recently we started again playing Descent RtL. So far we made two attempts and have failed spectacular against our dear OL.
We have one dedicated OL who is a huge fan of eldritch creatures.
Our first attempt started promising: We drew Grey Ker (Eagle Eye), Trenloe the Strong (Ox Tattoo), Laughing Buldar (Knight) and Shiver (Spiritwalk)
Plot: Ascension of the Sorcerer King
His Tactic was simple: Cycling as fast as possible through his deck and upgrading his eldritch creatures to silver level. Combined with our extreme lack of good treasure, we were soon outclassed by skeletons and dark priests which we no longer could defeat with one hit and were fast enough to hit and run while generating threat like mad with dark prayers. Soon he had three Lieutenants on the Map and laid siege to Nerekhall, Greyhaven and Frostgate. The lieutenants were strong enough to kick us out any time we tried to lift a siege, as we had no time and opportunity to heal and resupply and reach the cities in time.
We reached silver level without secret training and 60 to 140 CT.
Shortly afterwards he initiated the comet and we died fighting in his keep.
Our second game went even worse: We were allowed to handpick our heroes:
Varikas (Able Warrior), Nanok (Enduring), Silhouette (Skilled), Astarra (Prodigy)
Plot: Obsidian Shackles with the Demon Prince
We tried to be speedy, tackle only the necessary Monsters and grab the treasures in the first two rounds of every dungeon level. That went quite well until we hit the third level of the second dungeon were we faced again the OLs upgraded eldritch beasts and a stone chucking giant. Our melee fighters were not able to significantly penetrate the giants armor (our best weapon was the bone blade) while being constantly picked at by swarms of sorcerers, skeletons and dark priests. Two lucky rolls killed both our tanks with a boulder on their spot.
We cut our losses and ran.
We tried a rumor dungeon to regain some of the many lost CT, only to fight against a nigh invulnerable Demon with Fear 3 and Armor 7 (10 before we destroyed a tainted crystal. In effect only Astara was able to hurt the demon at all (Prodigy +Mana Weave +Crystallize Rune) and she was killed about six times before we gave up in frustration and a solid 32 to 88 CT
Our problems as far as I can see were:
Abysmal luck with our dice, eldritch monsters with high damage, reach and speed, low damage output from our tanks, chronic shortage of vitality potions (damn Tamalir Alchemists with only two potions per week) and no good armor for Astarra except robe+ghost armor which lost its cushioning ability after the first attack of armor piercing skeletons and silver dice slinging master dark priests.
Our main troubles started always at the third dungeon level, when potions were exhausted and the OL has accumulated enough threat to barrage us every round with new spawns, traps and aimed attacks.
We are seriously considering to forfeit the game and start over unless we gain some enlightenment how to beat this fast cycling/eldritch silver monster combo.
So, what advice have you got for a poor group of depressed heroes?
Master of the Waz
My first point of advice is you should not be doing the third level of a dungeon so early in a game. If you look at the second or third level and don't think you can grab the loot easily without dying then you should flee.
1. The heroes control the flow of CT. They can flee and, particulaly early on, should flee quite often. It is a high priority that the heroes not allow theOL to get his silver monster upgrade too quickly. Loot and scoot missions in a few dungeons.
2. Make damage dealing skills the highest priority for 3/4 starting heroes. 'Cool' skills that give you extra attacks and other stuff, like Leadership, Knight, Rapid Fire, Taunt, Tiger Tattoo etc should be secondary only.
The 4th hero, if used as a designated runner, is the exception..
At least three heroes should be able to do 6+ damage 80% of the time without adding potions or fatigue, and only one of theose should be melee.
Make sure your starting kit reflects that need. Extra range is all very cool, but it doesn't kill stuff. You can always close the range, you need to be able to do the damage.
3. Make sure the Reinforcement marker is being used properly. It probably is, but it doesn't sound like it from what you say. It should be a rare dungeon level that can see three spawns.
4. This is going to sound backwards, but as you get better you will find that 2 melee characters is a bad thing (unless one is the designated runner, and even then...) Although dropping one melee hero will lower your overall armour, it actually makes little difference since the OL will always target the weakest available hero. What it does mean is more heroes capable of picking off the monsters faster and controlling more space (and imortantly, dealing with soaring monsters in Lt encounters).
My ideal party is one Tank/melee hero, 1 ranged hero, 1 magic hero dealing heavuy damage and one runner who uses magic primarily (often split trait hero, preferably Astarra or Thorn though.
5. More speed in dungeon. The OL should never go through his deck unless in a legendary or rumour dungeon. If he is goin through his deck regularly, the heroes are simply too slow.
These are general rules only, specifics aren't possible. However, if you search around a bit you should be able to find a few 'one turn dungeons' (not necessarily one turn) that I wrote out play-by-plays for a few years back as examples of how to go faster making the most of your resources. Hit hard, hit fast, don't give the Ol an opportunity to hot you back. Make him rely on drawing lucky cards.
Edit: PS It might help to play some non-RtL quests with others acting as OL if they haven't done so before. It is a great boost to skilled hero play once you've been in the other shoes...
- Last edited Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:49 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:05 am
This solution is quite brilliant in it's simplicity. No wonder we got nowhere trying to solve this on the tactical level, when we should have concentrated on the operational level.
I'll look into those play-by-plays.