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Descent: The Sea of Blood» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Expansions Required? rss

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Greg
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I've played this a couple of times and it seems utterly uncompletable from the heroes point of view. We've completed a few successful Road to Legend campaigns so it's not a general lack of ability from the players side, it's more a specific problem:

As soon as they meet any random encounter or lieutenant with swim/fly and a reinforce ability they lose. All it needs to do is slip past the ship once and there's no way to turn around or do anything about it sitting in the far corner of the map infinitely spawning enemies until the players die or flee. Having cities unstoppably raised and returning to the start on a fair portion of random encounters appears unstoppable.

I had a look at suggested solutions but they all appear to be based on cards from other expansions which we do not own. Weapons that inflict 'web' and feats (whatever they are) aren't an option for us. Is there a way to deal with this sort of encounter within the base set?
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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x_equals_speed wrote:
I've played this a couple of times and it seems utterly uncompletable from the heroes point of view. We've completed a few successful Road to Legend campaigns so it's not a general lack of ability from the players side, it's more a specific problem:

As soon as they meet any random encounter or lieutenant with swim/fly and a reinforce ability they lose. All it needs to do is slip past the ship once and there's no way to turn around or do anything about it sitting in the far corner of the map infinitely spawning enemies until the players die or flee. Having cities unstoppably raised and returning to the start on a fair portion of random encounters appears unstoppable.

I had a look at suggested solutions but they all appear to be based on cards from other expansions which we do not own. Weapons that inflict 'web' and feats (whatever they are) aren't an option for us. Is there a way to deal with this sort of encounter within the base set?


Not really, Even with the expansion stuff it requires a lot of luck and/or one or more specific heroes or card draws.

Simple fact is SoB is basically broken and does not appear to have been playtested at all, let alone competently. A wide range of houserules are recommended for various things.

However, the final FAQ amendments did change a few things here and there which could have major overall ramifications. Its difficult to tell though, with things taking so long to play through, so few players, and interlocking issues meaning its hard to evaluate changes accurately.

There are also some gameplay things that mean you need to adapt, rather than keep trying stuff that won't work. Heroes shouldn't be chasing Lts until they are quite strong, because they are very difficult to kill and have such a low reward ratio for even causing to flee, which is not easy in itself. Get out there and dungeoneer, and build the party. Accept that some cities will be lost and move on.
When your captain can spin the wheel and move the ship 4-6 paces sideways each turn, and your ranged and magic heroes can output 10-15+ damage at ranges of 7-8, it becomes a lot harder for Lts to 'hide'. And you can use the anchor to make it less useful for the Lt to slip behind the ship. But its a big ocean out there. If Lts don;y want to be caught, its pretty hard to force them to fight...
None of these are foolproof BTW, I'm not claiming any surefire recipes. They just help, put pressure on the OL's decision making processes.
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Greg
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That's a shame, I was really hoping that our experience was somewhat atypical and that we'd find that the campaign was pretty good once we'd found an extra trick or two. At the moment it's not very satisfying as either the heros or the overlord :/

Is there a recommended collection of houserules someplace? I didn't see anything like that on the files page, but it'd be nice to have something to work from. Just being able to turn the boat around would fix a lot, so that an enemy that can spawn more enemies getting behind you wasn't an instant lose.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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x_equals_speed wrote:
That's a shame, I was really hoping that our experience was somewhat atypical and that we'd find that the campaign was pretty good once we'd found an extra trick or two. At the moment it's not very satisfying as either the heros or the overlord :/


It can certainly improve. I don't think it will ever be as good as RtL because the map interactions and Lt battles have lost an enormous amount of subtlety, and truth is, those were where the campaign truly rested, the dungeoneering was just the mechanical means of laying the game.

Quote:
Is there a recommended collection of houserules someplace? I didn't see anything like that on the files page, but it'd be nice to have something to work from. Just being able to turn the boat around would fix a lot, so that an enemy that can spawn more enemies getting behind you wasn't an instant lose.


There are various places and threads, most recently this one.

But to be honest, even that didn't cover all that much, and some of it specific to PBF format. The rest is I think mostly spread around.


If you PM me with a real email I'll send you the pre-FAQ document we prepared to assist FFG for the final FAQ. They didn't make use of a lot of it but there are full explanations and options for a lot of issues (and some they did use and you can see transcribed directly into the final FAQ) and some commentary and ideas on SoB balance issues.

Regarding an enemy getting behind the Revenge, I have two answers for you.
1. Anchor.
2. Flee.
Anchoring means that there is a limited space behind the revenge, decided by the heroes, for a Boss to sit in and hide. Use your ranged or magic heroes to cover that space. If they aren't powerful enough to do that, you shouldn't be hunting Lts anyway.

To me this one is not a game design issue, its an issue with the players not making the right decisions.


 
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Greg
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If you anchor they can just sit at the far side of the board doing the same thing, you can either approach them (making space behind the revenge) or not approach them (giving them the same "you can't attack me and I can summon enemies until you die" advantage.)

Doesn't fleeing count as losing and zap you back to the starting spot?

I'm not even talking about Lts here, just regular random encounters that have a boss that can bring in more baddies with threat.

I think we might just stick to road to legend.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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x_equals_speed wrote:
If you anchor they can just sit at the far side of the board doing the same thing, you can either approach them (making space behind the revenge) or not approach them (giving them the same "you can't attack me and I can summon enemies until you die" advantage.)


And at some stage there is a point where the boss must move past the Revenge and be at fairly close range doing so, if it was once n front, and later behind. Few bosses can move more than 10 spaces in a turn.

Quote:
Doesn't fleeing count as losing and zap you back to the starting spot?

I'm not even talking about Lts here, just regular random encounters that have a boss that can bring in more baddies with threat.

I think we might just stick to road to legend.


No, fleeing an encounter just means you carry on as you were. Its only fleeing from dungeons, via glyphing to town, TPK, or sunk ship, that send the party back to their home port. Fleeing by ship, in encounters or islands, the ship (and party) keeps its location.

SoB pg18
Total Party Kill
If all heroes are killed during an encounter or the Revenge is
sunk
, the encounter ends and the hero party marker is moved to
the city containing their Home Port marker
on the Torue Albes
map board (see page 15). The party’s game week action ends
immediately, and the overlord has scored a resounding blow!

Party Flight
If at any point during the encounter any part of the Revenge
moves off the map, then the party escapes. The heroes receive
no loot, but continue their game week action.
If the heroes’ ship leaves a hero behind on the map when
fleeing, the hero catches back up to the Revenge after the
encounter ends.


Small things like this can make incredible differences. You don't need to fight encounters, or win them, though if you do, you get loot and maybe CT from killing the boss. But really they are just an annoyance to the heroes, and a chance for the OL to chip away a kill here or there, and if he is lucky and/or the heroes screw up badly, get a TPK or sink the Revenge. Most of the time you can just flee past - indeed, they changed the rules because encounters were 'dead' - nearly always heavily one sided, and before when the Revenge could move off the side it just meant a spin of the wheel or two, maybe over 1-2 turns, and the heroes skipped off if they were the outclassed side. Now they at least have to sail forward to get off the far side, and a smart OL will probably end up with interesting fighting with expendable minions trying to lower sails, and drop anchors etc, as much as hurt heroes, to give the OL more time and more turns and more resources.

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