Mark Fuhrman
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Preamble: Two nights prior, I had tried out game 1 by myself so as to make sure I could teach the game well to my wife. I played as Harry/Ron, and won with no trouble at all, only ending with three control on Diagon Alley.

The following night, my wife and I played game 2 as Hermione/Neville, and we absolutely destroyed the game as well, ending with full health on both characters, as well as only one control on the first location. Easy-peasy.

Game 3: Not as easy-peasy. We were quite happy to have upgraded characters, and chose to play as Hermione/Ron. The ramped-up difficulty took us a little by surprise, however, mostly due to fighting two villains at once.

Right off the bat, we somehow got stuck with a Dementor and Peter Pettigrew. We weren't expecting much trouble from Mr. Pettigrew, having mostly starter cards, but he came out swinging and somehow managed to land a few hits. Unlucky? Maybe. In the meantime, Mr. Kissy-Kissy-Soul-Sucker was doling out damage left and right, comboing with several Dark arts events to knock both of us out in only a few turns each! We had never been stunned before, and quickly realized there was no room for slacking here.

We rallied hard, recklessly pursuing cards with damage for me (Ron) so as to take advantage of his healing ability, and my wife likewise getting lots of "drawing cards" items/spells so she could get purchasing power. After we knocked out the Dementor (and shortly after, Pettigrew), the basilisk reared his ugly head, with Draco Malfoy in tow, crippling Hermione's draw strategy (along with a few bad Dark Arts draws). My wife retaliated by purchasing BOTH Petrificus Totalus cards, which ended up coming to good use, easing up on the villain's control of the situation.

Speaking of control, we had already lost Hogwart's Express to the villains, also something we had never experienced before, and we're now taking serious consequences from drawing TWO Dark Arts cards each turn. On my end, I managed to save the Quidditch pitch from Draco's clutches on the turn he gained control of it with an angry Rubeus Hagrid, who layed some "smack" on Draco with a Nimbus 2001.

Lucius Malfoy stormed out of the gates, eager to avenge his son's death, and he stalled our advances long enough to win the Quidditch pitch once-and-for-all. Crabbe and Goyle were also annoying us, so after Malfoy Sr's demise, we opted to take them out first, instead of Mr. Quirrell.

By this time, we had almost lost the Shrieking Shack, due to lots of Dark Arts cards doing lots of bad things. Hermione swiftly ended Quirrell's pitiful existence, and it was down to Riddle and us. Tom smiled that creepy smile, and I knew we were in trouble.

As the last control was laid on the Shack, I looked at my hand- Riddle had two health left, and I had no attack. The Marauder's Map (which let me draw) was our only chance. I used it, clinging desperately to hope, and managed to scrape out Reparo- also a draw card.

The Reparo played, I slowly, ever so slowly, peeked at my draw- BOOM! FINITE! (I think that's the spell...) Removing the control from the shack, I at least allowed Hermione a shot to finish the job. On her turn, again, the last control was added (due to Hermione passing out from either nerves or Dark Magic, I can't remember which). Gasping for breath, and more importantly, cards that would somehow help, Hermione draws the last of the attack power needed. Riddle has fallen! I repeat, Riddle has fallen!!! We win*!!!


Whew! What a game! Scraping through by the skin of our teeth (seeing as the Dementors had sucked the rest of our faces clean off), we really had to fight for this one, unlike Game 1 and 2. But, that's how I like a co-op. Lots of memorable and tense moments. With this only being game 3, however, we'll see if we can continue to pull of the win, since I'm guessing it only gets harder from here. Either way, my wife and I are quite enjoying Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle.

(*At least, we think so, even though the villains had control of the last location- you don't remove it until the end of the turn, and since we defeated Riddle before the end of the turn, we considered that a win. Anyone care to chime in on this?)
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GodRob
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MrSaturn17 wrote:
(*At least, we think so, even though the villains had control of the last location- you don't remove it until the end of the turn, and since we defeated Riddle before the end of the turn, we considered that a win. Anyone care to chime in on this?)


That's a win!

From page 11: You win as soon as you defeat all of the villains. You lose when the Villains manage to control all of the Locations.

From page 12: If at the end of the turn, the Location still has the required villain control tokens, the Villains gain control of it.

This isn't checked until step 4 of the turn and you killed the last Villain during step 3.
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Sean Fletcher
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Holy cow! Buzzer-beater wins are the best. Congrats!
 
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Mark Fuhrman
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robertg611 wrote:
MrSaturn17 wrote:
(*At least, we think so, even though the villains had control of the last location- you don't remove it until the end of the turn, and since we defeated Riddle before the end of the turn, we considered that a win. Anyone care to chime in on this?)


That's a win!

From page 11: You win as soon as you defeat all of the villains. You lose when the Villains manage to control all of the Locations.

From page 12: If at the end of the turn, the Location still has the required villain control tokens, the Villains gain control of it.

This isn't checked until step 4 of the turn and you killed the last Villain during step 3.


That's what we thought. Good to know! Sure was a satisfying way to end the game!
 
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Andrew Wolf
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Great write-up! It's a thrill to hear how much you are enjoying the game, and I look forward to more reports like this on your games yet to come! This is why we do what we do!

Andrew Wolf
Game Designer - USAopoly
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Kev O
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On our first two player try of Game 3, we drew basically a perfect storm of villainy:

First location: Shrieking Shack -> two dark arts cards
First two villains: Lucius Malfoy, Dementor
Third Villain: Peter Pettigrew
Fourth Villain: Basilisk
Second location: (The other one that has two dark arts cards on it).


Needless to say, we got our butts kicked thoroughly. Once we finally got rid of Lucius, then the Dementor, we had just started working on Peter Pettigrew then realized the Basilisk was going to make life impossible, so we switched focus to the Basilisk. Maybe that was our undoing...
But mostly, despite shuffling the decks, the game was almost essentially inverted! All the hardest stuff to start.

We are looking forward to giving Book 3 a second try, but hopefully without the Dementor and Lucius to start. That was a bit of a rude awakening!
 
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Mark Fuhrman
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kaydot wrote:
On our first two player try of Game 3, we drew basically a perfect storm of villainy:

First location: Shrieking Shack -> two dark arts cards
First two villains: Lucius Malfoy, Dementor
Third Villain: Peter Pettigrew
Fourth Villain: Basilisk
Second location: (The other one that has two dark arts cards on it).


Unless you are intentionally doing so, I think you're making the game harder for yourself with the locations. I don't have the rules in front of me, but I'm pretty sure that you're supposed to play the locations in the order that it states on the location cards (i.e. Hogwarts Express -> Quidditch Pitch -> Shrieking Shack). That way, the beginning of the game is always easiest (at least in games 1-3, I haven't played further than that yet), since you draw less dark arts cards.
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J Emmett
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Yeah, Location cards are always played in order and never shuffled.
 
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