Thursday, September 14, 2017

Widower's Wood, Chapter Two

Gather 'round, everyone, and get ready for chapter 2 of Widower's Wood, the Privateer Press board game based on their wildly popular miniatures battle game.  Last month, the Fukuyama Gaming Club challenged the first chapter of the campaign.  We did well, in that we managed at the very last second (and I mean, like, the very last dice roll of the game), but it was a near thing.  I couldn't wait to give it another go and see if we couldn't do better the next time!  We did learn some big things through our mistakes last game though!
#1 - Do not underestimate how quickly the game turns run out!
#2 - Make sure to read the rules!  (haha, of course!)
#3 - Support characters and fighting characters should pair up and then stay together.

So, with this in mind, we set forth to continue in our quest to save the Widower's Wood!

The Story So Far:
Last time, our four heroes made their way through the woods to the evil witch doctor Rasheldonak's former village in the hope of finding clues to what the crazy Gatorman was up to.  However, on arriving at the village, they were ambushed by a tribe of Bog Trogs being led by a fierce, axe wielding Gatorman.    At the last possible second, our heroes (and more specifically, our porcine heroine, Agata) brought down the Gatorman, freeing the Trogs that were being pressed into service.  Turns out, the Gatormen are using the Trogs' mates and children as hostages to force them to fight against any who might stand against Rasheldonak.

So, first things first!  We had to spend our XP from last game... Agata and Vaskis decided to save up and buy something really great after the end of Chapter 2.  Olo purchased some Extra Shells to bump up his Armor rating, and Skarg bought Bow Spikes to add a little more punch to his melee attacks.
Some XP for you, and XP for you!
I took control of my girl, Agata, in all her piggy glory, while DTB took over control of Olo, Leland retained control of Vaskis, and we gave our new friend Matt Skarg.

Chapter 2:  Fish or Cut Bait
The four heroes have decided to help liberate the Bog Trog village so the Trogs will help them against Rasheldonak's evil plans.  Okay, so not all the heroes.  Okay, so maybe just Olo.  Who turns out to be the good guy of the group, and something of a softie. The defeated Trogs explain how the rest of the Gatormen are hoping that Rasheldonak is going to try and take over the whole of Widower's Wood now, and is gathering the lesser peoples of the swamps to help him!   Olo decided to help the Trogs, even thought Skarg couldn't care less about helping them, Agata wants to kill them all since it turns out they were the ones that destroyed her tribe, and Vaskis isn't saying one way or the other.  But looks like Olo is the leader of this motley crew, so off to help the village they go.

So, there you go!  Our intrepid heroes are off to save a some Trogs!

Our board is set and ready.  Okay, so in this scenario, the four heroes have to convince the Mist Speaker that they should join our group against the Gatormen.  Once a character is in the same space as the Mist Speaker, he can roll INT + 2d6.  On an 11 or 12, they convince the Mist Speaker to join them, and he will start to move towards the exit.  On a 13 or better, he is so convinced that he immediately is removed from the board, and extra XP is given to the group.  The finale of the game begins at the end of the 4th turn, when a Gatorman Bokur and 4 Swamp Shamblers are spawned.  Kill the Bokur, win the game!  Plus, after the Mist Speaker leaves the board, the other Trogs will try to follow.  If 5 Trogs escape, the party gets a bonus!

