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Opinion on balance after our most recent campaign.


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#1 DeeJay507

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 07:29 PM

Hi, 

 

I wanted to share some thoughts about some skills and items our group has found a little too powerful or lacking. (Only RAW, we did not use any expansion packs)

 

1) Relics for the Overlord are a dissapointment. They not only don't stack, but also usually don't appear or, when they appear, are easily countered by heroes, when they just kill the lieutenant, which is sometimes very easy. It should at least be possible to trade them for something, like threat or XP. It is not a major balance issue, but It makes the OL envy, especially that there is no way to counter the Heroe's Relics in the similar way, and the Heroe's Relics do stack. 

 

2) Staff of Light. In the basics, the game is about putting your resources (mainly actions) to a good use, and taking away the actions of opponent. This relic is making the OL unable to take actions away from Heroes. Killing 3 heroes, but not the staff of light bearer, gives you no actions anymore, they stand up. They are ready to act and their damage was not changed. Not only that, but they no longer need to rest, which makes it even more powerfull. OL is no longer able to separate that one hero and block the others way to him. Staff of Light works through the monsters giving a free rez. I think it does too much. I have not found a good way to counter this as an OL. Not to mention it is pretty good weapon too. 

 

3) Disciple class, especially Cleansing Touch. When we compared the heroes, it was the class that could most easily use all of his skills each turn without any drawback or risk that a rest action would be needed. Basically the class is based on prayer of healing. Prayer of healing is a good skill, becuase it doesn't require an action. But when you take more and more passive buffing skills for it, it becomes everything in one. Healing 2 heroes, cleansing conditions from them, giving them more defense for entire turn, making their attack stronger. Basically I see two problems here, the cost doesn't go up. When other hereos are buying more skills, they have to pay for them. They have to make choices, which skills should be used. Disciple -> no, free everything for everybody. Second problem is condi removal. It counters a lot of OL possibilities to take away actions from heroes at no cost at all. Disciple + Staff of Light is nightmare of every Overlord. I don't see any effective way to deal with that pair. 

 

4) Danger Sense -> the only ability that can influence the OL hand. Now that should not make it into the game. After buying that skill, the Wildlander prooved itself to be the most usefull when he did nothing else except using Danger Sense every turn. Granted, in the expansion there is a counter to this, but combined with Disciple, the counter is countered :) Basically, what we have experienced is that it was possible for the Heroes to "deadlock" most of the quests. By "deadlock" i mean that heroes used Prayer of Healing, 2x Staff of Light if needed, did other stuff that was most usefull for that turn. 2 damage dealers had 1 additional yellow. Wildlander -> Danger Sense and whatever. Damage dealers deal damage. If immobilize is needed, one of them does it. Repeat. If that led to more monsters destroyed every turn than reinforcements AND OL had no way of doing his Objective next turn, it meant that each turn it was even harder for the OL to make his objective. Until it was not possible anymore. Then, heroes picked up all search tokens. Next encounter. 

 

5) Immobilize -> There are scenarios where it shouldn't be possible to immobilize some key creatures. Creature has no way of countering immobilize, with move up to x or gain x movement points. No way of cleansing the condition. It is far too easy for heroes to consistently do this over and over again.

 

6) Unholy Ritual -> After patch, it is slightly underpowered. Granted it needed that patch, but now I think it needs a small buff. There are only few scenarios where you can cast it for free. Maybe think of some way of giving more card draw for large monsters or something? Or tie it again to the number of heroes in some way. Like, draw x (number of heroes) and keep x (number of monsters, max 2) 

 

Now examples of scenarios where combined, these things led to heroes easy victory:

 

The Frozen Spire. 

Wyrm Turns

Enduring the Elements. 

Gryvorn Unleashed is a joke. 

 

At some point, the heroes are getting much more powerful than act II monsters and are dispatching them quickly. Reinforcements are not enough. OL needs its cards!!! Without them there is nothing he can do. When we looked at each quest won by heroes and won by overlord, we noticed that he quest won by OL, where the ones where heroes did not use Danger Sense often enough. Staff of Light makes it easy to use Danger Sense even after Wildlander is knocked down. No way to counter this. Knocking out 2 heroes with 4 cards and monsters left after initial hero turn is often not possible. Everybody in my group agreed, that there is nothing better for the Wildlander hero to do, than discarding an OL card. It is almost a "skip turn" for an overlord. And sometimes, it is just that.

