We played a 3 player, 5 hero, game on Sunday. I'll write a full report later but that probably won't happen for maybe up to a month as I have a pretty full schedule coming up and my brief notes alone run to two pages over 19 (IIRC) turns.
The brief report... (and I'll post this to BGG as well If I can find it)
Heroes won the first (proper) quest with two CT left, using their last attack of the round (so a single extra miss would have left a huge horde of major monsters requiring only to kill a single hero with two weakened heroes right in their midst and another weakened hero within easy reach of many...). Further, the last attack used a potion, giving the OL an extra card from a power. If that potion had of been used on any previous attack then the extra card would have given the OL enough threat to play a nasty space trap on that last hero before he moved in and the result would have killed them (as OL I mysteriously asked them to roll the dice just so I would know whether the hero would have died or not, before he attacked).
All players agreed the game was awesome! Much more interesting and varied than Descent, though part of that would be having 5 heroes and having everything new (skills, equipment, OL cards etc).
Facing the much tougher monsters gave the heroes some pause at first but they quickly found that although it took longer timewise to kill the monsters, there was little danger to the heroes during that time and until quite late no hero was in any significant danger of dying. Of course, that partly related to the heroes picked (one player drew 3 and kept 2, the other player drew 5 and kept 3) and skill combo's they got as well.
The game took a loooong time, 7.5 hours, but that was not unexpected. Firstly, it was like a first game of Descent all over again, where everything takes ages because you don't know or remember all of the skills and effects. Secondly we were running 5 heroes with two players, with all new stuff, so it wasn;t a smooth or fast process sorting out everything that could happen. Thirdly, there are a lot more useful option with shop equipment and one player in particular took a very long time sorting out his heroes. Alas, it was time well spent for the most part and his off hand whip (Entrap 2) nicely complemented his Brawler skill (Entrap 3 + other stuff). Fourthly it took a long time to assess the skills drawn, hwo they interacted and which should be discarded out. They wanted to check out the other possible draws too so they were effectively skimming through the entire skill sets, which takes a long time. But since it was a learning exercise for everyone, and an exciting new thing, there was much fun to be had just oohing and aahing over possibilities.
We did find that the game takes a bit longer as well simply because there are more options for interactions and more possibilities for the heroes. I don;t think (after only one playtest that's somewhat dubiously subjective at best) that this was due to having 5 heroes but I think that a lot of the skills are very interactive or have a wide number of possibilities. Fortunately, Mimicry was used almost exclusively to mimic Spiritwalker, which was very nasty for the OL but made for a lot of simplification of possibilities!
We did discover a bunch of nasty combos, some of which I think could probably be addressed with minor changes and may not (or may) have come up during playtesting.
The most significant of those that I can remember now was the new version of Ghost Armour (Ghost Charm?). Although happily dropping the 'armour' name, it has also lost the 'Rune' designation. This, disturbingly, allows it to be used by heavily armoured tanks who can't use runes. That makes it very much more effective, in particular with the Combat skill Exhuberance!!!! Maybe you (Antistone) have looked at this already, but it was really an impossibly good combo, and requires only 1 random draw to achieve. Making Ghost Charm a rune again would at least restrict it's use by the heavy tanks, who are also the most li9kely to draw Exhuberance.
We are also a bit worried about seeing Critical Shot combine with Focus or Wild Talent. Scary! But we didn't see those combos and it is more theoretical fear at the moment (at least focus has an exhaust function, so it can't Aim both attacks).
We also have a new Rule.
All heroes shall carry a Salve whenever possible.
Big thanks Antistone, awesome work.