16 September 2021

Guilders playtest - A Regulars Days Work

 Had a nice little playtest yesterday of Guilders. Played against Torben from Miniatorium, first time he played Guilders. The focus was on introducing the game, so I didn't spend time on a lot of photo taking. But I will add a few words to the game. 

Found a few places needing clean-up in wording and a single needed add for the AI guards. 

The Heist was A Regular Day's Work - the standard scenario. Lots of loot on the board, some of which requires steal actions. 

I had an acrobat climb a centre building to get some high value loot, had a cutthroat flanking me, ready to kill when the acrobat hit ground again. My guild master threw a perfect bola tying the cutthroat down and leaving him for the city guards. 

The dog ended up killing a guard dog, dodging multible guard attacks and then attack - leaving my guild master sorrunded by a ton of guards. 

My acrobat still ending up getting a club to the head by an enemy enforcer - losing her high value loot. And that changed the game. Very close - that one Loot token, stolen at the end tipped the scenario and declared the winner. Very nice, very close. 

I had a lot of guilder just running out without any loot, to get XP from safe escape. My opponent smashed every door and window around, getting loot and calling in a lot of guards. 

We rolled the complication The Flu - so when in base contact with civillians our guilders might get sick. Both my streeet urching got a light disease for the next three games. So instead of that (they would have 0 strength), they'll miss the next game being bedridden. I don't think I'll be spending money on curing them. 

A nice game. Zero injuries, a decent amount of loot (that I'll roll up later) and good XP all around. 

5 September 2021

Guilders: Pious Pickpockets - Battlereport

Guilders - A Life In Shadows is (when writing this) in Beta. The campaign system has its first version out. It is time to play a lot of games to tweak the system. As something new, I'll be writing some battle reports from games, perhaps it'll inspire some people to give Guilders a go. 

The photos are greyscale because everything is not yet painted - so it looks a bit better. 

The Guilds:

The Eastwall Cornerclub Clubbers

Is my guild. I've gone for a max bodies approach. 

Guild Master: Decently armed. Got the Scout ability (to gain 6" in the first turn) and doctor (to help my guilders when hurt). I want to make him a support master with his skills. 

Enforcer: Good arms, this is for the violence. 

Acrobat: Carries a bola to knockout enemies and get a high placed objectives. 

Sharpshooter: with a bow. Means to hide and provide security from a high place. 

Shadow Priest: Armed with a staff and Prayer of Silence (to make characters unable to cause Alarm).

3 thieves: all armed with clubs. two with pickpocket, one with lockpick. 

1 scum: armed with a club.

2 street urchin. 

This gang is very lightly armed and armored. I've spend coins on getting all thieves and urchins a lockpick or scissor for the first heist, to make sure I got some loot. Also left good money in the bank, enough for a very bad day - so I would still be able to cover my upkeep after the game. 

I've added a lot of clubs, making them kind of bruisers. Use the priest to keep some people quite and then wack them on the head with the club. Keeps my infamy down and let me pick up some loot with those unable to pickpocket. That's the plan anyways. 

The Guild of Unaffiliated Wine Stompers

A deadly and quick-moving guild, focused on controlling the center of the board. I spent every sinlge guilder coin on getting a strong and well equipped guild, hoping they can bring back enough money to heal their injuries

Guild Master: scout and charge combined with a two-handed weapon and good armour makes her a dangerous force who can keep the center of the board free from enemies, for a while at least. The risk being that she may go down fighting

Enforcer: good armour and a halberd, so he can support my boss on the center of the board or take out enemy stragglers, who cant fight back.

Brawler: With Taunt and a hand weapon, to make controlling the center easier.

Acrobat: Bola and flash bomb. Her job is taking out anoying guards or slowing down enemies

Sharpshooter: with a deadly crossbow he can take to the roofs, and try to keep the enemy in their shadows, or kill of guards who are getting to dangerous

Alchemist: In the group for their doctor skill. Have a bow, if they should be lucky enough to take a pot shot at someone, but she will stay in the back, getting ready to be handed loot, and fleeing at the first sign of danger.

