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

Subject: Descent or Mansions of Madness? rss

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James Turner
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I imagine this comes up quite a bit, but here we go.

I'm looking to pick up one of these two games. I own Imperial Assault, but since I have no idea when that app is coming, I'm likely to want to play one of these app-driven Fantasy Flight games sooner rather than later.

I was looking at Mansions of Madness, and I enjoy the storytelling, the role-playing, the apparent versatility of the scenarios... but the price is a bit too high, and the number of available scenarios for the price is ridiculously low. At the same time, I've heard the experience is second to none, and that's important... as is the ability to play the scenarios again with my wife ( I would likely play mainly solo) and not feel like I'm retreading the same steps in the plot.

I see Descent's Road to Legend app is similar, and that it's a cheaper overall package, and that there are WAY more scenarios available for the cost of just the base game. I just can't get a real sense for the experience of playing the app, the storytelling, or the replayability of any given scenario or encounter.

Any advice would be very welcome.

Thanks!
 
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Jason
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Campbell River
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Descent will be very familiar to you because of its close relation mechanically to IA. Descent has a narrative, but it isn't as integral to the gameplay experience as IA. I have heard that Mansions "does storytelling" quite well, but I have no experience with it.
 
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Alexander Steinbach
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When I came into this thread after reading the title I thought "Descent, hands down". But now that I read your post it seems that you are only interested in app-based play. In that case, my response would be "Mandions of Madness, hands down".

MOM2 is designed around the app. And it shows! In descent, the app is tacked on. The Ai cannot hope to match the intelligence of a human opponent. And while this is also the case in MOM, this feels less of an issue because of the exploration and narrative approach of the game. Descent at its core is a tactical miniatures game. It needs a human opponent to feel fair and challenging.
 
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Ruud
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Vardaine wrote:

...



Agree 100% with Alexander's opinion.
 
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Johannes Benedikt
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It really depends what you prefer:

The app in MoM is much more the center of gameplay than in Descent. MoM has you interacting with the app quite a bit, be it searching one of the many clues, solving mini-game puzzles on the app, inputting your attack results, talk to NPCs all with lengthy in game flavor text on the app on top of what you do in Descent. Investigating (searching clues and reading corresponding flavor text) is a big part of the gameplay in MoM and fighting is imo kind of basic, consequently the story is much more developed in MoM. Quite a few scenarios have varied tile-layout, so the map kind of changes in some scenarios on different playthroughs.


In Descent the app functions more like an interactive quest-guide. You basically only interact with the app, when you open a door to place a new area, one of your heroes dies, you kill a monster group, inputting the end of each hero's turn and of course AI monster movement/attack commands. The fighting happens exclusivly on the table and the fighting system is very intricate and pretty much the center of gameplay besides picking up a few quest items here and there. You also play a campaign (~10 scenarios, each ~2h long) throughout which you gain XP and gold for your heroes, being able to develop and customize your heroes in both skills and gear by a huge extent, unlike MoM where you only play single scenarios.

The story of each scenario is pretty basic being conveyed in only a few paragraphs of flavor text on the app, but the settings and map structures are varied enough imo. There is certainly a bigger story throughout the whole campaign, but it stays very basic imo. It works nice for giving the maps a setting and context, but the story is seldomly a big incentive to continue a campaign imo.

While there are a lot of quests in the Descent app, there is only 1 real campaign yet that always consists of ~5 of the same story quests without map variation (different monsters spawn for variety), but there a lot of side quests (I think you play ~5 random side quests per campaign and there are over 10). Also the gameplay and combat tactics puzzles change quite a bit with different hero classes (the base game comes with 8 and you can play with 2-4 at the same time), so the variety comes more from picking different playstyles/party compositions of your characters rather than different map setups.
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James Turner
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Thanks for the feedback!

