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Subject: Gloomhaven Mini-Session -- Week 7 -- [SPOILERS] rss

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Jim Parkin
United States
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Push Cubes. Blow Stuff Up.
This week marked the final mission for my beloved Tinkerer and party MVP, Bart Sprocket. His original quest (chosen way back when just after punching cardboard and before setting up Black Barrow) was "A Perfect Poison," wherein he sought to craft an ultimate poison and use it to toy with life across the continent. Bart had to kill four oozes, four spitting drakes, and four lurkers. Oozes and spitting drakes were easy enough to find, but it took progressing the post-Jekserah quest line regarding the Voice in the Echo Chamber to unlock Shrine of the Depths wherein--behold!--many lurkers, ah, lurked.

As far as the Voice quest line goes, when Mike and I completed Echo Chamber last week, we were of a mutual accord to not placate the Voice's request. Mike disagreed with the Voice because he wanted to meddle with forces beyond his understanding and try to foil its nether plans. I disagreed because the thought of already helping some pan-dimensional aberrant horror god break out of its prison was bad enough. I was NOT going to be party to helping that goal any further. That said, while I had a thematic justification, I also saw that the "meddle path" led directly to Shrine of the Depths... it led directly to killable lurkers!

This was also the occasion for Anastasia to create her new Valrath Sunkeeper, christening her "Zenith." Zenith picked out some choice items and tossed some gold at the temple, with Bart doing the latter, as well. They consulted with a Quatryl scholar who more or less said that the Voice is likely the extra-planar essence of a trapped mega demon who was probably bound outside of our world for a reason, and is likely powerful enough in full form to destroy the continent. Cool, dude, sounds great. Let's not let that happen.

Anastasia --> Zenith, Valrath Sunkeeper
Jim --> Bart Sprocket, Quatryl Tinkerer

Shrine of the Depths is effectively a little tiny antechamber and one massive room, with a treasure tile in the very back of the second room which needs to be looted (loot cards only, not just ending a turn on the dang thing!). The good? One big room filled with a handful of bad dudes is not terrible in a two player game. The bad? One tiny antechamber filled with a handful of oft-replicating oozes IS a terrible thing in a two player game... Oozes. Dangit, Isaac! You made these suckers so spot-on, and it irritates me to the core (appropriately).

Right off the bat, we determine initative and boom, the oozes will be splitting into duplicates on their turn. Awesome. Three oozes are going to become six oozes. Our thought is to burn down the elite ooze as much as possible so both it and its replicant will be at lower overall health and can be scorched the following turn. Bart shoots the elite with his hookshot at a +3 flip (some damage negated by shield) and then Zenith hits the ooze once with a melee attack and the one just behind it with a ranged attack. Then they all get nasty and split into new oozes. Lots of damage counters sprinkle out onto the ooze card.

Zenith runs forward and lands a massive seven-damage attack on one of the new oozes, killing it instantly due to split damage, but the other three in her threat area take pot shots at her. Bart decides that this is the ideal time to use his favorite new toy, and has enough movement to saunter behind the far ooze which was split and already hit by range in the previous round. Look at that! Three oozes (two regular, one elite) all at five HP or less, and standing in a straight line. Bart pulls the trigger on his outlandish DISINTEGRATION BEAM and VORP!--all three oozes are reduced to molecular detritus.

On the next round, Bart summons Battle Bot and Zenith whacks an ooze before stepping back. On their turn, the remaining two oozes pulse for poison and push effects on anything directly adjacent, which we ensured was deliberately none of us. They then fire at Bart and Zenith respectively due to range restrictions. We're all low on health, so Bart heals Battle Bot and Zenith using Potent Potables-boosted Restorative Mist, then runs onto the door to unveil the huge room in the back. Two Deep Terrors wriggle listlessly in the back corners on either side of the goal chest, while four hulking lurkers clack and clatter out of the darkness.

Four. Four lurkers. You need to kill four lurkers, Bart. Kill them.

