I wear my Halloween costume all year round!
On the very first turn of the game, the starting player drew the deadly First Aid card:
Place a character’s HP marker to 7.
Well, that got real fast. He proceeded to gather up the markers waiting in the centre and shake them around in his hands, preparing to randomly choose the poor victim who would receive 7 damage.
This was a six-player game, with two Neutral characters. The two Neutrals were eager to declare their innocent harmlessness, so both chose this moment to reveal themselves. They figured the active player would rather take his 2/3 chance of hitting an enemy, despite the risk to his own teammate, than waste such a powerful attack on a random passerby. And they were right.
So the two Neutral cards were flipped on the very first turn, and this is what we saw:
(photos by simonh and Agape, cropped for your convenience)
It took a moment for the significance to sink in, but soon everyone was cracking up. Daniel wanted to die, and since he had 13 HP, Bryan wanted to kill him. And this had all become known before the end of the first turn. Left to their own devices, Bryan could assist Daniel in his suicide (or, more accurately, Daniel could assist Bryan in his murder), and the two of them would win the game together. Shadows and Hunters? Totally irrelevant.
Needless to say, one of the Hunters jumped on this opportunity to say that we should all team up to kill Bryan and prevent this from happening. On the face of it, this sounded like a reasonable argument, but we Shadows were wilier than that and saw beyond his ploy: Daniel’s secondary win condition requires all the Shadows to be dead, so killing off Bryan would effectively reduce the game to a three-on-two battle, advantage Hunters. No thanks.
Even as it stood, the situation didn’t look super promising for the Shadows. Daniel might have an intriguing Plan A, but his Plan B was still to team up with the Hunters, while the Shadows didn’t have any obvious allies. The one bit of good news was that the first-turn Shadow did manage to use his First Aid kit to injure a Hunter, while the second-turn Hunter did a lot of damage to Bryan rather than a Shadow. So in terms of damage, the Shadows were off to an early lead.
The Shadows also happened to be very strong characters for a game where identities were mostly known early: one was the Vampire, sucking life from his victims, and I was the Werewolf with a lot of health and a powerful counter-attack ability. Soon one of the Hunters revealed as Franklin and used his special ability to do a bunch of damage to me with a six-sided die, but while that was enough to keep the game tense, it wasn’t enough to determine the outcome.
In the end, the game was over so quickly that there was no time at all for Bryan and Daniel to work towards their unusual joint victory. The Hunter who had taken the initial seven damange was Franklin, who had total health of 12 HP and was killed off relatively quickly with the Weird Woods (and maybe a surprise Werewolf counter-attack before that). Despite their apparent numerical advantage, the Hunters were just no match for the strength of the Werewolf and the healing ability of the Vampire, so the victory went to the Shadows after all.
It was a memorable game, and I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed as much in a game of Shadow Hunters as I did when Bryan and Daniel revealed simultaneously on the very first turn.