Mauve Manticore #23

Discussion in 'Adventure Discussion and Strategy' started by Gingrich Yurr, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Gingrich Yurr

    Gingrich Yurr Thaumaturge

    Another fun set of maps :)

    Space Station Outbreak by Pawndawan
    A pretty simple map, just get to the Victory Squares and hold it for 3 turns. The ambience of the map is moody and captures the theme well, great aesthetic design. I lucked out and on the 1st turn got Panic as a handicap on Case that put me right beside the Victory Squares, so it was quite easy for me. Maybe if I replay it I will be able to offer more opinions, but overall from what I could tell it's a relaxed and enjoyable offering.

    Attack of the Astral Guardians!
    by 00Banshee00
    It was quite overwhelming when I first saw the map, I wondered whether it was possible to really kill all the enemies. Movement is crucial here, as are armor for the fragile elf warriors. Definitely requires you to think. I also learned that repeated Cave Ins can be really, really painful.

    Capture the Tomb by Jaer
    Really innovative concept, I took a while to wrap my head around how the game worked. I will admit that it was quite frustrating as it is slightly luck based but not as much as I originally anticipated, since both you and the AI get the same random cards and the AI pretty much plays randomly while you have a strategy. I can actually see this becoming a PvP league because the mechanics are well thought out.
    Use your Tombstones on your side to kill as many enemy Tombstones on your side as possible, while your Tombstones on the opponent's side should just try to stay away from the enemy Tombstones there.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  2. Goodwin

    Goodwin Ogre

    I liked this adventure, it was nice, tomb was confusing but I managed it with my last replay.
  3. Jaer

    Jaer Goblin Champion

    Thanks to Pawndawan and 00Banshee00 for their exciting adventures!

    Space Station Outbreak
    I agree, the atmosphere of the first map is just perfect. So eerie and creepy. Fortunately, I got a Rocket Dash AND a Rocket Charge straight away, so Case managed to reach the victory squares on the second round and hold off any spiders who tried to disrupt the evacuation sequence.
    Marie-France and Molly had a tougher time, though. There might have been a nasty case of Festering Guts explosion triggered by an unexpected Laser Spray... :rolleyes:

    Attack of the Astral Guardians

    I may have underestimated the difficulty of this adventure at first. One elven warrior tried to draw the attention of all three Guardians while Lorzil and another one of her companions charged forward to quickly eliminate the geomancers. What I didn't notice was the water barrier surrounding three devious wizards! And if reaching them with spears wasn't tricky enough, the geomancers, living up to their reputation, kept trying to teleport their foes away and into their traps.
    It all worked out in the end - one of the Guardians of Motes was kind enough to provide fire support and hit the spellcasters one or two times! :) And, well, I also changed my strategy to a more patient and cautious one.

    As for my map, Gingrich Yurr summarized it very well and provided some great hints. I can see how it may be annoying because of its somewhat random nature. However, most of your misfortunes can be countered by adapting your strategy and weighing risks - something that A.I. is never as good at as a player is.
    Didn't draw Redecorate? Focus on trying to defend your own "tomb" from enemy tombstones in the safest way possible.
    Your Redecorate teleported less "pieces" than your opponent's? See if you can reduce the risk of losing your precious "offensive" tombstones and focus your defenses on individual invaders.
    And remember that, despite the resurrection, liches are quite valuable. Getting rid of your opponent's lich right at the start of your turn can sometimes secure you a victory point.
    So, in general: don't rush and consider your options. Oh, and Traveling Curses (which are arguably the most random element in this adventure) never fail to crack me up - I find it hilarious to watch the enemy lich immediately triggering four Curses in a row :).

    P.S. I wondered if Capture the Tomb could be played as a multiplayer arena, but I think the RNG might become even more frustrating when playing against an evenly skilled opponent. Still, could be fun!
  4. MathuranF

    MathuranF Lizardman Priest

    All the maps were pretty fun, the Astral one was probably the most difficult of the 3 imo, but my first attempt loss on the map gave me a better strategy for when I beat it on the second try. Loved the third map, felt like an MP league map, was really a lot of fun.
    ParodyKnaveBob, 00Banshee00 and Jaer like this.
  5. wavy

    wavy Thaumaturge

    I enjoyed all 3 parts of this MM and actually thought these battles were far less reliant on the RNG than some other MMs. Even when drawing a poor hand, a bit of strategy can keep you alive until you draw something to swing the game.

