Friday, 31 July 2015

Lord of the Dead - Play Review


So, amongst the kickstarter goodness that arrived this week was Lord of the Dead, backed on a whim because it looked very much like the games I grew up with, such as Survival and Barbarian Prince, it also looked colourful and interesting.

And now it’s here, I can cheerfully report that it’s interesting, but the villagers have really got a fight on their hands...



What we liked most about it was that the move and attack orders were reversed for the two different sides, allowing the humans to close and attack each round (and invite the possibility of a return strike), or they could stay out of range and there was nothing that the shambling undead could do to catch them.



With this in mind, you’d think that it would be an easy matter for the humans to stay at range and pepper the undead with shots for the win...

Not So...

I played several games against my constant companion through adventure, John Wilson, and found that while the Lords of the Dead themselves aren’t that much of a threat in straight combat, their spells make them a particularly troublesome foe.


For example



Most of the Lords have a range of one, meaning that they have to be in contact with the base of the model being attacked, and so a lot of their attacks are lessened because of this range issue.  Any human would do well to keep to range and keep firing, but many of the spells have a range on them, and that range does well to counter the problems that the Lord has in general.



When the Lord in question does have a ranged attack, the humans are in real trouble, The pumpkin head is one of the most dangerous because it has a range of two, equivalent to many of the humans and it hits far more often.  Of the games played when I took this villain, all ended in sure defeat for the humans. 



Against the others, tactics and judicious use of propelled weapons won the day.



Strategy?

For the player of the undead, the whole goal is to get to the graveyard and there raise the army, for the humans, it’s to stop them getting in there, so the undead strategy is to head at best speed for the graveyard and let nothing stop them.  Bonus points are awarded for the humans to pick their forces if the undead start closer to the graveyard at the beginning, and the points allocations are about right for the advantage the range decrease gives.

For the humans, it’s all about having the right troops for the job, the Paladin is really expensive, but can cancel spells and hit hard.  The farmer on the other hand is there for little more than cannon fodder, but that plays a part as well...


We played a good five or six games in less than fifteen minutes once we’d got the rules down, it’s a good fast game with simple mechanics, good production values, and excellent replay value, I’ll be looking for the next one by Christopher Ferguson, this one’s a keeper... 

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