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Subject: Six friends and a Pet Laboratory rss

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Dimitri
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We have a good tradition of getting together with friends once a month to play a board game. This month it was a very special edition. It was the first time we sat around the table with more people having children than people without. I had to point out to one of our friends that he still had some baby milk on his shoulder when he arrived. Where the conversations around the table used to be very diverse, there was now one subject that got the upper hand: “Little children and everything that comes with them”.

There is another important evolution with regard to our monthly board game event, besides families within our gaming group expanding. Where we used to go with rather classic titles, we took a big step this year towards deep, tactical, modern board games.


Good company - check! Almost everyone was on time. One particular person just a tad too late … as always.

The location - check! The most important is that our games fit on the table. And so far we have no games where that causes problems.

Food and drinks - check! Almost as important as the game itself. A fine Belgian beer and some cheese cannot be missed. It’s a very important part of our gaming tradition!

The game - check! Perdition’s Mouth: Abyssal Rift. A gritty, ruthless, Euro-style and deep, tactical, co-op, dungeon crawl game.

Extra content - a new character called Raven - check! This character will be produced and distributed next year with Perdition’s Mouth: Abyssal Rift Revised Edition. But, as a play-tester, I was able to get it early as a print-and-play. I will try to focus a bit on Raven into my game report below.



In everyday life we are Sven, Sam, Bart, Niels, Jeroen and Dimitri. But yesterday evening we were a group of adventurers called Simma, Elisa, Aisha, Niffil, Bastian and Raven. The characters in Perdition’s Mouth are definitely not a typical band of heroes. Once they overcome the Abyssal Rift and defeat the Demon itself they will certainly deserve a Hero’s status, but they are far from reaching that… First they have to find their way through 8 dungeon levels with increasing difficulty. Today they have to find out how to overcome the third dungeon level, the Pet Laboratory.

The group was divided into two teams. Simma, Elisa and Raven, hereafter called the Pet extermination team, entered from the top of the map. Aisha, Niffil and Bastian entered through the Cultists' quarters.

Two Chi’leen were waiting for Simma, Elisa and Raven. The smart decision would have been running away with their tails between their legs. Instead, the two Chi’leen charged towards the Pet extermination team. Raven took the lead since he had the perfect tools to deal with both Chi’leen. Murderous Intent and Heartstrike.




While Raven was taking care of the two Chi’leen, Niffil was doing a great job Scouting the Cultists’ quarters. In three turns he managed to find and activate two levers; he sneaked behind a patrolling Guard’s back; and he discovered a treasure, which he opened after resting a turn. Besides the Shadow Cloak of Geraka, the treasure chest also held a hidden Insectoid nest.




With this blitz start the mid game felt a little unnatural. Whereas in most games there is a constant pressure from enemies, the teams now had some time to breathe. This time was used to prepare for the next wave of enemies. Outside the game, we also checked that everyone had plenty to drink and eat, and when that very important matter was handled, we continued the game.

Although our ‘threat’ was low, we had a lot to discuss around the table on how to proceed.

The team in the Cultists’ quarters were bothered by a patrolling Guard and therefore couldn’t join the other team easily. A spawn also added some Acolytes to the map. Bastian took them on as a true brave Warrior. Niffil stayed close to aid him. But the Witch sneaked silently away, leaving Niffil and Bastian alone. She had her mind set on the Boneworms behind the portcullis.

The Pet extermination team was closing in on the Boneworms from the Eastern corridor. Elisa was a little behind the rest, having taken some time to open a second treasure. She found a Rod of Banishing. You may ask yourself where Raven is on the picture below. Well, he first teleported between the two Boneworms and then just Vanished!




The last part of the Pet Laboratory was covered with a lot rubble, making it hard to reach the exit. The two Boneworms were blocking the way out.
These were fairly easily taken care of by Aisha killing one and Simma Banishing the other.

Still in the Cultists’ quarters Bastian was preventing the Acolytes from getting to the Alarm.

It looked like nothing could stop the team from escaping and that's exactly what Raven, Simma, Elisa and Aisha did. Clearly forgetting about Bastian and Niffil! Left all alone in the Pet Laboratory, they saw no other option than to run for the exit as well. Something that sounded easier than it turned out to be.

Enemies have a random number of actions in this game, based on a Response card that is drawn, with the highest number in the deck being 5. The last three Response cards turned over were, in order, 5 then 4 and then 2. So suddenly there were enemies engaging Niffil and Bastian from all directions. A Summoner managed to attack Niffil. But Niffil did take a very good tactical decision, opting for a Defend action. With some aiding from Bastian, the Summoner had no chance to hit Niffil. A bit of an overkill here, with 11 Defense!




If Raven stayed a little longer there would have been an option to kill the Summoner with his Garrotte ability. One of the most powerful cards in his Hero deck!




Not much later, Bastian and Niffil found the exit and regrouped with the other adventurers.
Our team did great, it was a joint effort that ended in a very successful dungeon crawl. Most importantly, we had an amazing evening and we’re very much looking forward to our next game!
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Timo Multamäki
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magic_erwt wrote:
We have a good tradition...


Excellent tradition, admirable. We live so remotely, that such is hard to organize. Closest board gamers are about 100 km away, so our family of three has to find games that fit for three Luckily PM:AR can do that, too.

You did very well, it seems. How did you like Raven?
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Dimitri
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Short answer: A sneaky bastard


He doesn't care much about other Heroes. He has some cards where he even takes adventages at the cost of other Heroes. Not realy a thing to build a strategy on. But some good effects that can save the team at crusial moments. I like this type of cards a lot cause it force a very strategic and creative gameplay.

Depending on the card draw Raven can eather be a real killer or sneak around (eather unseen - Vanish - OR defending thanks to his great agility), or can combine both. The response card defence ability is great btw.
With good planning, you can sneak towards the Enemies and attack from the shadows. It feels great when pulling this of.

Also the starting hand of 6 cards is a big thing. Gives you a lot of opportunities from the start. Up to you to use them as efficient as possible.


He is a great new character playing completely different from the other Heroes. Very powerful when using it correctly.

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Timo Multamäki
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Did you think Raven being too antagonistic? Did it cause bad feelings in your team?
 
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Dimitri
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Eridis wrote:
Did you think Raven being too antagonistic?


That label does belong to Aisha . Raven has more like a dark edge. An obscure murderous Elf, who does what it takes to survive.


Eridis wrote:
Did it cause bad feelings in your team?


Not with this game. Cause Raven didn't had to use his negative hero cards. The only remark given was that he was acting in a very selfish way. Sneaking around and doing his thing without giving back to the team.
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Timo Multamäki
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magic_erwt wrote:
Eridis wrote:
Did you think Raven being too antagonistic?


That label does belong to Aisha . Raven has more like a dark edge. An obscure murderous Elf, who does what it takes to survive.


That too.

Quote:

Eridis wrote:
Did it cause bad feelings in your team?


Not with this game. Cause Raven didn't had to use his negative hero cards. The only remark given was that he was acting in a very selfish way. Sneaking around and doing his thing without giving back to the team.


Okay, good to know. We will likely tune the negative cards so that some of those have SOME positive aspects for the team.
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