Monday, August 05, 2019

Painting Descent - July

How is it already August 2019?! With July gone, we are now 30 (30.5) weeks of the year done and gone. Summer is where I normally really fall off at painting, and this July was no exception - just a busy month for me and HOT here in AZ - makes for some lazy nights instead of painting nights. That being said, I did paint a couple of things including five Descent figures to keep up my chosen pace of one a month.

Over on BGG, the Painter Guild runs a monthly "Challenge List". Back in June, I set a small goal and easily hit that, so I added a bunch more stuff that I didn't complete, which became the defacto July list. For July I wanted to makes some progress on a couple of monster sets, namely the Wendigo and Skelton Archers. I finished neither of the two groups, but did get 3 Skeleton Archers and 2 Wendigo complete. Also, if you missed it, I did play a bit of Descent last month (because what is the point of all the painting if I never play the game?) - be sure to check out the session reports.

Here are my lifetime totals (for Descent 2nd Ed) and the figures I finished for the month for my never-ending Paint Descent Project:
  • 77 monster figures done
  • 30 hero figures done
  • 12 lieutenants done
  • 40 figures done in 2019 through 30 (30.5) weeks (my yearlong goal is 1/week)
The Wendigo models looked cool until I started to paint them. First, they had a lot of gaps that I had to fill in with green stuff. Then I primed them and realized that they had some god awful mold lines and other crap (the teeth are really bad). That aside, for these I primed with a zenethil prime and then used the grey and white areas to "paint by numbers" the various colors. I used grouping of three colors and worked to blend between the areas. I still have to do the Master version (which model-wise is the exact same) and haven't quite decided on the best way to make him slightly different. I may go for a more overall white/grey instead of brown.


For the Skeleton Archers, I was not looking forward to repeating five of the same thing. I checked out some pictures and realized they are supposed to be in black armor, so I decided to mostly use contrast paints for these (though I can't say it saved me a ton of time). The armor and bone were all done with contrast paints, and I think they look pretty decent. I use normal paints and wash on the cloaks and did the three skeletons I finished in various shades of blue and green cloaks. I added a couple of extra details and called each done.



Not terribly exciting for the month of July (painting-wise), I know.

One note - I need to finish up with the Wendigo and start and finish the Crypt Dragons (my goal for August). I also hope to finish playing the Heirs of Blood campaign, which means I can start the next one (probably The Lair of the Worm mini-campaign). When I start that, I hope to add in a hero and monster set or two. I have finished the Crusade of the Forgotten set so that's a no brainer. But if I also want to include the Guardians of Deephall, I have to finish those monsters.

The base game is nine monsters types (which sounds reasonable, but I found out that it becomes repetitive very quickly since you typically have 3 or so groups per encounter). Lair of the Wyrm (being a small box expansion) only adds two new types of monsters. Crusade would add three more types, as would Guardians, thus giving me 17 monster types to go against. That sounds like a decent amount of fun to me. I can't wait. Setting up an encounter is always a lot of fun once the painted figures hit the table.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Descent Session Report: Heirs of Blood Campaign - Army of Dal'Zunm


And now we return to the next chapter in my Heirs of Blood campaign with the Army of Dal'Zunm, the first in the Phase II set of quests. Just a reminder that this is being tracked online using the D2E Tracker - I am playing through the Heirs of Blood campaign for Descent 2nd edition using the RAMV system for solo play. In many ways, this system is like the Road to Legend computer system, but setup to play through the printed campaigns. Because there is no overlord, each round there is some variable effect in play. I am playing three heroes: Widow Tarha (mage), Tomble Burrow (scout), Syndrael (warrior) (yeah, trying to get by without a healer).

Also, there are some spoilers, so if you don't want to know about this campaign, don't read on.

Army of Dal'Zunm
Opponents: Splig, Belthir, Zombies, Cave Spiders, Ettins

Travel Steps: nothing happened on any travel steps

Skirmishes continue for days across the valleyneither armgathering at a single location for long. However, when large force is seen at the ancient graveyard of Dal'Zunm, you know Eliza is positioning for a major move. You gather your best soldiers and rush to the site.

This encounter has a series of zombies rising from the graveyard and trying to make it down the map to the field, where they'll be transformed into  huge monsters (Ettins). Scattered over the map are a bunch of random tokens that are either a stake, nothing, and one is a relic. The heroes have to find the three stakes and use them to kill three zombies. If three zombies transform first, they lose. Splig and Belthir can "possess" zombies to make them faster. Tyrus is there to help us search.

Round 1 - Dark Influence! Global - heroes that stand up only roll one recovery die.
Syn moves out to find a stake and the first place she looks results in finding one. Splig possesses a zombie to make it fast (WTF? he's as slow as they are). Master Cave spider misses its attack on Syn and all the minions do as well. Tomble heads out to try and find a stake. Belthir moves and then possesses a zombie. Widow and Tyrus move. Zombies advance.

Round 2 - Global - whenever a figures suffers a condition, suffer 1 additional wound.
Syn takes out the Master Cave Spider and a minion. Splig possesses another zombie. One Cave Spider poisons Syn, the other misses. Tomble uses his lurk ability to find a Power Potion, but no stake. Belthir charges up the last zombie (possesses), then moves to close in on the heroes. Widow searches but gets the giant NADA and moves to help kill zombies. Tyrus tries to find a stake, but finds nothing. Zombies are on the move! Master Cave Spider appears in the Mausoleum.

