Wednesday, October 31, 2018

More Names for the Naughty List - Empire of the Dead AAR

Happy Halloween, everyone!

In the spirit of the holiday, I've got an Empire of the Dead post to share. 

I was back up in my hometown this past weekend, so I put out a call to my old gaming group to see if anyone wanted to get a game in. Gary replied that he was looking to playtest some new factions for his upcoming annual holiday game, so Carl and I agreed. 

Gary's usual Victorian town was accentuated by a layer of snow, heralding the arrival of a new faction:

Arriving from the North Pole, Santa Claus and his gang were looking to deal some damage to those who might sully the holiday spirit.

The gang consisted of Santa, Mrs. Claus, and a bodyguard, along with a trio of worker elves and a troop of toy soldiers. Santa also had the ability to summon a mob of toys.

For the first game, I was running the Clauses, while Carl brought the Circus.

The Winter Wonderland gang deployed with the elves supporting the toy soldiers.

Carl's gang of clowns and freaks were on the opposite side of the town.

Winning the initiative, Carl rushed the Circus through the town square, with the Imp Tumblers moving up and over the arch, supported by the Ape Man.

Meanwhile, I moved Santa and his bodyguard up to support the toy soldiers, while Mrs. Claus and the elves held the open flank.

Poor dice rolls on my part (basically a constant of this entire game, so keep that in mind), Carl's Circus got the jump on my gang before I could do much else!

I also panicked and summoned the toy mob both and the wrong time and the wrong place. Since they're small, they're a good tar pit unit to place in front of the toy soldiers, who aren't great in a fight. However, Carl was moving the Ape Man to attack me from around the building, so I brought in the toys to block him.

Carl, of course, responded by just moving the big bruiser away from the mob.

It wasn't looking good for Santa's crew. I had moved the toy mob in a conga line through the fight to help on the other side, but that allowed the Ape Man to swing back around and attack me. Dr. Lizard had pushed into combat with Santa, while the Imp Tumblers kept the rest of the toy soldiers distracted. Mrs. Claus and the remaining elf were stuck in combat with a posse of clowns.

At this point, the game turned into a massive scrum, with (mostly) everyone stuck in combat.

While I managed to kill the Ape Man, Santa was lost along with a number of elves and toy soldiers, forcing the North Pole force to break.

After a couple small adjustments, Carl and I played a second game, swapping sides.

It was a much closer game, as I was actually able to roll a number higher than a 4 on a d10. Carl played the toy mob right, summoning, surrounding, swamping, and eventually subduing the Ape Man under a horde of magical playthings. It came down to a single's turn combat phase, and the Circus ended up winning by the slimmest of margins.

It was fun bringing out Empire of the Dead again, especially with Gary's fantastic miniatures and terrain. The games let Gary tweak the new gang a little bit, like giving the toy soldiers knives (bayonets) to help in close combat, and giving Mrs. Claus a new Unnatural Occurrence.

Gary talked about the other warbands he's got ideas for the annual game, like the Dark Holiday gang (which will likely induce nightmares before Christmas) and a coven of witches. I'm looking forward to seeing them.

No comments:

Post a Comment