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Dark Souls Board Game Main Boss Guide: Ornstein & Smough

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"Finally, if you should survive to reach Anor Londo, you must prepare for battle as never before. Awaiting you there are two of the mightiest opponents you ever might face: Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough. This will be your final challenge, but it will not be one you shall relish, for many Chosen Undead before you have fallen to them." — excerpt from Dark Souls: The Board Game Core Rulebook

Dark Souls: The Board Game

Dark Souls: The Board Game is a dungeon-crawler that uses dice, AI behavior cards, and node-based movement to simulate the tense atmosphere, solid combat, and overall difficulty of the video game franchise that it is based on.

When you set the board up for your initial exploration, you will choose a mini boss to face at the end of your exploration. Once the mini boss is defeated, you will set the board up again for your next exploration and choose a main boss to face at the end of your next exploration. There are different game modes where you can face multiple mini bosses before you face your main boss, but the typical way to play is just one mini boss and one main boss.

In the base game, there are four mini bosses: Gargoyle, Titanite Demon, Winged Knight, and the Boreal Outrider Knight. There are also two main bosses: Dancer of the Boreal Valley, and Ornstein & Smough. In this guide, I will only be covering Ornstein & Smough and the rewards given to players once defeated.

Other Boss Guides

Ornstein & Smough's data cards

Ornstein & Smough's data cards

Ornstein & Smough

This fight is a unique as you are actually fighting two different bosses: Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough. This fight will be the ultimate test of your skill and game knowledge as both of these bosses have their own health pool, defenses, and abilities.

Ornstein has three physical defense and three magical defense which makes him the strongest enemy in the entire base game. To balance this slightly, he has only 20 health. When Smough dies his ability, United We Stand, activates. Ornstein will gain 10 health and his heat up cards become the new behavior deck.

Smough has two physical defense and two magical defense making him the weaker of the two bosses. However, to make up for that he has 30 health. When Ornstein dies his ability, Divided You Fall, activates. Smough will gain 15 health and his heat up cards will become the new behavior deck.

The Behavior Cards

All of the behavior cards for mini bosses and main bosses will have a movement phase and an attack phase, but not necessarily in that order. There will be times that the movement phase is also the attacking phase as well, and the boss will deal damage as it moves across the board.

When you finally make it to the boss you will separate the behavior cards from the heat up cards. You will shuffle the behavior cards and draw the appropriate amount for the boss indicated on their data cards - for Ornstein & Smough it is five. This will be the "behavior deck".

If you managed to find any gravestones through your previous encounters then you may reveal a behavior card for each gravestone.

Once you start the boss encounter you will draw from the behavior deck, and follow what the behavior card says in order to control the boss on its turn. Once you have gone through the deck you will flip it back over without changing the order of the cards. This way you can memorize the boss's attack pattern and have a better chance of survival.

When looking at the boss's behavior cards, an important thing to watch out for is where their weak point is located. A weak point is an area on the boss that when attacked will give you an extra black die to roll when doing damage. The weak point changes from attack to attack, and you can see where it is by looking on the behavior card below their attack. The red portion of the boss's attack arc is their weak point. Always try to position yourself to take advantage of that extra black die as any additional benefit during a boss fight can be the difference between life and death.

Another mechanic to keep in mind is the "pushing" mechanic. Any time a boss moves to a node they will push any character on that node to an adjacent node that is further from the boss. If there are multiple nodes that fit this description then the player controlling that character can choose where their character gets pushed. Occasionally some attacks will also cause the characters to be pushed, so be on the lookout for the little shield icon above the boss's attack. One final note is that bosses cannot be pushed by players, and can only be pushed if another boss happens to move on to their node.

There are five normal behavior cards for Ornstein & Smough:

  • Swiping Combo & Bonzai Drop
  • Lightning Bolt & Jumping Slam
  • Gliding Stab & Hammer Smash
  • Spear Slam & Hammer Sweep
  • Evasive Sweep & Trampling Charge
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Ornstein & Smough's normal behavior cards

Ornstein & Smough's normal behavior cards

Since Ornstein & Smough are two individual bosses they both both have a movement phase and an attack phase during their activation. Ornstein will move and attack first, followed by Smough. This fight can end quickly if you are not prepared.

