GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters at year's end: 1000!
9,486 Supporters
$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
17 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
52 Posts
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

Descent: The Road to Legend» Forums » Variants

Subject: Off the top of my head idea for rebalancing. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Frank Franco
Australia
flag msg tools
Avatar
This is a pretty simple idea I had for rebalancing the game. I havn't tested it at all or even given it much thought, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway.

Now there seems to be a consensus on the following:
1) Heroes struggle at the copper level
2) Heroes dominate at the gold level.

So I thought a simple fix might be:
1) At Copper level heroes are worth 1 less CP each.
2) At Gold level heroes are worth 1 more CP each.

Pretty simple. Means the OL will be slowed down at the start but killing the tougher gold heroes will be worth more to keep him competative at the end.
What do you guys think?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark McG
Australia
Penshurst
NSW
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
how about
Copper = 1/2 CP (retain fractions)
Gold = 2x CP

I'd also consider activating Glyph Portals change value by Level
Copper = 3CP
Silver = 2CP
Gold = 1CP

BUT make killing Master monsters worth 1CP
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Corbon Loughnan
Indonesia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Is CP the actual problem though?

Is this fixing the symptom, not the cause?

Note: As an aside, IMO the 'balance issues' are over rated for the most part. I don't see any reason really why a long game might not favour one side over another at different times - kind of like any Eastern Front game from 1941-45 will see the germans relatively uber in '41 and the Russians relatively uber in 44-45. But both sides still have roles to play both at times of strength and at times of weakness.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Part 1 might work, as it would slow down the OL early. But I'm not sure part 2 would - at gold, part of the problem is that it winds up very hard for the OL to kill the heroes at all, so it might be a lot harder for her to take advantage of the bonus.

It is a nice simple balancing mechanism though...

Quote:
don't see any reason really why a long game might not favour one side over another at different times...

Because, in the case of Descent, having one side or the other slaughtering the other most of the game isn't much fun. If the OL wins early, it makes for a disappointing game. But if the game goes to gold, it becomes a cakewalk for the heroes, which isn't much fun either.

Nothing like getting to the final battle and having the OL avatar die before it even gets a turn
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Corbon Loughnan
Indonesia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
StormKnight wrote:

Quote:
don't see any reason really why a long game might not favour one side over another at different times...

Because, in the case of Descent, having one side or the other slaughtering the other most of the game isn't much fun.


The heroes should never be consistently slaughtered by the OL. There are difficult times, yes, but the main problem with heroes getting slaughtered is poor hero play. Heroes should take up the challenge to play better - they do after all 'control' the game in nearly every way.

It is an Advanced Game and it says so right there on the box. If you didn't read it, or ignored it then you shouldn't be blaming the game.

The most 'boring' period is in late gold, when the heroes can run through dungeons levels killing every monster so quick that the OL has little chance to do anything. The fixes to that are probably better involving modifying Secret Master Training, and maybe giving the OL more resources (starting threat and cards*) at the start of a dungeon in gold level. No matter how 'clear' the heroes can wipe the dungeon, the OL can always spawn, and gold/diamond spawns can be nasty. The problem is usually that with all that fatigue training, skill combos and kit the heroes have by then they go so fast that the OL is lucky to even draw a spawn card, let alone play one.

*Hmmm, never thought of that before, but the simplfied treachery rules (RTL pg24) can do exactly that - instead of customising your deck with 4-6 'cool' treachery cards that you will never get to draw at this stage, the OL should start with extra cards and/or threat instead in dungeons.

Quote:
If the OL wins early, it makes for a disappointing game. But if the game goes to gold, it becomes a cakewalk for the heroes, which isn't much fun either.

