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Descent: The Road to Legend» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Deadsider's Guide to Overlording in RtL for new recruits rss

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Shawn Burk
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Hi there, earlier today I had another request for some basic tactics and advice via geekmail on how to play the Overlord role in RtL, and rather than making another private conversation I thought it more beneficial to make it public to invite discussion, comments, corrections, questions and criticism. So let's have a talk about it all shall we?

Please note, I am not a longtime pro of Descent and nor do I lay any claim to being the best Overlord or a voice of authority of any sort. I think the main reason I had been contacted a couple times was from being a prolific poster in the Session forum for my group's adventures, but nonetheless I do consider myself a competent Overlord. And as such, this guide will assume that a reader has played Vanilla Descent and is quite comfortable with the rules and mechanics of the game, and has had a chance to read the RtL rulebook as well as the official FAQ. Also as I play with all expansions, things like treachery, expansion heroes, feats and SoB dungeons are considered. So let's begin!


Basics


Understanding the game

This is a game of resources. You get enough of your resource, conquest (CT), and you can upgrade yourself to be a tougher challenge for the heroes. This however does not make or break the game, it is just a representation of what you have to throw at your opponents. Your heroes have two resources to manage, CT like we do, but also gold. Gold is also the more important resource. A lot of what the Overlord does is designed to wear down the most precious resource of the heroes. Gold is used to upgrade themselves and make them a more even match for our minions, and they use it to attempt to limit our resources, such as defeating monsters faster or by healing back wounds from temple heals. This means gold is a finite resource, and anything we can do to hamper how much gold they use is a direct benefit to us. Conquest for them is more a measure of time, they can't get it in large amounts like we can, so it is easier to just assume a typical dungeon floor with result in 3-5 CT for them each level (glyph plus leader kill/chest/special conditions). And the simple truth is the longer the campaign goes, the more CT they will have, the stronger they can become (powerful dice, strong skills in good combinations). Throughout this campaign, your goal isn't actually to kill them over and over again, but to try to gain an advantage in resources faster than they do. If you come in stronger, chances are you'll walk out stronger, and that is what will result in an Overlord victory.


This isn't Vanilla Descent anymore
For the Overlord, Vanilla Descent was a fairly easy and simple affair. The way to win was by sheer force of numbers, if you had a spawn card you should play it and no real regard for what it actually was or when to do it. With the Reinforcement marker and teeny tiny dungeon levels (doubly so if they have Boggs the Rat or Kirga), each spawn has got to count. You should immediately look at the card in your hand and ask yourself, what will this actually do? Will I be able to just put the creatures on the board and walk them somewhere, or can I spawn them and actually get an attack off? Generally if you can't make that spawn do something valuable you shouldn't play it. For example, playing a spawn that isn't in your upgrade category is probably universally a poor idea, with just the one lone exception being a Beastmen War Party. With the command bonus and the natural damage bonus, this spawn can do damage and even kill a full health hero, provided each minion hits the target (even in gold, though less likely). Whereas playing something like Ferrox even if you are a Humanoid player is much less valuable (Bleed is only useful in copper). Some spawns are almost 100% useless, like Bane Spiders, not because they aren't a decent low end monster but because their size makes them very difficult to spawn against capable heroes who watch LoS for spawning. This means when you eventually buy some Treachery and make your deck Focused, these should be the first things to go. Another key difference from Vanilla is the length of time you'll spend in a floor. A proper hero blitz can exit a dungeon level in only a few turns, which means you have little time to get going for threat and for getting through your Overlord deck for the good cards. This makes playing an early Power card a fairly poor choice, especially as they can up and leave the level without worry. Not saying that you should never play an early Power card, as sometimes you just have nothing else you can do, but you have to keep that in mind. A better play when you have no other play than a Power card is to hold onto the threat and see if they go into another level... if they do, now you can play it to better effect, as now they will be thinking of how to profit from this level and now you have some extra strength to fight them with.


Your minions are expendable
If you take nothing away from this post but one thing, learn this. Every single monster on that map, the level leader included, is expendable. And what do I mean by expendable? You want to sacrifice that creature into doing as much wounds as possible before it dies, because they all die. The heroes usually kill whatever they can hit within an attack or two, and our spawns are limited, so using small minions like basic skeletons as speed bumps for our bigger creatures to get in safer, stronger hits doesn't apply well as it used to anymore. You can't count on your Manticore or Naga to survive a hit before getting close enough to attack, so you must either bait the heroes to step closer while blocking lines of sight (basic Descent strategy) or flat out rush them down at every opportunity. And that is what you should do. Soon as a viable target steps up, the Manticore, Naga and boss all go after and immediately attack the target, whether they can retreat safely after that or not. Yes, this means you may make that one big damaging creature get placed into a horrible spot that will guarantee its death, but that is actually the point. First, that creature got an attack off, a strong one generally, and that alone was worth the creature getting toasted. Second, by the heroes focusing on the big threat, they left the little threats around to pick them off. Its classic warplane dogfighting strategy: Do you take on the biggest target with the biggest attack like a battleship, or kill off the smaller threats that are easier to stop like enemy fighter planes? The answer is you want them to condense attacks on the juiciest targets, because this way the numbers game plays to your advantage. Four normal skeletons don't do a lot of damage per hit, but they really add up, especially over one large target. And if they leave the big target up close to do big damage? Well, I'm sure you know what to do when a Rage or Aim card comes up for that activation.


How to chose your target correctly

Its easy to think you need to kill the most damaging hero, and in a simple perfect world that would be the case. Except they respawn almost instantly and get back up into your face at full health. No, you want resources, and to get them you always focus every attack possible at the weakest link. Go for a hero with low armor, low wounds, in a position to get wailed on by everything (like a runner that got too far away from the group). Every party seems to get a tank character, one that his a high armor value and its usually a melee character like Nanok. Well, never bother attacking them. Ever, almost. To get the maximum return for each attack the heroes are generous enough to let you fire off, you want to maximize the chance of getting a return for it. This usually means picking off the mage or the runner, or a suitably squishy hero. A lot of hero parties plan defense around CT value and that's fine. But one temple heal by the tank could undo turns of effort that might have killed a 2 CT hero once and crippled them the second time. The main exceptions for this is trap cards that ignore armor, but generally speaking you shouldn't play them to weaken a hero, you should only play them when it will kill or when it will delay them. For example, if a half health tank hero starts the second level of a dungeon, dropping a meaty Crushing Block on him will put him to critical health. The heroes are left with a problem, does he push on and risk a large CT gain for you if he dies to another trap card, or does he backtrack and return to town for a heal? If he pushes on and you can fell him with another trap or a good attack from a monster (Aims are really important in RtL. If they have high armor or a damaging attack, try to use an Aim every chance you get) then that's an obvious bonus. But even better is if you force him to go back to the glyph, port to town to heal, then have to come back to get to the fray. The time gained by the hero not attacking your minions results in more attacks going to softer targets, and more time passing means more threat and Overlord cards too. Also any time you are stuck for who to attack, just ask the heroes. Who has the least wounds? What is their armor value? Who else? Pretty soon you'll see the right and correct target and it saves you from having to examine each hero yourself too.


