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Descent: The Road to Legend» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Hero suggestions? rss

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Chris Dishman
United States
Oklahoma
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We are on our first playthrough of RtL. We finished the original vanilla dungeons, then bought all expansions and began playing Rtl. So we are seeing all the newly added content as we play through. Every time we find something new we stop to look up all the errata as we've learned most the game has been changed over time.

OL - Demon Prince
Party with current skills we've been able to obtain:
Laughlin Bauldar - Unmoveable, Knight, Mighty
Talia - Taunt, Leadership, Brawler
Zylia - Swift, Crackshot
Shiver - Earth Pact, Blessing, Spirit Walker

BTW - Shivers aura ability seems much weaker than I thought it would be. Always enough ranged characters to kill her if she is in the front or open, and melee just attack Laughlin if she is hiding behind the group.

The OL has been ahead since the beginning. We hit the Caverns of Thuul right as copper was ending. The OL is still around double the heroes XP. He has made his own mistakes and managed to lose 2 lieutenants in battle, but has now begun the ever frustrating ping & flee tactic spawing completely out of range, and almost always in a bush.

We just entered our first dungeon at silver level. We had picked up new skills and items and honestly expected to walk in and throw down, but the OL has proceeded to thrash us more. He has humanoids upgraded to Gold, and Eldrich upgraded to silver.

I know that creature clearing most levels is making this harder than it should be, but our OL camps everything. When allowed he spawns creatures on top of stuff, when not, he moves everything to camp his first round. Maybe we get terrible dungeons, but more often than not the distance from the starting glyph to the creatures is so great that most heroes are limited to advance actions or ready actions even with fatigue potions (Gold humanoids are often not 1 hit now either). This leaves much of the room left alive and then to the camping mentioned above. Basically completely countering the loot & scoot tactic by spreading the creatures far enough apart that battle actions are ineffective on melee, and blast is minamally usefull for shiver. Then they sitting on the loot so the creatures MUST be killed to get to the loot itself.

The OL just picks one person (Usually Laughlin or Shiver) and plinks them down with range, high movement creatures, or traps to the point that a beastman war party spawn card and rush can kill them.

So often we've been clearing the rooms. Some levels we still make quick efficient work of, others the OL gets multiple hero kills. Since glyphs seem to be the best source of XP for the heroes (also feat cards are nice), how can we better balance speed without skipping over all the loot & XP. After all, if we can't get loot or XP, why bother with dungeons?

Final Thought: Gold upgraded humanoids are stupid strong in silver difficulty. Beastman captains with command 2, and deep elves with pierce 8, etc... At any point in time if a hero is within 6 spaces of a spawn location for a beastman war party, just count them as dead. I think there are only 3 total spawn cards, but he seems to always have at least 1 in his hand of 11 (upgrade), not to mention they are very often part of the levels by default.
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Retired Hurt

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In general, CP gains tend toi stabilize during Silver, and heroes have the best of it at Gold.

In early silver, if the OL has any Gold upgrade, the heroes will have to wait a little bit till they get enough silver weapons and stuff.

It's not that Gold humanoids are strong ; gold monsters are strong.
A master sorcerer's 11 damage (on average) isn't far from a beastman's 12.3, and a master naga's 15.3 (- armor) seems better than a deep elf's 6.6, pierce-all (given that fighters' armor class will be around 6), and costs less treachery to summon.

Apart from this, I see at least two weaknesses in your group :
- no archer ; what do you do with Magic Bows ?
- no multiple shots (from Olmric's).





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Chris Dishman
United States
Oklahoma
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Zylia takes the bows, and has trained 2 extra black dice. She was useless for damage in copper, but now she has a couple nice weapon options and enough dice to power them. Also picked up scorpion helm for her. She is worlds stronger now than before. But this is a very recent development and maybe we haven't had time to see the results really unfold.

The OL started in the top left of the map, so we prioritized several of the skills in the northern cities before they could be razed. This has just not allowed us time to get to the hut yet. The one time we were headed to the hut we had to chase down the OL lieutenant to get a scroll.

