Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
10 Posts

Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Heroes General Strategy Help Needed rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
J-o Jankowski
United States
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Alright so,
We are working on our second campaign and the hero players seem to be having lots of trouble. First campaign I was a hero and the amount of frustration we were experiencing trying to win was unreal. The overlord has stomped us on 2 of the 3 act 1 quests (not including first blood), the interlude, and the first quest in act 2. At this point the hero team was so frustrated we quit the campaign. It became not fun anymore.

We started a new campaign and I became the overlord. Let me first say that playing the OL has become an incredible joy for me. It is way more fun that I anticipated and maybe my poor hero experience played into this, but it actually has made the game fun for me. I love planning the scenario with different monsters and where to set them up and building your deck. Lots of fun!

Anyways, we played through 3 scenarios (first blood, no surprise there heroes win). Heroes won the first encounter which I cant remember the name but is the one that you have to kill Splig in encounter 2 and he needs to find the prisoner guy. I made a critical flaw as OL on that one and it came down to the wire. After that the heroes played Castle Darien and I smoked them.......like they had no prayer.

Overall, it lead to a lot of discussion and arguments and came down to that people are not having fun with the game when playing the heroes and discussing whether or not this will see the table again.

So, any overall strategy advice for the heroes. They've done a good job about focusing on the goal and not just killing monsters. The biggest thing we notice is a lack of actions it seems like they have......we are playing with 3 heroes, not 4 and thinking maybe we need to add someone to the group to balance that. The other thing we seem to see a lot is that damn X on the blue die. Does any other groups have problems with this?? We were seriously thinking we need to modify this X and make it something else. Its been crazy frustrating and at 16.6 % chance, what was FFG thinking? Thats way too high for am miss, should have at least been a D8. The hero groups we have might also be an issue. Had Loric as the Necro, Avril as the Spiritspeaker, and the girl red character as a Knight in our first campaign in which we had totally gotten dominated. Adn the new campaign has the dwarf beserker guy, the archer character as the wildlander, and the speedy healer as the disciple. Any overall strategic thoughts?

1 thing I will admit, we didn't do a good job of getting search tokens in the 1st campaign and also spend our money on a lot of stupid stuff b/c we didnt really get the game entirely yet. It seems the heroes are doing a better job of that in this campaign.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darren Nakamura
United States
Columbus
Mississippi
flag msg tools
http://www.destructoid.com/author.phtml?a=1364
badge
Darren@destructoid.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
First question I have is whether you played Castle Daerion as originally written, or as described in FAQ v1.2. Pre-errata, Castle Daerion was basically unwinnable for the heroes; it is now balanced much more in their favor.

The X on the blue attack die is a pain in the ass, to be sure, and it hurts the heroes more than it hurts the overlord, but I don't think upping from three heroes to four is going to help you. It gives the heroes two more actions per round, but it also generally gives the overlord two more actions per round PER monster group. Most people here would argue that three heroes is the setup most in favor of the heroes.

There are some heroes whose abilities mitigate the X roll, like Lair of the Wyrm's Reynhart the Worthy. Otherwise, I would just focus on abilities that grant bonus actions, so losing an action to an X roll doesn't hurt as much. With the Berserker, get Charge and Counter Attack, with the Wildlander, get First Strike, and with the Disciple, always go for Prayer of Healing + Divine Fury + Holy Power (+ Cleansing Touch + Armor of Faith if you want).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J-o Jankowski
United States
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Thanks for the advice. We did in fact play the errata and they still got smoked......could have been a product of bad luck though; lots of X rolled and I as overlord was able to use the Ettin quite effectively to keep them from ever getting into the room to help the general guy out. Plus I smoked the first encounter and got 3 zombies to attack him over and over again.

I realize that a lot of the frustration with our hero players comes from that they discuss for a while over an effective plan, then they decide on a plan. Most of the time is sounds solid.......and then when going to execute the plan it will fail one way or the other. Mostly seems due to die rolls (rolled an X, didn't get enough to kill the guy they were banking on, I rolled solid D), but the overlord cards play a roll too (I love trapping heroes and stopping their movement). So I think not being able to execute the plan, tends to add a lot of frustration to the hero players.

