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

Subject: Overlord strategy desperately needed rss

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So I'm relatively new to Descent, I've played about 4 or 5 quests prior to now embarking on the basic campaign. I'm playing the OL versus 3 other players who are equally new to Descent.

Now, so far we have only played 2 quests but thus far they have completely curbstomped me. The heroes I am playing against are Alric (Disciple), Leoric(Necromancer) and Jain(Wildlander) now here's a breakdown on how these quests have gone thus far:

First Blood all heroes max their fatigue and attack my Ettin, Leoric attacks once then summons his familiar who also attacks my Ettin, Ettin dies in the first turn and the quest ends.

A Fat Goblin Encounter 1 I blocked the entrance with 3 barghests, but the heroes make swift work of 2/3 of them and then max their fatigue to rush past them and rush into the garden. At this point my Goblins are outside of the garden, the heroes have now stored 2/4 crops, I manage to steal one crop with my master Goblin but they kill him easily, another Goblin manages to pick up the fourth crop and I use my basic plot card and both of his move actions to get away with 1/4 crops.

A Fat Goblin Encounter 2 Alric takes his time to heal up his team mates, I block the door to the first room with 3 zombies, like previously they max their fatigue smash up their door and kill 2/3 zombies in one attack. Leoric then opens the 2nd door, uses his hero feat to kill my goblin archers stashed at the 2nd door. I find Fredrik at my 3rd attempt but the heroes are now in the hallway and I have only one gGoblin archer and Spligg left, the heroes now realizing that they have already won kill my last goblin archer and instead focus on looting the remaining search tokens. At this point I concede since I have only Spligg left and he is surrounded by the heroes.

The heroes receive 200 gold for completing the quest + the gold yielded from their items.

I really don't know how to win against this group, attacking Alric is next to pointless the heroes cling together in one group so combined with Leoric's hero ability and his wooden shield I have to hit +2 hearts > whatever his defense roll to even hurt him and even if I do he can easily heal up his next attack with his hero ability. Attacking the other heroes is equally pointless due to them sticking together and Leoric's hero ability + Alric's heal. Outrunning them in races is equally hard because of Jain's mobility especially with her heroic feat. Playing any plot cards feels like it will just give them a larger advanage with free fortune tokens. Also not to mention that they have a "4th hero" with Leoric's reanimate.

As far as the metagaming goes they fully take advantage of their numbers and will usually spend a good 15-20 minutes each hero turn to discuss with eachother every single possible move they can take and the pros/cons of each and whatever permutations. Since I am OL and play only with myself on my team I don't have that advantage.
 
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Simon Ward
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If they are sticking together, really make them stick together with a Web trap or 2 devil
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Chase Toffee
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You picked zombies as your open group over Shadow Dragons in fat goblin encounter 2?? x D
 
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Chase Toffee
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As Altered Carbon mentioned, these theroes are really low in Might and will be easy prey for Web Traps, pick 2x of those baddies.

Remember that in many cases you dont need to try to go for KO:s
With this particular hero combination it will be harder to slow grind the heroes anyway, so if you feel that you need to knock them out, save those cards from the 1st encounter to take advantage of delivering them a mighty blow when the time is right.

Fat goblin 2nd encounter has a sweet spot for a tactic like this. The heros will need to take out the spiders in the 1st room, if you would have placed the master shadow dragon behind the door, they would have had a hard time to opend the door and take it out in a single turn. Avric would be disadvantaged against the "shadow" skill and leoric/Jain could probably miss as aswell. Then you could just combo "word of Misery", then use the Shadow dragon and Dárk Fortune to "ensure" a hit + Dark might to ensure the surge for the firebreath to hit them all. Frenzy to shadow dragon and after that bring out the goblins to pick off the weakest link (or the survivor).

The above tactic is of course situational but it worked for me perfectly when we played the quest for the 1st time.
 
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Chase Toffee
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Dark Charm will also be nice to separate Jain or Leoric from the group, just move them past a corridor and block them with monsters while hitting the charmed hero.
 
