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Descent: Journeys in the Dark» Forums » Rules

Subject: Constant spawn - did we do something wrong? rss

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John Ward
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So we played our first game tonight. We randomly picked for sides, and I got the heroes.

I drew Ispher and Varikas. They seemed pretty tough and a nice mix of melee and range. Ispher had precision, tough, and deflect arrows. I bought Ispher a bow, a sword, leather armor, and two vitality potions. Varikas had weapon mastery, parry, and telekinesis. I bought Varikas chainmail, a sword, a dagger, and two healing potions. We started the game and I opened the door.

Turn 1
I was looking at five beastmen and a skeleton. I moved Ispher (who opened the door) back a step and fired at the master beastman, since he seemed to buff all the other monsters. I rolled an X. I moved Varikas up and put him on guard to protect the archer. I used telekinesis to toss the beastman leader in the pit.

My opponent moved up, so I interrupted with Varikas, who also rolled an X. My opponent played an AIM card on the skeleton and shot Ispher for a huge amount of damage. The beastmen ran up and attacked Varikas, doing very little damage despite the +1 damage from the bossman three spaces behind them.

Turn 2
On my turn, I battled with Varikas, killing two, and retreated Ispher, shooting the skeleton. I sent the beastman leader down the hole again. My opponent discarded a card and summoned two more beastmen. The remaining original beastmen ran past Varikas (there appear to be no engagement rules) and attacking Ispher, doing 7 damage.

Turn 3
I battled with Varikas, killing the two beastmen savaging Ispher. I battled with Ispher, killing the beastman leader and whiffing. My opponent discarded a card and summoned three bane spiders.

The rest of the game
Every turn, I killed about two monsters. Every turn, my opponent discarded one card and used that threat (along with the two threat from the turn) to summon another three or so monsters. I literally could not get ahead. By risking Varikas, I managed to get LOS to the north past the rubble, so my opponent couldn't summon into that corner anymore, but my opponent played a spiked trap and by virtue of the surrounding beastmen, I had to go back to my standing spot out of LOS. I was drowning in monsters, and by the time the sorcerors showed up it was all over. I don't know if the white dice are the best, but my opponent rolled something like 8 or 10 damage on me twice in one turn. (Two sorcerers standing 4 spaces away with a beastman leader next to them and rolling damage plus enough range to hit me so they dumped their sorcery adds into damage.) I shot them both dead that turn, but my opponent quickly killed both characters and boom I lost.

Neither of us had much fun. It seemed like the monsters were spawning roughly twice or three times as often as would be exciting. Literally, my opponent just held me at the door long enough to get lucky with a few attacks. There were only two turns when the overlord didn't spawn monsters.

So what did we do wrong?
 
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David Etherton
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I just looked through the overlord deck, and there are nine spawn cards out of 36 total cards (six spawn three monsters, and three spawn two).

What was the initial Overlord's hand size? According to the new FAQ it should be three cards. So on average you would likely start with at most one spawn card, and you would draw another spawn card every other turn. I don't see how the Overlord could sustain spawning for any length of time unless there was good luck or a bad shuffle?

Quote:
"There were only two turns when the overlord didn't spawn monsters"


I don't see how that could be possible unless the game was over within ten turns or so?

-Dave

 
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David Hanold
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Um...well, yeah

You played right. I would have to say next time you shouldnt hide one character behind the other. Instead I would have moved into the room away fromt he beastmans movement and waited for him to get around the corner to shoot him, i would force him to go around the corner by parking Varikas ont he other side with a dodge action. It's hard to visualize, so just remember to try and draw the overlord to you and make sure you get in the LOS of most of the room. Didn't fisnish reading because i was forced to reply whne you said you dint have any fun. I am guessing the overlord wins. I can see how the game looked bad based on how you wiped (yes a WoW term) on the first room. Just make sure you really think things thru including what the worse situation the overlord could have you in on the up coming turn and you shoudl do fine, even tho ur dice rolls did kinda suck for the first round of the game. blah blah im rambling....
 
