Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Empire of the Dead; a Fracas on the outskirts of town, and a spot of desert Island discs...

"Even a man who is pure of heart, and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf, when the wolfbane blooms, and the autumn moon is bright!"

The membership of the Pall Mall Patrons; Gentleman's Club and Order of the Sons of the Empire, had been made aware of disconcerting rumours, concerning strange recent events occurring on the edge of this great City of the realm.

Packing their equipment and armaments, and bolstering their courage with a wee tot, against the bracing evening air, they set out to determine the nature of the occurences.

And thus it was that Harrison Fortesque-Smyth (President; Heavy Pistol and Sword), Teddy "Tex" Montana (recently arrived from the US and instantly indoctrinated as Vice President thanks to his rather large and impressive Bowie Knife, and Heavy pistol ), and the available members at short notice; Reginald Carstairs (Repeating Rifle and Knife), William Thompson (Hunting Rifle with scope, and Knife), Archibald Davenport ( Sword and Heavy Pistol), and Cedric Carruthers (Heavy Pistol and Knife), found themselves on the outskirts of town, looking out into the darkening gloom beyond the hedgerow...

A steady drizzle had been falling for most of the afternoon, and a faint breeze blew the smells of the surrounding countryside towards them...

"I say Carstairs," said Archie, "Can you smell wet dog?"...


And thus our game unfolded, with Paul making a long overdue return to the gamesroom, and bringing with him his Lycaon faction, comprising Beastlord, Packmaster, 4 Wolfskins with Crossbow, Claws of the Wulfen, Bow and Throwing Daggers respectively and accompanied by a large wolf-like hound.

To keep things simple we played a classic Fracas, as it was Paul's first game and I haven't played for many moons...

Pauls take on the days events can enjoyed here in his inimitable style!

I set up the available urban terrain that I could and tagged onto this a rural landscape setting... to keep in theme, I deployed in the Town in a group; The Patrons didn't fancy separating in the dark with the strange howls and snarls drifting across the night air.

The Lycaons spread out across the the countryside in a long skirmish line...

The Gentlemen, pausing to shake hands, and wish each of the very best of luck and good hunting, left the town making for the minor road leading off into the gloom.

The Lycaons advanced, making use of cover but also content to be concealed by the gloom of the night...

Having ventured forth as far as their nerves could take them, the Gentlemen found a rocky bushy outcrop and took up firing positions, peering out in the gloom... its wasn't long before a large shaggy wolf like hound loped into view. A volley of panicky fire blazed forth, lighting up the night, and with a yelp, the hound crumpled to the ground...

Having steadied their nerves, the Gents suddenly found themselves under fire from their flank, as arrows and crossbow bolts began to thud into their position...

Reg picked his hat up off the ground, an arrow embedded through it..."You cad, Sir! By God you'll pay for that!

The exchange of fire continued for several moments, until Tex bravely moved out to try and flank the wolfskins position...

The wolfskins seemed unconcerned by this and kept up their shooting. They knew what was coming up behind them to bolster their flank... the Packmaster...

"Tex? Tex! There's something else coming, look out!"

Meanwhile on the other flank, more wolfskins had been making their way round, trying to distract attention from the snarls and growls coming from the undergrowth, further off in the gloom to the gents left...

Having jumped the City hedgerow the Beastlord now made its way towards the rear side of the gents formation making full use of the cover... Tex having reached the wall surrounding the mad old woman's cottage saw his chance, lowering his pistol and blew away the Wolfskin with Bow.

Snarls and growls were now however very close to his side...

Another exchange of fire had seen Willie move out to try and get a better shot with his Hunting Rifle, only to get clipped by a crossbow bolt. Feeling distinctly dazed by this he slinked back into cover. However two sharp reports to left from the repeating rifle of Reggie, saw another wolfskin slump over behind a bush, a small distance away...

A terrifying growl, to Tex's right, caught his attention real fast, as a mass of hair and teeth and muscle, rushed at him. With the the briefest time to react Tex drew his Bowie knife and braced himself against the wall, but to no avail. The ravenous Packmaster battered him down!

A moment later and Tex lapsed into unconsciousness, howls fillings his ears, though gunshots seemed close at hand...

Hearing screams to their right and looking on in horror as Tex was battered to the ground, Cedric and then Harry, fired their pistols at the maddened beast, and to their great relief, with a howl and a cry, it fell backwards and lay still...

More firing from Willie and Reggie, had dropped another Wolfskin alongside the forlorn remains of its brethren... but the sound of growls and snarls grew louder to their left as suddenly,...

... a great hairy beast burst forth from behind the hedge to their flank... and tore into Reggie! It wasn't a pretty sight!... By the time the last bits of Reggie had fallen back to the ground, the Beast had already charged headlong into Archie, who barely had time to raise his sword in self defence!

Reacting to the screams to his left, Harry somewhat in shock stood up from his crouch behind the bush and was rewarded by a crossbow bolt in the leg...

Grimacing from the pain, he turn to face his attacker, and together he and Cedric fired their pistols at the last remaining wolfskin, who toppled backwards, dead behind the stonewall...

The final sounds that fateful evening were the blood curdling screams of Archie, as he was torn apart!

With a sniff of the air, and sensing its pack had been destroyed, the Beastlord let out one last blood curdling howl, and bolted off into the night...

"My God Sir!" said Willie, looking at the bolt sticking out of Harry's leg... "That was a close call, old boy, lets get you to the quack, eh?"


A most enjoyable light hearted game, and good to see Paul return once more to the gentleman's gaming parlour...

