I feel obligated to share this story, so bear with me.
This weekend, I finally cracked back open Kingdom Death Monster for my solo play. I decided to start all over from the first encounter, recreate my settlement, and finally get into some regular hunting. My table is far too small, so it is all a little hilarious to see me crouched over the table, with like gobs of card decks scattered and a giant box of various items nearby. I have also painted my lion and the four starting survivors, so they look fantastic (although I still need to varnish one of them). Of course, I named the four survivors after the Scooby Doo gang, with beefy Fred, long-haired topless Daphne, crouched and scared looking Velma, and tall, lanky Shaggy.
The first story is always a little brutal, and we took some major hits. Most of the hits were on Velma, and she began to bleed with two blood tokens. I kept getting AI cards where the lion targeted knocked down survivors, which is one of the worst things to get (as knocked down survivors tend to be wounded). He also had enrage, which gave him a +1 to all damage, which is also brutal when he often gets 2 hits worth, normally, 2 damage each (now three each). To make matters worse, he got a lucky hit and decapitated Velma when she was wounded, killing her instantly. Still, we managed to make it home with only the one loss and no real permanent damage (last time I did the first story, he did tons of Brain damage, leaving my survivors with all sorts of disorders).
Then we get back, I create a new survivor to replace Velma (named Sophia). We gear up, spending basically all of our stuff on armor and weapons. I got some nice darts to do some ranged damage and Shaggy had gotten a +1 luck (he crits on a 9 or 10 instead of just a 10), so I equipped him with a luck stone and got the needed colors to activate it (he crits on an 8, 9, 10 now).
We go on the hunt, first round he comes right at one of the survivors and gets in a nasty hit, mitigated some by a dodge and some armor. We go in to attack him and I lead with Shaggy. Shaggy gets two hits, but fails to wound (despite his high crit rate). I use Shaggy's survival to get another action point and attack again. Two misses. I feel a bit frustrated to have put a lot into his crit rate only to not get any hits (and I only needed to roll 6+). Daphne runs up, gets one hit with her Founding Stone (starting weapon). I pull "Crushed Windpipe" location. This location says that, if I get a critical hit, I roll on a table. If I get a 1-9, the lion is knocked down, if I get a 10, he dies instantly at the end of his next monster turn! So I roll. I get a 10. Whoo hoo, at least he will be knocked down. I roll again. I get a 10. My eyes blink. This is going to be a two-turn hunt. In KDM, that is pretty amazing. It goes to his turn and he pulls... a card that has him sniffing to target and get a bonus on his next turn. Oops... sorry lion.
Triumphant we return back home, so I pull the settlement event card - Murder. It means one of my survivors instantly kills another survivor. Fred ends up murdering Sophia, but becomes this respected hunter for his prowess (although it means that the card will come back in a few more lantern years). It seems like the "Crouched Woman" model may be cursed, as that one keeps getting killed. Maybe I need to varnish her to protect her?
It was quite a ride for such a brutal game.