Nothing like getting to the final battle and having the OL avatar die before it even gets a turn :(


Sure, the final battle rules are a bit of a joke.
OTOH, for the heroes just to get through to the final battle is a victory in itself.
The problem here is the marketing fluff, which talks up the final confrontation. But lets face it, there is never any doubt that if the heroes can finally make it through all the challenges to confront the Dark Lord, the hero will win.
To take some examples, Frodo was never going to fail to destroy the One Ring once he'd actually gotten through to Mt Doom, nor Harry Potter die to Lord Voldemort in a final duel, Shea Omsford die to the Warlock Lord, Eragon die to Galbatorix, or any number of other crappy fantasy finales. That just isn't how it works. By that stage the game is over, and it is just window dressing and tidying up.

And I disagree (I suspect this is a case of agreeing to disagree) that an earlier OL win is a disappointment. Any early OL win can and should be as exciting (in fact much more so, since Lt fights are usually closer and more nerve wracking than final battles) a finale as going all the way.
Otherwise you might as well remove the pre-final-battle win conditions totally, which basically removes all the pressure from the heroes throughout the game.
It is this pressure that keeps the game enjoyable for 40-100 hrs of gameplay, no?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bern Harkins
United States
Buffalo
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have precisely one campaign under my belt (Heroes won), but from my first impression, balance is not that much of an issue. A campaign isn't a game; it's an experience, involving at least two games.

The map game is fun, and can provide a real sense of tension (despite it's often glacial progress), but its main purpose is to string together a bunch of dungeon crawls. Glorious, entertaining, laughter and groan filled dungeon crawls.

If the Heroes are enjoying a period of relative tactical dominance, LET them enjoy it. Savor the times when you DO get the drop on them.

Sure, the first dungeon after my Heroes' Gold Secret training was a rough night for me, as they ran three levels in nine turns (meaning six turns for me...). But they really enjoyed it, and not so very long after, I had several very enjoyable ambushes...

We all knew the Heroes would win by the end of Silver; I made some rookie mistakes, and lost Lieutenants. This knowledge did not significantly alter the entertaining nature of our dungeon sessions; it was just backstory.

It's about the play, not the win. (Although I DO hope to show the Heroes what a short campaign looks like this next time...sauron)
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Frank Franco
Australia
flag msg tools
Avatar
StormKnight wrote:
Part 1 might work, as it would slow down the OL early. But I'm not sure part 2 would - at gold, part of the problem is that it winds up very hard for the OL to kill the heroes at all, so it might be a lot harder for her to take advantage of the bonus.


It would be easy enough to up the bonus - players are worth 2x CP or something.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Corbon Loughnan
Indonesia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Mr Skeletor wrote:
StormKnight wrote:
Part 1 might work, as it would slow down the OL early. But I'm not sure part 2 would - at gold, part of the problem is that it winds up very hard for the OL to kill the heroes at all, so it might be a lot harder for her to take advantage of the bonus.


It would be easy enough to up the bonus - players are worth 2x CP or something.


2x0 is still 0.

The problem is heroes being so powerful that they can clear dungeon levels so fast that the OL never even gets an opportunity for a kill.

More to the point, changing the CT ratios isn't really relevant to the complaint about the game being out of balance anyway.
What is out of balance is difficulty, not results.

I know it is indirectly relevant, in that the game engine, including upgrades, runs on CT, so changing the ratio of accumulation may change upgrade ratios, but that is still addressing the symptom more than the root cause.

A pertinent thought.
If players are hung up on the CT scores not being 'even' all the way through, then they really haven't understood the game. CT scores aren't a solid way of describing difficulty or progress - much depends on how the resources have been spent, and what progress has been made on the mapboard and toward the plot.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Heinrich Keller
Denmark
flag msg tools
corbon wrote:
Is CP the actual problem though?

Is this fixing the symptom, not the cause?

But both sides still have roles to play both at times of strength and at times of weakness.


I think you hit the nail on the head there, but no one seemed to notice. At the start of copper, the heroes are having a really rough time, but they are still in control, can still take actions, and despite getting a massive beatdown, they have loads of choices to make. Copper play is exciting for both heroes and OL.

