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 Playtesting Super Dungeon Arcade 2.0 
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Denizen
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Great review @Sleepy Laughter! I haven’t had time to look at Pet Parade yet, but it sounds like a meaningful expansion.


April 5th, 2018, 5:38 pm
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Minion
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Joined: December 11th, 2015, 2:49 am
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Hey guys,
I’ve been playtesting Arcade for a while now but I have yet to write up a report on it. Figured I’d give it a go! The Hubby and I played this weekend and it was a very close game.

Heroes: Mistmourn Shaman (Tank/Heal), Deeproot Wolf Rider (Str/Maneuverability), Hidden Shrine Infiltrator with Feint (Dex/AOE/Heal) and Soda Master Candy (Will)
Spawns: Old-Growth Hollow (T1/T2), Tribal Stone (T3)
Bosses: Glimmerwing, The Forgotten King
Plot: Idols of Rage
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Turn 1: The Deeproot Wolf Rider dashed into the second tile and opened the chest, gaining the Death Scythe for herself. The Mistmourn Shaman slurped his potion to gain wrath and killed a couple of Mooks. Sprout poisoned the Shaman which made the Virulent Kodama much more effective. The Shaman healed himself with the Infiltrator’s Benevolence potion.
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Turn 2: Soda Master Candy Sugar Rushed to dash and open the chest in the first tile, her Luck ability nabbed a Pixelated Pendant for the now super-powered Wolf Rider. Along with the Hidden Shrine Infiltrator, Candy killed the Herbalists gang and a Wisp. Sprout caused enough damage that the Shaman needed a second Benevolence potion and they reinforced.
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Turn 3: The Shaman cast Spirit Burn to give himself Backlash and Candy killed some Mooks. A Wisp and Mooks were injured thanks to Backlash and only the Wolf Rider survived the Dark Alchemy challenge unscathed.
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Turn 4: The Infiltrator killed Mooks and Turnipheads with her Crane lance attack. The Wolf Rider killed the second spawning point triggering the Idols of Rage plot card. Mooks and Wisps were injured thanks to Backlash again. The Ill-Equipped challenge destroyed the Dark Scythe and two other loot cards and the trolls spawned on the third tile.
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Turn 5: The Infiltrator killed the newly spawned Turnipheads with another Crane attack and put up her stealth aura. The Wolf Rider picked up an Idols of Rage crystal triggering a fight command which poisoned the Shaman. The Wolf Rider then picked up a second crystal, triggering another fight command. We decided that a new fight command would enable the enemies to be wounded by Backlash a second time which killed the Wisps. The Wolf Rider then dashed back to the rest of the party. Glimmerwing spawned on the first tile. The Shaman drank the Wolf Rider’s Glimmerberry juice which reduce Glimmerwing’s STR by 2 (errated for Arcade). The Shaman was baned and they wounded each other. The virulent Sprout severely wounded the Shaman. The Mistmourn Chieftain baned the Wolf Rider and she barely survived.
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Turn 6: The Shaman toughed, regenerated and put his Backlash back on. Candy put some damage onto Glimmerwing. Glimmerwing advanced forward in order to see the stealthed Shaman and they wounded each other again. We realised belatedly that Sprout should have already shapeshifted by now…Oops. He shapeshifted to King Sprout and the Shaman needed Benevolence to survive. The Wolf Rider succumbed to the troll’s onslaught.
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Turn 7: The Infiltrator took out the first spawning point and after respawning the Wolf Rider finished Glimmerwing off, gaining Trusty Lock Picks for the Infiltrator. The trolls and Hungry Sprouts gang regroup.
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Turn 8: The Wolf Rider took the opportunity while the enemies were scattered to run past them into the third tile. The Shaman toughed and reapplied his Backlash. He survived the epic fight thanks to Benevolence.
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Turn 9: Candy and the Infiltrator spread out to avoid the Painful Echoes challenge and between them they destroyed the remaining Mooks. Then they both took wounds thanks to the Over Exhaustion challenge.
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Turn 10: Thanks to Over Exhaustion, Fizzy Beverage and Sugar Rush, Candy was able to attack 7 times this turn and kill King Sprout. The Shaman bravely slurped his potion to draw attention from Candy but ultimately died due to the trolls’ attacks.
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Turn 11: The Shaman revived, cast Spirit Burn and raced into the second tile to regain the enemies’ attention. The Wolf Rider opened the third chest, snagging a Monstrous Maul for the Shaman. The Wolf Rider then picked up the final plot crystal, triggering a fight command and killing a Spirit Walker due to Backlash. We gained no extra treasures from beating the Consul’s plot. The epic fight command brought the Shaman down to one remaining heart before the enemies regrouped.
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Turn 12: Candy and the Infiltrator killed the last of the Ghostfire Tribe gang. The Forgotten King arrived and the Infiltrator lowered his strength with a Glimmerberry potion. Thanks to this she survived with one heart remaining. All the heroes were frozen thanks to the Unprepared for the Elements challenge which meant only the Wolf Rider could activate next turn.
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Turn 13: The Wolf Rider destroyed the third spawning point preventing the Forgotten King from healing. The Forgotten King killed Candy and the Spiteful Curse challenge meant only the Shaman could activate next turn.
Turn 14: Due to his frozen status, the Shaman could not reapply his Backlash and the Forgotten King killed the Infiltrator.
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Turn 15: The Shaman activates and casts Spirit Burn but it does not save him and he is killed, leaving us with no Princess Coins remaining. Glimmerwing respawns thanks to the Just a Flesh Wound challenge. I’ll admit we were a little worried by this...
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Turn 16: The Wolf Rider killed the last of the trolls and hid back in the first tile. The Forgotten King leaves the Wolf Rider with one wound remaining and teleports away due to the Secret Escape Plan challenge.
Turn 17: The Shaman dashed into the second tile and casts Spirit Burn. Candy kills Glimmerwing again and heals both herself and the Wolf Rider with Benevolence. Candy, the Infiltrator and the Wolf Rider all suffer wounds thanks to Baleful Resolve.
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Turn 18: The Infiltrator attacked the Forgotten King. The Wolf Rider was the last left to activate but she needed to move forward to attack and she had the most wrath and only one heart left. We decided to play it safe and pass her turn. All three heroes then healed with Benevolence. The Shaman reduced the Forgotten King’s STR with Glimmerberry. We picked Ethereal Assault for the challenge so we knew we had to kill the boss this turn or we would die trying to defend with our WILL stat.
Turn 19: The Wolf Rider drank Candy’s Sugar Rush potion and left the Forgotten King on one health. The Infiltrator then finished him off.
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We won! But it was very, very close. We lost all of our Princess Coins in a short time frame and started playing more cautiously from that point on. We took a long break for lunch in the middle so I’m not sure how long the game actually went for, but it was certainly one of our longer ones. The only mistake we picked up on was forgetting to Shapeshift Sprout, so all in all I think it was a good game!

