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Subject: Solo Slaughterfield with Soldier and Archer and first impressions of Myth rss

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Kathrin
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Set-up
I played a solo Slaughterfield game with two heroines: the Soldier and the Archer. To enable them to survive a little longer while I am still learning the game, I gave each of them a healing and anti-venom potion.

This was my second game; I had played another Slaughterfield game with the Soldier and Acolyte previously. (Slaughterfield is the simplest game mode for Myth. The heroes have to survive waves of ever stronger/more numerous enemies, which is a good way to get to know the different heroes and monsters and their abilities as well as the basic structure of the game, while leaving out a lot of the more complex elements that are part of adventures and story quests.)

I used the following wave set-up:

Wave 1: 8 Crawlers (4 melee, 4 ranged)
-> 2 melee Crawlers on two opposing sides, 2 ranged Crawlers on the remaining sides

Wave 2: 12 Shamblers (8 melee, 4 ranged)
-> 2 melee Shamblers and 1 ranged Shambler on each side

Wave 3: 2 Stalkers
-> 1 Stalker on two opposing sides

Wave 4: 3 Grubbers; 3 Tailless (2 melee, 1 ranged)
-> 3 Grubbers on one side, 3 Tailless on the opposing side

Wave 5: 4 Tailless (3 melee, 1 ranged); 4 Shamblers (3 melee, 1 ranged)
-> 4 Tailless on one side, 4 Shamblers on the opposing side

Wave 6: 4 Shamblers (4 melee), 1 Soulless; 4 Grubbers, 1 Mucker
-> 4 Shamblers and 1 Soulless on one side, 4 Grubbers and 1 Mucker on the opposing side

Wave 7: 6 Grubbers, 1 Mucker; 6 Tailless (4 melee, 2 ranged), 1 Rath
-> 6 Grubbers and 1 Mucker on one side, 6 Tailless and 1 Rath on the opposing side

Wave 8: 3 Shamblers (melee), 1 Soulless; Yardu; 3 Crawlers (melee), 1 Stalker; 3 Grubbers, 1 Mucker
-> 3 Shamblers and 1 Soulless on one side, Yardu on the second, 3 Crawlers and 1 Stalker on the third, 3 Grubbers and 1 Mucker on the fourth

Wave 9: 4 Shamblers (2 melee, 2 ranged), 1 Soulless; Yardu (replacement if still on board: 1 Agent); 4 Crawlers (2 melee, 2 ranged), 1 Stalker; 4 Grubbers, 1 Mucker
-> 4 Shamblers and 1 Soulless on one side, 1 Agent on the second, 4 Crawlers and 1 Stalker on the third, 4 Grubbers and 1 Mucker on the fourth

Wave 10: not played

Session report

Wave 1:
The Soldier and the Archer took out the ranged Crawlers first, then took care of the melee Crawlers. Two of them were still alive when Wave 2 entered.

Wave 2:
The plan was to get rid of the remaining Crawlers as quickly as possible, so that there would be only one monster type to add AP for active monster types during later Refresh Phases. The Archer managed to kill one in a counterattack soon, but the second was rather persistent and survived much too long, which meant that the heroines had fewer resources and less time left to fight Shamblers. All in all, the Archer's arrows hit fairly well, and the Soldier had a few successful attacks, too, though she completely wasted a "Harvest of Bones" once. The Archer found a "Forsaken Tome", which wasn't particularly useful for this duo. One Shambler was still "alive" (more like "actively undead" ) when Wave 3 entered.

Wave 3:
The Archer passed the courage test and used "Vision of the Mark" and "Kharon's Payment" on one of the Stalkers, before the giant scorpion ever had a chance to attack. The Soldier, however, was less courageous (she might have been a little frightened after her previous - successful - battle with the leftover Shambler) when she tried to pierce the other Stalker with her fireplace poker. She trembled too much and her attack failed. She then mustered all her courage and managed to at least knock the Stalker prone with her pot lid shield. Not quite convinced that the Soldier had permanently conquered her fear of Stalkers, the Archer handed her an "Amulet of Courage", which she put around her neck as soon as possible. And what a lucky find that amulet was, as it paid off immediately. It took the Soldier 3 separate attacks but at last the Stalker was dead, and the tile had been cleared before the arrival of Wave 4. The Archer put on a "Leather Armor" and drank her vitality potion since she was starting to feel weak.

Wave 4:
This wave didn't prove very difficult for the heroines. The Soldier took out all three Grubbers with a "Harvest of Bones", which left them enough time to kill the Tailless before the arrival of Wave 5.

Wave 5:
Lots of monster slaying, but the most notable event of this wave was the Archer picking up and equipping a useful treasure: "Kira's Tear". One Shambler survived into Wave 6.

Wave 6:
This wave didn't start off too well, with the Soldier taking heavy damage during an attack by Grubbers and a Mucker.
If it hadn't been for the vitality potion, she would have died. Additionally, the Mucker knocked her prone.
Soldier with Grubbers and Mucker.

