Hello there, a new Overlord has arrived in this realm... only to be welcomed by Heroes who defeat him faster, than you can say "Descent" .
I did some research, so I won´t make it another "OL whining about Heroes being OP" Thread.
I just wanted to come and ask you guys for some tips and tricks, how I can have a more enjoyable time getting through the quests. Because getting snowballed into oblivion, is kinda not so fun.
I. The Game History so far
We have currently finished the Introduction as well as 2 Act 1 Quests of the Heirs of Blood Campaign. We are only playing with the base game.
So far I only managed to win the Introduction, because everything was new to the players, and they had no equipment or spells to speak off.
Rellegar´s Rest was won by the heroes hands down.
The only semi-win for me, was in The Baron Returns in Encounter 1, I managed to get my hands on 4 of the 6 phioles. But I got literally blocked off in Encounter 2. Not only did the heroes just use all their stamina to position 2 of their heroes next to the adjacent door (we played it so, that I could not go through them, which should be the correct way? ) , but RNGesus was also not on my side. I rolled 1 X, and on half of my roles I had no surges, so I had to spend a phiole only, so that the heroes would do the same >_> .
In the end, I got a bit too greedy, instead of running away back to the cauldron, I attacked one hero, hoping to kill of that hero and hoping for a dash (which, I checked the deck... it would have been Dash >.< ). Well the hero killed off Zachareth, with my 3rd group of monsters, spiders pretty much just waiting in the central room >_> .
II. The Players and their Characters, Skill & Equipment
The heroes have chosen the following Characters;
1. We have Leoric (with a Bullshit Aura >_> ) as a Runemaster. (Runic Knowledge, Ghost Armor, Exploding Rune) +1 XP.
They sadly managed to luck out, and have gotten their hands on the Mana Weave after the first Shopping Phase >_>
His other equipment includes; Immolation.
2. We have Jain Fairwood as a Wildlander. (Nimble, Danger Sense, Accurate) +1 XP (Probably will choose Eagle Eyes next)
His Equipment includes the Staff of Light, and in the latest Quest they got lucky to draw the Treasure Chest and he has managed to get the Elm Greatbow, which greatly helped them win against Zachereth )
3. We have Grisban as a Berserker (Rage, Charge) +1 XP.
He has the Chipped Greataxe, but is usually the one equipped with the Chainmail.
4. We have Avric as a Disciple (Prayer of Healing, Cleansing Touch) +2 XP.
His Equipment includes; Iron Mace, a Wooden Shield & Heavy Cloak(this one changes hands frequently though)
Me, as the Overlord I have won, the Introduction, and lost the 2 Act 1 Quests, so I am sitting on 4 XP.
Apart from the starting OL Cards, I chose Blood Rage, Bloodlust (we were unaware, that you need 2 Cards, to get 1 "Lvl 2" ) in my last Quests.
III. Playstyle of us as a Group
Our next Quest is going to be Caladen´s Crossing.
The Heroes have 400 Gold, as well as their XP yet to spent.
Since we are all fairly new, we all did some rule errors and such. For example, I was only informed about the game actually having a "Travel Phase". (I do not own the game, but I am usually the one who does the evil guy) , so not sure, how that would have affected our game sessions.
From what I gathered, things which I should improve is, to try not to attack the heroes, but let them come to me, so that they at least spend Fatigue Markers. (which believe me they do. Starting from Act I, all they do is spend Fatigue to move to get at least one Attack in their first turn >_> )
I should switch out Warlord, and get myself some of these nasty Webtraps from Saboteur. (We also falsely used 1 Black, and Brown Die for Attribute Tests)
Since this is the 1st time all of us, use the Quests, my Open Groups, were maybe not ideal.
I chose Barghests in Relegars Rest in Encounter 1, and chose Zombies(I thought they were fitting ) in Encounter 2.
I chose Merriods in The Baron Returns in Encounter 1, and chose
Goblin Archer, Cave Spiders, Flesh Moulders for Encounter 2.
I placed the Flesh Moulders onto the Lair, the Cave Spiders in the Great Hall(which sadly saw no use ) and the Goblins onto the Armoury.
