Jason B
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Wow, this one was intense. To many of the people declaring the game too easy, I suggest grabbing groups of 3 or 4 players, and running up against quests 2, 4, or 5. They are of course very winnable, but they are not cakewalks.

So, I'm still plugging along with the single class path variant. This allows you to take the enhanced health and 1 other path on your class sheet only. It's still looking good, though once again because of the quests "timing" mechanism, it really didn't come into play.

I am going through the heroes in order so I had a helping of Azrael, Mila, and Zoe. This was all at once exciting and concerning. Without Slippery or Safeshot I was going to have a difficult time navigating to the fireworks.

Mila took on the role of a Charge spec'd Shadow Barbarian. I had considered making her a Nightshade Ranger in the mold of an Amazonian spearwoman, but her leg sweep simply begs to be up close and personal.

Azrael was a Payback Paladin of Fury. I had of course considered going with a Noble Warrior, but having just played Sarah on the prior mission I wanted something a little different. I couldn't wait to pick up a shield to unlock his special ability. (spoiler alert, all that treasure and nary a shield).

Zoe was interesting. I considered a few different classes for her before deciding I would bust out the Warrior Priest for the first time. She went Purge spec, I decided I would be using the class signature for my healing.

In no way would you ever take this as the ideal group for this quest, but Darkness cares little for the best laid plans of mice and men...

Mila crouched down next to Azrael and Zoe. She frowned at the makeshift drawing Azrael had scribbled in the dust. "We need to lure the beast here, and then take down these support pillars here-", Mila cut Azrael off mid-sentence "You think the beast would be so stupid to fall for a trap that even a child could see through?", she snapped. Zoe shot Mila her nastiest glare. "Perhaps, Mila, you'd prefer to bounce another spear off the beast's hide? How many do you have left? Oh, that's right, none." Mila snorted and rolled her eyes. "Regardless", Azrael interrupted, "We can't kill it with weapons and Ajax swears there are artifacts here, here, and here", he pointed at the three rooms he'd drawn "that cause ripples in the fabric of this plane, ripples that the creature cannot resist." Mila narrowed her eyes at the mention of the mad Sorceror's name. "You trust this Ajax? Are you sure he isn't in league with the Darkness?" Azrael sighed, "No, I don't trust him, but Sarah does, and that's enough for me." Zoe got to her feet "I don't think we have much choice, the Immortal is already on its way." "Well", Mila chortled "I guess it's settled, you win one and a half to one." She turned and strode toward the rooms, axe at the ready. Zoe gritted her teeth, her face crimson. "You know Azrael, sometimes she makes me want to root for the Darkness." Azrael stifled a laugh, "Come Zoe, time to unleash our vengeance on the Darkness. For the Light."

The heroes quickly moved to the first location, hoping to stay ahead of the Immortal that was surely moving their way. A band of Troglodytes and Reptisaurian Blowgunners rushed to meet the Lightbringers. Mila quickly pounded the filthy humans into submission, Azrael dispensing justice to their leader with a swift stroke of his sword. Zoe, careful to stick to the light used her spear to good effect felling two of the blowgunners. A dart snuck through her armor, but as she chanted an incantation the dizzying effects quickly dissipated.

Mila, though often aloof to her companions was really quite fond of them. Seeing Zoe take a hit enraged the large barbarian. She crashed into the lizards and stomped the life out of them. "Not worthy of dulling my axe!" she spat. A bellow shook the corridor, a huge half man half bull stepped into the light charged toward the heroes.

"We don't have time for this!", Zoe shouted, "The Immortal's nearly here!" Azrael kicked the door in on the chamber, hoping Ajax was right about the location of the artifacts. A group of Reptisaurian Warriors poured out of the room and joined the fray. Mila, seeing the danger brought her knee up into the Minotaur's groin. The monster fell with a hoarse groan. Mila pounced on the Reptisaurians helping Zoe finish them off. Azrael rushed into the room and saw what he hoped was the artifact. It was a small wooden post, resembling the totems he had seen Goblin shamans use in the wilds. He rushed back to Mila and Zoe as the very hurt and very angry Minotaur advanced on them. Zoe was just regaining her feet when the Minotaur unleashed a blow that surely would have killed her but Azrael interceded. His sword deflected some of the force, but he was driven to his knees under the raw power of the attack his teeth slamming together so hard one of his molars cracked.

