Wednesday, October 26, 2011

the puppet-beast war

Last Thursday, made my way out into the wilds of Virginia for a second go-round with the Collodi puppets. Once again, no pictures! Totally forgot to recharge the cellphone. But it was time to beat up Marcus and his menagerie.

Thirty-five stones, again. Maurice, my foe, had an excellent swamp board for us to play on. We rolled for the Hag's Territory and got Bog. Also known as a field day for his Silurids, and a nice slow walk for everyone else. Shared strategy was Reconnoiter, hold all four quarters at the end of the day. Thought I would have an easy time of this, or at least be able to deny making it easy for him. Occupy the middle, shift out at the end. This will be ironic later on.

I brought the usual sack of puppets. I'd bring more Stitched Togethers if I could. He brought Marcus, a Rattler, the Slate Ridge Mauler(!), two Raptors, three Silurids, and one Jack-Jack-Jackalope.

I chose two schemes. First, declared a Grudge against his Slate Ridge Mauler (proxied by an excellent Chainmail Owlbear. I love owlbears.) For the other, I picked Exterminate against the Silurids, because I am dumb and read the card wrong. During the point tally at the end of the day, when the error was picked up, we retconned that I picked 'Beast' instead, as that was the only other viable choice. Lesson learned.

His schemes were Primal Source and Frame for Murder, the latter of which kind of cracks me up, considering the parties involved.

One thing Collodi does well is deciding where the big brawl will happen. Early on, I try to sidle out and put up stakes in the middle of the board. The Raptors and the Silurids are going to outmaneuver me, and I need to keep most of the puppets together. Turns out I am slowed by the Bog, being severe terrain, like, everywhere, but not as bad as I feared. Meanwhile the Rattler and the Mauler are dragging tail. (Nothing else of his is really affected, so, good times.) I shift the horde slightly to be able to hit the Mauler quickly in his backfield and, hopefully, tie up the Rattler until I can get the job done.

And it's a bloodbath. Like, whoah. Stuffing, fur, felt, and mud everywhere. The Stitched Togethers clean out the Raptors and cripple the Silurids within a couple turns, but don't last anything much beyond that. The rest is just a war of attrition. Maurice has figured out that the way to stop Collodi is to kill puppets. Not hurt, kill. They can be replaced, but it takes two actions, and any turn spent replacing a puppet is a turn not spent boosting the rest of them.

The Mauler is a complete monster. Three puppets in one activation! Ow ow ow. The Rattler is fierce (I've seen it in action before) but can't get the job done today. He puts a hurting on Collodi, who slides off the damage to some nearby puppet pals.

So, yes. I kill beasts, he kills puppets. End of turn six, I have... Collodi, standing alone. And he is in close combat with Marcus, and the Jack-Jack-Jackalope. There are no other models on the board. I hold out for a seventh turn by burning through soulstones, and the game is over after that. Yeesh. No idea how to kill Marcus, in and of himself.

Final victory points total is two-nothing. I get two for announcing the Grudge against the Slate Ridge Owlbear and following through. And, that's it. Great game, but rough.

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