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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Why Descent? rss

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Rob Deever
United States
Iowa
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I've owned Descent for a number of years. And in that time, I've tried playing 5 or 6 times. And in every instance, we get 4 or 5 adventures into it and everyone just sort of fizzles out. I want to like this game, I really do. I love dungeon crawlers. I love miniatures. I love fantasy. The mechanics are good. But every time I've sat down to play it, I find myself silently wishing we were playing something else.

I honestly don't understand the appeal. Of all the dungeon crawlers out there and of all the miniature games out there, what is the appeal of descent to those of you who love it?

I'm sincerely asking as I personally find the game boring and lacking any real consequence from adventure to adventure that makes other games so much better in my opinion.

Thoughts?
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Mlai00 Mlai00
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It sounds like Descent isn't your first dungeon crawl boardgame, and you're an aficionado comparing Descent to other games.

I think it would be more productive if you first explain why you "personally find the game boring and lacking any real consequence from adventure to adventure that makes other games so much better in my opinion."

Then other ppl can get a sense of what you like and dislike, and what you expect from a dungeon crawl BG.
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Gamer D

Monroeville
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I had problems with Descent in my groups too. It's strange because on the surface everything in the game looks cool. Good components, unique characters, a branching campaign. But with all three groups I tried this game with it fell flat. Maybe some people felt it was too random or swingy, I'm not sure, but it never made it back to the table after the first or second play with each group despite everybody seeming to want to like the game.

So I get the potential for the game but in practice it just didn't work for my friends and I.
 
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JH
United States
Albany
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Can't speak for others, but for me and my play group:

• Plays fast and easy; we don't have a ton of time to dedicate to a game once the kids are in bed, so being able to get through an encounter or a quest in an hour or two is key, and a ruleset we can all remember in the gaps between plays is a big plus

• Good balance of breadth and depth; you can build a hero or an OL deck differently every time — tons of choices — but not so many choices within each class or OL card set as to be a brain burner

• There is a huge variety of quests, monsters, classes, heroes, items and etc. at this point

• Can do a campaign or just a one-off (this has kept Imperial Assault off the table more than I'd like, as a campaign-only (or 1v1) game it's tougher to introduce to new players without starting with the intro mission every time)
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Silidus
Canada
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I would recommend trying the Road to Legend app if you haven't already. Play through it solo (with 4 heroes), and I think you will get the appeal.

The allure of Descent is that it is basically an RPG adventure in a box, with (in most cases) well balanced campaigns that unfold over time, and that the Overloard (DM) can actually TRY to win (unlike most games in this genre where the DM/GM/Overloard is mostly just facilitating the game).

Keeping the game set up for a full campaign can be a problem, the app solves this mostly (for co-op) as you can save your progress during each encounter, otherwise you need to break between encounters.

Descent is one of those games that gets better the more you play it, and with the better campaign books (ie NOT Shadow Rune), each campaign can hold a lot of strategy as you replay each encounter when everyone has a firm understanding of the rules and goals.
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Jonathan
United Kingdom
Leamington Spa
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Ravepig wrote:
..I love dungeon crawlers. I love miniatures. I love fantasy. The mechanics are good. But every time I've sat down to play it, I find myself silently wishing we were playing something else...


I'm sorry but if you have a hard time understanding why you don't like it, how on earth are we supposed to?

Life is too short. I'd suggest finding something else...
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Rob Deever
United States
Iowa
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JJWonderboy wrote:
Ravepig wrote:
..I love dungeon crawlers. I love miniatures. I love fantasy. The mechanics are good. But every time I've sat down to play it, I find myself silently wishing we were playing something else...


I'm sorry but if you have a hard time understanding why you don't like it, how on earth are we supposed to?

Life is too short. I'd suggest finding something else...



I'm not asking you to psycho-analyze why I don't like this game... I posed a very simple question. Why do you? How hard is that to understand?

It's got mass appeal. People love it and play it. I'm a curious person. If the question annoyed you, why did you take the time to respond without actually answering the question?

And sometimes I play what my gaming group wants to play whether or not I truly want to play because I try to be flexible and agreeable- you know, all that human decency nonsense. You've never played anything you've not cared for because others wanted to? You need to chill, dude- as you say, life is too short.
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Cris Bohde
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Indiana
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For me, I grew up with HeroQuest, and absolutely loved that game. Once Hasbro gave up with that product, I spent years trying to find something in the same vein... and for me, that's Descent 2E (and Imperial Assault as well). I visited my FLGS many times years back while 1E was in stores, and never did pull the trigger, but once I went to GenCon the first time and played Descent 2E, I was hooked.