Once the heroes get the upper hand, the number of actions that the OL can perform approaches 0. For some dungeons, the OL isn't even needed in the room! I've played a campaign where the OL got 1 shot at killing the heroes each full dungeon, and that was when dark charm came up. The rest of time time, he couldn't do anything.

So the question is? What do we do to make sure the OL still have options by the end of silver?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Corbon Loughnan
Indonesia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Grubsnik wrote:
corbon wrote:
Is CP the actual problem though?

Is this fixing the symptom, not the cause?

But both sides still have roles to play both at times of strength and at times of weakness.


I think you hit the nail on the head there, but no one seemed to notice. At the start of copper, the heroes are having a really rough time, but they are still in control, can still take actions, and despite getting a massive beatdown, they have loads of choices to make. Copper play is exciting for both heroes and OL.


Just a note: At the start of copper things are relatively even. If the heroes play well, it can be very hard for the OL to get kills too.

It is not until the OL gets his first monster upgrade that he really has any advantage - assuming the heroes have a reasonable party and skill draw and are playing with all expansions.

Quote:
Once the heroes get the upper hand, the number of actions that the OL can perform approaches 0. For some dungeons, the OL isn't even needed in the room! I've played a campaign where the OL got 1 shot at killing the heroes each full dungeon, and that was when dark charm came up. The rest of time time, he couldn't do anything.

So the question is? What do we do to make sure the OL still have options by the end of silver?


End of silver isn't the problem - at that stage he OL should be upgrading to diamond monsters and Lt fights should be a real battle with plenty of treachery.
Its once the heroes have half a dozen powerful gold items, so 2-5 weeks into gold level, depending on luck, draws and overlord use of crushing blow.
At that stage if the heroes have SM upgrades, typically 5-7 fatigue each and probably several extra MP spread around the party through items, selected skills such as Rapid Fire, Quick Casting, Spiritwalker, Knight, etc, and often a bunch of combat boosting Other items to go with their upgraded dice... they can pretty much clear any level on their first turn.

The other side of the coin though, is that Lts can be very very powerful, a couple very near to too powerful, by this time. So nerfing the heroes in the dungeons will have a problematic effect elsewhere.

I would start with changing SM training. A max of +1F (one whole training) in the campaign, and +4 wounds (2 whole trainings) perhaps, but cut the cost of these trainings by around half and perhaps allow this training to be done at the same time (same week) as training skills or traits.
Slowing the heroes down a little will sallow the OL to at least get some turns in, maybe with a monster or two left.

Something might also be done about Gold items - perhaps when a gold item is acquired a copper or silver item of the same type (other, armour, weapon type etc) must be discarded if possible. I think that idea is very raw (ie needs a lot of refinement to turn into something workable), but the point is to limit the mass-equipping with accumulated bonuses and multi-options.

A third idea might be to allow all monsters in dungeons to count their wounds and armour as the campaign level version as a minimum. That might reduce the insta-kill everything on first turn issue (or it might not). The OL still wants to upgrade one type ahead of the campaign level, and still has (a much lesser, but it was never strong anyway) some incentive to upgrade his other types to improve their attacking ability.
Again, this idea needs some work (I'm just throwing them out there as they come to me, since this isn't a problem I think needs fixing), but I think it is targeting the issues, rather than the symptoms.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Retired Hurt

Brussels
Unspecified
msg tools
I agree with StormKnight, apart for the fact that the OL always gets the first turm in the final combat.

The main problem is that many campaigns are spoiled by the heroes' bad start pinning them; If heroes get less CPs that the OL, they also get less improvements.
In a campaign at our club, the OL got Silver Eldritch after two dungeons (one of which incomplete) and the heroes found very little in chests, so that their situation at present is worse than at start ; although their deficit in CPs isn't that big, they fail to see how to overcome it.

I don't think that a bunch of 9 Diamond Skeletons and 6 Diamond Sorcerers can be wiped out before a single character can be killed by whatever remains of their first attck and by the first spawns ; but that's only one specific level, the Throne Room. Fact is, only a few levels gain enough in difficulty as the campaign level progresses.

