Good thing we got a feel for monster behaviour from the last journal entry, because the Scoutflies were on to something!
From the journal of Jamie Perkins, Lead Developer
If you’re heading into the lush tabletop jungles of the Ancient Forest set, Great Jagras is the first monster you’ll face.
They say wild adventures often have humble beginnings—but not always. Beware underestimating this gluttonous beast. Even in this introductory quest, it’s slay or be eaten.
Succeed, and you’ll have proven yourself worthy of harder challenges, leaving you able to take on a quest for any monster in the game.
Are you up to the task? Let’s find out...
Monster Physiology Cards
We already looked at how monsters behave. Now, let’s see what they’re made of.
Each monster has three physiology cards—one for each difficulty level—showing their vital statistics.
Here’s one for Great Jagras:
You can tell by the 1-star difficulty level that this is the physiology card for the monster’s assigned quest.
You can also see its starting health; elemental and status ailment resistance levels; special rules; and information on which body parts can be attacked and broken.
That’s right. Just like in the video game, breaking monster parts really matters in the board game, and comes with interesting effects.
For one, breaking one part or more guarantees you’ll earn bonus loot at the end of the quest.
For two, broken parts can change how the monster behaves in combat. Breaking the head of Great Jagras, for example, means its water elemental attacks no longer deal elemental damage.
Some part breaks can even affect hunter turns, but we won’t get into those just yet.
Oh! Don’t forget to check the monster’s special rule to see what extras you’ll need to watch out for.
In this case, every time Great Jagras damages a hunter, they regain a little health. Those greedy beasts love to feast on your mistakes!
Great Jagras Behaviours
If there’s one thing you can say for sure about Great Jagras, it’s that it loves throwing its weight around—literally. And it's not afraid to lash out. Watch out for body slams, swiping claws, and some seriously nasty spitting.
Brace yourself for Front Claw Smash:
Following a 3 node move, Front Claw Smash hits every hunter unlucky enough to be caught in the monster’s left, front, or right arcs.
Any hunters who can’t dodge will take a crippling 6 damage. Given hunters only have 8 health to begin with, 6 damage is no joke. And this is the first monster in the game.
Moving swiftly on.
Assuming you haven’t fainted, Belly Roll Left is a torso attack. Can you guess what happens next?
Yes! Great Jagras does what they do best and tries to crush you under its colossal weight.
You might also notice a targeting symbol we haven’t seen before: an eight-pointed red star. If you see this, you’ll wish you’d taken several steps back, because this behaviour targets the closest hunter.
(Pssst. Don’t forget the targeting symbol shows on the back of the card, too.)
But wait a second. Belly Roll Left is an attack with a twist. Instead of moving towards or away from its target, Great Jagras rolls to the left.
If you thought standing to one side would keep you safe, think again!
After the monster moves, Belly Roll Left hits wide, dealing a massive 7 damage to every hunter in its front, left, and rear arcs.
And that’s not all. As you’d expect, being belly rolled by a massive monster can leave you a little dazed.
It’s no wonder, then, that any hunters damaged by this attack suffer the ‘stun’ status ailment—which has the added bonus of draining their stamina.
You see, when your hunter is stunned, you have to choose a card from your hand to place face down on your stamina board.
Not only does this leave you one card down, it also gives you one less space on your board, limiting your options when your next turn comes around.
Had enough yet? No?
Then let’s taste a ranged attack!
Instead of physical damage, Spit Up deals elemental damage.
So, unless your armour has the required elemental resistance—which, in the first assigned quest, won’t be the case—it won’t help you if you catch one of these to the face.
Spit Up also sees Great Jagras attack before it moves, which could catch unwary hunters off guard.
Which hunters, you ask?
Well, instead of attacking in a wide arc like Belly Rolly Left, Spit Up only attacks the monster’s target. In this case, the hunter that’s furthest away.
If that’s you, and you’re within 4 nodes of the monster in any direction, prepare to be spit up on!
If your party is still standing after Spit Up, it’s your turn. Spit Up is the first behaviour we’ve seen that lets each hunter who takes a turn play three attacks, rather than just two, so make them count!
Now, choose who’ll go first and do your worst—then get out of the way!
~ Journal Ends ~
So, Are You Hungry For The Hunt?
How’s your appetite for adventure after what you’ve learned today?
Let us know in the Hub!