Mila knew they were in trouble. Without hesitation she slammed the handle of her ice axe under the beast's chin. Clearly not expecting the attack the Minotaur rocked backward stunned. Mila ripped the totem from the wobbling Paladin and sprinted into the corridor. She caught sight of the Immortal steadily moving down the hallway disappearing into the gloom. She shook the stick at the Immortal to no effect. "How does it work!", she screamed at Azrael. Getting no intelligible response, she slammed the totem on the ground in frustration. She felt a pulse in the air around her, the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. Slowly the Immortal turned toward her, and began taking large strides back in her direction. "Uhh, good... I think", she hissed and ran back to her comrades.

Zoe and Azrael were up once again trading blows with the Minotaur. "Mila, next room, the second artifact!", Azrael managed to grunt as he parried the monster's attack. He drove the pommel of his sword right into it's teeth knocking it backward once again. He and Zoe took the opportunity to sprint after Mila to the next room. Mila had discovered the second artifact guarded by group of Reptisaurian warriors. Zoe skewered the last reptile with her spear, and Azrael leaped over the pile of bodies and grabbed the second artifact.

"If we can get it over here", he shouted "we can lure it to the bridge." Just then the Minotaur bowled into them, swinging viciously. Azrael knew he had one chance at this and once again attempt to slam his sword's pommel into the Minotaur's face. The beast was ready this time and turned the blow away with it's massive horns. Azrael tasted the bitter bile of failure as the opportunity to lure the Immortal was lost. In a rage he brought his mace and sword crashing down, felling the Minotaur, this time for good. He unleashed a primal scream of rage.

"Azrael, what are we doing!", Zoe snapped him back to reality. Azrael quickly formulated a plan that just might work. "We only have one shot at this! Zoe, third room, Go!". Zoe tore off down the bridge. "Mila, help her, I have an idea!" Azrael sprinted down the hallway and turned the corner. In one direction a group of Dwarf Defenders were rushing toward the battle. In the other, the Immortal lumbered on seemingly unconcerned with the assault on it's lair. Azrael jammed the totem into the ground, hoping Zoe and Mila could get the last cache of artifacts.

Zoe bounded into the room at a full run. The Goblin Archers expecting a much larger foe from the sounds of the fracas snickered at the tiny priest. Their humor quickly evaporated when the enraged priest fell upon them with sword and spear.

Mila glanced back once at Azrael, realizing the danger the skinny paladin was putting himself in. She had to get that artifact, and she had to get back to the Pillars, the life of her friends depended on it. Mila whipped into the room where the Goblin Archers were pressing the attack back on Zoe. With a mighty roar she charged into them, chopping down three with a single swipe of her mighty axe.

Azrael now with the unwanted attention of the Immortal and Dwarves turned and ran for his companions. He knew that if they didn't get the artifact and get it placed in front of the bridge, the Immortal would turn back and all hope would be lost.

Mila turned toward the final goblin, ready to smite the cowering green menace. "Uh... Mila", Zoe gasped. The artifact's guardian had arrived. From the bodies of the dead archers a writhing pile of flesh began to emerge. It was massive with shapeless tentacles lifting it's huge mass off the floor. An yellow eye fixated on Mila temporarily freezing her in place. The Goblin archer, sensing the tables had turned was no longer cowering. It sneered at Mila with his pointed yellow teeth. Unfortunately for the tiny humanoid, it really shouldn't have taken it's eyes off Zoe. The stocky priest removed its head from its shoulders, that wicked smile frozen on it's face as it hit the floor. The sudden flash of steel snapped Mila out of her daze. With speed and grace belying her large stature, the Barbarian dropped to the floor and swung her leg in a wide arc knocking the tentacled beast onto the floor. With lightning reflexes she grabbed the three artifacts and bolted from the room. Screaming with rage she leapt from the door way and smashed into one of the bridge supports separating it from it's foundation. The huge pillar tumbled into the darkness of the abyss. With one final motion she slammed one of the totems into the ground.

Azrael raced across the bridge where Mila was holding the remaining totems out to him. He grasped them from her his chest heaving for air. "Zoe?", He gasped. Mila snarled, "You take out the bridge, I'm about to sing a nightmare The Barbarian's Lullaby." With that she charged off, back to save her friend. "Odd", Azrael mumbled to himself. "Never thought I'd feel sorry for a nightmare."

Azrael stood next to the pillar as the Immortal stopped its advance in the middle of the bridge. The Dwarves behind it howled in rage, the huge monstrosity was blocking their path. "Oh, he's in your way?", Azrael yelled with feigned concern. "Well here, let me give you a hand!" The Paladin gave the Dwarves a mock salute, and drove his shoulder into the support. Too late, the Dwarves realized what he was doing. The bridge collapsed under the weight of the huge immortal and the shocked dwarves. With a loud crash they all disappeared into the Abyss. He paused a moment to see if they'd actually hit a bottom. Hearing nothing, he shrugged and turned to retrieve Mila and Zoe.


