I’ve been meaning to get this to the table for a while. Haven’t played in years and never actually finished the campaign. Boy, I forgot how dreadful the rules are. Utterly disorganized, often vague, and sometimes just neglectful. And some rules only appear in the learn-to-play guide, not the reference book! And a typical, poor player aid on the back of one rule book.
All that nonsense aside, I decided to play 3 heroes this time because 2 is just too hard (again, very typical of FFG, their games scale poorly) and my table fits 3 comfortably. The only problem is that with all my focus on ensuring I’m doing the rest of the rules correctly, I overlooked some effects on cards. Namely, not once in the entire game did I use the bonus action given to the party leader. I also may have exhausted an Orc Boy when I shouldn’t have. It’s not even a complicated game, but it’s like someone took a good rulebook, then chopped it into pieces, and put it back together in a random order with pieces missing.
Regardless of rules problems, it was fun, and I actually almost won with that major handicap. I got 9/10 on the final location, so I decided to count it as a win since I would have done much better with my extra action each round.
My Ironbreaker was the first to go, even after finding some awesome Half Plate for +4 health. Odius Grump stuck to him like glue since he was always the lowest health and healing is very limited. The squishy Waywatcher was the next go at the very end due to being overwhelmed with enemies after traveling (and there only being two heroes left). She died after her activation, which was unfortunate since she had an item that would have guaranteed a win if she was able to use it before dying.
I don’t think I’ll ever play 2 heroes again. Just far too limiting and punishing. 4 heroes must feel like a walk in the park compared to 2. I know there are gimmicky tactics that break a lot of the quests (at least they errata’d the delve, but I don’t know if it worked), but I tried not to go too overboard. At one point, I could have just chilled for several rounds, slowly healing because Grump had died for the last time, the location wouldn’t be spawning any more enemies, and everything else was dead. It feels like either the game wasn’t playtested very well, or they just should have had some other rule to prevent squatting in an area, healing (or just been like, “if you killed everything, you can fully heal before moving on” but that would probably need its own balancing).
For the settlement actions, they all took action upgrades, though I considered adding a gear slot to the dwarf, I figured he was going to need a more powerful Rest action to stay alive. We’ll have time to get gear later.
It’s a fun game, even if it’s an absolute mess, a perfect example of old FFG: really cool ideas, sloppy execution. Onward to Quest 2!