I finally got around to trying my second solo game two days ago, but had to pause halfway through and finally got a chance to finish it tonight. My first play was very "vanilla" and ultimately felt like a waste of time by the time the Doom Track forced me into end game. I tweaked this game quite a bit using bits and pieces of variants I have been reading about and it ended up being way more fun, though certainly easier.
I don't have a play-by-play or anything, but I just wanted to go over the big points and see if anyone had anything to say! I think I actually tweaked it out a little too much, and it ran a little easy, but at least it was really fun getting powered up, and it still did end up a little close just because I have lame rolls
-- Started with Sir Valadir pulled at random (after two re-draws because I had already played the other characters).
-- I ran the Threat Track for the first time with the difficulty at 20
-- I ran the Hidden Market with two extra cards hidden under each Town's Market
-- I used the Cities of Adventures variant to give some flavor to the towns
-- I used the graduated leveling with level cost being 1 + current amount of upgrades
-- I used Cheaper Healing, 1 gold to Full Heal each character.
-- For equipment, I allowed multiple armor, of different types. I allowed one weapon and one explosive.
-- There were a couple random bits I tweaked as I went, though they didn't really come up much to be able to use. I counted double 0 as critical and did one extra damage (only happened one time, and would have counted double 1 as critical fail if it had actually happened).
-- It really only mattered during greens, but if I landed on an encounter that I ended up killing on the first roll, I continued my movement dice as part of the same turn (like a hit 'n' run or something). It really only happened 2-4 times anyways.
I had to pause at the Threat Level 4 and left it there. Had pretty much grinded greens by that point, started on yellows. I picked it back up tonight and did a few yellows and was able to pick off a few purple. I barely got events, so the board was actually getting pretty empty. Especially as I leveled my health and couldn't grind on the easier ones anymore. At Threat Level 7, I picked out a red, and conquered Dragonlord Baraxis.
A few turns later I picked up Margath, and for some reason thought I was ready to try to finish it off. Not the case, died, lost my gold, lost my Frost Axe (that really hurt) and continued on. I didn't really think it was going to happen at this point, but I got through a few more blues, gained a few more levels. At threat level 9, I got my third Health. With how far spaced out the remaining Reds were, with how little gold I had to buy/replace items, with how many experience it was going to take to level again, it felt pretty pointless to wander the board so I just initiated Endgame and prayed for the best.
I ended up pulling Eregax and took him down. Then I took down Fromax. That was my third rune!
Sir Valadir ended with +3 (7) HP, +4 (5) Ranged, +6 (11) Melee, +4 (7) Mind, Equipped with Lightning Mace, Chain Mail Armor and Shield of Light.
I tried to keep the rest of the rules about the same, but my success may have been the result of playing very buffed rules, and some bending of core rules. Stuff like activating my Armor and my Shield to block 4 wound. But in my mind, all armor on your body would be active if you got hit anyways, and since they had to be activated, it's not like I could do it again the next phase, even in the final round.
Tweaks for next time would be to drop the Threat Difficulty. If I run Cities of Adventure again, I probably won't do the hidden market because a lot of the CoA rolls result in extra items anyways. Otherwise, I'm not really sure what other rules I was bending are Game Changers versus just making it more interesting. By dropping the Difficulty, even my loose rules should become more difficult. I'm also interested in just seeing how another character runs. I generally play melee-type characters in whatever I play, so Sir Valadir was perfect for me. I don't even know about getting into the Spirit mindset. Especially having to wait until the third round to attack. That just seems dangerous. Maybe magic generally runs stronger? I'm not sure yet, I think I will just have to play more, and possibly just read through the cards.
Anyways.. I didn't really expect this to get this long, but I hope it's interesting for somebody to read. I love reading the other sessions in the forums, so I just wanted to describe some of my own experience. I'm interested if anyone has any feedback.
Thanks for reading!
I found the speed ups really helped as well.
I don't know if you recruited any allies, but I find them invaluable. With an ally or 2 defending your weak spot(s), you can focus on your attribute which will cause the most damage.
I've never played with more than 1 armour, there are just too many good ones (and allies are good meat shields).
With the threat difficulty number reduced, you will need to move faster. I found that after only a few green, you should move to yellow. Try to move to the next colour well before the one you are on gets easy - the rewards (gold & XP) are much better.
Thanks for letting us know how things went!
Don't forget the rule that you can only active ONE item per entire combat ROUND (not phase). So if you tap your shield in the range phase you can't then tap your sword in the me lee phase.
Your amour comment makes me think you maybe missed this rule.
I'm aware of the rule, I just didn't follow it for this game.
I don't even think I used any of the armor until the Endgame anyways, and my reasoning was if I'm wearing it, why can't I use it? Especially to only be able to activate one the entire round. I still only was able to activate one time during the whole endgame anyways with no refresh phase, it was just up to me to on when I wanted to use it. I happened to use them at the same time to avoid one cheap death strike, but maybe I won't next time.
I understand the rules are designed a certain way, but we obviously are already modding some of them to either make it more fun or make more sense. It makes more sense to me that I would be able to utilize everything on my body during a fight. I happened to already be playing a super easy game that I just wanted to have fun with and actually experience the cards, unlike my first game. The next game, I probably won't play so liberally.
Perhaps to balance it off some if I continued doing it, I would factor in some sort of durability into the armor. 1/2 or 1/3 the cost and wound the armor for whatever it absorbs. When its gone, it's gone. Or pay a "blacksmith" in town to fix them up. Would keep me from spamming all of my armor too much. Could maybe work durability into weapons as well. Everytime you activate, or even take the buff from using it if it's a passive buff, it takes wound. Then for selling, the value is (Cost - Wounds) / 2 rounded down. Or something. I may try this, it sounds interesting..