ginguar ginguar
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Our gaming group have played both Trollfens and Manor of Ravens as mini campaign. In both campaigns the OL trashed the heroes so badly it just wans't fun - well that's a bit unfair - frustrating more like.

since this is the Manor of Ravens msg board Ill go through that series.

Hero Set up

Corbin - Skirmisher (warrior)
Silhouette - Bounty Hunter (Rogue)
Elder Mok - Apothecary (healer)

Quest 1 - Spread your wings


Skarn casually knocks off 2 characters (Warrior(only 3 movement!) and Healer) and literally walks out - dullsnore. I know its not that unlikely to happen needing the double surges. *shrug* OL wins - ok not a drama the reward isn't great.

(Thinking back a couple of cheeky dash cards and or OL was double moving Skarn *shrug*)

Quest 2 - Finders Keepers

Elder Mok, Corbin Start in the Pit (fail Perception tests - they only have perception 2)

The entire game was basically spent trying to get out the pit. while the OL just ran about picking up the loot. The heroes even managed to get the rope ladder to the side which allowed Elder Mok to finally get out the pit. Again the heroes got stomped into the ground.

Basically to get out the pit you need to pass either Strength OR perception (as a action). with + 1 Shield added for each badit near the pit. . . with Strength and Perception at 2 with Elder Mok it was a fun time.

The reward this time gives the OL an ability to give 1 monster group Surge: doom. - this in the next quest becomes quite frankly deadly.

Quest 3 - My House , My Rules.

At this point we had a 4th character join us - The Rune master - but we have house ruled out the blast ability because it makes a lot of encounters trivial we have found. with 4 Heroes we are thinking the odds will shift a lot in the heroes favor - the OL gets a few more starting monsters but the reinforcements don't change. great.

The entire party spent pretty much 90% of this one trying to get through the first door. the OL gets to choose which test the hero must do to get through the door.....or you teleport back 5 spaces. It takes just 1 movement point to attempt to get through a door.

our characters had lowest scores on attributes or 1, 1, 2, 2. this very frustrating. also at this time the OL made the bandits have the ability to add doom. Add in a double dash and bobs ya uncle.

while this is going on bandits are and wraiths are constantly spawning and picking away at your heroes.

we ran out of time to play the Finale - but heedless to say guessing with the OL creatures going up to ACT II stats the last quest is going to be 'interesting'.

The new creatures are really tough - The bandits hit like a truck from range and the pillage is painful. The wraiths are just plain nasty. Especially if you only have a Spirit score of 1 like our Rogue class.

In Hind sight - being a wonderful thing - we could of done some tings as heroes to help us.

1) choosing Heroes that didn't have a attribute score of 1 (relevant for defending against wraiths(spirit - Doom) and getting though the damn doors in Quest 3 - my house my rules. We just blindly picked 'interesting combos' to try and mix it up a bit. Instead of just going for out right broken power set ups. Is it best for the OL to read the quests first and help guide some character choices?

2) Choosing a hero with poor strength and poor perception (2 and 2 on elder mok - very relevant for getting out the pit in quest 2 finders keepers)

has anyone else got any bright Ideas?


we had a very similar problem with Trolfens with the OL stomping the characters into the ground. in Trolfens I *think* it was mainly due to a slow party that didn't have much speed allowing the OL just to *out race the heroes* but they where impossible to knock down, and they dished out damaged like a buzz saw.

I especially feel sorry for 1 of a players - he has only played both Trolfens and Manor of Ravens as mini campaigns and has been stomped into the ground in every quest - loosing 6 out of 7 Encounters and playing as a hero! ouch.

It is a shame because we are desperately trying to enjoy this game but its has been soured quite badly with some of our players by the amount of hero trashing that has happened recently.



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Jeff Paul
Canada
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Hmm, we haven't played these - but in the Lair of the Wyrm mini campaign we found the opposite.

Starting with 4xp vs level 1 monsters makes for some pretty powerful heroes. As well, you have a shopping phase with all that gold to spend (and you do get a shopping phase before the first adventure).

The only two issues I see
1. Three heroes is tough. In fact the game is balanced for four heroes.
2. Never "house rule out abilities" - it only makes things trivial if the OL doesn't respond tactically to the new challenge. This is a game of small advantages and choices having big impacts. If you nerf yourself, expect to lose.

(In this case blast will force the OL to stop clumping monsters, which will slow down the assault, but not stop it).


However, you do make a good point wrt hero choices. Some are better than others and if the OL has more experience, then share. As well, there is no secret information in this game. It's a dungeon crawl but it's not an RPG.

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Indalecio
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The game is most balanced when played with 4 heroes, yes, but three heroes favorizes the heroes camp by a good shot. That's the current consensus and it appears to be quite true in practice.

Otherwise banning Blast when you should have access to it is asking to lose. That particular choice blows my mind.

There is also the possibility of something your playgroup is playing wrong, but it's very hard to tell just by looking at your post.

