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Subject: An as-it-happens solo playthrough rss

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Rolf Buchner
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Edit - fixed a bunch of typos and pointed out some mistakes.

Heya Folks!

I got Hoplomachus a few days ago and have been digging it so far. I am about to play the solo version again and decided to write up my experiences as they happen, along with some quick thoughts and commentary. Hopefully this will be interesting and give people who have not yet bought the game some insight into how a solo session might go.

I will be describing hexes by using a ROW NUMBER notation. Looking at the board in landscape mode with the arena boss on my right and my setup area on the left. The top-left hex will be A1. Directly to the right of that hex is A2. Left and down is B1, right and down is B2. Extrapolate for the rest of the board. :-)

(For reference, trapdoors are at A4, D5, D6, and G4. Crowd spaces are at C5 and E5)

Dice will be represented as Black=K, Yellow=Y, Blue=B. Results will be capital letter = hit, lower-case letter = miss.

I will be playing a solo scenario, attempting to get through the first of three progressively harder scenarios.

I randomly select the Xanadu army by putting the three army chips in a bag and pulling one.

I draw gladiators and get 2 archers, 1 defender, 1 tactician, 1 attacker, and 1 brawler. I draw stun as my tactic. I put my gladiator on E2.

The boss beast is randomly chosen as Dekarn the lion and the arena units are both lions. Very thematic.

My initial thoughts are that this is a good setup for me. The arena units may wander off, with some luck. The boss will eventually come get me, so I can take up a defensive posture and wait. If I can get out a good sized army quickly I can win without my champion taking any damage or being activated.

Stun will help if one of the lions starts to wander close, but will otherwise not be that great. I've got one stunner and a hurler, which is ok but not great. I would prefer two stuns for 75% chance to stun boss instead of the 50% I have now.

Xanadu Turn 1:
Deploy tactician to G2, move him to G3. Gives me tactical range to both lions, frees up space for archer next turn. If I get unlucky a lion may wander into me or the boss may charge, but it's a calculated risk.

Arena Turn 1:
Lion1 moves D4C3, Lion2 moves C6B6. Boss moves E9, no special.
Decent turn for me, but my champion is close to being engaged with a lion.

Xanadu Turn 2:
Brawler comes out to G2 so I have some offense. I move the tactician to E5 to take the fairly safe crowd spot.

Arena turn 2:
Lion1 moves to D3 and engages. Darn. It was a 1-in-6, but it's not too bad. I will probably take two damage, then be able to hurl the lion away on my turn and begin moving my champion up the board.

Lion2 moves to B5A5. Excellent.

Boss moves to D9, no special.

Lion1 attacks: Kyb, one hit. Champion activates! Champion health = 9. That could have been a lot worse.

Xanadu turn 3:
+1 crowd favor, now at 1.
Deploy archer to G2. // MISTAKE - Not sure how I did this. The brawler is already there. I may have accidentally bumped the table or something.

Hurl lion to A3, no chance of him re-engaging next turn. Champ moves to E3. // MISTAKE - I misunderstood the titanic hurl rules. I thought it was "displace a unit by 3 from its original location", but it's actually "displace a unit 3 hexes from your champion". Should have hurled to B3
Brawler to F3.

Arena turn 3:
Lion1 to B3B2 - he's coming back!
Lion2 to B5A4 - staying away
Boss to E9E8, no special

Xanadu turn 4:
Crowd favor +1, now at 2
Deploy attacker to G1
Champ to E4, brawler to F4, archer to G3

If the lion pounces I will move the brawler and my champ up to try for stun. Archer will advance and shoot. Tactician will probably be dead at that point.

Arena Turn 4:
Lion1 B3C3, Lion2 A5
Boss F8E9, no special

Xanadu turn 5:
+1 crowd favor, now at 3
Deploy the defender to g2
Tactician to E6, champ to E5, Brawler to F5, archer to G4, attacker to F3, defender to G3 with reposition. // MISTAKE - Reposition is an "alt attack", not an ability, so this is illegal

Arena turn 5:
Lion1 C4B3 - sweet. Everything is coming up roses. :-)
Lion2 B6A6 - Still afraid of me
Boss - Declines to move. He tried to climb over the arena wall to his East, but he cannot escape me. No special attack.

Xanadu turn 6:
Crowd favor +1, now at 4
Deploy archer to G2
Archer to G5 - time to start taking potshots
Tactician to E7, champ to E6, brawler to F6, attacker to E5, Defender to G4.
Defender to F5 (reposition), Archer attacks Y, a hit! Boss now at 9 health.

Arena turn 6:
Lion 1: A2A3 - Pretty much out of the fight.
Lion 2: A5 - Ditto
Boss: D10. Well damn, now I need to go chasing.

Xanadu turn 7:
Crowd favor +1 - Now at 5, tactic unlocked!
Tactic = Bolster move. Might come in handy
Bolster move on archer at G2, let's get him to the front quickly.
Archer to G6, Brawler to F8, Tactician to F7, Champ to E7, defender to F6, bolstered archer to G4, attacker to E6

If the boss moves D9E8 it's going to suck, but that's a 1-in-36. If I had Atlantis I would have pulled the lion in so that I get first attack. I thought about hurling on of my units, but am favoring the slow hunt.