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miloboy gogogo
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Enfeathered wrote:


First Blood all heroes max their fatigue and attack my Ettin, Leoric attacks once then summons his familiar who also attacks my Ettin, Ettin dies in the first turn and the quest ends.

That's good.
first blood decide to overlord to lose
since they attack you all on 1st turn then
I don't think they got any treasure.
Quote:

A Fat Goblin Encounter 1 I blocked the entrance with 3 barghests, but the heroes make swift work of 2/3 of them and then max their fatigue to rush past them and rush into the garden. At this point my Goblins are outside of the garden, the heroes have now stored 2/4 crops, I manage to steal one crop with my master Goblin but they kill him easily, another Goblin manages to pick up the fourth crop and I use my basic plot card and both of his move actions to get away with 1/4 crops.

Why Barghest ?
Merriod black defend die . hit / immobile 2 targets.

Quote:


A Fat Goblin Encounter 2 Alric takes his time to heal up his team mates, I block the door to the first room with 3 zombies, like previously they max their fatigue smash up their door and kill 2/3 zombies in one attack. Leoric then opens the 2nd door, uses his hero feat to kill my goblin archers stashed at the 2nd door. I find Fredrik at my 3rd attempt but the heroes are now in the hallway and I have only one gGoblin archer and Spligg left, the heroes now realizing that they have already won kill my last goblin archer and instead focus on looting the remaining search tokens. At this point I concede since I have only Spligg left and he is surrounded by the heroes.

The heroes receive 200 gold for completing the quest + the gold yielded from their items.


why zombie ?
when you can choose shadow dragon ?


I think you choose monster poorly

but cheer up
the first act II quest
your monster will get buff a lot
and you will win (I hope)
 
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Chris K.
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Enfeathered wrote:

First Blood all heroes max their fatigue and attack my Ettin, Leoric attacks once then summons his familiar who also attacks my Ettin, Ettin dies in the first turn and the quest ends.


Good for you. This Quest is really hard for the Overlord to win and I personally consider "I prevent them from getting two of the search tokens" as a win for the Overlord

Enfeathered wrote:

A Fat Goblin Encounter 1 I blocked the entrance with 3 barghests, but the heroes make swift work of 2/3 of them and then max their fatigue to rush past them and rush into the garden. At this point my Goblins are outside of the garden, the heroes have now stored 2/4 crops, I manage to steal one crop with my master Goblin but they kill him easily, another Goblin manages to pick up the fourth crop and I use my basic plot card and both of his move actions to get away with 1/4 crops.


This sounds highly unlikely unless they had fantastically amazing rolls. They need at least two attacks to kill two barghests. That should slow them down a bit. So I am not sure, wether you or they may have some misunderstanding about some of the rules.
If they got only one or two search tokens you can still consider this a win.

Enfeathered wrote:

A Fat Goblin Encounter 2 Alric takes his time to heal up his team mates, I block the door to the first room with 3 zombies, like previously they max their fatigue smash up their door and kill 2/3 zombies in one attack. Leoric then opens the 2nd door, uses his hero feat to kill my goblin archers stashed at the 2nd door. I find Fredrik at my 3rd attempt but the heroes are now in the hallway and I have only one gGoblin archer and Spligg left, the heroes now realizing that they have already won kill my last goblin archer and instead focus on looting the remaining search tokens. At this point I concede since I have only Spligg left and he is surrounded by the heroes.

What happened to the cave spiders? Once again, I am not sure that you have all the rules down pat.

Also, if the heroes have area attacks, it is usually unwise to bunch up.

Splig can escape all by himself. Even if they surround him, there's still his knockback ability. Especially if you have a run and/or frenzy card or two left over. One fast hero alone will not be able to block him.

Enfeathered wrote:

The heroes receive 200 gold for completing the quest + the gold yielded from their items.


