This far I have enjoyed the Descent very much. However recently the ultimately boring game happened where I (plyaing the Overlord) was crushed by heroes in an adventure I thought will be easy for me to win -> The Cardinal's Plight.
So, sure, my play was not perfect, but I had only 3 decisions throughout the entire game, and all of my mistakes were either during setup or during 1st heroes turn. During my 1st turn I had only 1 small decision to make and (although I could have made it better) that was it. The entire scenario lasted for hours, while after the first turn of the first encounter I could be easily replaced by the heroes since I had no more things to do.
So, my first mistake was to take Dragons instead of Barghests as my open group for the first encounter. Dragons are not able to block paths on 1st turn. I thought that the dragons will be able to move during their first turn and block passage, but it was not the case, since heroes managed to immobilize them both from turn 1 for the entire duration of the encounter essenctialy rendering them useless (apart from wasting 2-3 hero actions during the game). Flesh moulders were killed in turn 1. (Yes, all of them). Here my mistake was not to use tripwires as I thought these would be more usefull during the second encounter. (I generally try to gather cards in encounter 1 and save them for the second one, especially that I figured out that if I have all of them on my hand I can cast the same cards over and over again which sometimes can cause devastating effects on heroes, (like web trap every turn). My third mistake was to resurrect wrong zombie. (the closer one to the heroes.) and I don't have an excuse for that. I was taking a risk in order to get at least 2 of them to the second part.
Anyway, the zombie was killed and from there, heroes had suddenly unlimited time to crush me and take all the treasures, with no hope to escape with the zombies for me.
Since they had Avric for the second encounter, their healing of the Cardinal was higher than the dmg zombie did. The could also easily remove immobilized from Cardinal with Avric's Cleansing Touch. This meant that they just focused on resting, killing monsters healing themselves and opening all doors, taking all treasures and finishing all monsters before trying to get the key. At the time they were opening library, they had full health and stamina and there were no monsters on the map. Then, they focused on killing the boss and finally, they escaped with cardinal having to deal with just 1 zombie each turn, and removing immobilized from cardinal.
So, to sum up my choices during the game were:
a) Dragons or Barghests during setup and correct placement (pre-game)
b) I was lucky that I had traps at the begining of the game and I could make a decision to cast them as soon as possible. (1st heroes turn)
c) During my turn I had a choice which zombie to ressurect (closer or farther).
These were during the first 30min of the game, while during the rest of the game i was rolling a pair of dice for the zombie and casting random OL cards that had absolutely no meaning for the game since there was no possibility of winning.
I am not satisfied. I'd like to have some options during play. 3 choices (one of them during setup) are not enough for me. I'd like to be able to win the 2nd encounter even after loosing of the first one. On the other hand, I can't imagine heroes winning if I'd have at least 1 more zombie, since then, the damage would be higher than heal and heroes would have to be much faster and take more risks.
Is there something I'm overlooking? Is it just crappy scenario design or what?
for the ones that are curious how heroes played here is the description:
* Widow Tarha as a Runemaster had Runic Sorcery which allowed her to immobilize 1 dragon. She moved and immobilized red dragon. (pretty high chances given her ability to re-roll 1 die and her Pierce 2 and Runic Knowledge (+2 dmg). )
* Syndrael as a Berserker moved for 1 fatigue in order to be close to the white dragon. (I used pit trap and he got stunned.) He removed stun loosing 1 action, used cripple (no action needed), succeeded (he had lucky charm, again very high chances). Then he used heroic ability to move with the Avric by 4 squares, then moved again using his 2nd action.
* Avric was already very close to the Flesh Moulders that were blocking entrance to the Key that opened portal. He moved using his stamina, used Divine Fury (additional yellow die). Since he had Immolation (that hereos bought in the shop recently), he one-shot red Flesh Moulder and then using normal attack (without divine fury) one-shot the white Flesh Moulder.
* Jane Fairwood used her heroic to move close to the search tokens and performed an attack. She was lucky (12% chance) and took the white Flesh Moulder out using Yaw Shortbow. Then she planned to wound the second one and use her First Strike ability during moster activation to take it out, but she was lucky again and one-shot it. (Note: we use dice tower so the rolls were fair.)
This left me with 2 dragons that could do nothing. And Lord Merrick Farrow, that had to move and rez zombie (he succeeeded). That's it.
Then heroes opened portal (Jain + Syndrael) (also they got stamina potion used later to recover fatigue of Widow Tarha so she could immobilize dragons even more.). Avric killed a zombie (move (tripwired), move for fatigue + attack with divine fury). (he recovered fatigue during previous attacks) , and widow tarha was able to immobilize both dragons.
And that's the game. The rest of it was just technical and I could as well surrender after 2nd turn.