Monday, April 27, 2015

Woods Girl Weeks 1 & 2

This post is the first in a set of posts: Part 1Part 2
And if you liked this, here is a previous let's play with the Amazon!

Today, I am running the Woods Girl through the Magic Realm. The Woods Girl is an archer who plays similarly to the Elf, but with only the barest access to magic. Still, she can be formidable with her Light Bow and when played with her optional "Expert Woodcraft" rule, she can do some damage.

For the most part, I will be playing the base game. Only the following optional rules will be used: Serious Wounds, Watchful Natives, Expert Woodcraft, Birdsong Rearrangement, Persistent Chits. I am not particularly fond of the ambush rule, even though it benefits the Woods Girl quite a bit, so I am playing without it.

I choose to start at the Inn and I take Control Bats as my spell, though I don't assume I will get much use out of it, but we'll see. My VP assignment goes one point Fame, Notoriety and Gold, and though it is a terrible idea, two points in Great Treasures. Our Woods Girl is a Laura Croft wannabe!

Day 1

Here is our map:

It looks as though the Ruins and the Deep Woods are our best bets for early exploration, so we will get ourselves hidden and into the Ruins as soon as possible. I record one TRADE to see what the Rogues have in their dwelling, two HIDES, and then will MOVE into Ruins 2.

My trade with the Rogues reveals an interesting treasure. The Magic Spectacles might be useful to us, but we will need some cash to buy even this inexpensive treasure from the surly Rogues. I make a half-hearted attempt to charm the spectacles from the ne'er-do-wells, but I am rebuffed (no deal), so I skulk out of the inn and make my way to the Ruins.

My hide is successful, and I have uncovered the Hoard in Ruins 6, but two Heavy Trolls block my path. The trolls aren't particularly dangerous to the Woods Girl. They are heavy and armored, which poses a problem -- my bow does L** damage, but the trolls' armor means I need an additional level of damage to score a kill. Looking at the missile table, we see that I will need to roll a 1 or 2 to kill one of these beasts.

So, I am hidden and can take a free shot, but will then have to run back toward the Inn. I will probably have to do this for several days trying to get lucky enough to kill the trolls... all to get to the Hoard, which is a nice site, but it is stuck in a cave clearing. I think the Woods Girl will sneak past these trolls and investigate the Deep Woods.

(Note: This is where the ambush rules would have helped us greatly. Instead of having to flee after a single attack, we would have been able to hide after each shot, only being forced to flee when we failed a HIDE check. Oh well.)

Day 2

The Woods Girl leaves the trolls behind, heading into the Cursed Valley and then into the Deep Woods beyond. I record a MOVE first, to get out of the trolls' clearing, then two HIDES, and then a final MOVE into Deep Woods 2.

Honestly, that was a little underwhelming. The Deep Woods hold no treasure sites, only the promise of dragons and bats. It is definitely not worth hanging out here. I can get to the Ledges from here, or take a longer trip to either the Borderland, or the Cliff. I decide to head northwest to the Ledges on Day 3.

Day 3

Well crap! That stinks. The Ledges are a dead end, both in terms of their geography and their contents -- a few serpents slithering their way through piles of bones, no doubt the remains of former adventurers who were bored to death here!

We are going to have to head back, which is going to cost us at least three days. That Hoard is looking better by the day! But, there is still the Borderland and Cliff to check, so I am going to make my way back through the Deep Woods and try to get to one of those tiles.

The Plan

I am going to make a run for the Borderland. It will take 3 days, and I will have to brave the Ghosts, but they shouldn't be a problem. I will take a HIDE and three MOVES each day in hopes of getting there as soon as possible.

Days 4-6

My trek proves uneventful. I do spot some Heavy Flying Dragons circling the Deep Woods, but decide to avoid them. I also dodge the Ghosts. By the end of day 6, I am in the Borderland with Ruins C and the Cairns... once again stuck in a cave clearing.

The Woods Girl's Trek
Day 7

Again, I have the bad luck of finding a nice treasure location stuck in a cave clearing. And if the goblins show up... without the ambush rules in play, I will likely have to flee. I decide to have a look at the Cliff before mucking around in cave clearings. I make 4 MOVES and get to Awful Valley.

Day 8

I cautiously into the Cliff, hoping to find something worthwhile. I record two MOVES and two HIDES, ending my day in Cliff 3.

Excellent! I find the Lair and the Pool... surrounded by a bunch of nasty red sound chits, but even so, this is a nice find.

Day 9

We will HIDE and then SEARCH three times, hoping to find the Lair and grab some treasure.

Interesting... we find the passage to the Pool, the Lair and the Mouldy Skeleton all in a single day! The Ashes curse is going to be highly annoying because the Chapel is a long way away... but still this is a good start.

