On Sunday, I slept until 10:00. When I woke up, there was a note from my wife:
"I've taken the kids grocery shopping. Please do some quick cleaning. If you have time, you should shower, shave, and dress. I'll take care of lunch."
"Shave and dress? Huh? Oh, cool," I thought, "a surprise party."
It will be my 30th birthday on Tuesday, and I thought she might have planned something like this. After doing some minor cleaning, I did what she suggested. When she came back, I asked where the kids were.
"They're at Ami and Papa's house."
"Oh, why?" I asked, trying not to crack a smile.
"Because soon Jamie will be coming over, along with Ian and maybe Steve. We're going to play Runebound."
Well, that wasn't what I expected. I'd wanted to play Runebound, since I'd just finished painting all the figures that were in the box. One morning, Wendy woke up to find Teagan and I painting. (I was painting Runebound; she was painting some weird submarine that we found at Zellers.)
I'd also printed off a few speed-up variants so the game wouldn't last as long. Basically, it turned into a Monty Haul with tons of gear available. I think that Tamalir had 10 cards on it at one point, and every city had tons of loot.
Steve couldn't make it, since he had to put down a floor. He still came over to visit, which was quite nice of him. We got tired of waiting for Ian, and jsut as Steve was going to play until Ian got there, Ian showed up. (An HOUR LATE!)
We drew random characters. Wendy got Varikas the Dead. Jamie got Red Scorpion. Ian got Valadir the Bold. I got Bogran the Shadow. Funnily enough, these were some of the best-painted ones.
The first piece of gear I bought (just after the first adventure) was the Gauntlets of Shadow. I also ended up with the Cloak of Deception, so my Sneak and Hide were quite respectable. (Yes, I know that I couldn't use both the gauntlets and the cloak.) It's funny that sneak doesn't let you get one free attack in before combat, but I guess that would be too powerful. (Doing 4 damage before your opponent gets a chance to unsheathe is a little too much, perhaps.)
I ended the game with those two pieces, plus padded leather armour, a rusty old dagger, and a shield of light. I would have bought a bow, but the Dragons set Tamalir on fire. I did find one ally to follow me around, but he was eaten before the end.
We had a lot of fun passing around the "Sky Full of Wasps" card to mess with people. We spent more time messing with the other players than with the monsters. We didn't get into PvP, but we were quite tempted a few times.
Wendy had a lot of money, as she always seems to during these games. Sweet merciful crap, she got the Staff of Light for FREE and the "Attack Twice" staff (Staff of Thunder?) and the Ring of Rerolling on the same turn! She then bought Finger of Death and started leveling up her fatigue. Egads. She ran out of room on the table with all of her runes, gear, cards, etc. Not to be outdone, Ian bought the Rage Blade, pumping him up to 4 melee damage. Jamie had the Sword of Light, so anything had 3 HP less than usual. (He pumped up his melee.)
Unfortunately, we forgot to start the DoomTrack, so the game did last until The End.
I was the first to Break the Red Seal. It was the guy who vapes your companions. I shot him for 2 damage, the ally hit him for three, then the ally was destroyed by magical damage. The shield of light helped protect me, but not quite enough to help poor whats-his-name. The dragonlord did die, so that was the important thing.
Wendy defeated another Dragonlord.
There was now a race to win the game. It was now getting into the third hour, and the "Sky Full of Wasps" card became a "Sky Full of Helper Bees" card. "Oh, you need a mountain? Here you go."
Jamie found High Lord Margath. High Lord Margath found Jamie to be delicious. Undefeated, he flew off into the shuffled red deck. When reshuffled, another Dragonlord popped out, and he took out the other three players. (Two by knockout, one by fleeing.) It was the one who makes you test resist or you can't activate any cards.
The next rune was the Dragonlord with the "Sneak or take 7 fatigue". I didn't even have to roll. Auto-Defend, Dragon Rune, defend / fail, shield of light. Auto-Hit. End. I could now heal myself with the next rune. One left and I'm done.
I got some really bad rolls, so I went shopping with my 4 gold. I couldn't get much, so I bought a rusty old dagger and some healing. I ran for the last rune. Ian bought the Winged Armour on his next turn. He could get to the red dot in two turns. I was two squares away. I was given the "Helper Bees" card, and ran into the mountains to challenge... Whoo, not Margath.
It was close, but I didn't have anything to lose. Eventually, I did beat the Dragonlord, making three. That was good, because I couldn't have defeated Morgath.
I had a lot of fun with this one, and it was extra great because it was a surprise. There were other people that wanted to play but couldn't make it, so we might get another chance to play again.
And yes, the figs looked pretty good. I haven't taken pictures to show them off yet, but they're pretty good. ("Tabletop ready", not "Showroom Quality". How do people get teeth on those figs?)
I wonder why they don't put out an expansion with painted miniatures...
"Jamie found High Lord Margath. High Lord Margath found Jamie to be delicious." Yuuuummmm. Jamie Pie fresh off the oven, served with extreme spice just the way the High Lord likes it.