It was BRIKWARS.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of BrikWars, feel free to make your way to http://www.brikwars.com and get acquainted with the general concept. Nutshell version: BrikWars is a tabletop (or across the floor for larger battlefields, if you prefer) strategy game that uses Lego bricks for everything from terrain to units. It also encourages absolute and unrestrained mayhem over silly things like rules and guidelines. When playing BrikWars, always err on the side of destruction.
The scenario I had set up was a Capture the Flag style game, where the primary objective (at least at first) was to retrieve the flags of the other teams and post them at your own base. With seven factions in play, the ultimate goal was to remain in control of your own flag while acquiring three others. Also, treasure chests were spread across the battlefield, providing treasure points which could be spent at an Ancient Tower in the middle of the battlefield.
I had created seven factions, each with its own special bonus (although some of these never really became useful):
- Archaeologists Inc. -- Led by Indiana Jones, these explorers and diggers gained extra treasure from each chest they opened.
- Thortek Industries' Giant Robot Echelon (T.I.G.R.E.) -- Every member of this team was capable of driving Mechs as though it were a Pilot.
- The Skeleton Army -- This faction, led by Death (In Charge Of BrikWars Combat) himself, was capable of ressurecting its units for a lower treasure cost than the others.
- The Gentlemen of Enigma -- These washed-up former villains received a bonus to all dice rolls against Hero units.
- The Imperial Armed Forces -- These Jedi-led stormtroopers gained a bonus to all dice rolls while in a squad formation.
- The Royal Knights -- Being knights from a fantasy realm, and used to dealing with dragons and the like, this team got a bonus against targets bigger than them.
- The Robot Insurrection -- Having a built-in wireless computer network comes in handy; if any member of this faction had line of sight to a target, they all did.
Here's a snapshot of all seven heroes in front of their respective flags (although one or two changed at the last minute because I found a better flag than that dorky blue one on the left):
Each faction had eight units:
- A Hero, with better skills and the ability to perform a Heroic Feat each turn, as long as it fit his personality
- A Ninja, master of close combat (aka flipping out and killing people)
- A Sniper, long range experts (and excessively overpowered in this particular campaign given their 24" range and the limited battlefield size)
- A Pilot, capable of multitasking while in charge of a Vehicle, Mech, or other form of travel
- Four Troopers, generic cannon fodder and the only units capable of carrying flags
Keep in mind as you read the recounting of what transpired: NONE of us had ever played this before, and only I had ever read the Core Rules, so I was teaching everyone else how to play. (Although I think we may see more battles in the future...)
Here is the state of the battlefield prior to the chaos:
Sandra, in charge of Archaeologists Inc., went first. Her first move was to snag the nearest treasure chest. After being informed that she would come up half an inch short on the movement, she nudged her base that much to the left. Presto! Within range to loot the chest!
My response: "She's got the hang of this already!"
As her hero and ninja approached the catapult and another treasure chest, her sniper took out one of my troopers. Yeah, snipers pretty much owned the map in this campaign; I plan to either reduce their skill or shorten the range of long-distance weaponry in the future.
On my turn, one of my troopers banged open the front doors to my base (not my finest tactical maneuver) and shot Sandra's pilot off his motorcycle. My hero, the leader of T.I.G.R.E., attempted to take hers out by using his lightsaber as a baseball bat to knock a boulder into Indy's motorcycle. Here's the result of that roll:
He wound up pinned to the ground underneath the boulder until he could summon the strength to push it off himself. That didn't happen for several turns. Meanwhile, my ninja rushed headlong at John's skeletons; a move that would come back to haunt him later. "Him" meaning my ninja.
John took his turn, moving Death out into the field of battle and using two other units to demolish my ninja while his sniper took a potshot at my own (I used this event to set up an ad hoc rule that gave snipers extra armor against other snipers). Hannah's villians then took their turn, and the unthinkable happened:
Death was vanquished.
See, Hannah's Darth Maul ninja had taken the opportunity to attack John's hero, and the attack proved to be too much for Death. So Death... well, died, and Hannah's ninja commandeered Death's flying skeletal steed.
All in all, not bad for her first turn.
Bekah's turn came next, and her first move was unorthodox: her Imperial Armed Forces struck a truce with Sam's Robot Insurrection. (Incidentally, both of those factions are derived from my Bravo 13th webcomic, and are on opposing sides of a galactic conflict. Go figure.) They decided to join forces against Tim's Royal Knights before turning on the rest of us.
Did I happen to mention that the primary goal of the game was Capture the Flag? ...I did? Okay, good, just making sure.
Tim spent most of his turn having the horse shot out from beneath his pilot and having his ninja completely miss a squad of troopers.
After Sam took out one of Tim's troopers and began to make his move for the center of the field, it was time for The Element Of Random Chance to rear its head. See, I had intended to make large mechs and vehicles summonable, but I also didn't want to wait until the battle was almost over for the cool stuff to make an appearance. So a couple of d10 rolls later, Hannah had a shiny red mech to play with, while I had a dragon. Which would go on a rampage if it went without a pilot for too long:
You can see here that my pilot hopped on immediately. Eh, it's no giant robot, but hey, Trogdor could easily take on some mechanical monstrosity, amirite?
Another round, and in the commotion, John's skelly-ninja became a dragon chew-toy (as seen above), Tim's ninja was flattened by a piece of wall from Hannah's base, Bekah sniped Tim's flag from its stand and began to return it to her base, and Sandra kept collecting treasure by the truckload. In the middle of it all, though, Hannah's evil wizard "hero" was sniped from his place atop the Ancient Tower, and he fell. Kinda like Saruman, actually:
Oh yeah, and Sandra got a tank. A BIG tank.
During the next round, my dragon, who had dropped his pilot off at the Tower, went for the nearest convenient target: Hannah's mech (and by extension, her pilot):
Unfortunately, that was as far as he got. Let's see if you can figure out what happened from the next two photos:
Those mech blaster pistols pack a real punch, don't they?
On the same turn, Hannah's sniper picked off Death's winged horse (which had been re-commandeered by one of John's skeletons):
Somewhere along the way, both my pilot and Sandra's hero wound up in precarious positions (although Indy, having lost his hat, was in far worse shape):
My hero, meanwhile, FINALLY managed to extricate himself from the boulder, and then managed to hijack the bottom half (yes, only the bottom half) of Sandra's tank:
John's sniper fell apart with a solid sniper shot from my base:
Tim's entire army fell to the Unlikely Alliance, then was miraculously rezzed by a dice roll. His ninja took revenge on Bekah's hero:
Hannah managed to get a hold of a SECOND mech, and this one plucked a resurrected Death from the top of his tower and chucked him at my sniper and one of my troopers:
Once the tower was clear, she went for John's flag:
But alas, it was too late. Across the battlefield, Sam had taken his OWN flag and posted it at the top of Bekah's tower, making her the clear winner (with only three flags rather than four, but at this point no one really cared):
Oh yeah, and my pilot got decimated somewhere along the way:
Here's the aftermath of the battle: