Yesterday saw myself, along with Brian, Chris and Evan, go along to the Royal Armouries in Leeds for another megagame. After the viral success of a video made by the ‘Shut up and sit down’ guys the megagame concept has generate a lot of interest, so much so that this game had to be expanded to cope with the massively increased demand.
Also it was a first for me as I had been given an umpiring role for the first time… which to be honest I was fairly pleased about as it was something I was wanting to try at some stage.
The game was set in classical Greece, the time of the Homeric legends, rather than a purely historical idea; there were Five gods represented in the game, each with three players, nine heroes, each played by an individual and them eight city states played by teams of four. As you can see a large game. I was umpire/ control of the city state of Messinia, they had to compete with the other city states to gain the most prestige, to achieve this they could trade, build civic structures, and conquer land. With am emphasis on fighting it would prove useful for them to recruit Heroes to lead their armies, the heroes were keen to do this as it increased their personal glory, for they were in a parallel game to compete for the highest total, they also had their own quest to complete, I heard rumours of a golden fleece but it never appeared in Messinia, as well as defeat a variety of rampaging beasts that appeared at the whims of the Gods, Speaking of the Gods the mortal players had to placate them by building temples and monuments in their honour and dedicating great victories and quests to them. This fed back into the game they were playing as well.
As you can see there were effectively three games in one, or possibly more accurately three parallel games going on in the same world. I say this as for while one group of players needed the other they only really wanted the help they could get out of them for their own ends.
As control for Messinia my duties consisted of managing all game events that happened in that city state- mostly economic as it turned out as whilst they were attacked on the first turn for the rest of the game they managed to keep any further violence on foreign shores. However Messinia did have its own fair share of beast plaguing it, including a rather troublesome troll, which saw a succession of Heroes turn up to dispatch them for Messinia for not just the glory but extra rewards that helped them, or else a promise to come back and help Messinia further.
Evan took on the role of one of the Heroes but never had anything to do at my table so I didn’t see much of him through the game. Chris and Brian took on the roles of different aspects of the Gods so likewise I didn’t see much of them in game as the interactions between Gods and mortal was very limited, unless the God choose to physically manifest themselves to influence the game.
The Messinia players had a rather slow start as they were more concerned with getting a solid economic base set up than with pursuing an aggressive foreign policy (they did get some rather stiff prestige penalties for not attacking early on) however this did hold them in good stead for the reminder of the game as they seemed to have far more money than anyone else. As an aside I was very surprised that none of the other city states tried to attack them more, especially to try and take out the gold mine they had established.
Given the size of battle that was being fought on other tables it would have been fun to run an epic struggle at my own. Ultimately though the lads only placed fourth in the over all rankings, but as they had come from dead last it was an impressive achievement and I think that the longer the game went the high they would have gone.
Given all three monuments were constructed with just card, blutack and a Swiss Army knife everyone was rightly rather impressed by them.
After the game people headed to the pub for a post- game pint and informal debrief, which adds to the whole experience imo. So all in all another great megagame and I’m already looking forward to the next one.