How do you beat Return to the Astral Shrine?

Discussion in 'Adventure Discussion and Strategy' started by tempo, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. tempo

    tempo Kobold

    The only times I've ever managed to beat Return to the Astral Shrine part 1 is when I got lucky and drew Whirlwind Enemies in the first or second turn. And I only have two of that card, so it almost never happens. I've never beaten part 2. Too hard. Any suggestions? TIA.
  2. Trollman

    Trollman Kobold

    First of all: patience. The Astral Shrine countdown clock makes them win at 6 victory points. That means you don't have to even contest the victory squares until turn 6. Don't even try to hold victory squares early, focus on killing key enemies and getting them off the squares until you can move in enough people to contest victory.

    OK, going in you need to equip yourself up for the challenge. They move slowly and only have magic ranged attacks. Their hardest core ranged attacks only go in straight lines. So right away you can dispense with parries and similar shenanigans. You want Missile Blocks are good, Absorbing Blocks are even better. Shimmering Armor is the best armor. You get the idea. Step Move attacks are great, because they can cancel Bishop or Rook positioning. Ideally, you want to go in there with like an Orange Shield and a Sharp Shell on your warrior, but you make do with what you have.

    Obviously, Whirlwind Enemies is amazingly powerful in both scenarios. If you play it late in a turn (after all the enemy moves have been used up), you may be able to contest or even seize the victory for a few turns, buying yourself a lot of time. But you don't need to draw it on the first turn or even the fourth for it to have a big impact.

    Think a couple of turns ahead. Remember that you can only move one of your characters per turn (without Shuffle, Team!, a card you will come to love). Look out for situations where a rook can shuffle into position to threaten two of your dudes at once. Don't be afraid to have a character run away and hide behind a wall in anticipation of that sort of thing.

    For the first scenario, you want to take down one of the enemies and then move in all three of your characters to the central chess board. The best plan of attack is usually the Bishops, because the walls are a lot more open at the corners. You'll still be doing damage at wherever all of your characters are on the off chance that they get good draws, but don't push your luck. You only have to drop 1 enemy in 5 turns to stop the clock.

    For the second scenario, there are five victory squares and you start with one of them. It may look like all you have to do is bash enemies off of two victory squares and seize them for yourself in order to push the clock the other way, but that is a trap. The victory square you start with is in the firing line of two bishops and two rooks. The Bishops won't fire into each other, and will wait until one or the other has left the line of fire. The Rooks start with the left Bishop in their line of fire and won't blast until either the bishop has gotten out of the way or they have stepped forward. Either of those conditions can happen very early in the turn. Be prepared to abandon the starting victory tile right away. You cannot reasonably expect to hold that square against the artillery aimed at it.

    The usual advice about Lava applies. Use it after they've moved to cause big damage, use it before they've moved to get them to step off a victory tile so that you can contest or win a victory point for the round.

    And I think that's about it. You aren't really being swarmed, and the sense of urgency it tries to instill in you is mostly a trap.

    Farbs likes this.
  3. tempo

    tempo Kobold

    Thank you for the excellent advice, particularly about how the bishops and rooks are less likely to use their respective blasts when their ally is in the path. I'm now paying more attention to my position and the position of my opponents and am not getting blasted every turn. :) It's amazing how noticing a small detail like that changes the game so much.

    I don't have a lot of the gear that you mentioned, like Orange Shield, Shimmering Armor, or Sharp Shell, but I do have the four or five Missile Block cards and one Absorbing Block card, so I'm making good use of those. I have Walk, Team! and Dash, Team!, which are great. Slippery and Elf Mobility (I have an Elf Priest and Elf Wizard) are excellent too.

    I had been using lava only after the enemies used up all of their movement cards. I never thought to use them while they were standing on a victory square to get them to move away. That's a great idea.

    I noticed that Chop weapons are better for part 1 because the enemies are closer together and I can possibly strike two at once, but Bash weapons are better for part 2 because there's more space to push them off the victory squares, so I'm adjusting my gear more carefully for each part.

    I still haven't beaten part 2 yet, but I'm doing much better now. It's only a matter of time! Thanks again!
  4. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    I'm glad to read this. For one thing, I could use the advice myself.

    For another, well, this post means I'm not alone.

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