The proper upgrades

It can seem like you think you know how to re-invent the wheel of RtL strategy but trust me, you can't. The number one thing to do is always a monster upgrade. It doesn't matter if you are behind 2 to 1, 3 to 1 or 4 to 1, just upgrade your monsters. They always get a defensive boost with more armor and wounds, and that alone can often be the deciding factor if you get another attack off with that figure. And of course the improved damage per attack is nothing to laugh at either. There is no situation in the world that the first upgrade you do isn't monsters, period. At the start of the game, the heroes are pretty weak, but more than that you are pretty pitiful too. Monster upgrades instantly change that, and while you might have trailed behind in conquest a bit once you hit that upgrade you'll notice things start swaying your way more. And prior to changing to silver or gold age, stop buying upgrades so you can have a stock of it and upgrade monsters on the very first turn you get in silver and gold, that is mandatory. That moment when the age changes has a major disparity of power levels between the heroes and Overlord. They have equipment and dice limits of the previous age and you get the strongest monsters the new age will allow. You get the better end of it, bigtime. This is why each age change any LTs heading to Tamalir have a pretty good shot at beating back the heroes and causing you to win the game. This isn't to be underestimated. Of course, the LTs need Treachery to be a good fight, and that is basically the next most important upgrade. Not just for LTs, but for dungeons too. The reason for this is because it also helps get crap like Gust of Wind and poor spawns like those awful Bane Spiders out of your deck and giving you stuff you actually want. You might not get a lot of time in dungeons depending on how fast the heroes go, so you want to improve you chances. This also goes hand in hand with the Focused card, but its up to the player to find when the time is right for it. Not only does it trim the fat, but coupled with a lot of treachery it makes your OL deck a lean mean fighting machine. As far as what treachery to pick, that mostly depends on your Avatar's prices and CT available, but if at all possible pick event for Crushing Blow. Its the number one most hated card by the heroes, and for good reason. Breaking gear is so powerful in RtL, as not only does it cripple the damage output of the party in the immediate moment, it also hurts the party resource of gold which I talked about earlier. Do this every time you have a chance even if there's nothing that great to break. Other important upgrades are more Avatar specific, such as additional LTs or avatar upgrades. Just remember that if you pick a LT, pick one that goes well with your monster upgrades, and realize that before you get a lot of treachery going they are fairly fragile and best suited to only trying to raze cities far away from heroes and fleeing when they can. Eventually with the treachery and when the age changes, they will level up tremendously. And also don't forget that the LTs can use a Ready action, make use of Guard and Aim at key moments as well. By default though, you can almost never go wrong with Dodge orders, that is very powerful and frustrating for heroes to deal with. Another notable all purpose upgrade is Siege Engines (which is a good candidate for your pre-game upgrade). And some other notables depending on your avatar are Into My Parlour and Snipers. Early on though, skip Final Battle specific upgrades as they offer almost no value whatsoever. Only when a Final Battle is assured (or if you have spare time for a cheap 5-10 point upgrade that doesn't impact more important things) should you worry about those even if they are good like Soul Ward, Dragonfear, Shadow Clones, etc.

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Shawn Burk
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Re: Deadsider's Guide to Overlording in RtL for new recruits - Vol 1
The Overworld Map

Understanding the game within the game

The map is the most important addition to RtL, and the only realistic way we have to win the campaign... and its not by plot, that's for sure. Razing Tamalir into the ground at the change of an age in particular is when you have the most going for you and are at your toughest to beat. If you want to actually win this thing, you've got to put some effort into figuring out the strategy of making successful razes and playing your LTs to proper effect. Lots of people jump into the Overlord seat and think its all about making monsters crush heroes, but really that is just the means to an end, and this is the end. You need to put pressure on heroes, give them hard decisions to make and ideally with no good answer. When you raze a city, its resources are gone, or more specifically its market (for Riverwatch in particular) and its training grounds (all other cities). While it is true that there are other ways for the heroes to learn some key skills besides training in a city (one lucky Incident card and the silver Legendary dungeon), this is a pretty key concept to get. When you raze the city, you just prevented easy access to some skills, thus giving them fewer options to come at you with. For example, a runner loves the Acrobat skill, but an early raze of Dawnsmoor before they train the skill will keep that problem out of your hair for a very long time. And as a bonus it also gives you extra CT per game week as well. Getting a couple cities razed will amount to a considerable gain of CT for you for the duration of the campaign. Of course heroes know this, and clever heroes will especially know to try and thwart you when you at your weakest - copper age. So let's break down how to make a more successful siege.


Accessibility and the Siege Dilemma
Have a look at the Terrinoth map for a moment so you can familiarize yourself with some places I'll mention. The heroes are currently at Tamalir, and from listening to your players they are interested in getting Secret Training done now that they have the resources to do it. Your LT is near Tamalir, at Thelsvan Highway. You decide now is a good time to put some map pressure on the heroes, and you set out to Riverwatch while they set out towards Olmric's Hut. In the game weeks that follow, you will arrive in Riverwatch and begin the siege, meanwhile the heroes are off in an opposite direction. This is a great situation, because if they want to try and save Riverwatch they have to abandon their plans of going for Secret Training right now and trek the long walk back to Tamalir. If they continue onwards to train, you must definitely will get some raze rolls and with a little luck on your side the city will fall and you will gain an extra CT per game week (which has exponential benefit to you).

Another way to pressure heroes to saving cities is to lay siege in opposite directions. Attack a city in the north, and another in the south. They can probably only save one, at best. This back and forth pressure is the key, and this requires a developing a sense of skill to reading your player group. The hero turns are much longer than yours, and you should be paying attention and listening to what they are thinking about doing. Are they desperate to get a training done? How badly will they want to save a nearby city until they train the skills they want there? All this is something you have to consider, because if they take the time to chase your LT down they are wasting their own time that could be used clearing dungeons for resources. The more appealing you make the choice of them going after your LTs, the more CT you will gain over time especially when compounded with a successful raze or two. To further that CT gain, most avatars have a Keep close to a city, making it a prime target for an early game raze. It might not have the best skills that you want to block, but remember this is a game of resources and getting on the board early will start the ball rolling. Generally, the first thing you want to do is take down a city with your freebie LT, Alric. Most hero groups will also be focused on trying to get themselves set up with more than shop gear at the start giving you ample time to get the first raze in. So make use of what city is most accessible and get the ball rolling, then force them into directions they don't want to go at the risk of you getting a raze. And once you do have some treachery going, and probably in an age other than copper (it can be done in copper, its just tougher), go after key cities with things you absolutely want to stop, like Wind Pact at Greyhaven or Acrobat from Dawnsmoor. Those cities are very close to their home base and they will be much more likely to make efforts to fend you off. This is a hard category to try to guide a player through as the map is always changing and the needs of the heroes is always changing, but the important part to grasp is keep them moving, keep trying to make them wish they could be in two places at once, and nab those razes when you can.


