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As a kid, I played a board game called DragonStrike...


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#1 Mud Turkey 13

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 09:51 PM

When I was younger one of my friends had a board game called DragonStrike.  I was able to play it with him a few times, but I had never encountered another game like it before that.  I thought it was great.  I have recently returned to the world of board games through Arkham Horror.  I am looking for a game similar to DragonStrike, and Descent seems to be that game.

 

If you have ever played DragonStrike I would love to know how you think Descent compares to it.  Basically, I liked the fact that you needed to work as a team to defeat a far more powerful foe all the while trying to complete a quest or find treasure and all that good stuff.  I also enjoyed how the game encouraged you to role play your characters.  Would Descent be a good, modernized version of my DragonStrike memories?  If you have never played DragonStrike, what is it that you like about Descent?

 

Thanks for any input you can supply.



#2 Zogwort

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 10:23 PM

Hey, I think I still have that game! IIRC it used a VHS tape as part of the game mechanic, right? Next time I'm at my folks house, I'm going to have to check and see if its in the garage there. 

I don't think I can really do an honest comparison between DS and Descent, because when I had DS I was a young kid and all the rules went over my head and I only vaguely remember actually playing it once with my family for the novelty of the VHS tape telling us what to do lol! The minis were decent enough and wound up seeing more use in D&D sessions hehe.

Having said that Descent is my favorite dungeon crawling board game. The fact that the Overlord is not just a DM running the game, but he is also trying to beat the heroes and win the game for himself means that the games can be pretty intense.

I also really like the built in campaign mechanic where the result from yesterday's session has an impact on today's session, and how the campaign finishes itself without having to play every single quest, meaning you can play the same campaign multiple times and not necessarily playing through the same combination of quests, so the game right out of the box has a lot of replayability, even more so when you start adding the expansions, some of which include their own standalone campaign, and others which are quests that get mixed in with the existing campaigns.

Oh and the minis are top notch, especially for a standalone board game. I've collected Warhammer Fantasy and 40K minis all my life (still do!) and the only non-Warhammer related minis I have the desire to paint are Descent minis.

The only complaints I have about this game is that there are too many fiddly tokens/cards IMO. You think they are alll necessary but after playing for a while you start to get the feeling that there quite a bit of tokens that fill up the play area that are barely ever used. 

Also, as you begin adding the expansions and collect the lieutenant packs, storage can be an issue. I've managed to store my Twilight Imperium game and expansions all in the original game box in such a way that setup and breakdown has become easy (relatively speaking), but for the life of me I haven't been able to come up with a similar storage solution for all the tiles, tokens, card decks, and minis for my Descent stuff yet.

But to be totally honest if you start experiencing problems like this, they are simply symptoms of being a fan of a great board game! :D


Edited by Zogwort, 13 January 2014 - 10:25 PM.

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#3 Mud Turkey 13

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 10:35 PM

Awesome!  Thanks for the reply, and DragonStrike is the game with the VHS tape.  I may have to look into getting this game.



#4 Mowca

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:10 AM

In my opinion the game is great and you should check it for yourself. The game recives alot of attention from its developers so there is lots of new stuff on the horizon to be excited about.



#5 Mud Turkey 13

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:30 AM

Also good to know.  Thank you.

 

The lieutenant packs that they release...  It says that they replace "lieutenant tokens."  Does that mean that they are essentially just a miniature of something already in the game, or does buying the lieutenant pack actually change the way that character functions within the game?



#6 rfisha

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 05:06 AM

Also good to know.  Thank you.

 

The lieutenant packs that they release...  It says that they replace "lieutenant tokens."  Does that mean that they are essentially just a miniature of something already in the game, or does buying the lieutenant pack actually change the way that character functions within the game?

 

They serve two functions, very simply put:  

 

1. They replace the lieutenant tokens in the game

2. They add another mechanic to the game where the OL player can obtain threat tokens and use them to utilise cards from a plot deck (that comes with the lieutenant pack) and even summon the lieutenant to be used within an encounter.  This involves replacing a number of monsters from an open group with the lieutenant (called an agent to prevent confusion with the main quest)

 

I highly recommend getting one or all of them as they do really add to the game in my opinion.  The plot deck & threat mechanics work well and give the OL another avenue to inflict pain on the heroes!



