Friday, 24 February 2017

Warlord of Galahir: Do Not Feed The Orclings

The next mission of our greenskin Dungeon Saga introduces something different: a second room!

Off we go on another exciting adventure of Bloody Hell, Haven't You Painted Those Doors Yet?

Mission 2: The Last Place You Look

Doors seem quite robust on this mission, and the Salamander begins proceedings by failing to open one. The Dwarf shows him up by kicking in the aforementioned obstruction.

I see how this party's tactical style may be developing. Kraken here, as the bad guys. As usual.

And lo! The level is laid before us!

This is a complaint I've had before with Dungeon Saga - it starts off all locked-doors and mysterious, but the moment you take down the first one, the level pretty much drops all seven veils and reveals everything in one go. In the level above, for example, they could have chucked in at least more door in the centre to keep us guessing.

In fairness, most of that next room is a single fancy tile, the dungeon tile equivalent of a doily almost. But you're right, an extra door would have been nice.

Anyway, now we have the measure of the level, and know where the critters are, we decide to leave the Dwarf as a backstop and move the Elf and Gladewalker along to the left hand corridors.

The Overlord takes the turn to back up and start guarding the 'X' doors (we have to smash all three of them to win), so we proceed as planned: the Salamander opens the big double doors, the Elf races into a nook to shoot the Mawbeast (and miss).

With no offensive spells, the Gladewalker moves to block off the Orclings (since they can't attack, they're relatively safe to confront in isolation).

And since no-one seems keen of fighting the Dwarf one-on-one in a corridor, he draws up the rear.

Again, the Overlord's turn is spent scurrying creatures around the back way, rather than going for a head-on confrontation.

The goblins I'm in control of here are quite nippy creatures, and I had a lucky early draw with plenty of interrupts. So I'm skulking about, hanging back for the right moment to rush in and ballock up their plans.

The Elf kills the Mawbeast on the second attempt, while the Gladewalker breaks away from the Orclings to join her, getting pricked in the retreat.

The Salamander moves up to growl at the Orclings, and the Dwarf holds the rear, kicking in another door for good measure. This reveals the second of the 'X' doors (although we're still struggling with the first one), and more Orclings!

The Dwarf's backstop abilities are put to the test in the Overlord phase, as he gets piled in by Orclings, Mawbeast and Goblin Warrior. Fortunately the doughty warrior gets away with a single wound.

Bah. All that set-up for nearly nothing! But felt I had to do something at this point, I was starting to run a little low on guards.

Elsewhere, the Orclings prove to be a useful barrier for Goblin Spitters, who can shoot over the top of them with impunity, wounding the Salamander.

(much as I dislike the model, the Orclings are a versatile bunch for the game)

(True dat. Good blockers, being tough and irritating, and handy mobile cover for goblin archers)

So we can't open any doors, and the exits are blocked by enemies - dungeoneers forever!

It transpires that crowding the Dwarf is the last thing you want to do, as he has a Whirlwind feat that hits everyone in range. Even with some good defensive rolls from the Overlord, it results in the Mawbeast being put down.

(Not put down, Timmy, he's just been sent to a farm. He'll be happy there)

The Salamander and Elf try some double-teaming of their own - the former squashing the Orclings while the latter shoots the Goblin archer.

Yes, I suppose 'cover' is a bit of a misnomer when they don't block anybody's shooting attacks.

In the Overlord's turn, the remaining Goblin Warrior attacks the Gladewalker, misses, and then gets hit by the retaliatory spell Coat of Thorns. We add the Gladwalker's bonus experience die to the roll, just to make absolutely sure the Goblins suffers for his presumption, and he is duly strangled by the evergreen.

There aren't many enemies left, but by Crom, those doors are holding out!

In our next turn, we take no chances with the Orclings - surrounding them with heroes before the Elf finishes them off. Meanwhile the Salamander kicks open the door to the final part of the level: revealing the last 'X' door and two nervous goblins.

Feeling quite cocksure, and with time the only threat, we break the cardinal dungeoneering rule and divide the party:

  • The Elf and Salamander head off to clear the last room and open the third 'X' door
  • The Dwarf moves to open the second 'X' door
  • The first 'X' door is still unopened, but we haven't forgotten it
  • The badly-wounded and vulnerable Gladewalker goes off alone to investigate a chest we passed by at the start of the level
    (either we're complete idiots for this, or these levels don't have the looming dread of the Undead ones)

The Dwarf kicks in his 'X' door, while the Elf shoots the Goblin Spitter, then backs off to try again for the first 'X' door, which she also breaks down.

The final Goblin Warrior, keeping his back to the last door, survives the Salamander's attack.

Having reached the distant chest, the Gladewalker manages to roll improbably high to open it - revealing a Haste potion and some nasty Mawbeast Treats.

The Goblin Warrior is turned into a pile of Mawbeast treats himself and, though the way to the final door is clear and we have only one turn left, we decide to take a crack at getting the last chest open.

My turns are pretty short by now, as my final remaining minions, the doors, are fairly passive. But if I can just hold out a little longer, the tables might turn...

Metaphorically, not actual tables. Although they'd probably have good synergy with the doors.

The Salamander breaks it open, to win his own Haste Potion and Mawbeast Treats, and the Dwarf celebrates by kicking down the final 'X' door and winning the level!

Back at the Tavern

That was fun! It was nice to see how the greenskin dynamic works, and an interesting contrast that, unlike the undead, the adventurers are the slow-moving party (Elf excepted) and the greenskins can outmanoeuvre them.

On that side note, I think the minions, once revealed on the board, should be able to pass through locked doors - it's their dungeon after all, and it seems unfair to contain fast-moving enemies, as we had the last two trapped in a room.

Well, there's a card for that, actually. As you may see in time.

The dungeon still feels a wee bit easy (maybe I'm heading for a shock in the next mission), especially as we can't even get beaten by the clock. Twice as many minions on this level might have made it a challenge, but maybe the campaign is a learning curve.

I'd tend to agree, I think DS is usually a bit too easy for the heroes on the whole, although it may also be that we're a bunch of forty-year-old tactical combat game veterans rather than the gung-ho teenagers who maybe should be playing it. 

I'm liking the greenskins too, but many of their card abilities are limited to specific types of model. If it's not on the board, you can't use the card, which is frustrating. There are also some irritating rules quirks present, just as in the Infernal Crypts. Nothing game-breaking, just slightly weak design choices or things that haven't been thought out. 

Most of these are in the levels to come, and I'll moan about them more then. All the same, I think there will be some interesting challenges ahead...

The running tally of kills/experience point as follows:
  • Kapoka (Gladewalker): 2 kills + 0 exp + 1 Mawbeast Treat + 1 Haste Potion + 2 Healing Potions
  • Hrrath (Salamander): 3 kills + 1 exp + 1 Mawbeast Treat + 1 Haste Potion
  • Thessilar (Elf): 4 kills + 1 exp
  • Guraf (Dwarf): 3 kills + 1 exp + 1 Healing Potion
We'll be back in the dungeon soon!

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