>> Thursday, 30 July 2009
Egypt - Nikolas Lloyd
The game was a raid on ancient Egypt by Mycenaean warriors, that went horribly wrong.
The genesis of the game started with the buildings. Lloyd started making them and got a bit carried away. After the summer, he had enough stone temples and ruins to cover a table, but no Egyptian figures. However, another club member, Peter, had painted up a load of "Tomb Warriors" by Citadel Miniatures, and so the possibility arose of a game between Lloyd's Trojan War figures, and Peter's band of walking undead.
Homer in The Odyssey writes of a raid by King Menelaos of Sparta against Egypt, arriving by sea in search of loot near the coast. Homer doesn't mention whether the defenders were uncommonly skeletal.
The game was designed for three players. Two ships arrive at the game's start, each with one contingent of treasure-hunting warriors, and these were in competition with each other for the most loot. The third player (Lloyd) controlled the defending undead, and acted as a referee, also controlling the actions of the local townsfolk and wounded Egyptian soldiers.
The red ship was commanded by two boy players, who were quickly distracted by the goings on in the local town, the corner of which was represented on the board.
They went over to the town, and had fun chasing the townsfolk and trying to loot. They made off with two laden camels, and two prize white bulls, and one captured old man. The most valuable thing they found in a house was a young woman, whom
they shot dead in their enthusiastic blood lust. They are young, and they will learn.
The blue ship's men soon found a wounded Egyptian, who might have warned them usefully of the presence of the undead who had taken over the temple area, but before he could make himself understood, they threw javelins at him and finished him off. Soon, inevitably, the undead appeared, and in quite large numbers.
The undead on the blue ship's side of the table outnumbered the blue contingent's scattered men, and though many skeletons were smashed in the fighting, many Mycenaeans fell. The commanders of the red ship contingent rejoiced to see their rivals in such a pickle, and carried on looting the town, missing out on the great treasures to be found in the temples.
After a while, the outnumbered contingent broke and ran for its ship, but lost so many men in the rout that when it got there, it had not enough men to launch the ship off the beach, and it was losing more all the while to attacks by pursuing undead. Only now did the other raiders see the danger, as a fearsomely powerful undead leader approached the beached ships, with a mass of panicking Achaeans before him. The boy commanders then ordered their men back to the ship, but
still they bothered to load on captured animals and pots of olive oil. There was a desperate fight by a line of defenders who held off the attacking undead for just long enough for the ship to be launched on the fifth attempt. All the time, men were falling with arrows in them. One man benefited from the failed attempts to launch the ship, as it gave him time to run back to the ship from the far corner of the
The leader of the blue ship got himself safely aboard the red ship, and couple of his men managed to escape from the overwhelmed blue ship, and swim across to the blue ship before it launched. The beach was left littered with the dead and dying, and the game ended with one ship's escaping, manned by many wounded men. The cost of the raid was far greater than the gains.
Had the two contingents fought as one from the outset, they would have been easily capable of defeating the skeleton defenders, and perhaps making it to the temples in the far corners of the table, where the great treasures were to be found. There too was the sarcophagus of the undead leader, inside the temple of Anubis, and destroying the mummy inside would have freed the place from the undead curse. Still, you live and you learn. Or you die and you don't.
An enjoyable game, that went right down to the wire.