Round 3 - Global - all heroes add one brown defensive die to their pool.
Syn recovers from being poisoned and stakes a minion zombie (one of three gone). She also un-possesses the Master Zombie (when possessed, if they are wounded, instead of taking wounds, they lose the possession). Splig moves. Cave Spiders go for the closest hero (Syn) but can't get past her defenses. Tomble moves, finds a Warding Token using his lurk ability then jumps in the water to try and find a stake, but finds nothing. Belthir closes in on Syn. Widow realizes a zombie is going to break free - there is no point attacking the rest, so she moves up and then shoots the Master Cave Spider with her new "runic" crossbow (she gets bonuses for using "rune" weapons but has the ability to make any weapon "runic"). Tyrus finds the Fortuna's Dice artifact, meaning the last two special searches are going to be the stakes I need. Master Zombie gets to the graveyard and mutates, the Zombies are all (except the one I staked) then reset to the Cemetery. Cave Spider appears in the Mausoleum.

Round 4 - Dark Influence Global - All small monsters get +1 speed (bad), all large get +1 dmg on attacks.
Mutated Zombie becomes a Master Ettin! Syn is nearly surrounded and makes a dash to get clear of the Ettin. The heroes are going to try and jam up a choke point to block further advances through (make them go the long way around). Splig turns around, heading back to possess a Zombie or two. The Master Cave Spider fails its attack on Syn and the other spiders move to engage the heroes. Tomble takes position by Syn blocking the direct route to the graveyard. Belthir flys towards the Zombies to help Splig. The Ettin shambles towards the heroes. Widow shoots and knocks back a spider, then uses her blast attack to try and hit a group: Splig takes a couple hits and the Master Cave Spider is finished off. Tyrus finds one of the remaining stakes. Zombies move up.

This could get rough
Round 5 - Global - when a master monster suffers damage, an adjacent regular master suffers the damage instead.  Widow starts with a great "runic" blast from her crossbow, which takes out a Zombie. She then grabs the Fortuna Dice relic. The minion Cave Spiders gang up on Syn for a couple of hits. Splig possesses the Master Zombie. Syn works to attack the Master Zombie, but the global effect directs the damage to a nearby spider (killing it). Belthir possesses the other minion Zombie. The Ettin steps up to bash Syn, dropping her to four remaining life. Tomble attacks to slow down the minion Zombie, which is likely going to head around the blockade. The Zombies do start the trek the long way around. A Cave Spider arrives in the Mausoleum.

Round 6 - Global effect- defeating a monster makes heroes test, with a failure making them diseased.
Zombie reinforcement arrives. Syn shakes her poison and then runs after the Master Zombie and at least manages to slows it down (un-possessed). Tyrus grabs the last stake and tosses it to Syn, who has both of them now. Splig possesses a Zombie. Cave Spiders head off to fight Syn but can't land a hit. Tomble moves to block the Master Zombie's path back to the short route, but fails an attack against it. Belthir flies in to possess the Master Zombie. The Ettin moves and attacks the only thing it can - Tyrus. Tyrus takes a heavy beating...

Tyrus is thrown to the side by a mighty blow, but regains hifeet. He expels a chain of glimmering orbs from his hand that strike the beast before him. 7he creature stumbles back in surprise, but no real damage is done. However, during the brief distraction, Tyrus ducks into some undergrowth and disappears.

Widow takes out a spider with a couple of shots. Master Zombie has to go the long way around, but starts going. The other zombie also is moving, but might be closer now. Another Cave Spider joins the party from the Mausoleum.

Round 7 - Instant, no effect
There is no clarity in the rules on this, so I'm playing that the stake is an item like any other and can be passed from hero to hero without an action. Syn moves and passes a stake to Tomble on the way. She attacks and slows down the master Zombie. Splig possesses a new zombie. Spiders converge on Tomble, he takes a little damage, but is otherwise ok. Tomble chases after the Master Zombie to get in some licks, but he doesn't defeat it. Belthir goes after Syn, but she blocks his attack. The Ettin goes after Widow, but he misses his attack. Widow helps whack on the Master Zombie, but doesn't kill it. Another Cave Spider joins in the fun.

Round 8 - Instant, no effect
Syn rushes forward and destroys the Master Zombie with her stake, taking out the second of three that the heroes need to win the scenario. Getting the last Zombie is going to be tough. The Master Cave Spider moves in to attack Tomble, but misses. The minion moves in and Tomble remembers to use Caltrops to stun the sucker before it can attack. The last moves in to surround Tomble. Tomble attacks the wounded spider killing it, then uses his heroic feat to disappear. Belthir turns to take on Widow and hits her then backs off a little. Widow goes for a massive blast attack. She then rests. A Zombie makes it to the graveyard and it transforms into another Ettin, then the two Zombies re-appear in the graveyard and another Cave Spider joins the fray.

Round 9 - Global - All figures get only one activation action.
Widow start the round with another blast attack hurting Belthir and killing off the two Cave Spiders hanging around. Splig moves. A Cave Spider moves towards the heroes. Tomble re-appears and moves to meet the zombies. Belthir moves. The Master Ettin moves towards Tomble, the other heads up the map. Syn moves. The Zombies move and Tomble wounds and stuns one with Caltrops. A new Master Cave Spider joins the fun.

Round 10 - Instant - lose a search token from the map.
Still have the last Global effect in play, so only one action each. Tomble hopes to end this, but only has one shot - he misses! Splig possesses the stunned (from the Caltrops) Zombie. Cave Spiders move. Syn attacks a spider. Belthir moves. Master Ettin attacks Tomble who somehow manages to not be thrown out of the way. The other Ettin continues on his way. Widow kills the nearby Cave Spider. Zombies move by Tomble, but he Caltrops the second as it tries to go by, stopping it in its tracks. Another Cave Spider joins the fun.

