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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: play time and strategy (vs tactics) rss

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haqattaqq .
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hello,
I've never played the first edition of descent, am interested in it. I've been put off by the long play time of 1st edition and am hoping that 2nd edition is much shorter. Does anyone know how long the play time is? BGG lists it at 2 hours, but are there shorter scenarios that would play in less time? Is it typically shorter with fewer players (eg 2 players)?

Second question: does anyone know what the mix of tactics ("what's the best action to take on this turn") vs strategy (longer term planning - "i'm going to do X now so that I can surprise my opponent with Y later") is in descent (either edition)?

Thanks!
 
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Scott Lewis
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haqattaqq wrote:
hello,
I've never played the first edition of descent, am interested in it. I've been put off by the long play time of 1st edition and am hoping that 2nd edition is much shorter. Does anyone know how long the play time is? BGG lists it at 2 hours, but are there shorter scenarios that would play in less time? Is it typically shorter with fewer players (eg 2 players)?

Second question: does anyone know what the mix of tactics ("what's the best action to take on this turn") vs strategy (longer term planning - "i'm going to do X now so that I can surprise my opponent with Y later") is in descent (either edition)?

Thanks!

Not much is known about 2E yet in detail. In the 2nd one, though, at least for 1E, it's definitely far more tactical than strategic. The Overlord has a bit more opportunity for longer strategy as he knows the map, and can plan ahead for certain things, but the heroes definitely don't have that luxury.

How 2E will compare is unknown, however.
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Josiah Leis
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sigmazero13 wrote:
haqattaqq wrote:
hello,
I've never played the first edition of descent, am interested in it. I've been put off by the long play time of 1st edition and am hoping that 2nd edition is much shorter. Does anyone know how long the play time is? BGG lists it at 2 hours, but are there shorter scenarios that would play in less time? Is it typically shorter with fewer players (eg 2 players)?

Second question: does anyone know what the mix of tactics ("what's the best action to take on this turn") vs strategy (longer term planning - "i'm going to do X now so that I can surprise my opponent with Y later") is in descent (either edition)?

Thanks!

Not much is known about 2E yet in detail. In the 2nd one, though, at least for 1E, it's definitely far more tactical than strategic. The Overlord has a bit more opportunity for longer strategy as he knows the map, and can plan ahead for certain things, but the heroes definitely don't have that luxury.

How 2E will compare is unknown, however.


Agreed, too early to tell anything about 2nd Edition. Descent 1E is far more tactical than strategic though. The Advanced Campaign Expansion (Road to Legend) adds some layers of strategy to the game, but the emphasis is still on tactics throughout (you just have to make tactical decisions based on the overall strategic situation in the campaign).
 
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haqattaqq wrote:
hello,
I've never played the first edition of descent, am interested in it. I've been put off by the long play time of 1st edition and am hoping that 2nd edition is much shorter. Does anyone know how long the play time is? BGG lists it at 2 hours, but are there shorter scenarios that would play in less time? Is it typically shorter with fewer players (eg 2 players)?


This is what we know about how Descent 2e plays:
- There are 20 "adventures," which usually consist of 2 "encounters." (I'm guessing an "encounter" is akin to a single dungeon level from the 1e AC game.)
- The campaign mode basically functions by chaining together multiple "adventures" and keeping track of certain story points that affect the overall flow of the game.

It's not much to go on, but if 2 hours is the average play time, that sounds about right for one "adventure" assuming I'm right about "encounters." (Including set up and tear down time.)

Based on my experience with Descent 1e, playing with fewer heroes will only INCREASE play time, as it takes longer for fewer heroes to hack through the same number of monsters. Unless you want to count the fact that it's easier for the OL to score a TPK as "shorter game play." =P

That said, 2 hours a pop sounds like a reasonable "short session" length for a game with Descent's level of tactical complexity. If it WERE possible to play in significantly less time than that, I would worry about the system being too simplistic to be worthwhile. It's true that Descent 1e was a behemoth in terms of play time, but it's also true that it was never intended to be a 15 minute time-killer. If that's what you want, you may want to look into DungeonQuest rather than Descent 2e.

haqattaqq wrote:

Second question: does anyone know what the mix of tactics ("what's the best action to take on this turn") vs strategy (longer term planning - "i'm going to do X now so that I can surprise my opponent with Y later") is in descent (either edition)?


Well, in 1e it all tactical, as others have said. The AC game did have some strategy on the overworld map, but it was mostly about finding the best way to increase your tactical power so that you don't get overrun by the OL.

In 2e, it sounds like the "campaign mode" will have a number of story points that change how the game goes based on the choices the heroes make. Depending on how obvious each story point is, this may add some strategy to the heroes' decisions, but it probably won't be too complicated (ie: I expect each story point will be a binary choice, go one way or go the other.) I expect the meat and potatoes of 2e will still be tactical combat.
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