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Subject: Castle Daerion Encounter 2 - winnable with 4 heroes? rss

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Shawn Hubbard
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Just wanted to get a pulse on community experience here. I played last night with a 4 hero party (Syn Zerker, Alvric Disciple, Tomble Thief, Widow Necro). Encounter 1 was crazy close and would have been a OL victory if not for Tomble's Feat sneaking through the merriod and lighting the last beacons. But with 3 villagers lost, that starts 3 zombies in the throne room for Enc 2. Between them, the goblins in the hall that walled off the passage to the heroes, and the ettins from the stairway, the knight objective was dead in 2 hits.

Looking back, I can't see how the heroes could have won without doing better in the first encounter to save more villagers (how anyone is managing to save all 4 villagers is surprising to me...2 of them had no chance). Was this an OL goof regarding monster placement, or is this just a very difficult encounter for 4?
 
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Ken Marley
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In some quests encounter 1 isn't that important. In this quest, I think it very important. Three zombies is to many. Two zombies and it could go either way. 1 zombie and the heroes should win easy.

Quests like this are good, since it forces the OL to spend cards in encounter 1.

Now is encounter 1 balanced for 4 heroes? My guess is no. I suspect it favors the OL. But at 2 heroes I think it favors the heroes. Probably best balanced for 3 heroes, but I could be wrong!
 
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Christopher Scatliff
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youperguy wrote:
In some quests encounter 1 isn't that important. In this quest, I think it very important. Three zombies is to many. Two zombies and it could go either way. 1 zombie and the heroes should win easy.

I think you're thinking of The Cardinal's Plight.

EDIT: No, never mind, you're right. Although this also equally applies to the Cardinal.
 
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Nate Bivins

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I've only played this one once, and I've written about it twice on here, but I think encounter one is heavily in the OLs favor and that encounter two is a joke if the heros don't hold their own in the first.

In the first encounter, with four heros, as OL I can choose shadow dragon and plug the first two tiles with them and the heros have little hope of stopping me. I don't see how you save the villagers. In my game I killed all four playing against savvy players.

The second encounter was over before the heros even reached Sir Palamon. Even without four zombies, it seems like a very difficult quest. The ettins and the LT can knock Sir Palamon down very quickly. Add in a Rage or a Dash for the LT and it's way too easy.

I think Sir Palamon's HP and/or defense dice should scale with the # of heros. Having more heros in the second encounter especially tips the balance in favor of the OL.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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This one and the Cardinal's Plight are both difficult 2nd Encounters (though the Cardinal's Plight is a lot easier if you just relegate one hero to be the healer and just stay the whole quest in the middle healing). Speed is the game, go in and fight fight fight. But due to respawning, it's just hard. You have to wait out 5 turns, minimum, most likely 7 or 8 due to bad dice rolls, and I'm not sure how you could do that if the OL is focused on only hitting the knight...

-shnar
 
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Ty D
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Once you've broken through and reached the objective then abilities like Stone Skin, that knight ability that lets him take hits for adjacent friends, Leoric's static ability all go a long way towards making quests like these frustrating for the OL. Also if the OL is just focus firing on the objective than it's likely that you can get a good blast attack off without hurting the target too much. Also remember that in the cardinal's plight ONLY zombies can hurt the Cardinal and zombies are relatively easy to kill with their brown defense dice so if you focus on them you should be able to buy a lot of time since the OL only gets to spawn one a turn and they shamble.
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On the basis of one campaign play it seems the encounter is not winnable against competent OL unless heroes get very lucky. You can maybe save 3 villagers (possible if you kill the monster group in the staring area in the first turn) but this wont help much. In the first encounter OL saves cards that help to finish off the knight quickly (e.g frenzy). OL blocks heroes in the second and focuses on killing the knight. Our game ended on the fourth round and only because heroes were lucky with defence rolls. I can't see how the knight would be able to survive until 6-7 round without exceptional luck. The same with Cardinal Plight. Relegating a hero to be a healer in Cardinal won't help much: you heal maybe two wounds on average in a round (because of the possibility of failing the check) but the OL can attack with several zombies. Our quest ended on the third round (OL had 3 extra zombies)..









