Dark Dealings: Dwarven Delve has a new challenging mechanic we're calling "Tough". The overall gist of "Tough" is that some Heroes, and even some Defenses, are tough/stout/pesky enough to have lasting effects after being defeated (or used, in the case of defenses). This idea first came about when Michael and Peter started thinking about how to emphasize the stoutness of Dwarves in the mechanical guidelines of Dark Dealings. As we all know, Dwarves get a bonus to constitution, so it wasn't necessarily that they would have higher defense values like the Knight, it's that they needed to be able to stick around longer. "Tough" was the logical step.
How it works: An example
In the below example, the Runepriest has "Tough" as symbolized by the rune-inscribed "T" to the left of his ability text, as well as, the color of his ability text being goldenrod. These aesthetic choices make the cards with "Tough" super easy to spot during the excitement of play.
During play, when the Runepriest is revealed, nothing happens immediately. The player decides how they will dispose of him and does so using their defenses. Once the Runepriest is defeated, it is set to the side. Keep in mind that normally when a hero is defeated, they are discarded. "Tough" heroes are instead set to the side. The Runepriest's "Tough" ability bestows a +2 Armor bonus to the NEXT hero. Thematically, the Runepriest carved and enchanted some magic runes into the armor of the next hero, making them that much harder to defeat. See below...
The next hero, a Tunneler also from the expansion, will receive +2 to his armor value, meaning that instead of only needing 6 worth of strikes to defeat him, the player will need 8. Ouch.
Another Tough Dwarf: The Saboteur
One of the other cards using "Tough" in the Dwarven Delve expansion is the Saboteur. Once defeated, she hangs around to make life harder for the player with their next card. Basically, whenever the player strikes the next hero, they will have to rotate a different defense (not the one they're striking with) before striking. This means you get less mileage out of your defenses.
There are also Defenses that use Tough, but we'll wait on telling you about those later. After all, we have to keep some secrets for the Kickstarter, right? Thanks for reading. If you'd like to get involved with some discussion about this topic, head over to BGG.