Friday, 29 November 2013

Two's Company...: An Empire of the Dead AAR

Monday night saw Steve, Chris and me jump into a three player game of Empire of the Dead.  Made me recall that show, Three's Company:

An Early Photo of Our Gaming Group - that's me in the middle

We have been aware of the issues of playing three factions at once for some time and I have been keen to find a solution to random ganging up and the like.  I was aware that Games Workshop had released a new book called Triumph and Treachery that has rules for playing multi-player games.  For $150, there is about 4 pages of rules from what I can figure, based around the ability to make alliances and break alliances.

Couldn't be bothered paying that sort of money for that so I decided to play-test some home made alliance rules.  Here is how it worked:

  1. In the maintenance phase any two players could call an alliance.
  2. If an alliance is called, then the players each swap one model from their faction with a model in the others' faction.
  3. That model is then controlled by the other person in the alliance as if it was their model.
  4. In the following maintenance phases each player rolls a d10 to see if the alliance is broken.  On a 7 - 10 it is broken.
  5. When the alliance is broken , the player breaking it gets to activate their model that has been swapped to the other faction during the maintenance phase.  They can move and shoot, or move at the double or whatever.
We played fracas in the end cause we figured that was one of the few scenarios that worked.  Cagey start at first.  Here's the set up:

When Chris and I got close, I summonsed my Zombie horde and Chris looked like getting squashed between that and Jack the Ripper.  He called an alliance.  I agreed, hedging my bets on the basis that I expected the alliance to be broken shortly, given the odds.

The Lycaon looking for trees to urinate under
Gentlemen Looking for Urinating Dogs

Steve continued to take pot shots from the far end of town, using the barrels I had just painted up:

And good evening to you too Mr Skeleton

With Uncle Thulu flying around shooting at a few as well.

Thulu Cam
You can see the Zombies approaching Chris there just before he called the alliance.  Here they are looking for some dog flesh:

Can you smell dog food?
I took out Steve's infernium hound, which they laid to rest in the cemetery:


After: RIP Strange dog thing

Chris and I started to move towards Steve, but in the next maintenance phase Chris broke the alliance.  His figure freaked out (she was with the zombie horde) and ran out into the street only to be nailed in the cross fire from all Steve's waiting constabulary.  Chris had also moved his Beastlord and Packmaster close to the zombie horde and so when I won initiative next they were attacked, with Lord Percival landing five shots from his gatling gun.

The carnage was pretty great for Chris, who lost his Packmaster and a number of others too.  I took out another of Steve's constables, and along with three kills from Chris's faction, came out on top for the evening.

Steve had a quiet night shooting from distance, but got three kills (one of mine and two of Chris') so came second.

The alliance mechanic was fun, but breaking on a 7-10 was perhaps a bit too easy.  Tweak it perhaps to 8 next time, or try not to play 3 player games?

EOTD is fun and not too serious really - it is quite a nice run about from FOW which is pretty intense in comparison.  The alliance does add a fun aspect, but with three players it is hard for all players to have an equal role in the game.


  1. We've got three payers up here... perhaps we should have a day of it some time, 6 players , 3 one on ones, round robin style?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I'm in. Perhaps a weekend over new years. The only dates I'm away is 27-29 December.

    3. Glad you guys are keen. I have yet to set up a learning game for the guys up here, and I am rusty, haven't played in a while, but should get to grips with it fairly quickly. I must sort my gaming table/gamesroom to to allow three separate easily navigable tables...

    4. Where pretty used to cramped spaces after the old room (sorry Dan) so I sure we will be able to cope with whatever you come up with.

      I will just put this out there, boxing day would work for me. I totally understand if that wouldn't work for others due to family commitments and the like.

  2. Great report Dan. Good thing you killed some of those dogs before they urinated on the streets! Although dog carcasses may be a little harder to clean up.

    It was a quiet night for me but I guess that's just three players for you. One sits back while the others fight it out then cleans up the left overs which I was hoping to do. Alas time is our biggest barrier and it was good to call it when we did. The alliance rule was fun. I think you could increase the odds of breaking an alliance each time. ie first maintenance phase a 9-10 breaks it, then 8-10, then 7-10 and so forth.

    1. That's a great idea re changing odds. I like that.

  3. Cool game and figs - hmmm, Three's Company,..don't forget the Mr. Roper factor :) Best, Dean

  4. Great report interesting idea to try and get 3 player games to work out.

  5. Nice report. Sounds like you all had fun regardless. There are some interesting scenarios IHMN with one company defending a castle/ village against either 2 or 4 other separate factions


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