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Descent: Journeys in the Dark» Forums » General

Subject: About Ready actions and Order declarations rss

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Gabriel V

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I'm hunting for some opinions on the Aim and Dodge orders.

To me, it doesn't seem like these two are worth the effort. Rest is the most common order I give to my heroes, for it's obvious benefit of refilling fatigue. Guard is also very useful in certain situations where I want to deny actions during the Overlord turn. In contrast, Aim and Dodge don't seem to have the oomph.

Aim's function is to reroll dice in an attack roll. To be able to do this, I'd have to forego movement. I've never seen a practical situation where an Aim action would be preferable to just using a Battle action and peforming two attacks. Therefore, Aim never gets used and Battle is the order of the day.

Dodge is one that seems more useful, however it doesn't get used much because the utility of other actions is much higher. To dodge, the hero must give up either movement or an attack, and usually the ability to attack or move or both is a much greater advantage than the ability to reroll dice on an attack. The movement could be used to move the hero out of harm's way or the attack could remove the threat entirely.

Also, my Overlord and I have settled into an informal slight house rule to the action types. Our variant is basically the same as the existing orders. The difference is that we allow two actions per turn. The actions can be:

Attack = Make one attack

Move = Move base move allowance.

Ready = Set a Rest, Guard, Dodge, or Aim counter. Only one allowed per turn.

If a hero performs two Attack actions, it's the same as a Battle order. If the hero performs two Move actions, it's the same as a Run order. If the hero does a move and attack, it's the same as an Advance order. If the hero does a Ready, then he may also Move or Attack and it's otherwise the same as a Ready order.

Of course, during this the hero can use fatigue to generate movement points as a sort of free action, just like the rules currently allow.

We find this more intuitive than the existing order structure. It also sometimes allows us to see the results of an action and then take more since the order type isn't technically known until the second action.

However, is this giving the Heroes a big bonus in flexibility? I'm curious if others are doing actions more or less the way we do or if Descent fandom as a whole is being a lot more strict with declared orders.
 
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Tor Sverre Lund
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Trondheim
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I seldom see Rest used. THey (my heroes) my rather prefer potions for regaining fatigue. Sometimes you just don't have anything to attack, and everyone's just lining up by the next door. That is an excellent opportunity for placing an Aim order. Just wait for someone to open the door and then you do your aimed attack. Aim is also important when you just can't afford to miss, or really need those high damage hits to get through the armor. It's a lot more important in the original Doom though, when you had ammo to think about. Being able to reroll to avoid ammo loss was a great advantage.
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Jeremy Lennert
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Allowing heroes to choose their second "action" after seeing the results of their first is mostly an advantage when the overlord uses traps; trapping a hero when he has just enough movement to get into his desired position can cause him to waste actions, which is very valuable to the overlord. One hero (Grey Ker) has the ability to change his declared action mid-turn as his special hero ability.

There are also a bunch of skills that only work when you declare particular actions (Knight, Able Warrior, Unmovable, Relentless, Battle Cry...). If you don't know what your full "action" is when the skill is supposed to take effect, how do you resolve those?


You are correct that making 2 normal attacks is almost always better than a single aimed attack. One expansion (Tomb of Ice) adds a "stealth die" with a 1/3 miss chance, which makes Aim a lot more valuable, but 2 normal attacks are still almost always better (aiming has a slightly higher chance of at least one successful hit, but battling still results in more average hits).

Aiming is theoretically good for extreme-range shots or extreme high-armor targets, but attacks that extreme don't usually happen, and if they do it's probably a sign that the heroes are doing something wrong. For example, using the Axe from the shop with 3 black dice, aiming doesn't improve your average damage if the target has less than nine armor (max damage is ten), which is more than even most bosses, and you don't normally attack bosses with shop weapons.

You can place an Aim order if you have nothing else to do on your turn, in the hopes of using it next turn, but remember you lose it if you move, and I find it's often more useful to place a Rest to top off your fatigue or a Guard or Dodge to protect against spawns.

Dodge is occasionally useful, though moreso when you have Stealth, so you can force attackers to reroll the stealth die. Even without that, it does have some niche uses due to being the only directly defensive action that a hero can take, and it's ability to help defend the entire party against area attacks.

But it's really not surprising to go through an entire dungeon without a single Aim or Dodge order being placed. Rerolls aren't usually very powerful because the dice results just aren't that variable.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Elk Ridge
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Rest is pretty rare in our groups too, since the Resting hero tends to be the target of many attacks to try to get that Rest order wasted. Dodge happens the most rare in our group, since we mainly play the Advanced Campaign, and Aim has extremely good usage when combined with Power Potions. With 5 Power dice boosts, it sucks to roll a miss after downing a Power Potion. Dodge only tends to happen if one hero is relatively by himself and there's a bunch of monsters nearby.

-shnar
 
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