Tonight I played for the first time with my cousin and taught him Descent 2e. I have played a little of my game and he chose a team that I had never seen before: 4 all strong stat and heal characters but no real offense (all blue and yellow dice). The First Blood session ended up being 5 or more rounds long, and I barely won. Usually done in two or three. I then wanted to check out a quest I've never played before and chose Death on the Wing. Worst mistake ever.
So having first set up the map then read the contents (I was googly-eyed mostly over the shiny relic I could win), I realized there was only 1 boulder I could lay down no matter how many heroes were playing. I decided to run with it anyways, win or lose (thought I'd definitely lose), and then I pushed all my spiders and bhargests against the heroes. I kept downing half of his group, dragging it out til I got about six boulders down. In the meantime, I decided knowing I'd lose I'd draw cards like crazy and crush with my deck in my hand when he finally chose to escape. He then used a special feat for a 1e conversion character that grabs from her unused class skills and swaps with another chosen skill card from the class. He grabs a card that makes me randomly discards a card every round for 2 fatigue. Eventually he figures out to gank my spiders cause they don't come back, and then as the game ended up with 20 KOs on his guys and like several rounds later we realized the game had stalemated to me trying to keep my Overlord deck in my hand and him removing boulders and threatening to discard my cards randomly till he is satisfied to move on…
That's just it: there is no anti-stalemate mechanic to the first scenario of Death on the Wing. Unlike First Blood where I need to rush guys out the door versus players killing my guy, or Cardinal's Plight of the same effect, or Ballroom-Vampirella mumbo-jumbo stage, all have a "race" that the Overlord player is committed to. Death on the Wing has a one-sided race instead that players decide when they want to leave. Naturally the Overlord will want to keep his advantage after decimating his opponent, but it's literally impossible if poorly done (note way to do it: ettins and giants, as stated in other posts of this forum). However, the aspect of "down-and-stay-down" of 1e with Conquest tokens looks dramatically useful after tonight's botch of a play. Competing players will need one side to have an edge in time or KOs. Hero figures getting back up time after time feels like an impossible fight of the Return of the Living Dead! I also question if there are other moments where heroes lock down the Overlord in the first encounter to then guarantee their victory the next one, or vice versa in Overlord's favor.
Has anyone else found stalemate sessions where the game could theoretically play out for days in a silly fashion because of the absence of a time-deck or conquest tokens amiss?