Super Dungeon Explore: Meet the Heroes, Part 2

It's been quite some time since I talked about (and unfortunately even played) Super Dungeon Explore, but I finally found and unpacked all of the board games at our new place, which means...

...we just have to wait for our internet service provider to actually get out here, and upgrade our internet to a speed that allows us to play Hangout games (or even do something as simple as watch a YouTube video without constant buffering).

So until that happens (supposed to be this week they swear, again), I figure I might as well talk about another set of heroes, this time the guys and gals from the expansions, plus Candy & Cola and Nyan Nyan because why the hell not?

Candy & Cola
I'm honestly not a huge fan of Candy & Cola (despite owning two of them), but I think that's because I usually play in 2-3 hero games and she seems like the kind of hero that is intended for a larger party (especially if you have someone making attacks with red dice, like the Claw Tribe Barbarian).

Her Attack sucks (2B), and while her Will is nice (2R) that's only really going to be useful if you don't already have a spellcaster on tap; in a small party you might not, but in a big party where she'd really shine you probably will.

The big thing she's got going on is Sugar Rush (costs three potions and gives whoever downs them all +2 action points), Soothing Soda (immune to all status effects), Cola (roll a blue die for potions), and Luck (turn any hearts she rolls into potions, assuming she even hurts what she's attacking).

As with other "supporting" heroes I'd pass on her in smaller games: in a big party where more potions are being rolled, she can dash around cracking chests (Luck also lets her draw two and choose which to keep), and dole out potions as they roll in. That's actually the best tactic I can think of for her, as by the time all the chests have been opened she'll hopefully be geared up enough to make her actually useful in a fight.

Celestial Herald
I love her sooo much more than the Glimmerdusk Ranger: her Missile range is a bit lower (6 instead of 8), but her Speed is the same and she has Fly, has immunity to Knockdown, her Will is a bit better (nice if you don't have any spellcasters to help out with initiative rolls), her potion is fucking awesome (area-effect armor buff), and Arrow Storm can hit nearly twice as many targets as Sparkle Burst can. Yeah, you have to get close, but again she can fly.

She's pretty straightforward (just hang back and shoot everything), but whenever possible try and keep lava, walls, difficult terrain, or other allies between you and the baddies.

Deeproot Scout
This Link clone has a Speed of 7, 1B1R for both Attack and Dexterity, and like the original character comes equipped with a variety of tools that make him fairly versatile: a Bow (missile attack), Acorn Grenades (area-effect ranged attack with Knockdown), a Boomerang (lets you snag treasure chests), and a potion that gives you +1 action point.

His Boomerang is a neat gimmick, but it's not seen much use in our games since he can usually just walk over to a chest and open it with 1 action point, instead of burning two of them for the same results.

I generally chug his potion before using Acorn Grenade against clumbs up mobs, especially if they are crowded around a spawn point. You might get lucky and roll another potion, which can potentially allow you to keep chaining grenades.

I've also had a good amount of success continuously throwing his potions at the Claw Tribe Barbarian (or anyone else that's rolling lots of red dice).

Nyan Nyan
She is just a shitload of fun. Her stats are fine for a melee character: Speed 7, and base Attack and Armor are both 3B (not that her Armor matters since she has Dodge and a Dexterity of 2R), but none of that is why she's awesome.

Her main special (Teeth & Fur) let's her fly and make an attack with +1R and Knockdown. It costs two action points, but it is great for closing the distance and hitting hard. Hell, you can use it to do hit and run tactics, smashing into a mini-boss or boss and scampering away. If nothing else, the Knockdown will still shave off an action point.

Even if she can't get away she still has 9 Lives: when she dies, roll a red die and remove one wound for each star that pops up. There's no limit to how many times she can do this so long as she doesn't roll a blank or potion.

Purr is a Wave 1, Compel 2 (move 'em two spaces in any direction you want) that costs one action point and is a special ability, so there's no roll required. This is great for getting enemies off of her back, grouping them up for an impending area-effect, or even forcing them to take a dip in lava.

Finally, Catnip Bomb is an area-effect Pacify potion. No roll or action point cost required; just drop it on a group of enemies with annoying special attacks. You can also use Purr to group more things together before "setting them up the bomb".

