Ken Marley
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Hero Equipment Tips (Part 3) – Act 1 Shop Deck

Hi all, continuing my discussion of the equipment in the game. This time I will talk about the Act 1 shop deck. In this deck I am looking for items that will help me all game, not just in Act 1. This is especially true of weapons. I want Act 2 weapons that do 3 dice damage. So I usually true to be frugal in Act 1.

Under cost I will list the buy price and the sell price. The difference between them is the cost to own.

Trinkets
Ring of Power (150/75) – An excellent item. The only item that gives +1 stamina. Great for any hero. (4/4)
Lucky Charm (100/50) – A good item. Great against a saboteur OL. Great for any fast hero. (3/4)
Mana Weave (125/50) – Best item in the Act 1 deck. Great for any hero. Excellent for any hero with a weapon that has a lot of surges. Getting this is my top priority. (5/4)

Armor
Iron Shield x2 (50/25) – Ok item. If you have a hero that could use a shield it is ok. But it is not great. (2/4)
Scorpion Helm (75/25) – Worthless item. If I find it in a treasure chest, I guess I would use it, but I would never spend money on this. (0/4)

Heavy Cloak (75/25) – Nice item. This can be really good with the Thief’s Unseen ability, or the spiritspeakers cloud ability. (2/4) [With the right class skills (3/4)]

Leather Armor x2 (75/25) – Ok armor. The brown dice is bad, but anything helps and the +1 Health is nice. (3/4).
Chainmail (150/75) – Good armor. Expensive, but unless you have move 5 or are a runemaster then there are no penalties. (3/4)


Weapons
Light Hammer (75/25) – Causes Stun and is cheap. I like this weapon in Act 1. (3/4)
Sling (75/25) – Causes Stun, is cheap, and is ranged. I like this weapon in Act 1. (3.5/4)
Sunburst (125/50) – Causes Stun, but it is a bit expensive. Maybe if I have a runemaster. (2/4)
Iron Battleaxe (100/50) – Good damage. If you have a berserker get this early in act 1. (3/4)
Elm Greatbow (100/50) – Good Bow. If you have a wildander I would be tempted early in act 1. (2/4)
Iron Spear (75/25) – Cheep with reach. I might buy this after the prelude. (2/4)
Crossbow (175/75) – nice damage, but way to expensive. I want 3 dice damage if I am paying this much (1/4)
Immolation (150/75) – nice damage, but way to expensive. There are better runes in Act 2. (1/4)
Magic Staff (150/75) – Red die ranged damage but way to expensive. (1/4)
Steel Broadsword (100/50) – Nothing great, expensive for what it does. (1/4)

In general I am careful about buying weapons in act 1. I like the trinkets and the armor. I will buy a weapon that causes stun if I can get it early in act 1, after the prelude or first quest. My favorite item is the Mana Weave. It makes a lot of act 2 weapons excellent.
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R N
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I mostly agree with your assessments, although I usually play as a series of 1 off encounters using the epic play rules. Consequently, I've used a lot of your lower rated items because I am not saving for later.
 
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I think you are overrating stun somewhat, in a ranged weapon it is quite useful but in a melee weapon it only really helps if the monsters are trying to run away or attack someone else and you cannot one shot them with a surge.

Iron Battleaxe should be 4/4, it is a huge step up from starting equipment for anyone and it is even better if you can generate surges (berserker, runemaster).
 
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Ken Marley
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Many quests are races and stun helps a lot in those quests. Of course immobilize is better. The best way to use stun with melee weapon is to stun then run away. Yes, iron Battle axe is good (I give it 3/4), but I would still take almost all act 2 weapons over it in a campaign. (The bad mace being one of them).

Since I always play the campaign, I will only buy act 1 weapons after the prelude or the 1st act 1 quest. I am usually short of money since I play to win each quest, and that sometimes requires you to miss out on searches.
 
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Darren Nakamura
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slacks wrote:
I think you are overrating stun somewhat, in a ranged weapon it is quite useful but in a melee weapon it only really helps if the monsters are trying to run away or attack someone else and you cannot one shot them with a surge.

Iron Battleaxe should be 4/4, it is a huge step up from starting equipment for anyone and it is even better if you can generate surges (berserker, runemaster).


Runemaster cannot generate a Surge to use with the Iron Battleaxe, unless he has the Mana Weave, and if that's the case, anybody could do it. Berserker with the Iron Battleaxe and Weapon Mastery is pretty nice though.
 
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Graham Martin
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While crossbow is pricey, it is a kick ass weapon, especially if you can buy it early in the game. The persistent Pierce 1 is huge for me, but being able to move a monster 1 space in any direction (even large monsters where you can re-orient their base) is insanely powerful in may of the quests.

The OL will often try to plug a hallway with some sort of meat wall like a dragon. Instead of trying to blast your way the rough with multiple attacks, up steps your crossbow-wielder and moves that shadow dragon completely out of the way and then the rest of your party scampers on by.
 
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David Puldon
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Sorry but crossbow and iron battleaxe should be 4/4 for act 1...
 
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sir slayer
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I would probably put the mana weave with that crossbow on one spot. So incredible strong.
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Graham Martin
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sirslayer wrote:
I would probably put the mana weave with that crossbow on one spot. So incredible strong.


Mana Weave = Tha Bomb!
 