Three Thieves: with lockpick skill. To quickly get into the nearest buildings and get the loot, so the guild is secured some money.

Two Urchins: have pickpocket skill. Trying to steal from civilians and crowds, maybe getting lucky and avoid guard attention enough to try to steal loot from enemies or targets at the last second. Totally expendable (small feet dosen't stomp a lot of grapes)

The scenario: Pious Pickpockets

There's some good loot in a temple, protected by paladins and priest. The real money is in getting Loot II and Loot III and this is inside the temple. It start Hidden, so first guilds must break in, then make Spot checks to find it. Steal it and get out. 

Any violence or getting caught trying to steal and the paladins (counting as Royal Guard) will start attacking the guilders. 

It's the first time playtesting this scenario, so we figures there would be some checks or 'didn't cover that when writing' situations. That's what playtesting is for. 


We setup a suingle piece of my dungeon board (1'x1') in the center as the temple. Around it we placed a bunch of buildings, the streets are around 3" wide. Enough for the crowds to move and really create barriers for us or the guards. 

We also added a large bell tower and a church to further enhance the temple district feeling. 

My guild setup really centered at the middle. The plan was to steal as much on the direct route to the temple. Urchins was on the flanks, just get some purses from crowds and then get off the board. Guilders can only carry as much as their strength stat, so urchin are full with just 1 loot token. 

I had my sharp shooter setup on a roof from the start, able to provide some good cover on my side of the temple. 


Right from the get go my thieves spread out, shouldn't be a problem picking the locks - it's a 50:50 chance and even better with their lockpick. The rolls weren't great though. I didn't want to stop, nect turn they would move on. 

You can only do an action once each turn - unles you have a high skill level. Would try other doors closer to the temple. 

The paladins and priests inside the temple are stationary at the beginning of the game. The doors are locked with a high level lock as well. They'll not activate unless someone breaks down the door or get caught stealing inside - then they'll act like guards on high alert. 

The valueable Loot is hidden in the two sacophagi. 

By the end of turn two my guild was at the temple door. The shadow priest was using his Prayer of Silence on the guild master, then I wouldn't cause alarm when trying to break down the doors. Unfortunately I wasn't able to break it down. The enforcer and scum would be ready to help insde, getting the loot. 

My opponents guild had also brough a sharpshooter, this guy was wielding a deadly crossbow and had taking a position similar to mine. Protect their side of the temple with some deadly shots. 

We've already nerfed shooting a bit. Getting caught in the open by a shooter, that's aiming from high ground is very deadly. So stick to cover and shadows. 

Since there's two paladins in the temple, this scenario has fewer regular guards from the start. Most scenarios have six guards from the start, this only has two. So there's good time to sneak up to the temple. When there's no alarm, the guards will walk around randomly - and sure a guard walks straight into my side of the temple. He has a clear look at all the trouble I want to make. 

While my guild was getting into position for a stealthy heist, the opponent guild was also swarning around their side of the temple. But unlike me they were seeking a confrontation. An acrobat took a long leap from a balcony and closed in quickly on my guild - probably planning to do something against my guys! 

There's all manner of nasty thrown surpises in Guilders - bombs and bolas can create a lot of trouble for your enemies. 

This acrobat ends up trapping the legs of my Guild Master with a bola - for three turns. Leaving my guild master tangled outside the temple and forcing a friend to help release her. Before thos guards come swarming.

There's no way to hold civilians in place, they move randomely each turn. So both guilds were quick to have some street urchin blend in with the crowds - that will make them move with the crowd. It's a good place to be in for pickpocketing them. If they fail they'll get kicked out of the crowd of cause. 

Street Urchin are great cheap guilders and the Guards don't notice them until they're carrying stolen goods or cause alarm. 

The Guild of Unaffiliated Wine Stompers have made it to the temple. A thief, enforcer, brawler and the guild masters - the last three are geared up for violence. Both guilds are at their doors on opposite sides.

Getting the iniative my guild is able to pick the lock with a one-use lockpick. Then the scum move inside to spot the loot, leaving the thief with actions to steal it. The plan is to have the shadow master use Prayer of Shadows, so even if I fail the stealing it won't cause alarm. And not having angry heavy armored paladins in your face is a good thing. 

