Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The New Year Summoned more Summoner Wars Fun

Like a Zombie Warrior , I am infecting as many of my friends as I can with the Summoner Wars bug. My next victim is my best friend of 37 years, StormBringer.

Stormbringer is a veteran gamer and the luckiest man alive, so any game against his computer-like brain is a true challenge. We decided to play a game for each set of factions I currently have, which are Tundra Orcs vs. Phoenix Elves, Cave Goblins vs. Guild Dwarves, and Vanguards vs. Fallen Kingdom. For our first game, he opted for the Phoenix Elves and I chose my favorite faction, the Tundra Orcs.

The first game started a bit slow as StormBringer got the hang of the mechanics and became familiar with his troops. Like always the tide of battle shifts quickly and unexpectedly in Summoner Wars. 

He took good advantage of his archers and the Guardian's Precise ability. He even began to chip at my walls. I was having a hard time triggering my Fighter's Fury ability, so most of the beginning of the game was all Elves.

As the battle wore on, I managed to eke out a small advantage, but his use of his Warrior's Blaze Step, and a few timely Burn Events, sent my Orcs running, and before I knew it, Grognack lay dead upon the field. 

Now that StormBringer had a game under his belt--and a victory to boot--it was on to the next set of factions. Being a swift runner, StormBringer was intrigued by the fast-moving Goblins, so for the first time, I had the opportunity to play the Dwarves. 

I opted not to go for the wall-crushing gambit, and instead went for a Goblin-crushing gambit. That means I was sending my Engineers to the Magic pile as well as Besiege the Walls to help bring more units in. StormBringer was off to a quick start, having drew a lot of Goblins. I was soon surrounded. And then he brought out the fearsome Eater while laughing maniacally. Well, okay, it was more like a giggle of delight. He was quite amused by everyone's favorite competitive eating Champion. He put the Eater to good use, eliminating my units and a few times adding to his Magic pile with his own pitiful Goblins. 

While our forces battled in the middle of the Battlefield, the Eater slowly tried to make his way toward Oldin. He also got Blarf out, but after a bit, I managed to send the Champion to my Magic Pile. There were a few tense moments as he made his way toward Oldin. 

I had managed to get Gror out, and he started to do some damage, but Sneeks was a bit too wily for him, and eventually, after a well-played Goblin Invincibility, the Goblins overwhelmed my Summoner's position and took him down. 

Going into the last game of Vanguards vs. Fallen Kingdom, I was down 2-0. Could the old magehammer moxie manage to win at least one game before the night was over? Could I overcome the vaunted luck powers of StormBringer? That surely was the question. He chose the Fallen Kingdom because as he put it, "I am good enough in life." He wanted a taste of evil. I, of course, being a natural Lawful Good soul, went with the goodness and light of the angels and priests. The time was 11:04. 

This was my first time playing either of these factions. I wasn't sure quite what to expect. I had heard and read about each faction, of course, but there is no substitute for actual combat conditions. 

I love the defensiveness of the Vanguards, but in Summoner Wars, you can't really just sit back and let them come, you have to go out and get some magic and crush the Summoner. 

He really didn't like my Stalwart Archers and targeted them with his Skeletal Archers. His prevailed; not to mention, every darn time I managed to knock down one of his archers in the begin game, he, of course, rolled them into his Magic Pile. Later, I managed to secure several of his archers, but not putting those bones into my Magic Pile early on vexed me. 

The battle intensified as he brought of Elut-Bal with a Forced Summon. That little monster managed to do a huge amount of damage as I made my way toward Ret-Talus.

Eventually, I had to abandon my push to deal with the demonic Champion, or I knew I was in trouble. My Guardian Knights finally brought it down, but at the cost of field position. However, in the meantime, I managed to summon the Archangel, and that's when things started to turn more my way. StormBringer was very afraid of my angelic protector and Raised Dead many times to help maintain a protective wall around his necromantic Summoner.

However, he soon ran out of corpses to reanimate, and I was down to just my Archangel and Sera. I teamed the two of them up and advanced on his most powerful pieces. After the fall of Elut-Bal, only a buffed Reaper was his only real threat. My holy tandem took it down and then methodically began to march on Ret-Talus, my Magic Pile swelling with his undead troops. 

StromBringer knew there was not much he could do, so he held out as long as he could and then valiantly threw the First Summoner into the fray in a last ditch effort to take down the Archangel. He failed, and I felled the Foul One with a sweep of an angelic sword. Epic. The time was 2:10 a.m.

What a great night of Summoner Wars. The grueling 3-hour ending to the night was a blast throughout. The more I play this game, the more I realize I will be playing it many more times. 

Coming Soon: Another Summoner Wars Session Report: Monday Night Madness vs. Iczer and Mage. Stay Tuned.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to darkbladecb on the BoardGameGeek forums for letting me know we were playing the Skeletal Archers wrong. Gotta start reading more carefully!

    Anyway. The fact that we played it wrong and still had a blast says a lot about how great this game is.