Friday, December 29, 2023

Quest Four, The Mysterious Letter

 New solo HeroQuest game with the Infinite Dungeon deck, continuing the "Goblinization" campaign to stop Skagor the Warlord.

[Links to quest 1quest 2, and quest 3]

I played this game two weeks ago, but I've only had the chance to post it now.

ABOUT THE CARDS IN THE PICS: For this game I've used the Italian version of the decks, but they are available in English too, of course.

So after the druid guest, the elf is back in the team.

I prepare the dungeon deck and this time I roll a 1, which means the dungeon deck is the smallest it can be, so hopefully this will be easy!

I choose to use the Loke Dungeon Books of Battlemats, a great twin set that offers a lot of combinations.

The main quest is The Mysterious Letter, which is particularly exciting because, until you find the fourth clue, you don't know if the letter, and the quest, will lead the heroes to a trap, an ambush, the dungeon collapsing on their heads, a big pile of treasure, an artifact, or a blessing for the next quest.

The side quest is the cruel champion of chaos: rumors say a mighty dread warrior hides in the dungeon, and if the heroes kill it they'll receive a rich reward. 

So with the dungeon deck ready and the battlemat books on the table, I complete the set-up by putting the cards in the room and selecting the starting room. As I said, the the dungeon deck is only 15 cards, so this is a small dungeon with only seven rooms (including the starting room).

For this game, I also use the Furniture deck and the Dungeon Events deck.

The heroes head to the room in the northern corner. The dwarf finds a pendulum trap, which he aptly disarms, and the first clue.

Moving to the corridor, I place 2 doors, which are unguarded because no monsters have shown up yet.

Exploration continues to the room to the west with three cards. And one is a fire rune trap, which of course the dwarf fails to disarm (as he can't use his regular trap skill against these traps), so both heroes take 1 damage. And there's also an abomination waiting for them!

The elf reacts quickly, jumps into the room and dispatches the monster with a triple skull from her newly-bought long sword.

The dwarf proceeds to examine the weapon rack (card from the Furniture deck) and finds a useable shield! Too bad both heroes have already bought shields. Oh well, it's still treasure.

The heroes return to the corridor to explore the souther room in the twisting corridor, where a death log trap awaits, not to mention a dread warrior and a gargoyle!

Oh hey, that's the dread champion from the side quest card. Good! He's stronger than normal, but I'll get a reward for killing him! 

The dwarf disarms the trap before it activates, but his turn is over. The elf decides to use his friend as a human shield and casts rock skin on him. A few turns later, the monsters are gone, but the dwarf got 3 damage...

As the heroes move through the corridors with no monsters around, the roll for events finally kicks in and I draw a card from the Dungeon Events deck: the dwarf finds an abandoned meal and immediately guzzles it. The die is gentle with him and the food proves delicious, restoring 2 lost BPs.

Thanks to the first clue they found, the heroes already know that the north-west room with two cards has a zombie in it, so I decide to check what else is inside. And I'm lucky, it's another clue.

The zombie is quickly defeated, and the clue allows me to reveal to cards from another room...

So now I know that my best bet is to check the room with the three face-down cards, as I still haven't found the third and fourth clue.

And that's where both clues are, guarded by a simple goblin, no match for my duo of heroes!

As the goblin fails to stop the heroes, there's nothing left but to examine the clues and finally find out why the heroes where urged to explore the dungeon.

I roll a die and the result is that the spirit of an ancient legendary hero appears, blessing the dwarf and the elf. 

Ok, let's remix things up a bit to suit the campaign theme: the spirit that blesses the heroes is not the one of an ancient legendary hero. It is the spirit of a valiant knight that had been transformed into a goblin by Skagor's experiments, that the heroes have just "freed" (i.e. the goblin I've just killed in this very room!).

They both will roll +1 attack die for all the duration of the next quest. Very good, Skagor's plans will soon be foiled!

With both the main quest and side quest completed, I decide to ignore the only unexplored room and head to the starting room. As the heroes move, no further events are triggered, so the game is finished.

Conclusion (?)

This game was quick and quite easy, with just a few rooms, and really only one room with dangerous monsters.

There were quite a few traps, but the dwarf managed to disarm all the mechanical ones... and that's why he's in the 2-hero team, of course.

The dwarf got heavily wounded but the abandoned meal healed him enough to keep the game going without the need to use the elf's healing spell.

 Things could have gone very differently if the final roll to solve the mystery of the mysterious letter had resulted in the dungeon collapse or in an ambush, of course.

But I was lucky, and for the next quest the heroes have the spirit's blessing and will roll one additional combat dice with every attack!

If you've read this far, I think I can assume you've enjoyed the report as much as I have enjoyed the game.

Again and again and again, I forgot to take a pic of the whole board at the end... 