Half os my Flesh Moulders got taken out, in the Heroes first turn.
The only useful thing I got out of them, was that the Master healed Zachareth once or twice.(should have maybe placed them in the Great Hall, so that I could have repeated the healing )
My Goblins tried to flank the heroes by going around eastwards.
They managed to take out Leoric, since they split the Party.
I should maybe add to that, that the heroes did not go for tipping the vats. Like I said, they tried to metagame and pretty much munckin everything. They blocked off Zachereth, and they wanted to not tip of the vats, because that way, I could not use my spider minions.
They instead went for the Search Tokens. Since they split of Leoric to get the one in the north I managed to kill him off with my Goblins. The heroes were on the other side of the map, so he was pretty much stuck. Sadly they did not let me farm him for OL cards ^^ .
Since I needed to get conditions, I was pretty much forced to go through the next door and try to get line of sight to the heroes. Once I was no longer in the Great Hall, they tried to kill me off. The first time I lost some HP, but like I said earlier, in the end they lucked out, with the Wildlander getting a Treasure Chest and picking th Elm Great Bow. He then proceeded to "crit" me 2 turns in a row, and won that round .
IV. Plans for next Quest
After all this explanation/rant, I would like to hear your suggestions, how I can make Caledens Crossing a bit more challenging for them, so that I can also have at least a bit of fun, and not just watch them plan out their best possible turn, and watch half my monster disappear in the first 1-2 turns .
From how I understand the Quest, in Encounter 1, I pretty much want to get my Goblins inside the House/Cabin, as well as in the space between that, so that I can hurry up, the Fatigue Marker Production.
I was thinking of using beefy Monsters to block of the space, so that my Goblins could heat up the room, each turn.
I was thinking, Ettins to block the heroes from killing of a single goblin, who would provide an additional Fatigue Marker each turn.
As my 2nd open Group I was thinking of Merriods, to maybe immobilize the heroes who come into the House/Cabin.
I have yet to figure out, which Monster Groups to use in Encounter 2, and am still unsure which Lieteunant to send off. Zachareth sounds nice, with getting a potential +1 XP, if he manages to flee.
Since I have yet to play this, I would be happy to receive your experienced views, on how to help me with choosing what to get.
My initial thought, was maybe quick monsters, such Goblins, and maybe Barghets and to rush towards the exit?
Or is it maybe better to try to take down the Gatehouse ?
V. Rules Clarifications needed
Do I understand it correctly, that a hero can douse a Fire Marker, by simply going into the door and using an action, since he is on the tile, or must he stand adjacent to the fire marker? Also in case it means, as soon as it enters, does that in turn mean, that I can just place a Goblin inside the House, and get the bonus fatigue?
Does one of the Fire Marker or both of them get turned face down, when doused?
Does a Hero have unlimited uses of the water bucket, or is it discarded after that one use?
VI. Feedback please
What do you guys think of my plan up to now?
Do you have tips, how I can try to get an edge against the players?
I don´t mind losing, but I would at least like to have a possibility of winning, and not just watch how each turn, the Wildlander, decimates my Hand, and Leoric either blasts my Minions to hell (I already have to think twice before placing them, so he cannot aoe them :/ ) or he just uses his starting equipment with pierce 2, to kill off my beefier monsters
- Last edited Thu May 17, 2018 11:30 am (Total Number of Edits: 4)
- Posted Thu May 17, 2018 11:13 am
I haven't played that campaign, so I can't offer you a ton of specific advice. I do, however, play with some really tryhard heroes (which I'm not complaining about ) so I have a little bit of experience there.
The first rule is that you should start planning ahead before you play the quests. Study the map, use the excellent monster characteristics calculator on d2etracker, and get a plan of action regarding where you'll spawn things, the likely hero strategy, and how you'll react. Obviously this gets easier with more monsters, so only having the vanilla game will limit your flexibility somewhat (although your heroes won't have access to some of the sillier items and skills introduced in expansions, so it all balances out).
The second rule (for which it may be too late for this campaign, unfortunately) is to buy hard-hitting OL cards -- the guide by Indalecio is priceless. One of my favorite things about this guide is that it talks about how situational some "cool" cards are. Once I got over trying to hold my cards for the "perfect" situation and just bought reliable, flexible cards (like imploding rift and web trap) my winrate went up.
