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My Liberation campaign review

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mlangsdorf
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My Liberation campaign review

Thanks to Carl White for creating this (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/866706/the-liberation-a-sotm-campaign)

This is a thread for my solo play of the Liberation campaign. I'm not going to take round by round notes but just summarize the results.

Here are the teams I'm using:

Team A “Champions of Light”

Legacy, Bunker Engine of War, Tachyon, Nightmist, Tempest

Team B “Rook City Defenders”

Wraith, Ardent Adept, Ra, Mr. Fixer, Young Legacy

Team C “Motley Crew”

Visionary, Expatriette, Haka, Absolute Zero Elemental Wrath, Fanatic

The idea was to put a member of the Freedom 5 on every team, a mystic type on every tieam (counting Fanatic as somewhat mystic), and to balance team abilities fairly well. I don't have 15 heroes so Young Legacy is stepping in as the 15th; similarly, I don't have Ambuscade so Omnitron will be playing his part in "Day of the Hunter."

For simplicity, I'll be playing each team's sequence in order, and then switching to the next team.

 

Introductory Scenario ("An Omnimous Beginning")

Legacy, Wraith, and Absolute Zero respond to Baron Blade threatening Megalopolis. This turned out to be incredibly easy thanks to a good draw from Legacy that had the Legacy Ring, Lead from the Front, and two Next Evolutions on the table by turn 5 or so. With Legacy immune to projectiles and melee, the Baron's various goon squads and gun platforms never really had a chance. The Baron did manage to pull a Disruption that would have set everyone back or killed them (13 ongoings or equipments in play) had it not occurred during a Close Quarters Battle, so the damage was melee and Legacy just sucked it up and everyone laughed. The Baron flipped the first time from a Flying Smash from Legacy and went down the second time to a combination of Wraith patiently hitting him with Razor Ordinance and Absolute Zero impaling him. None of the heroes were below 15 HP remaining.

An unsurprising but nevertheless excellent victory that will hopefully set the stage for the rest of the campaign.

mlangsdorf
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Battle A1: "Death in the Jungle"

Baron Blade flees to Insula Primalis and goes crazy, setting up operations next to an active volcano. Legacy, Tachyon, and Nightmist pursue and beat him down over 6 turns. I always enjoy fighting Mad Bomber Blade, because the games are be quick, intense, and short. Legacy and Tachyon get off to slow starts with fairly weak draws, but Nightmist Reveals the Mist for 3 relics and quickly puts her Amulet in play, which turns out to be decisive. When the volcano goes off, she starts directing streams of lava at the Baron; Legacy has Danger Sense up, and Tachyon has a string of Synaptic Interruptions. 6 turns into the game, the Mad Baron goes down to redirected attacks and a Lightspeed Barrage.

I chose the team I did because Tempest and Bunker are both better in multi-target environments and have some set up time that Mad Bomber Blade just doesn't allow. It looks like that was a good choice.

 

The next fight is Cosmic Omnitron at Wagner Mars Base. Cosmitron is often a hard fight with ways to disrupt ongoings and equipment while also deploying the dreaded Electropulse Explosive. Wagner accerabates the problem with Pervasive Dust. Bunker is clearly a bad choice. Nightmist is dubious. Tempest and Tachyon can use ongoings and equipment but don't require them, especially when Legacy is boosting them. And their AoE damage will be helpful when the hordes of drones deploy in the end game.

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Battle A2: "This Machine, This Martian!"

Legacy, Tachyon, and Tempest face off against Cosmic Omnitron at Wagner Mars Base. All decks start off slowly, but a pair of Meteor Showers give the heroes some breathing space and everyone builds up. Cosmitron deploys a horde of beams and drones in the meantime. Finally, an Oxygen Leak comes out, everyone prepares, and Tempest uses Flash Flood to remove the Meteor Showers. With 4 cards in the trash, all of the drones are destroyed, and Tachyon uses Synaptic Interrupt to redirect her share of environmental damage to Cosmitron. On the next turn, Cosmitron flips and starts deploying drones while blasting people with energy beams, but Legacy has the Next Evolution up and no one cares.

