Monday, February 17, 2014

Let's Play Magic Realm (Week 4)

Day 22

I have managed to avoid the horrible Tremendous Troll and I have found the Vault. With one more successful HIDE, I should be able to pull a treasure or two out of there. Of course, by mentioning the successful HIDE, I have just doomed myself...

I record HIDE and SEARCHx4. Cross your fingers.

Darn! I fail to hide and thus, I am blocked by the Troll. Even worse, the monster roll pulls up a Heavy Spider to add to my woes. On a good note, this means I can show you a fight -- it just might mean my death, that's all.

Here is the combat sheet for Magic Realm. Both the Troll and the Spider are on my sheet, ready to rend me to bits. Before we run the combat, let's quickly go over combat in the realm. Combat is one of the more intricate and complicated parts of the game, but fortunately, this is a pretty simple scenario, so it should be easy to understand.

First thing in each combat round is the Encounter step. In this step, you determine who will battle whom, and characters have a chance to flee, ready weapons, or cast spells. This Encounter step is pretty simple. I am unhidden and alone and so all of the monsters are going to attack me. If I had some hirelings, I could have had them lure a monster off my combat sheet. If another player was in the clearing, I could have hoped that one or more of the creatures would have randomly attacked them instead of me. Unfortunately, I am alone, so I am the target.

The next part of the Encounter step is where players are allowed to perform an action such as activating a piece of equipment, readying a weapon, or fleeing the battle. In this case, it would be prudent to flee. However, doing so would require me to play a MOVE chit that is faster than all the enemies on my sheet. The fastest chit I have is a MOVE M3*. The Troll has a move of 4, but the spider's move (the number in the blue circle) is also a 3, and so the spider will stop me from leaving the clearing.

I could try to alert my weapon, but that requires a FIGHT chit that is faster than the spider's move, and I do not have one. It would do me little good anyways; the short sword is as good unalerted as it is alerted. I have no actions to perform, so it is on to the Melee step.

The first thing I have to do in the Melee step is choose a target to attack this round. I am faced with a Tremendous Troll, that I cannot kill, but can run from... and a Heavy Spider, that I can kill, but can't run from. The general plan is to kill the spider so that I can flee from the rampaging troll. Doing this before being ripped to shreds will take a little luck.

In the Melee step, you place a FIGHT chit to attack, and a MOVE chit to defend. You can see from the combat chart, that I can place attacks in the Thrust, Swing, or Smash circles on the right of the sheet. I play defenses in the Charge, Dodge, or Duck boxes at the bottom of the sheet. The monsters will be placed in the center of the sheet on the red squares marked 1, 2 and 3. Notice that monsters attack and defend in the same direction.

I will initially place the monsters on whichever box I want (though I have to fill as many boxes as I can), but they will move randomly after I place them -- they have a 1/3 chance to end up in any box when all is said and done.

I also place them "white side up", which refers to the bar of color under their combat stats. As you can see, both creatures have totally different combat stats based on which side they are on. The spider does light damage with a speed of 4 and defends with a move of 3 on his white side. If he flips, he is slower, but does tremendous damage! (I always imagined this to be the effects of a poisonous bite.) Each round, when you determine which maneuver box the spider ends up in, you roll the dice. On a roll of "6", the spider "changes tactics" and flips.

The troll is a tremendous creature, and thus gets a red bar on its flipped side. Tremendous creatures never change tactics on a roll. Instead, the first time they hit you, assuming they don't kill you outright, they flip to their red side to indicate that they have grabbed you. If they hit you again while on the red side, you are torn to bits (or eaten, or burned to a crisp) and die. That is why there is no damage letter by the red side attack speed -- the damage is instant death.

An attack connects two possible ways. First, an attack can intercept its target, meaning that it lines up with with the defender's MOVE chit. So, if the spider ends up in the Swing and Dodge box, and I played my FIGHT chit on Swing, then I intercept and hit. I can also hit the spider if my attack time is less than its move time. For instance, I could hit the troll every round if I play my FIGHT M3** chit, because his move is only a 4. However, because the troll is tremendous and armored, I cannot do enough damage to kill him.

Hopefully, all of that made sense. With the explanation behind us, let's look at the Amazon's chits and plan our combat round.