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David Hanold
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Man i wish my name was not David its to common


PS srry for double post
 
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John Ward
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etherton wrote:
I just looked through the overlord deck, and there are nine spawn cards out of 36 total cards (six spawn three monsters, and three spawn two).

What was the initial Overlord's hand size? According to the new FAQ it should be three cards. So on average you would likely start with at most one spawn card, and you would draw another spawn card every other turn. I don't see how the Overlord could sustain spawning for any length of time unless there was good luck or a bad shuffle?

I don't see how that could be possible unless the game was over within ten turns or so?
-Dave

The overlord started with three cards and drew two each turn. The overlord didn't spawn the first turn nor maybe the seventh (nearer the end). It was only ten turns or so (1 1/2 hours), but it seemed like an eternity. Maybe it was just a bad shuffle, because I see that there was only one spawn card left in the deck. The overlord had possession of twenty-three cards, including eight of the nine spawns. So if I had survived, the overlord would have had to drop more traps and things instead?


Dark Kami wrote:
Um...well, yeah
You played right. I would have to say next time you shouldnt hide one character behind the other. Instead I would have moved into the room away fromt he beastmans movement and waited for him to get around the corner to shoot him, i would force him to go around the corner by parking Varikas ont he other side with a dodge action. It's hard to visualize, so just remember to try and draw the overlord to you and make sure you get in the LOS of most of the room. Didn't fisnish reading because i was forced to reply whne you said you dint have any fun. I am guessing the overlord wins. I can see how the game looked bad based on how you wiped (yes a WoW term) on the first room. Just make sure you really think things thru including what the worse situation the overlord could have you in on the up coming turn and you shoudl do fine, even tho ur dice rolls did kinda suck for the first round of the game. blah blah im rambling....

I only hid the one character for the first turn. I had moved him to open the door. When I saw all the monsters, I just stepped him back one (because Varikas only had three movement) and shot at the master beastman. Using two movement to open the door, I couldn't have gotten LOS to the right corridor, anyway. After that, there WAS no "away from the Beastman's movement. They were spawning right next to me, with one beastman standing there blocking LOS.

After the very first turn, I had three or more monsters adjacent to my heroes every turn. (Then I'd kill them, then more would move up,) The overlord used the pit card one turn to keep me from getting up to get LOS to the left corridor. It wasn't a matter of MAKING the overlord come to me, it was a matter of too much coming to me.

In ten turns, I killed nine beastmen, two master beastmen, two sorcerors, three skeletons, a master skeleton (twice!), four bane spiders, two master bane spiders, and two hell hounds. It was like playing Gauntlet or Diablo and camping near the monster generators without attacking them. They just kept coming and sheer force of numbers blocked LOS down the corridors, allowing the overlord to spawn close to me.

EDIT:
Aha! I found something we missed. MONSTERS DON'T BLOCK LOS for spawning purposes. My opponent was using the master beastman as a pump for the attacking figures and as a screen so I couldn't get LOS to the top and bottom squares of the "cross" in the corridor. That way, spawning monsters just "popped in" behind the screen on each end and were instantly into contact. That would have given me some breathing room to shoot a few early, take some potions, do something besides battle each and every turn.
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Ulrich Rieger
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I played the game four times already (as overlord): two times with two heroes and two times with four heroes. In the two-hero games the overlord had an easy time slowing and killing the heroes. In the four-hero game it was quite the opposite: the heroes killed all the monsters within turns and were eager for new spawn.

The overlord needs to play extremely cautious with four heroes around. As stated in other postings he needs to amass monsters in order to try one concerted assault on one hero.

I have my hopes up for this weekend - we will play with three heroes. I guess that may be the best balanced version.
 
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David Hanold
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That LOS thing really helps lol. And I thought were just having crap luck that day. I mean 2 missses in a row and the deck perfectly shuffled for spawns, my bad hope the next game goes better with that rule implemented.
 
