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Descent: Journeys in the Dark» Forums » General

Subject: Some queries from a relatively new player.... rss

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Andy Watkins
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Hi guys,

I would like some opinions from you please.

Played 1st scenario from basic game a couple of weeks ago with 4 heroes, they went a bit slow and barely won.
Played 2nd scenario last week, they did much better and narrowly won,
Played the 3rd scenario last night and it was a cake walk, at no point did I ever threaten them at all. I need to make things a little tougher. I would like to explore why it was a cake walk and get your opinions….

I thought there was going to be only 3 heroes so gave them the extra 250 coins each as they had completed 2 quests. They used this to buy ALL the health and vitality potions in the town plus usual equipment. Ended up being 4 heroes in the end. I think all these extra potions were much more useful to them than the couple of extra cards I as overlord got and a handful of threat.

One hero was only worth 2 conquest points but had divine retribution. He used himself as a suicide bomber deliberately getting into positions where he took several of my monsters with him when he died. Killed him 3-4 times during the game but got very little conquest for it.

Another hero was only 2 points but had the skill where they pay 2 fatigue and get a hit in first if a monster comes near them. As most monsters die with a single hit this made this hero almost invulnerable. Other 2 were big 4 pointers with tone of armour and hit points I only killed once in the game.

They finished with at least 20 conquest points .

I have well of darkness, currently use everything out of that except the treachery. In other words have the extra trasures, shop items and the ferrox and kobold cards.

I am seriously considering bringing treachery in as they are really getting very good at this game.

Any observations or ideas?

Andy

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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
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Motherwell
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andywatkins1963 wrote:
...I am seriously considering bringing treachery in as they are really getting very good at this game.

Andy, you have nailed it right there.

Jim
Est. 1949

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Peter Folke
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You say that the basic campaign rules aren't very good. You are completely right. I'd start by dropping those.

Also, remember that heroes can only carry 3 potions each + 3 items in their backpack.

Try and switch OL. Seeing things from the heroes side might teach you a trick or 2.

Try quest 4 and 5 - those are reasonably balanced if I recall correctly. If the OL can't win at all, play "the black blade" (quest 7 I think). If that one's a cakewalk, definitely bring in some treachery, and be certain to spend it on sundered glyphs..
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Andrew Garttmeyer
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Dont give them extra coinage for the campaign rules, they are lame. I do not use the expansion cards at all until later, we are at quest 5 I believe.

They were smearing me all over the walls and finally in the final room in quest 4 I had plenty of threat saved and pulled out the win. Divine Retribution heroes you have to be alot more careful and sneaky around. Defintely do not blow them up for 2 conquest to kill all your creatures.

Remember alot of the time you have to pick your openings wisely. Read the quest in advance twice or three times and actually pinpoint in the quest itself where are good times to attack them. There are parts to quests that spell downfall if YOU play them correctly.
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Andy Watkins
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Andrew, I have on occassion had a lot of threat left over. Normally though there is relatively little I can do with it to take out the heroes.

My two most dangerous cards are monkey curse and dark charm. Other than that all I can really do is throw in some creatures and the odd trap here and there. The latter is best at making them slow down and think twice rather than actually killing anyone.

 
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Tim Hayek
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Andy, I'm glad you ask these questions as we just finished (finally - took 6 weeks to get everyone back together!) our first game (vanilla quest 1) with nothing extra. We made our mistakes and such, but we now know how to better play the game. The hero's basically opened the gold chest and the items they removed gave me 1 attack in the final room, but not with the named monster. I played a swarm of things (or something like that) card which allowed me to spawn in 2 extra beastmen when the area was revealed. one hero got a weapon that did blast 2 and burn 2, and for each surge he could add to the blast range. he killed the manticore and 1 beastman in his opening shot. when i got my turn, i was only able to step forward 3 paces with the giant, and he wasn't able to reach the hero's. Their next turn he was dead.

Anywho, I, too, have the WOD expansion and have been curious how that works for you. You posted previously that you were going to use parts from it but not treachery. Do you think you will use treachery in the next playing?

