It’s Wednesday Night Warhammer! Triumph and Treachery…
This week I’ll run through a 4 player game of Triumph and Treachery (T & T) that was recently played. I apologise in advance if I miss some key points with this report, T & T can be mighty complex to record. Never mind that though, let’s get on with it!
Ahh… T & T. One of my favourite Warhammer flavours, mixing toy soldiers, cards and back-stabbery in a cauldron of shananigoats. You never know how the game will turn out until the very absolute last moment.
I’ll try and be as clear as I possibly can when retelling the game but, as I mentioned above, trying to keep track of the movements of 4 players, their secret cards and their currency, is a huge task and would only serve to bore you. I don’t want to bore any of my dear, cherished readers. :p
For those who don’t get T & T and think it’s just a random multiplayer Warhammer game, let me explain how it works and tell you why you’re wrong:
T & T requires between 3 and 5 players. A set points limit is established (for this game, 1500) and an additional allotment of points can be used to purchase mercenaries (375 for this game). Mercenaries (mercs) can be recruited from any Warhammer army book, follow no force restrictions other than the mercs needing a Lord or Hero to lead them and having to be from the same army book.
A scenario is rolled up and players start out like a normal game of Warhammer. The victor is determined by the amount of Victory Coins (VC’s) players have at the end of the game. VC’s are earned for every full 50pts of enemy you have killed in any phase. So, if in the combat phase, my dudes kill 165 pts of elves, then I’d receive coins valued up to 150pts. Got it? No? Oh well, can’t explain it better than that :p
The last thing that’s different to vanilla Warhammer are the Treachery cards. These cards are drawn at the start of every turn and also randomly throughout the game and can be played at any time unless specified otherwise. These cards range from grabbing coins for a fight you didn’t win to denying a player from taking an action.
“But how the flip do you play with 4 people and make it fair?!” I hear you exclaim.
Well, player turns are chosen at random (using cards), then for each of the 4 phases of your turn, you need to choose an enemy. You can only perform actions against your enemy and the other players are deemed ‘neutral’ and can’t be directly affected by you. So, to clarify, having chosen an enemy in the movement phase, you can now only choose to charge that player. In the magic phase you choose an enemy; you can only cast damaging / hex spells at that player and that enemy is the only other player that can dispel. Same goes with shooting and combat.
That’ll do for the game mechanics. If you want to know more, buy the book 😉
So, playing alongside me this evening was Nick (Dark Elves + Warrior of Chaos mercs), Huw (Vampire Counts + Tomb King mercs) and Viv (also Vampire Counts + Tomb King mercs). I was running Lizardmen with Skaven mercs (Hellpit abomination a bunch of plague monks led by an engineer).
We rolled off and Viv won. This gave him the ability to choose where all players deployed their forces, one player per table sixth.
We were playing a scenario where whoever was closest to the table centre at the end of the turn would receive an additional 100pts of VC’s.
The game started with myself in one corner, Nick directly opposite, Huw and Viv on the far side of the table, also opposite each other. It looked like a massive undead army vs a mish-mash lizard, warrior, elf, Skaven army. Why did Viv choose these placements? I dunno… perhaps he was hoping to ally with Huw to face Nick and I, perhaps he was hoping Nick would charge me seeing as I was so close to him. We shall never know.
Elves to the left of me, Undead to the right …
Mmmkay, I’m going to report as one whole story rather than alternating between players as I think that’ll be easier to follow and maybe keep the report to a manageable size (it’s long enough already and we haven’t even gotten to the main event). Maybe it won’t, I dunno, we’ll see.
So, the first turn was all very cautious play from all sides. I shuffled my lizards about to better protect my flanks, aiming some dudes at both Nick and Viv.
Viv also protected his flanks and waited to see what everyone else would do.
Huw moved closer to Viv, in an almost threatening manner, but kept a smile on his face while doing so.
Nick wavered between charging my lizards or running towards the objective. With my silky smooth voice, and siren-esque serenades I was able to convince him otherwise. He turned to the centre, exposing his kidneys to my force. A very vulnerable position.
Magic and shooting was a bit of a non-event. My shooting was out of range, Nick pinged a couple of wounds off something with his bolt throwers, Viv’s catapults did very little and Huw didn’t really have any shooting. Same goes for magic… except Huw called forth a comet which hovered over a building now full of zombies. The comet’s shadow made Viv a little nervous.
Turn 2 came around and Nick was currently in the lead with a couple of coins. Huw and Viv were even with 1 or 2 each and I was last with nothing.
I got to take my actions first this time. Woop! My plague monks lined up Viv’s ghoul horde, failed their frenzy test which meant they had to declare a charge on something, then failed their charge roll so that they just sat there looking pretty (or plaguey). I didn’t do much else, except shuffle about some more and move my Abomination behind Nick’s forces. Again, I was able to calm his nerves with the assurance that I wouldn’t run it into the back of his units… I was just moving there because there wasn’t much room in my table corner… I didn’t want to get bottlenecked >.>
If this were a movie the room would have darkened and an evil expression would have appeared across my face, unbeknownst to my informal “ally”. There may even have been a deep “Mua ha ha…” somewhere in there.