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April 8th, 2018, 7:23 am
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@Aella - thank you for the battle report! It's amazing to see your painted minis on a board. I liked seeing how y'all used a different strategy with the Rider scouting ahead to take objectives while the Shaman tanked the first spawn. Last time we tried the scout ahead and take treasure chest strategy we got a bunch of boo booties :(.

It definitely sounds like y'all ran into a much harder set of challenges and plots than my playgroup does on average. Those single hero activation challenges are brutal. I'm glad to see how close it was!

How does this compare to your other Arcade playthroughs? I don't think I've had one got his long, but I always try to kill the last spawn point b/f MMC12 to avoid the extra Consul Commands. Y'all definitely selected a hero party + spawn point difficulty higher than I'd use with a new playgroup (but y'all are vets so :))

Some notes/feedback/questions:
1) Slurping Potion is a basic action that is an emergency potion and may only be used on the Consul's turn. It looks like y'all may have played it as a support potion and used during the hero's turn since you indicated the Shaman slurped potion for wrath and then used the Infiltrator's Benevolence potion and he's currently out of the range of the other heroes in the pic for anyone else to use it and him to benefit.
2) Shapeshift is really hard to remember - it really needs to be a unique action on the card at least in Arcade. We put the shapeshifted model on/near the next MMC /w unique to help remind us
3) The Shaman seemed to be poisoned a lot and I was wondering if y'all considered using Candy's Soothing Soda support potion with him since it'd give him immunity to Poison (and thus Virulent) until his next activation (which works great with the Backlash!). Same thing for the Bane (which I'm not sure you could've avoided).
4) How did y'all pick your party? Since you used the Shaman to Tank with Backlash, y'all effectively had a single AOE with the Hidden Shrine Infiltrator. I personally prefer parties with a lot of AOE/offense so I'm less reliant on loot RNG.
5) It looks like the Shaman largely stayed in range of the Sprout -- did you consider moving him a bit out to force the elite to move and bunch up the minions for AOE? Otherwise his Burst attack has little value and until you have enough offense to reliably roll critical success, it can be difficult to chew through those wounds.
6) Ill equipped is horrible. Everyone is always upset when it comes out. But it makes an impact I'm glad exists that doesn't in Classic and it's a very memorable experience for new folks.
7) I get Secret Escape Plan so often in my matches I generally just try to avoid Tile 2 spawn point when I can during boss fight =P.
8) I haven't figured out a great way to deal with trolls (aside from dying and getting vengeance). They always seem to just eliminate a hero (or two) when they come out unless I was forced to take all defensive equipment due to RNG (then I have difficulty killing them).
9) How much Loot did you lose to Backlash? It sounded like it helped soften up Elites, but maybe you lost some minion Loot?
10) Backlash is limited to inflicting one wound to a monster per Consul turn as per P36 Arcade rules. Technically Idols of Rage is triggered during the Hero's activation and thus does not technically have a limit :twisted: Backlash is definitely 'a' way to combat Idols of Rage.


April 8th, 2018, 3:00 pm
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@sleepy_laughter: Thanks for the feedback. We usually have a dedicated tank so I think in the future we should try a game with just 3 heroes.
It was much longer than my other playthroughs, probably due to us becoming overly cautious towards the end.

1. I think you were right about the slurping potion mistake in the first turn. I know we played it properly (as a green potion) throughout the rest of the game but it must have slipped our minds at the start!
2. Putting the shapeshifted model onto the MMC as a reminder is a really good idea - we'll totally do that from now on!
3. The reason the Shaman didn't use Candy's Soothing Soda was because she was potion starved for most of the game. (Crazy, right?) I kept fluffing her Cola roll to generate her own potions and we needed to use Benevolence so much that when we rolled potions up they always went straight onto the Infiltrator first. In the end Candy managed to get her Sugar Rush only twice: once to kill King Sprout and the second time for the Wolf Rider to use on the Forgotten King.
4. When picking our party we always go for one ARM, WILL, DEX, and STR hero, but other than that we tend to go with our whims. This has led to some awful party loadouts. The second-last game we played had no aoe at all and a few months before that we had a party with no healers. It makes things interesting, that's for sure! I'd be interested in what strategies other people use to pick their party.
5. You're right about the Shaman not moving much. I guess we didn't really think about it.
8. This was our first time playing with the trolls. They hit hard but they're not heavily armoured. I think maybe the worst thing about them is that they don't drop as much loot compared to other spawn points. Perhaps you are supposed to pair them up with the Salt Pillar and Sorrows (or as my group calls them - the loot pinata) to even it out.
9. We ended up causing a lot of wounds due to Backlash and it probably wouldn't have been a problem if we hadn't lost 3 pieces of gear to Ill-Equipped. In the end Candy was a little loot starved.
10. We did limit Backlash to one wound but when we were unsure whether Idols of Rage would count. In the end we decided that since it was a brand new fight command then Backlash would work a second time. We killed a lot of models due to Backlash...

We certainly have a lot to think about for next time!

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April 9th, 2018, 1:42 am
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SDE Arcade 2.0 Solo 6 Hero Pet Parade (Imgur Album)

I decided to do a 6 player solo pet parade arcade playthrough since I'm hosting a 5-6 hero playthrough in a week and figured I'd practice and get an idea of timing and what issues we might run into.

