This is an adult game. It takes planning and thought with the eye to combined ops.
There's 3 bits: Gods, Heroes and Mortals.
Gods do things. In combat they count as 8 mortals. When mortals pray, they get more actions. When they are banished, it's the mortals that can bring them back with their heartfelt incantations of "Oh Ye God, we're all going to die!" On the scales, big powerful gods cost more, so less points for your others. It's all in the balance.
I'm hoping to play this game as a sort of series, so there are several options, we've never tried multi player options. Plus, it will see my older Museum Miniatures replaced with the new, amazing, Z sculptures, new movement bases and some repainting:
Straight 2 player but high point Ares vs Hephaestus.
Kingmaker 3 person game. As above, but with 1,000 point Aphrodite "doing a Stafford" on one flank. I'm thinking that she deploys (fully or 1 at a time?) first. She can (dice off) attempt to grab any initiative or reaction.
War! 4 person game. We've never tried this before. Ares and Aphrodite vs Hephaestus and
Athena. IF this works it's on to Egypt -.
Both sides dice for initiative. Winner starts deployment followed by opponent, then other side. Play follows same pattern.
Best to employ the "Cool Hand Luke" method, rather than waiting, if next player will not impact on the first, keep the pace up.
Reactions, suggest that the nearest enemy in line of sight gets the go.
Let's look at Ares. Costs 376.
Quality 2, usual for a god. You need 2 different sets of coloured dice. The 3 normal. If you roll 2 1's the initiative passes to your opponent as normal. Any 1 fail can be taken as a reaction by your opposite number. The second set of 3 are for units giving up reaction for prayer.
Combat 5, so hits like a proverbial. Now there's some "apps".
Group fighter means that he cannot be outnumbered.
Combat master allows every activation can be used for a separate attack. Let's say he's fighting 1 legend & 6 mortals. He has 5 available. He does a +2 on the Hero, and +2 on the mortals to reduce them before 4. That leaves 1 action, so he can either move or clobber someone again.
Hammering blow. Not your easiest weapon, so a six adds +1, but a 1 does same for your opponent who gets under the swing.
He also has the option to Shapeshift into a Boar Q2 C4 He loses & gains abilities:
Forester allows no reduction for moving through woods.
Long move, normal move is a Medium so each activation used is longer.
Dashing he attacks in the same activation, without requiring a second activation.
Poison. For every casualty caused, roll a D6, If 5,6 another casualty.
Legends. You can have between 1-5. Each counts as 4 mortals in combat. The rules state that they cannot use more than one third of the total points. For this reason they're the "centre of the seesaw". The cost of the god is set, although a few can have "add ons". I'm going for about 1,500 points. More points the more activations the god can get from more mortals.
Going back to Ares, I've 480 worth of Legends. 480x3= 1,440 as my new target. 480+376 = 856 of our 1,440 target. That leaves 584 for mortals.
I have one major bee in me bonnet about the Greek list. All the heroes are bronze age. All human mortals are later hoplites. A bit like playing WW1 with redcoats and muskets. The real - heroes cannot be armoured and mounted. Um. no. That's a chap in & around a chariot.
I've listed the main use of mortals, which is to "pump up" your god. This gives gods & legends the task of cutting them down. Such is religion. I note most 28mm players concentrate on the better grade of mortal, your Spartans and Berserkers. That's great, they might last a bit longer. But for "bang for your bucks" you cannot beat the bollock naked chap with a rock or pointy throwing stick. In our very first game a large unit of rock throwing (small) cyclops took out Hades. Then they had a long ding-dong battle with a hydra.
Having the most costly god sorted out, I use the legend maximum and for the rest.
Quick note on Greedy. These were head hunters, body and/or kit claimers. All this takes time. Greedy requires a Q test if destroys enemy, if it fails lose 1 action next activation. This has the benefits of adding a cultural behavior and reducing points.
Here's the lists:
Ares Q2 C5 Group fighter, Combat master, Hammering blow.
Shapeshift Boar Q2 C4 Forester, Long move, Dashing, Poison. 376.
