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Descent: Journeys in the Dark» Forums » Reviews

Subject: D & D players take it out for a spin... rss

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d10-1 Components- I gotta say... Opening Descent: Journeys in the Dark was like opening a toy box. I was extremely happy that I don't have kids. The prospect of trying to explain that "No, you can't play with these. These are daddy's toys." would be extremely unsavory to me. But it was exciting. Upon receiving the package and breaking it open, my entire gaming group started mouth breathing and insisted on helping me punch out the large number of counters while we watched zits break out on each others foreheads. Typical Fantasy Flight fare. Thick and durable cardboard counters matched with flexible plastic figures that appear to be able to withstand many an aggravated Overlord's frustrated toss back into the box, make for some excellent props with which to play out the ever-changing and intriguing stories of Descent. The map tiles themselves seem easy enough to fit back into their original sprues, making storage a snap after discarding the obligatory but unnesessary box inserts. The dungeon tiles are easily assembled and are extremely handy for other games as well as the random D&D dungeon crawl. The cards are of a durable stock, but I will likely sleeve them all in Dragon Shields due to the sheer number of friends that are smokers in my gaming group. (Myself included.)

d10-2Setup
Setup takes very little time and gives the Hero players a chance to talk amongst themselves and decide their respective strengths and weaknesses while the Overlord constructs the map out of somewhat geomorphic tiles. Really there's not a lot to say on this subject, and that's a good thing. Gameplay starts with little downtime on any player's part.

d10-3 Gameplay.
Gameplay is easy to explain and teach. The Heroes have only a few different options for actions on their turn, but these few options are remarkably complex in their execution. The addition of the Hero players being forced to choose turn order adds an excellent team dynamic on their part, while at the same time grants the Overlord player a chance to relish in the bickering of the Heroes. Each Hero player takes his/her turn followed by the next Hero player until they've all gone. Then it's the Overlord's turn to draw and play cards using "Threat" as currency and move and execute attacks with the monsters on the board. The gameplay leads to little or no downtime for any of the players as the Overlord looks on, planning his next move, and the Heroes chastise each other for poor choices. Combat is dice driven, which appeals to the ameri-trasher in all of us. It provides enough randomness to keep players on the edge of their seats while allowing a certain amount of direction through the allocation of skills and character development, enough to make the players feel that they have some say in the whole process. The struggle between Overlord and Heroes always seems to feel epic as the Heroes strive to "activate" magical glyphs yielding not only a new spawn points and paths back to town, but also the ever precious "Conquest counters" vital to victory on their way to completing the quest goal for the chosen scenario. No one hero is enough on their own to ensure victory, forcing teamwork and intuitive strategies on the Heroes part.

d10-4 Summary.
Descent: Journeys in the Dark provides an egrossing and sometimes hectic dungeon crawling experience, which, in this gamer's opinion, is all it really sets out to do. A great game which lends itself to classic concepts of tough decision making and nail-biting gameplay, on either side of the table. We're sure to have many a good game with this one.

Rating:

8/10

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Ken Henderson
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Great review - thanks for posting. I've been wondering how Descent would play to a group of people more used to playing D&D than boardgames and I think you have probably just sold me on buying a copy! cool
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Philip
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Henneth wrote:
Great review - thanks for posting. I've been wondering how Descent would play to a group of people more used to playing D&D than boardgames and I think you have probably just sold me on buying a copy! cool


Added bonus: You can use the modular interlocking floor tiles to make dungeons for D&D too.
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Freelance Police
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I'd like to play D&D with Descent figures. Anyone up for writing a General article of which monsters you can play with Descent mini's?
 
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Sam and Max wrote:
I'd like to play D&D with Descent figures. Anyone up for writing a General article of which monsters you can play with Descent mini's?


Another option is to use the D & D minis on the descent boards. I have a ton of them just sitting around...
 
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Levi E
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Thanks for a great review. It was concise and informative.
 
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Jack Francisco
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StAtiC9 wrote:
Another option is to use the D & D minis on the descent boards. I have a ton of them just sitting around...


Has anyone composed a master list of which ones to sub in from the D&D minis? I also have a ton of these and just recently sold my paints as I've been a little too busy to paint minis lately.
 
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