Round 11 - Global - Monsters can't suffer conditions and remove any they are suffering.
Tomble now gets two chances to end this, if he doesn't, the monsters will very likely win. The first attack is one hit short of a win, so it will come down to one last roll of the dice. The second attach is a surefire hit and wins the encounter for the heroes.

Notes:

  • I have enjoyed how balanced out the encounters have been for me. I think that if there were an actual overlord that was using their deck of tricks, things would be much harder, but for what is essentially AI, things have been just tense enough to enjoy each playing.
  • Tomble's build  (Thief) makes him really good for things like this now that I have his Caltrop skill. Monsters moving in near him are pretty much a guaranteed Stun. His personal ability to use the defense dice of a hero adjacent to him means that when paired up with a tank like Syn is ATM, he's really hard to hit. 
  • I was worried that the Phase II monsters with their extra attack dice and life would go through the team  like butter, but their bulked up defenses and my smarter play is making it still pretty even. 
  • Two more encounters to the finale!

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Monday, July 22, 2019

Descent Session Report: Heirs of Blood Campaign - Interlude: Saradyn in Flames


Time again for the next chapter in my Heirs of Blood campaign. Just a reminder that this is being tracked online using the D2E Tracker - I am playing through the Heirs of Blood campaign for Descent 2nd edition using the RAMV system for solo play. In many ways, this system is like the Road to Legend computer system, but setup to play through the printed campaigns. Because there is no overlord, each round there is some variable effect in play. I am playing three heroes: Widow Tarha (mage), Tomble Burrow (scout), Syndrael (warrior) (yeah, trying to get by without a healer).

Also, there are some spoilers, so if you don't want to know about this campaign, don't read on.

Interlude: Saradyn In Flames
Opponents: Eliza, Alric, Zombies, Cave Spiders, Elementals, Flesh Moulders

Travel Steps: nothing happens, and the 3rd (of 4) events = no more travel steps.

At first, the defenders held the cliff. The enemy fell beneath their arrows and swords, unable to gain a foothold. However, when nightfall, winged horrors took to the skies and no man was safe from their assault. With no warning but the briefest flutter of wings, a soldier was torn from their post and thrown into the darkness below...

This quest has me escorting Tyrus (the plotline character for the whole campaign) out of Saraydn. I have to gather other cleric tokens to make it harder for the overlord to find the Tyrus token I carry. Alric will chase the group and destroys the dungeon behind him, so he's the timer. At some point, I have to drop into a pit with Eliza and two groups of monsters, find the key, kill Eliza, and then exit with Tyrus.

Round 1 - Global effect. If anyone takes damage while suffering a condition, take an extra damage.
Widow slides up and starts the attacks, with a small blast against the zombies waiting for the group. Eliza waits. Cave spiders are coming. Syn slides up using fatigue and misses her attacks on the Master Zombie. Elemental waits. Zombies go for Syn, who easily blocks their attacks. Tomble moves up and takes out a zombie. Alric is coming. Flesh Moulders wait. *(Eliza, Elementals, and Flesh Moulders are in the pit waiting, so I'm going to leave them out of each round's summary until they come into play).

Love setting this all up
Round 2 - Global effect - heroes can't suffer conditions. Alric arrives.
Syn destroys the Master Zombie. Spiders move up, but only one has a chance to attack and misses Syn. Tomble attacks a couple of times but isn't very effective. Zombies attack Syn causing her 4 damage over four attacks. Widow attacks but only manages to kill one wimpy zombie. 

**Note: I'm unsure about how to play the AI instructions for Alric, so I go with what seems to be most disadvantageous to me. Basically, I go with - at the start of his turn, if he isn't on the same tile as a hero, jump him to the edge of the tile with the nearest hero - not an action (Alric destroys the tile behind him as he goes, so this will speed things along.

Alric jumps into the room and then moves and attacks Syn. The dice turn against me and her defense has disappeared so she takes 3 wounds from his attack. 

Round 3 - Global all figures get one action only!
I have got to clear some monsters from the map. Having only one action this round limits my ability to do that this time. Syn almost kills the Master spider with her one shot.  With only one action, two spiders attack, and two have to move. Tomble kills a spider. The last zombie nicks Syn. Widow attacks but doesn't kill a spider. Alric beats on Syn a little more - she needs to get moving. 

Round 4 - Dark Influence - Merick Farrow Agent appears replacing the Master Spider from the first group. 
Ahhh, crap! I thought the Farrows were all fighting, so while a little bit not with the flavor, this is a big headache. Syn kills the last zombie and runs for it, grabbing a "cleric" token along the way. Spiders go after Tomble, but he manages to go unscathed. Merick shoots some fire at Tomble, but he blocks that too, so Merick blocks Tomble's path out. Tomble kills a spider (clearing a path), then tries to run for it. Widow can read the writing on the wall and makes a run for it. Alric charges forward destroying the tile he was on and dropping Merick and a spider into the lower area, killing the spider. Syn deflects his attack. I have half a chance now - there are no more monsters on the upper floor, just Alric chasing us and destroying everything.

Round 5 - Global effect, all monsters get a surge on their combat rolls.
Tomble searches and finds a stamina potion, then heads off towards a door. Merick is now waiting in the lower area with Eliza and the monsters. Syn grabs two clerics, passing (randomly so I don't even know) one too Tomble. *(I don't want to influence who the monsters go after, nor do I want to arrange the tokens based on the AI, so I just randomize who has what) Widow heads in a different direction, grabbing a cleric. Alric jumps to the closest hero, attacking Tomble. Tomble takes the 4 damage like a trooper. A trooper that will be running next round.

