This week we tried a multiplayer game for the first time. The gangs partaking were my 6 strong Undead gang, a 5 strong Dwarf gang and a 5 strong Royal Navy gang. The scenario we chose was Skirmish, as it seemed to lend itself to the multiplayer format, and didnt look like it would take too long.
The board was set up with a road running from north to south, just off centre, with low walls lining it. To the east and south were the edges of a small town, whilst the north and west were largely open fields with the odd low hedge and outlying buildings. As I had the most models, my undead deployed first and chose the well fortified area at the most southerly point of the road inside the refuge of some buildings. The Navy then deployed in must similar fashion on the Eastern side of the road. Finally, as the scenario says you can only deploy at least 18 inches from an enemy, the dwarf player was forced to deploy to the North West, sheltered partially by some outlying farm buildings.
The authority roll gave the Undead the lead wth a roll of 9, followed by the Navy on 7 and the Dwarves on 5. Taking the initiative the Undead moved up through the town and to the walls that marked the edges of the fields to face the Dwarves approaching from the North. A small number of pirates moved East to another barricade and waited, should the Navy advance in that direction. After a few activations of movement, the Undead opened fire on a loan Dwarf to whom line of sight was unobstructed. Their aim was true as one Wraith's musket found and injured its target, whilst the second one finished the job, also with a well aimed musket round. With no other shots on and a lot of activations to come, I passed with 5 points remaining and the Navy became active.
The Navy began to advance towards the road, hoping to score open some lines of fire to the horribly out of position Dwarves. Will no shots on as yet and being eager to preserve his Authority stash, the Navy player passed after one activation, leaving him with 6 points.
Out gunned and out of position the Dwarves knew they needed to move up quickly and try to force combat, their strongest suit. They spent the bulk of their activiations shortening the distance between themselves and the rival gangs. The captain and 2 venerables sped (as fast as Dwarves can speed) towards the Undead, finally taking refuge amonst the last clutch of buildings beore they reached the Undead. A further Venerable went east, towards the low walls on the Western side on the road, whilst the last remaining dwarf pirate crossed the road , hoping to attack the Navy from the north. At the end of their activation, the captain tried a musket shot at a one legged Undead pirate. Although he hit, the Pirate was able to shake the shot off without any ill effects. Out of authority and relatively exposed, the Dwarves would have to hope they survived the turn.
The lead passed to the Navy who needed to make their mark on the game with the Undead already having scored a wound. he first activation was spent advancing, as two Marines approached the Undead who had split off to hold their Eastern flank, whilst an officer set off north towards the lone Dwarf pirate crossing the road. The captain and the last remaining officer readied to open fire on the Venerable who had come to the edge of the road. With that thei opened fire, however somehow the Dwarf was left standing. AN assault on the Undeads Eastern flank was equally fruitless. To make matters worse, the lone Officer was outof range of the Dwarf pirate on the road and could ot shoot. After a few reloads and a few more movements, the tried again but to no avail, the shots either missing or their foes too resillient. In the last activiation, the lone officer managed to injure the dwarf on the road, although the other officer, who had since crossed the road towards the Venerable was unable to harm him. The two Marines , fearful of riposte, withdrew out of musket range of the Undead.
With 5 authority points remaining, and 3 wounds to get, I know I could end it in the first turn. My first activation was a movment, as the two pirates on my Eastern flank tred to sprint towards the Marines who had moved away from them. However both stumbled and only moved forward an inch rendering them largely useless. Next I ordered a firing aciton, first witht the one legged undead pirate who had a clear line of sight to the Navy officer who had crossed the road. With the firer out of the targets line of sight, I was able to score a hit, and then an injury to put me a step closer to victory. To make matters better,my Wraith scored an obscured hit on the Venerable at the side of the road, my opponents constitution rolls desserting him , as his 1 allowed me to score another injury. With 3 authority points left and one injury to get, I was fairly confident. 3 reloads later I was ready to try my luck against the dwarves sheltering a short distance away. The first Wraith missed, the cover too heavy. Although the second Wraith has a better angle and managed to hit, his round could not pierce the Dwarven armour. Finally, with one aithority points left, my captain fired upon the last remaining Venerable. His obscured shot hit and, one again with the aid of a poor constituion roll, managed to score the wound that won me the game. With that the game ended, the Undead the victors.
In summary, I think multiplayer games do work. I think the system is flexible enough to accomodate them and throughs up a whole new tactical level that you have to think about. That said Im not sure we picked the right scenario. The Dwarves really were screwed from the get-go and once they were out of Authority, they were basically sitting ducks. Perhaps something with a central objective is required, Im not sure, we may have another bash next week. The only other criticism is that they do seem to take a hell of a long time. That was only one turn (albeit with 21 authority points rolled) and still ran at close to wo hours.
All in all though, a good laugh, and Im very happy with my shiney new trading post I got as a result of wining. Brace of Duelling pistols all round I think