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Subject: Dragons and dragons and dragons, oh my! rss

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Jim Becker

Nashville
Tennessee
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This was my second solitaire attempt and it seemed a little too easy, so I’ll recount a session report, then post my inquiries at the end.




There's dragons in these parts!

Elves and dragons have never been on the best of terms, what with them looking at us like pointy-eared appetizers. And the one day I forget my invisibility powder, the captain of the guard recruits me to gather troops to go and slay the Dragonlord. I said that was the kind of job that should get done by, say, a captain of the guard. He wasn’t pleased with that, so he sends me out with little more than three gold coins and a trio of peashooters who refuse to stick with me. Worse, I never repaired my coin purse, so sometimes I can’t access my full account.

The cities of Forge and Riverwatch are thankfully nearby, and methinks I’ll try to pull together enough to implement them in our building and defensive schemes. To start, however, it appears a pair of my bowmen have stranded me to go back to the woods. Forget them. I’ll hire a Darnati warrior; maybe he’ll be a better motivator.

When I’m right, I’m right. Seems he tracked down the two hooligans and brought back the support of one of our strongholds. Nice. I can’t say if it’s merely coincidence, but his presence also seemed to Rally Support. Maybe these dragons won’t be so tough after all.

A bit of money later, I hired a pair of Storm Sorceresses. They’re pretty and all, but the way their hair never stops blowing kind of creeps me out. The Slumbering Dragonlord snores some fire, but none of it reaches the ground. Word reaches me that he’s the easiest it’s going to get for me, but frankly, I’d rather let sleeping dragons lie.

I sent off the next archer duo to secure another stronghold, and they seem to like the work. Both sorceresses arrive too, so I make the request for them to do their magic thing - or feminine guiles, or whatever it is they do - and summon something nasty, like a demon. Seems I offended them, because once the demon showed up, the ladies split.

Then, out of nowhere, some idiot shot an arrow with a message attached from the castle! Thankfully, it sank into a tree trunk instead of my trunk. Apparently, Mithrilin joined the party but for the time being, he seems content to leave me alone. Here’s hoping he won’t wake Sleepy.

My archers keep picking up the spare change I drop, so I hired another Darnati Warrior. Nice guy, big sword, not much of a conversationalist.

Holy hydra snot! The first time I set eyes on a dragon, it’s some two-headed, fire-breathing, pants-soiling-inducing monstrosity. Phrynelex torches my home realm something fierce, and I can’t see two of the five castle spires anymore. Hope the idiot messenger was in one of those towers. Wow. I may want to find a stream to rinse out my leggings.

Oh dear. I can’t claim the demon’s much less scary than the dragons themselves. I sent him off along with two archers to see if maybe Riverwatch wants to support our cause. I’m guessing the fiery behemoth from the underworld carried some influence, because the city seemed only too happy to be aligned with the good guys.

Unfortunately, the good guys just got pounded again, this time from some ugly lizard named Khorgard. Part of me wonders if the wizards and alchemists at home wouldn’t better use their time concocting some kind of throat lozenge/fire extinguisher. Just a thought.

I remember the captain of the guard communicating to me that sometimes good leaders aren’t to be liked. Sometimes they need to be the staunch mules who require more of their troops than they’d prefer offering. I remember enduring countless Battle Cries during Forced Marches, so I pulled those from memory and into my arsenal.

The next flamer I’m notified of is Ghox; he has a reputation for being more of a pesky reptile than a city destroyer. Still, a little fire here, a little fire there, and before you know it, there’s nothing left but cinder and ashes. I worry that there are now at least three dragons hanging out in caves or soaring the sky, but at least the two outright attackers seem to have moved on.

A few games of chance later, I’ve got some more gold as well as the keys to my last stronghold. (There are reasons I went into administration instead of going straight to the battlefield.) I toss a few coins to whoever marches the longest - why force when you can inspire them? - and that seems to bring more crowds. Only by the hand of mercy do I discover those aren’t the kinds of rewards that entice Tzeitz, a sleek, fanged beast who pays us no attention. Whew.

