Gather around my dear readers and I will tell you a tale. A tale of my first true miniatures game that I ran at a Convention. Now, I have run a game of Mansions of Madness at a Convention in the past, but that is not the same as running a “real” Miniatures game. For my this game, I chose to run a game of A Fistful of Kung Fu.
|The good guys had to defend the mystical mirror behind a barricade while the Cultists and Deep Ones focused on stealing it for their evil rituals.|
I will admit that my table is not as pretty as the others at the convention, but this is my first Miniatures game in public where I supplied all of the terrain and miniatures from my own collection. Regardless, my players liked the set up and were excited to play. 6 people signed up for this game, which filled the entire sign up sheet. How cool is that!?
|This is how the table looked when the players arrived. Nice and organized with the paired opponent gangs directly across from each other. For deployment, we went piece by piece around the table allowing each player to place one figure at a time.|
This is a game that I wrote about in the past, so much of the background and premise is already available in my previous posts. Essentially, there are two sides. The Cultists and Deep Ones must capture an object and remove it from play. The other side consists of law enforcement officers and some “Outlanders.” Each side had an additional goal on top of stealing or guarding the central artifact. The Outlanders are there to take revenge on the Tiik Baron and his crew for a previous incident. The SWAT Team was paired against the Deep Ones and had to stop the Deep Ones from destroying two specific buildings on the board. The Cops were paired against the cultists and had to prevent the capture of a Scholar. On top of that, there were the complications of Darkness, a traitor on the Cop’s Team and a second civilian that needed to be captured and escorted off the board.
|The Cultists were very bold and both their leader and bruiser deployed close to the objective and the nest of the enemy.|
After deployment, the table was looking as per above. I am still relatively new to the game. I have read the rules twice and this was the third Fistful of Kung Fu game that I have participated in, so I apologized to the group in case I got any of the rules wrong. That said, the game is pretty easy to understand with the toughest concept likely being the activation and reactions tests. By early to mid game, all the players were understanding the core concepts well.
Most of the players got to engage in battle, but there was one that never made it to the fight. Below is a picture of Mike’s group. One of his objectives was to destroy the house beside the black car. For the first round, he fired a rifle at the gas tank of the car (hoping for an explosion to knock down the house) and missed. For another turn, he tried getting into a car to crash it through the building. His guys didn’t even get around to turning on the ignition. I think that Mike learned in this game that activating extras on three dice at a time is a good way to lose your turn early. 🙂
|This is how Mike’s Deep Ones deployed. They never left this corner of the table.|
Now Mike was not the only one rolling bad for activation. One person rolled three ones for his protagonist. For those that don’t know the rules to A Fistful Of Kung Fu, three ones on an activation make you lose your turn and allows an opponent’s protagonist (gang leader) take up to three actions on a successful reaction test. Protagonists pass the test on twos, so rolling three ones is the worst.
|Someone other than Mike rolled these ones. Ones on an activation allow an opponents “boss” to take up to three reactions in response.|
|Mike was pretty happy that someone other than him performed badly on an activation test.|
While Mike’s protagonist sat in the corner, the other two on his team pushed their guys to the centre.
|Jill Lucas and the Cop leader faced off in the building. Jill more or less ran away from this confrontation and so did the cop (both preferring to engage each other at range),|
|On the other side of the board we have two cultists and a “Spikeshell Warrior” trying to capture an objective. That objective (a knowledge expert regarding Cthulhu) actually knocked out one of the cultists that was trying to capture him.|
|The Vigilante outside had a different idea for how to deal with the cultist and knowledge expert. He primed a grenade from his duffel bag and tossed it into the house. The results were not good for the followers of Cthulhu.|
With Jill getting the daylights beat out of her by two protagonists, the Tiik Baron losing two of his arms to Goose, the Leader of the Deep Ones no where near the action and the grenade being tossed into the house, the forces of Cthulhu decided to concede victory to the other side.
Overall, it was a really fun game and I hope that my players enjoyed the experience. I asked for feedback after running the game and came away with a few really good suggestions.
- Work on a 4′ by 4′ table rather than a 6′ by 4′ table to get people in on the action earlier.
- Cut the number of players down to 4. 6 was too much to manage at this time and we really got lost on who has (or has not) acted each turn and who lost their ability to react.
- Bring specific markers for effects, used up turns and lost ability for reactions.
- Measure movement differently to get the figures moving around the table faster (this may have been due to me getting a rule wrong).
- Allow each player to deploy two or three minis at a time to speed up the initial set up of the game and get to the action earlier.
- Have more scatter terrain on the table and not such an open middle ground to encourage less shooting and more melee.
|Not terrible, but there certainly were better looking tables at the convention. I would like to improve how my table looks, but it wasn’t bad for its first time out of the basement. 🙂|
One cool thing is that Mike, one of the players at my table, happens to be the man that runs the “Over The Top” gaming convention in Brantford. I went to their Summer Offensive earlier and after this game, he asked if I would be willing to run A Fistful of Kung Fu at his Winter Offensive event in December. As long as I am not busy with other obligations that day, I think I will run it again with the suggested improvements.
As I packed up, I heard one of the guys mention that he really liked trying out the ruleset and now plans to buy the book. At around $20 Canadian, this is a really affordable product that is worth taking a “risk” on. That said, I bought the rules and think that they are a lot of fun and just the right level of complexity for a fun event. I also like that you can use whatever miniatures that you have for the game. Of course, there are the official products by North Star Miniatures, but most of my collection of a suitable nature are minis by either RAFM or Reaper.