Snatched From the Jaws of Defeat

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Heskan the Dragonborn Wizard (WoA) ((WoA = Wrath of Ashardalon; CR = Castle Ravenloft)) and Kat the Human Rogue (CR) just barely managed to defeat Gauth in Adventure 4, Corrupted Guardians variant. I think the two house rules are here to stay:

  1. Reduce Encounter cards drawn when meeting a Villain by 1; 0 is allowed.
  2. Placing the special tile of the Adventure after the (5 + (number of players))th tile.

For any naysayers out there: the game was built to be house-ruled, and in any case enough randomness happens such that it’s likely that you will not reach the tile in the allotted number of exploration phases—sentry monsters and a few encounter cards come to mind that all draw from the bottom of the tile stack.

Three Surge Tokens were used, due to the lack of fighters. The game was fairly brutal, and the random selection of power cards didn’t help. Plus both a Wizard and a Rogue are rather squishy in terms of armor class and hit points, and the powers selected were random:

Heskan: Hurled Breath, Wizard Eye, Spectral Ram, Thunderwave, Hypnotism
Kat: Sneak Attack, Practiced Evasion, Deep Cut, Lucky Strike, Positioning Shot

The 9 HP of Gauth were taken out by Heskan’s Spectral Ram (3 points of damage) and Kat’s successful Deep Cut (4 damage) in combination with the Vorpal Sword (plus a Lucky Charm to roll a 19 for +1 damage) and Gauntlets of Ogre Power (+1 damage) took out Gauth, when Heskan was one hit point away from dying with no surge tokens left.

Victory would have been easier with (a) a Fighter with a supporting Hero, (b) carefully chosen power cards, and, as always, (c) better luck, although it was mitigated by the house rules. Drawing a Treasure at the beginning of the game, as the rules laid out and which I cheerfully ignored for several games, really do help.

And now to put the game away. I’ve currently removed the insert for WoA, in favor of an arrangement that looks like, well—


I plan to do the same with Castle Ravenloft. WoA is my favorite right now, so the heroes live in that box. On the other hand, atmospheric stuff (monsters, the decks, the tiles) stay in their respective boxes. Everything goes in quickly, gets set up quickly, and that’s the best I ask for in a quick Crawl-like, including the dire need to consider all options where items are concerned.

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