Round 6 - Instant effect: all monsters discard conditions.
Tomble searches, uses a fatigue move and then his heroic power to disappear. Syn grabs another cleric, and Widow does as well and moves as far away as she can. Alric jumps forward with a massive attack that Syn barely lives through. 

Round 7 - Global effect, surges = +1 healing for heroes
Syn runs for it. Tomble runs forward and instant heals Syn with a potion he found. I mix up all their tokens and split them between the two.Tomble rests to gain his fatigue back. Widow searches and finds a curse doll. She makes her way towards the ledge for her jump when its time. Not a ton of map left at this point. 

Round 8 - Global effect, all monsters add a brown die to their defense pool.
Given Tomble's remaining life, he gives up two tokens to Syn and runs for the ledge. They both jump while Widow is trying to get closer. Alric gives chase down into the pit.

So all I have to do is fight through all of these?
Round 9 - Global effect - heroes get the brown defense die!
Tomble and Syn are now in the pit along everyone but Widow. I have to take out Eliza, so Syn slides up for an attack. She manages 6 hits (9 needed). Now Eliza and Merick get to play. Eliza uses her sacrifice ability to damage the Elemental then recovers five of the wounds (she's a vampire, so I guess she drains the minions around her. She then uses her abilities to move and stuns Syn. Merick moves and then attacks Syn, but is blocked. Tomble tries to find the key, and does so, so now we just have to kill Eliza to get out. The Elemental attacks Syn, but is blocked. Widow jumps. Alric tries to beat on Syn but can't get past her armor better than anyone else can. The Master Flesh Moulder knocks out Tomble. Another of the Moulders moves up and checks him only to find Helena the cleric, who heals Tomble and Syn, and mass damages the monsters. This little bit of luck was really fortunate.

Round 10 - Global - when a monster suffers damage, others within 2 spaces suffer 1 dmg.
Widow uses the curse doll to remove the stun on Syn and then attacks Flesh Moulders, killing the master and a minion thanks to the global effect. Eliza attacks Syn. Merick also attack Syn and is guarding the door. Syn slides up and takes out Alric, then uses an ability for an extra attack on Eliza. Tomble gets in a pair of attacks, but he can't finish her either. The last Flesh Moulder knocks out Tomble again, but isn't close enough to check him. 

Round 11 - Global - when a hero recovers any health, so do monsters within 2 spaces by the same amount. 
Syn goes to finish Eliza and does with her first blow. She then rests. Widow helps Tomble up then attacks the last Flesh Moulder. Tomble takes that as his cue and runs out of the place. Merick turns on Syn to no effect. 

Round 12 - Global effect - heroes add a surge to their dice rolls. 
Syn exits the map with Tyrus and the heroes win the interlude

The survivors rush from the lower chamber, a host of monsters in close pursuit. You cut down as many as you can, and then, taking a bit of inspiration from Alric, you strike the pillars on either side of the passage. The eyes of the dark knight glow with fury as you step back and the doorway crumbles before you...

...Tyrus appears at your side as you flee the crumbling fortress. "Can you hear her at night?" he calls to you. "She speaks to me while I sleep. I'll never listen to her, but she's always there, always asking me to come to her. Tonight she told me that there are only afew days left to run away or surrender. I don't think we have much time"...

NOTES:

  • Using the RAMV system has been good, though I won enough of the quests that all the Dark Influence (bad things) cards are now in the event deck. The Dark Influence cards are often bring an agent into play, which definitely can amp up the difficulty. 
  • The online track won't let me add modules, so I'm stuck with just using the core set of monsters. When I play through the other box sets, I'm going to add in a fair bit of new monsters that will really up the variety. For now, I'll just have to look forward to fighting a dragon or two.

So, I'm officially through the first part of the campaign and heading into phase II! Three more quests and then the finale. The adventures have been decent so far (though the quests seem very lightly strung together), and I'm excited to see what the level II monsters and equipment are going to be like and how they effect the remaining quests.

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Descent Session Report: Heirs of Blood Campaign - Caladen's Crossing


Well, since most of my stuff was out and setup after the last quest set, I went ahead and continued on with the next quest. Just a reminder that this is being recorded online using the D2E Tracker - I am playing through the Heirs of Blood campaign for Descent 2nd edition using the RAMV system for solo play. In many ways, this system is like the Road to Legend computer system, but setup to play through the printed campaigns. Because there is no overlord, each round there is some variable effect in play. I am playing three heroes: Widow Tarha (mage), Tomble Burrow (scout), Syndrael (warrior) (yeah, trying to get by without a healer).

Also, there are some spoilers, so if you don't want to know about this campaign, don't read on.

Encounter 1 - 
Opponents: Goblin Archers, Cave Spiders, Barghest
Smoke fills the western sky. You race down the open road leading to the small village. A number of the outlying hovels lay in smoldering piles, and you can see the raiders advancing on the village proper...

So there are a couple of buildings on fire in town. Two buckets of water will put the building out. There is a whole system for how much of the town you save based on how much "damage" is done and how fast I get the fires out. Meanwhile, monsters can make it worse by being in or near the buildings. Water being carried can be dropped if you take damage. The first fire building I enter will get populated with the spider group.

A race to put out the two buildings at the top of the map
Round 1 - Global (Dark Influence): Small monsters rolling blank defense can re-roll it once.
Tomble does a search (finds a curse doll) and grabs a bucket of H2O. Goblin Master (per AI) heads for the area between houses to cause the most trouble. The rest of the goblin pack annoys Tomble until he drops his bucket. Syn goes straight for the goblins and takes 2 out. All the Barghest go after Syn, hitting for a total of 3 hits. Widow moves up and blasts the Barghests, but kills none.

