Erik Miller
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Cincinnati
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The last of the Farrow family introduced in Descent 2nd Edition, this pack brings Merick Farrow into any campaign. Costing $9, it comes with a mini, a 10 card plot deck, 2 agent cards, 16 tokens, and a small rulebook. Is it worth it?


Here's a picture of what's in the pack:




How the Lieutenant's Work: Each Lieutenant works the same way. At the start of a new campaign, the Overlord picks a lieutenant to control. You cannot pick the main evil character from a campaign (no Zachareth for The Shadow Rune campaign, for example). The Lieutenant (called an Agent) basically works as a minor hero for the Overlord. During the course of the campaign the Overlord earns threat tokens through a variety of means that allow him to purchase or use cards associated with his lieutenant. The Overlord gains threat in the following ways:

1 Threat at the end of each quest and an additional 1 threat if he won the quest

He can spend 1 exp at the end of any quest to gain 3 threat

1 threat for each rumor quest card he plays

And, finally, he can choose to gain 1 threat each time he defeats EACH hero during each encounter instead of drawing 1 card from the Overlord deck

As stated, threat is used to buy cards from the "plot deck" of your chosen Lieutenant (each card has a cost) or to activate the cards you have already purchased. Each Lieutenant comes with 1 basic plot card already purchased (Similar to how each hero starts with 1 skill) and has 9 other cards you can purchase, including one that allows you to summon your agent in place of some open monsters and allow them to wreak havoc on the heroes. You cannot summon your Agent in the during the Interlude or Finale or in any quest that they are featured in, since you can tip the scales too much to your side if you pick the right Lieutenant (like Splig in A Fat Goblin). Agents are harder to kill than Lieutenants.

Finally, to assist the heroes against this new threat, each threat token you spend to trigger a plot card is given to the heroes. Each hero has to have 1 fortune token before anyone can have 2, etc. The heroes can spend fortune tokens to do different things:

1 fortune can be spent to recover 1 stamina during their turn

1 fortune can be spent to reroll 1 die a hero rolls

2 fortune can be spent to give you 1 additional action during your turn but you can only do this once per round

2 fortune can be spent collectively during the Shopping step to draw 1 additional Shop Item card


This is how each Lieutenant functions. Now, what's so special about this Lieutenant?


Merick: His basic plot card, Dark Pact, costs 0 threat to play and the heroes must choose a hero after setup of the first encounter of a quest. When that hero takes any damage, he may exhaust this card to reduce the damage taken by 2 but the Overlord gains a threat token.

Greater Power costs 1 threat to play and is exhausted when a monster performs an attack after dice are rolled. Discard the top card of the Overlord Deck- If it's a Magic card, the attack gets +3 damage, if not, +2 damage.

The Dark Mark
costs no threat to play and functions like the Dark Pact card. When a hero whose token ISN'T on this card takes at least 1 wound each turn, exhaust this card. The hero doesn't take any damage but the hero whose token is on this card takes 2 damage.

The Grasping Grave
costs 1 threat to play and is exhausted when a hero performs a stand-up action or is revived. The hero rolls 1 red power die instead of 2.

Masques costs 1 threat to play and is exhausted when a hero performs an attack before dice are rolled. The attack is a miss but you can only use this once per quest.

Mystic Might costs 1 threat to play and is used after you play a Magic Overlord card. Place 1 fatigue token on the card.

Later, you may discard 1 fatigue token from this card after dice are rolled to give +2 damage to an attack or +2 defense to a defense roll. Tokens are cleared at the end of each quest.

Thaumaturgy costs 1 threat to play and is exhausted at the end of your turn. Discard a Magic Overlord card from your hand to pull a Magic Overlord card from your discard pile into your hand.

Bolt From the Blue
costs 1 threat to play and is exhausted during your turn to pick a hero. Attack the hero with a ranged attack with blue and yellow power dice. If range is 4 or less it is a miss. Attack has 2 surge abilities: +2 range and +2 damage.

Cabal
costs 1 threat to play and is exhausted after setup to choose a monster group and put this card with time. Each monster in that group gains Surge:Overseer. This monster deals +1 damage for each other monster in its group within 3 spaces of the target to a max of +4 damage.

Finally, Summon-Merick costs 2 threat to play. Merick replaces 1 master monster in an open group and has the same stats as his lieutenant. His Act I agent has Aftershock, forcing adjacent heroes to test star after they attack him and take 1 fatigue if they fail, Surge: +1 damage, and activate ability ignite, dealing him 1 damage to attack all adjacent figures. You cannot use this ability to kill him. His Act II agent card has the above abilities and Surge:Wither, causing your target to take 1 fatigue.


Final Thoughts: Merick has some really interesting cards in his plot deck, especially if you like Magic Overlord cards. Some of them, like Dark Pact, may not be the most helpful (depends on what's going on) while others, like Mystic Might, can be a huge help. I wish that Bolt from the Blue had an Act II upgraded attack because it won't be very useful in Act II. Merick is a fun agent to play because he's very different from all the other agents. There aren't a ton of Magic Overlord cards out yet (but there will be eventually!) but they keep on coming which is great. I only see him getting more powerful as your options for deckbuilding with the Overlord increase so yes, he's worth it, but maybe not to summon as an Agent to fight. He's more of a background agent who impacts the game via his plot deck instead of actually getting mixed into the fray.


Check out my other reviews at Reviews by Mil05006
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Rafael M
Puerto Rico
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I agree with all your final statement.
He's a good choice for the useful variety of his plot deck, and the bit of theatrical flare the pacts with the heroes give.

I'll add that Dark Mark doesn't require it to be the fist damage a hero receives, so it can be used more strategically.

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Erik Miller
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raphaelus wrote:
I agree with all your final statement.
He's a good choice for the useful variety of his plot deck, and the bit of theatrical flare the pacts with the heroes give.

I'll add that Dark Mark doesn't require it to be the fist damage a hero receives, so it can be used more strategically.



Ah yes, I went back and double checked and you are correct! I adjusted it accordingly. Thanks for noticing!
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Mr. Doctor
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Do heroes roll defense dice for Bolt From the Blue? Otherwise I'd say it's almost as useful in act II since heroes don't get many chances to increase their maximum health as a campaign progresses, as they do with defense.
 
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Andrey Andrey
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I believe they do, since it says it is ranged attack and even mentiones range roll and abilities of this attack to be activated with surges.
 
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