But not all guilds are taking the stealthy route - and my opponents feel some time presure as I'm already inside. They elect to those their big two-handed swords to simply smash down the doors. This activates the angry paladins and make them very hostile! 

Which also change my plan ... because those paladins don't really see any difference between thieves. And the other paladin has line of sight to my own people - so there goes all stealth options out the window. Might as well try to knockout the priest now. We are the Eastwall Cornerclub Clubbers after all! 

Each turn in Guilders new guards will enter from a random board edge. The more alarm that's cause, the more and tougher guards will enter. There's a threshold for alarm - at which point all the guards on the table become very hostile. 
So far we've only caused a bit of alarm getting caught pick pocketing. There's not a lot of guards coming and they're not hostile. 

That fact change cery quickly when temple paladins start stabbing guild enforcers, those enforcers fight back - and the guild master cleaves the paladin in half with a giant sword. Each fight (three) cause 2 alarm tokens - and there's the smashed door. There's some temple relics to loot on that corpse. 

I elected to go for dodging - which is a lot less noisy. 

Up goes the Overall Alertness soring past 10 making all the guards hostile. Including the guard that was just casually strolling the street earlier - and his friend that enters the board right on my escape route! 

Getting out loot brings XP, so I've handed over loot to my Acrobat, that didn't have specific part to play in the Heist. He's fast but needs to activate before the Guard (this is random) - otherwise he'll get based on the skull with a town guard club. 

He dashes away and get off to safety - leaving his companion to deal with two guards on her own. 

... which se handles in a poor way. Armed only with a club and no armor, she elects to try a dodge. It's a better option, better stats for it. But the two guards (offering support to each others rolls) knock her down and put her in handcuffs. 

Guards might appear from a random board edge, but the always appear as close to alarm as possible. They also have too actions and if there is no target within line of sight - they move towards whatever alarm they hear. 

The Wine Stompers suddently find themselves with a lot of guards closing in. It's time to get the valueable guilders out with whatever they can carry. 

Here's a great trick, that I had not considered myself. The street urchin - at the very end of the heist - manage to steal loot from a priest. And there's even room for her to slip away. And despite everything being kind of violent, kids are not targeted unless they're infamous. Excellent work by my opponent. 

Nearing the end of the Heist - that turned violent quickly. I'm able to extract most of my people without trouble. I have a single thief knockout by town watch and a scum got wounded by a temple guard. The rest of my guys got off the board, most of them with a bit of loot. I only manage to get one Loot III from the temple - as I completly fail to knockout the paladin and priest - despite trying a lot. 

My sharpshooter does manage to shoot down an opposing thief with a deadly sniper shot, fired from the shadows. All in all it seems a good haul for me, decent amount of loot and all my guys manage to exfiltrate the board.  

The game ends at the end of the turn where one team has exfiltrated all models. You gain some extra XP for moving off the boards - so that's nice. But in the end my opponent takes the win - having gotting Loot II from both the paladin and a priest. 

The win bonus is kind of nice, it gives a bit more XP and a double roll on the Loot table. 



There's a lot of stuff to gain XP from in Guilders. I got extra XP on most of my guys, because they all manage to get off the board. Where my opponent ended the game with three models on it, they don't get that bonus.

In Guilders the Guild Master may give away its own XP to guilders needing it and there's a d3 XP win bonus. So The Wine Stomper was able to get three level ups after this first game, as the Guild Master handed out XP. 

Thief rolled 2d10 for 4+7: Gets a common skill and chose to get Lockpick lvl 2. 
Alchemyst rolled 10+2: Get a common skill and chose to get Doctor lvl 2
Guild Master 4+7: Get a common skill and chose Leadership lvl 2

I on the other hand did not gain any level ups, but have multible guilders really close to it. My Guilder Master elected to keep the XP. 


A big part of Guilders is the after heist gameplay, this is a big reason for wrting the game in the first place. Wanting a skirmish game with a bit more RPG elements. 

