A couple of Saturdays ago I helped control Pennine Megagames’ biggest game to date: Everybody Dies Harder. 90 players and 12 or so control assembled in Manchester for a game set in the world of Game of Thrones.
Those of you who know me know that fantasy stuff isn’t always my thing (especially the ‘high’ fantasy end of things) so I am completely unfamiliar with the setting having only watched part of the first episode of series one and having not read any of the books. Still a human based world with plenty of backstabbing and politicking can’t be all bad.
Players were divided up into regions each one having a ruler and various subordinates, also present were representatives of various religions as well as some mysterious scholars and wandering bards, plus a separate game area for the ruling council. Given my unfamiliarity of the setting I had asked Becky (game designer) for a role that relied more on application of game mechanics rather than knowledge of the background. Accordingly, I was given responsibility of any naval activity at the main map. This basically boiled down to adjudicating any naval combat, resolving pirate raids by the Iron Islanders and checking player character sea movement. After a fairly slow start to the game I was kept busy throughout the day without ever being too rushed. If the game runs again I think that there is room in the game turn to expand the naval combat a bit to make it more engaging, something akin to land combat at least in terms of the time taken to resolve and action as well as the complexity of doing so.
The players seemed to really get in to the spirit of things, little surprise given the popularity of the series so the game went rather smoothly, at least from my perspective. Bizarrely it also gave me some insight into running military heavy operational games… Pennine Megagames has gamers from many backgrounds, some of which aren’t into or don’t have the knowledge of the military side of history but still happily control such games. Given that I knew nothing of the background it was the first time I found myself controlling in a setting I was completely unfamiliar with; as such I now have more empathy with those in that situation. I’m sure I can take that forward with how I can approach operational games in the future, especially with regards to the uninitiated.
Becky has written lots on her blog about her game which I recommend you looking at here:
As always look at Pennine Megagames on both the web and on Facebook:
Everybody Dies Harder also marked the point where I have now controlled more game than I have played in- I need to do more to correct this imbalance. That said next month’s game I am down to play so I am really looking forward to that.