Archive for October 2016
Painting update: trying out a new technique with transfers I bought years ago at Selwg show. Leave a comment
We played two games linked with a famous Conan.
The first was Conan from Monolith Games the new strategy battle game. Phil played as overlord whilst Mike was Conan, Darryl the wizard, Alex the Thief and Bruce took Belittle who unfortunately had left her crew behind. The heroes needed to rescue the princess and slay the evil shaman.
The players advanced rapidly into the pict camp with the wizard scouting out the western huts using his teleport skills. The thief entered the eastern hut and slew two hyenas and opened the chest. A good start. Conan cleared a path to the shamans hut supported by belit.
Conan then killed the shaman whilst belit held a look out outside the hut. The thief stole in and grabbed the shamans head. The wizard teleported into the giant snakes hut and discovered the drugged princess asleep therein. The snake bursts out of the hut enraged by the death of its master and encountered belit. It was thus blocking conan and the thiefs escape. However the thief grabbed the head and raced off table in one speedy move using his evasiveness. Now the players only needed to rescue the princess.
However there remained the small matter of the giant blocking snake and hordes of enraged Picts coming from all angles. The snake had sunk its deadly teath in to poor belit and was squeezing the life out of her turn by turn with its huge coils. Even as Conan arrived it was too late for belit who was also being attacked by Picts. The wizard proved unable to harm the beast and belit could only scratch it. Conan nearly killed it but it was not enough and belit was defeated. However her attack from beyond skill finally killed the beast opening up the way for Conan to reach the princess and escape off board.
Victory for the players. Well done.
Thoughts. A good introductory scenario for new players and certainly was a fun game. The encumbrance for the princess makes sense for balance but thematically Conan should be able to carry her with his armour and a weapon, he had to cast aside his leather armour to do so. Still it made sense that the wizard would be reluctant as when carrying her he could not cast his spells so waited for Conan to arrive.
Belit without a shield and her guardsmen is not really that much fun to play especially for an introductory game. If I was to do it again I would give her at least one guard or the option to switch with another character. There is a discussion about point values on the board game geek site. I think Valeria might be a good swap especially as belit gets to play in the next scenario. Probably belit would be more fun with items from the chests but got blocked by the snake and then the thief ran off with the shamans head leaving his friends to their fates!
Next Mike cleverly suggested another Conan game. Sherlock Holmes the card game based on the books by sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Bruce won that when he found mikes collection of villains hiding out in moriartys country mansion.
Played my first 2 Solo play-throughs of Conan by Monolith Games which arrived in the post this week. The monster figures, cards and maps look great. The mechanics are good and very clever but I did struggle with some of the rules that were not explained very well. It also seemed the Overlord can use lots of gems thus extra dice on Guard for the Blocking Snake and thus effectively trap the Heroes indefinitely which is quite tricky when there is a time limit and they need to exit the playing area. Still it was a lot more fun second time round when I worked out how to search for the Princess using Teleport. There is a French FAQ and some advice on BGG so I think I have it now.
My first rules questions:
1 Does the scenario start on turn zero then so that on the Overlord turn he moves the tracker to state that turn 1 begins? Makes sense but odd. The heroes arrive quite exhausted so maybe they rest up on their turn zero? Or should it start on turn 1 with the Overlord effectively having passed and just restored fatigue to the level shown. Maybe start on turn zero as explained in setup.
2 Teleport could be better explained. It is in fact able to go adjacent which means through walls, yes. Is it a move? No. But it can be added to movement. Can it be done during a Cautious phase. No.
3 Should the Overlord set a Guard limit to make it more fun for the players? Probably not but 4 orange dice make even Conan’s mighty strikes feeble. Tried limiting it but then the Monsters just die. The overlord can easily get 4 gems back but poor Conan will miss his next go to do so and can’t move out being blocked. I suppose it is up to his crew to distract the overlord too whilst he is doing this.
4 Wall wrecker is only wooden walls and wooden doors.
5 The flaps are annoying as its hard to see where they are on the map. They slow people and block line of sight which is fine I guess.
6 Where is the wound tracker? I think it is the turn tracker as explained in setup.
We fought our second fight of Brunanburh, this time with attached leaders and more Fyrd on the Saxon side. The Saxon cavalry were downgraded to raw, so the forces more closely resembled the army lists. Once again it was a fun battle with the shieldwalls holding for a long time in a tense scrum in the centre of the field.
To begin with it was going all the Saxon way. Constantine died to the first blow; so we let him live as it was too early on stating it was his in fact his son first time and now Constantine was in command. Thanks Mike. He then died on the next round and Olaf took a wound. This time the Alliance felt there was no coming back from such a fate so the Scots spent all the battle out of command really which was frustrating. We did not use the attacking scenario rule that allowed one less pip as it was too confusing but we did keep the Golden Token of a free activation redraw once momentum was being achieved (after 4 points of enemy losses in formed units). This did help the Scots regain their momentum later in the game plus one unit of Scots Noble Spearmen with a hero never failed to strike all game which helped too.
Once the Saxon lines broke in two places it was all over for them and this time victory was awarded to the Alliance.