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

Subject: Overlord in dire straits rss

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Jyrki Turunen
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So... I've been reading about other people's experiences with the game all night long and most of them somehow seem to be the absolute polar opposite of mine, which was a big surprise to me.

How the **** do you win as an Overlord?

I've been playing against 4 heroes, Avric Albright, Tomble Burrowell, Syndrael and Leoric of the Book, and have had absolutely no chance of winning the game that didn't involve the players' making mistakes or me getting pure awesomeness from every single die roll.

So far we've played up to the Interlude. We played First Blood, Cardinal's Plight, Fat Goblin and Castle Daerion. First Blood I didn't even really hope to win, as it is an introductory mission after all, so losing that is all fine and dandy. But the rest...

Cardinal's Plight. Miserable dice rolling. I mean, "you were Hitler in your previous life, god hates you and now you will pay" kind of miserable. Got exactly 1 zombie up with 6-7 tries with the lieutenant. Absolutely fantastic. Pulled all kinds of rabbits out my hat during the second encounter that made even my players go "whoa that was brilliant", but the dice gods wanted to punish me for something that day. Let's chalk that up to bad luck. Hero victory.

Fat Goblin. Stole 2 of the bags, so 50/50 which I guess is ok. Although I only got the second one because the heroes went "meh, let him have it" and killed everything else rather than chase down the goblin. Second encounter, I found the Frederick with my second attempt. This is when I got my one lucky break so far in the game and managed to run away with a combination of hero mistakes and suitable Overlord cards. To this day, it's the only encounter I've won.

Castle Daerion. This is what I laughed most about when I started looking things up today. Everybody's saying how the scenario favors the Overlord. I really, REALLY don't see how. In the first encounter I managed to again achieve 50% of the objectives (kill 2 villagers). But in the second encounter... when the setup was complete, all I could do was look at the board in utter dismay. I had absolutely no chance of winning it. The heroes obliterated every single thing I had by turn 3 and even though I immediately focused my hits on the NPC, he was barely wounded by the time I was off the board. It was an absolute massacre and ridiculously one-sided from the start.

We only have the 2nd edition base game with no expansions or conversion kits or monsters or anything. Just the basic game. I'm kind of suspecting that this is one of the reasons I'm getting slaughtered so easily as all the posts I looked up kept referring to Nagas or Giants or Beastmen or some other monsters that I've never even heard about.

There is absolutely no point in attacking the heroes as
1) They get ridiculous defense rolls
2) Even if by some miracle I manage to knock down one of them, one of the others will simply use an action to revive him after which all four of them will nuke anything in sight into oblivion

My monsters serve no purpose at the moment, they can't reliable harm the heroes nor can they slow them down as they will nuke an entire monster group with just 1-2 heroes no matter how I try to position them. This will leave the thief to go off looting and the healer to fix what little I've managed to accomplish. I've tried most of the monsters and the end result is always the same.

So, any advice on how to make the game tolerable for me? I can't believe I have to ask that, but I do want to enjoy it. With the heroes gaining skills, items and winning everything and getting the rewards it just seems so one-sided. All I get is a single card to add to my deck which I may or may not draw. Then it's back to getting my face bashed in. I really could use some good tips here. And "get the expansion packs" is not good advice in this case because we won't.

EDIT: We also played through Death on the Wing and Masquerade Ball earlier and I lost all encounters in them as well, although if I remember correctly at least in the latter one I had a chance. I don't think I'm THAT bad of an Overlord that I simply can't use anything correctly, but I sure as hell feel like there's something I'm missing since everyone else seems to be winning many of these scenarios as OL.
 
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Damien M
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First Blood is almost guaranteed to be a hero victory unless they get a /lot/ of X's on turn 1. Don't worry about it.

Cardinal's Plight: You kinda need at least 2 zombies to be able to get that one down. One mistake I made was not blocking off the entrance on encounter 1 and letting the heroes into the flesh moulders really early. Sounds like you got kinda unlucky with attribute rolls though.

Fat Goblin: Another hero favored quest. I haven't played this one for quite some time, so I can't comment on strategies.

Castle Daerion: This is another one that swung from Overlord favor to hero favor with the errata. If you don't get at least 2 zombies to block the NPC's path out towards the stairs, you're pretty much done for. You should think about getting the conversion kit. Kobolds are ridiculous in that first passage in encounter 2.

Quote:
There is absolutely no point in attacking the heroes as
1) They get ridiculous defense rolls
2) Even if by some miracle I manage to knock down one of them, one of the others will simply use an action to revive him after which all four of them will nuke anything in sight into oblivion

Unless your victory condition is to knock out the heroes (which it rarely is the case), just focus on the objective and preventing the heroes from completing theirs. Knocking out is just icing on the cake if you can do both at the same time.
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Ryan Stripling
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Try to use your monsters to block or slow the heroes. Stay focused on the objective, rather than knocking out heroes. Sometimes, it might be advantageous to quickly lose a quest if you see the writing's on the wall so that the heroes don't get as many search tokens.
Also, offer a sacrifice to appease the dice gods.
-ryanjamal
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Keith Hammons
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I was in your exact position. No matter what I tried from there on out they were already too powerful to catch up with. They steamrolled me through act II and the pitiful finale.

