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:
- no Overlord deck
- Threat is back and a round counter is added
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- a player can use only 2 strain (stamina) for extra movement
- there are only 3 skills (in Descent there are 4: Knowledge, Might, Willpower, Awareness) and the test are now made with attack dice
- 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
- 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
- at the beginning of each round the Overlord moves the turn dial and get Threat (also on a dial)
- each Hero has his abilities listed on his Hero sheet, on the other side is a wounded Hero
- 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.
- 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)
- there are no archetypes but every Hero has his own class and a deck of advances
- each Hero has his own personal mission that can be added to every campaign and by completing it he get a personal special item
- items in search deck have now credit value and cannot be traded with other Heroes
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.