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How Imperial Assault can change Descent?


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#1 Beren Eoath

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 10:35 AM

I wanted to share some differences between IA and Descent. For me the biggest question is can some of the rules from IA be used in Descent via house rules? And can IA have a huge impact on Descent, how the game works or the future of this line?

 

Ok, so let's start with diferences betwen both this games based on the annoucments and demos from GenCon 2014.

Changes in Imperial Assault comparing to Descent:

  1. no Overlord deck
  2. Threat is back and a round counter is added
  3. Threat is the mechanic for reinforcements, the Overlord need to have the same value of threat as the cost of a monster he want's to summon. Each enemy group has now a threat cost that must be paid by the Overlord to put that group back on the map. The same goes for really big big/hard enemies for example Darth Vader has a threat cost of 18 and a Stromtrooper just 6
  4. no X on the attack dice, so no miss
  5. on the defense dice are symbols that cancel surge and one symbol dodge that cancels all damage
  6. LoS rules are better because now You need to trace two lines from one corner to two corners of the target space, the line must be strait an can’t pass through blacked squares (in Descent You needed only one such line to say that You see the target) 
  7. a player can use only 2 strain (stamina) for extra movement
  8. there are only 3 skills (in Descent there are 4: Knowledge, Might, Willpower, Awareness) and the test are now made with attack dice
  9. Endurance is the new healing/rest mechanic. You can use Rest action to get back Strain (in Descent Stamina) equal to your Endurance, each point above heals 1 point of Health
  10. scaling and balance is now done by giving players more activations. So if the Overlord has more enemy groups then heroes the heroes get to activate more times
  11. there is no Overlord turn and then Heroes turn. The Heroes get to activate one hero and then Overlord activates one of him monster groups, then another hero activates and once again the Overlord one monster group, and so on until all heroes activate. After that the a game round ends. Still at the activation You can do 2 actions similar to D2e
  12. at the beginning of each round the Overlord moves the turn dial and get Threat (also on a dial)
  13. each Hero has his abilities listed on his Hero sheet, on the other side is a wounded Hero
  14. each time a Hero get’s KO he changes his hero sheet  to the wounded site (it has one less ability). If a Hero is KO for the second time he is removed from the mission and can come back in another one.
  15. Heroes win quests by completing mission objectives, Overlord wins by removing all Heroes from the mission (maybe also has some objectives - I do not know)
  16. there are no archetypes but every Hero has his own class and a deck of advances
  17. each Hero has his own personal mission that can be added to every campaign and by completing it he get a personal special item
  18. items in search deck have now credit value and cannot be traded with other Heroes
  19. all about the missions knows only the Overlord. He knows what is behind what door and what awaits the Heroes on every map. Heroes only know what objective to complete.
  20. there are two modes of play campaign (one shot missions) or skirmish where two players will build their  group and take an objective card to fulfill
  21. each fraction in the game, so also each figure, has a special skirmish card with stats and cost of taking into a group. You build your team by gathering units that you want from one fraction (in core set there are: Rebels, Imperial and Scums/Bounty Hunters) using the amount of points that you have. For example before the game you say that every player has 50 points and base on that he spends them to build a team for skirmish. Also every team has a customisable tactic deck
  22. there will be Ally and Villain packs similar to Descent’s Lieutenants but You will get a figure, a mission that can be added to every campaign, a card for skirmish game and a special mission objective for skirmish
  23. there will be also campaigns boxes, the model of publishing will be similar to Descent

Do You all think that some of those rules changes can be used in Descent via house rules? Becouse I think that some of those are cool like LoS rule, the rule for KO Heroes (1st time he flips his sheet for the site without heroic Feat , 2nd time his out of a quest). but that all would need to be playtested becouse those could break the balance even more but just for fun I'm planing to try it.

 

How can IA impact Descent for official releases?

Hmm, I see the potential of some rule changes or for new ways of play. I can see Descent  going into a different direction then Imperial Assault to give players other ways to play with a different feeling. Maybe Descent will more focus on solo/co-op play when IA will have his skirmish.

 

cheers

Beren

 

 

 



#2 Carbini

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 11:50 AM

Number 19 is what interests me the most. I'm sure they have something planned but I'm wondering how the replayability is with that. If it is something like an advanced form of "Influence" from SoN that would be interesting.

 

The biggest thing they've got is that Descent was basically the experiment. You can see some of the design elements changed in Decent expansions after they realized they made slips here and there. One of the most noticeable for me is that ALL new rumor quests cards give the victory to the OL if you don't attempt them. I see why, and I still don't think it's the perfect fix to rumors, but it's a step forward and I'm thinking of house-ruling it for all rumor quest cards (if we don't see it in the next FAQ that is).


Edited by Carbini, 25 August 2014 - 11:53 AM.


