Over the weekend my buddy and I played Death on the Wing for the first time. As background, we have already finished playing through base campaign with Alaric (disciple), Syndrel (berserker), Jain (thief), and Lorec (runemaster). This time we thought we'd try the other characters and the other classes, we also got LoR and Trollfens and are using their mechanics as well. Death of the Wing was the third quest we played in this campaign. Heros won Intro, lost Castle Danerion (when an ettin double double dashed, double furied to open a hole, and double threw Sir P into a gang pile of Volcrux Reavers) , and ended up losing Death on the Wing. Secret room has come up in every mission, and treasure chest came up in all three as well. Castle Danerion was a tight game and lots of fun, with the OL pulling out a victory on the last turn before the heroes won. Death on the Wing was a different story altogether.The characters, their equipment, and skills for Death on the Wing are below.
Widow (necromancer): immolation rune, corpse explosion, fury of undeath
Tomble (wildlander): accurate, eagle eyes, bow of bone, leather armor
Grisban (knight): oath of honor, advance, steel broadsword, wooden shield, chainmail
Ashrian (spirtseeker): healing rain, belt of alchemy, shield of light, leather armor, iron spear
The OL had:
Dark Power Plot Deck (Lord Merrick Farrow's): Dark pact, Dark mark, Grasping Grave, Masques (0 threat)
Basic 1 with two Web Traps added.
Encounter 1: open group - Arachyura
Arachyura are ridiculous. Their damage output for an act one monster is off the charts. First search token was Overgrown Chasm, which was too good to pass up. Heroes dove in and two turns later got Runeplate (went to Widow). Between the secret room detour, the boulders, and the spiders stalling, the heroes got through only after the entire OL deck had been drawn. Heroes win.
Encounter 2: open group - Merriods, placed master by entrance to right guard room, minion by the left.
Hero turn 1 - Elemental minion on the bridge is killed, 6 hearts put onto Belthir. All heroes still on bridge.
OL turn 1 - Elemental minion reinforces behind heroes uses water and earth to immobilize tomble and widow. Elemental master uses fire to put a couple hearts on grisban and ashrian, then earth and immobilizes ashrian. Merriod master gets frenzied, moves into the guard room, flails to hit both guards, OL rolls 5 hearts, drops dark might for a surge to seven hearts. One guard dies, the other gets 5 hearts. Frenzy attack finishes guard two. Minion Merriod gets frenzied, moves in attacks guard one, OL drops dark might, critical blow which kills guard three. Frenzy attack gets a critical on the dice and OL uses dark fortune to maximize wounds. Guard four has 5 hearts on him. Belthir gets dash, dash, attack final guard and OL uses dark fortune to maximize damage. Guard four dies. Heroes do not get turn 2.
As you can see, the second mission took more time to set up then to play out. Was there any chance for the heroes? Should we have admitted they had no chance with how long it took them to do the first mission? Is this a flaw in the mission or a design in the mission? Personally I am surprised that neutral characters like the guards do not get more health as the player numbers go up. Four players gives master monsters which insta-gib with ease. Also, for once, it would be nice if the heroes got an actual benifit to winning encounter one, instead of needing to win it to not auto-lose encounter two. It seems like winning encouter one rarely provides a benifit to the heroes. Some asymmetry to the mission design would be a welcome change where the winner gets something they can use in encounter 2.
As an aside, I was the OL for this mission. I just don't like that the heroes had no chance unless I purposefully held back in encounter 2.