We are hoping that spirit walker (picked up last session) will give shiver the ability to battle much more often now.

Laughlin has been using lighter armor that doesn't hinder his amazing base movement of 4, but he dies more often than we feel he really should. (Enchanted Breastplate, or Cloak of Mists. Also has +1 Armor Ring) He has been the main damage source from the beginning. Shiver finally got Ice Storm though. Should we continue to focus on keeping him mobile and just hope the ranged characters start to pickup to keep him from getting mobbed by so many creatures, or should we get a Golden Armor for him?
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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Icenode wrote:
Since glyphs seem to be the best source of XP for the heroes (also feat cards are nice), how can we better balance speed without skipping over all the loot & XP. After all, if we can't get loot or XP, why bother with dungeons?


Zyla has fly.
Therefore the only thing that prevents her collecting coinpiles, loose potions and runkeys, or activating glyphs, is grapple (Naga's, which are not upgraded).

To collect chests you have to kill or move the monster first.
Hammer time.

Looting stuff should not be a problem for you.
Your main problem is that you have too much combat power in melee and too little elsewhere. Shiver is a weak mage (no natural bonuses, and one completely wasted skill in Earth Pact) and Zyla (with Swift!) a runner, not a combatant.
So you have a single weak not-melee hero and he has no attack-increasing skill and very limit attack-boosting bonuses.

You will get murdered outdoors. Just be glad you aren't fighting a beast-specialist.

Its a learning experience. Next time make sure you get the best mage you can and a decent ranged combat specialist. And focus on combat skills for the mage, and preferably the Ranged combatant.

Camping is working for your OL because you have party that struggles to dish out damage at a distance. You have 3 good (great!) heroes out of 4, but the party composition you have has weaknesses, and your OL is taking advantage of them.
 
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Chris Dishman
United States
Oklahoma
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corbon wrote:

Zyla has fly.
Therefore the only thing that prevents her collecting coinpiles, loose potions and runkeys, or activating glyphs, is grapple (Naga's, which are not upgraded).


We looked through the rulebooks and errata and so far hadn't found a definitive answer that fly let Zyla do any of that. But even if she can pickup coinpiles, potions, or keys (actually not sure i've seen a lone potion in RtL, just mushrooms) what happens if she opens a glyph with a creature on it? Remember reading somewhere that creatures could only stand on closed glyphs. Does that not prevent her from opening it? Or does the creature have to move to any adjacent square like a hero that gets hit by a crushing block does even when they are out of movement?

corbon wrote:

Shiver is a weak mage (no natural bonuses, and one completely wasted skill in Earth Pact) and Zyla (with Swift!) a runner, not a combatant.
So you have a single weak not-melee hero and he has no attack-increasing skill and very limit attack-boosting bonuses.


Shiver was the best mage pull that our typical mage player got. Honestly I think Runewitch was our other option, and we preferred to use Zyla as the runner. (Mostly because she was a new character for us, but also Ghost) Honestly we'd read threads exclaiming how powerfull Shiver's aura was, so we were kinda happy with that pull. Maybe that was before they removed Telekinesis. Lauglin did finially get a nice knockback weapon, and we think that aura might start to come into play more on high armor mobs. The earth pact was also an idea we ran across for shiver on the forums. So she now has Spirit Walker to stop her from needing to move. She can even stand in a Spiked Pit and we don't care. Unfortunatly, the city with Prodigy was Razed very early. We were on the way to save it when the OL showed us what a Siege Engine was. So we didn't make it in time.

corbon wrote:

You will get murdered outdoors. Just be glad you aren't fighting a beast-specialist.


You referring to encounters? So far we just consider those the easiest money in the game. Maybe we are just getting easy ones.

corbon wrote:

Camping is working for your OL because you have party that struggles to dish out damage at a distance. You have 3 good (great!) heroes out of 4, but the party composition you have has weaknesses, and your OL is taking advantage of them.


