krunsH himself
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this post was a reply to a threadquestion if it's worth to get V1 before V2 and since my reply was kind of an overkill I'd like to share it here so that my work was not completly in vain thanks

ok first things first: i love descent! i spent 400+ euros for the game + addons, storage solutions and paint for the figures and i am very activ when it comes to ffg descent forum activity. This might be a little long post.. it's the result of my passion for descent and should demonstrate the amount of enthusiasm descent was able to create

So here's you go:

1) Descent is awesome! It's a great dungeon crawler - 4 vs 1 -, it's quite balanced in the way, that it's pretty hard for the heroes to triumph over the overlord, since they lose about 50% of the played games. This game is not about a gamemaster who tries to give the heroes a great experience, but about an overlord who's goal is to defeat the intruders. That said, you should have friends who can handle defeat. If you have, let's just say "nerdy" friends buying the game is almost a nobrainer! The biggest issue Descent V1 has is its playtime! I've played about 30+ games so far and if we manage to finish in 5 hours that would be considered a very fast game! You should only start if you have 6+ hours time because many games last for about 8 hours!

2) About the expansions: The core gameplay of descent changed with every expansion, and at least after road to legend it was obvious that it became very hard for ffg to maintain the balance of the game. Altar of dispair is in my opinion a broken expansion. The fanboys complained so much about that the game is way too easy for the heroes when well of darkness was released, that fantasy flight games released an expansion that made it almost impossible for heroes to win the game. The quests of altar of dispair are by far the most difficult quest descent has to offer and therefore i would recommend altar of dispair to be bought as the very last expansion. It brings good mechanics and awesome new monsters, but if it's the first expansion you got you are not going to have much fun with your friends. Expansions in order of purchase: tomb of ice -> well of darkness -> altar of dispair -> road to legend. (sea of blood sucks, you can skip that one)

3) about the people complaining about second edition: Whenever something great is released (like Descent v1, Diablo2, ...) the fanboys fear is strong that the subsequent version of the game might not life up to its expectations. There is not much information released concerning V2 and even the fanboys who cry out loudest against it do not know more than anyone else does. Its official, that ffg changed core mechanics of the game, but since NOBODY outside ffg has yet been able to read the rules, noone knows if the game is going to be good or not. As always before the release of a huge game, its a hype for or against it.

And for those saying, that v2 is unnecessary, i disagree! Despite Descent beeing my favourite game of all time and i play it about once or twice a week, I still have to acknowledge, that Descent with all its expansion is a huge patchwork of different mechanics which don't allways play to well. It's a bit like frankensteins monster: it's huge and and crushes its competitors with ease, but you can clearly see that it's not made of one piece. It's really interessting to see what mindbanding questions come up while playing descent! The rules are.. well.. there's many of them.. and the FAQ is HUGE, but since it's just a big patchwork game there is and will allways be space for unexplained situations and that's exactly why they release a second edition!

4) Should you get V1 before V2? Now that is a difficult question and it depends on a few things:

- How much money have you got?
Descent v1 has a lot of monsters and heroes and when v2 is released there will be a conversion kit available which allows the use of the miniatures of v1 in v2. Since the monsters and heroes are seriously AWESOME you should get them if you have the spare coins left.

- How often do you have time to play that kind of game?

Since V2 is going to be released in ~beginning of april i assume, it wouldnt make any sence to buy v1 and then switch to v2 (if it's good) if you only have time for 1 or two games. if you play as many boardgames as i do (which is 2+ times a week), you're going to get a lot of value for you money until the release of v2.

- Are you a patient beeing?
If you don't have the time to play a lot and/or if you don't have the money to buy both games maybe the best thing is to wait until the release of v2, then watch some reviews and choose the version you think is best for your interesst.

TL;DR:

So now to share my personal fanboy advise conclusion:

Disregard everything i just said, get Version 1 and buy the tomb of ice expansion ASAP! The game is AWESOME and you can use monsters and heroes with the conversion kit in v2 if the game happens to be great!

i'm not a nativ english speaker so please ignore my mistakes
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H W
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Pretty good summation, thanks!

I have a question about Sea of Blood though. Why does it suck?

