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

Subject: Lieutenant packs vs expansions. rss

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Justin Brauchler
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Hey guys,

I already have the based game of Descent second edition. I have not played with my gaming group yet but I have a feeling I will be the OL. I have heard rumours that the OL doesn't have too many choices and a lot of times the heroes beat up on the OL pretty bad so I was wondering...

1.what would make the OL's game more fun and harder to beat?

Should I get a couple lieutenant packs?
Or mini expansions or get another full big box expansion to add more variety?

2. We will probably mainly do random missions as opposed to campaign, (but with the possibility of a campaign) what would add more variety or more quests in general?

Thanks guys!
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1. Lieutenant pack contains a miniature + plot deck (10 cards for overlord to level up and use, it is separate from his regular deck)
-it will add more strategic options (minor to moderate amount) to overlord at a fairly low price (~$10). You really just need one (but you might find yourself buying more...).
-its not essential or anything (i.e. Descent plays fine without it), but helps the overlord slightly (which is really good if your group has the heroes winning often)

2. Small packs contain 2 classes, 2 monsters+1 lieutenant, a few more missions (~6) and tiles, a few more items, a new status effect
-adds horizontal power to overlord, he can choose from more monsters
-adds more choices for heroes in terms of classes and items (but not necessarily more power)

3. Big packs contain 4 classes, 4 monsters+1 or more lieutenant, lots of missions (~16-18) and tiles compiled into a campaign, more items, new status effect
-same as above, but about 2x more stuff at 1.5x the cost

4. Conversion Kit contains a lot of monsters (25) and lots of heroes (i forget how many)...
-it doesn't come with the miniatures howver so you'll have to use proxies. good value though.

You'll have to decide how much you're willing to spend. A cheap way to add lots of stuff is get 1x LT pack and conversion kit, or 1x LT pack and 1x small expansion. If you have money, sure throw in a big expansion (Shadow of Nerekhall recommended).
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Skim through the forum. This question gets asked a lot.
 
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John Middleton
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I am also thinking about diving into Descent 2nd after being really disappointed with Myth, and stupidly selling off my Descent 1st ed stuff a couple years back.


I have looked at lots of posts about the Lts and there is lots of contradictory info. One says to buy Valyndra the dragon as your first, but that seems odd since that guy is from Wyrm expac right?


Of the six Lts in the base game which 2 do you guys recommend as the best to start with when I order the game?



 
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Read here and here.

I'm using Valyndra for the base game right now and she's strong.

Base game: depends what you want. People really like Zachareth's plot deck. I like Belthir's but your heroes have to be susceptible to traps. Alric is good overall monster buffs. I just read through Eliza's deck and it looks fun if you want to be a vampire, even if you never want to summon her.

Depends what you want. Me, I'd get Zachareth and Belthir.

Belthir was also my favorite lieutenant after they all got painted.

http://m.imgur.com/txiYva1
http://imgur.com/d8lN2hF
http://m.imgur.com/cwHXltq
http://imgur.com/Kc6sSEh
http://imgur.com/UAzOePa
http://m.imgur.com/waqMZWI
http://m.imgur.com/fVdUYKp

The best look with Belthir is his wings. I tried to capture them, but it didn't really do it justice. I painted his body a uniform color: a maroon-ish red. Then afterwards I painted over his wings with Tamiya Smoke. It gave them a shadowy black overlay which is really fantastic.
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John Middleton
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Cool.

That's very helpful.

I was leaning towards Belthir already based upon that wiki site you linked in another post.


I just don't know anything about how the new overlord plays to guess what sort of plot decks would work best as a start.


What about Splig, the goblin boss?


I think I will grab the dragon when I get the Wyrm expac, best to start slowly.



 
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I'm not that impressed with Splig. People like him because they like his miniature but his plot deck is pretty weak. It is oriented to keeping monsters alive and pretty much only wilderness ones. In the base game that's cave spiders, merriod and barghests unless you spend additional threat to give the trait to some monster.
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Kevin Fowle
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Tom Vasel recently did video reviews of all the second edition expansions as well as all the new lieutenants. They are a little more in depth then his usual reviews, I found them to be very helpful.
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Mark Watson
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DegenerateElite wrote:
One says to buy Valyndra the dragon as your first, but that seems odd since that guy is from Wyrm expac right?

Yup, however the lieutenants can't be used as agents in scenarios they're already in, so getting a lieutenant from an expansion you don't have isn't necessarily a bad idea if you want to maximise their use on the board.
Quote:

Of the six Lts in the base game which 2 do you guys recommend as the best to start with when I order the game?

Hard to say. Each of the lieutenant's have their own drawbacks, and the plot decks tend to favour certain styles of play, so your best bet may well be to get the game, check out the OL and then pick the LT's based on which complement your likely strategy.
Otherwise if you're picking blind, Zachareth could be fun to use the plot deck (you can't use him as an agent in the original campaign) simply because he's the main villain so it's kinda thematic. You could also consider Raythen or Serena - they're from Labyrinth of Ruin, but they come with hero cards and two models (one hero, one agent) so you get the benefit of being able to chuck them into the hero pool if they end up being useless to you as minions (I'd recommend Serena for this; she's quite efficient in terms of cost vs benefit; Raythen doesn't really come into his own until you start having things like secret rooms to play with).

If pushed I'd go for Eliza and Alric Farrow, their plot decks are somewhat more generally useful for the base campaign.

