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Subject: 3 Heroes vs Arcade Mode rss

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Witch Hunter
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So this is my first write up of a play session, ever, and I've already realised I haven't entered it in my plays on BGG. Back in a moment. Ok, entered stats, and was surprised how long it actually took, from first photo to last photo. There were various delays, it was my first time playing, photographing rules to remind myself of things that came up, cat investigation, much rule book reading, cats wanting attention, my stomach was being dodgy, Cat help, photography after every turn, I was tired by the end of it! Hopefully I spend less time writing this report, but I can be a bit of a perfectionist, so I'm not ruling it out.

Cropping, rotating, captioning, and choosing a licence took longer than I expected, I might make it to 7 hours to enter this post yet!
Try to ignore the horrible table protector, and my apologies for the Fuzzy nature of some of these photographs, to get everything in I had to hold the camera high. The camera was on Auto, and the tiny screen made them look ok, but unbeknownst to me, the exposure time was too high, so I would've needed a tripod, or better lighting

Total time including setup was a huge 7 hours. I'm being nocturnal at the moment, so it started about midnight and ended about 7am.

Most of my choices were due to them being used in the examples of play in the Arcade mode rulebook, so I felt that they would work out ok, plus there were examples of them interacting with stuff. To be honest, I only skim read the examples, mostly concentrated on reading the rules.

Game mode: Arcade. This is the co-op mode, of 1 to 5 players with 3 to 5 heroes vs the AI deck.

Heroes: Princess Emerald, Questing Knight, Thundervale Huntress.


The intrepid band prepares to set off, but will to wait for everthing else to be set up.

Boss: The Forgotten King.

Mini-Bosses: 1 Trent and 1 Boris.

Treasure Deck: thought I'd only use the base set so: 6 Boo booty cards; no brainer atm, there are only 6! so 2 bouncing, 2 grinding, and 2 biting. 6 wonder cards; well I currently have 7, and one is from the kickstarter extras, so it was Mr Chompers, Lord Gruff, Admiral Fuzzybottom, The Colonel, Madam Hilde, Miss G Snorts. Figure Treasure cards; King's Map, Shadow Crown, Posh Pajamas, Lady's Favor, Boris's Bashful Bammer, Lost Love Pendant.
Side note: I took out 4 of the 6 will based treasure cards, I didn't have any heroes with will, and 42 treasures is a huge amount for any game. The numbers are, if you have luck, are playing a 5 hero game, 3 per treasure chest on 5 boards + 2 per mini-boss (there are 4), so you'll see 23, or just over half. In a 3 hero game, without luck, you'll see 8 (less than 1/5th). A 3 hero game where Boo Booty cards are drawn when opening a treasure chest, you discard the other card drawn, so only see 5 (less than 1/8th). Boo Booty cards are 1/7th of the deck. In retrospect I feel I should have removed all the will cards.
Creeps: 6 Rabid Squirrels

Spawning Points: Old Growth Hollow paired spawn point: 2 spawn points, 1 sprout, 1 king sprout, 2 wisps, 2 turnipheads, 6 mooks. Bramble Knight spawn point: 1 spawn point, 1 grobbit, 2 frog knights, 4 billmen.

Tiles: Fae Woods 1, Fae Woods 6, Fae Woods 5. Chose Fae Woods 1 because it was still out from running through the tutorial, and the other 2 at random, and put them in a line with a random rotation. A line is the easiest layout, both for tracking what is happening and difficulty wise.


A more complicated tile than expected, this tile had me searching to see if spawn points checked line of sight when spawning monsters, they don't seem to.


Everything is ready, the spawn points and their monsters are configured as in the example, heroes are on the board, it's go time!


