Thursday, April 8, 2010

After-Action Report: The Hills Rise Wild

Our group played a memorable four-player session of The Hills Rise Wild a couple of weekends back. (For those of you not familiar with the game, The Hills Rise Wild is a cross between a miniatures game and a board game. Its Lovecraftian theme makes it great fun for the Lovecraft/weird horror fan, and its semi-comical undertones make it great fun in general. Check out the link above and the game's BoardGameGeek entry for more info.)

Here are the gory details of our session:

The Cult of Ezekial (hereafter "CoE") took the first turn - and found the Great Whately Seal in the first shack they searched! (Much to the chagrin of the CoE player, who knew that carrying the Seal around meant his cultists had a big red target painted on each of their robes.) One of the cultists took a potshot at Lavinia Whately - and killed her outright! (Little did we know at the time that this would be the start of a disturbing trend for the CoE.)

Rather than dashing after the cultists, however, the other factions decided it would be best to poke around and find some useful gear first. Each of the players took a couple of turns exploring the shacks - during which time a scrap erupted between the Whatelys and the DeGhoules. (I was playing the Whatelys and my fiancee was playing the DeGhoules - she always comes directly at me when we play minis games, regardless of the objective of the game.) While those two factions duked it out, the CoE and the Marsh clan jockeyed for position outside the mansion.

Around the fifth turn, the DeGhoules disappeared into their tunnels. (My fiancee was ill, and had to bow out of the game.) The CoE had opened the mansion, however, and found themselves beaten to the Necronomicon by the Marsh clan, who played a relay race with the grimoire until getting it into the hands of the Sea Hag - who promptly teleported home with it! Freed from my melee with the DeGhoules, I sent every remaining Whately dashing across the board toward the Marsh lair.

As the sixth turn started, the CoE found themselves blocked by a wall of fish-men at the rear of the mansion. At the front of the mansion, only Chosen and one cultist were not engaged in combat, so they immediately moved toward the Marsh's lair. Those cultists in combat killed their opponents (two of them) outright. (The first died as a result of a successful hit followed by a high normal damage roll, then a high brutal damage roll. The other was a natural 20 to hit, followed by a high brutal damage roll. Score so far for the CoE: three hits, three kills.)

The Marsh clan spent the sixth turn holding the CoE at bay, but doing little damage to them. Finally, the Sea Hag performed the ritual - and the player rolled a 1! Zot! The Hag was a stain in the summoning circle.

The Whatelys spent the turn dashing around the shacks behind the mansion. (It was definitely the long way around, but the CoE and the Marsh clan had a real charlie foxtrot going on behind the mansion.)

As the seventh turn started, Chosen and the lone cultist made slow progress toward the Marsh lair as the other members of the CoE continued pushing their way through and out the back of the mansion. Two more Marsh members fell dead (five hits, five kills) leaving only Captain Obed to make a mad dash for his home.

Unfortunately for him, the Whatelys got there first, as Clem and George ran to block the window Chosen was heading for, and Wilbur - unable to reach the Necronomicon where it lay upon the Sea Hag's smoldering corpse - opted to block the door. The hound and Cletus circled the building and attacked Chosen, inflicting severe wounds that the creature totally ignored.

At the start of the eighth turn, Chosen attacked the hound, who was still "fresh" (un-damaged). Can you guess the results? (Six hits, six kills.) The cultist attacked Cletus, who was also fresh. (Seven hits, seven kills.) The other two remaining cultists (in the fracas in- and outside the mansion, the Marsh boys had whittled the CoE down to Father Darke and Brother Whatever-his-weird-ass-name-was) attacked Captain Obed, but missed.

Captain Obed broke from combat and stepped to the other side of the door from Wilbur and pulled an "Ezekial" on him. (One hit, one kill.) With his last breath, Wilbur invoked his father's name - but Yog must have been in the shower, because no help came.

From within the Marsh lair, Clem and George finally manage to put Chosen down.

At the start of turn nine, the lone cultist stepped over Chosen's body to attack Clem - and the player rolled a 1. Clem attacked back, and the CoE finally got a taste of its own medicine as Clem laid the cultist low with a single blow.

The remaining cultists attacked Captain Obed, and Father Darke's hit would have killed him if he hadn't invoked his special ability and ignored the brutal damage. (Almost eight hits, eight kills.)

Captain Obed attacked Father Darke and missed, and Clem and George moved to attack him from within the Marsh home. He was trapped in the doorway!

When the scrap in the doorway was finally done, Clem and George were dead - George having been "Ezekialed" by Captain Obed. Obed himself had - despite his earlier dodging of this bullet - become the CoE's eighth hit, eighth kill.

With the book in their - erm, hands - the two cultists dashed back to their lair. At the start of the next turn, Father Darke performed the ritual - and must have mispronounced something, because after a rumble and a flash all that remained of the cultist was an empty pile of robes under a moldy old book. (The player had rolled a 1 for the ritual.)

Trembling with trepidation, Brother Whatever-his-weird-ass-name-was stepped forward and picked up the book. We all held our breath as the player rolled the die, each of us half-expecting a 1 to come up.

Alas, such was not the case, as the player rolled an 18 and the Cult of Ezekial - having left one mangled corpse after another - won the game.

"Praise Yog and pass thuh ammo!"


A Hard Won Thing Scoreboard:

0 wins / 0 draws / 2 losses (but another fun one, none the less)

. . . . .


  1. "I was playing the Whatelys and my fiancee was playing the DeGhoules - she always comes directly at me when we play minis games, regardless of the objective of the game."

    This has an eerie ring of familiarity about it...

  2. Nice to know I'm not alone. :D

    In fact, my beloved SO has made it known - clearly and on several occasions - that when it comes to games we're playing, she doesn't so much care if she's the overall winner... just so long as she beats me. /sigh

  3. Chris and I are both very competitive, and although I love him I'm not going to allow him to win simply because he sux at dice rolls. Also, in my defense. I have to take him out first because if I don't he will make it a point to take pot shots at my characters. He can deny this, but deep down he knows he likes to instigate... :P