The Archer's revenge (via "Kharon's Payment") was deadly - one captain fewer to worry about. And she apparently was in top form, since she also defeated the Soulless. Several Grubbers and Shamblers also died, but one of them made it to Wave 7. The Soldier and the Archer were both down to 4 vitality - the effect of their potions had worn off.

Wave 7:
This wave brought lots of Tailless and Grubbers, and their captains:

First, I thought this was going to end badly for the heroines, since neither of them had a single interrupt to defend herself or launch a counterattack. This is where "Kira's Tear" came in handy - discarding it allowed them to make some attacks for free first, and thus without triggering the Darkness until after new cards had been drawn. The Archer used this opportunity to get rid of the remaining Shambler from Wave 6, and the Soldier slew the Rath. Apparently, the demise of their captain greatly upset the Tailless, and they surrounded the Soldier, aiming teeth, spears and slingshots at her. And there were six of them, which made them fierce and fearless, as they are swarm animals:

Fortunately, the Soldier was now better prepared for an attack, and managed to disengage. After her skillful maneuver, only a single Tailless was in range to attack her, and the attack missed.

The Archer was less fortunate and got hit by a Grubber. Later, the Soldier also took out 4 Tailless in a massive "Riding the Edge" strike and there were a few more casualties on the enemies' side. Not enough, though: 5 Grubbers and the Mucker were still alive and kicking.

Wave 8 and 9:
Too many monsters overran the heroines:

The Soldier was badly wounded by Grubbers, then hit and cursed by the Soulless, but before the curse had any effect, the Soulless attacked a second time and the Soldier died.
Final moments in the Soldier's life. I had to proxy the Soulless because I haven't been able to get a pack of them yet, but I think it's fitting that he seems to float above the ground.

The Archer dodged a few enemy attacks and retreated into a corner. She made it into Wave 9, with a single vitality point left (and only because she had found herself a Leather Armor earlier), but she didn't stand a chance with all those enemies queuing to attack her. No happy ending here:


What I think of the game - first impressions
I won't lie: This hasn't been an easy game to learn. I read the rules several times. I watched gameplay videos. I tried setting it up, and put it away again, overwhelmed by rules questions, the amount of components and simply not getting how to start. Rinse and repeat. And if I hadn't had an experienced player help me get over that initial hurdle, it would probably have sat on the shelf forever.
Which would have been a pity, because I enjoy the game a lot, even though I've barely scratched the surface with Slaughterfield.

A step-by-step guide on how exactly to set up the first game and how to play the first few rounds, cycle by cycle, card by card, would have been so useful. I love how much flexibility there is to set things up according to my ideas, but this isn't something I felt I could handle as a beginner, while trying to learn everything else. Too many things to deal with at once.
Once I actually started playing, I quickly fell in love with the game, despite my confusion and the fact that the rules and card texts, even in their 2.0 version, still create a lot of unclear/ambiguous situations.

There is a lot to like, though:

thumbsup I enjoy figuring out the best combinations of movement and card play. AP cost, card type, movement restrictions, hero threat, deciding which card to keep for later and which monster(s) to attack give me a lot to think about, and there are usually several viable options. Interesting game play with lots of tactical decisions.

thumbsup The minis and card illustrations are beautiful, and a great tool to set off my imagination about what the heroes' and monsters' backgrounds and stories might be.

thumbsup The heroes have individual strengths and weaknesses and play quite differently, which adds to the replayability and fun of discovering how to play them well.

thumbsup The cycles, phases and steps soon became easier to understand and manage, at least with a player aid to remind me what to do when. The fact that a Darkness Cycle can be triggered during different phases of the game - something that I found hard to grasp initially - adds an interesting layer of complexity and decision-making.

E It's probably a little too early to tell, but Myth seems to have the potential to become one of my favourite longer, more involved games to play solo, and I can see myself playing it a lot.

***

A huge - and I mean HUGE - thank you goes to
Judy Krauss
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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whose enthusiasm for this game first put it on my radar, who kept my interest in it alive with her session reports (The Adventures of the Intrepid Trio - Part 1 and others) even when other opinions were less favourable, and who pushed me just enough to stop agonising over not understanding everything and start playing. Judy also patiently answered an endless list of rules questions whenever I got stuck, and she generally helped me a bunch with everything Myth-related. And she put together the wave set-up I played with, based on what I had available.

Edit: Fixed some typos.
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Stefan Schneider
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Re: Slaughterfield with Soldier and Archer and first impressions of Myth
Wow, amazing session report, great read!
And I completely agree with all your thumbsup
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Kathrin
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Re: Slaughterfield with Soldier and Archer and first impressions of Myth
Thank you, Stefan. It's always good to know someone enjoys reading the reports.

