Friday, September 21, 2012

Boneswords Go Hunting: Empire of the Dead Battle Report

We started our Empire of the Dead campaign (again) last Friday.

After a few false starts, delayed from the convention, tweak & re-tweak the campaign system, but now it's set. A pretty simple concept: 150 point teams with an additional 50 points that can be used for skill/stat increases (max one roll per individual) or any of those extra points can be used as normal.
If in the campaign you play an opponent who isn't within 50 points of your own rating, then the larger value force reduces points until within the 50 pt range (leave a guy watching the home-base, leave some expensive weapons, whatever the player wishes, just for that battle) This will allow people who play less often or have some bad luck, or want to run many factions (and so won't see one team advance fast) a more even match when they play: good for everyone.

We decided to get everyone present in on the same game: a big 3 vrs 3.
Mostly Good vrs Evil, with any extras or neutrals fitting in where they are needed.
Other than slaughter our rivals we also have many statues to check for precious artifacts.

Since the Boneswords' background clearly marks them as 'good' I was on the side with a Holy Order and some Good Chaps.
Against us was a neutral to bad leaning Gentlemen's club, mostly all in black, so I'll call them the Somber Society, as well as a corrupt Fireman's Union (I think they take a page from Crassus' book: hello sir, looks like your house is on fire, would you like to hire us to put it out?') and a Chinese Opium  Importer's sword-wielding muscle. 
The Boneswords approach the city center, ready for battle.  I've gone for numbers and lots of swords.

My conceptual rival, the Opium pushers of the Green Dragon Den, also a Zendarin faction, just like mine, but with more messy meat on their bones.  Disgusting.

But before we can get to them, across from us is the Somber Society, and they have a lot of guns, so the brave bones sneak through the back of a building, while checking one of the mysterious statues.
First statue checked so needed a 9 on a d10: nope. We break down the doors and take the house.

My ally to my left, the Holy Order of the Sisters of Ruler-smacking have no luck with their statues either: early birds find nothing.
My ally to the right covers ground to try to get vantage to shoot -some take to the upper story windows.

The Green Dragons divide their number: some look for a statue in the right corner building...
While others enter the large Mill's courtyard directly across from my Boneswords

Meanwhile, the Somber Society enters the same courtyard from the other side of the building, in single-file murmuring a depressing dirge. 

The eccentric hired-gun of the Fire Brigade, Nolan Fifthmain, pauses to relieve himself in the bushes.
"These are now my bushes" he says.  Some say he was raised by wolves. They might be right.
Hefting their axes, the Fire Brigade moves across the street, looking for statues and rich houses to 'discover' they are on fire. 
The Somber Society advances further, preparing to take aim at the noble Boneswords should they arrive.

Around the same building comes the Somber Society's secret weapon: an armored spirit-cannon weilder
Though taking some fire, the Boneswords make it out of their building and across the street to the mill.
They take position on either side, and prepare to rush in. 

One of the 'Swords is knocked down, but in the rush, two Green Dragons are brought low: out of action.

Meanwhile, Nolan Fifthmain advances to the next planter: "ahhh..these are mine too".

The Somber Society takes on the Boneswords, bringing them into their dreary world.

A solid clash ensues for several rounds. And though all the Bonesword characters are wounded, with them still on their feet, eventually the Sombers are reduced in number to the point the rest flee.

The Fish out of Water took a parting shot at a Bonesword knight, to no effect.

A brave Green Dragon held out against two Bonesord knights for most of the night before finally being brought down- which was the last straw for them: the rest retreated. 

A narrow victory for our side, with 2 out of 3 of the enemy retreating and 1 out of 3 of ours retreating. 

Take Away: I think we need a new system for 'discovery objects'.  we had the first item searched needing a 9+, with each next at a +1.  But since one side searched three before the other searched, this made it a lot easier for one side to find something.  On the one hand, you don't want nothing found -which poor odds that never change could see happen, but on the other, you don't want shenanigans of 'wait to search until they do' (which didn't happen, to be clear, but it could) which is gamey and also makes no real sense. Solution? Don't know yet. could mark some ahead of time and place them randomly. 

We're playing again tomorrow night (actually tonight as I post this) and not sure which faction I'll play yet. 

I do enjoy the Boneswords, but it is quite a challenge having nothing to shoot!  Just run and hope. 


Flo said...

The undeads are matching great with each other! How did you made this blue smoke of this Lead Adventure guy on the last pic?

Laughing Ferret said...

Thanks Flo!
-The spirit cannon effect on the deep sea diver isn't my mini- that's part of Mike's team, his mostly lead Adventure somber club. I'd have to ask him to be sure, but from the look of it, I'm guessing it is made from hot glue and then painted with blue ink.

Brummie said...

Great batrep, there are some cracking looking bands there, Really like the Chinese as Zendarians.

As for the rules perhaps have the modifer just for the side that is searching perhaps? the more you search the easier it becomes for that side?

Spacejacker said...

Great battle! I am thinking of a simple chit draw from a cup to search objectives. I dont like using dice modifiers if I can avoid it.

Hendrid said...

Good batrep (or should that be a skirmrep?) Not tried the Empire of the Dead game but I like the type of game. Great stuff

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, your setup is amazing!

Michael Awdry said...

Great to see the Boneswords in action and I love that Deep Sea Diver.

Kobayachimaru said...

Great battle and setup

M R Lee said...

Love the bat rep, and interesting play styles being shown. You had a bit of a dis-advantage with the up close and personal gang, but I think your luck and skill played through.

Always nice to see a different approach to a game, and seeing the armies used.. well.. am just jealous of the talent that you play against.. nuff said :)

Lexa Cain said...

The models and minis are gorgeous! I used to paint some when I played D&D. Now I just write about creepy things!
Thanks for stopping by my blog. :-)

Laughing Ferret said...

Thanks all for the feedback :)

& thanks for the ideas for the discovery mechanics. I like the idea of chits or only adding bonuses to the discovery for each player's independent previous searches.

Alex: Thanks, I can't take credit for it though- the table terrain & cobblestone mat is all Mike's.

MRLee: you aren't kidding! it was nerve wracking to run headlong out, just hoping for their dice to fail them so I could close the gap.

Thanks likewise Lexa :)

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