09 June 2012

Empire of the Dead "Rescue" AAR

3rd and last scenario in the mini campaign depicting the struggle between the Gentlemen’s club and the Nosferatu. Last encounter ended with a severe blow to the Nosferatu, as their leaders (The Graf and the Guardian) were both captured!

The 4 Thrall’s that remained after the last fight stocked up on Scatter guns and armed themselves with additional Shotguns before heading out into the night and towards the secluded farmhouse where the Gentlemen held their prisoners.

Scenario "Prisoner"
Location: Secluded farmhouse
Time of day: Night

Both the Graf and the Guardian were kept under guard by two Gentlemen memberships in the farmhouse. The Thralls needed to somehow take care of the guards so that the prisoners can escape.

Scenario rewards

Win = 20 Shilling
Draw = 15 Shilling
Lose = 10 Shilling
Each kill = 5 Shilling
Each man left standing = 2 Shilling
Moving a prisoner off table gives a 5 Shilling bonus.
Killing one of the prisoners results in a 5 shilling penalty.

The game starts with the sneaky Nosferatu Thrall’s winning the initiative, staying out of LoS due to the reduced night LoS they manage to flank both perimeter guards – firing at them with shotguns and scatter guns. One of the gentlemen is severely wounded and rolls a “Down” result, crawling around in his own blood. The Vice President ducks away at the last moment as a hail of bullet fly by his post – he answers with his heavy pistol but fails to hit his attacker.

The Nosferatu rush forward opening fire with a scattergun at the Vice president who too gets wounded and ends up “Down”, all he can do is try to crawl out of range for his attackers so they won’t slit his throat. Guarding the door outside on the porch the President pops out from behind a corner and opens fire and kills one of the Thralls with a well placed bullet. But not before the Thrall runs up to the window and maims one of the guards with a shot in the back – which starts a commotion inside the small room as guards and prisoners start to brawl.

The gunfight outside the building continues, but one of the “Down”  gentlemen drops exhausted due to blood loss, while the Vice President fails to regain his senses. One of the guards inside the building is punched so hard he becomes “Discombobulated” and staggers about as the Guardian escaped out one window leaving the remaining guard to be subdued by the Graf who then turns to escape out the other window.

Running like mad the Guardian escapes north towards the small forest, and reaches safety. Back at the farmhouse the guards and remaining Gentlemen regain their senses and run up to the window just in time to open fire at the Thrall’s covering the escape of the Graf. Bullets are flying both ways as the Vice president finally becomes overwhelmed with pain and passes out.  Both Thrall’s covering the Graf end up shot which makes the remaining Nosferatu – including the Graf- flee in panic!

Due to the utter chaos os the situation we counted the game as a Draw since only one of the prisoners managed to move off the table in a orderly fashion. The Nosferatu still received extra Shillings because of their current “underdog “ status with their lower standing.

During the post game sequence the vice President rolled a arm injury, the other Gentleman suffered no permanent injury. The Thrall’s also escaped with no permanent injuries, but one of them was captured by the Peelers – but was released “due to lack of evidence”.

And thus ended our mini campaign intended to get a taste of the game. We will reboot and start over, preferably with some freshly painted up miniatures  sometime next week. Already started painting on some of the new Nosferatu sculpts earlier during the week. I also have a couple of miniatures in my collection for which I'm going to write up some Empire of the Dead rules. I will post those unit profiles as soon as they are finished.

Also while I went on to play Flames of War after this game my opponent who already knew the rules introduced the game for two other guys  and ran a little demo game with thrown together gangs of Werevolves and Nosferatu. I just snapped a couple of pictures while I was checking up on them. From what I heard it was bloody as hell and pretty much a battle to the last man where the Graf managed to slay several of his attackers in close combat before being overwhelmed.


  1. The campaign sounds promising. Campaign rules add so much to a skirmish game. A lack of advancement/consequences is a problem I have with Malifaux (along with the ridiculously complex list of skills) and Infinity (which is otherwise an excellent game).

