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

Subject: Two player campaign - poor results so far rss

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Gary M
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Hi all,

So me and three friends started a campaign. It started out well, we did first blood and Fat Goblin. It was very close and our Overlord could have easily won FG except it was our first game and he didn't take the optimal movement path which allowed us to kill Splig.

We were all super excited for the next session.

We played last night...and it went...badly. Our OL didn't have any fun at all because we ran over him. The only time we actually had a realistic chance to lose was when I made a stupid mistake and almost got knocked out during the Masquerade Ball E2, which would have probably allowed the vampire to escape.

So it's a two player game.

My buddy is playing Syndael as a Knight and I'm playing Tomble as a Wildlander.

We got lucky in our first two quests as we drew the treasure chest on our searches both times; the knight took the chain mail, and I took the leather armor.

Syndael has defense training and Tomble has bought Black Arrow after we did Death on Wing (the first quest of the night).

So I guess I'm wondering if the Synergy of our characters is too much for the two player game, coupled with the luck of our rolls, is making it too hard for our OL? I mean basically it's come to the point where the OL HAS to attack the super armored knight because the gnome hiding under his skirt has 5 defense dice versus the knight's 3. (1 grey from his own pool, 1 brown from the leather armor, and while adjacent to Syndael adds his base 1 grey, 1 grey from chainmail, 1 brown from defense training)

With Syndael's power we blast through the movement encounters and with Tomble's it's easy to bypass any roadblocks the OL sets up. When we're beside each other we're basically impossible to hit and he is very frustrated (and rightly so) with the game. He doesn't really want to play anymore and I don't blame him.

And now with Tomble having black arrow it basically destroys any of the monsters the OL puts down.

I mean before I had black arrow we almost killed the half dragon during our first activation in DoW. We left him with 2 hp. He survived, but if he hadn't that would have ended the game right there.

Do you guys have any suggestions on how to improve the OL's fun factor?

Is the combination of luck from the chests and character synergy just silly and we should start again?

Looking for thoughts.

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Darren Nakamura
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What you've come across is indeed a very powerful combination of heroes/equipment/skills. However, rather than starting the campaign over, I would suggest continuing on. Once you begin Act II, the Overlord's monsters will get a boost, with most of them upping their attack to three dice instead of two.

Another thing to point out to your Overlord to deal with Tomble's Hero Ability are skills like Ettin's Throw, Splig's Knockback, Alric Farrow's Overpower, and the Basic Overlord Deck's Dark Charm (which he should target Syndrael with). Each of those can separate the two heroes, thus nullifying Tomble's Hero Ability, at least for a turn.

Black Arrow is a great 3 XP skill (one of the best in the game, in my opinion), and if you guys want to try a minor house rule tweak, I'd suggest upping it to two Fatigue to activate. What I found when I was fighting a hero with Black Arrow is that he would often do nothing but use Black Arrow, and he could sustain it because he would just take the 3 minimum damage and spend any Surges on recovering the 1 Fatigue it cost to activate it in the first place. Upping it to 2 Fatigue wouldn't be a huge game-changer, but it would potentially cut down on how frequently Tomble could use it.
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Gary M
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The problem is now he's discouraged and it'll be hard to convince him that he's got a chance to win.

I'm sure we'll talk about it s'more, but I am pretty sure as soon as my buddy and I left he updated his trade list to include Descent 2.0.

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Jonathan Neufeld
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Feeling frustrated is understandable but wanting to trade it away after part of one campaign is a little hasty. You have to give the game a chance to defend itself. Perhaps you should take a break from the campaign and try different quest's with epic variant allowing him to try different setups and so on. This also increases the fun-factor as he is not 'locked in' to any specific card build. This experimenting might help him refine how he has built his deck so far. Also after such experimenting you may want to let him respec if he's made some mistakes.

He may also want to try different monster setups and so-on.
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Darren Nakamura
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Well, if it's your friend's game and he's trading it away, then you don't have much of a choice in the matter.

If he doesn't like the game, then you can't blame him for not wanting to play it. If you think he would like the game if he had a chance to win, then recommend that he consider strategies to counter your group, and that Act II monsters will give him a leg up.

