KN (R): NM present (-1S = 0), attacks – Elude w/ Sprint (2d -1 E.P.) = Fail (-1G = 1);
Attack Evil Presence (S=0) w/ Charge (2d) = Success;
B: Skeletons – Fight w/ Charge (2d) = Success
RG (R): NM present (-1S = 2); E: Black Banner (Archer) – Elude w/ Vanish (2d) = Success;
Attack Skeletons (-1S = 1) w/ Ambush (-1S = 0, 3d) = Success; B: (no Blights present)
(N.B. - OK, we're all set for the SR to finish the game. She has a “5” and a “6” on her Prediction card. For some specific reason, we decided to wait until the SR actually attacked the NM to transfer the Relic from the Monk. At this point, the only thing that can prevent the SR from finishing the game is an Event that prevents an attack. How likely is that?)
SR (R): NM present (-1S = 3); E: Dark Tempest – SENT TO MONASTERY! (NO WAY!)
Move > F (+1S = 4); B: Vampire – Elude w/ Premonition (3d) = Success x2 (no exhaust)
(N.B. - After this, you cannot convince me that dice do not hate me. That is probably one of only 3-4 cards at the most that could have kept the SR from winning the game.)
MK (M): NM present (-1S = 0), attacks – Fight w/ Chi Burst + Quivering Palm (4d +1 high)
= SUCCESS / WIN!
We tried to accomplish a few specific goals in this game, but as usual, fate intervened.
Holy Ritual (not accomplished) – After losing two characters, this was not a practical strategy any more. Having to start with one fewer Grace, Secrecy, and powers really hurts. After losing the Crusader, we just didn't feel confident in continuing with this goal.
Test for Overpowered Crusader (not accomplished) – Unfortunately, the Crusader didn't live long enough for us to do much testing in this regard. While knocking down his Grace with use of several cards does hurt after a while, I'm not sure that the penalty outweighs the bonus of fighting with 4d or getting 2 cards on a successful search, among other things. In this game, however, the extent of this is hard to determine.
Starting Quest (accomplished) – I strongly recommend this. Not only did this change our initial plan (as we added this AFTER all the Blights and after formulating our preliminary strategy), but it added a worthwhile goal to the board right from the start. One thing that I would also strongly suggest, as mentioned in the email thread—location markers to place on each Quest card. We have tried several ways of getting Quests cards on the board next to the appropriate location, and none of them work well if you have more than, say, two or three. In addition, if the board gets bumped or cards get shifted, it's easy to lose track (unless you're taking notes) of where the Quest is located. “Is that one in the Village or the Castle?”
We didn't try the “Pall of Suffering”, as we felt that we had too many other goals already and didn't want to complicate things further. However, I would like to try that at some point, just to see how “deep” it makes the shield around the NM.
Questions and Clarifications
Wizard / Invisibility – While discussing this power, we started to wonder. If we would have failed to complete the Quest (Elude vs. 6), would this have constituted “failing a combat roll” or is this considered something different? This would affect whether or not Invisibility is exhausted, and since this could come up again, we weren't sure what we should consider a “combat roll” vs. some other type of roll.
I'm not sure that we have played the Wizard correctly either time, but in both cases, he died very quickly and seemed to have little ability to hang in a fight. While that is reflected in the low default Grace, I find it interesting that he also has two powerful Fight cards and a very good Elude card. Most of the characters that should avoid the front lines do not have good Fight / Elude cards (either or both), so I'm a bit confused about what role this character should play. He does have powers that affect blights and he can move quickly with Teleport. In some ways, he seems to be a slightly different breed of Scholar, as the Runes and location-effect powers are somewhat similar.