  2. @evilleM.; look for Infinity campaign book later this summer.

    A few things I really like from your AAR;
    - the way "events" occur in the game seems really narrative, I had no trouble imagining people staggering about, bleeding and trying to focus enough to deal a decisive blow before they pass out from pain.
    - the game seems magnificently bloody!
    - there are no unbelievably epic heroics; people try getting out of windows, running for cover and not getting their throats sliced. Mordheim achieved something like that with limiting the level of magic in the game.

    Would you say this particular game was representative in the above terms?
    Also, if you could please briefly comment on the point size of the sides (were that regular/standard sizes of warbands?). Thanks.

    1. There really are no "Über heroes" at least early on. The Vampires and the Werewolf characters are beasts in close combat if you get that far but can be killed by guns fairly easy.

      Some of the hero characters are quite tough but can still be killed if you are sloppy. The game also presses the issue of not having to kill everyone on the enemy team, and often you are better off retreating and staying healthy than getting killed or captured which just grants the enemy even more reward money.

      The "discombobulated" and "down" results that occur when you roll on the wound chart once a character drops to 0 wounds also add flavor to the game - rather than having you remove casualties right away you have a bunch of guys bleeding down the place trying to regain their senses.

      The points of this game were roughly 200points for the Gentlemen (including bought unusual occurances) who were on a roll from last game and really made a great comeback - the Nosferatu rescue team were at around 100 points. Neither the Graf nor the Guardian were armed as they were prisoners, so that is also why they tried to escape directly instead of sticking around. The Nosferatu Thralls evened out the odds by having better weapons than the Gentlemen who stuck to their cheap light and heavy pistols throughout the short campaign.

      The campaign starts at 150points (or "Shillings), and includes characters and weapons. You can save some cash for visits to the doctor and for buying unusual occurrences between games. Reward money was often spent on buying replacements or new weapons.

  3. Thanks for the info. My inevitable question with games that are tied to a (semi)specific line of miniatures; how easy/hard is it to create one's own characters and creatures?

  4. Good question, I have not come that far myself as I'm still new to the game. I think you may want to stick to the factions in the book as they are. However I plan on adding some custom "characters for hire" like the one's presented in the PDF on the West Wind forum which covers Jack the Ripper, Holmes&Watson, that demon butcher and a couple of others. I think there are enough skills in the book to create something fun or something which works with an established character from books/movies. Just like with Secrets of the Third Reich you can use the profiles in the book or PDF to get an idea of how to write and balance your own creations. Shouldn't be that hard.

    But yeah, this game is about balanced factions. The hired guns you can get on retainer in between games and for as long as you can afford them add a bit of outside flavor to your list. So if you really want to create something I would recommend doing those characters instead of complete factions.

    1. How would you, if you have enough experience with EotD of course, compare this aspect - the creation of custom profiles in this game and in Strange Aeons?
      Thanks (and sorry for pestering you, but it looks like horror skirmishing is finally gaining some interest in our meta - would like to get it right from the get-go :)).

    2. More than happy to answer any question I can about stuff posted on this blog - so no worries ;-)

      I think creating custom characters is on par with Strange Aeons. They are both pretty similar in that you have a statline and additional skills that are used to enhance the feel and intent of use for each profile.

      Both Strange Aeons and Empire of the Dead are pretty easy to custom tailor additional contents for I would say. In both cases you start out by looking at the units present in the rules. There is always a starting point where you look at a certain faction unit and go from there - adding skills and stats, tweaking it to become what you want it to be.

      The hardest thing is to price the profile correctly. Strange Aeons uses Build Points, EotD uses Shillings. Strange Aeon has a system of low point values for all profiles which perhaps make it a bit more sensitive to over/under pricing. The monetary system in EotD is as such a little more flexible - and especially the "retainer" cost. This is very similar to Legends of the Old West in that you hire a character for 1 game and then keep him in your crew for as long as you can pay an additional amount of cash between games.


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