Welcome back to Hell
When last we spoke, we were getting prepared for a small clash of arms to demonstrate the game of Hell Dorado. You’ve forgotten already? MTV generation, huh? No fear, you can refresh your memory here, here, and here.
Caught up? Good. Because we are diving right in here.
I’ve taken the liberty of doing a few things behind the curtain – last time around, rolled up the scenario – it’s Scavenging. For the purposes of this demo, I’ve gone ahead and taken care of the Terraformation stage – in Hell Dorado, you and your opponent actually get a mini-game over the set-up of the terrain, and troops with the Scout ability really shine here – but to keep things brisk, I’ve just set things up in a pleasing fashion, giving no side any advantages.
So, our Demon Player Damon and our Saracen Player Sam (names may have been changed to be more alliterative) have set up their forces, they’ve lain treasure tokens out (played by large colored glass pieces on our board), gathered their dice, cards and beverages – everything you need to play.
I’ve written the report to be heavily detailed at the beginning – including dice rolls, some rules reminders, that sort of thing – and less of that towards the end. Hopefully that makes it easy to follow without bogging down in explanation, but, you still get a sense of how the rules work. Clear? Awesome. Let’s get ready to rumble.
A Rumble In Hell
The Saracens have starting Dominance, so Saracen Sam will go first.
He chooses to activate his Pillar of Faith, who performs his special order “Divine Strength” at the cost of one Permanent Command. (Quick refresher! There are two types of Command – Temporary Command, which replenishes at the start of the turn, and Permanent Command, which is spent once and gone. It’s the same pool – if you spend Permanent Command, it’s removed from your Command pool and never replenishes) He then runs to the nearest treasure token, but does not pick it up – he needs to perform a Concentration action to do so, and can’t do so in a turn he runs. Saracen Sam could choose to perform the order “Vae Soli” to activate a 2nd model, at the cost of one Temporary Command, but he chooses not to do so.
Demon Damon activates one of his Damned One of Sloth, who s-l-o-w-l-y ambles over to a treasure token. He knows that the Damned Ones of Sloth are going to be terrible at actually scoring any of the Treasure back to his deployment zone, but their Attraction 4 ability will, at least, force the Saracens to deal with them. He passes back to Saracen Sam.
Saracen Sam runs Chams Al Majid forward. With 5 Defense, he is the toughest to hit, and he needs good table position to use his Auras (which, as Concentration actions, mean that he can’t run when he activates them). Sam passes to Damon.
Demon Damon considers for a minute and then launches the Damned One of Wrath forward. Compared to the Damned Ones of Sloth, he’s a rocket – but at the same time, unsupported he’s not going to last long.
Sam runs Nazir ibn Hamid ibn Hajjad (henceforth referred to as “Nazir” to save pixels) forward. He continues to keep his models close, to benefit from their various buffs that don’t have very much range.
Damon activates Asaliah, and decides it’s time to get the party started, Demon-style. She moves forward and casts a spell! She casts Possession, which means that her Lemur hits the table and Saracen Sam takes a deep breath – Possession is as nasty as it sounds. For one turn, Demon Damon might get to activate and hopefully attack with one of the Saracen models (can’t be the Officer, but that’s no great loss) Luckily the Saracens have high Faith, needed to resist the Possession, but if they roll poorly… In a game size as small as this, one good Possession could make all the difference.
Sam runs up one of his Blessed Warriors, hoping that they might be the Possession target instead of the Pillar of Faith. He spends one Temporary Command to move them through Difficult Terrain, as he splashes through the oasis and onto its tiny island. He also ends his movement next to a treasure token.
Closing out his activations, Damon runs his 2nd Damned One of Sloth over to a Treasure Token. Finally Sam runs up his 2nd Blessed Warrior, facing off against the 1st Damned One of Sloth.
The Saracens remain Dominant for turn 2, as no one lost any units.
Sam first activates Chams Al Majid, and declares that he will activate his Aura of Speed. This gives all Saracens within 4” of Chams a bonus 3” move at the start of their turn. It appears he’s definitely going on offense here. He then moves a few inches over to get everyone under his aura. Sam then spends a Temporary Command to order Vae Soli – and activates the Pillar of Faith. The Pillar of Faith gets his free 3” of Movement, then declares an Attack action on the Damned One of Wrath. He moves into contact and it’s go time.