Staging the defense of a siege

Initially, LTs are fairly weak. Well, not weak exactly, but heroes are more than a match for them without good minions and tricks like Treachery. When you have upgraded monsters and your LT has them in his loadout, coupled with treachery for a Crushing Blow and a Danger with Rage, you can begin starting to take them on in earnest. For starters, don't engage the heroes with the intention of making a Total Party Kill. Its fairly easy for them to run off the map as they often have more than one exit, and that alone will defeat the TPK effort. So with a Crushing Blow in your hand early on, they have to be willing to risk a big setback to fight you. This of course will change if they have Wind Pact early, but if they don't you will be laughing, and still laughing later on when your Treachery is closer to maxed. With Encounters being able to spend threat for Movement Points, its easy to get a LT to declare a Battle and move in for a strong attack twice after discarding Danger, or stay defensive declaring Dodge while attacking and moving around. This means that sometimes defending a city from a raze is a sneak attack in disguise, breaking their gear can be the actual objective until they get their counter skill. But that's just one way to defend a city, another is sheer numbers. Send two or more LTs to siege a city, and the heroes can only clear them all out if they can force each one to flee. Which means if they have to make a long walk from somewhere, the first LT will get his hits in to soften them up and then flee, but the heroes have to press on without stopping that turn if they want to challenge LT #2 without giving you another turn to lay tokens/roll for the city. If the second LT manages to make them flee or finishes them all off since they were softened up, you are in good shape for now. Also, you can have a siege backup ready to go. For example, if I was playing Beasts and had Eliza and Alric out, and Alric was sieging a city while Eliza wasn't there yet. The rules say that it is only at the start of the game week the tokens are removed if no LTs are present, which means on your turn Alric could move off to terrorize the land in other places, while Eliza moves in to take his place and continue the siege. This works because she is the stronger LT for a Beast player and more likely to fight heroes well, compared to Alric.

The one thing that does deserve special mention though is heroes with Feats. With the heroes, what you see is what you get most of the time. Hero A does X average damage and has Y armor. Hero B uses runes with an average range of Z with a poor speed rating. These things can be planned for, but you cannot plan for the hidden element of Feats. These things are so good, and it can be hard to gauge what your players have. A single feat turning a key attack to a miss, a card to cancel out the playing of a vital card like Crushing Blow, or a whole host of annoying tricks is at their disposal and you can't plan for them. So my advice here is look at each players hand of feats, count those cards. Assume the worst counter to your stuff just in case, and above all... respect the feats. A hero party coming in with full hands of feats may be able to pull off amazing things and wreck your supposedly safe LT from every calculated angle of attack you planned on. Don't let your LT die from that, as it is campaign crippling. I never want to have to say I told you so, so remember there is no shame in fleeing a LT... just shame in letting one die from getting carried away.



Building your customized engine of evil... the Overlord Deck

Important Treachery Cards

Here's the list of Overlord Cards for reference in this section. Now, there are a couple rules going for Treachery cards, based on the properties they have going for them. One is that there is some cards that should be included basically at all times, such as Crushing Blow. Once you have it there is no reason to never deploy it in a deck or an LT encounter. In an LT encounter when they have Wind Pact out to nuke a card, nine times out of ten they will still kill the Crushing Blow allowing you to get crazy on what other cards to select, things like Animate Weapons or Ambush. Next rule of thumb is to not select anything too expensive for 3 treachery, because that is just plainly a poor choice of deck design. Way too expensive, no matter how much you like playing the big Monkey curse card. Cost 3 cards are right out. However, cost 2 cards make for some interesting choices. If you have only a little treachery, I'd avoid them. Yes the good ones are quite powerful, but you want to trim the deck more with more individual treachery cards first. However when you do get to that level, there are some very nice choices. The best choices for cost 2 cards in my opinion are Animate Weapons and Ambush. These cards are just so good! As the game progresses, the heroes get stronger and stronger and cards like Dark Charm scale up in damage rewards for playing it. Animate Weapons and having every hero smack themselves is just too good to pass up, for trap treachery. I'd say the ideal thing for mid-late game is to pack this plus the extra Dark Charm and let the heroes kill themselves off. For monster cards, I don't think there is any good 2 cost cards with the lone exception of the Elite Beastmen War Party, which I think is overpriced and would rarely consider it, but it still results in Command 2 which can be very valuable. Better uses of monster treachery is to replace the weaker spawns with the strongest ones of your category, but try to avoid large monsters as they are difficult to spawn. Now if you spend 2 event treachery and bring Ambush to the party? Well, now we got some lightning in a bottle here. This is the best card in the game right after Crushing Blow. The tactical benefits are just too important to ignore. Remember what I said about monsters being expendable? Well, now you can take that level leader who seemed to just suicide his strong attack into the heroes and attack with him again. You just got double your value out of him, and now even has the movement to retreat towards safety while 2 other hard hitting mobs attack the heroes. Not to mention the card interrupts the hero turn order, so when that wounded hero is trying to move or they are planning out some very precise movements and work out their plans, you simply go ahead and wreck them when they least suspect it. Such an incredible card, this should be mandatory regardless of your playstyle.

Anyway as far as treachery cost 1 cards go that are notable, there is quite a few. For red monster treachery, the best choices should be obvious; whatever is in a monster category you have upgraded that kicks ass and that you can actually spawn. Make absolutely sure that if you risk taking a kick ass large monster like a Naga, Troll or Manticore that you can actually spawn the thing, and even then I wouldn't take it because there is that risk factor. Otherwise my picks for the best spawns of each class are Death from Above (razorwings) for beast players and Legions of the Dead (skeletons) for Eldritch players. The razorwings are easy to spawn and with crazy speed values and flying, they almost always can harass no matter how distant they come in on the board (and have surprising durability especially if you got used to how crappy they were in Vanilla). For the skeletons, its because on the whole they are a really good monster that has good movement and range... and a single spawn card makes 6 freaking monsters, two of which have Undying (which was buffed in RtL). Wow that's good. Cost 1 traps mostly aren't very good, even if you happen to be the Spider Queen. The reason for this is most of them do status token damage like Burn or Bleed, which once you are out of copper and realize the damage never scales up makes them pretty junky from there on out. Yes, this means even the awesome fun combo of Scything Blades/Crushing Block combo isn't as valuable past copper, because the blades are obstacles and not a trap itself. And while you could take the Welcome Mat card, I promise you no hero will open doors so that they can have that happen to them again after the first time, because it can be countered by opening on a diagonal if the map allows. No, clearly the best card for 1 point of trap treachery is another copy of Dark Charm, which as discussed before will always be increasing in value as the heroes get stronger. And rounding out treachery discussion, 1 cost event cards have the beloved Crushing Blow, so get that always. They also have a couple fun tricks with cards like Weakness and Dark Power. And given the choice between the two, take Dark Power. While Weakness is hilarious to use when a hero will be making an attack under the effects of a Power Potion (ha!), in the end you must remember monsters are expendable and they will die anyway. It can be nice to give them an extra turn chance, but more importantly you should play for extra damage and take Dark Power or something that improves wounds dealt like Critical Strike or Enraged. Also some people are fans of Spell of Frost for its ghetto-like ability to work like a Crushing Blow of sorts. To that I disagree, because if I spend the treachery point I want a guaranteed result of some kind and not left so totally up to chance like that one is. Even if it takes hold, it may never actually do anything. Remember part of the value of treachery is removing cards of dead weight, and if this is played and did nothing, it was dead weight. Its like listening to people tell stories about winning the lottery; yes it could happen, but it probably won't.


