Recap: Conan First Impressions

conan

It finally arrived. After pledging for the Kickstarter many moons ago, I finally got my first taste of Conan. My plan was to go in on the kickstarter and get all the exclusives. That way, if the game was great, I had all the stuff. If it wasn’t, then I could probably sell it and recoup most of my expense since I had the exclusives to go with it. It hit the table for the first time. Needless to say, I’m not selling it.

Conan. First thing’s first: Conan has rules issues. Not Myth level issues, but still issues. Mostly, they result in ambiguities that make things just a little unclear. Or the skills refer to things that are scenario specific. For example, we had a heck of time figuring out what Leap meant in the first scenario that takes place in the Pictish Village. Turns out, you can’t leap there. (Then why, may I ask, do all the Picts have leap?)

Setting that aside, the game was still very playable and the rules issues weren’t prevalent. In other words, they didn’t significantly mar the experience. I played what felt like a pretty solid game of Conan. And it was awesome. The game felt very cinematic. A lot of the abilities are fairly rules-lite, so you get to run in swinging axes and swords. Still, the gem movement created a lot of strategic decisions so it didn’t feel like a soulless dice-chucker.

In our play, I was the Overlord. One player controlled Conan and the second player grabbed the other two heroes. And it was on. I secretly stashed the princess in the hut with three picts of different colors. My thought was that, with three different colors in there, I’d have a good chance of being able to activate someone defensively. In the end, it didn’t matter. Because the heroes ended up searching only the other seven huts.

What happened was that the spell-caster used lightning to totally decimate my picts. Realizing that it was now or never, I sent it the Giant Snake to take some bites. And bite he did. Yikes. His three armor was very helpful in diffusing the attacks and his blocking ability kept the hero pinned. The heroes sent others to attack and eventually kill the snake, but it took them too long. By the time the snake was dead, they hadn’t done any damage to Zogar Sag or found the princess. And it was the end of turn 6. There just wasn’t enough time left and the Overlord won.

I had a great time. It was almost like watching a movie, or reading the pulpy Conan goodness. And the mechanics are simple to utilize but still require tough decisions. Highly enjoyable and I hope I get to play it a lot more.

Also Played. Animal Upon Animal (x5) and Sentinels of the Multiverse.

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