Thursday, 26 January 2017

Conan Battle Report - In the Clutches of the Picts

This past week, I took my copy of Conan to my favourite "Friendly Local Gaming Store"(Forbes Hobbies in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada) and ran a demo game. What an awesome time I had! Thanks goes out to Asmodee for sending me this copy of Conan.

Title Slate for a Conan After Action Report (AAR)
Check out the table that Forbes Hobbies let me run the Conan demo on. Simply Beautiful. 

When I set the game up, it was well received and several people expressed interest. The store was packed and there was a Magic Tournament in the back with many players present. It was a little harder to find people to play (than to just look at the game) because everyone was busy with the tournament or just coming for a quick visit. Many of the interested people did not have the 90 minutes to try out the new board game. That said, Tyler answered the call fairly quickly.

After a few minutes with just one person volunteering, I decided to proceed with just Tyler and myself. This situation immediately tested one of my concerns about the game. That concern is that all of the scenarios are for a designated number of players. The one that I set up to demo, "In the Clutches of the Picts," is intended for 4 to 5 players. I only had two. Of the nine missions in the book, only one is meant for two players - and that was not the scenario that I set up. To solve this issue, I allowed Tyler to control all three characters. The game worked out great this way!

Beginners Scenario
A look at the deployment of models at the start of "In the Clutches of the Picts." The Heroes enter from three separate areas around the village. Those markers beside the heroes indicate that they are also spawning points for new enemies.

Above is how the table was set up. In this scenario, the players win if they kill the leader of the village (Zogar Sag) and take his head. They also have to rescue a Governor's daughter and escort her out of the village. That daughter is located in a hut as secretly selected by the Overlord (played by me). The Heroes enter the village separated on three corners of the map. They lose if they do not complete the objectives by the end of round 8.

There are Picts, Hyenas and even a Giant Snake in the huts. Having traveled for a little while to get to the village, the Heroes start with some of their energy depleted. To start, Tyler decides to activate Shevatas. One of the beauties of this game is that the players can activate their heroes in whatever order they want until they deplete their Crystals.

Must Contain Minis plays Conan - Battle Report
On the far side of the table is Shevatas. This is the character that Tyler decided to activate first.

Playing Conan's Friend
Shevatas' Player Card.

After Action Report for Conan by Monolith Games
Shevatas is the only player that starts aggressively. He enters this hut, kills the two Hyenas, takes the treasure in the room (Chainmail Armour), and dons the armour. This exhausts plenty of  energy Crystals so he will rest up a couple of turns before he gets back into the action.

An excellent roll by Tyler to start the game off well.


Conan Board Game by Monolith distributed by Asmodee
On the other side of the board, Conan and Hadrathus (the Wizard) move defensively and meet up in front of a hut.

In the Clutches of the Picts
The Overlord would not have this and sends out the Hyenas to meet Conan. Now here is a rule that I am not sure if we played right. We counted hindrance (subtracting axes [successes] for being outnumbered) to attack rolls but not defensive rolls. I think I read somewhere that the modification does not affect attack rolls or defensive rolls.

Board Game Play Through
Conan and the Wizard make short work of the Hyenas. They decide to rest up a bit before moving onward. The closest hut to them is now empty. 

Miniatures fighting in Conan by Monolith Games
Conan and Hadrathus burst through the empty tent, pass the treasure and barge into the connected hut where three Picts and the Governor's Daughter, Yselda, await. 

Conan the Boardgame
The two clear out the Picts and head over to rescue Yselda. When they get close, they realize that she is unconscious. Like any good Hero, they decide to leave the maiden in distress and kill Zogar Sag instead.  :)

All three Heroes converge in the same area to take on Zogar Sag and his minions. At this point, it seems that the heroes are winning. And why shouldn't they?! They have Conan on their side!

Zooming out, one can see that the heroes are already pretty close to Zogar Sag.
Review Copy from Asmodee
The Picts in the hut closest to Conan come out to face the group. Like the Hyenas earlier, most of the enemies are focusing their attention on Conan.

The final fight should be coming soon.
Conan makes short work of the Picts, but his health Crystals are draining fast. 

A board game battle report
Hadrathus and Shevatas re-position for a better shot at Zogar Sag.

Hadrathus casts Lightning Storm - Killing all the Picts in Zogar's area and injuring Zogar himself. Shevatas throws knives at Zogar but misses.
The Green Picts rush Conan and injure him to the point that only a couple of his Health Crystals remain.