Third, learn to abuse large monster movement as much as possible. Every time you can find an excuse to interrupt, you've gained free movement points.
Those are the important ones that I learned the hard way. Other pieces of advice that are useful (and you've probably read elsewhere) are:
* Be merciless -- kill the same hero repeatedly to farm cards. Similarly, you'll typically end up spending most of your cards on one or two turns -- OL cards are way more effective when you're using several in the same turn (ie, Frenzy + Dark Might).
* Play exclusively to the objective -- Often this means ignoring otherwise juicy targets. However, once you know you're going to lose (or win) an encounter, the objective changes: get in a better position for encounter 2, deny search tokens, etc.
* Strike when heroes get out of position -- Splitting up is almost never a good idea -- solo heroes (particularly when out of fatigue) are slow and weak.
In the end, though, remember that the objective of the game is to have fun. If you're playing with people like my group, that just means that both sides tried hard. Obviously it's a bummer to lose, but there is joy to be found just in sitting around a table and leading others through a game... I think it's a similar feeling to the DM in this cartoon.
Thank you very much, for teling me about the monster calculator, as well as the guide by Indalecio. Both were very helpful, for preparing the campaign.
In case anyone wants to check it out, we are playing this campaign:
On to recount the tale of todays adventure.
Before we started the campaign, the players got new equimpent.
However I have a question, to the buying phase. In my understanding, the buying phase just reveals the top 5 cards of the act 1 item cards.
We played it that, we more or less revealed +5 additional cards.
So after Prologue, the heroes had access to 5 cards, and then every quest afterwards, they had access to the prvious cards, as well as the new ones.
Which is the correct way to play it ?
Travel Phase (first time, after playing it wrong the previous rounds)... and we got 2 times nothing happens in a row X_X
Encounter 1 of Celedens Crossing
I played with Goblins, and Barghests as the Open Group which has already been deployed. And I chose Merriods, to be my 2nd open group, for having the opportunity to attack the heroes.
The game started of okay. The heroes chose to only use the Wildlander to get into the water, to get a bucket, and tried rushing him to the first house. Since he had not enough movement, he stopped short of the door.
The Dwarf Berserker went along with him, and acted as a kind of bodyguard, so that he could be the meat shield against the waiting Merriods.
The Runemaster moved and killed off one of the Barghests, and the Healer went towards a search token and positioned himself, so that I could not just rush in with a Barghest, to try to make the Wildlander drop his bucket of water.
Then we had an argument, about the passive of Jain Fairwood. I wanted to argue, about her taking damage and having to make the roll, of keeping water. The heroes argued, that since the quest said, she had to take a heart of damage, that by using her passive, of making it into a fatigue, that it would not count.
Which is the correct way of playing?[
After some rounds, and a very effective usage of a webtrap, which stunned every hero, because of their positioning, they effectively lost one round. Since they never bothered to clear the goblin who hastened their doom, I managed to more or less win, the map with getting rid of 3 Fire Tokens, so that, they only got 1 Helper for the next Encounter.
We played it, that the heroes used up the bucket of water, and that they could turn one of the fire markers around. Is that the correct way, or was that wrong?
Anyway I started the next Encounter with 4 Cards in Hand, since the Wildlander, kept making me discard .
Encounter 2 of Celedens Crossing
This encounter is basically a Siege with the heroes defending.
I could chose between Zachareth, Belthir and Splig as my Lieutenants, and I chose Belthir, because of his flying ability.
The Heroes have a big Gatehouse, which they can go through, shoot through, and of course going outside, attacking, and going back, so that I can´t reach them.
Since the Gatehouse has 6+2x(heroes number) = 14 HP and a solid defense of 3 Shields, I wanted to get some Goblins to "safety", because for every monster, that escapes via Exit, the Gatehouse loses 3 HP.
Well problem is, that is only nice on paper. The heroes made the Runemaster go outside with stamina, shoot and kill off 2 Goblins, and then come back. Thankfully the Helper, missed because of Range, my 3rd Goblin.
