So here it is! It's been a long time coming but finally the Shrine of Rigg exists! And has paint on it! And we played a game with it!
I went in to some detail about the background of this mad idea and how I went about making it a thing (a very big thing!) in this previous post - I hope to do a more detailed look at how I went about building the Shrine in the near future though. In this post I'll try and convey something of the mad game we played with it at BOYL 2018.
After some head scratching we finally worked out a way of fitting the Shrine, the scenery and all the miniatures on the table - and there were a lot of miniatures! The Shrine was laid out floor by floor - the section with the grey stone around it near the middle of the table was the ground floor/basement level. To the left of that is the first floor, second floor and then behind them are the upper floors above them.
Looking down the table from the Shrine the Lustrian jungle steams away - me and Harry provided most of the terrain and had obviously shopped at the same pet shop as our aquariam plants matched perfectly! Also thanks to Scalene who selflessly provided much of the individually based scatter terrain.
With the huge amount of miniatures on the table, I gave the players a quick run down of the scenario - kept very simple and open to keep things running along as smoothly as possible! The action took place after the Magnificent Sven's successful defence of Vastervik. The villagers of Vastervik, heartily sick of their liberators week long celebratory drinking binge, pointed them down river with tales of a mysterious shrine full of gold and untold riches. Sven took the bait much to their relief and was never seen again.
However, word soon got around of this mythical city of gold in the jungle and Vastervik now became a bustling hub of adventurers and raiders, keen to follow in Sven's footsteps and strike it rich! So it came to pass that a sizeable army of Norsemen landed on the shores of Lake Lokka with the Shrine of Rigg squarely in their sights...
Gurgyll Greenwake, Sven's erstwhile opponent in the siege of Vastervik, had not lain idle since his ignominious defeat at the hands of the hated dryskins. Bullying, bribing, cajoling and enslaving a large warband of Slann warriors and Lizardmen auxiliaries, he could not help be drawn towards the Shrine on account of the swarms of Norsemen making their presence known there. Blinded by hatred, Greenwake was out for revenge and any Norseman would do if he couldn't get his claws on Sven...
Somewhat oblivious of the gathering storm that threatened to break the peace, a Pygmy hunting party closed in on its quarry - a very tasty looking Coatl. However, the Pygmies risked biting off more then they could chew as they found themselves in an all out war between Norseman, Slann and Amazon. This was perhaps a time to reforge old alliances, settle scores with old enemies or perhaps just see what they could get out of the chaotic situation and hopefully return home weighed down by Coatl steaks!
|Pygmies and Slann approach each other warily through the thick undergrowth.|
|Alarum bells are rung and the Amazons leap to the defence of their Shrine.|
|Slann advance contemptuously upon their enemies.|
|First blood to the Pygmies though - their Witch Doctor's fireballs setting alight to the Slann's levied Pygmy Bolt Thrower!|
|Norsemen rush through the shallows of Lake Lokka ready to lock horns with the Amazon defenders.|
|Despite being driven in to a frenzy by the deadly attacks of Giant Frogs, even these Berserkers think twice about taking on this lumbering prehistoric beast!|
|Nearby a foul nest of slithering snakemen prove quite a deterrent to any wishing to pass through the long grass.|
|With only a handful of well guarded entrances, these Ulfwerenar begin scaling the sloping walls of the shrine, gaining precarious hand and foot holds in the pitted and ancient stone with their claws and talons.|
|The Pygmies' War Tortoise and hero mounted on an ostrich spearhead the charge against the Slann. Next to them an ancient gateway begins to flicker with eldritch light as if a portal were beginning to open...|
|The Ulfwerenar reach the second floor but are deterred by the sound of angry female voices!|
|Instead they burst in through the largest window on the third floor... and interrupt a conference of the Amazonian high leadership!|
|More bands of Norse approach the temple and its defenders.|
|Slann and Pygmy clash in the centre, neither side able to gain the upper hand.|
|The conference soon dissolves in to a confused and bloody brawl!|
|Mother Samantha is not amused and dispatches the hairy barbarians before her.|