Play continues. Another Synaptic Interrupt safely disposes of an Electro Pulse Explosive. Cosmitron deploys two instances of Adaptive Plating, but Legacy wasn't doing damage and Tempest developed a 4 card damage cycle (Electrical Squall, Viscious Cycle, an electrical based one-shot, and Grevious Hailstorm) that destroyed any random drones in the area as well as doing massive damage to Cosmitron, especially when boosted with Gene Bound Shackles and Legacy's Inspiring Presence (13-22 damage/turn, depending on the available one-shots). Cosmitron finally deployed Sedative Flechettes to cancel all this nonsense, but it was too little too late and he got taken out the next turn by another Oxygen Leak.

Cosmitron can be pretty scary, especially with 5 heroes who can't control the deck or develop damage immunity. I think he's a little easier with 3.

 

The next fight is against Dawn at the Ruins of Atlantis. Nightmist is probably helpful here for deck lockdown and targeted damage, while Tachyon has ongoing and environmental distruction. Both of them are low damage hitters and can probably use a boost from Legacy. With only 3 heroes and Dawn in basic mode, Dawn is likely to flip out of Merged With the Sun pretty quickly, so it should be easy to eliminate dangerous citizens.

 

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Battle A3: "What Lurks Beneath the Waves?"

Apparently, a brutal beat-down lurks beneath the waves. Citizens Blood and Sweat managed to deprive Legacy and Tachyon of cards in hand, and a Devastating Aurora took out everything else. Tachyon went down without doing much. Nightmist managed to muck around, eventually getting her amulet and cocooning up in mist form, but she eventually dropped out to help Legacy a bit and never managed to recover. Legacy held out for a bit, but Dawn eventually had both Eclipses and both Returns in play, and after another Devastating Aurora took out his defenses, the waves of revived citizens from the reshuffled deck were just too much for him. In the end, most the damage to the villains was done by a pair of Mystical Defenses and waves of Kraken. If it weren't for the damn Devastating Auras, Nightmist and Legacy could have just turtled up and watched as Dawn was destroyed by third parties.

 

Next fight is Grand Warlord Voss at advanced, which is tough. I'm thinking Legacy and Tempest for starters, since they have a good synergy together. Nightmist definitely needs to stay out so she can be available for the final fight. Bunker is a possible choice here, since Ammo Drop + lots of minions means a highly boosted Omnicannon, but Tachyon is also a possibility. I'll probably go with Bunker and hope for the best.

 

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Battle A4: "Invaders From Another World"

Legacy, Tempest, and Bunker (Engine of War) went toe to toe with Voss' hordes in the Realm of Discord. It was a pretty confusing battle, with the distortions constantly changing the field of the game. The early minions were easily smashed as Bunker set up equipment before going into turret mode (aided by a first turn ammo drop) and Legacy alternated between the Next Evolution to soak damage and Galvanize to up minion destruction. The first Forced Deployment happened during the Imbued Vitality distortion, and Tempest Punched it into the Stratosphere to buy some time. Legacy then proceeded to prepare a Heroic Intervention, and though that pretty much took him out of the game, it prevented enough damage to the other two that they could continue. Also, disabled Legacy's ability to let Tempest use Grevious Hailstorm twice per turn, especially when augmented with Gene-Bound Shackles, cleared out minions and hammered away at Voss. Bunker dropped out of turret mode to deploy the Omnicannon, charged it up slightly with his massively large hand, and then went back into turret mode and dropped 3 cards in order to drop Voss before the Realm of Discord could due more to make things difficult.

A close fight, and Legacy had to drop out due to incapacitation, but good enough to get a viable team to face Gloomweaver. Nightmist will probably be this team's champion, mostly for thematic reasons.

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Battle B1: "Day of the Hunter (Revised)"

I don't have Ambuscade, so I substitutely basic Omnitron for him. I figured I would anchor the team with Wraith, and since she can probably win that fight by herself, I could experiment with Mr. Fixer and Ardent Adept safely.

