I'm struggling through my first expansion game -- loving it, but a bit overwhelmed. I played the base game a year ago or so but haven't touched it since, so I'm rusty. And I never had a firm handle on the base game in the first place.
Anyway, I'm at the climactic last round of "Volkare's Return," playing solo, and Volkare surprised me with a two-hex jump right at the start of this round, initiating combat with me at my city, which I conquered at the end of the 3rd day Round. I have 3 unwounded units, 1 unit, and a mix of useful and not-so-useful cards. Volkare has 7 units plus his own attack. Is the general idea to use units to block or for special combat abilities, so that they do their bit before they take wounds? That's my main question. If you don't feel like reading a long puzzle, I'd still appreciate your thoughts on that main question.
If you have the patience, you might also be interested in the specifics of my situation. I'm just not sure what to do. I think I'm in trouble no matter what I do, but I want to be sure I have the major options right.
It’s Night 3, the final round of the game. It’s my second turn; I spent my first turn recruiting Heroes. I thought I'd have a couple turns to prepare and heal, but Volkare surprised me by drawing a spell card and assaulting me in my (red) city. Volkare rolls a black die, chooses a Paralyze attack. (3 strength, assassin, brutal.)
His army is listed below; stats are listed as Armor-Attack-Fame, with specials in parentheses. It consists of:
Crossbowmen 4-4-3 (swift)
Shock Troops 3(6)-5-3 (Elusive, no fortification)
Lava Dragon 8-6-8 (fortified, Brutal, Fire Resistant)
Gunners 6-6-7 (Ice resist, Brutal)
Orc Trackers 3(6)-4-3 (Elusive)
Orc Summoners 4-Summon-4
I am Wolfhawk, level 7, with 52 Fame. Hand size 6 plus 2 for the city; armor is 4.
My mana crystals are already pretty depleted from taking the city. I have 2 red and 1 of each other color. Mana source is Green, Green, White, Black.
My units, all Ready, are:
Guard Golems (wounded) (3 armor), Foresters (4 armor), Amotep Freezers (6 armor), Heroes (4 armor).
My skills are: Know Your Prey; Leadership; Inspiration.
My hand: Rage, Concentration, Determination, Expose, Tranquilize, Threaten, Stamina, Wound.
What to do? Much of my offensive oomph is in my units, especially the Heroes, but by the time I get to the Attack phase, most or all of my units will be Wounded (and thus ineligible to activate to attack, right?). Doesn’t this mean I should mostly use my Foresters and Heroes to block (since otherwise they will take Wounds and never get off an attack), and let my Action Cards and Spells do the attacking? I’m thinking of something like this:
Ranged and Siege Attack Phase:
Place a Blue Crystal on the Amotep Freezers, who then activate to use their second ability to prevent the Lava Dragons from attacking this turn and to reduce the dragons’ armor from 8 to 5. (I can play a combat effect like this in any phase, right?)
Activate the Foresters to Block Volkare’s attack.
Use Know Your Prey skill to deprive the Gunners of their Fire offensive element for this turn.
Activate the Heroes to (almost) Block the Gunners.
Use Leadership skill to pump the Heroes' block from 5 to 8, now completely blocking the Gunners (who no longer have Fire attacks this turn).
Assign Damage Phase:
Dragons are frozen, Gunners and Volkare are blocked, but everything else attacks:
Swordsmen – 5 damage – assign to Freezers
Crossbowmen – 4 damage – assign to Foresters
Shock troops – 3 damage
Orc trackers – 3 damage
Orc summoners - ? damage – assign to Heroes?
Might leave 6 damage or so left, 2 wounds for Hero.
Attack Phase: Plan A
Kill Gunners: Take a Green mana token from the source, use it with Concentration to pump Rage’s Attack from 4 up to 6, killing the Gunners.
Kill Lava Dragon (5 armor as modified) with: Determination (2 attack) plus sideways Expose, sideways Stamina, sideways Threaten.
This approach would kill off the two more dangerous enemy tokens, but it would tap all my units and leave me with 2 more wounds – maybe more if the summoners bring something really nasty, like Minotaurs or Medusas.
Attack Phase: Plan B
Alternatively, I could let the Dragon (or Gunners?) live, power Expose with a black source die and my last precious white crystal, and kill both the Orc Summoners and the Shock Troops (or Orc Trackers). So this way I’d kill off three tokens, but one of the most dangerous, the Dragons or Gunners, would still be alive, and my wounded Freezers would no longer be available to freeze/weaken next time.
I’m sure I’m missing other possibilities – perhaps trying to kill as many small enemies as possible. Any thoughts on what I should do?
And, in any case, my main question is a more general one: units to block, actions/spells/artifacts to attack?
Sounds like you're having a good time!
