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Subject: Help us decide Descent 2E vs Imperial Assault rss

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Ray Combs
United States
Oklahoma
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Ok I've tried to do a ton of research on both of these games and I'm coming up short on direct comparisons between the two. Yes I've used the search feature and I've scoured Youtube (found some videos no in English) A bit of my history with my wife and I:

We have played mainly shorter experiences like Catan, Smallworld, King of Tokyo. We are looking to start a group of 4-5 people and playing something really meaty and episodic. My wife prefers the more co-operative elements of games like Pandemic as well so these both seem to fit what we're looking for.

Thematic wise I love both SW and fantasy settings.

I understand both games have a 'GM' overlord mechanic, how I don't know which one is 'better' as playing as the overlord. Frankly the overlord appeals to me which I hear is a good thing. Also I've done research about the Descent 'Road to Legend' companion app and it seems at first glance a lot of people like it so this is a decent plus for me when we get sick of 'overlording' and want to go 100% co op. From everything I read about this app people seem to be praying for it in IA eventually which makes me think this is a big plus.
----Is this a big point in Descent's favor?

I've heard also that IA does a few things better compared to Descent. The main one I've heard about is that players get 'wounded' instead of just eliminated from the current game/quest and can continue play. Maybe I'm 100% wrong on this? I've seen other videos that describe players being knocked out in Descent and can be revived. The idea of playing a 2 hour saga and having someone killed and sitting there waiting for the rest of the session seems horrible to me.
----Am I wrong on this? Please correct me!

Descent seems more episodic and the overlord player could be rotated around a bit without major penalty? IA seems to be more of playing through one campaign per box and the Imperial side needs to really be a set person 100% or it can ruin things.
----Is this accurate?

Some questions to players who have played BOTH extensively (asking for people that are mainly 2E players for Descent):

If you could chose one over the other why?

Do you love both fairly equally?

Does Descent 2E and expansions feel more 'fleshed out' and solid then content for IA?

Does a expansion box or character feel like it has more value in Descent or IA more?

Which is better for a newer player to get into?

Which one would you rate as a higher 'fun factor' or something that really generated memorable moments that you and your group remember?

I really appreciate any thoughts and guidance on this one. We have gone back and forth on which one we think we'll get in the coming weeks here and the more I do research the more conflicted I get.
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Michael F
United States
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I've heard mixed things on the app. If you wanted to do straight co-op, Descent may be the way to go, but I prefer Imperial Assault in every way. This is coming from someone who prefers the fantasy theme far more, too.

Imperial Assault does have players getting wounded, but they also are out of the game until the current mission ends if they get wounded again.

I don't think there's anything wrong with switching around roles, but I would think people would get too attached to the characters they're playing as.

As I mentioned already, I prefer Imperial Assault. Some of the rules are cleaned up, the upgrade system between missions is easier, and the skirmish game gives you an alternative to the campaign. I think there's quite a bit in the base box, but the big box expansions add exponentially to that. I only played the Descent base box, but I wasn't really into it like I was Imperial Assault.

The only really disappointing thing about Imperial Assault is that some of the miniatures are sold separately. Mainly the ones for the main characters (Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, etc.). It's a minor complaint, but something to be aware of. The game comes with token to represent them if you don't purchase them.
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Mike Ricotta
Japan
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Imperial Makes playing as the overlord fun, DE2 makes playing as the overlord want you to throw the game out the window. IA is the better game based on that alone.

I'm pretty sure that if you get wounded and then killed in IA the rebels lose that mission?

The wounded / knocked out thing is a major plus for IA. In DE2 if a guy loses all their HP they get knocked out and can be revived by other players. This slows them down a bit but really getting killed isn't that big of a problem. In my LAST game of DE2 I was overlord and I killed the geomancer like 5 times and they other side still won.... IA is a better system.
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newkillerstar27 wrote:
If you wanted to do straight co-op, Descent may be the way to go, but I prefer Imperial Assault in every way.
+1
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Jan
Austria
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You might want to check out Shut Up & Sit Downs review of IA since they compare it to Descent. I was originally planning to buy Descent but due to their review I got IA instead. I haven't played Descent yet but have a really great experience with IA as the GM so far
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Pasi Ojala
Finland
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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newkillerstar27 wrote:
The only really disappointing thing about Imperial Assault is that some of the miniatures are sold separately. Mainly the ones for the main characters (Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, etc.). It's a minor complaint, but something to be aware of. The game comes with token to represent them if you don't purchase them.

The Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker expansions are included in the core box.

If you don't mind playing with tokens, you only need to buy the boxed expansions for additional content.

However, the core box has everything you need for 2-3 campaigns at least. The core box comes with 30+ missions, and you play 11-14 missions in a campaign. So, you don't NEED to buy any extra content to get your money's worth from the core box.

From what I have heard from people who have played Descent, the campaign structure in Imperial Assault is better, IA uses alternating activations, so there is less downtime for the Imperial player, and many small changes that make the game play differently.

ricottma wrote:
I'm pretty sure that if you get wounded and then killed in IA the rebels lose that mission?

Most missions have "when all heroes are wounded" as a winning condition for the imperial player in addition to a round limit. (Any hero becoming withdrawn by being defeated twice is not a lose condition for the rebels.) But some missions don't have one or either and have something else instead.
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Aron Björk
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Of the two, I much prefer Imperial Assault.

The newest "Dungeon Crawler" from FFG might also be worth a look: Mansions of Madness (2nd edition). If you want an app-driven co-op, this is probably your best bet.
 
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Marco MacDaddy
South Africa
Johannesburg
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Get IA or Mansions of Madness (2nd ed) as someone said above. Descent is, in my opinion, a terrible terrible game that is supremely unbalanced and caused nothing but arguments and frustration when I owned it (and several expansions). My group and I are extremely happy that I sold it and it doesn't have to blemish the gaming cupboard any longer.

IA is a great deal of fun, and takes all the good bits from Descent (and there are lots of good bits) and wraps it in a game that is fun to play for everyone, unlike its abominable progenitor.

In my opinion.
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