Thud and Blunder review | Fortified Niche playtest!

Fantasy skirmish game? In this economy? It’s more likely than you believe! That’s why the pod sat down to play Thud and Blunder, a game that left us impressed with just how fast it plays – and how friendly the warband building mechanics are.

Listen to the Fortified Niche episode.

Thud and Blunder: Tolkien orcs vs. Warhammer elves!
Thud and Blunder gives you 300-350 points to build your gang. You have a wild degree of freedom¬† as you’re building humans (or non-humans) from scratch. Actually, a peasant with nothing but a shirt on would set you back 1 point – that’s how much it costs to give him the base human movement speed of 6″.
Thud and Blunder: a Crusader takes on two orcs.
By default, there are no different classes of fighter in the game: your leader only becomes a hero if you buy them the trait of he same name. your heroic types can have the Hero trait, which allows them to reroll their Destiny (read: save) rolls. This is one of its most important uses as all characters in this game are one HP/wound models, and any successful hit can take them out.
Thud and Blunder: one orc vs one elf.
Due to all the options you have, army building in Thud and Blunder would be somewhat difficult… if not for the fact that the developers have bookmarked and hyperlinked the rulebook to the Moon and back. They also provide Excel sheets for creating warbands, weapons, monsters, and magical vehicles on their site.
Thud and Blunder: activations are happening.
Now, the rules themselves – he says, half-way into the post – are simple. It’s rolling a d10+modifiers vs. a target number. In a fight, that’s a D10+ your relevant ability vs. the enemy’s armor. So like Dungeons and Dragons, but if you hit, the enemy rolls their Destiny to save. It’s really the only stat that’s expressed as the dice target itself rather than a mod. Considering that you can go up to Destiny 2+, heroic characters can get pretty sturdy. Heavy weapons can only knock it down to a 4+ – don’t think too much about the metaphysical implications of weapons having modifiers to your fate.
Thud and Blunder: two warbands face off.
The turns in Thud and Blunder are split into phases – movement, ranged, melee – with players alternating their activations. The one who has the initiative activates first. It goes real smooth in practice, especially since you will have characters that don’t have anything to do in one phase or another, so they can easily be skipped.
Thud and Blunder: a spell wipes out a lot of goblins.
Magic isn’t complicated either. Each spell says what phase it can be used in and whether it can be combined with another action. And unlike in many other games, even lowest level spells bring a lot to the table, with both powerful attack spells and buffs/debuffs.
Thud and Blunder: an array of miniatures
All things considered, Thud and Blunder is a good game that has a lot to offer for fantasy skirmish fans. Get your minis and get playing – though you may have to invent some black powder weapons if you’re doing Warhammer Fantasy.

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