Determined to make a good showing of ourselves, we decided to team up Olo and Skarg, and Agata and Vaskis as we try to get the Trogs to safety.  Of course, as with all things, everything started going pear shaped right away.  At the beginning of every player turn, an event card is flipped, setting the tone for the turn.  Some are good, giving bonuses for certain skill checks, some are neutral, like Omimious Silence, which has no special effect.  And of course, some are bad.  Really bad.  And of course, at the beginning or turn 1, we flipped the Menacing Ripples card.  When this card hits the table, everyone rolls, and a Gatorman spawns in the water nearest to the person who rolled the highest.
Swamp monsters on Patrol
Normally, this wouldn't be a big problem.  There were four Gatormen on the board already, and four in reserve.  Plenty!  But.... and here is the kicker... if two people tie on the roll, then a Gatorman is spawned for both of them.  And Matt and Leland tied!  Uh-oh!  Two more gators on the board, and only two left in reserve.  Remember...if all the models from the reserve are in play, when you would spawn that model, instead of spawning that model gets an activation, which can be oh so very bad!  Fingers crossed we can kill off a couple of Gators before they spawn again!
Shhhhhhhh.... did you hear that?
Well, nothing we can do about the event card!  Time to get down to business!  Agata was given the job of keeping the exit area clear, since models can't leave the board if there is an enemy model in the exit square.  Olo made for the Mist Speaker, in order to convince him to join up, and Skarg followed him to try and keep them safe.  And Vaskis started working his way towards one of the side quest cards.  We didn't manage to pick one up last game, and we're hopeful to snag one this time around.
Can we get to the Side Quest?  Only time will tell.
Sadly, during the spawning phases, both of the last Gatormen were put on the board.  That is really, really not good.  And then, disaster.  The Villian Activation card indicated that one of the Gatormen charge the huddle of Mist Speaker, Skarg, and Olo.  Skarg did manage to kill it, but not before it took a couple of swings at the Mist Speaker (in this chapter, the villains will always target the Trogs before the player character.  Sheer luck saw the Mist Speaker survive, though, so we still have a chance for a victory! (The game automatically ends and the players lose if the Mist Speaker dies.)

The Widowers Wood is a dangerous place
On the next turn, a lucky break!  Ominous Silence reigns, so no extra difficulty there!  Olo managed to convince the Mist Speaker to come with us, but he didn't roll high enough to simply remove him, so the Mist Speaker made his slow way off the board, with Agata watching over his retreat.  The rest of the Bog Trogs will only start to move towards the exit once the Mist Speaker is safe, so we really really need to get them to hurry up if we want the bonus!  Luckily, the Mist Speaker managed to get out of town, just as the Bokur spawned.  And another spot of luck, he spawned as far away from the exit as possible!  Come on, Trogs, let's get out of here!

A Bokur and his Shamblers
And.... that's when the good luck ran out.  Another Menacing Ripples card was played, and two people (myself and Vaskis) tied again!  Thus, putting out the two gatormen that Agata had managed to kill off.  And then, another Villain activation card made them activate... and activate.... and again.  Man!  We could not catch a break from taking attacks from Gatorman.  The Bokur also had an activation, doing some serious damage to Skarg, but luckily Vaskis was on hand to help heal him up a little bit. 

Olo decided to be the hero we all know he is and moved up into danger to try and glue the Bokur into place to get Skarg into position to kill him.  He took a couple of hits from Gatormen, but he's a pretty slippery guy, and his high defense kept him safeish.  Guess it must be that rubbery skin of his!  We managed to get three Trogs out the exit, but it was quickly becoming clear that getting all 5, just like trying to reach the Side Quests, was just not going to happen this time around.  We realized that we had two options.  One, we keep doing what we're doing and try to get the last two Trogs out the exit and getting Vaskis to the Side Quest, but  if we did that, we ran the risk of running out of turns.  Or two, we say to boo to all of the extra stuff, and just try to kill the Bokur and secure a victory.  But it turns out all of our debate was moot anyway.  In the very next Villain activation, two Trogs got shot up by some Swamp Gobber Pirates, and all of a sudden, we didn't have five Trogs to rescue.  Well, that sure made things easier.  Time to kill us a Bokur!
Can you see him now, Skarg?
This time, our plan worked seamlessly!  Olo "Flared" the Bokur, making him an easier target.  Skarg used as many feat cards, abilities, and tricks as he could to bump his stats, and shot an arrow deep into the Bokur, ending his control of the Shamblers on the board, and his life.

Smoked Bokur jerky for dinner tonight, boys!
Yeah!  We did so much better this time around.  While we got a little back footed by running out of Gatormen in the reserve on the first turn, we managed to keep up with the pace of the game.  Our healer did a great job making sure the other characters were in fighting trim, and we, in turn, kept him safe as well.  While we still didn't have things in enough control to grab the extra bonuses avaliable, I think we'll be able to make a good run of it next chapter.  Great time, guys!  Thanks for a fun time.  Next month.... SIDE QUEST SUCCESS!!!!

If all things go well, we'll be able to play through the next chapter this coming Sunday, September 17th.... if we can have our meeting.  Typhoon 18 is making its way towards us, and is supposed to arrive just in time to ruin our game day.  So, fingers crossed everyone!  Shoo this typhoon away, so we can play!!!

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