This mission was so satisfying in so many ways. I adored my imperfect heroes. Mila was so clutch with her leg sweep. That Minotaur with 2 green dice was such a nasty critter, but by then Mila had the ice axe and Azrael had the ice sword so basically my tactic was to stun and move.

I needed Azrael to hit on a stun for the Minotaur (at this point he was rocking 3 pieces of King's equipment) so he could use his last move to place the totem. Of course he blanked with 3 yellows and a red. He did kill it, but the Immortal was turning back and I knew once it cleared that corner, he was gone.

I made a last ditch play, leaving Azrael behind to place the totem and bring the Immortal back in line with the bridge. I was not expecting Zoe to do much with the Goblin Archers, but she did clip one. Spec'ing Mila for charge was huge. I was able to get her into the room and they killed all but the boss goblin. That's when I spawned the nightmare thing and it didn't look good. But Zoe was clutch killing the Goblin Boss, and I desparately needed Mila to hit her special... 3 swords and diamond! I don't typically fist pump during board games, but yeah, there was a fist pump. She had 3 actions to pick up and get out. From there it was a forgone conclusion.

This one was right on the edge the whole time, so tense. I did have a bit of trouble with Zoe, just adjusting to a hero that wanted to be in a light zone, but all in all I liked the class. Azrael never managed to equip a shield or hit a single payback, the one time I used his signature the Minotaur took him down to 2 health. Mila, though, she was a star, definitely the MVP. I'm pretty impressed with the game to this point. I really like playing a game where I don't have to optimize everything. I enjoyed my little group of misfits for this one. Next misfits up, Li'l Ned, Sicarus, and Miriam. That will represent the last of the Kickstarter/Base heroes, and I'll post my review on the game after Quest 6.

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Doctor Bandage
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I'm really enjoying these sessions. Do you plan to do one for all quests?
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Daniel enderle
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Great story!! Thank you for sharing.
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Jason B
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DoctorBandage wrote:
I'm really enjoying these sessions. Do you plan to do one for all quests?


Thanks for the kind words. It's a possibility. I'll have to see how it goes with the next few quests. 2,3,4, and 5 were all pretty good (ok 2,4, and 5 were great), but in peeking ahead, it appears that I'm finished the quests that utilize limited turns. That's a bit of a bummer, I think the game needs to exert pressure on the heroes, lest they become spoiled with the shiniest of gear.

At the very least, I am planning on doing Quest 6.
 
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Julien Duminil
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EastCoast wrote:
it appears that I'm finished the quests that utilize limited turns. That's a bit of a bummer, I think the game needs to exert pressure on the heroes, lest they become spoiled with the shiniest of gear.

If needed, you can manually add some pressure just by keeping only a few guard cards for each level (shuffle the deck, keep the X first cards and discards remaining cards). Then, as per the rules, when a deck runs out of cards, draw a card from the next level deck.

e.g. Keeping 3 Level 1 cards and 2 Level 2-4 cards (keep all Level 5 cards) would make pressure like Quest 4 but by increasing difficulty over time instead of having a hard time limit.

BTW, great job for those session reports!
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Doctor Bandage
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EastCoast wrote:
DoctorBandage wrote:
I'm really enjoying these sessions. Do you plan to do one for all quests?


Thanks for the kind words. It's a possibility. I'll have to see how it goes with the next few quests. 2,3,4, and 5 were all pretty good (ok 2,4, and 5 were great), but in peeking ahead, it appears that I'm finished the quests that utilize limited turns. That's a bit of a bummer, I think the game needs to exert pressure on the heroes, lest they become spoiled with the shiniest of gear.

At the very least, I am planning on doing Quest 6.


Quest 9 sort of has a timer built into it via the waves of enemies. It's also got a fairly interesting mechanic in that there are only 8 treasure tokens in the entire quest. Those treasure will level up as you hold off waves, but its a bit of a risk/reward thing. How long can I hold out before needing pick up that treasure? If you're only planning to do one more, you may want to consider skipping ahead.

One small tweak I felt the quest might have needed was to ignore the 'running out of miniatures' rule. If you draw a Guard/Roaming Monster that can't be placed, discard and draw again until you get one you can place. This quest is supposed to make you feel overwhelmed and it was such a shame when we had to skip spawning a set of level 5 archers because the lonely level 3 version's boss (we'd killed all the minions, he was next) was still dilly-dallying in the back of his tile.
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