Chris Hay
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LONG NIGHT OF THE DRAGON RIDER

Players: 1
Type: Solo
Length: 7 rounds (3 days and 3 nights, followed by a special night round)
Map shape: Open limited to 3 columns
Countryside tiles: 9
City tiles: 3
Tile order: 5 countryside - city - 2 countryside - city - 2 countryside - city

The Story:

For travellers who visit the portal it is common to see a small crowd of aspiring mages gathering to practice their magic. In the surrounding glade the mana is heavy in the air and the young would-be warlocks and wizards harness it to practice their spells. Mostly this happens to excellent comic effect, with sparks of unsuccessful sorcery flying hither and thither, and creatures nursing singed eyebrows from their failed fireballs. But behind the jovial atmosphere there is a quiet earnestness to the rehearsals, governed by the glowing hole at the centre of the glade. One day each of those present hopes to summon enough command of the Source to take the plunge into that hole. That day they will ride the energy to wherever it takes them, returning with heroic tales and relics from far off lands, and that day they will finally be able to call themselves true Mage Knights.

Those who are most serious practice early in the morning, before the bumbling attempts of others cloud the purity of the Source. Today, as on most days, you rose before dawn to be the first to arrive. As your boots crunch though the frost, you watch the first shimmers of sunlight peeking over the horizon and chasing away the dark magic of the night. With a few more months of preparations you will be ready to take the plunge, and will be one of the youngest mages to do so. As you approach the portal an unusual feeling stops you just short of the glade: there is a strange sadness to the way the mana rests in the air. Gazing through the trees you notice that you are not the first to arrive. Sitting in the grass of the glade, clutching her knees to her chest is a dark haired damsel in a red dress.

Instead of entering the glade you take time to observe her from the cover of the trees. She is not someone you have seen at the glade before, and the longer you look the more mesmerised you become by her beauty. Regretting your rugged training garb is not more suited to engaging a lady in conversation, you decide to talk to her before any other mages arrive. You approach her with your best smile and - not knowing what else to say - ask her what you would have to do to win her heart. Without a word she immediately bursts into tears and buries her face between her knees. Abashed, you sit down beside her and awkwardly wait.

After a few minutes she turns to you and speaks. “There is but one thing that any creature alive could do to win my heart. The great Dragon Rider and his army ride against the land of my ancestors. In three days they will cross the portal and burn its cities. There is no one in the land brave enough to lead an army against him, but any man who did would have my heart from now until my dying breath.”

Perhaps it is her beauty, perhaps it is the air in the glade magnifying her plight, perhaps it is the yearning for adventure that has always burned within your soul, but you promise the maiden that it is you who will challenge the dragon rider at the portal in three days time. You kiss her on the cheek, and before you have time to change your mind you plunge headlong into the portal in the centre of the glade. Bright light and colours wash over you and wash through you, shaking you to the bone. You make a vain attempt to control it, but it fills your head until your temples ache.

All in a moment the light subsides and you find yourself lying on the grass next to the portal once again. You look up and see the same sun, not rising amongst the trees but shining at you across a dazzling ocean. You sense the same sadness in the air, and know you have come to the right place. The realisation strikes of what you have promised to do, and you clamber to your feet still holding your head. You cannot fight the Dragon Rider on your own, but as you set off inland you tell yourself there must be someone in this land who will join you...

Dummy Player:

At the beginning of the game:
• Do not place any crystals in the dummy player’s inventory
• Place the four city miniatures next to the dummy player and set all the dials to zero (the black setting). During the game these dials will represent the armies of the dragon rider massing at the magic portal.

Choosing tactic cards:
• Deal 3 tactic cards to yourself and 3 to the dummy player.
• The dummy player chooses the middle of his three.
• You may choose from the three that you have been dealt.

On the dummy player's turn:
• Reveal one card only
• Add a crystal matching the colour of the card to the dummy player’s inventory, unless they already have two crystals of that colour.
• Increase the dial of the matching coloured city by the number of crystals of that colour in the dummy player’s inventory (either one or two).
• If the city is already on level 11 then this has no effect.
• Example: The dummy player reveals a red card. You look at his inventory and notice there are already two red crystals, so you do not add another one. The red city is on level 7 so you increase it to level 9.

End of the round:
• The dummy player never announces the end of the round.
• If you have no cards remaining in your draw deck at the end of your turn (after drawing your new hand) you may immediately end the round. The dummy player has no further turns. Note this is different from the normal rule of announcing the round end.
• Remove all crystals from the dummy player’s inventory.
• Do not add any cards to the dummy player's deck.
• Reshuffle the dummy player’s deck to form a new draw pile.