So first up a disclaimer, it's 24hrs after I played, so I won't remember or recount everything. I made some mistakes in my playthrough, I occasionally forgot rules, I made a few assumptions that may or may not be true. One assumption, which I would've known was false had I actually read the examples, was that the hero who wasn't activated last hero turn had to be the first one activated in the next turn, not true! you just have to pick him as one of the 2 heroes to activate in that hero turn. my reasoning was, I felt the meaning was unclear, the rules say: choose first from any heroes that did not activate in the previous hero turn, then choose from the remaining heroes. 1) activate first hero. 2) activate second hero. see they say first and then first! silly me, this rulebook is well written so you don't have to make that sort of implied connection. Also when in doubt, I really should've read the examples.

So first up I activate the Questing Knight (hereafter known as Chojin, save a lot of typing if I can remember it!) , I move a little, use his 2ap lance 6 +1r attack on the two turnip heads and one wisp, rolling well, I collect 2 threat and move to attack the old growth hollow spawn point and knocks some branches loose for 1 damage, ducking backwards a step afterwards. Then I choose the Thundervale Huntress (Derf) who moves in and tries her 2ap wave 1 knockdown attack, and misses everything. Derf then finishes off the wisp, collecting another threat for vanquishing her. I collect 3 loot cards and equip them, Quytz gets a potion bandoleer, and Chojin gets a steel sword and a granite pendant.
The Monsters turn over Griefer, so decide to target the hero with the least threat, both the tile the heroes are on and the adjacent tile are disturbed, so all those monsters activate and chase after Princess Emerald (Quytz) who has no threat at all! Fortunately only the willow the wisp gang is able to get its one elite in range, who misses. The House of Frog knights race around the lake towards her, but are too far away to engage anyone. The Executioner is too large and gets caught up against the lake, he'll be making slow progress for a few turns.


state of play at the end of the consul turn

Ok, I'm going to do this as multiple posts, I'm paranoid I'll lose it to a power blackout or cat assistance.
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Witch Hunter
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Ok, we left our heroes at the start of turn 2...

The mists close in and I peer into the future, to try and reconstruct the present...


Start of turn 4

Waking from my trance, I know the heroes have fought valiantly, easily finishing off the stray Wisp who was troubling them, defeating the darstardly Frog Knights who pursued the fair Quytz, so that she could smite the spawn point! Actually... looking at the threat she has... she probably KO'd them herself
The destruction of the spawn point has aroused the anger of Trent, the mighty mini-boss, scratching post of Hiss the consul cat, weilder of stinky farts. well I call the move stinky farts. it poisons as a wave 3 signature attack move, what do you think it is?
The Bramble Knights foul executioner gang has moved up and will soon threaten the heroes. Cunningly, Quytz, being the target of all these monsters has raced round the back, putting a wall between her and the thumping they'd like to give her. Knowing that if they move, they are likely to race towards her, and away from anyone they can actually target! Makes it more difficult for her allies to attack them though.
They fall for her gambit, and race away from Derf and Chojin, leaving them too far away to cause any harm. Quytz pings Trent with her scope, causing bane (-1 armour) and putting a point of damage on him, before racing back the other way, downing Derf's potion to increase speed and shuffle her allies into favorable positions. Chojin smacks some billmen from the executioners gang, gaining him some more threat, he then ducks backwards round the wall.
The monsters chase Quytz again, now going the other way round the X, which puts them in range to put some hurt on Chojin. A fierce battle ensues, every attack bringing stinky farts from Trent. Chojin falls in battle, Quytz and Derf are whipped into a frenzy, smashing Trent, and destroy the last of the terrible executioner gang. Despite the treasure found on Trents broken corpse, Derf's heart cries out and her tears activate the Princess coins, plucked from the debris of the old growth spawn point. A bright light shines out, a chorus of seraphim, and Chojin returns to life with all his equipment but no damage or status effects!
Quick to capitalise on his new life, Chojin grabs the key from around the neck of Trent and opens the nearby treasure chest, tossing out the cat toys he finds on top, he draws 2 treasure cards, Damn, one of them is junk, but the other will look pretty atop the character card of the fair Derf.

