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

Subject: Lieutenants: The Quick Litmus Tests rss

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It seems like one of the most common threads here is asking about lieutenant packs: what are they and which one(s) should people buy.

There's been a lot written on them, see below. I'm not going to duplicate any of that excellent material. Instead, I'm going to give a 5-second test on which one to buy. Obviously this is limited and simplified, but hey, that's what makes it so short.

Almost every plot deck has a variant on 3 different cards.
1: A card which gives you extra threat.
2: A card which applies a benefit for an entire encounter.
3: A card which requires no threat to use.

As a general rule, these will be the 3 most important types of cards in a deck. The agents themselves are also significant, but they're covered by Sarcasmorator, and some lieutenants like Zachareth will have extremely effective other cards. But the 3 types above work as a general rule. The first one because more threat is always good. And the second and third because they will be the most efficient cards, and thus you will want to use most often, in the decks. Sure, it's nice to add 2-3 defense or 2-3 damage to an attack, but it's really nice to add 2-3 defense to all monsters of a certain type for the entire encounter. And they don't return much threat to the heroes which is also nice. So these are the cards which you will likely use the most, and thus the ones to focus on when choosing a lieutenant and plot deck.

So let's break those 3 cards down by lieutenant by above card type. The threat for each is just the activation cost. They almost all cost additional threat to purchase.

Alric
1: Veterans Council: Place 1 threat token on each master monster (max 3). At the end of the encounter, collect the threat from each still remaining on the map (once per quest). (1 threat)
2: Dark Champions: Each master monster gains: +2 health, 1 brown defense die, and a surge which increases damage by 2. (3 threat)
2: Refuse to die: One monster gains: +2 health and recovers 2 health at the start of your turn. Expires when monster is defeated or the end of the encounter, whichever comes first. (2 threat)
3: None

Ariad
1 & 2 & 3: Place counters equal to the number of heroes. During the encounter, your master monsters may take an action to remove a counter. If at the end of the encounter there are no counters left, collect 2 threat.
1 & 3: Intricate Schemes: When you would select a quest, allow the heroes to select it instead and gain 3 threat.
2: Tainted Blood: A monster group gains the Cursed type. (1 threat)

Belthir
1 & 2: Show Of Force: For the rest of the quest, when you knock down a hero you may gain 1 OL card in addition to 1 threat (1 threat)
3: Fight With Honor: Discard a trap card to reduce the threat cost of another plot card by 1 (minimum cost of 1).
3: Cut A Deal: At the end of a quest, add the reward of heroes gain 25 gold and OL gains 1 threat if the heroes won or the heroes gain 25 gold and the OL gains 2 threat if the OL won.
3: When you reinforce, reinforce an additional monster for 1-4 threat depending on size.

Bor-Goreth
1: None
2: Infected: Master monsters from 1 monster group gain a surge, disease. (1 threat)
2: Envenom: Master monsters from 1 monster group gain a surge, poison. (1 threat)
2: Affliction Aura: Choose a monster. Every hero who starts their turn within 5 spaces of that monster becomes diseased. (2 threat)
2: Weakness Within: Each time a hero fails an attribute test while poisoned or diseased, they take 1 damage in addition to other consequences. (2 threat)
2: Weakened Spirit: Play on a defeated hero. For the rest of the quest, that hero is -1 Willpower when they are diseased and -1 Strength when they are poisoned. (1 threat)
3: None

Eliza
1: None
2: Night's Embrace: Make a monster group of type Dark (1 threat)
3: Bloodline: Monster A recovers 1 health at the cost of 1-2 health from Monster B.

Merick
1 & 2 & 3: Dark Pact: Heroes choose 1 hero. During the quest, that hero may choose to reduce damage received by up to 2. If he does, gain 1 threat.
2: Cabal: Master monsters from 1 monster group gain a surge which adds 1 damage for each monster in its group within 3 space (max +4 damage). (1 threat)
2 & 3: The Dark Mark: Heroes choose 1 hero. When you give a different hero at least 1 damage, you may choose to give them 0 and give the chosen hero 2 damage instead.

Queen Ariad
1: Embrace Darkness: Gain 1 threat for each knocked-out hero. (1 threat)
2: Feral Instincts: One of your monster groups gain the wilderness trait. (1 threat)
2: Natural Camouflage: If a wilderness monster rolls a blank defense die, add 1 defense to the roll. (1 threat)
2: Hidden Predactor: If a wilderness monster attacks a hero who did not have LOS to this monster before the monster activated, the attack gains Pierce 2.

Raytheon
1 & 2 & 3: Guarded Treasure: Each monster with a search token on its base gains 1 extra defense. If at the end of the encounter at least 1 monster has a search token, gain 1 threat.
1 & 2 & 3: Add a threat token to the card when a hero performs a search within 3 space of the monster. At the end of the quest, gain all the threat on the card up to a maximum of 4.

Serena
1: Power In Mourning: When a master monster is defeated, place 2 threat on this card. At the end of the quest, gain all the threat on this card up to a maximum of 8. (1 threat)
2: Diplomatic: A monster group gains type civilized. (1 threat)

Splig
1: Scavenge: Each monster can take an action to harvest 1 threat from an adjacent, knocked out hero (6 threat maximum per quest) (1 threat)
2: Feral Instincts: Make a monster group of type Wilderness (1 threat)
2: Overfed: Each Wilderness monster gains +2 health and -1 speed (1 threat)
3: None

Valyndra
1 & 3: Mine All Mine: At the end of each encounter, place 1 threat on this card for each search token remaining. After the quest, either remove all these threat counters or collect these threat encounters and remove this card from the game.
2: Aurium Plating: One huge or monster group gains +2 health and immunity to pierce. (2 threat)
2 & 3: Guardians of the Hoard: Place any number of threat counters on this card. These threat tokens may not be used during this encounter. If there are more threat tokens on this card than there are huge or massive monsters on the board, they gain +1 damage on their attacks.

Zachareth
1: Two-Pronged Gambit: At the beginning of a quest, choose which side will win. If you're right, gain 3 threat. (1 threat)
2: Sole Purpose: Before a quest, trim your OL deck to 13 instead of 15. (1 threat)
3: None





Other references:

The overall plot decks (most, anyway) are discussed in-depth
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/browse/boardgameexpansion/0?...
Credit:
Erik Miller
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The agents from those plot decks (most) and the plot deck synergies with the agents are reviewed in-depth here.
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Images of the lieutenants and plot decks
Base Game 6
Valyndra & Bol'Goreth
Ariad, Raythen, and Serena
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Frank The Tank
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Summaries of the overall gestalt of the lieutenants and recommendations on which ones to use
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and
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John Middleton
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Nice post. Thank for all your help.


I pulled the trigger on base game, Belthir, and Zac on Saturday.


We will see how it goes.
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Jeff

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Quote:
1 & 2 & 3: Dark Pact: Heroes choose 1 hero. During the quest, that hero may choose to reduce damage received by up to 2. If he does, gain 1 threat.


I've been playing a campaign with this one, and it seems like there is almost no good time to actually trigger this. Two hit points isn't really worth 1 threat.
 
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