    Failed on Round 1 first time due to trying to take out everything straight away and not realising that everything respawns! Same again on Round 2 when I got a Flight Aura after killing 2 Geomancers and thought I could camp on a VP whilst the other 2 dealt with the final rock merchant. Felt a bit of an idiot when the opponent still won a star!

    All good fun and many thanks to all 3 creators.

    Just a question...did anyone use that burst thing which does 10 damage to you? I certainly wasn't brave enough!
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  6. Fanturluche

    Fanturluche Thaumaturge

    tolkien, Jaer and wavy like this.
  7. Frostguard

    Frostguard Thaumaturge

    Thanks, everyone, I really enjoyed this Mauve Manticore. It's the first time I'm writing such a review, too.

    Space Station Outbreak: The atmosphere is fantastic, especially the visuals. I felt this was the most difficult of the three, but being the first of the three, I didn't mind. It's possible, though, that I felt that way because... Well, here's what happened.
    After the first few moves, Molly was hit from behind by a Radioactive Bite. You guessed right, it was Walpurgis Night! Naturally I got two zombies, but at least Marie-France was transformed into a vampire and got a usually lacklustre but in this case valuable Flight Aura. It turned out that just like living beings, certain kinds of fenestration might also contract lycanthropy. I feel that few things can scare even the most seasoned burglar as much as the feeling when the wooden object of interest begins to howl.
    In any case, Case was the second to get hit, his only move card was replaced by Cowardly, which of course promptly discarded his Cooling Laser and Freeze. A couple of turns, moves, radioactivity-induced Meltdowns and Laser Sprays later (Molly died with a Rocket Charge in her hand, thanks, Laser Spray), Case was the only one alive, surrounded by the spiders, when he drew what felt like the a gift from the gods of Cardhuntria itself - Rocket Dash! Combined with a decent roll, he was on the victory squares that round, and could even use his Cone of Cold to slow the approaching spiders down. Next round he drew another Cone of Cold, and with that the game was decided. Against all odds, victory by a veritable Deus Ex Machina! I'm not going to deny that I was a little frustrated, but after reading this, I think it's possibly quite clear that it's not the map's fault.

    Attack of the Astral Guardians: I liked the writing of the introduction text. That aside, the map looked nice, too - the piles of rubble were used really well. I failed this the first time, but I managed to figure out what I did wrong and won the second time. Overall a fun map, the difficulty feels just right.
    At first I tried to rush to the geomancers as quickly as possible, underestimating the amount of time I had to kill them. I thought that I'd get rid of them first, and when defeat by victory terrain is no longer a danger, I can get rid of the guardians. I also misjudged the damage potential of Sharp Cucelden, who feels much more packed with Potent and Impaling Stabs than I remembered him to be. Avoiding both harmful terrain and guardians is a little too much, though. I found that the solution is to focus on the guardians first, and then you can move on to the geomancers. Doing that I won with all three of my characters not only alive but above half health, only in five rounds. Still, I believe it could've helped a little that after I finished a round with Bless, Gary for some reason felt compelled to open the next one with Blooming Grounds.

    Capture the Tomb: Incredible concept there. Quite simple, but entertaining. At first it's a little hard to keep track of what's happening on the field, but Gary is apparently horrible at Capture the Tomb, so there's no reason to worry. I, too, thought that it could even pass as a league game, but the randomness does seem a little much for that. (I had a round when my lich drew four Travelling Curses right away.) When I started pummeling the enemy tombstones, at first I was worried about Toughness; it took me a while to figure it out that these were not the hard-mode pieces!
    Even though the enemy lich respawns, I find it the best course of action to kill it as soon as possible. That prevents him from placing his tombstones on your side; provided that he doesn't already have a few on your side or you can take a few out, killing the lich is practically worth a victory point. For some reason Gary doesn't seem to consider your tombstones an immediate danger, I found killing him quite easy, to the point that I won the game in four rounds. I didn't need to use ScourgePro 3000 because I killed his tombstones on my side in the first round with the melee attacks of my own, and in the later rounds he didn't live (uhh... unlive?) long enough to use his Redecorates. Admittedly I might've gotten lucky there, too, but seeing that the AI consistently failed to move his lich out of range, I think it might be something else.