The Wildlander, made me discard yet another card, so that I only had 3, and then went towards a Search Token. The Healer and Dwarf jumped down the Bridge, took 3 and 6 damage respectively and got healed for 4, by the heroic feat of Alderic.
Well I tried to get one of the goblins towards the exit, so that he was Range of 5 away from the heroes. The other goblins were 5 spaces away from the warrior, and healer. I positioned the Bargests, so that one blocked off the door, and the others got ready to either flee or attack the door.
Well the Trip Wire made the Dwarf miss one of his move actions, but he moved 1 with Fatigue and used Charge Attack afterwards to kill of my goblin in the tunnel. Healer killed off the other. My one goblin who was nearest to the exit, was killed off by Wildlander and Mage killed Bargest in front of the door
In my round I got Ettins as reinforcement. I used the minion to block off the tunnel, and moved the Master Ettin towards the door.
One of the Barghests attack the door for 2 damage (well Leoric with his Aura which seemingly goes through doors be praised >_> )
I launched another attack with my master barghest and used Blood Frenzy on him. Bringing the Guard House doen to 6 HP remaining.
Next round, the heroes killed of minion ettin, all but 1 Barghest and Master Ettin. Oh an they made me discard yet another card >_> . Which was a Frenzy.
I attacked with Master Ettin who made 1 Damage, because of Leoric and the 3 Defense of the Gatehouse.
Next round they killed off the remaining monster of mine.
At that point I have practically given up. I just deployed Belthir with Sacromants (I could have used Merriods, my last troop, but who cares at that point , the heroes positioned themself, so that I could not attack the door with big mobs )
After one or 2 rounds stunlocking Belthir with the Dwarf, I was defeated. Hooray for the Heroes.
Well we decided that next time, another one of the guys is going to OL, because I see no enjoyment in this role anymore. Maybe it was the Quest, maybe we made too many mistakes with not following the rules correctly, but I can only hope, that Act 2 Monsters are as powerful, as many make them out to be, so that I can have at least some more enjoyment.
I hope you had an enjoyable read, and a better experience than I did, as OL
- Last edited Sun May 20, 2018 6:09 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sun May 20, 2018 6:07 pm
Just a comment on the shop step- Items do not persist between shop steps. We'll assume you're dealing 5 cards each shop step. After each quest, there is a campaign phase. Deal 5 cards. Heroes can purchase as many as they'd like/can afford. Cards they don't buy get shuffled back into the shop deck. That is, if they choose not to purchase it, a card disappears until:
-it happens to be dealt during another shop step
-after the interlude, when the heroes can see and buy any cards in the act 1 deck they can afford.
Cards that get shuffled back into the act 2 shop deck will probably never be seen again.
Yeah I thought, that it would make more sense like that.
Not sure, how much it would have mattered, since we are only one Quest away from ending Act I, after which they could have had access to all the Items anyway, but thank you for clarifying.
That is good to know for the upcoming Act II.
Like I said, in my last post, we will probably switch over to a rotation system afterwards.
I am guessing, that after the campaign, we will either never play it again (I kinda doubt, apart from me and the current owner, someone else, will have too much fun playing as OL, or we will probably add some house rules )
Has anyone tried out the following houserules;
Act I Monsters, get +1 Brown Defense Die
Should a Hero get revived, he only gets one attack action
In case the OL, has less than X-1 (X= Number of Heroes) cards in his hand, he may draw an additional card at the end of his phase. (but maybe I am just salty, that the Wildlander keeps making me discard cards >_> )
Not sure, how much it would have mattered, since we are only one Quest away from ending Act I, after which they could have had access to all the Items anyway, but thank you for clarifying.
It changes balance a lot! They get good items way easier and therefore become much stronger early. If they keep all items in the shop every round they can pick the best items/wait for these. Sometimes the best items never show up which makes it more interesting if you can't play the best set of items all the time.
At the end of Act I it is ok because Act II monsters are much stronger and the heroes need better gear. Just not that easy during Act I.
In our games we never had to houserule against the Heroes. We are playing the capaign of the main game and after 7 games the heroes have won only 3.
