The Final Chapter
So here we have come to the end of the series. I waited so long to add this story because I wanted to give myself a chance to remember other incidents that might make for an amusing tale before finishing off the series with this.
This story has sort of been told here before
, from the in-game perspective. Now, you can get the out of game perspective.
The table was set up as part of our gaming club's annual New Year's party which we usually held in a building run by the LDS Church on the nearby university campus. The center of the table was a castle which my army occupied. Then there were four other players who showed up with their armies to take it from me. They were: Sam and his Empire army, Dave and his Warriors of Chaos army, Tony and his Wood Elves and Don with his Dark Elves. The object of the game: Be the player who controlled the castle at the end of the game (which lasted 5 turns).
One thing I specified at the beginning of the game was that because time was somewhat limited and because there were 5 players, in order to keep things moving we were going to have to stay focused, and if some kind of rules error happened along the way, we weren't going to go back and re-do it unless it happened in the same turn it was noticed. What I was afraid of was that somebody would remember something that should have happened a couple of turns before, and then we'd have to go back, do it over, then play through turns we already had. Doing that was bad enough in a one on one game, *no way* were we going to be able to do that in a five man game and possibly finish in a reasonable amount of time. I made sure to put that out there upfront so that there wouldn't be any drama if it came up later. (Today's Word of the Day: Foreshadowing)
Well, everybody was deployed and coming at the fortress. Fortunately they were also beating on each other so I wasn't having to defend against a massive force by myself. It also helped that Sam was an ally of mine and was actually attacking Dave in order to help me. Dave reached the tower first and was using Archaeon as his General.
In Warhammer, Archaeon is regarded as one of the most broken, overpowered, unkillable characters. In fact, it was Archaeon that was at the center of the narrative story that Games Workshop used when they decided to stop supportring Warhammer Fantasy and (literally) destroy the Warhammer world. (To my disgust, Archaeon is back again in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. Let that be yet another reason I won't play that game.) So Archaeon leads a large unit of Dave's best troops up the walls and into one of my towers, to be met by my Bretonnian General. (A generic Lord character, not an OP named one.) Needless to say, Archaeon defeated my General in single combat and it looked for all the world like the Chaos Warriors would gain the tower and rule the day...
But there was trouble brewing on the Chaos Warriors' right flank. You see, a couple of turns previous, one of Dave's monsters had started battling one of Sam's units. This monster had a special rule called "Causes Terror," which meant that units fighting it had to take a Leadership test on two dice or flee from it. At some point, Sam and Dave had forgotten to roll this test. Now, suddenly, Dave remembered.
This was a minor problem in a minor part of the battlefield. It would have no effect whatsoever on what was happening in the fortress or with anybody else, and it certainly wasn't game changing. If they'd remembered, Sam could very well have passed the Leadership test and nothing would have been any different. Now, maybe Dave had other plans for that monster, such as bringing it into the fight for the castle. I don't know. What I do know is that Dave was suddenly expressing outrage over the forgotten Leadership test.
I reminded him that, according to the statement I'd made, which all agreed to, that was a rules mistake that was a couple turns old now, and we were just going to have to let it go. He didn't like that very much, and argued that Sam should have had to make the Leadership test for that unit. Well, yes, he should have... but both players had forgotten about it and it was two turns (which was a couple of hours) ago.
This was the point at which things got UGLY.
Dave stood up, shouting and cussing about how unfair that was and how that was complete b.s. Oddly, his rage seemed directed at Sam, not me, even though I was the one who refused to allow the takeback, and it's not like he himself wasn't equally to blame for the forgotten die roll. He grabbed his army and started packing it up while the rest of us, as well as the other party guests, sat in stunned silence. Dave finished packing, got his coat on, and headed for the door, his fiancée pushing him out to keep him from going on further with his angry tirade, he cussing all the way. (This is in a church building, mind you.)
Now, let me pause here. I'm making Dave out to seem like some kind of volatile monster. He isn't. Well, he's kinda volatile, but not a monster. I'm aware that he was tired and not feeling well, and a combination of those and other factors caused the blowout. He's still one of my closest friends and I love the guy like a brother, but I can tell you that nobody was sad to see him leave the party that day. He apologized to me a day or two later.
Well, with the Chaos Warriors off the table, my job of defending the castle became a lot easier. A couple of turns later I was victorious by a thread, but the victory felt a little hollow. I feel like Dave would have won that game had he stayed, and so I don't really feel like I fully earned that victory. I also think that the other players silently felt cheated, because there was little chance of one of them winning the castle now that Dave wasn't there whittling down my forces anymore. Since Sam wasn't coming at me, my entire left flank was safe and I could shift my defenders over to stop the elves.
So in a sense, it was a glorious Bretonnian victory, but in another sense it was a very anticlimactic end to the 2 year campaign.
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."