 

 



#2 Kunzite

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 10:04 PM

Sounds like you got the short end of the stick. I have never been in a campaign where the heroes got the Staff of Light (I always murdered Koth at the last possible moment). But I have had to deal with Desiple and Wildlander in the same campaign. I don't like all the free things, but I also got around it fine (MUCH better then apothecary picking people up without an action. THAT'S a pain!). Danger Since was the first thing my scout picked up. Yes, I hated it but it wasn't a deal breaker. I was also working with an un-erated Unholy Ritual, which I don't feel it needs to be nerfed. I normally went for a group that would hit me up four cards. When I ever had seven or more cards in my hand, many times my heroes gave up on my hand. Often times I would hold cards till I could accomplish this or play cards to hit the scout up for fatigue or make it seem like I was forcing him to use his other actions for something else.

 

Do you talk with your heroes while playing? I love pushing them to do things, even if it's the right move. Then they never know if I am trying to tick them ^.^ The physiology behind this game is my favorite part. I learn allot about myself and my friends.

 

Free ways of dealing with conditions has always been my hardest point as OL. Granted, I do fine in deposing of my heroes without conditions, but it would be great to know how it feels to be in a campaign in which I could use conditions to some good use. I know how it feels to have them put on me... I know how good they are... Again, not a deal breaker, but it would be nice.

 

And Gryvorn Unleashed is a joke. >D I knew I was dealing with a losing battle, but man I made it hard! (Goal number one in Descent: Have fun. Goal Number Two in Descent: Make it hard as I can for the heroes!) Man Who Would Be King is no joke. I, the OL, won with a bit of a struggle. It required allot of dirty fighting (not the card) and underhanded moves. Nothing like Blood Raging a respawned master Zombie to take out the healer turn one. No one expected that (seeing I bought the card right before the final).

 

All in all, the game really swings sharply depending on who wins what and where. In all fairness, I would like to point out a few quests really hard for the heroes to win:

 

Masquerade Ball

Dawnblade (In my experience)

The Ritual of Shadows

Wyrm Rises (again, my experience)

 

I have won Wyrm Turns, BTW. Close call and last minute, but I won.


"Bide your time and hold out hope."

~Count of Monte Cristo

 

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#3 C2K

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 12:06 AM

Danger Sense is very fatigue intensive and eats up an action for the scout.  Apply some pressure to the scout so that they have to think of other things instead of using Danger Sense. 

 

Immobilize vs.  monsters gets weaker with LoR.  Reavers don't care if they are immobilized and the OL gets the opportunity to buy up to 2x Dark Remedy, if your heroes are condition heavy.



#4 DeeJay507

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 06:01 AM

I agree that each of these separatly is managable. The problem starts, when all components are in one party. Danger Sense is fatigue intensive and eats up action for Scout. It doesn't matter. The scout does only this. Nothing else. Danger Sense, rest. Or when there is staff of light -> every turn he has free 2 fatigue for danger sense, so the other action is now free. He can move or attack. What else could that scout do that is more usefull? Attack twice? There are much better damage dealers in the party. Move? There is no need for that. Pick up treasures? Damage dealers can do this after dispatching monsters. 

 

The point is, 2 heroes with damage buffs from Disciple, can dispatch more monsters than the reinforcements. It doesn't matter how many cards you have. If you manage to use your cards to draw more (Each Unholy Ritual gives you 1 card more, but requires monsters on map, so can not always be used) and you never used any card, you have 4 + 1 for each nicely casted Unholy Ritual. But the point is that heroes have the encounter "deadlocked". It means they have infinite time, and you are not able to end the encounter. They decide when they end. So they spend so many turns discarding your cards (they do it at random, you don't get to choose), that your hand, consists of cards that they want you to have. 

 

I played with smart heroes. They were immune to my talking ;)

 

Try playing an Expert Level, I will repeat this too:

1) Syndrael, Berskerker - Grinding Axe, Lucky Charm, (Sell Chipped Greataxe), - Rage, Cripple, Brute, Weapon Mastery, Charge. -> When buffed by Disciple with yellow die he will deal that +5 damage. Immune to Tripwire and Immobilize due to charge. His fatigue is recovered by attacking, Staff of Light and His ability. He will be able to constantly immobilize creature and deal nice dmg to it. His heroic ability will make it possible to go to the first group of mobs with 2 damage dealers and dispatch them in 1st turn. 

