This report is about my second play of the game. I played solo, on default (= hard) difficulty. You can read about my first session here: First journey of the Argo (a solo session report)
As a hero aboard the Argo, you never know what to expect. Sometimes, the journey looks like this, and you get three very pleasant, easy days in a row:
Other days, you get to face this - a stretch of four far less easy days:
One thing is for sure, though: It's going to be an epic journey full of dangerous adventures!
Asclepius (diplomat/mystic), Castor (warrior), Hercules (warrior), Polydeuces (warrior)
Atalanta (warrior/scout), Echion (scout/diplomat), Jason (warrior/diplomat), Nauplius (sailor)
Argos (sailor), Calais (warrior/scout), Laertes (Jack of all Trades), Orpheus (diplomat)
Lynceus (scout), Mopsus (mystic), Tiphys (sailor), Zetes (warrior/scout)
The Argo's journey started off with two successful stops. At Lemnos, Orpheus' diplomatic talent convinced the local lord to support the Argonauts with a ration and a golden cup used in mystic rituals. Asclepius left some gold at the temple, which was rewarded with a Favor of the Gods. At Kyzikos, Lynceus dodged an ambush and went hunting, thereby increasing rations by one.
At Bithynia, harpies lay in wait, but they were no match for the cunning of Hercules, Jason, Calais and Zetes. The Argonauts were victorious and gained a trident. All that the harpies got was one ration used in baiting them - not a bad price for a powerful relic and getting everyone out alive!
Argos, Castor, Nauplius and Tiphys steered the Argo through the Clashing Rocks. Athena intervened and almost caused their defeat, but the heroes' combined sailing skill was sufficient to get away with only one hull damage. This feat earned them another Favor of the Gods.
(After Athena's intervention, the team's sailing skill equaled the requirement. Close, but good enough.)
After narrowly escaping Symplegades, the Argo had an encounter with . It was a difficult battle, but in the end Polydeuces, Atalanta, Orpheus and Lynceus proved stronger than the pirates. This would have earned them two gold and a ration, but unfortunately there was room for only one gold. What a wasted opportunity!
(Seriously, they couldn't fit that second gold in a pocket, or crack in the Argo's floor?! Must have been chests of gold rather than individual coins, and even then...)
At Synope, Echion did what he does best: talking traders into giving him free merchandise! He got a helmet and also bought a map and a ration. Asclepius attended a hearing and came back with another ration and one gold.
After this rather successful stretch, the Argo ran into a dead calm, which greatly exhausted the crew. When the Argonauts finally reached Themiskyra, all they did was send Jason to another hearing, and his effort was rewarded with a ration. All seemed well again, until a dense fog made navigating the Argo difficult. It was decided to turn in a Favor of the Gods, and suddenly the fog lifted, without the Argo suffering any damage.
At Aea, Hercules left the expedition, and Medea joined, after falling in love with Jason. Atalanta went to explore, and was ambushed. Medea and Laertes used their stealth to help her. Poseidon meddled, but since the attackers were inexperienced and weak, his obstructions had little effect. The three heroes escaped with some gold that they stole from the assailants.
Polydeuces, Nauplius, Orpheus and Tiphys, equipped with a helmet and a trident, defeated an army of skeleton warriors and returned with another relic: a lyre (Orpheus was mighty pleased!). But there was little time to relax: a dragon was guarding the Golden Fleece, and he didn't look friendly, or ready to hand over the precious item. If only those giant reptiles weren't so stubborn, heroes wouldn't have to keep slaying them! This time, however, since most of the warriors were still exhausted from fighting the skeleton warriors, Jason (drawing upon resting Medea's skills and using the mystic golden cup), Calais and Lynceus cunningly stole the Fleece before the dragon knew what was happening. Everyone - Argonauts and dragon - stayed alive, and the heroes had found the object which their journey was about, and also earned a pair of winged stealth sandals! Now all they needed to do was safely return to Iolkos with their precious bounty.
As you may have guessed, this was easier said than done. Another attack! But Castor, Atalanta, Laertes and Zetes won a glorious victory, and earned two gold and a ration. And even the weather was on the heroes' side for once: a strong tailwind pushed the Argo forward and she reached Istria sooner than expected.
At Istria, Echion bought a map and another golden cup, and talked the trader into giving him one stack of building material for free. Finally, something could be done about the hull damage the Argo had suffered in the Clashing Rocks encounter! Argos started repairs immediately.
Shortly after leaving Istria, the Argo passed hostile waters. Medea, Jason and Mopsus used all their diplomatic skill, but it was Orpheus and his magical lyre that convinced former enemies to become friends, and gold and a ration were given as a gift to celebrate the new friendship.