I'd favor any (or all) of the following systems :

- change the rules for drawing, e.g. the OL gets 2 initial cards at Copper level, 4 at Silver, 6 at Gold, One might also allow him to choose half of those cards.
- split the pack in two parts : the easy levels and the dificult ones .A list made by some cognoscenti would help. At Copper, use only the former ; at Gold, use only the latter.
- use a SoB-type variable boss power. One might adapt thec non-SoB levels by multiplying additional wounds and armor by 1/2 (FRU) at Copper and 2 at Gold. Variable-strength abilities (like Regeneration or Sorcery) may also be adaptated in the same way.


There is one part of the system which takes into account the skewed balancing effect : Legendary Dungeons. Re-balancing could make their exploration impossible.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
I agree with StormKnight, apart for the fact that the OL always gets the first turm in the final combat.

Guard orders.

Quote:
To take some examples, Frodo was never going to fail to destroy the One Ring once he'd actually gotten through to Mt Doom...

You're talking about fiction. Meanwhile, I'm talking about games.

And what, you really thought Frodo was going to die in the inn in part I of a three part trilogy?

Quote:
...since Lt fights are usually closer and more nerve wracking than final battles...

We never found them interesting. Either the heroes couldn't hurt the lieutenant, or the OL was playing a game of Diamant to guess what turn the heroes were going to get through and toast the Lt in one turn, with the Lt spending the entire fight sitting on a board edge to be able to instantly escape. In fact, we all came to loathe Lt fights.

But you're right, I suspect we may be wanting such different experiences that there's not a lot of meaningful comparison here.


Quote:

It is an Advanced Game and it says so right there on the box. If you didn't read it, or ignored it then you shouldn't be blaming the game.


Its an advanced game, therefore you should expect to play a few games of a campaign that can take months to play before its any fun? I think you expect way too little from your games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sonny sonny
Austria
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Mr Skeletor wrote:
So I thought a simple fix might be:
1) At Copper level heroes are worth 1 less CP each.
2) At Gold level heroes are worth 1 more CP each.
wouldn't this make blitzing even better? just sacrifice a conquest 2 hero to collect some gold piles, lose only 1 exp. and i think it might be too hard for the OL to get the needed exp for the first monster upgrade (depending on how well people play, which is the main problem anyways).

it would favor low conquest heroes more than high conquest heroes. just a thought. that's probably a pro in my oppinion.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Running
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
[q="corbon"][q="StormKnight"]
Quote:

Frodo was never going to fail to destroy the One Ring once he'd actually gotten through to Mt Doom


But he did fail. That's the beauty of the story. Just saying.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
T. H.
Germany
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi all,

some nice ideas coming up here...
... here is my share. ;)

Judging by the two campaigns I played so far (yeah... I know... not many... but we only played every couple of months for a a day or two at a weekend), it is very true that heroes struggle at copper and might need a little boost to get more enjoyment out of it. And it is also true that they dominate Gold, so the OL usually gets bored of placing monsters in dungeons and removing them again without doing much (if anything) inbetween.

I like the idea to give the OL a bigger starting hand of (selected?) cards, and maybe a power card or two in play.
I also agree to increase the value of heroes on Gold Campaign level (so the OL gets a least something out of them, should he manage to kill one).

I'm not a big fan of decreasing hero CP in Copper, however.
As somebody pointed out, that might encourage "Blitzing" even more.
But my reason for disliking it is, that this only prolonges campaign play, which is already long enough.
I'd rather give heroes bonus CPs.
Maybe increase the value of activated glyphs of transport by +1 (at copper level, but maybe only in dungeon level 3... and maybe level 2), and/or give 2 CP for a treasure chest without a treasure card.

How about starting Silver at 250, Gold at 450, and start the end fight at 600?
Or even more radical, 300 / 500 / 600.