#3 s1n

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 12:34 PM

Number 19 is what interests me the most. I'm sure they have something planned but I'm wondering how the replayability is with that. If it is something like an advanced form of "Influence" from SoN that would be interesting.

 

The biggest thing they've got is that Descent was basically the experiment. You can see some of the design elements changed in Decent expansions after they realized they made slips here and there. One of the most noticeable for me is that ALL new rumor quests cards give the victory to the OL if you don't attempt them. I see why, and I still don't think it's the perfect fix to rumors, but it's a step forward and I'm thinking of house-ruling it for all rumor quest cards (if we don't see it in the next FAQ that is).

 

I never played it, but people have told me that many of these elements were taken from Descent 1e (hidden quest information, threat, reinforcements, large monster movement, etc). That means that they tested some of these elements in D2e and found that 1e may have worked better.

 

Honestly, I just want to see them better balance the power creep as the campaign progresses.



#4 Zaltyre

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:54 PM

I never played it, but people have told me that many of these elements were taken from Descent 1e (hidden quest information, threat, reinforcements, large monster movement, etc). That means that they tested some of these elements in D2e and found that 1e may have worked better.

 

Honestly, I just want to see them better balance the power creep as the campaign progresses.

A good number of the changes to IA do indeed sounds like a swing back to more of D1e. Having not played it myself I can't offer any strong opinions, but I know a good number of players who appreciate the variety in OL objective rather than "kill all the heroes."

 

That being said, mechanically, some of these things have already been discussed on these forums even before the announcement of IA, like more limited knowledge of quests for heroes, and the use of a value system for summoning monsters, rather than the straight counting of D2e.

 

Some of these things (like the LOS rules) wouldn't be that hard to house rule into D2e. Other things like the quest guide knowledge would be quite difficult. I think the alternating hero player/monster group activation is interesting, but in order to house rule a D2e mode that plays with that, there would need to be serious consideration for how to change a lot of OL cards that activate at start of turn, or end of turn, or are in effect "during your turn" or "until the start of your next turn." Since heroes would still only be able to activate once per round, I don't think it would actually change any of the timing language of hero abilities.

 

Also, just because they would be interesting D2e variants doesn't mean they should necessarily be implemented. D2e is a different (though remarkably similar) game than IA, and things that work for one might not work for the other. Furthermore, the updates from D2e to IA don't suggest that those changes were mistakes to alter from D1e, just that IA is intended to have a different feel.


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#5 Steve-O

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 10:11 AM

I never played it, but people have told me that many of these elements were taken from Descent 1e (hidden quest information, threat, reinforcements, large monster movement, etc). That means that they tested some of these elements in D2e and found that 1e may have worked better.


I suspect it has more to do with fan feedback than with testing in-house. The system for D2E is reasonably well balanced as-is, but there are definitely some people who have been complaining about the lack of exploration, or how reinforcements come in, etc.

I agree that they are experimenting with variations on the core mechanic to find something that hopefully appeals to more people, but I suspect the motivation is external more than internal. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, either - the more refined the system becomes, the better it will be.

However, incorporating some of the above changes into Descent (officially) would probably mean 3rd edition, rather than an expansion.


Honestly, I just want to see them better balance the power creep as the campaign progresses.


I agree, this would be nice. I think the problem here is mostly one of granularity. It was a problem in D1E as well, and it's still a problem in D2E. There just aren't enough different things that can be advanced, so power levels jump up quickly.

  • no X on the attack dice, so no miss
  • on the defense dice are symbols that cancel surge and one symbol dodge that cancels all damage


Interesting. So "missing" is moved to the defense roll rather than the attack roll. That makes sense.

  • LoS rules are better because now You need to trace two lines from one corner to two corners of the target space, the line must be strait an can’t pass through blacked squares (in Descent You needed only one such line to say that You see the target) 


I think LoS rules are largely flavour to taste. I don't have any objection to the D2E system (although I certainly have house-ruled some silly corner cases.) I also didn't have any objection to D1E center-to-center rules.

This new one looks like a good way to introduce cover mechanics, to me. Penalty if you can only draw one line, no penalty if can draw 2. I don't know if that's how it works or not, but that's the value I see in drawing two lines rather than one.

  • a player can use only 2 strain (stamina) for extra movement


It will be very interesting to see how this impacts game play in IA. Fatigue movement is a huge part of the hero strategy in Descent. Doom didn't have any fatigue at all, and it was a lot harder to cover ground, which made missions with time limits a lot harder.

  • Endurance is the new healing/rest mechanic. You can use Rest action to get back Strain (in Descent Stamina) equal to your Endurance, each point above heals 1 point of Health


I like this. Could be house-ruled into Descent by adding an Endurance trait to each hero. I think this works well with the new KO rules to re-introduce player elimination without making it too easy to eliminate a hero. Are the revival rules the same, though? I don't see them listed as a difference.

