The Christmas holiday for me was in large parts spent packing, as I’m getting a new flat in late January. In the meantime I’m staying partly with my girlfriend and my parents. I did however manage to squeeze in two games of Empire of the Dead with my friend Jon.
It had been quite a while since Jon had played, so we decided to start two new factions. I was eager to try out my newly painted Brotherhood, and Jon chose the Sons of the Empire subfaction of the Gentlemen’s Club.
We chose the normal 150 shillings to begin our factions. Jon’s SotE consisted of a president, vice-president and 4 members with various weapons. For my Brotherhood I chose a Deacon, Knight Marshall and 4 brothers.
For our first game we wanted something simple so we picked the Lost Artifact scenario, and Jon rolled the dice so that we had seven markers! We then rolled Corner Deployment, which meant that there was a risk of major battles all over the board. I won the roll for day/night and chose night, since I knew the Sons of the Empire gents would have far more long range weapons than me.
For my experiences the last time I played with Chris, I suggested that we played with alternating activation instead of the normal IGOUGO rules of the game.
The first round was spent getting into postion, but Jon managed to get a few shots of against my brothers, but could not get a hit.
The next few rounds resulted in several skirmishes around the board, and Jon lost a member and I lost a brother. The first four markers also proved to be fakes, but there were still three left.
Beginning with round 4 Jon moved his President into base contact with a marker and rolled a 9. Bad news for me as I only had my Deacon and one brother anywhere near him. It was going to be a difficult for me to get two his President and claim the artefact. My brother closest to the President fired his Volley gun, but only managed to remove a Wound. When it was my turn again I then moved my Deacon onto one of the pier, since I knew Jon needed to go the other one in order to escape with artefact. The position on the pier would be my only chance to fire a decisive shot at him. Across the board my Knight Marshall managed to kill another member.
Round 5 came and Jon managed to put my Knight Marshall Down, however one of my brothers was successful in killing of a third of Jon’s members, which meant that his Sons of the Empire had reached their Breaking Point.
Round 6 started with Jon rolling for his remaining Sons and his dice really deserted him. Despite the Sons of the Empire having +1 to their Bravado scores he rolled a 2 for his President and his last remaining member also fled, with only his Vice-president making the Bravado check.
So despite being in a bad position, I had managed to turn a loss into a draw by removing his members from play. The game had a nice climactic feel to it, since I knew I would be in a position to get an Aimed Shot of at his President even if he made the Bravado check.
I had only lost a single brother, but my Knight Marshall was Down.
On the Campaign charts, both my one brother and my Knight Marshall rolled Arm injuries, meaning that my Knight Marshall was unable to use the two-handed weapon he had used in the game.
As I recall Jon was more lucky with his rolls and got an Eye Injury and a Leg Injury for two of his members, the third member came back unscathed.
I then spend 20 shillings on rolling for my Deacon on the skills list and my Knight Marshall on the Attribute list. For the Deacon I was very lucky getting to choose an Arcane Power, and I chose Banishment. For my Knight Marshall I was equally very unlucky, raising the one Attribute his has no use for – Marksmanship.
I asked Jon whether he wanted to try the Blissful Ignorance scenario as he had not tried it before. We again got Corner Deployment, Jon chose Day and we ended up with 6 civilians, that we would try to bring to safety. Since both our factions are good, none of us would be able to shoot at each another once we controlled a civilian, which would add another tactical dimension to the scenario.
In the first round we managed to get closer to the civilians, and I even managed to take control of one. In the following rounds we got to 3 more civilians and since we had to resort to Melee combat we ended up with a lot of charging.
My Knight Marshall who controlled one civilian managed to hold out despite being charged by two members. My Deacon got to two of my civilians, but Jon managed to remove two of my brothers from play before they could get to a civilian.
As the next rounds rolled on, my Deacon released one of his civilians, so that he would be able to use his Arcane Power. Banishment proved to be very good, as I in two subsequent rounds managed to banish but Jon’s Vice-president and a member leaving 3 civilians in panic. Jon then managed. His President then removed a third brother from play and my Brotherhood reached its Breaking Point.
My Bravado checks went as bad as Jon, with only my Deacon successful on his Bravado check. I then conceded the game.
This was the first time that I had played this scenario where most of the civilians were not in a factions control at the end of the game. Jon scored a lot more shillings than me because he had all of his Sons bar one left standing and had removed three of my brothers from play.
On the campaign tables one of my brothers got a Leg injury but the rest were fine. Jon chose to visit a Harley Street specialist and his members got all of their old injuries healed.
I love the look of the Brotherhood on the table. I had chosen their equipment based on which minis I wanted to use, and my favourite brother is equipped with a Volley gun, so I tried that out for the first time. Despite only managing to remove a Wound from Jon’s President in the first game, there is no doubt that the weapon can be a game-changer. The Banishment arcane power is also very useful, might even be the single most powerful thing that I have played with in the game.