Heroes:
*Dragon Blade (Admiral Fuzzybottom) - STR Blaster/AOE potion Tank - b/c so many drakes and kobolds
*Brave Mode Candy (Never Lost Cola) - STR AOE/Blaster /w Cola
*Royal Warden (Mr. Bitey) - STR/DEX Control - b/c I haven't played him in a long time and wanted to see if his Arrest Warrant Pull 6 worked as well as the Tusk Raider's or Tax Collector as well as Calico Kate's
*Deeproot Wolf Rider (Mr. Chompers) - STR/DEX mobility - b/c I was inspired by Aella's playthrough to use her :)
*Wandering Minstrel (Madam Hilde) - STR/DEX (def) Aura Buff Support - b/c I've never played him
*Deeproot Druid/Angry Bear (The Colonel) - WILL AOE/STR Debuff

This is not a party I would typically pick as it has a lot of the weaker heroes (at least for Arcade) and no devoted Healer.

Spawns: Kobold Warrens (T1/T2), Claw Shrine (T3/T4)
Bosses: Ser Snapjaw, Ser Sharpclaw, King Starfire
Creeps: Slimes (Plot), Fire Flower (Challenge -- ended up just using Slimes for Challenge)
Plot: Guardians (Pet Parade) - Spawn 2 creeps/hero. Heroes cannot damage spawn points unless they have at least 2 Crystals. Plot is resolved once they have 2 Crystals.
Boss Spawn: MMC 11
Playtime: ~3.5 hours including setup/teardown

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The Setup! I ended up having to move the monsters to get more room for the hero equipment, but it didn't take up much more room.

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The Start Point is very crowded with 6 heroes and 3 pets!

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The Kobolds spawn right on top of the heroes!

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Candy, Wolf Rider, and the Druid are able to clear out all the minions and loot the first treasure chest before MMC1.

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The Minstrel, Warden, and Dragon Blade are able to finish off the elites and start wounding the Kobold Warren (1) by MMC2.

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The Wolf Rider rides ahead and defeats Kobold Warrens (2) first, triggering the Arcade Plot Guardians! 12 Slime Creeps spawn.

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The Druid and Warden defeat the Kobold Warren (1), push forward, and defeat a few Slimes.

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Ser Snapjaw spawns on MMC3 with +1STR MMC bonus ready to attack the Druid, but only the Royal Warden is in range!

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The Claw Shrine also spawns on MMC3.

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Candy loots the second treasure chest while the Minstrel and Dragon Blade engage Ser Snapjaw. The Dragon Blade is able to lay some heavy wounds on Ser Snapjaw using Dragon Slayer, Dragon Spite, and the Minstrel's Jaunty Tune.

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The Claw Shrine Kobolds and Drake Hounds attempt to make it to the Dragon Blade and inadvertently block Tile 2 from Tile 3. They attack Candy and the Wolf Rider, wounding them heavily, but they survive.

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Candy and the Druid use excessive AOE to clear most of the Claw Shrine elites. The Dragon Blade wounds Ser Snapjaw, but fails to defeat him, so makes his way to Tile 3.

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Unfortunately, the Dragon Blade falls on MMC 5 to Ser Snapjaw on one side and the Claw Shrine Drake Hounds on the other.

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The Royal Warden defeats Ser Snapjaw in vengeance!

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The Wolf Rider attacks the Claw Shrine (3) to gain Wrath while the Warden and Minstrel defeat more Slimes. The Dragon Blade uses a Princess Coin and enters play on Tile 3 by Candy.

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MMC6 the monsters gain +1ARM. The Challenge spawns the Assassins as the second gang while the Drake Hounds Reinforce.

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The Wolf Rider defeats Claw Shrine (3) and moves to Tile 4 to force Ser Sharpclaw to spawn on Tile 4. Candy and the Druid defeat half the Drake Hound Gang.

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MMC7 Ser Sharpclaw spawns on Tile 4 while the monsters Regroup and Spawn at the final Claw Shrine (4)

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The Dragon Blade fails to defeat either Assassin and the Warden and Minstrel take this time to defeat the Drake Tamer on Tile 3 and some Slimes that had invaded them, thus completing the Guardians Plot. The heroes also finally have enough excess loot to summon Admiral Fuzzybottom, Mr. Bitey, and Madam Hilde. The heroes find 2 Treasure!

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MMC8 the Wolf Rider is defeated by Ser Snapjaw and the Drake Hound gang's Epic Fight.

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The Assassins are unable to defeat Candy. The Drake Hound Gang Reinforces. The Challenge spawns Slime Creeps beside all active heroes.

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Candy AOE's the Slimes and then engages Ser Sharpclaw. The Royal Warden finishes off the Assassins and Bursts some Drake Hound Tamers hiding behind Ser Sharpclaw. The Dragon Blade also engages Ser Shapclaw and inflicts him with Ice. The Wolf Rider respawns on Tile 3.

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MMC9 has very little impact as Ser Sharpclaw is Iced and the Drake Tamer is able to salvage the only Drake Hound not in his gang. The heroes finish off Ser Sharpclaw.

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The Wolf Rider attacks Claw Shrine (4), but is unable to defeat it while the Minstrel and Druid defeat most of the remaining Drake Hound Gang.

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MMC10 the Claw Shrine spawns its gangs, which make short work of the Minstrel.

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However, they are unable to defeat any other Heroes.

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The Wolf Rider, Warden, and Dragon Blade are able to defeat the final Claw Shrine (4) and all of the Claw Shrine Elites using AOE.

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King Starfire spawns instead of going into MMC11. He attacks the Dragon Blade and heavily wounds him, but is unable to defeat him.

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King Starfire's first Boss Challenge is Unprepared for the Elements. It is brutal against the heroes as many are reliant on their offensive unique actions to deal wounds. Likewise, the heroes drop from 3 to 1 hero activation.

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The Druid steps up as he has the strongest, ranged basic attack and deals a 7 wounds (5 attacks from 4 AP, 1 Colonel). He is able to heal some Ice and Wounds in the process. King Starfire literally returns Fire at the Druid, but is unable to defeat him with the help of Glimmerberry Juice from the Wolf Rider (-2 STR)

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King Starfire summons Dark Shielding, which makes him immune to taking multiple wounds per attack (e.g. Critical Success). Candy charges forth and attacks him, dealing 3 wounds. The Minstrel darts in to attack, but is only able to deal a single wound and retreats to a safer distance. Finally, the Dragon Blade attacks with Head Chopper and uses Dragon Spite to secure the final, 12th wound to defeat King Starfire!