  • scaling and balance is now done by giving players more activations. So if the Overlord has more enemy groups then heroes the heroes get to activate more times
  • there is no Overlord turn and then Heroes turn. The Heroes get to activate one hero and then Overlord activates one of him monster groups, then another hero activates and once again the Overlord one monster group, and so on until all heroes activate. After that the a game round ends. Still at the activation You can do 2 actions similar to D2e


Interesting. Actions are the primary economy of the game, so this change will probably have significant impact on how things play out. Monster groups with many units will be inherently powerful for letting the OL activate more figures at once, but they will also presumably be weaker figures. An interesting factor to influence the "zombies suck" conundrum.

  • Heroes win quests by completing mission objectives, Overlord wins by removing all Heroes from the mission (maybe also has some objectives - I do not know)
  • all about the missions knows only the Overlord. He knows what is behind what door and what awaits the Heroes on every map. Heroes only know what objective to complete.


Obviously a result of fan feedback. I'm not saying I mind, of course. =P
I doubt the overlord has mission objectives (other than "stop the heroes") if the entire map is not revealed at start. The overlord would be unable to take action towards his goal as long as it remained hidden, otherwise. I suppose there might be objectives involving the overlord getting monsters into the hero start area, but it would basically have to be something that begins in play for the quest.

Do You all think that some of those rules changes can be used in Descent via house rules?


For sure. Some would be easier than others, of course, but dedicated fans will always find a way. :)

How can IA impact Descent for official releases?


I don't see FFG trying to incorporate too many of these rules into Descent officially. At least, not until 3rd edition. =P

#6 mulletcheese

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 04:04 PM

22 really good reasons to buy IA.
The bits they brought back from 1st edition have been enhanced, I'm very impressed with the changes they have made.. even though we haven't seen the full rules yet.

D1e had the win condition built into the rules, which is why all the quests had the same win condition. D2e had the win condition built into the quest but "kill the hero's" wasn't allowed by the rules. IA has "kill the hero's" back on the menu but I doubt that ffg will make the mistake of fixing the win condition in the rules. Like everything else it's the best of both worlds.

Just because we've only seen quests with hidden information doesn't mean that all quests will have to be that way. IA will have more scope for quest design than D2e.

It may start as "imperial assault" but at some point it will go into empire strikes back mode and the hero's will play empire vs a single rebel player. Or empire/rebel vs scum.
descent was about good vs evil, IA is about factions. It will allow for the kind of role reversal that descent never could.

#7 rugal

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 07:58 AM

Personnaly, only the 3 looks like really cool to me. Since descent V2 was out, I regret something like that wasn't implemented and reinforcement were so in advantage of big monsters. But the threat system back would be boring. Something like "1 point of reinforcement is equal to this number of monster, depending on their number/power". For example, a giant, an hybrid sentinel, 3 zombies, 4 kobolds, etc...

 

All other points are useless to me. 1 being the worst possible, 11 strange and useless brainstorming
 

I hope no other "ideas" would be implemented. The cool thing would be a new defense die, one who could cancel surge, pierce, or things like that;



#8 mulletcheese

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 12:52 PM

I agree with you on point 1, that's why I said there was only 22 good reasons.

I quite like number 11, each monster group only gets activated once a round so the only thing that's changed is the order of activation. I think it adds new tactical decisions to the game and possibly some better designed quests.

#9 rugal

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 01:02 PM

I do not agree on you on the other 22 points;

 

the 23 being star wars ! I don't like how the game is made, so I would be happy if descent stays what it is.



#10 Indalecio

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 05:44 AM

1- no Overlord deck:

 

So where do the OL abilities come from if not from a pool of cards you can purchase? I like decks, I like puchasing/drafting cards, I like the semi-unkown factor the heroes have upon planning their actions (semi because they know what is in my deck but not necessarly my hand). If this is gone then it better has to be replaced by a mechanism equally satisfying, otherwise I can only see this as a major nerf to the OL's capabilties to challenge the heroes in a quest.

 

If they say each monster group has its own deck of cards then I can see it as being a potential replacement to the OL classes, although I really like the ability to specialize myself in a skill tree as the OL and gather generic cards rather than relying entirely on the monsters' abilities. I would really miss that opportunity.

 

Some of my (hero) players say that the OL deck is one of the best thing in the game in terms of how much tension and calculation it forces them to make.From my perspective as the OL, these cards are my everything.

