I am the Overlord!
Every now and then, my local wargames club the South Devon Gamers, likes to play something different. For a short while now, we've been playing the Conan Boardgame, going through the scenarios one by one. Crom!
This time, I was offered the position of evil 'Overlord' or games master, who tries to thwart the heroes in the scenario. He controls a 'battle board' to activate his minions, which flow along the 'River of Styx', being moved to the back when activated.
The scenario we played was In the heart of Darkness. Conan and his companions (Belit, Hadrathus the magician and Shevathas the thief) must break into the ancient ruin and defeat the evil sorceror Skuthus. However, the sorceror has prepared a trap. Guarding the ruin are a number of monsters, with three petrified powerful creatures which can be freed one at a time.
The game uses a clever system of crystals to activate the heroes' abilities and attacks. A hero can be active (attacking) or defensive (which gives you more crystals), so it pays to rest and regain crystals to be able to more attacks in the following turn. It also pays to have a reserve of crystals against surprise enemy attacks.
So, we began play. The heroes broke into the fortress. Conan cut his way through the first demon and the party started looting the castle. Skuthus sprang his trap, summoning more creatures to his defence. Casualties started to mount, as the heroes were slowly becoming tired and small wounds were mounting up.
I had a few good turns as the Overlord and managed to severely wound several of the party members. The players realised that they were wasting their time fighting the minions and needed to concentrate on killing Skuthus. When a demon knocked out Conan, the situation became critical. The thief Shevathas fell but not before throwing a bomb at Skuthus, wounding him.
Belit and Hadrathus now ran to try and kill the fleeing Skuthus. Belit engaged the guards opening the way for the magician. Picking up the thief's dagger, Hadrathus threw it at Skuthus, killing him! It had been a very close and nail-biting game but the heroes had succeeded. We'd played for just under 2 hours and had an excellent time. Definitely a change from historicals (for me) and 40K (for the other players).
I'd recommend this game to any wargamer who likes to dabble in a bit of board gaming and does not mind fantasy.