Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
9 Posts

Descent: The Road to Legend» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Shackled Spider Queen Session 1 rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Michael Gill
New Zealand
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
This week we began our first Road to Legend campaign, and since I’ve enjoyed others’ reports so much I decided to do one of my own. I’m going to use the notations that I’ve seen in a number of diaries, hero gains in (), overlord ones in [], etc.

I’m playing the campaign with my usual Descent opponent, who I’ve played against throughout the missions from the base game and Well of Darkness. We know each others’ tendencies pretty well, so can usually play at a pretty fast pace, but have the downside of getting into a bit of a rut and mirroring each other’s actions. Hopefully RTL will provide a nice change of pace.

We’re both relatively experienced in normal Descent, but have never played RTL before so will likely make a number of mistakes, that I hope people here on BGG will help us correct as we go along. We flipped a coin to see who would play the heroes, and my opponent won the right to be overlord.

My hero draw was as follows:
Quote:
Draw 1: Nanok, Landrec, Silhouette (couldn’t pass up on Nanok, even though Landrec is an amazing mage, and Silhouette is probably my favourite character)

Quote:
Draw 2: Laurel, Mok, Valadir (Laurel, in part because I needed a ranged character, and in part because she was the only character here I’d never played before)

Quote:
Draw 3: Bogran, Glyr, Hawthorne (Hawthorne, liking reach and not trusting Bogran or Glyr’s 8 health)

Quote:
Draw 4: Astrarra, Grey Ker, Tethyrys (toss up between Astarra and Ker, with Astarra winning due to her ability and the need for a powerful mage with Landrec out)


My skill draws were as follows:
Quote:
Astarra: Boggs the Rat, Inner Fire, Prodigy, Wind Pact (Prodigy won out over Wind Pact due to its damage potential)

Quote:
Hawthorne: Enduring, Knight, Taunt, Unmovable (Knight over Unmovable due to location)

Quote:
Laurel: Able Warrior, Acrobat, Lucky, Swift (Acrobat)

Quote:
Nanok: Cautious, Leadership, Rapid Fire, Tough (Leadership)


My opponent selected the Spider Queen (he debated over the Drake to punish me for opening chests, but decided he’d rather have cheap trap treachery) with Obsidian Shackles for the double raze roll and harassing cards. He took Into my Parlour over Siege Engines as his initial upgrade.

I purchased a number of potions, and saved the rest of my money to shop in week 1.

Week 1 (Conquest: 0)

Overlord
The spider queen collected her weekly conquest, and ordered Sir Alric Farrow to travel north to the Howling Giant Hills [+1].

Heroes
The heroes shopped, drawing a Dragontooth Hammer, and a market shortage, and purchasing the former for Nanok, as well as gearing up as follows:

Astarra: Sunburst, Fatigue Potion, Power Potion
Hawthorne: Axe, Chainmail, Fatigue Potion
Laurel: Crossbow, Chainmail, Shield
Nanok: Dragontooth Hammer, Fatigue Potion, Power Potion

Quote:
Experience: OL [1/1]; Heroes (0/0, 0/0 GP)


Week 2 (Conquest: 1)

Overlord

The spider queen collected her weekly conquest, and Alric continued onwards to Frostgate, pitching camp outside the walls [+1].

Heroes

The heroes set out towards Starfall Forest, but were waylaid by Thog’s Bandits at the Narrow Path. Despite having read that encounters are basically easy money for heroes, I was apprehensive at the sight of an Ogre so early on, and the special ability of this area preventing me from using by blast rune to full effect.

The spider queen split her forces, placing Thog down one path with a sorcerer bodyguard, and the four beastmen down the other. Hellhounds were placed sideways to double block a quick dash towards Thog by my heroes. Everyone was in trees. I forgot about the trees’ special ability, and essentially wasted Laurel’s turn, but Nanok and Hawthorne proved their worth by eliminating the Hellhounds, and blocking the beastmen’s entry to the starting tile.

The Leadership guard order eliminated one beastman, but poor Hawthorne took two others’ attacks. Soon Thog was alone, and I moved used a dodging Nanok to block him from accessing the rest of my party while they shot him to death (+2), +450 GP. Continuing on, the heroes arrived at Starfall Forest and entered the dungeon’s first level (+1).

Starfall Forest I: The Citadel (22)

This level looked pretty easy, even with the Giant attack when my heroes ended in the corridors. I reasoned that by using fatigue and advancing rather than battling I could probably avoid that without too much trouble. The spider queen chose option C for her minions, unsurprising as my opponent absolutely loves his ferroxes.

