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  1. If there's one thing IA and Descent have taught me, it's not to give FF any more of my money. They do not understand how to design a game in a way that it can be easily expanded. Descent and Runebound should have been interchangeable. Imperial Assault and Legion should have been interchangeable. This is not rocket science. This is common sense. Quit making everything so thoroughly disposable and maybe they could build a franchise up in a way that would sustain sales. Games workshop divorced the miniatures from the games decades ago, and it's worked out pretty well for them. They can stop trying to sell me things I know they won't support in a few years time. Cause until I see real improvement I'm boycotting the company. They have way too much of my money as it is.
  2. Well at least we have closure. No more wondering if they're ever going to do the right thing. This really sucks because I finally bought all the Imperial Assault stuff after they added new app campaigns for both properties last year. Now both lines are officially cancelled. Guess it's back to boycotting FF, and wishing I hadn't spent as much as I had on both games. Screw this company.
  3. I still don’t think they’ll remove the overlord. They’re still supporting events for pvp IA, and that game is almost as stalled as Descent. Skirmish keeps it going, and it seems far more likely they’ll just modify it to add that aspect. Personally most overlords I’ve played with enjoy their role too much for my taste.
  4. I’d pay good money for an updated set of the early lieutenants. “Cough”Eliza”cough”. I’d even be interested if they gave us a way to get new sculpts for a lot of the early heroes as well. Most of them are fine, but I’m spoiled by the more recent minis.
  5. The lieutenant packs are another area that also desperately need fixing. Once you have one you don’t need the tokens that come with EVERY pack. Make those part of the new core box. And include side missions for them like IA instead. In fact IA doesn’t really have lieutenants like Descent. They separate villains and allies into standard and elite versions, with separate cards for each. This makes it a LOT easier to balance the imperial player/ overlord relative to the hero’s. IA getting hero and monster style expansions would indeed be amazing, as they’d be more useful in that system, and that’s what I want for Descent.
  6. Personally I dislike and avoid competitive games. I play the overlord as a GM or just use the app. But a lot of people have a competitive streak and adding skirmish would be right up their alley. I’d actually never play it, but I want the hero and ally cards it would produce.
  7. I was going to post this yesterday, and while this mornings "Lost Legends" announcement certainly changes things a bit, I do believe it only underlines the fact that FF still has plans for Descent. I'm fairly certain that for all the doom and gloom that's been floating around, FF is almost certainly working on a third edition. And I think that may turn out to be a better thing than you might think. The problem with a third edition is mostly the fact that some of us have sunk a ton of money into second and/or first edition components, and are loathe to start all over. And even though FF does often do conversion kits and makes at least some effort to incorporate previous components into new versions, there's still a lot of stuff that'll never be used again. And that's a powerful deterrent. There's also the fact that second edition has missing components. Lost Legends fixes a lot of this, but we're still missing a dozen heroes. I think a lot of people are reluctant to support a reboot until the previous version is topped off. There are however some very big benefits to a third edition provided it isn't a total reboot. A soft reboot that incorporates nearly all previous components, while adding or replacing problematic ones, could be exactly what this game needs. Essentially a new Core box with largely minor alterations. I'm suggesting in particular that third edition should, and almost certainly will have a skirmish mode. And not necessarily for the obvious pvp aspects. Currently there are 56 different monster groups, 20 unique lieutenants, and 72 heroes (60 without the missing dozen from first edition). But to amass all of these is no small task, and even I don't yet have all the Hero and Monster packs. And frankly I don't have a lot of incentive to pick them up. Why? Because while the monsters get added to the list of available spawns for pretty much ALL content, the heroes only matter at the beginning of a campaign. You may see dozens of different monster groups throughout the story, but you'll only ever see those 4 heroes you picked at the very beginning. You would have to play through at least EIGHTEEN campaigns to use all the heroes, and then only once each. Let's face it, most of them will never hit the table. There's a similar issue with the classes, but it's not quite as dramatic. FF knows this. And you can bet they've realized that it's a hard sell to get people to pick up the whole line. At this point each expansion faces serious diminishing returns. However, those who've played Imperial Assault know that it doesn't have to be this