Sadgit
Germany
flag msg tools
Descent 2nd Edition Community Rules Reference Guide
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is the sixth report on the Shadows of Nerekhall campaign played as PBF here at BGG. After winning encounter 1 heroes followed Tristayne into the university.

Links to all quests currently played in this campaign:
1. A Demonstration
2. Prey
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


Campaign Phase

Shopping
Interestingly, winning encounter 1 has two consequences for the heroes: There is no shadow rift on the laboratory and heroes can freely choose one act 1 shopping card to use in this quest. The following items were discussed:


Heroes decided to take Rune Plate for Astarra to protect the main damage dealer of the team.

Heroes at the start of encounter 1

as a Skirmisher (fitsou)
Skills: Dual Strike (starting skill), Keen Edge (1XP)
Items: Rusted Handaxe, Jagged Handaxe
2 XP unspent.

as a Runemaster (Sadgit)
Skills: Runic Knowledge (starting skill), Exploding Rune (1XP), Rune Mastery
Items: Arcane Bolt, Shadow Bracers
0 XP unspent.

as a Thief (Vitezslav)
Skills: Greedy (starting skill), Appraisal (1XP), Sneaky (1XP)
Items: Throwing Knifes, Lucky Charm
1 XP unspent.

as a Bard (dtain)
Skills: Song of Mending (starting skill), Understudy (1XP), Rehearsal (2XP)
Items: Traveler's Blade, Lute
0 XP unspent.

OL at the of encounter 1

by (Letanir)
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: 6
Relics: Ynfernael Rune, Shadow Plotter
The OL chose Hellhounds for his open group in this encounter.

Round 1
Map after Setup

Strategic considerations
The objectives for heroes and OL in this quest depends on the secret influence effect that OL has to choose during set-up. This effect is revealed at the beginning of the sixth OL turn or after a heroes passes a
- or
-test adjacent to Hilydin (the marker inside the summoning circle). Every ritual stone (objective markers) on the map adds 1
to these tests. The ritual stones can be attacked as if they were monsters, they have 2
per hero and a black defence die. IBs can use their Protect ability on rital stones. If a hero is defeated, OL collects his hero token. OL collects 1
-token at the start of his turn.

Influence Effects

1. The Ritual
- effect when revealed: place IBs (up to group limits) on spaces adjacent to ritual stones
- objectives: heroes: destroy all ritual stones
OL: ritual stone on map until OL collected 6
-tokens

2. Surprise
- effect when revealed: replace Hilydin by Tristayne, Tristayne has 2 additional
per
-token collected
- objectives: heroes: kill Tristayne
OL: collect all four hero tokens

The heroes discussed several plans for turn 1, but finally decided to go for the hellhounds first positioning the team strategically for turn 2. The heroes voted against attacking the IBs close by, because these would be reinforced in case of The Ritual influence.

Heroes
Trenloe double-moved to H9 putting him in position to either double attack Tristayne or the unprotected ritual stone. Raythen move to F6 and searched token C7 with Greedy revealing a Stamina Potion. Mok used his hero feat to discard Blinding Speed, activate Rehearsal, moved to G7 and attacked a hellhound at range 4 killing it with a single shot of his Sunburst. Astarra
-moved and killed off a second hellhound.

Map after hero turn round 1


OL
OL reinforces a master Changeling and summoned his faithful familiar on E2, damaging the minion IB in the process. The Raven and the Changeling attacked Raythen damaging for 4
and putting Bleed on him. Blinding speed was played on the master IB putting him in position to attack Raythen for another painful 5
. The remaining hellhounds tried to bite Astarra but both missed.

Map after OL turn round 1


Round 2
Heroes
Trenloe double attacks the ritual stone at J10 destroying it. OL play Reflective Ward and Trenloe suffers 4
. Astarra attacks ritual stone E10 causing only 2
and Dooming it. Mok attacks hellhound but causes no damage die to good defense roll. He plays lute for Astarra and passes his Sunburst to Raythen. Raythen equips Sunburst and kills off the third hellhound. Astarra, Mok and Raythen move into a defensive formation in lines 10 an 11 to minimize damage to Raythen.

Map after hero turn round 2


OL
OL reinforces a minion Changeling. The last hellhound attacks Trenloe, OL card Mental Error adds
and 2
causing 2
and placing Trenloe in reach of IB attacks. Together IBs, Raven and one Changeling kill Trenloe. OL collects his hero token. The master Changeling attacks Astarra causing 2
, however she takes another 2
as her
is reduced near the master Changeling, canceling the Rune Plate effect.

