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Subject: Shadows of Brimstone, Descent? rss

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Carl Frodge
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Plantation
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First of all, are the games similar? Are they both dungeon crawl type games?

Second, which would you recommend? Does it just come down to which theme you like better, or is there more to it?

And a somewhat related question: If I'm not a fan of Star Wars, would I still enjoy Imperial Assault, or is the theme a big part of why people like it?
 
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Jonas Vanschooren
Belgium
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Yes both are dungeon crawlers.
First some big differences, descent is a 1 vs many game, 1 player takes control of the monsters and 1 to 4 players play the heroes.
Shadow of brimstone is a full coop, the players take control of tge heroes, this one is also possible to play solo.

Imperial assault is descent in a star wars jacket, if you are more into fantasy the star wars get descent.

What game is for you, very hard to say, both are great games, my vote goes to Shadow of Brimstone, I just don't like the Dungeon master role.
 
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Sean P
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Similar, but not the same. I have both and like them both. Descent/Imperial is competitive and fast moving. You can usually get through 2 maps in a meet.

Brimstone is fully cooperative.

The game mechanics are different, but both are good.
 
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Sithrak - The god who hates you unconditionally
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I love playing Overlord and haven't been impressed with any board game AI, how you and your group feel about those points should be your guide here. If you want fully coop, it's Brimstone, if you have someone who enjoys overlording, D2 is better because, well, you're playing against a thinking, creative individual who's trying to win the game.
As for IA vs. D2: So far, save for the license, IA doesn't have any real advantage over D2: Very similar rules, but more stuff and a far less crappy distribution model.
 
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(ɹnʎʞ)
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For the record: I have not played Shadows of Brimstone so far, so I cannot provide a fair and too detailed comparison here.

Like people pointed out before, the biggest difference is that Shadows of Brimstone is cooperative, while Descent 2 is not (although there are 2 mini expansions available making Descent 2 cooperative for 1 scenario per expansion).

Descent 2 also plays more like a skirmish-based game with (generally) no map exploration at all, while Shadows of Brimstone is all about map exploration and dealing with random events.

Movement in Descent is determined by character stats (and optional available stamina for bonus movement), while the primary rules of Shadows of Brimstone are based on roll for movement, although the rulebook offers an optional rule for a static movement value of 4.

The miniatures of Shadows of Brimstone must all be assembled, which is not the case with Descent 2. This can be a big obstacle for some board game players.

Speaking of the miniatures, another very important thing to look at are the characters:

Descent 2 features 4 hero archetypes classes (warrior, mage, healer, scout), each branching out into 2 classes which the players can then choose from (for example, the warrior archetype of the base game offers the berserker and knight class). Descent 2 also comes with 2 unique characters and miniatures per archetype for a total of 8 hero miniatures - so there is a lot of replayability (for example, the player controlling the warrior Grisban can make him a berserker or a knight at the beginning).

Shadows of Brimstone on the other hand comes with exactly 4 different classes per starter box, and while the character sheets are double-sided for both genders, there are just miniatures included for one side. So when you are playing with the maximum of 4 players, each character will necessarily be in the game because there are no other options. The alternative every fan of Shadows of Brimstone will tell you here is: get both starter boxes to double the amount of available characters. This may be an option for later on if you and your group are really in love with this game, but for sure not at the beginning, considering the high price for just one starter box already.

Shadows of Brimstone comes with a gimmicky soundtrack. I don't know about the soundtrack's quality, but I like the idea in general.

Both games can be played by single scenarios or as a bigger campaign with evolving characters, which is normally where these games shine. Descent 2 has a bigger overall narrative to it's story, which Shadows of Brimstone apparently has not (at least, so I was told).

Both games have a similar "town phase" after each scenario, but Shadows of Brimstone offers way more interesting (and funny) options, as players can actually interact with the town's different locations, while Descent just dishes out a few cards (depending on the number of players) which are then available for getting purchased.
Descent 2 offers another small but interesting mechanic here though: travelling. Before the heroes decide on what adventure they take on next, the move around a map to the actual location and have to face various small story-driven encounters along the way, based on the drawn travel card and the type of terrain they are currently on.

Now that I mentioned humour: Shadows of Brimstone takes itself less serious at times, while Descent 2 feels more like a classic fantasy adventure.

Descent 2 has already a ton of big box and small box expansions available, but this will very likely also happen to Shadows of Brimstone in the future.


Hope this helps you out a bit.
 
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