Goblin Slayer

Tabletop Tuesdays: Asymmetric Dungeon Strategy

Tabletop (Free)
Iikka Keranen and Rich Carlson

Created by Iikka Keranen and Rich Carlson of Digital Eel) (developers of, among others, Strange Adventures in Infinite Space, Plasmaworm and Dr. Blob's Organism -- all computer games), Goblin Slayer is an asymmetric boardgame in which one player controls a dwarf entering a cavern infested with goblins to retrieve an artifact.

The board consists of seven large hexes printed with smaller hexes, and is laid out semi-randomly prior to play. The dwarf player controls only a single dwarf, while the goblin player controls 12 goblins (or, optionally, 10 goblins and an ogre -- my advice is, take the ogre). The dwarf and ogre move two spaces a turn (though the dwarf can't attack if he moves more than one), and the goblins move one space a turn. Prior to play, the goblin places the artifact and two "hero's stones" on the map, in any hex or hexes; the dwarf player begins in possession of one stone.

Each large hex contains a "tunnel" hex; goblins may enter a tunnel and go into the goblin player's pool. Killed goblins also go to the pool. The goblin player can enter goblins from his pool into tunnel hexes, one per such hex.

After both sides have moved, the dwarf may kill 1D3 adjoining goblins (the ogre takes two "hits" to kill); the goblin player then rolls 1D6 and, if he rolls less than or equal to the number of goblins adjoining the dwarf (the ogre counting as 2 goblins), the dwarf dies.

Thus, the dwarf moves to the treasure, picks it up (and may optionally seek out the other hero's stones), then moves out, while goblins try to surround and kill him. Stones can be expended to: a) allow one extra hex of movement, b) add one to the number of adjoining monsters killed, or c) as a "saving throw" to prevent the dwarf from dying (which is probably how you'll use them).

It's playable in about 15 minutes, and not a bad little game to play while waiting for other people to take their turns in a more intense game, or while waiting for another game to start; it is, however, largely a die-rolling exercise. Yes, there's a little bit of strategy in terms of move planning by the goblins, and deciding when to use the hero's stones, but not all that much, and the winner is likely to be determined by luck rather than cleverness.

Still and all, it's free.


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wow, I know what I'm doing

wow, I know what I'm doing tomorrow night.

Thank Eris I work at a place with sweet printers and access to cardstock.

She does work in mysterious

She does work in mysterious ways.