The villain this time terrorizing the quaint town of Shadowbrook was the Scarecrow. We were playing the BASIC version of the game so he only used the green power listed on his card. Unfortunately for us going in we didn't know how demoralizing this would be later on.
Basically the Scarecrow gains power and health as the game goes on. As the Darkness Track counts down he gets more and more powerful. Since we play the co-op version of the game he already has his hit points multiplied by however many heroes there are. In this case 2 so he started at 10 hp's.
As the game went on he managed to sway one town elder to his side and that buffed him even further. In the co-op game as the Darkness Track goes down he gets bonuses anyway and that coupled with his power had him at almost 20 hit points and 12 attack dice by the end of the game. Very very nasty.
The heroes we were playing were the Scarlet Shadow and Isabella Von Took. We used the wrong miniature for Isabella. One thing I hate is it is hard to tell what miniature is what unlike Wrath of Ashardalon which labels them on the bottom.
We used one board this time around, the base board that comes with the game. However we had mixed in Event, Town and Mystery cards from Something Wicked, both Hero Packs and some promo cards we got at Gen Con 2012.
The best part of this game is the randomness of the Town Elders. These are people that are well respected in the community of Shadowbrook but each has a hidden dark secret revealed as you play the game. These are random each time too. You spend investigation points to learn these secrets and you do so because at the end of the game, when you track the villain to his lair, you can bring two Town Elders to join you. Only problem is some of them may switch to the darkside and you need to know this before you select them because they may end up buffing the Villain.
During this game we found out the following:
Doctor Manning was a bumbling fool. Though wary of the Scarecrow terrorizing the town, he was not careful and was killed in a most "horrible way."
Lady Hanbrook was a Revolutionary War criminal but could be trusted to help us.
Magistrate Kroft was a peeping Tom pervert but he also could be trusted.
Sadly on turn one, Lord Hanbrook turned out to be working secretly with the Scarecrow and turned evil, running off to his secret lair and joining him in rampaging about the countryside murdering people.
Our problems just multiplied as the game went on. Due to some bad card draws the Darkness Track kept creeping down and down and down. This buffed the Scarecrow to near super villain status and we knew that we had to make our move QUICK and attack him before he was too strong. Several events like Harvest Wind and many many attacks by Crows had us reeling late into the game and before we knew it the track was one away from buffing the Scarecrow to +4 in both his stats (combat and wounds).
We got as strong as we could by visiting the Blacksmith and buying some weapons and armor, I then paid the investigation and low and behold we tracked the Scarecrow to the Fields. That seemed almost too fitting to be true.
Isabella joined me and we took our two Town Elders, one apiece, and charged into the Scarecrows lair.
We managed to put about 11 wounds on him until a Town Elder was killed during the final showdown. This caused the Darkness Track to flip to the next stage and further buffed the Scarecrow with 4 more combat dice. As we played our last bag of tricks as far as event cards and the like he slowly started to pummel us. At this point we sent Sophie the Town Elder back to town before she died and Isabella was knocked unconscious. The rule in co-op is that if BOTH heroes are ever in a KO'd state you lose immediately. I knew I had to escape the combat so I got out of the lair barely living.
Next turn the Scarecrow healed 5 wounds and we knew that he was out of reach of destroying. Although we killed his evil minion Lord Hanbrook we knew that there was no hope in defeating him. During the middle of the night we left Shadowbrook to its own demise. We felt like cowards sure but we knew we would be back to fight another day.
For our next game the expansion Something Wicked will be used and we will add another board. Rumor has it there is a Necromancer in town raising the dead and causing havoc. This must be investigated!