It turns out I was wrong. Wraith can't quite lock down Omnitron's deck, and it took Mr. Fixer and Ardent Adept too long to get established. The heroes kept wailing on Omnitron and his drones, and took out the Electro-Pulse Explosive handily, but never quite jelled fast enough to take him out. Sedative Flechettes on one turn followed by a Technological Singularity during a Hostage Situation reduced everyone to square 1, and while Wraith had enough cards in hand to recover, Mr. Fixer was down and Ardent Adept never managed to get his stuff together. Two sets of Local Police and a pair of Runaway Monorails looked like they were going to finish off the big guy (I was so hoping to run over Omnitron with a train!) but an unfortunate Rooftop Combat destroyed all that and allowed Omnitron to deploy the drones that finished everyone off.

That was disappointing, to say the least, and surprising. I don't expect to lose to basic Omnitron.

 

I was worried about fighting Plague Rat at advanced, so I swapped out Ardent Adept for Ra and Young Legacy for Wraith, meaning that if I lost, I'd only lose Mr. Fixer for the game. I was also hoping that Ra could get off an Imbued Fire / Flesh of the Sun God combo, and everyone could ignore the self-damage since they'd be immune. Even having Young Legacy get a Next Evolution would probably be enough to bring it off.

 

Battle B2: "A Plague Upon This House"

My theory was once again wrong. Mr. Fixer ended up with equipment that increased his damage and made it irreducible (not helped by Harmony), and ended up clobbering himself when he got Infected. Similarly with Ra and his Staff. My card turn-over was just slow, and none of the stuff I was hoping on ever appeared. I also realized I had no on-going or environment destruction, and Plague Rat just beat everyone down until the rats appeared and finished them off. Very frustrating.

I've had done better to risk Wraith, and hope I could get an Infrared Eyepiece and lock down Plague Rat's nastier card. I've seen that work pretty well against him.

 

The next fight is Akash'bhuta in Rook City, which promises to be a complete hassle. Wraith, Young Legacy, and Ra? Young Legacy might provide some tanking and damage, and Wraith handles the environment and ongoings. Ra can be relied upon for damage, and Akash'bhuta doesn't cause heroes to damage themselves the way Plague Rat does.

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Battle B3: "When Waketh the World"

This was another slaughter. People kept getting caught in Brambles and unable to do damage - which is pretty painful with only three people to do damage in the first place, though it was a bit amusing when Young Legacy managed to do a Heroic Intervention without hurting herself. Eventually Wraith and Ra dropped out, and Young Legacy was caught in the Brambles and unable to destroy them. She had some hope for environmental damage, but after a bit Akash'Bhuta revamped the playing field (or whatever her card is that destroys environment cards and replaces them with new ones). With no options, Young Legacy was eventually destroyed.

With three heroes permanently out of play, Team B couldn't continue and the campaign was lost.

Gloomweaver triumphs, since the Chairman is never interrogated about the relics, and the other teams never know to go to the Ruins of Atlantis. The End.

 

Very disappointing. I'll try the Team B sequence again on alternate timeline, and see how that goes.

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Alternate Battle B1: "Day of the Hunter (Revised)"

So apparently with 3 players, Omnitron is dangerous enough that I can't use him for testing purposes. Wraith also can't quite provide enough deck control against him, so she's out. Omnitron doesn't have too many on-goings that can't be worked around, and Megalopolis environment cards are generally either neutral, targets, or have an escape clause, so Ra and Young Legacy should be good choices. I'll throw in Mr. Fixer for the 3rd, since Ardent Adept takes too long to set up in the Sedative Flechette and Technological Singularity environment favored by Omnitron.

Play starts off a bit slow again, with multiple Hostage Scenarios slowing the deployment of cards, and the Flechettes and Singularities showing up early enough that while they didn't do much damage, they also prevented any early build. Ra was pretty much left to throwing his Staff at various threats, which worked out well when Mr. Fixer used the Scrap Yard to replace all 4 Staffs into Ra's hand. Somewhere around this time, Young Legacy got the Next Evolution / Lead from the Front combo set up, resulting in the most hilariously irrelevant pair of Electropulse Explosives ever. The cops showed up again, and Omnitron was ground into scrap electronics, despite a late game deployment of Adaptive Plating. A pair of attack drones were left over, but didn't last through a single one of Ra's Infernos (boosted by an Inspiring Presence and the Staff).

So Young Legacy got to show her chops as a hero while Wraith played mission control.