Map after OL turn round 2


Round 3
Heroes
The heroes discussed why Trenloe was the target here, because he is one of the hardiest heroes in the party. Why should OL target him instead of Mok for example? Trenloe already destroyed "his" pillar, whereas Mok could target the pillar on D14. Either OL might think that this pillar is gone, no matter what, or protecting it is not the prime objective. Instead, killing Trenloe was obviously important here.
The heroes slowly began to realize that OL might have chosen the influence effect "Surprise". This was not anticipated because Tristayne is quite fragile against this party as seen in the previous encounter. With Trenloe the OL successfully eliminated one of the more difficult targets to fulfill his win condition.

Thus, the remaining heroes rally around Astarra. With grim determination she uses her magic to teleport everybody around to set up two devastating blast attacks: "If you think that knocking down a friend of mine, leaves a runewitch petrified, you never met one. Now run away while you still can or feel my power and watch your friends turn to ashes that I will shatter into the wind!" She manages to kill the hellhound, master and minion Changeling, and the Raven. In addition the master IB took 2
. Next, Raythen tests
to reveal the influence effect and succeeds after two re-rolls. The idea here was to get as many attacks on Tristayne before IBs could move in to protect him. The influence effect was Surprise! indeed. Unfortunately, Raythen missed his follow-up attack and the OL used this opportunity to benefit from his Mirage plot card and teleport Tristayne away to C4. Mok activates Song of Mending (
), revives Trenloe and does 1
to the master IB. Trenloe moved towards Tristayne, attacks but misses.


Map after hero turn round 3



OL
OL reinforced master Changeling and summons Raven on him. Raven attacks Raythen for 5
. A follow up attack by the master IB kill him. Master Changeling attacks Trenloe for 4
, OL plays Feast and Overwhelm on Raven which promptly kills Trenloe again. Minion IB attacks Astarra for 2
. Tristayne tries to shoot her from afar, but misses.

Map after OL turn round 3


Round 4
Heroes
Mok moves and revives Raythen (6
1
!). Trenloe is revived with Song of Mending. Raythen attacks Raven twice but causes only 1
due to 3
and one miss. He moves to G9. Trenloe attacks master IB twice, putting him to 2
. OL uses Uncontrolled Power and Befuddle on that attack to make Trenloe suffer 1
which converted to
kills him. Astarra attacks Raven twice and kills it. She
-moved to E11.

Map after hero turn round 4


OL
Summons Raven on master Changeling, reinforces master Changeling at G3.
Master Changeling attacks Mok for 2
. IBs both attack Mok killing him in the process. Raven attacks Raythen for 6
. OL rolled really well here, all attack rolls had three
on that power red die. At this point the heroes called it, as in their opinion there was virtually no chance to win this encounter anymore.

Map after OL turn round 4



Conclusion
Another very difficult quest to be lost by the heroes. Although heroes had the advantage of winning encounter 1 it was game over after 4 turns for them. I do not know how heroes are supposed to win encounter 2 against a competent OL when encounter 1 was lost. It was also argued that not going for the IBs in turn 1 was a mistake. Maybe slowly and methodically killing all stones before turn 6 is the better option here, as additional
on Tristayne might have been not such a big problem, whereas two additional blue-red attacks were really great for the OL in this encounter.

At this point, Heroes lost all four quests of the campaign and were utterly frustrated and pessimistic about their chances in future quests. In the end, heroes decided to give it up completely. Keep in mind that this was a PBF game and the four quests played, took us almost half a year. Therefore, it might be understandable that heroes gave up here, just because they did not want to wade through this mess for another half a year of their lives

OL wins the campaign!
Congratulations to Letanir who was a brilliant Overlord virtually dominating this game at all stages.


In hindsight, all five players agreed that SoN seems to be fairly difficult for the heroes. In this case, Letanir actually did choose not the shiniest plot deck (Ariad) and usually Basic II is judged to be inferior to Basic I. The hero team had two top-notch characters (Astarra & Elder Mok) at their disposal. Therefore it is even harder to explain why heroes got so utterly destroyed. OK, Raythen's brown defense die was a big problem without additional armor, which heroes did not get. Trenloe's might have been too slow and his
-pool not sufficient for the skirmisher class. But what would have happened if OL had chosen a top tier plot deck (e.g. Baron Zachareth or Tristayne Olliven) and the straight forward Basic I? In the future, for my part, I will not play SoN without a fully optimized top-notch team again. But maybe something else was wrong? What do you guys think?

a) Campaign is heavily OL-favored
b) Bad hero group setup, wrong choice of skills etc.
c) Bad plays, decisions on hero side (strategy, shop items, etc.) vs. flawless OL plays
d) Simply bad luck (rolls, shop items)

