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So, once again, after a period of real life intervening, I dragged the returning team of A,J & P down into the dungeon (see here for naming clarifications: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/765381/new-to-hq-first-g...). They retained their roles (loincloth-clad steroid-addled moron, effeminate pointy-eared twat, short-arse, respectively), & were joined on this occasion by PII, who took over the role of the spell-caster, or as I like to call him, "target".
The adventure was The Lair of the Orc Warlord, buffed slightly by me.
We found this adventure to be far longer & far more of a slog than the initial, as it is basically every room turns into a pitched battle; with the addition of extra monsters & the Orc Shaman to give Ulag (the titular Orc Warlord) a bit of a help it turned into a night-devouring three hour marathon, though this was probably extended because A decided to argue petulantly about everything. Coming up with a house rule? Argument. Voting to decide on a house rule? Argument. Evil Wizard declaring you can't stack weapons & use them like a fucking Swiss Army knife (turn one: two-handed sword. Turn two: spear & shield. Turn three: back to two-handed sword) whilst fighting the same enemy without any kind of penalty: argument.
Gah.If I ever am stupid enough to breed, I pray to Zargon that I'll spawn more than one of them, just so they don't end up playing HeroQuest like he does.
Anyway. The initial hacky/slashy went well, with many heroic moments (& some quite spectacularly unheroic ones) as the heroes creamed the bad dudes. When it came to the penultimate fight (a room full of orcs, goblins & fimir) the heroes had used a large amount of their healing spells & potions, leaving them somewhat surprised to open the next door & find Ulag, his shaman & a Chaos Warrior.
Eventually Ulag was defeated, along with his minions. However, the brutal & quite wonderfully OTT battle spilled out into corridors & several rooms (what with the Orc Shaman summoning more orcs, Ulag running away after taking a couple of early hits, several heroes taking so much damage they had to stage various tactical retreats etc) & in the general mêlée P, controlling the Dwarf, managed to sneak past the Bad Guys towards the final treasure room. He searched the corridor outside for dosh & pulled a trap. Ouch. You'd've thought that his bad fortune had ended; however, as his girlfriend had been on the phone nagging him to leave & go out with her for half an hour exacerbating his natural rashness, he wandered into the treasure room & opened the booby-trapped chest without searching for anything, thus dying horribly at the moment of his greatest triumph.
I found this unutterably poetic; everyone else thought it unbelievably funny.
The only other casualty was A, who had complained that the first quest was too easy, & spent most of this one complaining that it was too hard. He died fighting the last boss's hench-creature, which, instead of engendering a feeling of accomplishment, meant he threw his rattle out of the pram. Sigh.
PII & J, with the weakest characters (the Wizard & the Elf), out of spells, low on health, potions exhausted, managed to stab the last Chaos Warrior in the eye & thus win the game.
P, PII & J actually applauded at the end, saying that the experience had been better than the last few films they'd watched; a general air of dazed wonder at the pulling-victory-from-the-hot-stinking-maw-of-defeat pervaded the room, & we sat around talking about it for at least an hour afterwards, which made P's stupid sacrifice A) pointless & B) even funnier, as his girlfriend never actually got to see him that night & he got the kibosh from her the next day.
The above are desperate to play HeroQuest again at the earliest opportunity.
A, on the other hand, went into a massive sulk about being killed off, which added to his general petulance makes me think that I'm going to try to kill him from the moment the next game starts, which might be unfair, but will at least keep me amused.
THINGS I HAVE LEARNED FROM HEROQUEST, By Snidey McWhiplash, Aged 32 11/12ths:
*: You can never add enough monsters.
*: Though this should be balanced by doling out extra goodies.
*: Using magic back at the heroes is funny. Especially the expressions on their faces.
*: Reasonable people will react to the toughness of a game with genuine pleasure, as long as they are enjoying the experience; as long as it's fun, it don't matter how hard it is.
*: If someone's a single child, they are probably going to moan no matter what happens during the course of a game, so you should devote all your resources to killing them off first. Preferably before they can open the first door. I dunno, drop a rock on them or something.
That concludes HeroQuest Report II. The next one's scheduled for Friday, & I shall report back ASAP...