Wednesday, July 13, 2011

B*stardCon5 - The Sunday Game

A few weeks ago the last BastardCon ran a multi-player game on the Sunday, as is our wont. For a much more detailed article you can head on over to The Blog of Grudges, where RedCraig will fill you in on how he stabbed me in the back after making an oath to ally until such time as we had sent the rest of the pack running. A dwarf! Breaking an oath! It was as well most of his band were slayers already.

The fact that I was going to do exactly the same thing to him the next turn is irrelevant.

Anyhow. We've had pretty poor luck organising a decent multi-player game at BastardCon thus far. Recently though, I've discovered in the BigRedBook, there is a section on multi-player scenarios. I'm so used to the LittleRedBook that I'd forgotten they were there! So, maybe that might be a runner for next time.

For this scenario it was essentially controlling objectives, i.e. the den of scum and villany that was brotheltown. We had quite the entertaining time naming the various buildings. six players duked it out to control these buildings, each of which conferred various bonuses on the owner. We had six turns, and the one controlling the most buildings at the end was the winner.

So, why didn't it work?

The table was too big. We should have played it on a 4x4 table instead of a 6x4. As it was there was too much footslogging to get to town. This prompted a bout of JK's legendary whining.

Not enough urban terrain. This is just a failing in our terrain set. We just don't have enough buildings. I aim to rectify this over the next few months. More alleys, line of sight blocks and killzones would have made for a better game.

Back-stabbing dwarves. RedCraig just couldn't help himself. In all honesty though, this provided the most entertainment of the entire game. All those slayers fighting up the steps of the ziggurat made for great tales of heroism. My vampire lord was a nightmare for the dwarves, the problem being he couldn't be everywhere at once. Still, turning dwarves to dust with my wight was great fun. It was also a great opportunity to try out various equipment combinations on my characters. Sword of Kings FTW.

We're well into starting up our Sundered Isles campaign over at CampaignHammer, which any veteran wargamer knows is the holy grail of wargaming, let's hope we can pull it off!


  1. Were you playing this as a skirmish game? It looks from the pictures that there's no ranked up units. Anyway, it looks like fun. For more multiplayer shenanigans, I highly recommend the General's Compendium. It's chock-full of that sort of thing, as well as lots of other fabulous articles (such simple campaign rules).

    Good luck with the campaign. Ive been having great fun with our Border Princes campaign lately, so I'll be following the linked blog closely.

  2. It was warhammer, but only using characters. We did use some Mordheim movement rules. I have a copy of the General's Compendium, still one of the best books GW ever brought out, in my opinion.

    The hardest thing about campaigns I find is actually getting them off the ground. Still, this one shows promise!

  3. I'd say it's harder to keep a campaign going once the going gets tough. It's tricky to keep it interesting if mis-matches develop, or if one player is significantly better than the rest, or (in the case of a map campaign) if people find they are continually grinding up against only one player for many turns in a row. I'd be interested to hear if you have any experience there.

  4. I've played a few in my time, and we found the best way to keep things running is to have a dedicated GM to watch out for the things you've mentioned. We're lucky in that most of us are about the same skill level though we do have a couple of warhammer ninjas. Happily one of these is the GM! We encourage plenty of diplomacy, so if one player is looking like he's running away with it he may find a loose confederation forming against him.

    One of the other things that seems to help is a good resource system. Managing this adds another element for players, and it rarely turns out players can expend resources in a war of attrition for multiple turns before they exhaust themselves and are forced to either retire, negotiate or are taken out by a third party.

    Special tiles, items and scenarios help here too, as well as multiple ways to win the campaign, which also mitigates border grinding. Finding x items, taking x tiles, winning x battles and so on. Special scenarios and secret objectives also keep players interested, especially if they suit the terrain or narrative. Having half a dozen GM controlled trolls enter the table when fighting a game in the badlands tend to mix it up some.

    Personally, naming provinces, cities, specific armies, units and characters increases the players enjoyment of the campaign immensely. Fighting an ambush in the Iron Hills against Lord Dreux and his horde before he reaches the port town in Garzione is much more pleasant to recount then when I defended tile 24/c with 2000 points of Empire to save my port against the vampire player.

    I suppose we'll see if all this actually helps!


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