Cards to kill
I've discussed this a little bit elsewhere so I won't go into huge detail as this becomes personal playstyle and preference, so I'll just hammer out some good rules of thumb. Firstly, any card that doesn't have a guaranteed value should go (I'm looking at you Gust of Wind). Anything crazy to spawn should also go, Bane Spiders is the number one spawn to kill (even if your a beast player, even if you are a Spider Queen with upgraded spiders... kill this card. It is awful!) Also, get rid of the kobolds. I liked them a lot in vanilla, but with a lousy discard value of 1 and being such a lame duck in RtL with poor dice and speed the only thing they aren't worse than for spawning is Bane Spiders. Of course, other cards out of your monster upgrade paths should get zapped out too, but keep in mind that the Dark Priest spawn card is worth keeping around even if you ignore Eldritch. They can generate threat in levels where you might not get much and attack at great ranges, and when the master dies it essentially banks a bonus CT on a hero with curse (or even better a hero might waste gold getting rid of it if they're being silly). Also though you might think, hey self, I never use these paralyzing gas door traps, lets toss them... don't. They have good discard value at 3 threat, so keep them in. When you have a lot of treachery and actually have to start looking at good to decent cards to get rid of, consider things like Dark Balm and Dodge. Dark Balm can admittedly be kicked out earlier in the scheme of things, but if a hero had a Web weapon in an encounter against a LT who could get gummed up by that attack, bring Dark Balm to escape. In dungeons, I agree it is almost useless as whatever gets gummed up by tokens is probably dead next turn regardless. That's also why I suggest to kill some Dodges, because while it may indeed make a critical attack miss, it is by no means a guarantee of less damage. Things like Rage and Aim should never be removed, and Charge too because it makes slow bosses rush heroes down.


Your upgrade path to great evilness


Monster Upgrades

I will personally smack you if you haven't learned to do this first yet. Really. Oh sure, I get the temptation to try and get something "quick" and "cheap" while you struggle to save while heroes blitz to their hearts content while you feel like they are running away with the early game. Well stop that, because this is always the way to go. Any other upgrade you get is delaying when you start to become good, so don't you dare buy a LT or cheap upgrade of any kind. Okay with that settled again, lets talk a little bit about the monster categories. For starters, not every class is made equal, and some upgrades are more valuable for one type than another. For example, the jump for Eldritch from silver to gold is good of course, but the jump Beasts make from silver to gold is way bigger and much scarier. This means while your cheap monster type might be on paper the best and only thing to consider to upgrade, it might not be the best idea in practice. Goes double for humanoids, because to be honest that entire monster category has a lot of problems and is far and away the weakest of the three. The most important factors to consider is availability, quality of upgrades and versatility.

Right off the bat, Eldritch is a great category for availability. They're everywhere, especially in dungeons. Its fairly rare to see a loadout that doesn't have a good choice of Eldritch, so this is always a good choice, though they are found a lot less in Encounters. Beasts are also widely available in general, but in particular they are found a lot in outdoor Encounters. Humanoids are found the least, and often in weird or low numbers. This was improved with SoB dungeons, but still, they are in last place there. Quality of upgrades, this is pretty obvious. Eldritch are fine minions to have, silver has a big jump for them but the gold and diamond levels don't make the leap quite as big as they did early on. Beasts start pretty strong and end really strong too, they also come with the strongest damage dealing monster in the game, gold/diamond nagas (sorcery plus command 2 with sick dice). Humanoids get uh... beastmen? No really, that is pretty much it. They do get stronger of course, but their damage potential is definitely behind the other two. Finally, we have versatility. By this I mean tactical options, like models that can fire at range as well as run block with defensive figures, or deal status tokens or high mobility. Eldritch are good at this, the basic units of skeletons have great mobility and range, and the sorcerers and dark priests are great too. The high end monster of a Demon is also quite strong. For beasts, most of their models on gold/diamond have the best mobility in the game with lots of things having speed 5/6, as well as the sick razorwings with flying and movement going to 10-14 spaces. Also their damage types often have flying for getting around terrain, like Dragons and Manticores, and they can attack at range too. Great monster class. Humanoids however suck the worst at this category. They have almost no ranged capability as the bulk of them are all melee, allowing hero parties that can fight at a distance to chew them up, because they also come with low speed, so they may never even hit at all. So yes if you were an aspiring Titan or Beastman Lord player, you probably still shouldn't upgrade humanoids even still. Though as always their best units are still beastmen, at higher levels with Command 2 they are quite good for what its worth.

What you also should know is no matter what Avatar you play, that it is not a bad idea to pick up a secondary monster category to fill in for your weaknesses, if you can afford it. Eldritch are weaker on encounters, so beasts compliment that well. And eldritch are often found in dungeons, and compliment everyone. Perhaps the best overall combination is silver eldritch while maxing out Beasts; silver eldritch gives them just enough offense and defense to stay a threat through to gold age and diamond beasts are really strong. Not to say you couldn't go it alone as pure Eldritch or Beast though, but you will definitely have dungeons or encounters where loadouts are just plain poor for you. If possible, minimize those options by having a complimentary monster category if you can afford it.


Avatar Upgrades

There are a couple standout Avatar Upgrades for each Avatar, and rather than go through each one and call them out I'll just bring up a rule of thumb: only take final battle upgrades when they are necessary or when you can afford to. This means in the first 300 CT of the campaign, you shouldn't make it an effort to buy your Soul Wards and Diamond Scales. If the opportunity presents itself and it doesn't conflict with buying a key point of treachery or saving CT for an age change monster upgrade, by all means go for it. But do know that once you begin committing to final battle upgrades, it comes into the realm of all or nothing. A smattering of upgrades still leaves you with very little chance to make a surprise victory in the end, so ignore it totally or go all in. But do note that there is a rumour card out there for heroes that can zap two upgrades right to the graveyard before you can play them, so if they get that one in play or begin fishing for rumours, you may have to pull the trigger on it earlier than you wanted too. Generally, all your upgrades as mentioned before are monster upgrades then treachery, followed by avatar upgrades. This includes getting a cool LT or neato cards like Siege Engines or Snipers. What I want to talk about real quick is the Any Avatar ones and give little rundowns.

