Jump to content



Photo

Cardinal's Plight - How OL can win this?


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 DeeJay507

DeeJay507

    Member

  • Members
  • 34 posts

Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:19 AM

Hello, 

 

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. 


  • Robin likes this

#2 Kunzite

Kunzite

    Member

  • Members
  • 542 posts

Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:00 AM

You must have some pretty awesome heroes there.

 

I remember this quest very well. It was the table turner for us. I (the OL) barely won. Yes, I won by one turn only. For me it was a good start in encounter one. I did use Barghests over dragons due to the need of speed and the want to reinforce on my turn. My flesh molders did not last long either. They where a simple distraction. 

 

A side note here. There are those three red areas right where your reinforcements come out. Remember that you can move between them. I thought I had to go all the way around, but that appears not to be the case.

 

This was out first campaign. Our Jane just got scamper for heroes and dashed out into the craven, into the jaws of all my almost undead puppies. Turn one, she was down. Critical error on her part.

 

I did not get all my zombies off, but I think I got all but one. The heroes where able to take all treasures and toss Merick into the dirt. By then, they knew encounter two would be loads more difficult to deal with.

 

The ONLY reason I won encounter two was another critical error on my heroes. When they opened the library, they did not heal Koth. They just went in for the kill. Master Zombie and one other zombie lived and the heroes moved Koth. I had one turn and one turn only to kill Koth. If I missed, they would win. I rolled, and Koth was dead.

 

It was a nail biter. I feel the quest was well thought out, but if either side slips up, they are done. Also, hero synergy helps allot too. I forget what my heroes had going for them, aside from Avric as a healer, but they had something going on that made it increasingly difficult. 

 

Hope this helps.


"Bide your time and hold out hope."

~Count of Monte Cristo

 

NotesFromTheOverlord.tumblr.com


#3 Robin

Robin

    Member

  • Members
  • 694 posts

Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:42 AM

I have seen varied results for this quest.

The more you - as an OL - have zombies at the end of the first encounter, the better you are.

The heroes can also have some problems fighting monsters to get the key - last time I played the quest, they took ages to kill the dragon in the first room (mostly due to bad rolls - but, happily, the key was in that one !).

But, of course, the hero group combination and the (un)lucky dice rolls do have a big impact on the game.


An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
G. K. Chesterton

#4 DeeJay507

DeeJay507

    Member

  • Members
  • 34 posts

Posted 19 July 2013 - 10:39 AM

@Kunzite, 

 

I don't imagine how heroes can win that encounter if you have 3 additional zombies. Did you know that you can immobilize Koth with Grab? And that your red zombie is reinforced at the START of your turn if killed (And gets to act -> and Grab Koth twice if needed)? So unless the only person that can heal Koth -> Avric doesn't have cleansing Touch and does not stand near Koth (making him unable to heal Koth through Altar) and spends 1 fatigue (therefore you should kill avric every turn if able to get rid of his stamina, making him unable to remove immobilize) you get almost unlimited turns on which heroes can't really do anything usefull? Besides with 3 zombies I saw the heroes opening doors to library once, and only if they skipped all monsters that they could, which caused their demise as soon as monsters were all near them and hitting hard. 

 

Anyway, that's not the point. I know that the Cardinal's Plight can be won by overlord (For example if heroes don't have Avric). I also know that the Cardinal's Plight can be done easily if the heroes have bad luck in 1st encounter or if they play poorly. 

 

I don't know how overlord can win if the heroes are playing in the way I described. It seems that it is easy for heroes to make sure no zombies are leaving the encounter 1, which gives them auto win for the second encounter. It also leaves overlord in a situation where there is no decision making for him and that means the game gets very boring. 

 

@Robin:

Well, the more zombies you have on 2nd encounter, the better. Yes. Obviously. And to make it more clear it is the following pattern:

1 zombie escapes -> heroes have unlimited number of turns to save Koth (avg heal = avg dmg)

2 zombies escape -> heroes have 11 turn on average (probably they win)

3 zombies escape -> 6 or less turns (you win)

4 zombies escape -> you won. 

