Wolsung. This game is stuck in my head for quite some time now. And even it is not so popular like a few other skirmish games like Malifaux or Infinity, it gives me this special thrill like no game before.
Awesome miniatures, reasonable entry level and nice, quick-to-learn rules. Say no more. Wolsung has all I need from miniature game. And Steampunk background! Did I mention the Steampunk background?! ❤
Long time readers of my blog probably are aware my affection to Wolsung miniature game, and there is no surprise, that once again I write a story about it. This time, I’m going to present the report from Wolsung 2nd Edition Inauguration Weekend.
When I found out that such even will take place in Micro Art Studio (producer of Wolsung) HQ, in Gdynia, Poland (23/24th July 2016), I knew I need to be there at any cost. I changed my vacations plans to get there, so that has to mean something!
My Ash &oak needed few final touches, so I spend few hours a day (a week before the weekend) to polish them up. And when they were ready, I was ready as well:).
The trip to Micro Art Studio Headquaters had a sentimental value. Exactly one year ago I was here to make an interview with people responsible for bringing Wolsung to life (you can read it here). And now, once again, back to the very same place, to play the same game. If it’s not devotion, then I don’t know what is it…;)
2nd edition rule book of Wolsung Steampunk Skirmish Game was released about a month before the event, and to be honest I didn’t find any free time to study the rules with care. And while all games during whole weekend were supposed to be by new rules, it could meant trouble… My only assumption was (and it luckily happened to be true), that there will creators of the game on hand and they provide any help to explain the rules.
Whole event was divided into two parts.
During the first day we played tournament games, and at the second day, guys from Micro Art Studio prepared for us, the players, narrative campaign with little bit less competitive approach.
The weekend was filled with emotions, I tell you. Two days of constant gaming. It was proper weekend , believe me.
Now it’s time to write the report. As it would be too much to write about two days in one go, I decided to split it into two entries. Today, I concentrate on Saturday tournaments and in about two weeks, I’m going to present you the campaign.
Ok. Let’s start.
I have mixed feelings when it comes to tournaments in any game. The idea of winning the gameplay at any cost, competitiveness is taking the joy of play away and therefore, I’m not exactly tournament guy. But this time, I said to myself – what a hell. It’s Wolsung after all. I refuse to believe, you can play that game with tense.
…and it turned out I was right.
Wolsung tournament was one of the nicest experiences in my whole (short, but still) competitive playing. Relaxed atmosphere, easy attitude, with emphasis put on great time, not win. That was exactly what I was hoped for.
10 players joined the tournament, mostly from Three City area, but there was also a couple from Warsaw (Dorota and Tomek, sulute!). Everybody was about to play 4 games, and those with most wins (and points) will get to the stand. Sounds easy when you read it, but to win all… well, it’s different story:).
Game 1. Perfect trading stand.
You could make a fortune on Grand Fairs. All kind of goods were sold here, starting from black berries of Silent Forest, ending on heavy machinery parts and Steam Golems. There were always crowd of buyers and sellers. The profit mostly depended from the best trading stand. Sir Archibald knew this quite clearly, so he decided to make sure personally that his transport dirigible will be parked in perfect spot. The place he chose was reserved for him for months. The plate with his engraved name was standing next to large shackle for anchoring the dirigibles. Sir Archibald Armstrong noticed in the crowd, a small group of nasty looking Orks. When he realised that they try to hide a plate with different name behind their backs, he boosted the pressure in his golemic arm and reloaded the gun. This place belonged to him, and nobody will take it away!
This scenario goal was to take over two best trading spots in the Fairs. Both players can get victory points in following way:
- 2 VP for controlling one of the Trading Stands
- 1 VP for killing first model in the turn
Victory Points were calculated at the end of every turn.
It was 2 heroes game. 3 turns.
Oh, my Ash and Oak were ready. No doubt about that. Lady Ellendeanne, Sir Lance Oakroot and their henchmen were ready, allright. They came to Fairs to get the best merchandise and to get the best stand.
The question was if I was ready?
Not in 100 % percent. My opponent in first game was Przemek and his Scylla, Halfling Mafia with Tommy Guns. No, I didn’t know them for real. Special rules, skills, models, almost all was kind of mystery. I knew I need to neutralise Lady Sybilla Vendetta with her Tentacles and Abominations. That was the only thing I knew – she is dangerous. Everything else was improvisation.
It was a great skirmish. First turn, it was all even.
Things started to get messy when Lance Oakroot, the finest swordsman in whole Lyonesse, decided to charge at Lady Sybilla. Lance chances were quite high. Poor old halfling lady against the fastest sword around! If I wanted bet all money in my pocket on Sir Lance, I would not hesitate. Sir Lance dealt a strike, after strike after strike…but Lady Sybilla was uncanny fast today! Sir Lance was surprised how easily she dodged almost all of his attacks. What happened here? His head was still buzzing from the amount of Aquitanese finest red wine he drank at Ash & Oak night meeting. Was hangover messing his usual swiftness? It might be, because Lady Sybilla Vendetta was still standing (for my nine fight dice, I rolled only one success…dice love me sometimes:).