3x Amazon Princess, Q3 C3 mounted, Long, Shoot Short, good shot. @ 102 =306
2x Amazon Chariot Heroes Q3 C3 Armoured, mounted @ 87 = 174
4 Amazon Noble Javelin Q4 C2 Armoured, Greedy, Shoot Short @20 = 80
2x 8 Amazon Spear Q4 C2, Greedy @ 12 = 192
4 Amazon maiden bow Q4 C1 Greedy, shoot medium @ 10 = 40
22 Amazon maiden javelin Q4 C1 Greedy, shoot short @ 8 = 180
4 Amazon maiden cavalry Mounted, Fast, javelin Q4 C1 Greedy, shoot short @ 23 = 92
Design philosophy. Ares was worshiped in many places. I could use Achilles, Myrmidons and his chariots. As I know he likes them, I've given him/Tony Amazons.
Hephaestus Q2 C4 Short move,
Smithy. Gives Armoured trait to a Legend on deployment.
Tauroi Khalkeoi (bronze bull) Q3 C4 Armoured, Artificial, Big, Combat master. @ 118
Artificial no morale, no invocations.
Talos the bronze giant Q3 C4 Armoured, Artificial, Huge, Hammering blow. @ 120
Hammering blow roll 1, enemy free hack. 6 +2.
Perseus Q3 C3 Invisibility helm Stealth, Ambusher @ 72
Pegasus Q3 C3 Flying, Long move, Carrier, Unique @ 102
Hero Q3 C3 @ 60
Automata Q4 C2 Artificial 17x 8 = 136
8 Armoured Heroes Q4 C3 Armoured, Steadfast, Greedy @ 27 =216
Steadfast +1 morale
Greedy. Q test if destroys enemy, fails lose 1 action next activation.
16 (2x8) Spear Q4 C2, Greedy @ 12 = 192
8 Javelin, Q4 C1 Greedy, Shooter short, @ 8 = 64
Design philosophy. Hephaestus is well able to construct his own heroes. Many heroes have benefited from his kit. As most heroes are kings or princes, the rest of his mortals represent their city retinues.
Aphrodite Q2 C3 Transfix, Love conquers, Breathtaking beauty 272
Minotaur Q3 C3 Mounted, Armoured, Dashing, Labyrinth =118
2x Chariot Heroes Q3 C3 Armoured, mounted 87 = 174
8 City state infantry Q4 C2,Dash, Javelin Shoot short. 22 = 176
8 City state infantry Q4 C2 Shoot(M) Good shot @ 23 = 184
2x5 City state infantry javelin or sling Q4 C1 Greedy, shoot short @ 8 = 80
Design philosophy. Aphrodite comes from Crete, so here are Cretan troops. She may be cheap, but has some interesting powers. Not so good fighting other gods, she can walk through mortals and most legends with ease. Her mortals can give her the 3 extra dice allowing her to a +3 hit.
War! Going Bang! (Well) - Splat! - Pow! - String!
For convenience I'm going to stick with the same maximums.
Apthrodite gets another 436 points of which 188 can be Legends. Harpies may seem an odd choice, but they are another denizen of Crete.
2x Harpy Q3 C2 Flying @ 60 =120
Bit of a no brainer to up the javelin/slingers 12 x 8 = 96
10 bow Q4 C1 Greedy, shoot medium @ 10 = 100
Charioteer Heroes Q4 C2 Armoured, Mounted Javelin Shoot short. @ 30 =120
Extra legends 120
Extra mortals 316
Total 436 + 1,004 above = 1,440
Just a reminder it's Ares and Apthrodite vs Hephaestus and Athena.
Athena Q2 C4 288
Lightning (Thanks, Dad!)
Shapeshift Owl, Q2 C3 Long move, Flying
Odysseus Q2 C2 Armoured, Free disengage, @ 72
Theseus Q3 C3 Armoured @ 40
Ariadne Q3 C1 @24 (if within 1 long of Theseus, he's immune to Labrynth)
2 Chariot heroes, Q3 C3 Armored, Mounted 87 = 174
4x8 Early tower shield spear (CO) Q4 C2, Greedy @ 12.= 256
16 Q4 C1 Greedy, shoot medium @ 10 = 160
16 x Javelin or slingers Q4 C1 Greedy, shoot short @ 8 = 128
4 Charioteer Heroes Q4 C2 Armoured, Mounted Javelin Shoot short. @ 30 =120
Design philosophy. Athena. Ares may be the god of war, but Athena is the goddess of strategy. A mass of mortals means she's always charged up.