A Couple Of Boss Monster Games
Since discovering a space in which to play card games together we have started to gather once a week. Over the past couple of weeks the focus has been on our newest game Boss Monster (see ‘Discovering New Card Games – Boss Monster.’) We’ve since introduced this game to a couple of our friends and they enjoy it just as much as we do. Each time we play it results in lively discussions, laughter and debate. Each one feels like a story in and of itself. We have also introduced a couple of expansion packs now: Paper and Pixels and Tools of the Hero-Kind. One of these adds dungeon rooms that can accumulate damage output through counters and the other attaches items to heroes. These items give them additional abilities to help them to get through your dungeon, but if you succeed in killing them you also gain that item and an additional ability. Since adding these we’ve found that the games have become far more unpredictable and exciting. I don’t remember every detail of these games, but here’s a summary:
I had a poor start to this game. I just wasn’t getting many rooms I could make use of. I had some advanced monster rooms, but no base ones with the right treasure icons. The monster rooms had benefits towards building other monster rooms, but the rest of my hand consisted of trap rooms. I built a room with two cleric icons that had an option to destroy it and search the discard pile for a room card.
The first set of heroes to come out included a couple of clerics, and one of them had an item attached that didn’t look very nice. Those clerics would have come to me, but I destroyed the room I’d built before to get something else. My friend (who I shall call opponent one) didn’t realize I’d done that and suddenly he was in the lead for cleric treasure icons as there was one on his boss. The clerics lined up at his dungeon. It didn’t look like he’d be able to take them down, but he attempted to play a cave-in spell on one of the rooms (this’ll destroy the room and the hero inside it.) I had a crazy moment where I suddenly thought it’d be amusing to play a counter-spell. This allowed the clerics to get through and cause wounds to the boss. My friend really wasn’t happy with this and started to mutter about how his chances of winning were now looking very slim. I was going to regret that sneaky move later on when he took his revenge.
A row a mages started to gather up outside, but nobody could get ahead on the treasure to attract them over. Some of us started to remove mage treasure icons for fear of having them enter as items were also starting to collect on them. Then my partner (opponent two) took a risk and attracted them to his dungeon. He figured that if it didn’t kill him it’d allow him to swiftly take the lead. This would have turned out for him too if it hadn’t been for one of the items. This item had the ability to freeze (deactivate) every room that the hero survived. Unfortunately this hero appeared fairly early on in the queue and so the remaining ones had a much easier time getting through unscathed. He got a few souls out of it at least, but also amassed four wounds.
As the game went on opponent two and my remaining friend (opponent three) sped ahead. I couldn’t get enough treasure icons to attract heroes to my dungeon. After allowing a few more clerics to hammer at opponent one’s dungeon I decided to switch their attention back to mine. Even so, I only had 2 souls by the time the epic heroes started to show up and my dungeon was in no fit state to welcome any of them. Fortunately for me opponent three miscalculated and took 5 wounds, meaning he’d have to sit out for the rest of the game. It suddenly dawned on me then that if I wasn’t going to get anywhere on souls I could at least remove the threat by taking my opponents out on wounds. I had a spell that allowed me to take a hero out of opponent two’s score area and to resurrect it back at the start with more health. I also had a freeze spell and item, allowing me to deactivate two of his rooms. I went first however and gained a new item that would allow me to survive one more turn if I were to get 5 wounds. I shouldn’t have left this face-up as opponent two had their own item that would allow them to copy the affects of other face-up items. Opponent two ended up with the 5 wounds, but kept going for another turn in the hope of finding something to resolve the situation. Luckily that didn’t happen and the game came down to opponent one and myself – the two that had been lagging behind this entire time.
The removal of two opponents freed up the treasure icons and 3 epic heroes appeared at my dungeon. One of them was the princess (high health), and on another a spell had been used to increase their health. I had drawn three spell cards on arrival of the princess and got lucky. One of them was a fireball, another could destroy a room to kill the occupant and the final one was a teleportation, which allows you to move them back to the start of your dungeon. I used my spells to ensure none of the heroes made it through. By this point everybody was saying that they thought I was going to win, but I had a few wounds, no spell cards left and a dungeon with low damage output.
The last hero left was a cleric and so they’d be coming to me. In a final attempt to save myself I built a room that would allow me to draw a spell card. Unfortunately it wasn’t a card that would be of any use in the situation. Opponent one also cast a spell that resurrected one of my hero’s with additional health. There was nothing I could do and so had to take the 5 wounds. Against what seemed like all odds, opponent one took the victory with only a few souls in their score area.
My luck was improved during the second game. I was getting some really nice monster rooms, and advanced ones to put on top. I was able to build a beast menagerie early on, allowing me to draw additional room cards on building new monster rooms.
A bunch of fighters were gathering up in town and after analysing the numbers I decided it’d be worth the risk of attracting them all to my dungeon for a high score. Unfortunately, opponent three had the same idea and neither of us could get the lead on this. Each turn we both build a new room with 1 fighter treasure icon. Then I drew a card with 2 fighter icons on it and knew this could be my opportunity to take the lead. Rather annoyingly, opponent two then decided to destroy my beast menagerie, reducing my damage output drastically. I was no longer confident that I’d be able to take on those heroes without getting 5 wounds. Luckily my level up ability was to take 2 rooms from the discard pile and so I could re-build the menagerie. By this point the fighters were looking lethal and had backed up all the way to epic. A few of them had items. I predicted that opponent three was now going to remove fighter treasure icons to get them to flood into my dungeon instead and so removed one myself. I was right and the fighters stayed put.
As I had to rebuild my dungeon I needed a few more turns to set up. Opponent three rather boldly decided to go for the fighters once again. He was able to use an ability to remove a random room card from my hand too. Despite having at least 7 room cards he took the one with the 2 fighter treasure icons. All I could do now was hope that the fighters would survive his dungeon. Rather nastily one of them had an item that could prevent spells from being cast while they were at the entrance. At first I thought his gamble wasn’t going to pay off, but on finally getting past the hero with that item he cast a fireball. You can roll a dice to do 1-6 damage to the hero in your dungeon. He also discarded a spell card, allowing him to roll a second dice to damage all the remaining heroes waiting outside. This allowed him to get 10 souls, but he also had a few wounds. Rather coyly he used a fear spell to send one of the heroes back to town, assuming that he had enough. We continued the rest of the turn. Opponent one had miscalculated damage and ended up with five wounds, but opponent two was also able to reach 10 souls as well.
When two players reach 10 souls at the same time the number of wounds has to be removed from the score and whoever has the lead then wins. If opponent three hadn’t sent that last hero back to town they’d have had enough. As things were the score remained equal between the two. At this point it goes to the person with the lowest XP rating on their boss (higher values go first in turn order, but lower values get other advantages.) Opponent two won.
Both of these games were incredibly interesting and showed just how the tables can turn during play. Some of the rules are so intricate that we found you have to really pay attention all the way through. Even when it’s not your turn you may still be able to cast a spell during the build or adventure phase to completely change the direction of the game. You can’t easily predict how it’s going to turn out. Even when I felt like throwing the towel in due to bad luck, everything turned around. When I thought I was doing well it would all suddenly go very wrong (I guess you can’t escape notice in this situation.) These games took a while as we’re still learning the rules on how to play and with the additional expansions it takes a lot of focus to keep up with what’s happening.