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Maybe Overlord does have the advantage


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#1 Joeyman

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:03 AM

So my pals and I just finished our first (four heroes) campaign with myself as the overlord.  The first few scenarios seemed to go horribly for me.  I couldn't seem to win no matter what.  I was very frustrated and scoured the forums to see if I was alone.  It sounded like lots of people were experiencing similar issues.  Anyway, we got past the interlude (which I managed to win) and after that I never lost again.  The other four players were very discouraged by the end and I might be hard-pressed to get them to play again.  I think that the game is probably weighted towards the heroes in the first half and towards the Overlord in the second half.  Any opinions?  Also, I still have some questions on exactly how some of the mechanics work (mostly about when heroes have to declare actions and how large monster movement works).



#2 Nexx

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:29 AM

 I found the same actually. We just finished this weekend and I won the Campaign. Act 1 the heroes won 2/3 and in Act 2, I won 2/3, and easily.

I like the fact that it's harder for the heroes, they have to work together for a common goal, the OL has all of his groups and doesn't have to worry about them not agreeing on tactics beauase they're all his. Watching my friends bicker and argue was actually a little enjoyable.


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#3 schmoo34

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:59 AM

I usually win the first scenario as overlord (unless it is Death on a Wing, I never seem to win at that one) and then lose the remainder of act I because the heroes start to gain $$ and buy equipment which nullifies any OL cards I may have.  But you are right, the Act II cards come out and then things get more interesting.

 

There is a sort of scaling effect the heroes have to go through.  In the beginning, they are void of equipment so they must overcome that and get stronger.  Then, in Act II, the OL gets upgrades for everything and the heroes have to overcome the gap a second time.



#4 Dawn Avenger

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 01:16 PM

I won Death on the Wing using Ettin, traping heroes on entrance. The Ettin hit high damage, block the corridor and the throw skill help to keep the weakers in entrance while the red spider move around to burn heroes fatigue . When 8 rocks was put in board, they advanced and i trap  in the Cannyon.



#5 Obi Wann82

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 03:35 PM

I have a 3 hero campiagn underway. Syndrael (berserker) Avric (disciple) Jain (Wildlander) and found the opposite. the OL won 2/3 quests in act 1 and plus the interlude.

The heroes only bought the Mana Weave out of th Act 1 shops, but did manage to get a chest twice to pick up a Crossbow and Elm greatbow. The Heroes did manage to win the Cardinal's Plight and gain the Staff of light. Basically Syndrael and Jain form a blockade behind which Avric sits and heals them back up every turn using the staff and his prayer of healing. In a pinch he also has Radiant Light and his heroic to boost up the healing powers. This has made it real difficult for the OL in the interlude to take out any of the heroes.

 

The first Act 2 quest chosen was Monsters Hoard. Jain really REALLY wanted the relic. Shopping saw Syndrael buy the Steel Greatsword. So Avric has the shadow rune, Syndrael the steel greatsword and Jain the crossbow. Basically they owned the OL, searched every token and got away with the win in 6 turns, without the OL downing 1 hero.

 

One of the players thought it was a bit of a let down, how easy they managed the quest. We have yet to get any further but to us it seems the OL is favoured first, then the heroes in the latter stages of the campaign/.


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#6 Joeyman

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:05 AM

I just got my conversion kit in today, so maybe things will go that way for us too.  It seems like there are some very powerful new heroes.



#7 G.Prep

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:57 PM

How you managed to "lock" the players on the corridor for 8 turns to put boulders only using the Ettin and a spider is beyond me.

Ettin pack a little more damage than an average melee Hero or the wizard. With the small detail that the Heros collectevely got 8 attacks (Sometimes more) and the Ettin got only 1. 2 with OL card.

The power of the red spider needs her alive to work. The spider with 6 life and 1 grey die of defense is nothing that two attacks can´t solve.

If the players wanted an even easier run they just needed to let one hero on the entrance to block the spawning point. No more Ettin. On the turn that the fighter cleared 2 boulders at the same turn, they only needed to make a run for it. With the average Hero you can make 12 squared spending stamina (25 squares if you use Jain and her feat) while the Ettin, even with dash can get 10 squares (funky movement rule).

