A full game walkthrough. Every move explained. TURN 2
This is part of an ongoing series. You definitely want to read the post about Turn 1 or this will make no sense!
At the end of the turn 1 Clash phase, the board looks like this:
Team Rodhri wins the turn but is rather beat up and somewhat out of position for turn 2. Morrigan has the West cluster to herself and Peet is in dire straits. Meanwhile, Team Morrigan has taken zero damage and gets to control the end phase.
Team Morrigan rolls four dice to see how many hexes they get to move and gets a 3. Team Morrigan decides to pull three of the center hexes back away from Rodhri and to go first.
Morrigan claims and uses Forward Minions! to bring the Cold Bones up. They activate and declare their mistress to be So Cool that the deserves an accuracy boon before moving up an additional space. They are essentially offering themselves up to Luella, but protecting the banner will hopefully be worth it. The Hexlings recruit and use Attune Magic to gain a Damage Boon. Rattlebone casually Claims on the hex behind her and debuffs Luella’s speed with a Grasping Curse. She rolls a blank for Roll the Bones and decides that the Hexlings should get armor.
Blackjaw is committed to the East side of the board. There’s no protecting a flag from Peet here, but he’ll move up and claim anyhow just to snag a step and to deny Peet the option to Claim if the Goblin wants to crush the banner. The Reavers Recruit to fill out their three stack and try to Intimidate Peet. With their accuracy blight, they roll five dice and manage to come up with all blanks. At least they cleared their blight, though.
Heading into their turn 2 Plot phase, team Rodhri is looking at this board state
What a mess. Time to unpick the puzzle, as my British friends might say. We’ll start on the East side. Time for some Sneaky Stabbing. Another decision point: would we rather have a 2/6 or a 4/5 attack on Blackjaw? Both options would be more accurate if not for how Fearsome the Reavers are. The 4/5 seems like the move even if it means that two stabbers need to group up, presenting a better target for Blackjaw. The stabbers hit and do two damage to Blackjaw, leaving him on 6 health.
Peet cannot Claim because of how Blackjaw has positioned himself, so the simple play is to Leap onto Blackjaw’s banner and Backstab the Orc. Peet is rolling 9 dice to hit here because of Gang boss and his boon. He hits easily. The hit effect deals a wound, and the damage roll deals three more. Blackjaw has 2 health left. That 8 health was depleted rather quickly by some concentrated slayer effort.
Now for the mess in the middle. It’s pretty clear that Rodhri needs to keep pushing his way forward, bless him, so the issue is whether or not Luella should go for Morrigan’s flag. She cannot get there this phase, but she can be in position to remove it in the Clash. The other option is to ignore the flag and kill all these followers in front of her. That’s probably the better move since Luella only needs to get two of them to equal the value of Morrigan’s end phase banner.
Do we use Luella's ultimate here? Nah. Luella advances zero to remove her speed blight and Supercharges Rodhri. The Shield Maidens Empower themselves before two of them move over to threaten Morrigan. One Maiden stays next to Luella to give her an armor boon. We don’t want to get Snowballed here. Finally, the blue dwarves. They each boost their armor. The Guard moves up while poor Rodhri has nothing to do but pass his second action.
So heading into the cash phase, the board looks like this:
Team Morrigan has the first move and there are some intriguing options on the board. Kill Peet before he kills Blackjaw? Strike with the undead? Nah. The most important thing here is the banner advantage team Morrigan has worked so hard for. It’s Hexling time once again. They recruit to double up the space in front of Rodhri. Now that there are two of them there, Hex Bolt is on 91% to give Rodhri a blight. Just like that, his speed boon has gone. Luella might clear them out and she might not, but this move at least keeps Rodhri from simply shoving aside the one Hexling in his way and getting the banner.
Now Team Rodhri gets a go. Kill Blackjaw or unleash hell with Luella? The move seems to be to kill Blackjaw because Luella will probably survive another activation. Once again, Peet rolls 9 accuracy dice and hits easily. After the auto wound, he just needs. 3 on five dice and just gets there. Blackjaw is KOd. Five steps for Team Rodhri, and Blackjaw is pushed back.
The Cold Bones decide it’s time for a Snowblade fight, so they shamble over to Luella. Better get her before she gets them. There are four of them adjacent to her and the attack originates from a 3-stack. The ice zombies have a damage boon, so this attack is a 5/6. Not bad at all. Luella has a protection boon, though, and they fail to damage her.
The board looks like this at this point:
Team Rodhri has the stabbers, and all of the dwarves left. Team Morrigan has Morrigan and all of the orcs to go. If team Rodhri has any hope of winning this turn, it will involve mass destruction from Luella which allows Rodhri to break through. This means that waiting to resolve that as long as possible is good because the dwarves are likely to survive until the end of the round, and an already-activated Rattlebone will be easier to work around.
