After playing The King is Dead again last night, I have some words to say about this game!
The biggest oversight of my previous playthrough was the mutliple Muster & Intrigue scenes at the start.
"On your turn, choose one of the games. Turn to that page in the playbook and follow the rules there. On the very first turn of the game, choose Intrigue and Muster. Turn to page 18 and follow the rules for that game."
So the first time we read that, we all thought like Firebrands that we ALL do an intrigue round as our first turn. WRONG. Tonight's game would not repeat that mistake.
The stage was set with another five player game. Interestingly, we all ended up with a more greco/cretian/swords-and-sandals inspired game.
Hector of House Dillstone
Arxemus of House Luneste
Akileus of House Sandoreal
Asterion of House Oake
Huon of House Antyre
Our intrigue scene set the stage for "Season 1" of our The King is Dead:
House Sandoreal was getting mercenaries across the sea, among the mercenaries were agents of House Luneste.
I was playing Asterion, an handsome astronomer/warrior (as you do), who saw Luneste crates on the shores via a wandering telescoping eye one night during his stay as tutor to family members of House Dillestone. We agreed to cement our pacts together and be on the lookout against House Sandoreal.
Sexy fighting times were had between Sandoreal and Luneste but the whole game took a turn when, during a meal celebrating the marriage of the infant king-to-be of house dillestone to a member of house oake, it was revealed to our House Antyre guests they were fed the meat of butchered raiders of their own house! DUN DUN DUN!
Yeah it was shocking. And awesome. And horrible. And awesome.
House Antyre flew into a rage there at the dinner, while everyone else here was kind of horrified at the violation of guest rite by House Dillestone. (Was it Hector acting alone? What does this mean!?).
By the end of the game, Hector kind of Macbeth'd his house as they all kind of died in an infighting thing while the combined armies of the other houses marched on Dillestone's lands.
The final parts of the scene were arguing between Luneste and Oake about what would happen next. Justice must be delivered!
House Oake, loyal and honorable, petitioned the armies of Luneste to disband with us. There'll be no more bloodshed today. It's time to put aside our differences and heal as a country. It went over fairly well. It helped that House Oake promised Luneste Dillestone lands if they back Oake's claim to the throne!
Season 2 would explore that Luneste and Sandoreal aren't very happy with the mediocre leadership of House Oake. The drama being fueled by House Antyre's refusal to bend the knee demanding independence.
Unfortunately I did gloss over a lot of the bad that we wound up in. The scenes between House Dillestone and House Antyre were troubling. We had players confused about the stakes of a tactical skirmish, and what the loser must do if they lost.
House Antyre won the skirmish in the dinner hall after the reveal they were eating their kinsmen. House Dillestone got caught up wondering how this makes sense in a Dillestone castle, so there was a lot of walking through and "ok so this doesn't mean the WAR is won by Antyre it just means this particular scene they got what they wanted... sort of... because also House Antyre proposed a Withdrawl instead of just submit so their demand of taking Hector prisoner didn't work out."
It was a gordian knot of fictional positioning we had to slice through by letting both sides kind of speak what's going on, why they're not trusting the rules, etc.
I'm excited to play The King is Dead again tonight on my channel!