Second encounter was even worse. They killed both elementals and the Lnt before I even had my first turn. I told them that they would lose the loot and they didn´t really cared. Specialy because of a card they got on their way to the quest that gave them 150gp and one item from the market.

I still haven´t reached second act, but on the way things are going, count that the OL can by cards but still have to draw them, I´m incredulas that there will be any swich of balance.



#8 G.Prep

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:02 PM

There is a balance issue when it get to less than 4 player game. The 4 classes work incredibaly well together. Having even one of them out, might tip the scales in favor of the OL. The 2 Herous game is even more difficult for the players



#9 Triu

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:53 PM

G.Prep said:

If the players wanted an even easier run they just needed to let one hero on the entrance to block the spawning point.

The consensus seems to be that you can't block spawn points in D2E, the monsters just appear in the closest open space.



#10 mustardayonnaiz

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 04:58 AM

Triu said:

G.Prep said:

If the players wanted an even easier run they just needed to let one hero on the entrance to block the spawning point.

 

The consensus seems to be that you can't block spawn points in D2E, the monsters just appear in the closest open space.

 

Really? Oh boy, we totally use that as a tactic. 



#11 plolock

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 01:27 AM

 Yeah, the only way heroes can actually block big monsters (2x2,2x3) if is they occupy a space in front of a door, since the monster enlarges during its movements interruption and thus cannot open the door unless they are adjacent to one another.



#12 Dam

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 05:54 AM

plolock said:

 Yeah, the only way heroes can actually block big monsters (2x2,2x3) if is they occupy a space in front of a door, since the monster enlarges during its movements interruption and thus cannot open the door unless they are adjacent to one another.

Does this really work? I mean, doors can be opened from any adjacent space and being 2 spaces wide, that means four spaces from which you can open the door. In a corridor, yes, 4 width rooms also work, but requires 2 heroes (leaving only one space at each edge).

 


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#13 plolock

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 07:28 AM

Well, I'd say it depends, since sometimes the door is located in a "line" that goes along the gameboard, but often, its a "fill" tile between the big tiles, and the door is often located in such a way that it only has 2 spaces in front and back of the door, and not 4.

X X X X X X X X X
MMM X X MMM
MMM-------MMM
MMM X X MMM
X X X X X X X X X

Like so (lol)



#14 Eugee

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 11:08 AM

 I lost the Intro (usual), then went 3 for 3 in Act 1.  However each fight got closer and closer and closer.

In the Interlude, the heroes closed TWO of the three portals before I got my first turn.  Then I got destroyed on the crypt for the first quest of Act 2.  They are now rocking the Staff of Light & Dawnblade in my face.  We did the ruins today and despite having a 4 space head start with the Lt, they still caught him (despite killing two heroes in a single turn once) 4 spaces from the exit.  The berzerker kept him Immobilized with Cripple for a turn, then the runemaster got in range and dropped an immobilize on him every turn till he died, despite dropping a overlord heal on him and two flesh moulders pumping heals into him.  I used my Warlord 3 Reinforce TWICE on the second encounter, and it still didn't matter.  The turn I lost, I killed TWO of the heroes, then the third hero fatigued in, stood both of them up, and then they bombed him with four attacks, killing him off.

That's with 3 heroes--with 4 heroes (they have Silhouette) it's just stupid.  Silhouette will cover 19 spaces on the first turn, passing through monsters, auto-searching anything she passes adjacent to.

I'm actually pretty bored with the campaign at this point, their disciple has Dawnblade and a nice shield, plus leather armor & plate mail (he switches when he needs more movement), he can cleanse effects with his heal, heals 2 heroes at a time, and can move 2 squares while gaining two fatigue to fuel his healing.  The Runemaster has the relic rune, two or three ways to regain fatigue, can spend fatigue to bump range & damage like crazy, rerolls a die every attack, and typically gains back 2-3 fatigue when she attacks.  The berzerker has a stupid crazy act 2 axe, a free surge with every swing, adds 5 damage with 2 surges, and 5 movement + 4 fatigue.  He drops soul-crushing bombs on my Lieutenants.  Then the rogue can double move with tumble to typically search every treasure on the board with his first action, re-drawing each search if he doesn't like it, and still drop a missile of death with his A2 bow.

