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Subject: Campaign: Spamazonia, years 0-5 rss

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Nick Wirtz
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NB: This is simpler formatting of what first appeared on my blog

After taking a bit of a break from writing battle reports down for Kingdom Death and having not played KD much during a particularly busy season, I felt it was time to start over and get back in to these abridged campaign sessions.

For any new readers, I always try to avoid specifics to keep it spoiler-light, but obviously I need to write about what actually happened, so expect light spoilers.

We decided right off, to use the following monsters:
Gorm (not technically replacing the White Lion, but with the aim not to hunt the latter)
Spidicules (replacing the Screaming Antelope)
Sunstalker (again, intending not to hunt Phoenixes)

Butcher (since there's currently no replacing it)
Hand (ditto)
Slenderman (replacing the King's Man)
Manhunter (because we haven't played either Special Showdown, and the Lion Knight looked like it had interactions with the core monsters)

We've also slightly modified the campaign:

We're still not positive how adding expansion content is intended to work: we've played with all random content accessible (ex: you don't need to face Manhunters to get their random fighting arts) because the written rules are fairly clear. This time, we're playing that we only use content from the expansions we're playing, but that they start in play (for instance, we don't need to wait for the Sunstalker to show up to get Disorders related to it). This is mostly because there are a couple things which make the game much easier, and it makes the Innovation trees sprawl immensely if you use every expansion. I'm not sure how much I'd even call it a mod, since it's essentially just simulating us using a smaller collection.

Also, we decided the Watcher was a boring boss so, while we're waiting for 1.5, we're going to randomly draw the final boss when the countdown is triggered, from among a list of:
Legendary Phoenix; Legendary Lion (not the easy one)*; Legendary Antelope*; Level 3 Sunstalker; Level 3 Dragon, Level 3 Flower Knight*, Level 3 Spidicules*

*probably with stat buffs.

Probably going to decide to rule out the Level 3 DBK or Lion God.


Year 0/The First Story:
We fought the tiny little junior lion for the first time in a while (normally, we opt to skip since it's a really generic fight), and got a strength, an extra resource, and a dead survivor for our trouble.

Year 1
Starting with four (now three) ladies, the victorious survivors, after much debate, founded Spamazonia, a settlement of nine survivors, that was plagued by inclement weather caused by a Gorm, and they set out to hunt them to the exclusion of White Lions. (This is our third campaign with Gorms, but our first one was casual and had abysmal luck, and our second didn't allow us to use most of what it produced). In reaction to the bad weather, we figured out how to make houses, in a hurry. Making use of said shelter, we made a knife, a sword, some armor for the essential early Rawhide set, and innovated Symposium, which would pay off quickly.

We then went on a rather poor Gorm hunt, followed by a pretty smooth fight, which reminded us all how fun early Kingdom Death really is.

Year 2
We had a rather strange harassment by a Spidicules without any males to be protagonists for the story (yeah... we gamed that a bit), and then invented Drums and made ourselves a nice axe and a hat out of a skull we found.

Again, we fought the Gorm, this time training in Fist and Tooth and Axes, since we had veterans old enough to start. The only really irritating thing is that our Fist and Tooth lady messed up her arm, so she became a rather poor F+T candidate.

Year 3
There was a heat wave that we took advantage of, and, in the midst, we learned the Song of the Brave, which we'd been shooting for (no spoilers why), and with a rather inflated Innovation deck (a lot of expansions give Hovel Innovations) luckily had managed to hit it extremely quickly.

Another kind of rough Gorm hunt, and then a good Gorm fight. It got close enough to starting to lose survivors that we considered spending a Founding Stone to finish it, but chose not to and squeezed by with nothing terrible. We got to try out our Pulse Lantern late in the fight, and it was stronger than anyone expected.

Year 4
We cheerfully marched back to our settlement's first... uh, probably not sunny... "dark, but at least dry"? day, and met some spooky guy who apparently already lived here and wanted to help us out (maybe he didn't like the bad weather).

We ended up with enough resources to finish a Rawhide set, make some more Gorm armor (making us only one of the easy pieces away from finishing the set), a Gorm knife, had two kids, including a Green Savior we decided to take for the extra armor this year (we were feeling a bit weak).

We were right about being a bit weak for fighting the Butcher, with our second-best damage dealer dying early, and then everyone dying to bleeding because we didn't have bandages (unfortunately, we were short the one hide we needed for it, and felt the armor was more worth it, especially since we just got both special resources we needed for the Gorm armor) due in large part to one early turn where he dealt 8 bleeding in a single phase. We might have been able to beat him with a little luck: it had 3 wounds left, but we did, it felt, roll pretty average.

A bandage would have been more valuable to us than completing the Rawhide set with our specific attacks etc., but I feel like 5 more armor vs. the bandage was a decision that could have gone either way.

Year 5
One of our survivors discovered using heat but ran off to become a Bone Witch, which meant we lost 5 survivors (almost half our rather measly population) in less than a complete year. We then had our first encounter with a Manhunter, whom our survivors felt was necessary to fight.

The timing was a little confusing, but we decided to follow the recently released settlement sheet that clearly puts Special Showdowns after endeavoring, mostly because the other way to read causes timing issues. Yeah, yeah, "Rule of Death!!!" but, we decided that the newer and clearer rule that causes fewer mechanical conflicts takes priority over being the most hardcorest metalest of players in a game where you fight your toys against bigger toys with more hands. There, I said it, I don't care about being that serious in the game. My group has even rarely cheated when something happens that makes the game dramatically less enjoyable (not to be confused with making the game harder: we take plenty of normal bad things happening... it would hardly be KD if nothing bad derailed what we were doing).