The lurkers are all pretty far away, so there is no immediate threat there. Bart lays a proxy mine next to the door and retreats back into the antechamber to help Zenith and Battle Bot polish off the oozes. We kill one outright and the other survives after Battle Bot draws a null card. The lurkers get closer, and the last ooze splits... again. At this point, the lurkers rush into the room with a much faster initiative than our party. Thankfully, Battle Bot was closest and took four hits direct to the undercarriage, as it were. The lurkers drew the "both targets hit one enemy" and Battle Bot, for all of his admirable service thus far, was reduced to scrap (but, then again, Zenith and Bart were NOT reduced to scrap, so there's that!).

Bart uses his hookshot to pull a nearby lurker onto his proxy mine, and Zenith weakens two more while also tossing a bless card into Bart's deck. With Battle Bot no longer with the party, the lurkers decide to slash into Bart, instead. Thankfully, with level 5 HP, Bart is fairly resilient, and he has a minor healing potion, leather armor, and an iron helmet. Speaking of which, the +1 boosted lurker ability card attack is entirely foiled by a null card, and the second similar attack which would have been 2X is instead +0 thanks to the helmet. Well played! The elite lurker is stuck in the doorway, clattering in frustration. Bart pulls out his flamethrower and gets his Chesapeake Crab Feast action on in a big way, immolating two lurkers unto their death and severely crippling the third. Zenith told Bart she forgot to bring Old Bay, which is a loss for morale.

The final elite lurker breaks into the room and draws the "two attacks hit one person" card again after a previous shuffle. Zenith loses eight out of ten current HP! Bart heals her in a big way thanks to Potent Potables, then gives them both shield. Zenith lands a 2X hit on the elite lurker for nine damage, which is not enough to kill it. The wounded lurker hits Bart for middling damage. On the next round, Bart uses his winged boots to jump over the elite lurker and draw it into the big room (we have to get to that faraway chest to win, after all!). Zenith backs off and heals, while also activating her retaliate ability. The wounded lurker and its elite counterpart run after Bart, but can't quite reach him.

Zenith then rushes up to them and hits the elite for a weak attack, leaving it with three HP. The wounded lurker takes more damage and moves to intercept the pair of mercenaries. Bart and Zenith are trapped between both lurkers and are out of uses for their leather armor, having used it to great effect earlier in the antechamber. Zenith activates her amazing ability to negate all damage to herself and adjacent allies for the turn, just as the two lurkers flip a big +damage card and related +2 and 2X modifiers. Fabulous! That would have killed both of us on the spot. Zenith makes a break for the chest and Bart pursues her. The two lurkers clack and snarl and give chase. They move into perfect position, so Bart activates his Piercing Bow and flips a +0 on ink bomb.

No problem. That's already enough to kill both of them. Bart sighs a heavy breath of relief, as he killed all of the necessary lurkers for his personal quest!

He runs after Zenith and heals her from a distance, then keels over in exhaustion. Zenith sprints for the chest but is immobilized at a great distance by one of the Deep Terrors. The two noodly appendages spit and froth in excitement in their respective corners. Zenith heals on her next turn as she gets hit by both Deep Terrors for minimal (thankfully!) damage. On her next turn, she dashes with move 5 up the side stairs to the dais where the scenario mcguffin is hidden in the chest. She uses her loot card on the next turn and snags the scepter we sought to find there. SUCCESS!

Zenith earns a lot of experience and two check marks. Bart earns a lot of gold and more checks, unlocking a (now superfluous) perk. Then comes time to retire Bart Sprocket and enter his name into the Town Records book. My Tinkerer was such a party MVP with his healing and utility play, and now he is gone. It's bittersweet, but I enjoyed playing him and am very pumped to try my unlocked character...

Gone is the happy-go-lucky party healer. Come is the ABERRANT HIVEMIND ANGEL OF PESTILENCE.

I have no idea what to name this thing. I can't imagine a more polar-opposite character to Bart, which intrigues me immensely!
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