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

Subject: Heroes always lose. Overlord OP? rss

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Nick Minghini
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Okay I am usually Overlord in almost any game me and my friends/family start playing. We have done 4 heroes and 3. Never 2 or even 1. When we play I dont even have to try to win...and I still do. I will never play a overlord. Never! Part 1 and part 2 of a quest. Why? I dont need them and since I dont play any in part 1 I have a crap ton for part 2 (if needed). It got to the point I dont even have to activate all my monster/minions. I will "accidentally" not play all my minions.

Okay, right now we have a discipline, Necromancer, and a Spirit-seeker to stun my monsters. No matter what the strategy is the overlord (me) and just counter. For example, I forget the quest name but where the heroes have to light the beacons while the overlord kills the village people. I lost..Never killed a single person. Nope...not one. So in part 2 Sir Palamon had ZERO zombies on him...but i won and yes without a single overlord card used.

Am I doing something wrong or the heroes? Even in another campaign I won without much effort. The heroes were disc, berserker, and i forget the 3rd. I think wildlander. Even when the heroes are like okay this game is about objective not killing...its like oops my shadow dragon is placed in front of the doorway. Oh you need a surge to hurt him (which i will take any day of the year). And if a hero gets by..well just activate all my monster and attack that hero..bam knocked out. After that position the monsters to block the heroes again.

Oh I forgot to mention I got to the point where I will pick the worse (in my opinion) monsters to play.

Idk, to me overlord is just a cake walk. I usually draw a overlord card and just place it down in my deck without looking at it because I dont need it.

I am usually in charge of the game setup and cleanup (yay) so am i setting up bad? I usually wont place my monsters right in line of sight of heroes on the entrance. And sometimes (not much anymore) I would line up my monsters to block the entrance they need to go.
 
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Darren Nakamura
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It's hard to tell just from your description, but if you are intentionally not playing overlord cards and sometimes not activating monsters but still wiping the floor with the heroes, I can imagine two (possibly simultaneous) possibilities:

1. You are playing some rule wrong.
2. Your heroes aren't very good with tactics.

You do mention Castle Daerion in particular, and if you are playing that quest as it is written in the Quest Guide (pre-errata), then that is probably the hardest Act I quest for the heroes.

If you can be more specific about how you are winning so easily as overlord, we might be able to point out the problem. It shouldn't be that imbalanced.

Otherwise, here are some common rules/strategy mistakes that could lead to an overlord-favored game.

- Monsters may only attack once per activation
- Stunned only takes away one action, not two
- Heroes should fatigue-move and double attack when they need to
- Heroes should be searching often, especially when the fate of a quest is sealed one way or the other
- Shadow Dragons' Shadow ability only affects adjacent heroes--they should attack with Ranged or Reach weapons if possible
- Open Groups must be chosen from within the set Monster Traits for any given encounter
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Nick Minghini
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Dexter345 wrote:

- Monsters may only attack once per activation
- Stunned only takes away one action, not two
- Heroes should fatigue-move and double attack when they need to
- Heroes should be searching often, especially when the fate of a quest is sealed one way or the other
- Shadow Dragons' Shadow ability only affects adjacent heroes--they should attack with Ranged or Reach weapons if possible
- Open Groups must be chosen from within the set Monster Traits for any given encounter


Actually we do all above mentioned. But I did forget about the reach ability not having to use a surge. But I am sure even that shouldn't be that big of a problem. Maybe the heroes do have a bad strategy. They know not to just sit/stand and fight every living thing they come across. Its a objective based game not slay every monster. But like I said if a hero...like the wildlander uses her feat then its like okay just activate my monsters..move in range attack move out and block the passage she needs. Activate another if possible and do the same. Even on Masquerade ball was kind of easy. I dont know if that helps the heroes or overlord.

Fat Goblin was a cake walk too. Part 2 you have to find that special token to be that prisoner you need (Sorry I dont have the book in front of me). It took my 6 turns to find him. 3 not being the right person and 2 being a fail. Still won. Barely. Cant exactly ignore spiders since they slow your movement down.
 
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Nick Minghini
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I guess I should ask. When placing monsters on the board the game will instruct where to place. Like place open group on this place. Does it matter exactly where as long they are on the correct tile piece? Or should it be like dead center as possible.
 