 
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Ken Marley
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It is winnable with two or three heroes. 4 maybe not. On the other hand I think the Masquarade Ball is probably easier with 4 then 2.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Our Cardinal's Plight lasted over 6 turns, partly because we were rolling awesome defense rolls for the cardinal, and partly for a couple heals we did. We got through the first room looking for the key, and he died while we were heading for the second room. The Overlord had all 4 extra zombies too.

Not impossible, though difficult.

-shnar
 
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Gerald Robinson
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Our OL player used the Flesh Molder enemies to block the hallway and we had 2 zombies.

It took us two turns to get through the hall and into the area with Sir Palamon, in that time the ettins and the zombies had moved on Palamon and killed him. The ettin damage was insane with only a single frenzy played.

I mulled over the scenario and with the distance to Palamon and the potential dame output from the Ettins, it would be impossible for us to make it through the flesh molders and to Sir Palamon in time to prevent any damage, not to mention that the OL could ignore the players and continue to beat on Sir Palamon.

This is a very poorly written quest and I recommend making alterations or having the OL fudge a bit for campaign play.
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Robert Grainger
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branwheat wrote:
Our OL player used the Flesh Molder enemies to block the hallway and we had 2 zombies.

It took us two turns to get through the hall and into the area with Sir Palamon, in that time the ettins and the zombies had moved on Palamon and killed him. The ettin damage was insane with only a single frenzy played.

I mulled over the scenario and with the distance to Palamon and the potential dame output from the Ettins, it would be impossible for us to make it through the flesh molders and to Sir Palamon in time to prevent any damage, not to mention that the OL could ignore the players and continue to beat on Sir Palamon.

This is a very poorly written quest and I recommend making alterations or having the OL fudge a bit for campaign play.


Yes, with two players we had a similar experience. OK, the heroes in my game could have attacked twice instead of moving and attacking on their first move, but the Overlord won by such a large margin it's difficult to see the heroes winning. They'd basically have to take down the open monster group, the Ettin and the Lieutenant in three or four turns. The monsters, meanwhile, can ignore them and just pummel the knight. I haven't studied it enough to say it's unwinnable, but it's very, very hard for the heroes.
 
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Scott Hall
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Just another data point, started the campaign today, four heroes run by 1E players (although a bit out of practice). They managed to save three out of four villagers in the first part (my merriods kept rolling blanks on their black die, and I didn't see until near the end of part two that flesh molders were ranged).

Part 2 was a loss for the heroes, but I think they could have won it. Sir Palamon had managed to accumulate 3 fatigue in 4 or 5 rounds- the master ettin concentrated on him, while the minion and Sir Alric did put the occasional strike into the heroes. The heroes just had horrible dice- at one point, they had a miss streak that lasted 6 attacks. And my defense rolls were good- my last minion and master flesh molder were bouncing just about everything, or taking so little they could mend it next turn.

Also, there were some poor decisions on the part of the heroes. I think they mixed it up with the flesh molders too long instead of going after the ettins, and they ignored some useful heroic feats.
 
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R N
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I've played Castle Daerion encounter 2 three times now with similar setups:
*3 villagers saved
*3 heroes (Knight Syndrael, Spiritseeker Ashrian, and Thief Jain Fairwood)
*Goblin Archers as the Open Group

Playthrough 1 and 2 were played with 1XP for the heroes and OL, no gold for the heroes. In both cases Palamon died on OL turn 2.
Playthrough 3 was played with 3XP, 150gold for the heroes and 4XP for the OL. This time the heroes won on their 4th turn, Palamon had 21 wounds.

Has anyone beaten Castle Daerion without extra equipment/XP? If so, how?

@slackerb
It is impossible to block the heroes with Shadow Dragons on setup for Castle Daerion encounter 1 because of the villager. In my playthrough the heroes lit the first beacon and two of the three heroes were in the cabin before the OL first turn.