way. In that game your 4 heroes are regularly joined by allies who provide much needed variety throughout the campaign. Descent has toyed with this a little, most notably in Labyrinth of Ruin, but not nearly as much as they could. The problem is that in descent the only hero cards are the traditional large stat cards, and the weapons and class abilities come from separate decks. IA has this as well, but also has "skirmish" versions of all the heroes, giving them simplified one-card versions on par with the cards used for the enemies. This not only allows for proper balance in selecting a skirmish group, but it also allows for heroes to be used interchangeably with allies. Imagine if one map you had Elder Mok helping you out as a fifth member, then replace him the next map with Steelhorns, or a group of Daquan infantry. These wouldn't be full powered heroes but they would have one or two signature abilities. This would add variety and flavor to the group, making each run through a campaign even more unique. The same could also be true of lieutenants, as IA has also demonstrated. I would love to see a final second edition box set based on a tournament of champions, with a campaign built around heroes facing off against other heroes. OF course the whole event would get corrupted, and you'd wind up facing monsters again as well as enslaved/corrupted versions of heroes. It would introduce the skirmish mechanic and give us a whole lot of uses for the piles of plastic they keep nudging us to buy. Perhaps this would be a good place to add those missing 12 heroes from first edition, while also serving as a conversion kit/capstone for second edition. I would have expected the missing class and cross-class cards to fit in here as well, but they've already fixed that issue. In addition there is another issue which I am less hopeful towards. I have ZERO interest in tabletop wargaming. But I would have bought the entirety of Runewars and Legion if the minis could have been used in their respective sister games. There are certainly sizing issues with some of the minis there, but I would hope that FF starts to look into cross-game usability for these titles. There are certainly other rule and mechanic issues that need to be addressed, and I think they should be. Gently. In a new core box. But in particular this would give them a strong finish to second edition, while setting things up for a new skirmish-enabled third edition without pissing off the people who supported them so far.
  8. I agree the frost theme is silly and meaningless, unless it's going to be followed up immediately with an new arctic-based physical expansion. But as they typically announce those things well in advance of release I'm not hopeful on that. I've no problem with them going largely digital as long as the content is both high quality and substantial. The new app-based Mansions of Madness is very well done (aside from somewhat scarce minis), but this looks to be about as interesting and deep as Flappy Bird. I'm certainly not paying money for it, and in general FFG isn't getting any more of my money until they give me reason to have confidence in them again.
  9. Err... about that. The Descent app came out in May 2016. That month also saw the announcement for "The Chains that Rust", which is to date the most recent physical product, and which came out in September 2016. Aside from a digital app campaign released in January 2017 we've not heard peep from FFG aside from saying the app tripled their sales when it came out. Prior to 2016 there were at least 2 physical boxed products released each year, and one or two miniature packs as well, and they always preceded each new release with an announcement of something beyond. Just cause there isn't a headstone on the grave doesn't mean it's alive. That being said, IA at least still has physical product in the pipeline, and Star Wars is pretty popular right now. So, there's hope.
  10. This is a "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine" moment if I ever saw one.
  11. I do have to say I was wrong in that it hasn't been a year without news, it's been a year without the announcement of a new physical product. The app is a substantial product, and I would be very happy to see more done with it, but they still seem to be leaving a number of things in the dust. And a lot of those things were just introduced in the previous year. My fear is that it's taken so long because they had NOTHING planned to follow, or worse that Asmodee killed off whatever they had planned. If they pop up in the next month or two and announce a new box and/or another big app campaign then I think things will be ok. I'd love to see more campaigns based on existing big-box releases like Nerekhall. And I understand completely if they had to take some time off and redo their release schedule to accommodate the inclusion of said app. I'd even be fine with future releases being almost entirely app-centered. There's certainly a lot of physical product to use already. But if they go that route they really need to patch some of the holes they created over the last 3 releases. And seriously, they need to communicate. At this point I'm not buying anything else from FF unless I know they still support their games the way they did Arkham Horror.