At this point, it is not looking good for our Heroes. Conan has just two Health remaining and while both Shevatas and Hadrathus are nearly unhurt, they have a pack of Hyenas (arriving to reinforce Zogar Sag) coming in fast behind them.

Conan takes on the Picts that engaged him and kills two of them.

Meanwhile Shevatas does his best to defend Hadrathus from the Hyenas. 
Another look at the situation that the Heroes have got themselves into. Shevatas and Hadrathus kill off all of the Heyenas and continue with all the ranged attacks they can towards Zogar. These ranged attacks have no effect.

Conan is defeated.
Zogar Sag joins the last Green Pict and engages Conan. Conan has so little Health left at this time that he doesn't stand a chance against Zogar. Conan is defeated.

Conan by Monolith Games
Meanwhile, the Giant Snake has been making his way up the board. He activates to enter the same area as Hadrathus and Shevatas. He attacks Hadrathus... 

An Excellent Roll!!! Hadrathus fails to defend and takes the fall. He is now out of the game.

Only Shevatas remains. He is in the same area as a Pict and the Giant Snake. 
Shevatas decides to hightail it to the other side of the map and rest up a bit.

Shevatas versus a village full of Picts
He then enters a hut and rests up a little more. Where he once stood, a pack of Hyenas enter to reinforce the battlefield.
Having partially rested for a couple of turns, Shevatas reengages Zogar Sag (again with his throwing knives).

Conan Board Game by Monolith distributed by Asmodee - Retail Copy in use.
The Hyenas catch up and engage. Shevatas' Chainmail armour proves very useful. Without it, he would have been torn limb from limb by these bloodthirsty beasts. 

The Heroes are Defeated
Zogar Sag enters the fight and proves to be too much for Shevatas to defend against. 

The final Hero is defeated and the Picts win this time.
This game was a ton of fun, and I am very glad that I brought it out to play at my FLGS. Tyler also had an excellent time despite losing. Usually I do not play so hard against first timers, but I figured I was a first timer too so the gloves were off. I also would not have picked on just Conan so much if there were other players present at the table. Tyler was an excellent opponent in that he wanted to finish the game even when it was not looking good for his Heroes. Not once did he throw in the towel. I admire such perseverance.

A suggestion for beginning players is to take the time to search the chests for treasure. There were multiple items in them that could have helped the players out, but because they did not take the time to investigate the contents - they were stuck with their beginning equipment in the big battle against Zogar Sag.

One concern that I voiced in my unboxing of Conan still exists. That is that the cover of the Heroes' Book has a picture of a half-naked woman on the cover. I worry that this image might offend some people that check this game out when I take it out of the house. Despite this concern, I decided to run a demo game anyways. There were two instances in the day were I was a little conscious of having the Heroes' Book out on the table. One when a young kid took interest in the game and the other when a family was checking it out. Throughout the day I kept the Heroes' Book face down and did all of the rules referencing myself. This concealed the artwork. For many people, this issue will not be as much of a concern. Many people play games in the privacy of their own homes. I, on the other hand, had this game out at a public place with lots of customers. No one voiced any concern or offence throughout the day, which was something I was happy about.

Overall, I had a fantastic time running this game at my favourite FLGS. I was really impressed with how the game flowed and really liked the "Crystal / Gem" and "Overlord River" mechanics.

Awesome Gaming Table at Forbes Hobbies in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
What a great table is this?! Thank you Forbes Hobbies for allowing me to run and photograph my game of Conan in this awesome space. For those that live in the South Western Ontario or Southern Ontario areas of Canada, check this store out. It has the best gaming space in the Kitchener / Waterloo area. Thanks also goes out to Asmodee for providing Must Contain Minis with a copy of Conan by Monolith! I had an excellent time showing it off and demoing it at this store!

I hope that everyone enjoyed reading this Conan Battle Report.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

2 comments:

  1. It's sad that we live in an age where children can't see a nude body. It's completely natural. Ever been to a beach? Women wear bikinis.. In Europe, where people are not as immature, women are topless. This should be a non issue.

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    Replies
    1. I somewhat agree. Unfortunately part of it is fitting into the social confines in which you live. Some parents are okay about nudity, but not violence. In North America it seems like many more are less okay with nudity and more okay with violence. I know some of the people close to me fall into the latter rather than the former.

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