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Subject: EPIC Scenario 20 experience - Necromancer's Sanctum - SPOILERS! rss

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Eric Bridge
United States
Roanoke
Virginia
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Well, tonight's journey to the Necromancer's Sanctum (Scenario 20) was, in a word, EPIC. In town we helped some Savvas workers get better wages, resulting in increased prosperity for Gloomhaven. Then on the road we helped some guards recapture an escaped prisoner, increasing our reputation. Good job guys

For this Scenario we decided to move up from Easy difficulty to Normal - So our level 3 Scoundrel, level 3 Mindthief, and Level 2 Brute faced off against level 2 enemies for the first time. I may have some of this a little out of order too. When we entered Jekserah's base of operations we were greeted by her devoted cultists and living bones. We dispatched them without much difficulty. The second room proved more troublesome, as it contained THREE Night Demons and 2 Cultists (one of whom was an elite). Galynja the scoundrel took a lot of hard hits in this room, and the annoying cultists stayed back and summoned a total of FOUR Living Bones for us to fight. This made this room incredibly hard, as each Living Bones can attack two adjacent targets. We burned a lot of cards in that second room The Mindthief made some helpful kills in this room while the scoundrel was trying very hard not to die, getting an occasional small heal from the Brute. (There was a big lack of healing in this particular trip - the Tinkerer's absence was being felt.)

Finally, the Mindthief bravely charged toward the next door, hoping to blast Jekserah in the face as he healed himself. She WAS in the room, but in the very back, like the coward she is, out of range. The Mindthief settled on blasting a skeleton instead. In the room with Jekserah were 2 Living Bones AND 2 Living Corpses AND two well placed traps. Unfortunately the Brute was WAY back in the previous room finishing off the last skeleton there, and he does NOT move quickly. The scoundrel, still nursing his wounds, knew that if he did not get into that room NOW he was going to be blocked out by enemies, so he was able to charge in and move the nearly dead Living Bones onto the nearby trap - not only killing it but helping to clear us a path to the Necromancer. The scoundrel did not have much health/cards left now, but she had saved her most lethal combo for just this occasion. The scoundrel wisely turned invisible as she moved right next to Jekserah, ready to pounce with double-damage on her next turn. The other enemies in the room headed toward the mindthief and hit him a couple times. The Brute moved forward behind the Mindthief, who was in the doorway, and threw a dagger at a living corpse, but dealt minimal damage.

We all knew the ultimate goal here - KILL JEKSERAH, but the Mindthief had no way to hit her. Even if he had ranged attacks, she was 5 spaces away, and she had already summoned another living bones. He could not jump over these hulking corpses in his face, so he turned invisible, blocking their access to the Brute for a while. The scoundrel suddenly emerged from the shadows, and with the combination of double damage + goggles + poison dagger + Jekserah being isolated from her undead friends, carved 14 health away from her formidable total of TWENTY-SEVEN, and poisoned her for all future attacks. It was a brave and selfless act, and it would be her last of the evening. The Brute had saved his jump card AND his move 2/attack 2 card, so in a rare (for him) feat of agility he lept over the head of the Mindthief and a Living Corpse, and the moved next to Jekserah and dealt her another 3 damage. She now had 10 health left, but she shrewdly stepped back and fired a fireball at both the Scoundrel and the (aggravated) Brute. The Scoundrel went down, having no way to absorb the damage. Meanwhile, the Mindthief knew that he would not survive much longer either, so he stepped back and summoned a swarm of rats at the doorway. This proved a very helpful diversion, because it kept these enemies at the doorway focused on something other than the Brute, their last hope to kill Jekserah. Jekserah then summoned TWO MORE giant living corpses (one of them elite). The room now contained 4 living corpses, 2 Living Bones, and Jekserah. Things looked very bleak.

The Brute was so frustrated that Jekserah had backed away to attack because we had PLANNED to absorb the next 3 sources of damage while he hit her hard. But now he would have to move up to her in order to hit her, and he would no doubt die in the following onslaught. He had a pitiful 1 health left, but some good attacks still. He moved beside Jekserah and hit her with a massive "overwhelming assault" for 7 damage (because of the scoundrel's poison). Jekserah now had only 3 health left, and of course you'd think she'd close in for the kill. She intrigued us all by summoning yet ANOTHER Living Bones beside her instead, leaving it to her corpse minions to finish off the Brute. And then came the greatest realization of all. The hulking corpses moved alongside the Brute, drew back their large blades, and then BELCHED on him instead! He became "muddled" and "immobilized" by this, but they weren't attacking him!
In the doorway, the last of the summoned rats was finished off, and the Mindthief collapsed from exhaustion.

The Brute had 1 health and 3 cards left. He was standing right next to Jekserah, but immobilized and muddled. If he drew his "miss" modifier card, it would be over. The fact that he'd even gotten this far was a miracle. He healed himself for 2 damage, also removing the muddle effect, pulled out his final big attack card - Attack 4, and said a quick prayer as he flipped over the top card of his modifier deck.......+1! Jekserah's lifeless body fell to the floor. Her minions surrounded the Brute and then finished him off (and he was going for "Masochist" in this adventure, so this actually worked out well). But they did it - I still can't believe it - but they did it. Just ...WOW. This game is just so awesome
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Liang Xia
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Austin
Texas
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That mission is very difficult. We had a skin of our teeth experience as well. Those night demons are no joke. They're the most terrifying enemies we've faced with their speed and ridiculous damage.

