Mike Perkins

Vacaville
California
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My wife and I bought this game and the Conversion Kit about a week after it came out. We own 1e (base game only) but rarely brought it out because of how long it took to play. Overall we’ve been having a blast, but the encounters almost always end in disappointment: that is, with me (heroes) trying to determine what I could have done differently, and my wife (OL) guiltily declaring the encounters don’t seem balanced for two heroes.

I’m not prepared to say the game is not balanced for two heroes, however. I suspect part of it may be that I selected heroes poorly and maybe need to tweak some strategies a little, which is where you fine folks (hopefully!) come in and share some advice. I’d love to hear some strategy suggestions from all of you, and in particular, if any other two-hero campaigner has a more successful experience, what’s the secret to your success?

Here’s a run down of our experiences:

I chose Elder Mok (Spiritspeaker) and Mordrog (Berserker) from 1e base game conversion. I thought their synergy would work well (Mord regains stamina when he takes damage; Mok regains stamina when a nearby ally regains stamina), and thematically they were both orcs, so what would be cooler than villages marveling at two orcs walking around town unmolested? However, the lack of mobility (Mok movement 4, Mord 3) is, I suspect, where my issues begin.

First Blood – I won easily;
Castle Daerion – I lost Enc. 1; wasn’t close. Enc. 2 I lost, but it was close – Sir Palamon had 4 fatigue tokens on him but failed two checks early on;
Cardinal’s Plight – I “won” Enc. 1 but three zombies escaped; Enc. 2 wasn’t even close; the cardinal died immediately after I got the door open;
Death on the Wing – I won both Encounters, but this was due to blunders by my wife in Enc. 2. How blunderous? Neither Mok nor Mord did a single point of damage to Belthir; he died at the hands of the militia guards. (I’m not prepared to rule out the blunders actually being pity!)

All of this led to Interlude: Overlord Revealed. My wife chose Razorwing, Demon Lord, and Hell Hound as her open groups. This was the one that most confounded me. Elder Mok immediately shot toward the Runelock of Cunning and closed it, which proved deflating because it sealed the Demon Lord gate… which was the one gate that was releasing a monster group that had no master model capable of carrying the rune anyway!

Mordrog hung back to defend the shadow rune . This led to some hilarity but mostly frustration: I couldn’t go to the second or third runelocks while the rune was undefended. So, naturally, I began killing the master monsters that were attempting to grab it. The problem is master Razorwings have a movement of six. I’d use two attacks by Mordrog to kill the master Razorwing. Then the OL would immediately reinforce with the red Razorwing, activate it, and use its 12 movement to place it in the exact same spot the previous one died – right next to the shadow rune. Three turns in a row this happened: Mord takes both attacks to drop the master Razorwing, and it’s immediately replaced, on the very same tile square, with another master Razorwing. Long story short, I lost that one, too.

So, a few observations from a two-hero party: taking a hero with only 3 movement seems like a disastrous decision. Mordrog can hit like a truck (his two attacks with one action Heroic are great against NPCs) but he can’t keep up with the race-styled objectives. I think Mok works reasonably well, but after looking at Disciple I think I picked the wrong archetype. Since attacking Mordrog helps both Mord and Mok (with stamina gains), the OL just ignores Mord (who can also counter attack) and attacks Mok, so a shield would be nice. The lack of ranged attack options is also difficult. In most cases 90% of my fatigue is spent on extra movement just so I can get into range to make an attack. But then I never have any fatigue left over for special abilities or to chase down a monster when it moves away.

So, for all you 2-Hero campaigners out there, what's worked? What hasn't? Our plans are to start over, this time with new heroes based on what I've learned so far.
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Ken Marley
United States
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My suggestion is to play with just the base game. The expansion makes it easier for the OL especially with only two heroes. The OL has a greater chance to pick monsters that take advantage of the gaps in any two hero group.
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Mike Perkins

Vacaville
California
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That's something we had considered, too, later on. I didn't check to see if any of the base game has a 6 movement monster, but it looks like the 1e converted monsters have more health.
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