The Wine Stompers had two injuries from the fight. First injury turned out to need some medicine - but having spend every single coin in guild creation - it couldn't be aquired. The guilder got a light disease or would be forced to stay bedridden. The second was a lot harder - needing two rolls on the Serious Injury table. My opponent used the doctor reroll on the Apothecary and instead ended with the best result - 1 free XP. 

My own guys did fine. I had one female thief rolling on the Captured table, from getting caugt by town watch. She had to pay a fine or go to jail - and expecting something like this - I had saved a few coin. 
My injured guilder did allright, got a few bruises but would be ready for the next Heist. 

The Loot

The Loot tables  are huge, and will with tweaking have even more randomness hidden in entries. 

The Wine Stompers had most Loot and made some very good rolls on the loot they got. Getting away with 67 guilder coins (some of it in contraband items that must be Fenced, rolled a small sarcophagus for example - very thematic for the scenario), some bolas and 3 tool boxes (containers for thieves tools or decent sell value). Plenty of coins to pay for upkeep in the guild and put some money aside for later.  

My Cornerclub Clubber did a bit worse. I did manage to steal an oppulent bejeweled crowbar (probably an iron priest staff that's been covered with gold and jewels) - that will bring in decent money with the fence. But I might keep it for better breaking into houses.

My Loot I rolls was worse, not a lot of coins in those. Guilders is balanced so that each Guilder getting away with a Loot I token (and there's plenty on the board) should be able to pay its own upkeep and a bit extra. 

If I chose to keep the crowbar, I'll have to take some of that reserve starting coin to pay upkeep. Exactly why I kept some - in case my guild had a bad Loot run. In total my upkeep is 25 gc, but I only found 20 from loot. I did also get some whetstones, a dagger and a flash bomb. 

And I found a cup from a famous inn, I can fence the cup (rolled a low value on it) - or return it to get free beds for wounded characters. So I'm keeping it for later.


Lastly all the guilders (not in jail or bedridden) may do jobs for the Guilds. Running protection rackets, visit the market, work the infirmery, sell stuff to the fence. The guild need to prioritze these jobs, as all are given at the same time. 

There's not much to do for the first few games. If guilders have infamy they might get caught will working in the city. All our guilders it without trouble. The Wine Stompers did a bit of shopping (selling items to the Fence) and craftede some medicine for later. 

My own guild really didn't do anything this time. Need a bit more XP before I starte doing stuff. 

Thoughts on balance

This was a playtest and the first game in the campaign. It did well. Both guilds would be able to pay all upkeep with found loot and had a few items to put in the vault. All have XP and no crew members missing. Progress don't need to be super fast. But being closer to level ups, having a few coins for the treasury. Both guilds took a step forward towards glory. 

Good game. 

Last words

Find more info about the game in these places. 

The current rules, tokens: Google Drive

Facebook group: 
For anything about the game.

Discord: The Bloodbeard's Garage Discord, lots of room for Guilders. 

Hashtags: #Guilders #ALifeInShadows 

10 August 2021

Guilders v. 1.33 beta and town watch

Slowly getting back into painting som miniatures. For the last couple of weeks, I've painted around 30 minutes per day. Sometimes I get up a bit early to get some painting down. The main goal is to get the needed guards and minimum civilians all done for Guilders - A Life in Shadows

Just finished the first 9 town watch (I have 3 more base coated). Gonna make some terrain for at better backdrop and photos of them. They also need some basing. There'll be a longer post later on kitbashing and painting the town watch. But here's the first photos: 

Guilder 1.33

I hadn't planned on releasing another version of Guilders before the 1.4 with the first campaign system in it. But I've had a lot of playtest games and excellent feedback. I'm order to not get buggede down by cosntant fixes, I've cracked on with the campaign writing. It's going good. 

So I went back and wrote in the core rule changes while still relatively fresh in mind. 

Som key things is: 

Point of interest for the AI, which makes the Guards behave better in games. 

Skill rework. Lots of skills have been reworked, the different skill levels are much more interesting. Pickpocket and lockpick are better balanced for campaign. 

The thief game have been enhanced a lot. Violence will have more negative effects on the crew, there's higher risk for alarm. Going Hidden, pickpocket and lockpicking your way through the Heist is a much better option. 

