Friday Nov. 2, 2007
This was Mike Garrett's birthday and he had wanted to get together at his place for some games. I had suggested Descent, knowing that everyone had wanted to try this out, and he agreed. Unfortunately, once it came Friday night, only his friend Dave from Lincoln was able to join us, but we plowed forward anyway. Knowing that we might only have 3 players, I brought along my copy of San Marco just in case, and Mike suggested we start with that, so we did. Dave had not played before which probably helped me to win by a good margin. Mike got killed for the second time in a row, which just seems to fuel his enthusiasm for the game.
Next we unpacked Descent. This is an interesting dungeon crawl that, like a lot of Fantasy Flight games, takes a playing or two to get through the rules and bits. If you stick with it, you are usually reward with a fun experience. This night, I played Overlord to Mike and Dave and lead them through an adventure that I had downloaded of the internet - Betrayal of Ismondor. This particular adventure has a good amount of self deprecating humor and tongue in cheek dialog. It got the prescribed laughs and WTF's as I started to read, as I had not warned the guys ahead of time what was in store for them. The first encounter looked to be daunting, but they worked through it in good order and though I had initially played it conservatively on them, I started really trying to hammer them after they danced through the first area. Dave's character had an ability that cost me extra threat tokens and some of the monsters I spawned initially were not so tough, making for a fairly easy time for the heroes. Too bad for them that the first treasure really sucked. As they started the next area, the started getting in slight trouble. The trouble really happened when I was able to spawn two sorcerers - which seemed to be a bit overpowered relative to the cost, but I made due ;) Unfortunately for our heroes, the sorcerers proved to be too tough and one bad round by Mike let me make my second kill of the night. Had they been able to finish the second area, things would have dramatically gone the other way. Oh well, maybe next time.
Being that we now had time for one more game, we decided to finish with another playing of San Marco. This time things were not going well for me. I was banished off the board a lot, and Dave shot way out in front. Going into the last round, I was a good 20+ points behind Mike and Dave, who were within 2 pts of each other. I must have done a super job dividing things up, because I came from way back to end up winning in the final scoring. It helped that Dave missed a chance to score 8 pts near then end and that probably cost him the win. It also helped me that I had the final banishment of the game and needed a two or three to benefit. I rolled a two. So there is a small amount of luck in the game, but as long as nobody spends all night agonizing over the choices, it really plays in about an hour and is well worth it.