 

The next fight is Plague Rat in Pike. I'd definitely leaving Ra and Young Legacy behind. Ardent Adept should be decent in this fight - he brings a lot of healing, which is helpful, and Rat's lack of ongoing/equipment destruction means that once Ardent gets rolling, he should be in good shape. I'm hoping to have multiple copies of the song that destroys ongoings out when Plague Rat flips, so Ardent can quickly and painlessly cure everyone. Hopefully Mr. Fixer won't be damaging himself so bad, especially since this isn't on Advanced, and Wraith can provide some deck control and single target damage (twin stun bolts for the win?). I'm feeling more hopeful.

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Alternate Battle B2: "A Plague Upon This House"

I don't want to talk about it.

Chemical vats exploding, rats coming out of the walls, and Plague Rat just massacring everyone. In Pike, he's a high difficulty villain, and that's all there is to it.

I thought I managed to eke out a win by abusing Stun Bolts, but looking back at the rules I was clearly wrong.

Oh, well. Moving on to Akash'bhuta.

 

Alternate Battle B3: "When Waketh the World!"

This was a struggle, but not too horrible. The team was Wraith, Ra, and Young Legacy fighting at Rook. I had considered doing some lockdown shenigans with Wraith's Infrared Eyepiece, but Akash'bhuta draws too many cards too unpredictably for that too be viable. Instead, I concentrated on damage and ongoing removal for her, while Ra did damage, and Young Legacy got caught in brambles while Leading from the Front with Next Evolution. After I got that combo, and Fortitude on YL and Smoke Bombs from Wraith, I only took damage from the occasional Entombment. Most heroes were in the single digits, and then YL got out an Inspirational Charge and used it to heal even if she couldn't do damage.

Akash'bhuta flipped twice, but YL had Next Evolution out before the first flip so it wasn't too bad. Ra had plenty of ongoings to sacrifice to Akash'bhuta's ongoing destruction card, and although equipment destruction flustered Wraith at a few points, it was manageable.

One of the few nice bits were the two helpful cards in Rook City: the investigator and the forensic. Normally, these two last for a 2-3 rounds when I see them, because I can't afford the extra damage hits. Here, with Young Legacy already being immune to melee damage and the hits coming from a villain card, there was no difficulty at all in keeping them alive.

A narrow victory is still a win.

 

Next fight is the Chairman in Insula Primalis. Young Legacy seems like a must here, since NE/LftF will keep retribution damage from the Chairman manageable after he's flipped, and generally insulate the team. Villain deck lockdown probably isn't feasible, but Wraith can contribute with Throat Jabs and the rest of her ordinance, as well as grappling hooks to deal with terrain (or possibly an Inventory Barrage to remove the Chairman in a hurry). I'm torn between Mr. Fixer, who is thematically appropriate but who I fear is just going to be fodder for Thieves and vulnerable to attacks from the Chairman, and Ra, who might be more useful when a volcano erupts and usually does more damage. I'm probably going to do with Ra - I've one more than a few fights just by standing in a volcano, watching my enemies melt and burn.

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Alternate Battle B4: "Mayhem on the Mean Streets"

Wraith, Young Legacy, and Ra faced off against the Chairman in Insula Primalis. This was a very quick, brutal battle, with two obsidian fields coming out early and driving the damage count through the roof. Young Legacy got out her Lead from the Front / Next Evolution combo early, which prevented the worst of the damage, but the Contract Killer and his gunmen put paid to Ra before he managed to contribute very much beyond minion destruction. A Rampaging T-Rex showed up on the second turn and failed to gnaw on the Chairman for most of the game, though eventually it did attack the Operative. Wraith was barely hanging on but Young Legacy was in fine shape when they used out of turn power's (thanks to Ra's special ability) to finish off the Chairman.

On annoying oddity was that since Young Legacy didn't have the Legacy Ring out, she didn't have Melee immunity if she attacked the Chairman. That slowed things down a bit.

 

Next battle is the start of the C team sequence, with "A Killer Stalks the Streets."

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Battle C1: "A Killer Stalks the Streets"

With a team of Absolute Zero, Expattriette, Fanatic, Haka, and Visionary against Spite, I had one clear no-hoper (Fanatic) and a couple of possibles. I decided this wouldn't be Expattriette's fight and went with AZ, Haka, and Visionary in Rook City.