My assumption proved accurate, and no heroes were killed during this level. Astarra flipped the rune and grabbed the coins (+3) +400 GP, Nanok killed the leader and two master ferroxes (+2) +250 GP, Laurel looted the chest (+1, no treasure) +400 GP, and Hawthorne cleared out the chaff.

Astarra went to town, drawing a market shortage (curses!), buying the Dwarven Firebombs for Laurel, and purchasing two healing potions for the bleeding Hawthorne while healing herself (-375 GP). The remaining heroes went through the portal with rest orders up, but not before the spider queen tried to dark charm Nanok into killing Laurel. Luckily he rolled a miss, but Doom! went up for the next level.

Starfall Forest II: Ancient Library (10)

This level looked a lot worse than the previous one, with spiders and skeletons perched atop tables, and a grappling naga blocking my way to the level boss. I decided to press on, as I hadn’t lost any heroes at that point, and there were two chests for the taking.

The heroes all ran forward, with Nanok collecting gold on his way, and the others ending on encounter markers but failing their rolls for opening the rune door, +400 GP. A procession of spiders and skeletons weakened Laurel, before the sorcerer leader administered the coup de grace [+3]. Wow, Laurel is high conquest for an eight health hero. Definitely my weak point.

The other heroes advanced, killing off most of the spiders and the level leader (+2), +150 GP, while Nanok opened the first chest, passing the Crystal of Tivial to the heavily poisoned Hawthorne, +350 GP. Astarra moved close enough to the glyph to activate it under a spider (+3).

Before Hawthorne could use the crystal, the skeletons peppered him with arrows and a razorwing spawn finished him off [+3]. The sorcerer and razorwing ganged up on Laurel, and a block/pit combo finished her off when she headed towards town [+3]. Hawthorne collected the second chest, avoiding its explosion completely (+1, no treasure) +400 GP. The heroes headed through to the next level.

Starfell Forest III: The Mine (11)

I planned to dash through this level, grabbing what I could and leaving. This wasn’t the best decision, given how many heroes had fallen on level two, but I didn’t really think it through fully. Spiders and skeletons went in each branch, but left a gap through to the glyph that Nanok fatigued his way through (+3).

The other heroes advanced, killing spiders, but I foolishly forgot that nagas have grapple, and sent Astarra running for the gold pile and chest. A skeleton spawn combined the naga to kill her [+2]. I need to get armour for Astarra. The remaining heroes retreated to the portal, while returned to throw up a guard and cover Nanok’s retreat.

The boss spider activated within Astarra’s line of sight, she spent all her fatigue twice over to boost her attack, and killed the boss along with a pair of razorwings closing in on Nanok (+4) +300 GP. Enemies closed in on Nanok, supported by newly spawned razorwings. The others fled through the portal, and Nanok put up a dodge. Surviving a flurry of attacks, Nanok moved onto the glyph and threw up a second dodge. With a single hit point remaining, and two attacks missing through his dodge, Nanok escaped to town, and the heroes fled.

Quote:
Experience: OL [13/13]; Heroes (21/21, 2875/3250 GP)


Week 3 (Conquest: 34)

Overlord

Collecting her weekly conquest [+1], the spider queen hired Lord Merric Farrow [-5], sending him north along the same route his brother had followed. Alric began his siege of Frostgate [ST: 1/4].

Heroes

The heroes stayed in Tamalir to train this week. Laurel headed to the market, finding the Ring of Quickness and the Heavy Leather and purchasing both, -500 GP. Nanok went to the temple, healing to full, while Astarra purchased two potions from the alchemist, -150 GP. Meanwhile, Hawthorne bought a round of drinks at the tavern, and placed the Belly of the Beast at the Gardens of Tarn, -50 GP. Two group/Tamalir upgrades were purchased: the boat, and the bazaar (-6), -1000 GP

Quote:
Experience: OL [9/14]; Heroes (15/21, 1175/3250 GP)


Week 4 (Conquest: 35)

Overlord

While the spider queen collected her conquest, Merric moved to Frostgate and Alric continued to siege the city [ST: 2/4].

Heroes

The heroes journeyed south on the Theslaven Highway, exploring the dungeon there but not entering (+1).

Quote:
Experience: OL [10/15]; Heroes (16/22, 1175/3250 GP)


Week 5 (Conquest: 37)

Overlord

The spider queen collected her conquest, and the Farrow brothers completed preparations for their assault on Frostgate [ST: 4/4].

