‘The great King Macdeath is dead!’
The throne of New Albion sat empty for the first time in an age, it’s Soulblighted lord and master having met his final death. And the Great Noble Clans weren’t about to sit around waiting for a new one to come along! It did not take long for bloody combat to reduce the clans to just two: Clan Kolville, led by the scheming Git Sky-pirate Thane Toadsmasha and Clan Blakad’r, led by the ever-hungry Ogor Tyrant Thane Meatgut.
Now the two would-be kings must race to not only seize control of the counties of New Albion, they must also endeavour to piece together the mystery of the tragedy of Macdeath. For as dictated by ancient local bylaw no man may claim the throne without first bringing to justice the previous incumbents assailant.
Who will ascend to power? Will the king’s assassin be brought to justice? Will our erstwhile Thanes be able to keep their generals in line long enough to get anything done?
Join us in Ulgu as we try to uncover the truth and satisfy the most ridiculous of ancient bylaws in the Mortal Realms.
A new narrative event will take place in just a few weeks, in Walsall, England, on October 1st-2nd!
“A Shadow in the West” is a new narrative event hosted by Nacho Momma’s Wargaming Club. This year’s extravaganza, the Tragedy of Macdeath, is a two day, narrative-driven Age of Sigmar event, with all of the action occurring in the Realm of Shadow: Ulgu.
Players will team up into two factions, and battle their opponents for control of the five Counties of New Albion. The teams will also have to manage food and wealth resources, as well as collect clues to unravel the mystery of who killed king Macdeath!
We chatted with the lead NEOs for the event; Tom (@korvaks_saga), Damien (@Sigmars_Revenge), Jon (@wackcjack) and Ol (@OB1138), about what players can expect from it.
Q: Please summarize the event for us, and what players can expect.
A: As a group of friends we’ve always leaned way more into narrative play than competitive. There are a number of awesome events in the UK, the standouts being Realms at War and Witney Warhammer. Sadly the guys from RaW couldn’t host their event this year. We were absolutely gutted, so decided we should run our own event! It all kind of snowballed from there.
So having committed to running a narrative event with no idea of what it would be themed around, we did what all 30-something wargamers would do: met around the firepit with a few beers and panicked!
Luckily for us the awesome Asgard Games in Walsall was available to serve as our venue. It’s the best FLGS in the region, and with a plethora of tables and terrain available, as well as an awesome on-site restaurant, it really took a lot of the pressure off, as we could focus on the mechanics of the event and not have to worry about producing scenery or feeding people.
As for what the players can expect, well we really wanted to run the kind of event we would love to go to. Which turned out to be a huge mistake as now we’re stuck running it and getting really quite jealous of our players!
Q: What Narrative innovations and special rules will you be deploying in this event? You have mentioned managing realm rules, resources and collecting clues: how much cluedo will players have to engage in?
A: One of our pet peeves when it comes to wargaming is the rules. Weird, I know, but honestly we always find that the rules get in the way of fun. It definitely feels like there’s too much bookkeeping in modern Warhammer. So one of the things we’ve tried to do is strip away as much of that as possible, to allow our players to just focus on telling stories with their toy soldiers. We also try not to take things too seriously! We’re big believers in fun being the most important part of the hobby.
So whilst there will be games of Age of Sigmar played across the weekend there’s also going to be a whole host of other activities to be enjoyed, such as a group ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ to kickstart the weekend and get players immersed in the setting and narrative. We’ve really tried to draw from all the past events we’ve loved and tried to incorporate as many elements from those as possible. Solving the mystery of the king’s death will definitely be a major focus of the weekend!
Q: There will be a number of towns in this Ulguan kingdom that teams will be trying to control. Do you have themed tables for each of them, and will players get to identify with certain tables as they defend them game after game?
A: So for this year there’s no custom scenery, but we will be theming the tables as best we can. Asgard have got a really extensive collection of terrain, which we’ll definitely be taking advantage of. We’ll also be giving each table a single theme rule. So for example you play your game in Ghastfall Grove, that’s going to have a load of trees, which is going to inhibit effective shooting, so the table-wide rule will be a simple -1 To Hit for Ranged Attacks. Hopefully it’s a way of adding flavour without overloading on rules.
Find in the tweet below a Traveller’s Guide to the kingdom of New Albion.
Nacho Momma’s NEO’s proudly present for your delectation, a brief but informative treatise on the towns and fortresses of the kingdom of New Albion in the realm of Ulgu.— A Shadow in the West: the Tragedy of Macdeath (@ShadowInTheWest) September 13, 2022
A thread 🧵 #AgeOfSigmar #Narrative #WarhammerCommunity #Warhammer pic.twitter.com/Hu3SnM31Ng
Q: A little bird told me you’ve got some interesting prizes on offer for the event. What can players expect?
A: Ah, well one of the benefits of a venue that can easily provide us with terrain and epic food is it meant there was a little bit extra left over in the budget for prizes! We don’t want to give too much away, but we do want people to get excited, so let’s just put it like this: more than one player will be leaving the weekend with a new plant.
Q: What kind of team dynamics and strategic actions will players be able to accomplish? You mention that you even expect splinter factions to pop out of nowhere?
A: Each of the teams is going to be led by one of the two heir-apparents to the throne of New Albion. Between each of the rounds, they’ll be giving a rousing pep talk and figuring out the strategy for the coming battles. This means players will be rewarded for succeeding, punished for failing and given ample opportunities to prove themselves in the fight! If one player is really enjoying fighting in a specific town, there’s no reason they can’t get their captain to assign them to defend it every round!
As for splinter factions… we know narrative players have a habit of going off-script and it’s an aspect of the weekend we fully embrace. If a group of players decide they have enough territory and all the answers to the riddle, they might decide to break away and try to have one of their own crowned king of New Albion!
Q: What would you like to say to players out there, to motivate them to attend “A Shadow in the West”, or join your gaming group in the area for future narrative gaming?
A: If you’ve never had a chance to play in a narrative Age of Sigmar event, this is a great one to start with! It’s going to be laid back, with a real emphasis on fun and telling great stories. Walsall is a great town to host in, because it’s so central and well connected for both road and rail, and Asgard is a truly wonderful venue. There’s still a couple of spaces available, so if anyone would like to attend they can get in touch with us at @ShadowInTheWest on Twitter.
Thank you, Tom, Damien, Jon and Ol!
We will be following the event online, so please post lots of pictures on social media!
You can find the Event Rules pack here for more details and tickets.
There are still a few tickets available, grab yours before it’s too late!!!
And if they happen to be all taken, sign up for the waitlist: there are always dropouts! (true story)
What do you think about this event?
Do you have any questions for the NEOs, and how they manage to coordinate this team event with lots of clues and mysteries?
Leave your comments below!