As you no doubt read elsewhere in this issue, we have announced a new variant of Heroic Fantasy which we call "HF Quickie". It is a flat rate ($10 for the entire game), maximum 5 turn game, where two players each pick a 100 point HF party, with no more than 3 characters of any one type, and are put in a single room (with prizes on the floor) to fight to the death.

We ran a "test game" here at Flying Buffalo between me and Jason Sato, just to see what might happen. For my party, I picked 3 humans, 2 elves, 3 goblins, 3 hobbits, 1 leprechaun, and 3 fairy magic users. (All fighters except for the Leprechaun and the fairies.) Jason picked a dwarf, 2 humans, 2 elves, 3 goblins, 1 hobbit, and 3 fairy magic users. That gave me 137 strength and 252 constitution with 15 characters, compared to Jason’s 139 strength and 228 constitution with 12 characters.

It’s my personal opinion that having one large character like this is a mistake, because what you do with that character becomes critical. If you guess wrong, you lose. Jason assumed I would go all-out to kill his dwarf, so he had the dwarf attack one of my fairies, and leave a lot of strength on defense. Instead, I chose to ignore the dwarf entirely on the first turn, and try to maximize the number of characters I killed, going after the elves & humans. This meant that most of the dwarf’s strength was wasted. Of course if I had gone after the dwarf on turn one, and failed to kill him, the result may well have been the opposite. I think if Jason had just had his dwarf smash one of my elves on turn one, it would have been a much closer game. As it was, I won easily.

We both had our magic users prepare sleep spells. He killed all of mine on turn one, and I killed all but one of his on turn one. (The one survivor tried to sleep an elf on turn 2 and failed.) I wouldn’t expect too many sleep spells to work in this game, but taking the small magic users just forces the other player to waste attacks on mostly useless tiny characters. It occurred to me after the turn that an alternative would be to have the magic users instead use their strength to cast "strengthen" spells on some of the fighters. (Since we are using 3rd level magic for this game). I had my magic users cast "0" strengthen spells, and gained 1 strength on 4 of my fighters. But if I didn’t bother to try to prepare sleep spells, I could have gained as much as 10 strength on the fighters instead of 4. The other player wouldn’t know that I hadn’t prepared any sleep spells, and would still be forced to kill my magic users. It is an interesting thought, and might fool the opponent on the next turn as there would be some extra strength there that he couldn’t see and wouldn’t know about.

There were 15 prizes on the floor, so I had each character take one with zero strength, knowing I would get at least 3, and that he wouldn’t get any that he tried to take with zero strength or grab. Jason chose to take the weapon prizes with at least one strength, further reducing his attacks, but then gaining the bonus for the swords on his attacks on my characters.

All in all it was interesting and didn’t take much time. Worth a try, and you can win a phone card or a tshirt. Rick Loomis

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