Heroes

Avoiding any encounters, the heroes travelled to the Garden of Tharn where their rumour was located (+1). Entering the dungeon, they drew Trial by Fire for the first level, and we finished the session there.

Quote:
Experience: OL [11/16]; Heroes (17/23, 1175/3250 GP)


Thoughts

I was happy with my initial party draw: it’s a fast, hard-hitting, high fatigue group, although their armour suffers somewhat. If only Silhouette or Grey Ker had been in Lauren’s draw instead, it would have been perfect.

Strategy-wise, I’ve basically abandoned Frostgate to its fate. The only skill I wanted there was Lucky for Laurel, and skills such as Rapid Fire are a higher priority for her anyway. I’m hoping to get enough XP and gold in this dungeon to finance the rest of the party upgrades and build towards secret master training and the Caverns of Thuul. I’ve likely gathered too much XP to get into the Caverns without beasts being upgraded to silver first, so should probably train up a bit before I try them.

Trial by Fire worries me a little, as the dragon and demon could be too much for a party that only really has Nanok as a major damage dealer. Depending on the items at the shop when I first enter the dungeon, that concern could be alleviated, but there's certainly the opportunity to take some heavy losses here.

Thanks to everyone who’s read this. Advice on how to approach the rest of copper tier would be much appreciated.






2 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron
Australia
Sydney
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Great session report, thanks!

One thing though, In the 1st level of the Starfall Forrest dungeon, you said that Astarra went to town and visited the market, the alchemist and the temple. Was this done over 3 turns?

My understanding is that when you return to Tamalir, you choose one area and can take a restock action. On the next turn, the hero can return to the dungeon or remain in Tamalir in the same building or in another building of their choice.

EDIT: Here is the rule I was trying to quote. p18 of the RtL rule book.

Quote:
Then, rather than being placed on the town marker (which is not used
at all in the Advanced Campaign), the hero returns to Tamalir.
A hero returning in this way is placed in the building of his
choice
, and may immediately claim the benefits of “restocking”
there. See “Cities and Buildings” and “Using Buildings” on
page 21 for more information. On the hero’s following turn, he
may either return to any activated glyph of transport for one
movement point (as normal), or restock in Tamalir again, in the
same building or another one
.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Retired Hurt

Brussels
Unspecified
msg tools
You speak about finding armor for Astarra.
The easiest way to do so is to buy Phantom Armor. With her good fatigue level and nothing that uses it, it will help her intensely.

I don't think your opponent did the right thing by selecting the spider with Shackles ; her dungeon is small and the 'turn against your friends' effect won't set in many times.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Aubert
France
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Good news / Bad news :

The good news is that the final battle against the spider queen is a walk in the park.

Bad news : Your overlord apparently decided to go for a tamalir rush which can rip you at early silver.
Don't hesitate to buy Tamalir's upgrade to improve defense at late copper and buy you some time at early silver.
WATCH OUT for catapult : if there is only one siege counter to be put before rolling to raze and your overlord didn't buy it, it can buy it at the beginning of the turn to decrease the defense and get a 'free' roll (56% of instant game over).

The hardest part will be early silver and gold.
Otherwise you got all your chance even if the overlord is in the lead in XP.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryce K. Nielsen
United States
Elk Ridge
Utah
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You probably also should have kept Wind Pact, since it's vital in Lt Encounters once your OL upgrades his Treachery. But otherwise, sounds like you're going to have lots of fun

-shnar
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Gill
New Zealand
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Dr Stupid: Oops, nope we got that completely wrong and did it all in one turn. Well, at least it’s only been one dungeon before we can fix that up. Thanks for pointing it out!

Merrimac: Ghost Armour’s a good idea, I’ve put the Heavy Leather on Astarra so hopefully she’ll be a bit better off, but I should definitely think about picking that up too. I tend to burn through characters’ fatigue pretty quickly though so its use will be limited.

As far as the avatar/plot combo went I guess that’s true. Since it’s our first campaign neither of us has the best idea of what combos to use. I think he based his decision off individually liking each rather than thinking about the interaction between the two. We tend to play pretty trap heavy Descent in the base game, so the Spider Queen appealed there, and the drama of the Obsidian Shackles cards seemed to appeal to him – long with the roll twice for razing.

Hankroyd: I was planning on upgrading the market and buying the other group items before training, then looking at Tamalir’s walls (obviously changing if he comes at Tamalir faster than I expect). Good point about siege engines – I’ve been pretty good about keeping that in the back of my mind, thinking ‘ok, Frostgate has two tokens so he could buy SE and put the final one on this turn instead of next,’ and the like, but it’s definitely something I have to remain aware of.