Focused is the star of this show, it has a surprisingly big benefit once you get some treachery built up. I promise you that you'll have a moment like you feel like you've stacked the deck because you keep pulling nothing but great cards, and that is just huge especially when heroes get rolling and don't stay long in a dungeon level. The only issue is when to get actually get it, because the sooner the better but there are more important things to get first like Event treachery... but soon as you can spare the time to do it, grab it. Big Trouble is a good card, but you only get it once and it gives you a chance to deal with a time sensitive issue. Perhaps the heroes are rushing to save a city that is starting to roll to raze, or running out of time to reach a legendary dungeon before an age changes? This is the card for that, so don't spend it on something trivial; you only get one per entire campaign. Siege Engines is a very awesome card, there are very few cards out there that can trump this one on the overall list. Unless you have an Avatar with a really good upgrade like Into My Parlour or Snipers, this should probably always be your pre-game upgrade, this is too good to ignore. Heck, even if you were the Spider Queen or Sorcerer King this might probably still be the best pregame upgrade. Lawlessness on the surface seems good, but encounters are generally easy for the heroes to deal with barring some really bad luck. This means that on the way to a dungeon to gather resources, you might give them the chance to earn additional resources on the way and generally sabotaging your overall plan. You shouldn't ever get it unless the heroes are seriously struggling... and if they are struggling that bad, you are playing fine enough as it is and don't need it. Transport Gem is another one time card that can be exceptionally valuable to move an LT around. Maybe to intercept the party or put another LT on a city for siege defense. In any case the same blurb on Big Trouble applies, don't waste this card if you get it. Not often a mandatory card to get, but extra props if you happen to be a Great Wyrm with the gold level LT Dar Hilzernod: you can Gem it to a city to automatically raze it, Tamalir included. All the Avatar boosting ones like extra dice, wounds, abilities and such are what you want if you have to prepare for the final battle. Max them or ignore them, that's all you can do.

When it comes to Plot upgrades, it is mostly only the Obsidian Shackles plot that has anything worth mentioning. Brother Against Brother is a good card to mess with the heroes if they make it to the final battle, if only for the paranoia that comes with it. It is overpriced hugely for what it is though, as there are ways to counter it completely even if it takes effect. Greed and Hatred might seem like a good overall idea, but it too is overpriced. Also the cards that auto-raze cities is poor play. Paying CT to raze cities, it basically costs more CT than its worth. However if the heroes are venturing to Olmric's Hut in silver, 15 CT can be worth trying to slow them down on the map in a pinch with Passing of a Legend. For Lieutenants, I hope you like Alric because he's always just there! Eliza is a stellar LT for a beast player, and Merick is great for Eldritch. Most of the Avatar only LTs have some uses to them, with the clear cut best of the best awards going to Kar-Amag-Atoth for the Demon Prince and Slaggorath for the Spider Queen. The only one that truly stinks is Gata the White Death, having no minions to absorb any attacks or soften the heroes with is practically a death sentence. Too bad for him, because he has a cool name and neat concept, just in practice he's pretty close to useless.

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Re: Deadsider's Guide to Overlording in RtL for new recruits - Vol 1
Troubleshooting a tough situation, and showing your heroes who's the boss

How to make your Lieutenant fight like a champion
I've brought up Treachery before and what cards are good ones to look out for, but things change for LT encounters with treachery a bit. Treachery points don't have to be spent on actual Treachery cards, instead you may pay 1 treachery point of a type for 2 cards of the same type without a cost. So 1 event treachery can pull Rage and Danger for you to play in that combat for example. Now hopefully this has got the gears in your brain turning at all the wonderful combinations and tricks your LT can pull! Just keep in mind two things, you are still restricted to bringing a maximum of 8 cards into play even if you had enough treachery for more (also means no bringing the 9th card in and claiming to discard it for threat), and two, the heroes have Wind Pact. So take the Ambush card for example. Its still an incredible card, and that is still true here in LT encounters. However if all you have is 2 event treachery, just pulling that lone card isn't as valuable as it would be to pull Rage x2, Danger and Aim. And also as per the FAQ, a LT can declare an action like Run or Ready an Order (like Dodge), then be targeted with a Rage card and still attack twice. Does this mean this just got complicated from all the options you have? You bet it did. Generally in LT encounters, you want to maximize your options with more cards. Having four cards to play instead of just a very powerful one, especially when you have the most powerful monster type on the board in the form of a LT is what you want to do. So imagine 4 event points, and maybe breaking it down to Crushing Blow (1), Rage x2 (1), Danger and Aim (1), Aim and Dodge (1). Suddenly you have a nearly full hand of 7 cards, pretty sweet deal... and powerful too.

But its not all that simple. Heroes will often go for the Wind Pact skill, as it is really strong in LT encounters. Once you pull your hand of up to 8 cards, not only do they get to see exactly what you have giving them a chance to prepare for your tricks, now they get to kill a card so you don't get to use it. Using my previous example, they likely will have removed Crushing Blow. This is the only real way they have to defend against our LTs breaking their gear, and eventually they will get that skill and put an end to our equipment breaking shenanigans. So, here's where more treachery comes into play, we will give them hard decisions to make. Lets take another example, this time of a nearly maxed treachery avatar. Say you have 4 event and 3 trap treachery, and you pull Crushing Blow, Ambush, Danger and Rage, Danger for events and then Dark Charm with Curse of the Monkey God, and finally Animate Weapons for the trap points. Well well well, now they have some dilemmas here. If the heroes are strong and damaging, that Dark Charm and Animate Weapons will do some serious damage, that might be worth making the target of Wind Pact. And what about that Ambush? Discarding Dangers and the Monkey God (Monkey God is 4 threat on discard, bringing turn 0 threat to 24!) before playing Ambush on turn one and then using Rage with a LT near the party camp before the heroes can strike can be pretty lethal too. Maybe they want to kill Ambush instead of Crushing Blow? Or is Animate Weapons too damaging? No matter what they pick here, they are going to get severely punished for it. This is how you can help mitigate the loss of Crushing Blow by making them second guess their choices and punishing accordingly with other very strong cards. And in the event they decide to stop something other than Crushing Blow? Heh, you know what to do.