Also, I have AOD expansion. Is it worth using those extras too (rules, treachery, monsters, treasures) and playing both WOD and AOD when playing the vanilla quests?
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Andy Watkins
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Hi Tim,

I don't honestly know much about AOD. I think some of the stuff in WOD is just "fixes" to the basic game like giving the bow pierce 1 etc. I think you should always use those.

I am increasingly thinking that after the players have played a couple of times the early scenarios are very easy for them. So yes I am considering adding Threat to next game. I think it will make things more challenging for the heroes.
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Peter Folke
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Speaking of traps, remember to spend them mostly when they cost the heroes an action. Examples could be:

Hero with 2 fatigue left declares battle action, hoping to attack a monster 2 squares from where he stands. As he moves to the first square, pit trap him. He won't have enough movement points to get up, making him waste the 2 attacks. Even if he only wastes 1 attack, this can be worth it (especially if you can protect a key monster like a master beastman this way).

Runner hero declares run action and runs for treasure chest. Play mimic on the chest and run away. Maybe even run to unactivated glyph, preventing the runner's escape.

Alternatively, if you can throw enough pit traps and falling blocks after him to make him not reach the chest, hang on to your mimic instead, saving it for another chest.

A hero dying from a trap often wastes one or two half actions as well. Sometimes it is worth considering to not kill a hero on your turn, instead waiting for his turn to kill him with a trap. This way you make him waste a turn.

Ok now you got me going, a comment about power cards:

Power cards are very situational. Most of them aren't worth the threat cost (and the opportunity cost of not discarding the card for threat). DOOM! and brilliant commander should almost never be played. Hordes of the things can be ok (but most of the time it isn't). Evil genius is very good.

Spawn cards are incredibly cheap. These should almost always be played, even if you don't expect the monsters to do much damage. A single spawn card can waste a lot of hero actions for the next turn, which is very good.
 
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Andy Watkins
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Everything you say makes sense.

I even spawned skeletons in the last game and deliberately kept them far back taking pot shots. They inflicted a couple of hits but mostly managed to annoy and delay the heroes. He never did get them.

Most others do at least waste the heroes a turn killing them.

Quick point - curse of monkey god - hero is made monkey for 3 turns, there is no roll to see if he recovers early is there?

 
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Andy Watkins
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Tim,

I have gone through the treachery cards in detail and yes I am going to use them, BUT there are a few in there that I think would "spoil" the game for the heroes and for me this game is about fun. As such I need cards that make me more effective not the heroes less effective as this would be depressing for them.

The classic example, the two cards that allow me to destroy a heroes best weapon. This could be catastrophic to the heroes and I think would seriously ruin the game for them. As such a few cards like that i will not use, but the ones that allow me extra, stronger monster swarms I will use, a few of the trap ones, and some like the one that allows me to attack immediately someone opens a door to an unrevealed area. That one will make them think twice but seems reasonable.

The times I have seen the heroes open a door, all rush in and kill all the monsters before I even get an attack is not really that much fun for either me or the heroes...
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Tim Hayek
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Thanks Andy,

That's my goal, as well as the goal of the heroes; to play and have fun. Thanks for the tip on not introducing certain cards. That was an excellent suggestion! I think, since I own AoD as well as WoD, that I'll combine both in our next adventure but your suggestion will keep it fun. Thanks for asking questions and providing your insight!
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Tim Hayek
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andywatkins1963 wrote:


Quick point - curse of monkey god - hero is made monkey for 3 turns, there is no roll to see if he recovers early is there?



You are correct. Curse of monkey god, the hero turns into a monkey and gets 2 "tokens" to keep track of their conversion. There is only 1 dice roll, though, that gives them a chance to avoid, but if they don't avoid the curse, they have it for the full duration. However, I think they are only the monkey for 2 turns if I remember correctly. They get turned (1st turn) and get 2 tokens to track. Their next turn they lose 1 token (2nd turn), and the turn after that they lose their last token and get restored. Right?
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Andy Watkins
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Tim,

I never quite remember about the monkey curse and tend to tell the hero it is ok for him to come back on when he is looking really bored! It is my favourite card but of course the heroes hate it.

Not to sure about "insight" but you are welcome to my clueless queries anytime
 
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