Cities:

Revealing and entering cities:
• When you reveal a city leave the city miniature by the dummy player and treat the city as a printed location on the board.
When you enter a city the guardians of the city challenge you at the gate before you have a chance to explain yourself. If this is the first or second city you have entered draw two white enemies to fight. In the third city you enter draw three white enemies. These enemies do not benefit from the fortification or the special powers of the city (as they are outside the gate).
In the moments following the heat of combat you seize the chance to speak of the evil that looms in the south. The guardians hear your words and insist that they will help you in your quest. Discard any of the white enemies you did not conquer, and enter the city. If you managed to defeat any of them you still gain fame as normal and place a shield on the city for each token you defeated. Gain a reputation (NB: you did not ‘assault’ the city so you do not lose a reputation).
• Being in or adjacent to a friendly city increases your hand limit by one for each shield you have on the city.
• When interacting in a friendly city you receive influence 1 for each shield you have on the city

The assistance of the guardians:
In the blue city you are offered an ancient scroll and a pouch containing rare gems. Gain a spell from the spell offer and gain a crystal of the matching colour to your inventory.
In the red city the guardians offer you a precious relic of power that has been in the city for many generations. Gain an artifact.
The white city promises their greatest warrior to travel and battle with you at the portal. Add three advanced units to the unit offer, and then recruit any one unit for free.
In the green city the guardians offer you a tattered book of sacred knowledge. Gain a skill and an advanced action in the same way as if you had just levelled up. Instead of drawing from your own skill pile, draw the two skills from the dummy player's pile. If you choose to take a skill from the common offer you may choose to take one of your own previously discarded skills.
In the third city you enter the guardians also offer you and your companions the choice of the best steeds from their stables to hasten your return to the portal. Until the end of the third night the value of all movement points you play are doubled.

The Final Battle:

End of round six:
• If you are on the portal any time during the third night you may announce the end of the round even if your draw deck is not empty.
• If you have not returned to the portal by the end of the third night, count the number of spaces remaining to reach the portal and add a wound to your deck for each remaining space, then place your figure on the portal.

Differences from normal rounds:
• The final battle is a special night round that takes place after the third night round.
• The dummy player does not participate in the final battle. Set aside the tactic cards, as they will not be required. Reshuffle all of the enemies in the game into new piles.
• The opening of the magic portal generates a vast quantity of magic energy, increasing your ability to draw from the source. Add two additional dice to the source.
• Each turn still has a movement and action phase as normal. You may not move, but playing movement points could help you with abilities such as Wings of Night. You must spend your action phase in combat, and you may not choose to rest.

Waves of enemies:
• The enemies will approach in four waves played over four turns; take the four city miniatures and arrange them in order of lowest to highest level. If there are multiple cities with the same level, randomly choose the order of them.
• Take the enemies pictured on the first city and reveal them.
• Each wave consists of battling all of the currently revealed enemies. The enemies are not fortified unless they have a fortification symbol on their token, and do not benefit from bonuses on any city card.
• For each of the second, third and fourth waves, add the enemies pictured on the city’s dial to any enemies that were not defeated from the previous wave.
• If you have not defeated all of the enemies at the end of the fourth wave you may continue with additional turns fighting the remaining enemies. You should have enough cards in your deck for about 5 turns.

The Dragon Rider:
• In the fourth wave one of the white enemies revealed will be the Dragon Rider. Randomly choose one of the white tokens and draw a red token to place next to it. These two tokens are considered to be one enemy. Add their values together to determine the strength of attack and their armour value. If a fortification, special ability, resistance, or element of attack is present on either token then the Dragon Rider has it.

Scenario end:
• If you are knocked out in combat at any point in the final battle then you lose the scenario. You also lose if you reach the end of the 7th round and there are still enemies left undefeated.
• You win by defeating all the enemies in the final battle without being knocked out.


Thanks to Andrew P who came up with the tactic card distribution rules I used.
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Pawel Bulacz
Poland
Kraków
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Re: Long night of the dragon rider - A HARD SOLO SCENARIO WITH A STORY
Good scenario.
I will test it when I find time
You could wait with it until the expansion reveals its secrets.
It won't be so easy - believe me
Some cards are changed...

But you can edit it later...
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Kevin Chung
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Wow, I just tried this, ended up losing with an altem mages and guardian left. I ended up with a level 7, 8, 11 and 11 city, I just didnt have enough gas left in my deck to take down 4 cities worth of units (not to mention an altem guardian riding a fire dragon!). Maybe I should have tried to run through faster. It was quite a challenge and I will definitely be trying this again to see if I can beat it.
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Chris Hay
New Zealand
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stybba00 wrote:
Wow, I just tried this, ended up losing with an altem mages and guardian left. I ended up with a level 7, 8, 11 and 11 city, I just didnt have enough gas left in my deck to take down 4 cities worth of units (not to mention an altem guardian riding a fire dragon!). Maybe I should have tried to run through faster. It was quite a challenge and I will definitely be trying this again to see if I can beat it.