The heroes rally at the edge of the next map, aware that stepping onto it will disturb the far eastern spawn point, potentially unleashing a flood of old growth monsters on them, Derf steps onto the tile, draws an exporation card, and I have to spend some time figuring out rules. how do I place a trap when the figure entering the tile is large so it can't stop one space into the tile, answer: it moves in until it can stop, then I should've drawn the explore card. Where are traps placed? Adjacent to the figure who trigures them, heroes choice. How do they work, how do I disarm them, etc. One of my cats (Hiss) decided to join me at this point


The one, true consul interupts play to object to the callous destruction of his treasured scratching post, and looting of his toy box.

So Derf finally enters the tile, startling a whomping tree, which proceeds to live up to it's name, whomping everyone as they scurry past to engage the bramble knight spawn point before the consul can spawn more Frog Knights, Billmen and the deadly Grobbit Executioner. Derf splashes to the middle of the lake, her stout body and dancing hooves making good time through the bright water. Quytz lines up a series of shots at the bramble knight spawn point, blowing it to pieces, then dashing away to avoid repercussions, swallowing Derf's potion. In the aftermath of this devistation, Boris appears.


Boris is displeased

Chojin rushes in, hoping to use his treasure to displeasure the measure of Boris! And using his massive sword (no it's not a eufamism, it's just a very big sword ok?) he smites Boris for 2 damage. Boris expresses the measure of his displeasure of the treasure at his leasure, and with the wound already upon him from the whomping of the tree, Chojin dies again, and with him hopefully that rhyming sentence.


Boris emphatically bashes his unhappiness into Chojin's brain, causing a lot of camera shake

Derf rushes in and grabs the Princess coin from the ruins of the bramble knight spawn, come next upkeep Chojin shall be reborn. again. While there she smacks a bit of sense into Boris before retreating back to the middle of the lake. Quytz slaps some scope action on Boris, a debuff on your enemy is worth 3 buffs on your friends. Boris attacks Derf as the only hero in range, knocking her down into the lake, and injuring her slightly.
Bright lights/angels sing/blah blah, Chojin is reborn. again. Activating, he smacks Boris, almost, but not quite killing him. He then moves round the south end of the lake, to better move on to the next tile. Quytz finishes off Boris, draws a treasure, and moves round the north end of the lake towards the final tile, while Derf picks up the key from Boris, and opens the chest.

The heroes line up to enter the final tile, and are very pleasantly surprised when the explore card is turbo mode, giving them an extra action and move while on the tile. The boss tile.
Ducking round the corner, the heroes start to 'pull up some sprouts' that cross their path.


our heroes clear out a sprout problem

Firing at the sprout only seems to hurt the Mooks surrounding it! but our heroes smack away until all the mooks are dead. they keep hacking away, and when the sprout is finally dead, they hear a rumble, a leaf pops from the corpse of the sprout, two, then a vine, suddenly it bulges and begins expanding at an exponential rate, a Huge bud appears, and when it flowers it contains a mouth filled with teeth. King Sprout has arrived. Quytz scopes him, applying bane (-1 armour), then stinging shots for the ice debuff (may not use unique actions) and a wound, but misses her final shot. Still Quytz really pulled his teeth. King sprout can be a real problem, as our heroes find out later, but here, he has no bonded minions (the mooks) to take his damage (and damage applied status effects) and give him +1str and poison, because our heroes had to kill them to kill the sprout, and there are no other minions nearby for him to eat to cure wounds. Added to +1 ap for all heroes from turbo, and an extra ap on 2 heroes from loot, and he goes down fast, even with his +1 attack and +1 defence from Mighty Monsters (a boost to elites and minions from the destruction of mini-bosses)


An ill timed spawn, for now the party is split! never split the party!

