So, having finished yet another defeat of Nyarlathotep in the weird village of Arkham, we decided to embark upon Terrinoth and see if we could take down the Giant Lords for the first time.
First, let me say that I found this ending to the main game to be much more entertaining than the original. By the time Heroes are able to take on the Red challenges in the Quest of the Dragonlords ending, they can usually walk right through those challenges and it all comes down to who can find Margath first. The Doom Track alleviates this somewhat by not permitting a Refresh step between challenges, but I still found it more interesting to take on the varied Giants and then try to free the towns with the added pressure of trying to keep the Market stacks low so that the Giants wouldn't have much to use when they arrived.
OTOH, the Doom Track does seem to function well in speeding up the game, as this game took somewhat longer as we all ran around the perimeter of the map, trying to get to 8 conquered Giant Lords to initiate the Endgame.
So, Steelhorns, the Red Scorpion, and Silhouette (me) set off to complete the quest. Par usual, the Steelhorns player immediately went after a Yellow encounter and beat it, getting halfway to a new level. Attempting to follow in that path, Silhouette promptly ran into Lady Vorakesh, rolled poorly, and got smoked, losing her starting 3 gold. I had an impression that this was not going to be my day, but that turned around a bit later.
We got the Green Event A Remembrance of Victory fairly soon, which landed the Dragon Scale armor (from Isle of Dread) in my hands and sent me off feeling more secure about taking on Challenges. Soon after that, Steelhorns uncovered Of Dragons and Giants, which was a game-turning event for a number of reasons. Each Hero receives a Dragon Rune from the main game Red deck. This, in itself, seems mildly insane since the Runes can be so powerful. However, in the end the results were VERY mixed, as the Red Scorpion received Dragon Rune Droxor, which allowed her to attack a second time in Ranged or Melee, but she still only does 1 wound. Steelhorns drew the Unliving Rune (from Tomb of Terrors) which allows you to keep your Allies from getting killed. Of course, Steelhorns can't have Allies... Meanwhile, Silhouette drew Dragon Rune Eregax which lets you inflict 3 wounds rather than make a Ranged attack. True, it's only 1 wound more than her normal attack, but it happens AUTOMATICALLY; no roll required. So, I immediately began taking on Yellow challenges and simply tapping Eregax and killing them, raking in experience and gold.
Soon after, we had our lone Hero vs. Hero combat, as I took down the wounded Steelhorns with (what else?) Eregax and swiped his 10 gold, allowing me to purchase both Ghost Armor and Elven Wraproot to become nigh-on invulnerable to most challenges. We all moved on to Giant Lords eventually, with Steelhorns rolling poorly and dying multiple times to Magmus the Mountainous and Nadara the Ice-Blooded, while I chopped my way through Halbjorn (which landed me the Totem Staff, meaning I could attack in all 3 phases of combat for only 2 exhaustion), Onvere, Magmus, Mangram, and eventually Trehig and Skerrin to put the game out of reach of anyone else, which is where we ended. My one serious close call with death other than my very first encounter was a run-in with Incantim, where not only were Eregax and my Ghost Armor useless, but actually liabilities to me, as I was unable to damage him at all and the Escape rolls were rough. I came within one wound of dying before getting away and looking for easier targets.
Allies were pretty few and far-between, as there always seemed to be better choices in the Market stack. I did have the Thief Lizard at my side for a while and the Red Scorpion picked up an Honor Sword and a Sun Elf. As has been the pattern in all of our games, Forge seemed to have the best items, supplying the Ghost Armor and Winged Blade that I took, as well as having the Teleport Rune in the stack from turn 2 onwards and the Sword of Frostgate for the last several turns.
On the heroes:
I know that many people favor the Red Scorpion because of her 'balance', which is pretty impressive at first glance, not to mention her excellent special power of being able to cancel a wound. However, her restriction in only being able to do 1 wound in any phase of combat is simply crippling, IMO. She's not one of my favorites.
Steelhorns is pretty awesome in the early game, but his utter lack of Spirit can be a hindrance. But the worst is the inability to take allies. In the late game, you simply need them, if only for blocking dummies against some challenges, unless you happen to have the profound luck that I did.
Silhouette is actually a pretty cool character, being solid across the phases of combat and always able to stick in that last wound at the minor price of 2 exhaustion. Of course, having a lineup like the Ghost Armor, Dragon Scale Armor, Totem Staff, Winged Blade, Elven Wraproot, and Dragon Rune Eregax doesn't hurt, either. In the end, a good game, if a little long.