If a Hero was downed he is extremely fragile and easy to down a second time. even with the best result, he only gets 6 hearts back, that should be easy enough to kill.
But killing is not that important. using monsters as walls is more important most of the time. hindering the heroes getting to their objective.
well they got Mana Weave in the first Shop Phase, and they managed to draw a Treasure Chest and picked up the better Bow for the Wildlander, which helped them win, so Luck was already on their side
well were you plaing just the base set?
I normally only manage to down the Mage, whenever he is too far out, but usually they roll pretty well when he revives, and then he also get further healed by the Healer.
The Wildlander sadly has the ability to convert damage to fatigue, which puts his HP between 8-13.
It also does not help that both of them now also have a Leather Armor, which makes their defense even harder.
The Dwarf has so much HP, that I don´t usually bother attacking him, unless he is maybe the only target. Also he is the one usually equipped with the Chain Mail Armor, and is therefore as beefy as an Ettin >_> .
The Interlude ended, with the Heroes barely winning.
The Overlord, this time played by the owner of the game and not me, lucked out, because one of the Travel Events gave him 2 additional OL cards.
The scenario seemed to favor the OL more than the heroes.
The heroes first had to make 2 Attribute Tests, the more of those you failed, the further away, the OL was allowed to place you.
He also started out with respawning Merriots, for Phase 1. With Goblin Archers and his Lieutenant equiped with the bow.
Phase 1 would end. if either we defeated the Lieteunant, uncovered the Spy, or she started her turn next to the spy.
... well it ended after 1 turn basically.
Only one of our heroes passed both his tests, 2 failed one, and the dwarf failed both, thus making it impossible to block her way, and he just rushed her to the spy.
The Lieutenant spawned into the Throne room, with the special rule, that only the 2 lieutenants were able to open/close doors.
The Lieutenant with the bow, also had 2 more special rules applied to her. After every activation, she could roll 1 brown and 1 grey die, and move up to that many spaces.
Every time she was attacked, she may roll 1 brown die, and if she rolled shield, she may move. In case the attack would not target her anymore, the attack would fail.
OL had to live until he had 9 or 10 fatigue counters.
He would gain one every turn, and +1 per downed hero at the end of turn.
Well he managed to stall some rounds by blocking the door with Ettins and then closing it after making them attack, therefore us having to waste an action to open it again >_> .
After 5 or 6 rounds, he kinda gave up and only played half heartedly, but managed to down my mage, by concentrating fire on him.
with only 2 Fatigue Counters missing, he ran 15+ spaces by topdecking a Dash Card, and ran through the door, which we did not close >_>
In the end we won, because he tried to kill my mage, to win one turn sooner, but I managed to roll well, so that I survived with just 1 HP.
He could have run and won, in my opinion, but I suspect he did not do so, because he did not want to let the OL have another relic
This time I saw how effective the Web Traps are, from the Hero POV.
Funnily enough, I played the Mage, with a Strength of 1, and I managed to pass BOTH the Attribute Tests XD (first time with 0, 2nd time with rolling a 1) RNGesus was on my side ^^
- Last edited Sat Jun 2, 2018 11:41 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sat Jun 2, 2018 11:40 am
@Jack: We have some expansion monsters and heroes mixed in and also rumor cards from the expansions.
The last time we played I had extreme luck with rolls and crushed the Heroes in phase 1 of the scenario. But they managed to win phase two, because of better use of movement and not optimal path blocking on my end. killing was not really that important on both sides. But I did managa to down 3 heroes in one turn. Because of that I got careless.
After a longer break, we finally managed to play another round on friday, and even managed to heat up the grill to play one more Act 2 Quest afterwards.
The first we played on Friday was this one;
One of my friends said, it reminded him of League of Legends, 3 Lanes, and the minions needed to get towards the end .
Since my Balthir got discarded on the prior Quest, in which I had to siege it, I only got Splig and Baron Zachereth, so I gave the Baron the Shield of Zorek's Favor . Since I only had one open group open, I chose the Merriods.
I am not 100% sure, if I won, because the Heroes split up, or because they had bad luck with RNG that day. They had to find the 3 blue Tokens, to use the stakes to get rid of the Zombies/Ettins, but the first 3 Tokens they found were all just red Tokens.
