13) Frozen Hollow

As the Cragheart and I are discussing our upcoming retirement, it came to our attention that we will be remembered mostly as thieves and murderers. In a last-ditch effort to help our successors disentangle the mess we’ve created, we thought it would be a good idea to finally get some advice. Or rather, a sage in town will give us information if we go retrieve some kind of magic orb for her. So here we are, at the frozen hollow

Scenario 14

Goal: Kill all monsters

Team: Cragheart (lvl 6), Elementalist (lvl 4), Spellweaver (lvl 6)

Set difficulty: 4

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I remembered the hounds (from the diamond mine) to be faster that I could ever be and planned my actions accordingly but, maybe those are a little stiff from the cold or something, they weren’t fast at all.

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Spellweaver: “Get up you lazy mutts, my plan depends on it!”

We had to get to them, how inconvenient. Well a Chromatic Explosion ought to wake them up a little! The Elementalist gleefully syphon away elements to craft his own powerful magic and he too blast away.

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The Cragheart bullies the hounds a little while I try my newly acquired Living Torch on those hard-to-hit living spirits. My attack is blessed by the gods and one wraith disappears permanently and the other is damaged.

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Cragheart: “RaaAaah, you icicles will serve the purpose of my battle goal nicely!”

Our tanky Cragheart left us with two hounds as he gets further in the lair. One hound, that just wouldn’t die (damn curses), savaged the hell out of me before the Elementalist finally killed the vicious beast.

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A Song of Ice and Fire and Boulders

Meanwhile, the Cragheart has astutely created a blocus with boulders, but he took a few big hits nonetheless. I hurry myself to patch him up and also summon my Burning Avatar to melt those dangerous frost demons.

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Once again Craggy is on the move and he opens the final area, revealing 2 hounds, 1 Elite frost demon and 4 living spirits.

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He manages to slay 3 living spirits, but the hounds attack him and are relentless.

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Cragheart: “Must… Lay… Down…”

Well it’s up to the squishy duo to finish the damn thing, isn’t it? The 3 remaining monsters offers me a straight line for my Impaling Eruption, killing the hound and softening up the frost demon, and yet more with a Flame Strike.

The living spirit is impervious to my attacks but the Elementalist jumps in and Chain-Lightn… 

-No, no, wait, says he, I can’t do that… I need time to loot the treasure!

Halfassed Chain Lightning!

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With only one monster left, it’s now officially time for treasure-hunting! It takes a while, as the Elementalist has to step into a stun-trap to get it while being pursued (albeit slowly)  by the frost demon. As for me, I’m smoking a cigarette in the back, of course.

Victory!

  • We played this scenario at hard difficulty (by mistake) and we managed to win. Now, we’ll see how it goes with 2 new characters next session…
  • Hounds and Frosties have retaliate, better to have good ranged attacks (or a lot of hp)
  • Living spirits with 3 or 4 shield (but low hp) can be hard to deal with. I used my piercing bow with the first 2. Fortunately, the Cragheart was here for the 4 in last room.
  • Speaking of which, the Cragheart was an all-around efficient and versatile character, in Math’s hands at least. We’ll miss him.

12) Temple of the Elements

Killing the Colorless in the Temple of the Eclipse has boosted our confidence and we’d decided to try our luck at retrieving a powerful artifact from yet another temple.

Scenario 22

Goal: Destroy the 4 altars

Team: Cragheart (lvl 5), Elementalist (lvl 3), Spellweaver (lvl 5)

Set difficulty: 3

The altars are as far to each other as possible and each one gives strength to the temple’s demonic guardians (with 4 altars: +4 hp, +4 att, +2 mov, +2 range). As if demons weren’t dangerous enough…

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But demons aren’t the only inhabitants, there are pesky cultists too.

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If they’re not very dangerous by themselves, we can’t leave them alive as they can quickly fill the place with an army of summoned living bones. However, with the situation mostly in control in the center, I decide to open a first altar room. And if that isn’t 2 Flame Demons, right there!? Even more powerful than usual with the altars’ power. Well dammit, I hurl fire orbs at them and I’m not messing around: piercing bow, eagle-eye goggles, minor power potion; with a satisfying result (6 and 8 to FDs and 5 to altar).

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Spellweaver: “Burn FLAME DEMON! Huh, as long as it works I guess…”

I lose 2 hp because of the annoying ranged retaliate, which bypasses my frost armor. The Cragheart throws a boulder and finish one Flame Demon. He kills the remaining cultists with the Elementalist, who then moved to open the treasure chest but all he got is a magical explosion in his face.