My monsters gained some health and about +1 defense on average.

I had a huge advantage today and it didn't matter.

Fatigue is still too strong in this edition; it should only be usable to extend a move action--not usable without declaring a move action.  Fatiguing 5 squares, dropping double ranged bombs, and ending up with 5 fatigue again is just retarded.

Death should mean something more than the healer giving up an action and a fatigue to have you ready to drop another double bomb, too.  If you stand yourself up, you lose your turn.  If you stand someone else up, that person should be stunned, so two actions are still being lost--just divided between two players.  Right now you get a double bonus--you only lose one action, and it's on a guy who's primary task is to spend and action standing up your damage dealers.

Anyway, I like Descent and I think 2E fixed a lot of problems, but I'm so tired of fatiguing double attacks, and killing TWO heroes in one turn just to have them stand up and hit me back 4 times the next turn.

Act 2 monsters are only a minor improvement, and dwarfed by the power increase the players get in Act 2.  Hopefully I can pull off a win in the finale, but I'm doubtful.


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#15 Dam

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 12:30 AM

Eugee said:

 We did the ruins today and despite having a 4 space head start with the Lt, they still caught him (despite killing two heroes in a single turn once) 4 spaces from the exit.

Ritual of Shadows? My play went very differently, vs Knight, Disciple and Runemaster. Lt. got five spaces from Encounter 1, that put him just past the first door. Since heroes skip the first turn, Lt. was off and running, using Dash, I used the first action to close the door (adding another action for the heroes to do and blocking LOS), then double moved, ending right next to the second door, with a Demon Lord in the Hallway blocking a direct path to him as well. Any 2x2 or 2x3 monster works, sometimes you can have two of them back to back for a real meatwall. Since Farrow has the Staff of Shadows, you get to reroll once per turn, thus the doors opened easily and another Dash saw him exit on turn four, without the heroes ever getting even sight of him after setup, they failed to kill the Demon Lord which was backing away from them slowly all the while.

Eugee said:

heals 2 heroes at a time, and can move 2 squares while gaining two fatigue to fuel his healing.

Only if they are adjacent and the latter takes up one of his actions.

Eugee said:

Anyway, I like Descent and I think 2E fixed a lot of problems, but I'm so tired of fatiguing double attacks

Pit Trap? Web Trap? How are the heroes constantly able to fatigue move so much if they burn off all fatigue at the start? Plus, KOing a hero maxes out their fatigue too.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#16 schmoo34

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 04:31 AM

I just finished a campaign as the OL.  I often lost the first encounter, but still won the overall quest.  That is how it seemed to ebb throughout.

 

Lost First Blood

Won 2 of 3 in Act 1:  Often losing the first encounter but still winning the quest

Lost the Interlude (wasn't even close)

Won 3 of 3 in Act 2: Again, often losing the first encounter.

Finale.  Was down to the Baron and a knight.  The knight kept defending my attacks and I rolled a miss at an inopportune time and he iced me the next turn.  It really was down to the final roll and could have gone either way.  Heroes won.

 

I must say that the finales are lieutenant specific.  It sort of equalizes things…because, as an OL who won most of the quests, I had more xp, etc. but when I am limited to just using lieutenants, it wasn't as easy. (Lieutenants only get one attack/turn vs. 3-4 minions)

 

Also, the act 2 monsters…the spiders turned out to be favorites for me.  The minions attacked with a blue and two yellows and most other minions didn't get to roll three dice.  At 5 spiders total, and a reinforce card, I was able to devastate the heroes with multiple multiple attacks from the spiders.  Something two ettins or shadow dragons could not do.  Granted, one "blast" from the runemaster ended my spider rise to infamy but they usually did more damage than the larger creatures.



#17 Dam

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 06:18 AM

schmoo34 said:

 

Also, the act 2 monsters…the spiders turned out to be favorites for me.  The minions attacked with a blue and two yellows and most other minions didn't get to roll three dice.  At 5 spiders total, and a reinforce card, I was able to devastate the heroes with multiple multiple attacks from the spiders.  Something two ettins or shadow dragons could not do.  Granted, one "blast" from the runemaster ended my spider rise to infamy but they usually did more damage than the larger creatures.

