When I play Warhammer, 95% of the time I’m playing the same guy, whom I frequently call my “arch rival” Vince. Vince works for the local Fire Department, and we play over in the station break room. It’s worth noting, for the purposes of this story, to understand that in my city, firefighters do double duty as EMT’s. Vince is a captain, which means that he can send other guys out on calls, or at least the first one.
Vince and I have been the “captains” of two teams of players who have been butting heads all summer long. My team, led by my Vampire Counts, have been keeping pace with my rival’s, led by his Bretonnians. Most of my battles have been against Vince, with two factors generally making the difference in games: his blowing fear checks versus my miscasting. His failing fear checks means his knights hit me peacemeal where I can pick ’em off. My miscasting usually means my 500 point special character goes poof.
In the most recent game, Vince had blown three fear checks and I was feeling it. Then the first call came in: a toddler with a badly lacerated face. Vince dispatched his first squad. About twenty minutes later a second call: an eleven-year-old with a football-related neck injury.
Side note: about ten years ago the OSU Buckeyes were playing Penn State when a Penn player named Anthony Talliafaro (sp?) suffered a very serious spinal injury. I happened to be working as chaplain at OSU Hospital that year as a way to earn a little side money while in seminary, and was on call that day. I met Anthony’s father, his family, and both head coaches, and got to sit with all of them as they heard Anthony would never walk again (they were wrong). But these kinds of injuries always give me a chill.
“I have to go,” Vince said. “You win.”
“You sure?” I asked, glancing at the table. A few fickle die rolls and the game would tip in his favor.
“No, it’s cool. I’ll have to go transport to the ER on this call. See you at the final battle.”
Just not the way to win, and I’m feeling a distinct lack of victory thrills.