Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New Places, New Faces - Empire of the Dead AAR

Our Empire of the Dead group had its second campaign day recently, and since I actually made it to the store on time, the group managed to get in a couple games each. 

In the first game, my Lycaons squared off with Bob's gun-wielding Gentlemen's Club. We would be playing a Fracas mission, which basically tasked our gangs with killing off the opposing enemies. Our gangs fought in the countryside, which featured a hedge maze, church, some ruins and a graveyard. As we were deploying in opposite corners, Bob's gang took up position in the cemetery, while my pack walked in through the hedge maze. 

I got really lucky and managed to win the roll to see whether or not the game would be played at night or during the day. Knowing that the 18" line-of-sight rule for nighttime games would greatly affect the ability of Bob's gang and their pistols and rifles, I opted to play at night. 

While the four humans either took the center route through the churchyard or hopped the hedge maze and traveled the long way around, my Wolf, Packmaster and Beastlord traveled together in that respective order. Any shots Bob might get before the wolf pack could get into close combat would have to be directed at the closest model - i.e., the Wolf, which I would happily sacrifice if it meant I could get the two werewolves into close combat.

My plan worked perfectly, with the Wolf soaking up two turns worth of shooting before finally being put down. By that time the Packmaster and Beastlord were in amongst Bob's club members, and body parts and intestines flew through the moonlit air as the werewolves tore into the aristocrats. The gentlemen tried retreating with a running gun battle, but the werewolves superior movement speed meant that the end of the game ended up looking like this:

Bob only managed to get a single model of the table without any damage (luckily for him it was the one armed with the repeating rifle) and his men took some serious injuries in the post game results. I lost my Wolf - it was captured by Bob's gang during the fight. I had the option of attempting to rescue the miniature next time I played Bob, but I had gained so many Shillings from my victory that I just bought a new beast and named it Twowolf. Sister Amelia, the captured and converted nun from Carl's gang, took a rifle round to the chest, but was remarkably uninjured. I used the rest of my winnings to improve some of my gang members, and to give my Beastlord the Bloodlust skill. Now he could hop from a won combat into a new combat, providing him with the ability to avoid being shot at at all if enough enemy gang members were close enough. 

My second game for the day was against Gary's Nosferatu. We were playing in an urban environment, and once again rolled up the Fracas mission. Deployment this time was a straight lines across a table edge, and I deployed by gang in its usual little squads. Gary did the same on the opposite table side. 

I also won the roll to see if it was night or day. Now, Gary had been dealing with a rather poor string of rolls regarding this part of the game, and had only been able to play games during the day. This meant that his head Vampire was forced to shield itself from daylight. This took Gary's faction leader down from being a monstrous creature of the night to a somewhat mediocre fighter who couldn't even take a gun to offset the penalties. Feeling somewhat cocky from my last victory, I decided to give Gary a chance to use his awesome vampire miniature and give his Nosferatu faction a real game - so we played at night.

My gang ran forward, going in pairs apart from the Packmaster who went down the street on the far right. Gary opted to keep most of his gang together, pulling away from the werewolves as they traveled across the right side of the table.

I quickly lost two gang members. The crossbow Wolfskin was downed by the Bat Swarm - Gary was rather pleased by that - and the Graf tore into Sister Amelia, who had forgotten to bring her Holy Symbol. 

As Gary's gang swung around to my left, the two Wolfskins that had gone up the middle were suddenly set upon by a Bat Swarm. Despite having been blinded in the previous campaign game, the Swarm managed to survive several rounds of combat with the Wolfskins, effectively shutting them down and allowing the vampire Graf to charge into the melee. Both Wolfskins went down quickly, unable to keep up with the whirling dervish of blades and fangs.  

Meanwhile, my werewolves and Wolf ran panting through the street, still trying to catch up with the vampire's gang members. The Wolf arrived first, and was filled with lead for its troubles. 

The MVP award for my gang went to Packmaster Silas, who managed to hold off the Vampire and two of the Bat Swarms long enough for the retreating Beastmaster to return and join the fight. Realizing that his Graf was suddenly at a severe disadvantage against the two werewolves, Gary elected to have his gang retreat.

While I technically won, Gary's gang had been so far below my own in its Standing that the bonus Shillings Gary received for playing against me nearly put him at the same amount for the after game results. Unfortunately for me, while Twowolf, Sister Amelia, and Sally (one of the Wolfskins) survived, the other two Wolfskins did not. This was a blow, as the Wolfskins that both had important improvements to their ability scores - the crossbow-armed subordinate had better Marksmanship than the standard grunt, while the other had improved Strength. This was advantageous, since he was armed with an Axe (which further increases a model's strength in close combat) and a Bow, which damage output relies on the Strength of the model wielding it.

While this was problematic, both Wolfskins were easily replaced by new members, and they were outfitted with the old members' equipment. I also decided to get rid of the few stakes in the group (since they hadn't done anything against Gary's vampire) and instead equipped all of the humans with two Axes each. I'm looking forward to seeing how this increases their melee ability in future games. 


  1. Replies
    1. It's a great game that really shines once a campaign gets going. It could use a decent editor, though.

  2. Thanks I do like a bit of EotD.
    Regards Ken