The two then go to the next (upper left) room while I finished cleaning the room I’m in. They find a lone but dangerous (very rangy) Wind Demon. The Cragheart deals with it, as the Elementalist briefly helps me in the third room occupied by a Frost Demon.

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There’s two Earth Demons in the last room. The Elementalist is exhausted but the Cragheart is fooling around to get more xp. I indulge him before finally destroying the last altar.

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The artifact is retrieved and… is sad. No, really, it is. But it’s not our fault (this time!) as it has been corrupted by evil, and being kinda sentient, well, it knows it… So, uh, that’s not very useful to us but, hey…

Victory!

  • The cultists must be dealt with as quick as possible.
  • The demons are not numerous but very lethal in this scenario, cards to prevent damage are incredibly useful.
  • Splitting the party is necessary at some point.
  • I brought 2 AoE (out of 4) and it was enough.

11) Temple of the Eclipse

We’d recently avenged our defeat at the hand of the city’s guards military’s lackeys. Triumphant, we now aim at correcting another setback, less our reputation stays tarnished forever…

Scenario 81

Goal: Kill the Colorless

Team: Cragheart (lvl 5), Elementalist (lvl 3), Spellweaver (lvl 5)

Set difficulty: 3

Taking out the demons… Huh, can’t remember for the life of me what we did exactly in the first room. I know we took our time, like 4 rounds, but without spending “loss” cards and we rested before opening next room’s door, knowing what we’d find behind.

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Die! You moderately inconvenient demons!
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Spellweaver (for the seventh time): “Now, remember what we said. We jump over them.” Elementalist: “Not even a lil’ chain-lightning?” SW: “No! No attacks! Just jump dammit!”

I used my ride the wind to go all the way up to the 3 ancient artillery. They happily fire in my face but, no worries,  my frost armor deflects the cannon balls! The Cragheart has a moment of self-doubt as for once the Mindthief isn’t there to convince him that he too can move fast…

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Stone Golem: “Give me 4 more rounds and I’ll get you!”

Time to boast!

Spellweaver: “It worked! I told you it would work, didn’t I!

Cragheart: “Yeah, yeah, shut up already.”

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Ahhh we’ll miss the Cragheart’s boulders when he’ll retire…
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Actually, we should be called “colorless”, not him!

Half-remembered Victory!

  • Did I mention that jumping over the stone golems was my idea? :p
  • I  used the bottom of my 5th lvl chromatic explosion to help the Elementalist, but I was sad that I did not play the top (infuse all elements at once)
  • The Elementalist got exhausted  first again, he needs to buy energy drinks!
  • I used the bottom of Frost Armor for the first time and I liked the feeling of not worrying if I’d get attacked.

10) Abandonned Sewers

Previously, we helped a necromancer seize the city of Gloomhaven, on behalf of the merchants’ faction. By now, we have many adventuring threads open to us but the Mindthief have his own idea what we should do next, he frowns and whispers: “abandonned sewers“.

His “enthusiasm” is contagious:

-It sounds like a wonderful place!

-I heard it’s full of riches!

-Let’s skip breakfast and go at once!

Scenario 18

Goal: Kill everything

Cragheart (level 4), Elementalist (level 3), Mindthief (level 4), Spellweaver (level 4)

Difficulty: 2

Entry

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Indeed, a wonderful place…

Those aren’t big fat turds with fangs (sorry Math!), no! They’re Giant Vipers…

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There’s a whole lot of them and oozes in the back.

The vipers aren’t very threatening, they don’t do a lot of damage, but they poison as a basic feature. The oozes, surprisingly, are range attackers, very slow, and they sometimes summon more of their kind (they seem to have a few of those cards in their deck).

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Water and the Cragheart’s boulders stop the spreading of the oozes
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With an Elementalist, a Cragheart and a Spellweaver, numerous, low hp monsters, are easy to deal with…

I open the second door and flings fire orbs at yet more giant vipers, killing the nearest and damaging 2 others. The Mindthief then takes on him to protect me.

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Vipers, oozes and vermlings are all friendly roommates

The Cragheart moves fast (for a plodding rock-person) and throws a devastating boulder attack unstable upheaval, killing 2 vipers and an ooze and damaging some more.

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Cragheart: “Cleaning time!”
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tis’  a boulder attack!
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The Mindthief doesn’t care for his own safety when he has the opportunity to kill his own kind

The Mindthief badly misjudge the ability of his hated foes to deliver damage and pays in blood. I try to help the Mindthief without stealing his kills, with a low damage forked beam, but I picked 2 good attack cards and ended up killing 2 vermlings instead… (sorry Dubs!)