========================================
Rules/Issues/Observations:
1. I used the Slime Creeps for the challenge instead of the Fire Flowers b/c I didn't feel like using unpainted minis :)
2. I had to double check/remember that Pets and Creeps get the MMC bonuses. It didn't matter, but I'd catch myself when doing Pet attacks.
3. I forgot Cola has the power to discard a challenge and redraw for the cost of a potion. Assume this includes boss challenge.
4. I misplayed Glimmerjuice Potion. I thought it was -2W STR for the entire monster's activation, but it's only -2W STR for a single action. Otherwise, yeah, it's a bit OP compared to other potions.


Observations:

6 Heroes and 6 Pets
Is a LOT of heroes and pets to keep track of. I am less familiar with these heroes and did not efficiently use potions (which didn't matter in the end b/c of Unprepared for the Elements Boss Challenge). I found no opportunity to use a lot of unique actions. This is where each hero 'ended up'. A lot of pets had no impact on the game.

*Dragon Blade - His offense was so low he was forced to use Head Chopper most of the game. He was successful in using Dragonslayer when I was able to buff his offense with the Minstrel and the monsters didn't have a bunch of +ARM buffs. His potion was used a lot and missed a lot. I was hoping the heroes would be able to keep him supplied with the additional attacks to give the heroes without AOE the option when needed, but it didn't work out that way. He got one good AOE potion attack after using Happy Cat on Tile 4. Dragon Spite got a LOT of use and is the only reason he did as well as he did.
(Admiral Fuzzybottom) - had very little impact on the game b/c he was summoned late and his hero and the party was relatively too weak in the AOE department to consistently use his action. It is a VERY powerful support action since it only costs 1 AP and has no to hit roll. Compared to Dwarven Curse from the Hearthsworn Fighter which is 2 AP, Wave 3, Pull 3, STR vs WILL.

*Brave Mode Candy - As expected, one of my heavy hitters. Her AOE was critical to mow down Kobolds Elites and Minions at the same time. I never used her Blaster attack (b/c it wasn't needed) and her potions didn't get much use since the heroes didn't suffer many status effects.
(Never Lost Cola) - Cola granted Candy Luck which was used with 3 treasure chests. I felt I had enough Treasure by Tile 4 due to the extra Treasures I got from the Plot and Ser Sharpclaw that I didn't need to loot it in lieu of defeating King Starfire. Cola's offense is too low to consistently wound most monsters and he was only able to defeat one creep during the game.

*Royal Warden - I was originally planning to have him focus on STR and use Tax Collector, but the loot didn't work out that way. I equipped him with DEX treasure that gave him cheap 1 AP Burst 1 AOE, but it replaced his Crossbow action, so his offense was very low until end game when I swapped his cheap AOE 1B DEX to a normal AOE 1G DEX. Notably, Tax Collector doesn't really need any STR to wound Creeps and draw Loot. I used his Arrest Warrant once to get the extra offense to Pull a Kobold Drake Tamer from his gang to defeat him. He is significantly weaker than Tusk Raider and Calico Kate. Tough helped keep him healthy, but that was primarily b/c he struggled to deal enough wounds to gain Wrath.
(Mr. Bitey) - Had very little impact. The Warden had insufficient STR to take advantage of Berserk and Mr. Bitey was very expensive (3 loot) and didn't deal any wounds despite having 4R1W STR with his offensive action b/c the monsters had +1ARM and I rolled poorly.

*Deeproot Wolf Rider - I gave the Wolf Rider extra mobility so she could go take objectives early on and that worked ok. I had trouble getting enough loot to increase her offense to consistently wound. I also saved the Treasure Chests for Candy to loot with her Luck b/c I was worried about getting Boo Booties. The mobility was great. Pounce is great. No AOE is horrible at actually fighting anything in Arcade. Her increased 6 Hearts actually prevented her from dying twice, so that was nice surprise. Her Glimmerjuice is super powerful and one of her biggest contributions.
(Mr. Chompers) - had very little impact. He did help the Wolf Rider deal Fire on the initial set of Kobolds to defeat some elites b/f they could attack, but he couldn't keep up with the Wolf Rider once she got +2 Move boots. He also rolled poorly on attack despite being one of the starting pets to get +1STR for MMC3 through MMC5 b/f the monsters got +1ARM on MMC6.

*Wandering Minstrel - had very little impact. He was able to attack and deal wounds, but it'd often take his entire activation to deal 1 or 2. I tried to use him as an offense Aura Buff when fighting the mini bosses and activate first, buff, then let other heroes get 2 activations out of his buff b/f he'd reactivate, but 1B just often isn't enough to make a difference and combat moves too fast. His Slow and Knockdown debuffs potentially could've had some impact if I remembered he had them, but in most cases, he felt like a glorified pet. Even with increasing his DEX for defense, it wasn't sufficient to avoid multiple gang attacks later in the game. His potion is actually pretty powerful in Arcade since it inflicts Knockdown in a very large area without a to hit roll. Knockdown prevents the monster from performing any action until their next move command and there are a lot of MMC turns where the monsters do not Move. If you rules lawyer it so that Regroup does not count as Move, then it gets that much more powerful.
(Madam Hilde) - had virtually no impact. Her STR isn't high enough to inflict Bane on most monsters in Arcade and the Minstrel was also too weak to do it himself. Pets activating after the hero makes their debuffs less relevant to the hero's activation and the 2.0 status effect changes greatly reduces the strength of Bane in general.

*Deeproot Druid - was my other heavy hitter, ironically, due to primarily getting WILL equipment early on. His ranged AOE was critical to defeating a lot of the elites. I never shapeshifted, used Backlash, or his potion since most of my heroes were already rolling blue dice and when they rolled potions, I needed them to keep the Dragon Blade and Wolf Rider's potions in supply. Despite his only average 3B WILL, his equipment pushed him to 3B2R1G WILL (6.34 avg/16 max) 4 AP at the end of game, allowing him to get multiple critical successes against King Starfire.
(The Colonel) - is very flexible and still one of the better starting Pets. His limitation, I found, is that ranged heroes often may want to attack and then move to safety and the Colonel activates after the hero so the hero needs to keep this in mind he needs to be in range of something when the colonel commands him/her to attack.

