(continued from part 1, including its modifications, and part 2, part 3)
NB: This is simpler formatting of what first appeared on my blog
Well, first we needed to fight the level 3 Manhunter.
We had a Green Savior on the Vagabond armor with our Black Sword, who did most of the heavy lifting, with an unusual secondary damage dealer of our weirdly statted shield master who moves really slow but hits like a truck. Our Red Savior got hamstrung, which is the first time I think that's changed a lot, somehow losing her magical aura when her leg didn't work so well? IDK.
The fight was pretty awesome, and was one of the first where we felt like we were really rolling. Also, this was the first time that we were able to really utilize the Pulse Lantern, doing about 1/3 of his health before we hit the trap.
On top of this, the reward for winning was pretty solid, with the inefficient plan that we eventually decided on, of stripping Zero Presence off our Twilight Knight, since it was easier than stripping off a disorder right now.
Oh, and we stole his hat again, or, I guess we knocked it on the ground, since we're only allowed one.
We then got to choose whom to fight. As per our initial campaign decision, we fought a Level 2 Slenderman rather than one of the standard ones. It didn't hurt that we were more interested in its rewards.
We took two Green saviors (one on the ridiculous Vagabond build with luck for good measure), our (not great) Axe mistress, and a guy training Grand Weapons.
This was one hell of a slog: his first few moves made him well out of range or untargetable, then we got maybe 5 wounds in, then he kept dancing around while we plinked him for maybe 1 wound a turn, with maybe 3-4 traps in here (the second one at the top; the last one thankfully the second from bottom of the deck), and a whole lot of close calls and disappeared survivors.
Right near the end, things turned when we were able to bunch up to cause some damage, and then in a flurry of blows, the Vagabond Savior reset everyone's insanity with a crit, and did something like 5 wounds in a turn?
Either way, one of my favorite fights in a while. There were several times where a different hit location would have made things much worse.
Spiderlings showed up again, and this time we fought them off, getting our Twilight Swordsman a proficiency, then he got his second when the Twilight Knight came to town, and they had a jolly duel that meant that I (who usually end up training both Fist and Tooth and Twilight Sword in the group) got to completely bypass dealing with the Cumbersome start to training. Huzzah!
The Manhunter came to town, and took away our Axe mistress, which made us all a little sad, but we realized that we didn't really need her, when we had some proficiency 5 axe guys with way better profiles... Ah, the callousness the KD breeds. Also, this marked our thirtieth death, and if I've kept track correctly, that's 9 due to fighting, leaving 18 event deaths (+3 intentionally killed in order to avoid an event).
Then, we had collected enough resources to get the Gloom Hammer (!) with its ridiculous (on paper, in practice might change in a few fights) high strength and reaction cancellation.
This felt pretty awesome, since 5 years back or so, it felt like we were going to hobble to the finish line, and now we're at
1/5+/15 (Twilight Knight)
4/3+/33 (Vagabond/Black Sword on anyone with Clan of Death)
2/6+/15 (Hammer on anyone with CoD)
...with backup/hunt weapons in the form of some Greater Gaxes, a Rib Blade, and a Riot Mace, all there just for decent weapons with 8+ crits after luck. Well, and the Riot mace has a great crit.
So... Back to the game.
We smacked around our second level 1 Sunstalker, which ended in one of the more memorable kills we've had: we hit the Death Blow with the Gloom Hammer, which smashed its teeth out of its head, while sending it sailing 16 squares down the board, through two pillars! Pretty much imagine a classic anime comedy uppercut, or, at least that's what I did.
We got up to 3/5 Sunstalker armor pieces, and got the Sunspot Lantern. Right on track (well, we started our Sunstalker hunting a year later than we'd hoped) to fight the level 2 Sunstalker we intended to, and we were pretty sure now would be the right time to try, since we'd already played it as a boss so recognized its new cards and the Sunspot lantern had its obvious safety net.
We also finally got Shrine, which we promptly used. We also noticed that we were close to the end of the campaign, so decided to take a blue and a green Savior to train, in addition to our Twilight swordsman and someone close to Axe mastery.
We got hit by the trap what felt like a million times, eventually stripping basically all the armor off of 2 survivors (including the green Savior) with a third having some 0's, but pulled it off, with a lot of critting for resources.
We got 1 Cycloid Scales away from a full Sunstalker armor set; 1 iron away from a Denticle axe/1 sunshark bone (+ automatic sunspot) away from a Skleaver, and all the materials to make a Saliva Shawl.
This fight also got our Twilight Sword training up to 4, which was the minimum we'd intended to hit.
On schedule, we had our next Lottery, this time targeting our (kinda' gimpy, but very strong) Shield Master, and this time, we decided enough was enough.
We took a green savior on the Vagabond Black Sword, someone training axes, someone training grand weapons, and thought, since the Manhunter has a lot of kind of inaccurate attacks, we'd try a tool belt equipped deck fixer.
We took a pretty devastating amount of damage, including once when we hit the trap two attacks in a row, and managed to roll a 3 on 2d10 4+ to death blow followed by the Black Sword drawing the Death Blow and the trap in the same draw. But, no one died, and we knocked off his hat for another time!
We got back for the second time, and actually built with our Sunstalker loot, getting the Cycloid hat and the Saliva Shawl.
We then took both and fought a level 2 Butcher (while the Slenderman is what we should have fought, according to the plan, we didn't feel a particular burning need to go for that when we felt barely prepared last Slenderman).
With an evasion 7 damage soaker, and knocking the Butcher down at the top of the second turn, with a very low Trap, we killed him at the bottom of turn 2, with the Gloom Hammer slamming him over our Amber Poleaxe spear training guy, dealing the Butcher's last 2 wounds on our final action in the round. That was probably the smoothest level 2 Butcher we'd ever fought.
The Big Bad appeared, and, contrary to our initial plan, this late, we decided (actually, we did a few sessions back, but it didn't feel worth mentioning above) that with the 1.5 update shipping in the near future, we'd prefer to see how the Watcher and post-game felt. It's not a perfect transition since I'm sure we'll have some things that have been updated--though probably not a lot since we didn't fight any core quarries--but it felt like it would be a fun option, to get right to the major new content rather than the tweaks we'd experience in starting a new campaign.
It had been long enough since we played a core campaign that we'd forgotten entirely about Ultimate Weapon, which is a fun surprise.
We otherwise kept to the plan, now with some substantial insurance, and went on to fight a Level 2 Sunstalker, planning for its Skleaver and completing the armor set, which collectively required beating it and getting one common resource and/or one rare resource. If nothing goes as planned, we'll have the resources to make a Denticle Axe or two and complete the set.
We didn't have a very graceful or interesting fight, but we got the job done.