It also may be useful (or not useful, depending on the type of person that he is) to let him know that this experience is highly atypical. Most people report that two-hero games are much more balanced in favor of the Overlord than the Heroes. You guys have gotten some lucky Search draws early on that work really well with your chosen heroes and classes. But that doesn't mean that the Overlord is out of the picture just yet.
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Rafal Areinu
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You could also let him try playing as hero, he might then get to like the game. As an owner he is probably doomed to be OL most of the time(if there's good reason not to own Descent then it's this one). You might trade the game with him too and then play it at your place and your pace
 
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Darren Nakamura
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Just thought of another thing that your Overlord can use to counter your team's high defense.

Tomble only has 2 Knowledge, so he only has a 22% chance of passing the check (and since he chose Wildlander he doesn't have the Thief's Lucky Charm).

1. Play Curse of the Monkey God
2. Attack Tomble while he has no defense dice
3. ????
4. PROFIT!

I think the message I've been trying to convey and that you should try to convey to your Overlord is that there exists a counter for just about everything, on both sides of the struggle. The problem with a campaign is that you won't necessarily have the right counter when you need it, and you may not need it after you buy it. Still, perhaps you want to let the Overlord re-spec his purchased OL cards now that he knows what you and your team are capable of?
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Sergii Zaskaleta
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In our playgroup we experimented with hero\class setups (we own the conversion) and generally in 2-player game me (playing as OL) absolutely pwnz hero party.

What is said above about act2 monsters is also QFT. So far, in any campaign played we (generally) never proceed past Interlude due we get trashed by 3-dice monsters.
 
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Gary M
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Yeah I offered him the chance to play a hero. He doesn't really want to because he said I'd have the same luck as him as OL.

So I think he's given up on the game unfortunately.

I don't think we'd be able to convince him to play again and I don't think we'd try...he really didn't have any fun.
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John Brady
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Garyaxe wrote:
Yeah I offered him the chance to play a hero. He doesn't really want to because he said I'd have the same luck as him as OL.

So I think he's given up on the game unfortunately.

I don't think we'd be able to convince him to play again and I don't think we'd try...he really didn't have any fun.


Hmm...in all honesty, he sounds like a bit of a crybaby. (I'd use another word, but this is s family forum ), especially since he's not even willing to switch sides and give it another go. If you guys had fun, maybe he'll lend it to you and you can recruit another person to play with.
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John "Omega" Williams
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Sounds like the OL player may have gone into it with a mindset of not liking it? Being unwilling to give a game a chance after only two sessions and before the game actually gets rolling seems really off kilter. Which is weird if they are the one who bought the game.
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Gary M
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nah, I don't think so. I just think he was very discouraged by the results. We all enjoyed our first session.

Anyway thanks for the feedback everyone! I appreciate it
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Thomas King
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Wait, you all enjoyed the first session? So, he's quitting and giving up on the game after 1 bad session? That does seem really premature. You guys weren't mocking him or making a bad situation worse, were you?

Sounds a lot like my brother, but my brother is a terrible loser and doesn't like competitive games to begin with. I can't imagine how else some one could give up on a game that quickly, especially since it's his own game and after enjoying it previously.
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Triu Greykith
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Maybe he was looking for a beer & pretzel dungeon crawler, and discovered D2E was not it. Maybe he just needs time to shift his mindset, if he doesn't just unload it & move on, or maybe it's just not his cup of tea. There are many who like D2E, and probably more people who do not -- they just don't tend to hang out in these forums much.

[I have nothing against B&PG; when Dungeon was released, we ended up playing 12 hours straight.]
 
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Michael Riewe
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Garyaxe wrote:
...I just think he was very discouraged by the results. We all enjoyed our first session...


If Descent is not his cup of cake, fine, no problem here, but to gripe about balance after having played 10% of the whole game is a bit premature.

Some times you win, some times you loose and some times it rains.
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Jeremy Laverty
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I'm not far from you and I own the game. I'll take over as OL and beat the odds. Geekmail me.
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