I'm really loving Hellhounds from CK currently, especially being in Act 2. Pierce 3 (4 on master who rolls BRY) just carves through most defense rolls, though granted, heroes haven't gotten a single armour draw from the Act 2 Item deck, so going against white + brown mostly. Pierce is nicer that +dmg surges as I can add those from OL cards but Pierce is harder to come by. Fire Breath and 5 movement is just icing on the HHs (err, fire I guess ).


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#18 Eugee

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 06:34 AM

Dam said:

Eugee said:

 

 We did the ruins today and despite having a 4 space head start with the Lt, they still caught him (despite killing two heroes in a single turn once) 4 spaces from the exit.

 

Ritual of Shadows? My play went very differently, vs Knight, Disciple and Runemaster. Lt. got five spaces from Encounter 1, that put him just past the first door. Since heroes skip the first turn, Lt. was off and running, using Dash, I used the first action to close the door (adding another action for the heroes to do and blocking LOS), then double moved, ending right next to the second door, with a Demon Lord in the Hallway blocking a direct path to him as well. Any 2x2 or 2x3 monster works, sometimes you can have two of them back to back for a real meatwall. Since Farrow has the Staff of Shadows, you get to reroll once per turn, thus the doors opened easily and another Dash saw him exit on turn four, without the heroes ever getting even sight of him after setup, they failed to kill the Demon Lord which was backing away from them slowly all the while.[/quote]

I took two sets of large monsters.  Never failed a single door, even closed one of them.  The runemaster gets a free surge, usually rolls one, plus can get another surge by exhausting an item, and when regaining a fatigue from an attack gets 2 instead of 1.  The berzerker uses their heroic ability to cross the map.  It's not like they have to do this every turn; after wiping out all my monsters in the first or second turn, I'm just getting a trickle of reinforcements now (if that).  The disciple removes effects without using an action, so I can't hamper them.  They just fly across the map and kill everything, there's pretty much no way to stop it.  :D



#19 Macnme

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:24 AM

Only just finished our first campaign, but it was balanced on a knife edge.

Many times it came down to the heroes having to make a successful dice role, or the next turn the overlord would win… and it was about 50/50.

I think some may appear to favour the OL, but it all depends on the tactics used by the players/overlord and the outcomes of the dice rolls… which is exactly the way it should be.

 

From this experience alone, I would say that their telemetry was spot on - and neither side has a real advantage.

 

It's worth remembering that most outcomes in this game are decided by dice rolls - which are random…. and humans are good at finding patterns in randomness. (eg; that cloud looks like a goldfish);  Also, random numbers are not spread evenly and often appear in clumps.

So people may look at their game log history and conclude that the game is weighted one way or the other - but it may just be a run of bad luck for one side or the other.



#20 Tromdial

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 09:40 PM

 Unfortunately half my play group and a little bit of myself included is becoming pessimistic that the game is overpowered in the Overlord's favor. Though I am hoping a friend will want to play Overlord so I can challenge that theory, I have yet to see anything past Act I, and I want to do that before I put my full review in. I can already acknowledge though with the game continually buffing the winner with experience and relics that the campaign seems to always weigh in favor of the victor. Likewise, a campaign that does this gradual slide over several sessions seems pointless to my gaming group. Additionally the conversion kit offers players starting variety but the Overlord always gains his open group options throughout the game, modifying to his needs while the heroes are on a linear track with their initial choices (mind you, I have only won with 2nd ed monsters and haven't even had a chance to try conversion characters).

I could not tell you at the moment what would rebalance the game, if anything needs to in fact be rebalanced. However, it seems heroes are lacking an extra umph to be victorious, whether it be better starting equipment or extra gold or what I have no idea. Clearly though my most committed players and I are tired of seeing me crush the heroes without breaking a sweat while abiding by all rules to the best of my knowledge. I believe the competition between players over a large span of time seems way too taxing and my players have plead for restart several times, from group to group. Despite excellent reviews and an otherwise great product in its quick set-up and play time (in theory), 2nd ed has so many flaws that my own review I foresee is unfortunately not looking too bright as much as I hate to admit.






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