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Descent: Journeys in the Dark» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Into the Dark - A 10 year celebration: Quest 4. rss

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Paul Newby
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Hi all, it's been a while (9 months!) but here I am to tell you all about myself and Hayley playing the fourth quest of the base game of Descent. This one is called 'Spoiled Brat' and boy oh boy is she ever!

As usual I drew my four heroes at random and had the pleasure of the company of Sir Valadir, One Fist, Spiritspeaker Mok and Varikas the Dead.

I decided Sir Valadir would be leader of my group. There is no gameplay mechanic for this, but I like someone to blame when it all goes wrong!

So I soon find out that I have to not only defeat a very angry dragon but I have to cart around a spoiled princess in the process. Princess Dolphin - as I named her - very quickly lost her sylph like qualities after about three turns when Sir Valadir, ever chivalrous, got tired of her fat behind getting in the way of him carrying equipment because she was slung over his shoulder!

Worse - he was reluctant to put her down anywhere in case a random beastie made off with her.

I was already nervous because Hayley really fancied her chances with this quest and having to carry around a spoiled princess was not helping matters. Luckily for Sir Valadir he had acquired boots of swiftness and had them equipped, helping to offset the movement penalty of her highness's weight!

My first strategic decision was to split the heroes up into two groups of two. Sir Valadir and One Fist went North west and Varikas and Mok went North east. A bold strategy, as I was going to be opening two doors at once... but I wanted to make progress and I thought they were tough enough in those pairs to cope with whatever was thrown at them.

One Fist however had immovable skill which dictated his tactics, allowing him to remain planted, attack twice (three times if in melee - due to his special ability), be placed on 'Guard' and gain +1 armour until the start of his next turn. Suffice to say, he didn't move from the main room for what seemed like hours! He just stood there turn after turn blocking the doorway Valadir had gone through and kept shouting either "You. Shall. Not. Pass!" or "One Fist, One Fist ra ra ra. One Fist. Ra ra ra" (one for the old skool cinema butterkist popcorn advert fans for you there!). Either way, he was awesome! Constantly cleaving his way through scores of beasties.

However. I got giddy with his success and Valadir, hefty princess slung over his shoulder, wandered further and further into the dungeon alone. He was aided immensely by Boggs the rat - his trusty familiar, who kept excellent Line of Sight advantage for him (much to Hayley's annoyance who kept on referring to him as 'Rat Boy' as opposed to 'Beloved Boggs' - can't understand why! .

Sir Valadir decided to open the North west door as he knew we needed a red key for the South west door and it must be in one of these other three corner rooms right?

Yeah well the Master Ogre in there and it's friends soon had him running away back to One Fist - who still hadn't moved by this point!

Meanwhile Varikas and Mok had decided they were going to open the North east door virtually at the same time. Oh dear. Mok proceeds to run away back to the centre also, once he sees the Naga in there waiting for him.

Now I've got all kinds of trouble on the board. Devious spawning areas plus numerous master monsters on the prowl. Not looking good!

It's at this point I'm wishing for a hero with a decent ranged attack but all I've got is Mok's rune of Not. Much. Damage.
Hmmm. The problem of randomly selecting heroes says hello.

Hayley as the overlady now decides to get mean - not that she pulls her punches anyway! and promptly exterminates Mok and Varikas. Wow. Varikas is worth 4 conquest! Now here's the thing. At this point, that's game over. I have lost all my conquest. Do people really stop playing when the game is just warming up and say "better luck next time"?

We play with the house rule that whoever is in credit (conquest tokens)at the end of the quest wins. As soon as the heroes drop to zero, the overlord gains conquest instead and I have to win it back so to speak. I realise this could be manipulated by min - maxers but we play for fun first and foremost when it's just the two of us, so we want to play the quest out and see who wins at the end - not re-try the same quest a dozen times to see if I can get a bit farther each time.

Bear in mind also, we play lazily. I mean glass of red wine, evening meal and into the next day lazily. So time is not an issue and enjoying each other's company is the main focus.

Several glasses of wine later when the dungeon is covered in monster blood (I have fought my way through what seems like hundreds of the minions of the dragon - and that master ogre - sheesh!), Varikas finds the red rune key. Sir Valadir has had enough of princess Dolphin and has passed her on to One Fist so at least he can "equip my damn items woman!" Both Valadir and One Fist have been stood patiently outside the red door waiting for Varikas to sort his dead self out and find the blasted key! One Fist tells Sir Valadir "I've got the woman - you go and slay the beast!". By this time Mok keeps repeatedly dying and at one point foolishly re-spawned, declared a 'run' action - ran back through a glyph into the fray without hitting a soul - and promptly got slaughtered by a very angry Beastman War Party on the very next turn because a 'Gust of wind' blew all the damned torches out and they spawned within touching distance of him! You couldn't make it up.

At this point we retire for the evening and vow to continue the day after (today Mon 15th). The battle is rejoined once we both get home from work and the heroes are faced with a Master dragon and her Giant allies. I have 6 conquest tokens and all four heroes are fairly close together at the T junction outside the beast's lair.

I think you can gain some appreciation of what happened next as not that many turns later Hayley had 3 conquest tokens. A swing of 9 conquest tokens! WTF!

I got annihilated. Over and over. I just could not get near the bloody great dragon! Pierce 5 on her flame attack was killing me! and the burning.. oh the burning. But eventually, Sir Valadir in his most knightly and noble mode (and on fire at this point), smote down the beast with literally one health left on himself and two burn tokens. Next turn, he would have died. He used his Rage Blade to finish the beast as his ally Varikas the Dead was consumed by flames and fell to the dragons searing breath! - even after Spiritspeaker Mok had tried in vain to douse the flames around Varikas's body in his own turn. Varikas dying gave Hayley 4 more conquest and slaying the dragon gave me four conquest one turn later.

Hayley won with 3 conquest tokens.

If only Varikas has survived for one more turn, I would have been victorious! That's how close it was.

You know, this is a great game. Yes, it's huge - physically and time wise, but as I've said before it's creating some wonderful gaming memories for myself and Hayley. And I realise I'm lucky to have the time, space and wife who enjoys it too, as a perfect trio that combine to create these wonderful memories.

As an additional observation to all the ones I've made in previous posts, I must say I'm really enjoying two things quite a lot. One is randomly drawing the heroes - no mulligans - just as they come and two is playing the base game with no expansions. No Well of Darkness, etc. So no treachery, new gear, monsters etc.

I read a lot of posts about people advising not to mix in expansions straight away in all sorts of games here on the geek - and with Descent, I have to agree. It is really tempting to add in all the new treasure and shop items, monsters and traps and so on, but I'm not doing - and I'm loving it.

I also hope that whether by design or chance (or a bit of both) Kevin Wilson designed this game to be played not only by groups of 5 guys all living out dungeon fantasy escapades - but as a great two player game that can be experienced with two people who want to spend long Sundays together enjoying each others company, with a nice glass of wine or two -and it takes as long as it takes.

Roll on quest five! It's now 3-1 to the heroes.
Thanks for reading .
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Luke Butler
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Thanks for the session report! It was entertaining to read. I feel exactly the same way with D1. I have all the bells and whistles but there's nothing quite like the base game. Now if only I had the time, the space, and wife to play long games of D1 with......

I also like the idea of not ending the game when the heroes hit 0 conquest!
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Alain Marti
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Super Trooper, I said!
fond memories - same problem here, not finding time and players to bring it to the table these days
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Sean Conroy
United States
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Excellent session report. Thank you.
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