This is an older report about a game of SHDA, which is my favorite game from Fantasy Flight. It’s awkward and clunky, with an atrocious rulebook, but is pretty awesome once you get it down. I have all the expansions, but the game is out of print.
I hadn’t played SHDA for a couple of months, so I set up a solo game this evening. Since it ended much more quickly than I’d anticipated, I had plenty of time for another game. Both missions used the same marines and locations. My randomly-chosen marine squads were green, orange, and blue. I love the blue team, but green and orange are far from my favorites.
In the first attempt I had the absolute worst run of luck in any game I’ve played and lost 3 marines in the first 3 turns, brought one of them back with an event card, watched him get killed again along with two others, and got my last marine wiped one turn after somehow limping into the second room. Positively brutal. I’m not sure what I ever did to upset FFG, but that stupid die is clearly some sort of punishment.
After such a devastating defeat, I needed a rematch, so I shuffled everything up and made another go. In this second game I had a nice stretch of luck for the first two rooms, and rolled through with no casualties and without any swarms left alive to follow me. It was one of those games where you make all the right moves, and feel like a tactical genius. I was feeling pretty good about my chances, especially after getting trounced so thoroughly in the previous game, and may have been trash-talking the cards a bit.
At this point, my squads were evenly distributed across my formation, all my facings and attack ranges covered any potential threats that could pop out, and we had a few support tokens on the board. Sure, it wasn’t as many support tokens as I’d typically like to have, but the way things were shaking out, I had thoughts of a perfect game in my head. Even after losing only 1 marine early in the third room, I figured I could pull off a 5-marine victory… until 3 more fell in rapid succession in the last room.
Lorenzo and Gideon gave a valiant effort in the Toxin Pumping Station, and when Lorenzo had a fantastic run of 5 skulls in one round of defending, I again thought I had the victory in the bag. Then another damn event card made them flip facings, and it was crunch and munch time on my marines. I assume they were heroically delicious.
Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, but I know that I’m going to set it up again tomorrow night just to try to exact my revenge on this little inanimate box full of cardboard. I’m 0 for 2 against it now, but I bet I can make a comeback and pull off 3 wins out of 5. If not, then I’ll easily be able to win 4 of 7. Or maybe 5 of 9…
6 of 11?
*sigh* I hate this game. I just wish it weren’t so damn fun.