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Duel of Ages Set 2: Intensity» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Session report - Intensity with the wife rss

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Damon Asher
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Jefferson
MA
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I’ve decided to take a different approach with this session report and I hope this will be interesting to someone other than myself. The game has been set up and while my wife takes a nap with the baby, I’m going to plot my strategy and outline it here. After the game, I’ll write up how it turned out.

The setup is 3 ancient platters with both Lith keys and team bases. We drew 6 characters each. My White Team is predominantly modern, with Amanda Pierce (The Freelancer), Fen Lin (The King Fu Master), Mick the Lion (The Competitor), and Boolean (The Hacker). The remaining two are ancient: Siennya (The Amazon) and Spartacus (The Gladiator). I’ve got 2 characters with white melee scores (Fen Lin and Spartacus) and one that will be a 50/50 shot on any melee (Mick), so I’m going to need to put on the hurt using these guys early in the game, before too many ranged weapons appear. My vault cards are the Lahti Anti-Tank Rifle (white/4) and Brown Bess with Bayonet. Amanda’s my only character with a decent Aim score, so I’m going to need to get the Brown Bess rifle to her. Because Amanda’s too weak to use the anti-tank gun (requires yellow), that one will have to go to Mick, my only character strong enough to wield it.

K’s Black Team lineup is heavily colonial, with Aramis (The Musketeer), Geronimo (The War Chief), Bill Hickock (The Gunslinger), and Jolie La Ravissant (The Charmer). Rounding other lineup are Corporal Janus (The Bug Hunter), and The Weinstein Brothers (The Tinkerers). Corporal Janus’ bonus against future characters won’t do much good this time.

My biggest concern is with Jolie, who can take a card from her opponent in melee in addition to inflicting a -4 to attempts to strike her, as she is a potential plan foiler (she must be really hot). She’s dangerous even at range, as she’s immune to op fire and any hit roll of a 10 makes your character switch sides! I’m not sure how to handle her, except to keep her away from characters bearing equipment. My white melee fighters should be able to take her though (she has only a blue react score), so I should probably sick them on her before they have equipment to lose. It would be devastating to have one of those defect, however, so I’m going to wait and see how annoying K intends to make Jolie before I take the chance. When I do hit her I’ll want to hit her hard and kill her in one turn.

Aramis is an excellent, if quirky melee fighter (white melee, white react, but always attacks last). He’ll be a match for my fighters, but mine outnumber him, so I may want to gang up on him early.

The rest of her lineup are good ranged combatants, so I’m going to need to inflict some damage early before she gets too well equipped.

I’m uploading a photo of the map setup, but basically I put my team base near the ancient and modern labyrinths so I could attack them with my characters of that age but have a place to retreat to if needed. My plan is to win those two labyrinths, as well as the Lith Alliance and team HQ destruction. Boolean is going to be the key player here. He’s no fighter, that’s for sure, but his white wits and green stealth should make him a good adventurer against the right challenges. I’m going to have to give him a bodyguard and some armor if I can. I plan to use him to quickly take out Black HQ. His mastery of the Jump Pad will be crucial here (he can decide where he lands). I’ll probably use Amanda to place the pad when she goes in to get her Brown Bess and jump Boolean right into the Black Base. His +4 bonus when attacking HQ will give him a 10 to squeak, 6 amaze, so I’ll have a good chance of taking it out. Then I’ll be able to use the jump pad as his personal teleporter, probably with Siennya back at my HQ to guard against reprisals and relocate the pad. Boolean will then take on first two steps of the Lith alliance, getting me close to Tower of Ages access, which could be huge in this game, as we have very little overlap in ages between our teams. I may be able to finish that labyrinth if I concentrate on it, but the Tower is my main goal. Certainly if I end up with Lith’s favor I’ll need to finish it to get my manpower back up.

