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#1 The Thing In The Attic

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:54 AM

Hi

I'm thinking of buying this game.

What is the replayability of the quests? if you've done a quest is it just as much fun the second and third time round? Mansions of Madness which i played covers this with hidden and variable story lines.

How good is the game with just the overlord and one player?

the main thing puting me off at the moment is the Lieutenants. - the game only includes cardboard tokens for them when its clearly a minatures game. I see that on the FFG-game website there are product listings for the lieutenant figures, i can't help but feel that this is a blatant cash-in.

I also have my heart set on Cadwallon City of thieves too,  but can only buy Cadwallon or Descent at the moment, as i'm waiting for the new Talisman and Mansions of Madness expansions to come out.  

 

 

 



#2 sheriffharry

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 02:28 PM

Well, everybody got his own opinions, experiences, and such… But as a roleplayer/wargamer for the last 30 years, I would place Descent 2nd ed. as one of the top boardgame of the last two decades.

I wouldn't worry too much for replayability, as every scenario could be replayed many times with different heroes, different monsters and different Overlord card hands.

My only complain, game-wise, would be the fact that heroes can move around monsters as they wish. As I am used to wargame and enemy exerting Zone-of-Control stopping movement, I find this a bit unrealistic. That said, this is a very minor quibble.

I've played the game with 1,2 and 4 other players, and even easily homeruled a solo version (drawing a new hand of OL card every turn). All format are well balanced.

As for lieutenant, I simply put them standing up in the "door" stand and use my voice-acting skill to render them "larger than life" even without minis.

Just my 2 cents. Mileage might vary…

 



#3 mt77061

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 11:10 PM

I have played one of those "heavy box" DnD games that came out the last few years.  It had plenty of lovely miniatures and map tiles, etc.  But it was very confusing to understand the rules, and my best friend and I were so routinely beaten by the monsters and encounter effects in each dungeon instance that we became very dissastisfied.  However, I have really enjoyed the two-player experience he and I have had with Descent (he was Overlord and I operating two Heroes).  I was dismayed a little when my Hero selection wasn't good in the damage-dealing department, so we are going to start over so that I can choose a Melee and a Ranger fighter, respectively.

I am not sure how the replayability would be, since I think it would depend in large part by the number of players.  Also, the course of a campaign depends on if the Overlord wins a Quest or if the Heroes do.  Whoever wins chooses the next Quest in the campaign.  Presumably, the Overlord could win the same Quest every time and choose the same next Quest; or the same with the Heroes.

But as it is he and I playing right now, I am sure that we will want to explore each Quest that we can, and depending on if the Overlord wins or the Heroes wins, that will determine what Quests take place during the course of a campaign.

All that to say, I feel there is a moderately high level of replayability, even if there are only two players.  And, if there are only two players, then one man can control the Overlord for one game, and in the next game, the other can be Overlord.

 

[Oh, even though my best friend and I have not completed a campaign, I am strongly considering purchasing the Expansion.]



#4 Robin

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 11:58 PM

If the only element that makes you hesitate is the fact that lieutenants are not represented by figurines … Well, don't buy the game : it has rules and other uninteresting features. You will be better off buying plastic soldiers. :-P
An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
G. K. Chesterton

#5 The Thing In The Attic

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 02:41 AM

Robin said:

If the only element that makes you hesitate is the fact that lieutenants are not represented by figurines … Well, don't buy the game : it has rules and other uninteresting features. You will be better off buying plastic soldiers. :-P

I have Tide of Iron so i really do have plenty of plastic soldiers thank you :)

and I have and love arkham horror - no Minis at all in that game :)

 

no its not the only reason, the main one really is replayability,  If replability is good then I'm sold

I just found it a bit odd that the rules treat the tokens as monster figures in every respect but they didn't include a platic mini, if theres a good reason for this; great: perhaps you need the tokens for hidden or invisibility movement, perhaps, but i haven't read all the rules yet, so i don't know.  Yes i see that the upcoming minis are metal and with greater detail, albiet unpainted. I don't need the minis to enjoy a game, I just want to make sure I'm getting a decent game thats value for money is all. Hopefuly the lieutenant packs might come with say special unique spell or item cards but if its just minis to replace cardboard chits…you can see my hang-up here surely. Did FFG use this marketing strategy in Decent 1?

thanks for your feedback so far on this, anyway despite the minis issue i really like the look of this game and am really swinging towards getting this over Cadwallon      



#6 Robin

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:46 AM

It seems that first edition also sold lieutnant figurines separately - were they even metallic?