I'm just waiting to become fully awake so I can start my first 3-hero session (Archer, Soldier and Acolyte).
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David Griffin
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For people like me who like a game with a lot of planning, with a really thinky system, and who also like the fantasy theme (though I think that is all it is, a theme), this is a game worth working for. For a person who likes to be overwhelmed, there's Slaughterfield.

The question for Myth has always been how many people will stick with it long enough to actually learn the game. And when they are done, who will there be to play with? To me it was never that the game wasn't worth playing, it as always is the admission fee too high (time more than money). How many people try it once and give up?
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Ben Locke
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carbon_dragon wrote:
For people like me who like a game with a lot of planning, with a really thinky system, and who also like the fantasy theme (though I think that is all it is, a theme), this is a game worth working for. For a person who likes to be overwhelmed, there's Slaughterfield.

The question for Myth has always been how many people will stick with it long enough to actually learn the game. And when they are done, who will there be to play with? To me it was never that the game wasn't worth playing, it as always is the admission fee too high (time more than money). How many people try it once and give up?


This problem you speak of isn't intrinsic to Myth (and you aren't stating that, either). Many board games get one or two plays and then are traded on or sold or given away or languish in a closet. The reasons are varied, but "steep learning curve" is probably high on the list.

For me, when Myth first arrived, I dove into it with my gaming partner full steam. The missing or ambiguous rules frustrated us to no end. Luckily, many community members stepped up, and solutions were provided, or, at the very least, house rule workarounds were made. I actually found that after about 10 hours of play, we had it mostly figured out.

Then, the Rules 2.0 release, and that was when I decided to shelve the game, and work on painting minis, but not play, until I could evaluate what changed in 2.0. After the 2.0 release, and another 2 to 4 hours, I'd say I'm up to speed again.

So the answer is, 4 to 14 hours should be what it takes to determine if a group will "stick with it". Because that's the learning curve timeframe (in my estimation).
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Ben Locke
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gentle wrote:
Wow, amazing session report, great read!
And I completely agree with all your thumbsup


Seconded. Great write up.

I don't play Slaughterfield, because I haven't figured out how to translate the bonuses gained from it into session play, but it does help familiarize with a given hero. You can get a feel for how their attacks and combos work, and what card draws are likely. I specifically used it with the Brigand in the 1.0 release, to try to learn how that character played.
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Tobias Loeffler
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Thank you for sharing this! It's always great to see people acutally PLAYING this!
I'm really looking forward to when you delve into the story telling aspect of the game.
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Kathrin
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Thanks, Ben and Tobias.

Tobias, I've enjoyed reading quite a few of your contributions.
I might give MYTH: Cemetery Troubles - A micro-adventure for teaching the game to new players a try once I've played more.

"who will there be to play with?" is a question that for me, as a solo player, isn't really relevant since Myth plays well solo. I like the immersion playing on my own offers, and that I can play at my own pace. And having all the cards in front of me makes figuring out the best combinations a lot easier, too.

I don't think I'd have a hard time getting some of my friends to play it with me, though.
Would they put in hours to learn the rules on their own? Most likely not. But I'm sure if I offered to teach them, they would be happy to give it a try, and they'd probably get hooked, thanks to the fantasy theme and tactical game play.
As long as you have at least one experienced player who is willing to teach, the learning curve doesn't have to be all that steep for the others because you can introduce them to the game step-by-step. Especially since it is a cooperative game and you are working together anyway.
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Tobias Loeffler
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marble911 wrote:

Tobias, I've enjoyed reading quite a few of your contributions.
I might give MYTH: Cemetery Troubles - A micro-adventure for teaching the game to new players a try once I've played more.


If you need any help with that or have any questions, just let me know. Have fun!
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Kathrin
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Thanks, and I will!
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David Ainsworth
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I'm waiting for my Journeyman stuff to arrive before I get back into this one, but I agree with pretty much all of what you say. Can't wait though.
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Ben Locke
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CletusVanDamme wrote:
I'm waiting for my Journeyman stuff to arrive before I get back into this one, but I agree with pretty much all of what you say. Can't wait though.


I was doing the same, but with Journeyman set to be here in the next couple of months, I'm getting back in full steam. I've taught the game to about 10 different people over the last couple of months, and have one who just bought into the 2.0 game. We're starting to run Stories and "level up" our chcarcters in prep for Journeyman. I think the time is now, especially if you want to be able to use the Journeyman stuff shortly after receipt.
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Kathrin
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CletusVanDamme wrote:
I'm waiting for my Journeyman stuff to arrive before I get back into this one, but I agree with pretty much all of what you say. Can't wait though.
I discovered the game/the fact that I might be interested in it too late to get in on the Kickstarter.

But I think there is too much replay value in the base game and the couple of extra packs I got to start worrying about this already. I've only played Slaughterfield so far, and only 3 out of the 5 base game heroes...

I will be envious when everyone gets their Journeyman stuff, though. cry
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