The Pillar of Faith is at Combat 6. The Damned One of Wrath is at Combat 4. Hoping for a brutal result, Damon declares that he will Vae Victis for two, giving the Damned One of Wrath Combat 6 as well. So each combatant has five dice and a reroll, plus whatever abilities come into play.
Pillar of Faith rolls: 5, 4, 4, 3, 2. Since he needs to hit the Damned One of Wrath’s Defense of 4, he elects to re-roll the 2, and gets…another 2. Drat. Oh well, three hits.
The Damned One of Wrath rolls 6, 5, 3, 2, 2. He has an additional re-roll from his Grafted Weapons being Eager. The Pillar of Faith is also Defense 4, so Damon re-rolls the 3 and gets…another 3. He re-rolls a 2 and gets a 4! Three hits as well.
Three hits from the Pillar of Faith is 5 damage. Demons don’t wear much Armor, so he takes them all, going down to 3 Life Points.
Three hits from the Damned One of Wrath is 6 damage. However the Pillar of Faith has Protection 3, so he takes only 3. The Pillar of Faith now has 7 Life Points remaining. And we have first blood! And ichor.
Damon activates his Lemur, who shoots over toward one of the Blessed One – and makes it! Sam reaches for two dice, needing a 5 or 6 on either one…. Rolling a 1 and a 6! Damon curses. He only gets three spells all game, and one has now failed.
Sam activates one of the Blessed Ones, who proceeds to grab a Treasure, and walks back toward his deployment zone, spending a Temporary Command as he again splashes through the oasis.
Damon activates a Damned One of Sloth and it Charges the Pillar of Faith. Sadly, as a Slow model, he does not get to fight. The Pillar of Faith, however, swings hard. Rolling 6, 3, 3, 3, and 1 against the Damned One of Sloth’s Defense 2. He re-rolls the 1 and gets another 1. The Dice Gods roar with amusement. Four hits of the Pillar’s Scimitar does a whopping 8 damage. Damned One of Sloth are damage-sponges, however, and he has 10 remaining.
Damon announces Vae Soli, spending a point of Temporary Command to activate Asaliah. She moves over to a Treasure token, and casts another Spell – this time, Plague of the Believers. She’s going to use the Saracen’s high Faith scores against them. Placing her Lemur model in base contact with Asaliah, Damon smiles prettily at Sam.
Sam’s 2nd Blessed Warrior moves over and picks up a Treasure token. At least one of them is playing to the mission!
Damon activates his 2nd Damned One of Sloth, who Charges forward to threaten…sort of…Chams Al Majid. It’s another one-sided combat, and Sam announces two points for Vae Victis, spending two Permanent Command to give Chams Combat 6. He slashes his Scimitar deep into the demon, scoring 5 hits without needing his re-roll, and delivering 11 damage. The Damned One of Sloth has 7 remaining.
Nazir activates next, charging the Damned One of Sloth engaged with the Pillar of Faith. He spends his final two points of Temporary Command on Vae Victis, giving him Combat 6 (Base 5 -1 for Charging, +2 for Vae Victis – got it?).
Damon, eyeing his stack of Temporary Command, decides “What the hell….” and also declares two Temporary Command for Vae Victis, hoping the Damned One of Sloth can accomplish something beyond drooling. The Damned One of Sloth is now Combat 5 They roll: 5 hits for Nazir, and 4 hits for the Damned One of Sloth. Suddenly Sam thinks he should have reconsidered bringing Nazir this deep into the action.
Nazir delivers 11 damage, killing the Damned One of Sloth. However the Damned One of Sloth, even as it dies, does 7 damage, and Nazir is not really the Armor-wearing sort. He’s down to 9 Life Points and some strong regrets.
Closing out the turn, Damon activates his Damned One of Wrath. With only 3 Life Points remaining, he’s unlikely to see next turn, so might as well go out in a bloody show! Damon spends two points of Temporary Command on Vae Victis as the Damned One of Wrath attacks the Pillar of Faith. After re-rolls are worked out, the Pillar of Faith has three hits, and the Damned One of Wrath, only two. The Pillar of Faith slays the Damned One of Wrath, and takes only a single Life Point thanks to his armor – down to 6.
Saracens Shed Some Blood!
