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Why choose to be removed from the board?


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#1 Alarmed

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 06:09 AM

This is a question that occured to me while I was composing my answer on the thread about Grisban, and looking online at the various heroes.

 

I saw a few from the conversion kit, mostly, whose heroic feat allows them to remove themselves from the board until their next turn.

 

Apart from forcing the other heroes to be the OL's punching bags, I can't see any real use to such a thing. Does anyone know what the thought behind that was or how someone would use that in an actual game without pissing off the players you leave behind to face the OL's Wrath?


Edited by Alarmed, 08 August 2014 - 06:09 AM.


#2 any2cards

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 07:47 AM

One thought off of the top of my head ... suppose the heroes are close to winning, and you have a hero that is very low in HP, and will most likely die if left on the board for the OL's turn ... remove the hero.

 

As a specific example, there are quests where the only way the OL can win is to defeat each hero.  This would be a way of preventing it ... at least for this turn.  Perhaps the next heroes turn allows that damaged hero to gain back HP, get out of danger, etc.

 

Another example ... suppose you know the OL has a Dark Charm card (my heroes pay very close attention to the deck I am using, what is left, etc.).  Further, suppose all of your heroes are grouped together (not altogether rare), and one of them has a weapon that could absolutely decimate your hero(es).  Remove the hero from the board, and that OL cannot Dark Charm that specific hero.

 

Obviously, the value of any of this is somewhat dependent on timing, and the expectation that perhaps the heroes can win on their very next turn.

 

That is just off of the top of my head.  I am sure after thinking about it for a while, I could come up with other examples.



#3 Alarmed

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 08:36 AM

Valid points.

 

It all seems very case specific, however, which leads me tobelieve those heroic feats are gimping their characters.

 

I see heroic feats as a kind of "limit-break' power. you can only use it once, but it can make or break a quest. Elder mok's ability can be devastating if you hit the overlord at the right time. High mage Quellen, Jain Farstrider, Syndrael, all have abilities that allow them to move themselves or the party and create a sudden advantage. But these are useful in any case, even if it's not do or die. Even powers that are more situational like Orkell's  (he can only use it IF he is knocked out) can be useful more regularly than the situations you've outlined. In fact, Zyla's power removes her from the board "before any figure is activated" and keeps her gone until "at the start of your next turn". I'm not sure if this means she loses a whole round or if 'figures' refers to just OL monsters?



#4 amoshias

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 08:40 AM

Your question presupposes that all heroes are equally vulnerable to monsters. It doesn't have to be a hero close to death; it can be taking someone off the board who is in attack range of the monsters, forcing the OL to move twice instead of attacking. Or taking a mage off the board so that shots go to the warrior with chainmail and shield.

 

Not saying these abilities are great - they're not - but they're certainly not worthless. That's true for many heroes. You brought up three examples - which happened to include the most powerful heroic feat in the game, the SECOND most powerful heroic feat in the game, and a definite tier-1 ability. Not all heroic feats are tier-1. Some of them are mediocre or weak abilities attached to very strong heroes (Landric the Wise and Trenloe, for example.) Some of them are just bad. (Shiver, I'm looking at you.) Some of them are a bit meta (Aurim, Avril Worldwalker) and some of them are boring - One Fist, for example. Yes, a small number of heroes have heroic feats so powerful they will often alter the course of the game. If that's what you see heroic feats as, though, you're misunderstanding what they are.

 

For Zyla, her ability is not written clearly. It should say, "Before any player activates one of their figures, you may..." So, you use it (generally, I assume) when the overlord's about to activate someone who attacks you.


Edited by amoshias, 08 August 2014 - 08:59 AM.


#5 Alarmed

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 09:01 AM

Well, a mage can hide behind a wall, or behind another hero or behind a familliar to put himself out of reach of the OL's monsters. A vulnerable hero can stay out of range of the monsters, making the OL move to attack him.  These are all circumstances that all heroes have to deal with and take into account.

 

I don't get what the value is of having your character treated as if he was "knocked out" (taken off the board and replaced with a hero token). Sure, you come back with all the hit points you had before you left, but you still left the OL with one less target to attack and the usefulness of that is very circumstancial.



#6 amoshias

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 09:06 AM

Alarmed - I'm not sure what answer you are looking for. Yes, you can certainly move heroes out of the monsters' way. That takes actions to do, and actions to move them back. None of the heroic feats you're talking about cost an action (Zyla doesn't use an action, Tomble gets a free teleport, Bogran gets a free attack.) They let you move ahead of the rest of your team and still be safe.

