I have been drooling over the preview pics of the new cards for some time, so when my playtest packet came in the mail, I wasted no time trying to get it on the table. Several of the units are new to me, and I couldn't wait to try them out. So, last night I got a chance for a game, and jumped in. I should have checked the depth of the water before I took that leap.
The Swordwitches are units from the first series that were originally available as 'boosters', non-random expansions with a character or two and related cards. Since I hadn't picked those up, I was itching to try the 'Bad Girl Trio' so I chose a pre-made army from the rulebook that included all three plus two Archers and some walls. My opponent chose a pre-made with three Vanguards, a Conscript, Endeskeep Raider, and the Swordwitch Healer. Plus Forests. Lots of Forests.
Early on I managed to play a Hexbearer Invocation that let me force my opponent to re-draw certain Action cards. This is the only thing that kept the game from being a total squash. One Archer and my Wardancer moved to the left, while the other two Swordwitches and the second Archer moved to the right flank. The Hexbearer quickly fell to a two-pronged assault from his Raider and a Vanguard. While my Wardancer and Archer dropped a Conscript early, the Vanguards' use of Forests was just too much, and the Wardancer was down. By now I had put a couple of hits on the Raider and Vanguard on my right, but his Healer, plus a couple of well-timed Reserve cards, brought them back to full health quickly. Once my right Archer was down, it wasn't long before the Healer and second Archer were pinned between two walls of unstoppable force. While I dropped a Vanguard with a last desperate shot, it just was not to be. My remaining two units were quickly crushed.
I learned a couple of things in this game. Mainly, Swordwitches are a little too squishy to not take at least a Darkstone Mercenary or Theronic Sentinel. Endeskeep Raiders, while seemingly average, can be quite a pain with that ranged attack, especially if they are screened with a melee unit or backed up by a Healer. Needless to say, my tactics must undergo some revision for the next session.
The new rules work well. No longer do you discard all unused Reserve cards at the end of a turn. I never cared for the rule in the first place, and now it's officially gone. A couple of the multi-use Reserve cards have been split into separate cards, which seems to work alright, although the 'toolbox' effect of having multiple options for the cards was nice.
All in all, a fun session. Looking forward to a multiplayer game, can't wait to get that Traitor card in play.