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Subject: Whose is this hissing snake ? 0 [session report] rss

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Retired Hurt

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A near-catastrophe struck us last wednesday : the Evil Overlord was unable to attend - just as we were preparing to enter the final dungeon.

So we had to scramble the start of our first SoB campaign, initially scheduled for september, with YT as the Bad one.

I intend to report regularly about this campaign - at least as regularly as we play, that is, moderately.

The name I chose is based on a well-known French verse, alliterating on the S to sound like snakes, which happened to be easily translatable.

Players are Serge, a veteran Descent player, Tatiana and Matthias, with one complete campaign behind them. The latter were respectively Ronan and Mordrog, and wanted to change classes. One character would be played in common.

Heroes

We use 'draw 11, pick 4'. The draw was pretty good, but lacked a genuine archer :
Jonas, Karnon, Thalia, Valadir, Okaluk/Rakash
Ispher
Andira, Astarra, Carthos, Landrec, Sahla

They thought so little of Ispher that they preferred to go without any dedicated archer. The choice was : Tahlia (Tatiana), Astarra (Matthias), Landrec (common), Okaluk/Rakash (Serge), the latter probably entering archer mode as soon as possible.

Skills

With damage dealing in mind, Landrec's choice was easy : he got Prodigy, doubling his natural advantage. Also, this characteristic acts automatically, which is good for a NPC. The choice was so enthusiastic that I don't remember what other skills were available.

Astarra got an interesting choice (Saj's mark, Koll's mark, Wild Talent, Inner Fire), but keeping in mind that she will be a running, expendable character, the choice of Koll's mark was logical.

Nothing wonderful for Tahlia (Brawler, Counterattack). However, keeping in mind that she'll often use Guard orders, the choice of Defender isn't uninteresting.

O/R had a good bunch, and their choice of Born to the Bow (as opposed to Battle Cry or Keen Sight IIRC) wouldn't have been mine, especially as it is available at Gafford.
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Retired Hurt

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Basic equipment

Tahlia : Chain Mail, Sword, Morning Star, Shield in order to use her Defender skill.
Astarra : Wizard's Robe, Immolation, Phantom Armor.
Landrec : Wizard's Robe, Blinding Light.(soon to be completed by Ring of Protection).
O/R : Tunic, Sling to use their skill, Hammer to do some damage and hand monsters to the damage dealers.

Overlord's choices

We use the following system : draw one avatar for each plot, then the OL player picks one pair.

The draw was :
- Mistress of Serpents / Red Queen : fairly good, this avatar is a good all-rounder due to cheap treachery and interesting powers.
- The Count / Leviathan : poor, as it will need extended Lieutenant activity, and the Count's dedicated Lieutenant comes in lately.
- Master of the Hunt / Lighthouse : probably the right one for the MH, his dedicated Lieutenant is useful and his complex dungeon could catch the heroes insufficiently prepared.

I chose the Mistress of Serpents, as the title suggests, partly because I'd like to test final combat in good conditions, partly because I thought she would impede the heroes' actions (Tahlia is a big user of orders).

Also, in the now finishing campaign, the group was a heavy user of Fatigue potions and fatigue in general (I had the Leadership skill), but this would be more difficult here, and I intend to make it worse by suppressing alchemists.

Now came the bad part : the Mistress, perhaps because her specific ability is rather strong, doesn't have any good cards to buy (compare with the Count's enhanced Razorwings and Captain Bone's exploding Skeletons), and the usual choice of Siege Engines is of lower interest within this plot.
So I fell back on Focused and Protective Magic (one of the three Final Combat card which I don't want to disappear, making me less wary of The Twins). Keeping in mind that the heavy cost of plot cards wouldn't let me upgrade all three monster classes, I chose to sacrifice Humanoids from start, and shed both Kobold cards, the Medusa and one Dodge. Sure, I won't need all those chest-traps, but they're worth threat points (which we usually call mana, as many former MTG players do).

The expected order of upgrade purchases is : one monster class (preferably eldritch, but beasts if the CP count dictates), the Siren and then at least two Trap treachery, perhaps one Spawn treachery. That's 60-65 CPs and the rest -if any- should be held for monster upgrades in early Silver.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
Indonesia
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Merrimac wrote:

The expected order of upgrade purchases is : one monster class (preferably eldritch, but beasts if the CP count dictates), the Siren and then at least two Trap treachery, perhaps one Spawn treachery. That's 60-65 CPs and the rest -if any- should be held for monster upgrades in early Silver.


Very important note: No "treachery = hand of cards" for Lt encounters in SoB. THat makes it very much less important than in RtL.
 
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Retired Hurt

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We'll use a bunch of home rules, some suggested here and some others ; the most important are :

- all 8 towns to be razed (or equivalent) to get a sudden-death victory ;
- no Divine Favor (only makes it less interesting to perform well) ;
- a permanent glyph on the Revenge ;
- no repetition of dungeon levels except in the final dungeon ;
- effects other than spawning (like Brilliant Commander, Hordes of Things, Dark Servant and reinforcing) may make the number of monsters exceed the number of provided figures ; this is a free interpretation of the fact that some special levels and encounters have too many, and that some levels specify that you may not exceed this number (exceptio regulam probat).

 
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Retired Hurt

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corbon wrote:
Merrimac wrote:

The expected order of upgrade purchases is : one monster class (preferably eldritch, but beasts if the CP count dictates), the Siren and then at least two Trap treachery, perhaps one Spawn treachery. That's 60-65 CPs and the rest -if any- should be held for monster upgrades in early Silver.


Very important note: No "treachery = hand of cards" for Lt encounters in SoB. THat makes it very much less important than in RtL.



Right, but I will use only one Lieutenant anyway, and I feel that, in later stages, big traps (no pun intended), like Animate Weapons, Dark Relic and the ultimate Dance of the Monkey God, are the best way to kill characters.(and what Legions of the Dead did against us in the other campaign is impressing, too). Call this a matter of playing style.

NB : this is more true in the French version we are using, as the feat which cancels traps doesn't exist (replaced by two more copies of the rather weak Foiled Plans).
 
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Sebastian D.
Germany
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Merrimac wrote:
NB : this is more true in the French version we are using, as the feat which cancels traps doesn't exist (replaced by two more copies of the rather weak Foiled Plans).
Wow, this is even worse than labeling the basic Dark Charm an Event in german translation .
 
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Retired Hurt

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In the French version, this is the case too(I suspect it is intended), and two skills have been given the same name (keen eye and a vaguely resembling skill from original RtL)
 
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