Round 2 - Instant, all monsters recover 2 wounds
Syn kills the master barghest and one goblin (and recovers a chunk of fatigue - ha, I remembered!). Goblin reinforcment shoots Widow, but is blocked. Tomble grabs some water (again) and moves into a place where he can "borrow" all of Syn's defense dice (his main power). Remaining Barghests both howl and try to bit Tomble, but he's the man and keeps his water (his defensive power is awesome at times like this). Widow grabs some water and makes for the house on the left.

*Side note: I'm developing some rhythm and synergy with the team. Syn is definitely a tank now - good defense and ok melee. Tomble (who if next to another hero) can borrow all their defense dice, so he is now that much harder to kill, but has to hang with her. Widow is my ranged attacker. Her runic attack lets me do blast and with a surge, I get 2 pierce, so she can take out these little mobs of spiders and goblins fast. Since I have no healing, I have to avoid damage or find healing potions. If I can't kill things quickly, things become a mess.

Round 3 - Global: blue X's are not a miss, just nothing.
House on the right is burning down from the timer. Syn's heroic feat pushes Tomble towards the house burning down. She grabs a bucket and heads for the other house (that Widow is heading towards). Goblin reinforcements go after Syn, but she easily blocks their shots. Time for Tomble to be tricky. He uses fatigue to get to the door, opens it (immediately revealing four cave spiders blocking his way), and then uses his heroic power to disappear - either the spiders will move, or he will just reappear in the house behind them next turn. Barghest tries to make Syn drop her water bucket, but fails and the others can only move in for next time. Widow throws water on the fire, reducing the flame tokens for that house. Spiders have no target, so they all rush to the other house.

Round 4 - Global: All monsters gain - apply a random condition on a surge.
Syn moves in and throws her water, gaining the group two tokens for the next encounter. The goblins shoot the crap out of Widow, leaving her with 4 health. Tomble re-appears, douses the fire, and then searches a nearby spot and finds a stamina potion. His efforts on the fire will not matter at all - its ok, his job was to make the monster group NOT appear in the other house. Master cave spider (who had moved to the other house) attacks and poisons Widow. The others are blocked, so move back towards Tomble.

Round 5 - Instant effect discards the last search token.
Goblin Master causes the house Tomble is in to be finished off, ending the encounter.

...The goblins were merely a distraction; a small army appears out of the forest to the north, marching on the town's fortifications...

Encounter 2 - 
Opponents: Cave Spiders, Goblin Archers, Barghest, Merriod, Flesh Moulders, Ettin, random lieutenant.

The entire town retreats to the ancient fortification that juts out from the cliff.

Ok, so I have to hold off the Lieutenant from exiting the map for 8 rounds (well until round 8, the lieutenant will show in round 2 or 4). The setup reads like the setup for The Battle of Helms Deep. The map starts with Cave Spiders at the gate (conversely, I get two guards). Goblin Archers are the followup. Waiting in the wings: Barghest, Merriod, Flesh Moulders, Ettin, and a lieutenant.

Round 1 - Global (Shared Pain) when a hero suffers a wound, all heroes within two spaces suffer a wound also.
Tomble starts by removing the poison condition from Widow and then jumps off the bridge, breaking his ankle. The spiders brutalize half the bride gate's defense in the first round. Syn also jumps off the bridge and while stronger, is not any more graceful. She then moves up, knowing the goblins will try to rush by her. After Syn, one guard activates and steps up to the gate to engage the spiders. He gets in a shot, but no kills. The Goblins rush towards the exit and Syn will need a good round to slow down the troops. Widow fires off a blast attack and wounds two and kills one spider. Her followup does not have the range and fizzles before doing anything. The other guard moves up to try his hand at the spiders. He shoots one dead.


Round 2 - Instant - Syn has to go last this round - crap.
Barghests arrive to reinforce the map. Tomble searches and comes up with a stamina potion (really needed that healing potion), he uses fatigue to move up and attack a goblin, but is blocked. The remaining spiders continue the assualt on the gate, but to little effect this time. Widow uses her blast attack to decimate the Goblins from the high ground. Her second attack finishes the Goblin master off. A guard attacks the spiders but misses. Barghests are making for the exit now, running right up to the greeting party. Syn doubles up attacking the lead Barghest, but the thick hide deflects a lot of the attack. The other guard eliminates a spider.

Round 3 - Instant - all heroes suffer a fatigue. Syn finishes off the master Barghest and wounds another. The last spider continues their meager assualt on the gate. Tomble defeats the remaining two Barghests with his daggers. A guard shoots the master Cave Spider, but doesn't defeat it, so Widow shoots and finishes the Master Cave Spider (no more monsters on the map) then rests.

Look who is here!
Round 4 - No effect instant
Baron Zachareth and a Merriod arrive. Widow has a moment before she'll be needed, so she moves and searches, finding a Warding Talisman. Zachareth has no fear and advances right up to the gate for an assault. Syn runs to get into the Merriod's way as he comes forward. The Merriod shambles on up so as not to disappoint Syn. Tomble joins in as well. The guards start the wounds on Zachareth, shooting him through the gate.

Round 5 - Dark Influence! When a hero is attacked and the hero has at least 6 wounds, the monster gets  a surge = +3 wounds
Syn uses her special to move her and Tomble next to Zachareth. Then she begins the attacks. She wails on him and finishes her turn with Zachareth having only 2 more health. Zachareth's attack on the gate fails, but he then forces Tomble to move off a couple spaces. Undeterred, Tomble slides back up to Zachareth and knifes him, finishing him off (literally, Zachareth is unavailable the rest of this campaign). The heroes win handily.