You might as well let the summoners summon before planning any further -- you can't really do anything about it, and the information about who they summon will be useful.
Then, realize that as long as you take 5 wounds or less, you'll be taking a standard Rest to get rid of them. And since this is the final round, it doesn't matter how many wounds are in your discard. So taking only two wounds means you're basically wasting some block, if the goal is just to beat Volkare. Maybe use Know Your Prey to de-brutalize someone if necessary, and let your Heroes fight!
I certainly am having a good time, thanks! It's a party! This is a great game. I'm actually enjoying it more solo than I did in co-op mode, which is mostly how I've played the base game.
I hadn't even thought about Resting! I was thinking I'd use my Tranquility to heal a couple of my wounds, or maybe heal a unit, but at this point it'd be better just to discard all those wounds, wouldn't it. So instead of playing Tranquility, it might end up being my last card (plus all my wounds), allowing me to discard it and all the Wounds and draw a fresh new hand.
And yeah, I guess I just have to suck it up and see what the Summoners bring. But I won't have time to play til tomorrow, so if anyone has any flashes of insight, please let me know!
Sounds like you're in a tough predicament here. Quick question: Which heroes do you have recruited? All of the heroes are different, and knowing which one you have would help
Yeah, always remember that Volkare moves 2 spots back as long as you kill at least 1 attacker (min. 1 per player) so you should have at least 1 turn to rest though you will need 2 total as you'll skip your next turn since you fully attended the battle (just flipping your token back up). Hopefully, you'll get two turns to do all of that as another spell would be the end of you.
Oh, I hadn't realized he'd move 2 spots back -- nor had I remembered that I have to flip and unflip my turn marker, as in PvP. Thanks for both reminders!
As for the Heroes, they are Influence cost 9 (x2 influence effect), level III. Three abilities: Attack/Block 5; Cold Fire Block 8 (blue mana); Influence 5.
Yeah, I'm in a bit of a pickle. I'll probably lose. But it's fun!
Also keep in mind you get one free turn where Volkare razes the city, so even after you rest, you'll have time even if he attacks right away. I think your first plan is about the best you can do, depending on what the Orcs summon. Depending on what cards you have in your deck, I'd probably heal the Golems with Tranquility so they can absorb an attack next turn and use Inspiration to heal another unit to be able to absorb damage again. Remember that you will level, so hopefully a good skill pops up and there are some good Advanced Actions in the offer. I wouldn't count yourself out yet :)
I would do almost the same thing, although it may change depending on who the summoners send out
Use concentration+determination with green die for block 7 to block gunners after they lose fire attack
Use heroes+leadership+rage with red crystal=11 attack, kill gunners and dragon
Use expose with white crystal, stamina and threaten sideways for 4 attack, kill summoners
Next turn rest, use tranquillity with green die to heal golems, use inspiration to ready heroes. You will have a full hand of 8, a new skill/aa, a readied heroes and golems with leadership to fight and take wounds. You will have to take on 3 keep guys and an orc.
Best of luck! Hopefully you dont draw Medusa!
- Last edited Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:17 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:15 pm
Thanks, guys! I got home from work too late to play the turn, but I'll be on it tomorrow. Lots of useful advice here. What a rich game this is.
Well, I had a great time finishing up this game. I am still learning, so a couple of times I had to backtrack to correct mistakes. I suppose I should have made this a session report, but what the heck, might as well bring closure to this "strategy" thread instead.
I used the Foresters to block Volkare, played a blue crystal to activate the Freezers to freeze the Lava Dragons (and decrease their armor to 5), and Know Your Prey to deprive the Gunners of their Brutality. I just had to hope the Orc Summoner wouldn’t summon something too awful.
The Summoner summoned…a Gargoyle. Attack of 5 damage, no paralysis or brutality. Phew! I was pretty happy! But even with these guys, I can see that I have to order my Heroes to Block rather than Attack. Otherwise I’ll take at least 6 wounds and be knocked out. So my 6-armor Freezers take a Wound from the de-Brutalized Gunners, and my 4-armor Foresters take a Wound from the Crossbowmen. The Heroes take a Wound too. That still leaves 15 damage, from 3 remaining sources (6, 5, 4 damage respectively). With my 4 armor, this means I still take 5 Wounds. Ugh.
Having taken all that damage, I finally get to attack. I have a lot of cards in my hand, but only a handful of them are combat cards, and I have no ready units. After throwing everything together, I can manage only to kill two tokens – the frozen and weakened Dragons, and the Summoners. I still have 5 tokens left to fight next time, including those scary Gunners. But at least Volkare has to retreat a couple spaces.
