In the end only three of the images I took from the evening ended up being sharp enough, so that is why there are no more images.
Arriving at my friends flat I set up the table in the same way as I had placed everything when I took pictures of the finished board a few days ago. We then went about setting up the minis, decreasing the deployment circle from 15" to 12" since the board is only 3' x 3'.
I played Holmes and Watson and my friend controlled the dark force of Jack the Ripper. Like most games that you have never played before we didn't get the different turn sequences correct the first time and had to consult the rules almost all the time.
Despite this we got the feeling of a very fluid set of rules, somewhat simplified for the Quick Start PDF, but none the less a good foundation. Both my friend and I have never played any wargames before except Malifaux(which my friend still plays) and we during the game there were many times where we could see that these rules where a lot more simple than the unnecessary expanded rules of Malifaux that only serve to confuse rather than being helpful.
First game took around an hour to play - once again a relief after the 4-5 hours we had previously spend playing a single game of Malifaux. The game ended with Jack the Ripper going down in a hail of bullets from Holmes and Watson, with Watson making the killing shot.
Jack the Ripper strikes at his first victim in our first game
We then switched sides and I took the role of history's most infamous killer. Towards the end of the game my friend had me corner, with a warehouse on one side, water on another. Both escape routes were blocked by Holmes and a bobby on one side and two bobbies on the other. Watson had also lined up so that he could get shots in on the ripper. It was at this time that we started to get doubts about whether we were playing the Combat sequence correctly. It seemed wrong that I with Jack the Ripper ended up having 12 actions since I was being attacked by four different characters. With his Cbt 6 the Ripper is almost impossible to kill despite my friend rolling a natural 10 on numerous occassions, because I only needed to roll a 4 to win every time.
Since it was getting late we decided to abandon the game so that we would have time to talk a bit about how we felt the game played. We both agreed that final judgement can only be given once we have tried the full rules, controlling a faction and not just 1-2 characters. Despite this I thought the game played really well, of course we had to look up the rules numerous times, but it was not a dominant factor. The board also added to the experience, playing really well and given of the feeling that we were playing in Victorian London and not just a generic game board.
Today I have thralled the Westwind boards to see whether we got the Combat rules right and it seemed that we did. I did however also find out that the full rules have rules for when a character is facing multiple enemies in close combat. Making it less possible for one character with a high Cbt to hold of multiple enemies at the same time. Apparently Werewolves are even more crazy in close combat!
All in all a good introduction to Empire of the Dead, the rules are perhaps too simple but as I have read on the boards a lot has been cut, which in my opnion should make the full rules land at the right level, without all the complex individual rules of Malifaux. It's without a doubt a game that I will be playing again.