Yesterday was a funny kind of Father’s Day… I didn’t see my daughter at all! She was staying with her grandparents on Saturday night and I was off playing little soldiers when she was brought home and put to bed. That said, it was still an awesome day.

I played two multi-player games for the Blasted Heath season in the Shattered Grounds league. There are two options when it comes to multi-player games – King of the Hill and Unlikely Alliance. The first is a free-for-all and the second is a cooperative game. If you’re playing in the league both are worth looking at as they reward the extra organisation with extra league points. If you’re not in the league then they are worth looking at because they are just damn good fun!

King of the Hill

This scenario should be pretty familiar to most players. You win by being the last ‘caster standing or the first ‘caster to get 3 control points. Warcasters/warlocks are awarded one control point for being on the central hill at the end of their turn (from the second turn onwards).

Our game was a four-way 25pt battle for the hill with Grissel, Xerxis, Venethrax and Goreshade (me) all competing for the win. Grissel fell early, so the game was only going to be contested by the remaining three. I played a very cautious game, mostly because of Xerxis Bile Thralls nearby that could seriously dent my army. We swapped Bile Thralls and managed to take out a few Skorne Swordsmen with them too. Venethrax made the first move for the hill and was quickly joined by Xerxis. They traded blows, but didn’t wipe out each other. I saw an opportunity, but knew it needed to stick as Venethrax was on 2 control points. I moved Goreshade up, feated and sent the Bane Thralls to finish the Cryxian ‘caster. Xerxis had an awesome turn and managed to clear out six Bane Thralls – it was something to behold. He was now sitting on 2 control points. My turn came around and this had to be it. I positioned my Mechanithralls out of the way and charged Goreshade in. Smack, transfer, smack – game over. Goreshade wins.

The nice thing about this game is that all players get league points for playing the game equal to the game size, plus the bonus points (5pts each in this case). The winner gets the bonus points on top of that too.

Unlikely Alliance

This scenario is epic, not because there is anything particularly special about it, but because there are likely to be an awful lot of miniatures on the battlefield! It’s simply a ‘caster kill scenario with two players on each team. We had 50pts per player, so that was 100pts a side. It was truly magnificent to behold. We randomised which players were on which team and it ended up that myself and Anthony (Cryx and Cryx – sweet!) would play Skorne and Trollbloods (talk about an unlikely alliance!).

The thing I enjoyed most about this game was the talk-out-loud tactics that each team employed to coordinate what they did. For example, on turn three Anthony and I decided we’d pop both Deneghra’s and Asphyxious’ feats to try and take out Xerxis. This required positioning arc nodes, getting Hellfire off with a Skarlock to try and clear an Agonizer, moving Deneghra up, feating, casting more Hellfires, getting Asphyxious into position, casting more Hellfires (through a different arc node), feating and casting yet more Hellfires. That’s a little tricky to coordinate when there’s just one brain controlling the army, but try it with two brains! The great (an possibly horrific thing for Xerxis’ controller, Harry) thing is that Anthony and I needed to talk through that in advance and then communicate what we were doing through the turn. Harry saw (or at least heard) it coming, but could do nothing about it. The writing was on the wall for Grissel and despite a valiant attempt the might of two Cryx ‘caster (with fantastic synergies) was too much for the Trollbloods to overcome.

Not only was this a fantastic game, but everyone was a winner as far as the league was concerned. The 50pt per faction is actually counted as game two rows lower, e.g. 100pts. All participants get at least 8pts and the winners get 12pts. Nice!

I netted 19 points yesterday. A pretty cool Father’s Day present.