That gives heroes more time to prepare themselves at copper level (without monsters getting tougher), and reduces the time they can collect too powerful Gold Treasure combos.

My assumption:

Gold Campaign level lasts longer (in game weeks) than copper.

The CP the heroes collect per campaign week is more or less the same in all campaign levels, as the dungeons give them the same (in average) amount of CP for activated glyphs and killed leaders. - Assuming that they don't "Blitz" at copper.

However, the amount of CP the OL earns per game week decreases from level to level. In Copper, he earns a lot of CP by killing heroes (most of them on dungeon level 3 - again, assuming the heroes finish a dungeon). In Gold level, he earns a lot less CP, as he kills a lot less heroes, and the cities he might have raszed probably won't balance the loss.

That's why it takes less game weeks to reach Silver level than it does completing Gold level - because the amount of points needed in total remains the same. And that's where my suggestion above comes from.

(In our campaign, the heroes didn't flee dungeons - resulting in me (the OL) earning a lot of CP. That way, Silver started quite soon - without the heroes being ready for it.)

In "Sea of Blood", the heroes receive pieces of the treasure map as a bonus for completing a dungeon (reward or bait??? ;) ).
How about giving them something in "Road to Legend" as well?
Maybe +3 CP if they finish level 3?

Additionally, they could be motivated in another way:
If the heroes flee a dungeon, the OL places a "razed city" marker on the dungeon. This gives him +1 CP at the start of each campaign week - just like razed cities (the monsters settled in nicely and plague the area around it... poor civilians suffer...)

They can still "Blitz" if they want to - but it comes for a price...

As the total CP necessary for reaching Silver campaign level is set higher, it doesn't really matter if the Overlord earns some more CP in a dungeon - as long as he is in Copper, he can't spend it on monster upgrades, and the heroes earn the CP necessary for hero upgrades and have the time to find enough treasure to prepare for Silver campaign level.
That might decrease the hero difficulty level on Copper and early Silver a bit.

By reducing the amount of total CP to make it through Gold campaign level, the time the heroes have to gather Golden Items is a bit shorter. This might result in a closer result in the end fight.
Also, by including the Overlord Boosts mentioned earlier, it increases the difficulty level for the heroes on Gold campaign level a bit.


Another approach might be to give the heroes a bonus skill or treasure at campaign start, but getting rid of the Secret Maaster Training in Golden Campaign level.


Just my ideas... not playtested, of course.


Regards,

Timo
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Frank Franco
Australia
flag msg tools
Avatar
letsdance wrote:
Mr Skeletor wrote:
So I thought a simple fix might be:
1) At Copper level heroes are worth 1 less CP each.
2) At Gold level heroes are worth 1 more CP each.
wouldn't this make blitzing even better?


Put a penalty on Blitzing then, which is a strategy I find fucking boring.

Something like fleeing a dungeon early comes at a 4CP cost.

Another idea is that at gold level the overlord starts with the hoards of things card in play, or maybe gets some extra monsters to start with if this whole "overlord doesn't get a turn" thing is really a problem.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
T. H.
Germany
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There is another topic where somebody suggests that the OL has the first turn in Gold dungeon levels. - at least on Level 2 and 3.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Corbon Loughnan
Indonesia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Mr Skeletor wrote:
letsdance wrote:
Mr Skeletor wrote:
So I thought a simple fix might be:
1) At Copper level heroes are worth 1 less CP each.
2) At Gold level heroes are worth 1 more CP each.
wouldn't this make blitzing even better?


Put a penalty on Blitzing then, which is a strategy I find fucking boring.

Blitzing is over-rated and over-emphasised. It really is only largely 'necessary' for the very start of the campaign, until the OL has gotten silver monsters. It is necessary here because the heroes need an upgrade or two of their own, and some decent kit, to avoid being trashed by silver monsters too easily. So they need to trade for 'space and time' so to speak and give themselves as much time and resources as possible before that upgrade hits them.