 

 

3- Threat is the mechanic for reinforcements, the Overlord need to have the same value of threat as the cost of a monster he want's to summon. Each enemy group has now a threat cost that must be paid by the Overlord to put that group back on the map. The same goes for really big big/hard enemies for example Darth Vader has a threat cost of 18 and a Stromtrooper just 6

 

Sounds like a very good idea to implement in Descent for open group reinforcements, but in most quests I would prefer to keep the quest's own settings for theme purpose. 

 

 

4- no X on the attack dice, so no miss

 

That's weird. An attack should always have a slight chance to miss, unless it is clearly stated to ignore X because the attack is automatically a hit. Or maybe blasters and light sabers always find their way through? Makes no sense in Descent anyway.

 

 

5- on the defense dice are symbols that cancel surge and one symbol dodge that cancels all damage

 

Really great idea. I don't see any problem managing 10+ sorts of attack dices and 10+ sorts of defense dices, like at all, on the contrary I think it would be awesome as it would provide so much variety to combat. A counter to Pierce would be nice to have as well, on top of the anti-surge or anti-damage ones. Heck, one side of a defense die could even be: "you fumbled terribly, add +2 damage to the attack", likewise on an attack die "you suffer 1 damage due to your sword boucning back to you". Why not?

 

 

6- LoS rules are better because now You need to trace two lines from one corner to two corners of the target space, the line must be strait an can’t pass through blacked squares (in Descent You needed only one such line to say that You see the target) 

 

Sounds way overcomplicated to me. I fail to see what's plain "better". I'm neither for or against it, I admit the rules in Descent are sometimes weird to apply, but this double line thingy seems like it's going to drain some more time when playing quests. Descent is not a simulation, it's an arcade-like game. Who cares, really.

 

 

7- a player can use only 2 strain (stamina) for extra movement

 

Great idea. I was thinking about limiting this kind use of stamina in our games but as you can expect my heroes don't really agree with my proposal :)

 

 

8- there are only 3 skills (in Descent there are 4: Knowledge, Might, Willpower, Awareness) and the test are now made with attack dice

 

I like the fact we have 4 in Descent. I think it balances well with the OL class cards and the quest mechanisms which constantly ask the heroes to test one or several of them. Not sure what decreasing this number to 3 would bring to the game, I don't think it would simplify anything in practice. Thematically, the 4 we have is good as it is and I like the symmetry between the values and the hero classes, even if said figure varies from hero to hero.

 

About using attack dices: for what reason are defense dices not good enough?

 

 

9- Endurance is the new healing/rest mechanic. You can use Rest action to get back Strain (in Descent Stamina) equal to your Endurance, each point above heals 1 point of Health

 

I like this a lot. I would implement this right away if I could.

 

 

10- scaling and balance is now done by giving players more activations. So if the Overlord has more enemy groups then heroes the heroes get to activate more times

 

That's a weird way to achieve balance in a game. Sounds like a major nerf to the OL. So basically there is no point in bringing in more monsters because Han Solo is going to shoot 12 times during the same round? Seriously? So if the OL ever has the upper hand, it is automatically negated by granting heroes more activations? I may be missing something but that sounds horrible to me.

 

Let me bring a new game to you. If I'm winning, I'm winning. if you're winning, then there is a rule that nerfs that so I can win in the end. Riiiiight...

 

 

11- there is no Overlord turn and then Heroes turn. The Heroes get to activate one hero and then Overlord activates one of him monster groups, then another hero activates and once again the Overlord one monster group, and so on until all heroes activate. After that the a game round ends. Still at the activation You can do 2 actions similar to D2e

 

So over the course of two "game rounds", a monster can very well activate twice between the activations of one given hero?

 

I think it is very confusing, and potentially breaks the planning potential of the heroes, making every action reactive at best. There is no more sequencing like, you shoot and run, then I rest and Radiant Light the corridor and finally Scout runs between the corpses for the search token. Instead of that OL can throw more monsters into the corridor between the activations so the scout cannot reach the search token any longer. It forces you to attack more because the only way to achieve anything is when the path is clear to 100%. Me not like at all.

 

 

14- each time a Hero get’s KO he changes his hero sheet  to the wounded site (it has one less ability). If a Hero is KO for the second time he is removed from the mission and can come back in another one.

 

So the prime purpose for the OL is to kill the heroes instead of going for objectives. What a disaster. 

 

I don't like either the fact heroes in Descent are immortal, but I don't care in reality. It makes for some balance in the game. I think all players should be in the game at all times instead of being removed from it. Thematically, heroes could well revive at a spawnpoint or bonfire of some sort. Who cares!

 

But I get that in IA heroes are really powerful and can't be killed as easily, unlike in Descent (err... I guess?). So no, I give this a pass.

 

 

15- Heroes win quests by completing mission objectives, Overlord wins by removing all Heroes from the mission (maybe also has some objectives - I do not know)

 

Yeah, that sucks balls.

