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Subject: To die, perchance to dream rss

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Matthew M
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The Visionary has discovered that her child-self was being transported on a top-secret military vessel when an unknown accident caused it to sink into the depths of the ocean. All aboard were presumed dead, but she knew that the child's survival instinct and immense psychic powers would mean she would survive. She assembles a team of heroes to help her find and save this child, knowing that a horrible future awaits the world if they can't.

Fanatic, Absolute Zero, Visionary, and Haka (all original versions) squared off against The Dreamer on Advanced level in the Ruins of Atlantis.

The first challenge was penetrating the damage reduction to Dreamer's projections. Haka bought the heroes some time with an early Ground Pound, which was sorely needed after the starting Villain turn did 24 total damage to the team! Visionary manipulated the environment deck to pull out the Kraken - as long as there was a projection with as many or fewer HP than the Dreamer, the Kraken would help us mop up. That and Haka being able to deal 3 damage to two targets made up the most consistent part of the hero offense early.

Dreamer's deck was stacked with projections toward the top, so the targets kept on coming at a steady pace. However Haka, the Kraken, and a Mystical Defense environment were able to keep them from overwhelming the heroes. Fanatic had drawn End of Days, but was saving it for after Dreamer flipped to score some quick projection kills. Absolute Zero had started building himself up to heal reliably, and Dreamer was able to Wrest the Mind of on of Dreamer's Unicorn projections to help hold down their damage output.

The first big complication came when Atlantean Font of Power caused Absolute Zero to play Cold Snap, dealing cold damage to every non-hero target every turn. The team was on a timer now, as the Dreamer's HP were slowly going to be whittled away. But otherwise the heroes were ready - the following round of hero actions had it set up so that the Kraken and (now two) Mystical Defenses would wipe out the rest of the projections, causing Dreamer to flip and give us the chance to win the game. The heroes were down to low teens, and Fanatic was down to high single digits, but with Fanatic's End of Days ready to do some quick damage to Projections that came out the heroes were confident.

That's when the Hallway Collapsed. Not only did that do significant damage to the heroes, but it also killed the last projections. Fanatic had to take the Hallway Collapse hit for Dreamer and THEN also take the Kraken's attack as well. The Mystic Defenses finished Fanatic off, End of Days unplayed.

Dreamer flipped and her Violent Nightmares and extra end of turn draws resulted in four new projections in play. Fortunately Absolute Zero had played Sub Zero Atmosphere the previous turn, so none of the projections were able to take their turns. Dreamer's own damage still hit everyone, however, and now Absolute Zero was in the greatest danger.

Without damage reduction, Haka, Absolute Zero's Cold Snap, the Kraken, and the two Mystic Defenses were more than enough to rip through projections before they got a turn to activate. The projections were falling fast. But the most important card play of the second half was Visionary Twisting the Ether on a Mystical Defense turret. Visionary changed Mystic Defenses from doing 2 Energy damage to Dreamer into doing 3 Cold damage, and then redirected it to Absolute Zero as the hero with the lowest HP! He took another 3 Cold damage himself, so was able to heal 6, allowing him to take the hit from the second Mystical Defenses and from Visionary and still stay up to keep Sub Zero Atmosphere active.

The final turn of the game was set up perfectly for the heroes. Violent Nightmares had brought out the final two projections the heroes needed to defeat. Dreamer was down to 1 HP, but Cold Snap was able to kill an Illusory Demon first, destroying Cold Snap before it hit The Dreamer. After Haka softened the remaining projections up, Kraken would hit a projection with 1 HP remaining and the rest only had 3HP each so Mystical Defenses would finish them off. The heroes had more than enough HP to absorb the Mystical Defense hits that would target the Dreamer. The victory was in hand.

HP count: AZ-5, Visionary-6, Haka-8

Then the Hallway Collapsed again.

Just as earlier, all the projections are destroyed just when the heroes don't want them to be. Even though 8 projections are now defeated, victory isn't triggered until the start of the Villain turn. The heroes need to survive the Kraken and Defenses without Dreamer taking any damage.

After the projections were destroyed, Haka took his Hallway Collapse damage next, putting him at 5HP. With Haka now the lowest he could also take the 3 for Dreamer.

HP count: AZ-2, Visionary-3, Haka-2.

The Kraken targets the Dreamer. Haka takes that hit for her too and is incapacitated.

The first set of Mystical Defenses (which Visionary has Twisted the Ether on) is up next. Thankfully the heroes are in position to pull off the same trick they did last turn! AZ absorbs increased cold damage for Dreamer and takes the same himself.

HP count: AZ-8, Visionary-2

The second set of Mystical Defenses triggers. Visionary takes the hit for her younger self, leaving only Absolute Zero remaining with 6HP. That's 6 HP he wouldn't have had if not for Twist the Ether on the first Mystical Defense turret.

Final HP count: AZ- 6

Finally, the Villain turn starts and with 8 projections defeated the heroes win the game.

Absolute Zero leaves the crumbling ruins with the child. He had never wanted to go on this mission, but the government had insisted. When you owe your life to the government you do what they say. He's a survivor, after all. That's what he does - survive.

His orders were clear: rescue the child and return her to the government's care at all costs. Even if some of his teammates didn't want the same. He dreaded the thought of having to turn on them if necessary. But as they fought the bizarre manifestations that this little girl threw at them, Absolute Zero watched as each of his teammates sacrificed themselves so that he could survive and save this girl.

As he returned the girl to the Department of Defense, Absolute Zero wondered if this girl was really worth all that was lost. Best to not ask questions, though. They had saved his life. He owed them. That's all that matters.

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Kenneth H
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Fantastic story!
 
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Aaron Bedard
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Now, THAT'S the way to write an AAR

I had plans to play something different tonight, but this is really testing my ability to keep those heroes in their box.
 
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