So what does this mean for a good treachery loadout? It means you have to know your hero party and what they want to do, and what you are doing right now. Are you attacking them for the fun of it, or did they challenge your LT to stop a siege? You have to plan a loadout for your needs. When they don't have Wind Pact, you have free reign to beat them down even if you just kick them around then flee. With it, you need more Treachery to put the hurt on them but you can still stomp them with the right planning. It also means that while I already discussed some quality cards on a more individual basis, there isn't much of a one right answer for LT battles. For example if you have Trap treachery, always bring a Dark Charm. If you have at least 2 event treachery, always bring regardless of Wind Pact a Crushing Blow and a copy of Danger and Rage. Danger and bringing in cards to discard for extra threat is pretty strong in outdoor encounters, because they rarely last long enough to generate threat, especially without an Overlord Deck to draw cards to discard. And with threat here being so much more valuable to use for unlimited spawning, bonus movement points (move that LT with threat while declaring a Ready with a Dodge order and an attack to boot!), as well as upgrading dice like the heroes using fatigue. And because threat is so important, also be careful of the costs to play your cards when you consider your loadout (thus showing how good Danger really is). There are so many ways to munchkin yourself here that I hope you find the time to make use of good, interesting combinations. And while I mentioned it earlier, I have to remind you again of the event card Dark Balm, because if your LT can get Webbed up by a hero, you need to always be able to have the option to flee and this is the only way to do it. Don't forget this when you need it the most. Remember, LT encounters win campaigns for you and they do it best with quality monsters and then good Treachery. While there is no true perfect loadout, there is definitely some common themes for you to put to good use. So go whomp some hero butt!


Dealing with the dreaded silver Legendary Dungeon

This is a sticking point for a lot of Overlords, because the reward here for the heroes is the best one the game offers, short of them actually winning the campaign. If you are truly new and this I don't want to spoil what lies ahead, but I will make a hint at it: they can get the skills they are craving that you have denied them (hi acrobat, rapid fire, wind pact, leadership, etc etc!) There is only two ways to stop heroes from getting through here, and both are extremely hard to do. First up, heroes can't attempt Legendary Dungeons if they are in the lead for CT. Chances are by mid silver, a competent Overlord will ahead of the heroes, especially if he got of a couple of successful razes. And even if he isn't, the heroes can literally sit around in a city and waste game weeks of time until you take the lead from time passing CT. Clearly, this isn't really an option. There is one other way though, and that is from getting a time out and booting them from the dungeon. Very tough to do, but with a little treachery and luck, it might be possible... emphasis on might.

The thing is, decent hero players know to limit our CT gains and have hopefully learned to not give up any unnecessary death CT to us, because we make good use of it. This means in a typical dungeon if things look bad for them, they can run away and call it a day. However due to the instant respawn mechanic of coming back in from a glyph, if they really want, they can continue to die and die and die again repeatedly until they just brute force themselves through any dungeon we throw at them. If the reward is big enough, they simply will not care about their losses and will push on to finish the dungeon no matter what. Depending on your heroes, there may be other dungeons such as rumours that they may feel like they have to do this, or to get more resources for something. But the only truly do at all costs dungeon is this one, so for this one our only chance to beat them is to cycle that Overlord Deck twice on a single dungeon floor. Here's how to turtle to a timeout in RtL. First we need some treachery and we need the avatar upgrade Focused. This can be done without them of course, but considering you are more likely to be eaten by a shark than pull this off lets try to improve our chances. with Focused we trimmed the deck of 4 cards, which will be a big benefit as we have less cards in the deck. Next, we require 3 event treachery to add in two very specific cards: Urgency and Time Slips Away. If you read the cards, I think you'll see where I'm going from here. With a faster rate of pulling cards, as well as putting the power card Urgency in play, and Evil Genius as soon as it comes up, we have effectively put the card deck on turbo and are hoping for the best. Keep in mind though, this is a pretty big desperation attempt, as some very good cards are likely to get killed by Urgency and Time Slips, so some of you best moves just won't plain be available each deck cycle. And also, when you are about to reshuffle the deck, try to keep a full hand of cards before you shuffle. Less cards in the discard pile means a smaller deck. And to top it all off, if the heroes are still going their merry way without too much trouble, even with all this in play they still may walk this dungeon easily. So is this even worth the effort?

Yes and no. Yes, only going so far as its the only real option to stop them from getting a reward, as conquest losses will not be an issue. But also no, because you are gimping yourself a fair bit for even trying this method, between losing cards from the deck that you can't play and a stricter treachery loadout. In the end, I would say if you feel the heroes aren't particularly quick about going through things, you might be able to pull it off. If they are doing well, you are probably better off going about things like normal and just trying to score as much conquest off them as you can. If you score enough conquest and they just plain bleed it everywhere, it might equal their gains. I hope I made it sound close to impossible here, because it probably is. If they are going to try for the this dungeon, this is also a good sign that the heroes are going to have a good shot at getting to the final battle, so unless a good Tamalir raze opportunity comes by in early gold, this should be the moment where you can begin making plans for final battle upgrades as well. Good luck in whichever you choose, because after this win this one it won't be pretty.



Odds and Ends


You can't afford everything

There sure is a lot of great stuff to pick from. A primary monster category, trying to max treachery, a host of general avatar upgrades, extra LTs, final battle upgrades, secondary monster categories, plot cards... you'll soon notice that actually affording everything is just not going to happen. It does mean you will have to make tough decisions on what to get and when, so try to be strategic when you make your upgrades. I can't really give a true outline or guide to that as it really is campaign specific, based on how well your heroes are playing as well as what the CT numbers and avatar you picked is. It might have gone without saying, but this is a guide so I'll say it anyway: always upgrade what will help you the most. It might be that extra point of event treachery while it might not have been that monster treachery. That extra LT that didn't fit your monsters well might be a waste of CT while upgrading a secondary monster category might have helped better. Just know you won't really have the time or CT to max everything, and pick what is most important to the here and now, and not too distant future.


Keeping records of everything, and organization too

This campaign has quite a lot of things to keep track of doesn't it? Keeping all the various rules straight in an often confusing game is one thing (and often a big job on it own), accurate record keeping is often another. As an Overlord, game set up and campaign maintenance often falls to you I find, and as such I wanted to plug an absolutely invaluable resource: Descent Campaign Tracker. Its free, can manage multiple campaigns, and keeps record of almost everything you could want. If you have access to a laptop or even a decent smartphone while you play, you really should use this. Also to make things easier for inquisitive heroes that need to know certain things right at the moment, try making some player aids and resource sheets. Some good summary aids are found here at Universal Head and also the files here at BGG have some good resources too. Just double check that each file source you use is updated to the final FAQ as some may be a little out of date on some aspects. Also if its within your budget, have a browse around the forums here for ideas on how to store the game. Not saying everyone has to do things differently than they are, but with this being a long time investment you can save a little sanity of your own by making set up and tear down times easier, as well as game time faster. Its great to just know easily where the effect token you need is or the right dungeon tile. A little organization goes a long way to a more enjoyable campaign.