I love the large variety of heroes and monsters, the selection of hero classes, the ability to upgrade skills and equipment through a campaign, and probably most of all, the custom dice for resolving attacks. Similar products that use a standard D20 (D&D Miniatures) or D6s (Shadows Over Brimstone, The Undercity) just don't feel as exciting as rolling different combinations of damage/hearts and surges.
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thiago k
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First and all, Descent its not a dungeon crawler - no, you are not exploring a dungeon for killing monsters and getting loot - its most like a tactical skirmish beetwen the heroes and the Overlord to complete mission objectives.

Love Descent because thematically for me, its like to play a Dungeon Master from Dungeons and Dragons.

But, if you want a adventure game, with exploration and the dungeon crawler feeling, get the app, simple that. Most of my playgroups hate Descent/Mansion of Madness just because the Overlord figure (even if I take easy with them ) and nobody wants to play as one most of times. Now they are in love with Descent because RTL and going crazy because Mansion of Madness second edition.


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Rob Deever
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kraisto wrote:
First and all, Descent its not a dungeon crawler - no, you are not exploring a dungeon for killing monsters and getting loot - its most like a tactical skirmish beetwen the heroes and the Overlord to complete mission objectives.

Love Descent because thematically for me, its like to play a Dungeon Master from Dungeons and Dragons.

But, if you want a adventure game, with exploration and the dungeon crawler feeling, get the app, simple that. Most of my playgroups hate Descent/Mansion of Madness just because the Overlord figure (even if I take easy with them ) and nobody wants to play as one most of times. Now they are in love with Descent because RTL and going crazy because Mansion of Madness second edition.




I get it's not a true dungeon-crawler. I was using that term loosely. You have start point with miniatures with an objective or an exit point. That's what I meant by that. And there is a loot system, etc.

I think I will try the app out- thanks for the suggestion!
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Reid
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Your experience with this game sounds just like mine. I bought the game and wanted to love it so much. The art, the components, the story... and then the experience. I HATED being the overlord and tried just facilitating the game at first so that my group would enjoy it more. That was boring for me so I tried harder but was quickly outpaced by the heroes and their abilities. Then we tried Nerekhall with me as the overlord again. I pulled out the stops and trounced them for three quests and they were done. The game went on my shelf and stayed there for years.

With the release of the app, I dusted off the box to give it a go and I LOVED it. The missions don't feel like races any more and I'm building a character alongside my friends. The app was exactly what this game needed for my group.
 
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Tim de Groot
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Chipping in here with the same experience. I really wanted to like the game, but find it hard to get used to the glass-cannon/swingy way the game works. Though I feel the Nerekhall campaign we played was balanced, we didn't enjoyed it as much as we hoped.

RtL looks very promising, and have yet to play it with the group. The later campaigns are better than the earlier ones, and I got heirs of blood and looking forward to try that as well.

If at first you don't succeed.... try again!
 
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Void Null
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I love being Overlord. Its all the fun of DM'ing with none of the setup and you get to activly try to kill the players instead of worrying about balance or someone throwing a tantrum.

I can play it with a group, my wife or by myself.

Its deep as well as wide. So many skills, classes, items, overlord cards, plot decks, monsters, heroes! Every campaign plays differently due to party/overlord/monster combos adding near infinite replayability.

I love the MTG/Pandemic "Ah ha!" moments when players figure out the perfect series of skills and actions to turn certain defeat into clutch victories!

When you get to the end of a campaign with a good group the finale truly feels like the end of a pnp game. Players are attached to their heroes, Everyone has stories, a favorite item and a time they got to be epic.

Combat is deeply tactical. Every action counts. Its not about killing everything, its about killing the right things to open up space for you to complete the objective.

Base box minis kinda suck but those H&M packs are so worthwhile.

THOSE MAP TILES!

Descent is MTG meets D&D meets Warhammer and that to me is just the perfect combination. I love the gameplay, I love that from one round to the next the pendulum swings, forcing everyone to up their game in a perpetual tactics and synergy arms race trying to eek out victory by a hair.

I love that me and my wife can paint together and I love that no matter how much I play I can always learn something new.

Im sorry your group sucks but mine is great and this is some of the most fun I have had with a board game since being a teen.
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M K
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burningecho wrote:
Your experience with this game sounds just like mine. I bought the game and wanted to love it so much. The art, the components, the story... and then the experience. I HATED being the overlord and tried just facilitating the game at first so that my group would enjoy it more. That was boring for me so I tried harder but was quickly outpaced by the heroes and their abilities. Then we tried Nerekhall with me as the overlord again. I pulled out the stops and trounced them for three quests and they were done. The game went on my shelf and stayed there for years.


that's what happens a lot, descent is easy to perceive as a different game. you really need the right group to play the heroes, the right overlord and they need to be able to enjoy it together - which isn't possible for every group.

with the app being free it should get more people back into the game, facing of against your tablet is simply different enough than having to battle a friend.
 
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