 

 

16- there are no archetypes but every Hero has his own class and a deck of advances

 

Fantasy probably needs archetypes more than sci-fi. I wouldn't mind if each hero had his/her own set of abilities. On the other hand each hero will automatically embrace a certain role, and what better way to define this role by dedicating skills to it and call it a class. It's a question about the form.

 

Archetypes is not a problem in Descent, combined with personal hero skills plus equipment which makes the Hero truly unique in every way.

 

 

17- each Hero has his own personal mission that can be added to every campaign and by completing it he get a personal special item

 

That's kind of cool, except that it reminds me too much about Rumor quests, which are currently broken in Descent.

 

 

18- items in search deck have now credit value and cannot be traded with other Heroes1

 

Why???? Makes no sense at all.

Leaves the impression that because heroes look so overpowered in this game, something ridiculous had to be implemented in order to restrict their capabilities?

 

 

19- all about the missions knows only the Overlord. He knows what is behind what door and what awaits the Heroes on every map. Heroes only know what objective to complete.

 

I prefer the Descent 2E way of handling the map along with the open information WAY over this. I fail to see why the "action" in a game should be restricted to where the heroes are. Some monsters are in motion somewhere else and do stuff, how do you represent this if you're not allowed to reveal these sections of the dungeon?

 

 

So yeah, 3.5/23 from me. The rest I did not comment in this post is classified as being "whatever, man".

 

Not impressed. If some people see this as the renewal of Descent then feel free to switch, dudes. I can see that the few things I like about these spoilers I could well house rule in Descent without the need of a D3E to be released. Well, not the dices maybe, lol. But yeah, I mean, it doesn't feel to me like Descent is getting outshadowed by Imperial Assault at all in terms of gameplay, considering the information I have so far. Sounds to me like Imperial Assault is a worse game in comparison with the above points in mind, but that the fuzz about it and its franchise made people overlook the gameplay.

 

I realize it cannot be in FFG's intention to make Descent obsolete, but looking at the posts on these forums and on BGG, it looks like many players already want to dismiss D2E for IA, or even D1E. Which I find absurd.


Edited by Indalecio, 28 August 2014 - 07:57 AM.


#11 Zaltyre

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 09:48 AM

I realize it cannot be in FFG's intention to make Descent obsolete, but looking at the posts on these forums and on BGG, it looks like many players already want to dismiss D2E for IA, or even D1E. Which I find absurd.

I agree. It's strange to me how many people seem to prefer the D1e mechanics over D2e. Most of the posts I've seen praising IA equate to, "it's more like D1e than D2e, awesome!" Personally, I appreciate the simplicity that D2e brings to many of the mechanics, and especially the variety in OL quest objectives beyond "just kill the heroes." IA has some inventive elements, and I don't see a problem with some of them being house-rule incorporated into D2e (I mean, house rules are house rules, do whatever you want.) For example, resting- it would be a really simple house rule to say that when you rest, you recover fatigue equal to your stamina (already the case) but that excess fatigue recovered heals 1 wound per fatigue. However, many other aspects of IA introduce a level of complexity that is counter-productive to what it seems D2e set out to be as a board game.



#12 s1n

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 07:05 PM

I think the major attraction to this game for many people is 2 fold:

1) STAR WARS!!!!
2) STAR WARS!!!

While I like the penalty of getting knocked down and the LOS changes, the other changes are mediocre.

Hiding the quest will only work the first time. Just killing the heroes will get boring. Overlord turns will take forever again. No OL deck really nerfs the OL.

Seems like it'll be really boring for the OL and tons of fun for the heroes. How long will it last before a group runs out of players willing to be the OL player?

#13 griton

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 10:56 AM

4. no X on the attack dice, so no miss

5. on the defense dice are symbols that cancel surge and one symbol dodge that cancels all damage

This is one of the more interesting features, IMO.

 

6. LoS rules are better because now You need to trace two lines from one corner to two corners of the target space, the line must be strait an can’t pass through blacked squares (in Descent You needed only one such line to say that You see the target) 

"better" is subjective. It's now also more complex. Remember that LoS (just as all other rules) are just models for attacks, and there are trade-offs with every different model. (I'm not necessarily disagreeing as I think it does improve some of the fiddly cases, but I still think it's subjective and my thought on it is just my opinion.)

 

10. scaling and balance is now done by giving players more activations. So if the Overlord has more enemy groups then heroes the heroes get to activate more times

I may have misunderstood this from the demo, but I believe it was just that the heroes collectively get 4, independent of the number of heroes, not one per monster group. This may also have been clarified somewhere that I haven't seen.

 

19. all about the missions knows only the Overlord. He knows what is behind what door and what awaits the Heroes on every map. Heroes only know what objective to complete.

