George I.
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After managing to take down Volkare's return with all 5 Mage Knights, I decided to try out Volkare's Quest, on daring difficulty and fair race. Arythea would be my Mage Knight, setting off to a path of her own.

Day #1



I had a very eventful opening. A monastery came up within walkable distance and I had an early Threaten in hand, therefore I marched to the Monastery and recruited some Savage Monks, as I loved their Siege Attack capability. I went on to a nearby Mage Tower, accumulating some crystals in the meantime through Crystallize and a Deep Mine, finding out some Sorcerers in there. Easy job, as I generated siege attack 6 with the Savage Monks combined with Battle Versatility, which happens to be my favorite unique basic action card, it's like a Swiss Army Knife.

I received Expose/Mass Expose from the Tower and the Dark Paths skill and Steady Tempo from the level up, as I would need a lot of movement in this scenario. I ended in a forest to position myself for the night, while also taking out an Orc Stonethrower with my newly received Expose. I couldn't had found a better enemy to throw my spell onto; it lost its fortification and physical resistance and a simple ranged attack 2 was enough to take it down.

Night #1



I continued exploring further along, pushing towards the core tiles, recruiting some Foresters at a nearby village and taking down some Prowlers. Eventually, I found the first core tile, the one with the Monastery in the desert. I encountered a Shadow and a Gargoyle there, but Expose, the Salvage Monks and some Ranged attacks were enough to take them down without receiving a scratch. I had to deplete my crystals, but it was worth it; I found 3 blue crystals and the Shield of the Fallen Kings! I really wanted to find the city, though, so I pushed further and found a Storm Dragon next to a keep. An Utem Swordsman was guarding it, but my new Shield artifact was enough to block its massive attack 6 and take the keep down. Next to the keep... the Green City! I had to take first some Orc Skirmishers (played two cards sideways to block their weak attacks) and managed to get in the forest and reveal its Garrison just before the night ended. The dark paths skill was really helpful in this quest!

During the night I received the Polarization skill and Blood Ritual from a level up; I adore Blood Ritual, always helps me when in need.

Meanwhile, Volkare was on the other side of the map, slowly advancing towards the Portal...

Day #2



The Green city was lightly fortified: Utem Crossbowmen, Blue Heros and a Minotaur, all with the green city's Poison ability. I assaulted the city and used Mana Pull to receive a white & a red mana token and Blood Ritual to receive three gold mana tokens.

Siege Attack phase:
- Savage Monks took down the Blue Heroes.
- Played expose on Minotaurs to remove fortifications; added a Swiftness to take them down.

Block Phase:
- Well, I just used the Shield of the Fallen Kings to block the crossbowmen. (Note: I forgot their Swiftness and needed two more block)

Attack Phase:
- I took down the Utem Crossbowmen with a Rage.



After getting in the city, I managed to recruit some Amotep Gunners and started to backtrack my steps. I took down the nearby Rampaging Storm Dragon by generating Ranged Attack 14! 6 from the Gunners, 5 from Concentration + Swiftness and 3 more from Battle Versatility. After all this, I leveled up and received Peaceful Moment and my Motivation skill; great, I simply used Peaceful Moment to heal my Foresters and refresh my Savage Monks.



Next to the dragon, an orc and a dungeon monster were guarding an artifact among some ruins. I entered to find a Medusa and some Cursed Hags. Nothing I couldn't handle; I immediately took down the Medusa with my Savage Monks, had the Cursed Hags wound my Foresters and took them down with a powered up Improvisation. Got my second artifact there and the choice was really tough: I passed on Amulet of Darkness to take the Banner of Command! I really like this banner. I didn't use it though as I immediately called end of round, since it was my only card left.



Night #2



I started exploring the tiles close to Volkare, as I was intending to catch him long before the portal. I ran into a keep, guarded by a Golem and decided to take it out with Expose + Swiftness. Great, Volkare was coming that way and I could draw 8 cards there, so I could just wait for him there.



While waiting, I explored the Maze next door; I took my Gunners with me, payed 6 movement points and found a Hydra; my Gunners made short story of her and found a first-time-use artifact... the Circlet of Proficiency! The common skill offer had already a lot of skills there and it would definitely prove useful.



Then, a pleasing surprise. The Banner of Command came in my hands and I was needing exactly 2 fame to level up and take a fourth skill! No questions, I immediately invoked its ultimate ability, destroyed it and recruited the Altem Guardians in the offer, leveling up as well. What did I receive from the level up? Nothing, as I forgot to level up! I was so enthusiastic that I forgot to level up! I only noticed that after the game...



