Tuesday, 9 May 2017

10 x 10 Challenge #17: Eight Epics - Game #3

Spurred on by my success in the previous game, and determined to keep my plan on track;  I decided to go for another game of Eight Epics to round off my Sunday session. On the subject of keeping things on track, I did also want to get this post up on Sunday as well; but unfortunately time got the better of me. By the time I was done gaming it was 11pm, and I needed to get up no later than 5:30am the next morning.

Still, better late than never as they say, and whilst I have fallen behind a little with my blogging; at least my 10 x 10 Challenge is still on track, which is a positive.

Speaking of gaming and positivity, whilst it felt great to beat such a tough game; I opted to keep all of the toggles set to easy for this play through as well. I had initially planned to increment the difficulty slowly with every successive victory, but on reflection I did only win the last game by the narrowest of margins. So I didn't feel that I was ready to up the ante just yet. Not whilst the current difficulty was still offering me a credible challenge.

So with all toggles set to easy, I pooled the dice, readied the avatars, and drew my first threat..

Round 1 - Threat: Pirn, Rampaging Overgrowth.

I was quite happy to see Pirn come out again. He's not too difficult to beat with his flexible challenge requirements (six dice matching, seven dice matching, and finally eight dice matching); and there are plenty of avatars that can help get you there. Personally though I feel the avatars best suited to the task are Sylliph who can manipulate large chunks of the dice pool, and Khantos who can remove dice from the dice pool.

The initial rolls for each challenge where however poor. Very poor. So I found that I had to more evenly spread the threat across the available avatars, using Jarroth to flip dice instead of removing them with Khantos, and using Ophinia to copy Sylliph's ability so as to spare Sylliph for future challenges.

It didn't take long for the avatars to beat Pirn, but it did come at higher cost than I had anticipated; with three of the eight avatars now having dropped to half of their initial Life Points.

Round 2 - Threat: Makano, Drill Strider.

Makano was next, and of all the threats that I have faced in Eight Epics; I would say that he is probably one of the most difficult. Makano is unique in that he is the only threat that changes his "mode"; mode being the best word I can muster to describe the pattern on threats.

Usually a threat will be pretty consistent. Pirn for example requires that you roll all identical numbers, and when it comes to Uluwash you need to roll progressively lower numbers with larger and larger dice pools. There is a pattern. Makano however flips "mode" with every new challenge, meaning that swapping avatars between tasks is almost obligatory; running the very real risk that you will exhaust the entire party (and lose the game instantly).

This is something that I came close to as I flipped from avatar to avatar, as I slowly worked my way down the list of challenges; and even this course of action alone wasn't quite enough. With the additional use of abilities and re-rolls, the number of avatars on half life or less had increased from three to five by the end of round two.

Round 3 - Threat: Broxix, Pestilent Breath.

As threats go, Broxix is somewhat of an endurance round; requiring that you complete eight challenges in order to defeat him, with realistically the only avatar suited to the task (results of fifteen or higher over three dice) being Gron.

This was certainly true of my game, as leading with Gron I was able to cut through the first three challenges with ease before having to pass after a really bad roll. Unfortunately however the bad rolls just kept on coming, which meant spending Life Point after Life Point; leaving the party in a bad way as they entered the fourth and final challenge (six avatars on half life or less, with two of them reduced to one Life Point). 

Round 4 - Threats: Narssis, Unholy One / Uluwash, Devouring Tide.

Considering the beating that I took in the previous round I was very happy to see these two threats as my final draws. Narssis can be a little tricky, as he requires that you roll  a sequence of one through six on six dice; but Khantos is more than flexible enough to deal with this. Uluwash on the other hand is really straight forward; and many of the avatars abilities can be used to overcome him relatively easily.

Using this reasoning I targeted Uluwash first.. Which went south pretty fast after a few poor rolls and some equally dire re-rolls. I did defeat him, but not before I had spent more Life Points than I really wanted to; and exhausted five of my eight avatars.

Thinking ahead however I had purposely not activated  Leafwind when tackling Uluwash; who I let lead the way in the battle against Narssis. Even if he didn't complete any of the challenges, I had enough Life Points left on him to return all of my other exhausted avatars to play.

This course of action did lead to Leafwind sacrificing himself, but not in vain as after a few more rolls that his sacrifice had made possible Narssis was defeated; and the game was won.

Final Thoughts 

Despite a lot of bad rolls I did win, and a lot more comfortably than in my last game it has to be said (four of my eight avatars survived). Some of this I would attribute to Serrin not being drawn, as I find him a particularly difficult threat to overcome; but that's not to say it's all down to the luck of the draw. I'd also like to think that I'm beginning to play better, and making more tactically sound decisions; having gained a better understanding of the game and its nuances.

So with that in mind, I feel that I am now ready to start increasing the difficulty of the game via the toggles. Slowly at first, but with a view to making it to the harder settings by game eight or nine.

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