The Fine Art of Kiting in Wrath of Ashardalon; or, Dancing with Bears

Because Wrath of Ashardalon is a turn-based boardgame—not that much different from a turn-based rogue-like video game—the lack of constant movement (like non-stop running and hacking) can lull one into the sense that you can only stand there battling that Cave Bear until you or it dies.

If you’ve ever played rogue-likes, you know that this is not a wise tactic. In a rogue-like, you often want to hit and move back, hit and move back; often monsters are either just as fast as you or slower than you, so you can afford to “kite” in this manner. ((“Kiting” is just another term for hit-and-run tactics, which end up drawing the monster(s) after you, similar to how you draw a kite after yourself as you run across the beach.)) For monsters that are faster than you, this is what potions of speed are for.

In the interests of improving the newbie experience of Wrath of Ashardalon, Castle Ravenloft, and even the upcoming Legend of Drizzt, an illustration in pictures of kiting in Wrath of Ashardalon, with a Cave Bear.

Here you are, minding your own business in the dungeon, exploring tiles… when up appears an effin’ Cave Bear on your newly drawn tile.

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The Cave Bear, as per its script, is within one tile of you, and thus leaps at you and attacks in a flurry of claws. That’s okay-ish, because on your next turn, you get to hit back at the furry oaf.

However, you don’t stay there. The rules say that during your Hero phase, you can move and attack, or attack and move; here, you attack first and then move, using diagonal squares, until you’re two tiles away from the Cave Bear, and thus can’t be attacked when the Bear activates during your Villain Phase.

But what to do when your only option appears to be move adjacent, then attack? How can you kite away? This is where, obviously, ranged attacks come in. But what if you have no ranged attacks? Worry not, if you’re a fighter: this is exactly what Vistra’s at-will power, Charge, is for.

This attack works like a ranged melee, allowing her to attack first from a distance, and then move. This is powerful, and allows attacking strong enemies with little fear of damage. ((When do you use non-charging powers like Sure Strike? When you’re just about positive that you can one-shot the monster.))

And that’s the fine art of kiting in the Dungeons & Dragons adventure game system.