Note: As with previous sessions, this is a simplified version of the original here, and tries to avoid spoilers though inevitably there'll be some. part 1, Part 2
The dreaded Bone Witch came to town (we'd heard bad things...), but all she did was offer a trade which we accepted, and then left. (Phew!)
Then we had enough resources, we realized, to (actually, this time) make a Blacksmith for the first time! We didn't have anything to make there, but that's exciting still. We also realized that we could send our problematic, mutating Twilight swordsman out to scavenge until he rolled poorly and we could have him voluntarily die by not spending survival.
The Hand then came, and strutted around while we avoided him until he left, but not before thoroughly maiming one of our newbs and then exploding him when he did leave.
We were yet again haunted, which was annoying, but at least we had a clear weak link to dispose of.
The Hooded Knight came back to check in on us, and our gamble paid off, since we'd brought a young survivor with 2 accuracy and 1 xp to the fight, in hopes of getting another Twilight sword on someone who'd be good at it. The knight thought there was some other guy he'd given one to, but there was no sign of one, and he liked the cut of Mia's jib, so she became our first Twilight swordswoman in three campaigns.
We decided it was time for a training battle, and fought a low-stakes, level 1 Lion.
It went down predictably easily, and we had a lot of results, plus some nice resources, from it. We notably hit our first mastery this year, and hit two of them! Now everyone can avoid problems with Katars and, spectacularly, can jump up for free at the beginning of any turn (the reward for fighting (and surviving) unarmed for 8 fights).
We were able to get closer to a Lion set and Antelope set. By here, we'd realized we'd have nowhere near the resources to get full Lantern sets, and have set our sights on some huge metal shields and some extra-sharp swords 'n' axes as a more realistic goal.
We went back for more, and fought a 2nd level lion. We didn't chump him, but we did plenty well enough- no serious problems.
We decided to nickname eachother again... except we were already full up on those. So, we had a fun walk talking about hypotheticals, I guess?
We had some more kids for fighting the Butcher, one of whom was a Green Savior. We also got our first blacksmith gear, with the super-duper-extra-nice Beacon Shield, that provides 2 armor everywhere and can deflect 2 hits, for the cost of only one gear slot (and a ton of resources).
We then decided to take a gamble after we were looking at our survivors and realized we were kind of low on damage output. We took Kaneda !! and Guy Montag, our extra-buff axe guy and our red fist fighter (providing a strength buff to everyone), along with a vanilla newb and one of our enhanced babies.
We tried something new, and hid in the corner. The Butcher wasted most of his first turn hustling up to us, and then we showed him what for, as the kids (don't) say.
We ended up with no serious injuries and the only disorder being the beneficial Quixotic. We also done stole a Butcher cleaver.
On the way back to town, Kaneda (my personal favorite of this settlement) noticed a weird spot he hadn't seen before, and decided to, like anyone who just came back from chaperoning his son and some buddies into a fight with an 8' tall murder monster to steal his axe might rationally do, walk in.
He came out a lady, and a hulked-out one at that. She got a belt she couldn't take off, and some nice stats. A sleeper who started out at a modest 2 attacks at accuracy 6+ power 4 and some hunt buffs, he gradually rose until she's now sitting pretty at 3 attacks at accuracy 4+ power 11 with a re-roll to wound.
We also didn't endeavor for two years now, since we wanted the lion set last year, and didn't get new material this one. We'd decided we'd hit all the most important ones, with the exception of pottery and the surgeon it opened up, so we felt it was a much lower priority, though we were a bit low on our upper Survival limit.
We realized we were nearing the end game, which was rough since, while we had some nice damage output, we were nowhere close to a phoenix set (having never fought one), so didn't have access to that epic +7 damage that did a lot to help us win the last game. I'm thinking we're going to need to spend late game hunting for weapons.
We then went out to fight a level 2 antelope (we wanted some horns and a pelt). A nice man with some spooky masks convinced us to trade him for an antelope mask, which was pretty cool-our first mask gave extra movement actions. And we found something cool that it later turned out inspired us to learn to cook (free innovation). We also gambled on mining and managed to get 1 scrap and 2 iron out of it. We also ended up losing some disorders, which is a first IIRC. A very nice hunt. Only problem was our two survivors who needed to be crazy forgot how to be, but then the mining crazied them up to 2, so they had pretty good chances of getting crazy again.
We then fought the antelope and broke our XL sword on it, which sucked a bit, since we weren't planning on fighting lions for special lion bones. More than anything this threw off our schedule, since it'll be another fight before he hits mastery.
(Somewhere before here, we had another fight. I don't know, I must've forgotten to write one down.)
Another nice man offered to trade us some stuff, but we thought his stuff was a scam. Our matchmaker did a bad job we lost the mother.
This would be our last year before another Nemesis, and then things would get really hairy.
Our assets at this point are not amazing. We have some iron, and a hodgepodge of basic or non-exciting resources. We still haven't completed the antelope set we'd planned to 2 fights ago, and now we need to fight a lion to get our sword back (or gamble really hard on a weapon that requires 5 iron and can break).
We're now in an awkward place where we can rush it a little, or have a longer time to try to hit something we weren't originally trying to, like seeing how much of a phoenix set we can get (6 specific but common resources, some basics, and 1 iron isn't out of the question in a few fights, for instance).
We also have a nemesis fight coming up, which is a definite speedbump: The Hand can arbitrarily kill you (bad for vets); the King's Man gives you his horrible armor, which can be gamed a little, and might not be the worst since we don't have many fights before the boss; the Butcher will eat all your stuff if you die, and is the only level 3 we'd be forced to fight. None of the options look great, especially if we're trying to rush the Watcher fight.