3.26.2015

Treachery and treason, there's always an excuse for it

The last few weeks our no-we-re-not-a-club-club played quite a few games of the Triumph and Treachery multiplayer variant of good old Warhammer Fantasy. This add on to the rules allows us to play games of warhammer with
  • small armies (so even the found again box of old minnies will do)
  • a random number of players (it's alway hard to find the time)
  • all in the same game...
One surprising observation is that the game is actually balanced, in a very randomly almost story telling way. Back stabbing, breaking treaties and pacts and intense battles take place on the battle field. And all the while generals and deamon keepers are having a good time (and drinking beers :-)

Key feature IMHO is the way T&T improves standard warhammer by having a more 'interactive' way of playing. The order of play in a round is determined randomly (by cards). Even more important is the way that during a players turn the opponents stay/become involved by the choice of the 'enemy of the phase'. Each phase (movement, magic, shooting, close combat) the operative player chooses one (and only one) enemy whose units can be charged, harassed, shot and fought in that phase. All other models become de facto scenery and are 'safe' in that phase.

This combined with event that cards that can interrupt the 'normal' order and chaos of a warhammer game, makes for a very hectic and alternating battle. Players have to deal with the possibility of a long latency between manoeuvres or in contrast, two turns in direct succession that must be converted into success...

What do we play with then. It all started out with a mad idea for 5 players to start a sort-of-escalation-league. The deamons were beckoning and we decided all to take on one deity with one player being (literally) undivided. 500 points was our starting value and this being ideal to play some small skirmish like games. At the first evening of gaming everyone showed up! Eek! So many games in a row and/or parallel does not fit in one respectable evening gaming. T&T was taken from the shelves and the first game was on the way. The skirmish like setting combined with T&T proved very playable. We played this setup many times now and upped the deamons to 750 pts. Still good play!

Then we got better and the games with 5 or even 6 people took us only 2-3 hours to play! Wow! We also found out a lot of cards from T&T weren not played due to the fact they targeted warmachines or shooting phase. With all deamons and only 750 points this was not really happening.

Exactly the time to introduce other warbands that have been slumbering in the cupboards for a while! Dwarfs, beastmen, ogres and skinks entered the fray. Now gaming was even more diverse with 3-4 player T&T 750-1000 pts games. It keeps the " balanced"  feel as mentioned before. The randomness makes a lot of fun gaming. The introduction of other races in what started out as deamon-escalation-league proved longer and more complicated gaming and thus more challanges, more reading of the rules and longer game nights! :)

Now 3 weeks in a row, friday night was game night and many a WHFB battle was fought with the T&T ruleset. I attended 2 of these 3 games and they were in a setting where we had 3 and 4 players present. 1000pt games they were and with a diversity of armies. I played my Ogres once and in the last battle my dwarfs were present. Being the only one there with warmachines this was directly the focus of attack and I got only 1 shot off!

Interesting to see what tactics work in T&T settings. With the dwarfs a tanked up dwarf lord on shield bearers managed to kill of all monstrosities that were beastmen or skink equivalent. Is a lone super character a good option then is the question that arrises? I still think that good units in these small amount of points can win you the game since maneuvarability is a good asset in these treacherous environments. With all the cards that can be played you're never sure your plan will work out as planned!

So treachery and treason are great ingredients for multiplayer games of WHFB for us. Great fun and continuously new situations to encounter and cope with!

3 comments:

  1. Like the setting and it works suprisingly well (as you mentioned already). Love the randomness and the fact that pumped-up lists do not autmatically grant you victory, simply because you have to make up the tactics on the spot.

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  2. Not to mention the whole off the board negotiating, bribing and back stabbing.. :-)

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  3. IMHO the only way to do multi-player battles. T&T keeps it interactive and engaging for everyone involved.
    Love what the cards bring to the game; that extra boost to push you over the top, or that kick in the jewels that destroys your plans.

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