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Descent: The Well of Darkness» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Overlord's Toolkit: Kobolds! rss

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Evan Champie
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When I first started playing Descent as the Overlord, I got creamed, like many others. It wasn't until I got a few games under my belt that I saw the hordes I was spawning not as an army to be thrown at the enemy willy-nilly, but a toolbox. Rushing your forces at the heroes is almost always a bad idea. Battle actions and Gaurd orders are your worst nightmare. Eventually, experience will teach you to maximize each creature's strengths and play around their weaknessess.

You start to learn that Master Beastmen should only close to melee when a kill is assured; their Command aura is infinitley more valuable. Skeletons must be used as guerilla fighters, hitting and running with their 5 speed to prolong their use. Master Razorwings, properly used, can cut the entire party's turn in half, and live to do it again and again. Ogres stats are impressive; but not nearly as powerful as their ability to toss lone heroes over their shoulders to the waiting hordes behind, or even better into pits.

I've played Well of Darkness a few times now, and going out of my way to experiment with the new monsters. Feel free to comment and add your experiences!

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The Kobolods are actually my favorite so far, and being weakest I guess we'll start here. You get a whole pile of these guys, scads more than any other card, but they are positivley the weakest combat-wise in the game. Heroes with store-bought items kill them on almost any roll but a miss, and any form of Blast attack will clean the whole pack out. And having only 3 Speed, they can't even catch up to the party most of the time. All this adds up to a unit that most parties will ignore... which isn't such a bad thing.

Both flavors come with Swarm. When a figure with Swarm attacks a hero, it rolls an extra black Power Enhancment die for each friendly figure touching it's target (up to the maximum of 5). For regular Kobolds, this is their sole purpose in life. They have no armor, and very little hit points, and rolling a single red die (even with P/E dice added) will rarely do more than a wound or two against any well armored hero. However, they end up rolling more black P/E dice than any monster.

What many people fail to realize is that the Overlord player collects 1 Threat for every 2 Surges he rolls on any monster's attack. I played many games without even noticing this rule, as it's mentioned only once in the combat area of the rulebook. Easily overlooked!

The black P/E dice have Surges in spades. In sufficient numbers, each Kobold can assure you one threat per attack, if not two in bigger groups.

Regular Kobolds are trash in comabat damage-wise. Deploy them during a big, chaotic fights, where their Swarm ability will acheive maximum payoff. While the heroes battle the more 'dangerous' creatures, your Kobolds will nip at their heels, maybe getting a wound or two in if they're lucky, but mostley bankrolling your threat supply.

The Master Kobolds, of course, are quite the opposite. More hardy than the regulars (if that's saying much), they have Swarm, and more importantly Tricky. Tricky creatures offer a 1 threat discount to your Trap cards, and the bonus stacks! When you spawn your Kobolds, the regulars will advance, bothering the battle-occupied party and producing threat, while your Masters dash off in the opposite direction.

Spread the Masters out. Hide them in corners farthest away from the party and any glyphs. If the heroes ignore them, punish them with traps. Even better, if the easy kill combined with 50 gold reward lures them backwards, prolong the endevour. Dodge cards, Charge cards, anything you can do to make them waste as many turns as possible backtracking. This is the first monster that truely shines when left alone on the other end of the map, and just knowing that is enough to make many players waste precious turns chasing them!

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Overall, the Kobolds are specialty creatures with Threat-related abilities. Regulars are in effect netting you free turns' worth of Threat income, and Masters are either applying a threat discount to your Traps, or even better eating up the heroe's time while they're at it.

I got a good game in with the Ferox, and I'm still anxious to try my hand at the Golem. But that might come later; let's hear it for the little guys!
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Brent Lloyd
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Brilliant expose on the Kobold. Well Done.

They have yet to arrive at my FLGS, but I will be trying a few of these tactics when I finally get my hands on this expansion. I can't wait.

Peace
 
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John Harley
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Master kobolds exist to reward parites for taking an archer.
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Brian Gratrix

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Another good use for kobolds is keeping those pesky doors shut. A closed door is a wonderful thing.

I had every kobold in the box in play last game, player frustration was high. Keeping them clumped was an error -- I'll be spreading out the masters next time.
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Matt
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Is it possible to reduce the threat cost of a trap card to zero if you have enough master kobolds in play?
 
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