We got Knight for Laughlin, and are trying to get some movement items for him. He trained fatigue in copper, and plans to do it again in Silver. We are hoping all this gives him enough movement on battle actions to pick up some slack. We'll also prioritize some more damage skills for Shiver.

Thanks all.
 
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Master of the Waz
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St. Peters
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Icenode wrote:
what happens if she opens a glyph with a creature on it? Remember reading somewhere that creatures could only stand on closed glyphs. Does that not prevent her from opening it? Or does the creature have to move to any adjacent square like a hero that gets hit by a crushing block does even when they are out of movement?


This is covered (in the FAQ I believe, but I don't have it in front of me) and the monster must move off on it's next available movement. So he still gets to sit there until the next ol turn, even though he can't end his move on the active glyph.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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Icenode wrote:
corbon wrote:

Zyla has fly.
Therefore the only thing that prevents her collecting coinpiles, loose potions and runkeys, or activating glyphs, is grapple (Naga's, which are not upgraded).


We looked through the rulebooks and errata and so far hadn't found a definitive answer that fly let Zyla do any of that. But even if she can pickup coinpiles, potions, or keys (actually not sure i've seen a lone potion in RtL, just mushrooms) what happens if she opens a glyph with a creature on it? Remember reading somewhere that creatures could only stand on closed glyphs. Does that not prevent her from opening it? Or does the creature have to move to any adjacent square like a hero that gets hit by a crushing block does even when they are out of movement?


Things you can't do while in the same space as another figure are specified. They include attack (DJitD pg9) and open chests (DJitD pg18). That is all IIRC. Everything else you can do.

FAQ pg6
Q: Can a monster end its movement on or be spawned on to a glyph of transport?
A: Monsters can end their movement on or be spawned on to unactivated glyphs, but cannot end their movement on or be spawned on to activated glyphs. If a monster is on an activated glyph, the overlord must move it off the glyph on his next turn, if possible. Monsters can always move through or attack into spaces containing glyphs.



Quote:
corbon wrote:

Shiver is a weak mage (no natural bonuses, and one completely wasted skill in Earth Pact) and Zyla (with Swift!) a runner, not a combatant.
So you have a single weak not-melee hero and he has no attack-increasing skill and very limit attack-boosting bonuses.


Shiver was the best mage pull that our typical mage player got. Honestly I think Runewitch was our other option, and we preferred to use Zyla as the runner. (Mostly because she was a new character for us, but also Ghost) Honestly we'd read threads exclaiming how powerfull Shiver's aura was, so we were kinda happy with that pull. Maybe that was before they removed Telekinesis. Lauglin did finially get a nice knockback weapon, and we think that aura might start to come into play more on high armor mobs. The earth pact was also an idea we ran across for shiver on the forums. So she now has Spirit Walker to stop her from needing to move. She can even stand in a Spiked Pit and we don't care. Unfortunatly, the city with Prodigy was Razed very early. We were on the way to save it when the OL showed us what a Siege Engine was. So we didn't make it in time.


Unfortunately there are lots of people on the internet whose judgement is ...suspect. Hey, I could be one of them except that what I am saying matches your experience.
It might, though, have been a thread talking about vanilla Descent, where Shiver is significantly more powerful. But that Aura is a waste of space in ACs where monsters wil get upgraded and a lot of them won't need to get adjacent anyway.
And Earth Pact is even worse advice. The problem with some people is they have a great time and something works well for them a little bit once and they rave about how great it was, when they have ignored the specific circumstances and ignored the opportunity cost (ie, how great things could have been with some other skill instead).

But sometimes you just have to make do with the draw you get. In that case though, a decent ranged combatant should have been a priority over one or other of the melee heroes. Kirga, Bogran, Silhouette, Grey Kerr etc - someone with either 3 dice and 2+ skills or 2 dice and a combat bonus special ability.