Thanks for the feedback.

It's pretty hard to win if you let the cities level up that far. Taking a tactic card to let you go first can be an important choice. The last time I played this I won using the last card in my deck and the cities were something like 6, 8, 9 and 11.
 
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Michael Pustilnik
United States
Bronx
New York
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I tried to break the scenario by playing it in a different manner. I may no attempt to end the round quickly. I allowed all four city levels to reach 11 (it happened early on during day 3), and relied on trying to build an army and a deck that could win anyway. For example, when in the green city, I spent several turns buying new AA's one at a time with the help of my two shields and my "I don't give a damn!" skill.

I ended up with an army of 2 x Altem Guardians, Altem Mages, Catapults, and Ice Mages. I had 6 skills, 4 artifacts, 7 spells, and 12 AA's. I would like say I won, but this still wasn't good enough. I didn't have enough crystals to support all that spellcasting, and I ended up losing badly to the hordes of white enemies.

I might give this strategy one more try, but I suspect it won't work. The next time I play, I will try to go through my deck at a reasonable speed.
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Michael Pustilnik
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I just played again, this time always taking the lower number tactic if possible, and burning through my deck very quickly. I often ended the round on my turn 4, and once on my turn 3. The city levels were 2, 6, 7, and 10. It was close, but I won the game. I was lucky the dragon rider did not have physical resistance (a Gunner riding a Swamp Dragon).
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Ben v Gastel
Netherlands
Agelo
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Thanks, love the story.

Will give it a try..
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Vali Lean
United States
Sacramento
CA
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I think this is great! Very creative scenario! ...very hard scenario!
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Scott Olson
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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Can't wait to try this, appreciate the work.
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Tom Rojas
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Woow... I just tried some other SOLO scenarios from this forum, and I cant wait to test this one. Though it seems a bit hard and made for experienced users, I am sure I will have some fun... will let you know the outcome...
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Michael Pustilnik
United States
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I few questions . . .

For Round 7 (the battle round), are the unit, AA, and spell offers refreshed according to the normal rules for starting a new round? This would matter for cards like Magic Talent, Book of Wisdom, Training, Learning, and Call to Arms/Glory.

Can the hero gain fame and level up during Round 7 from the enemies he kills?

Are healing effects allowed post-combat during a Round 7 turn? (I would like to take wounds in a battle, then play Regeneration or Tranquility so I could draw more cards.)Or would I have to wait until the next turn's movement phase?

By the way, great scenario; really tough!
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Chris Hay
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MikePustilnik wrote:
I few questions . . .

For Round 7 (the battle round), are the unit, AA, and spell offers refreshed according to the normal rules for starting a new round? This would matter for cards like Magic Talent, Book of Wisdom, Training, Learning, and Call to Arms/Glory.

Can the hero gain fame and level up during Round 7 from the enemies he kills?

Are healing effects allowed post-combat during a Round 7 turn? (I would like to take wounds in a battle, then play Regeneration or Tranquility so I could draw more cards.)Or would I have to wait until the next turn's movement phase?

By the way, great scenario; really tough!


Yes, yes and yes. Thanks for the feedback.
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Jack Spirio
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Just Played it, was a lot of fun.
Made a big mistake to enter the first city not defeating both gunners for 8 wounds (armor 3 and 2* times 6 brutal attack). Cause of that the citys grow really large.
I managed to defeat the first 3 ways of Level 4, 10, 10 but than I had not ennough attack for the last one (with wing of winds I got no wounds but had nothing to attack them later)
I had a few cool combos, like absorbing most attacks with Altem-Guardsmens green mana ability and then rosting them all with Flamewave.
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Tom Rojas
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Hi all,

Ok, I just played it, took me 3 and a half hours, and lost painfully to the waves of monsters I coulnt beat. I loved the scenario though, I just think it needs some adjustments since it is REALLY HARD. I was at level 8, got around 32 cards (AA, artifacts, spells, etc) and there were almost nothing much I could do to stop the incoming fight. Ended up with castle levels as follows: Blue 7, White 7, Red 8 and Green 9. And when the third wave took me, I got hit 12 wounds.... couldnt even see the Dragon Rider at all (damn!). So, got my butt kicked, but I think I will play this again with a little change: Castles will level up one level every 2 crystals (2 blue, 2 green, 2 red etc) once a Castle is discovered, it cannot level up any more, so the dial will show the waves for that castle. since there are only 3 castles in the map, then there´s the chance that 1 castle levels up a lot. Another thing I was thinking is to fight the castle instead of just hold on the guardians, and if conquered then get the prizes in them.

Will give it another try tomorrow. Regards,

Tom.
 
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