I hit level 8. After some debate, I choose Chivalry as a new Advanced Action (over Diplomacy and Heroic Tale). I choose Motivation as my new skill (over Deadly Aim). I figure I’ve only got one fight left to go, and Motivation might more than exceed the damage buff from Deadly Aim. I re-roll my green mana source die; it turns red. The source now has Black, Red, Green, and White mana.
After Volkare is repelled two hexes, all I can do is flip my Turn token back over, skipping my turn. It’s Volkare’s turn. He draws ... a Wound! I already recruited the one Indecisive Unit in the Offer, so Volkare just sits and does nothing. Huzzah! I’m playing on the easiest level for this Scenario, so there are a lot of Wound cards in his deck.
My turn again, and it’s time to Rest. I’ve got Expose, Chivalry, and 6 Wounds (5 from the last battle, one from earlier). I have to pick a card to discard along with all my Wounds. Reluctantly, I ditch Expose. I don’t remember whether I have much other Ranged Attack in this deck, and Ranged Attack 2 or 3 won’t be enough against any of these enemies, a couple of which are Elusive. I do have a Swift Reflexes still in the deck, but another dozen cards or so to draw. But I don’t really need Expose’s resistance debuff, and Chivalry does more raw damage. So I keep Chivalry. I also use Inspiration to heal my still-ready Guardian Golems, who had been Wounded in the Day.
Of course, I draw Swift Reflexes as my turn ends. Also I draw Fireball, which I’d forgotten I picked up last Round! So I have more Ranged Attack than I remembered. (I guess I need to work on remembering what’s in my deck!) But it’s okay, I’m starting to like my chances, as I also drew Blood Rage, Stout Resolve, Dodge and Weave, and Rage, I think. My final draw is a Wound, sigh.
Volkare draws a red Action, so he moves back within one hex of the city. He re-rolls the red mana die in the source to white.
In my turn, I play Stout Resolve and discard my one Wound to buy myself some lowly Scouts, disbanding my Foresters. After drawing back up to 8 cards, I have: Blood Rage, Rage, Chivalry, Fireball/Firestorm, Dodge and Weave, Mana Draw, a couple move-related cards, several crystals, my Golems, and the Scouts, I’m starting to think I might win after all.
And in fact the last battle is a lot easier than I expect. Volkare rolls red and thus will attack with 3 Fire. Mana Draw helps me grab the white and black die in the source. The black die and a red crystal, power Firestorm. Firestorm plus Scouts, white-die-enhanced Swiftness and crystal-enhanced Swift Reflexes add up to 15 ranged damage, enough to wax the Gunners, Crossbowmen and Swordsmen. (One Wound to me for the Firestorm, though.)
I play Leadership on the Guardian Golems, allowing it to block the Shock Troops. I think Dodge and Weave (reduce attack by 2), along with a couple cards sideways, lets me block Volkare (3 Fire attack with Brutal, Assassin). (If I’m wrong about that, I think I could rearrange things to have the Golems inefficiently block Volkare with help from the sideways cards.) Unfortunately, this means the Orc Trackers get through to me for one more Wound in hand – my second.
Finally, crystal-pumped Rage (4), plain Blood Rage (2) and plain Chivalry (3) do enough damage to take out the 6-armor Trackers (still Elusive) and the blocked (and thus non-Elusive) 3-armor Shock Troops. (If my math is wrong, I could pump Blood Rage instead of Rage, giving it 9 damage, but taking one more Wound.) So I think I’ve won. Yay!
Fame track at game end: 84 Fame.
Advanced Actions=4 Fame (for 4 cards: Chivalry, Blood Rage, Dodge and Weave, Stout Resolve. I found all these cards useful.)
Spells=4 Fame (for 2 cards: Expose/Mass Expose; Fireball/Firestorm. I didn’t get much use out of Expose, but that last use of Firestorm was great.)
Zero Fame for zero artifacts. 1 red crystal left in inventory, zero Fame for that too.
Unit Fame=5 (unwounded Golems=2, unwounded Scouts=1, Wounded Heroes=1, Wounded Freezers=1.)
Conquest=6 (2 Keeps, 1 Mage Tower).
Adventure=4 (Monster Den, Dungeon).
Wounds= -16 (8 Wounds in my deck).
Subtotal: 91. Not exactly record-breaking, but hey, it’s a win.
City bonus: +20.
Volkare defeat: Combat level: +30; 7 cards left in Volkare’s deck: +14, for a subtotal of 44. Race level was 1, so subtotal remains +44.
Grand total: 91+64 or 155.
Is there a thread tracking solo scores in this scenario? I recall something like that for the base game. I'm curious to see how others are doing. I know my score is low, given that I played on the easiest levels, but I'm okay with that. The most important thing is that I had a total blast playing this scenario. I'm going to reset and play it again, this time on a somewhat higher difficulty level.