We all discussed we are not completely ready to give the game up and might house rule the X in some way. Any suggestions from the BGG community on that?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Craig Bocketti
United States
Clifton Park
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I had made a suggestion about house ruling the X when my heroes were rolling it and getting frustrated often. My suggestion was that it wasn't a miss but it counted as nothing and you could only use range and damage from the power die. In most ranged cases it might still be a miss.

We decided that we would just play it as is without the house rule. Don't worry your OL Xs will come.

Also if you want this game to last, like I did, I sometimes would let the heroes win. I know it sucks but once you hook them they won't mind the shitty die rolls as much.

Once you get a campaign under your belt. Play another campaign and play to win. Just a thought.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Williams
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
Shot in the dark:

Are you allowing the monsters to attack more than once per turn? You shouldn't be.

A monster may only make one attack per turn. If a monster's special ability allows him to make an attack, that counts.

As for the dice, honestly, it sounds like you're just having shitty luck. I've seen it happen before - some people just can't help but roll X's. I don't know what it is but I swear the die ain't loaded.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ċ½eljan Sudeta
Croatia
Zagreb
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The thing is that "time pressure" is more on heroes than it is on the OL so when heroes lose one or two turns because of bad rolls or OL playing trap cards or blocking the path with monsters then most of the time they can forfeit the quest. The heroes have to have no bad luck and no failed turns to win some quests. From my perspective the game is great but the quests are not and some of them need to be revised to be better balanced (for example the reinforcements part...reinforcing at the start of the OL turn is too powerful,especially if the OL chose Shadow Dragons or Giants..Golems or any other big bad monsters).


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Sadler
United States
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It sure is hard to balance quests in Descent with that dreaded X lingering around, waiting to show up. Missing on a critical attack can really ruin a perfectly planned turn. Playtest sessions varied widely due to good/bad dice rolls.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Argonar Alfaran
Austria
flag msg tools
Wow my experiences with the game and especially the X on the blue die are completely the oppoite.

First of all, I am simultanously playing two campaigns with 4 heroes each. One of my groups can actually reroll the blue die with two characters (ionce per turn) as Tarha can do it with her ability and they got that artefact that lets a Hero reroll any die (once per turn).

So my damage dealers hardly ever miss and since almost all of them can reroll either power dice and/or defense dice bad results are never a problem. In fact they are much worse for the OL since he can not reroll a die unless he plays an OL card (which he has to have on his hand and can only do twice per deck)

When the Heroes get stronger in the first act, it's quite impossible to stop them with monsters, even shadow dragons will fall within a turn. If the heroes have problems winning the encounters, they should at least get all search tokens.

If the heroes have 4 players they can take one Hero of each AT and thus can minimize their weaknesses. Heroes should always cooperate, not just on the missions, but also when choosing the Heroes, when leveling up and when buying their equipment. There is no "I" but just a "We" in the Hero group. If the Heroes do that, the OL has quite some trouble, because he will most likely make more mistakes than the heroes (8 eyes see more than 2)

Oh and don't play with the Conversion kit if the Heroes are losing all the time. It seems the monsters will be quite troublesome for inexperienced Heroes. They will have it easier if they can get familiar with all the monsters (which is quite possible within one campaign) instead of constantly having to deal with new mosnters and abilities all the time.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Williams
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
Sorenthion wrote:
It sure is hard to balance quests in Descent with that dreaded X lingering around, waiting to show up. Missing on a critical attack can really ruin a perfectly planned turn. Playtest sessions varied widely due to good/bad dice rolls.
In fairness, "game balance" is a statistical beast. A game can be perfectly balanced in every way, statistically speaking, and yet still exhibit lop-sided results in one specific play session. Especially when dice are involved as a core mechanic.

My favourite definition of "game balance" (I forget where I read it, sadly) was that "a game is balanced when all sides are complaining equally." Some people think the OL is too strong, others think the heroes are, but neither camp is unduly large from what I see in these forums. That speaks well of Descent's balance, IMHO.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J-o Jankowski
United States
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
The way we are playing is one attack per monster; unless a frenzy card is used.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls