A Unified Guide to the Play Cycle and Resource Tracking

Because I had difficulty explaining to my players how we walk through the complete play cycle and how all the roles & resources interacted, I wrote up this step-by-step primer.

Please correct me if I got something wrong here and I’ll update it

Band of Blades - A Unified Guide to the Play Cycle and Resource Tracking

1. Resolve Missions

  • Play out the primary mission. Surviving Legionnaires gain xp as per their playbooks.
  • Marshal makes an engagement roll to resolve the secondary mission. Specialists who survive this mission gain 2xp, assigned by the Marshal.

2. Bookkeeping

  • Commander applies mission rewards/penalties to pressure, time, and intel
  • Quartermaster applies mission rewards/penalties to update supply, assets. If the Legion loses supply and have none, have the Marshal mark -1 morale instead.
  • Marshal applies mission rewards/penalties to morale, updates roster if Specialists were gained, and applies -1 morale penalty for each Legionnaire death incurred on missions.
  • If the mission provides a points reward, the GM or Lorekeeper notes that on the Skydagger Keep sheet.
  • If a mission has additional xp rewards, the Specialists who survived apply them.

3. Back At Camp

  • GM or Lorekeeper selects a short Back At Camp scene to play out as the troops return from their mission, based on the current morale rating

4. Time Passes

  • Commander: Add +1 time and +1 pressure
  • Quartermaster: Use -1 food. If you have no food, the Marshal reduces morale by -2
  • GM or Lorekeeper: Tells tales of the dead, which may grant an effect on the Legion

5. Campaign Actions

  • Quartermaster performs campaign actions (2 free at 8-10 morale, 1 free at 4-7, or none at 1-3 morale, may spend supply to get additional):

    1. Acquire Assets - Use to gain black shot, food, horses, religious supplies, or supply carts. Depending on your location, you may also be able to gain Laborers, siege weapons, and alchemical concoctions. In rare cases you may be able to gain Alchemists and Mercies.
    2. Liberty - Clear 3 stress for every member of the Legion and add +2 to morale
    3. Recruit - Gain up to 5 Rookies
    4. Rest & Recuperation - Every Legionnaire may mark a tick in any harm row to heal.
    5. Long Term Project - Initiate/advance a project developed in concert with the GM.
  • Quartermaster updates status of Alchemists, Laborers, and Mercies

  • Spymaster dispatches spies:

    1. Interrogate - Ask any intel question from any list when missions are presented
    2. Blackmail - Add +1d to the Quartermaster’s acquire assets roll.
    3. Help - Add +1d to a Quartermaster’s long-term project roll
    4. Recover - Spy removes their wounded condition
    5. Long-Term Assignment - Augment missions, expand network, lay trap, recruit, research

6. The Legion Advances (optional)

  • Commander decides if the Legion advances. If so, they roll pressure and use the result to add time. (Quartermaster may lower pressure by spending horses.) Reset pressure to zero. If the Legion does not advance, they pursue further missions at the current location.

7. Mission Focus/Generation

  • Commander chooses a mission type to focus on (assault, recon, religious, or supply) based on what’s available in the current location. The GM generates missions.

8. Mission Priority

  • GM presents the available missions.
  • Commander can ask the GM questions based on current intel. Spymaster may have used the interrogate campaign action to ask one or more additional questions from the entire list of options.
  • Commander may spend an intel to replace one regular mission with a special mission of the GM’s choice.
  • Commander determines the primary mission and the secondary mission.
  • Marshal assigns a squad and up to two Specialists to each mission and determines who’s in charge.
  • All players take up their characters and reset their armor, Specialist skill uses, and choose their load. They may spend utility load to bring along something from a selection of extra items.
  • Quartermaster may add to the engagement roll for a mission by spending the appropriate supply (assault - black shot, recon - horses, religious - religious supplies, supply - food) Specialists on that mission should equip the proper extras for free.
  • Commander may spend intel to add to the engagement roll for a mission.
  • Marshal assembles the dice pool and makes the engagement roll for the primary mission.

9. GOTO: Step 1.


Just brilliant !

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Few remarks:
Step 1: -1 moral per dead legionnaire
Step 4: -2 morale => I’m not sure where this one is coming from. I need to re read the book !
Step 5.1: you can get more than that, e.g. cart

Indeed, Step 4, the morale is reduced for Time Passes ONLY if there is no Food to spend (so never twice).