We had a mindtheif spell weaver combo and our win also came down to the wire where 1 clever move by jekserah would have meant our end. But luckily she stayed in the room w/ the invisible mindtheif who was able to basically 100-0 her in 2 turns with his last 3 cards.
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Gordon Helle
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Our team faced this scenario this weekend too. There were 4 of us and the Spellweaver (me) did what he always does and rode the wind to the treasure chest with no way to return to the room with Jekserah. That left my 3 companions to take her on alone. I did do my part of putting the 6th Living Corpse on the board, so Jekserah's summons were less effective. It didn't come to the last turn, but we were down to the wire.
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Wes Hamilton
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Springfield
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This is helpful. We tried this scenario last week and lost miserably twice, with much confusion and a bit of frustration.

I don't think we took our time enough with the first two rooms, and ended up taking too much damage trying to rush in and defeat the cultists before they spawned too many skeletons.

There were three of us, and by the time we opened Jekserah's room, we were down to one Mindthief which wasn't enough.

I am glad to hear how it works out for others so we can devise a better strategy next try.
 
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Wes Holland

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I'm just amused enough at the topic saying SPOILERS and then every reply is in a spoiler tag to continue the tradition.

We faced this scenario last week, with a team of Brute, Scoundrel, Spellweaver. Our Tinkerer quit the campaign because of Job Scheduling issues, so this was the first scenario without him. The Scoundrel ran around, one-shotting cultists and skeletons like the chumps they were, and then on the third turn opened the door... And realized I'd mistakenly set up the first room for 4 players. Oh well. They dispatched the Night Demons relatively quickly (my Scoundrel doesn't fear Disadvantage because there's one -1 in her deck right now, and the Null.) The Brute and Spellweaver followed along, Brute doing his job of distracting monsters and the Spellweaver cleaning up whatever the Scoundrel left for her.

Upon opening the door and showing two Living Corpses, the Scoundrel backed off because the Spellweaver requested the chest... He managed to draw the Elite into the main room and then killed it, and got the normal just far enough off the chest for the Spellweaver to Ride the Wind into it while the Scoundrel and Brute finally confronted Jekserah.

Annoyed with the wall of undead, the Scoundrel saw a way to jump over and attack, although eating three attacks back for her trouble... The Brute reassured her that it would work, and with a sigh, the Scoundrel flew over and stabbed Jekserah for some good ol' fashioned poison damage. Not too much, but then the Brute revealed his master plan, activating his Boots and losing a card to move EIGHT hexes, and then slammed Jekserah with Balanced Measure, flipping a +1 for a whopping 11 damage. (8 + Poison + Horned Helm + 1) Yikes! The Scoundrel had one turn left with all these monsters focusing her, but shrugged and dropped the biggest attack she had left.... Which didn't kill Jekserah. But *did* flip the rolling Invisibility, causing her to melt away into the shadows and leave behind a very confused cluster of undead. The Brute finished the job, slamming Jekserah for another 5 damage. The Spellweaver was 'stuck' in the treasure room helping herself to the money and treasure.

Scoundrel needed to have 5 cards in hand and discard, and ended with 6,
having been super careful about Lose cards. Brute needed Aggressor, which was really simple. Spellweaver needed to loot a chest. FLAWLESS VICTORY.

And then we got wrecked in scenario 43 next week. Oh well.
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Mike Oehler
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I didn't think that Heal would remove Muddle - I thought only Poison and Wound conditions interacted with Heal.

Our group's run through this one was kind of a mess. We had errored when guessing the locations of chest and boss, so the Tinker had run towards one door, run back to help a bit, and then turned around to go for the chest after we had said it looked like we'd win. Not our most efficient strat. :( However, my crag got some obstacles in so Jekserah couldn't use her summons very much due to a lack of empty spaces. Of course, the Brute moved back one round to dodge an attack as he was getting low, and then Jeky summoned a guy into that spot first thing next round. Fortunately I could Petrify to one shot drop that corpse, and then use bottom action on Clear the Way to jump and trash the obstacles moved through so the space opened up for the Brute to finish her off.
 
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Jason Kossowan
Canada
Edmonton
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Correct, Heal actions don't remove Muddle. It just goes at the end of your turn (unlike poison/wound).

If you want extra bragging rights, you completed that mission on Hard. :) You probably fell into the same oops our group did in miscalculating dungeon difficulty.

Note that the scenario level is half the average party level (drop all fractions), so for those character levels a scenario level of 1 is Normal. 2 was beating it on Hard.

You don't fight level 2 scenarios on normal until everyone hits level 4. This becomes more apparent as you fight level 3 monsters at level 3 and everything starts clubbing you like baby seals. :|
 
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Trang VP
Australia
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kossowankenobi wrote:
Correct, Heal actions don't remove Muddle. It just goes at the end of your turn (unlike poison/wound).

If you want extra bragging rights, you completed that mission on Hard. You probably fell into the same oops our group did in miscalculating dungeon difficulty.

Note that the scenario level is half the average party level (drop all fractions), so for those character levels a scenario level of 1 is Normal. 2 was beating it on Hard.

You don't fight level 2 scenarios on normal until everyone hits level 4. This becomes more apparent as you fight level 3 monsters at level 3 and everything starts clubbing you like baby seals. :|


Hi Jason, sorry, this may not be good news to you, but you've actually been playing on easy. Page 15 of the rule book says:

"The recommended scenario level is equal to the average level of the characters in the party, divided by 2 and rounded up" (my emphasis).

So you don't drop all the fractions, but actually even the smallest fraction means you're rounding up. This is confirmed by the example given at the bottom of page 15:

"If a party contains a Level 6 character, two Level 4 characters, and a Level 3 character, the average would be 4.25; divided by 2 and rounded up is 3, so a normal scenario difficulty level would be 3."

So actually scenario level 2 starts when one person is level 3 and the rest are level 2. The situation you mention where everyone is at level 4, is the very upper limit of level 2, and once one person levels up to 5 you're up to scenario level 3.

Sorry to say, you're playing almost a whole scenario level difficulty below the recommended normal level
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