Canada Day this year fell on a Sunday, which meant that I got Monday off in lieu. In order to make the best of things I added the Friday to it and was able to enjoy a nice four-day weekend. The weather here was particularly nice as well, which we sort of deserved after the rain-filled monstrosity that was June.
Strange Aeons / VUK
Starting things off on Thursday evening was a quick, as in almost light-speed, game of Uncle Mike's WIP Kulten rules. We played his 60 point ghoul cult against my 23 point Arcanists. Due to the massive point differential I gained some sorely needed resource points to help bolster my ranks. I was able to add four new cultists to the sad and lonely three that had survived from the last game. I also gained two favour points, and a dirty trick.
I used the dirty trick to alert the authorities and one of my favour points to modify Mike's roll from a 1 to a 6. This meant that he could only field three models total, so he chose a ghoul, a ghoul king and a maniac. I can't remember what the rule was, but the ghoul king had to sit out for the first three turns. When the game started I moved my guns up first hoping to have a wall of firepower to take down anything that came into range.
The ghoul moved up, but stayed just out of range of my weapons. I responded by solidifying my firing line. Mike used an interesting tactic of moving his maniac to base his hiding ghoul, causing the maniac to frenzy into my front line. Luckily only one of the three cultists I had there lost their cool and ran. On my third turn I opened fire with the best weapon available and rolled a successful critical hit on the maniac, splattering his remains seven ways from Sunday. With Mike's forces now down to half, he had to roll resolve for his ghoul...failure struck and the ghoul fled, leaving me with a lucky victory.
I didn't have a chance to do much more than flip through the revised rules, but I thought the balance was fine. Without some serious luck and all the bonuses my cult had for being so outmatched I'd have had no chance. We were hoping to get in a second game, but I had a tournament of my own to run and we weren't able to play again.
There were four players in to join us for sealed constructed using Legion of Superheroes. Sadly no one wanted to play after the second round so our VS games were pretty brief. I know the weather is really nice and people are away for summer holidays, but if things don't pick up when we get our DFC set later this month, I'm fearful for the survival of the group. We'll have to wait and see. It also doesn't help that some of the players don't like playing sealed or draft...but I don't want to see the same constructed decks every week either.
Sedition Wars: Battle of Alabaster
The Kickstarter campaign for this game finally closed on Sunday. They brought in a ridiculous amount of cash and ended up being the highest funded boardgame on Kickstarter ever. I will have to wait until October or November to get my stuff, and then March for all the stretch rewards, but it was fun watching the project evolve. I can't wait to get my hands on all the shiny new toys.
Empire of the Dead
Saturday morning I was able to spend some time sitting in the shade on the deck. I cleaned up all the molding and flashing lines from the Gothic Horror civilians pack and super-glued them to bases. In the early afternoon I headed down to Trilogy in hopes of finding someone who would help me try out the starter scenario from WestWind's web site. Luckily Brandon was around and we were able to smash our way through a pretty fun game.
I played Holmes and Watson against his Jack the Ripper. He consistently rolled higher than me in the initiative phase for the first SEVEN turns, so I had zero help from the peelers walking around downtown London. Using my character's Unusual Occurrence to activate during the maintenance phase (essentially getting two activations for the turn) I got Holmes into combat with Jack. We both took a wound and then Jack vanished into thin air. Screams from the west pointed Holmes and Watson on the Ripper's trail again and they were able to corner him, only narrowly taking him down with a lucky shot from Watson's pistol.
The only question we had after our game was about the use of the wounded/recovery table so I made sure to read through it after returning home.
Sebastien and I were also able to play through the scenario on Monday, and this time I played Jack. The rolls for initiative were against me again, but I was able to get a quick start and harvest two victims early on. With the detectives closing in, the peelers sounded the alarm! Jack was running out of options. Holmes charged in and was able to wound Jack but in the fog and confusion I was able to use my Unusual occurrence and move Jack out of harm's way at least temporarily.
Hiding in wait behind a large hilly tree, Jack gunned down one of the peelers who came a little too close. The gunfire drew a crowd, including Holmes and Watson. Jack used the crowd to try harvesting another victim, but was unsuccessful. Holmes grappled with Jack valiantly as the wounded civilian escaped, but sadly he fell prey to Jack's cold steel. Infuriated, Watson called the remaining peelers to his aid and they took revenge upon poor Jack, leaving him to die alone on the freezing London cobblestones.
Overall I quite liked the rules for Empire of the Dead. I can see campaign being a lot of fun, making your faction grow and change throughout the course of several games. The use of D10s instead of D6s gives it a little bit different feel too, although there are quite a few similarities to Strange Aeons. It's probably a little bit heavier rules, but the fluff and setting really shine and I do hope I can get some of my friends to try a few games with me in the near future.