If it wasn’t for Ghox buzzing down for a little bonfire run, I would have considered it a pretty good day. Maybe I shouldn’t, since over half the kingdom’s up in flames, but I really believe we still have a chance to prevail.

More troops, more money, more dragons. Kalladra is reportedly next to appear, but I rather suspect the lizards are hosting some kind of party, since she leaves me alone too. The urgent matter to attend to is Ghox. After he ignites the stables where I got my first kiss (don’t ask), I unleash the fury of a demon and a warrior, supported by two bowmen.

Sadly, the Deepwood archers provide a makeshift landing pad for the dead body of Ghox. I was told to prepare for attrition, but wow, that’s an image that’s going to make it hard to sleep tonight.

I proclaim the order to set up camp for a long while so we can amass stronger troops and prepare ourselves for all-out warfare. Since Ghox dies, no others have dared attack us. Forge pledges their alliance with us, but I’m not altogether certain why I need it at this stage. I’ve parlayed my treasure into a few treasure chests worth o’gold. The Darnatis sent word to their friends, and we even hired some Pegasus riders.

It’s hard to be disappointed with a victory. Yes, it feels anticlimactic to say this here, but they never attacked us. Rather, Margath and Kalladra waited for us to pick them off, one by one. Yes, it took two tries and an third demon (once the second went poof) due to some bad calculations on my part of my unit’s strength. But, upon the authority of my commander, I sent troops to slay the necessary fiends to prepare for the penultimate battle.

Slowly, deliberately, I kept a few near me and dismissed anyone I found distracting. Once I amassed a demon, two Pegasi, and a Darnati Warrior, I sent them to face the king of the dragons, calling them into the fray with a battle cry. ‘Twas a good thing too, as the Dragonlord smote the warrior before succumbing to my might. The memory of dispatching Margath surged in our minds as our blades severed the head of the final lord.

While part of me believes I should send troops to finish Mithrilin and Sleepy, most of me wants to go home to collect the fame and glory I so richly deserve. First, however, I’m going to skin one of these giants and make me some boots!





Questions:

1. Shouldn’t the objective card have a name? It’s an enemy, after all. Calling it "the objective" is an unnecessary step out of the game atmosphere, and it could’ve been easily remedied. I’m going to call him Chuck, as I used to work with a guy by that name who possessed dragon-like halitosis.

2. When you buy a Stronghold, can you immediately use its influence? You can break up buy/influence actions so long as you don’t split individual power, so is there any reason I can’t use the stronghold once it’s in my home realm?

3. It seems once Dragonlord Ghox (deal 2 damage to each home real at the start of each event phase) is disposed of, there is no more ticking time bomb. I understand in multi-player situations, there would be glory in being the force to slay Chuck. In a solitaire game, it merely required me slowly building strong enough troops to take Margath (+3 damage to the objective) and Kalladra in order to insure my final brouhaha. Is there an additional incentive to hurry that I missed?

4. Does Ghox do the damage to the home realm if I own a city with a defense of 2? I suspect yes, since the card says home realm. But the city defenses suck up damage to the home realm.

5. I can prevent an attack by Tzeitz (attacks the home realm of each player who has at least 1 reward) by postponing Mithrilin (1 coin) and the Slumbering (1 influence) Dragonlords until after he makes his rounds. Perhaps it’s a glitch in the solitaire game, but why wouldn’t I want to wait until after he appears to claim rewards?

6. I may have botched something entirely, but better to find out in my first two plays than to teach others incorrectly. Sequentially, I play my hand, then draw five new cards before the event card flips. So when I draw Khorgard (12 attack), I have the defense of the new cards in my hand to use, right? Or did I need to save cards (via using influence) in order to have troops defending my home? Seems to encourage faster deck cycling if I use the new cards, while also providing motivation to withhold/keep big strength cards for defense instead of offense.