2) Widow Tarha, Runemaster - Lightning Strike, Leather Armor or Scorpion's Helm. - Runic Knowledge, Runic Sorcery, Iron Will, Rune Mastery. -> Nice AoE immobilizer. Heroic Feat and Blast are cool. Using 3 yellow dice (from Avric) she will deal that +6 damage. She will get Mana Weave from another hero:

3) Jane Fairwood, Wildlander -> Mana Weave (give to Runemaster), Crossbow (yes 25 gold too much, but in campaign possible, and we take down her skills) -> Danger Sense, Bow Mastery. -> She will discard an overlord card and with bow mastery move monsters when needed. That's it. 

4) Avric, Disciple -> Staff of Light, - Prayer of Healing, Cleansing Touch, Holy Power, Divine Fury. In normal campaign he will also have Armor of Faith. But that's optional. Rez the entire team, give them 2 free fatigue per turn, buff them and remove conditions. 

 

Overlord -> Take all you want. 

 

I would like to see how overlord wins The Wyrm Turns, or the Gryvorn Unleashed with that. I also would like to hear, how to setup the other four heroes (Necromancer, Spiritspeaker, Knight and Thief) to perform as well as these.  



#5 Steve-O

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 08:25 AM

Kunzite, on 16 Nov 2013 - 11:04 PM, said:
Do you talk with your heroes while playing? I love pushing them to do things, even if it's the right move. Then they never know if I am trying to tick them ^.^ The physiology behind this game is my favorite part. I learn allot about myself and my friends.

This, right here. The overlord's position gets a lot stronger if he knows how to play the players instead of the game. Taunt them into doing the wrong thing, distract them from their objective. Get them to waste actions of their own volition, doing things that don't matter to you.

If Danger Sense is forcing you to discard all your cards, then stop hoarding them. Play every card at the first opportunity. Keep your deck at 15 cards so you can rotate it quickly and maximize the chance of important cards coming back before the encounter ends. Try to develop strategies that don't rely on having cards in hand whenever possible.

If the heroes heal too easily then don't worry so much about hurting them. Put big roadblock monsters in their path to slow their progress and go for your objective with other monsters. Who cares if they immobilize it? It wasn't moving anyway.

Et cetera.

#6 Cursain

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 09:57 AM

This is one of the main reasons I won't play the game with just the initial set.  As new expansions and lieutenant packs come out, the balance of the heros and OL will become more and more apparent.

 

I am dealing with a Wildlander with Danger Sense right now, but once I get my Zachariah lieutenant kit in the mail, and start using Rush to Power every round, I'll just smile across table and say "Bring it".  Use that two fatigue and an action to discard ONE of my random cards.  I'll be able to easily sustain, at minimum, three draws a round.  Once I get Bloodlust with that Combo, I doubt the Wildlander will ever use Danger Sense again.



#7 C2K

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 01:15 PM

I would like to see how overlord wins The Wyrm Turns, or the Gryvorn Unleashed with that.

 

Well, with Gryvorn Unleashed, KOing the heroes removes them from the game in the 2nd encounter, before Staff of Light or any reviving action would work.  In this quest, I would try to get as many objective tokens as I could, avoiding as many fights as I could.  Then in the last encounter, target either the Disciple or the Wildlander and try to remove them from the game quickly. 

 

The Wyrm Turns... well since the heroes have the opportunity to use your Lieutenant, its just a disadvantageous quest from the start.  I believe you need to win encounter 1 in order to win encounter 2 as OL. 



#8 Kunzite

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 01:20 PM

My heroes are very smart. I just chime in with what they are talking about. Sometimes I encourage them to do the right thing so they do the other, or the other way around. Sometimes that small bit of hero in me that is always cheering for them comes out to tell them what is the right move for the sake of it. Just hearing my voice is enough. You would be surprised how much what you say moves the game in different directions. Even a simple "don't miss" from time to time gets them going. A "HA! THAT is NOT a miss!" or a "Man! I missed! You HAD to say something." is something. You say they as immune, but I wonder.

 

As I have said before, I have never dealt with my heroes having the Staff of Light. Sounds like you had a hard time this campaign.

 

I have never met anyone that won Gryvorn Unleashed. As far as the Wyrm Turns, it was a matter of blood raging my last monster to knock out Belthir in encounter one at the very last moment. It was the first time any of my heroes had seen what it could do and it was one of three cards I played all through that encounter. It was a surprise for all of us. Pulled the win right out from under my heroes. They now NEVER assume they have the win till the quest in concluded. We will be playing that same quest very soon as an epic. I can tell you how it goes.


"Bide your time and hold out hope."

~Count of Monte Cristo

 

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