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

Subject: Overlord massive deck stack rss

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Matt
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Here's one for the community.

Its our first run through and we are on the 7th scenario two players with the hero player running three heros. We played the first part of 2 Idols and I noticed that the OL almost has no chance to win the first scenario. I chose the Magus class so I have several dark rituals that allow the OL to draw cards = to 1 group and discard so as to = the number of hero's. I of course pruned the deck down to 15 cards. In the scenario I used almost no cards except the ones that allowed me to draw extras. Close to the end of the scenario due to delaying tactics and dropping the heroes a couple times I have my entire deck in my hand. At the end of each turn I would throw down a word of pain (all heroes test will or take a point at the end of the OL's turn) so I would have a card to draw at the beginning of my nest turn . As it was my only card I kept getting it back to play again. My hero player finally ended the scenario but I think he took to long to do it.

So when we start the second part of this tonight I will have all 15 cards in my hand after the initial draw. Just curious if people think this is a problem or not? It will certainly allow me to make life very difficult for my heroes tonight but that scenario looks tough for the OL to win anyway!!!

If this is an issue I was thinking a hand size limit may be appropriate but Id like to see it in action a few times first before we make such a change. Im sure my Hero player will want his chance to do that to me when he gets to play the OL in our next run through
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Yeah, in the quests I've played, the Heroes often win the first encounter quite resoundly and then lose the second encounter. Why? The Overlord has 8+ cards in his hand! The different for the Overlord for winning/losing the first encounter so far has been negligible, so much that my group is considering the strategy of always losing the first encounter, doing as much as they can to delay, and hoard cards for the second encounter, effectively "gaming" the system.

I kind of wish there was an Overlord hand limit, say 5 or 8 cards?

-shnar
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Bryan Livingston
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One class has a skill that lets the player trash a card from the OL hand each turn, which would be a giant game changer!
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Matt
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LoneCoder wrote:
One class has a skill that lets the player trash a card from the OL hand each turn, which would be a giant game changer!


I think its a random OL card and it costs 2 fatigue? I think its a wildlander skill?

That is a good point as there are cards that effect almost everything somewhere in this game
 
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Ken Marley
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The number one goal for me in the first encounter as the heroes is to finish the encounter as quick as possible. Delay is advantage OL. If the OL gets his giant stack of cards you are probably doomed.

In some quests like Death on the Wing, whoever wins the 1st encounter has a huge advantage. In those it is critical to win for both sides. If I am the OL than I play every trick I have in encounter 1, otherwise I might lose before getting a turn in encounter 2.

In other quests, the advantage is very minor, then the goal for the heroes should be to end the encounter, and the goal for the OL should be to delay the encounter.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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On top of delay though is just not playing cards (or very few cards) during the first encounter. That way you have a whole bunch of cards in the second encounter. The more you delay, the more cards yes, but if you play them in the 1st encounter, they're pretty much wasted.

May not be true in all quests, but the 5 or so I've played it has been the case.

-shnar
 
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Brian Torrens
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I used to do this in 1st edition (Road to Legend). Let the heroes walk all over me on the first level of the Dungeon and build a huge pile of threat, then throw everything at them on the second level. Similar strategy....

I think that it might make more sense to have a maximum hand size at the end of each encounter, so that the OL can't stockpile for the next part! Thus making the OL use the cards during the encounter rather than save them all up.
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Geki
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Brian T wrote:
I used to do this in 1st edition (Road to Legend). Let the heroes walk all over me on the first level of the Dungeon and build a huge pile of threat, then throw everything at them on the second level.


The main difference I see is that in 1st Ed. the OL was scarifying something (CT given easily to heroes in dungeon level 1) to focus on winning level two, while here there is no real sacrifice, since losing encounter 1 means nothing if you smash them in encounter two!

Geki
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Chris J Davis
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How about the OL just reduces his hand back down to its usual starting level (equal to the number of heroes), but gets to choose which cards he keeps from his Encounter 1 hand? That way there's a *bit* of an advantage from having lots of cards, but the OL can't just stockpile.
 