The good news is we are now playing Labyrinth of Ruin one quest before the Interlude, and though it's getting closer, I've been on the victors side each time. We did Labyrinth of Ruin in between and a more experienced player tried the Overlord. I picked up many strategies that have served me well.
 
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Patrick Tondl
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It really depends on the heroes you are playing against both their characters and the players themselves. If you play against experienced heroes that chose their heroes and classes in order to win the OL has no chance. I played through two big and two small campaigns, some one-off quests and I am in my third campaign now. We switched sides as players and came to the conclusion I stated above.
The OL had a chance if the heroes and classes were chosen randomly, but it was frustrating for the heroes to play subpar characters. I mentioned this in another thread but we are introducing monster upgrades(a way to give the OL persistent upgrades like items for heroes), so far it worked pretty well. It is fun for both sides and more balanced. Soon I will post the details in the variants section.
 
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Raphael Pigulla
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Pathor wrote:
If you play against experienced heroes that chose their heroes and classes in order to win the OL has no chance.
This.

I played a campaign as Overlord against Steelhorns, Elder Mok, High Mage Quellen and Silhouette and that combination is just completely and utterly broken.

Elder Mok and Quellen recover fatigue like there is no tomorrow. Steelhorns runs through a monster group, clumping them up for the others to blast them into oblivion. And Silhouette collects what feels like all search tokens on the map with just one action, more than once essentially singlehandedly winning a quest before I even got to do my first turn.

I will never, ever allow Silhouette in any campaigns ever again, including those where I play on the hero side. The others are very strong but okay, unless used in combination.

From what I hear, Nanok of the Blade is also on the overpowered side of things, but I haven't experienced that myself yet so I'm not commenting on that.
 
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Chase Toffee
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Quote:
We only have the 2nd edition base game with no expansions or conversion kits or monsters or anything. Just the basic game. I'm kind of suspecting that this is one of the reasons I'm getting slaughtered so easily as all the posts I looked up kept referring to Nagas or Giants or Beastmen or some other monsters that I've never even heard about.

I dont think thats the case to be honest...

Our group started from Descent 2.0 (no D1 monsters/heroes) and the heroes got bashed all the time when we started our 1st campaign (me as the OL) eventually the heroes gave up before interlude and elected a new OL to our new campaign, switching me to the hero side.

The other campaign got finished eventually and the results were utterly different.. Heroes won every quest besides "Cardinals Plight" (in our experience favors the OL about 80% of the time)...

We are playing the Labyrinth of Ruin campaign at the moment (me as OL) and we are going to the interlude, current situation: Hero victories 1, OL victories 3 (very tight matches)

The opinions in these forums are very divided....

Few tips for playing the OL:

1st and sometimes the most important: the quests are not balanced, but remember that you only need to win the 2nd encounter to win the whole Quest. This is why I tend to just block and make the 1st encounter last as long as I can in order to stack the whole OL deck into my hand (yes, you really dont need to use the cards in the 1st encounter). This usually leads to the point, when in the 2nd encounter I will get the ultimate monster and card combo to obliterate the heroes or to achieve my goal to win the 2nd encounter thus ending the quest in my favor.

2nd: Get the heroes separated, immobilizes etc. Use your monsters to separate the heroes and take them out so the other heroes cant reach to revive them

3rd: pick the "right" cards. Web trap is probably one of the most powerful cards if your opposing heroes have low might values. Blood Rage is just pure awesomeness when comboed right( master shadow dragon with frenzy + dark mights + blood rage is a hero wipe out, to take it evn further why not use "Rise again" aswell devil)

4th: Remember what the objective is, it isnt always necessary to even hit the heroes (castle Daerion 2nd encounter for example)

5th: Many of the things I´ve mentioned depend on the heroe group/items/skills

Good luck, hopefuly You will get on the win streak!


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Travis West
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The OL in my groups campaign is currently making a few complaints right now as well about my hero, Logan Lashley as the Treasure Hunter. I only have Gold Rush and Dungeoneer at this point, but those two combined essentially give you three actions for the price of one and a fatigue. Coupled with his Heroic Feat (if you attack deals damage), and his hero ability, and the Deadman's compass, I've once moved a total of 16 spaces, with two attacks, and two search actions (a fatigue potion was involved as well). For reference, that's the equivalent of 8 actions, all in one turn. And, as long as there are search tokens on the board, I have the option to perform 4 actions a turn with Dungeoneer.

