Thursday, December 1, 2011

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra

I don't like multiplayer miniatures games. Between setup and the increased downtime, there's far too much waiting around, and at least one player always seems to be marginalized. Multiplayer games have their virtues, though, and when they come off the right way, they're good for hanging around with friends (and it's a good way to initiate a new player).

We had an odd number of Fantasy players and a shortage of tables the other night at the club, so we decided to try out a multiplayer game. The forces were arrayed thusly, and after some gentlemanly chatter, we took to the field of glorious battle:

The Forces of Disorder
  • Ogres (Colin)
  • Orcs and Goblins (Akil)
  • Warriors of Chaos (myself)
The Forces of Order (aka The Unlikely Alliance)
  • Dwarves (Jon)
  • Elves (Brett)

 Colin's Ogres deployed opposite my Warriors of Chaos, each of us covering a flank with a knot of tough units. Being the newbie, poor Akil got stuck in the center of our lines. Jon and Brett deployed in a long line of battle, intermingling their units. They won the roll for the first turn, and we started the game.

Brett used his eagle to draw the fanatics out of a unit of night goblins in our deployment zone's dead center, taking a wound but being otherwise none the worse for wear. The fanatics spent most of the game wandering the table and gleefully knocking off Akil's orcs. Jon and Brett used the rest of their turn to advance the bulk of their army up the center, including a large unit of spearmen transporting an elf mage, a unit of dragon princes, and a block of Jon's dwarves infantry.

Akil and I shared our magic dice to cast a few direct damage spells on the incoming enemies. My Tzeentch sorcerer grounded an inbound gyrocopter, but sadly I wasn't able to pull off the Infernal Gateway (boo!). A combined effort by a block of Chaos Warriors and warhounds plowed through a small unit of Brett's Shadow Warriors. The warhounds overran, charging into the flank of the advancing Dragon Princes. Amazingly, they lasted an entire game turn, severely hamstringing the elven advance.

Their advance having failed, the Forces of Order were quickly swallowed up in the jaws of the Chaos and Ogre counterattack. With the good guys too disarrayed to mount an effective defense (and because we were running out of time - these multiplayer games, they're time suckers), we called it in favor of the Forces of Disorder. My first Warhammer Fantasy win, made possible by Colin's foresight and Akil's, uh… noble sacrifice.

Some highlights included the battle between a Warriors of Chaos unit champion and a Dwarf Dragon Slayer (the slayer won by a thin margin - thanks Tzeentch ward save!), repeated orc charges through fanatic-heavy terrain, and a giant, pissed off stone eagle.

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