Not put off having succumbed to the Gents firepower, and emboldening by ripping apart a pair of my Gents club, Paul and I decided to have another game, but with the sun well past the yard arm, it was time for luncheon.

So we had a pause for a spot of tiffin, and to feed and water the smaller reprobates under our care, then decided to return to the fray and another round of adventure. This time moving the action to a remote Caribbean Isle, where rumors of strange heathen artefacts abound...

Rumour had it that there were three possible locations of hidden treasure upon this God forsaken spit of land, and both factions headed off into the undergrowth.

{We decided that the entire Isle would count as difficult ground, for movement and provide soft cover (-1) for any shooting. The denser clumps of bush were impassible. We also put out some odd plants that were going to use the Dangerous Flora charts - and then promptly forgot to enact these!}

The opposing Factions deployed on opposite beaches and dashed madly into the fray...

The gents reached a treasure site first, only to find their hopes dashed. This was quickly followed by the Packmaster finding a treasure site, and with a howl of glee, claimed the heathen artifact!

Alerted to this, the Gents pushed on as best they could through the clinging underbrush, trying to shoot down the jubilant Lycaons as they made their way back to the beach...

And despite letting their pistols blaze, and seeing the Beastlord briefly slump down to the ground, they could not stop the Packmaster running off with the prize...

Wolfie (AKA Poppy) ripped the throat out on one poor gent, and fought her way towards Tex!

An exchange of fire occurred else where, and saw a couple of Wolfskins go down... but the Beastlord had by now recovered and was skirting the perimeter again, looking to exploit a flank...

Sadly the gents were powerless the stop the Packmaster making it back to the beach, and another jubilant howl signalled the victory for the Lycaons!

With the game won and in the bag in the blink of an eye, but not enough time to start a fresh game, we just continued to play this game out.

Wolfie got revenge on the gents in short order, after her rapid demise in the first game, and proceeded to chew her way through 4 Gents, by the end of the game!

The gents managed to pop another wolfskin, but the Lycaons were now unstoppable it seemed, the Beastlord ripping apart Reggie...

...and Wolfie chewed through Willie...

With two gents left, Cedric shot down another wolfskin, who was covering the return of the Packmaster...

But the Beastlord then tore in to Harry, who withstood his initial charge but with telling injuries...

The Packmaster ripped into Archie felling him and moved on into the battle with Harry...

Unable to withstand two great hairy beasts, Harry was torn asunder, bravely standing his ground till the last...


A great fun pair of games, that has us enthused to now try starting a campaign series of games.

EotD is an excellent skirmish game, bags of fun and character, and easy to play and pick up the rules... well worth a recommendation!


  1. What a treat, two tremendous looking games and certainly memorable for the line, "I say Carstairs," said Archie, "Can you smell wet dog?" - brilliant!

    1. LOL, thanks Michael, glad you enjoyed it. I must confess, its a shameless copy from the movie Van Helsing, but I couldnt resist using it! ;-)

  2. I am still deciding if I will this game a go or not. I have certainly enjoyed panting the figures. I am a little concerned as it seems so unsupported. I have been looking everywhere for a pdf of the ruleset (I do have the book). Does it actually exist.

    You game and figures look great, so it is becoming tempting.


    1. Hey John, the game is great fun, the figures charming, and the setting certainly appeals. The core rulebook and factions are fine as they are nd work well, for the most part.

      I agree support is not the best, but new models from the Requiem expansion kickstarter are graduallt filtering through. The rules for these new models were released as a pdf for the kickstarter participants, but I feel this need a bit of an over haul before being released genrally and that may be the reason for its delayed publication, as Andy Cooper then went onto another kickstarter project... I hope he gets back to finish it of.

      There is a forum via Westwinds site for rules discussion...

  3. Great games. Great table and figs! And I'm with Michael...the 'wet dog' line made me chuckle!

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  5. Great to see your splendid Victorian terraces in a game!

  6. Excellent write up of the days events Scott. It was a thoroughly enjoyable system to play, and always a pleasure to play on your beautiful tables. The rules were simple enough not to get in the way of the narrative of the game, which to me is the mark of a good skirmish game. Looking forward to more adventures :-)

    1. A pleasure ol' chap! Certainly keen for more :-)

  7. Congratulations, the scenery is great and the buildings absolutely amazing! :)

    1. Many thanks. I made them a wee while ago now and they haven't enjoyed many games as yet so this was a good start :-)

  8. Very nice table and great report Scott. I got a little carried away with this kickstarter, but have yet to play a game! Glad to read that it plays well. I must get a game organised with my gaming group!

    1. I also grabbed a load from ther KS, then largely didnt do much with it!
      The only rate limiting step I have found is the setting and getting enough brick buildings on the board quickly... but you can now get decent mdf ones from folks like sarissa and 4ground I believe... worth checking out.
      Its most definitely worth a whirl!

  9. Fantastic looking games Scott! Great way to spend some time!

  10. Another system I need to delve into as it will probably satisfy my VSF urges more than IHMN did!
    Looks like you both had a fun days gaming, just the way it's supposed to be when on hols

    1. Great little game that shows how much fun you can have with a handful of figures :-) More than happy to show you how it plays...

    2. Thanks again for tonights demo of Bolt Action, most enjoyable :-)

  11. Jolly good show old bean. I hope there's a rematch so you can give those jackanapes what for.

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    1. Hi, Sorry Ptr, I some how managed to delete your comment... yes the Graveyard is scratchbuilt... the gravestones are from Renedra and the iron railings were from a chinese based ebay trader selling model railway accessories... thanks for your interest and following :)


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