You could block with 4 small bases but anyone of those dying would unblock the heroes.
 
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Tim Robinson
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1st quest of our campaign and the overlord won easily.

Encounter 1 lead to 2 heroes saving only one villager due to the dragon blocking access to the last beacon. It took me 16+ rounds to finally kill the dragon. I either rolled an X ( easily 15 times) or rolled the same amount of hits as the dragon rolled defense. Extremely frustrating!

Encounter 2 had the knight dead in 3 rounds. The heroes had NO CHANCE! Overlord played cards on one attack that lead to 9 hits on the Knight. Then of course he still had 3 zombies and the lieutenant to wail on Palamon.

Still a fun time but just wondering how the heroes could have won this.
 
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Nate Bivins

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@slackerb
It is impossible to block the heroes with Shadow Dragons on setup for Castle Daerion encounter 1 because of the villager. In my playthrough the heroes lit the first beacon and two of the three heroes were in the cabin before the OL first turn.

You could block with 4 small bases but anyone of those dying would unblock the heroes.[/q]

Not impossible. The heros have to be very careful to position the villager and heros to block the dragon. Keep in mind that the dragon can double move and that he only needs to block the entrance or the exit from the cabin.

I wish I had a map that showed the play area.

I think it's clear that so far, the anecdotal evidence shows that even when the heros do well in the first encounter, the quest is still very difficult/near impossible.
 
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Dustin Whitmire
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What are folks strategy with the villager near the exit? Do you run through the door and try to escape (but thereby opening the door for the monster/s to easily pursue and get that much closer to the villagers in The middle of the board) or do you doom him to death, pull him away from the door, but thereby buying some time for the heros and the other villagers?
 
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Christopher Gnech
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slackerb wrote:
I've only played this one once, and I've written about it twice on here, but I think encounter one is heavily in the OLs favor and that encounter two is a joke if the heros don't hold their own in the first.

In the first encounter, with four heros, as OL I can choose shadow dragon and plug the first two tiles with them and the heros have little hope of stopping me. I don't see how you save the villagers. In my game I killed all four playing against savvy players.

The second encounter was over before the heros even reached Sir Palamon. Even without four zombies, it seems like a very difficult quest. The ettins and the LT can knock Sir Palamon down very quickly. Add in a Rage or a Dash for the LT and it's way too easy.

I think Sir Palamon's HP and/or defense dice should scale with the # of heros. Having more heros in the second encounter especially tips the balance in favor of the OL.


Wow are you in our game group? That almost exactly describes our experience with the board.

Encounter 1, we did a few fights against the shades that were in the front room, and the OL played a few of his cards on those. We had 3 of the villagers "hidden" in the corner of the middle room (library?). I think the OL slipped up by giving us space to go into the last room to get to the final beacon, but he did, and we lit it. It was over in 45 minutes, if that.

Encounter 2, we had Golems up front, but we killed them off in 2-3 turns. (Side question: it says in the book that the militiamen are friendly to heroes, but block movement and LOS. So if when the OL puts a 2x2 monster right up against the entry way, do the heroes have a choice other than to fight him, or can they move through the militiamen?) By that time though, the ettins and LT had the guy pretty much dead. Combine that with a throw from the ettin back into the back hallway, it was a sure win for the OL (we called it at that point).

I asked after the scenario if it scaled the knights health, and was surprised it didn't. There's no way he's living for 7-10 (or even 5, with perfect die rolls) turns with only 25 hit points and 4 nasty monsters coming after him.

dustwhit wrote:
What are folks strategy with the villager near the exit? Do you run through the door and try to escape (but thereby opening the door for the monster/s to easily pursue and get that much closer to the villagers in The middle of the board) or do you doom him to death, pull him away from the door, but thereby buying some time for the heros and the other villagers?


We sacrificed him. We knew there was no way in hell that villager was living, but we would do our best to save the other three.
 