I have never understood why this is considered a good thing in a competitive game. It just takes away from the replay value because if it's balanced the 1st time, then the heroes have an advantage the 2nd time around, or if one of the players is also an overlord with another group. It also puts rules interpretations squarely on the shoulders of a single individual, and we pretty much all know how many times rules questions come up in FFG games, and I doubt IA will be significantly improved in that regard.

 

This is great for storytelling games that aren't competitive, which is perhaps what they are doing with the campaign mode and providing skirmish mode as the competitive aspect. It would explain some of the concerns people have with the heroes having an easier time in the quests than it looks like they should (in the Descent paradigm).

 

 

I never played it, but people have told me that many of these elements were taken from Descent 1e (hidden quest information, threat, reinforcements, large monster movement, etc). That means that they tested some of these elements in D2e and found that 1e may have worked better.

Not necessarily. They may have felt that it was a better fit for the paradigm / overall system for IA, but that the current rules for Descent 2e are still a better fit for Descent 2e. You have to be really careful when looking at individual, isolated changes and not taking the whole system into account. (e.g. D1 LoS or stacking Blast in D2 would change things drastically because of things like the reduced map size.)



#14 griton

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 11:05 AM

9. Endurance is the new healing/rest mechanic. You can use Rest action to get back Strain (in Descent Stamina) equal to your Endurance, each point above heals 1 point of Health

I like this. Could be house-ruled into Descent by adding an Endurance trait to each hero. I think this works well with the new KO rules to re-introduce player elimination without making it too easy to eliminate a hero. Are the revival rules the same, though? I don't see them listed as a difference.

Improved self-healing is something you often see when you don't have dedicated healers (the way D2 does). I did see some healing in the demo I watched, but it did seem like it was a side-benefit to an ability, not the focus of the character. I also believe the "Endurance trait" is the equivalent to the Stamina value in Descent, so a new value wouldn't be needed.

 

As far as integrating this into Descent, I think it'd only work if you were playing a game without a dedicated healer. I think it would also require the more strict knock-down rules that IA has, though (twice down and you're out) to maintain that balance. In IA, overhealing to stay topped off is going to be a decent strategy to make sure you don't risk getting knocked down, because the penalty is much higher than it is in Descent.

 

10. scaling and balance is now done by giving players more activations. So if the Overlord has more enemy groups then heroes the heroes get to activate more times

11. there is no Overlord turn and then Heroes turn. The Heroes get to activate one hero and then Overlord activates one of him monster groups, then another hero activates and once again the Overlord one monster group, and so on until all heroes activate. After that the a game round ends. Still at the activation You can do 2 actions similar to D2e

Interesting. Actions are the primary economy of the game, so this change will probably have significant impact on how things play out. Monster groups with many units will be inherently powerful for letting the OL activate more figures at once, but they will also presumably be weaker figures. An interesting factor to influence the "zombies suck" conundrum.

If this is the case (I'm not 100% certain it is), this really just puts more emphasis on fewer, more powerful (higher cost) groups because if you only have one group, it gets to go every time a hero goes. Unlike in Descent where groups try to be balanced between each other (with strengths towards different situations) by adjusting the number of figures, IA clearly has "this group/figure is more powerful than this other one, and we denote that by its cost".

 

 

4- no X on the attack dice, so no miss

 

That's weird. An attack should always have a slight chance to miss, unless it is clearly stated to ignore X because the attack is automatically a hit. Or maybe blasters and light sabers always find their way through? Makes no sense in Descent anyway.

Remember that dice rolls are just a model and the "slight chance of being a miss" in IA is also factored into "defense (which isn't always considered physical armor) being greater than damage". I actually quite like this change as it removes that "ugh, my die rolls always suck" negative feeling from the attacker to a positive feeling on the side of the defender. It also is balanced by the rather significantly improved self-healing that everyone (or at least every hero) has.

 

8- there are only 3 skills (in Descent there are 4: Knowledge, Might, Willpower, Awareness) and the test are now made with attack dice

...

About using attack dices: for what reason are defense dices not good enough?

It's a different paradigm. In Descent, almost every test is the same (Silver + Black, roll under your attribute value). Modifying this can be a little clunky (subtract/add one shield, change the dice) or boring (increase/decrease attribute value), and there's not really a good way to determine levels of success.

In IA, you have things like Might and Tech (I'm not sure what the 3rd one is) and each attribute is listed with dice. In the example I saw, the test required you to roll one surge to succeed. I'm not sure if that's the case with all attribute tests, but it definitely doesn't have to be as you could be required to build up to multiple successes (multiple surges, which can be done with different rolls or all on the same roll), or you could have tests that require damage symbols, or combinations of multiple symbols. To me, this makes for a much wider variety of not just skill levels, but skill tests, especially with different dice having different symbol distributions. So a skill of 1 Green die might be different than a skill of 1 yellow die, but they aren't necessarily stronger or weaker than the other; it just depends on the test being made.