So, first priority is to not get hit by the troll. His attack speed is a 4, so I need to at least match that to not be undercut. I will play a MOVE M4 and thus will avoid being undercut by either creature.

Being able to play my slowest MOVE chit is nice. In a given combat round, I could normally play up to two effort asterisks, but if I do so, I would have to fatigue an asterisk. (Because I have the Girdle of Effort, I can play up to three effort asterisks, but I would have to fatigue two. Fatiguing two asterisks is rough, and I will only do it if necessary.) The fact that I can play a MOVE with no asterisks gives me more options with regards to my attack.

Looking FIGHT chits, I cannot undercut the spider on its white side, because its move speed is 3. If it flips, it slows to a 4, and I could undercut it with a FIGHT M3**. So, my option is to either play a FIGHT M4* and hope to intercept , or I can play a FIGHT M3**, and hope either to intercept , or that the spider changes tactics and flips to its slower side.

Here is my play. I attack FIGHT M3** in the Smash box and MOVE M4 in the Duck box, lining up my attack with my defense. This is called covering your move with your attack. The reason for this is because the spider cannot undercut me. He will only hit if he lines up his attack with my defense. However, if he lines up with me, then I am guaranteed to intercept him and I will hit.

Because it is the first round of battle, the longer attack strikes first and my short sword has a better reach than his "tooth and claw" attack. My sword will connect first and I will do M* (heavy) damage and kill the spider before he harms me. On later rounds of combat, the attack speed determines the order and my FIGHT M3** would hit before the spider's L4 attack. The spider is a pretty easy kill for the Amazon.

The troll on the other hand is deadly. If it hits me, my armor will absorb a shot, but be destroyed in the process. However, because the troll is tremendous, it will flip to its red side. Its attack speed on its red side is 2, I have no MOVE that can match a 2. The troll is guaranteed to undercut me on the next round of battle and kill me. If the troll hits me at all (he has to intercept , so 1/3 chance), the game is over.

So, I am playing my FIGHT M3**, trading fatigue for the slightly better chance of killing the spider. If the pressure of the troll weren't here, I could play a more leisurely strategy. Let's see how this round plays out... it might be a short week :)

Here are the results of round 1. The die roll kept the monsters in the same boxes I placed them, and the tactics roll flipped the spider. The Amazon intercepted the spider (and undercut) and did heavy damage, killing it. The troll did not intercept my move, nor did he undercut me, so he missed. Because we played two asterisks on a FIGHT chit, we have to fatigue one asterisk, and choose a FIGHT M4*.

Yay, we lived!!! Now, we have to escape. Fortunately, now that the spider is dead, a simple MOVE M3* will allow me to flee next round.

Day 23

We start the day in between clearings, having killed the spider and escaped the troll. We are still going to try to get into the Vault, because we earned it. I need to move to Crags 5 as my first two phases of the day, hide, and try to sneak back to the Vault.

I record MOVE, MOVE, HIDE, HIDE, MOVE, MOVE and I should end up back at the Vault, right under the troll's nose.

The move goes off without a hitch and we are ready to try to loot the Vault again.

Day 24

I record a HIDE and then SEARCHx4 to see if I can loot the Vault of its enticing large treasures.

I hide successfully, but manage to find a single treasure.

The bracelets are interesting because they allow me to move my attack if my enemy's move speed is 5 or more. Unfortunately, these are sort of lame for the Amazon, because I can already undercut any defender that slow. Still, they are worth some cash, so I stash them away to sell. I am going to stay another day or two to see if I can get any more goodies from the Vault.

Day 25

I found a Flying Carpet, which would allow me to fly if I had access to purple magic. I don't. However, it is worth another 17 gold, so at the very least, I can muster up some cash. It is getting late in the month and the game would normally end soon. I am going to head back and sell my ill-gotten treasures to the Rogues.

Day 26-28

I headed back to the Inn, and could sell on day 28. I sold a bunch of treasures for a total of 52 gold, upon which the Amazon retires.

It was not an epic run, but I managed to survive a couple of bad situations, gather a bunch of treasures, and make it back alive. Hopefully, you enjoyed the Amazon's journey and learned a little bit about Magic Realm in the process.

If you have any questions or comments, fire away. I love talking about Magic Realm and would be happy to discuss the play through with you, or answer any rules questions you might have.