...The assault breaks before your stalwart defense and, at last, even the opposing captain is slain...

NOTES:
  • The D2E tracker noted that the win ration for heroes on this scenario was very high - very unbalanced towards the heroes, plus this is the last PART I scenario. Next up is the interlude(s) before moving into the PART II section of the campaign, so I more or less expected the party to do well. 
  • Of the physical campaign materials that come with Descent, this is the furthest I've ever gone, so I'm a little excited to get through the Interludes so I can break out the 'II' monsters and shop items!
  • I'm trying to decide if I should include an expansion pack of monsters for the second half of the campaign. Honestly, just using the base set is beginning to be a little stale.

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Saturday, July 06, 2019

Descent Session Report: Heirs of Blood Campaign - Archive of Arizzon


Well, here we are, back again after a long layoff from playing (doing lots of painting though). I sat down to do some more painting the other night and thought maybe I should play a little instead, so I broke out the piles of stuff:

  • Giant tackle box of cards and minis
  • Box of terrain
  • Box of rules and campaign books
  • Card box full of RAMV cards and some card trays
There is a fair amount of effort in getting setup, including figuring where I left out. Thankfully, this is being recorded online using the D2E Tracker. So after getting everything sorted and the map setup, I was ready to go. 

For those that are not familiar with my setup - I am playing through the Heirs of Blood campaign for Descent 2nd edition using the RAMV system for solo play. In many ways, this system is like the Road to Legend computer system, but setup to play through the printed campaigns. Because there is no overlord, each round there is some variable effect in play. I am playing three heroes: Widow Tarha (mage), Tomble Burrow (scout), Syndrael (warrior) (yeah, trying to get by without a healer). 

Also, there are some spoilers, so if you don't want to know about this campaign, don't read on.

On with the show: 

... "I've learned that just before the battle started, one of my soldiers, a man called Arrizon, deserted. He fled northeast, across the river. I fear he is a spy and traitor. Capturing him may reveal more than any of the other captives can."

Travel Steps: A traveling sage gave me access to his library, but I didn't learn anything. I traveled through a place with webs hanging everywhere, and a spider bit Widow Tarha and she started the encounter poisoned. In an orchard with Golden apples, Tomble found a Fire Flask.

Part I
Opponents: Ettin (Rolox), Goblin Archers, Cave Spiders.

We start the scenario with the Ettin rolling a giant boulder towards the gate of the Archive of Arrizon (who may or may not be on our side). The goal is stop the Ettin before he can move the boulder into place to smash the gate. The bad news is that the boulder gives him an extra defense die if you trace line of sight through it or a space next to it (so ranged attacks are less effective). Melee attacks are suicide - if he rolls the boulder over a character, they get knocked out.

Round 1 - Global effect:  Monsters cannot suffer conditions.
Syn run to a door, opens the door and starts the attack on the goblins. Rolox moved his boulder. Widow uses her runic blast and wipes out all the goblin minions, but the master is hanging in there still and shoots Syn then runs off. Tomble moves and uses his greedy abilty to search the room. The spiders are coming (I should have had them move through a door and go around instead of following the Ettin.

Round 2 - Global effect - heroes cannot suffer conditions and discard any they have!
Tomble kills the Goblin Archer master and is going to search for treasure until the Ettin is closer. Rolox moves his rock. Widow moves and tries an attack on Rolox, but is too far away. Goblin reinforcement shoots, but Tomble blocks it with his shield. Syn moves up towards Rolox, but stays out of the range of being crushed by the boulder. Spiders still closing in behind Rolox.

Round 3 - Global effect - when a hero regains health, so do monsters within 2 spaces.
Tomble uses fatigue to move up and takes out the goblin near him. He searches again. Rolox does his thing. Syn uses a fatigue move to close the distance and attack but misses, then backs off to try again next time. Goblin master (reinforcement) gets off a good attack, but Tomble blocks it like the Black Panther and Hawkeye fight in Civil War. Widow gets off a pair off attachs but only hits for 2 pts of damage (Ettin at 12 now). Spiders still coming.

Round 4 - Global effect - monsters get a brown defense die added to their pool.
Widow uses her runes and knocks Rolox down some more (Ettin at 10 now). Rolox does his thing again. Syn nicks him for one point but the extra def. die saves him and Syn backs off again. Goblin master misses, his minion buddy is accurate, but blocked by Tomble. All the blocking has worn Tomble out as he misses BOTH his attacks. The spiders are like T2 - still coming.

Rollin - rolling - rollin on the river!

Round 5 - Instant event forces Widow to go last (bad for me).
Tomble makes a gamble and tries to run in and stun the Ettin. I need him to have a crazy bad defense roll, which I get, but the attack roll was weak and the Ettin escapes damage, which is going to hurt a lot now. Rolox rolls the boulder over Widow (knock out) and the Tomble (knock out). Syn revives Tomble and then rests to recover fatigue. One nasty Goblin tries to re-knock out Tomble, but misses in his haste. His buddy doesn't miss and the master gets off a huge attack, but Tomble uses all his bag of tricks to take no damage. Widow recovers. And still with the damn spiders.

Round 6 - Instant event causes heroes to suffer two fatigue, bad for the just revived heroes.
Widow is going to take one for the team and get knocked out again, but throw a pair of attacks at the Ettin. Rolox takes damage (Ettin at 7 now). Rolox retaliates and rolls the boulder over Widow and then again towards the gate. The good news is that Rolox is right next to Syn, so she doesn't have to move to attack. Her first attack is big (Ettin at 3 now) and the follow-up was good for a couple more (Ettin at 1 now). The Goblins  do their job and knock out Tomble again, then beat on Syn a fair bit. Tomble recovers. Spiders will hopefully be late to the party. 