So quest #4 of the campaign is done, 4 more quests to go to stop Skagor's goblinization ritual.

I hope to play quest #5 in a week or so!

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Quest Three, with a "Druid" Guest

New weekend, new HeroQuest game!

[Links to quest 1 and quest 2]

For the second time, my son Federico joins the game, and he says he doesn't want to play the elf from the other game: he wants to use the cool alterante "druid" mini & accompanying "pet" I got a couple weeks ago, so goodbye elf, welcome "Fenril the druid"....

Except I don't like the official druid at all: I don't like the mini, and I don't like the hero's skill. So you know what? It's a great chance to test a couple skills I had been working on for a while.

The Heroes

So our guest druid has a fairly standard 2 AD and 2 DD, but only 4 BP and 3 MP. To compensate that, he is accompanied by a monstrous animal companion (M 10, 3 AD with diagonal attack, 2 DD, 5 BP, 1 MP) and has a skill that allows him, once per game, at any time, to heal all heroes and allies of 1 BP and 1 MP.

Before we head into a new adventure, the dwarf spends some of his hard-earned loot and gets a shield, so he now has helmet and shield, and a broadsword he found on his first quest.

The Quest

With the heroes ready, we draw a quest card to see how we can stop Skagor's nefarious plan to transform the population of the Axian kingdom into goblins.

For this game, we use a new, winter-themed neoprene mat, that seems to fit the duird's yeti-like companion.

Federico draws the Quest and Side Quest cards. Somewhere inside this ruined, snow-covered fort, Skagor's servitors guard an unholy idol that empowers all the monsters at his command. We must find it and destroy it. The side quest: inside the ruins, there seems to be a forgotten tomb containing a lost treasure. We'll see if it's really there...

ABOUT THE CARDS IN THE PICS: For this game I've used the Italian version of the decks, but they are available in English too, of course.

Federico proceeds to roll the die for the dungeon deck and we get 11 cards, + 5 more, + the 4 usual clue cards. He rolled 5, so we get 20 cards total, meaning this will be a longer quest than the first two.

We proceed to identify, on the new battlemat, which areas might be equivalent to the lager room and the two smaller rooms from the standard board, and roll the dice to see if they have cards. We choose the two large outdoor areas to be equivalent to the central room, because they are cool.

And this is the board after placing all the cards (and the starting room in the bottom left corner).

Federico also agrees that for this game we use both the Furniture and Dungeon Events decks, so we place them at hand and we are ready to go!

On the very first turn, the dwarf (played by me) enters the first room on the left, which had only received one card because it was the last one left from the dungeon deck, and all he finds is a cozy fireplace, perfect for the frozen climate of the area...

I decide to investigate it with the Furniture card, and the result is that evil-possessed flames burn the dwarf for 2 BP. A great start...

The druid moves on along the corridor but decides to wait for the dwarf before opening the closed door.

We've both played our turn and there are no monsters on the board, which means we must check for a Dungeon Event. I roll a die and it's a 5, so we draw an event!

A goblin thief scampers around, with his bag full of stolen loot. We both roll to kick him and make him drop something but, as you can see, we fail and the little pest is gone.

The dwarf opens the new door and finds a summoning rune trap! Disarming runic traps is different from the standard HeroQuest "mechanical" traps, as it requires the hero to roll less than his current MP (and the dwarf skill doesn't help with this). I'm lucky and I roll a 1, deactivating the rune before it casts its summoning spell, but that ends my turn, and the room hosts an orc and a GARGOYLE.

So I'm stuck in front of the door and druid and the beast cannot pass through as the orc hits me...

...then we realize the yeti companion can attack diagonally, so we deal with the orc quickly... and then with the gargoyle too.

We proceed to explore the small room to the north, where we find a table the first clue - I forgot to take a pic with that.

Federico examines the clue and reveals the 2 cards on the large outdoor: an abomination and another clue. We need to find four clues to complete the quest, so we head there. There are no face-down cards left, so I boldly enter the area and try to smash the tuna-boy.... to no avail.

After three or four rounds of combat, the three of us finally defeat it... and that's when the die commands that we draw a new event. We get the goblin assassins card!

So 4 goblins appear at the starting room, and they are equipped with throwing daggers. Funny little guys. Must be Skagor's vanguard team...

So they play immediately and of course goblins are fast, so they get close enough to us to throw their daggers, and they manage to wound our yeti pet. On our turn, we only manage to kill one.

So it's their turn again. As per the Infinite Dungeon rulesheet, monsters with ranged attacks, who have a clear line of sight to a target, attack it immediately, and then move as far away as possible, and this is what the goblins do. With their nasty 10 squares movement. So they get to hide quite far away, ready to ambush us again, the little pests.

On our turn, we agree that we don't want to go after them, so Federico examines the clue in the middle of the area, and decides to turn face-up the lonely card in the top right corner: it's the third clue!