Swiping Combo & Bonzai Drop

Ornstein will advance forward one node towards the nearest character. He will then attack the nearest character for five physical damage. This attack in an area-of-effect attack (AOE), so it will damage all characters in that node. He will then repeat his movement and his attack once. His weak point will be behind him at the end of his activation.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires one successful dodge roll to be evaded.

Smough will follow this up by leaping to the nearest character and deal five physical damage. This will also push any characters on that node off to a different one.

This attack has infinite range, and requires two successful dodge rolls to be evaded.

Lightning Bolt & Jumping Slam

Ornstein will not move, but instead will target the character with the Aggro token and attack them for five magical damage. His weak point will be behind him after he attacks.

This attack has infinite range, and requires one successful dodge roll to be evaded.

Smough will then move forward one node towards the nearest character, and then attack all nodes within range in front of him for six physical damage. His weak point will be to his left afterwards.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires one successful dodge roll to be evaded.

Gliding Stab & Hammer Smash

Ornstein will advance one node towards the character with the Aggro token. He will then attack the character with the Aggro token for five physical damage. His weak point will be behind him afterwards.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires a whopping THREE successful dodge rolls to be evaded.

Smough will sidestep to the left one node. He will then attack all nodes in front of him within range for five physical damage. His weak point will be on his right side.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires one successful dodge roll to be evaded.

Spear Slam & Hammer Sweep

Ornstein will leap to the character with the Aggro token and push them off their node. He will then attack that character for five physical damage. His weak point will be on his right side.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires one successful dodge roll to be evaded.

Hammer Sweep is Smough's most devastating normal behavior card. He attacks all nodes within range to his left, right, and in front of him for five physical damage. He will then move backwards one node. His weak point will also be behind him.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires one successful dodge roll to be evaded.

Evasive Sweep & Trampling Charge

Ornstein will start by retreating backwards one node. He will then attack all nodes within range directly in front of him for four physical damage. His weak point will be on his left side.

This attack has a range of two nodes, and requires two successful dodge rolls to be evaded.

Smough will move forward two nodes towards the nearest character. He will push any characters in his way, and these pushes deal five physical damage. His weak point will be behind him once he stops moving.

This attack requires one successful dodge roll to be evaded.

Ornstein's Heat Up Cards

If you choose to defeat Smough first, you will activate Ornstein's ability, United We Stand, and he will heat up. Once this happens, you will discard the normal behavior cards and all of Ornstein's heat up cards will become the new behavior deck.

There are five heat up cards for Ornstein:

  • Electric Clash
  • Lightning Stab
  • Charging Swiping Combo
  • Charged Bolt
  • High Voltage
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Ornstein's heat up behavior cards

Ornstein's heat up behavior cards

Electric Clash

Ornstein will not move during this attack, but will instead attack all nodes surrounding within range him for six magical damage. He will have no weak point following this attack.

This attack has a range of one node, and will require two successful dodge rolls in order to be evaded.

Lightning Stab

He will advance forward two nodes towards the nearest character. He will then attack the nearest character for seven magical damage. His weak point will be behind him afterwards.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires one successful dodge roll to be evaded.

Charging Swiping Combo

Ornstein will advance one node towards the nearest character. He will then attack the nearest character for five magical damage. This attack is also an AOE, so try to avoid bunching up before this attack. Especially since this attack repeats two more times. His weak point will be behind him if you manage to survive this onslaught.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires one successful dodge roll to be evaded.

Charged Bolt

Ornstein will not move during this attack, but instead will attack the character with the Aggro token for six magical damage. His weak point will be behind him.

This attack has an infinite range, and requires three successful dodge rolls to be evade.

High Voltage

Ornstein will leap to the character with the Aggro token and push them off their node. He will then attack that character for six magical damage. His weak point will be on his left side afterwards.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires one successful dodge roll to be evaded.

Smough's Heat Up Cards

If you choose to defeat Ornstein first, you will activate Smough's ability, Divided You Fall, and he will heat up. Once this happens, you will discard the normal behavior cards and all of Smough's heat up cards will become the new behavior deck.