Volkare was next tile, so I decided to assault him on my own.

~~ Assault #1 ~~



Volkare had a hell of an army, as usual!
- Lava Dragon
- Summoner Dragon
- Altem Guardians
- Green Heroes
- Orc War Beasts
- Ironclads



Ranged & Siege Attack phase:
That was really tough; I had Battle Versatility in hand, but no Concentrate. But, I eventually figured out a way to take down the Lava Dragons. I created a Siege Attack 8 by using:
- The Savage Monks
- A powered-up Battle Versatility
- Goldyx's "Freeze Power" skill in the unit offer played twice via the Circlet of Proficiency



Block phase:
The summoner dragon summoned a Crypt Worm and a Gargoyle, while Volkare rolled gold.
- Foresters with Improvisation blocked Volkare's attack (block 6, halved).
- Shield of the Fallen Kings blocked Ironclads and Orc War Beasts.
- Determination and swiftness sideways blocked Green Heroes attack 3.



Assign Damage Phase:
- My Altem Guardians played "All your units gain all resistances".
- Volkare's Altem Guardiands attacked my Gunners; they absorbed the damage.
- Crypt Worm attacked my Guardiands; they absorbed the damage.
- Green Heroes attacked (attack 5) the Foresters; they absorbed the first 4 points and got wounded.
- Gargoyle attacked the Savage Monks: they absorbed the first 4 points and got wounded.



Attack Phase:
- With a powered up Rage I took down the Green Heroes.

Volkare lost two tokens, enough to slow him down and pass his next turn.



I took my time to recruit some Guardian Golems from the Keep, disbanding the wounded Salvage Monks; I managed to also heal my Foresters and myself.
Volkare thankfully revealed a wound, so I called end of round.



Day #3



I drew a good hand: Shield of the Fallen Kings, Determination, Crystallize, Rage, Blood Ritual, 2x Stamina, March.
I took Rethink to discard the movement cards and play first. Then I attacked Volkare again on my own.

~~ Assault #2 ~~

Volkare's army:
- Summoner Dragon
- Altem Guardians
- Orc War Beasts
- Ironclads

No ranged/siege attacks. I played Blood Ritual to take 3 gold mana tokens.



Block phase:
The summoner dragon summoned a Medusa and a Werewolf, while Volkare rolled white.
- Shield of the Fallen Kings blocked Ironclads (block 4) and Volkare's attack with 2 cards played sideways.
- Determination blocks Altem Guardians.
- Foresters block Orc War Beasts
- Golems with Improvisation block Werewolf.



Assign Damage Phase:
- Medusa attacks my Golems; they absorb the first 3 points, get fatally wounded and paralyzed, thus getting destroyed.



Attack Phase:
- Amotep Gunners attack Ironclads with Rage.
- Altem Guardians attack Orc War Beasts.

Volkare lost two tokens again, enough to slow down.



I took my chance and played Peaceful moment to refresh the Gunners and the Foresters and heal myself, thankfully I had drawn Threaten in the same hand. Then I attack him again.

~~ Assault #3 ~~



Ranged & Siege attack phase:
- Gunners play Ranged Fire Attack 6; Circlet of Proficiency plays Arythea's "Burning Power" skill from the common skill offer twice for Siege Fire Attack 2, enough to take down the Summoner Dragon from a distance.
- I play expose on the Altem Guardians and combo it with Concentration & Swiftness: a total ranged attack 7 takes them down.

Volkare has just been defeated. I used my last round to hire some Thugs, as my reputation was -2 at the point, for the 2 extra fame at the end.



Final Fame: 189
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Dan Cavaliere
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Great session report especially with all the photos! Looks like it was a fun game for you and of course it is always great to get a win against Volkare

I especially enjoyed following your battle sequences - it's always good to see how players handle the puzzles created.

Seeing that you have conquered Volkare's Return with all 5 mage knights is cool. I've been working on a solo scenario for about a month now that incorporates V's Return and Tezla. I've been playing all the mage knights and trying to win with them as I've been editing.

I'm betting your 'quest' will be to win with all 5 MK's on Quest? Have fun!
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George I.
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Hey there Dan, thanks for reading it out.

Gamer DC wrote:
I especially enjoyed following your battle sequences - it's always good to see how players handle the puzzles created.

