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Descent: The Road to Legend» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Attacking lieutenants rss

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Andrei Filip
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There's something I don't understand. Both Alric and Merick, which are the main concern regarding razing Tamalir path of Overlord victory, have soaring monsters. More, they can spawn 1 additional each turn. This leads to the following arangement:

-Start with lieutenant as far as possible from the heroes, near one of the exits.
-Use all monsters to create a shield
-Use soaring creatures (razorwings, which have very good speed or manticores, which have two attacks each turn) to gangbang any spellcaster or ranged hero for obvious reasons.
-Continue to spawn soaring monsters and use them to shield your lieutenant in case melle heroes get too close. Otherwise repeat step above untill all heroes are dead or fleeing.

Even asuming all heroes have ranged weapons equiped, the +4 ranged needed to hit soaring monsters is an almost guarantee they will not be able to kill more than the lieutenant can spawn (i.e. one each turn). Keep in mind that the lieutenant is also scoring threat for surges so it is often that he reinforces two monsters in a turn.

I've tried twice with the same result, total party kill. And to add insult to injury, you just handed 10-15 XP to the Overlord, which is enough for him to upgrade the beast monsters (razorwings and manticores by the way) so you don't get a second shot. He can now safely raze Tamalir and there is no way you can stop him. What am I missing here?

I also read reports about killing the lieutenant, which I have to say it's quite dumb. It would take complete moronic play or extremely good rolls coupled with power potions to loose a lieutenant sitting at the edge of the map. And why would one risk handing it to the heroes? Copper Alric has 5 armor and 30 life points and is imune to almost if not all side effects so it should take an average of 6 attacks each doing 10 damage, or 4 attacks each doing 13 damage to fell him in one turn, otherwise he can escape or spend infinite turns behind soaring monsters, healing. You also need to kill one soaring monster shielding him and spend suficient movement points maneuvering the heroes because it is obvious one or two are not enough.

Of course a solution is to cancel the soaring ability, or at least allow heroes to pass through. Like this they can really threaten the lieutenant and at least chase him away succesfully. It also seems a good trade-off, loose weaker heroes, give 4-6 XP to the Overlord but keep Tamalir alive.

However I'm interested in hearing if anybody has a viable strategy within the official rules. For now we agreed that the Overlord cannot siege Tamalir but that just make for lame play. I don't enjoy a game where I'm playing just because my opponent is obvious not doing its best for fear of ending the game too soon.
 
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Scott Mellon
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When levels start (copper, silver, gold) the LT's are pretty tough compared to the heroes, but once they go through a dungeon or two, they're pretty nasty.

By the time the first LT gets to Tamalir, the party could have been through a dungeon or two.

Don't forget that they don't have to stop him until several turns after he's gotten to tamalir.

Another thing ot consider, is that the OL is spending a lot of time getting to tamalir and laying siege, then running away doesn't make any progress towards winning the game.


As to your question about killing the LT, I can see it.

If I've got all the seige tokens on tamilir to win, and I just need to win this battle to maintain the seige, I just may keep that LT there and risk that fight.


 
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Jeff Long
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Your outline of how the Overlord can (and should) control Alric and his forces in any battle involving him is spot on. However, it is definitely not 'invincible' - indeed, it is simply the best way for him to stand a chance in any encounter with the Heroes.

I once ran an experiment in which I had the Overlord buy the transport gem, teleport Alric to Tamalir on turn 1 and start sieging. This gives the Heroes time to blitz maybe the first floor of 2 dungeons, stock up on potions and weapons, and then attack. I played out the resulting battle 12 times - the result was a 50/50 win-rate for both sides (with my personal opinion being that I played the Heroes badly for maybe the first 2 or 3 battles). Hardly insurmountable odds.

If the Overlord is going to upgrade to Silver Beasts, then the Heroes absolutely MUST get Marksman and Inner Fire on their archer(s) and mage(s) as soon as possible (if they didn't start with them, which they should do if at all possible). This will give them the range they need to take out the soaring Silver Razorwings. If they do this (and of course make liberal use of potions, but then, this is ALWAYS good strategy), they can defeat Alric without much trouble.

