I've had a copy of the Mortal Gods rules as well as the Mythic expansion for quite a long time now, but have not done much with them. Until now, that is: recently I dug out these rules and my Ancient Greek models and played a game at my local club (Helensburgh Alternative Hobby Association, or HAHA for short).
I enjoyed that game so much that I decided to buy some more models, group bases &c. and to host another game at the club. This time I recorded some of the action, so you can read about it as well.
I pitted forces of Hades (on the left, mostly skeletons and necromancers, but with a phalanx of temple guard) against Heroes (on the right, led by Jason and Heracles, with a few minor names heroes and an odd assortment of warriors). Each side came to about 660 points and was split into two allied contingents, so that we could accommodate two players per side.
The scenario was simple: there are 5 objective markers around the table. Each of these is controlled by whichever side has the largest number of models within 3"; whichever force controls most objectives at the end of the game wins.
I did add one twist: a Cyclops inhabits one of the three central terrain features and would appear at the end of turn 1. It would be controlled by a 5th player. What I didn't tell the others at the start was that should this be slain then another cyclops would appear; once again it would appear randomly from one of the three central features.
So, how did it go? Turn one was spent mostly with each player moving their forces forwards.
At the end of turn one, the cyclops appeared from the house, right in front of three Greek heroes.
The monster reacted before any of the humans: it tossed a large boulder at Jason. The missile overshot the hero, but landed right in the middle of a group of approaching peltasts, flattening most of them!
Atalanta shot the cyclops full of arrows, before Herakles and the other heroes finished if off. Almost immediately, another cyclops appeared at exactly the same position
After this, the heroic side became a bit fixated on monster hunting! Most of their forces converged on the second cyclops, leaving very little to face off against the onrushing skeletons.
Again, Atalanta wounded the creature, but not enough to knock it out. With a bellow of rage, the cyclops charged, injuring her and a nearby unarmoured hoplite, before Meleagros stabbed it from behind and felled the brute.
Whilst this side-show was happening, Hylas was the only Greek hero left to stem the undead tide. He held his own to start with and even destroyed some skeletons, but eventually he was overcome and killed.
The heroes then caught an incredibly lucky break: At the start of a turn Hades drew one of the worst possible omen cards for the undead side. Why was this so bad? Well, all the skeleton groups have just a single die for Courage rolls, thus giving each one only a 50:50 chance of moving in the intended direction.
Predictably, much of the turn was spent with the skeletons milling about, whilst the heroes tried to reposition to a slightly better location.
Then, something unexpected happened. Meleagros attacked a skeleton group, wiped them out and scored a critical hit in doing so. This is extremely easy against skeletons with a base Resistance of 1; the hero rolled 5 or 6 attack dice and only needed to inflict 2 damage on the unarmoured group to score a crit - and that would then entitle him to another action (which could be used to make another attack). Rinse and repeat...
By the time that Meleagros had run out of skeletons near enough to attack, he had destroyed two entire groups of them and badly injured a dark temple guard in (if I remember right) 3 follow-on attacks.
The same thing then happened in the centre of the table. Herakles, driven to grief by the loss of Hylas, went on the rampage and destroyed everything within reach. Badly wounded, he was only stopped by failing a Fear test to charge a Neukadaimon (sp?), else the damage would have been much greater.
At this point, the forces of Hades were considerably shaken and thought they had lost the game. However, in a quick reversal their priests then summoned more groups of skeletons - and dropped these right beside three of the objectives! The game ended before the heroes could respond to that (presumably by rampaging through these new groups as well).
At the conclusion of play, the heroes controlled 2 of the objectives (one isn't visible in this picture). However, the last-minute summoning of more skeletons meant that Hades now controlled 3 objectives, thus making them the winner, by the narrowest of margins!
Well, that was fun! The heroes became a bit distracted by the cyclops (both of them) and devoted the efforts of four named heroes to fighting the creatures. They killed the creatures with relative ease, but this concentration of force left them short-handed elsewhere and I think they would have been overrun by the dark forces if it had not been for two things:
- The very unfortunate Siren Song omen; it affected the skeletons far more than it would have affected pretty much any other force.
- The rules for critical hits. Once we realised that even a mid-level hero (like Meleagros) could run amok through multiple bases of skeletons in a single action, we were scouring the rules to see if we had made a mistake. But (a) critical damage occurs on double the base resistance [so, 2 points of damage], (b) a critical entitles the model to another action, (c) that bonus action may be an attack and (d) there's no limit on how many times this can be repeated. Am I wrong about this?
As it was, the late game saw the skeletons decimated, but a last minute summoning after the heroes had used all their actions for the turn and couldn't respond saw fresh skeletons swarm over the objectives and win the game. Truly a lot of emotional swings!
Man of the Match: probably Meleagros, in my opinion. He struck the killing blow against the second cyclops (after Atalanta had weakened it) and then went berserk against skeletons, destroying a considerable number. For a not-quite-top-rank hero, that's impressive!
Most Useless: I think the phalanx of dark temple guard was very disappointing. It looked impressive, but hardly moved during the game, never fought anything and never contested any objectives. A waste!