Met in Pittsburgh for a 6 way game of Pig Wars, a fine 30 year old rules set for Dark Age skirmishes in which points are awarded for getting food (livestock) off the board.
Being a meddler, I had to add VP's for whacking (some) dudes plus I also created secret VP's awarded for meeting certain conditions. Each of these was picked in secret and the players were given the choice to share them or keep them secret. They included things like: '+5 VP if you kill a guy from each different War Band' or '+ 2 VP for each goose if you kill a guy with a sheep' or '+3 VP if you set 'the house' on fire as log as you kill a guy with a duck' and so on.
The scenario idea was that each of the war bands had recently been allies in a battle, which they lost, in Roman Britain. Now they were all angry, hungry, tired, and looking for food and a fight, when they come across a big fat Roman Villa. I played the sacrificial Romans and could not score any VP and only stood as a speed bump for the others.
Each War Band consisted of 15 dudes and each had a slightly different make-up in terms of weapons. Never having played the game before I had no idea whether it was better to shoot, slice, or dice, so I crafted each slightly differently and let the guys pick. Now that we've played it, I'm still not sure.
Sorry, some of the pics are blurry.
'The Villa', 'The House' and 'The Barn'. The Romans have come out of the House and formed a shield wall while their archers are on the roof of the Villa. The serfs run willy *and* nilly through the fields.
Chris' war band was unique in that it had 3 mounted 'Level 1' warriors.
Oh yeah, the usual suspects. You know who you are.
Mike's troops had to schlep through the woods. This is what happens when you come late and have to pick last from the available war bands and starting spaces.
Kevin's war band avoiding bad terrain. Kevin had a guy with an axe to grind, and some men on a (secret) mission.
The Romans seek shelter from concentrated archery between the barn and the house. Their peasants are still running in circles as there is death in every direction they look.
Chris' guys come in waves. John's war band can be seen taking a defensive stance to the left and Kevin's down the road as everyone closes in on the villa and it's food on the hoof.
After an extended march, Mondo's guys finally get in the same zip code as everyone else and go straight for the big ticket items: the owner's horse and some goats.
This picture is also unusual because it shows the only time that Mondo's war band was facing the correct direction.
Kevin's war lord hands off a sheep to a waiting peasant. This would turn out to be a good strategy as exiting a 0 level peasant is worth thrice less than the sheep he is getting off the table!
The Romans Legionnaires are finally armored and exit the villa with their warlord. The form a shield wall with a brave chicken. Is that a contradiction in terms? It turns out, the chicken was a better fighter than the rest of them and outlived them all. Next time, leave the nerf swords at home, guys.
Meanwhile several of Mike's guys try to set the villa alight out of pure meanness as they got no points for it! Actually, he was trying to burn it down to stop my archers, which had a knack for killing any of his guys within sight!
Kevin's guys watch from the center of the farm as animals and thieves are everywhere! Look at the axe on that guy!
Some body's shield wall.
Kevin and Mondo fight it out over some perceived slight while the rest of Mondo's dudes protect the fleeing guys with the owner's horse (and 5 Victory Points!)
Pass me another arrow. Do you smell smoke?
Mike's flank attack chases Kevin without success.
John's shield wall looks menacing.
Got me a chicken!
A brouhaha in the middle leaves the Romans NOT laughing as they were slaughtered as easily as their sheep will be, around various and sundry campfires tonight.
John inches closer to Mondo's party, who promptly splits.
Two Warlords duke it out (get it?) on horseback while the Romans definitely smell a cookout. Sheep wander around after being dropped as the Roman archers killed about 7 dudes from atop the villa. Too bad those archers are going to die a horrible death.
Just in case anyone comes this way.
We called it after a dozen turns or so and remarkably, Kevin and Mondo tied with 22 points. *And* at one point, they both pussied out and spent a turn with two of their guys carrying chickens stopping and having a picnic together! Chris was close behind with 17 points, and he didn't exit a single animal! All his points were from killing dudes! He definitely killed more than anyone. Ironic, that the best fighters will be the hungriest and have the least food!
All in all, it was just what the doctor ordered: a cool and simple game that was easy to play, gave us an excuse to use Dark Ages figures, get together and have a good time. It should be mentioned that the two other casualties of the day were the two home made pizzas Mondo brought. They disappeared faster than teenagers at clean up time.
I think we'll use this system again for sure. Fun, fast and easy, and when you think about it, the scenario possibilities are almost endless. Good, clean, fun.