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

Subject: What did we do wrong? rss

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Tomas Di Sansimone
Norway
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Started playing this game yesterday with overlord and two heroes. I have played the first edition countless times, so I know this kind of game. After reading the rules a couple of times, I felt I knew this game enough to try it. I own the first print of the game, so the included campaign is the Shadow Rune.

The first quest went okay. The heroes won, so they chose "A Fat Goblin" as their second quest. When we got to Encounter 2, the problems started.

As my open group, I chose Sorcerers. The first round, one of the heroes searched the token in the first room, but drew the "Nothing" card. The other hero healed himself with a potion found in the first encounter and rested to heal some fatigue. My turn. I rushed in with the spiders, opened the door from the Cave to the Spider Den and rushed in with the sorcerers. The heroes didn't manage to kill the spiders the first round. My turn. I attacked again with the spiders and the now the sorcerers were close enough so I attacked with them too. All the while, I was dragging prisoners from the Prison to the Torture Chamber. The heroes died. The heroes resurrected. My turn! I attacked with my spiders and my sorcerers and dragged a couple prisoners. The heroes died. The heroes resurrected. My turn! I attacked again and now rushed forward with my goblin archers. The heroes died.

Do you start to see a pattern? One of the heroes didn't even get to move during the whole quest! After a while we house ruled in that the heroes get an extra action when they resurrect. In that way, they managed to get in a shot here and there, but not enough to kill anything. They still died every single turn. I realized later that the official errata say that in a 2-hero game, each hero get an extra action. But that was exactly what we house ruled! It didn't exactly help.

What did we do wrong? Is there some obscure rule that is SO different from first edition that it would break second edition completely?

I really want to like this game and to start buying the expansions, but if this is how it works, I would never play this again.
 
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Sebastian H.
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Umfortunately, the game has a few scaling issues when played with 2 heroes, especially in "The Shadow Rune" campaign.

To improve the situation, a new rule has been added to the game (in newer print runs), if played with 2 heroes:

Quote:
When playing with two heroes, the heroes receive an additional advantage.

Once during each hero’s turn, that hero may perform one attack that does
not require an action. This attack cannot be a special action that includes an attack ("Rage" or "Exploding Rune" for example); the attack must be a regular attack action. This attack can only be performed during the “Perform Actions” step of the hero turn, and can be performed before or after either of his actions.

At the end of each hero's turn, if that hero did not or could not perform
the free attack during his turn, he may instead recover 2 damage.
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Alexander Steinbach
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Usually, when you wipe the heroes completely, it is game over for them. To prevent some more pain, you could house rule to give the win to the overlord after 2 wipes.

That said, there is a lot you could have done wrong but it is hard to pinpoint without more information. See below for some common newby mistakes to see if you recognise something.

1. Monsters can only attack once each turn. A monster has two actions, but only one of them may be an attack, unless an overlord card or another ability (such as ravage) says otherwise.

2. Make sure you use act I monster cards in act I. This may be obvious, but double check that you didn't use act II cards, which are a lot stronger.

3. Heroes automatically recover all fatigue after encounter I. No need to rest at the beginning or end of an encounter. Damage remains.

4. Heroic feats can be used once per encounter, not once per quest.

5. Are you using the correct number of monsters for a 2 hero game? Check the back of the monster cards.

6. Once the heroes are down, the extra action does not really help anymore. If you haven't given the heroes 2 extra attacks each turn or the ability to heal 2 damage each turn, consider replaying the entire quest. This is huge!

7. Not really a rule mistake, but not attacking the spiders on turn 1 was a tactical mistake by the heroes. With 6 attacks available in the first turn, there is no reason for three pesky cave spiders to survive unless the heroes are really, really unlucky.

Check what mistakes you may have made and replay the quest. I'm sure it will be very different this time around!

Good luck, have fun!
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jon songvoll
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I Was One of the heroes in this game and in the second encounter i newer moved as much as a single square. However we did win.

The game felt broken and more importantly, very boring!

If I was a noob I would never ever play anorher game again. That being said this has triggered me to read alot about it and I notice we are not alone.

Is this a trait of a good game or is it actually broken?

I so notice we did #3 and #4 slightly wrong.
 
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Alexander Steinbach
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Wait, what do you mean with that you "did win"?

I assumed the overlord won, but did the heroes actually win the quest??

Also, I think the main issue is #6 above, honestly. When playing with 2 heroes, each hero gets an extra attack action or can heal 2 hp, see DelphiDie's post above. If you did not do this from the very start then that changes everything.
Also, getting #3 wrong is huge already. Not only does this mean that you wouldn't have spend an action to rest at the start of the second encounter, but you also had full fatigue to move towards the spiders and have 2 attacks available.

There is no reason a single spider should survive the first turn. I understand that you are frustrated, but the entire experience was caused by missing a few crucial rules, not because the game is broken.
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Mlai00 Mlai00
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Also, this game is a competitive versus game, not a narrative adventure game where a "dungeonmaster" is there to hold your hand and make sure you have a good time.

So if you miss some of those rules which doesn't sound like much to you, but sounds like a lot for veteran players (they wouldn't list those items if they weren't important), your mistakes will naturally compound into a curbstomp victory for the opposing "team". Imagine you're playing a World Cup boardgame but you're only using 10 players without a goalie.
 
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Fox Reinard
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Vardaine wrote:
6. Once the heroes are down, the extra action does not really help anymore.


Something that is easy to overlook regarding this rule:

The 2 HP recovery does happen if the heroes are not KO at the end of their turn and did not use the free additional attack, even if they had to Stand Up and end their turn without taking any further actions.

Sorcerers are among the strongest open monster groups you can pick. Left unchecked they can devastate a group of heroes, from afar.
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Alexander Steinbach
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Additionally, a tactics mistake new hero players often overlook is the use of fatigue to move. The fatigue-move is essential when covering short distances to be able to use both actions to attack. In the second encounter of a fat goblin, all spiders can be reached with 1 or 2 fatigue spent. This way, you have all actions available to attack them.

Killing all three spiders and searching the token should all be possible in the first turn.
Then, if the overlord is smart he will not move his sorcerers in because he cannot attack with them the same turn and the heroes can then do the same to kill them turn two. This allows the heroes some time to prepare the second turn, resting and healing, before opening up the door to the sorcerers.
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