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Descent: Journeys in the Dark» Forums » General

Subject: 240 minutes? Really? rss

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Fear the Booboo
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So, I was looking for a hack n'slash board game with persistent or campaign play and people told me descent was a nice one (even if campaign play come only with an extension).

It seems like a pretty nice game, and I'll try it out anyway (I did not played it yet), but the fact that one session could take 240 minutes kinda turn me off.

I was looking for something between 1 hour and 2 hours for each session.

My question would be: Is there anyway, expension or not, to make smaller game that would still be enjoyable and feel complete, especially if it's for campaign play.

If not, is there any similar, but shorter, game (co-op vs. lors, or only co-op, hack n'slash progression, dungeon or not) with campaign play or persistent characters that you would recommend?

Thanks a lot.
 
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Tobias
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Basically: Yes, really.
A normal base game quest can actually take up to 6 or even 7 hours, depending on the players involved. Experienced players might complete a shorter quest in under 3 hours, but we have never achieved that.
With the campaign expansion "The Road to Legend" you can cut up a much longer game (somewhere in the area of 80 hours of gaming) into smaller chunks of maybe two hours or even one hour.
But in any case, expansion or no, it usually takes us between 15 and 30 minutes just to set up the game, and then another 15 or so to pack it away again.
So, all in all, Descent might not be what you're looking for. It is an awesome game, though. My guess would be that if you're into this sort of thing, you might not mind the longer play time.
Would be interested to hear what others say on this subject though. Maybe my group is just extremely slow.
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Tor Sverre Lund
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Have to agree with Stephan on this one. Of course it takes a lot shorter if the Overlord manages to win quickly. I've only logged 4 games so far with my current group, and we average 290 minutes. Longes game was 330 minutes.
 
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Joe Loviska

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We're on our 6th game and as others have said it takes 6-7 hours unless the overlord wins straight away. I find that the setup isn't as bad as most people say, maybe 5 minutes for me, but if you're group thinks out their actions and takes things into account before moving then you can expect around the same time range.

I havn't cracked out the road to legend yet, but I've heard that you can limit your play time to around an hour or two.

I wouldn't judge the 6 hour play time too harshly though. Even though it is a long time it is a really fun game, and you should try it out to see if you like it.
 
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Lard Head
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I quite enjoy the game, and I think that 240 minutes is probably going to be a conservative, but doable, estimate (and probably not realistic at first). Especially with new players I think 5-7 hours is more likely. Short of a quick overlord win I think the quickest game I have been involved in was about 3 hours with the average being more like 4-6. Longest was about 8.

If the concept really appeals to you then it will be a very enjoyable game. I quite like it and plan to get my own copy some time (instead of relying on others). If time is your main consideration though you should probably look elsewhere.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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I would download the rules off of FFG's site and read them. If the mechanics of the game sound good enough, but the length not so much, then pick up Descent and the Road To Legend expansion. This is the Advanced Campaign, which has much shorter dungeons but spread out over a very long time (about 1hr dungeons over 60hrs of game play). The heroes start out weak and slowly build up for a climactic battle.

IMHO, a very enjoyable game

-shnar
 
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Beau Bailey
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Depends on number of players. With four heroes players the games take 4-5 hours, three heroes players 3-4 hours, two heroes players 3 hours, and with a single heroes player (of course controlling multiple heroes) it takes around 2.5 hours.

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Chris May
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I laughed when I saw the title of this thread because I thought he was saying "did someone actually finish the game this quickly?" We have never had a game that short before. Ours range from 5-6 hours.
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Mark Thomas
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I'll concur that the only reasonable way you will have some Descent gaming in 2 hours is to do Road to Legend. And that's not counting setup / teardown.

The length of a game is possibly the single greatest hindrance to enjoying Descent.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Which has nothing to do with the mechanics of the game, but rather the design of the level. They could easily make 1-2hr levels IMHO...

-shnar
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Fear the Booboo
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Thanks for all the answers.

I'm planning to try the game anyway with my friend soon.

I don't mind the game being long, but I know if I am to play multiple sessions with the same characters (with road to legend expension), I would prefer shorter sessions over 6 hours sessions.
 
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Tristan Hall
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There's a few decent fan-made scenarios that are much shorter (like 1-2 hours play length). Start off with The Rescue by C R Kirby:

http://app.fantasyflightgames.com/descent_quests.html

Once you're all hooked, you and your friends won't mind playing the longer quests! And, as already stated, there's always the dungeons from Road To Legend . . .

ninja
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J B
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The campaigns from Road to Legend can be EPIC in length.

A regular scenario, depending on complexity, can be finished much quicker. For example, some of the ones from the base game my group can charge through in less than 90 minutes, not counting setup....the first scenario, for example, can be done VERY fast depending on card draws and dice rolls. It also depends how your group plays and how well they grasp the rules. Once everyone's on auto-pilot with rules and gameplay mechanics and knows the "proper" strategy to play effectively, things will go much faster.