7. Darnati Warriors destroy opposing units, but not Enemies from the Event deck. I’m 95% confident about that, which is why I’m not phrasing it as a question. I’m 5% looking for confirmation which is why I’m listing it among the other questions.

8. Aesthetics-wise, shouldn’t the photos for Ghox and the Slumbering Dragonlord be reversed? Ghox is apparently sleeping whereas the slumberer is doing anything but.

9. A plastic bag for the die? Really?
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Where were you hiding when the storm broke?
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It's my honor to be the first to thumb and comment on this excellent session report cool

Inflatable Gecko wrote:

Questions:

1. Shouldn’t the objective card have a name? It’s an enemy, after all. Calling it "the objective" is an unnecessary step out of the game atmosphere, and it could’ve been easily remedied. I’m going to call him Chuck, as I used to work with a guy by that name who possessed dragon-like halitosis.


Nice idea. But I'll go with something other than Chuck, if you don't mind.

Inflatable Gecko wrote:

2. When you buy a Stronghold, can you immediately use its influence? You can break up buy/influence actions so long as you don’t split individual power, so is there any reason I can’t use the stronghold once it’s in my home realm?

Yes you can use it immediately. And you MAY acquire multiple units by exhausting a single city or reward, as long as it's all done in one "spend" action (i.e., not saving gold or influence to spend in a separate action).


Inflatable Gecko wrote:

3. It seems once Dragonlord Ghox (deal 2 damage to each home real at the start of each event phase) is disposed of, there is no more ticking time bomb. I understand in multi-player situations, there would be glory in being the force to slay Chuck. In a solitaire game, it merely required me slowly building strong enough troops to take Margath (+3 damage to the objective) and Kalladra in order to insure my final brouhaha. Is there an additional incentive to hurry that I missed?

I dunno about that, but if you're looking for an incentive to hurry, you might try playing the Cataclysm scenario whistle


Inflatable Gecko wrote:

4. Does Ghox do the damage to the home realm if I own a city with a defense of 2? I suspect yes, since the card says home realm. But the city defenses suck up damage to the home realm.

City defenses only add to their own defense, not the home realm's.


Inflatable Gecko wrote:

6. I may have botched something entirely, but better to find out in my first two plays than to teach others incorrectly. Sequentially, I play my hand, then draw five new cards before the event card flips. So when I draw Khorgard (12 attack), I have the defense of the new cards in my hand to use, right? Or did I need to save cards (via using influence) in order to have troops defending my home? Seems to encourage faster deck cycling if I use the new cards, while also providing motivation to withhold/keep big strength cards for defense instead of offense.

Correct. You would spend influence to save specific cards and discard the ones you don't want (or can't afford to save), then draw back up to maximum. This allows you to cycle when you want, and to keep specific cards when you want.


Inflatable Gecko wrote:

7. Darnati Warriors destroy opposing units, but not Enemies from the Event deck. I’m 95% confident about that, which is why I’m not phrasing it as a question. I’m 5% looking for confirmation which is why I’m listing it among the other questions.

Correct. I don't have my rulebook handy but I'm pretty sure it says so.


Inflatable Gecko wrote:

9. A plastic bag for the die? Really?

I like the bag. It keeps the die from fraternizing with the storm sorceresses.
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Niall Smyth
Japan
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Once the event deck is empty, you have to reshuffle any level 2 event cards that haven't been claimed as rewards to make a new event deck. So bad cards like Ghox will come round again.

Are you playing with the expansion that makes the Dragonlords properly solo/co-op? I can't remember the card names to tell easily.

Oh, and yes, Darnati Warriors destroy units, which are enemy player's cards. The dragons are enemies, and different. You will often see this distinction.
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Jim Becker

Nashville
Tennessee
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Ah yes, the reshuffling. That's the part I missed. Reintroducing the big torches would've made this considerably tenser. Thanks for the clarification.
 
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