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Matt
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Ok the scenario was "two Idols".

I chose the fleshmolders for my open group.

Early on the heroes just hung out in the second room and fought the Zombies. I was able to play my two word of pain and one word of despair cards several times. After putting 3 or 4 cards into the discard pile the next turn I could just drop a Dark Ritual (when game play allowed me to pick a group that could tolerate only one action that turn.

I was able to drop several of the heroes using the frenzy cards and other battle cards the OL has. And of course the dash cards helped get the LT in position. It was nasty but really not as bad as I initially thought it would be. I dont think I used the hand to full effect but I saw a chance to win and so focused more on moving the McGuffin then continuing to beat on the heroes. I will say that I think the hero player screwed up and spent way to much time fighting near the skull totem and not going for his own objective. He also spent to much time in the first scenario trying to stop me from moving the item which is how I got the hand full of cards in the first place.

We are not making any house rules on OL hand size yet.
If we do I would still think the OL should be able to have at least 8 cards at a time if not 10. Perhaps I will change my tune when Im under the screws of a huge OL hand in my coming hero run... of course I have no intention of going slow enough to give the OL that chance but we all know talk is cheap.
 
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Kelly Overholser
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The only problem with limiting the OL hand size is that it can encourage the heroes to stall, especially if they have a healer. If they know there's no way to lose the current encounter, they can usually find a place to sit and "turtle" while spamming heals, outhealing any damage the monsters could cause, and ending the scenario when it's convenient. Currently the only disadvantages to that are the possibility of the OL winning the encounter (rare, but potentially possible), and giving the OL time to build a hand of cards to use in the second encounter. Taking out the second one means that the heroes can start the second encounter with no damage if they have a healer, which both gives them a pretty big advantage for the second encounter, and ends up over-valuing healers since there's really no other way to get HP back.
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Crazy J
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I'm the player here for Matt's Descent campaign. As far as I am able to tell, there are two ways to win this encounter.

1. Be able to kill a lieutenant, zombies and flesh molders (or other open group monsters) as fast as they respawn (three respawns a turn) while moving as a group to take the sun idol, taking into account delays caused by (a full hand of) cards as well as taking positioning and recovery into account.

2. Be able to move one hero fast to make a run for the idol and bring it back to the entrance quicker than the monsters (with two dash cards in OL's hand) can take the skull idol without dying.

Now I did start out trying the first strategy long enough to figure out it probably wasn't going to work, especially with only one tier II weapon in my group.

However, when I sprinted towards the sun idol with Jain using her heroic feat, she had nearly full health and stamina, and the skull idol was still near the entrance of the map. It still wasn't enough to keep Jain alive long enough to even move one step with the idol before being cut down while Lady Farrow quickly dashed off the board with the skull idol. Had I attempted sprinting earlier, the end result would have probably been the same since without Jain's firepower the skull token would have just been grabbed earlier.

I think my biggest mistake was actually in not saving a fatigue potion from the first encounter, as that would have given me enough movement to get away in time. But to make that informed decision as to how important saving stuff from the first encounter was, I would have had to read through the second encounter before the first battle, which I failed to do.

Yet even though all the encounters are available to everyone to read, it still seems unintuitive to read ahead to future encounters to plan current strategy, and the non-reseting aspect between encounters gives a clear advantage to the side which better knows what is at stake.
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Matt
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I thought the heroes needed to move as group towards the sun totem each spending an action on one attack in the Zombie room on each of the first two turn. His group has good ranged ability's and should have been able to manage the zombies to at least slow them down from getting to the skull idol. Once closer to the sun idol have someone grab it while the other 2 cover them by killing some of the nearby monsters.

Then oh the way back you punish whatever monster thinks it can try to hold the skill totem while one of your heroes runs to the exit with the McGuffan.

Of course its easy to sit on the other side of the bord and tell someone what they should have done Plus your dice rolling needs some serious help I think he misses about 1 in 4 attacks some days... that cant be helping.

Also good point about saving the potion. That extra 5 fatigue would have changed everything.
 
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