Zack
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Hello everyone!

I'm new here and considering buying first copy of the game. I have a chance of getting used 1st edition (or new 2nd ed) and can't make up my mind which one is better.

I've read some reviews and comparisons here on BGG, and 1st edition seems like a better choice. I'm experienced with board games, I'm not afraid of long games and complex rules. Also co-op mode is very preferable. I enjoy Arkham Horror, Battlestar Galactica, Dead of Winter... Reviews state that 2nd edition is more casual, less complex and it hurts whole experience - that is what holds me back from buying 2nd edition. On the other hand 1st edition copies seem more expensive (since it's not printed anymore) - in my area its about 90 euro for Base game and 90 euro for Road to Legend expansion. Also I'm afraid that if I get 1st edition - I will have trouble with getting expansions in the future (there are not many used games being sold here in Poland).

Are there any expansions for 1st edition that I should get right away from start?

I would be glad for any advice from you guys
 
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alex
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I think the 2nd edition is far way better, since I never had fun on the 1st edition.
 
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Antonia
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Some general comments
Descent 1: This is in a real dungeon crawler. You go into a dungeon, slaughter monsters and gather loot.
Descent 2: This is a more quest oriented game. Many of the quests are driven by time. You need to get something done in time. You do not kill monsters because you want to, but you need to. For example when they block your objective. Monster killing is not the focus, neither is gathering loot. You only gather loot if you have time left.
On the upside you have a more story-focused game play with some great campaigns (Shadow of Nerekhall).

I think first you need to answer which kind of game you want to play, before thinking about expansions
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Ruud
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Ok, don't get me wrong..

But Descent 1 is by far more casual than Descent 2. Descent 1 I love, but it's random, it's unbalanced, it's casual. You don't have any time pressure as hero, it's often better to go back and heal instead of going forward. This makes the game take long. It's closest to a full RPG, I feel. Unless you play Road to Legend, games can easily go for 8 hours. You really roll buckets of dice and as far as I know there is NO coop mode here.

Descent 2, is a tactical skirmish game. Positioning and action economy matters. If you take too long as heroes, you lose the scenario. If you position yourself in the wrong way, you get hammered. In that sense, Descent 1 is extremely forgiving, and Descent 2 is not. Mechanics are 'better' (ie. more streamlined and balanced) in Descent 2, but I feel the characters are less interesting and gameplay more straight-forward. Descent 2 has cooperative scenario's (ie. small scenarios/expansions)

I own Descent, Descent 2 ánd Imperial Assault. But I greatly prefer Descent 1 as a dungeon crawl, versus Descent 2 as a tactical skirmish game.
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Mark O'Reilly
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I have never played 1st ed, but a lot of 2nd ed. I would think Descent 2.0 would hit your table a lot more often due to time issues.

There is an absolute ton of replayability in just the base game of 2nd ed and many of the quests are very cleverly thought out and lots of fun.

Nerekhall for large box expansion and one of the game night kits for fully co-op experience .

 
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Antonia
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biffta wrote:
I have never played 1st ed, but a lot of 2nd ed. I would think Descent 2.0 would hit your table a lot more often due to time issues.

I also only watched friends play Descent 1. So far I only played Descent 2 myself. And yes, Descent 1 is a more epic experience. My friends took their whole day and played several maps with leveling up in-between. So for this play style you need way more time. I guess it is a more Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) experience

Quote:
There is an absolute ton of replayability in just the base game of 2nd ed and many of the quests are very cleverly thought out and lots of fun.

Not sure to agree to that. The base game is fine but I think the campaign is the worst campaign available.
But there is a new campaign book Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) – Heirs of Blood which only needs the base game to play. I did not play it yet but I think it is the first thing to get if you do not want to spend money on more monsters and heroes.
 
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Mark O'Reilly
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Antonio, good call with the book, it gives a lot for little investment £££ wise.
 
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Stephan
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I have played both editions dozens of times.
I like both, but I like 1st edition better.

Ruud (above) has hit the nail on the head.

1st edition is more of an adventure, 2nd edition is more of a tactical puzzle.

Also, there is no exploration in 2nd edition. The map and all the special rules of the scenarios are open information. The only hidden information is the cards the Overlord holds in his hand, and since the deck is so small, the heroes know the cards after a few quests.
 
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James McMillan
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I have played quite a lot of Descent 2 but was coming to the conclusion that I was struggling like it. I have invested a ton of money in it as well. I struggled to see the narrative coming through so the campaigns didn't really gel for me. I think the reason for this was that all the scenarios felt like a race with the emphasis being on action advantage.It seemed that it was all about the metagame as to who was most action efficient. All a bit too samey.

I have been fortunate recently to pick up all Descent 1st Ed stuff. Already I like the feel of it more. I want more casual. I don't mind longer. I know it's going to be a bit clunky at times. I feel it will be easier to get around this though. Time will tell.

Saying all that I really like the Descent 2 coop adventures. I really wish FFG would build on this format more.
 
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Scott Randolph
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Ruud2009 wrote:
Ok, don't get me wrong..

But Descent 1 is by far more casual than Descent 2. Descent 1 I love, but it's random, it's unbalanced, it's casual. You don't have any time pressure as hero, it's often better to go back and heal instead of going forward. This makes the game take long. It's closest to a full RPG, I feel. Unless you play Road to Legend, games can easily go for 8 hours. You really roll buckets of dice and as far as I know there is NO coop mode here.

Descent 2, is a tactical skirmish game. Positioning and action economy matters. If you take too long as heroes, you lose the scenario. If you position yourself in the wrong way, you get hammered. In that sense, Descent 1 is extremely forgiving, and Descent 2 is not. Mechanics are 'better' (ie. more streamlined and balanced) in Descent 2, but I feel the characters are less interesting and gameplay more straight-forward. Descent 2 has cooperative scenario's (ie. small scenarios/expansions)

I own Descent, Descent 2 ánd Imperial Assault. But I greatly prefer Descent 1 as a dungeon crawl, versus Descent 2 as a tactical skirmish game.


