Diego Montado
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Hi,

Like I said in another post, I was finishing the first half of the Shadow Rune campaign, playing as overlord against 3 heroes. My friends are old time rpg players and very competitive, they will come up with very good strategies, they will optimize their turns and be sure to use all their abilities, feats, and get all the treasure in a level, for sure. A mixture of being 1 against 3 good players, shadow rune campaign being very easy for the heroes (at least the quests I played, fully errataed), that 3 heroes against 1 overlord is not good when picking big monsters and of courses some mistakes, made me painfully lose all encounters. I got tired and bored of that snowballing, they also started asking for more monsters because clearly it was impossible for me to beat them, so I decided to quit, and try a second time from the beginning, this time in Heirs of Blood, a much less one-sided campaign. I also decided to make them manage 4 heroes, so I can always use full-powered monster groups (and because I suspect that, whatever playtest the developers did for this game, they mostly designed everything for 1 vs 4, and full monster groups).

I will be using this thread as a log for our campaign, and hopefully to get counsel and strategies to try to beat the heroes to a pulp. I dont care about winning the campaign, in fact I would prefer to lose as the overlord, but in a last second desperate effort, not an easy walk! I fully know that I win by achieving objectives and preventing heroes to achieve theirs, although I would love to be able to kill them once in a while (I have yet to kill the mage, even if ganging up with many monsters!).

On saturday, we started Heirs of Blood. We played the first encounter, Acolyte of Saradyn. Their group is composed of:

Avric Albright (healer)
Syndrael (knight)
Jain Fairwood (archer)
Leoric of the Book (mage)

This is a very though group in my opinion, especially with that frigging reanimate and its blue+red dice and 3 movement (it should be 2!) always around the mage.

I am using the DESCENT TO MADNESS plot deck (Tristayne Olliven), because the one I used in Shadow Rune, the Skarn one, was crap, except for Skarn itself as a monster.

I can also choose whatever monster I want that exists in descent second edition, when choosing open groups (we have printed all monster information and we proxy them).

I managed to win the encounter, and felt mixed feelings about it. They got all treasure in the level (last turn they run to get the last 2 when they saw I would win, they will always maximize their winnings) so I got 2 exp, they got 200 gold. So, mixed feelings, 200 gold is huge. They bought a great crossbow that costs 175 and moves 1 square a monster that is hit, and gave it to the archer, Jain. They also bought for 1 EXP jains ability to, by spending an action and 2 fatigue, steal a random overlord card... This power is... not good for me. I know that Jain being such a good character, losing a random card for her to lose most of her turn might not be that bad, but its another thing that messes with my head, I cannot have overlord cards that I have to wait to use (for example traps) and well, sometimes you have to save as much cards for second encounter as possible, and I am sure I will lose many, many cards with this power. And at 1 exp point, c´mon! Also, because I never get to kill heroes, I wont be getting many extra cards...

With my 2 EXP, I thought about spending 1 to buy 3 threat, so I would have 4 threat now. I thought about buying "Descent to madness" plot card, for 3 threat. That card allows me to make all heroes do a saving throw and get 1 threat if they lose (if one passes, descent to madness ends), once per encounter, at 1 threat cost. I will of course try to use it all encounters and get as much threat as possible, at least THAT cannot be robbed by friggin Jain! This plot deck has many good cards that I will be able to buy and use, if I get enough threat.

Ok, sorry for the wall of text. I won, but they present a very big challenge. What quest would you recommend for me to choose next, that would give me the greatest opportunity to win again? Also what to do about that Jain robbing overlord cards skill? Any other ideas, strategies, monster-pickings or recommendation, to try and destroy my micro-managing, over-achieving, power-hungry friends?

Cheers!
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Sadgit
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Which OL cards do you have access to? Spending XP on threat is usually not a good idea. Consider using the d2etracker to keep everybody up to date with the campaign status.
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Diego Montado
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Only base game Ol Cards. My reasoning is to spend it just this once, to quickly buy the card that allows me to get more threat. Especially with jain´s power to rob me of OL cards, I will need all the help I can get with the plot deck.
 
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Alexander Steinbach
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Interesting post. I hope you will have more fun playing through Heirs of Blood than you had with the Shadow rune and I look forward to reading your campaign log.

