Empire of the Dead was back on the agenda Wednesday evening as my friend Chris had requested that we started playing again. My own appetite for Empire of the Dead had taken a dive with the disappointing Requiem PDF. While there is lots of new information in the PDF, the finished product was incomplete. The obvious and numerous mistakes, both text and rules wise, left me very disappointed. The official Empire of the Dead Facebook group has however compiled the input from the community and sent to Westwind, so hopefully they will deliver the product we all want.
Back to Wednesday's game. This was the first time that the London Station would actually have a train as part of the terrain! The train I found in our local toy store and while it more suitable for the 1940-50s, I still like that the board has a train on it.
Chris - true to form - chose to use the Gentlemen's Club faction, and had a President and 5 Members, armed with Repeating Rifles and Heavy Pistols. I chose one of my favourite factions the Wulfen Jaegers with a President (Half armor, Heavy Pistol, Knife), Vice President (Half armor, Heavy Pistol, Knife), Member (Heavy Pistol, Knife), Member (Hunting Rifle, Knife), 2 x Members (Shotgun, Knife).
We rolled up the Fracas scenario, and set up our forces.
Chris is a cautious player and normally get into good positions and lets the enemy come to him. He makes good use of Watch & Shoot. I'm more reckless and have to remind myself that using Hide and Cover is better than an all out attack.
As usual the first round was all about movement, and so was the second. Chris managed to get two shots of, giving my President a Wound, and making a near impossible shot killing one of my members. This would prove to be all the killing Chris would do in this game.
In the following rounds my jaegers were unbeatable. They put one member on Down and Chris then rolled a 10 in the following Maintenance Phase. My member with the Hunting Rifle proved especially ruthless with his shooting and by the end of the game he had shot and killed 3 Gentlemen. My President killed the Gentlemen President in melee, and with one of Chris' members failing his Bravado check, the Gentlemen's Club was down to one member. In the last round of the game he was slain in melee by one of my jaegers.
Usually I don't win when we play, but this was a total annihilation of the Gentlemen's Club. My dice roll were incredible and on more than one occasion I was able to roll 10s after 10s. Chris on the other hand could not hit anything.
We both enjoyed the game, but having played 1812 Retreat from Moscow and reading the Across the Dead Earth and SAGA The Crescent and the Cross rules during the past month I find the rules inferior to the other. And I find myself thinking that the Across the Dead Earth rules might also fit with the setting of Empire of the Dead. Empire of the Dead is however easy to grab and play and with 30+ games under my belt the game flows easily. I have also discovered that for me miniature wargaming is more about seeing fully painted minis on a well made thematic board than tactics. So the rules come second for me, which is not how it has always been.