#15 Indalecio

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 12:10 PM

I still see zero reason to switch defense dices to attack dices when it comes to testing attributes. Why make such simple and effective mechanism complicated by using a three-symbol dice when there are already equipment pieces, skills and whatnot modifying the test result? Is attribute testing all of a sudden perceived as being too straight forward? What is wrong with it, I wonder?

 

I largely prefer the simplicity of the defense dices over the presumed variety of the attack dices bearing in mind what the latter brings to the game, which is basically stone nothing unless you want to masturbate with the idea of another unnecessary calculation in the game. One of my core expectations of the game is for it to be relatively fast paced so I would really find it dreadful to be stuck on a freaking dice roll every time we need to calculate the dice pool of the target. This is one of these things, along many other points concerning IA where I can only contemplate and ask "why? what does it bring to the game?"

 

It would also make decisions for purchasing/playing attribute-related OL cards impossible to make. At this point why not rolling a D6 to see if said card succeeded or not. That seems infinitely superior to slowing the game down for something that should remain a basic thing to do.  


Edited by Indalecio, 03 September 2014 - 12:22 PM.


#16 griton

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 02:51 PM

I still see zero reason to switch defense dices to attack dices when it comes to testing attributes. Why make such simple and effective mechanism complicated by using a three-symbol dice when there are already equipment pieces, skills and whatnot modifying the test result? Is attribute testing all of a sudden perceived as being too straight forward? What is wrong with it, I wonder?

 

I largely prefer the simplicity of the defense dices over the presumed variety of the attack dices bearing in mind what the latter brings to the game, which is basically stone nothing unless you want to masturbate with the idea of another unnecessary calculation in the game. One of my core expectations of the game is for it to be relatively fast paced so I would really find it dreadful to be stuck on a freaking dice roll every time we need to calculate the dice pool of the target. This is one of these things, along many other points concerning IA where I can only contemplate and ask "why? what does it bring to the game?"

 

It would also make decisions for purchasing/playing attribute-related OL cards impossible to make. At this point why not rolling a D6 to see if said card succeeded or not. That seems infinitely superior to slowing the game down for something that should remain a basic thing to do.  

I disagree that Descent's skill checks are more straightforward than IA's. With new or returning players, one of the most common questions is along the lines of "Ok, you just said to test X, what does that involve again?" or "Tests are done with which dice? Where is that info?" Whereas in IA, you tell them to test their attribute and they can see on their sheet what dice they roll for it, and the test itself will call for what's needed (that is assuming that it isn't always just "get a surge")

 

Try to keep in mind that just because you're familiar with item A and not with item B doesn't mean that A is straightforward and B is not.

 

I'd also argue that IA's is still just as simple: "Roll Dice on sheet, check for result" versus "Roll Black + Silver, compare shields against number on your sheet, remembering that this is the one case in the game where rolling lower is better". To me, it's more intuitive, and the "masturbatory calculations" that you seem so against aren't actually needed. If someone wants to theorycraft that and produce tables with percentages, they can, but it's not like people are doing that in their heads with Descent anyway.


Edited by griton, 03 September 2014 - 02:54 PM.

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#17 Indalecio

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 03:47 PM

I don't know if attribute rolls are more straighforward in Descent than in Imperial Assault, but I like the simplicity of using the same dices regardless of hero or attribute, and adding up the shields on them rather than having each hero have his own little way of testing said attribute.

 

I fail to see what's inherently intuitive in doing it the IA way; if you mean that it's intuitive to find the information directly on the hero sheet then yeah, the information surely helps, but it doesn't mean the system is intuitive as such. I can also throw out a custom-made hero sheet with weird abilities that don't make sense at all, the fact that my wording tells exactly the player what to do doesn't make my system any good or intuitive. What's intuitive in my opinion with regards to attribute testing is to roll a fixed set of dices (with modifiers) and roll UNDER a value, like in most games I´ve played. It's intuitive because it's a proven system that many people will be able to recognize. All they need to know is what dices to use, and then they´re set for all the games. I also like that in D2E you can easily compare your attributes with other players and decide who is going to take on that damn travel card challenge. I don't think you can do that easily if everybody rolls differents sets of dices.

 

I´m not saying it's bad to do it differently, I´m saying that I don't see why the D2E way would be inherently inferior to the IA one. I can appreciate other systems than the ones I have learnt to use, but the points mentioned so far don't convince me to believe that the IA system would be better in that respect.