 

If however they don't have Avric or they don't have cleansing touch -> you win. 

 

The problem is, that during first encounter, heroes can easily win, without your zombies escaping. (See the pattern I provided). For that, they need 3 skill points and 1 item worth 150gold (Immolation, or any hard hitting weapon). Lucky Charm helps( 100 gold). Also they need certain skills and group combination, but I have listed that. It is perfectly doable during campaign, even if they did not win all encounters. (150 gold is easy to get during 3 previous games, and 3 skill points are granted even if you lose). Since heroes will always win First Blood, and they will never choose this as their first encounter, this leaves the situation where if they win their 1st Act I adventure (for example Death on the Wings is quite easy), loose the next one, and then OL choses this, they are prepared. 

 

So, i'm afraid that the varied results are entirely dependent on setup and not dependent on gameplay. And this is exactly what I'm mad about. Why bother playing the game if the outcome can be told by looking at the group? Please tell me I'm wrong and that I could do something as the OL in the given situation.

 

Oh, and one more thing: 

 

the (un)lucky dice rolls do have a big impact on the game.

 

Erm... they do have big impact on the game, in the sense of providing variety and making each game unique, but I did not yet seen the side that lost due to dice rolls. For example in the game I described the dice rolls on the hero side could be worse, but they were not out of the average boundaries. Such scenarios will happen. They played well, and I made few mistakes therefore I lost. I wouldn't say that I lost because of bad luck. I lost because I made errors and if I wouldn't make the errors I could win even if the rolls were exactly as they were.

 

The problem is that I believe that making error during setup (choosing different monster group for example) should not have such EXTREME impact on the game, where you no longer have any chances of winning. The game should be about reacting to situation and I don't feel like I had any chance for any reaction. Unless I'm wrong.   


Edited by DeeJay507, 19 July 2013 - 10:50 AM.


#5 Robin

Robin

    Member

  • Members
  • 694 posts

Posted 19 July 2013 - 11:17 AM

Unless I'm wrong.   

You can be, as I have seen the OL win that quest too. :P


An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
G. K. Chesterton

#6 Kunzite

Kunzite

    Member

  • Members
  • 542 posts

Posted 19 July 2013 - 12:48 PM

@DeeJay

 

They found the key to get in very quickly. The game was over in three or four turns (as per usual for our group), I am sure, and Avric was among their party. It was tricky. I didn't use grab because I didn't know they would be busting through the gate that turn (I thought I had one more). With only two more Zombies *right there* I knew it was all or nothing. Move and punch face was all I felt I could do at the time.

 

Honestly, I thought the quest was amazing because it was so close.


"Bide your time and hold out hope."

~Count of Monte Cristo

 

NotesFromTheOverlord.tumblr.com


#7 DeeJay507

DeeJay507

    Member

  • Members
  • 34 posts

Posted 22 July 2013 - 07:12 AM

@DeeJay

 

They found the key to get in very quickly. The game was over in three or four turns (as per usual for our group), I am sure, and Avric was among their party. It was tricky. I didn't use grab because I didn't know they would be busting through the gate that turn (I thought I had one more). With only two more Zombies *right there* I knew it was all or nothing. Move and punch face was all I felt I could do at the time.

 

Honestly, I thought the quest was amazing because it was so close.

 

1 turn -> you move master zombie and attack with it. Other zombies are placed at the begining near the cardinal so they just attack and waste second action. 

2 turn -> your master zombie makes grab and then attacks. Immobilize stays until cardinal makes an activation, that is it is only removed after the end of hero's turn on turn they opened library. Same goes for disease that is not tested and does not deal damage until the doors to library are opened. 

 

cardinal needs 3 turns to get out. (He gets only 1 move action). 

That means that heroes rescued him on their first turn. 

They had to:

a) kill 2 barghests that are blocking their path. (at least 2 actions) 

b) move 15 squares? (at least 2 actions)

c) open doors (1 action)

d) search (1 action)

c) have a luck of finding a key in the right room (because other room means they have to kill a dragon.)

 

Now that seems impossible to me. Also, they have 4x Barghests, 2x Dragon, 1 boss and 5x goblins + 4 zombies. 

