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A friend of mine recommended me to buy the Second Edition of Descent: Journeys in the Dark, and truth is that if I look at the rankings here on the BGG, it seems to be a good option. However, other people keep telling me that if I like this kind of game I should buy Imperial Assault, which ranking is even better. Obviously I won't buy both, because I don't have the money, so I could use a little help! :-)

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Actualization:
Actually I Googled both games and I found this new poll about it, but since it seems to be very recent, I don't see many comments to help me make my choice:
https://netivist.org/debate/imperial-assault-vs-descent
 
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Mike Chipman
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I'd say it's a question of theme more than anything. I've played both quite a bit. I like Descent better because I like Sword/Sorc better. (though admittedly, Star Wars isn't too far from that)

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Matt Epp
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Pick whichever theme you like best.

Imperial Assault is also 2 games in 1. So, there's that...
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Evan Dunn
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Imperial Assault is more fun and is better designed. If you really want a 1 vs many fantasy dungeon crawl game, I would advise you to look at Descent: Journeys in the Dark. The games run a little longer, but it's simpler and a lot more satisfying as a dungeon crawl experience.
 
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Ruud
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quietcorn wrote:
Imperial Assault is more fun and is better designed. If you really want a 1 vs many fantasy dungeon crawl game, I would advise you to look at Descent: Journeys in the Dark. The games run a little longer, but it's simpler and a lot more satisfying as a dungeon crawl experience.


I am not sure if I'd call IA better designed, it's a different design for sure. I dislike the Hero-OVL-Hero activation, I think it slows the game down more than moving all heroes and moving all overlord stuff in separate turns.

I am also a big fan of first edition Descent. It's way less tactical, and way more freeform.
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Paul
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Yup- IA is better designed for certain aspects of gameplay. D2E is better designed for others. I find the comparison of the two to be incredibly subjective.
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Brent Lloyd
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Ruud2009 wrote:
I dislike the Hero-OVL-Hero activation, I think it slows the game down more than moving all heroes and moving all overlord stuff in separate turns.


I could not disagree more.

My experience has been that when all the heroes go, they spend WAY more time min/maxing their turn. They are trying to coordinate 4 heroes turn - all at once. With the alternating turns, the heroes cannot min/max all four heroes at once - because the Overlord is taking turns in between.

The alternating turns is one of the best upgrades to this system. I believe it speeds the play of the game up a ton. It also leads to more interesting decisions on each turn because the tactical situation on the board goes back and forth so many times in a round.

Peace
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Ian McCarthy
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Not that I put much stock in rankings, but keep in mind that Imperial Assault has only around 3,500 ratings compared to Descent 2E's around 9,500.

Personally, I think the game mechanics are more thematically fitting for arrows and sharpened metal than for blasters and light sabers.
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Thunder wrote:
Ruud2009 wrote:
I dislike the Hero-OVL-Hero activation, I think it slows the game down more than moving all heroes and moving all overlord stuff in separate turns.


I could not disagree more.

My experience has been that when all the heroes go, they spend WAY more time min/maxing their turn. They are trying to coordinate 4 heroes turn - all at once. With the alternating turns, the heroes cannot min/max all four heroes at once - because the Overlord is taking turns in between.

The alternating turns is one of the best upgrades to this system. I believe it speeds the play of the game up a ton. It also leads to more interesting decisions on each turn because the tactical situation on the board goes back and forth so many times in a round.

Peace


This is my experience also and the reason i prefer Imperial Assault. Every time i played Descent i ended up hating it because the turns took forever.
 
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Alexander Steinbach
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Chose whichever theme you like best.

I never played imperial assault and I never will because I hate Star Wars with a passion. No matter how much they improved the gameplay over Descent, I will never pick a Star Wars game over a fantasy game.

Now, if like it the other way around, the choice is easy. If you realy don't care, then why are you even considering to buy such a thematic game in the first place?
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Aswin Agastya
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Just pick a theme you like. They're just about equal.

One thing about Imperial Assault though, the missions are Overlord/Imperial only. Some people may dislike that after the first run, it's kind of spoiled (since there are some "surprises" the Imperial player may spring on the heroes).
 
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David Hladky
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I own both and both are great games. IA is better in the storytelling aspect and has some improvements over D2 rules (LOS for example).

On the other hand D2 is better in replayability as you can switch classes for heroes and you can freely change overlord as there is no hidden information.

Ask your fellow players what genre they want. One of my friends refuses IA, because it is not a fantasy.

Do not go for both games until you have big experience with one of them. The rule diferences are subtle, but often break balance if you smuggle rules of one system to the other. And it is really easy to do errors here.
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Jeremy Thomas
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Kelteel wrote:
Thunder wrote:
Ruud2009 wrote:
I dislike the Hero-OVL-Hero activation, I think it slows the game down more than moving all heroes and moving all overlord stuff in separate turns.


I could not disagree more.

My experience has been that when all the heroes go, they spend WAY more time min/maxing their turn. They are trying to coordinate 4 heroes turn - all at once. With the alternating turns, the heroes cannot min/max all four heroes at once - because the Overlord is taking turns in between.

The alternating turns is one of the best upgrades to this system. I believe it speeds the play of the game up a ton. It also leads to more interesting decisions on each turn because the tactical situation on the board goes back and forth so many times in a round.

Peace


This is my experience also and the reason i prefer Imperial Assault. Every time i played Descent i ended up hating it because the turns took forever.
Conversely I found IA dragged far more because each time I (The "OL") took a move with something, the heroes would then spend forever re-arguing what the next player should do based on what I just did. While with Descent, there's a fair bit of discussion up-front but once the first player goes, unless everything goes horribly wrong, it moves more smoothly.

Different players, different experiences.