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Bastien C
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Maybe you could record one encounter, post it on youtube and we can watch and let you know what's wrong.
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Nick Minghini
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Riggs802 wrote:
Maybe you could record one encounter, post it on youtube and we can watch and let you know what's wrong.


That's not a bad idea. Would take some time to put together because of college finals coming up. And I would have to probably edit the video since games (ours at least) take like 40 minutes to complete for just one part.

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Scott Forster
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Starsmuck wrote:
Cant exactly ignore spiders since they slow your movement down.


uh... only the Master Cave Spider has the Web ability. The minions do not. Is it possible you've been misreading the monster cards?
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Chase Toffee
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You guys are probably playing it wrong big time.....

I cant really see how what you have described could happen. You are saying that you dont play any OL cards and that you intentionally try to help out the heroes by "forgetting" to use minion monsters. The only explanation without rule mistakes would be that the heroes play REALLY BAD+++ The thing is... 4 heroes should never lose the first quest: "first blood." If the heroes are always losing, I´m guessing they lost first blood aswell ^^

I would recommend reading the FAQ + the rules several times and of course advising the heroes to play for the objectives.

In our groups games if the OL would not use any cards or would forget to use even 1 monster, he would lose before he could even blink (though we have played this game probably too much ^^.)
 
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Konrad Borowiecki
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The answer to your question is no.
In my experience both sides are about equal as one could make it in a boardgame.
One might argue that the fate is leaning a bit towards the heroes side... and it all makes sense if you think about it.

I played on each side of the conflict and originally I felt the Overlord is very weak. Until I played the whole campaign at least twice. Then I started noticing that it is all pretty much balanced.

On many occasions it really doesn't matter what tactic you take as when you roll bad you end up bad
 
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M M
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Starsmuck wrote:
Even when the heroes are like okay this game is about objective not killing...its like oops my shadow dragon is placed in front of the doorway. Oh you need a surge to hurt him (which i will take any day of the year). And if a hero gets by..well just activate all my monster and attack that hero..bam knocked out. After that position the monsters to block the heroes again.

This can't be right. Knocking down a hero isn't as easy as thinking, "Oh, ok, I'll knock him down" and then just moving back to position. It does look like the heroes could use a runemaster for area attacks, though. That would stop you from stacking your monsters together.

Try having someone else play OL for a quest. See if they stomp you.
 
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Darren Nakamura
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Starsmuck wrote:
I guess I should ask. When placing monsters on the board the game will instruct where to place. Like place open group on this place. Does it matter exactly where as long they are on the correct tile piece? Or should it be like dead center as possible.


It just needs to be on the tile named. It doesn't matter where. If you have to spill onto other tiles (rare, but possible) then you still have to try to arrange it so as much of the monster's base is on the named tile as possible.
 
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Rafal Areinu
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Well, we can try guessing what's wrong for days and not get it. Maybe if we got more detail we would figure out what is wrong.

I think you could tell us which classes and heroes you have, what skills do they have and what equipment they got(basically everything), then described first 2-3 turns of some quest, including... basically everything. How did it look after setup, what heroes did, what you did, what were the roll results. Action after action. If you kill heroes so efficiently half of them should be dead by 2nd or 3rd turn, meanwhile your monsters should fare well.

With description as detailed as that we should be able to figure out why heroes are getting destroyed that badly. I know this is a lot of work, but with description like that and photos of the board state from time to time we should be able to figure it out.
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David Williams
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One thing I didn't see anyone else mention yet, is to check you are using the correct Act of monsters?

So if it's a campaign, you must start with Act I monster cards. If it's 1-off quests then you use Act I cards unless you are using the Epic Play - Expert rules, where heroes get 6xp and 250g each.

But even to me, when we have found it very tough with just 2 heroes, it was nowhere near as easy as you describe. You must be doing something wrong.
 
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Rafal Areinu
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True, even in group of 4 heroes, where 4 heroes never won a quest and had little money it wasn't THAT easy to kill them at the start of 2nd act. And that is one of the worst moments for heroes, as OL gets big boost.
 