I've read that if you already own Road, then SoB is a waste, since it's just another advanced campaign.

I managed to get Tomb of Ice, Well of Darkness and Sea of Blood in the last month for good prices, so I wanna hear opinions!
 
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Trent Hamm
United States
Huxley
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See this text? It's a gratuitous waste of GeekGold.
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The game itself isn't important. Spending time intellectually jousting with likeminded folks is the real reason to game.
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heathengray wrote:
Pretty good summation, thanks!

I have a question about Sea of Blood though. Why does it suck?

I've read that if you already own Road, then SoB is a waste, since it's just another advanced campaign.

I managed to get Tomb of Ice, Well of Darkness and Sea of Blood in the last month for good prices, so I wanna hear opinions!


Road to Legend just works better as a campaign. It has a LOT less rules ambiguities than Sea of Blood.
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Jan Tuijp
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Volendam
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The concensus seems to be that SoB is (very) broken. It has very interesting novelties and new mechanics, but seems to be unplayable out of the box. Fortunately some fans have made several attempts to fix SoB (like this one).

If you own RtL however, SoB provides more (and more varied) dungeons to explore in your RtL-campaign.

Edit: typo's

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John Smith
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For some reason I never managed to win as overlord in 7 games vs 4 Heroes, as soon as they get the first magical items they are pretty much invincible. So I have to say that I'm looking forward to getting the second edition. It's unsatisfying for me to spend 3-4 hours for one game only to have it drag on and on because even though multiple monsters spawn from every direction, it just slows the heroes down and prolongs the inevitable
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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heathengray wrote:
Pretty good summation, thanks!

I have a question about Sea of Blood though. Why does it suck?



I could write pages and pages...
Simplifying:
The balance is utterly broken. If the OL makes the slightest effort, he cannot lose. The winning and losing of ACs is on the mapboard and in Lt fights. In SoB the heroes cannot defeat Lts who do not wish to fight, and can only drive them away for one turn. Once they have driven away the Lts a few times (and the Lts come straight back to their objectives) the Heroes will eventually need to go away somewhere else as they exhaust the local resources. If they do not they cannot progress, and the OL eventually wins the game by his inevitable slow progress as the heroes stall.
The rules have gaping, and I mean line up a dozen mack trucks side by side and drive them through gaping, holes in them.
For example, there are rules for tentacled monsters. The tentacles are 'separate' but must remain within 3 spaces of the base monster. Yet the base monster can move many spaces (10+) in a single move and the tentacles only 3 spaces. So how does that work??? Don't know, you have basically all the information I have...
There are boss monsters that have both Swim and Shadowcloak on Islands (and high speed to get to sea). So they run out to the deep water and the heroes literally have to swim out (at horrific cost per space) because they can only attack if adjacent, at which time the monster simply wanders away faster than any hero can keep up.

In common with some other FFG game releases of the last few years they also have some scenarios where opposite sides of the same tile is needed in two different places.

And there will never be a FAQ to fix any of this.
You have to fix it all yourself.
 
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krunsH himself
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Chernoskill wrote:
For some reason I never managed to win as overlord in 7 games vs 4 Heroes, as soon as they get the first magical items they are pretty much invincible. So I have to say that I'm looking forward to getting the second edition. It's unsatisfying for me to spend 3-4 hours for one game only to have it drag on and on because even though multiple monsters spawn from every direction, it just slows the heroes down and prolongs the inevitable

Do you play without expansions?
The base game is rather easy compared to the quests of the expansions.
But anyway i think you most likely play it wrong if you have trouble in winning ~50% of the games!
Even for first time-OLs it shouldn't be not that much of a problem to kill the heroes and discurrage the players in throughing everything you've got at them.
 
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Bill Hauser
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Marine on St. Croix
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Great review! I must agree with you when you say that people should run out and get V1 while they still can. What a terrific game! As with everyone else, I can't comment about what V2 will be like, but I can say with all the competition of short-ish dungeon crawlers (Castle Ravenloft, Dungeon Run, Claustrophobia etc.) I'm not sure we need another dumbed down, sped up, streamlined dungeon crawler as V2 sounds like it will be. What I love about V1 is the long winded, immersive gameplay.
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