Friday, February 27, 2015

EotD - Skirmish Reports - Fracas and Lost Artefact

Yesterday evening my friend Michael and I got together to play a few games of Empire of the Dead. Last week we had started our factions, Wulfen Jaegers and Nosferatu, I forgot to take any pictures for that game.

My Wulfen Jaegers won that game, so I was in a slightly better position than Michael's Nosferatu.We rolled for the scenario and got Fracas, then came the crucial roll for who would decide daylight/nighttime. I won and chose daylight.

In this game we actually used a lot of hidden movement, which was very effective. The first few rounds was very cautious from both sides with both of us making sure that none of our models were left exposed. The next few rounds we got into the action with bullets flying around and getting into combat. My Wulfen Jaegers' blunderbuss were very effective and in a single shot I killed two Thralls. The game had a climatic finish as my Vice President finally managed to stop the Nosferatu Graf's killing spree (he had killed my President and two Memberships). It is impossible to kill the Graf with his The Eternal, so I had to make sure that he was given a Down result and then hope for Remove from Play roll in the Maintenance Phase. So when Michael rolled he of course got an 8 meaning I had won the game.

In our second game we played Lost Artefact, and this time Michael won the roll for daylight/nighttime, meaning that the Graf would be an even more formidable opponent this time around.
This time around we got into the action at the beginning of the second round. My Vice President got a wound and went Down, so when I won the initiative for the third round I moved him into safety in a building. At this point the Graf was engage with my President and a Membership. Eventually I shot must of the Thralls and the Guardian fled the scene when the Nosferatu reached their breaking point. The last round was decided by the initiative roll, which I won. The Graf had killed my President, but I had lined up a Membership with a Blunderbuss ready to blast the Graf in that eventuality. He got him Discumbobulated, so he could not charge, when my Vice-President then took his shot on the Graf I rolled incredibly - three 10s in row, to see if I hit, whether I would do damage and on the Wound Effect Table - wow!!! Once again Michael rolled an 8 in the Maintenance Phase. For the second game in a row it had come down to my Vice President killing the Graf.

It was two incredible games and a lot of fun. Despite me winning both game it could have been very different, but I cannot remember when I have last won two games in a row in EotD. Come to think of it, I don't think it has ever happened. My Wulfen Jaegers were now a formidable force while the Nosferatu were in tatters. We decided that the gap between the two factions was too great and that we would start a fresh campaign the next time we would play.

Here are some pictures of our games.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Board project WIP

Not been gaming at all this week, as I have been working almost every evening on the buildings. Adding details and building another rather large building. I think I'm about settled on the amount of buildings that will go with the board.

This is really time consuming, but it will be worth it in the end. Compared to my London Docks buildings, which were made with cardboard, these will be better. It is the first time that I using foam board and it is a treat to work with.

Like with the roofs I am not sure whether it will be necessary to make doors. From experience they are normally removed to allow for passage in and out of the buildings. I do however like the look of doors on the buildings. The roofs that you can see are from some of the London Docks buildings, which fit.

Anyway here are some WIP pictures and one of the many tools that I have used while working on this.

Monday, February 23, 2015

New board project

Ever since I got back into Empire of the Dead and especially since we started our 4 man campaign I have been thinking about making a new board that I feel will have the same if not better quality as my London Docks board. The sewers board that we have been using is one of my earlier creations and the materials used are not very durable. So between games I have to make minor repairs. Moreover I am not really that keen on playing on it.

So what kind of board am I thinking about? I was going back and forth between a countryside and a train station. In the end I settled on a train station and its surroundings. More specifically a goods train station.

Using Google I found several images of Victorian train station that would serve as a inspiration. During this research I came across the perfect Empire of the Dead station - The London Necropolis Station. Wow... this was the station out of Waterloo that shipped the dead out of London to Brookwood Cemetary. Unfortunately there are not that many images of the station that was used in 1888 (the second station to serve this purpose). During the Second World War the station was destroyed.

Incredibly I managed to find a station plan of the area, which showed the different buildings and their use. Again this will serve as inspiration rather than a blueprint of the board. The reason for this is that the board would be filled with a lot of terrain on the one side, while the other would be tracks and not much else.