Princess Ruby
I'm really not a fan of this one, less so than even Candy & Cola, which again might just be the fact that we tend to play Dungeon Delves and Crawls.

Her Will is okay and Dodge lets her rely on her 2B1R Dexterity, which means that as long as you keep her from getting hit with Slow, Immobile, or Knockdown she'll be passably durable (just hope that no one else wants Dex loot for fighting).

The only thing decent about her are the Magic attack and special actions, which let her hand out Attack and Will buffs, as well as heal someone for all of one heart if they're really close.

The problem is that in a smaller party her healing just can't keep pace with the punishment being dealt out: more than once I've seen Melissa waste turn after turn vainly trying to keep the other guy alive, only to finally succumb to a wave of monsters because the Princess isn't helping to stop the problem at the source.

Normally I'd recommend her for Dungeon Sieges, except...

Sister of Light
Why the hell would you want Princess Ruby when you can have the Sister? Her default attack has Cross and Push 1, meaning that she can hit up to four things at once, and you can push them into lava. Plus it only costs 1 action point, so there's really never a reason to not use it.

Even her heal ability is objectively better: it's Cross 2, so can feasibly hit multiple allies with minimal setup, and it even adds Remedy (ie, goodbye all status effects). Oh, did I mention it also costs only 1 action point?

While her potion doesn't let you redraw a loot or treasure card (yawn), it does cause an affected hero's normal attack to gain Cross 1, Holy, and Fire. Drop that on the Claw Tribe Barbarian and watch the fireworks.

Yeah, she lacks range but her Attack and Armor are better, so if you want healing support that can also lay down the hurt and just won't quit, go with her.

Star Guild Sapper
Another dwarf that, aside from being just a bit less durable than the Hearthsworn Fighter (1B1R Armor instead of 2R), is identical stat-wise. He does however have Reach 2, which can be handy, but his real strengths are Astral Hammer and POW!.

Astral Hammer has a Cross 2 area and adds Knockdown, which can make him better at dealing with crowds than the Hearthsworn Fighter since it hits more squares and it's not Dangerous. If you wanna really lay into just one target, POW! both adds +1R and has Massive Damage (and only costs 2 action points to boot).

Rounding him out is Star Shine, a special ability that makes him immune to all status effects, and Burning Bloom, a potion that gives you a ranged attack that adds Fire.

All in all he's a solid, versatile melee type if you're looking for something a bit different from the usual fare (or just want to bring another dwarf into the mix).

Von Wildling/Von Wilder
So...this guy is interesting. Probably not the one for you if you're looking for something straightforward and simple, but for a more tactical-minded player he's got a lot going on.

In his human form he has Reach 2, a special attack that adds +1B and Pacify (too bad it costs 2 action points), a special ability that is auto-Compel 2, and he can transform into Von Wilder (making him the only other hero with shapeshift).

What I like most about his human form are the potions: one lets you slam a bunch of enemies with Holy vulnerability, and the other is an attack potion that has both Holy and Fire. So, if you can get your hands on a pair of potion tokens you can use them both in sequence (each costs an action point to use), and light up a group of mobs.

His shapeshift form is easier to work with, and is honestly where I spend most of my time once I'm out of potions. The only downside is that it starts with Vulnerable: Magic. If the Consul isn't using anything with Magic or someone in your party can remove status effects, then you're set.

That said, this form has Tough (heal one wound each activation), and a 1 action point special attack that adds 1R and is Sweep 1, which means it can hit up to four mobs at a time. That's a good deal of crowd control, just watch out for your allies since it's Dangerous.

Final Verdict
Celestial Herald, Nyan Nyan, Sister of Light, Star Guild Sapper, and Von Wildling are great in a party of any size.
Deeproot Scout is decent enough, though I usually only pick him for a Dungeon Crawl or Siege. He is kind of flexible, but leans more towards wanting Attack since that's what Acorn Grenade relies on.
I'd only let Candy & Cola and Princess Ruby tag along for a Dungeon Siege. Well, not so much Princess Ruby; maybe if someone else took the Sister of Light and there wasn't already another spellcaster in the mix.

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