Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Warlord of Galahir: Knock Knock

Fresh from our success in Dwarf King's Quest, we return to our Warlord of Galahir campaign.

Our next mission: rescue Pietor the Merchant!

(my secondary mission: paint up a model to represent Pietor the Merchant)

(And the doors. Right?)

Mission 5: Visiting Time

The dungeon kicks off with our adventurers in an orderly queue, facing a corridor with a pair of Mawbeasts.

The Dwarf dashes out (oh yes, as a Cleric, he's pretty nippy), but before the Salamander can set to work, the Overlord drops an Interrupt card, and boxes the rest of the guys in with the second Mawbeast, who chomps a wound off the Salamander (which is then absorbed by the Dwarf's Transfusion prayer).

Smarting at the delay, the Salamander swats down the Mawbeast, the quaffs his Haste potion to clear a path for the Elf.

The Elf runs out to get a shot at the second Mawbeast and shoots him down. Hah!

As he's already cast his spells, only the Gladewalker is stationary, but with all the doors shut, we should have time to regroup.

But the Overlord has something else up his sleeve: the goblins in the adjacent room open the back door themselves, to reveal two Goblin Warriors and a Goblin Spitter.

Yes! My very first door opening in this whole saga! It's the perfect moment to have the Curious card in hand, too - it's quite a situational one, requiring a closed door, behind which nosy goblins lurk. This little guard room is ideal. Having no other models on the board is also quite an incentive, as is the lone and vulnerable spellcaster at the back.

The green meanies waste no time in picking on the poor Gladewalker once again. The lead Goblin Warrior dives in and knocks off a wound, while the other one acts as his backup (and conveniently prevents the Gladwalker from blinking onto a free space on the three-square tile).

Retracing his steps, the Salamander clobbers the rearmost Goblin Warrior, and the Gladewalker hits his opponent with a boosted magical blast. Turn 3, and we're almost ready to move off the starting block!

The Elf darts into the room to shoot the Goblin Spitter, but fails to make it a hat-trick by only inflicting one wound.

The Goblin Spitter muffs his retaliatory shot, and is quickly skewered in the Elf's next turn.

Having beaten down a side door, the Dwarf is free to smash down the treasure chest and helps himself to a trove of Battle Potions.

Three of them? That feels more than usually generous. The goblins must be brewers. Or there's a greater threat ahead...

The Salamander and Gladewalker link up with the rest of the group, and we're ready to move on.

Don't be fooled by that double door on its side. It's still very much in place.

The Dwarf slings back a Battle Potion to knock down the double door, on the logic that it will free up the Salamander to deal with whatever lies beyond. Sadly, it's past the use-by-date and the door stays standing.

Stepping up to show the Dwarf how it's down, the Salamander knocks down the door...

... to reveal three Orcs at supper. Ah, we could really use our Fighter to have a free action right now.

Double interrupt time! The Greatax and the Morax charge forward into the Dwarf and start hacking wounds off him.

Another lucky draw, here, letting me ambush these rude heroes for interrupting my dinner party. Although even if the heroes managed to run in, the tables actually make the room quite hard for the heroes to bumrush the orcs - it's quite a maze in there. Nice to see the furniture in use for a change, too.

We're in trouble here, so we try a bit of lateral thinking. The Elf swings by the Dwarf, swapping his Healing Potion (he may need that in a minute) for a Battle Potion, which he uses to knock down the other double door.

This allows Kapoka to amble past him, casts Take Root one of the Orcs, then use a Haste Potion to plant himself behind the two Orcs - he won't be able to attack them, but with them outnumbered, they'll be rolling fewer dice.

It doesn't help us much, as the two Orcs about-face and start to clobber the even-more fragile Gladewalker, then the Sneak creeps up and joins the fun.

Orc archers are actually better at hitting than shooting, entertainingly. I thought it was most obliging of the heroes to throw their weakest combat hero under the wheels of my orc bus, even though I was otherwise fairly confident I'd have the already wounded Dwarf in the bag.

This next action is getting a bit make-or-break. The Dwarf starts by healing up wounds on himself and the Gladewalker. The Gladewalker casts Take Root on the Greatax, then uses a power crystal to untap the same spell, then recast it on the Morax.

I was surprised that he didn't use his defensive feat here, to be honest, although using the spell crystal to double cast Take Root was a clever move. None of us had spotted you could do that with crystals before, which shows either how unobservant we are or just how small the text is on Mantic's item cards.

Joining the scrum in the doorway, the Elf piles in behind the Orcs, failing to damage, but adding to the outnumbering bonus.

The Salamander then activates his feat (if he kills his opponent, he can keep fighting until he fails to do so), and quaffs all the Battle Potions to ensure he doesn't lose momentum.

The Greatax hasn't a hope against that onslaught - Orcs need to be wounded in two distinct attacks, but the Salamander innate ability means he can make a second attack if the first one wounds - and he crumples.

Moving on, the Salamander attacks and wounds the Morax - and then we hit a speed bump. The rules of the Salamander's ability appear to only allow this second attack to take effect with the first attack. So it works against his feat, rather than compliments it.

I was worried, though - outnumbered and hexed as they are, the Orcs were left rolling two dice with lowered armour against this desperate last stand. Before we'd puzzled out the rules, I thought it was quite likely that they'd pull this stunt off. 

The upshot is that the attack fizzles out, and the Morax is left wounded - and consequently, more dangerous.

That doesn't bode well for the Salamander, and sure enough, he gets chopped to matchwood in the Orcs' next turn.

Mission over: the adventurers have failed!

Back at the tavern

Ouch! Orcs are the toughest minions we've encountered (even more than Trolls, since they're more manoeuvrable and numerous) and out heroes are a lot squishier than the Dwarf King's Quest ones we just played. For all that, I think we stuffed this one up ourselves.

Hey, come on, I contributed at least a little! Mostly by getting a doozy of a card draw that gave me some nasty surprises at just the right moments. Without them, I could see the heroes trooping through this fairly easily. 

Getting boxed in by the Mawbeasts and Goblins was frustrating, and had us using potions that could have come in handy later on, just to get back up to speed. While we couldn't have predicted that Goblins would start opening doors, we should have positioned better against the Mawbeasts - always assume your Overlord has an Interrupt card!

Wish I did.

Likewise, we should always assume that every room contains something that requires our hardest hitter to deal with. Not having the Salamander in play when the Orcs appeared was a problem (of course, it he hadn't drunk his Haste Potion...), and he could have done a better job of absorbing wounds from the Orcs.

Mind you, even the Salamander is fairly easy to chip away at. The heroes are Legendary from this point on in the campaign, so he doesn't get much tougher. We had forgotten to level up the two alternative heroes, mind you. They are very unlikely to get tougher, but might have new spells or feats that could have come in handy. Next time!

Similarly, we should stop assuming the Dwarf should be opening the doors (I think the big hammer is misleading me). The Elf is just as capable (or incapable), and he has support spells that can come in handy.

But essentially, we got turned over by the Overlord with a good hand of cards and enough savvy to use them against us. We'll face this dungeon again - Pietor will just have to stay on the bread and water until then.

Housekeeping: well, we glugged one our Haste potions, but at least we racked up a few more kills (we really must remember to use our experience dice more often).
  • Katooka (Gladewalker): 1 kill + 0 exp
  • Hrrath (Salamander): 0 kills + 3 exp
  • Thessilar (Elf): 4 kills + 2 exp
  • Turaf (Dwarf): 4 kills + 2 exp + 1 Healing Potion

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