What a night of gaming was had last Wednesday! We started the night with a new board game I had purchased (Clank! In! Space!) which was awesome and then we continued to play our Warhammer Fantasy Role-Playing Game where the players had just entered combat with some cultists (of Slaanesh) and a Witch Hunter. It was set to be a night of high tension and drama. I had read up (a lot!) on magic in the game as the players were headed to a mage tower centred around Magic as a theme. What happened, in the end, took me completely by surprise!
Power of the Mob
There were a lot of cultists in the fight. Nine and a leader to be exact. The Witch Hunter entered the fray reluctantly on the players’ side, but that meant there were five versus ten. The players are all experienced characters, on their second or third careers and so were no slouches when it came to be challenged. The power of the mob took over though. The cultists are weak fighters without a doubt. Some lucky early dice rolls and modifiers available to them for ganging up quickly came into play. The players were holding their own – just.
Then all of a sudden, one of the players fell to a bowshot that sliced their face open. With that, the cultists joined other battles and where players were holding they started to lose. Ganging up is a terribly efficient tactic for numerous foes.
The Total Party Kill (TPK)
Once one of the players fell it was a game of dominoes. The well-rounded characters of a years play all fell to the inevitability of the mob. The bonus to fighting with overwhelming odds shut down the fight and outclassed the players. Looking at it now I am surprised at how quickly it happened. Often, in my Warhammer games, I have felt that balancing a combat encounter was a difficult thing. This encounter showed me that even the least capable enemies are dangerous in number. Especially if there are ranged weapons involved because they take advantage away from players.
Running this game can be challenging at times. It is a much more “crunchy” combat system than I normally like to run. Investigating the way mobs work can add an element of making easy opponents more interesting and challenging. Snotlings may look a little more fierce when fifteen crest the hill and rush at the players. Players should also consider this when faced with numerous foes. Remember that running away is another option – not all battles can be one. Keep rolling!