The map setup has 4 dome keys on one edge of the map, so K is going to have to cross the Catacombs fairly often to reach the Colonial labyrinth, which I assume will be a primary objective for her. I’m going to plant at least 2 of my melee fighters over there and jump Team Black as they go by. I’ll be able to use the tunnels for cover if she picks up any ranged guns. I’ll plant Amanda over there as well with the rifle to take pot shots at Team Black as they pass. K will probably target the Corporal to the future labyrinth that’s across from her base, so I’ll need to concede that one or set up to harass her over there.

I haven’t left myself with a lot of adventurers – Boolean and Sienna will probably have to carry the early weight here. I’m hoping to damage her team early with Fen Lin and Spartacus and then move these melee fighters into the labyrinths.

I almost feel like I’m cheating here because I’ve thought about this too much at this point. On the other hand, K will be fresh from her nap. She’s also very clever and devious, so I suspect my plan of battle will not survive contact with the enemy, but we’ll see how it goes. She tends to waste her fighters in tactically untenable situations, but she’s learning the better part of valor. She completely destroyed me last game, so I need to be careful. Until the after-game report…..

Post-game:
Well, I thought that 2 hours would be enough time, given that we were takings turns pretty quickly and this was only a 6 character game. However, things were really just starting to cook when the timer sounded. We were getting tired though so we wrapped it up. The end score was 3 to 0, my favor. I was ahead in the ancient labyrinth, Lith’s favor, and character count. We were tied in all the other labyrinths. K had some bad rolls in the labyrinths, otherwise she would have gotten ahead in at least the Colonial maze.

I was able to implement most of my plan. I stacked Fen Lin, Spartacus, and Mick to make one colossal tower of pain in the catacombs. I jumped on Janus and the Weinstein Brothers, forcing them to surrender. Janus was eventually freed by a raid, but that was late in the game. These victories allowed me to dominate the Lith Alliance.

Amanda retrieved the rifle from the vault and was the only character who got a ranged weapon the whole game. She used it to good effect but was barely able to fend off Geronimo and the pet he unleashed on her. Jolie turned out to be fairly ineffectual, and eventually fell to Amanda’s rifle as she tried to enter the Lith Alliance.

Boolean was able to jump into the enemy base 3 times. Twice he tried to destroy the HQ but failed to amaze, and once he raided the vault, emptying it. At the end of the game, I had just equipped Spartacus with two melee weapons, and I had an incredible long range cannon awaiting me in my vault. Next time I’d like to play a longer game, but we’ll have to see if my wife will have the patience for it. She’s a real trooper to play this super-geeky game with me at all! So while the game ended just as we were entering the third act, I still had a good time.

Post-post-game:
In case K ever looks this up, I had better add that immediately afterward, we played a game of Lost Cites, as we often do after I win a long game. I was thoroughly trounced, again as usual, with a score of 57 to 185. I fare much better at the Duel of Ages than I do the Battle of the Sexes.
 
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Jim Brooks
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Some are born to move the world To live their fantasies But most of us just dream about The things we'd like to be Sadder still to watch it die Than never to have known it For you, the blind who once could see The bell tolls for thee...
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Nice report! For what it's worth, I tend to play DOA for 3 or 4 hours at a minimum. Otherwise, as you've noted, it seems like the game is just "heating up" by the 2-hour mark. For me, time flies during this game as I'm always engrossed in planning my moves or looking for op-fire.

You can potentially "speed-up" the game by adding some additional equipment cards to the vault at the beginning of the game, but this is largely a crap-shoot. Also, "speeding up" the game does take away some of the early game advantage that the melee fighers enjoy (I suppose you could look at this as either good or bad).

You're lucky that your wife will play this with you. My best hope is my son, but he's at least 5 years aways from being able to play I suppose.


 
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Ben Ream
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omaha
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I'm with Jim on this one. I practically have to BEG my wife to play this one with me, but she does so with a good attitude. My hope is to play it enough with her that she'll get the hang of it and I won't have to largely direct her moves. My oldest son is another 5 years from being able to play as well.
 
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