This is an excellent ressource that will very much simplify the bookkeeping. Thanks a lot for this initiative !

Step 5.1 : indeed, more assets are available. “black shot, food, horses, or religious supplies” are “ressources”, and also you can acquire :
" Laborers, Siege Weapons, and alchemical concoctions are fine quality and their availability may be subject to the location. Alchemists and Mercies are exceptional quality and cannot normally be found in unpopulated areas."
and as Kamor says, carts too.

You want to add a bullet point or note here about secondary missions. Specialists on the mission who survive gain 2xp (marshal is responsible for assigning, but they can feel free to consult).

Marshal shouldn’t reduce morale by -2 for no reason… I’m not sure where this is coming from.

– otherwise this looks rad :slight_smile:

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Alright, I’ve updated the Guide with all that feedback.

Should be up to date.

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This is gold. Thank you!

Where does it say this in the book? I feel like I remember reading it somewhere, but I can’t remember where.

@dodgepong Stras mentionned it few weeks ago on this forum, IIRC.

Yes, I found it and that’s what he wrote:
“Yep. It’s just a bunch of carts. (If you want to make it a bit more spicy it can be a normal asset in settlements like Plainsworth or Barrak, and a fine asset when you’re stuck someplace like a heart of a forest, or a poorly supplied mountain road).”

PS à Kamor : toi aussi tu consultes le forum au p’tit dèj avant d’aller au boulot?

This is going to be super useful for my group, since we’re often playing via our phones when we should be working and cannot always check books for order of resolution. Thanks!

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Also, depending on the group, Step 8 could be Step 1.

Another correction necessary: page 322 of the book says: " ‹XP: This mission has significant lessons for the Legion; success grants additional xp to the Specialists partaking." So the PC Rookies or Soldiers would not get XP. A bit harsh indeed!

This is so good! I’d been meaning to work up a sort of cheat sheet like this so I had an easy guide for stepping through everything and making sure not to miss anything.

Well done!

This has been updated. Also clarified XP for the primary mission.

Also, depending on the group, Step 8 could be Step 1.

I mean, technically any step could be Step 1. I just put Resolve the Mission as the first step because that’s the least bookeepery.

It appears a bit all over the book: 137 has the Acquire Assets action which first talks about acquiring stuff, then talks about resources specifically (since that’s primarily what people acquire assets for) and the one that needs the most discussion.

But you’ll find tons of other examples.
e.g. Acquiring a master blacksmith (p 264. Fiction First Gaming)
Acquiring via Channels (p 300)
Acquiring a route out of a fort (fort calisco p 416)

Carts are just a thing on the list.

Curious if anyone else has started on a printout version of this because I just might!

I have: https://www.dropbox.com/s/08r569gedq9zdqd/Band%20of%20Blades%20-%20Play%20Cycle%20Guide.pdf?dl=0

And here’s the google doc version: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gMtEHBJYLmAjoMQizvfbKixQPJn5Dr-vV4TAzAy8mA0/edit

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Great minds think alike. I started on this:
doesn’t print nice yet, but I figure I’ll port to PDF once I’m done tweaking it.



In your Part II, there is a mistake: " If no supply then MAR -2 morale instead". It’ s only -1 morale in this case.

In you Part IV (Time passes), you write “Tell Tale of the Legion, if available”. But the Tales are always available. If they have all been told, the LK can pick any.

In Part VII, you could add the result of the AUGMENT LTA from the Spymaster.

In Part VIII. Mission Prep, you could add result of the RESEARCH LTA from the Spymaster.

Also :
in your Part VIII Mission Prep, Point 7: “Specialists on that mission should equip the proper extras for free.”
This is not entirely correct. There are some contradictions in the book itself and between the book and the sheets.

For example, for Black Shot, page 131 says “…; to equip all troops on the mission” (not just the Specialists). So I asked the question some time ago, and Stras answered that “Everyone is equipped with black shot” (not just the Specialists).

Same, the example mission on page 231-233 show that the QM spends the relevant resources, and everyone is equipped with Black Shot and Reliquaries.

As for Horses and food, there is no example, but it stands to reason that everybody is mounted (as on page 131), or that everybody has enough to eat.

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