// MISTAKE - I could have taken a longshot potshot with my archer at G6, but I forgot

Arena turn 7:
Lion 1: A4, Lion 2: A6A7 - good news for me
Boss D9E9 - not terrible, could have been worse.
Boss attacks, no special: KKBbY - 4 hits, brawler dies in a spray of blood and gore! Poor guy never saw it coming. That is a bummer, was hoping to try and stun boss. Still, this battle has been going my way so I think I'm fine.

Xanadu turn 8:
Hurl attacker to E8
Champ to D8, Defender to E7, tactician stays at F7, Archer to G7, bolstered archer to G6
Attacker attacks: KByy - two hits, Boss now at 7 health
Archer attacks: Kyy - one hit, Boss now at 6 health
Bolstered archer tries long shot - y - miss. Jerk.

Arena turn 8:
Lion 1: B4A3, Lion 2: B7A7
Boss attacks, no special: KKbbY - three hits. The defender eats the damage, defender now at 2 health. This is very good position for me. I think I can win on my turn.

Xanadu turn 9:
The boss is at 6 health and I smell blood. I'm going in for the kill. Everyone get him! CHAAAARGE!

Hurl defender to D10, Champ to D9, tactician to F8, archers at F7 and G7. Everyone attacks
Defender - K, boss at 5 health
Champion - KKB - Critical hit for three! Boom goes the dynamite. Boss at 2
Tactician pokes the Boss for 1, now at 1
Archers combine for KKYyyy - Killing the boss and firing two more arrows into his corpse. The attacker does KbYy for two more smacks as he too beats a dead lion (now at -4 health ).

Victory! Champ leaves with 9 health, a good start for scenario 2 in the future.


I got a lot of lucky breaks. The arena units barely engaged, and stepped away from the crowd favor hex. The boss never did his pounce.

I purposely left the arena units alone because I didn't want any criminals on the board. If I did draw need to kill a lion I would have moved the tactician to stun the criminal.

I was able to slowly advance up the board and take the boss out with very little return damage. Overall I'd call this a decisive victory.

Hopefully you enjoyed the session report!
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Kilo Delta
United States
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First off, I'm glad someone posted a step by step walk-through of a solo game. That said, there are a few things you might want to double check and edit so if people choose to follow along they won't be making errors:

Turn 1:
Xanadu: OK
Arena: Lion move c4e3 is a no go. (can only move two spaces per turn)

Turn 2:
Xanadu: OK
Arena: Boss move from E9 to F5 is a no go (may have been a typo)

Turn 3:
Xanadu: You deployed an archer on top of your G2 Brawler, and you used your champ's hurl to throw an arena beast 4 hexes away to A3 (you can only throw it 3 hexes away (B3) from your champ)
Arena: Lion 2 B5-C4 is a no go

Turn 4:
Xanadu: OK
Arena: OK

Turn 5:
Xanadu: You moved a freshly deployed defender G2G3 with reposition, remember, reposition is an ALT ATK, NOT an ability. Freshly deployed units cannot attack (unless it's an archer)
Arena: OK

Turn 6:
Xanadu: OK
Arena: OK

Turn 7:
Archer G5-G7 is a no go
Arena: OK

Turn 8:
Xanadu: Your tactician is already on F7, you had the bolstered archer attack with longshot out of range
Arena: You had your defender soak up damage to a non-adjacent unit. (defenders have to be adjacent to the unit being attacked)

Turn 9:
Xanadu: Your champ moved to D9, which already had the attacker on it.

I ran through it twice to catch most everything. The trouble is when going move by move, if you miss one thing when you're copying things down, the whole game gets out of whack when you try to play it by your notes. I'm sure most of the errors were typo's or mis-reads of positions, but there were a few rule misunderstandings:

-Seismic Hurl only hurls up to 3 hexes away, not 4.
-Defenders can only use intercept blow when ADJACENT units are attacked.
-Reposition is an alt atk, not an ability, and has to be used in substitute for the unit's attack phase.

I hate to be the guy to point out problems, but I really do commend the effort you put into the walkthrough and want it to be used as an example for solo players, but please run through it by your notes and make the needed edits to your post.

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Rolf Buchner
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Thanks for error-checking me, I appreciate it (truly )

I am still learning the game so it's possible I made some errors in play as well as transcription. I will go back through the game later today after family xmas stuff and edit to correct typos or point out where I made errors.

I was trying to type and play at the same time, which maybe next time I should just take notes and type it up after the fact.

Thanks again,
Rolf (plki76)
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Anders Pedersen
Copenhagen N.
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Nice session report!

I just played a solo-session and came sooo close to earning my first victory.
The final Boss was down to 3 health when he wiped out my champion and 2 other gladiators.
But I was very unlucky in the 3rd scenario. I failed to roll a single success on 2 black dice in one of the final turns, locking 2 gladiators in combat with a beast. Had they been free to move, things would have turned out different.
It would also have been nice if my Champion had not been hit by a Shadow Spear in the first scenario, after being wounded by a criminal...

So far this game has been a blast. And I have not even played against a real opponent yet!

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