Back to the game.

We rolled improbably well, and managed to get 5 kids out of 9 Augury attempts.

We then sent four of said kids out to deal with the Manhunter. He was pretty darn scary, but it was a really enjoyable fight: we're certainly looking forward to his next settlement harassment. We spent a Founding Stone, and got some bad disorders, but managed to squeeze through the fight without anyone dying. That was pretty exciting, and exactly around the level I like KD, where it's a very close game.
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Adam Alderman
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This was fun as hell to read!
I keep imagining coverage like ESPN doing a sporting event. Heh.

Bravo!
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Alessio Massuoli
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Hi Nick, about how to add expansions, I remember that you already discussed this: wasn't that you just followed the book and added every FA, Disorder and innovation straight away, just like the booklet told you to do?
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Nick Wirtz
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Yeah, that's obviously RAW, which is why I listed it as a house rule (and the uncertainty was because that was before I wrote on that thread). This was mostly because the rest of my group thought
Spoiler (click to reveal)
that the Dragon King family variant plus the regular Family plus Clan of Death, plus any strong masteries or just fist and tooth for high stats
was really cheesy, so we were avoiding that combo.

Regarding the Pulse Lantern from the other thread, we just got surge and some better gear (spoilers, we got obvious stuff in years I haven't recorded yet), and I'm pretty curious to see what we can do with that many "free" activations... Also, my group likes weapons that run on perfect hits, which aren't hurt at all by the lantern
 
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Steve Trewartha
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Hitting the Manhunter for the first time? Wow! he is a very cool expansion, and contrary to what a lot of people say I believe that once you learn how to beat him he is actually one that makes the game easier. Even if you lose to him (without spoiling) he seems to give enough to negate the bad consequences, and if/when you beat him the gear you get is very powerful. Good choice over the Lion Knight.
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Alessio Massuoli
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Well, about that, I'd say that:
- a Manhunter is a balanced nemesis that does not punish the settlement too harshly. While the showdown is tough until you figure it out (and l3+ is always tough), rewards for winning are extremely good, and lottery is not a bad mechanic for losing. So, while the game does not get harder by adding it, you still have to prove yourself before actually benefiting from it. I'd say it's a fair game.

- the flower Knight has literally nothing that complicates the game, it's an easy quarry (comparably easy at all levels, but disturbingly easy even at l1), and it behaves like a pinhata: you get great resources (+pop without rolling? Heck, it makes old school sotf viable!), Great gear (I don't even want to begin with it), very good fighting arts and absolutely broken secret fighting arts. Even the Forest gate is a piece of cake compared to overwhelming darkness! The two measures that are "bad" events still have great rewards for a loss/proper preparation. I severely suspect that if the fk was a core game quarry, most settlements who survived the butcher would never had to game over like they did as part of the learning curve. This makes the game significantly easier.

- I place gorm halfway between the two. A l1 gorm is never as bad as a l1 lion for newbs, it is a free innovation machine, its gear is on average far superior to white lion, even if you will still want to hunt white Lions because circlet, range and possibly spear. (you can absolutely do without Spears, but you are missing out on a fair chance of disarming traps - even if it never works when you plan your turn around it). Armor can easily be a great late game, rewards are given out in progression with showdown difficulty, resources are better because doubles. It is counterbalanced by a brutal hunt phase and gorm weather, that actually makes you plan ahead. This makes things easier, but you still need to pay attention. Not as balanced as Manhunter, but it adds a lot more to the game.
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spiralingcadaver wrote:
Also, we decided the Watcher was a boring boss so, while we're waiting for 1.5, we're going to randomly draw the final boss when the countdown is triggered, from among a list of:
Legendary Phoenix; Legendary Lion (not the easy one)*; Legendary Antelope*; Level 3 Sunstalker; Level 3 Dragon, Level 3 Flower Knight*, Level 3 Spidicules*

*probably with stat buffs.

Probably going to decide to rule out the Level 3 DBK or Lion God.

L3 Sunstalker and Dragon King are not that great for final monsters - they're harder than the Watcher, but not by much. You really should go with the L3 DBK, L3 Lion God or the Legendary Phoenix or Antelope.

I genuinely think that the L3 DBK would be an interesting final boss for your expansion setup and it's the only one on the list of monsters you've given that isn't completely gameable. (I absolutely would NOT recommend TOM however, no Legendary DBK as the final boss).

L3 Flower Knight is the easiest L3 in the game and the L3 Spidicules is also really easy. Even with Stat buffs they're going to be weak due to underpowered AI decks.

Good choice choosing to not hunt the White Lion when you have Spidicules in the game. There is too much overlap between the Spidicules weapons and White Lion Weapons. Really Spidicules should have replaced the White Lion, not the Antelope in the rules.

Nice report overall, it shows just how important bandages are early in People of the Lantern.
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Nick Wirtz
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Steve, on the Manhunter, yeah, my group's been trying to keep our expansions slow to make the new experiences last, hence why I've been getting to a lot of these guys later than many other folks

Alessio, yeah, I basically agree with your assessment.

Italics, thanks for the recommendation. I'll pass on the DBK recommendation and see what the group thinks. And yeah, we just got back in after the two major variant campaigns, so it's a bit weird fighting the early butcher again...

 
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