|Mad cackling and chanting herald the arrival of a horde of Koka Kalim - devout and drug-crazed elite warriors of the Amazonian Sisterhood.|
|Taking advantage of the strange flickering portal opening in the gateway out in the jungle, a brave (or foolish) party of Norse run headlong through it... and materialise in one of the towers of the Shrine!|
|Slann and Pygmy refuse to give ground to either side.|
|Mother Samantha makes good her escape as the Ulfwerenar gain the upper hand...|
|And the Norse general surveys the scene of his victory!|
|Their celebrations do not last long before a unit of Slann teleport in, closely followed by their Coatl ally, who somehow keeps its cool and shoots through the window at top speed!|
|More hostile forces materialise inside the shrine - despite trying to randomise it using dice rolls, the 3rd floor conference room seemed to be the place to be!|
|A large band of Norse enter in a more conventional manner - kicking the back door in!|
|More Amazons pour out the other end of the Shrine to meet the growing threat - analogies with Scooby Do chase scenes were made during this game!|
|Norse, Amazons, Slann and Pygmy alike struggle for control over the Warp Gate.|
|However, the sneaky Slann approach it from the rear....|
|The last of the Ulfwerenar make a bloody last stand against the Slann warriors and their Coatl ally.|
|Sacrilege! Large, hairy and smelly men have entered the sacred Great Hall of the Shrine of Rigg! The Sisterhood is not amused...|
|The Norsemen entering via the basement level are met by effective volleyfire from a detachment of Tribeswomen.|
|The last of the Pygmies are slowly mopped up by Slann and Norse alike.|
|With their holiest of holies desecrated, the Amazons look to Mother Samantha to call upon their divine protector. The Goddess of Rigg is summoned and the once burnished gold of her statue begins to live and breathe...|
|The party in the basement store room finally ends as the last barrel is drained. The raucous crowd go on the hunt for more booze and hopefully some fried meat products on a stick...|
|Sick of the so-called Magnificent Sven getting all the limelight (despite not turning up!) Kremlo and his "brothers" make a dramatic entrance!|
|Horribly outnumbered, the Norse interlopers do their best to gain a place in Valhalla!|
|The noisy exit of the revellers from the store room alerts another band of Amazon warriors who give hot pursuit.|
|Ohm nama Shivaya, ohm nama Shivaya, ohm nama Shivaya!|
|The battle for the conference room gets more and more complicated!|
|Meanwhile the peace and quiet of the library on the floor above is ruined by the arrival of more troops from both sides!|
|But the enraged students see off the Pygmy invaders so they can get back to doing word counts to see if their essays are any nearer completion!|
|Eyes widening at the piles of weapons stacked before them, the Cold One riders don't hesitate in leaving their reptilian mounts behind. Mastering their fear of High Age technology, they tool up with Bolt rifles and head on out to kick some ass!|
|More Norse reinforcements pour in to the shrine...|
|... taking advantage of the sacrifice of their compatriots in tying up the archers lying in wait.|
|Once again startled - this time by his wild cats scrambling up the ladder in fear - the Slann handler descends to see what scared them so. Needless to say the Goddess Rigg was not merciful...|
|The Great Hall soon descends in to confusion and violence as the Norse charge in - not to different to your average Sunday service then!|
|More Pygmies appear in the Shrine - things were getting a bit nasty outside!|
|The Frogs with Guns are drawn to a large room by the intoxicating smells emanating from it. Before them stood a huge and horrible idol and an altar piled high with Koka leaves and other narcotics!|
|Looks like a dead end for the Norse this way...|
|Alerted by the wailing and gnashing of teeth just outside in the corridor, the Slann take cover behind the altar and train their newfound automatic weaponry at the door.|
|Smarting from their defeat at the hands of Amazonian students, the Pygmies unleash a hail of poison darts from the roof hatch.|
|The desperate struggle for the Great Hall continues on apace - Amazon and Norse alike give no quarter!|
|The loud staccato report of Bolt rifles echo deafeningly in the Kalim chapel, reducing the front rank of the charging warriors to a bloody mist. However as the smoke clears it is clear the Slanns' position is still a sticky one...|
|Rampaging Norse ignore the sign on the door and burst in to the Priestess' changing room. However it is a mistake that will cost them dearly!|