I don't see any gamewise reason for not including lieutnant minis.
There seem to be commercial reasons.

Anyway, I am thinking of making lieutnant standups as I did for the CK monsters - see thread posted yesterday.


An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
G. K. Chesterton

#7 Steve-O

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:52 AM

The Thing In The Attic said:

 

no its not the only reason, the main one really is replayability,  If replability is good then I'm sold

 

 

I would say replayability in Descent 2E is very strong.

In any individual quest, all rules and figures on the map are placed at the beginning.  There are no surprises for either side, so the enjoyment factor is not impacted by repeated plays.  When playing in campaign mode, as others have mentioned, the flow of the game depends on who wins each quest.  There are a total of 20 quests in the campaign, of which only 9 get played in any one play through.  So there's plenty of mixing and matching to be done there.

The game has rules for playing individual quests in "one-shot" mode, but it was quite clearly built for campaign mode.  If you have no interest in playing the campaign, you may find yourself thinking that there are a lot of components you never get to use.  Or you may not, personal opinion will be the determining factor there, it's just something to be aware of.

The Thing In The Attic said:

 

Hopefuly the lieutenant packs might come with say special unique spell or item cards but if its just minis to replace cardboard chits…you can see my hang-up here surely. Did FFG use this marketing strategy in Decent 1?

 

 

The LT tokens are no different from any other hero or monster figures with regards to how they get used in game.  LTs have special rules and abilities, of course, but nothing that would mechanically require a token instead of a figure.  I also doubt that the LT figures will come with any extra components besides the figure itself.  3 of the 6 LT figures are technically already released, since these same 3 LTs appeared in 1E as well.

I think the big reason that the LTs are tokens is probably just following tradition, and arguably cutting costs on production of the core box (though probably not by much for just 6 figures.)  Your opinion that it sounds like a cash grab is not entirely out of line, as far as 2E goes, though in FFG's defense, you don't need the metal figures.  You can play with the tokens, or you can use proxy figures you have available if the "it's not a figure when it should be" thing is really killing you.

 

There's a bit of a story behind why LTs are tokens, traditionally.  (You can stop reading now if you don't care.  This story isn't being told to justify anything, but merely for your own edification.)  You see, Descent 1E was originally built such that quests were always one-shots.  The heroes lost everything they had bought at the end of each quest and had to start over, win or lose.  There was a very pitiful "basic campaign" mode proposed as an optional rule, but nobody really enjoyed it and all generally agreed that it lacked the sort of character progress that a campaign mode should have.  On the plus side, all of the figures were figures and all were included in the box.

Eventually, FFG responded to fan demand for a proper campaign mode by creating an expansion called "Road to Legend."  This was a massive undertaking that completely reworked the rules to allow the game to play in a long-term mode that permitted heroes to keep their gear and training and to advance over the course of time to prepare for an epic final battle.  As you might imagine, this required a lot of new components to be made for the game.  It was to include an overland map of Terrinoth, a significant number of new tiles allowing for both indoor and outdoor maps to be built, and also support for higher tiers of power dice (necessary to increase the granulatiry of attack power for long-term advancement,) among other things.

Because space was so tight in the expansion box (and probably in an effort to keep the price point at something reasonable), FFG decided to include cardboard tokens of the new LTs they were adding to the game, of which there were about 10 or 12 I think, rather than plastic figures.  And believe you me, that box was packed solid with shiny goodies as it was.  Of course, once it was out, fans wanted proper figures for the LTs, so FFG began producing these metal figures for all those LTs.  People who really wanted figures could buy them, and those who didn't care or didn't want to pay the added cost could continue using the cardboard tokens.  Everybody won.