I've now been working on this session report for over 5 hours! My photographs are less frequent at this point in my play, so let me throw my narative style out the window, and implement my rambling advice style!
Monsters target the hero with the highest threat. Tie breaker is most recently activated. Managing threat (number of heroes *2 -1) is important, once all 5 threat is on heroes, when you kill an enemy (most common way to gain 1 threat) you take it from the one you don't want hit. AoE will build up threat easily, as will useful support actions. Commonly I took it from the one who is activating 2nd, as they will build up threat on their turn, and it is easier to balance a smaller difference, and because if tied the one who activated second gets targeted for elimination, activate the one you'd like attacked second. This is neatly balanced with the conundrum that you need to use for +strength gear to gain threat, and +armour gear to not die from threat. I feel I'd balanced the heroes nicely by this point.
I've gone quite a way through the command deck by this point, and now a lot of spawn cards start showing up, which combined fiendishly with king sprout! he got to fob off his damage on them, and eat them for healing + he hit harder! I forgot I could get fire and knockdown status effects on him by using Derf's AoE attack, which would've finished him off faster, but might've led to him respawning as a small sprout, only to repeat the whole experience! By the end of the game I'd gone all the way through the loot deck, reshuffled it and was quite a few cards into my second go through, not that I wanted any of the stuff I'd passed on the first time through. I'd worked out that the +1 grey armour/strength was really powerful against creatures who didn't get random numbers. The static armour is especially powerful, as unlike attacks, defence rolls don't gain you potions and hearts, so those faces are blank for defence. I only replaced defence greys for greens, offense with one character I kept the greys, and the other got reds, it left me wishing I had an offensive potion to use each turn, as by this point I was rolling 2 blue +3 red on Derf and 2 red + 1 green + 2 (grey) on Chojin. Quytz had made it to 3 blue + 2 red, I think, by the boss.


a massive number of spawns and kills later

Almost at the boss, I pulled Chojin in from his job, destroying the ones who spawned further back around the spiral, as Quytz finished off the last mook, then destroyed the spawning point.


the forgotten king has arrived! tremble at his passing ye mortals and despair

Finished him off really quickly from here. 2 models with 5 actions, and one with 4, Fire + Bane + Ice debuffs, Princess coin in reserve, I think he lasted... hmm... spawn turn, Quytz 3 ap on debuffs + maybe another wound, Chojin massive damage and maybe another wound, so he had 3 to five wounds at this point, boss turn in which I drew recover for the command card - remove all status effects and heal one wound on all monsters - don't think I'd hit him with fire at this point - probably should've, he hit half health in the first models activation, I pondered, He was almost dead after the second, boss turn, he died in the next hero activation. I made a few assumptions, based on the fact that they aren't listed in the Arcade mode rulebook, firstly: no spawn effect, this isn't a disadvantage to the consul in this case, as the forgotten kings is: whenever he takes a damage, the heroes may draw a loot card. and secondly: no timeout, this is a disadvantage to the consul, so had me pondering for a while, before I realised I'd been playing for 7 hours and would like some sleep. He would've lost his status effects, gained immunity to status effects, and spawned 6 skull points worth of monsters (there are no skull points in Arcade mode silly).


consul Hiss tries alternative tactics to win
also is unhappy that no Admiral Fuzzybottom wonder was drawn, which would've let him have a paw on both sides
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Witch Hunter
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NB yep, about 7 hours. I stopped in the middle to get a couple of cups of tea, refill cat water bowls, make some food, pat cats, count 488 cards for Krakenface, refill cat food bowls, and do final edits using the preview button when my first post was approved, pat cats.

Consistency is a wonderful thing
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Jason Rupp
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Thanks for the report! Looks like fun. Sounds like you become nearly unstoppable near the end as the heroes. I hope that isn't always the case! It was something I was a bit worried about with the new loot rules.

Maybe one day we'll get our pledges in the US
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Drawing the Turbo Mode Explore Cards was a real boon, that +1ap to all heroes on the tile basically let me pound all the little respawns to dust before they could activate, the maths says it makes every hero about 33% more deadly!
 
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Rob H
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This is awesome and exactly what I hoped for as I wait for my pledge. Thanks Ben!

