It is, perhaps, the sign of a good game when people ask to play it, and then play it again. That’s our experience of Conan. Indeed, the Luffmeister and I have played little else ever since it arrived – and I’ve even got some work colleagues playing too!
It’s a very cinematic game, and has so far proven to have very well balanced scenarios.
Scenario 1 – In the clutches of the Picts – has been played the most, as Dave has played it twice solo, and we’ve also played it as a group.
The game has been won twice – on the last turn both times – and has given some wonderful gaming moments.
Such as the time when the group were surrounded by a pack of hyenas. They looked to be in big trouble, but one swing of Conan’s battle axe later…
Or the time when Conan rushed out of a hut to do battle with a Giant Snake by barging through the wall…which was right next to the door. You could imagine Shevatas and Hadrathus looking at each other with some bemusement afterwards…
(In game terms it made sense, as it was actually quicker to run through the wall than go via the door.)
Conan is then confronted by a Giant Snake and three Pict Warriors. The Snake has just coiled over the head of Zagor Sag, so it needs to be dispatched so that the head can be taken off the board.
Hadrathus emerges from the hut and casts ‘Lightning Bolt’, needing to do enough damage to kill the Picts and wound the snake without killing Conan…which he does…
…and then Conan kills the snake with a mega dice roll, thus revealing the chieftan’s head, and opening the way to get out of the village.
The second scenario is called ‘Hunting the Tigress’, and introduces Belit to the heroes (as well as the Ally rule).
My initial thoughts are that this scenario is an easier one for the Heroes, as Conan especially can make very short work of the Pirates, who are the main protagonists in this scenario.
This particular playing board has some great artwork on it – I particularly like how both boats are surrounded by sharks…
In this game, the Overlord has to kill the Belit character, whilst the heroes have to either kill Skuthus and Zaporavo, or Belit has to survive for 8 turns.
We did discover one thing during this game – Archers can be a nasty unit to face.
One of the special actions the Overlord can perform during this game is that Skuthus can sacrifice himself to summon an Outer Dark Demon. As we read the scenario, Skuthus dying actually contributes to the Heroes victory conditions. After all, it’s not an action the Overlord is forced to do…it’s more of a gamble to summon a more powerful creature in order to try to kill Belit and win the game.
However, in our game, the Demon failed to wound Belit and was then flattened by Conan. This was on turn 6, and at this point, with the Overlord only having the Archers, Zaporavo and 3 Pirates left, Dave was simply going to sit in the stairwell of the Tigress, out of bow shot, and wait until the end of the game.
Really? I said, That simply isn’t very much in the spirit of Conan, is it?
And so this happened…
…a much better ending than everyone simply cowering in the shadows, don’t you think?
The third scenario – In the heart of darkness – follows on from the second. Our heroes have tracked Skuthus to a ruined stronghold, and are trying to trap and kill him before he can escape.
The Overlord is somewhat up against it in this scenario, as he only has a very limited number of troops at his disposal. Even so, the archers dominate most of the area, if used well.
In our game, the Dark Demon at the entrance never made it past the first turn – I’m wondering if his entire job is simply to act as a ‘roadblock’ for a turn. Again, lots of possibilities for cinematic actions in this scenario…
A couple of fun scenarios, which have proven to be well balanced as the Heroes have only just managed to achieve their victory conditions within the time limit. I wonder what the group will make of them, as opposed to playing with just myself and Dave?