Generally speaking there is only one good answer to give you, which is that you just need to learn by playing, maybe your OL has been quicker in getting into the strategic part of the game than your hero mates. Most inbalance situations come from the fact one part is playing poorly. You need to pay attention to how the heroes can work together, you need to invest in skills and gear that will fill the gaps your OL is currently exploiting, and you need to go for the objectives rather than pure combat (for the sake of combat alone) in order to give you quest rewards and choose heroes-favored quests.
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André Nordstrand
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Stavanger
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We just "finished" manors mini campaign and everything you said in the original post matched perfectly with our experience. At the end of "My house, my rules" all the heroes (including me) raged quitted the campaign.

Being stuck in the pit doing nothing followed by being stuck on one side of the door doing nothing, really does not work! We were very angry. Of course, the overlord didn't see the problem, because he was actually able to do something on his turn.

In default:
Round 1: Open door. Fail. Teleport back. Move towards door.
OL: Spawn more enemies and attack.
Round 2: Move further to door, use stamina. Fail. Teleport back.
OL: More attacks and spawns.
Round 3: Move towards door.
OL: More attacks.
Round 4: Open door. Fail. Repeat round 2.
 
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Vaughan Edge
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I have yet to play My House, My Rules. The issue with the doors looks tricky will have to post here after it's played last week. However the first 2 quests have been played and so far the campaign has been very close. First quest was won by OL but was certainly one the heroes could have won and they felt there loss was due to a few tactical errors.
Oh, BTW playing with 4 heroes but this game is notoriously easier for heroes players with 3 heroes and I doubt it is a way I would choose to play. If there were only 4 players as OL in interests of balance I would ask heroes to play a 4th hero, up to them how he was controlled.

The Finders and Keepers quest needs that initial spike pit to delay the heroes. With out it and their double moves they can just rush around mopping up vp's. The party have started campaign with 4xp so have a wealth of abilities to dispatch the bandits on the old wall. Only 2 of the heroes fell into the pit and the bandits were annihilated from the off. The nimble Okaluk and Rakash was off looting straight away. By the second turn the heroes had 5vps.
My open group was only the lowly skeletal archers but I want to keep the campaign thematic (Skarn is using victims he has killed, hence an undead choice). It's only the wraith's and Skarn who can loot the relics.
Both sides stayed focused on their objectives. The respawning bandits diverted some of the pain from the archers so I was able to use the skeletons to devastating affect. They killed the heroes archer and a couple of turns later felled Okaluk who had all the loot. 7 points worth. Here the game was on a knife edge as I used dash to reach the loot with my wraith.
The part had split and it was all down to high Mage quellen. Did he revive Okaluk or kill the wraith. The heroes were unaware I had another dash and it would have been game over if they hadn't killed the wraith. Skarn had exited earlier with 3vps.
Quellen destroyed the wraith with quick cast and also revived OandR.
Realising that OandR was a liability with all that loot he manoeuvred over to Their tank and transferred all the loot to Hugo. The Bloodwood (don't recall heroes full name) archer managed to clear the roadblock I had set up and Hugo had just enough fatigue to exit to victory.
A very balanced and hard fough victory, most encounters in Descent are like this.
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Have played My House My Rules now and was another win for the heroes. Looks like ginguar played the shifting passage incorrectly. If the heroes fail their trait roll the passge will shift so they enter the room related to the trait they tested. So although the shifting passage may separate the party it's actually to the heroes favour in collecting the binding stones. Skarn however has to walk/run all over the map. By the end of the game Skarn had triggered 3 spell scars when the heroes combined all of the binding stones.
The heroes did ignore the water in the basement and moved normally on the first turn. I think this would have enabled Skarn to approach the final spell scar but doubt it would have drastically altered the final outcome of the encounter.
I believe I was lucky to win the first encounter, it could be 3-0 to the heroes now. However each encounter has been enjoyable and hard fought. As OL I do play to win, but feel it's a victory of sorts if I really make the heroes work for their win, and the DM in me enjoys the hero victory.
For the finale the heroes have chosen beneath the manor, I will be pulling all the stops out to give the heroes a world of pain.

Will post how the finale goes here....
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Finale Beneath the Manor played tonight.
Was an OL win. First one of two campaigns.
Set up a zombie block on the basement steps and risked using shatter to bypass the heroes blockade of the bridge. Ignored the crystal in the chasm room and teleported to far side of the basement.
Think it was case of too little to late for the heroes, the ranged attackers got some hefty attacks in for 15 damage but Hugo was just to slow to get into position.
Heroes believed scenario was weighted against them but disagree with this. There were definitely some tactical errors. Using shatter was also risky as heroes had already KO'd Skarn and I was unsure if he had anymore blue crystals.
I played this to win and threw everything at them. The endless supply card probably helped as allowed me to start with a variety of options.
 
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Peter Moncrieff
Australia
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ginguar wrote:

the OL made the bandits have the ability to add doom


I assume this was using the stone of wayward means relic. Relics can only be wielded by a lieutenant, so this was an error. See page 22 of the rulebook.

CORRECTION: (edit) Sorry, I was wrong. This quest adds monster relics that can be wielded by any monster group.
 
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