If they don't kill them, you will attack Avric and kill him, thus rendering him unable to remove immobilize. If they have to kill all those monsters, You have A LOT more than 4 turns. 

It seems to me like you ignored some rules?



#8 Kunzite

Kunzite

    Member

  • Members
  • 542 posts

Posted 22 July 2013 - 08:18 AM

That might be true. This was our first time doing a campaign and I was depending on someone else to know all the rules. As far as my memory recalls, we did not.

 

I am not an expert OL. My heroes are all very smart and very resourceful people. I can not brake down the quest for you, this was 3 to 5 months ago. My memory isn't the best, but I do remember it was intense and down to the wire. I think the point is that the OL can win or the heroes.

 

BTW, you talk about flicking Avric down as if it was an easy thing. With him healing himself and others around him every turn made it VERY hard. For the whole campaign, I only took him down a handful of times. The only time it mattered was the final.


"Bide your time and hold out hope."

~Count of Monte Cristo

 

NotesFromTheOverlord.tumblr.com


#9 DeeJay507

DeeJay507

    Member

  • Members
  • 34 posts

Posted 22 July 2013 - 01:54 PM

That might be true. This was our first time doing a campaign and I was depending on someone else to know all the rules. As far as my memory recalls, we did not.

 

I am not an expert OL. My heroes are all very smart and very resourceful people. I can not brake down the quest for you, this was 3 to 5 months ago. My memory isn't the best, but I do remember it was intense and down to the wire. I think the point is that the OL can win or the heroes.

 

BTW, you talk about flicking Avric down as if it was an easy thing. With him healing himself and others around him every turn made it VERY hard. For the whole campaign, I only took him down a handful of times. The only time it mattered was the final.

Too bad you don't remember. Because I'd like to learn how heroes can beat this when zombies are up. (Apart from extreme luck, where zombies have a lot of misses and avric heals for 3 every turn). 

 

As for knocking down Avric, I say it is easy only if in this scenario heroes igore monsters and open the door to the library. At this point you get to spawn boss and monsters all at once, and from 3 sides. Now heroes are surrounded and it is your turn. You have a lot of actions and attacks and it should be enough to down any hero. Especially if you haven't used Critical Blow and Dark Might (and I hope you don't use them if they don't give you a kill or other nice benefit). 

 

Besides, you can also get rid of his stamina with Word of Misery and few attacks even if you don't down him. 



#10 Kunzite

Kunzite

    Member

  • Members
  • 542 posts

Posted 22 July 2013 - 02:18 PM

This campaign I am making a journal for the pure effect of learning. I will be able to tell you better the next time around.

 

Grisban was in there as well. Though slow, he was taring through my monsters and with counter attack I did not want to touch him.

 

If I remember anything more about the quest, I will be sure to tell ya.


"Bide your time and hold out hope."

~Count of Monte Cristo

 

NotesFromTheOverlord.tumblr.com


#11 Deathseed

Deathseed

    Member

  • Members
  • 110 posts

Posted 31 July 2013 - 10:32 PM

Our first play of it I the OL won easily. We've even thought of house-ruling it so that the cardinal can move and have a better chance of surviving the zombies.


You think you've got problems. What are you supposed to do if you are a manically depressed robot? No, don't even bother answering. I'm 50,000 times more intelligent than you, and even I don't know the answer.


#12 sdh007

sdh007

    Member

  • Members
  • 29 posts

Posted 01 August 2013 - 01:11 AM

This game is mostly decided in Encounter 1. Whoever wins this, has a head start to win Encounter 2. I played this quest a few times as an overlord and I always won.

Not the heroes were stupid or anything, quite the contrary. They did almost everything perfect but they never managed to win this quest.

They always "lost" Encounter 1 as I always had the upperhand and always had 3 or 4 zombies for the next encounter.

 

By now it's a standard issue for my group. If the heroes may choose the next quest, they never take this one. While the Overlord may choose the next quest, it's 200% this quest for the win :P So although we may not play it during a campaign, it's definately a key factor in the campaign :)  






© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS