Descent 2nd Edition Community Rules Reference Guide
This is the fourth report on the Shadows of Nerekhall campaign played as PBF here at BGG. After the heroes managed to get the upper hand in encounter 1 of this quest, they are now travelling even deeper into the catacombs to finally meet The Rat-Thing King itself in encounter 2.
Links to all quests currently played in this campaign:
1. A Demonstration
3. The Rat-Thing King, Encounter 1
4. The Rat-Thing King, Encounter 2
5. The Price of Power, Encounter 1
6. The Price of Power, Encounter 2
Heroes after encounter 1
as a Skirmisher (fitsou)
Skills: Dual Strike (starting skill), Keen Edge (1XP)
Items: Rusted Handaxe, Jagged Handaxe
1 XP unspent.
as a Runemaster (Sadgit)
Skills: Runic Knowledge (starting skill), Exploding Rune (1XP)
Items: Arcane Bolt
1 XP unspent.
as a Thief (Vitezslav)
Skills: Greedy (starting skill), Appraisal (1XP), Sneaky (1XP)
Items: Throwing Knifes, Lucky Charm, Shadow Bracers
0 XP unspent.
as a Bard (dtain)
Skills: Song of Mending (starting skill), Understudy (1XP)
Items: Traveler's Blade, Lute
1 XP unspent.
OL after encounter 1
Basic Deck II, Call of Ravens (1XP), Feast (1XP)
Ariad plot deck: Misdirection, Mirage (1TT) and The Ritual Continues (4 TT) in play.
Threat tokens left: 3
OL cards: 11
As the OL collected 4 fatigue token in encounter 1, the rat-thing king can move up to 8 spaces from its starting position on the exit. The OL chose Chaos Beasts for his open group in this encounter.
Map after Setup
The objective of the heroes in this scene is to carry the Shadow Plotter relic (purple marker) off the map, while preventing the OL to kill Ixzhod, an Ynfernal Hulk positioned in the first room. The standard strategy for this map is to get to the switch(red marker) to open the portcullis at H7/8 and pick up the Shadow Plotter. Meanwhile in the first room Ixzhod needs to be defended. He has 25 in a four player game. The heroes started their turn with this in mind, but after Raythen's turn, Vitezslav realized that with Astarras ability to teleport, another strategy was also possible: As according to the rules, counting spaces through a closed portcullis is allowed (which is not possible through closed doors), Astarra is able to teleport through the portcullis and pick up the Shadow Plotter. Nobody actually needs to go the switch! To do this, however, another hero needs to be adjacent to the portcullis. One problem later on was that a hero needs to be on top of the plotter in order to pick it up. This is designed to prevent cheesy tactics such as picking it up from the other side of the portcullis.
Raythen started the heroes’ turns, giving the Shadow Bracers to Astarra before throwing knifes at a Rat Swarm causing 3. Fire Flask could not be effectively used here, due to good positioning of the Rat Swarms. After realizing that Astarra is able to teleport to the Shadow Plotter bypassing the portcullis, the heroes changed their plan accordingly and Mok used his heroic feat the get rid of the much dreaded Grease Trap. He then moved to the portcullis to support Astarra in the next round. Trenloe followed Mok and was also positioned adjacent to the portcullis. The heroes anticipated that Astarra would probably get killed in the OL turn, but Mok and Trenloe should be able to revive her through the portcullis. Finally, Astarra moved and teleported through the portcullis, picked up the Shadow Plotter and moved back to the portcullis to be able to be revived by Mok or Trenloe next round.
Map after Heroes turn round 1
First, the OL called his Raven Flock using the life power of a Rat Swarm, which was instantly killed and respawned as start of turn actions can be performed in any order the OL likes. This is actually one of the great strenghts of Call of Ravens. Attacks of the Raven Flock and a Rat Swarm knocked Raythen down. The rest of the Rat Swarms attacked Ixzhod but did little damage (-3). As expected, Astarra was attacked by Chaos Beasts which used the three attack dice of nearby Verminious with their Morph ability. Astarra, who had 6 at the beginning of the encounter, went down after an X on a blue die was rerolled using the overlord’s Misdirection plot card. Heroes decided to give the fortune token to Trenloe, because the heroes expected a Chaos Beast or Verminious to be placed on the Shadow Plotter. This strategy could potentially prevent Astarra to be revived on the other side of the portcullis or prevent picking up the Plotter again, which was dropped on Astarras space when she was defeated. The third Chaos Beast was repositioned. The Rat King attacked Mok and brought him down with a series of OL cards (Dirty Fighting + Flurry + another Dirty Fighting on the Flurry attack). Scheme was used on a to replace Feast (the OL card not the Rat Swarm ability) from the OL hand by another OL card. At the end of the turn OL had still 11 OL cards on his hand.
Map after OL turn round 1
The only thing that prevented the heroes to win at this point was the Grease Trap on the hand of the OL. Without this card, Trenloe could have revived Mok and then Astarra, triggering Moks hero ability to generate 1. His Lute and Understudy would have provided Astarra with 2. Astarra would have used her heroic feat to move Verminious off the Shadow Plotter, fatigue move to pick it up and teleport out. A move action would have brought her off the map securing the win for the heroes. This Grease Trap however made this impossible. The heroes anticipated its use as soon as Astarra would move onto the Plotter, causing her to suffer 1 (pass) or 3 (fail) because of the adjacent wall which would have prevented her to teleport out. This would have started the cycle of killing Astarra and blocking the Shadow Plotter again. With Astarras low of 2 the chance to evade the Grease Trap and teleport out was only 22%. Thus, the heroes decided against this and agreed on a plan to go on an all-out attack on the Chaos Beasts and the Rat King instead, to kill them all in one fell strike.