Alternatively, they just pick up Telekinesis (the cure-all miracle skill) and move the Razorwings out of the way and go straight for the Lieutenant.
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Andrei Filip
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Ok, then how about this: The Overlord doesn't blitz Alric to Tamalir. Instead he waits to gain 20-30 XP, then upgrades his beasts to silver, and then he sieges Tamalir.

Try running same combats now, even give the best copper items to heroes and 1-2 upgrades. I can tell from now the win ratio drops to about 10% because your strategy relies on the fact that mages and ranged characters will survive to meet Alric. In fact this is hardly the case since 2 silver razorwingss and 2 silver hell hounds, such as Alric is starting with, will tear apart 1 hero each turn, starting with the least protected, leaving only the melle heroes, which pose littlle threat due to soaring issue.
 
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Scott Mellon
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The_Immortal wrote:
This gives the Heroes time to blitz maybe the first floor of 2 dungeons, stock up on potions and weapons, and then attack.


Why would the heroes only go through the first floor? Why wouldn't they complete the dungeon to get the most cash/treasure???
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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agashamirv wrote:
The_Immortal wrote:
This gives the Heroes time to blitz maybe the first floor of 2 dungeons, stock up on potions and weapons, and then attack.


Why would the heroes only go through the first floor? Why wouldn't they complete the dungeon to get the most cash/treasure???


Because they can probably get through the first level with few if any casualties, but the second and third levels are likely to be very costly. What the heroes cannot afford to do is let the OL get 25 CT needed for his first upgrade.

Blitzing the first level of a dungeon then quitting (although I'd sometimes risk a quick look at the second level - more fool me!) affords the heroes the highest return to risk ratio - they get a full weeks worth of going to town for treasure/potions, probably coin stash, a treasure chest and 6CT (2 (boss) + 3 (glyph) +1 (for the Dungeon)) while probably conceding only 3-7 CT to the OL (0-2 hero deaths and 1 for the week. So they can probably do this for 2-3 weeks allowing 8+ market treasures, 2-3 found treasures and a Tamalir upgrade or two (or maybe even a training week) while the OL is still trying to save up for his first monster upgrade (whereupon things get much harder.

If the heroes persist in a dungeon for all three levels they are likely to come out with a CT count against them of something like 17/30+, with still only 4-5 treasure picks having been available and facing silver monsters in their second week.

IMO this is the primary reason why so many hero groups concede to the OL
before even getting to Silver level. Its hard enough for the heroes early on even if you play smart (although there is a corresponding reversal in Gold level if you can last), demoralizingly near-impossible if you play 'stupid'.
 
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Brian Brokaw
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Quote:
Of course a solution is to cancel the soaring ability, or at least allow heroes to pass through. Like this they can really threaten the lieutenant and at least chase him away succesfully. It also seems a good trade-off, loose weaker heroes, give 4-6 XP to the Overlord but keep Tamalir alive.



A brief consultation with all players in my game resulted in a unanimous consensus that the "official" soaring rules are, to put it politely, a thick slice of baloney.

As some other groups have done, we are using house rules that soaring monsters do not block LOS or movement -- however you may not end your movement UNDER a soaring monster, nor can a soaring monster end its movement over a hero or other figure. The OL can voluntarily choose to cancel the soaring effect and "land" the monster on its current space, in which case the added range effect is cancelled and the monster blocks LOS and movement as normal.

Basically, if the OL wants the extra range that soaring confers, he has to give up the ability to block LOS and movement. It works well for us so far.
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Henrik Spalk
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Quote:
As some other groups have done, we are using house rules that soaring monsters do not block LOS or movement -- however you may not end your movement UNDER a soaring monster, nor can a soaring monster end its movement over a hero or other figure. The OL can voluntarily choose to cancel the soaring effect and "land" the monster on its current space, in which case the added range effect is cancelled and the monster blocks LOS and movement as normal.

Basically, if the OL wants the extra range that soaring confers, he has to give up the ability to block LOS and movement. It works well for us so far.


We have done exactly the same thing, it just seems like a "natural" extension of the soaring rules. In our recent case, the Heroes faced Merric in Copper level, and they were able to chase him off. They did have some good items, though, so their armor was generally too high for the Manticores to do any serious damagezombie.
 
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