Later, events happened fast. When Lady Ellendeanne, her Ogre bodyguard and the butler secured one of the stands, Sir lance still confused and little bit light-headed was by his own. Surrounded by Halflings, and tentacles emerging from everywhere, he was doomed. Eventually, a salvo of Tommy gun pierced his chest trough and he fell mortally wounded. The second stand was taken by Scylla.
It was a stalemate. Ash and Oak decided to not bother Scylla anymore. And Scylla was also happy. Both sided kept one of the stands for duration of the Fairs. Fair deal, if you ask me.
Even though, I kept one trading stand, I lost few models and Przemek gainded additional points for killing first models in two turns. So, the game was slightly lost. 5-3, if i remember it right. So, it was close. Maybe, if I had better dice throws for Sir Lance’s attacks, then who knows how the game would ended.
Game 2. Poker face
‘Full house!’ – shouted Ogre and reached for the stashed coins and notes with his big arms. He was laughing derisively.
‘Not so fast…’ said Mary Fearless, putting her hand on the table – ‘Four of Queens…’
Drrrrr… the sound of the knife stuck in the table. Mary, seeing this, pulled out the trigger of her colt held under the table and pointed at the opponent. The wicked smile on Ogre’s face turned into scowl. Mary swung on her chair and with one kick turned the table over, causing the money scatter all over the floor. At the same time, she drew second colt and rolled aside to evade blow with the beer mug.
‘I knew I shouldn’t have played Poker in such a dive…’
This game was The Assassination scenario. Victory points calculation (at the end of the game):
- Killing target hero – 5 VP
- Killing non-target hero -2 VP
- Killing a henchman – 1 VP
- Killing first model in the game – 1 VP
Three heroes game. 3 turns.
My opponent for this game – Wojtek and his Undead Agents of Ver Rier. This was similar to my first game experience. I knew a little bit more about Ver Riers, but it was nothing specific. This time at least I knew I could expect a bunch of Zombies, Necrogolems and/or Ghouls.
My target was Elisabeth Suess. But tell me, how on Earth I could get to her, if she was hiding behind Necrogolemic workshop and she was spawning Necrogolems like crazy…
No way. The Poker game ended with all this fuss, but it has to end with Ash & Oak on top. My three heroes – Lady Ellendeanne (she was the target for Ver Riers), Sir Lance Oakroot (miraculously healed, but still hangovered) and Mary Fearless (she started all this. Remember Mary! Never play Poker with Undead!) were not so anxious to get into the fight. However, it seemed to be better idea, to lay low for a while, protect Lady E. and exterminate incoming Zombies.
Why Lady Ellendeanne was chosen as a target for Undead Agents? Maybe whole Poker game and all the brawl about it, was just theelaborate plan to hunt down Elven aristocrat and kill her. Maybe it was not Mary’s fault after all?
Right now all of these did not matter. It was the time to kill some walking dead! Lance’s hangover was slowly passing away, so he jumped into group of zombies with his faithful butler James and hacked down a few (much, much, MUCH better throws, ufff). At the same time Mary was shooting them from the distance and Lady E. remained hidden behind some shack.
And Zombies were coming all the way along with horrifying Necrogolems. But Ash and Oak strategy was flawless this time. Only one poor butler was hit by Soldier Zombie, who looked like he came direct from the trenches of great War. Beside this butler, it was no other causalities among Ash and Oak ranks.
On the Ver Riers side – half a dozen of zombies fell. Undead realised, they will not win this. They will not kill Lady Ellendeanne and definitely they will not get Poker stash. Ash and Oak celebrate today!
Look at that, I won. It was quite convincing win and with such morale booster I could go to next game.
Game 3. Jacquard Fever
Green suit jacket or blue jersey? Wide-brimmed hat or a bowler? Stripes or check? Long time conflict of two fashion houses – Madame Tusson and Jean Paul Gottard was still on. Today was a day, when according to tradition, new upcoming season collections were published. In front of all five newsstands in the neighbourhood long lines of hungry for knowledge and style Ladies and Gentlemen from all districts of Lyonesse. Fashion war got from tailor workshops to the streets. Agents of both fashion houses rushed trough the crowd to newsstands just to buy out all pictorial circulation of competition and to leave a pile of their own. Like every year, this strange contest will last probably to the late evening. I wonder, which style will take over the streets of Lyonesse the very next day…?
Third game was a marker capture again. This time 5 newsstands in the neighbourhood were the targets. Victory points:
- controlling the middle newsstand – 3 VP
- controlling other newsstands – 2 VP
- killing first model in the game – 1 VP
Victory points calculated at the end of the game.
3 turns. 3 heroes game.