 

Are they amazing? Are they irreplaceable in the strategic lexicon of Descent? Certainly not. But if you can't think of situations where they'd be good, that's a failure of your strategic imagination.



#7 Ringskipper

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 09:26 AM

I use Zyla frequently, and the ability to phase off the map is invaluable when the Overlord plays a powerful card that would most likely kill her or tip the scale heavily in his/her favor. There's a lot of strategy involved in Descent.



#8 Alarmed

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 09:44 AM

I'm not really looking for anything, other than understanding how people use them.

 

I can understand how to use a free teleport. I can understand how to use a free attack. I can understand a power that gives you both, or one that gives you tons of free stamina for one round.

 

I was just having a hard time understanding how something that reads exactly like the rule text for being knocked out could be advantageous to the heroes. 

 

I get that removing your hero from the board can "save" them but I can't help shake the feeling that it's something totally situational that could be avoided by using other abilities, skills, treasure, items.



#9 BentoSan

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 09:53 AM

I always found the ability a bit useless. The only times i have used it is to get a hero past a monster blockin a hallway. (a risky move at it leave the hero by himself). That leaves a bit more room for familiars and melee to get extra hits in that might be difficult or impossible otherwise.

It could also be useful to move over water spaces or similar spaces, but i have never used it for that.

#10 Zaltyre

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 10:28 AM

If you can move with the skill it is beautiful. You can, for example, move through a portcullis with tomble or tinashi. There is a thread right now about the shadow vault. How about give the casket to a hero who can teleport or at least vanish? The OL can't steal a token he can't see. When there is a quest centric item, in general, the safest place for it is off the map.

#11 Alarmed

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 10:50 AM

The abilities in question though, state that when you remove your hero token, you put your figure back in the same place. No movement, just one round of you not being on the board.

 

It could be useful if you're carrying the casket from the shadow vault and you want to prevent the OL from taking it, but it's only one round, and you haven't moved it a square closer to your own goal. Meanwhile, the OL knows where you'll reappear and he can line up his monsters to wait for you if he wants to.

 

:wacko:



#12 any2cards

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 11:15 AM

It could be useful if you're carrying the casket from the shadow vault and you want to prevent the OL from taking it, but it's only one round, and you haven't moved it a square closer to your own goal. Meanwhile, the OL knows where you'll reappear and he can line up his monsters to wait for you if he wants to.

 

:wacko:

 

First I preface my comment with I don't have the quest rules for this quest in front of me, but I am not sure you can do this.  Generally, when a hero is defeated that hero immediately drops any quest objective tokens in the space within which he resides, and then is removed from the map.

 

If you have a heroic ability which allows you to remove yourself from the map, can you actually take objective tokens with you?



#13 Zaltyre

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 11:38 AM

Absolutely. Some feats (I think it may be master thorn?) explicitly instruct you to drop the token. Others (like Tomble or Tinashi) do not, and stealing tokens is fair. Sneaky, but fair.

Remember that the elemental originally had an equivalent of this type of action, and it was nerfed because it was deemed much too powerful to be allowed each turn.

Edited by Zaltyre, 08 August 2014 - 11:41 AM.


#14 Alarmed

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 12:01 PM

Yes, you have to read the cards carefully. Some feats say you drop any objective you carry, others don't.

 

For example, Bogran 's feat requires an action, allows you one attack, then you are removed from the board, no mention of losing any items/tokens.

Zylan does not require an action, but removes you from the board before any figures are activated.

 

In contrast, Master Thorn's feat, which removes you from the board but teleports you anywhere within line of sight that same turn, but states clearly "drop any objective token you are carrying"


Edited by Alarmed, 08 August 2014 - 12:03 PM.


#15 Carbini

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 04:34 PM

(Actual occurrence)

 

Tomble was once pinned by shadow dragons.

Tomble would have been eaten AND separated from his group had he died while pinned by shadow dragons.

Tomble disappeared.

Tomble could not be attacked because he was not there to be attacked.

The dragons had to move down the hall to get to another target or be useless after taking some damage from the remaining heroes.

Tomble came back and killed the dragons with his heroes next round.

 

I mean... it seems pretty useful in a ton of scenarios to "not be here right now."






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