A few things that popped up in my mind after reading your post.

I assume that the classes you refer to at the start are the disciple, the Wildlander, the knight and the necromancer. Is that correct?

Are you aware that the reanimate can only perform 1 move action, not 2?

Being able to choose between all monsters as overlord does not seem fair. If you are able to do that, you should have alowed the heroes to choose between all available heroes and classes.

200 gold is a lot for the introduction quest. Did they find the treasure chest, or where they just lucky with 4 cards worth 50 gold?

About the crossbow, it's powerful, but it's weakness is range. Try to keep your monsters at a distance a bit and they will miss regularly.

1 action and 2 fatigue is a lot. I would not have bought that ability as a hero. Most overlord cards will not cost the heroes that much. I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Killing heroes I actually quite easy in descent. Are you focusing enough? Aim for the hero with the weakest armor and the lowest health. Typically Leoric should be your prime target. Also, keep your monsters out of his 3 range aura, but that may be obvious.

Never spend XP to buy threat. You should be getting plenty of threat mostly. Remember you already got 2 threat from winning the quest. 1 additional if you kill a hero and choose to forego an overlord card. Focus a bit more on killing heroes if you need more threat. Spend your XP on overlord cards.

As for the next quest, or overlord destroyed us with Siege of Skytower. Make sure you pick flying units such as hybrid sentinels so that the heroes cannot block them. Also, it is very hard for the heroes to get all search tokens on this map.

Good luck! And also, remember to have fun every now and then ;-)
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Diego Montado
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Vardaine wrote:
Interesting post. I hope you will have more fun playing through Heirs of Blood than you had with the Shadow rune and I look forward to reading your campaign log.

A few things that popped up in my mind after reading your post.

I assume that the classes you refer to at the start are the disciple, the Wildlander, the knight and the necromancer. Is that correct?

Are you aware that the reanimate can only perform 1 move action, not 2?

Being able to choose between all monsters as overlord does not seem fair. If you are able to do that, you should have alowed the heroes to choose between all available heroes and classes.

200 gold is a lot for the introduction quest. Did they find the treasure chest, or where they just lucky with 4 cards worth 50 gold?

About the crossbow, it's powerful, but it's weakness is range. Try to keep your monsters at a distance a bit and they will miss regularly.

1 action and 2 fatigue is a lot. I would not have bought that ability as a hero. Most overlord cards will not cost the heroes that much. I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Killing heroes I actually quite easy in descent. Are you focusing enough? Aim for the hero with the weakest armor and the lowest health. Typically Leoric should be your prime target. Also, keep your monsters out of his 3 range aura, but that may be obvious.

Never spend XP to buy threat. You should be getting plenty of threat mostly. Remember you already got 2 threat from winning the quest. 1 additional if you kill a hero and choose to forego an overlord card. Focus a bit more on killing heroes if you need more threat. Spend your XP on overlord cards.

As for the next quest, or overlord destroyed us with Siege of Skytower. Make sure you pick flying units such as hybrid sentinels so that the heroes cannot block them. Also, it is very hard for the heroes to get all search tokens on this map.

Good luck! And also, remember to have fun every now and then ;-)


Hi, thank you. Because of time constraints, making them pick between all heroes would have taken too much time. I doubt that it will be a problem, they picked a great combination of heroes. You are correct about their classes.

I know the reanimate only moves once, but nevertheless, its an ok move, and a very hard hit, for something that once cast, stays forever until I waste effort killing it.

I did not know I won 2 threats for winning a quest. I want to buy threat just this once, to get the card that produces more threat for me each encounter. I wont do that again but for now, seems like a good choice (also, I want to use that card ASAP because I find it fun). I am hoping that card will give me a couple threat per encounter, which compounded over time, is a good investment.

Killing heroes is hard! Or I suck at throwing dice. I managed to get the knight at 2 life points, and leoric at 1, but they did not die. They always have ways to diminish the damage, can heal in a number of ways, and normally its difficult for me to pursue my mission and also surround and gang up on them.

200 gold is huge. They got 3x50 cards, 1x25 card, and the 25 they won for completing the quest and losing it. If they had won, they would have got 275 gold!

Thanks for the tip, I will check Siege of Skytower! Thank you for devoting time into answer me, hope to interest you to keep giving ideas as we progress in the campaign. I am hoping we will play again next saturday. Once I check Siege of Skytower, I will maybe come back with open group ideas. Cheers!