Shnar: Yeah, I agonized over the Prodigy/Wind Pact choice for a while. It’s definitely the first skill I’m going for with Astarra, but I figured I wouldn’t need it for a while so could afford to take Prodigy for the damage boost. My opponent needs another 14 XP to buy the silver beast upgrade, so Treachery is at least 24 XP away at the moment. From what I understand, the real danger with Treachery is Crushing Blow, which will take even longer as Event is more expensive that Trap for the SQ.

Wind Pact definitely factors into my plans though. I expect to do this dungeon then head to either Riverwatch or Greyhaven. Considering that my opponent is staking lieutenants on cities to siege them faster, I may have to head to Greyhaven first. Hopefully Frostgate will hold out for a turn or two, but I don’t like my chances. Between the roll two dice, and my opponent’s infernally good luck I expect it to fall next turn.

Thanks for the comments guys (particularly Dr Stupid for pointing out our rules gaffe). Our next game should be on Monday, and I’ll make sure to put up a session report after that.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron
Australia
Sydney
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mikegillnz wrote:

Thanks for the comments guys (particularly Dr Stupid for pointing out our rules gaffe). Our next game should be on Monday, and I’ll make sure to put up a session report after that.


No problem, we made a bunch of mistakes at the start of our first campaign. I didn't realise it until I started lurking in the rules forum. The Descent/RtL rules can be pretty confusing.

Can't wait for the next report!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sebastian D.
Germany
Berlin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
mikegillnz wrote:
This week we began our first Road to Legend campaign, and since I’ve enjoyed others’ reports so much I decided to do one of my own.
Hey, this is how I got started writing reports, too! Great to have you here, I enjoyed your report and will keep an eye on it.

A couple remarks: I don’t know how you enjoy your game and how you feel about blitzing in the beginning. But I think you should have fled after the first level. You had one encounter and one level without any deaths. That’s awesome. You even mention yourself that you thought you were doing well and that’s why you pushed on so you were seeing the advantage but didn’t use it. While it’s not in dangerous territory yet I think you would have been in a much better position; some money in your pocket and some experience while the OL would have had nothing. Especially when you don’t worry about him razing Frostgate (which has rather good skills apart from Lucky such as Swift or Tiger Tatoo, but I don’t know your hero strategy) you wouldn’t have needed to worry about any map pressure for a while, only sieging with Alric takes some time. Now with Alric and Merrick there’s some trouble waiting.
But enough on the past: I think the Caverns of Thuul are a two-edged sword. Others like shnar say that if you get there early (before a monster upgrade) it might be worthwhile. I made observations on my campaigns that the legendaries require a serious effort and flawless play to not be a major CT loss for the heroes. Four levels is long, the OL can build up nicely, as heroes you don’t know all tricks of the dungeon on your first play-through, etc. Look at how much money you gained on just three normal levels. I’m not sure if the Caverns give you that much more that it’s worth to try. But remember I’ve only played two campaigns so far, one solo, so there are many people who are more experienced than me.
If you don’t need any skills from Olmric, think about skipping him and using Shika as your secret trainer. It’s a closer to Tamalir (two weeks movement with the Staff/four without compared to three weeks with Staff/five without) but needs the Secret Map upgrade (2500 g). In my games the heroes were hard-pressed to upgrade themselves, another week can be helpful.
Don’t plan your heroes ending up with five skills. My heroes had three but mostly they were fighting with two through the whole of silver (on the other hand, that might be why they lost ).
And as always: be prepared for dramatic balance shifts from one session to the next due to lucky rolls, lucky draws or similar things and don’t let yourself get to frustrated by that; have fun!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Gill
New Zealand
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Bastirand: Thanks, I'm glad you've enjoyed the report!

You're probably right about the Caverns not being worth the risk. To be honest, the main reason I want to do them is to see the gemstone dragon fight.

Similarly the reason I didn't blitz was to avoid making my opponent too despondent at a big CT separation. He hasn't read up on RTL like I have, so wouldn't realise that its just a momentary imbalance that will reverse as soon as he gets silver monsters. Since this is our first campaign, I'm not being as cut-throat as I would if we had both read up extensively. In our next one? Sure. But for now, I don't want too big a lead. Chances are I'll come to regret this in a couple of sessions when he has a 40 CT lead on me, but for now I'd rather keep it as casual play.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.