Shooting is a lot less deadly, it's easier to hide from shooters. 

Items: Many items have been tweaked and a lot more items have been added to the game. 

So! Lots of changes (all marked in blue) in the 1.33. Please check it out, read through it and give feedback. Or get a few games in. The core game works pretty well.

You can find all Guilders stuff in the Google Drive folder

The current rules, tokens: https://bit.ly/3jG2brn

Hashtags: #Guilders #ALifeInShadows 

6 August 2021

Dice bag from Cupias Craft and a bunch of tokens

I've bought myself a cool dicebag from Cupias Craft. Cupias Craft is by Anna Olivia and she makes awesome dice bags. They'll be made in whatever colors and fabric the customer wants. I went for some mat fabric. It's green on the outside and red on the inside, made in the same colors as my Rangers for RoSD. 

The build in dice tray is matt black, to remove any shine when being used in streaming og youtube videos. 

The coolest thing about the bag is the eight small pockets inside. I've got my Nightwatch diceset, Guilders set and the Frostgrave d20 in it. The remaining rooms have my Guilders tokens and Frostgrave tokens. 

I'm very happy with this dicebag, it's a treat to myself. And buying an item crafted by someone is cool. 

I did a video when I got the bag, check it out here. 

Direct link: https://youtu.be/J5DasNkhO_c

Everybody should know about Game-Icons. This is an interactive page with thausands of different icons. Easy to search for different themes. Each symbol can be changed around, colors, backgrounds, text etc. It's great! So as I've been going through Frostgrave and Rangers of Shadow Deep, I've always made tokens for my spells and effects. 

Guilders a Life in Shadows
Is my own game. It's a skirmish campaign game about thief guilds. As I've been coming up with skills and scenarios, I've made all the tokens needed on the go. So anyone wanting to try out Guilders can print and get going straight away. 

If you have any interest in miniature skirmish gaming or tabletop RPGs, you should check out Guilders. Any feedback is much appreciated. 

For all Guilders material go to the Google Drive folder

Frostgrave and Rangers tokens
Just a few examples of the tokens made for the d20 games, 

As always
Please consider helping out my bloggerverse and its reach.
Like, follow, share - and all that stuff. And check out Guilders - A Life in Shadows (the game I'm writing!)

Instagram: Bloodbeads_Garage
Twitter: @Blodskaeg

Join the Discord. It's an excellent com

31 July 2021

Fantasy: Cultists

 I recently posted my Necromancer, his minions and the starter warband for Frostgrave. The cultist models I painted up a long time ago. I think they were painted (at least build) way back for the Thaw of the Lich Lord campaign. 

It's a lovely kit. I build my cultist models to work on its own as a warband I would play - and cover what's needed for the Thaw campaign. 

As with most of my FG boxes, I only build 10 models. I sold off the other half and made back on my investment. I'm a trader - also hitting at getting near free models left for myself. 

When painting these I've used different greys and browns, and three different purples. Some were washes with purple wash and others with brown. To add different tones all over, but keeping them uniform. 

I decided to not add snow on their bases, as the models work very well for other games too. Could be used in Guilders or Nightwatch. 

Infantrymen or templars. Could work as both. I have an old metal Rackham model that I've also painted in purple, to work as a proper armored templar. Added a bit box cloak to one guy. 

Bowman and crossbowman. I don't recall adding extra bits to these, but I've added a bowstring (as I always do) to the box.

Treasure Hunters were the best troops in first edition, so these are build as that - to be used as thugs first. Gave them GW dwarf backpacks, cause thieves need to carry a lot of stuff. 

A thug and a knight / men-at-arms. Also added some bitbox cloaks to these two.

Lastly an apothecary and a tracker. Both staff are converted from the spears in the FG kits. The potion belt for the apothecary is gunpowder cannisters from olf GW dwarves. 

As always
Please consider helping out my bloggerverse and its reach.
Like, follow, share - and all that stuff. And check out Guilders - A Life in Shadows (the game I'm writing!)

Instagram: Bloodbeads_Garage
Twitter: @Blodskaeg

Join the Discord. It's an excellent com