 
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You opponents do have a fairly bad stat distribution. You have got 3 heroes with
2 and 3 heroes with
2. You need to capitalize on that.

Again, I strongly advise against buying threat for XP. It is just not worth it giving away a very valuable XP to have Descent to Madness one quest earlier. I advise buying Web Trap now and take out Poison Dart.

Choose Siege of Skytower as next quest. Take Hybrid Sentinels and Giants as open groups.
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Diego Montado
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Sadgit wrote:
You opponents do have a fairly bad stat distribution. You have got 3 heroes with
2 and 3 heroes with
2. You need to capitalize on that.

Again, I strongly advise against buying threat for XP. It is just not worth it giving away a very valuable XP to have Descent to Madness one quest earlier. I advise buying Web Trap now and take out Poison Dart.

Choose Siege of Skytower as next quest. Take Hybrid Sentinels and Giants as open groups.


Ok, I will try to rollback (already told the players I would buy an exp worth of threat) and buy those 2 web traps. But I will be sorely dissapointed if the wildlander robs them

Does webtrap affect the reanimate? Does it hit it successfully automatically?
 
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Yes, it affects the reanimate automatically as he does not have attributes.
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Diego Montado
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Sadgit wrote:
Yes, it affects the reanimate automatically as he does not have attributes.


Thought so.

If I draw this card, maybe I can use it in the first turn, to try and catch the most quantity of heroes while they are close by, making them lose their first turn...
 
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Alexander Steinbach
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Diegann wrote:
Killing heroes is hard! Or I suck at throwing dice. I managed to get the knight at 2 life points, and leoric at 1, but they did not die. They always have ways to diminish the damage, can heal in a number of ways, and normally its difficult for me to pursue my mission and also surround and gang up on them.


Focus on Leoric and Jain next time. Also, don't always use large monster groups. Small monsters are almost always the better choice as you have then more attack options. A shadow dragon may look cool and though, but it can only attack twice. Goblin archers can attack 5 times and have high range. Depending on the quest, it is nice to have a single large monster group to soak up the damage while your small monsters kill the heroes.

Also, monsters that can mess with the heroes' positioning are also good. Ettins with their throw ability come to mind, especially since your heroes have low might.

Lastly, killing heroes and thus gaining threat tokens can be a strategy on itself. Depending on the quest objectives wiping the party can be an excellent way to obtain your goal. If you make this your quest goal and have the right monsters and cards, it can be done.
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Diego Montado
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Sadgit wrote:
You opponents do have a fairly bad stat distribution. You have got 3 heroes with
2 and 3 heroes with
2. You need to capitalize on that.

Again, I strongly advise against buying threat for XP. It is just not worth it giving away a very valuable XP to have Descent to Madness one quest earlier. I advise buying Web Trap now and take out Poison Dart.

Choose Siege of Skytower as next quest. Take Hybrid Sentinels and Giants as open groups.


If I win Siege of Skytower, what would you suggest next? Baron returns, or Archive of Arrizon?
 
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The Baron Returns has a lower win OL ratio (33% vs. 50%) but the chance to gain the Shadow Rune relic. I have not played those quests myself, but I think I would go for The Baron Returns. The problem is that if the heroes win the next quest might be Calden's Crossing which is heavily biased towards the heroes.
 
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Diego Montado
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Sadgit wrote:
The Baron Returns has a lower win OL ratio (33% vs. 50%) but the chance to gain the Shadow Rune relic. I have not played those quests myself, but I think I would go for The Baron Returns. The problem is that if the heroes win the next quest might be Calden's Crossing which is heavily biased towards the heroes.


I checked that quest, seems cool. But Shadow rune, only can be used by Zacareth, right? Unless he is present in many more quests, I dont know if the risk is worthy to play this difficult quest...
 
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That's true, but there are a couple of quests with Zacchareth, most importantly the Finale which decides who wins the whole campaign
Another advantage is that if you win this quest you effectively deny the heroes getting it in the Act 2 quest Prison of Khinn.

But sure, you can also go for the 20% higher win chance in the Archive of Arrizon. Did you manage to win Skytower?
 