Round 7 - Global event gives the heroes the brown defense die (where was that two rounds ago?)
Syn starts things off right by knocking out Rolox, giving the heroes the win for part I of the adventure.

The Ettin trips and flops down upon the boulder as it careens forward. The momentum pulls his body forward and down crushing one of the heads benith it...

After that, the boulder ends up rolling down and bashing in the gate anyway. Fortunately, the half-Ettin flails about and kills the other minions and the heroes go through the gate, escaping in the mayhem.

Part II
Opponents: Eliza Farrow, Ettin, Cave Spiders, Barghest, Zombies

Well, Arrizon turns out to be a Flesh Moulder, but the enemy of my enemy... There are 10 scrolls to burn, 4 of which are special. If Arrizon (who is an ally this encounter) can burn the 4 red ones, we win. Of course, I have to run all over the map to do this.

** Note, I should have had the spiders go through the door last scenario, they are back, so apparently they want some payback.

I picked the red one!
Round 1 - Global (ugg) All monsters gain SAVAGE (after performing an attack, attack again).
Arrizon burns a document - a key one, which means, I have to pick up all the tokens and move them to another room. Oh, BTW all the exits are blocked by spiders and an ettin. Eliza glides over to Arrizon, but misses her attack. Unfortuantely, the global effect means double attacks and her next strike doesn't miss. Tomble makes a quick attack (only wounding a spider), then uses his heroic feat to disappear. Widow gets bit and poisioned. Arrizon gets attacked, but can't be poisoned - but he's taking a beating. Widow can't shake the poison, so goes after the spiders, killing two. The ettin knocks on the door - he want's to join the party. Syn takes out a spider and bashes, but doesn't kill the master Spider. Arrizon is down to one wound - this looks shaky.

Round 2 - Global - when a monster suffers wounds, all monsters within two spaces suffer 1 wound.
Tomble pops up and smacks the master spider. He then uses his healing potion on Arrizon, fully healing him. Eliza's attack is blocked. Syn uses her heroic feat to help move Arrizon out of the way. She rests to gain back fatigue. Widow moves, then goes for a blast attack, wounding all the newly arrived Barghests. The Ettin goes after Arrizon, but Widow and Syn help keep him from being walloped too badly. Since the library door is blocked, Arrizon searches and finds a power potion (really wanted another healing potion). RAMV says the Barghests all howl, the net result being Syn loses/(gains?) some fatigue.

Round 3 - Global effect gives everyone +2 damage with a surge.
Syn spends some fatigue to get into fighting position and takes out a minion and master Barghest, making room for Arrizon to get into the library. Eliza chases after Arrizon and lands a hit from range. Arrizon moves and burns a document, but not the important kind. Tomble gets a couple shots in on the Ettin, but not enough to take him out. Ettin takes it out on Widow, knocking her out and then chasing after Arrizon. Widow simply recovers. Barghest howls again, which this time causes damage to Syn.
Just run past the Ettin and through the zombies...
Round 4 - Instant: Maddening whispers cause Syn to knock herself out :/
Arrizon starts things off by burning a document and he happens to find the right one! Which of course means we have to head to the study to find the rest. The study is now occupied by zombies and of course, the Ettin is in the way too. Arrizon starts racing that way. Eliza meets him halfway there and attacks. Widow attacks the Ettin and her first attack fails, but her second blasts him enough to take him out of the fight. The zombies shamble in and the master uses "Grab" on Widow, immobilizing her (she's already poisoned). Tomble moves in and damages the master zombie, but not enough to stop him. Barghest keeps on howling (damaging Widow and fatiguing Tomble). Syn recovers.

Round 5 - Instant effect discarded a search token.
An new Ettin joins the fray! Tomble slides away from the group of zombies and Eliza and throws his fire flask into at a zombie. Not much damage, but he got the blast effect. Somehow, it finishes the master off. He uses his daggers to finish off another. Eliza attacks Arrizon again, but the heroes take the damage defending him. Arrizon makes a beeline for his study. Zombies knock out Widow again and then try Tomble, who blocks the attack. Syn finishe off the zombies and moves to protect Arrizon. Widow recovers. The Baghest still is howling, damaging the just recovered Widow.

Round 6 - No event of matter.
Arrizon goes first, burning two documents, neither of consequence. There are five documents left. Eliza swoops in and does a bunch of damage. Arrizon is going to be toast if I can't stop her soon. Syn attacks Eliza twice and takes her out with two huge unblocked attacks. The Ettin moves in, beating on poor Widow. Widow flees and misses with her return fire. Tomble, being greedy, goes for a search token and comes up with a health potion! The Barghest makes him pay for that and takes a bite out of Tomble, knocking him out.

Round 7 - Global effect - whenever a monster deals damage, it takes 1 dmg.
Arrizon burns two more documents (one was the right one). One of the three remaining has to be destroyed. Tomble recovers. The Ettin races to the study, but is blocked by Syn and Widwow. He smacks Syn, but she deflects most of the blow. Syn returns the blow with a couple of nicks. Widow zaps the Ettin with her rune a couple of times, but doesn't defeat him. The Barghest bites Tomble again.

Round 8 - Instant - all the heroes survived their toughness test.
Arrizon burns a book, but not the right one. Syn knocks out the Ettin then moves to help Tomble. Widow doesn't need to do anything and rests. Barghest attacks, but misses this time.

