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Moirdryd
26-09-2015, 10:50
I posted a question in the AOS Future thread, but think that it probably deserves a thread of its own. This isn't aimed at any one system really, WFB, AoS, KoW or whatever else people thinks applies (Hail Ceasar, Frist Grave, WMH).

What Narrative Scenarios have people played with any of the fantasy games they are playing? I mentioned a few in my question before, some of which appeared in earlier WhiteDwarf battle reports (Things like the Dwarves capturing the barrow vs the Brettonians denying them, with undead in the Barrow WD172). Or the High Elf column ambushed by Night Goblins to the classic Helms Deep style of desperate defence or Last Stand battles.

Im asking this because the term gets thrown around a lot with claims that certain games don't or do work, or are used for, different types of games. I've never seen a game that couldn't be played to a narrative element (although often I don't, I run two RPGs a week and when I get time for rocking out a wargame we usually just break out a standard scenario and maybe add a story element to the happenings of the fight based off of last game we had).

So what are people playing in ths regard? Or what kind of scenario or set up do you think would be cool? Hasn't got to be, as I said in opening, linked to any particular system but be fun to see what's in people heads (and give a few of the ideas a whirl too).

Davidian
26-09-2015, 11:05
There's a few I've always loved.

Like being outnumbered and surrounded, last x turns to win.

Seige battle's give me huge joygasms.

Assassinate. Each randomly generate an enemy character. Keep it secret. Gain x amount of VPs for the contract... Works really well with 4 to 5 chars each. You really have to try and conceal your intentions.

I want to play now... Working all weekend :-(

Niall78
26-09-2015, 11:07
I think there is a bit of a mix-up between 'narrative' play and scenario play. Most games feature scenarios and some games whole campaigns. Gaming has always been heavily scenario driven.

The narrative for any game happens in the players head. Every game is in effect a narrative game. They all tell stories in the players head. They are structured imagination play. A player playing the most intense competitive game within a system is just as lightly to be having the same narrative experience in their head as somebody playing the most fluffy scenario game. The narrative happens in the players imagination for the most part.

Spiney Norman
26-09-2015, 11:21
I've been part of a group at our club playing through the End Times scenarios for wfb, those were a blast, with crazy moments like my night goblins taking down Neferata by throwing half a dozen fanatics in her face. I guess playing through those scenarios in some ways prepared me for AoS because they're not remotely balanced. The humbling of Settra was awesome as well.

I've probably played most of the narrative scenarios for LotR over the years I've been playing the game (since the early 2000s), my favourites have to be the siege of helms deep battles (I own the helms deep fortress set that GW produced back in the day) since I built large Uruk Hai and Rohan forces specifically to play them as accurately as possible.

I also play a lot of narrative scenarios for Star Trek attack wing (Star Trek skinned x-wing) which recreate specific incidents from the shows, my favourites there are the scenarios set around the Undiscovered Country movie, especially the 'To be or not to be' scenario that comes with the Chang's Bird of Prey expansion.

Urgat
26-09-2015, 12:36
I played quite a few with my friends, with WFB rules as a base, usually with a couple houserules that changed things dramatically.

Of the top of my head:
Two warbands seeking a treasure in an undead infested area (random move, charge anything in range).
or trying to capture the Imperial (Playmobil...) ship and hold it for a couple turns.
There was also that one on two levels, in a giant cave, where we had to kill 4 elemental guardians to unlock the gate to the final boss (dragon, the one who beat it would get the dragon in the last game). Terrain was built with a lot of heroscape tiles.
Also that amusing one, devised when we were drunk: a town with 3 towers, a chaos army defending them against a horde of monsters.

NagashLover
26-09-2015, 21:06
I know I tend to use movies, books, anime or whatever for inspiration to craft and inspire new scenarios.

One example not massive army sized is limiting players to a single model (hero level, basic equipment only, no magic) and setting up the board similar to the film Night of the Living Dead and crafting objectives around events in the movie (such as getting to the truck and trying to get fuel) which end up random each time with respawning zombies.

For massive armies clashing we used a scenario where the army needs to collect a multitude of objectives (while attempting to kill the opposing armies units which have claimed objectives) atop a large unstable volcano like ground where every turn portions of the board will fill up with lava (which subsides at the end of the turn) and any units caught in it and not on one of the many hills suffers damage.

We actually have a book we put together (well...a notebook filled with terrible drawings along the sides and top) to chronicle what we come up with.

Voss
26-09-2015, 21:35
I think there is a bit of a mix-up between 'narrative' play and scenario play. Most games feature scenarios and some games whole campaigns. Gaming has always been heavily scenario driven.

The narrative for any game happens in the players head. Every game is in effect a narrative game. They all tell stories in the players head. They are structured imagination play. A player playing the most intense competitive game within a system is just as lightly to be having the same narrative experience in their head as somebody playing the most fluffy scenario game. The narrative happens in the players imagination for the most part.

Eh. No, not really. Sometimes (often) a game is just a game. Tactical problems to be solved, more akin to a chess puzzle than a story. Indeed, I'd say even with a fluffy scenario, most players will think of it in game terms rather than wandered off into a narrative. In my experience, most gamers treat the narrative and the gameplay as separate unconnected pieces. 'How can I beat his static combat resolution?,' rather than 'the brave swordsman champion named Bob the Mighty stoically challenges the dastardly Chaos Lord [Fred the Uncivilized] to a duel.'

HelloKitty
27-09-2015, 17:47
I don't really see the mix up to be honest.

While technically all games are scenario driven, when its the same scenario or minor variations therein, that to me is not scenario driven. A scenario driven game would be a game that utilizes a large set of different scenarios that all have different parameters and require different types of forces to succeed at. I would say games like Malifaux and Frostgrave and Age of Sigmar are the most scenario-driven type games I have played in a while or have experience with. Armada also comes close with how you set up mission parameters with the cards.

An army built for pitched battle would not be good for other types of scenarios, for example and so on. That of course means you don't show up and roll a random scenario, you should know the scenario ahead of time, which is to many people bad since pickup games usually involve some type of list that should be good at everything and roll on a small subset of scenarios (that are usually derivatives of the same thing).

A narrative play means players playing by a narrative, whose forces reflect a narrative force.

Example: in age of sigmar, blood reavers make up the bulk of forces of the khorne followers. A narrative game using said forces would have at least one unit of these guys in it for a typical battle. A narrative player would work those in because they follow the overall narrative unless the scenario was specifically about elite lines clashing. A non narrative player would never consider reavers because they are weak and there are better choices from a gamist point of view.

Narrative play and scenario play tend to go hand in hand.

Non narrative play usually shuns scenario play unless the scenarios are the core scenarios that their pitched battle army can be good at. Technically pitched battle is a scenario though so perhaps there is another word besides "scenario play" since pedantically playing pitched battle over and over again is technically playing a scenario driven format.

Kegslayer
27-09-2015, 17:58
Only play scenarios now a days at lease since aos came out. Makes the game work especially in a narrative situation. Other games like Malifaux work with this also though to be fair Malifaux is slipping down worthwhile games. AoS, warmahordes are now my main systems and the narrative scenarios are just brilliant for these games especially balancing them out

Davidian
27-09-2015, 18:02
C'mon.... I'm quite sure the OP was asking about different ways to play not about petty semantics.

I seem to remember seeing the high elf gobblin issue of white dwarf in my garage with the ambush scenario in it. Definitely have to dig it out to do something with my new gobbos.

I always find a good narrative can help you invent scenarios and a fun scenario can have you build a narrative as you play. It more than permissable to have one without the other is both.