Matt found himself in the hotseat and so we settled down to play through the introductory tutorial scenarios, with Matt taking charge of the shadowy Guild whilst I succumbed to the lure of the Rashaar.
Scenario 1 - Strangers in the Night
The Guild has ordered some unfortunate citizens out onto the streets to investigate rumours of strange creatures abroad.
Stumbling on a fearsome Ugdru and its slave escort, they hurry back to report on what they've seen.
This scenario was all about movement and getting off the opposite board edge so the Ugdru began on the canal, ready to take advantage of its Fast Swimmer trait, whilst the Slave was going to have a harder job running alongside a the canals.
The Citizens, however, started amongst the buildings and so set off at a run across the square.
The Ugdru glided effortlessly underwater, heading towards its goal quickly and scoring the Rashaar a victory point.
The Slave attempted to vault onto some barrels and then across the canal, but fell short and splashed headfirst into the water.
The progress of the Citizens was interrupted by the inconvenient, and yet not unexpected (in Venice, at least), obstacle of a canal.
However, both Citizens were able to leap onto the prow of a Gondola to propel themselves across the water with acrobatic ease, securing the Guild two victory points and the lead.
Meanwhile, the bedraggled Slave heaved itself out of the canal and scurried off through the houses, escaping just in time to level the scores.
Guild 2 - Rashaar 2
Scenario 2 - Conflict
Informed that the monstrous Rashaar seem to be seeking an artefact of power, the Guild send their people out in force intent on driving the creatures and there devoted servants away from the object of their search.
This scenario was an out and out fight, with a victory points scored for each enemy defeated.
The Gondolier ferries Citizens to where they believe the monsters are searching for the artefact, but one of them slipped and fell into the canal, the loud splash alerting the Rashaar to their presence.
The searching Ugrdu order their Slaves to investigate the noises ahead and slide ominously into the canal.
Deciding to stick together for safety in numbers, the Guild advance into the piazza.
Meanwhile, out of sight, the Ugdru disappear off through the murky canals, whilst the Slaves also headed directly for the same piazza as the Guild.
Arriving in the open space surrounding a statue of an ancient hero, the Citizens of the Guild are met by an ominous, large, scaly figure that appears to be waiting for them.
Refusing to take the somewhat obvious bait, the Guild spring the trap by rushing round the corner to surprise the Slave lying in wait, forcing the Ugdru to come to them.
However, they fail to see another Ugdru clambering up onto their Gondola, cutting off their escape.
A ferocious melee breaks out in the square, the Ugdru lashing out cruelly at to woman infront of it, but one of the Slave's is put out of its misery by a scything stroke from the Gondolier's bladed oar.
Citizens surround the Rashaar monster, but fail to prevent it ripping out the poor woman's throat. Her dying screams drawing attention away from the further danger that approached from above.
The enraged Citizens redouble their attacks upon the beleaguered beast, which looks about to fall when the dull wet slap of another of the monsters landing in their midst sends them running back to their boat, ending the encounter with blood lost on both sides.
Guild 1 - Rashaar 1
Scenario 3 - Take the Stone
The artefact the Rashaar have been searching for has been located near a statue. It's now a race to the prize!
This scenario introduced a mobile objective (worth 2 victory points) and each gang had three random agendas (worth 1 victory point each).
The Guild head out in force to claim the mysterious stone.
But danger lurks in the canals where the Ugdru dive deep.
And the Guild are aware that they are being watched.
One Guildwoman leaps over crates to succeed in reaching the stone first, but she is immediately set upon by an Ugdru erupting out if the water and hurling her towards its Slaves.
The Guild rush to her aid but are countered by Slaves emerging out of the darkness on the ground and along the rooftops.
The assault of the Slaves falls short (and off a roof), and the Guild counter by surrounding and cutting down one of the Slaves, allowing the woman with the stone to run off.
An Ugdru lurches into the fray and hurls an unfortunate Citizen over its head and into the canal behind it, where another of its type lurks deep in the water (2 rounds of diving scored 1 victory point).
The creature coming up from the depths tries to take the struggling man down with him, but he somehow slips its grasp and clambers out of the water.
However, he is isolated and surroubded as the rest of the Guild have pulled back to protect the stone. The abandoned Citizen is once again hurled back into the water.
This time, grasping claws do not let go and he is pulled into the depths to a watery grave (killing by drowning scored another victory point).
The remaining Guild member leap around over boxes trying to keep the Rashaar from the stone (and eventually managing to chain four 4" jumps in a round to secure a victory point).
The Rashaar also succeed in chaining jumps (and crushing boxes of fruit) to get closer to their quarry.
However, the Citizen with the stone Chambers up onto a building where she is all but unreachable to the creatures below her.
A desperate assault by a Slave trying to get to her fails and the wretch is hurled of the roof by another Citizen.
Although the melee on the streets continue, the Citizens manage to make off with their prize, which they hope with satisfy their Capodecina of their loyalty.
Guild 3 - Rashaar 2
As the dust settles, the Guild are narrowly winning this exchange and we'd had three engaging games full of violence, action and unintended comedy from the somewhat inept Slaves.
They only thing that seemed a boy strange was how the agendas interact with then narrative of the final game. My Rashaar had generated two water-based agendas, and so that was at least thematic.
However, the Guild found themselves leaping over obstacles like teenagers trying to do parkour as they attempted to score the winning victory point, somewhat oblivious to what was going on around them.
Despite this concern, I probably need to buy the Agenda cards before playing the next scenario, as it requires us to cycle through the deck which will be easier with physical cards and speed up play.
Using the Rashaar definitely constitutes playing a game with an 'army' I've never used before, and so I'm able to cross off another Hobby Bingo box.
However, further birthday purchases have arrived and put me back in a deficit in terms of how much I've painted against