The start of the game was frustrating, as Visionary (despite getting the power that allowed her to mill her deck) couldn't draw a Twist the Ether to save her life, or at least most of her HP. Haka and AZ easily got set up, with Haka having a Mere / 2xDominion card drawing engine and AZ having all his equipment out (though not Impale or Chilling Winds). Haka eventually did a Ground Pound to get some breathing space as all the heroes were entering single digits and Spite was doing 2-6 damage/turn, but at that point Visionary got both Twists the Ether and started turning things around. With most of Spite's damage on his unflipped side neutralized, it wasn't necessary for Haka to Ground Pound any longer.

I did find a nice combo - Haka + Mere + Ground Pound and Visionary's ongoing that lets her move an ongoing from the trash to the top of someone's deck means that if Haka gets both Ground Pounds, he can recycle them forever while doing two damage to a target. If he already has a Dominion or two out, he can do this forever while drawing more and more cards.

Eventually Spite found all his drugs (but not before the heroes saved the Potential Sidekick, though all the other victims went down) and flipped, which honestly didn't help him at all. The two Twist the Ethers meant that only his Toxic damage for using a power kicked in as actual damage, and Haka had damage resistance. Visionary stopped using powers and played her direct damage cards instead (she had a hand full of them), Haka hit him with Mere and laughed at the damage, and Absolute Zero had the damage converted to Cold or Fire as necessary and just wailed on Spite. At some point Haka dumped most of his hand to hit Spite for 29 damage with a Haka of Battle enhanced Mere strike, and that took out half of Spite's remaining HP. After a few more rounds, another Haka of Battle fueled attack took out the psycho kiler.

 

The next fight is against Apostate in Wagner Mars Base. Expatriette is clearly out, due to her equipment requirements, and AZ is an iffy play in Wagner. Fanatic generally fights well against Apostate, since she can usually get through any damage resistance, and it's not like Apostate minds take extra damage. Haka with Savage Mana might also be useful for keeping some of the more annoying relic/demon combos out of the trash. We'll see how Visionary, Haka, and Fanatic do. I may try to set up the Ground Pound loop during an Oxygen Leak or Fire in the Biosphere, in hopes of killing the villain in the most stupidly amusing way possible.

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Battle C2: "Where Demons Dwell"

Visionary, Haka, and Fanatic took on Apostate at Wagner Mars Base in a hilarious 7 round beat down. Apostate pretty much failed entirely.

Visionary got an early Twist the Ether on him, turning his usual 1+1+3 end of round attack routine into a 0+0+2 routine, that quickly became a 0+0+0 routine when an Oxygen Leak came off the environmental deck and all his damage became fire. Haka also got an early Savage Mana, Taiaha (the equipment that hits two targets), Savage Mana, and a Rampage, so although Apostate managed to get out almost all his relics early, they just disappeared under Haka's savage pounding. The Orb of Redirection (or whatever it's called) came out when there were 4 other villain targets in play, so Visionary used a psychic blast to do 10 damage to it, setting it up for another Savage Mana theft.

Fanatic didn't contribute much here, aside from repeatedly wailing on Apostate. Most amusingly when a Demon Pugilist came out, just in time for Haka to do him a little damage and Fanatic to give him the Final Drop. The original plan had been to use Final Drop on Condemnation and impale Apostate with his own sword, but dropping one of his bodyguards on him instead was nearly as good.

At the end of the game, both Oxygen Leaks and a Fire in the Biosphere were in play with 4 cards in the environmental trash, but the heroes were Levitating above most of the damage. Apostate, unfortunately for him, was not, and he contributed to a pair of story victories for me.

 

The next fight in this sequence is against the Ennead at the Tomb of Anubis. Visionary and Haka are obvious choices, in hopes of getting a Ground Pound loop set up again. For the third, I don't think Fanatic has much to contribute. Absolute Zero has some synergies with the bad guys and it doesn't look like Expatriette does. I'll probably go with Visionary, Haka, and AZ.

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Battle C3: "'Neath Sacred Sands"

I took on the Ennead in the Tomb of Anubis with Visionary, Haka, and Absolute Zero. The Ennead sent out Osiris, Atum, and Shu.