The rest of the time Blitzing isn't important. What is important is understanding that the heroes control progression and should flee when they are overmatched by certain dungeon levels or situations, rather than give the OL a big boost by bashing on when they are at a heavy disadvantage.
What I find fracking boring is grinding through every dungeon level mechanically to the end without ever actually thinking about the outside situation and my options of when to stay and when to flee. That defeats the entire purpose of a campaign, which is to put outside strategic realities onto an inside tactical game to make the tactical choices have greater meaning.
Quite often the most fun I've had as heroes is going into a dungeon knowing that a) I really don't want to flee due to map position loss, b) I can't afford to concede/accumulate more than X CT total (both sides) if I don't flee, as my training plans will be disrupted, and c) if I do flee I can't afford more than X-n CT conceded/accumulated because I will lose some weeks regaining the map position.
That puts a real tension in the dungeon as you start to accumulate and concede CT and on a couple of occasions I've actually avoided activating forward glyphs, at considerable risk or disaster, because I've conceded enough CT that I can't afford to accumulate too much more in this dungeon without going over my budget.
Now that is tension play.

Important point, which many players forget. The heroes are not heroes for a start. They are one-skill dweebs with kit any farmer can pick up at the local market. They need to build up to becoming heroes. And that doesn't usually happen until late copper or mid silver.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Corbon Loughnan
Indonesia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
StormKnight wrote:

Quote:

It is an Advanced Game and it says so right there on the box. If you didn't read it, or ignored it then you shouldn't be blaming the game.


Its an advanced game, therefore you should expect to play a few games of a campaign that can take months to play before its any fun? I think you expect way too little from your games.


Of course not.
But its a 40-100 hr Advanced game. You probably will enjoy it a lot more if you put some effort into examining it and figuring it out a bit, rather than learning by making mistakes that will haunt you for 35-95 hours.
Mow someone said that it defeated the point of the game to go and read about how to play it rather than just play it. To a certain extent that's true - for a 2-4 hour game that you can replay a dozen times!
It's also true that if you are willing to make some mental effort you can just take some time looking analysing the game yourself, rather than reading what others say. We did, but most people prefer the shortcut of learning from other's experiential wisdom rather than creating their own untested theoretical wisdom.
But the most cursory analysis by any player with any descent experience will show that the monsters get a big big boost with that silver upgrade and with heroes having only one skill, and at best copper kit, they will really struggle against silver monsters. So right from the start you can tell that that upgrade is very important, 25CT is the OL's critical early number, and the heroes must delay that as long as possible while finding better kit and trying to get an upgrade or two themselves. All that having never played an AC before and never read anything by anyone else.

But if someone wants to complain that it isn't fun to learn by screwing up in a 40-100hr game, but that they want to learn by screwing up, not by analysis or research, then I'm sorry, but my sympathy for them is totally absent. They got what they deserved.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
T. H.
Germany
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Corbon,

OK... from what I read so far, the right analysis, a bit of Blitzing at the start, and calculating timing and risks helped your hero group to get a good start in copper and from there control the game.

I would be interested in the other end of that story.
How does your OL, or you as the Overlord, make sure that the Gold campaign level is not a walk in the park for the heroes?
Any suggestion(s) for those Overlords that see themselves with hands tied behind their backs in Gold, sometimes not even getting to play a turn in a dungeon?

Regards,

Timo
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Corbon Loughnan
Indonesia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Sworddancer wrote:
Hi Corbon,

OK... from what I read so far, the right analysis, a bit of Blitzing at the start, and calculating timing and risks helped your hero group to get a good start in copper and from there control the game.


