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The Shadow Vault - Overlord win seems cheap?


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#1 pbenner

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:57 AM

Hi folks,

 

I've been playing my latest campaign through with my family.  Step-dad, Brother, and Sister (not that it matters).  I picked up the Expansion last week and we've been running through the campaign for the first time with the expansion in effect.  

 

Last night, we got to the Interlude for the first time (hadn't played it before).  Immediatly, after sizing up the situation, it was pretty apparent that with the way that all the rules work, I would have to beat down every character that was in range to pick up the relic in one go, and then hope to run off with it.  Because of the layout, and the "close" quarters, I went with the following open groups:

 

Hybrid Sentinals

Cave Spiders

Barghests

 

I started with the Cave Spiders in the cave, with the Lt.  The Barghests as my "locked" group and re-inforcing the Hybrids.  

 

Group as follows:

Quillen (as Runemaster)

Dwarf Warrior (as Berserker)

Minion Stunning Healer (as Spirit Speaker)

 

They've spent their experience pretty wisely, so they're not an easy trio to tangle with.  While the Healer and Runemaster sit back and blast with their Rune/Magic Staff, the Berserker is up in my face with his nice shiny axe and 18 hp!

Since I knew that I would have no shot at taking them out early, with only two starting cards in my hand thanks to the Travel step allowing them to discard their choice, I threw Zachareth at the first one to come up the stairs and caused a little damage.  They played very tight, and stopped right outside the Caravan after ripping apart my spiders in a single turn, letting the healer use "Healing Rain" once or twice and resting to get fatigue back.  

When they opened the door and moved up, I had Zachareth right outside in a corner, the Barghests on one side, and the Hybrids on the other.  I boxed them in, and started my onslaught.  I thought I had enough cards, but I did not, and with some good rolls, the dwarf lived, and managed to revive the healer, in turn, for her to revive the mage, and me to be pretty much stuck with a pile of dead monsters.  

I threw Zachareth over the river, staged him on the stream tile, and proceeded to bank my re-inforcements on the Stream.  Luckily for me, the Healer decided to go back after the search token, wasting fatigue to get there and search, only to get something that wasn't all that great, while the Runemaster and the Berserker carried on.  

I packed my strongest guys up front, within range of their double move or move+fatigue+one attack, and survived the first wave of their assault.  It took me stacking two cards to keep the healer away, and then another four or five cards on the heroes to do enough damage to the Runemaster and the Berserker to knock them both out.  Then, on my next turn, a Dash allowed me to move to the Casket, pick it up, and move to the edge of the falls, using the rest of my monsters to block their movement and leave them without enough attacks to catch up.  

The complained that this was cheap, which I agree, it kind of was, but I have enough problems with the Runemaster's damage out put as is, I really didn't want him to have access to that rune.  Does anyone have any other thoughts on how you deal with a party in this scenario other than exploit their mistakes and pile on as hard and as fast as possible?  

 

Best,

 

Paul the OL.

 



#2 Steve-O

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 03:18 AM

pbenner said:

The complained that this was cheap, which I agree, it kind of was, but I have enough problems with the Runemaster's damage out put as is, I really didn't want him to have access to that rune.  Does anyone have any other thoughts on how you deal with a party in this scenario other than exploit their mistakes and pile on as hard and as fast as possible?  

Honestly, I don't see how that's cheap at all.  You were spending resources like a mad man struggling to get the casket away from them.  It sounds like this is a battle hard fought and you came out the victor.  To me, it sounds like the heroes are crying foul because they lost and apparently don't expect themselves to ever lose.  Descent is not an RPG and there is no guarantee that the good guys will win.  The overlord is also allowed to come out out on top sometimes.

If the heroes lost the casket because the healer ran off to search for treasure, then this is an object lesson for the heroes: don't send vital resources off in search of treasure you don't need.  Keep the goal in focus.

 

Seriously, I've heard a lot of complaints about cheap tactics on this particular map (monsters blocking the river and so on), but this particular story is not cheap in the slightest.  It's a perfectly fair and reasonably played session, which the Overlord happens to have won.



#3 pbenner

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 03:45 AM

We've been trading blows back and forth on winning maps.  Playing the extra quest from the expansion, we were 3 and 2 for wins, with the Heroes ahead heading into this map.  I squeeked out the win.  

The ability to expand large monsters whichever way I wanted helped, it allowed the barghests an extra point of movenment (basically) to throw themselves in front of the Heroes.  

They've also decided that the Trading Pains card is "overpowered" especially when I can use it to keep a hero down for 2 turns.  They're becoming very good at order of operations, but when they don't have the luxury, it's good for another free draw and a pretty sizable chunk out of a caster.  The berserker stands up, rolls 6 + 2 for his ability means that I can have upto (4) redirected.  Usually he wants to take it all because they know I'll beat one of them down pretty fast either way.  

I hate resorting to cheap tactics, but like I said, I really don't want that rune in the hands of the Rune Master.

 

Paul



#4 Dam

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 09:31 PM

Bah, there are no cheap wins, there are only wins and losses and I'll take a win over a loss every day. Then again, I'm an OL burla .


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#5 Steve-O

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 01:47 AM

pbenner said:

I hate resorting to cheap tactics, but like I said, I really don't want that rune in the hands of the Rune Master.

Again I say, these aren't cheap tactics.  These are the legitimate ways in which an OL wins.  The OL is eeeeeeeeevil, after all.  The Overlord player needs to pull out all the stops against an experienced hero party, but that doesn't mean he's being cheap.  It just means he's playing to win, and there's nothing wrong with that.

 

An example of a cheap tactic, in my book, is the OL saving all his cards drawn from the first encounter to use in the second (effecitvely throwing the first half in order to have a serious advantage in the second.)  Legal, per RAW, but not very sporting.



#6 pbenner

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 02:58 PM

I don't go that far, but I will hold back a card or two I need for the second encounter if I know I will want it.




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