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Risto R
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slackerb wrote:

@slackerb
It is impossible to block the heroes with Shadow Dragons on setup for Castle Daerion encounter 1 because of the villager. In my playthrough the heroes lit the first beacon and two of the three heroes were in the cabin before the OL first turn.

You could block with 4 small bases but anyone of those dying would unblock the heroes.

Not impossible. The heros have to be very careful to position the villager and heros to block the dragon. Keep in mind that the dragon can double move and that he only needs to block the entrance or the exit from the cabin.

I wish I had a map that showed the play area.


Heroes can use villagers inside the cabin to block dragon from getting past that space/closing door to it. Dragon cant initially block the entrance and thus it should cause no trouble for heroes to get past.

This actually resulted for the heroes & villagers getting inside the first cabin + one of the villagers closing the door on first turn. Without dash/frenzy the dragon will spend one action to move next to the door and an other to open it.
 
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Risto R
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DiceGods wrote:
Encounter 2, we had Golems up front, but we killed them off in 2-3 turns. (Side question: it says in the book that the militiamen are friendly to heroes, but block movement and LOS. So if when the OL puts a 2x2 monster right up against the entry way, do the heroes have a choice other than to fight him, or can they move through the militiamen?) By that time though, the ettins and LT had the guy pretty much dead. Combine that with a throw from the ettin back into the back hallway, it was a sure win for the OL (we called it at that point).


I think it says "they are treated as heroes", so yes you can move past them. We also played it so that militiamen were setup during herosetup (before OL), so such block wouldn't be an option.
 
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We played this as our second quest/mission last time. 4 Heroes, I was the OL.

1st encounter I killed 2 villagers, which I figured was a wash.

2nd encounter went terribly. They took down my opening goblin archers almost instantly and my Master Ettin survived only one round against a very well-coordinated and good-rolling heroes group.

I had thought all was lost and that the Heroes would win easily. On my last turn, Palamon had 5 health, and I rolled a 5... the Heroes rolled a 0 defense and I won. Anything else and I would've lost, though.

So yes, it's possible. If they had rolled anything but a 0 for defense they would've won the game.
 
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Darren Nakamura
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In Descent PBF Campaign 5 we got totally boned. Our Overlord intentionally only killed a single villager in Encounter 1, then used Kobolds to block the opening area. Since you cannot interrupt on top of the Militiamen to attack, and the Militiamen necessarily activate after the heroes, three of the four of us were stuck there with almost nothing to do (literally nothing for some). I had Tumble, so I could get through to search, but it's basically over for Palamon after the overlord's second turn.



With an Overlord who knows how to manipulate the rules, this quest goes from really difficult to basically impossible for the heroes.
 
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Rafal Areinu
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Ouch. That's though. The only way around this I can find is IF you have wildlander which happened to purchase eagle eyes... And even then he would have to kill master with 1 shot, then minion with 2nd shot. Roll single X or too little hearts and that's lost quest.
 
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Dexter345 wrote:
In Descent PBF Campaign 5 we got totally boned. Our Overlord intentionally only killed a single villager in Encounter 1, then used Kobolds to block the opening area. Since you cannot interrupt on top of the Militiamen to attack, and the Militiamen necessarily activate after the heroes, three of the four of us were stuck there with almost nothing to do (literally nothing for some). I had Tumble, so I could get through to search, but it's basically over for Palamon after the overlord's second turn.



With an Overlord who knows how to manipulate the rules, this quest goes from really difficult to basically impossible for the heroes.


You just need some Rune Master here



 
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Belsamoreth wrote:
Quote:

You just need some Rune Master here

If you're thinking "blast the militia" then that wouldn't work. You can only target spaces containing enemy figures, not a militia.

Though I can think of a gamey solution: In Encounter 1 force 2+ Villagers to die by running them next to monsters and blast them. Yes this is stupid, better fixes via house rules are called for.
 
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Tom H
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Overpower works against Sir Palamon, right? It (combined with Word of Misery) makes this scenario almost impossible for the Heroes. I refused to use this when OL'ing because IMO it broke the encounter.
 
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