Feedback greatly appreciated! If you liked it, thumb up the thread to increase visibility in the subforum. Looking forward to your input!
7 
 Thumb up
1.50
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sadgit
Germany
flag msg tools
Descent 2nd Edition Community Rules Reference Guide
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Will update this report with the map first thing in the morning. Sorry guys.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack Liu
United States
Irvine
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
FYI the links to the recent 2 sessions is messed up

Will wait for the map before going through this one as I've enjoyed the layout and the map helps to visualize things

Keep it up!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sadgit
Germany
flag msg tools
Descent 2nd Edition Community Rules Reference Guide
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Added maps and corrected links. Thanks for pointing this out.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack Liu
United States
Irvine
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think overall, SoN is just too hard of a campaign if you don't min/max heroes. Even then it will be tough

I think this was also the last mission I played of this campaign years ago as I remember the summoning stones. I was the OL and I also picked surprised because I thought that was the easier one

The heroes have to work through at least 2 stones, if not 3 in order for tests to be reasonable. If the OL picks the first condition, he will have almost lost here. Where as if he picks surprise, he will be able to beatup on the heroes while they are attacking the stones (hopefully collecting 1-2 kills) and then when they trigger the end condition, he will have a lot of extra health and can stall out to collect the remaining kills.

You guys had good luck on attacking in the previous mission because you used all your feats and it wasn't the OL objective to beat you down. It gets much harder to full on strike trist when he has more health and you've been attacked for several rounds
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack Liu
United States
Irvine
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You guys had pretty decent luck with some OL misses this mission but I think the wrong read on the objective hurt you


I think the best play this map is to take out threats and work down the rituals stones. Killing all the stones before round 6 isn't that hard, especially if you take down the ironbound and hell hounds can be easily
dispatched.

Because of this, it is dangerous for the OL to pick that objective. His main character isn't in play and it becomes just a timed mission vs steady reinforcements.

Also triggering the reveal may not have been the best idea because it puts another threat into play early. Especially since you guys stiffed out that it was Surprise, taking another round or two to clear all the threat on the board would have been helpful. 4hp on the boss is nothing compared to extra figures attacking
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexander Steinbach
Netherlands
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you for yet another great AAR. Too bad that the campaign is over. I would have loved to read more of it.

After reading how the first encounter went I thought that finally this could have been the turning point in the campaign. Alas, it was not meant to be.

I think the main mistake that the heroes made in this campaign was not focussing on search tokens. The main goal of the first two or so quests in any campaign should be to get all the search tokens on the map (which should be 16 in total). Going for the win is inferior to that in my opinion. Of course, when the option presents itself, it should not be forsaken, but when in doubt: go for the search tokens.

Once you have a decent amount of gold and gained some experience, the heroes are set to try to go for the win in the last act 1 quest and try to get into act II with a good advantage. Failing that, I believe that the snowballing effect took the better of the heroes and that the overlord got stronger and stronger after each won quest while the heroes did not improve as much.

Having said all this, I do not think it was very hopeless for the heroes at all. I understand that it is not fun to keep losing all the quests, but the main objective of a descent campaign is to win the finale. I have had live campaigns where the heroes only won 2 quests of the entire campaign. One of them being the finale (which they completely dominated!), thus winning the game.

Anyway, again, thank you for your hard work.

If you are ever starting another Descend campaign, I'd love to try and beat some sense into that overlord of yours! devil

For now, Well played Letanir!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack Liu
United States
Irvine
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think that is one of the tough aspects of 1vM games, it's not fun to keep losing (even tho you are trying to win the finale). The other aspect is empowering each player to be able to do something unique, powerful, and "fun". That balance is counter to having very close gameplay between both parties (OL & Players)

I tend to play my 1vM games as 1v2 (2 heroes each) or 1v3 (+1 group controlled character, usually support). It's easier for the heroes to get on the same page with less heads in the picture. Also it's easier to sacrifice for the team when you have another character you could use so that at least you can feel useful at some points rather than being the unlucky support or punching bag.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sadgit
Germany
flag msg tools
Descent 2nd Edition Community Rules Reference Guide
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with you on this. Another problem specifically in PBF games like this is that they tend to take a long time. My experience is that it is harder to keep losing quests months and months (although you might do OK gold-wise) compared to a couple of RL games lost in days or weeks.
Although I generally like it, in our case, extended board discussions between the hero players took a very long time. Some people (Letanir, Vitezslav and Morthai) recently started 1v1 PBF games (1 player controlling 4 heroes) and although you lose the interaction part this is a much faster way to play.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack Liu
United States
Irvine
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yea I've seen the 1v1 games and I like it.

I think you can capture most of the feel of the game with a 1v2 (hopefully the 2 are very active at the same time) with each controlling 2 heroes. I think it still maintain a good level of teamwork and collaboration
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.