The Saracens killed two models last turn, so they maintain Dominance.
While things look good for the Saracens, Sam knows better than to rest on his laurels – it’s time to go for the throat. He activates Nazir first, and declares his order – “In cha’Allah!” All Muslim units get Defense 6 for the 1st attack sequence of the turn. This costs 3 Permanent command, so it’s clear that he thinks the end is near.
Sam activates his Lemur, who sails into Nazir and delivers his spell payload – 2x his Faith score in damage! Nazir takes 6 Life Points and is now at 3. He’s Wounded, which reduces his stats painfully. Gulp! Damon spends a Temporary Command for Vae Soli and glides Asaliah into an Attack on Nazir.
Nazir spends his last two Temporary Command on Vae Victis, and Asaliah does the same. Nazir is at Combat 7, and Asaliah is at 6. She’s not a combat monster, but, Damon reasons, he’s low enough to be vulnerable. Nazir, perhaps sensing his own mortality, rolls 3 hits against Asaliah’s Defense 5 (to the great mutterings of Damon) and Asaliah rolls a very respectable 5 against Nazir’s now lamentable Defense 2. (He is not affected by his own Order) Nazir suffers the state Consumed (Fire 2/5) meaning that he’s burning from Asaliah’s Evil Gaze. She takes 3 damage, but is also Stunned. She is at 9 life points.
Same next activates Chams Al Majjid, who attacks the Damned One of Sloth in contact with him. Sam is out of Temporary Command for this round, but Damon has three points left, and nowhere else to spend it, so spends two for Vae Victis. Chams is at Combat 4, the Damned One of Sloth 5. Chams scores 3 hits, the Damned One of Sloth none thanks to his Defense 6. The Damned One of Sloth takes 5 more damage, leaving him on 2 Life Points.
Running low on activations, Damon could choose to pass, but instead opts to activate his remaining model, the Damned One of Sloth, and attacks Chams. He spends his last Temporary Command for the turn on Vae Victis. Both models are at Combat 4. Chams scores two hits, the Damned One of Sloth only one. Chams takes 2 damage, bringing him down to 10. The Damned One of Sloth takes 3 damage and dies.
Sam now has plenty of options, and teasing, activates both of his Blessed Ones, who drag Treasure Tokens further back toward their deployment. Finally he activates the Pilar of Faith, who attacks Asaliah.
The Pillar is still Combat 6, and Asaliah 3, thanks to being Stunned from her earlier. Asaliah needs 6s, and the Pillar only 4 (again, thanks to her Stunned state). After rerolls, the Pillar scores 5 brutal hits, and Asaliah only 1. Asaliah takes 9 damage, precisely enough to kill her. The Pillar takes no Damage, instead being Slowed for two turns.
Thus ends the atrocity exhibition. The Saracens get 3 free turns to drag back Treasure tokens to their deployment zone, and Demon Damon gets plenty of time to curse…well, everything. It’s sort of a hobby.
So what happened?
DAMON: I think I really went too aggressive. I know that the Damned One of Wrath is too fragile to send in alone, but it was so frustrating watching the Damned One of Sloth crawl along – 4” Run?! Seriously? But as a result I really never got anything going, and where I should have concentrated on taking out either the Pillar of Faith or Chams Al Majid, instead I pretty much feel apart. If I could do it again I’d try and fire off a few more Plague of the Believers – 6 damage against Nazir, the Pillar or Chams ain’t shabby – and give up on Possession. It’s great against some opponents but against the Saracen’s it’s just too risky.
SAM: Actually this went really well for me. The Pillar of Faith is such a BEAST, and even though I didn’t support him as well as I should have – with Chams’ Aura of Inspiration and Nazir’s Charisma, and when he needs it, Healing – I still managed to win without losing anything. Sure, I almost got Nazir killed for no reason. Well, actually, I can say it was a lure for Asaliah to come and kill me, and get herself into charge range. That’s how it worked, but it wasn’t really a plan – I just went a little crazy. Sometimes risk brings reward, though!
Thanks for reading folks. And I hope you have been inspired to give the game a shot!
Co-Host of Combat Phase Podcast.
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"Sam’s 2nd Blessed Warrior moves over and picks up a Treasure token. At least one of them is playing to the mission!"
"...it’s time to go for the throat!"