There was a second campaign expansion that came along later, following the same production model.  It had to rebuild everything about the campaign mode, of course, in keeping with FFG's business model that no expansion ever requires more than the core box to be played.  So it also included cardboard tokens for the LTs, and again a line of metal figures was to follow, for those who really wanted them.

Now we have the fancy new 2E core box, built with a proper campaign mode in mind, and it is generally much better for that fact.  The LTs are still cardboard tokens, even though they probably didn't need to be, but it's sort of the way things are with LTs in Descent by now.  I'm also not sure if there are manufacturing issues with casting plastic figures from a mold originally designed for metal ones - perhaps the cost of making new molds for the 3 LTs that appear in both editions put them off the idea of making LT figures included in the core box.  I'm reasonably certain the rising cost of plastic was also a consideration, since FFG seems to be reworking a lot of their titles that have lots of plastic lately.

Again, none of this is intended to justify the use of cardboard tokens instead of plastic figures for the LTs.  You're perfectly justified in your opinion that it's a cash-in strategy, and there's nothing I can honestly say to contradict that idea.  I just thought you might be interested in how things got to be the way they are.



#8 Triu

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:19 AM

Not having any D1E background, I just assumed it was because monsters were meant to be generic & reusable across multiple quests -- and expansions -- and lieutenants were tied to the story line & were intended to only appear a limited number of times before being replaced in new campaigns.  Creating a unique mold for a single figure would be relatively costly.  They could have included generic figures in the box -- or red versions of the existing hero sculpts -- to use as proxies, but that would have been a different kind of disappointment for some people.  I'm perfectly happy to use the tokens or figures from other sources.  You could even use unused hero figures as proxies.



#9 BatHead

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:54 PM

Steve-O said:

 

The Thing In The Attic said:

 

no its not the only reason, the main one really is replayability,  If replability is good then I'm sold

 

 

I would say replayability in Descent 2E is very strong.

In any individual quest, all rules and figures on the map are placed at the beginning.  There are no surprises for either side, so the enjoyment factor is not impacted by repeated plays.  When playing in campaign mode, as others have mentioned, the flow of the game depends on who wins each quest.  There are a total of 20 quests in the campaign, of which only 9 get played in any one play through.  So there's plenty of mixing and matching to be done there.

The game has rules for playing individual quests in "one-shot" mode, but it was quite clearly built for campaign mode.  If you have no interest in playing the campaign, you may find yourself thinking that there are a lot of components you never get to use.  Or you may not, personal opinion will be the determining factor there, it's just something to be aware of.

The Thing In The Attic said:

 

Hopefuly the lieutenant packs might come with say special unique spell or item cards but if its just minis to replace cardboard chits…you can see my hang-up here surely. Did FFG use this marketing strategy in Decent 1?

 

 

The LT tokens are no different from any other hero or monster figures with regards to how they get used in game.  LTs have special rules and abilities, of course, but nothing that would mechanically require a token instead of a figure.  I also doubt that the LT figures will come with any extra components besides the figure itself.  3 of the 6 LT figures are technically already released, since these same 3 LTs appeared in 1E as well.

I think the big reason that the LTs are tokens is probably just following tradition, and arguably cutting costs on production of the core box (though probably not by much for just 6 figures.)  Your opinion that it sounds like a cash grab is not entirely out of line, as far as 2E goes, though in FFG's defense, you don't need the metal figures.  You can play with the tokens, or you can use proxy figures you have available if the "it's not a figure when it should be" thing is really killing you.

 

There's a bit of a story behind why LTs are tokens, traditionally.  (You can stop reading now if you don't care.  This story isn't being told to justify anything, but merely for your own edification.)  You see, Descent 1E was originally built such that quests were always one-shots.  The heroes lost everything they had bought at the end of each quest and had to start over, win or lose.  There was a very pitiful "basic campaign" mode proposed as an optional rule, but nobody really enjoyed it and all generally agreed that it lacked the sort of character progress that a campaign mode should have.  On the plus side, all of the figures were figures and all were included in the box.