#7 Zogwort

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 10:07 AM

Also good to know.  Thank you.

 

The lieutenant packs that they release...  It says that they replace "lieutenant tokens."  Does that mean that they are essentially just a miniature of something already in the game, or does buying the lieutenant pack actually change the way that character functions within the game?

Yes. 

The lieutenant pack does both. You get a mini that replaces the token, plus each lieutenant comes with a unique Plot Deck that essentially is a second deck of magic spells that the Overlord player can uses in addition to his normal Overlord deck against the heroes. Plus each deck includes a "Summon X" spell that allows the Overlord player to summon that lieutenant into encounters that they normally aren't in. 



#8 Mud Turkey 13

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 12:15 PM

Sounds awesome. 

 

I have some money left over from Christmas, so I will probably be purchasing this soon.  Are their any specific lieutenant packs or expansions you would recommend getting first?  Thanks again for all of the information!



#9 griton

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:23 PM

Are their any specific lieutenant packs or expansions you would recommend getting first?  Thanks again for all of the information!

 

Most of the expansions come in a couple different flavors:

1) Small Box: Comes with 2 heroes and classes, some monsters, 5 or so quests that can be used as side-quests in the main campaign, and sometimes some extra items.

2) Big Box: 4 heroes and classes, more mosnters, items, etc, and an entirely new campaign to play through.

 

My personal recommendation is to at the very least start a campaign with only the base set. There is a chance that you may not like it, or that you have a hard time getting other people to (it's not for everyone). If it looks like you and at least another friend are going to enjoy it enough to keep it in regular rotation, pick up one or more of the small box sets and maybe a lieutenant pack or two. This will give you a couple of extra options to play with for the next campaign that you start. (Maybe that'll be after you finish the first one, maybe you'll want to start over with the extra options once you get a feel for things.) I actually have a few campaigns running depending on who's available to play.

 

I'd probably hold off on picking up a Big Box campaign until you, at the very least, finish a single run through of The Shadow Rune (the campaign included in the base set). If all you play is the campaign, it actually takes 4 full runs of that campaign to do every quest (though there will be a bit of overlap, and after 3, you may be better off running remaining quests as one-offs).

 

As for which expansions to choose, once you've played a few quests from the base set, you'll be able to look through the included heroes, classes, and monsters and decide which ones you like the most. 



#10 Zogwort

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:37 PM

I would recommend just the base game as a start. However, if you must get an expansion, I would recommend you start with Lair of the Wyrm since the quests included in that expansion can be mixed in with the quests of the base campaign.

Now with Lair of the Wyrm, you have the perfect excuse to get the Valyndria lieutenant pack, which is an AWESOME miniature!

If you don't get LoW & Valyndria, then if I were you I would just collect the lieutenants that are in the base set. If you can pick only one, I would maybe start with Splig, since he makes appearances in some of the campaign's earlier quests, his mini will probably see the most early use.

Hope that helps!



#11 rfisha

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 05:29 PM

I would stick with the original first, but then go for Labyrinth of Ruin.  I would go for Valyndra Lieutenant, which you can use for both quests.

 

I like LoR as the Arachyura are nice additions to the monster arsenal.  The items & characters are better than the smaller box sets, the OL gets another Basic deck to choose from and we have found the quests a lot more balanced than the original.

 

Even though you can integrate the small box expansion quests into a big box expansion, there is little benefit for the OL to do so and you will find yourself not playing the quests often IMO.  In saying that the Hybrid sentials in LotW are great monster additions for the OL player.



#12 Mud Turkey 13

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:16 AM

I ordered the base game and each of the lieutenants that went with it.  I am pretty excited to try it out with a couple of my friends, but hearing about the new thing that they are going to release this year that allows you to play on your own is what really pushed me over the edge to get it.  The ability to play the game on my own is one of my favorite parts of Arkham Horror, so hopefully that will work out with this one, too.  Thanks to everyone for the information you have given to me!






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