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Subject: Playthrough: The Stone of Life - Act 1: The Jewel in the Water rss

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Chad Caughmann
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Our group has played Myth a few times together now, but each time until now, it's always been starting from scratch, introducing a couple new people. We decided this time we wanted to keep a running record of some campaign progress. We are still using the classic story quests from the rulebook, and chose to go with "The Stone of Life". Our group of 4 consists of:

Soldier
Acolyte
Apprentice
Archer

For Act 1, we chose Crawlers for all our lairs/hunting packs, as it was thematic for the story.

While we really enjoy playing Myth, our experience is that the game is a MARATHON. We've had several sessions go 3-4 hours without even finishing an Act. Part of that is due to teaching new people each time, but it's also due to us throwing big challenges for the sake of it...finding that certain choices really slow down the game.

We decided we wanted to avoid that this time, and instead focus on getting through an Act as quickly as possible. For almost all tile options, we chose the minimum required objectives and obstacles. We realized this would cut down the difficulty, but it would also give us a chance to re-familiarize ourselves with the gameplay, as well as ease our 1 new gamer into the fundamentals of the game.

As expected, the monsters never posed any serious threat. We had lucky draws most of the game (Archer starting with 3 arrows in the opening hand!), and most of the time, we had sufficient cards to deal with the lairs before spawning would become a concern. We also managed to keep our threat in check, due to killing lairs early and keeping spawn numbers down. We only had Captains hit the table once, and they made it to 1 Darkness cycle before being dispatched.

The only real threat came from the traps. Our first trap was Darkness Falls, which can be a beast of a trap to deal with (having to disarm it 3 times, or suffer a pretty steep penalty). We got very lucky, scoring successful attempts on our first 2 tries...but then after several failed attempts, finally succeeded on the last attempt before the trap would have produced it's negative effect. Close call!

We ran into the Rolling Boulder for our second trap, and it was almost as close. It took quite a bit of discussion on tactics before we made it through. We had an issue on the transition to the last tile that we couldn't remember the exact rules on, but we went with it and made it work. One of the characters was able to reach the other side of the trap tile and expose the contents of the next tile. We chose a lair in addition to the normal story contents of the tile. Well, the trap (unless the rules for it have changed...we were using 1.0 rules) has to trigger the Darkness cycle twice for it to have it's full effect. We triggered it once, the boulder went down 1/2 the hallway, but with the enemies shown now (and within aggro range) needed to activate. The crawlers ended up moving into the doorway and blocking our movement to get into the next room and avoid the 2nd half of the rolling boulder trap. The concern is that we needed to spend AP in order to kill the Crawlers (opening a path to the next room)...but then we also chance increasing the AP just from moving (due to the effects of the trap). We had some nice group buffs out that helped with the situation, and we were able to clear the trap tile. We had a lucky roll on getting into the cell on the first try, and managed to get the thief out.

Loot was pretty minimal until the very end. Our green treasure draws for the Rolling Boulder gave us some green armor upgrades, the green quiver, and the axe, for the warrior. We also drew a merchant after finishing the 6x6 tile, and got one that came with a random blue item. It was the blue hammer for the Acolyte (can't remember the item name). It was 13 gold to buy, and we conveniently had exactly 13 available.

Overall, it was probably the most fun we've had playing the game, despite minimizing encounters as much as possible for the sake of speed. The Act still took us 3+ hours to finish, however. I look forward to playing again, and picking up where our heroes left off
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Tott Donetta
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i have noticed an act can be a marathon as well! it took us 4 play sessions to complete the first story quest we tried. we eventually took the minimum number of lairs, hunting packs approach as well. its the only way to get through it. I'm hoping that when everything gets converted to modules this is something that's taken into consideration. i suppose it all comes down to how long you consider a play session to be though. that might be different for each group. i think if they aimed each act to be at the 2 hours mark, that would suit most groups as people could play more than one act per session if they wanted.
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Chad Caughmann
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I completely agree, Tott. I would love to put down a variable amount of content to up the difficulty from time to time, but in my experience....that's just not time-feasible. We've had situations where we put 2 lairs and a hunting pack on a tile, and it took us every bit of 3-4 hours to clear that single tile. Granted, there was a couple new people in the group, LOTS of discussion on tactics, and not the best luck with the Darkness draws, but still...we had fun, but were burnt out after the first tile. We had to give up on the Act for the night, having 3-4 tiles left in the Act.

I would also like it if nearly any Act was easily done with 2 hrs. Maybe 1 1/2 if you go easy, like we did just the other night, or 2 - 2 1/2 hours if you really bump the difficulty.

The game is a lot of fun, but man...it needs to be quicker.
 
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Jeremy Steward
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While experience does speed up the game, my complaint is that difficulty is very often tied to time. As in, if you want to make a tile more challenging, it will also take longer. A 2 lair tile is tougher than 1. A lair that spawns 3 times is tougher than if it only spawned once. In both situations the tougher situation also increases the time it takes to clear the tile. So while a 2 hr act is possible, chances are that it was completely devoid of challenge.

Me and my friend, who are each experienced, and controlling 2 heroes each did Act 1 of the 4th story in 3 hrs last week. One 12x12 had 2 lairs, one had 1.

I am hoping that the modules will be more designed for the 2 hr mark.
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Random Fleming
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Do you think the time would extend with the difficulty if:

You used a few enemies but the were much harder - Fury of the Fireborne minions - than the core game monsters?
The heroes had improved - green and blue - items or a title when starting the quest?

I don't know. I'm just asking out of curiosity.
 
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