Eventually, FFG responded to fan demand for a proper campaign mode by creating an expansion called "Road to Legend."  This was a massive undertaking that completely reworked the rules to allow the game to play in a long-term mode that permitted heroes to keep their gear and training and to advance over the course of time to prepare for an epic final battle.  As you might imagine, this required a lot of new components to be made for the game.  It was to include an overland map of Terrinoth, a significant number of new tiles allowing for both indoor and outdoor maps to be built, and also support for higher tiers of power dice (necessary to increase the granulatiry of attack power for long-term advancement,) among other things.

Because space was so tight in the expansion box (and probably in an effort to keep the price point at something reasonable), FFG decided to include cardboard tokens of the new LTs they were adding to the game, of which there were about 10 or 12 I think, rather than plastic figures.  And believe you me, that box was packed solid with shiny goodies as it was.  Of course, once it was out, fans wanted proper figures for the LTs, so FFG began producing these metal figures for all those LTs.  People who really wanted figures could buy them, and those who didn't care or didn't want to pay the added cost could continue using the cardboard tokens.  Everybody won.

There was a second campaign expansion that came along later, following the same production model.  It had to rebuild everything about the campaign mode, of course, in keeping with FFG's business model that no expansion ever requires more than the core box to be played.  So it also included cardboard tokens for the LTs, and again a line of metal figures was to follow, for those who really wanted them.

Now we have the fancy new 2E core box, built with a proper campaign mode in mind, and it is generally much better for that fact.  The LTs are still cardboard tokens, even though they probably didn't need to be, but it's sort of the way things are with LTs in Descent by now.  I'm also not sure if there are manufacturing issues with casting plastic figures from a mold originally designed for metal ones - perhaps the cost of making new molds for the 3 LTs that appear in both editions put them off the idea of making LT figures included in the core box.  I'm reasonably certain the rising cost of plastic was also a consideration, since FFG seems to be reworking a lot of their titles that have lots of plastic lately.

Again, none of this is intended to justify the use of cardboard tokens instead of plastic figures for the LTs.  You're perfectly justified in your opinion that it's a cash-in strategy, and there's nothing I can honestly say to contradict that idea.  I just thought you might be interested in how things got to be the way they are.

 

 

I can answer that as a former figure sculptor and painter for a couple of minis companies. Plastic figures are cast using stainless steel molds  that are very expensive (thousands of dollars) using injected molten plastic, metal figures are cast in vulcanized rubber molds using a centrifugal spin caster. In general plastic figures have a very expensive initial cost. Metal figures are much cheaper and less labor intensive. You can't cast plastics in the molds made for metal minis, notr the metal ones in molds made for plastic minis.



#10 Steve-O

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 03:05 AM

BatHead said:

I can answer that as a former figure sculptor and painter for a couple of minis companies. Plastic figures are cast using stainless steel molds  that are very expensive (thousands of dollars) using injected molten plastic, metal figures are cast in vulcanized rubber molds using a centrifugal spin caster. In general plastic figures have a very expensive initial cost. Metal figures are much cheaper and less labor intensive. You can't cast plastics in the molds made for metal minis, notr the metal ones in molds made for plastic minis.

Very interesting, and thanks for the insight. =)

Of course I'm not an FFG employee, so I can't say for sure that this was part of the decision, but it certainly sounds like something that might encourage them to continue using cardboard tokens for the LTs.  Sounds like it would much less expensive on their end to cast 3 (now 4, presumably) new metal LTs than to recast the old 3 LTs in plastic.

This method also keeps the door open for maybe bringing back some of the other 1E LTs in future expansions for 2E.



#11 BatHead

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:39 AM

Yeah, I'd be willing to bet they still have the molds for the the three 1E Lts. Even if the didn't have the molds, since it's likely they at least still have the original master cast figures, it's real easy and inexpensive to make new molds. Probably one of the reasons why they decided to go with re-using at least 3 of the old LTs.