But as I said, its a learning thing. What you have is a party with a pretty big weakness, and your OL is smartly taking advantage of that. Another time you might have a different weakeness and your OL may take advantage of that.

My advice, FWIW, is to always have at least one dedicated mage, at least one ranger, at least one 'runner' (which can be the 'heavy' or 'light' type), hopefully separate from the ranger and mage, but sometimes by necessity combined.
And priority for at least three of the heroes for skills should be combat bonuses - either bonus attacks or damage (including surge) bonuses.
As you have found, all the cool other stuff you can have and do simply doesn't make up for an inability to take down monsters hard and fast.

Quote:
corbon wrote:

You will get murdered outdoors. Just be glad you aren't fighting a beast-specialist.


You referring to encounters? So far we just consider those the easiest money in the game. Maybe we are just getting easy ones.


Many are very easy, but there are a few that are very difficult and Lt encounters in particular should be a nightmare if your OL is competent. How are you going to deal with Soaring monsters when you have so little distant combat capability? Once you lose Shiver (and a smart OL will target him early), your melee heroes are basically stuck and can be trapped while the OL accummulates unlimited threat and reinforces unlimited monsters all rolling 5 gold dice...

Quote:
corbon wrote:

Camping is working for your OL because you have party that struggles to dish out damage at a distance. You have 3 good (great!) heroes out of 4, but the party composition you have has weaknesses, and your OL is taking advantage of them.


We got Knight for Laughlin, and are trying to get some movement items for him. He trained fatigue in copper, and plans to do it again in Silver. We are hoping all this gives him enough movement on battle actions to pick up some slack. We'll also prioritize some more damage skills for Shiver.

Thanks all.


Yep, I can see you are trying to remedy that, but as you have found you are behind the 8-ball from the start and catching up isn't easy. By the time you upgrade shiver's combat capabilities the Monsters will probably be upgrading again.
The Secret Master fatigue upgrades for the melee heroes make a big difference. Once you have 5-6+ fatigue their 'reach' and flexibility is game-changing.

Anyway, good luck going forward. There is plenty to learn, and many hours worth of fun gaming ahead.
 
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Retired Hurt

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I'd like to add something to what Corbon said about choosing abilities which give combat bonuses.

Some abilities give combat bonuses in an indirect manner.
For example, Leadership allows you to reconstruct a character's fatigue just before he plays, enabling him to attack more (if he has e.g. quick casting) or to make his attacks heavier (by buying dice).
Also, abilities which give you extra MPs, or extra moves (e.g. Thalia's personal ability) will help you hit more often.
 
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Davidoiu Marius
Romania
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i have a question. two heroes in road to legend campaign can buy similar skills? ( nanok buy mighty this week and next week karnon buy also the skill mighty).
this can be posible?

thanks
 
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Master of the Waz
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St. Peters
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beazel_b wrote:
i have a question. two heroes in road to legend campaign can buy similar skills? ( nanok buy mighty this week and next week karnon buy also the skill mighty).
this can be posible?

thanks


No, this is not possible. There is only one of each skill.
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Corbon Loughnan
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Merrimac wrote:
I'd like to add something to what Corbon said about choosing abilities which give combat bonuses.

Some abilities give combat bonuses in an indirect manner.
For example, Leadership allows you to reconstruct a character's fatigue just before he plays, enabling him to attack more (if he has e.g. quick casting) or to make his attacks heavier (by buying dice).
Also, abilities which give you extra MPs, or extra moves (e.g. Thalia's personal ability) will help you hit more often.


BTW, while this is true, it is not what my point was, and in fact I think a trap that people fall into as much as other 'cool' stuff.

IMO starting skills should target pure damage (or surge) bonuses where possible for as many heroes as you can (especially mages).

Having extra attacks can be great much of the time, but you still need someone to take down the really big and tough stuff or even the medium weight stuff in a single attack. Often +1 or +2 damage on a single attack (at no cost) is better than a whole extra attack (which invariably costs fatigue and often another miss-risk).
 
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