Friday, October 18, 2013

Wrath of Ashardalon - Not Skulls and Shackles

I was not feeling so great this week and needed a break from running so on Tuesday we broke out Wrath of Ashardalon. This is a fourth edition dnd board game that uses some of the fourth edition rules.  I have to say that I have played Castle Ravenloft before (I think it is actually somewhere on this blog) and I very much enjoyed it. So much so that I have all three of the dnd fourth edition board games.

Fouth edition you say? Meh Yeah I agree with you.  Now while I am not a huge fan of dnd fourth edition I do very much enjoy their board games.  One of the fun things about the board games is that power creep actually works in the favor of the players and even as you feel that you are getting screwed you really can just wade through a horde of bad guys.

Jessica, Mel, Dan, Eric and myself played. I played the human cleric, Mel the Fighter, Jesscia the Rogue, Dan the Paladin and Eric played the Dwarf fighter.  The game went very well although we all felt like we got cheesed by the cards as we only got through the first board tile before getting slammed by a pit, magma flows, a sentry party, and a horde of monsters.  Hell we ended up fighting big A himeself in the same hallway later in the game.

What I learned about this game that I had forgotten before is that the monsters matter but aren't the entire game.  What you need to do is to move as quickly as possible to other tiles so you do not have to draw Exploration cards. Why you ask? Easy answer - Exploration cards suck. They always screw the players. I think we had two cards in benefits for the players but they also had challenges like 'trapped chest' and such. We had a good time playing it. I do recommend the game. Just keep moving! That's the way it works!

I hope to run it again this weekend or sometime in a few weeks with a few modifications we made.  IN the rules it says to draw an Exploratin card if you did not place a tile OR if you drew a tile with a black triangle. The problem is that some Exploration cards actually have you draw tiles and place them and when we drew ones with a black triangle we'd go ahead and to the letter of the law draw another Exploration card. Obviously it became kind of silly and I put a kibosh to that about mid game.

Another thing I changed, for right or wrong, is that the mission said to defeat 12 monsters. Well I made A count as four monsters. I figured it was only right since monsters mostly only have a handful of hits and big A had a wopping 12!

The one good thing about how we were positioned is that A never moved. Not once after showing up. No one moved up to him and he just kept attacking (and missing) Jessica's rogue. It worked well for us but I thought about the realism of that later and am now figuring anyway since it's just a dragon and a game and realism doesn't count in dragons and magic.

I give this game four stars. I'd give it five but I reserve five stars for things like "I have Wood for Sheep" and well there were no puns in this game...

Wrath of Ashardalon - beats a kick in the pants and a breakfast meal with a Terrasque any day.

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