I'm not as caught up on the storytelling. In fact, I worry that the depth of storytelling in Mansions of Madness might make me less likely to enjoy replaying the same scenarios more than, say, twice. But there are only 4 in the box, for $85-100. If I play say, scenario 2 solo, then I play it with my wife, and then we want to play it with our friends, are we going to be pretty much over it at that point?

Meanwhile, there seem to be enough encounters in Descent that I could play two, then play two with my wife, and still have others left over that we haven't played yet at all.

Plus there's the "traditional" campaign with the Overlord. Our lunch group really enjoyed IA's core campaign, so there could be some play there, as well.

I think I've decided to go with Descent first (look at which forum I posted this in!), but I am enjoying learning about the differences between the two games. I think I might keep an eye out and see how MoM expands from here out, and by that time the app for IA might be available anyway.

Thanks!
 
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Johannes Benedikt
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Silopolis wrote:
Thanks for the feedback!

I'm not as caught up on the storytelling. In fact, I worry that the depth of storytelling in Mansions of Madness might make me less likely to enjoy replaying the same scenarios more than, say, twice. But there are only 4 in the box, for $85-100. If I play say, scenario 2 solo, then I play it with my wife, and then we want to play it with our friends, are we going to be pretty much over it at that point?

Meanwhile, there seem to be enough encounters in Descent that I could play two, then play two with my wife, and still have others left over that we haven't played yet at all.

Plus there's the "traditional" campaign with the Overlord. Our lunch group really enjoyed IA's core campaign, so there could be some play there, as well.

I think I've decided to go with Descent first (look at which forum I posted this in!), but I am enjoying learning about the differences between the two games. I think I might keep an eye out and see how MoM expands from here out, and by that time the app for IA might be available anyway.

Thanks!


Imo a good choice. If you don't care so much about story, Descent is imo easily the better pick. One last thing that might be worth considering is that Descent is the heavier game of the two (I would argue that from a campaign play perspective it's heavier than IA, the app-play however is lighter), whatever that means for your gaming group.

If you are interested in traditional 1vsmany play, make sure you get a new print copy with the Heirs of Blood campaign, because it's much better than the shadow rune campaign that was originally included (up until 1 year).

The app also features a mini-campaign (1-2 story quests and 1-2 sidequests) that you can play solo to get to know the app without theoretically spoiling anything of the full campaign (as there are more sidequests than you would see when playing through both campaigns, yet they spawn randomly).

If you are accustomed to the IA rules, make sure you keep all the small differences in mind, because there are quite a few unexpected ones.
 
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Bucho Bucho
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I'm a huge descent fan, I've played MOM2 twice. The first time was decently fun but took forever, close to 3 hours for the intro 60-90min scenario. I replayed the same scenario for the second time out of fear that it would be WAY too long for us to play one of the longer ones. We got the exact same map and everything and at nearly 3 hours we decided to walk away from the game.

I'm waffling at the moment between selling it or putting it away for a while then giving it one more try.

So I'd recommend going with descent, but then I also far prefer descent with a human overlord than the app. So if you're really looking for an app experience maybe take my opinion with a grain of salt.
 
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gary gee
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just got MoM2 coming today!..i did have IA but found the game lacking due to it being pretty linear due to its theme.[plus no real iconic heroes you can use as a hero in the actual game!].always been a big Descent 2 fan got almost all the stuff for it!.ive used the app and its pretty good.but prefer Redjaks raov or ramv [I think that's the names].simply,because the app gives you different campaigns and a random factor which is good.but,you cant use the app with the many campaigns that come with the game and expansions.whereas you can use Redjaks card sets with anything!!..but the app is pretty good really depends what you are after.
as for which game would be best using an app..from what I have read here and elsewhere.MoM2 wins hands down.as the app is dedicated to the actual game itself!!.
but the game is very pricey.but if you have the first edition of the game.it does come with a conversion kit for free.so that adds a lot more [if you have the first edition of course!]

I had to sell both lungs and my kidneys to pay for it though!
 
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