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

Subject: Compared to Claustrophobia for 2p? rss

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Richard Ham
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My wfie and I really enjoy Claustrophobia for our 2p dungeon crawling, especially the asymmetry that is so well balanced. Does anyone have any sense for how well Descent 2.0 would compare?
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Josiah Leis
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I have not played D2E (only a select few have at this point since the game has not been released to the general public yet).

However I do play quite a lot of First Edition Descent (as well as some Claustraphobia) and have been avidly watching and reading all the previews, rules, etc. for 2E.

Based on my very limited knowledge I would say you'd definitely be ahead to stick with Claustraphobia for 2p dungeon crawling. Though Descent works fine for 2p, I think Claustraphobia is a much more interesting game for head to head play. Descent is definitely fun, but I believe is best in a group of people. Also I think even though 2E will be much faster than 1E, I still think it will be significantly longer (like 2-3 hours for quest) as opposed to Claustraphobia's 1 hour per quest.
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Stephan AA
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Whoops! I just sold my Claustrophobia & Profundis to replace it with D2e in the hope of more engaging and varied play.
 
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Richard Ham
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Well I definitely look forward to hearing what you think, Stephan!
 
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Ed Rozmiarek
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Let's see... the number of people who actually have a copy of Descent 2E and have played it 2 player and have played Claustrophobia... I'm guessing that is very close to 0.
 
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Jay Kiley
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edroz wrote:
Let's see... the number of people who actually have a copy of Descent 2E and have played it 2 player and have played Claustrophobia... I'm guessing that is very close to 0.


Well, maybe, one.

Tom Vasel has played, both, Descent 2E and Claustrophobia. I just don't know if he played Descent with only two players.

But point still taken! It's way too early to offer opinions on this question.
 
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David Bernier
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I play 2-player oonce a week with my brother and manily games that play from 2 to 5 or 6 like Talisman, Mansions of Madness, Runebound, Gears of War and others.

I also own and plya Claustro+De Profudis and we love it.

If it plays and flows anything like Mansions of Madness with only 2 players it'll be really fun. I like MoM 2-player, flows quickly without much downtime for both players. But it sure is quite amazing with more players interactions.

I think you'll like D2E played duo, I know I will!
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rahdo wrote:
My wfie and I really enjoy Claustrophobia for our 2p dungeon crawling, especially the asymmetry that is so well balanced. Does anyone have any sense for how well Descent 2.0 would compare?


+1.

anyone able to comment now that the game has been released for a little while?
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Josiah Leis
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Having now played the game quite a bit both in person and using the Vassal Module, in both groups and 2 player, I can most definitely state that I would stand by my original comment. Namely that Claustrophobia is the much better game for 2 players.

I should however point out that this is coming from someone who didn't really care for D2E on the whole though, and I think Claustrophobia is a much better game in general (if you're interested in my entire thoughts my review is here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/844153/kartigans-bullet-... ).

However, trying to be objective I would still stick with Claustrophobia if you are just going to be doing strictly 2 players due to its much faster game play and in my opinion more engaging head-to-head play. Part of the fun from games like Descent (one vs. many games that is) is the discussion among the cooperating players on what to do. That feeling is obviously lost when the game is played 2 player, and when stripped down to their bare bones I think Claus makes for a more engaging, tactical, head-to-head battle, in a shorter time frame.
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I was considering many dungeon themed boards before I settled on D2e. One of them was also Claustrophobia, and at first I was intrigued by it. I still am very interested in playing it, though perhaps not buying it. The reason why I settled for Descent was the diversity. In claustrophobia it seems you don't really have as many monster choices. Basically, D2e offered so many more options to me. But there are a few really neat things about Claus, like the wound system and the random maps.
 
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New full priced Claustrophobia isn't worth it compared what you get inside the box. Full price may be something else in USA or somewhere else but it's roughly 50 € (=65 $) in Finland. I got it pretty cheaply, so I'm not dissappointed. If you get it cheaply enough then it's decent purchase.

There are only 6 scenarios inside the box which isn't a lot compared to the length of the game. It takes about an 60 to 90 min to a scenario, so you'll be done with boxed ones pretty quickly. If you don'y want to play the intro and don't like some of the scenarios then you'll only have a couple scenarios to choose from. I know that there are online scenarios and I think you should print them and choose from the scenarios that seems most interesting to you rather play the boxed scenarios in order. At least some of the boxed scenarios weren't that great.

I think the expansion adds more interesting Demon cards and more choices with the Hellhounds. The playing style for the human player doesn't change that much but it's definitely more enjoyable to play as the Demon player with the expansion. You'll also get a lot of new scenarios which is a huge plus.

Three of the biggest downsides for me: -Large box: You can't really carry this each time to a gaming evening just in the hope of that somebody plays it with you.
-While it's fast and easy to play, it takes a couple of games to know how to play the game well, so it isn't exactly "play with a random dude"-game. The gameplay is quite nuanced and even the smallest things
-The theme is a bit "meh" for my taste.

Works best with a regular gaming buddy.

I think Descent 2nd edition could work as a 2-player game if you tend to have a lot of table talk and the hero player can handle multiple heroes.
 
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Rafael M
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Now that some time has passed and D2 has become more available I'd like to hear some more opinions from people who have played both games.
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Tom H
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I own both (including each game's first expansion). For me these are very different games.

Claustrophobia is a match of strategies and fortunes in a tight system. Decisions have a big impact and can be agonizing. Every step and timing is crucial. Some weak scenarios. Some excellent scenarios with good re-playability. You don't feel you are cheating when you push the rules to their limit. Samey after while, but the play is excellent.

D2e is a sprawling experience. Lots more flavor and rules. You'll get more memorable moments but also more "that doesn't make sense". Following the rules to the letter can make me feel like a dirty scumbag. Lots of stuff but some seems overpowered and some underpowered, making some stuff irrelevant. Depending on the two players could be anything from hollow disappointment to fantastic.
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