[Montsegur 1244] It Continues to be Awesome

I played Montsegur 1244 tonight with my Durham 3 homies. There were four of us - Me, Joel, Clinton and Remi - and the game methodically delivered all the goods I have seen previously in play.

With four players, we each had three characters - one primary and two secondary. We found this to be a bit too much, and in general faded one character each into the deep background. One of mine, Raimond, never appeared in a scene. I made sure he had an impact on the game from offstage by establishing that he beat his wife Corba (my main character). Coloring him as a monster drove her relationship with their daughter, who was Remi's main character. But in general, the game focused on eight characters and this felt right to us. With four players it also went pretty fast! We played an entire game in a little over two hours. I missed the extra interaction six players provides a bit. Because we had to hit our limited scenes hard, things got pretty dramatic pretty fast.

I love the way Montsegur provides you with everything you need (once you've assembled the peripherals of course) and both guides you in play through "do this now" prompts and doesn't require anything else. There's no game junk left behind, no dice, no bric a brac. It's very streamlined.

Comments

  • Yeah, I was very satisfied playing Montsegur again! I was really in-tune with what was on other people's sheets and I was able to ruthlessly batter people about by their issues. The 4-player play did make the game feel a little 'shallower', as the scene economy is so scarce. However, there were big conflicts, big surprises, and some really nice character turns along the way.
  • So what characters did you play this time? Corba, Phillipa, ? What story cards colored this session?

    The short game is both due to less time on introduction to setting and rules (I speculate) and due to the fact that you are very good at setting strong scenes. Perhaps it could be an interesting challenge for you to play less hard, with more scene exploration and less conflict?

    6 players mean 1 + 6 + 3 + 3 + 6 = 19 scenes and 6 epilogues. 4 players mean 1 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 = 17 scenes and 4 epilogues. I.e. actually only two scenes shorter.
  • edited March 2009
    Ah, OK, I'd forgotten the 3-3 in there. I was thinking each act had six full scenes. It still felt a little rushed!

    Clinton played Pierre Roger, I played Corba, Joel played Faye, and Remi played Phillipa. In the end Pierre Roger managed to save Amiel and married Arsende after Phillipa and Faye burned*. Corba denounced the heresy and walked away a broken woman. We introduced the Templar (who was an agent of the Bishop), the Cathar treasure and Corbarrio the mercenary. It was a very cool session.

    One other thing I noticed was that we used our interrupts sparingly, partly due to unfamiliarity and partly because the scenes were so succinct and powerful, until the very end. We basically had a whole round of "extra" scenes during and after the final act.

    *I wonder how Arsende felt about Pierre Roger after the surrender - he'd promised to save Faye at any cost, and was prepared to kill to do so. But since Faye was Joel's primary, Clinton couldn't.
  • We basically had a whole round of "extra" scenes during and after the final act.
    That is quite common and adds to the intensity of Act 4.

    You haven't hit the Traitor yet, the most popular story card in the games I have seen.

    How did Phillipa get to burn? It must have been tragic, with Pierre Roger marrying Arsende. (But I expect no less from Remi after my session with him at Dreamation).
  • A fiery angel of the Lord came down and told Phillipa to take Consolamentum and take the children with her. That was a card-driven inspiration I'd forgotten somehow!
  • edited March 2009
    Philippa started out as happy and in love with Pierre Roger. However, when she miscarried Pierre Roger's son, it drove them both a little mad (Pierre Roger becoming obsessed with having/finding a son, Philippa alienated from a husband whom she could not please). Philippa ended up stealing the Cathar Treasure (another card inspiration) to buy the mercenaries she felt Pierre Roger was too much of a weakling to dare to try to obtain.

    Of course, the mercenaries don't show. Phillippa, attempting to hide her tracks, tells the other women Pierre Roger was the one who had stolen the gold to attemp to hire mercenaries. This does Not Go Over Well with Pierre Roger.

    Then the vision happened, and a docile and willing Phillipa got religion.
  • Posted By: Jason MorningstarWith four players, we each had three characters - one primary and two secondary. We found this to be a bit too much, and in general faded one character each into the deep background
    It also worked like that for us in our last game. It was a little surprising at first, but I don't think it is a bad thing. The game provides enough characters for up to six players, and it means you have many choices for less players. But after you decide which are the main characters the game leads you to quickly develop very intense and focused relations. You don't need so many secondary characters for that. Thus, some of them fade out naturally while others become really important. I think it is a very nice feature.
  • Posted By: Jason MorningstarWith four players, we each had three characters - one primary and two secondary. We found this to be a bit too much, and in general faded one character each into the deep background. One of mine, Raimond, never appeared in a scene.
    This happened in our four-player game, too, except it was Corba. I think we eventually decided she was already dead. It wasn't really a problem though. Roy (who was playing Corba, Raimond, and Bernard) had plenty to do.

    --Paul
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