|The second manifestation of Rigg and her bodyguard prove to be the deciding factor in this skirmish between Slann and Pygmy.|
|The Slann amazingly survive a round of hand to hand combat and fire another volley of Bolter fire in to the seething ranks of the Koka Kalim.|
|The various melees ebb and flow across the great Hall, leaving the outcome unclear as to who might be victor...|
|In the basement the Amazon warriors continue to hold up the now quite small Norse reinforcements.|
|Whilst the band who blundered in to the changing rooms find that hell hath no fury like a woman interrupted in her dressing room!|
|The Frogs with guns are not so lucky this time. Standing between the Koka Kalim and their beloved Koka leaves could only end one way. Who knows what might have happened if they had sampled the drugs themselves!|
|The tide begins to turn against the Norse, despite the entrance of Pygmy reinforcements. The arrival of the second manifestation of the Goddess Rigg does not help matters either!|
|Having secured their part of the basement level, a band of Tribeswomen flock to the Great Hall - drawn by the sounds of battle echoing down the stairs.|
|The Norse dig deep and push back their Amazon foes, causing one of the Goddess Riggs to suffer from instability. She flickers and fades and is no longer able to assist in the battle.|
|The last Norse invaders are dealt with in the basement.|
|Having fought bravely and fiercely, the last priestesses are overwhelmed by their enemy.|
|More and more Amazons sprint to the defence of the Great Hall and it looks like a bloody end for the Norse treasure hunters....|
|With the fall of their greatest hero at the hands of the Goddess Rigg herself, their fate is sealed.|
|The sound of sandalled feet marching ever closer is the last they would ever hear.|
And so you have it - a totally mad game played on a massive table, fought over six levels, with secret tunnels and warp gates, with somewhere between five and eight players (at various times) whose experience of playing the game varied greatly - and it was an absolute hoot! I was over the moon how well the game went, how everyone felt comfortable and enjoyed themselves and were quite flexible with our light touch and flexible approach to the rules and that everyone was just up for a laugh. I have to say though, special thanks to Harry who did a sterling job of keeping things moving along - can't quite remember but I think we managed something like an amazing 15 turns during the day and played the game to a satisfying conclusion.
Other highlights would be seeing possibly the largest concentration of Amazons ever gathered together alongside much newer figures like the David Wood's Tenoch, Tim Prow's Eru-Kin, the lovely See Thirty Amazons sculpted by Geoff Solomon-Sims and all the marvellous Pygmy miniatures that I forgot to ask who produced them.
Huge thanks go to all the players (some travelling as from as far as Berlin!) for their good humour and excellent gamesmanship and many thanks to all those who contributed scenery and made the table look so beautiful.
Apologies for the Oscars acceptance speech there but it was a truly enjoyable experience and definitely made the long slog of building the Shrine worthwhile.
So what's next for Rigg's Shrine? Well I guess the wife will be most interested in seeing where I plan to store the bloody thing - not quite worked that one out yet...
On the modelling front - lots! There's loads of additional details I'd like to add to the Shrine. I never got round to gluing on the forty or so burning torches I got as far as painting up. There are tapestries mentioned in the Journal article and I have all sorts of decoration and additional furniture I'd like to procure and add. I can almost see how addictive and obsessive that Dolls House business can be!
In terms of gaming - I warned many of the folk I spoke to at Boyl that they'd be sick of the sight of my Shrine in a few years time as I'd be dragging it out to every BOYL, Oldhammer event and show I could to get my money's worth out of it! Seriously though, I'd love to do a proper dungeon crawl with it and really use the source material in the Journal more than I was able in the big game we played. Sounds like there is some demand for this at next year's BOYL... I'd also like to play some Rogue Trader, Necromunda and even, dare I say it, Kill Team in the Shrine at some point. Imagine gribbly Tyranids swarming through its corridors like something out of Alien V. Predator!
Anyhow - there's plenty of life in the old girl yet and I look forward to many more years of gaming with her - just so long as I can find a table to support her weight!