Monday, 14 December 2015

Jingle Bells, Dead Troll Smells

Day 14 - and I race downstairs to eat the advent calender choccie before anyone else can get there.

Never fear - we're still doing the chest thing.

I, Stylus, am getting in on Kraken's advent blogging - so ding dong merrily, let's have some more Dungeon Saga!

A few nights ago, Leofa, Kraken and myself once again girded our loins (or at least, bought a packet of pre-girded loins) to tackle the next stage in the Dwarf King's Quest.

I continued with Dwarf and Wizard; Leofa took Barbarian and Elf. Kraken once again held the role of necromancer overlord, although this time I was hosting (so apologies for any unpainted miniatures or doors that sneak into view).

Mission 2 - They Have A Cave Tro... No, Really, They Do.

'Into The Depths' was all about the Zombie Troll. Even if I hadn't known this because I set up the board, the flavour text introductions leave little to the imagination (it goes along the lines of "Mortibris summoned a Zombie Troll ... the Zombie Troll was restless ... the Zombie Troll was waiting ... Zombie Zombie Troll Troll Troll.").

United for the first time, the heroes only had to pass through the dungeon and open the final door to win (as always, the Necromancer wins if they run out of time, or one hero is crippled).

Since I had unfair foreknowledge of the dungeon layout, I decided I should play dumb (in which I have achieved Grade 8) and let Leofa take the lead.

The game begins with just a corridor and couple of zombies at the ready. (ignore that hole in the back of the picture. It's just an infernal gateway or something).

The undead played an interrupt to take the initiative, and got pulped. Lone Zombies got no game.

It turned out my deliberate withholding of dungeon knowledge was pretty redundant. Once you kick down the nearest door, everything behind it is revealed - which turned out to be 80% of the layout, including the end goal (that door in the bottom left).

With the dungeon dropping its trousers so soon, it made planning our moves a bit easy. It may have been better for the designers to add another door between us and the final exit, just so we would be left uncertain about where we had to go.

Anyway, the door was down and the bad guys were revealed. The nearest zombie charged forward at the Dwarf and got batted aside without much bother.

(The one thing we did learn - although it should be Dungeoneering 101 - is that you shouldn't smash down a mystery door when all the other members of the party have taken their turns. We got away with it, but it could have left us exposed to counterattack)

I later learned that the 'Tactical Hint' for his mission is "Don't get bogged down fighting the Zombie Troll."

Blissfully ignorant of this fact, we all ganged up and let rip with everything we had - the Elf firing off triple shots, the Dwarf quaffing battle potions, the Wizard cast Corrode to drop his armour, the Barbarian hacking away (and myself humming the tune to 'The Battle Of Balin's Tomb').

It turns out, everything we had did the trick - the Zombie Troll died in a single turn of some rather spectacular dice rolls.

Glad we didn't get bogged down fighting it, eh?

Riding high, the Dwarf and Barbarian clobber the Armoured Zombie.

In fact, I think the Barbarian did all the clobbering (as he did with the Zombie Troll - the Dwarf lending outnumbering support each time). He may be tough as iron, but when it comes to combat, the Dwarf is a bit of a lemon.

A Skeleton Archer was summoned behind us, ready to plink wounds off the less durable members of the party.

We still had 2/3 of our game time left, and the big bad was already dead, so it was fair to say we were feeling cocky. So all the party dashed into the main chamber, heading in different directions (to face bad guys, explore chests, open doors).

At which point, we almost go caught out when the necromancer played a special command that mobilised all his minions and left each hero in an unfavourable siltation (similar to the position above, only the Wizard now has his door blocked by the Skeleton Archer, and the Zombie in the bottom-right had advanced to get the Elf).

So here's where it gets cinematic: we decided that each hero should trade opponents, and therefore set up more favourable combats:

  • The Dwarf was the first one to break away (and shrugged off the Skeleton's free hit). He then charged at the Skeleton Archer threatening the Wizard, adding a Battle Potion to his rear attack and smashing it to dust.
  • Now free to move, the Wizard ran into the main chamber and used his Flamebolt spell to destroy the Zombie facing the Elf.
  • Meanwhile, the Barbarian just smashed the Dwarf Revenant to bones, and in doing so opening up a clear line for fire...
  • ...for the Elf, who ran down the corridor and shot the last Skeleton Warrior.

How's that for teamwork? GoooooOOOO BAYSIDE!

The poor necromancer raised a few more skeletons (one of whom got immediately smashed down again by the Barbarian), but it was all over. We delayed long enough for the Wizard to open the warded chest and grab a few potions, but then the Barbarian kicked down the door and we were through.

Back At The Tavern

Lovely stuff - a great session of cooperative dungeon-bashing all round. I'd say the Elf was MVP of this mission, as she took down most of the Troll's wounds. As our first multi-wound opponent, that didn't feel so tough - easier, in many ways, to chip away at, rather than have an all-or-nothing wounding, like the armoured zombie.

Either way, I think we fluked a win, or else we've graduated from the training wheels before the campaign expected us to.

Hope you enjoyed that Dungeon Saga - you may get another one before this calendar is done!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't felt as disappointed in a heavily forecast big bad guy since my Blue Dragon villain in a DnD campaign suffered a magically-induced heart attack in the first round of his climactic boss fight. Bloody trolls.