We, the heroes, are going into the Interlude with over 700g in our pocket, and having spent at least another 700 (I'll grab the campaign tracking sheet later to get the exact numbers), and are very well equipped at the moment as well.

I, the Treasure Hunter, have a Crossbow for my weapon, Mana Weave, Belt of Water Walking, Dead Man's Compass, and the Shield of Light.

One of our Warriors (the knight) is debating between the Guardian Axe and the Iron Battleaxe while wearing Chainmail, while the other (Beast Master) is in a similar situation with some of the one handed swords/daggers.

Our Apothecary just sits back sniping monsters with the Bow of Bone while handing out his elixirs for healing as needed. We, the heroes, are sitting pretty right about now.
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Rauli Kettunen
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Silversage wrote:
Castle Daerion. This is what I laughed most about when I started looking things up today. Everybody's saying how the scenario favors the Overlord. I really, REALLY don't see how.

Check the Quest Guide RAW, then read the latest FAQ. Before it got errated (more like a complete and utter overhaul), it was about as gimmie for the OL as you could get.
 
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Raphael Pigulla
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Dam the Man wrote:
Check the Quest Guide RAW, then read the latest FAQ. Before it got errated (more like a complete and utter overhaul), it was about as gimmie for the OL as you could get.
IIRC, the quest was even harder for the heroes if they actually did well in the first encounter. How broken is that.
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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Yep, OL was happiest letting 3+ villagers survive, because they then blocked the heroes for a full round.
 
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Jeff

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Which OL cards have you bought? What classes are the heroes? What is your next quest? It would be much easier to give advice if we knew more about the campaign.
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Dean L
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How they're doing in the campaign is more dependent on how much gold they get and items they buy really. It's almost impossible for the Overlord to win the Act 1 quests if the heroes devote themselves entirely to the objectives, but if they're not searching enough, they're going to get steamrolled in Act 2 (or even the Interlude).
 
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Garrett Speager
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Caerus wrote:
Which OL cards have you bought? What classes are the heroes? What is your next quest? It would be much easier to give advice if we knew more about the campaign.

I'm actually in a similar situation as OP early into my campaign. Last time I ran a campaign I let my heroes pick their own hero/class combos and they got stomped so hard it wasn't even fun, so we didn't even make it to the interlude. This time I picked the hero/class combos for them so they would have a better chance and they've just rolled through me in First Blood and Death on the Wing. I know both of those quests favor the heroes pretty hard, but they've managed to get some good items and skills out of their two victories (doesn't help that I played the Lair of the Wyrm secret room wrong and let them collect way too many search cards).

Anyways, I won't mind losing, I mostly want it to be fun for the four hero players as we go along, but I don't want it to be too easy. The heroes are:

Leoric of the Book - Rune Master
Tomble - Thief
Averic - Disciple
Syndrael - Knight

And I've collected two overlord cards so far: Dark Resilience and Blood Rage.

Currently I only have the Lair of the Wyrm expansion but should be soon adding Trollfens and Labyrinth of Ruin as well.
 
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Jyrki Turunen
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Caerus wrote:
Which OL cards have you bought? What classes are the heroes? What is your next quest? It would be much easier to give advice if we knew more about the campaign.

I don't see how much more I can elaborate on two of those questions. I listed all the heroes I'm up against (no idea what they have, we play so rarely, except that their items and skills always ruin my day) and I also mentioned that the next quest will be the Interlude.

EDIT: If you can't be bothered to check back and look them up, just look at the post above, I'm facing the exact same heroes.

I can't remember the names of the cards, but there were a couple of traps (web trap at least), the healing spell, the one that lets you perform 2 attacks and then die and... probably something else as well that I just don't remember right now.

Thanks for the tips so far, some have been useful and some have been... well, thanks anyways.
 
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Tristan Raedwulf
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One Idea my group finds works well for hero selection is for the heros to pick the class they want to try draw 3 hero's from that class and pick one of the 3. That way they get to feel like they pick there hero's but are more limited with the crazy combos out there. Granted I do have the CK so we do have almost every hero, but im sure you can work something out similar with the bace game.
 
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Chase Toffee
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upsidedown gamer wrote:
One Idea my group finds works well for hero selection is for the heros to pick the class they want to try draw 3 hero's from that class and pick one of the 3. That way they get to feel like they pick there hero's but are more limited with the crazy combos out there. Granted I do have the CK so we do have almost every hero, but im sure you can work something out similar with the bace game.

It seems like you have the Conversion Kit and loads of heroes, as opposed to the OP:s group....... The base game doesnt have that many heroes
 
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Chase Toffee
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Silversage wrote:

I can't remember the names of the cards, but there were a couple of traps (web trap at least), the healing spell, the one that lets you perform 2 attacks and then die and... probably something else as well that I just don't remember right now.

If you don't own the game yourself. just use this site to reference the cards, skills, heroes etc.

http://www.descentinthedark.com/2nd/
 
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