Both sides of the ledger - we each played one campaign as heroes and lost, and since then one one each as the heroes.
The very first campaign we looked at stuff and analysed it right out of the box (I never heard of Blitz until much later, but we figured out the basic blitz principle ourselves immediately) but the other player playing heroes miscalculated his timing a couple of times, missed out on copper SM training then got smashed by a gold kobold spawn in his first silver dungeon and conceded in disgust.
My first hero party had things sorted out but in our second last planned dungeon level drew one with lots of prisoners, which blew the CT expectancy out the window and forced my party to carry through that dungeon all the way as they couldn't prevent the OL from getting silver monster upgrade. Thereafter the OL got a moderate lead, around 10-15% all the way and I conceded after we ran into the Slaggorath problem in late Silver/early Gold level. You end up playing the same encounter every single week, and it is a very, very tough one for the heroes, with 4 trap treachery, Trapmaster, the Spider Queen bonus (over 30 potential damage ignoring armour just from space traps at negligible threat cost), not to mention masses of gold/diamond spiders with Pierce 2 and Burn, masters with Web and Slaggorath battling to hit every webbed hero from the back space of the board.
So our first campaigns were not easy, but aside from the prospect of fighting the same encounter repeatedly, they were fun and competitive.

After that we each won campaigns as heroes, with both games going down to the wire and including raze-to-win rolls on tamalir, and in one case a single last space of movement by a near-dead hero being the difference between a TPK in a non-Lt encounter (Big Trouble gave the OL Diamond Manticores on an Icy Path) which would have guaranteed the OL a win (OL wins on next turn due to using Gem of Transport to move the auto-raze Dragon Lt onto a fully sieged Tamalir, but hero escape means they continue to a dungeon that week, and during the dungeon pass the 600CT mark and so induce final battle.)
Both final battles were a joke, but the Lt fights were awesomely close and the overall campaigns could have changed results on any of half a dozen different rolls or card draws.

Quote:
I would be interested in the other end of that story.
How does your OL, or you as the Overlord, make sure that the Gold campaign level is not a walk in the park for the heroes?
Any suggestion(s) for those Overlords that see themselves with hands tied behind their backs in Gold, sometimes not even getting to play a turn in a dungeon?

Regards,

Timo


The dungeons are a walk in the park for the heroes in mid-late gold. Even more so once you add Feats.
That can be frustrating for the OL. Its a case of knowing that you had your fun, time to let the heroes have theirs, and understanding that the game is not won or lost in the dungeons.
One thing I realised just yesterday pointing something out to somebody (maybe even in this thread?) is that if the OL is smart about spending his treachery, instead of swapping in lots of great cards which he will ever get to draw into his deck, he can instead spend some or all of his treachery on extra starting cards and/or threat. That means he should be able to create something to do on even his very first turn in a dungeon with few or no monsters left. By the time he starts with 3 cards, draws 2, spends 3 treachery on extra starting cards and a couple on bonus threat he should have 8 cards, 4+4+4 threat, and still a special treachery card or two in his deck (Crushing Blow, I am looking at you). You do always get to play at least one turn. The heroes ca

Late Lt fights with lots of treachery and tooled up monsters can be, should be, very very exciting. The OL should know that that is where the game is won and lost, and have plenty of treachery.

Classic examples include one vs the Ogre Lt seiging Tamalir. A stealthy-dodging hero held up one corridor while the other heroes whittled down the gold/diamond monsters bearing down on them - Beastmen spawns, ogres, reinforcements. If at any time the stealthy dodge failed and got hit, bang, its a double whammy pouring in faster than they can kill.
But he got lucky, and the monsters couldn't avoid the Xs. Until the OL conserved some threat for several turns (the heroes started to get on top on things) and Spawned a Master Medusa (no biggie, as it is well out of range at the back) who suddenly Raged and Dangered a bunch of extra threat for movement and raced past the blocker to kill the tank outright in two shots and only fail to kill the ranger with it's fourth shot due to an X. If that hit, the mage could never have held on his own and the heroes would have lost, conceding a Tamalir raze roll with 3Lts sitting there needing to be beaten next turn as well.

Anyway, the point is that although gold dungeons can be boring for the OL, dungeons are purely resource gathering exercises. They don't directly affect winning and losing. And the map play and Lt encounters should be as exciting as ever, or more so, for the OL during this time.