    All in all, I enjoyed this set of maps! Just the right combination of strategy, puzzle and light-hearted fun.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  8. Pawndawan

    Pawndawan Champion of Cardhuntria

    Battle 1: Space Station Outbreak by me
    Thanks for the kind words! I'm not a big fan of (unfair) RNG, but for some unexplained reason, this was my first scenario I submitted to MM. Hopefully, you'll be able to enjoy the random radfest. I obviously drew inspiration from the Alien movies. I also wanted to experiment with the shadow tiles.

    Reading your (un)fortunate experiences is really great. Panicking next to VP might be the easiest and luckiest route to victory. Walpurgis Night didn't exist, when I first came up with the scenario idea. Hopefully it's not too frustrating. @Frostguard's battle sounds really epic.

    Back during testing, Walpurgis created some odd moments as well:

    Battle 2: Attack of the Astral Guardians! by @00Banshee00
    Nice tactical challenge. Difficult terrain was used well. I ran this once on the test server and once on live and won with first try both times, so I think the difficulty is balanced. I also think that you should first get rid of the Astral Guardians, since the VP target gives you time to approach cautiously.

    The writing was great, I really liked the dark undertones:
    "With a heavy heart, for their foes are not evil, Lorzil and her companions face them, to put them down."

    "The Guardians and Geomancers seemed to be deaf to reasoning, leaving the trio no choice but to slay them. Each time one was slain a dark shadow passed over them for a second before flitting out of room. Lorzil was sure that she heard a weak ‘Thank you’ before one of the geomancers died."

    Battle 3: Capture the Tomb by @Jaer
    Really fun writing and unique concept! At first, I had a bit trouble wrapping my head around the enemies-only VP thing, but after that clicked, it was quite easy. Needed one retry, when I played this on test server, but second time I beat it on my first try.

    I'm not sure, if I'd have preferred this to have 3 VP target instead of 4. According to the screenshot on MM submission thread, Flax reduced the target from 5 to 4, which I think was a good thing.
    ParodyKnaveBob, CT5, Nosgoup and 3 others like this.
  9. Maniafig

    Maniafig Thaumaturge

    I concur, this was a very good MM, interesting and fun maps and a satisfying reward. I've played the maps before when they were posted on the forum and I like them as much now as I did them. They're all also very well-themed and have good flavour text.

    I got lucky during Space Station Outbreak by getting a first turn Rocket Dash+Leathery Hide on Molly which gave me a big headstart movement-wise and protected me from indirect damage. Marie-France and Case did a good job of keeping the spiders busy while Molly camped on the victory square, not even an ill-timed Hear Them Out could stop me.

    I got somewhat unlucky with Enchanted Armor on the Bishops, so I wound up defeating the Geomancers before beating the Bishops, which wound up going very well due to me drawing a lot of Stab cards. Not having to stress about running out of time made cleaning up the remaining Bishop much easier. Still really like the combination on location-based damage from enemies and movement-heavy characters, it's a clever combo that shows off Culceden's potential.

    Wound up winning Capture the Tomb with 4-1, I played on the defense a few rounds due to unlucky Redecorates and made frequent use of ScourgePro 3000, which pairs very nice with Afflictor.

    Very glad to get an Instant Snowman, now to get 5 more and bring Winter back to Cardhuntria.

  10. Congrats to all map makers, this was a VERY enjoyable MM!

    p.s. Although the 1st map was supposed to be easy, the first handicap I got was Walpurgis Night which made the door move and attack me and the spiders to have vamp attacks and monster hides :)
  11. Happenstance

    Happenstance Thaumaturge

    All three MMs looked absolutely fantastic - we're really seeing what talented map builders can do with the floor tile set.

    On the other hand, I found them to be very, very easy to complete. I don't get to have a say in this, because I didn't test any of the maps, but I hope it's not part of a trend where designers get sick of people whining about MM's increased difficulty and set it lower. MMs are meant to be hard! The best ones have you giving up in disgust, and then coming back later on to scrape through a win with a combination of good draws and strategy.

