Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Omnipotent Fowl

Last night at Enfield Gamers we kicked off the Britannia Jugula campaign with six newly formed Ludi and their equally green Lanistas (Lanisti?). There was much hamming it up and Spartacus quotes a plenty, especially where Jupiter's prize male chicken was concerned. In fact there was as much effort put into making grammatically poor threats as there was playing the game.

I am running Ludus Peckhamus of House Trottari hailing from the marshland to the south of Londinium....which partially explained the smell.

First up I faced Rich and his well hated Sagittarius. In honesty I started playing the deck building side of the game fairly well, building Vox Populi and marshaling my resources. It didn't help when I pretty much let myself get outmanoeuvred on the sands which was quickly stained red by my Secutor, a dead kind of red in fact!
To be honest I was having trouble "seeing" potential manoeuvres on the gridded board and it was costing me dear. That was until the penny finally dropped, clanged even, at which point I pinned two of Rich's lads up against a wall and smashed the both into it repeatedly to take a shock 4-2 win.
Push backs are an important part of combat. If you don't have the space to move back into you take an extra wound. Suddenly I only had to beat Rich's "roll" rather than double it!

Second game was against Shaun who tends to play the long game so I got stuck into him early. Problem was I failed to make it stick, manoeuvre again, and we ended up in a mass scrum in the middle of the arena. Eventually Shaun ground out a 4-1 win.
Third and final game of the night was against Paul who came at me from the off but fairly piecemeal. His dashed out and netted my new Sector which would have proved far more effective if he'd had someone to take advantage of it with.

I was effectively forced to fight around my netted man with fairly minimal resources but still with a touch more than Paul who hadn't built up at all in order to press on me. My advantage and defensive posture told as I forced Paul to engage on my terms and took a convincing 4-1 win.

Applying the campaign rules I had somehow done rather. The two dead Plebi were easily replaced from the slave pens while Rodanius my Murmillo tank and Triggorus my Hoplomachus (a spear is just a broom handle with a point) had both gained enough XP to ping up a level to each going another point of Attack bonus. This in turn garnered Ludus Peckhamus an amount of fame and reputation.

Not quite sure what that means just yet other than a target on the back and higher running costs I'm sure :)
For a "simple" game there are lots of little details to remember to apply. The quick play sheet had a section "10 things that you will forget". That does however mean that there's plenty of depth both tactically and strategically. Even as a fairly seasoned hack (cough) it took a bit to keep up though this was mainly because I was to busy having frenetic fun.

Frenetic is definitely the correct phrase, there's a lot going on on both sides of the arena and plenty to keep track of and second guess. It provides a good "buzz" to the game. 

We played through three rounds in about 2 1/2 hours as newbies with just decks and quick play sheets more than happily :) For the campaign it'll be every other week to keep things fresh and avoid overload. 

By Jupiter's omnipotent male hen, thou knowest where we reside!!

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