I'm playing through the epic campaign The Primordial Graveyard, found in the rules and first set of boosters released for the game. My opponent is my 10 year old son, Xavy. Our last adventure recap is here https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1604529/dd-attack-wing-72-h...
We started this campaign over a year ago, posting my first Session report in March, which was a few days after we'd played through the campaign scenarios in the rulebook. It's been a fantastic ride, and our clash could not be closer. We've each won 10 games, and while I have a slight lead in XP, the winner of this final battle will the the overall winner of the campaign.
The last several battles have been straight duels, split between good and evil forces. We've been escalating our Legion points as we draw closer to this final encounter, and we're finishing with a 300 point all out brawl. We get to use our XP totals as bonus points, so Xavy's force comes out to 312, while I leave some points on the table at 313.
Xavy selects the good force, and includes some of his favorite creatures...Nymmestra and Calamity, of course, but adds in Vargachir for some heavy dragon power, and Vakka, for even more heavy dragon power. Runding out his force is Onthar Frume and a lowly, generic Forester.
I'm required to take Maurghoros, and throw in Tlaxamar for the extra heavy hitting power of Death Ray. Arveiaturace comes along for Ancient Dragon power, backed up by the stealthy and hard hitting Staltax. I spend my remaining points on Claugiyliamatar, hoping to use her as a harassing, spell-support option.
I ended up making some at-the-table adjustments, as I realized I had Lightning Bolt on Claugiyliamatar, who can't use Concentrate, and had put several defensive spells on Maurgoros. Because of the the special rules for this encounter, Maurghoros cannot be defeated during regular play, so I removed Shield and Mirror Image in favor of Power Word Kill.
The story for this adventure contains some spoilers, so I'll throw that into a Spoiler cover:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Having finally won entry into the Graveyard, the evil dragons and their forces marvel at the treasures within. But one does more than marvel. Sensing a source of great power, the red dragon Balagos charges ahead, breaking through the outer boundary of the Graveyard. The wards destroy his body, even his very soul, leaving a charred husk...which is then possessed by the dark power held in check by the Graveyard. Or that was held in check. Maurghoros the dracolich, one-time consort of Tiamat, has returned. Only be restoring the wards protecting the graveyard can he be destroyed.
Xavy's task as the good commander is to activate 7 Objectives, which are spread evenly around the board. It's an open arena, so we have to be careful not to fly off. Each objective will activate a different ability, and only one can be active at a time. I just need to kill all his creatures before he activates the 7th Ward, and Maurghoros cannot be defeated while any ward is dormant. He can take damage, crits, etc., but will just keep on fighting. Being a Lich as benefits.
Running 300+ points calls for a bigger play area. We expand to at least 40" x 40" to give us enough room to maneuver. And we set up a table next to the main table just to hold all our cards. And that second table just barely manages to contain everything. Xavy xpreads out, knowing he has to cover the whole table eventually, and so do I.
It takes an action to activate a ward, so Xavy starts off by having the crew of Calamity activate the first one.
This ward forces every non-negative creature to turn one face down damage card they've suffered face up. Fortunately, no one has even attacked yet, so it has no impact on the game. As the forces advance, they prepare for the battle to come. Maurghoros casts Bigby's Hand, Staltax turns Invisibile, Nymmestra and Arvieaturace raise Shields. Xavy's really come to like the Giant Toads, and they really add a great deal of speed to otherwise slow creatures.
Vargachir catches Claugiyliamatar and Tlaxamar with her Fire Breath, inflicting two hits on the green, and more importantly she loses Hidecarved Scales to Scorch. Which, after over a year of playing, I suddenly realize is an evil, evil upgrade. Tlaxamar suffers little better, taking a Shattered result to lose it's last Armor token, and also the crit that turns all turns red. Not too serious, since it can use it's Eyestalk attacks in any direction, it's also half dead.
Turn 2 sees the activation of the second Ward.
This Ward causes acid to rain down over the battlefield. Every creature has to flip over one Armor token, and if it cannot, it suffers one face down damage. This hurts everyone, with Nymmestra and the Forrester taking a wound, Calamity losing one of her nigh-invulnerable shields, and Claugiyliamatar losing all armor.
We get our first big combat exchange. Maurghoros lands 5 hits on Vargachir with Shadow Breath, but no crits of note. Tlaxamar then tries to turn his Death Ray on the Ancient Brass, but instead only manages to hit her with the Paralyzing Ray. Xavy is forced to use Legendary Resistance to counter it. He used Challenge on Claugiyliamatar to ground her, but then failed to deal any more damage, while Frume manages to hide just outside of everything's arc and only takes a hit from Magic Missile.
Turn 3 sees Vargachir activate the next Ward.
This Ward sends enchanted music across the Graveyard, boosting all attack rolls by 1 this turn. Vargachir has to land to prevent herself from flying off the board next turn.
I decide to make a concentrated effort to kill Calamity. Xavy tries to get Staltax in her sights, but I Feint out of arc, while closing in with Arvieaturace. Unfortunately, Maurghoros flies in her way, preventing her from charging in to Close Quarters. But between the two of them...Staltax using his Poison Bow, and with the aid of the Ward's attack boost, they crush the ballista without it ever getting off a shot.