  12. I have near everything for this game, and I'm beyond disgusted that it's been so long without news of an update. There is no excuse for a year of no news, good or bad. I've only the hero and monster sets to buy, and I'm not touching them now until I hear that there's more content coming. It does not take a year to make a new campaign for the app. It does not take a year to "adjust your trajectory". I see no evidence that Asmodee cares AT ALL about this franchise. I have ZERO interest in the rest of the Runebound/Terrinoth franchise. I'm here for the dungeon crawl. They can make their battlefield miniature combat games all they want, but I won't be buying them. I do not own any of the Imperial Assault stuff, because no one in my group wants to play it. If an app appears for it I would likely buy in for solo play, but that is the ONLY scenario in which that would happen. These are 3 very different settings, and they do not cross over nearly as much as Asmodee seems to think. At the very least they should do a final box to cap things off properly, like they did with Arkham Horror. As it stands they're leaving an awful lot of cash on the table.
  13. Absolutely! I think this would do nothing but improve the games popularity and longevity.
  14. I have to wonder if you've even looked at the app before rejecting it. One of the scenarios is something like 6 hours long, with multiple locations and a huge amount of story and flavor text. I cannot imagine that level of detail being represented using the old system. And this game most certainly has "proper rules and a real rulebook". The Keeper was always fairly restricted in his or her available actions. Just because the interaction has changed to happen exclusively between investigators means very little for the game.
  15. Short answer, yes. While we don't yet have the physical game in hand, we can tell a lot from the app. And unless there's something truly wrong with the contents of the box we're looking at an amazing reinvention of this game. The first edition had several problems. Setup took too long, tracking monster health was fiddly, and a single misplaced card could screw up the whole evening. But the truly fatal flaw of that game was that it wasn't really all that expandable. Yes it had two expansions, and a whole bunch of print on demand titles, but while those each added new stories they largely failed to actually expand the base game itself. The original version relied on specific story cards to be seeded throughout the map, as well as others used to track the pacing on the doom clock. This meant that for each scenario they had to print a separate deck of cards that was only really usable for that story. Then there were additional alternate cards that gave variations on each scenario. But few of these cards would ever be used more than once, as once you've played through a particular story, there was little incentive to repeat it. Now most of those were actually very good stories, and I really hope we eventually see new versions of them using the new system. But back then it just meant that about a third to half the cards you got in the box were only ever going to be used once. This actually got more true in the expansions, and the print on demand packs were entirely designed for single story use. More than once I looked at my collection and marveled at the giant stacks of story cards, likely never to be used again. This of course made custom scenarios difficult, as you had to proxy the story cards or compensate for them in some way. And designing a map layout was not as simple as arranging the tiles. You had to plan out the web of discovery and there were no tools from FFG to help you. Games like Descent 2.0 and Imperial Assault have since arrived, using new methods to plot out a story on the board. And for a long time I've dreaded that Mansions would be rebooted to use the same map tile system they share, and be doomed to the curse of constant combat. I love Descent, and I'm very interested in IA, but Mansions is an exploration game, not a grinder. But FFG has completely surprised me. The map tiles remain the same, allowing all those giant gorgeous rooms to remain. They were originally conceived to have room for small cards to be laid out on them, and the design allows for large atmospheric artwork. Simple lines still divide the rooms into manageable spaces, allowing for multiple investigators and monsters per area, without becoming an overly technical grid. Even if you somehow don't enjoy this game these could easily be used to construct maps for other Mythos games. This release brings the total to over 50 available tiles, all double sided. And there's definitely more to come. Honestly if they had abandoned the game and just released more tiles like this I'd have been content. The investigators are still pretty top notch. There's been a few meh ones here or there, but overall they're distinct and expressive. Though I am surprised they've added new people when the original game was only 16 into the established Arkham cast of 48. But looking at Descent I think it's likely we'll be seeing monster/investigator/map packs