15mm adventures: Burning Sands or CROM?


Since my previous game of 5 Parsecs took less than 30 minutes, I decided to set up a game of Burning Sands from Crom's Anvil and played the intro scenario: not-Valeria vs 6 hyenas.

You'd think it was an easy thing but noooo... due to poor dice rolls, it came down to the last turn. Eydis got 3 Vitality (HP) damage in one go when a hyena rolled two "6"s on two dice... and Eydis rolled less than 12!

So she was actually down to 2 Vitality (HP) same as the last hyena and it was a toss up who would win. Thankfully, the hyena attacked and lost and Eydis managed to cut it down.

Not a cake walk after all.

Burning Sands is similar to CROM (when you squint at the far horizon, you can just about make it out) with finite actions (6 for the main heroes, giving them a max of 18 dice vs 12 for CROM) but you always multiply your Vitality (actions) by your stat value. Hence a 3 Combat stat will mean you roll 3 dice for each Vitality point you choose to use for that turn. You could use up 2 Vitality for an action to roll 6 dice. But the max Vitality you could use for Combat will be 9 as you can't use more Vitality than your relevant stat line. Pretty cool vs CROM's "here's 12 dice use it how you want" approach. Both are fun and as always... there are pros and cons to both approaches. If I'm playing with my wife... I'll use CROM for sure. 

So now I'm not sure which I prefer... Burning Sands or Crom? They are both good and adhere to the KISS principle. Both give you a rules sandbox and you are encourage to make up your own story/campaign as you go. Or just mix and match rules from both sets to make my own...? I will definitely add at least some skills for CROM. Doesn't make sense not to... so Conan will get a bonus for combat and agility related tests like climbing etc.

(Side note: 15mm scale is not an issue here as the games were designed with 15mm in mind).