Sunday, June 24, 2007

Shadows of Margath

Never EVER accuse Scrabblette of ignoring you. This afternoon while she was SUPPOSED to be working she popped up every 5 minutes to remind me that she wasn't ignoring me. Guess how much work got done? Nevertheless, I did manage to get a game of Runebound in.

I wanted to play Shadows of Margath but when I looked at it I realised it's a challenge card expansion. That meant I had to play the Rise of the Dragonlords scenario with that expansion. I have a lot of other expansions as well, so I spent about half an hour sorting out what expansions I wanted to use, building decks, and shuffling. Here's what I ended up with:

Challenge Decks:
  • Shadows of Margath
  • Drakes and Dragonspawn
  • Terrors of the Tomb
  • "High Lord Margath" from Rise of the Dragonlords - it'd be silly to have the adventure without him.
Market Deck:
  • Relics of Legend without the banners
  • Champions of Kellos
  • Walkers of the Wild
It took a few minutes just to log the play on BGG! The character I chose was Varikas the Dead from the base game. I was wondering if I chose a character from Isle of Dread would I be able to count a play of that as well? I've had to move my Isle of Dread bits back into their own box so that all of the expansions fit into the base game box. And I just added four new expansions to my wishlist...

Anyway, when I started the game there were some nice items and allies for sale, all of which cost about 10 gold. I decided to save up for them which meant I was underpowered for quite a while. There were a couple of times when I needed to roll an 11 or be knocked out, but the dice loved me just enough to let me survive. Of course once I got one of those items I became quite dangerous, and by the end of the game I was a killing machine with only about 4 items. Most of the cool stuff seemed to come from the Relics of Legend expansion which is why I rate it an 8 despite the boring banners.

I do like the way Runebound implements a variety of effects using its really quite simple data model. For example, the Spiderweave Shield from Walkers of the Wild. "Activate to cancel up to 2 damage being inflicted on your Hero. Your enemy's damage in the melee combat phase is reduced to 0 for the rest of this combat." My initerpretation of that power is that the enemy gets stuck to your shield and can't hurt you. Cute. And the Knight Beset By Sorrow from Terrors of the Tomb: "The knight owes you his life. Next time you would take enough damage during a Challenge to be knocked out, you may discard this card to cancel the damage being inflicted on your Hero." Cool! And boy, did that come in handy!

After a tough time with the green encounters I raced through yellow and blue and found myself on red much sooner than I expected. I killed a dragonlord and an Unliving Rune, then fought the Skeleton of Margath. As a reward, you get to fight Margath himself. Although I easily defeated the skeleton, Margath was challenging, as he should be. He killed the Knight Beset By Sorrow, both of my allies, and I had one hit point left when I killed him. It was a very tough encounter and a fitting climax to the game.

Even more challenging than being ignored by Scrabblette.

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