#12 The Thing In The Attic

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:32 AM

Steve-O said:

 (You can stop reading now if you don't care.  This story isn't being told to justify anything, but merely for your own edification.) 

Thanks for you reply bro, I did read your whole post; and found it very informative and helpful too, knowing a bit about the design process and possible reasons for the 'odd' decision FFG made… well now doesn't seem so 'odd'. I can imagine the difficult discussion during the design meetings about increasing production costs, 1st edition owners and the games price tag.

Initially I was thinking from a roleplaying aspect that the lieutenant would be the climax of the story and should be represented by an impressive figure. But now i realise most-likely the figure would only be used in that one adventure because its a unique monster and would be killed by the adventurers and never used again except if the players revisit that story. most of the minis included in the box are of non-unique monsters and so can be used in any or every story and so the cost of the minis to the game is justified.

I understand it now and will be happy to make my purchase knowing what i'm getting and why i'm getting it.

And thats why I posted my concern here, not to grumble but to seek advise and reasurance from the guys who have already parted from their cash and experienced what hopefully i'm soon to experience. another fantastic FFg game!

 

  

 

 

     



#13 Steve-O

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:51 AM

The Thing In The Attic said:

Initially I was thinking from a roleplaying aspect that the lieutenant would be the climax of the story and should be represented by an impressive figure. But now i realise most-likely the figure would only be used in that one adventure because its a unique monster and would be killed by the adventurers and never used again except if the players revisit that story.

All of the LTs in the core game appear in at least a couple of quests throughout the campaign.  Heroes and monsters don't get killed in D2E, they get "defeated" and can then either Stand Up or be reinforced anew.  The same goes for LTs.  There is at least one quest near the end which says certain LTs don't appear if the heroes won an earlier quest that involved killing that LT, but for the most part, defeated characters always have a chance to show up again later.

I suppose that's what happens in a fantasy realm with relatively easy access to resurrection magic.



#14 Atomsmasher

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:13 PM

Just FYI, no spoilers, but at least one of the LT's from the core game does show up in a quest in the first expansion, so not sure how "one-shot" they are going to be if that is any indication.

 

My recommendation would just be to proxy in some other cool minis you have laying about for the LT tokens if it bothers you.

 

In regard to the expansion though, I really think they should have sprung for an actual mini for it's LT, because a token is extremely anticlimatic for this particular LT IMO.



#15 SolennelBern

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:04 AM

I don't know if you own games like Talisman or Runebound but there's tons of minis to be found in those games.

I found some proxies in Talisman that I use in D2E, works wonders for $0 additionnal cost (if you already own the game).

I'll still consider the metal minis when they'll be released cause I like matching mini and image/card.  But one thing I can't wait to see is the Wyrm mini…i'm sure it'll look epic!

@Steve-O: Damn dude, every post you make is full of useful tips, constructive comments and overall great and helpful reads.  2000 surges for you to use anytime you want heheh!



#16 BatHead

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:04 AM

Atomsmasher said:

 

Just FYI, no spoilers, but at least one of the LT's from the core game does show up in a quest in the first expansion, so not sure how "one-shot" they are going to be if that is any indication.

 

My recommendation would just be to proxy in some other cool minis you have laying about for the LT tokens if it bothers you.

 

In regard to the expansion though, I really think they should have sprung for an actual mini for it's LT, because a token is extremely anticlimatic for this particular LT IMO.

 

 

Well, every extra plastic mini adds a lot to the cost, those steel molds on average cost about $10,000. For Valyndra, as large as the figure likely would be, she probably would have required her own mold, it just wouldn't be economically feasible for them. I'm sure they likely operate on a strict budget when [lanning out a game, making a Valyndra plastic fig would probably have busted their budget.

They could have gone with a metal figure (which they likely will when the release the other LT minis), but I can see where it might not be practical to include metal figs in the game box.






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