Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Wrath of SurfMonkey

Once a month, my friend, SurfMonkey, and I get together for a night of board games and general mayhem. Last Tuesday was that night. As detailed in an earlier post, you may recall that I beat the snot out of SurfMonkey at my favorite new game, Summoner Wars. This night he was back with a vengeance. Did he die hard or just die? Or was it my troops that would suffer at the hands of his forces. Read on to find out.

He decided to go with the Fallen Kingdom. After a moment's consideration, I decided to take their nemesis faction against them, the Vanguards. The Vanguards play to my generally defensive style of play, and I love the Archangel. One of the best Champions in the game. I am not too fond of the other Vanguard Champions, but maybe I never gave them a fair shake. For this game, though, I decided to swap out the other two Vanguardians for Sairook and Magos, mercenary reinforcements.

We launched into a furious battle.

SurfMonkey played his undead legion aggressively and well, getting Elut-Bal out quickly while I sat with the Magos in my hand (which I later ended up burning for magic, giving up that I would ever be able to cast him, instead bringing out the cheaper Sairook in the mid-game). 

In this game I made good use of the Stalwart Archers. The Archangel and Sairook took down the horrible Skhull. Sairook fell to the dead while the archangel soldiered on toward the undead's evil Summoner. SurfMonkey's vengeance would have to wait. 

This game was very back and forth, but I believe the real key to my success was SurfMonkey's inability to bring down my dug-in archers. Sera's healing spells were enough to keep her bristling wall alive, while their arrows were enough to take down any approaching threats. 

After the first, we--of course--played another. I decided to take my second run at piloting the Phoenix Elves. I swapped out an equal number of the commons and put in one Fire Beast and several Fencer Reinforcements. I swapped out the Fire Drake for Laleya. SurfMonkey swapped in Guardsman for Engineers. 

One thing I love about the Elves is direct damage. I love Precise. I now love the Fire Beast. At first, I didn't think I was going to like it, but it was fun blowing stuff up around him. I will play with those more in the future. I also was glad to have a zero casting cost creature in the Fencers. That allowed a faster response to protect Elien when speed was needed. I didn't get a lot of my Champions out. Also, I think my fatal flaw was I became addicted to Elien's Fire Blast ability and put him into harm's way one too many times. So, in the end, my fragile Summoner fell to the doughty dwarves.

For our final game of the night, I opted for my favorite, the Tundra Orcs. And SurfMonkey went with the swarmers, the Goblins. Could SurfMonkey make it 2-1 or would I finish out the night on a strong note?

Things were going my way until the Eater hit the board. I was wiping the battlefield with his puny Goblins, but once the Eater made his way to the middle of the board, it was my forces who suffered. I finally brought the ravenous monster to it knees, but not before I had to expend time, energy, and positions to take him down. In the mean time, Sneeks had managed to surround himself with an honor guard and do his Sly semi-teleportation ability too many times. 

The turning point in the game, however, was my pulling of my Freezes which had been quite absent from the contest up to this point. I was able to slow him down and cost him magic to continue his movements. He didn't go down without a fight, however, as Goblin Invulnerability once again proved to be the most annoying Event in the game. It still only served to forestall the inevitable as I finally managed to move my troops into a finishing position and put down Sneeks for good. 

All around another great night of Summoner Wars fun. The game just keeps getting better the more I play it. I find myself yearning for the next game night and a chance to prove myself on the battlefield. Until next time, may your troops march on and your weapons strike true...

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