In and of itself, the Mouldy Skeleton isn't too useful a find, since the three artifacts it adds to the treasure site (H helmet, breastplate and shield) are too heavy for the Woods Girl to use. However, they are added to the top of the treasure pile, pushing the rest of the cards down, making them easier to loot. That is a good thing and it means we should get a nice haul tomorrow.

Day 10

I am going to take advantage of our luck and try to get as much treasure out of this site as possible before having to fight or flee. I record one HIDE and three SEARCH phases.

And my luck turns. Even though it is a great treasure and counts toward my victory conditions, the Cloven Hoof adds one to all die rolls in the clearing, making my life just a little harder, and ruining any chance I have to kill the Armored Tremendous Dragon sure to appear. On the other hand, it is at least color magic, and so if a bat were to appear, I could use Control Bats to subdue it. Still, I'd rather not have that die roll penalty here, so I take the Cloven Hoof with the intention of dumping it somewhere safe.

Day 11

I record three MOVES and a HIDE, intending to move into the Awful Valley, drop the Cloven Hoof in one of the clearings there, and then get back to the Lair. Unfortunately, a Giant Bat has some other ideas.

Ugh... as you can see, a monster roll of 6 has brought all the bats to the tile. An unarmored, heavy creature is a 50/50 chance for the Woods Girl's bow, but if that fails, it is a slog -- the bat is fast enough to give the WG trouble and if it flips, she will not be able to run. Still, if she wants to get to the Lair, she is going to have to kill that bat.

Hidden, I am able to alert my bow to the L1** side. I am guaranteed to hit and a 3 or less on a single die will kill the bat. And... a 5. I hit, do light damage and unalert my bow. Now, we can either run and return tomorrow with the same strategy, or we can fight on, hoping to survive round 2 until we can ready our bow again.

I am 11 days in and I have killed nothing, and found very little. I am feeling a bit crappy about how this run has gone so far, I am going to risk it. The bat will kill me 1/3 of the time on round 2. If I survive, I have another shot at it.

I play a MOVE L2** to ensure I don't get undercut, and any FIGHT with no asterisks will do. Any box will do, too... but I am superstitious about putting my maneuver in the same box as an enemy I am trying to avoid, so I Duck.

Round 2

The bat does not change boxes, but he does flip. I miss and my bow alerts. I have to fatigue a MOVE L3* and we are onto round 3.

Unless the bat flips again, I can no longer run. However, I am alerted, so a FIGHT M5 will work as well as anything else. I play a MOVE L2** to ensure I don't get undercut if the bat flips, and my missile roll goes awry.

Round 3
Finally, I undercut the bat and roll a 1 on the missile table, skewering it!

Round 3 Result
All that work for 3 fame and notoriety. I fatigue another MOVE chit and we can move to the Lair tomorrow.

Day 12

I am hoping that another monster roll of 6 will hold off until day 14, when I can use Control Bats to fly them far, far away. In the meantime, my path to the Lair is clear. I record two HIDEs, a MOVE and a SEARCH, hoping to grab a little more loot.

I loot the Sacred Statue, but both hides fail and I am staring down the angry, flaring nostrils of the Tremendous Dragon. I flee... and need to reconsider my choice of treasure sites.

Day 13

Where to go? I do have a good chance of extracting one more treasure from the Lair, and if I can survive day 13, I might be able to figure out a good use of the bats on day 14. Otherwise, I need to find greener (and less dangerous) pastures and frankly, I am not sure where those would be. It seems the other treasure sites are locked away in caves or far away mountain clearings. I have already spent too much time running from tile to tile without gaining any victory points, so let's stick around one more day and see what happens.

So, I MOVE, HIDE, MOVE, SEARCH, hoping to sneak back into the Lair and swipe a treasure. Everything succeeds nicely, and I pull the Elven Slippers from the treasure pile. The Slippers are a nice treasure for the Woods Girl, giving her an L2 MOVE without any asterisks. I also manage to spawn the second Giant.

I could try to kill the Giant from hiding, and would do so on a 1 or 2. Then I would  have to flee the clearing, back into the Awful Valley. Of course, my ultimate goal is to be in a bat clearing on day 14, so I don't want to ruin that chance. Regardless of what I do, my ability to get to the bats is going to hinge on a single HIDE roll. I decide to take my shot at the Giant.

Alas, the missile roll is not with me, and my attack decreases 2 levels, and thuds harmlessly into the Giant's toe. I do little more than anger him... then run.

Day 14

As the second week comes to a close, I have Grey magic in every clearing. I am thinking that I could sneak past the Giant and the Dragon and end my day in the clearing with the Bats. I can cast Control Bats that evening and spend day 15 flying south to the Order to sell the Sacred Statue and get my Ashes curse removed. Still, that will leave me hurting for victory points. It might be prudent to stop in the Caves first to see if there is anything of interest there.

Nonetheless, I need to get to the Bats first, and that all hinges on a HIDE roll...

Excellent! I get to the Bats, wait until evening, cast my spell and I am ready to fly! Tomorrow.