In the last week I have been gathering supplies:

  • HO scale railroad tracks, the ones I got are 3 feet long and flexible meaning that I can bend them to fit the layout. 
  • 0.5 cm foam board for the buildings 
  • Pink insulation foam - incredibly difficult to obtain in Denmark as it is this hard type is seldom used. I managed to find it at a local builder, who specialises in roofs.
During the weekend I have been making buildings and cutting the insulation foam, which I will use as a base for the platforms.

For my London Docks board I made roofs for all the buildings, but they are never really used. I like the look of them, but they have no use as we take them of so that we can move our minis inside the buildings. So for this project I have decided against making roofs...I hope I won't regret it.

Still a long way to go, but I'm making steady progress.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Snowy dirt roads

Normally when I make gaming boards the roads are a set feature on them. Basically they cannot be moved at all as they are part of the board. For this project I wanted to do make some roads that I could place differently from game to game if I wanted to.

I looked at numerous blogs to try and figure out which materials I should use. Normally I would just use cardboard, but I knew that that would not work since I was going to put my snowmix on it and it most definately would warp. Looking through my materials an idea came to me. I had some cheap plastic place mats from IKEA that I had used as cutting mats. They would be sturdy enough and still not make the road look like it was too high compared to the ground.

My first task was to cut the place mats into road shapes. I found out that I could make two straight pieces and a curved piece from each place mat, giving me a total of six pieces. This could easily fit the length of the 4x4 board that I plan to use.

After the cutting was done, I made a portion of my snowmix and applied it to the long edges of each piece. The idea behind this was that I needed to make sure that the dirt road was visible on the table while at the same time making it look like it was still covered with snow.

With the snowmix dry I started to paint the pieces. It took several layers before the original red and green colour of the mats was not visible.

The next day I applied a thinned down layer of PVA glue and sprinkeled a small portion of gravel on the roads themselves. I wanted to make sure that the roads were visible enough on the board.

The final touch was to seal everything in with a layer of mat varnish, applied via a spray can.

Looking at the now I am very pleased with the results as they both look the part and will be flexible enough to place them whereever I want on the board.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

EotD - 4 man campaign continues

My friends and I got together yesterday to continue our 4 man campaign. My injury ridden Supernatural Branch would be pitted against the strong Brotherhood, while the Zendarian Officers Club would do battle against the Vampires.

Again we had my two boards (both 3' x 3') - London Docks and Sewers to play on. Here are some pictures of them just after they were set up.

Game 1 - Prisoner:

Brotherhood vs. Supernatural Branch
In my game against the Brotherhood, the Supernatural Branch ended up being the defenders, thus I had one of the brothers in my control. We played on the sewers board and thus I had no buildings which would grant me cover. Once the Brotherhood had deployed I found myself pretty much surrounded from all sides by hunting rifle wielding brothers, the Knight Marshall and the Deacon. As the attacker the Brotherhood had the choice of who had initiative in the first round. So the Brotherhood started and the Knight Marshall with his 12" Flight charged one of my Firearms Constables. My DI, who had then been shot and had a Wound removed, then charged the Knight Marshall and thankfully passed his Bravado check. The rest of the round was spend taking shots at each other, none resulting in casualties though. In the Combat phase the Knight Marshall quickly disposed of my Firearms Constable, and despite the charging bonus my DI was unable to wound the Knight Marshall.

In the next round more shots rang through the sewers and my Police Sergeant was hit for a Wound, another was Removed from Play and another was shot Down. I decided to move my PC who was controlling the prisoner away from the Knight Marshall and he ended up being charged by a brother. Incredibly my Detective Constable shot a brother with his light pistol removing him from play. In the Combat phase my DI managed to win against the Knight Marshall and removed him from play. The Knight Marshall was however wielding swords and with Riposte and put him Down.

In the maintenance phase both my DI and a PC rolled Removed from Play, thus I had reached my Break Point. Of my three characters only my PS managed his Bravado roll, the other two fled. At this point I conseeded the game, as I saw no way for me to change the outcome.

Vampires vs. Zendarian Officers Club
While my game with Michael was quick and intense - Chris and Frank's game was very different. The Zendarians would be the defenders while the Vampires would try to get one of their own back. Once again the Vampires were being hit by it being daylight. Since I was playing at the same time, I don't really have any details of the game.