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E.M. Proc
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Grahamers2002 wrote:
sirslayer wrote:
I would probably put the mana weave with that crossbow on one spot. So incredible strong.


Mana Weave = Tha Bomb!


Yea, in my group we're hoping to get the Act II Grinding Axe for the Beserker, which combined with Mana Weave and Weapon Mastery would make the axe's "2surges for +5damage" a sure thing... Unless the attack misses, in which case Reynhart (from LotW) can just use his hero ability to reroll the attack die...

Combine all of that with the Beserker's whirlwind and you're talking some serious damage output...
 
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Graham Martin
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emproc1346 wrote:
Grahamers2002 wrote:
sirslayer wrote:
I would probably put the mana weave with that crossbow on one spot. So incredible strong.


Mana Weave = Tha Bomb!


Yea, in my group we're hoping to get the Act II Grinding Axe for the Beserker, which combined with Mana Weave and Weapon Mastery would make the axe's "2surges for +5damage" a sure thing... Unless the attack misses, in which case Reynhart (from LotW) can just use his hero ability to reroll the attack die...

Combine all of that with the Beserker's whirlwind and you're talking some serious damage output...


Now if you could only add Reach to that skillset!!
 
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Rafal Areinu
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Grahamers2002 wrote:
emproc1346 wrote:
Grahamers2002 wrote:
sirslayer wrote:
I would probably put the mana weave with that crossbow on one spot. So incredible strong.


Mana Weave = Tha Bomb!


Yea, in my group we're hoping to get the Act II Grinding Axe for the Beserker, which combined with Mana Weave and Weapon Mastery would make the axe's "2surges for +5damage" a sure thing... Unless the attack misses, in which case Reynhart (from LotW) can just use his hero ability to reroll the attack die...

Combine all of that with the Beserker's whirlwind and you're talking some serious damage output...


Now if you could only add Reach to that skillset!!


Waiting for new accesories in expansions
 
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Graham Martin
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dpuldon wrote:
Sorry but crossbow and iron battleaxe should be 4/4 for act 1...


Just moved a shadow dragon completely out of the way by hitting him with a xbow and , after moving him one space, expanding him in a different direction. This thing rocks my socks!
 
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Darren Nakamura
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Grahamers2002 wrote:
emproc1346 wrote:
Yea, in my group we're hoping to get the Act II Grinding Axe for the Beserker, which combined with Mana Weave and Weapon Mastery would make the axe's "2surges for +5damage" a sure thing... Unless the attack misses, in which case Reynhart (from LotW) can just use his hero ability to reroll the attack die...

Combine all of that with the Beserker's whirlwind and you're talking some serious damage output...


Now if you could only add Reach to that skillset!!




Of course, Reach doesn't combo with Whirlwind...
 
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Jeremy N
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youperguy wrote:
Scorpion Helm (75/25) – Worthless item. If I find it in a treasure chest, I guess I would use it, but I would never spend money on this. (0/4)


I'll agree in most cases this isn't effective, but I think you completely gloss over the situational effectiveness (just as much as you completely glossed over the awesomeness that is grinding axe + berserker automatic surge skill in the Act II thread, until it was mentioned).


Runemaster + Shadow Rune Relic, surge abilities are:
Surge: +1 range, +1 heart
Surge: +2 heart
Surge: +2 heart, suffer 1 fatigue/damage


Personally the Scorpion helm essentially increases damage per attack by +1 heart, since surges don't need to be spent on range to ensure hit (let's agree not hitting is the worst outcome in this game).

And, since dice range is inversely proportional to dice damage, it synergizes well.

There's a lot of intangibles too. Since hero success in this game largely relies upon a successful turn-1 blitzkrieg in a majority of missions (which is why I think a lot of D&D-style players don't like this game, where in D&D caution is rule #1, but I digress), range and fatigue-movement are king.



tl;dr:
It's pretty common to spend 2.5x that amount for +2 damage, so 75 for +1 damage is really nice. But it's only good for limited build + weapon combinations, where you might not want to trade off damage for range.

For 90% of the use-cases, your assessments are right, but for D&D-style micro-manager min/maxers, I don't think this thread applies (besides being outdated).
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Jeremy N
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Also, Iron Battleaxe is a 4/4, and Immolation is at least a 2.5/4, if not 3/4.

These two weapons guarantee competitiveness in Act 2, Quest 1 (and even Quest 2 if you draw poorly for the Shopping phase, it's foolish to ignore risk mitigation). Particularly if your OL likes using high-defense large monsters. Of course, this means nothing if you're playing Expert, but in that case, you don't need this guide.

As can be seen from the graphics below, these two weapons are pretty much to be considered bottom-end Act 2 weapons against Ettins.
And they possess a definite advantage against Act 1/2 black dice monsters. They are to the right of the "damage cliff".


I'd say buying 1 of these 2 weapons (maybe not both... or some of the expansion weapons) is critical during Act 1 for the overall success of the heroes. In nearly every quest there's always a point where the heroes need to "get rid if a large monster as quick as possible because it's impeding the quest objective". Even when you do start buying Act 2 weapons, they have utility in being handed down to the "weakest character".

vs Black:
http://boardgamegeek.com/image/1568756/mercuric?size=large

vs 2 Gray:



youperguy wrote:
In this deck I am looking for items that will help me all game, not just in Act 1.

Clearly, you are not.
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