So the Shield Maidens consolidate next to Morrigan and smack her. This attack is a 6/6 with the damage boon. They hit and … HOLY DICE SPIKE BATMAN! The Shield Maidens roll a 9 on 6 dice which is just enough to one-shot Morrigan. Wow. This happens in Godtear. Morrigan gets pushed North, and Team Rodhri scores 4 steps. Nice job, ladies.
Now Team Morrigan has some thinking to do. They are still in a position to win the turn by 2 if they can keep the banners up, but it’s risky. Better to score some more steps. Time to try to kill some Stabbers. Blackjaw rallies and hurls a fireball at the 2-stack of gobbos. He’s at 41% odds for each attack roll. He misses them both. Ouch.
The stabbers like where they are, because it blocks the 3 stack of Reavers from Peet. So, they just try to Irritate the Reavers further. They miss. The Reavers muster a 2 stack to swipe at Peet. It’s only 20% odds to hit. They miss.
Now it’s Luella time. This activation will likely swing the turn. Luella unleashes some Arc lightning on the adjacent 3 stack of Cold bones. She hits. Many dice are rolled. She gets a 5 damage dice roll on one Cold Bones and then free 3 dice damage rolls on 3 more cold bones and 2 more hexlings. 6 total damage rolls. The end result is… she kills one Hexling. That’s it. Luella can really disappoint. The dice giveth and the dice taketh away. Although… against Armor 3, getting a KO here is only a 20% shot, so this is not that far off what you’d expect. It sure feels disappointing to fail five of six rolls, though.
NOTE: An astute reader pointed out to me that the text of Arc Lighting specifies that the bonus damage rolls can only apply to "up to 2" enemy models. The fact that I misread this ability to be significantly more powerful than it is and it still didn't do anything should tell us something.
Luella still has another attack, however. Rolling Thunder is ok. I wish Luella could target multiple models with it, but it has good odds to get a KO here. Unfortunately, it’s only Range 1, so Leulla cannot target the Hexling. She goes for lone Cold Bone and KOs it. Two more steps, but also a dodge debuff from the Brain Freeze.
So after Luella’s tantrum, the board looks like this:
Rattlebone is not under direct threat, so her activation should wait for last. Morrigan rallies and moves back to where se was, hoping to be able to Claim in the next phase without moving. Now comes a key attack. The Household guard put a two stack into a Hexling and swing their swords. It’s a 5/5 so the odds are good. They fluff the damage roll, though. Very sad.
So it’s Rattlebone time. Can she win the turn? It’s tough. She is down eight steps, so the banners alone won’t push the turn token over the line. She needs to totally thwart Rodhri and get a KO. Do you use the ultimate here? You can protect the banner for sure by debuffiing Rodhri’s speed. You can decrease his chances of scoring a KO by adding an accuracy blight to his damage blight also. With both stats debuffed, Sword Strike is a 4/5 trying to take out a 3/2. Rodhri would still have roughly 74% odds of winning the turn without getting the banner.
On the other hand, it would be nice to win this turn. Team Morrigan probably does not want to go down 3-0. Spend an ultimate for a 26% chance of snagging 2 VPs? Is it worth it? Godtear is about decisions.
I think it’s worth it.
First thing’s first, though. Rattlebone needs a KO. She can pick on a Shield Maiden (armor 4), but Power Hex would then only be in range of one Hexling, so Rodhri would not get an accuracy debuff. that second debuff on Rodhri puts his odds of winning the round without getting to the banner at 81% instead of 74%. Not good. Avoiding that means Rattlebusiness needs to take out an armor 5 household guard. Yuck. It’s a roughly 35% shot compared to 55% for the Maiden. Even worse. I guess we’ll try and get the Maiden.
Success! Rattlebones trails by only seven steps. If she uses Power hex to reduce Rodhri’s speed, he can’t get the banner, but can sew up the turn with the KO. Still worth it? is the ult wirth a 19% chance of snagging 2 VP's? Tough call.
Rattlebones Ults, applying the speed debuff.
Rodhri hits the Hexling with his Sword Slash… and gets the KO. It did not work out for Rattlebone. To add insult to the injury of Rattlebone using her ultimate in round she will lose, Rodhri moves next to an open scoring area, expending the blight. From here, Luella’s activation does not seem so bad. She did, after all, score 4 steps and induced Rattlebone to spend her ultimate fruitlessly.
So Team Rodhri goes up 3-0. Team Morrigan has to pull out all the stops next turn. Fortunately, they are set up fairly well heading into turn 3 with all of their champions at full health and with Peet on death’s door. The board looks like this:
Tune in next time for TURN 3!