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I don't like LT that work only for specific types of monster (e.g. wilderness) because a quest may not necessarily have that type of monster. I also don't like LTs that focus on specific overlord cards because that forces you to build your overlord in a specific way and actually saps variety out instead of adding to it (or at the very least makes you feel terrible for buying non-optimal cards).

No dependencies (generally good)
Baron Zachareth
Rylan Olliven
Tristan Olliven

Specific to monsters in general (not bad)
Alric Farrow is specific to small and master monsters
Valyndra is specific to large monsters
Verminious is specific to low hp monsters
Bol'Goreth is specific to poison/disease and other conditions

Specific to monster types (bad imo)
Splig is specific to wilderness monsters
Eliza is specific to dark monsters
Ariad is specific to cursed monsters
Mirklace is specific to hot monsters

Specific to overlord cards (bad imo)
Belthir is specific to Basic I overlord cards
Merick is specific to Magic overlord cards
Queen Ariad is specific to Trap overlord cards (and wilderness monsters)

Overall I think the easiest to use are Baron Zachareth, Valyndra and Alric Farrow.
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Bol'Goreth is pretty dependent on using the Infector Overlord deck. It's not strictly required, but you would be kind of crazy not to.
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JH
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You really have to consider the effects of the card/trait-dependent Plot decks to judge them fairly, I think. Yeah, it can be a hassle to make sure you have a Hot monster group, or whatever, but the rewards can be pretty dramatic. And really, how often do you NOT have a Basic I card in hand if you're playing with that deck? Belthir's really good if you are.
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Rafal Areinu
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Basic I is considered to be stronger than Basic II anyway, so I imagine most overlords choose Basic I most of the time anyway.
 
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John Middleton
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Good info everyone.

You see what I mean about he past posts recommending all sorts of different things!!!


Having only read the rules and not being able to examine the Overlord cards to decide which route to follow makes any start purchase info really useful.

I forgot about the Agent mechanic! That opens things up quite a bit.

I guess starting out Belth with the Basic I cards would be nice since that's all I would have.

and ... the Z guy, who makes these names up, because he is a big bad in the first campaign.

Honestly, if the first games go well, I will shortly have lots more stuff on order.

Sorry to hijack this thread from the OP.


 
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Justin Brauchler
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No no, it's okay. It's fairly relevant.
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Mat628 wrote:
Bol'Goreth is pretty dependent on using the Infector Overlord deck. It's not strictly required, but you would be kind of crazy not to.


Infector overlord gives players infection tokens
Bol'Goreth works off of poison and disease (and other conditions)...they're not the same. I guess it could be argued that he depends on monsters/cards that cause poison though.
 
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No, they're not the same, but the Adaptive Contagion Infector card dovetails very nicely with many of Bol'Goreth's Plot cards, and with the big guy himself, as both offer ways of inflicting Disease and/or Poison. If you're trying to spread lots of Infection tokens fast, pairing them up is a good way to do it.
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Tristan Angeles

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Fatesadvent wrote:
I also don't like LTs that focus on specific overlord cards because that forces you to build your overlord in a specific way and actually saps variety out instead of adding to it.


I put Belthir as an exception to that. The card that adds a bonus to the group you frenzy/dash alone is amazing if you don't use the rest of the deck. 1 extra movement per monster and able to move 3 times is pretty much 4 movement turns. Small numerous minions with 1 extra damage like kobols adds up.
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I'm not arguing Belthir is ineffective...but for the uninformed, it may not be the best choice.

It is strictly incompatible with Basic II. If you don't have another LT pack, it doesn't do much for you and you just wasted your money. You're stuck playing Basic I even if you want to play Basic II.

This is a weak point but Belthir also forces you to keep certain Basic 1 cards in your deck and limits what you can take out when you level up (leading to less opportunities to experiment). He also has a card that relies on Trap overlord cards. However, I say this is a weak point though because the cards he forces you to keep are generally really good anyways.
 
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John Middleton
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Starting out though, all I will have is Basic I and a few LTs.


I don't see how him being restricted to Basic I is an issue until you have enough expansions and LTs that...it's not an issue either.

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DegenerateElite wrote:
Starting out though, all I will have is Basic I and a few LTs.


I don't see how him being restricted to Basic I is an issue until you have enough expansions and LTs that...it's not an issue either.



Hmm well, let's say he decides to initially expand by buying both one LT pack and one big expansion (what I did)...and they are both LoR and Belthir. There you go, Basic 2 or Belthir is unusable (hyperbole but you know what I mean).

Let's say he decides to buy Belthir now, and later LoR. You get to use Belthir and that's nice, but later he gets LoR and he's forced to buy another LT pack (maybe he doesn't want to invest money unnecessarily into the game/multiple LT packs since since really you just need one?). Saying Basic 1 is better is not a fair argument, it's a preference of play style...I think having the cards have extra effects depending on class is a neat idea and adds thinking for the overlord (always a plus in my book).

I think all I'm saying is anytime someone is going to suggest Belthir, they need to say "it is incompatible with Basic 2 from LoR". For minimal cost and long term enjoyment, you MAY want to consider someone who is compatible with everything/not dependent on something.
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John Middleton
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Except I'm not starting that way.

I'm buying the base game with Belthir to use as an Lt and Zac for the min and later use.

When I expand it will be Lair and another LT.

Then maybe Lab. and another LT.


Needles to say, by the time not using Beltir with Basic II becomes an issue, then you have enough other options that is ceases to be an issue.


Maybe if there were four Lts total it would matter.


If you have just the base game and one LT, he might be the best use wise.


 
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