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Descent: The Well of Darkness» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Descending Further rss

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Evan Champie
United States
Eureka
CA
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I was actually taken by surpise when I wandered into my local game store, and the owner gave me that knowing look and pointed to a shelf. Ever seen the movie Snatch? Where the guy has a five second clip of him flying to the UK and back? I had one of those.

Twenties hit the counter. Car door slams. Shrink wrap is torn off with one sweeping motion. Cards and minis explode across a table.

I held my breath for this expansion. It seems overall to me a delightful combination of new ideas and laser-guided fixes to the most of the our main complaints about the game.

You get quite a pile of new toys inside the box, as several pictures on the geek show. When you break it down, basically every aspect of the game gets some attention here. New monsters, heroes, traps, overlord cards, props, items, quests, rules, skills, potions, effects, play options, and more map tiles make for quite the extension on Descent's life and one hell of a run-on sentance. Thanks to Capitaine Grappin for the image!



Honestly, the only thing missing is an official solution to the famous scaling problem; overall, it seems to me the overlord has gotten a little help in the power department, making it more balanced in larger games, but even more hopeless against two heroes.

On the hero end of the stick, not too much has changed tactically; the majority of the new stuff (heroes, skills, treasures) you'll just have to randomly draw and go "Cooooooool!" One of the things you do have the option of purchasing are the new Power Potions. They add all five Power dice to your next attack! Each power die has two surges, and three chances for power enhancment (+1 to damage or range), making it quite awesome to have in your pocket when something just NEEDS to die! The new items for the town shop are also quite nice, most notabley the bows being upgraded with Pierce, and several new choices of runes for the spellcasters.

The overlord player, however, does have a little more on his plate. The supplimental set of Treachery cards can be swapped into your deck before the quest starts to liven things up and break the predictability of playing the same overlord deck over and over. The Treachery cards are broken up into Traps, Events, and Monsters, with each quest having a limited ammount allowed per catagory. The old quests are also given Treachery stats, allowing you to add 4 points of all three kinds to your deck for the very first quest of Journies in the Dark for example. If you'd rather not get deep into the new cards, every 2 unspent Treachery (rounded down) lets you draw another card at game start. If you don't swap anything out for Journies in the Dark, you'll start the game with a NINE card hand!

The new Treachery cards are for the most part far and away better than most of the original overlord cards. In some quests, you'll only be allowed to swap out maybe three or four of them, but man is it noticable. The Danger card, for a single Treachery, can be discarded for 10 threat; Welcome Mat creates a double-space pit with poisoned spikes in front of a door, the Killer Chest fights as an ogre, and the Elite Beastman Party comes with 2 Master Beastmen whos' Command aura overlaps! These are only my favorite examples; these cards must be seen and used to be appreciated. Treachery has definatley given the Overlord a much-needed edge in bigger games.



The new monsters are refreshingly unique. Kobolds are weak and plentiful, and have two cards added to the base (un-Treacheried) deck, ensuring they see play. They represent the first monster who does best when far away from the adventuring party. Ferrox are your new can openers. With stats like Beastmen, their Bleed ability gets past the most well-armoured heroes, and every wound a Master deals drains a fatigue and heals the Ferrox; they also get a card in the base deck. And the Golems are just straight up tough. They're immune to pretty much every single special effect the game, and have quite formidible hitpoints and armour to boot.

It should also be noted that Skeletons have gained the Pierce ability, and Beastmen's Pierce has been replaced with identicle bonuses to damage. In reality, the beastmen now do even more damage to low or unarmoured targets!

I've only played one game as the heroes, and being true to ourselves we mixed the new in with the old; Runemaster Thorn and Brother Glyr made it into that game. Their stats are all pictured here on the geek for the curious. Thorn's teleport ability saved his bacon many times; when he was surrounded, the merest peek through a diagonal square would whisk him back to safe blasting range. I played Brother Glyr and let me tell you, I was suprised. At first 8 health and 4 conquest value balked me. Three base armor, five fatigue, and his base ability of 2 free movements every turn more than made up for it. My favorite move: take two steps, kill a monster, and get a Gaurd token. Wow. The new heroes are exciting, but fit right in with the old while seeming well balanced.

Overall, if you loved Descent, I'd say this is an essential addition. A huge wedge of new cards livens up the game, despite being cut on a different die (get card protectors, or else they shuffle weird). The Overlord gets a boost with Treachery cards and new and improved monsters, making those three and four hero games a much more competetive experience. This one was for the fans! I give it five rolling hero heads out of five!
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Jamie Vantries
United States
Woodbury
Minnesota
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Quote:
But, but, but... how can you enjoy it? There is already an FAQ out for it?!?! Don't you know what that means?!?!

HAHAHA! After all this recent stuff about ameritrash and euros, this comment is just golden.
 
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John Harley
Canada
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The treachery cards are really good. They add a lot to the OL role so that playere can feel more invested.
 
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Wilson Ip
Canada
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The cards are of different cuts? Smaller or bigger?
 
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