Choose whichever theme you prefer, though bear in mind that IA has hidden information which makes it a little less repeatable because people will know the previously hidden information. It doesn't really matter that much, but it's worth noting.
 
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E B
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I vote Descent! But i can't stand star wars, so im a bit biased.
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Magic Pink
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Descent. Star Wars is dumb.
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Sebastian Beck
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Imperial Assault. They have made a few tweaks with it but it improves the overall experience by a landslide.

It is a much much greater game than the mediocre Descent 2.
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gary gee
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I have both games and always loved descent its one of the best dungeon crawlers out there with a big modding community.
imperial assault I was really looking forward to.my thinking was "wow star wars with descent mechanics".but the game was a tad disappointing. its more complicated and fiddly than descent [not as user friendly].but my biggest complaint was the heroes..who are they???...you would have thought with it being the brilliant star wars universe we would have got at least some iconic heroes !! but no.
you can buy the addon packs and you do get two when you first get the game.but they are just used in on or two scenarios.and although they can be used in certain other quests they aren't hero-like status in them.
I bought imperial assault with the extra hans solo addon..and only played it twice.its still like new in a cupboard..im thinking of putting it on ebay.unless I can get a trade on here.but im not going to be playing it again.
 
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Raymond Morehouse
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I only played IA once, and it was a lot of fun. I really liked the hidden information mechanic, and some of the other differences were fun.

I love Descent, however. It has given me hours and hours of gameplay with no end in sight.

From what I know of IA, I would be concerned about replayablity. Hero progression seems very linear. You only have one path you can choose for each hero, and optimal builds are pretty obvious it seems. Also, the hidden information aspect is only going to be fun once. After you have played a quest I don't really see how you could go back and pretend you didn't know what was around each corner.

In either case, though, I think you are getting a fantastic game.

So buy both, maybe?
 
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Ed Sherman
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tootz wrote:
but my biggest complaint was the heroes..who are they???...you would have thought with it being the brilliant star wars universe we would have got at least some iconic heroes !! but no.


They're not going to just give you famous characters for free when they can charge ten bucks a pop.
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gary gee
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edosan wrote:
tootz wrote:
but my biggest complaint was the heroes..who are they???...you would have thought with it being the brilliant star wars universe we would have got at least some iconic heroes !! but no.


They're not going to just give you famous characters for free when they can charge ten bucks a pop.


yep, you got that right...lol

but you would have thought they would have put maybe one or two of the lesser known characters in the box.
 
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I've played both (a lot) and I would say I prefer Descent.

Taking out questions of theme - because of course if you like Sci-Fi more than Fantasy you're going to pick one or the other - I feel like the changes make IA less fun to me than Descent.

Descent has three defence dice. Brown, white and black. They are straight upgrades. Brown < White < Black.
IA has two dice, white and black. White has a mixture of shields and surge-cancellations and black is just defence. White also has "dodge" which totally cancels all damage.
This dodge replaces the miss on the blue dice that Descent has.

I think people disliked that they'd miss. I dislike the dodge. It's a perculiar rule that while it might feel better to some people that they've dodged and got a win rather than missing and getting a loss it also means the black dice is often not as good as the white.

Character and class being one and the same in IA is dull to me as well. That might just be the D&D player in me, it doesn't REALLY make much of a difference.

I also don't enjoy the overlord buying monsters in IA rather than them being set from setup. I found this FAR more annoying than reinforcement rules.
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So i asked this very question (Descent or IA) in the IA forum and the answers were seemed to lean more towards IA (it was the IA forum, after all)

So i am in the same debate right now: IA or Descent. (So keep in mind, I have played neither)

I have done a lot of research on the two (and even found some more games of this type).

I have to put thematics aside as i love fantasy and star wars equally.

I have watched Game play of Descent and IA and got a small window of both.

The Descent mission I watched had 2 maps, the objectives of the first map affected the second and the second had a boss character at the end to fight (Lieutenant). This seemed like fun but not sure they all play out like that

The IA Missions has hidden information (that is only hidden the first time it is played, so it will still be fun the second time around, but replayablity seems like it might take a slight drop)

Both games have booster packs for both sides. Lieutenant Boosters for Descent and Ally Boosters for IA both seem to just replace existing game tokens with minifigs, maybe adds a few cards but nothing really new to game play. Villain packs (IA) and monster packs (Descent) add more variety plus monster packs include new heroes. Something I think IA is missing right now. Granted, IA is newer so I am sure more characters will be available soon.

Everyone says that IA has the cleaner rules, which makes sense as it was made later and FF could correct any oversights they made in the past (looking at you LOS)

Descent also has the option for Solo or Full Co-Op campaigns. This one is important as Overlord is pretty much GM which would pretty much mean me so I can't play as the heroes most games so the ability to automate evil forces is a plus.

IA has name recognition though. Sure I don't know who the heroes are (but same could be said about Descent) but I do know who I am fighting and on there are missions that i get to play along side Chewie, Luke, Han, Leia (eventually) and I can fight Boba Fett and Vader. So that is a selling point

I am sure this post is ripe with misunderstandings on my part so if I am missing something, please let me know.

(Kind of a cross post as it seems each forum might be a bit bias towards that game, I am the same way in the Legendary Forums Vs. SotM)
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Florian Flumontanus
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Something you should consider is how much money you want to spend. Because AI is clearly more expensive (20%?) due to the star wars license. This important also if you think, how 'deep' you want to go. There are plenty of expansions out there (already for descent and there will be for iA). So if had to choose, id pick descent simply bbecause it basically gives you the same game play to a smaller price. I'd star with basegame, heirs of the blood book and the two coop expansions. If you're not satisfied, add the bigboxes, then small boxes, then heroes and monster ccollections and then the lieutenant decks. I think D2 is 'easier' to controll and modify up to your desires to a cheaper price.
 
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