The Cragheart did a LOT in the second room but he’s now near exhaustion.

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The Elementalist is bolder than we thought, or… Elementalist: “cloak of invisibility!”

The third and final room features a cistern in the middle, more vermlings and a strategically-placed Wall of Oozes. The Elementalist begs for elements. When he does it, this can only means….

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Elementalist: “SUPER-CHARGED CHAIN-LIGHTNING!”

He zaps the hell out of the oozes, inflicting a whopping 19 damage (total) to 4 targets!

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Blocking the summons again.

I do an Icy Blast to further soften the oozes, They then try to split but only one have the space. The Mindthief and Cragheart are out but there’s not much left to do at this point, so no worries.

Except for the battle goals…. (Damn, this feature of the game can be annoying at times)

I need to be at 2 hp or less at the end of scenario to succeed. As for the Elementalist, he needs to kill 5 enemies (which I don’t know at this point). I want to be hit by the last remaining ooze. He wants to kill it so he has his last kill. Confusion ensued, bickering and… we both failed our battle goals…

Oh well…

Victory nonetheless!

  • this was an easy one, for a team like ours at least
  • the ooze’s deck was very well-timed for us all along
  • the Mindthief killed 4 vermlings (4/15) for his Life Goal
  • blocking the summoning oozes was super efficient
  • we left a ton of coins on the map
  • the treasure is a nice addition for the Elementalist

 

 

9) Square (a)

We’re back in town, Exile is boring and uncomfortable.

This time we use the Power of Foreknowledge and actually have a *gasp* STRATEGY!

Scenario 11

Goal: Kill the Commander

Team: Cragheart (lvl 4), Elementalist (lvl 3), Mindthief (lvl 4), Spellweaver (lvl 4)

Difficulty: 2

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Here we go again!

First room, we all attack the Elite Archer and ignore the guards.

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The Mindthief’s stench is so FOUL that he’s the least likely to be attacked

The Mindthief’s psychic powers convince the Cragheart that he’s not, despite contrary evidence, a plodding rock-person, and he moves all the way to the next room. That obviously takes the garrison by surprise – its much more lightly-defended than in our previous attempt.

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Mindthief: “Fly Craggy, fly!”
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Guard: “What was that? Must’ve been the wind…”

I kill one normal archer with a well-placed (2x) manabolt. The Elementalist kills an Elite with a ranged attack of his.

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One round later and we’re all re-grouped at the fountain’s room (or is that the eponymous square?). I ride the wind and freeze nova 2 archers. Next is our only hassle of the scenario as the archers pick a 2 targets deck card, severely wounding both me and the Mindthief with their ranged attacks.

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Meanwhile the guards choose the safety of numbers against the remaining Living Bones.
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Notice the nice wall of stone. Creation of the Cragheart to further slow down our foes.
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Commander: “WTF! You again!? Guards, to me!”
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Guards: “Comin’ Boss” *move -1*
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That’s what we call CORNERED!
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DEATH by RATS! Gruesome…

Blissful Victory!

Sweet Revenge!

  • As much as we were far removed from success in our previous attempt, now it was truly a walk in the park (and not because of medium difficulty)
  • We used and abused a perfectly legal (but strange) game mechanic whereas enemies don’t appear if there is no more available minis
  • I was pretty useless with my SW apart from giving elements to the Elementalist from time to time
  • The Cragheart led the charge and implemented efficiently our plan
  • The Mindthief did really good damage against the Boss

8) Temple of the Eclipse

After our failure to kill the commander of the guards, we needed to hide from justice some fresh air. We followed hints provided by a strange coin that we’d found earlier that led to the Temple of the Eclipse.

The Temple of the Eclipse’s main gimmick is its link to both light and dark. And it has a Boss: the Colorless, whom also follows this thematic. All other elements are weaker than usual and that is, of course, a major pain in the ass for our Elementalist…

Scenario 81

Goal: Kill the Colorless

Team: Cragheart (lvl 4), Elementalist (lvl 3), Spellweaver (lvl 4)

Set difficulty: 3

In the temple’s parlour, we are greeted by two pairs of Night and Sun Demons. The Cragheart charges head on and in his recklessness, he gets many grievous wounds. I patch him up and he’s back in combat shape but the demons are very dangerous and are hard to outmaneuver. It’s not easy but we defeat them and get a special scenario item, something we can use against the Colorless.

