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Games Night: Super Dungeon Explore

Hello everyone, welcome.  Today I am going to be talking about a games night I attended recently.

I was invited round to a friend’s house to play Super Dungeon Explore which is a chibi boardgame based on dungeon crawling videogames, which makes it sound overly complicated, and indeed more complicated than it actually is.  In simpler terms, Super Dungeon Explore is a super cute dungeon crawling adventure game where players fight monsters and loot treasure.  My favourite miniature is Beatrix the Witch Queen, a cutesy little witch on a pumpkin chariot pulled by kittens.  I had so much fun using her as a dungeon boss, once, running over the payers…a lot.

Normally I like playing undead dungeons, with necromancers and skeletons and zombies.  Plus, there are a couple of witch villains that can turn characters into frogs which is really fun to do when you are the villain.  However, I decided that I wouldn’t do that this time.  I knew there was a warband of tortoises, and a warband of mushrooms.  I wanted a Mario Themed Dungeon.  One of the players even agreed to play the Star Guild Sapper, who is the closest miniature to Mario we could find.  There is actually a miniature close to Princess Peach, but no one chose her.

In fact we had Not Mario, Not Link, an Undead Pirate, a heavily armed knight and the Tabby Brook Mage.  Yes, the last one is a cat who happens to be a mage.  A really really powerful and destructive mage.  Who spent most of the game as a healer, much to the player’s annoyance.

The players ventured into the Dungeon and pounded on my army of tortoises.  There were bowling tortoises, slow moving tortoises and even tortoises with artillery on their back.  But these were heroes.  My tortoises didn’t stand a chance.  To be fair, that is expected.  Players mash their way through the first few turns with little difficulty, unless the villain player (The Dark Consul) is being a big meanie.  The turn order goes player, consul, player, consul, player, consul and so one.  If I wanted to win at any cost, I would simple attack the same character on all of my turns until they fell.  However, that gets a tad annoying for players and boring for me.  Plus, its the first few turns.  Players shouldn’t hate me until at least the first mini-boss spawn.  So, instead, I attacked my most recent attacker and spread the damage across the party.  Making it difficult to keep everyone healed but, as it turned out, not impossible.

Tile 2 was much the same, with tortoiseses replaced with mushrooms.  The players ventured cautiously, set off a fire trap and left the knight to burn whilst my spongy army bounced all over him (ineffectively for the most part as he had a magic shield by this point which tended to kill my minions any time they didn’t wound him).  The players eventually worked up the nerve to disarm the trap and venture forth, the knight holding firm against arrayed forces of Mushrooms.  Naturally, they destroyed my Mushrooms and the spawn point to be confronted by the First Mini-Boss, Glimmerwing.

Truth be told, I chose Glimmerwing because it was a similar colour to the Mushrooms and I couldn’t think of any appropriate Mario Bosses.  Plus I had never fielded him in the game before.  So, when I saw his character card with only five hit points I was a bit disheartened.  His defensive capabilities were inferior to the players, which meant in a straight fight he would lose.  So, I did the only thing I could and that was to utilise his one advantage.  He could fly.  Using flight I was able to keep the players off balance by striking and retreating before they could strike back, whilst occasionally using one of his abilities to compel players into tile 3.

Tile 3 was guarded by tortoises and I was really keen to use one of their cool abilities.  The bowling tortoises and the gun tortoises could propel allies towards enemies like missiles.  Which I did.  Many times.  Too little effect, but that didn’t matter if my squeals of glee every time a tortoise or shell crashed into a player and exploded was anything to go by.

Eventually, the dungeon boss came out – the Forgotten King.  And the players ultimately won, as they were able to gang up on him and beat him down.  However, I take solace from the fact that I did knock out two of five heroes, and I could have done more, but it was getting late so I decided Glimmerwing was going to go in for a straight fight.  And, unsurprisingly, he lost after two turns.  But in my Dark Consul mind, the players only won because I let them win…yeah, I wouldn’t buy that either.  The game was fun, it has been a while since I played Super Dungeon Explore.  I guess I was just a bit exhausted with Sodapop miniatures and the delay delay delay of Super Dungeon Legends.  This game was a good short reintroduction for me, and if folks are fans of Dungeon Crawls, or anime, then it is probably for you.  Probably wait until Legends is out for retail as there is a second edition coming out soon too.

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