At Cynokefali, Lynceus went exploring in the lush forest, but came home with only one measly stack of building material. In an unprecedented streak of good luck, however, the Argo encountered two travelling merchants in a row! From the first, the heroes bought a stealth cloak and a ring that would enhance its bearer's reputation during diplomatic encounters. From the second, two rations were acquired. And then fine weather sped up the exhausted heroes' recovery!
But so much good fortune in such a short time didn't bode well for the future. Good things never last, and sure enough, a dead calm awaited the Argo. A Favor of the Gods allowed her to reach Stichades anyway, but rations had run out, and the first Argonaut had become unfit for duty. Fortunately, a resident healer fixed him up. Atalanta went exploring, but true to a pattern established earlier on, she encountered another ambush. Calais, Zetes and Polydeuces, equipped with a stealth relic, sneaked up on the ambushers and the heroes got away with one gold. However, the adventure had made Polydeuces hungry, and he overindulged, which - given the sorry state of food supplies on the ship - was very bad.
Tiphys avoided passing through a thunderstorm, but in doing so took the Argo into shallow waters. Miraculously, the Argo escaped undamaged, thanks to Argos and Nauplius. Enlisting Castor's help, however, backfired: his recklessness led to a crew going over board. What a sad and pointless death!
(Nauplius and Argos had 6 sailing, but I foolishly decided adding one more sailing would be a good idea. Castor's "Reckless" handicap meant that if I rolled 9-12, I'd lose an Argonaut, which is what happened. With Ares affecting Argos negatively, 5 sailing were left, and the shallow wasters roll was 11. A total of 16, and only 11 were needed to get the Argo out without hull damage. Even without such a lucky roll, I shouldn't have played Castor. Even a total of only 6 would've meant just 1 hull damage, which would probably have been better than losing an Argonaut.)
At Aethalia, Lynceus' tracking talent allowed him to bypass another ambush, and the lush forest yielded one material and one ration. Afterwards, a rough sea led to the tragic loss of two Argonauts' lives.
The Argo reached Aeaea with only 3 crew that were fit for duty. Echion visited a trader, bought one ration and got one for free. Orpheus convinced the lord to give them another ration.
Apparently, they had spent too much time at Aeaea because hunters from Kolchis caught up with the Argo. Asclepius, Jason, Laertes and Zetes (and 2 equipment) left the Argonauts victorious and a relic was earned. The Golden Fleece helped restore one crew's health, but this was a short reprieve.
At Anthemoessa, one Argonaut yielded to the Sirens' song. Things were looking grim, with one ration left, the crew down to three, two more Argonauts being in danger of being mesmerized, and the knowledge of what lay ahead: Scylla and Charybdis, two of the most terrible sea creatures ever encountered. Even if they survived the encounter with the Sirens, only a miracle would be able to save the heroes, for Drepani, the next port city, was still four days away.
But heroes don't give up until it's over, so Atalanta, Argos and Mopsus used their cunning and two equipment, and Medea did some mystic rituals that made the sirens' song a little less mesmerizing, and the Argonauts escaped without further losses and earned another relic, a mystic dagger.
Apparently, the Gods didn't like this outcome and sent their Wrath. After considering the risk (worst case: one hull damage and two crew loss, which would've meant defeat before even reaching Thrinakria), a relic was sacrificed to appease the Gods. Not an easy decision, since the item would have been of use in the impending encounter with Scylla and Charybdis as well, but better to die battling monsters than being struck down by the Gods!
Scylla and Charybdis instantly killed one Argonaut, but Castor, Nauplius, Tiphys and Orpheus prevailed. They would have won the Encounter on their own but Poseidon decided to help with a powerful intervention (+1 on sailing for Nauplius and Tiphys, +1 on mysticism for Nauplius). But he was probably just playing them a cruel joke, because while the victory earned them a Favor of the Gods, the fact that the rations were depleted and the crew was in very bad shape meant that one day away from Drepani, nobody was left fit for duty and the Argo was swallowed by the sea. And maybe Scylla and Charybdis got to devour them after all.
(Can my heroes please die heroically in battle next time, rather than succumb to starvation again? )
This is a great session report. I love the narrative it provides. The different crews and random events make it very replayable.
It is making me itch to play it again soon! (and paint my 3D-printed Argo!)
Thanks for the kind words, Dave.
I hope you'll share a picture of your Argo once you've painted it!
I've been wondering - does the Argo token come in different colours? Mine is purple, but I've seen pictures in which it looked blue (and it didn't just seem to be a matter of different lighting).
My Argo token is definitely blue.
Spurred on by this thread, here's the fruits of my afternoon/evening labour of Hercules...
The sail and the sail image has been causing me some grief. It needs some patching up before sailing....
a slightly better angle.....