Round 9 - Instant effect doesn't matter.
Arrizon burns the rest of the documents and the heroes win.

Whatever secret Arrizon was keeping, dies with him and is kept from Eliza.

NOTES:
  • I ALWAYS forget the rule that if you don't use a surge, you can recover fatigue. I mostly use them, but Syn didn't really and she needed the fatigue recovery.
  • I think I ended up not having enough of a certain kind of card in the event deck - I think I got it fixed for the next outing.
This was a good time, and since I have everything out, I should just play again. Right?

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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Painting Descent - June

Halfway through the year already! June marks 26 weeks of the year done and gone. Summer is where I normally really fall off, but I've been keeping on, so let's see where I'm at.

Over on BGG, the Painter Guild runs a monthly "Challenge List". At the start of the month, I wasn't ready to dive into a bunch of Descent monsters yet, so I looked to another set of Descent Heroes and Monsters  - Treaty of Champions and pulled the heroes to paint. And that was it for Descent. I was only going to do four more figures towards my total.

Except that these were some of the cleanest and more interesting heroes I've painted in a long time. So I blazed through them. Now, I had other figures I was planning to paint along with the Descent figures, but I knocked all of them out too, so halfway through the month, I needed to adjust the goal to add a few bonus items. So I started some stuff, played with contrast paints a little, and finished a set of monsters. At any rate, here are my lifetime totals and the figures I finished for the month for my never-ending Paint Descent Project:
  • 72 monster figures done
  • 30 hero figures done
  • 12 lieutenants done
  • 35 figures done in 2019 through 26 weeks (my yearlong goal is 1/week)
And here are my heroes:
Jonas the Kind , Krutzbeck , Zyla , Grey Ker
Jonas was pretty straight forward, but I was playing around and decided to give him some 5 O'clock shadow, which came out great! 



Krutzbeck the dwarf was your normal dwarf-looking dude, but his reference art had him with tattoos, so I played around with giving him some on his arm and face. 
The tattoos ended up lookin pretty good for a first try and I was happy with how he ended up as a finished product.

Zyla was a bit of an oddity. Cool looking sculpt, but the figure didn't really match the art - the face was very different. The wings were also in the way. I ended up trimming them off, painting everything and gluing them back on. She also (like Sahla last month) had a spell effect in the art, but not the figure. I trimmed another translucent Reaper Bones figure for a bit of plastic, and added some white to brighten it and give it a little bit of OSL. 


The last hero was Grey Ker and while there wasn't anything exciting or special about him, I disliked the pose they had him in. His reference art has his sword out, but the model had him holding it across his body. I had to do some surgery on his arm to change the position. He turned out pretty good looking, except to say he might be a bit drab.


As for the bonus monsters... I decided to do the Dark Priests. I had actually wanted to paint them for a while, but after the great sculpts that were the heroes, these were a mess - just not clean. I had a plan for the robes, but they just never quite looked as good as I wanted. In the end, they came out ok, but honestly, I think I'd have just used contrast paints on the robes if I had to do it over again.


Next month is monster month! I have a whole pile of monsters to do, so we'll see what I can get through. I'll probably work on the Wendigo and then the Skeleton Archers.

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Saturday, June 01, 2019

Painting Descent - May

Over on BGG, the Painter Guild runs a monthly "Challenge List". In April, I finally finished up everything that was left from the Labyrinth of Ruin. I didn't want to start another boxed set for my next "project" so I decided to work on a Hero and Monster pack which can be used in any Descent setting. My May goal was a modest goal of the four heroes from the Guardians of Guildhall expansion (I painted a couple of other items, but just the four heroes for my Descent project). I got them all done along with a couple of other random things. Here are my lifetime totals and the figures I finished for the month:
  • 66 monster figures done
  • 26 hero figures done
  • 12 lieutenants done
  • 27 figures done in 2019 through 22 weeks (my yearlong goal is 1/week)
And here they are: Lord Hawthorne, Mordrog, Sahla, Sillouette


There were a couple of interesting things about doing this set of heroes. First, if people are painting these, they aren't putting pictures out on the web. There was next to nothing to look at for inspiration, so I decided to mostly stick towards the reference art. 

Sahla reference art
The Sahla figure was a bit uninteresting - the reference art was cool, but the figure didn't have any kind of magic effect to paint - just a figure hovering above their braided hair. I decided to grab a piece of translucent red off a Reaper Bones figure and modified the figure to be cooler and frankly, to make sense.


The Mordrog figure is pretty cool, but his reference art sucked. It was like the only paint they gave the artist was mud. I went ahead and kept to the darker browns and played a bit with a couple of newer P3 metallic paints (which I really liked) for his armor. So at least the crappy color scheme got me to try something new. When I finally got to his axes, I didn't want to go with metal. I was originally going to lean towards stone, but while looking for anything that would give me a good idea how to get a good stone weapon look, I ran across a quick video explaining how to do ice weapons, so I gave him a couple of those.


Then there was Sillouette. Her face was a mangled mess (just a bad cast). I slapped some green stuff on her face to fix her up, but rather than trying to figure out her face, I just painted her with a scarf/mask. The last hero, Lord Hawthorne, was nothing special, the only oddity was that nothing I did seemed right. Its like every 4-5 figures I paint, one looks/feels like I just started painting. He ended up ok, but frustrated me for no apparent reason.

Not sure what I'm going to work on next month for Descent. I kind of want to do the monsters from this set, but I want to zenethil prime them first and I'm not sure I want to do that yet, so I may snag another 4 pack of heroes to work on. See you next month.

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