Monsters
*Kobold Warrens - Most of us have played with these guys a ton and they don't need feedback. Basically they got blown up by 3 heroe activations as expected and completely wiped out b/f they could reinforce on MMC2. With 9 hero activations b/f MMC3, when using linked spawns points where most of the monsters are already present on Tile 1 for the heroes to engage and AOE, I would be surprised if the first two spawns often last until MMC3 unless the Arcade Plot specifically prevents the heroes from destroying it.

*Claw Shrine - I really liked these guys. Despite being More Kobolds, they feel very different. The Assassins are less positionally reliant than the Priest and Ironscales for their uniques and they definitely dealt wounds to the heroes. Their Stealth had little impact since my heroes were usually within close range of them anyways. The Drake Hound Gang was wow. They can be quite deadly and if the heroes do not have sufficient AOE to pick off the Trainers, they can stack STR bonuses rather quickly. Even with AOE in my party, I failed to defeat all the trainers multiple times, resulting in wounds on the heroes. The Claw Shrine itself deserves special mention. Just having 4 wounds makes it a lot more difficult for the heroes to defeat it in a single activation and if you 'hang out' around it when it spawns, all the monsters get buffed again. I just happened to get lucky that the MMC just happened to have the monsters Regroup instead of attack in most cases.

*Ser Snapjaw - He felt like a solid mini boss. I got the Ice Sword on the Dragon Blade early so I'd prioritize using Head Chopper to keep him on Ice. If he had the benefit of monster gangs with him to use with his Aura, I think I'd have a lot more trouble.

*Ser Sharpclaw - By the time the heroes got to Ser Sharpclaw, they had a decent amount of equipment. It didn't help that the Dragon Blade was able to again Ice him and MMC 9 is Unique/Challenge, which did not allow him to do anything b/f his demise. I really like him as a hero and hope to give him another run as a mini-boss. His model is horrible to position b/c it's so big and over the base.

*King Starfire - He's definitely stronger than regular Starfire with higher offense, which ALMOST killed my heroes despite using potions and having defense on each of his activations. Given how many heroes I had per activation, even the weaker ones, and Princess Coins left, I wasn't worried about winning and more interested in how long it'd take (that seems to be the case in my matches - how fast does it take to win rather than will you win). His 4W ARM felt low after dealing with +1ARM monsters and mini bosses + Regroup and Challenges the whole match where I was already rolling to hit against 4W+ ARM on multiple turns. I think Dungeon Bosses need additional power in 5-6 Hero matches for them to be relevant. A lot does depend on the Boss Challenges, but unless they reduce the heroes to 1 activation, which is not fun, the Boss should, in general, be more resilient in 5-6 hero games so he can make use of his high offense.

Starting Game Spawn
Using a linked spawn for T1 and T2 removes the difficulty increase in a 5-6 hero match. You can increase it by using two linked spawns and doing them on Tile 1/3 and Tile 2/4 so all the monsters are spawned on turn 1 of the game.

Guardians Plot
This plot I thought needed some clarification. Pets can still wound spawn points b/c they are not heroes. The plot can only be resolved if every hero has 2 crystals. However, so many creeps are Invaders so I had to be careful to only allow heroes that didn't already have 2 crystals to be invaded else I would not be able to resolve the plot. I could still destroy the spawn points, but I wanted the Plot treasure!

Loot/Equipment
Went through almost the entire Loot deck. Only had 11 cards left. Claw Shrine has 5 elites, which if you can pick them off with AOE, can get you some loot quickly, but Drake Hounds have a lot of wounds and generally aren't worth the AP to kill for loot (I even tried and only managed to get 1 extra loot the whole game...which feels bad for 6 wounds).

I had weak starting treasure, but with Luck I was able to pick some better treasure along the way. If I had stronger/more DEX/WILL offense heroes, I think the match would've gone much faster since they'd be able to make better use of the gear I got.

I felt a lot of the Loot was wasted on the Pets this game b/c they had little impact. It would've given the heroes 1 extra treasure. It felt like it took a long time (several turns) to get enough loot to equip the heroes b/f we could have excess for pets. I put less ideal loot on heroes with the idea that they'd discard it later when they wanted to summon their pet, which worked out ok.

Creeps
Slimes were a lot of fun, like the Squirrels, but less destructive. Having 16 slimes helped a lot in terms of being able to fill the board and they didn't take much time to move and they just invade. So it's like -1AP once if you want to use that equipment. Also they were good for Tax Collector and rolling hearts/modifying Wrath for the weaker heroes b/c a wound/Wrath is a wound/Wrath regardless of what you destroy.

Is 5-6 hero Pet Parade worth it?
For solo? Absolutely not. More (potential) monsters at start, another mini boss, and earlier MMC bonuses were nice changes, but I didn't feel they added enough to make it worth the extra time. Controlling all the extra pets felt more like work this time around.

If you had 6 people, I'd recommend playing separate 3 hero matches at the same time if you have the supplies. I think 6 hero might help if you had a mix of experienced and new folks, but it's a really long game and I don't think the experience gets significantly better.

I'll think about this and see how we feel after we do our playthrough, but I like that it's an option and I think it's a good framework, but I think you need to find a group that WANTS to play SDE for this period of time. For me it's a bit too much to do solo (at night when I'm already tired), but it was a good exercise.


April 21st, 2018, 10:26 pm
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For all those testing Arcade 2.0, help a brother out.

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=15126

Go there, read the quest, and help out my player group. If you're testing anyway, just a little something extra to make it fun for all.

-Drew


April 26th, 2018, 3:12 pm
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Finished a 6 player co-op Arcade Pet Parade (Creeps only) playthrough. 2 new players, but 1 read the rule book ahead of time. Took 3.5 hours.

Claw Shrine + Rock Pile /w Ser Snapclaw > Rockgut > Testudo Tower
We brought Starguild Sapper, Twilight Knight, Unicorn House Diviner, One Shot, Moonspire Guardian, and Deeproot Druid.

Loot/Treasure was heavily slanted towards DEX and got almost 0 WILL equipment so One Shot and Moonspire were our ringers (Moonspire had 5 actions and could do 6 attacks /w Wind of Blades at the end of the game and buffed /w One Shot's potion...). Moonspire is OP, but that's kind of obvious when he gets an AOE that also increases offense.