    Space Station Outbreak
    Case drew fly, flew over the spiders and won the game. The one spider who came for him was reduced to a crawl by cold, but even the two meat shields were holding their own. I felt like I could've won this if it stretched out to a 6VP win.

    Also, the highlighted tile shows up for me as blocked terrain, which makes Meatshield #1's job a little simpler.


    Attack of the Astral Guardians
    Great fun, but very exploitable once you draw a couple of solid mails on a war and use him/her as a lightning rod to catch the geos in the bishops' crossblasts. Too much blocking terrain made the other characters too safe - astral guardians are at their most 'fun' when you're trying to shield multiple characters from their possible moves.

    Capture the Tomb
    Wow, deserves a round of applause for sheer imagination and should absolutely be a league, if only for the buckets of salt it would generate. Unfortunately, the AI isn't up to the task - the necro will happily kill himself with a scourge as an opening move (after he's been softened up with a couple of curses), and the enemy tombstones would rather sit in place in their own end zone than chase down my VP winning 'stones.

    Nevertheless, I always appreciate community-generated content, and the quality of the boards reflects the hours of work that went into all three subs.
  12. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader

    Glad folks are largely enjoying this one. The joy in playing an MM is (almost) entirely up to the designers. Encourage your favorite scenario designers to submit more maps, or ask them for tips on how to make your own better!
    ParodyKnaveBob, CT5, Maniafig and 3 others like this.
  13. 00Banshee00

    00Banshee00 Orc Soldier

    Battle 1:
    Space Station Outbreak
    by @Pawndawan.

    I don't think I have to say it, since all those who posted above already agree on it. But I'll say it anyway: The atmosphere of the map is great(in a creepy way). I loved the usage of shadow tiles and placement of the spiders so that it would look like that they're coming out of a dark, creepy tunnel. Also, I had the worst luck while playing but somehow managed to scrape a victory.
    At one point of the time Case drew Panic and I was like, okay, easy win. What happened was the exact opposite. He went the opposite way and landed right in the middle of a lava pool that I cast before, and I had no moves left. Radiation created a festering guts and a mad dog for the spiders while I got trip and squishy. That's not the end of it! I also got a total of 3 laser malfunction cards(1 drained battery, 2 battery explosion)! Finally got a rocket charge on Molly and got to the victory square and held the spiders off with the help of forcefield and 2 laser blocks.

    Battle 2:
    Attack of the Astral Guardians by @me.

    Thank you all for your praises/criticism. Since this is the first map I ever made, I am a bit happy to see this being chosen for MM. Hope you enjoyed playing this map.
    Fun Fact 1: This map was originally meant to be a chessboard kind of map with Astral Guardians on both sides but I later changed it to include geomancers, elves, and a human.
    Fun Fact 2: While many people said that they killed the guardians first, the strategy I used while making this map was to draw out the guardians with Lorzil and an elf while the other snuck around and killed the geomancers. I would still have a guardian left around half health by the time I finished off the geomancers.

    Battle 3:
    Capture the Tomb
    by @Jaer.

    Great, original idea. If there is a way to make the teleportation of the attacking pieces more reliable instead of the random teleportation, I can see this 'capture the vp' idea becoming a league match.
    First couple of rounds I was chasing down every offending tombstone so that Gary can't get a point. Then I realized as long you have more offending pieces than Gary you get a point. After that I just concentrated on saving my attacking pieces while I just kept an eye on the enemy pieces on my side. I also attacked the enemy lich whenever I could so that it didn't redecorate more tombstones in my area.

    PULSEFLECT Orc Soldier

    For some reason, on Attack of the Astral Guardians, the Guardians keep charging into each other--?

    ParodyKnaveBob likes this.
  15. tolkien

    tolkien Thaumaturge

    This was a nice respite after the previous, nigh impossible MM.
    I appreciate Happenstance's concerns for challenge but I had a dickens of a time with the first two last time around.
    I think it's really funny to have doors turning into werewolves and such. Is this a design feature or loophole? It got me thinking if there was a way to solve this problem. If we ever design maps with lots of doorways in the future, we need to be careful about our inclusion of anything that gives a negative trait. Unless you don't see it as a problem but just think it's funny.