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Diego Montado
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Tomorrow we play it, with Giants and Hybrid sentinel like you counseled!!

I will use Belthir as taxi to scare them, will try to make the giants prevent them for reaching the levers as much as possible (harassing them with the spiders also). I hope to win!

I have a couple of questions regarding that quest:

1 - Regarding Belthir "wings of war", it says he can, as an action, he can fly to one of the unique places in the map. He can also carry a 1x1 sized monster with him that is adjacent. If he flies alone, he is not stunned when arriving. if he flies another monster, they both become stunned, correct?

2 - regarding the stunned part, if at the beginning of its turn, Belthir has a monster adjacent and flies him, then they are both stunned. As his second action (first action being flying him and the monster) he would remove the stunned and that would be his end of turn. Then the monster that was transported, could start his turn, as first action remove the stun, and perform its second action, correct?

3 - Regarding the waterfall path, if I understand it correctly, it is a 2-square wide passage (2x2) so I need to spend 2 movements to enter the first one, and 2 more to enter the second one, and 1 more to leave the passage and enter the room, correct? So while door is open I can traverse it, at the cost of many movement points (to enter water first, then 2 for each step of passage itself...).

What would be the best strategy? I was thinking about trying to go from all directions, left, right and center, especially when I can bring the giants again after 4th turn I will bring them through the center to kill heroes. I will use Belthir as a flying taxi.
 
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1) Correct.
2) Correct.
3) Mmmh, I am actually not sure, now that you ask, but I think that the objective tokens on tile 1A do not count as water. So only 1
to enter those. The rest is correct. Maybe somebody else can comment?

Strategy:
Invasion troops: monsters with fly cannot be blocked by heroes and ignore water. Hybrid Sentinels (tough to kill, good damage) or Harphys (good damage due to Flock, 5 speed). Invasion troops may be reinforced at the start of the OL turn.

Support troops: Giants to prevent heroes to get to the levers early. They are there from the beginning! Support troops may not be reinforced.

In your first turn, reinforce invasion troops. Move invasion troop units towards the tunnel. Move Alric next to Bethir, taxi him and then remove Stun from Bethir with his second action. That will put serious pressure onto the heroes. If spiders survived, move then out of the exit, if possible attack a hero first. The Giants should block the levers, advancing, attacking and moving back into block position. Depends a bit on the positions of the heroes. Be careful, the Sweep attack hits friendly units, too.

Reinforce Goblin Archers and move then either through the waterfall or another way around. Depends on the positioning of the heroes.
I doubt that the heroes will manage to close the water fall door in turn 2, so you have the invasion troops, maybe 1-2 Giants, Belthir and Alric in position. Concentrate on moving as many monsters to the exit, keep Belthir and Alric in the game and move then only off the map if you think that they could go down or to win with 8
-markers. Abuse Alrics Overpower ability to deplete heroes'
and damage them if no
left. This is often more effective than attacking. Carefully read the Overpower ability. It can be used twice per turn!

Keep OL cards for concentrated attacks, do not hesitate to spend all OL cards at once if the situation is good and you can seriously hurt the heroes. Otherwise be patient and keep those precious cards.
 
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Diego Montado
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Sadgit wrote:
1) Correct.
2) Correct.
3) Mmmh, I am actually not sure, now that you ask, but I think that the objective tokens on tile 1A do not count as water. So only 1
to enter those. The rest is correct. Maybe somebody else can comment?

Strategy:
Invasion troops: monsters with fly cannot be blocked by heroes and ignore water. Hybrid Sentinels (tough to kill, good damage) or Harphys (good damage due to Flock, 5 speed). Invasion troops may be reinforced at the start of the OL turn.

Support troops: Giants to prevent heroes to get to the levers early. They are there from the beginning! Support troops may not be reinforced.

In your first turn, reinforce invasion troops. Move invasion troop units towards the tunnel. Move Alric next to Bethir, taxi him and then remove Stun from Bethir with his second action. That will put serious pressure onto the heroes. If spiders survived, move then out of the exit, if possible attack a hero first. The Giants should block the levers, advancing, attacking and moving back into block position. Depends a bit on the positions of the heroes. Be careful, the Sweep attack hits friendly units, too.

