Yeah, we’re at part 4 and the conclusion of an experiment in immersive storytelling. Scroll down or click as appropriate for the previous editions, or just catch up quickly in the recap page.
The idea was this: construct a fantasy story based solely on what happens on a wargame table. Let the architecture of the tabletop terrain be the mystery arc; and the let the game mechanics (dice rolls, the rules of play, positioning of miniatures, strategies and tactics) drive the narrative. I went in cold, assembling the foundations of a ruined black temple on the tabletop and deploying the two armies on either side. I posed the mystery, not knowing its resolution:
“A mysterious black temple in the forest is said to hold powerful singing runes. It’s in ruins; but its two courtyards are separated by a door-less and featureless central wall. Why would a temple be split into two equal halves with no access between them?”
Two armies arrived at the same time, a force of electrical knights known as Cygnar, and an undead and sorcery-driven army called Cryx.
Read on to see what happened. Click on this link if you prefer a pdf.
The recap so far…
Cryx’s Bane Witch was in a bad place and outnumbered at the end of part 3. She did the only things she could do to try and turn the momentum in her favor…
So Agathia’s sorcery and ferocious boldness granted her more of Major Maddox’s blood; but none of it has been enough. Cygnar’s return blows will be terrible.
The Bane Witch is powerful, yes…even deadly in close combat. But she is overwhelmingly outnumbered and outflanked. Cygnar is closing in for what will apparently devolve into a war of attrition and running, relying on long range sorcery.
Unbelievably, Agathia bets it all on another suicide run! She races to the central wall, vanishes like a shadow, and appears in the very heart of Cygnar’s strongest forces. Yet, she’s in range of Major Maddox, who was already wounded by the Deathripper’s previous sneak attack and the gang attack by the Satyxis Raiders.
Sorcery wins the day! Unaided by her two remaining troops, the Bane Witch’s sneak attack and mad dash worked. But the temple wasn’t done with her…
And that’s a wrap!
I honestly had no idea going in why that temple was split. It’s just how the foam pieces fit together into a pattern on the table. Looked cool. Also didn’t know who would win the fight or what tactics would be necessary. Each turn, I just hit the other side as hard as I could with everything I had. Maybe there was no surprise element; but there was definitely ferocity.
This was intriguing. And it was a fun diversion through the holidays downtime. The game mechanics made the story line a bit frustrating at times, when I got hooked on an idea I wanted to see play out and couldn’t quite make that happen. But no cheating, man. No cheating. I just let it roll.
Actually, I was happy to see the Bane Witch win this one. That very much fleshed out the resolution nicely when I dreamed up the answer for the mysterious two halves of the temple. Not sure what the answer would have been had Major Maddox won.
I really appreciate the kind feedback and suggestions. Thanks for all the interest. We probably won’t do any more of these unless you guys really push since it was just an experiment. Glad you had fun, though.
Happy New Year!
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