Ok. Fashion war. Pretty serious stuff, if you ask me. My Ash and Oak were always on the side of Madame Tusson. Lady Ellendeanne simply adored her green dresses. At least three dozens of Madame Tusson’s finest pieces collection were in Lady Ellendeanne’s closets. So, you get the importance of this. My Ash and Oak just needed to distribute Madame Tusson’s pictorial today! Lady Ellendeanne, Mary Fearless and Sir Zachary Fiercebatten III were ready to this. (Sir lance Oakroot decided to take a nap, to once and for all cure this damn hangover…).
My opponent, big fan of red jersey of Jean Paul Gottard was ready to make a stand. Łukasz, himself, the brain behind the creation of Wolsung game. The big boss himself. He and his red-shirt Ash and oak. I suspected, Łukasz will be hard to beat.
…and I was right of course. I was no match for Łukasz.
Lady Dorothy Quimby gave me a hard knocks. Driving around the stands on her monocycle with Sir Henry Bucklepunch on the back seat. They took over the whole neighbourhood and my heroes were literally wiped out from the street.
It was a mixture of skills, good knowledge of the rules and luck. With all of these, Łukasz won this game flawlessly. I did not gain even one lousy point. All the newsstands were distributing Jean Paul Gottard’s pictorial. I believe Lady E. will wear some other colours than green next season. Red, perhaps?
Game 4. The Lay Tradition
Luigi Campari loved to support aerial race traditions. According to the custom of Lyonesse Balloon Race, Lady Fortune blessed those races who went for all, most known pubs in the landing site area. ‘Silver Cloud’, ‘Swift Zephyr’ ‘The Queen of Hearts’ and ‘The Hard Landing’. Halfling was walking down the street and rubbed bruised knuckles. He knew what may happen, if he encounter other racers in one of the pubs, so like everybody, he took his ground maintenance crew. His cousins, Ogre engineers were very useful when in Silver Cloud they met Wotany pilots of Great Zeppelins. Now, they were closing to The Queen of Hearts, and Luigi noticed Arsenne-Clemente, famous Aquitanese Wyvern pilot is heading the same pub. Luigi smiled and waved the hand to his opponent. He checked discreetly, if his derringer is loaded and he walked to the pub with confidence…
Victory conditions. Own landing site in the centre and four of the pubs. Victory points are earned for:
- ‘owning’ landing site – 3 VP
- ‘owning’ the pub – 2 VP
- killing opponent’s hero – 1 VP
- killing henchmen – 1 VP for every 3 Funds
- killing the first model in the game – 1 VP
Four heroes game. 3 turns.
The last game. My balance so far: 1 win, 2 loses. I was happy with what I got, but if I win the last, it would be neat. So, it was time to began the pub crawl.
My opponent – Dorota was in charge of Ash & Oak club as well. This time all of my heroes were deployed: Lady Ellendeanne (she was eager to start the Balloon Race for the third year in the row), Sir Lance Oakroot (finally fresh and cured of hangover), Mary Fearless (just making sure everybody is OK), and Zachary Fiercebatten III (where are pubs, there is Sir Zachary III).
All of them, they wanted to make full pub crawl. The beer mile. Maybe it didn’t seem like very noble idea, but who were they to argue with traditions?
The game was even to the very end. I rushed for all pubs, and at the end of the day my heroes were sitting in three of them and they could drink beer with nobody bothering them. Also the Landing Site were mine.
…but the gameplay itself was a struggle. Mary Fearless was hotting, Sir Lance were fencing, Sir Zachary released the hounds (they actually entered to Silver Cloud and chase away all the competition from inside), and Lady Ellendeanne made one of the henchmen to jump from tall building (Mind Control!). To the last turn though, the scales of victory were balancing from one side to the other. In last turn, the bold run of Abinav Singh and Ogre Bruiser to Swift Zephyr secured the victory for my Ash and Oak.
Hell, yeah! The beer was delicious. Three pubs should be enough to bring luck in upcoming race.
Second win in four games. Quite a good result!
…and at the end it happened, that these two wins gave me the second place and Silver Golem Statue. That was unexpected, I tell you! Nice addition to the well spent Saturday. The first place and Golden Golem went to Przemek and his Scylla, and the third place with Bronze Golem to Jacek (The Triad of Lotus Dragon).
Another surprise. There was prize to grab along with The Golems. Each winner on the stand got the big box full of Micro Art Studio stuff. I received full table set for Wolsung Quirnale district. Big thank you far that!
…plus I won also Pink Golem Statue for the best painted club. So many surprises! this Golem means so much to me and it will have special place in my cabinet.
To sum up the day one of the weekend:
Perfect organisation. Scenarios well arranged, tables full of nicely painted terrain pieces. All of the players were in really great mood, which made whole event even more enjoyable. And if I only knew that this tournament is only introduction to even better day two, I would not believe it. The campaign was even better, that’s true. But, about this, in part two of my story (in about two weeks).
Take care and until next time!