And the campaign balances on a knife edge for the first 2/3rds or so. If you help weak hero players, who choose not to make the best of their options, during this time you condemn good hero players to having it too easy. The first 2/3rds of the campaign are all about the tension of balancing resource gathering and map play. By the last 3rd resources are of much lesser importance and map play is everything, so the tensions are different.
Once heroes reach gold level, even late silver level, the dungeons are of very little importance. It would be nice to make them more interesting for the OL, but he does have ways of doing that himself (albeit limited).

If all you are interested in is pure dungeoneering, then go play vanilla. The purpose of a campaign is to introduce different tensions into tactical game play, and it does that well enough to introduce different sorts of different tensions at different stages.
But that said, though I think the first 70% of the game is nicely balanced, the last 30%, suffers in the dungeons, if not on the map.

I think that reducing SM upgrades (and the costs, to keep it fair) and finding some way to limit the kit proliferation (too many accumulating bonuses and options) in gold level, could go some way toward fixing that last 30% without screwing with teh first 70% too much.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Retired Hurt

Brussels
Unspecified
msg tools
One last thought from me.

i think that what unbalances most the Gold level and final dungeon is multiple shots and fatigue bonuses.

Whence a very simple idea : remove Olmric's hut and what it produces from the game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
T. H.
Germany
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
corbon wrote:

The dungeons are a walk in the park for the heroes in mid-late gold. Even more so once you add Feats.
That can be frustrating for the OL. Its a case of knowing that you had your fun, time to let the heroes have theirs, and understanding that the game is not won or lost in the dungeons.

... *snip* ...

Anyway, the point is that although gold dungeons can be boring for the OL, dungeons are purely resource gathering exercises. They don't directly affect winning and losing. And the map play and Lt encounters should be as exciting as ever, or more so, for the OL during this time.


See... and here lies the problem I have.

I don't have a problem with heroes being powerful on Gold campaign level, They worked hard enough for it.
And don't have a problem with the heroes dominating the dungeons.

But I do have a problem with the OL being totally bored in dungeon levels, because he doesn't get a turn anymore (or if he does, there isn't much he can do).
Dungeons might be just resource gathering exercises - but playing them takes up about 90% of campaign game time.
Yes, the winner of the campaign might be decided on the Terrinoth map, but spending only 5-10 % of the time there, and the rest being condemned to build up dungeon levels, place monsters, count down health points, take monsters of the board and building up the next level, without doing much inbetween but just watch the heroes cleaning level after level isn't really what I would understand under "having fun playing the game".
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Corbon Loughnan
Indonesia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Sworddancer wrote:

But I do have a problem with the OL being totally bored in dungeon levels, because he doesn't get a turn anymore (or if he does, there isn't much he can do).


Yep. But the main problem with boredom is because of not having any options.
But a smart OL (smarter than me, because I ever thought of it through multiple campaigns) can have options available on even his first turn.
Use treachery for extra starting cards and threat instead of 'cool stuff' that you won't draw anyway.

The other part is reducing the multi-attack options and massed fatigue options the heroes inevitably have by late in the game, as Alain said. Several ideas in this thread (I think) have been aimed at this late area.

You just have to be careful not to change the balance too much for the first 70odd% of the game. The 'complaints' there are always from people who refuse to make use of all their capabilities. Don't penalise players who do play well (by making it too easy) to benefit players who don't, through their own choice.
Not that house rules for your own group are a problem, but each group will find it's own balance, different from other groups, and possibly different for different times within the same group's evolution.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Frank Franco
Australia
flag msg tools
Avatar
When I play a 60 hour campaign I'm interested in 1 thing only - narrative.
I care a lot less about the strategic options of something that runs that long.
I don't want to have to study or look up strategies or min max my options with something this freaking long. I want to explore and discover and see a cool story unfolding.
That's the kind of gameplayer my varient was trying to target. People who want to have fun without approaching it like a chess tournament.
Yes, you can probably min/max and break it. But no, I certainly don't care.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
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.