They should get only 75 Gold (25 per hero) for completing the quest plus the gold from search tokens.
If they only get 200 in total that is actually a pretty bad haul for them, especially if they didn't find the treasure chest search token for a free item.

Enfeathered wrote:

I really don't know how to win against this group, attacking Alric is next to pointless the heroes cling together in one group so combined with Leoric's hero ability and his wooden shield I have to hit +2 hearts > whatever his defense roll to even hurt him and even if I do he can easily heal up his next attack with his hero ability. Attacking the other heroes is equally pointless due to them sticking together and Leoric's hero ability + Alric's heal. Outrunning them in races is equally hard because of Jain's mobility especially with her heroic feat. Playing any plot cards feels like it will just give them a larger advanage with free fortune tokens. Also not to mention that they have a "4th hero" with Leoric's reanimate.

As far as the metagaming goes they fully take advantage of their numbers and will usually spend a good 15-20 minutes each hero turn to discuss with eachother every single possible move they can take and the pros/cons of each and whatever permutations. Since I am OL and play only with myself on my team I don't have that advantage.


It's quite normal for heroes to do that. With my group it is absolutely necessary for them to do that to even stand a decent chance. Your advantage is that their discussions give you a lot of information about what they are planning to do and a well placed trap can mess up such a "superoptimized" plan oftten.

Also always remember that attacking or killing the heroes is rarely helpful or required. Don't get hung up on that being very hard.

And don't worry too much. Three heroes is considered by many to be the hardest number of heroes for the OL to beat.
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Chris K.
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miloboy wrote:
Enfeathered wrote:


First Blood all heroes max their fatigue and attack my Ettin, Leoric attacks once then summons his familiar who also attacks my Ettin, Ettin dies in the first turn and the quest ends.

That's good.
first blood decide to overlord to lose
since they attack you all on 1st turn then
I don't think they got any treasure.
Quote:

A Fat Goblin Encounter 1 I blocked the entrance with 3 barghests, but the heroes make swift work of 2/3 of them and then max their fatigue to rush past them and rush into the garden. At this point my Goblins are outside of the garden, the heroes have now stored 2/4 crops, I manage to steal one crop with my master Goblin but they kill him easily, another Goblin manages to pick up the fourth crop and I use my basic plot card and both of his move actions to get away with 1/4 crops.

Why Barghest ?
Merriod black defend die . hit / immobile 2 targets.

Quote:


A Fat Goblin Encounter 2 Alric takes his time to heal up his team mates, I block the door to the first room with 3 zombies, like previously they max their fatigue smash up their door and kill 2/3 zombies in one attack. Leoric then opens the 2nd door, uses his hero feat to kill my goblin archers stashed at the 2nd door. I find Fredrik at my 3rd attempt but the heroes are now in the hallway and I have only one gGoblin archer and Spligg left, the heroes now realizing that they have already won kill my last goblin archer and instead focus on looting the remaining search tokens. At this point I concede since I have only Spligg left and he is surrounded by the heroes.

The heroes receive 200 gold for completing the quest + the gold yielded from their items.


why zombie ?
when you can choose shadow dragon ?


I think you choose monster poorly

but cheer up
the first act II quest
your monster will get buff a lot
and you will win (I hope)


In a three hero game the large monsters are not really all that great. You only get one of them, cutting your attacks and HP in half compared to a four hero game. With barghests and zombies that ratio is a lot better.

But personally, I never take zombies if there is ANYTHING else available.
 
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miloboy gogogo
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but Shadow Dragon has Shadow
he should be safe from Skeleton

and You can reinforce master Merroid every turn

his role is not to kill the hero just slow them

he can immobile them to slow them down
 
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Alexander Steinbach
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A lot has been said already.

Personally, based on what you posted here, I believe you are currently about equal or even ahead in the campaign.

In first blood is the single goal of the overlord to prevent the heroes from getting search tokens. Since they got 0 search tokens, you basically won first blood.

First encounter of Fat goblin is hard to lose as the heroes. If you got away with 1 crop then that's allright.