This was a short game, with Haka brutalizing Osiris and Atum with his Taiaha while Absolute Zero and Visionary smashed Shu. Visionary did a little deck control to keep anyone else from coming out. Everyone ignored the environment, especially after Atum (Osiris? I always forget) and started killing environmental targets. The entire business was over in about 7-8 rounds and all the heroes were still in double digit hit points.

The Ennead are much more of a threat on advance, but in a 3 on 3 match with no one else coming out, they just don't last.

 

The next fight is against the Matriarch in the Realm of Discord. Visionary (for a Twist the Ether to neutralize the Matriarch) and Haka (for Savage Mana and Rampage) are obvious choices. Expatriette doesn't have enough damage reduction. Fanatic could go either way, but I think I'm comfortable with AZ and will stay with him.

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Battle C4: "Matron of Madness"

The Matriarch cleaned my clock. Visionary, Haka, and Absolute Zero didn't have a chance. Huigin, Muigin, and both Carrion Fields came out early, and even though Visionary managed to Twist the Ether to prevent the Matriarch from killing everyone when a fowl died and Haka had a Savage Mana to keep them in prison, the effort of maintaining them was just too much. To add insult to injury, the Realm of Discord drew back to back Claustrophic Distortion (heroes can only damage the non-hero target with the lowest HP) and Realm Fiend (17 HP; hero with highest HP takes damage equal to environmental trash). With no way to do much other than kill a bird or two and get murdered by a Carrion Field, the heroes succumbed in short order. I'm not sure how to beat the Matriarch, but this team was not the answer.

Fortunately, that was the first lost for Team C, so only Haka was lost and they had 4 candidates for the next fight.

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Finale: "Lo, There Shall Come a Liberation"

The final fight is one hero from each team against Gloomweaver. Team A was down to Bunker, Nightmist, Tachyon, and Tempest. Team B had Ardent Adept, Young Legacy, Mr. Fixer, Ra, and Wraith. Team C had Absolute Zero, Expatriette, Fanatic, and Visionary.

A couple of characters were obvious no shows in a fight against Advanced Gloomweaver (immune to melee and projectile). Bunker, Expatriette, Mr. Fixer, Tachyon, and Wraith do almost exclusively melee and projectile damage, so they were all out. Fanatic mostly does melee damage, and her emergency nuke doesn't effect Gloomweaver's relics. I still haven't gotten the hang of Ardent Adept, and while I see how maybe he could do neat things, it never actually happens (which is a shame; he would have been a god in this fight).

On Team A, I had Tempest vs Nightmist and went with Nightmist for her deck control and emnity to Gloomweaver. Team B had Young Legacy or Ra, and I figured bolstering damage is always good (though Tempest's variety of multi-target damage would have been helpful, too). On Team C, Visionary is generally better than Absolute Zero, though again it could have gone either way.

In the event of the actual play, Gloomweaver didn't do much. His initial zombies hurt people, but an early Psychic Manifestation took care of them. Young Legacy started building up defenses and damage increases while zapping him with her eye lasers. Nightmist got out her own relics much faster than Gloomweaver did and started using the Amulet to redirect damage to him. The environment co-operated with a pair of early Krakens that could be counted on to murder weak cultists or damaged relics.

The Pillars of Hercules came out early, which is usually a mixed blessing. I fought through the waves of cultists and zombies until Nightmist started getting her Mistbounds, at which point the game turned into a route. The heroes were taking two turns each, or close enough, and Gloomweaver couldn't play cards. A Font of Power only increased the wackiness - Nightmist was damaging herself for 5 damage every time she Investigated, and redirecting all of that to Gloomweaver. She managed to do 16 damage to Gloomweaver with a single Heedless Lash while healing herself 3!

Eventually the Mystic Defenses rose up and finished off a badly wounded Gloomweaver. Two of his relics never even entered play. Per the scenario, "[The heroes] have won a legendary victory and [their] names will be celebrated for all time. Nice work."

 

It was a fun set of scenarios, and I was glad to play them. I think a few of them were just a bit too hard - Plague Rat in Pike and the Matriarch in the Realm of Discord are insane - but most of them were well balanced.