Deeproot Druid decided to go full ARM (despite me telling him he won't be able to hit stuff later even as a Bear), but had ridiculously good luck with Backlash and made it work despite it being a poor statistical strategy.

Diviner had little board impact b/c she was WILL starved the game, but gave a lot of support by using her cupcake to PULL the DEX heroes towards objectives (which was hilarious). Her Heal potion also prevented at least 3 hero deaths.

Sapper had a little more impact, but the DEX heroes were blowing stuff up, so the melee were struggling to find things to kill. Had very little opportunity to use his red potion, but it was critical to defeat the Boss within 2 hero turns.

Twilight Knight's potion just blew up boo booties and creeps left and right (we had a VERY weak Pet Parade Plot, but no treasure), but also struggled to get in range to deal a lot of damage. She actually finished off the boss b/c despite having 5-6 attacks, our Moonspire Guardian managed to whiff half of his attacks on 1B5R DEX. Testudo had 4 wounds left and the Knight hit with her 2 attacks, used the Sapper's red pot, hit Testudo, but then CRITICAL SUCCESS HERSELF AND SET HERSELF ON FIRE (which luckily goes away at the end of her activation) and then used her last action to defeat him (she was saving it in case she needed to dash to safety/out of LOS).

We had a great twist with a treasure teleporting the Druid (with highest wrath) to the next tile...causing a full spawn of Rocktops rather than Claw Shrine (which we were all positioned to destroy and then they never showed up....

The Mini bosses didn't have much impact b/c we were able to force them to arrive on our terms, meaning they didn't get to attack much and then they were focused and destroyed within a hero turn or two.

Testudo we cheesed. Basically keep a hero that (likely) won't die in a single boss activation in range and get them the wrath so the boss doesn't move and then have your ranged attack and then move back to safety. You can rotate the hero out as needed and slurp as long as you're not dry on potions (or they don't get wiped out by a challenge). He only lasted 2 activations despite having Sturdy, but it's also b/c our DEX heroes were OP/glass cannon.

The game was very enjoyable and we had close calls 'at the time' but the end game was only 1 princess coin lost (I got out of position to grab treasure and then rolled like crap on defense b/c Epic Fight just blows up heroes) so not 'close' in terms of losing.

==================================

I think i'm done playtesting/doing playthroughs of Arcade for the time being. 3-4 hero Arcade is the solid co-op experience that does everything I had hoped FK would do and more. It has a lot of good mechanics that can be houseruled/tweaked/customized as desired through the Challenge > Plot > MMC. I think it's a solid 2-2.5 hour experience and has the right challenge for new folks and the right easy/hard mode potions to get it to the setting folks will enjoy.

5-6 hero Arcade is also solid and a solid 3-4 hour experience, but not one I'd ever want to do again solo. I appreciate it scales to this size b/c it makes the game more flexible and makes it feel closer to the original SDE with 4 tiles out and getting to use two paired spawning points.

Pet Parade I think is also worth playing. The Pets can be a huge boon without being overpowering and the cost is time and helps stave off loot hoarding. Creeps I just really really enjoy in Arcade that I find it hard to want to play with non-Pet Parade Plots. Both are also great at helping adjust Wrath, especially on support heroes that may not be able to hit things without a lot of help later on.

I don't think I'm going to 'learn' anything new with more playthroughs so going to spend some time on Stuffed Fables (which my wife actually enjoys playing) and figure out how to play Gloomhaven (which I have a chance to 'finish' b/f SDE:L comes out ;)) and pull out SDE out as a rotation game rather than a focus.


May 4th, 2018, 3:24 am
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Well your input has certainly been valuable! Thanks for posting! Gloomhaven is fun, and holds my wife’s attention very well. She hasn’t played since we started my SD:Legends campaign. Here’s hoping I can get that published.


May 4th, 2018, 3:35 am
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Hey guys,
This weekend the hubby and I tried out Pet Parade for the first time.

Heroes: Survivor Marie-Claude (Tank/Heal) with Rabid Squirrel (starting pet), Twilight Knight (Str/Anti-Creep) with Mr Bitey, Celestial Herald (Dex/Arm) with Mr Chompers and Tabbybrook Mage (Will/Heal) with The Colonel
Spawns: Shallow Grave (T1/T3), Pumpkin Patch (T2)
Bosses: Death Spectre, Von Drakk
Plot: Essence Drain
Image

Turn 1: Survivor Marie-Claude banes a Dread Knight with her Frying Pan and kills it with her follow-up attack. Her squirrel bites the second Dread Knight and the Celestial Herald fails to finish it off with a Heart Seeker arrow. Marie-Claude suffers 3 wounds from the Dust Mages and Dust Coven Necromancer. She loudly slurps her potion before the turn ends to get ahead in wrath.
Turn 2: The Twilight Knight smashes open the chest gaining Brain Souffle. She doesn’t like this treasure and decides to spend it to summon Mr Bitey as she dashes into the second tile. The newly arisen zombie rabbit tries to bite the Pumpkin Patch spawning point but fails to wound it due to its Gloom Aura (although it specifies “heroes discard the highest dice” we thought that in the spirit of the game it should probably apply to pets as well). The Tabbybrook Mage takes out the last remaining Dread Knight and then heals Marie-Claude with Refreshing Rain. Thanks to this, and her own Hearty Grog potion, Marie-Claude survives the Consul’s activation with 2 hearts remaining.
Turn 3: The Herald shoots down both Dust Mages, rolling enough hearts to restore Marie-Claude to full health. Marie Claude then fails to hit anything and to make matters worse her own squirrel turns rabid and wounds her. The Necromancer raises the nearby undead and the rest respawn.
Turn 4: The Knight and Mr Bitey again fail to wound the Pumpkin Patch due to Gloom Aura. We didn’t want to let it spawn given how much difficulty we were already having with the undead so the Tabbybrook finished it off, triggering the Essence Drain plot (We drew only from the Pet Parade plot cards). The Tabbybrook then killed a newly spawned Rattlebone creep. The enemies activate and Marie-Claude loudly slurps her potion to draw attention away from the Tabbybrook. Unfortunately, she falls to their attacks and her squirrel also suffers a wound. If only her pet hadn’t betrayed her, she might have survived! A Boo Booty spawns next to the Tabbybrook due to the Bite Back challenge.
Image