We could hear that the game turned sour for Frank. This only being his third game he was not entirely sure of how the Combat rules work (we play with a house rule of adding the Cbt score of the characters to the d10 roll). The problem was that they ended up in a situation of 4 different minis having charged each other. The one inch rule also got a lot of stick from them. Both of them only play Malifaux and that style and level of rules is what they are used to. Michael then acted as more or less an umpire for the remainder of the game, and despite Frank saying that he would never play the game again, he ended up changing his mind as the game went on.

The problem as I see it is that they have difficulty in accepting the game for what it is. It is not a tournament game with strict rules and detailed enough rules to take every situation into account, like they are used to with Malifaux. I always try to follow the concept "that logic must rule", our concepts of logic is not always the same.

We had a long discussion about the game and decided that we would play on. So after tallying up our earned shillings, spending them, and finding out what had happened to our fallen troops, we had another game.

Game 2: Lost Artefact

Supernatural Branch vs. Vampires
There would be three artefact markers on the table, and when I won the roll for who would place a marker first, I placed it directly in the center of the board. Frank followed my example and place the second marker and equal distance away from both our deployment zones. The last was placed in the other corner, again an equal distance from our deployment zones. I had 7 minis while Frank's Vampires had been severely hampered and had two thralls missing the game because of injuries, reducing his faction to only 4 minis. Frank decided that he would attack instead of trying to get to the artefact markers.

This meant that I my tactics would be try and engage him with most of my models while the others went for the markers. It was nighttime and thus the Graf would be a formidable opponent in Combat.

My Supernatural Branch moved forward and I positioned my minis so that they were in good position to get to the markers. The first round ended without anyone getting in position to do any shooting. In the second round I got to two of the markers, but the failed to locate the artefact. The Vampire Graf was beginning to make his presence felt and with a bow he shot one of my Firearms Constables. In the third round the Vampires once again won the initiative and the Graf charged my remaining Firearms Constable. My DI and PS were still moving forward towards the last marker, with the DI taking shots but not hitting the Guardian and a thrall.

In the next round my PS finally got to the last marker and it proved to indeed be the artefact. The Graf continued his killing spree and charged my DC. One of my PCs then charged a thrall. In the combat phase the Graf easily won against my DC and he was removed from play. My PC won against the thrall also removing him from play. I had however once again reached Breaking Point, and after Bravado checks I found myself with only my DI still on the table. My PC and PS had fled, the PS dropping the artefact in the process.

When the next round started I finally won initiative. I knew that there was no way that I could escape his Graf, so I decided to charge him head on, hoping that the charge bonus would swing combat my way. Frank responded by charging with his Guardian, meaning that I was in a lot of trouble. At this point the dice finally helped me, and I removed his Guardian from play. I lost against the Graf but he was unable to damage me.

Going into what proved to be the final round, the Vampires had to make Bravado tests having also reached their break point. The Graf succeeded while the remaining thrall fled. This meant that the final round would consist of a Combat phase between the DI and the Graf. Against all odds the DI won and despite the Graf's The Eternal skill I rolled a 10 on my Wound Level roll and got him Down. In the maintenance phase he rolled and 8 and the Graf was removed from play. What a game!

Brotherhood vs. Zendarian Officers Club
In a dissimilar way to how Frank and I had placed the artefact markers, Chris and Michael placed the markers in the most advantageous postition they could. This resulted in Chris's Zendarians reaching the first marker at the beginning of the the second round and it turned out to be the artefact. Michael had no chance of reaching him as the marker had been placed on the board edge as far away from the deployment zone of the Brotherhood. Thus their game was over at before reaching round 4. As I was still play I have no idea of whether they actually took any casualties.

After the game we again discussed the concept of the rules. We agreed that they have some flaws, but that everyone is enjoying the campaign system. My Supernatural Branch is by far the faction that has earned the least shillings and while the Graf, the Deacon and the Zendarian President are increasing their stats I find myself spending most of my shillings on trying to cure injuries and replacing unhinged and eye injured PCs. It does not matter to me however as I don't feel that I'm at a terrible disadvantage at each game and I'm just pleased that we got this campaign going.

Here are some images from our games. I did not get that many pictures as I sometimes forgot.