 

To me there seems to be a ton of possibilities for altering or even customizing attribute testing through the use of equipment or skills. Maybe one of them could replace the black dice by a grey dice, if you really think changing the dices would be a good thing. I think re-rolling dices or taking away X shields depending on Y and Z are more finer ways to deal with the same goal. I don't want the game basics to be too complex. Cards are designed to "break" or modify the game thus making it more complex as a result, so why not using them to do this customization rather than introducing yet another mechanism.

 

For what it's worth, I absolutely champion more variation in the attack and defense dice pools for combat purpose. I wouldn't mind if each character would roll his own set of dices for attack or defense. But that's because I think it would bring so much to the game by including more effects on the dice especially for its possible interaction with things like surges and abilities like Blast, Pierce etc. I see that it would bring additional tools to combat these things. I just don't feel like attribute testing needs something of that kind. The variation I would seek would be on the trigger instead (the OL card or travel/quest event) more than the actual roll you make.



#18 Whitewing

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 04:01 PM

 

I don't know if attribute rolls are more straighforward in Descent than in Imperial Assault, but I like the simplicity of using the same dices regardless of hero or attribute, and adding up the shields on them rather than having each hero have his own little way of testing said attribute.

 

I fail to see what's inherently intuitive in doing it the IA way; if you mean that it's intuitive to find the information directly on the hero sheet then yeah, the information surely helps, but it doesn't mean the system is intuitive as such. I can also throw out a custom-made hero sheet with weird abilities that don't make sense at all, the fact that my wording tells exactly the player what to do doesn't make my system any good or intuitive. What's intuitive in my opinion with regards to attribute testing is to roll a fixed set of dices (with modifiers) and roll UNDER a value, like in most games I´ve played. It's intuitive because it's a proven system that many people will be able to recognize. All they need to know is what dices to use, and then they´re set for all the games. I also like that in D2E you can easily compare your attributes with other players and decide who is going to take on that damn travel card challenge. I don't think you can do that easily if everybody rolls differents sets of dices.

 

I´m not saying it's bad to do it differently, I´m saying that I don't see why the D2E way would be inherently inferior to the IA one. I can appreciate other systems than the ones I have learnt to use, but the points mentioned so far don't convince me to believe that the IA system would be better in that respect.

 

To me there seems to be a ton of possibilities for altering or even customizing attribute testing through the use of equipment or skills. Maybe one of them could replace the black dice by a grey dice, if you really think changing the dices would be a good thing. I think re-rolling dices or taking away X shields depending on Y and Z are more finer ways to deal with the same goal. I don't want the game basics to be too complex. Cards are designed to "break" or modify the game thus making it more complex as a result, so why not using them to do this customization rather than introducing yet another mechanism.

 

For what it's worth, I absolutely champion more variation in the attack and defense dice pools for combat purpose. I wouldn't mind if each character would roll his own set of dices for attack or defense. But that's because I think it would bring so much to the game by including more effects on the dice especially for its possible interaction with things like surges and abilities like Blast, Pierce etc. I see that it would bring additional tools to combat these things. I just don't feel like attribute testing needs something of that kind. The variation I would seek would be on the trigger instead (the OL card or travel/quest event) more than the actual roll you make.

 

 

Using the same dice regardless of stats isn't any simpler than using different dice based on stats. The difference is based on the steps involved: In Descent you roll the dice then check your stat to find out if you succeeded or not. In IA, you check your sheet to find out which die and then roll to see if you succeed or not. The steps are equally simple and valid. The only difference is that by switching to the attack dice, you gain the ability to put different requirements to pass tests on different abilities, all of which will be on the card, meaning that interpreting them is just part of the effects. Both are equally simple and valid.

 

If you had to cross reference charts and the rule book every time you rolled to see which section of a table had your results I'd agree about complexity, but this game doesn't feature anything like that.



#19 Indalecio

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 04:30 PM

That's cool and all, but what are the arguments then for porting the IA system for attribute testing into Descent?

Because we can keep comparing the two games, but I guess the big question is if people here would prefer the IA way over the Descent way, and for what reasons. I exposed mine but I am yet to hear somebody tell the benefits in gameplay for moving to the IA way.

Edited by Indalecio, 03 September 2014 - 04:33 PM.


#20 Whitewing

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 04:50 PM

I don't see any point in porting it to Descent either. The advantage to the IA system is that it allows for one extra knob of customization: because people roll different attack dice, you can do things like say "roll this many hearts to pass" or "roll a surge to pass" meaning that one character might be better at one while worse at the other compared to a different character, even though they're both might tests.

 

But Descent doesn't need that mechanic. Maybe for Descent 3rd edition.

 

As a general rule of game design: any time you can increase depth and options without increasing complexity at all, that's a good thing. The primary goal of game design is depth with minimal complexity.


Edited by Whitewing, 03 September 2014 - 05:04 PM.





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