Turn 5: The Knight opens the chest, gaining a much-needed Cloak of Wards for Marie-Claude. She kills a couple of Rattlebones and regains her potion while Mr Bitey kills a third. The newly restored Marie-Claude drinks the Knight’s Lamplight potion to kill 2 creeps and the Boo Booty, taking a wound due to the Bite Back challenge and gaining a Ruby Crystal Shard treasure. Marie-Claude kills a Bone Head and her squirrel goes turbo, killing 2 more Bone Heads. The Death Spectre spawns and instantly kill Marie-Claude again. She only just got back on her feet! The Necromancer resurrects his Bone Heads and the Dust Mages kill the Rabid Squirrel. The Dread Knights bane and hex the Tabbybrook Mage with their Cursed Blades, leaving her alive on one heart.
Image

Turn 6: The Tabbybrook Mage heals herself and then hides in the second tile. She then summons Mr Chompers who takes out a Rattlebone with Poof. The Celestial Herald snipes both Dust Mages and then she also flees into the second tile, leaving the newly resurrected Marie-Claude to dust herself off and prepare to face the undead horde again. She huddles up next the Sentinel statue, surviving the round thanks to its defence bonus.
Image

Turn 7: Marie-Claude kills a Bone Head and then steps to the side so that the Tabbybrook can launch a Volcanic Spring potion through the middle of the undead. This kills a Bone Head and sets the Necromancer and a Dread Knight aflame. She then kills another Bone Head and Mr Chompers kills the last Rattlebone. For beating the Consul’s plot we gained a Nether Sword and a Pixilated Pendant. The Dread Knight burned to death and the others regroup and respawn. It didn’t feel like we were making headway here so we decided to change tactics and try to force the end boss to appear.
Turn 8: The Twilight Knight pops through a secret passage and loots the chest in the third tile, gaining Holy Water for herself before putting 2 wounds on the spawning point. The Celestial Herald finished off the spawning point and summoned The Colonel. As the Death Spectre attacked, Marie-Claude drank the Herald's Halo Extract. The extra armour from the potion combined with the Sentinel statue meant that she survived the Epic Fight phase unscathed.
Image

Turn 9: The Herald darts through a secret passage and shoots the spawning point on the first tile, summoning Von Drakk. She then hurries back through the secret door to seek sanctuary in the second tile. Marie-Claude fails to hit anything and drinks another Halo Extract as Von Drakk attacks. Even empowered as he was by Ghastly Vigor, Marie-Claude only needed to roll a 1 to defend! She survives unscathed as Von Drakk shapeshifts into Nocturne.
Turn 10: The Herald pops her head back through the secret passage to shoot three poisoned arrows into Norturne, before hiding again. The Twilight Knight dashes down a separate secret passage to attack Nocturne from behind. As the enemies activate, Marie-Claude slurps a potion to draw attention and she takes 3 wounds from Nocturne and the Death Spectre (maybe we should have killed him…). All of the heroes suffer two wounds from Baleful Resolve, leaving Marie-Claude with one heart remaining (she gained 1 extra).
Image

Turn 11: The Twilight Knight easily puts an end to Nocturne and the heroes win!
Image

Thoughts:
This game was kind of weird. Not a single enemy (except creeps) set foot on any tile but the first. Marie-Claude tanked like a champ and in the end the heroes abused the secret passages (and wrath system) to avoid threat. We were originally planning to collect Bone Piles to help drew with his campaign but we ended up forgetting to do that as we were too focused on the new pet/creep rules.
We did make one mistake that I’m aware of: we accidentally counted pet summoning as costing an action.
Overall, we didn’t feel like pets were a great addition to the game. It took a lot to summon them and they didn’t seem to contribute much. Also, except for the Plot card, we never managed to draw a single Pet Parade challenge card so we didn’t get much exposure to creeps either. I think we’ll need to play a few more Pet Parade games before we get a good feel for it.

Questions that came up:
Do effects like Gloom Aura that affect heroes affect pets too?
When does shapeshifting occur? When the boss performs a unique as the result of a challenge card, he will shapeshift into Nocturne, but does he perform his other uniques first? We would imagine so, otherwise they would never get used. Also, does he shapeshift back into Von Drakk if we draw another unique action challenge card?

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May 4th, 2018, 10:07 am
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Anything that shapeshifts based on card draws will shift back and forth unless it has the "fixed form" ability, which prevents shapeshifting more than once. So, Von Drakk will shift back and forth between his two forms as appropriate.


May 4th, 2018, 10:17 am
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Aella13 wrote:
We were originally planning to collect Bone Piles to help drew with his campaign but we ended up forgetting to do that as we were too focused on the new pet/creep rules.



:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


May 4th, 2018, 12:00 pm
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Do effects like Gloom Aura that affect heroes affect pets too?

Yes


When does shapeshifting occur?

When A unique command is issued


When the boss performs a unique as the result of a challenge card, he will shapeshift into Nocturne, but does he perform his other uniques first? We would imagine so, otherwise they would never get used.

This is the way I play it, because it is the unique command, so all unique actions and then end with shapeshift.


Also, does he shapeshift back into Von Drakk if we draw another unique action challenge card?

yes, as its any unique


May 4th, 2018, 12:02 pm
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@Usagi @dsdrew924

Thanks for the prompt answers!

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May 4th, 2018, 12:45 pm
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I have played unique shapeshift the other way. Shapeshift and then perform unique actions on the shapeshift version. This is similar to how a hero shapeshift a first and then uses their new abilities. So nocturne gets to use his abilities first but I’m thinking the other way makes more sense bc you don’t get a move bf unique to make sure you’re in range.

Pet parade does better when you’re not struggling bc you need to deal lots of wounds to get loot to summon them.


May 4th, 2018, 1:13 pm
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shapeshift from Arcade P41 does not clarify whether Monster shapeshift is done before or after monster unique actions. I remember this was a question awhile back.