I really enjoy these puzzles too. The first assault took me probably around 10-15 minutes to figure out the best move. Destroying two artifacts in a single phase was something I had never done before, but eventually it was worth it. This battle might actually lead me to also like the Bow's counterpart, the Sword of Justice; I've been evading it, but I might as well pick it the next time.

Gamer DC wrote:
Seeing that you have conquered Volkare's Return with all 5 mage knights is cool.

It was a struggle, though. I lost once with Wolfhawk before beating Volkare; lost twice with Tovak, but third time was... a Charm; Norowas made easy work. With Goldyx I increased the difficulty from daring to heroic; lost the first, but won on the second attempt. And Arythea made easy work of him on heroic.

I really struggled with Tovak though, had to play thrice to beat Volkare! But it was a great chance to get to know him, as he was probably the least played Character. Not a fan of him.

Gamer DC wrote:
I'm betting your 'quest' will be to win with all 5 MK's on Quest? Have fun!
Well, the quest will be probably to beat his quest on Legendary. I managed to do it on heroic with Arythea and I might give it a shot with Legendary with her, since I know her so well.
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Iain
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That might be the best first day I have read in any report - a strong unit, some crystals, a level up and a spell!!

Well done Did you generate a score for comparison?
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George I.
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Gribbon wrote:
That might be the best first day I have read in any report - a strong unit, some crystals, a level up and a spell!!

Well done Did you generate a score for comparison?
Yep, here's the logged play. Final fame: 189
Just added it to the main session review.

This was indeed one of my best first days. Of course, all the stars had to perfectly align.

Thanks for reading!
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Dan Cavaliere
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Picon wrote:

Gamer DC wrote:
I'm betting your 'quest' will be to win with all 5 MK's on Quest? Have fun!
Well, the quest will be probably to beat his quest on Legendary. I managed to do it on heroic with Arythea and I might give it a shot with Legendary with her, since I know her so well.


Ary and Goldyx are the two I find most success with. I have not tried the upper Race or Combat levels as I still struggle with easiest ones! shake
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George I.
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Gamer DC wrote:
Ary and Goldyx are the two I find most success with. I have not tried the upper Race or Combat levels as I still struggle with easiest ones! shake
I haven't upped the Race either; I really get your feelings, I felt frustrated with Tovak when lost twice. shake

So far, the following has worked out for the Quest: find one of the two cities, pillage it, get some juicy city units and get back as soon as possible! Movement skills/actions/spells are particularly useful in this scenario, as you'll have to march all the way back, either from the same side or the opposite one.

Volkare's return is actually a bit easier, as you can game Volkare. Just reveal the city as far as possible, but don't be late! I've seen that the City should be found around the end of Day #2, so that you'll have both half of Day #2 and Night #2 to conquer it. I've found out that influence skills/actions/spells are extremely useful here (Charm/Possess rocks!), as you'll inevitably spend some turns in the city waiting for Volkare. By that time, Volkare should have enough cards in his deck; you want to avoid him going frenzy, really, as he'll attack the city every turn.

What has really helped me out in this scenario (Volkare's return) is to declare end of round as soon as possible. This is different from the standard conquest scenarios, where you'll try out to drag on and on, getting the most turns possible. Declaring the end of round is huge, as Volkare doesn't get an extra turn and you get to refresh your units and reshuffle your deck. Attending partially a combat with Volkare once your deck is empty lets you immediately declare the end of round on your turn.

Finally, I've found out that in both scenarios, it's almost never worth it to take a strong tactic, especially in the late game. Going first usually outweighs any benefits, even if it means taking Early Bird/From the Dusk. I might take an odd Preparation if I start the night next to a city and have Mass Expose or Earthquake in the deck and I might gamble as well with a Mana Steal on Day #1 (or Day #2). I often take Early Bird/From the Dusk in early rounds too, if I have an okay hand, so as to eliminate the tactic and be able to choose something better in later rounds and still get to go first.

Oh, and you're going to get wounds. Lots of them. If you have units and abundance in Influence just let your units sacrifice themselves for their Master and get new ones. Things like Banner of Command, Peaceful Moment, Charm and influence skills are huge in this game. You cannot really let your reputation sink in Volkare's Return (although it might be tolerable in Volkare's Quest). You might consider attending partially so as to get a chance to refresh/replace your units, if things are really tight.
 
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Dan Cavaliere
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Those sound like sound strategies Jorge - thanks.
 
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