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Slug

Dark Souls - Solo Campaign

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About to start the solo campaign of this behemoth. I have had this game for a couple years and never really got around to learning or playing it. This game is a pretty big investment so I'm going to be using this thread for updates, pictures and thoughts as I move through the campaign. If you've played and have tips, let me know. If you have questions also let me know and I'll do my best. :)

 

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10 hours ago, SFLUFAN said:

How the devil do you play it solo?

Many board games these days, especially campaign based ones, have a solo mode.

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23 hours ago, SFLUFAN said:

How the devil do you play it solo?

Well, normally it's a co-op game; you and your party versus the scenario.  Whatever mini boss and boss y'all choose to go after for a given playthrough.  Playing solo basically makes it an RPG with a one-man party.  There are a couple rules changes for the solo campaign, and there is a 'story' in the solo rules in the rulebook that tells you the correct board setup and the order you attempt the bosses in.  The idea being that, if you survive, you'll eventually work your way through all the bosses and "beat" the game.

 

In the setup picture I've got all the character minis on the board on the bonfire/home tile, but actually playing I'm only using the Knight.  Though I'm considering restarting with the Herald...

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That's awesome Slug.  I just started Rebel Assault solo to learn the game so I can teach my kids...but it has a pretty great companion app that does the DM of Sorts role. 

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First session.  I intended to go at this dungeon solo, but fortunately my son came back from college for the weekend so we tackled it duo.

 

The dungeon setup (took this pic after a couple clear attempts, hence our character boards no longer showing us at level 1/base stats):

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Nice rooftop ya got there.  Be a shame if someone...was knocked off of it.

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I may have over-pulled on this encounter...

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The first boss approaches

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After 4 clears of the dungeon and 3 failed attempts at taking down the boss, we finally got it with zero sparks remaining on our bonfire.  This was our positioning for the killing blow, with my son's warrior getting into the Winged Knights weak rear arc and blowing all his stamina to ensure his axe did the last bit of damage to bring it down:

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A couple thoughts after this session, and really learning the game.  The feeling that immediately jumps out at you is that this board game is Dark Souls.  It is very clear that they designed a game with the intent to be as faithful to the Dark Souls video game as possible first and a fun board game second.  The game is hard, the game is at times unfair, and the game is grindy. Every mechanic in the video game is represented here in some form or fashion. While I'm having a blast, I can't imagine anyone who isn't already a fan of the "Dark Souls experience" would have much fun here.

 

Grinding, for example.  The only way to realistically beat the boss of a given run is to clear the dungeon as many times as you can with the sparks you have available to farm souls to level up and acquire new weapons, armor, mods, spells, etc.  It can be tedious because eventually you'll have become strong enough to trivialize the lower tier encounters, which makes clearing them multiple times feel like "going through the motions".  But that still is Dark Souls; the hollow soldiers leading to and up the stairs from Firelink Shrine to Undead Burg are probably some of the most-killed enemies in video gaming.  Translating this "running through the already beaten areas to farm" feel in board game form though is a rough endeavor that I think the game designers dropped the ball on slightly.  There had to be a better way to do this.

 

It will probably be the weekend before I can get back to this; it is a long game; this first dungeon took us close to 4 hours.  That time to clear will go down now that we are more familiar with the game mechanically and don't have to keep going back to the rulebook so often.

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