I think you have some of your numbers backwards (?) - in D1e Hero players can run out of "time" as in they run out of Conquest tokens as the Overlord cycles through his deck of cards.

It just seems to me that you have great descriptions but some of the attributes you use for D2e actually apply to D1e (??)
 
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Scott Randolph
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drjmcmillan wrote:
I have played quite a lot of Descent 2 but was coming to the conclusion that I was struggling like it. I have invested a ton of money in it as well. I struggled to see the narrative coming through so the campaigns didn't really gel for me. I think the reason for this was that all the scenarios felt like a race with the emphasis being on action advantage.It seemed that it was all about the metagame as to who was most action efficient. All a bit too samey.

I have been fortunate recently to pick up all Descent 1st Ed stuff. Already I like the feel of it more. I want more casual. I don't mind longer. I know it's going to be a bit clunky at times. I feel it will be easier to get around this though. Time will tell.

Saying all that I really like the Descent 2 coop adventures. I really wish FFG would build on this format more.


I like both D1e and D2e, but I definitely like D1e a lot better. Personally I like the campaign mode D3e for D1e best of all, see below:

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/119007/d3e-unofficial-pla...
 
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If you pick up D1, you can also get the Conversion Kit which lets you use the D1 miniatures in D2. However, D2 is coming out with mini-expansions that upgrade these miniatures.

I'd pick up D1. You're not going to have an opportunity to buy it again, and can still use the mini's in D2. D2 might be on discount around Black Friday!
 
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Bobb Beauchamp
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D1 and D2 present very different ways to come at the same genre. I've played a lot of both:

D1 captures the RPG feel in every dungeon. Every new game presents you with low level characters, which by the time you are facing that dungeon's boss, have become high level characters, through the acquisition of items, and the progression from the copper/silver/gold chests. D1 is more of a dungeon crawl, where you kill monsters, take their stuff, us it to kill bigger monsters, take their BETTER stuff, and finally kill the dragon/giant/demon at the end of the dungeon for eternal glory!

And then roll up new characters next week and do it all again in another dungeon.

There's a bare-bones story to the dungeons in the base D1 game, but really, the base system is about capturing the essence of an epic RPG campaign and distilling it down into a single dungeon event.

Lots of people had a problem with that. And the basic campaign rules included in D1 were a laughable attempt to present D1 in a way that allowed for more actual epic progression, taking characters from one dungeon to the next and advancing through them all. Which lead to

Road to Legend. Which is itself a massive expansion, and it does a really great job of tearing down the basic D1 system and building up a nice epic system around it. It's massive, epic, and a hot stinking mess. You can have a lot of fun with it, you'll likely hate many things about it, but it succeeds in taking D1 from a Campaign in a Dungeon game and turning into a Campaign of Dungeons game. Which I think many people realized, that when you take away the RPG elements of such an event, starts to get to be a grind. Which lead to

Descent 2.0. They built this from the ground up to have a slower, more epic paced progression. Some would say that the Base campaign is too slow. It moves character progression away from better items and gear, and places it more on character skills that you purchase as you progress. Missions are less about fighting to the next chest upgrade, and more about planning and executing a successful strategy that accomplishes the encounter goal. Many are now timed, with the OL benefiting from the heroes' lack of speed.

I much prefer 2.0 for campaign play. It was designed for this, and in this mode, it shines. Even with Road to Legend, 1.0 campaign play is clunky, cumbersome, and bloated. If I'm going to put that much effort into a campaign, I'd much rather just play a full RPG. 2.0's campaign is all that I want out of a boardgame campaign.

But if I'm going to play a one-off dungeon, 1.0 really shines in this regard.

My advice would be to get 2.0. It's in print, there are some amazing expansions to get for it, and there's a lot of play value just in the core set. If campaign play doesn't appeal to you at all, though, then 1.0 might be a better buy for you. 2.0 does not really present a satisfying one-off experience, because the encounters are designed to fit into a larger campaign narrative. 1.0's dungeons can each be epic on their own.
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Zack
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Thank you all for all detailed explanations and comparisons! So much different aspects and views in such small thread!!

It is a bit more clear for me now and I'm even more conviced to get Descent (either 1.0 or 2.0 ). Really you turned me on to get both games. I feel that my gaming group would prefer D2 - since it introduces more planning and strategy. Also good that it takes less space, less time and is more balanced

However D1 also sounds like a great game. Grinding, leveling and gathering equip seems so much fun, yet it can be more consuming and engaging.

Seems to me that D1 vs D2 is something like Arkham Horror vs Eldritch Horror (where Arkham is a bit more clunky, harder and more engaging than Eldritch)
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Thomas Kouw
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From what I've seen, there are a good number of D1 players who changed to D2, buying the conversion kit and using their D1-miniatures to play D2.

Those players might be willing to sell their D1-stuff to you ...

After buying into D2, I've picked up a full set of D1 (basic + all expansions, without mini's) from a fellow BGG-player like that for a reasonable price.
The drawback is that not all D1-mini's are currently put out for D2, but if you're willing to work around that, it's a great way to play both games without heavy investments.
 
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Johannes Benedikt
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I never played Descent 1, but one thing that ultimatly turned me off the game was that many people reported that the antagonist role isn't balanced very well. I often read that the antagonist shouldn't really play for the win and I found that problematic knowing that I would most likely play this role in most of the games.

In Descent 2 the antagonist is not supposed to pull punches and so far this worked very well in my games.
 
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