Morale

This is an awesome game, but it has such highs and lows that it can really play with emotions. A couple sessions go by and you are on top of the world, while another one or two go by and you feel lower than dirt. With a game that runs this long, make no mistake, you will begin to care about what is going on and so will your fellow players. It would do you well to keep in mind your other players are only human, and perhaps not as well versed in what to expect in a long campaign and as such the spirit to play this game will change sometimes. If you have been dominating recently, some players might not feel the drive to play as much anymore. While I would never dare suggest going easy on them, I would suggest be an extra player or coach for them if they need it. Make them aware of your options, what things you might try to do, and you will make them better players at their roles and challenge you right back before long, elevating your game in the process.

This is a strange thing, this advanced campaign, and the main enjoyment should be from the ride and not the destination. The tinge of excitement and terror as an important raze roll fails for the third time in a row, or when a power potioned hero strikes without mercy on a level leader only to get a crit miss. Its the stories this game makes with you and your group that makes it so enjoyable, past the mechanics of an actual board game. Its that story of beloved hero A, not dying for the first half of the entire campaign then getting knockbacked into a pit for their first death from a Dark Charm no less. That one lone master skeleton that would just not friggin die, and had successful Undying rolls ten times in a row. That time the heroes got amazing luck with a chest and getting 4 full treasures for it, or that time a kobold managed to kill a tank. These reasons I hope are enough to keep it going, for you and your group, and that's why a true merciless Overlord should be mindful of his players so they keep coming back, because then he also gets to keep coming back. And it goes for them of course too. You are already the enemy and left out in planning and ignored in conversations, having to match wits against more than one brain and it can be a difficult job, not everyone is up for the task. Some people either just didn't want to take on that role because of all the rules and new things to consider, or perhaps you just really really want to play RtL and you'll even do this because nobody else wants to. I'd also wager if you are reading this, you are the owner of the game and often have to play the extra role of rules reader/decipherer, and all the problems that come with that. Just wait until you see the hero faces when you explain Soaring monster rules in encounters for the first time, you will not be popular that day lol. Point I'm trying to make is be proud you are taking on a challenging but intriguing role, and be prepared for the things that can come from such a daunting task... but it is quite rewarding in its own way. So have some fun and celebrate along with your friends-at-arms when they do well, so that hopefully they do the same with you when you make a good play or make that game winning raze. If they do beat you in the end, hopefully they can say they earned that win because of the hell you put them through. Just remember to never go easy on them though, that is the biggest difference of this game compared to a true RPG. A real RPG has a Dungeon Master who's job it is to narrate his friends through an excellent fantasy adventure, while here your job is to take them on a fantasy adventure... but one you want to win.


And with all of these things put together dear reader, that is what makes for a real Overlord.

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Re: Deadsider's Guide to Overlording in RtL for new recruits - Vol 1
An outstanding start in the OP.
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Re: Deadsider's Guide to Overlording in RtL for new recruits - Vol 1
A lot of very good advice. The section on expendability is essential.

May I add that the next most important Treachery card is the second Dark Charm. This is a card which increases in value as the heroes become more powerful. And final combat upgrades should be kept in view because the heroes might always get The Twins rumor. If you've got two essential, low cost final upgrades, like the Sorcerer has, perhaps you should buy one of them in the middle of the game.

Also, notice that Beasts are the best monster upgrade, the one with the biggest added value in damage and toughness, the most useful in outdoors encounters, and more so if you use SoB levels, which are Beast-oriented.
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Re: Deadsider's Guide to Overlording in RtL for new recruits - Vol 1
As far as I got it twins would hit:
- Siege Engines
- Transport Gem

etc... cause if the heroes enter the final battle they "most likely" win (anti climax)

I liked this guide so far.
 
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Re: Deadsider's Guide to Overlording in RtL for new recruits - Vol 1
ionas wrote:
As far as I got it twins would hit:
- Siege Engines
- Transport Gem

etc... cause if the heroes enter the final battle they "most likely" win (anti climax)



Not necessarily if you follow the modern idea of using SoB final combat rules in RtL (longer combat, better hp ratio to the Avatar, impact of early dungeons).

I agree that it wans't fun in the original RtL system.
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Re: Deadsider's Guide to Overlording in RtL for new recruits - Vol 1
To see why one should look for the soft target (except perhaps when Trapmaster is in play), imagine that you're dealing an average of about 5.5 damage per attack (a rather common figure at copper).

The Tank with AC 4 (which isn't that big) and 16 hp will need 11 attacks to go down.

The magic-user with AC 2 and 12 hp will need 4 (5 if he has Ghost Armor).

Whence it's easier to kill twice the MU than once the tank, for the same CT amount. Not to mention the fact that, if you don't succeed in one round, you'll lack monsters for the next one.
 
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Re: Deadsider's Guide to Overlording in RtL for new recruits - Vol 1
Usually the "heavys" are worth more (3 to 4) while the "lights" are worth less (2-3, sometimes 1). Still better go for the lights. Wounding targets is bad, killing them "in one turn" is good - at least in dungeon levels (encounters play different - I love that difference - both sides of it! .

Which Page of the SoB rules for the final avatar battle. Maybe I can convince my group - we are at 34/100 CP, In Week 2 only...
 
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Re: Deadsider's Guide to Overlording in RtL for new recruits - Vol 1
Thanks for the positivity everyone. I'll add another section into the second post tonight, and I'll discuss some other topics that I get asked a lot.

And don't worry about discussing that extra Dark Charm, I am all over that card with extreme love.
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Re: Deadsider's Guide to Overlording in RtL for new recruits - Vol 1
Okay second post is now done, I'll add the final part tomorrow evening.
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Re: Deadsider's Guide to Overlording in RtL for new recruits - Vol 1
Sadly BGG does not have great line-spacing like it is good for much text.
May I plead you to add some breaks to improve readability *reading it 2nd time*
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Re: Deadsider's Guide to Overlording in RtL for new recruits - Vol 1
Two comments about the second batch of information - which is as good as the first one was.

Ambush is a killer, but for the same price you get two Rages and two Aims. Probably more useful, and of course stronger against WP.

Clerver heroes will avoid having to walk all the way back from Olmric's Hut to Tamalir by leaving an open dungeon at 1-2 distance from the Hut.

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Re: Deadsider's Guide to Overlording in RtL for new recruits - Vol 1
ionas wrote:
Sadly BGG does not have great line-spacing like it is good for much text.
May I plead you to add some breaks to improve readability *reading it 2nd time*

That's quite fair criticism, fixed!

Merrimac wrote:
Two comments about the second batch of information - which is as good as the first one was.

Ambush is a killer, but for the same price you get two Rages and two Aims. Probably more useful, and of course stronger against WP.

Clerver heroes will avoid having to walk all the way back from Olmric's Hut to Tamalir by leaving an open dungeon at 1-2 distance from the Hut.