I position to "welcome" the goblins because they'll come back at us, and then Federico asks me how can we get into the top right corner room with the clue, since there is no door to it. This is covered by the rulesheet: if there is no way to access a room, it means you can search a secret passage, and it will be there.

So as i fight the goblins and kill another one, you can see the druid approaching the secret passage and collecting the third clue. The next one will be the Idol we must destroy.

The second small room on the left only contains a table, and none of us decides to further inspect it, so we head back to the previously explored section... and we get another event card: Dungeon Panic. The druid loses 1 MP, nothing to worry about (so far, at least).

So the dwarf opens the door closed door in the table room, and we decide that the bridge and the 1 square hallway after it is equivalent to a corridor, so we place 2 doors, and must roll for a chance to have patrols at the doors. The dice determine that the nearest door has some monster guarding it, so we draw one monster card from the discard pile, and OF COURSE it's the gargoyle!

So My dwarf has already lost some 4 or 5 BP, and there's the worst monster we could have found.... So we bravely decide to send the yeti/animal companion to soften it a bit first.

It doesn't work exactly as planned, with the yeti inflicting zero damage and loosing 2 BP.

We believe in him and leave him there for another round while we reposition, and he manages to score 2 hits in this epic bridge battle! Good boy!

The yeti then retreats, and the heroes finish the monster... After using the druid's healing skill.

We hurry to the next room, but the Idol is not there. Three skeletons guard a chest, we take them out quickly, and inspect the chest...

So I roll on the furniture card and inside the chest I find 150 coins. Not bad!

Moving on to the room on the left, we finally find the evil idol we must destroy. The quest card says it is guarded by 1 orc per hero, and they have +1 AD and +1 DD until we destroy the Idol. It has 2 BP and doesn't roll to defend.

The room also has a zombie and a chest. Nice!

Federico and I decide to dispatch the monsters first, and our plan works out smoothly. After that, we destroy the idol in a few rolls. It was important to roll because, with no monsters on the board, we have to check for Dungeon Events).

We also find 150 more coins in the chest. Yay!

The quest is complete, the heroes are in bad shape and have used their only healing skill, so it's time to retreat quickly, before a dungeon event kills us!

As the druid is one square from the exit, we must draw another event! Fortunately, it's the mystery potion.

The dwarf finds it and drinks it: it's just a quickening potion that increases his movement for the reminder of the quest... which just means he gets out in one turn instead of two. Phew!

So we reach the stairs and the quest is done. The dwarf had 3 BP left; the druid was unscathed, but his animal companion only had 1 BP left, and the druid's healing skill was used up.

We roll for the reward, and get 80 coins each. Thank mr king!

Conclusion (?)

Ok this game was super fun, with the second gargoyle almost killing us, and the tactical problem of the hit and run goblin assassins.

The heroes got heavily wounded and used their only healing skill, so the game kept us on our toes till the end.

We also found 300 coins, plus the reward, so one of the heroes is very close to being able to train their first Heroic Skill.

If you've read this far, I think I can assume you've enjoyed the report as much as Federico and I have enjoyed the game.

Again and again and again, I forgot to take a pic of the whole board at the end... 

Quest #3 is gone, 5 more quests to go to stop Skagor's goblinization ritual.

I hope to play quest #4 next Saturday!

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Infinite Dungeon, Second Quest

My day job kept me busy all through Saturday, but on Sunday morning I got the time to do what I want: continue the adventures of the HeroQuest elf and dwarf duo from last post!

I had also received Ian Schofield's Barax's Chambers battlemat printed on PVC so I was super eager to give it a try with the Infinite Dungeon deck.

So I figured it was time to turn that Saturday one shot dungeon into a campaign, then!

ABOUT THE CARDS IN THE PICS: For this game I've used the Italian version of the decks, but they are available in English too, of course.

Setting up a Campaign

Last week, the heroes rescued Sir Pepys, so now it's time to figure out who was behind his imprisonment inside the dungeon. I draw one of the Evil Mastermind cards and it turns out the campaign's Big Bad Guy is Skagor the Warlord, a cruel orc chieftain. If the elf and dwarf manage to go through the campaign, they may decide to face him.

What is Skagor really up to? I grab two dice and roll on the campaign table in the Infinite Dungeon rulesheet to see what's going on. I roll a 4 and then a 6, so the table tells me Skagor's plan is to turn the population of the realm into goblins! 
This bit of background has no real impact on the gameplay, but it's nice to know, so now I can make up a bit of a story with this and the quests. So for example, now I can reconstruct that Sir Pepys had found out about Skagor's plan, and that's why he was held prisoner and, if the heroes hadn't rescued him, he would have been the subject of the first experiment of "goblinization"

I now roll 1d3+6  to figure out how many quests the campaign is made of, and the result is 8. I consider "The Rescue of Sir Pepys" as the first, so the campaign to stop Skagor's plan is made of seven more quests.