    Capture the tomb was most ingenious.
    Astral Guardians was most strenuous.
    Space Station Outbreak was most fabulous. (Could have had a few more spiders or more rounds but at least I got through it!)

    Great job everyone.
    ParodyKnaveBob, 00Banshee00 and Jaer like this.
  16. CT5

    CT5 Guild Leader

  17. timeracers

    timeracers Guild Leader

    If we had a commander character, I would've made a scenario about doors doing things moving, attacking, blocking.
    ParodyKnaveBob, tolkien and Vlamona like this.
  18. ParodyKnaveBob

    ParodyKnaveBob Thaumaturge

    I don't want to repeat at length what everyone else has already said. I enjoyed all three -- the writing, the visuals, the mechanics, the tactics, etc. All very fun. $:^ ] Beat 'em all on first try fwiw.

    On the first one, I had Molly kite a little, tank with blocks like crazy, and fortify tunnels 'cause those little critters can Scamper but not Fly! $:^ b Fortunately, I knew in advance that Rad Spiders only get the racial Move and no others -- they use that up, and you're safe. Marie-France er uh I just tried not to die with her. They surrounded her asap. Her two saving graces were when she got Retaliatory Mutation (Gen Engineering iirc) and could bite back $}^ b and when she got a Nimbus at 5 HP; at one point, she Panicked, pretty far away, but another brood surrounded her immediately again; soon afterward, she Panicked again, ha ha ha ha. (Well, perhaps her first saving grace was when she realized there'd be no way she could get close enough to anyone else to Martyr Blessing them, thus she just turned and used it on a spider for Block facing, muah ha ha ha.) Case did an excellent job of just shooting everything down and getting to that terminal starting about round 4 or so. ~ With the ending text, I said, *pssh* we all got out, no unlucky about it. $}^ b

    Others' experiences with Reinforced Weredoors sound hilarious! lol!

    EDIT: P.S. on that scenario. At one point, Marie-France gained a Radioactive Bite, and I saw if she could bite one particular inactive spider, then another active spider really close to Molly would get the Handicap foisted upon it. Muah ha ha ha. She bit it! The other spider far away acquired and played .. Morsel. $F^ , LOL. Whatever, lol. (At least I got priority for next round, but whatever, lol!)

    On the second, I first hung back with Lorzil and one companion to defeat the Rook (sorry, don't recall proper Guardian names right now, heheh) while my third started in on the right Bishop. (Amidst this effort, I tried Elvish Mobility to suddenly realize Lorzil's not an elf, awwww... heheh) After the Rook was gone, those two made a beeline for the geomancers, followed pretty shortly by the third. Once we got there, it took 2-3 rounds to take them out. Despite Martyring both warriors, and slowly collecting armors to boot, those tricky geomancers kept using Paralyzing Bolt to discard my hands lol and Slide me away from 'em. Blargh, why does Gary know how to play sometimes? $E^ b The priest actually gave the final blows to the 'mancers. After that, again, one warrior went with Lorzil to start on the left Bishop while the other went to finish the job on the right one. Fascinating story, yep. Made me think of the poor Sky Citadel mutants of course. ~nodnod~

    On the third, I had a blast. It was a nice touch to keep each team's tombstones quickly distinguishable by shape. Some three rounds in, I finally got the first star of the match. Next round or so, Gary got one star. From there, I pulled through and got the rest, 4-1. Yeah, the Traveling Curses piling and piling and piling got hilarious. $¦^ b My lich pulled four at once, nevermind the opp, ha ha. Also, yeah, I kept testing for Toughness and Ancient Statue, and finally realized, oh, ha ha, must be the regular Tombstones. $F^ b Yes, @wavy, I was glad to give everybody Dastardly Curse and then Burst my whole side to empty the enemy Tombstones' hands. $}^ D Sick freak work right there, ohh yes, ha ha ha ha.

    Also, pretty nice to get my first Instant Snowman just now. $:^ ] Thanks for that, @Fry_The_Guy and Aloyzo! $:^ }
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
    Pawndawan, Gingrich Yurr and wavy like this.

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