It does sound like the heroes significantly outpaced the monsters as the game progressed. The boss fight also sounded rather anticlimactic. I suppose the turbo mode was a perfect draw, but even without it, it sounds like the heroes had things well in hand as they were stuffed to the gills in loot and the monsters didn't seem to be doing much other than dying.

I'd be very curious as to how the balance felt or feels in this and future Arcade games. Arcade is the feature I am by far most excited about in FK.
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Arcade was the big draw for me too. Though having seen the rules streamlining, I wouldn't mind trying classic again.

The first map tile felt like a struggle, at the first mini boss was a really difficult fight, I burned every potion in my failed attempt to keep Chojin (Questing Knight) alive. I got lucky for a turn or so after that fight, by not drawing a spawn card, which let me finish off the second tile spawn without fighting another wave of monsters, and even so I lost Chojin again. so by the third tile I was happy to be able to put the hurt on the monsters for a change! My dice rolls ended up feeling really balanced, there were turns I couldn't hit a barn, and turns where it really went my way.

Totally just restated my session report there I guess what I'm trying to say is that there was a definite power shift, from struggling new heroes, to legendary monster slayers.

Next in my planned playthoughs for a session report is 3 hero Arcade, Starfire, with Rexx mini-bosses, dragon clutch and kobold spawn points, on original tiles. And I'll probably rig the treasure deck so a pet is in the top 6 cards, I want to see how that mechanic plays.
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Rob H
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A match of the original stuff in Arcade mode? I can't wait! I wonder if the progression will feel the same in a second game or if the later tiles and boss fight will be more tense.
 
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I'm hoping to get a game of arcade mode in this weekend. Will likely play with creatures from the original set or Caverns, due to a need to play with painted pieces.
I look forward to your next report.
 
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I've run 2 more games since I posted this, I'll get the second of them up this week. When I went to get out my kobold, I found I'd used a really poor glue to hold them together, and they were falling apart. Cleaning off dried glue is not an appetizing task, so is going slowly. I ended up playing with Von Drakk minis.

Ran the enemy ai as smarter, uniques targetting, always hitting a hero who didn't have debuff if in range/los. moving to range 3 when targetting small (have to be inside range 3 to hit) targets/when polymorph frog command is issued so they can attack the frog.

Ran a game with spawn and time out effects for the boss, had the boss spawn 1 spawning points worth of mobs (around himself as the spawn point) and become invincible until they were all destroyed (but still on the map hitting us) that worked well for 3 player, and would've allowed me to redistribute threat at that time too.

3 player has the distinct advantage that you can activate your most powerful hero every turn, and just alternate who the other one activated is, can lead to some very long lasting buffs too. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has played 4/5 player as to how the threat management works there.

Pets are nice, but not OP. It all made sense once I played them. When you draw the treasure card, you basically discard it, and put the model and wonder card in the backpack, then give that wonder card to a hero during the power up phase. So my wonder-ing about them counting as an equipped treasure card was mere foolishness. The main bonus from pets is the buff they give their master, eg dragon gives fire. second, they are an extra untargetable model in Arcade mode, so can be used for blocking. third, they have 1ap and can attack, move, do their special move, or perform the run action, though even the dragons 2 read dice often has trouble hitting late game.
 
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Spam Yola
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Ben_Moss wrote:
they are an extra untargetable model in Arcade mode, so can be used for blocking.

Wow wait a second. I thought if there were no other heroes in range the monsters would kill the pet. Or else why would there be rules included in the arcade mode for summoning pets if they are never targeted and therefore never killed?
 
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Well, I certainly would play that they could now that I have a few games under my belt, and realise that the AI needs some help to be interesting. The targeting for attacks is clear, and says 'Hero'. The info in the pet section says that they are part of the party and are effected by any any game effects that affect the entire party, and in the targeting pets section states that they may be targeted and affected by actions as normal.

So really, instead of 'Hero' in the determine monster's target, it should say enemy, because otherwise, pets only get hit by aoe.
 
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