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24 October 2015 @ 06:17 pm
Kingdom Death: Monster; combat first impression  
I backed Kingdom Death: Monster for a hefty sum a while back, and mostly forgot about it until a few weeks ago when an enormous package showed up for me. Then I let it sit on the floor next to our wall of RPGs because it's full of unassembled models and tokens and cards and all kinds of fiddly bits and a 232-page rulebook (though around ~30 pages of that are a comic at the end). But today, after I noticed that there was an introductory scenario you're supposed to play before the complicated parts of the game, like settlement founding and research and so on, all kick in, softlykarou and I settled down to try it out. Just the two of us (each controlling two survivors for the recommended four good guys) against a white lion.

It seems a lot more complicated than it is. Nearly everything is all written out on the cards and tokens and record sheets and so on, and it just took a bit of work familiarizing ourself with the basic process. Survivors move and attack (not necessarily in that order) and can spend Survival to perform feats, limited to dodging in the beginning. The white lion has a deck of cards to determine what it does, so it's just draw one and follow the instructions. Attacks are broken down into Speed (how many dice you roll), Accuracy (what number you need to hit), and Damage (self-explanatory). There are wound location dice for survivors and a wound location deck for the monsters. Survivors have to check against the monster's Toughness to see if they wound it and monsters don't, but survivors can wear armor to provide extra HP. By halfway through the battle, we didn't really need to check the rulebook anymore and could just go off the cards.

The lion hit on 2+ and the survivors hit on 7+, which seems unfair but it is four against one. The very first attack I rolled was a critical hit (10 on the Wound roll) and I chopped off the lion's hand, and things seemed to be going pretty well until softlykarou failed on an attempt to wound the lion, triggering another action from it that turned out to be a lunge that swept one of the survivors off his feet and placed him at the lion's mercy.

The models aren't assembled yet, so I improvised.

Fortunately, the hit location dice kept turning up different locations, so while the survivor there kept getting mauled he never actually suffered any permanent damage and the other survivors scored some good hits on the lion. We also got in a lucky crit on the lion relatively early that reduced its Accuracy by one, and that turned at least three hits into misses. This seems like a game where overconfidence will get you killed very, very quickly, and it's possible that we just got lucky on the beginning scenario. I guess we'll find out once we start up the long game.

There's a lot more that we didn't deal with, even in combat. The basic gameplay loop is like Monster Hunter and involves tracking down giant monsters and killing them for their body parts that you use to make gear to fight tougher monsters to make better gear, and so on, until you beat The Watcher and win. Or until all your survivors die and your settlement drowns in blood. Whichever happens first.  photo darksouls.001.gif

When we won, we got Sinew x 2, Shimmering Mane, and Lion Testes from the lion's corpse. I did not check to see what I could make with them.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Nox Arcana - Lost in the Darkness