coming soon. The monsters are the only part of this I wasn't thrilled by, but I've largely warmed to them having seen the actual scenarios. This release is heavily Innsmouth themed, even if they don't really shout that on the cover. I'd have preferred better bases, but I'm hardly surprised they continued with the ungainly base and token system from Arkham and Mansions 1.0. The good news is with the new system it looks like you're free to rebase them at will. I was already planning on it, and they'd made it a lot easier to do. So what does the app do, and what does it not? For one, it makes tracking monster health a breeze. All monsters are individually tracked in app, and you have total control over their damage. As with most skill checks and such you roll the dice and tell the app the result. Pass/Fail or amount of damage. This means if you're really having a hard time of it you can fudge a critical number now and then if it becomes necessary Each monster past the first has a unique identifying symbol added to a corner of it's portrait. I can only assume the box will come with stickers to add to the bases to match. If not that's an easy paint job, and a couple of painted strips with similar symbols off to the side mean the tokens don't even have to be in the bases. This is something we toyed with to simplify the first game and I'm thrilled they implemented it here. Setup is simple, but not mindless. Search, Interaction and Exploration tokens are placed inside and on the edges of revealed tiles respectively. This allows for plenty of interaction points without having to worry about stacks of cards. Remove a search token and the app will handle the reveal, very much in the same manner as the original game. You may need a specific item to get past that token, or you may need to solve a puzzle. Remove an exploration token and new tiles will be added and new tokens placed. The feel and pacing of the original game is absolutely preserved. If anything the atmosphere has been improved, given the added level of story bits that appear throughout. Tokens are also used for various NPC's to fairly good effect. Honestly I've not gone through all the scenarios yet, so as not to spoil the story entirely, but so far I've yet to see an NPC do much to help in combat or even move around much. However they are well used to add story and interaction points. I wouldn't mind seeing a miniature pack for them. The app does a fair bit to hold your hand, though not in an obnoxious way. And in the easiest scenario it did not seem even to be possible to actually lose the "race against time", though I doubt that's true for some of the others. In fact one of the best changes to the overall game is the absence of the hated "Doom Clock". In the original game you were dissuaded from doing much exploring off the beaten path, as there were more often than not a finite number of turns before the Keeper simply won. While there are certainly stories that benefit from a race against time, it was grossly overused. This time around exploration is absolutely encouraged, and even necessary to progress past certain points. If you dawdle too long you may find yourself hit with an "event" or two that can easily result in loss of health or sanity, but the feeling of "rush-rush" in greatly reduced. As for the loss of the Keeper, the game does a fine job replicating them. So much so that I didn't notice much of a difference overall. Creatures still mostly spawn according to specific rules and story points. Combat still plays out with the same descriptive flourishes the original did so well. And investigators still get hit with personal attacks from out the blue. Those who were fond of playing Keeper may be disappointed, but Investigator players don't seem much affected by the change. Best of all, it appears that virtually everything in the box will be reusable. So expansions can actually "expand" the game, rather than just string it out. New stories and scenarios are far more likely to appear regularly, as they require much less work to create, and can be entirely digital. No more waiting for the next POD to print and ship. And while there is no leveling system like Descent, a campaign system of sorts is more of a possibility now. While it's likely we'll be relying on FFG to provide those stories for a while, it is not unthinkable that this might be opened to allow for custom scenarios down the road. If you don't already own the original game, this is a solid buy. If you do, this is a must buy. And as many have already pointed out, the components from the conversion kit will undoubtedly be reprinted. So grab the originals if you see them cheap, as it is still a good game, but you'll probably be able to get the bones cheaper later. For those that worry about the price of this box, remember that this is all good meat. There don't seem to be any one-time cards this time around, so the replayability and potential customization level is MUCH higher than before. I'm very happy with the state of Mansions right now, you should be too, and I'm eagerly looking forward to what's coming next.
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