Some days ago I had the distinct privilege to try out Wizards of the Coast’s D&D Adventure board game system at One Angry Gamer’s place. Joining in was his squeeze Lady Baker.
The D&D Adventure board game system is a series of high end co-operative games (Wrath of Ashardalon, Castle Ravenloft, The Legend of Drizzt) where players use pre-generated characters and a randomly generated board to beat monster encounters and fulfill scenario objectives.
Having heard a lot about this system, I was anxious to try it out. I am happy to report it seems to be a solid system supported by good mechanics and giving players important choices to make and plan their tactics accordingly.
We played two games, both of which combined all the board game sets into one huge cavern and dungeon romp (Angry at work). The scenario stipulated we had to kill 15 monsters before our team took three player kills (expending three healing surges) plus the first death afterwards. I will report on the first game since it didn’t last very long. In fact, it was a disaster.
We choose our stalwart group:
I took the goofy and dimwitted barbarian Wulfgar:
Lady Baker chose the grumpy and hemorrhoid afflicted dwarf fighter Bruenor:
To begin the game you place your figures on the aptly named start tile.
And then it begins. Drawing cards, fighting random creatures, and trying to survive wicked events all aimed at killing the characters. It’s relentless and uncompromising. And a hell of a lot of fun.
And speaking of wicked events, Wulfy took a misstep:
Although causing no damage, this event separated him from the group and the fighter and rogue took a lot of hits from monsters. Before they knew it, they were nearly out of healing surges and hadn’t even moved four tiles into the cavern!
Pushing their luck, the group had to kill some monsters and fast. Wulf charged a flaming skeleton and Kat followed. The only problem was our hottie rogue moved alongside a volcanic vent. Now Angry knew this could be an issue but figured that the only way the vent could harm his rogue was if the event came up by pulling a card from the encounter deck. Since it was still pretty thick, what were the chances of that one card coming up?
Anyway, play proceeded south rather quickly and Kat finally succumbed to her wounds. Since we were out of healing surges we lost the game.
In closing, this game system is quite challenging due to its random nature. However, that does not mean it’s a bad design. What the system does and does well is it really forces players to think and plan their strategies very carefully. Thoughtful play should always be lauded.
Overall, we had a great time and I am pleased to say we won the second game.
Until next time, may the crabs be with you!