campaign, it would be a series of one shots: get a mission, go do it, maintain the legion... rinse and repeat. This game doesn't seem to be about characters at all, but about dutifully marching through the phase mechanics.

I've given this book 3 stars, not because I like it and am interested in playing the game, but because what I don't like about it is centered on my own interest in role-play gaming.

Honestly, I will never play this game, it sounds tedious. I would much rather just run a Blades in the Dark game that has elements of the setting.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Band of Blades
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