You basically messed up in the second encounter. Remember this for the remainder of your games: never ever pick zombies if you have a choice. They really are the worst monster group in the entire game.

Also, never surrender that easily. Since this game is mainly decided by dice rolls, you can always get away with a win one way or another.

A normal course of events with 3 players at this point in the campaign would be:

Gold from searches: ± 300gold (100gold on average per map)
Gold from completing the quest: 75 gold

They could (and should!) have had double to gold that they ended up with. You're actually doing quite reasonably.


EDIT: for everyone's enjoyment, however, you should really enforce that they spend less time debating every action they take. Speeding the game up as much as possible is more enjoyable for everyone including the heroes.
 
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Stephen Williams
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I agree with a lot of what other people have said here already. When you're playing the Overlord in this game, the old adage "lose the battle but win the war" definitely applies.

Don't worry about your monsters getting slaughtered. Don't even worry it the heroes win more quests than you. As said, denying the heroes treasure is a valid goal, because gear is a big source of power for them and without money, they can't buy too much. In this case it sounds like the hero players probably don't understand yet how important Searching is, so enjoy it while it lasts and try to spot tactics you can use to stop them when they finally clue in and start Searching more.

As for winning quests, the ones you really want to win are the ones that involved relics, mainly to deny the heroes a chance at owning those things. If you can win the second quest of an Act, you'll be able to choose the third (and last) quest played, so you can pick one that has no relic, if possible. Then you've won without even fighting.

At the end of the day, whoever wins the finale wins the entire campaign, so just bide your time now learning tactics so you'll be prepared to win at the end.

It also helps to learn how to manipulate the heroes. If your heroes always try to kill a particular type of monster, pick that monster group when you can and then position them in places that draw the heroes away from important tactical goals.

If your heroes are always worried about you having a particular trap card in hand, make a point of talking about that trap as much as you can. When they're planning their moves, point out places you could drop that trap on them to mess up their plan. Even if you don't have the card, making them think about it will make them second-guess themselves.

Play the players, not the game
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Darren Nakamura
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Definitely focus on Leoric.

You say Leoric has a Wooden Shield. He shouldn't. The Wooden Shield is a starting item for the Knight and the Disciple, and heroes cannot trade starting items. Even with the Wooden Shield, note that it is an exhaust item; i.e. he gets the benefit of it once per round, so as long as you attack him multiple times (as with Goblin Archers), you don't have to worry about it as much.

Leoric's hero ability only affects monsters within three spaces of him. Hit him at range (again, as with Goblin Archers) until he goes down, then swoop in with your melee monsters to take out the rest.

Separate the heroes with Ettin's Throw, Splig's Knockback, or the Overlord card Dark Charm. Then you won't have to worry about Leoric's Hero Ability affecting everybody.

EDIT: Upon re-reading, you are saying that it's pointless to attack Alric because Alric's shield + Leoric's Hero Ability.
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Peter Van den Broeck
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I play this game with my friend and we alternate between OL and Hero's. I don't have the experience to play with three or four players but I hope that it is as balanced as with two players.

My strategy as OL usually concentrate on three pillars:
- don't attack the hero's (or not directly). I find it usually more interesting to fatique them, so they cannot rush out on something.
- block their passage to the objectives that they need to achieve.
- go after your own objectives, with more priority than wounding the hero's.

P
 
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Okay so I've been reading your advice and been going through some other strategy resources myself and I have a good feeling of why I lost right now.

The major thing, I feel, was that I completely forgot to place the cave spider group in E2 of a Fat Goblin.

Most of the other things can be chalked up to inexperience, I didn't realize that zombies were such a poor monster group and blocking the entrance with my barghests in E1 of A Fat Goblin was a stupid move as it allowed the heroes to attack my barghests directly w/o wasting any actions or fatigue to move first.

I'm going to try and steer the heroes in the direction of "A Masquerade Ball" as the next quest as I've heard it's heavily sided towards the OL's favor , hopefully I will win that one.
 
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