Saturday at MOAB has now become gladiator day for me, with Victor and I having planned an ambitious program of games revolving around the Roman arenas.
As it was, we played and ran some one-off games of Munera Sine Missione then tried a few linked games, although we didn't get as many of these done as we'd have liked. mostly due to the inexperience of some of the players.
Here's Victor looking thoughtful
And a small show in a big arena.
For later games we put on two fights at the same time.
The fight to the left of this picture was one of mine, with my Greek-armed gladiator fighting a Thracian. The Thracian lost his shield, then his sica but came close to beating my gladiator to death with his bare hands a couple of time. In the end, though, he was spitted on a spear.
We also played a game of Ave Caesar. I've played this before, and found the bizarre crossover raceway a complete turn-off for what was supposed to be a Roman arena chariot race. Victor has solved this by doing his own board, but keeping the rules the same. The game itself involves playing cards from a limited deck or possible movement options, where you have to manage when you play your high-point cards and when you play your low. Certain parts of the track allow you to block other players, forcing them to either use cards they don't want to play, or miss a turn altogether. Also, as I discovered, getting out in front early on is bad, as you can't play your highest cards if you are the leader. However I managed a creditable second place, after I messed up a possible game-winning block on the last curve.
I ran two sessions of Machinas. The game involved one or two players selecting vehicles from some pregenerated pairs, rolling for additional features and assigning stats to the drivers, and then being confronted with a juicy target on the dusty roads of the post-apocalypse Austalian outback. Two players could choose to cooperate, but it was made clear that the winner would be the one that took down the target, so an element of competition was expected. I ran the targets; a possible choice of five, ranging from a lone motorcyclist to a tanker.
In the first game Kelly took two cars, Mr Apollo and Rock Lobster, whilst Martin took the flamethrower-toting Anarchist and his motorcycle-riding sidekick. They were chasing the hobo roadster, Tom Sawyer.
Kelly went straight into the attack, but couldn't line up a clear shot on Tom Sawyer.
It didn't help that, twice, Tom Sawyer's brakes failed, causing Mr Apollo to shoot ahead.
Martin went for the competitive approach. Early in the game he flamed Rock Lobster with The Anarchist, seriously damaging it. When Rock Lobster tried to pass The Anarchist's sidekick, the green-haired punk lobbed a Molotov cocktail at him ...
... and he crashed and burned.
With Mr Apollo out in front, Tom Sawyer was forced into some aggressive driving in order to stay in the chase.
The punk almost got him with another petrol-bomb, but Tom Sawyer's driver extinguished the fire and kept control of his vehicle.
The chase kept on for a few turns after that, but eventually the pursuers became worried about their fuel-levels and broke off.
In the second game, Kelly took Mr Apollo and Rock Lobster again, whilst his friend Liam went for the two rat-rod buggies. Their target was the heavily-armed VW Kombi bus, Meeting Mr. Miandad.
Learning from the previous game, Kelly started whittling down the competition, with Rock Lobster wiping out one of the rat-rods very early on.
The chase continued with much gunfire, and a successful attack on the Kombi by an explosive spear. Possibly confused by their success the buggy pulled out of the chase, leaving the way clear for Kelly.
The cars both got ahead of the Kombi, forcing it to try and overtake in order to survive. It failed once, and was rammed by Mr Apollo, dropping back ...
... but a second failed attempt to pass saw Mr Apollo ram the Kombi off the road, giving Kelly a win.
Both games were great fun, and ran very smoothly. Machinas is terribly random, but creates a good narrative regardless, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I certainly did.
I didn't get much in the way of pictures of other games, aside from this beautiful ACW game (Regimental Fire and Fury), where the troops almost seemed lost in the landscape.
Tomorrow sees me back at MOAB, playing HOTT.