Monday, April 30, 2018

The Arena of Kou'uch

On Sunday, we hosted the first real event of Efengie: Season 4.  After suffering defeat at the hand of Arkhan the Black at the Helfire Gate in Shyish (Coalescence: Malign Portents), the peoples of Efengie followed the Malign Portents to the Arena of Kou'uch, hidden deep within the Dark Forest.  Built long ago by the Seraphon, the Arena once served as a sacrificial altar.  It has lain dormant for thousands of years, but the portents have led soothsayers to its ruined steps.


The soothsayers and arcanists have said that Black Void is open, and the Writhing Serpent crawls from it. Those who escaped Nagash's oubliette know this to be a potent sign of rebirth, and remember the ancient souls from before the Age of Myth that were locked away, but now are free. The mystics say that an ancient soul is waiting just beyond the veil of death... waiting to be awakened by the potent blood sacrifice of combat in the Arena of Kou'uch.

This event had some similarities to my usual Game Day format, but I mixed up army creation a bit and made this an arena of Hero-hammer.  Each player got to bring 30 Wounds worth of heroes.  Another innovation in last month's Game Day was that I had the objectives in each round depend on the win/loss matchup of the players.

We had seven players at the event: Tzeentch (straight from the Silver Tower), Collegiate Arcanum (the Wizards of Foon!), Slaanesh (now with chariots), Mixed Chaos, Stormcasts (of the Eternal Hammer Brotherhood), Stormcasts (of the Anvils of Heldenhammer), and Nighthaunts (lots of Banshees).

Only one player submitted a story (The Wizards of Foon seem to be based on a very silly podcast called Hello From the Magic Tavern), so he got an extra special special ability for his band of heroes.  They were seeking a way to defeat the dark lord, so...
At the start of each battle, choose one enemy model to somewhat resemble the Dark Lord from that one time you saw him cackling maniacally in silhouette.  The first time one of your Wizards casts a spell at the Dark Lord during each of your hero phases, they may attempt to cast an additional spell during that hero phase.  If you slay the Dark Lord, it turns out it was totally somebody else... oops!
Anyhow, I'm here to report that I at least was highly amused by the fun narrative stuff that happened with that ability.  It really added (albeit goofy) story to the battles he was in.  The Dark Lord was either the Gaunt Summoner or one of his familiars in the first battle, and was the Gryph Hound in the second.

Because we had an odd number of players, we had two 1v1 games and a 1v1v1 game in each round (two-round event).  We totally forgot the "Arena Tactics" rules for the entirety of the first round of the event, but when we remembered it (in Round 2) it turned out to be a lot of fun.

Death was victorious, and ended up recollecting the wayward soul for Nagash.

I had been planning to build the future narrative around NPC characters who would be mine all mine to do with as I saw fit, so I had said before that the Nighthaunts resurrected Richter Krueger, but I've changed it to a more fitting ending.  I changed my mind on that future narrative direction, and I think the Nighthaunts likely would have been more inclined to simply throw that soul back in joke jail.  Anyhow, I think in the future, the narrative thread of the Game Days will focus on players named characters as the powers that be in Efengie.

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