Thanks for the comments again. The treachery section above was more intended for an Overlord Deck as opposed to LT treachery, I was going to cover a section on LT treachery later tonight. And this is less about hero strategy as opposed to showing an obvious example for how to pull the heroes attention into more than one place at a time.

Maybe after this is done someone might feel inspired to write something similar for the heroes, a Hero Handbook perhaps?
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Re: Deadsider's Guide to Overlording in RtL for new recruits - Vol 1
I would differentiate treachery choices for dungeons and (Lt) encounters.

I don't believe 2 point cards (except maybe ambush if you have 4 event treachery) are worthwhile in encounters, unless you have maxed out treachery and are struggling to fit down to 8 card hand size.
Cost to play is a major factor too.
And non-treachery cards are some of the best - cheap to play, you can have moe of them in hand, less pain to lose to a feat and more 'force in being' power too.
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Re: Deadsider's Guide to Overlording in RtL for new recruits - Vol 1
aaaaaaaand.....


DONE!


I hope I touched on each major facet of the big black throne that is the Overlord role in everyone's eyes, and wanted to give some basic tips and advice to a new OL that might make it a little less daunting, because a lot of the time it is. The only thing I want to add is this was going to be about the basics, and as such more complicated stuff and tactics has to be left out, although of course one can only talk about those things in theoretical examples long enough before anyone goes crazy imagining up multiple possibilities and outcomes.

Also, a big thanks to everyone I've talked with on the BGG boards in my shortish year or so here. This is easily my favorite game because it never gets old, and a lot of the reason why it is so good is because of the community here. It may be small, but its strong, and a good place to debate rules and strategies and anything else under the sun.

And besides, this was a bit of a gateway drug for myself, fiancee, and friends, as I have an ever growing collection of other board games that I never would have discovered on my own now, thanks to BGG that was spearheaded by a love of this game.

Thanks everyone, couldn't have done it without you all.
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Great guide!
Thank you, I enjoyed reading it

yours,
farm
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Comments about dealing with the Silver Legendary Dungeon :

- why do you need to cycle thrice rather than twice in this case ?
Do you mean that the heroes will arrange for the deck to cycle just before they enter the decisive level ?

- we've found that the last level isn't that difficult, if you have the good weapons or feats. Whence I think there is little chance for this strategy to work.


I think only the Demon may succeed ; with cheap Event treachery and an expanded hand of cards he has two important bonuses. Avatars with another main Treachery category will probably not (be allowed to) buy three Event Treachery. One card which perhaps will fit in this schedule, if you don't mill it with Urgency and they don't have Wind Pact, is Dance of the Monkey God. It will give you extra rounds for nothing.
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Shawn Burk
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Well the rules say heroes are booted from a dungeon if you cycle the deck twice in a normal or rumour dungeon, but you have to do it three times in a legendary dungeon. Basically they get extra time to do it, because I have to admit it might not be fair for them if it was only twice for 4 full floors.

I think the silver dungeon is pretty easy on the overall, but the first time through when the heroes are learning what to do and seeing for themselves what the trick is to the final boss and such, that can take a little bit of time. If you play it again with the same group of people, they will know what to do and you really have no chance at a time out.

In my campaign as the Great Wyrm, I had a perfect storm of conditions that got me exactly 1 card away from booting them from the dungeon. On floor 3 they hit major delays with a tough floor resulting from a hero mistake, and floor four was basically turned into two more floors: the first area took a while and with some Hordes of the Things in play I was able to make the boss's area a fight coupled with his "trick" (you know what he does, I'm just trying to avoid spoilers) another epic battle. I also had 4 event treachery, so if I had planned for the time out option and took either one of the cards, had the extra card in hand upgrade, or was the Demon Prince, it would have been over long ago.

Is there little chance for this to work? Absolutely. Its not impossible to have happen, but it needed to be talked about if only to hammer home the importance of that dungeon and how it is probably most likely turning point of the campaign to show that the OL is running out of time and a final battle is becoming inevitable.


EDIT
Added one final section to the third post, about affording the upgrades. I knew I forgot something.
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Corbon Loughnan
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Deadsider wrote:
Well the rules say heroes are booted from a dungeon if you cycle the deck twice in a normal or rumour dungeon, but you have to do it three times in a legendary dungeon. Basically they get extra time to do it, because I have to admit it might not be fair for them if it was only twice for 4 full floors.


Thats an old rule. Its been "twice on one level" for quite a while now.

FAQ pg19
The Overlord’s Deck
If the overlord cycles through his deck twice in the same dungeon level, the heroes are ejected from the dungeon and are forced to flee it. Note that the Overlord’s Keep is not subject to this rule.
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Shawn Burk
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Well I must have missed that! Does that actually replace the old rule or does that add another loss condition for the heroes?

Guess it is possible to win that dungeon because if I caught that rule I would have won in my campaign.


EDIT
Looked over the FAQ, and it looks to me to be an additional lose condition and not a replacement of the old rules. When they replaced old rules they are very clear, such as the Hellhound entry. When they are adding new stuff they just do it, like the LT Ready action or OL getting a final upgrade. They may have added it as a form of balance as the Overlord generally can never truly stop heroes in dungeons and loss by time out is already highly improbable. With this added there is a step towards resolving that perhaps.
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duhtch
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Deadsider wrote:
Well I must have missed that! Does that actually replace the old rule or does that add another loss condition for the heroes?

Guess it is possible to win that dungeon because if I caught that rule I would have won in my campaign.


Notice it says 'dungeon level' not the entire dungeon though.
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Shawn Burk
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duhtch wrote:
Deadsider wrote:
Well I must have missed that! Does that actually replace the old rule or does that add another loss condition for the heroes?

Guess it is possible to win that dungeon because if I caught that rule I would have won in my campaign.


Notice it says 'dungeon level' not the entire dungeon though.


Right, but if a deck is nearly empty at the start and gets the early shuffle, one more deck cycle on that floor would boot them and that's what happened to my group. Floors 1&2 were blitzed well but I had the first cycle early on floor 3, and then it was a gong show that shuffled it again iirc.

Man this sucks, now I have to update that guide section.
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Corbon Loughnan
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Deadsider wrote:

EDIT
Looked over the FAQ, and it looks to me to be an additional lose condition and not a replacement of the old rules. When they replaced old rules they are very clear, such as the Hellhound entry. When they are adding new stuff they just do it, like the LT Ready action or OL getting a final upgrade. They may have added it as a form of balance as the Overlord generally can never truly stop heroes in dungeons and loss by time out is already highly improbable. With this added there is a step towards resolving that perhaps.


No, its a replacement. The old 3/dungeon cycle was in the FAQ, and is now gone, it simply doesn't exist any more.

The purpose of this rule was mostly to reduce suicide-stalling IIRC.
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Jo Bartok
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many many more line breaks ;-) ... else, LOVE thumbsup
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