Before determining today's quest, I remember to visit the armory. The dwarf had found a broad sword, so he sells his starting short sword, and with last week's loot the two heroes are now able to buy a helmet for each of them. Yay! Now both of them will roll three defense dice, and I'm ready to create their second quest.

Second Quest: The Evil Wizard

I draw a quest card and a side quest card for today's game, and I get "The Evil Wizard" and "The Enchanted Fireplace". So there's a very straightforward objective: killing the evil wizard, and an opportunity for a little healing if I find the fireplace in the dungeon. Good!

I prepare the dungeon deck, which for 2 heroes is 11 cards, + 1d6 more, + the 4 clue cards. I roll a 2 on the die, so this is the composition of the dungeon deck.

I proceed to roll the dice for the largest room, and for the three smaller (2x3 squares) rooms on the battlemat. No skulls rolled, so all those rooms won't receive cards for this quest (check out how beautiful the dungeon mat is!).

I then place 3 cards per room from the dungeon deck, and select the lagest room as the starting point, so this how the dungeon looks like at the end of the set-up, with the heroes ready to go...

The minute after I move the dwarf to explore the first room on the left, my boy Federico decides to join the game! He chooses to play the elf, so the solo game becomes a 2 players game.

The first room only contains monsters!

One orc and one skeleton shouldn't be problem... except they are! The dwarf takes one damage while the elf is stuck behind him.

Once the monsters are dispatched, we agree to open the door on the corridor and to place 2 doors and 2 wall blocks. One of the doors is guarded by a skeleton...

The dwarf dispatches it quickly, while the elf prepares to open the next door.

Inside the new room an orc is guarding a chest (YAY!) and an old cupboard... 

After the orc is defeated, Federico chooses to inspect the chest, while I search the cupboard, so we roll on the Furniture deck cards.

Inside the cupboard the dwarf finds some garlic sausage! I choose to eat it, but that damn blue die betrays me and I loose one more Body Point. The elf, in the meantime, opens the chest but finds absolutely nothing.

With a bitter taste in our mouth (especially the dwarf...) we move on as the dwarf opens the door to the south... which is protected by a toxic gas trap! Fortunately, the dwarf disarms it before the gas fills the room, so we can celebrate finding our first clue (which I represent with the brown totem thing on the board).

Disappointed with the sausage in the cupboard, I decide to search the tomb. I roll poorly so all I find is a skeleton that jumps out of it to attack me. Federico inspects the clue and decides to reveal two of the three cards in the adjacent room, so now we know, before entering it, that there's another clue in there, but also a zombie.

After the skeleton is defeated, we open the door and reveal the third card, which adds 2 goblins to the room.

We really didn't think much about efficient positioning, and the dice punish us with the dwarf taking more damage.

The heavily wounded dwarf then retreats a bit, and the elf tackles the undead.

As the zombie succumbs the her sword, the elf storms into the room to face one of the greenskins, while the other runs at the bloodied dwarf.

After the fight, the elf cast her healing spell on the dwarf, and then we examine the blue clue card and decide to head to the room up north.

As the dwarf opens the door, this is what we find:

A dread warrior and the third and fourth clue! We immediately check the quest card. The fourth clue means we've found the evil wizard, and any monster in the room must be removed (goodbye dread warrior!).

The dwarf rushes in to attack the wizard, and makes a perfect roll, which the enemy completely fails to defend against, leaving him with 1 BP!

The elf, on the other hand, rolls absolutely nothing, so it's the wizard's turn. Following the instructions for monsters with spells in the Infinite Dungeon rulesheet, we draw a random dread spell from his selection (listed on the quest card), and it casts fireball on the dwarf, who takes full damage from it. After the spell, the wizards must move as far as possible, so he retreats out of the room.

The dwarf is again quite low on BP, and we have no healing spells left, but I decide to rush to the wizard and BOOM!, another perfect roll which the wizard cannot block. Quest completed! 

Before we leave the dungeon, Federico wants to know what is inside the only unexplored room, but he wants to play it safe so he uses his pass through rock spell to take a look and see if there's anything interesting. He enters through the wall and finds the fireplace the side quest was about, and two monsters. 

Since we've completed the main quest, we don't really need the healing from the fireplace, so he leaves the room alone we leave the dungeon and get our reward for the quest: 90 gold coins each.

Conclusion (or not?)

Another fun game!
Despite their new helmets, the heroes got heavily wounded and used their only healing spell. This second quest turned out definitely more difficult than the first.

If you've read this far, I think I can assume you've enjoyed the report as much as Federico and I have enjoyed the game. Let me know in the comments if you'd like more!

Again, I forgot to take a pic of the whole board at the end... oh well.

I hope to play quest #3 next Saturday!

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