Last night we played Pat's 4E game again. This time, Bill joined us. Alex had made an Elf Ranger for Bill to play, and a Dragonborn Warlord for his own second character.
We introduced the new characters to the party, then went to the 'burial ground' where we'd heard there could be cultists and Josh's character's mentor was last seen. We of course were attacked by the folks digging stuff up there, and rescued the mentor. We did a bit of town stuff, then went to the kobold lair.
That ended up being one big giant encounter where we managed to clean out the place without stopping to rest. Through a mistaken idea--Alex thought he could stop the one guy trying to run away and warn the others in the cave--we ended up fighting the guys inside right after fighting the guys outside.
After the initial onslaught inside the cave, the leaders appeared, and some of us went one way (Alex's and my characters) and some went the other (Josh and Bill's). Alex's Warlord was dropped, and while trying to get close enough to heal him, Josh's dwarf and Bill's elf were getting tossed around by the leader, who was really tough (around 100 hit points or so, I assume, and this is for level 1 guys to take on? Then again, my previous observation is that it's similar to playing normal D&D with weapons that only do 1 point at a time, so I guess that would be like 10 hit points in Classic or AD&D if that were the case...)
By the time I got the warlord healed, Josh had been making comments about how the healer should be over healing him, but just as I'm getting there, he decides to roll to see what his PC will do--fight or run. The result was run, so he had is fighter book it out of the cave.
We finally finished off the goblin leader and the kobold shaman in then end, and got some loot. But the session ended with Alex swearing that his two characters will kill Josh's when they see him again.
Anyway, I didn't really have much fun. The module (probably the system itself) seems to assume combat must happen. Alex assumes that once combat begins, it must be finished successfully by us. I was kinda bored spending most of the night just staring at the battlemat, and arguing rules minutia (which we're all still learning) or 'plausibility' issues.
Case in point, Alex cast Flaming Sphere right in the middle of a waterfall. Josh thought that would instantly snuff out the fire, Alex and I thought otherwise. We spent a long time arguing it. Pat didn't make a ruling on it, and eventually Bill looked it up in the book and found out that it's magic so it will work. Later we had a big go around about whether that flaming sphere counted as a 'ally' that the warlord could shift or not.
Alex, getting to try out new mechanics and then having lots of tactical board game challenge, loved the evening (except the last bit about Josh running away). Josh and Bill said they had fun as well. I'm the only one who didn't.
Well, only one more session of 4E before Pat goes back to the States for a few months. While he's gone I'm gonna run my Maritime Campaign idea, unless someone else steps up with another game they want to run. Alex isn't sure he wants to play in my game, and he may well not have fun. There will be times in it when the group had better run away or come up with some clever strategy to win, and Alex seems to just want to rush in Diablo style and kill everything.