Raythen stood up by himself. Trenloe revived Mok, used his heroic feat to remove the gray defence die from Verminious, and performed a mighty Double Strike with his Jagged Handaxe causing a total of 7. Great turn here! Mok revived Astarra through the portcullis placing her on J7. This triggered Mok heroic ability granting him 2 via Understudy. The Lute in turn provided 2 for future attacks of Astarra. Unfortunately, his follow up attack on the Rat King (“Songs of this battle will be sung all over Terrinoth”) rolled an X (Mok mumbles to himself: "I'd better leave out this part of the song." To Trenloe: "How did you put your axe through these stupid bars, mate?". Still, Astarra was now in a great position to use her heroic feat and pull all Chaos Beasts and Verminious into a nice compact lump of bodies to be blasted to pieces within two Explosive Rune attacks.
Astarras first blast attack:
Defence: Chaos Beast 1 , Chaos Beast 2 , Chaos Beast 3 , Rat King
Result: 1 to one Chaos Beast! Terrible!
Astarras second blast attack: . Facepalm!
Map after Heroes turn round 2
In this turn, the OL managed to kill Astarra within two attacks of Chaos Beasts, again using attack dice of the severely wounded Verminious. The third Chaos Beast attacked Ixzhod using its Sorcery ability for additional range and did 3. The Rat Swarms killed Raythen within 2 attacks and due to lucky rolls managed to do 7 to Ixzhod using to trigger their Feast ability. One Rat Swarm moved to block the way the exit in the next heroes turn, another one was merged with the Master Rat Swarm. The Rat King was activated, moved towards Ixzhod and gained 2 additional movement points through Blinding Speed played on Mok. Again OL played the combination of Dirty Fighting, Flurry, Dirty Fighting on Verminous and due to good rolls managed to do a staggering 10 to Ixzhod. The Rat King was also positioned to prevent heroes access the exit. With the demon at only 2, OL killed it with a final good roll for an attack of his Raven Flock.
The elder demon cries with rage. He can't believe that he was defeated by rats and ravens. In shame he starts to toss fireballs all over the place, but Verminous and his minions are already far away. Overlord wins!
First encounter won by the heroes, second and more important encounter won by the OL. But it was a close call. Only a Grease Trap prevented a win for the heroes in round 2. Maybe giving Trenloe that Fortune Token was a bad decision, because Astarra could have used it to regenerate 2 (due to Understudy) and maybe that would have been enough to teleport out in her turn.
In the end, really good management and usage of OL cards (including the Scheme ability of Verminious) together with bad rolls for heroes and good rolls for OL secured the third victory for the OL in this campaign. That Dirty Fighting-Flurry-Dirty Fighting combo played two times on Verminious was essentially sealing the fate of the heroes. Again choice of open group monsters was excellent as Chaos Beasts could use the three attack dice of Verminious with ranged attacks that quickly whittled down the of heroes and Ixzhod alike. In retrospect it might have been better to kill off as many Rat Swarms as possible in turn 1, before trying to get to the Shadow Plotter. The green attack dice of these critters seems weak, but there is no X on this die and the Feast ability together with the high probability of rolling a allows for really high damage burst attacks. As far as I can see, the additional 4 for Verminious that the heroes prevented by winning scene 1 were inconsequential for the outcome of scene 2 in our case.
With two relics, 6 threat tokens and one unspent XP, OL is in really good shape after this quest. The last act 1 quest that we will play is “Price of Power”, so stay tuned! I hope you guys and gals enjoyed this report. If you liked it, thumb up the thread (button on the top of this page) and not only this post to increase visibility in the subforum. Have you played this encounter? What are your experiences and (failed) strategies? Do you think this encounter favors the OL (or heroes)? What would you have done differently as heroes or OL? Looking forward to your input.
- Last edited Wed Oct 5, 2016 7:00 am (Total Number of Edits: 8)
- Posted Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:23 am
Thanks once more for an excellent overview.
Once again, however, the heroes choose poorly. They gave away their first turn advantage by doing nothing but moving everyone into harm's way. Also, they ignored the search token which was right next to them!
This quest is actualy hero favoured as the portcullis is bocking access to the heroes when positioned on the left side of the map. The right strategy was to kill as much rats as possible and getting the search token at B10. Search tokens are greatly undervalued by the heroes. They are in fact more important than victory. Also, a health potion would have been very helpful.
Afterwards, killing the rats and getting the loot, your plan could still have been fulfilled. But I think they should have taken this one a bit more slowly. Too bad!
Looking forward to the next quest!
Descent 2nd Edition Community Rules Reference Guide
Thanks for your thoughts. Really appreciated. I agree that the heroes should have killed rats first. But I think that at this point the heroes really wanted to win a quest, especially one with a relic reward. Greedy, greedy heroes. I think that the turn 1 teleport turned out to be a bad idea in the end, but the heroes were assuming that the window of opportunity to get to the plotter would close as soon as chaos beasts and rat king were close by to block them out.
The search token was not taken because heroes new from Moks heroic feat that a mimic would pop out to attack and some heroes were still in bad shape from encounter 1.
In the end, also the terrible rolls of Astarra and really good rolls of the OL together with the card advantage from the first encounter were responsible for this defeat.
You are suggesting that the heroes made bad choices in previous encounters, too. It would be great to get some details on your perspective on that.
- Last edited Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:49 pm (Total Number of Edits: 3)
- Posted Thu Jul 14, 2016 6:26 pm
Nice read! Well laid out write-up, and I think I couldn't have done it any better (on both sides, heroes & overlord). Great job guys; it's only end of encounter 2, so there's way more to go before we see who is the ultimate winner of the campaign!
Now it itches to play myself as well