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Reuben Cronje
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OP mentions twice that he is playing with 3 heroes. This is traditionally the easiest set up for the heroes, mostly because the OL only gets one "big monster" per group. I'm wondering if OP is using the maximum number of monsters against the heroes? Ie, one master AND one minion for big monsters, which might explain why it is so easy for him.
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David Williams
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Yes good point also, that hasn't been mentioned yet either!

So we suggest the OP check:

- Are you using the Act I monsters?

- Are you properly respecting the group limits on the back of the monster cards? (so for Shadow Dragons you should have only 1 master (red) figure)
 
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Nick Minghini
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Orion3T wrote:
Yes good point also, that hasn't been mentioned yet either!

So we suggest the OP check:

- Are you using the Act I monsters?

- Are you properly respecting the group limits on the back of the monster cards? (so for Shadow Dragons you should have only 1 master (red) figure)


Yes I am using the right monsters and amount. For 3 heroes the overlord basically gets one red monster instead of 1 red and 1 white. So for firstblood I just used one red ettin.
 
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Aron D
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There are a couple walkthrough videos out there (I know Rahdo did one). My suggestion would be to watch one of those front to back and see if anything in your play is off.
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Darren Nakamura
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At this point, it seems like the heroes are just tactically bad. Maybe try switching it up, let one of the hero players take the Overlord role, and you take on a hero character. See if that brings different results.
 
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Spencer Myers
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Your description makes it sound like you just roll a couple of monster attacks and knock heroes out easily, so I thought I'd ask a dumb question:

The heroes are rolling their defense dice during each attack to reduce the hits you score against them, right? And they're using any damage removing abilities and equipment?

I'm just having a hard time imagining how you can score 8 to 12 damage against them so quickly and easily.
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Kevin Manrique
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Finish my first campaign this past weekend and I must say its the opposite for my group. The guy who played Overlord in my group got destroyed (well gave a good challenge but my group managed to win every quest). Before we started my group that played the heroes (including me) made sure we had synergy with our classes and possible benefits to give to others or hurt the overlord. We ended up with Knight, Disciple, Runemaster and Wildlander. With their respective character hero sheets. Going to start another campaign shortly but going to include the 2 mini expansions in it, which I will make another topic shortly about a question/solution I got that may give our overlord a better chance at winning.
 
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Chase Toffee
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Leeko wrote:
I will make another topic shortly about a question/solution I got that may give our overlord a better chance at winning.


I dont think you really need a "solution" to it. Our group did about the same thing the 1st time (the OL only won 1 quest), then we switched the OL (currently it has been me for 2 campaigns) and the heroes started to lose quests... We are always having pretty tight and tactical games and the game seems to be balanced overall.
 
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David Williams
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Did the OP play First Blood?

If so, who won? Because this should be a pretty easy win for the heroes, if they lost this without any chance of winning, then assuming they are adults or older teenagers with some sense of strategy and tactics, you are almost certainly doing something wrong.

But if you want to work out what the problem is, then you really need to give more details, including initial setup, die rolls and what abilities are being used.

But maybe first you should take previous advice, and watch one of the playthrough videos on YouTube. See if you are doing anything significantly different.
 
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M M
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spencer_myers wrote:
Your description makes it sound like you just roll a couple of monster attacks and knock heroes out easily, so I thought I'd ask a dumb question:

The heroes are rolling their defense dice during each attack to reduce the hits you score against them, right? And they're using any damage removing abilities and equipment?

I'm just having a hard time imagining how you can score 8 to 12 damage against them so quickly and easily.

This is my hang up as well. No matter how tactically bad the heroes may be, it's still some amount of effort to knock one of them down. The attitude of, "Well, if they wander off, I just squish them" in a off-hand way while saying that he never even uses OL cards doesn't ring true.
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Alexander Steinbach
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As an alternative, you might want to check out the play by forum section of these forums and have a look at a few games. It might be easier for the OP to notice what's going wrong than it is for us to find out.

To add to the already dominant opinion, in my current campaign I (as first time overlord) am getting completely destroyed by the heroes (3 heroes: thief, wildlander, necromancer). I won 2 quests and that's been it. Some have been quite close, though. Others were close and then victory was snatched away from me anyway.

Overlord cards are realy essential to victory. In my opinion it is impossible to win without (not to mention boring).
 
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