Tuesday, 2 May 2017

10 x 10 Challenge #15: Eight Epics - Game #1

Given that I've been playing 100 Swords since February as a part of my 10 x 10 Challenge, I needed a break. So, I looked down my list and decided that I'd go for a game of Eight Epics; a co-operative dice game from the designer of Love Letter.

The version that I have is the English release by AEG, and before giving a brief rundown of play I'd just like to say how impressed I am with the product. Eight Epics is only a small box game.. But that small box is like the TARDIS! Inside you get the game, a variant which could be its own expansion, and a scenario which is equivocal to a promo.

The rules also offer several toggles too, so you can make the game easier if you're finding it a bit rough; or harder if you're finding it a bit of a cakewalk.. Not that I find the latter very likely. As personally even with all of the difficulty toggle set down to their lowest levels I still had a hard time of things. That said, prior to this session I hadn't played the game before; so it is both probable and likely that I wasn't playing optimally.

How did I do though? Let's see..

Round 1 - Threat: Pirn, Rampaging Overgrowth.

This one wasn't too bad as an initial draw. Only 3 challenges, and all of them quite flexible (getting all of the dice to match, but it can be any number). Khantos, Arcane Master came in pretty useful here as dropping dice from the pool allowed me to quickly tip the odds in my favor.

Leafwind, The Wildling was also pretty useful in allowing me to get extra activations out of some of the other epics, meaning I got a few free re-rolls on top of those provided by his ability. He did take a bit of a pummeling as a result though, dropping to half health by the end of the round.

Round 2 - Threat: Makono, Drill Strider.

This one was a little trickier to beat, requiring that I beat 4 challenges and really mixing it up in terms of the requirements of each challenge; from low rolling to high rolling, including sequences and matching. Tactically this took some planning, and I'm still not convinced that I did the best job I could here as 6 of my avatars were on less than half life by the end of this round.

We did scrape through though, and that's the main thing. I also dropped really lucky on the initial roll against the sequence, getting 7 of the 8 numbers I needed to complete the challenge before an avatar even got involved!

Round 3 - Threat: Broxix, Pestilent Breath.

This is where it all really began to fall apart. Broxix can soak up a lot of punishment, and by the end of this round all of my avatars where on less than half of their initial life totals, with three of them being reduced to only one life!

The party was in a bad way to say the least.

Round 4: Threats: Serrin, Shadow Reaper / Hronthar, Winged Flame.

The last round (at least in the easy game it is), and that means that the party has to take down two enemies without a respite in order to claim victory. This was a bad combination too, as both of these enemies would take a lot of effort and resources to bring down. Resources I frankly just didn't have.

Deciding that the Hronthar was probably the easiest of the two (as he could be taken down with a few lucky rolls), I elected to battle him first and set about it. Long story short, it did not go well. I needed a lot of high rolls, and I just wasn't getting them. I even had to sacrifice an avatar to seal the first challenge, and there were still two more to go after that!

Auriel, Harbinger of Healing was next to fall as I patched up Khantos in one last attempt to bring down the dragon.. Which I did! It was a token victory though, as whilst he had slain the beast, Khantos was now my only avatar that wasn't either dead or exhausted (and he was down to his last life point).

The game it seems was over. The last avatar had fallen, and the earth was screwed.

Final Thoughts

I honestly enjoyed my first game of Eight Epics. It's a challenge, but I like a challenge; and I look forward to hopefully being able to meet that challenge as I play more games. True, luck is a factor (as you might well expect with a dice game); but it can be largely offset in the case of Eight Epics by making good decisions. Certainly better decisions than I did.

Still, live and learn.

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