As it wasn’t a movie, Nick thought “oh ok” and went on his merry way.
so very vulnerable
Viv headed for the centre with his block of tough Crypt Horrors, which was a good idea, as once they were there they would be hard to shift. Unfortunately the objective was inside a forest… a Wildwood to be exact, which has a 50% chance of dealing damage to any unit in the forest at the end of the movement phase.
The comet dropped, killing a bunch of things on Viv’s side and a few of Huws units that were unlucky enough to be in the way, earning Huw a bunch of coins.
Nick lashed out at Huw’s light cavalry with his lone Medusa, winning the combat and continuing on into Viv’s Horrors.
Yeah, like this was going to end well for the Medusa >.>
The 4 armies were starting to get close now. Huw was in charge range of the bulk of Viv’s force, Nick was fanging forward with his elves (though he left his Chaos Warriors behind a little. I think he didn’t fully trust me).
Huw had to approach Nick in an attempt to take out the bolt thrower lest he be shot down and I plodded along, poking Viv with poisoned javelins from my skinks and trying to beat up on the ghoul horde.
After turn 2 I was still sitting in last place with only a couple of coins in hand, Viv wasn’t faring much better and Huw was only slightly more richer than Viv. Nick had made a commanding lead, almost doubling whatever anyone else had.
Checking to see who started turn 3… it was me yet again. Adding weight to my proclamation of not wanting to attack Nick, I charged the plague monks into the ghouls and the unit of Kroxigor followed up behind, ready for the next round. Let’s face it, 15 monks vs 30+ ghouls was never going to end well.
The Abomination charged Viv’s now emerging Tomb Scorpion which popped up behind Nick’s forces… A symbol of trust to Nick. “See? I’ve got your back!” (got your back with a knife… >.>). So while I gave Viv a bunch of points with the monks, I earned a coin for the scorpion. Still, it wasn’t going to win me the game.
A view from the other side of the board
Now things get a little bit hazy and a whole lot messy. Huw essentially charged Nick in one turn and Viv in another to remove threats to his line… a kind of charge or die situation. He didn’t fare too well but earned himself a coin or two while also tying up some troops.
Nick let a vortex spell free which moved about randomly and destroyed Viv’s Mortis Engine which, up until now, had been boosting his Crypt Horrors. The Mortis Engine, in a final hurrah, exploded as the magic it contained was released upon its destruction.
This in turn killed a few units including his own lone Necromancer who was running for his life, a bunch of my skinks that happened to be too close and some Crypt Horrors.
It was a mess. A good mess though, like a Pro Hart painting.
I played my final turn (only turn 4) by revealing the twist everyone but Nick saw coming. Having this last opportunity to score some coinage, my Abomination charged into the Chaos Warrior block. At the same time my lizard swarms, Saurus warriors and Bastilodon charged into the rear and flank of Nick’s Witch Elf horde. This last combat I wasn’t too confident about as Witch Elves are nasty, but it was either do that or lose.
So my Abomination abominated the warriors with ease… which is what A-bombs are supposed to do. Cha-ching! That was a handful of coins for me.
Next, the Elf / lizard smash-up. Nick was able to remove 6 or 7 warriors and a few wounds off a Swarm base scoring him a coin. I retaliated with a stupid amount of wounds back.
** Pro tip ** give your Warriors poison if you can. Gaining extra attacks and auto wounding on a roll of a six is tops!
So yeah, the Witches ran from the fight and were cut down for their efforts. Cha-Ching! Mo’ money fo’ me.
Lizards like to do it from behind …
That’s pretty much where we ended it. Huw and Viv ground out a fight that didn’t conclude and everything else was way out of range to do anything meaningful. As it was already getting quite late (close to midnight) we sat down and worked out the victor.
Viv was out of the running. He had too few coins and hadn’t really earned much throughout the game. Nick still had a handful of coins and Huw also had scraped together a pile of metal (or embossed cardboard… depends how much of a role player you are).
The tally was in… the winner was…
Me! By a hairs width. Huw was second missing out by only a coin or two. Nick third and Viv holding the wooden spoon.
So there you have it. Slow and steady wins the race. I guess a bit of misdirection and betrayal doesn’t go astray.
Tips if you’re thinking about trying T & T? Start with a small points limit, especially if you have more than 3 players. Our game lasted between 3 and 4 hrs and we only managed complete turns using 1500 pt forces.
Anyways, T & T is a brilliant mix up of standard Warhammer and something I would love to play every week if given the opportunity.
Have you tried this format? If so, what did you think of it? If not, was there any reason why you haven’t?
I remember when the expansion first came out a few club members were hesitant to give it a crack, saying that multiplayer (3+) doesn’t work.
Oh how wrong they were.
The next time you hear from me will probably be after the Moonstruck tournament (early June, see The Dwellers Below website for details) where I’ll come back and tell you about all the games I lost.
Until next time dear readers, don’t trust the player to your right and always watch your back 😉 ,