If your group gets into role-playing, or you have a lot of folks who are going to debate amongst the group each hero turn over what task to do first, things will slow down to a crawl and you could take hours and hours to finish even the simplest scenario.

I recommend finding a good consistent group to play this one with and not constantly bringing in new faces. It's not the kind of game that you can grab off the shelf, set up quickly, and run people through it in short order. It takes time to understand and even to simply read all the rules....there's a lot of them. If you get a group together and have minimal turnover you will slowly but surely be able to really get into this game and not have the rules get in the way. Not saying you should never play with new people, just don't expect to get quick games in if you're planning on introducing new faces to the game each week.

I also recommend timers. Small minute glasses or other timing devices....decide on a fair time limit for the hero turns and the overlord so that nobody is permitted to bog down in analysis paralysis.

Also, don't roleplay unless EVERYONE wants to. This game can get very frustrating if the Overlord and two heroes are just playing the game and another two heroes are D&D-ing it and getting into their characters too much. This is an adversarial game....the Overlord is not helping the heroes through a fun dungeon, he is out to murder them into a bloody pulp and should play that way. The heroes should be trying to win their objective...sure a little thematic imagining is fun but if you start to carry things too far the game can and will drag on and on. If your group is more into role-playing, I suggest classic RPGs like D&D, or that you make sure everyone you plan on playing Descent with is also into role-playing.
 
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ErikPeter Walker
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For another scenario-based, collecty hack n' slash (or run n' gun, in this case) you might want to try Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game. Zombies don't fit the fantasy theme, obviously, but the game plays out in a similar heroes-vs.-overlord manner, and it only takes an hour or two to complete.

Personally I enjoy Descent more, but I've never played a Descent game that went longer than 3-4 hours, so maybe that's part of it. (I've never played Road to Legend, it sounds like those take longer.)
 
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Tristan Hall
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jcb231 wrote:
I also recommend timers. Small minute glasses or other timing devices....decide on a fair time limit for the hero turns and the overlord so that nobody is permitted to bog down in analysis paralysis.


This is a really good suggestion (we use the timer from Boggle!) and speeds the game up immeasurably.

I'd disagree about setting up quickly with new players though. If you start with a few short quests or literally just take one dungeon from RtL at a time you should be able to set up and blast through it in no time, with veterans or without.

To the OP, short of tracking down Hero/Warhammer Quest for a fortune on eBay, Descent is currently your best bet for what you're after. Or Doom if you prefer the sci-fi setting . . .
 
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J B
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ninjadorg wrote:
jcb231 wrote:
I also recommend timers. Small minute glasses or other timing devices....decide on a fair time limit for the hero turns and the overlord so that nobody is permitted to bog down in analysis paralysis.


This is a really good suggestion (we use the timer from Boggle!) and speeds the game up immeasurably.

I'd disagree about setting up quickly with new players though. If you start with a few short quests or literally just take one dungeon from RtL at a time you should be able to set up and blast through it in no time, with veterans or without.

To the OP, short of tracking down Hero/Warhammer Quest for a fortune on eBay, Descent is currently your best bet for what you're after. Or Doom if you prefer the sci-fi setting . . .


I find that surprising. Perhaps your group is just used to these type of games. I find that introducing any newbie to this system takes considerable time while we attempt to demo the rather gigantic rulebook. Scrabble this ain't!
 
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Kamu
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What draws me to this games is precisely the long time it seems to take. Too bad I don't have a game group, bit I'll buy it anyway, even if I have to play solo forever (I always play with my GF, but I doubt I can get her into a 7 hour long game).
 
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Fear the Booboo
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Doom seems also great.

Never thought a videogame boardgame would be that interesting, that's why I did not checked myslef. Guess I was mistaken.

I'll be sure to try it with Descent and see wich one I prefer.

As for the setting, I don't really care sci-fi or fantasy. If it's well done, I'm good with it.
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Tristan Hall
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jcb231 wrote:
I find that introducing any newbie to this system takes considerable time while we attempt to demo the rather gigantic rulebook. Scrabble this ain't!


Agree about Scrabble. Personally, I wouldn't let a newbie anywhere near that mammoth rulebook, or let them know how many FAQ versions and rules clarifications I have tucked away at the bottom of the box!

Tell them what actions a hero can do, show them what dice they roll in combat (and what they aim to roll) and get stuck in. You can go through specific effects and whatnot as and when you come across them. You can even choose their heroes and shop for them beforehand, once they're up to it, let them take care of all that whilst you set up the dungeon.

Also, the Universal Head cheat-sheets are invaluable:

http://www.headlesshollow.com/freebies_games.html
 
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