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Elementalist and Spellweaver: “Cloak of Invisibility! Phew…”

We open the door and see 3 hulking Stone Golems blocking our way (no pic, wut?!). They have Shield 2, that’s a real pain. Me and the Cragheart try to set up shield/retaliate combo. That would have been very nice and efficient, if only the stone golems had fucking  attacked! Total waste of a turn… At least, the Elementalist could demonstrate impressive damage-dealing with his level 3 Chain Lightning.

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Cragheart: Acid puddles? Columns? PUSH!

Jumping over the Stone Golems and simply ignore them would have been a viable plan, as they’re turtle-slow, but we feared the long-ranged Ancient Artillery‘s firepower in the back. So we finished the golems and also got a second scenario item nearby. Once we got close though, the artillery were easily dispatched. Unfortunately, by then it’s obvious that we don’t have very long before we’re all exhausted and we still have the Boss to slay…

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Cragheart: “Ah! Ha! Try to summon now!”

The Cragheart has a very good plan, stop the Colorless from summoning by blocking all adjacent squares!

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Wait a minute, how do we get to the altar now?

But time isn’t on our side and the Colorless makes it worse, he alternates between getting invisible and healing himself. We know that dumping the 2 special items on the altar will deal him good damage but it’s hard to do without getting eviscerated by the demons.

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My mystic ally, behind, doing fuck all.
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Spellweaver: “Must…Lay…Down”

The Boss had 10 hp left but we failed to kill him. The Cragheart managed to take the treasure and got a very nice healing ring.

Bitter Defeat!

Win OR Learn

  • The elementalist was a lot more efficient this time (not his fault if the scenario played against his character) as he got the grasp of how is new character works
  • His chain-ligthning was suitably impressive against the stone golems
  • I regret not having picked Cold Fire at level 3, too late now
  • My mystic ally was totally useless both time I summoned it
  • We tried a retaliate combo, me and the cragheart, against the stone golems, and that totally backfired in our face when those flipped a retaliate card of their own
  • That’s probably the last time I bring Hardened Spikes to battle despite the prior amazing success we had with it (the one time)
  • Our tendency to get in harm’s way (the cragheart in particular) is something that we addressed after this scenario
  • From now on, we’ll play at default difficulty until we have better synergy

 

7) Square (a)

Re-reading the rulebook and checking the FAQs, we now know that we’ve messed up a whole bunch of rules. Among them is the difficulty level. It appears that contrary to what we’d thought, we’re not that good… So, for the time being, very hard is beyond our capacity, as the actual post will make clear..

Scenario 11

Goal: Kill the commander

Team: Cragheart (lvl 4), Elementalist (lvl 2), Mindthief (lvl 4), Spellweaver (lvl 4)

Difficulty: 3

Our short mercenary career have, somehow, led us to side with the merchants in an attempt to overthrow the military rulers of the city of Gloomhaven. That doesn’t sound that bad, does it? That’s until you learn that the leader of our faction is also a necromancer…

Our role is to kill the Commander of the Guard. He has many men at his disposal but we’re not alone on this risky endeavor, undead troops fight on our side! Cannon fodder, yay!

Things starts smoothly, two guards and an elite archer in the first room. One of our lousy Living Bones is killed, and then we wipe the floor with the guards.

Next room: some archers and half a dozen guards. There’s also 2 Living Corpses on our side but they’re immediately cut down by the archers’ arrows. The useless stinking wretches. But here comes the Cragheart, RUTHLESS, he crushes our foes under tons of rocks. Me and our new friend, the Elementalist, finish the survivors.

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The Mindthief, behind, gnawing at a friendly Living Bones

The Elementalist opens next door and… there’s a SHIT TON of folks over there.

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Elementalist: *Uh, guys… Is it too late to defect?”

We do see that the right side is weakly defended and maybe we could dash to the final room? But, oh no, that’s not what we do…

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Cragheart: “I SMASH YOU WITH FOUNTAIN!”
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Commander: “Who the fook are you?”

The Cragheart and Mindthief are exhausted, leaving a wounded Spellweaver and a raw recruit to face the Boss… That dude has 56 hp. We fight ’til the end. It’s mercifully quick in coming.

Bitter Defeat!

That’s a hard blow to our pride…

  • We’ve almost cleaned up the map but it costed us way too much.
  • Both the archers and guards had shield, we had a hard time doing real damage.
  • The Elementalist card “infuse an element/ – 1 to damage” doesn’t look like its worth it.
  • Opening the second door without killing the previous enemies would have meant a less crowded third room.
  • We could have jumped in the fountain, killing the archers while (mostly) protected from the guards.