The most difficult part of this quest was the rule I made up without knowing it. More on that later.
Continuing my binge experience of Andor I set up the board to kill this imposing cardboard dragon of carnage I've been so looking forward to putting together.
I'd been saving it. I punched him out of the cardboard, put him on his stand, inserted his little wings. The most fearsome cardboard opponent I'd faced all week. I'll have to mention this in my review, and it must be said here, this game accomplishes so much more with cardboard than many other games accomplish with plastic. Kennerspiel award well earned.
I expect that Andor is like the Matrix, in that it must be experienced to be understood.
Andor spends legends 1 and 2 teaching you how to play legend 3, gives you a nice diversion with 4, then flips 3 on it's head for 5.
As I set up the board, placing monsters inside the castle seemed so wrong. I continued to set up the pieces, random herbs and stones, farmers, monster tiles.
Thorn and Eara take a look around. There's a wardrak on space 67 and a gor on 41. Two farmers are going to die, and it's unlikely I can do anything effective about it. And there's monsters inside the castle!
Not to mention these beefy looking trolls who are on their way.
Then the dragon. I placed him on the board and read the rules on his card. The dragon rolls 3 black dice. Identical values are added up.
And then I read an invisible sentence "Just add all three dice together each time."
Wow. This was going to be tough.
As is my tradition with my first, sometimes second attempts, I went about this entirely the wrong way.
Monsters were in the castle sure, but this dragon though? That dragon's got 30 base strength and rolls 3 black dice that I currently believe are all added together each attack!
So perhaps you see where my problems began. Two farmers were going to die, probably, but Thorn was going to do his best. Eara would round up the other two and deposit them safely at the well on space 5.
Thorn is able to get one of the farmers to safety, but whatever he does, that wardrak is going to eat a farmer in the morning.
Monsters move. Wardraks eat. Monsters move towards the castle.
New day, new plan. Eara is going to get the runestones... ok, same plan. Thorn deposits the farmer on what he's pretty sure is a safe space and heads north into the woods to look for the prince. He has a telescope, this'll be easy.
Eara finds the witch while gathering stones. Frabjous day. She's just across the river from the castle, just a quick jaunt over the bridge and swing northwest. Can't miss her. Eara promises to hold onto the brew until she runs into Thorn.
Dragon kills a tree. Wait what? Reads card again. Yep, dragon just killed that tree. I put a read X on the merchant. Thorn shudders. He'd just been about to go there.
Meanwhile, back at the farm, half of the farmers are dead. The wardrak ate that first one, as prophesied, and the other one... turns out monsters spawn on that space.
The castle is starting to fill up. There's a siege tower, and Eara has a bow and runestones but it's not slowing things down. The dwarves are heading north to help Thorn find the prince. Again. What's up with this guy?
And then we find him, finally, in the farthest northeast corner of the board, our daring prince is held captive by a Gor. Mind you, the prince has +4 to the Gor's +2, but we should remember that the Gor is rolling black dice and the prince is rolling none.
Thorn and the dwarves kill the Gor and rescue the prince at what has been the end of a very long slow walk through the foggy forest.
Eara gets down off the tower and is heading towards the dragon to team up for the big fight. I should mention that our heroes have managed to accrue a great deal of strength by this point. We're preparing to take a fight to a dragon that rolls 3 black dice then adds them together, which as you'll recall, is something I believe to be true at the time.
Dragon takes a turn. Remembers it doesn't like the witch and flies all the way to the other end of the forest and kills her. Great. No witch, and we all have to walk across the forest.
But we do it, because we're heroes. I don't remember the numbers I rolled, but I imagine they were impressive. I'd been prepping for a much bigger fight. I lost. I knocked the prince, the dwarves, the witch and both the heroes onto their side and left the dragon towering over them.
Fun fact: At the time of this writing, I have never killed a Wardrak. I've been thinking they roll 2 black dice and add them together, but it occurs to me, that's probably incorrect. Ah well. It just means every wardrak that's ever spawned has ended up in the castle. Always just found it best to let them by.
Legend 5 Again!
At this point it's the morning. I've read some posts. I've realized my error. It's quite an error. I was fighting a dragon that could roll a minimum of 22 and a max of 36, then added to 30, and you can see how I ran into some difficulty.
I go into this one knowing that this could all play out very differently. There were multiple outcomes on those legend cards, I still couldn't predict for sure where the dragon would go.
So instead I focused on accomplishing as much as I could before the dragon really got going.
First thing, bows for everyone. Telescope, Wineskin. Buy some strength.
Eara and Thorn make it their first day's work to save 3 of 4 farmers. At a later point in the story the 4th farmer is eaten by a wardrak.
Eara and Thorn team up to take down some Skral from outside the walls. Merchant shows up and gives them poison. Poison helps clear out the castle and suddenly we're in business. At this point I'm fairly certain I can win. I have three farmers in the castle, a Skral, a wardrak on the way, and some other things slowly making their way homeward.
Thorn almost immediately finds the prince's location. Eara and the dwarves head up to free the prince.
Dragon kills a tree again.
The castle is once again in very real danger. There's an ugly monster chain that needs to be broken up. Two heroes, a band of dwarves, a prince and a watchtower. Not a bad deal. Had I been slightly more clever, I would have positioned the prince next to the tower. Ah well.
Dragon thought about killing a witch, but we didn't have her this game.
With the castle defended, again, and the witch now safe from the dragon, we set off into the fog to find her. Thorn did so and grabbed a brew.
Dragon lands on the prince.
I wish there were a way to make this next part more interesting. Everyone got on the same space as the dragon and spent basically the entire day killing him. But we did.
And it was really cool!
I'm not sure which legend I liked the best, but I can see this one having a good bit of replayability. That said, I started my first game of Starshield last night, and I don't think replayability is going to be an issue in Andor.