Dark Lord Trouble in Adventure Tactics: Domianne’s Tower
Face off against a pair of dark lords with the Ventiss and Kalthak scenarios from Adventure Tactics: Domianne’s Tower.
There was no way I wanted to slow down as I dug deeper into the campaign with my trio of Elwyn, Quill, and Roberta. Adventure Tactics: Domianne’s Tower has been everything I wanted it to be! Granted, my level up choices have likely been sub-optimal. Yet it’s been so fun to try to get another scenario victory! Maybe this was finally my day…
You know the drill! The following post includes some spoilers for scenarios 10 and 24. Not there yet or want to leave everything to be discovered? I’m sure I’ve rambled about other topics without spoilers. Ha ha! Feel free to skip on by.
Game Name: Adventure Tactics: Domianne’s Tower
Publication Year: 2020
Designer: Nicholas Yu
Artists: A. Bereza, M. Cofer, D. Cowals, J. Croft, and 5 More
Publisher: Letiman Games
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game (Cooperative)
Don’t underestimate the class choices. I turned Quill into a very specialized bishop throughout the campaign. But there have been so many paths I could have taken her in. Also, the class artwork doesn’t have to represent the chosen character. Quill easily could have been a fighter!
December 25, 2020
January 3, 2021
54" x 32"
Actually, Quill was a fighter in some ways! I’ve neglected to show a lot of the action cards, even though these are a main element of gameplay. Look at that lovely artwork!
I chose to take Quill down the cleric path, where the actions are represented by her character. To be clear, this doesn’t mean each hero has a defined set of choices.
More on that shortly! Yet it was nice to see her in all sorts of powerful and intelligent sorts of poses. Awesome lady.
The trouble is that a lot of healing actions are single-use for each scenario. Definitely something to work on!
Diversifying a Deck
On the other hand, Elwyn had a very different path to turn into a war mage. This saw him learn some skills from a variety of classes. Note the non-Elwyn action artwork!
This doesn’t detract from anything for me, though. I would rather see some action than a basic symbol or icon.
I’m currently working on making him a more powerful war mage, though there are some other wizardly classes I want to explore. Might have to wait for another campaign!
Never fear: Roberta will be covered a little later on, as her leveling up finally yielded the elite class I was after.
Griffins Here and There
The next scenario looked pretty menacing. As I was putting on the standee bases, I had to double-check the map. Oh… Those aren’t normal griffins. They’re huge!
I figured I could send in the heroes to do some early damage. The starting initiative allowed me to do just that.
Only it all backfired. These heroes may seem advanced, but they can’t do much damage. I guarantee you that if you’re running this for your kids, they’re better than me!
Any questions about the end? Griffin Lord Ventiss suffered no damage, and the griffins were barely scratched.
Recognizing When It’s You or the Game
My win ratio is laughably low. You might come to the conclusion that the game is far too challenging and only for the most experienced. But if there’s something important I’ve learned from playing solo over the last several years, it’s when to take a step back. The classic question of, “Is it me or you?” applies in a very important way.
I feel like I’m much better at recognizing game design flaws nowadays. Unfair balance issues stand out, as do problems with programmed sequences with no real decisions. There’s a sense of real frustration that leaves me worn out. Luckily, this is a rare occurrence nowadays. But I know when it happens and can feel confident blaming the game for it.
On the other hand, losing consistently doesn’t indicate a poor game. In fact, it’s usually when I win too often that I start to question newer games! In this case, though, my scenario losses are mostly on me. There are some unlucky rolls and initiative orders, yet the bulk of the cause boils down to me. And I’m OK with that! There’s a lot more to learn.
Could I do with a few more wins? Sure, but it feels much better to work towards that threshold. I’ll never be a great player who makes the best moves. I hope that these entries show how losing scenarios still allows a path forward without punishing someone who might not be very skilled. I’m honestly still having fun even with all the failures!
A Classic Hero Jailing
Well, my heroes lost that one terribly. The story continued in a way that made me laugh a little bit for their sentence of disturbing the peace and an unprovoked attack.
In many adventures and games, this is exactly what every character does! Imagine being the townspeople when things get started. This seemed quite appropriate. Ha!
Despite losing some equipment and gold, this was hardly a punishment for failing. The party moved on.
Actually, this was their second trip to jail… I don’t think anyone was sad to see them leave the city. Ha ha!
With a map in hand, Roberta led the way for Elwyn and Quill. The tower was just a few days ahead!