Reinforce Goblin Archers and move then either through the waterfall or another way around. Depends on the positioning of the heroes.
I doubt that the heroes will manage to close the water fall door in turn 2, so you have the invasion troops, maybe 1-2 Giants, Belthir and Alric in position. Concentrate on moving as many monsters to the exit, keep Belthir and Alric in the game and move then only off the map if you think that they could go down or to win with 8
-markers. Abuse Alrics Overpower ability to deplete heroes
and damage them if no
left. This is often more effective than attacking. Carefully read the Overpower ability. It can be used twice per turn!

Keep OL cards for concentrated attacks, do not hesitate to spend all OL cards at once if the situation is good and you can seriously hurt the heroes. Otherwise be patient and keep those precious cards.


Thanks!

A couple questions:

You said: "The Giants should block the levers, advancing, attacking and moving back into block position." Monsters can spend move points to get close, attack and then spend the remaining of their movement??

I had not thought about transporting Alric with Balthir. You say to transport him for added pressure, you think I should move them and in turn 2, attack heroes with both of them?
 
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Quote:

You said: "The Giants should block the levers, advancing, attacking and moving back into block position." Monsters can spend move points to get close, attack and then spend the remaining of their movement??


Yes, of course. A move action can be interupted to perform an attack or any other action. After that action, any unspent movement points can be used. Heroes may also do this.

Regarding the next quest, we crushed our overlord with the Baron returns. Based on that limited experience, I'd choose the other quest if I were you.
 
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Quote:
I had not thought about transporting Alric with Balthir. You say to transport him for added pressure, you think I should move them and in turn 2, attack heroes with both of them?


It really depends on the position of the heroes. But the two lieutenants pose a serious threat to the heroes that cannot be ignored. If left alone they could just leave the map for 6
which puts the OL very close to winning the quest. However, I would advise discarding stun from Alric in round 2 and using Overpower if possible to disrupt the hero formation and deplete some
. Belthir could move, attack and maybe withdraw a bit (towards the exit would be best, of course). Interrupting move actions is very important.
 
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Diego Montado
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Sadgit wrote:
Quote:
I had not thought about transporting Alric with Balthir. You say to transport him for added pressure, you think I should move them and in turn 2, attack heroes with both of them?


It really depends on the position of the heroes. But the two lieutenants pose a serious threat to the heroes that cannot be ignored. If left alone they could just leave the map for 6
which puts the OL very close to winning the quest. However, I would advise discarding stun from Alric in round 2 and using Overpower if possible to disrupt the hero formation and deplete some
. Belthir could move, attack and maybe withdraw a bit (towards the exit would be best, of course). Interrupting move actions is very important.


but the rules say nothing about gaining fatigue for exiting balthir, it says:

Minion monstger: 1 fatigue
master monster: 2 fatigue
Sir Alric: 3 fatigue
 
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Vardaine wrote:
Quote:

You said: "The Giants should block the levers, advancing, attacking and moving back into block position." Monsters can spend move points to get close, attack and then spend the remaining of their movement??


Yes, of course. A move action can be interupted to perform an attack or any other action. After that action, any unspent movement points can be used. Heroes may also do this.

Regarding the next quest, we crushed our overlord with the Baron returns. Based on that limited experience, I'd choose the other quest if I were you.


The Arrizon one does not seem much easier
 
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Diegann wrote:

but the rules say nothing about gaining fatigue for exiting belthir, it says:

Minion monstger: 1 fatigue
master monster: 2 fatigue
Sir Alric: 3 fatigue


I do not have the quest book here, I thought it was for both lieutenants. Still, heroes will hopefully be caught between a rock and a hard place.
 
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My statement on difficulty is based on the statistics published at d2etracker.com. It could well be that with your specific setup of heroes and OL decks you get a different result.
 
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Sadgit wrote:
Diegann wrote:

but the rules say nothing about gaining fatigue for exiting belthir, it says:

Minion monstger: 1 fatigue
master monster: 2 fatigue
Sir Alric: 3 fatigue


I do not have the quest book here, I thought it was for both lieutenants. Still, heroes will hopefully be caught between a rock and a hard place.


If it was for both lieutenants... it would be almost impossible for heroes. I believe balthirs role is just taxi, mostly.
 
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Belthir is a decent fighter, too. I would not use him as taxi only. Good luck crushing those pesky, self-righteous heroes!
 
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