The survivors awoke and we confronted by a ravenous white lion, that was already rending apart other people. Unaware of where or how they had got there, the survivors, dressed in but simple rags, prised up from the ground sharp stones, stones from the ground that was formed of carved faces.
The lion attacked Aeolus, it's claws rending deep into his leg and arm. Aiakos and Arachne both approach the beast, attacking it from the relative safety of the rear, crippling its humanoid paw, and dealing it wounds to its head. In a fit of rage it raced off, dragging Aiakos along. Ariadne then attacked, and in return for smiting the beast in the brow, she was filled with terror as she looked it in the eye. It turned, rising to its full stature and faced her down. She screamed, her head filled with fear. But she gain her composure, but now suffering from a nervous twitch.
Aeolus got up and attacked, and darted away, making room for the others to also strike the monster from the rear. Aiakos dug with his stone dagger deep into the lion's tricep, causing the beast to collapse, and visibly shaking the beast mentally.
The lion rose up and began to fight back. Ariadne landed a blow against the beast, and once more it ran off, dragging Aiakos along. But, the combined attacks of the group slowly ground the beast down, as the survivors all took advantage of its limp, and encircled it, with Arachne landing the final killing blow.
The fight was over, with only minor wounds, and Ariadne suffering a minor mental disorder, that made her constantly fidget with her dagger. The troupe dragged the remains of the beast across the strange unknown lands, and found a horde of lanterns and a gathering of other people who welcomed these heroes. (Yes, I rolled max population.... my wife as my witness!).
The beast was skinned, with Ariadne's nervous disposition making her the first to speak. She instructed the survivors in how to rend the monster apart, and the bones and flesh and hair and strange paws it had, were used to fashion new weapons and clothes. Aiakos hefted his mighty bone axe, while Arachne donned the skull helm and picked up the bone dagger she had made. Aeolus used the hide of the beast to make a vest and headband, along with a bone blade. From Ariadne's instruction he was to help lead the troupe in the next hunt. And while Ariadne was busy contemplating before the lantern horde and teaching the other people language, one of the new companions joined the remaining three on the next hunt.
So as a first fight the tactics are there, even if the basic game rules are simple. Tactics are move to do with positioning to account for certain monster reactions, and also for what AI cards are left in the monster deck (which is also its health pool). The new equipment made should be a real help in the next fight, with the headband allowing me to stack the deck. This, combined with the founding stones I have left, could allow me to get certain, dangerous, AI cards out of play efficiently.
The settlement phase had some interesting choices, and will become a more complex part of the game in subsequent game years.
All in all it was everything I wanted and more. I was really gritting my teeth that a bad hit could quickly kill one of my survivors. But by making use of positioning and knowing what was left in the deck I took the advantage.
Anyway, let the hunt begin! I think the new survivor going off to hunt in Ariadne's place will be called Alcestis.