Although the bulk of the action takes place in battle-based scenarios, there are random events to encounter. Here, things were very busy! Ventiss appeared again. Horrible.
The party would begin the next scenario appropriately exhausted, represented by a napping Elwyn. Perfect!
I personally hoped for some slightly easier scenarios, but I also remembered that the heroes had leveled up. They kept getting stronger. And maybe I was learning a little?
Leave it to the heroes to encounter this horrible character on the bottom floor of the tower! Kalthak seemed like a dangerous foe, though I had some nice ideas in mind.
In fact, I used Elwyn as a kind of bait so he could do some extreme damage before getting knocked out early on.
Just what I wanted! Quill moved into a position where she could absorb a little damage, but mostly heal from afar.
A little damage actually made it through to this boss. I was elated! Granted, he had 75 HP and I was celebrating about 15 damage. Still, this was moving right along at last.
Roberta the Champion
As I alluded to before, Roberta changed just a little bit… Going from a standard fighter to an awesome champion!
Her basic attacks improved significantly with 2 dice, while she moved more swiftly and could attack at range. All in all, she simply got better in every possible way.
She swooped in and started doing real damage to Kalthak. For someone who didn’t do much of anything, this was such a fun moment for me! I could definitely do this!
There was still a pretty good chance I was about to lose. But Roberta took out a skeleton archer. Alright. Not bad!
Death to Undeath
Naturally, I then suffered the worst possible initiative: The enemies activated twice at the end of a round, followed by twice again at the very start of the next round. Classic.
Had things been just a little different, I’m fairly certain we had about 10-15 damage lined up for the next turn.
I whittled Kalthak down to almost exactly half his starting health. Not much of an accomplishment for many, but for me? This was something I felt happy and proud of.
Will I return to play the campaign again? Definitely! At that point, I’ll certainly expect more damage. And WINS!
Play Number: 5 and 6
Expansion: Adventure Tactics Hero Pack 1
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game (Cooperative)
Play Details: Scenarios 10 & 24 with Elwyn, Quill & Roberta
Outcome: 2 Losses
A war mage, bishop, and champion waltz into a tavern. The barkeep asks them what she can get them. “Anyone but Jessica.” Ha ha! I might not be doing these heroes much justice, but they’re getting better. By extension, I’m finding new strategies and figuring out when to attack or retreat. Still absolutely fun, and that’s all I wanted!
Price & Value
Challenges & Mechanics
Design & Theme
Components & Rules
Achievement & Enjoyment
Distinctness & Randomness
+ Pros (Positives)
- Failing a scenario doesn’t involve an immediate end to the campaign or any severe punishment for learning.
- Each hero levels up quite differently and feels like he or she is progressing with improved actions and abilities.
- There are some random encounters, items, and perks that will slightly change each play through the campaign.
- Enemies act very differently from scenario to scenario so that there is no single strategy towards victory.
- Play time never seems to drag on, as definite losses are over quickly but close matches only last an hour or less.
- Heroes and elite classes include a diverse cast of characters that go beyond the standard male adventurer type.
– Cons (Negatives)
- Some cards carry the same name, even though they’re completely different, and finding them can be difficult.
- The warping of the player boards and tiles is quite extreme and it takes a lot of effort to try to flatten them out.
- Certain scenarios span 2 pages in the campaign guide, which takes up more space and can be difficult to read.
- Although there is an included class guide, it only provides a basic picture without detailed card descriptions.
Complete the Scenario
- Overall Goal Progress 42% 42%
- Campaign Progress 100% 100%
Goals and Milestones
Complete scenario 1 with the bonus objective.
Complete scenario 33 with the bonus objective.
Complete scenario 36 with the bonus objective.
Complete scenario 40 with the bonus objective.
Complete scenario 42 with the bonus objective.
Complete scenario 5 with the bonus objective.
Complete scenario 10 with the bonus objective.
Complete scenario 17 with the bonus objective.
Complete scenario 18 with the bonus objective.
Complete scenario 24 with the bonus objective.
Complete scenario 26 with the bonus objective.
Complete scenario 29 with the bonus objective.
Continue the Conversation
What do you like the most about Adventure Tactics: Domianne’s Tower? Do you prefer a particular character or class? I want to try out so much more in terms of leveling up the heroes. There will definitely be room for more campaign plays in the future! Honestly, replaying a scenario seems like it could be very interesting. For now, onto the next page!