There are five heat up cards for Smough:

  • Electric Hammer Smash
  • Jumping Volt Slam
  • Charged Charge
  • Lightning Sweep
  • Electric Bonzai Drop
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Smough's heat up behavior cards

Smough's heat up behavior cards

Electric Hammer Smash

Smough will move forward one node towards the nearest character. He will then attack the nodes within range to his left and in front of him for six magical damage. His weak point will be on his right side after this attack.

This attack has a range of one node, and you will need one successful dodge roll to evade it.

Jumping Volt Slam

Despite this attack having "jumping" in its name, Smough doesn't leap in this attack. He will instead advance forward one node towards the nearest character. He will then attack all nodes within range to his left, right, and in front of him for five magical damage. His weak point will be behind him afterwards.

This attack has a range of one node, and you will need two successful dodge rolls to evade it.

Charged Charge

Smough will charge ahead two nodes towards the character with the Aggro token. He will then attack the character with the Aggro token for six magical damage. His weak point will be on his left side.

This attack has a range of one node, and you will need two successful dodge rolls to evade it.

Lightning Sweep

Smough will advance one node towards the nearest character. He will then attack the nodes within range to his right and in front of him for six magical damage. His weak point will be behind him afterwards.

This attack has a range of one node, and you will need one successful dodge roll to evade it.

Electric Bonzai Drop

Smough will leap to the character with the Aggro token, and push them off their node. He will then attack in all directions for seven magical damage. He will have no weak point following this attack.

This attack has a range of one node, and you will need one successful dodge roll to evade it.

Rewards

There are four possible rewards for defeating Ornstein & Smough:

  • Dragonslayer Spear
  • Dragonslayer Armour
  • Smough's Hammer
  • Smough's Armour
The rewards for defeating Ornstein & Smough

The rewards for defeating Ornstein & Smough

Dragonslayer Spear

This weapon requires 27 Strength and 27 Faith to wield. It has a range of one node, and is surprisingly only a one-handed weapon. This makes it perfect for the Herald who likes to keep a distance from enemies so that he can be more readily available to aid his allies.

It has three attacks, and all of them deal magic damage. None of them, however, can be used to attack an enemy on the same node as the wielder. Its first attack costs zero stamina and uses one black and one blue die for damage. Its second attack costs four stamina and uses one additional blue die for damage. Its third attack also costs four stamina to use, but uses two blue dice for damage and has a range of four nodes.

As previously mentioned, this weapon would be perfect for the Herald as a primary weapon. However, this would also be good for any character as a secondary weapon simply for its third attack.

Dragonslayer Armour

This armour requires 21 Strength and 31 Faith, and gives a blue and black die for both magical and physical defense. It offers no dodge dice, but does have a ring slot. It also has an ability which makes the wearer immune to bleed. The ability is a little lackluster as there are not many enemies that can inflict bleed on you - even in the expansions - but the defenses it offers is fairly decent.

Smough's Hammer

This massive weapon requires 37 Strength to wield, and is of course a two-handed weapon. It has a range of one node, and has one upgrade slot available to it. It has only two attacks, and both of them have a secondary ability that heals the wielder by one health. Its first attack costs two stamina and uses one blue and one orange die for damage. Its second attack costs a staggering six stamina, but uses two blue and two orange dice for damage. This means that if you upgrade this weapon with a Titanite Shard and use the second attack then you are guaranteed to deal at least five damage.

This would be a great secondary weapon for anyone that can wield it, but specifically the Knight or Warrior. It doesn't have an AOE option, so you might only want to use this weapon against bosses or against strong, singular enemies.

Smough's Armour

This armour also requires 37 Strength to wear, and offers two blue dice for magical and physical defense. The downside to this armour is that you are unable to run or dodge with it on. This would be perfect for the Knight as he doesn't do a lot of dodging, and nor does he do a lot of running as he prefers to stay right in the thick of the fight.

Character Guides

Good Luck!

Hopefully this has helped give you a better idea on what to expect when fighting against Ornstein & Smough. Feel free to comment below if I have missed something, or if you have any questions!

"You may be remembered either as Lords of Cinder yourselves, forever joining the Soul of Cinder, or as Ashen Ones, ushering in an Age of Humanity where the curse of undeath is at last lifted—but chaos will ultimately consume all." — excerpt from Dark Souls: The Board Game Core Rulebook

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