Meanwhile, Tlaxamar remembers which eye-stalk has the Death Ray, and turns it on to Onthar Frume. He doesn't stand much chance, and thanks to the damage he took from Claugiyliamatar's Magic Missile, he falls. The Forester continues to make her presence felt, inflicting more wounds on Tlaxamar.
The next turn sees Vakka activating the far left Ward.
This Ward resets the Annihilation Sphere within the Graveyard, instantly destroying an upgrade on every remaining creature. We both make some sacrifices, and realize that this scenario is pretty brutal, even without the combat.
With Maurghoros and Vargachir trying to turn around, there's really only the Forester left to engage in combat. Staltax works to keep away from Nymmestra and her Disintegrate cannon. Tlaxamar tries to Paralyze the Forester, but she resists. Then Staltax tries to take her down with his bow...no good. Finally Arvieaturace deals a lethal strike with her tail, but not before she manages to land a Point Blank shot into Tlaxamar's main eye...honestly, why isn't that thing better protected?
I use nearly 170 points in creatures to kill a 15 point creature, losing 58 points from the board in the process. And with only three wards remaining, I'm starting to sense that Xavy is gearing up for a win here.
Vargachir activates the next ward, which heals one damage on everyone except for Maurghoros, who really doesn't care about face down cards. I take some comfort in knowing that had the Forester not killed Tlaxamar, this Ward would have anyway. Nymmestra lays into Arvieaturace with a Disintegrate, which deals a lot of damage and a Crit that reduces her attack and defense by 1. There's only two Wards left, and while I've got Vargachir wounded enough to finish her off, Vakka is untouched.
The next turn Xavy tries to engage in full on combat, and opts to not activate a Ward.
Claugiyliamatar is just outside Vakka's attack arc, and Maurghoros and Staltax bring Vargachir closer to death. Claugiyliamatar tried to block Vakka, but can't deal any significant damage to the silver, as she had to charge ahead from the ground and was exhausted. The following turn, Vakka activates the next to last Ward, releasing wild magic that boosts spell attacks. Then, this happens:
Xavy now has two tries to get Vargachir into position to activate the final ward. His first attempt fails to clear Maurghoros, but he gets it right on his second attempt. Because Time Stop prevented the Wild Magic Ward from being removed, he has to wait for the next turn...and for the prior turn's attacks...to play out before he can try to win.
First he has to survive the combat round. Maurghoros and Staltax both have Vargachir lined up, and while she survives the tail attack from the Dracolich, Staltax proves to be a crack shot, and takes her down. It's going to be up to Vakka or Nymmestra to pull off the win.
Claugiyliamatar tries to backwing in an effort to block Vakka, who manages to glide around her, just out of reach of the Ward. Staltax rushes in, also trying to block access to it, while Maurghoros and Arveiaturace swing around to try and kill the last two forces of Good. Nymmestra pops Dimension door, placing her easily within reach of the ward. I can't get any attacks off, and we both know that Good is going to win on the next turn, but we play through to the finish.
The last turn is epic. Nymmestra activates the Ward...which sends an icy blast through the Graveyard, preventing actions from all but Cold creatures. She's previously readied Disintegrate, and Vakka's ability lets her prepare it with Target. Vakka does the same, and they unleash a double Disintegrate attack on Staltax. Maurghoros and Staltax combine their attacks to kill Vakka, while Arvieaturace uses her cold breath to kill Nymmestra. But then the Graveyard's Wards combine their powers, and the Annihilation Sphere fully activates, drawing Maurghoros' out of the battle, and destroying completely, forever. As a final act, the powers of the graveyard heal all the wounds suffered by the Forces of Good, and Xavy emerges victorious.
The final tally for the campaign has Xavy winning 16-15, taking 11 out of 21 games. Truly a fantastic finish to an amazing campaign. I'll provide some closing thoughts in the comments.
Placeholder for aftermath comments. I find I'm having more than I can quickly get down, going to let them stew for a bit.
I keep trying to put down my final thoughts, and keep having too many of them.
I guess, first, a big Thank You to Andrew, Manny, and the rest of the Wizkids crew that were behind this game. It's brought a huge amount of entertainment and enjoyment to me and my family, introduced us to some new friends, and overall has just been a fantastic experience.
I've said before, I love how the campaign scenarios force you to play creatures you might not otherwise choose. Also, they are a great example of how the addition of just a few simple rules can change the whole complexion of the game.
What what I most appreciated about the campaign is how it brought the roots of D&D to the forefront. The campaign told a grand story that the players could impact.
- Last edited Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:09 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:27 pm
Quixotic Games: www.quixoticgames.com
Dungeon Alliance Kickstarter - January 2017
An incredible ending to an epic journey. Thanks so much for recording these adventures, Bobb!
Yep. 11 games to 10, 16xp to 15. Just like we planned it.
Seriously, though, I want to thank both of you for playing these and congratulate Xavy on his epic victory. (I totally freaked out when I read that he decided not to activate a ward on that turn late in the game!)
Far more thanks are owed you, though, for your reports on the whole campaign. More than good or even rave reviews, session reports make this game designer (and, I suspect, many game designers) feel validated and appreciated, and I can't thank you enough!