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Jon Dockter
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EDIT:
Aha! I found something we missed. MONSTERS DON'T BLOCK LOS for spawning purposes. My opponent was using the master beastman as a pump for the attacking figures and as a screen so I couldn't get LOS to the top and bottom squares of the "cross" in the corridor. That way, spawning monsters just "popped in" behind the screen on each end and were instantly into contact. That would have given me some breathing room to shoot a few early, take some potions, do something besides battle each and every turn.

That makes a pretty big difference.

 
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David Etherton
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I got my first play of Descent in tonight (I was overlord, my friend Alan was two heroes).

I have to admit, it does seem like there are too many spawning opportunities for the overlord, at least in a two-player game. I think the problem is that initial monster placement in areas doesn't scale up with number of heroes (like in Doom) -- only the difficulty of the monsters does.

I was throwing a lot of weak monsters at Alan, but even though he was easily killing them off (and would have killed them even if they were harder) they were consuming attack opportunities and I eventually overwhelmed him. Granted, he got some pretty good licks in as well (took out three hellhounds in one turn with only two guys).

It does seem like four players is pretty optimal -- three heroes and one overlord. One person keeping track of two heroes is a lot of bookkeeping for them, particularly on a first play.

Don't get me wrong -- we both really enjoyed the game and look forward to playing again, hopefully with more people next time.

-Dave
 
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Matthijs v S
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Yeah, three heroes is by far the best number. I've noticed people trying a scenario with 2 heroes, and after getting slaughtered a couple of times, trying with 4 (2 heroes per player). That was a cakewalk.

The fact that monsters become stronger doesn't add up to the number of players. With few exceptions, all the basic monsters basically go down in one hit unless you roll a miss. The extra threat is nice, but you're not drawing extra spawncards, you're just playing a bit more expensive cards.
Add the fact that with more people you get more treasure in total and better line of sight, the balance is best with three.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Would the number of players be more balanced if the treasure rules were that you get TWO treasure cards to distribute, regardles s of the # of players?
 
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Gene Vogel
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Played with 5 (4 PC's and an OL), and it was almost a cakewalk for the most part for the PC's (though the weak wizard was a nice target for me, the OL). That was, until the end. It was a spectacular finish, with monsters trapped on one side of a rune-locked door, and the PC's on the other side battling the main guy in mission #1.

Killed one PC, but since there was a plethora of baddies on the other side of the door, he didn't want to even try to get back into the fray and give me more Conquest tokens (or take them away, as it were). Took out the weak wizard, and that was down to 2. Had the last two down to what looked to be their final turn, and they ending up coming out with the win! It was awesome.

However, we didn't use the "everyone gets a treasure" deal since the rulemaster missed it (haha Jeff!) and no other players noticed it in the rules. Not that it's much of a balancing factor for missing this rule, we also didn't know that the OL started with 3 cards.
 
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Eric Kaun
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Quote:
The overlord had possession of twenty-three cards, including eight of the nine spawns. So if I had survived, the overlord would have had to drop more traps and things instead?

Doesn't the Overlord have to discard down to 8 cards max., after drawing the 2 new cards and selling one or both for threat tokens?
 
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Matthew M
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ekaun wrote:
Quote:
The overlord had possession of twenty-three cards, including eight of the nine spawns. So if I had survived, the overlord would have had to drop more traps and things instead?

Doesn't the Overlord have to discard down to 8 cards max., after drawing the 2 new cards and selling one or both for threat tokens?


I think he was talking about 23 cards over the course of their entire game. Not in hand at one time.

-MMM
 
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Martyn Fookes
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ekaun wrote:
Doesn't the Overlord have to discard down to 8 cards max., after drawing the 2 new cards and selling one or both for threat tokens?

I think you're right about the 8 cards max and I read the post as if the Overlord had 23 cards in his hand too!

When we play, the Overlord can discard any number of cards (not just the 2 that have just been drawn) as long as it is done before he activates his first monster. Could be wrong but I'm pretty sure that's what it says in the rulebook...
 
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