Last came up here, I think, which is in agreement with the way I've been playing it (shapeshift b/f using unique actions as it's listed 'first' on the card).

http://community.sodapopminiatures.com/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=14860&p=95721&hilit=shapeshift#p95721

SHAPESHIFT
A model with the Shapeshift ability has two cards and
two models, one representing its original form and one
representing its shapeshift form. A model always begins
the game or is spawned using its original form.
When a model shapeshifts, replace its card with the
specified shapeshift card. Replace the model on the
dungeon map with the new shapeshift model. The new
model must occupy at least one square that the previous
model occupied.

The model retains all tokens and equipment it possesses
regardless of its form. The shapeshift form retains the
same model type as the original form.

HERO SHAPESHIFT
When the Hero is activated it may choose to shapeshift
into its alternate form during its upkeep. If there is no
room to place the new model it may not shapeshift.

MONSTER SHAPESHIFT
If a monster has the ability to shapeshift, it will be
included on two arcade cards, one for each form. Use
the appropriate arcade card for the form the monster is
currently in.

A monster will shapeshift into its alternate form
whenever a Unique command is issued. If there is no
room to place the new model, it will push any models,
friendly or enemy, out of the occupied squares, by the
shortest path possible to make room for its model.'''
Monsters that shapeshift are considered in play, and may not
spawn, as long as one of its forms is on the dungeon map.


May 4th, 2018, 2:21 pm
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Yeah, I've been pretending like secret passages don't exist in Arcade. I think it just makes it too easy to the point of not being fun, and probably not the best thought out rule addition to begin with (IMO) just in general for this type of "move forward through the tiles" game.

Also been playing shapeshift and then resolve unique actions.


May 4th, 2018, 2:41 pm
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Squirrel wrote:
Yeah, I've been pretending like secret passages don't exist in Arcade. I think it just makes it too easy to the point of not being fun, and probably not the best thought out rule addition to begin with (IMO) just in general for this type of "move forward through the tiles" game.

Also been playing shapeshift and then resolve unique actions.


Same here on both counts.


May 4th, 2018, 2:50 pm
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@dsdrew - do you have a reference that shows pets are specifically affected by Gloom Aura/Hero targeted abilities? I have not played it this way and if it specifically says Heroes, then I have it only affect Heroes. Pets already cannot equip gear or heal from potions and I don't think this makes them overpowered, but it does bring up some potential gaps in rules (i.e. Heroes cannot wound spawn points, but technical Pets can). Unless there is a response from SPM on this, this feels open to interpretation to me and thus should be played as your playgroup is most comfortable. It should only slightly impact the power level of pets.

@Aella13 - great battle report (always love seeing your minis in action)! I know y'all use a different strategy from me and it's cool to see how it works in action.

Did y'all also remember to apply the MMC bonus to the pets? This is how they keep up with the monsters as they get stronger and make them a tad more effective from MMC6 +1 STR until MMC9 when the monsters get +1 ARM.

Using Pets for Pet Parade starts the heroes off with effectively 1-3 loot depending on which pet starts the game, so there is no downside. Not all the pets are actually great/good to use at the start of the game (e.g. the slimes only boost equipment you may not have until later!). Their mileage does vary a lot, but the offensive pets like Rabid Squirrel and Mr. Bitey have more starting offense than a lot of lower offense heroes and can statistically be better than some treasure.

Whether to summon new pets largely depends on your loot/treasure RNG. If you get a lot of loot you can't use (i.e. slot already equipped/wrong stat) or you devalue (like I tend to devalue ARM), then I'll equip the loot 'now' and then discard it when I'm ready to summon a pet rather than leave it languishing in the backpack. So you can get more use out of devalued loot. This way it's less punishing to save 6 loot in the backpack and trade it for a treasure you can't use >_<. So I mostly use pets to soak up loot I wouldn't be able to use otherwise.

It sounded like your party struggled with the first spawn (which you made harder by using a paired spawn on tile 1) and wasn't able to get much loot despite focusing the elites. If you're loot starved or have a low loot game, then pets often won't make much impact or will feel relatively expensive. Also they may feel expensive in general depending on your party strategy since different party strategies will generate different amounts of loot.

More heroes also means more loot will be prioritized towards equipping heroes first and less 'loot waste' is available to use to summon pets and the pets will in turn have fewer of their own activations.

Since my parties heavily focus on offense and AoE, we are blowing up monsters left and right and generating a lot of Loot. We prioritize equipping heroes and then spending extra loot on Pets so Pets are really just taking overflow loot (and rarely, treasure). We don't expect them to do anything, but they can be strong enough to get extra wounds on minor targets and the buffs they provide are just bonuses to us.

As your party appeared to focus on tanking + healing, you're using more actions and potions on support/wrath compared to our actions on dealing wounds/AOE (most of our pots go to red potions for AOE and green pots for healing when needed). 3 of your heroes have starting 3B offense whereas we rarely bring heroes without 2R or 2B1R + AOE/Blaster attacks. As such, it looked like you were spending your offensive actions on +offense single target attacks whereas we'd use ours overwhelmingly on AOE (gotta kill those Gang elites!).

The YOLO glass cannon offense AOE party that relies on rolling hearts to survive is not for everyone, but against a mini boss like Death Spectre, even with increased defense, sometimes you roll like crap and die anyways :(.


May 4th, 2018, 3:11 pm
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Got an answer from Ninja Justin via Ninja Scott on the KS comments re: shapeshift clarification:

For Arcade, when a monster with shapeshift receives the unique command, perform its unique actions before it shapeshifts.

This will be in a future FAQ if necessary. Have fun playing Arcade!


May 4th, 2018, 10:49 pm
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sleepy_laughter wrote:
Got an answer from Ninja Justin via Ninja Scott on the KS comments re: shapeshift clarification:

For Arcade, when a monster with shapeshift receives the unique command, perform its unique actions before it shapeshifts.

This will be in a future FAQ if necessary. Have fun playing Arcade!

Ah! Good to know, thanks!

You're right that we struggled with the first spawning point and were loot starved. We didn't feel like we had throw-away loot, instead it felt like a sacrifice to summon a pet. Next time we play Pet Parade we'll change strategies and focus on getting as much loot as quickly as we can.

You're right that we missed the +STR buff applying to pets, must have missed that rule! We actually summoned the boss before the second buff got activated but we'll remember that for next time.

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May 5th, 2018, 1:19 am
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