I also managed to survive with both my Merriods in Round 1, but having really high Defense Rolls (thankfully they have good defense now )
After my first round I killed their Solo Mage on the left lane, thanks to a Blood Rage, and the round afterwards the Ranger also died thanks to the same "trick" . I also managed to play a Bloodlust, to draw extra Cards from this.
Apart from that, basically the Zombies were all possessed and rushed through the different sides, and I managed to win the left side, by having an Ettin spawn and blocking the way, with the middle being dominated by my merriods.
After my second Zombie managed his touch down, the heroes tried to push through the right side, but by then, I managed to play 2 Dash Cards on 2 consecutive turns, to win in the end.
Not sure, if it was the promised Power Surge thanks to Act 2, or just luck on that day.
I won the round, so the heroes did not gain 100 extra gold, and since they did not find the artifact I also gained Bones of Woe.
After having a good time and grilling this afternoon for a couple of hours, we decided to play a "quick round" of Descent... boy were we wrong, it took us 4 1/2 hours for this one Map;
The Heroes got themselves the Elven Cloak, for their Ranger, Demonhide Leather, for the Priest and a Lightning Strike, for the Mage.
The Scenario this time, was a bit similar to Fridays Game, only without the awesome Possession Ability to rush the Zombies, but at least they got a running start once they spawned.
Since the Zombies (Act 1 ) and Spiders were already a given I used, Ettins as my free group, which was good for me, but kinda also dragged the Game out . The heroes needed 2-3 Actions to kill one, and after a couple of rounds, I made a Spider into the Door Keeper and had the door open for most of the rounds, so the Ettins could respawn on the Entrance and then just rush the heroes.
When I have to respawn the Ettins, I have to do so on the Entrance.
If we consider
with X being the Entrance , could I place the Ettin on the X2X4 place, and morph them, so they touch the YY ? Basically gaining a free space, that way, or do I have to play it so that it does not touch any Y ?
I managed to place my Spiders strategically and used the Shortcuts, so that had all except one of the refugees under control and they could not flee.
If I spawn a Spider on the Rocky Bend, could I make a diagonal move and reach the Treasure Token in one move, or would that be considered an illegal move, and I have to pay 2 MP for that ? (we started playing it with the first interpretation and then changed to the second mid game)
The heroes again split up, but this time only the Ranger went the long way around, with the others going towards the Campfire, where my Ettins were located.
According to the Reeinforcement Rules, I may place one of my Open Group on the End of my Phase. I played a Blood Rage Card, which also triggers at the End of the Phase. May I use the 2 Attacks from my Ettin and then immediately respawn him at the Entrance, or would I have to wait another turn?
The first 3 Villagers I managed to get, because the heroes could not reach them, and later I got 2 more by them not paying attention, but they always moved the last 3 behind them, and since my Zombies could only move once, I barely got anywhere.
This also resulted in a Clash of Opinion about the Dash Card, but according to another Post, Zombies may Dash.
In the End I won by using a Double Dash, was that allowed, or can one only play one Dash on a Zombie per Turn ?
While I won, I do not think about the XP helping me that much anymore, since my Deck seems pretty much done to me.
I am currently playing with; (any suggestions, or comments on that? )
2x Dark Might
Tripwire (thinking about leaving it out)
2x Dark Fortune
Critical Blow (not sure about maybe replacing it with Expert Blow)
2x Blood Rage
2x Web Trap
Well this Map turned out to be a Drag, and while I managed to knock the heroes out sometimes, both Parties saw, that it would turn out to be a Drag
I won, but Heroes got themselves, the Dragontooth Hammer, as well as the Grinding Axe, so I am foreseeing the next Map not being such a "breeze" .
Their Healer has managed to skill, Cleansing Touch, Divine Fury, and now also added Holy Power. Do the Heroes get an extra yellow die, even if that would make them roll 3 yellow die, or is it capped at 2 ?
Also how do I get rid of this abomination, who keeps healing everybody, strengthing them and getting rid of the status.
- Last edited Sun Jul 1, 2018 10:16 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sun Jul 1, 2018 10:14 pm