First of all, caltrops and Legion Devils were just made for each other:
I often pick Adventure 4, The Mysterious Chamber, because it’s both easy to set up and the most versatile of the adventures, since every time you open the chamber, you randomly pick a chamber card and thus the end game conditions. This game happened to end up with Endless Horde, where twice the number of monsters is generated. As for house rules, none apart from “quest tile is placed after the (5 + number of heroes)th tile.”
This time I picked my heroes and their power cards instead of randomly generating a team. I decided on a Fighter (for the tankness), a Wizard (for the massive damage), and a Cleric (for the healing, because oh gods you need healing in this game). I ended up with Vistra (poison is a particular problem in Ashardalon’s mountains), Heskan (I always play with doors, and thus he always comes in handy), and Thorgrim due to his guaranteed heal. The powers picked ended up being:
- Vistra: Sure Strike, Charge, Bodyguard, Comeback Strike, Dwarven Resilience
- Heskan: Arc Lightning, Magic Missile, Wizard Eye, Flaming Sphere, Hurled Breath
- Thorgrim: Healing Strike, Sacred Flame, Healing Word, Astral Refuge, Blade Barrier
In particular, Wizard Eye, Flaming Sphere, and Blade Barrier are powers I think everyone should try at least once.
The basic strategy is to explore a new tile every turn possible (this is easier as the game wears on, because the heroes end up with more area to move around in). Everything else is tactics and logistics. Hero powers always add something new to the mix, so figuring out the best uses for everything from Charge to Wizard Eye is vital to both winning and enjoying the game. When in doubt, hit-and-run the monsters, or draw them into the Wizard’s mass damage spells; never wait until someone is nearly dead to heal them; and use XP to cancel the worst cards drawn from the encounter deck—at least where The Mysterious Chamber is concerned, save up the experience so you can cancel any non-neutral encounter cards while you battle the villain and/or monsters and/or Ashardalon.
In the end, victory (killing all chamber monsters) with two healing surges used (which arguably wouldn’t have been needed had I been planning around Thorgrim’s power properly).
Next time: kiting monsters in Wrath of Ashardalon.