Quite soon after the Triumph and Treachery Expansion (or, as we call it, Pride and Prejudice, for the name seems to be very hard for some to remember) was released my gaming group went and picked one up. As we often do multi-player games, as team battles or just Battle Royale style, it was pretty clear that this was something for us. The price tag was something of a speed bump – something that many seems to agree on. As such, I was very glad to have an enthusiastic gaming group to share it with – after all one set of cards, tokens and rules is all a group needs. Shared by 6 geeks and with a small discount from our LFGS one person’s tariff was dropped from blood taste levels (65€) to cinema ticket (9.75€). (Is this how it was intended, I want to ask, to share it with your group?)
I was up for a holiday game against my mates beastmen, wanting to show that the Beastmen could be very hard to deal with for the vamps. We did however get our hands on the Sense and Sensibility a few weeks ago, and, as our Dark Elf enemy had returned from his holiday celebrations a day earlier we decided to give it ago at 1400 pts.
Misty forests of the Old
World by the foothold on the river
bed the twilight elves guard
the shores dark
orgies bleed the walls
In moonlight dark
Gravestones torn, shambles
dead creatures’ unrest
It would still be time for the mad struck von Rosentod to show his power, and perhaps strike himself into some kind of sense. Not too many times my Undeadlies have seen the daylight (they didn’t really see it this Finnish december-afternoon either), but now they did.
We rolled for one of the three non-historical scenarios and came up with a 3: In the borderland of three regions is a vital area that sees constant struggle. The game board is divided into 6 equal parts, and the players take turns to place one objective worth 100 points each. The game lasts until the sum of Number of players, Turn Number and a D3 roll is equal to, or higher than, 12 – i.e. 6-8 turns for the three of us.
In the back left corner there’s an Anvil of Vaul – placed far away from my Ethereals to prevent any sneaky hill maneouvres, in the mid-back there’s a Arcane Ruin (the Storm of Magic structure) and the marsh in the near middle is a Charnel Pit. We randomized the order of deployment, using the T&T-cards all we can, and thus the Beastmen, led by Steve the Minotaur, began deployment, followed by Dread Lord von Rosentod, as a Ghoul King, and finally the Dark Seductress’ Dark Elves. We, players, took it in turn to choose a table 6th and deploy out of 12″ from any enemy units.
As a commentary – this worked out reasonably well with three players and a 6′ x 4′ table, but already the Dark Elves had been forced to deploy into a significantly small area. With four and five players it’s easy to force another completely off the board. We decided to keep one eye open for this potential problem in the future.
Steve the Minotaur, with extra limbs, -attacks, a Ramhorn helm
Bob the Brayshaman, level 2 (shadow), dispel scroll
2 units of 25-ish Gors (one in ambush), two hand weapons
2 units of 5 Centigors
The Dark Elves
The Dark Seductress, level 4 sorceress with Dark Magic
Some 30 Corsairs
16-ish Witch Elves
A horde of Executioners
The Summonings of von Rosentod
Von Rosentod (as Ghoul King) with Fencer’s Blades, Dragonbane Gem, Red Fury
A level 2 Necromancer with the Cursed Book
2 units of 5 Dire Spiders
2 units of 20 Zombies
2 Spirit Hosts
The Stevedore deployed in the back left, by the Anvil of Vaul ready for attacks from both sides. Then the Vampires appeared by the Charnel pit, also prepared to do some annoying Vanguard moves and to react to both sides’ actions. The Dark Elves finally deployed in the back right.
In the magic phase the Dark Seductress’ barrage of spells blast the hexwraiths into oblivion. Sad face.
The Beastmen’s Bray Shaman and Gor unit rush around the forest using a Treachery Card granting them +3 to movement. The Witch elves fight in their turn against the Minotaurs who are slaughtered without even having time to blink an eye. The combat with the warlocks turn into a real meat grinder. As the Warlocks manages to do an uncanny amount of saves and also a few wounds that the Varghulf fails to regenerate I am forced to use a Treachery card to add +1 to my combat resolution, to make sure it sticks around for long enough. Next up the Dire Spiders declare a flank charge at close range against the Centigors who decide to run for it. They are caught and spun into dreary cocoons. The spiders nearby charge the beastmen.
Speaking of gors – in the above picture the ambushing gor unit has emerged. Appearing on the first turn, they however roll a 1. Meaning the opponent may decide an entry point for them. As the Beastmen player had chosen me as their opponent. I got the to decide where. In the Dark Elves corner it is.
The Gors fail their Angry Beasts test, but succeed with their fear. I lose combat by a solid 6-8, and some more zombies are cut down/crumbled/really dead. The unit is big, and I ought to get a magic phase soon to resurrect some more brainless.
The game ended on turn 7. The vampires are victorious, having scored around 1850 points. The Beastmen are second with 1400 points. And the Dark Elves, despite their early strong lead, have scored around 1000 points.
So a few summarizing words about the Pride and Prejudice expansion. We all agreed that the game was very fun, but (or as) the random factor with different cards and their buffs and debuffs or sneaky-backstabbing involved provided great unpredictability. The game worked very well with three people at 1400 points (the WD Bat-Rep was 1500 points). There was not too much waiting between turns despite the random turn order, something that is also prevented in a Battle Royale types of games, when one player’s turn can begin while another player’s turn is on. The random turn order might also be working better with Warhammer Fantasy, than with 40k (see coming X-mas Speshul Final Post). Waiting times might be an issue as more players get involved – the sweet spot might be at 4 players in terms of waiting times and rules. We had no problem getting through this game in 5 hours or so – this is perhaps 30-50 % longer than an ordinary game. For multiplayer (everybody-against-everybody) this is better than the Battle Royal format. Go try it! I will be looking forward for our next try at this!
Happy New Year people!