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Zaltyre

OL strategy entering Act II

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Act 1 is complete, and I haven't won a quest yet. I am playing as a Basic II Punisher- I have purchased "no rest for the wicked, trading pains, and price of prevention."

 

My adversaries are:

 

Jaes the Exile - Runemaster
A formidable ranged attacker who also uses a sword/shield of the dark god combo Adds surges like a champ..

 

Pathfinder Durik - Beastmaster

Has spent all of his XP so far increasing health. (he has +2, and an addditional +4 for both him and the wolf.) He also has the Aurium mail.

 

Leoric the Book - Necromancer

He lets his hero ability and Reanimate do all the work.He has vampiric blood and army of death.

 

Avric Albright - Disciple

Adding yellow die and dispelling conditions like it's his job... because it is. He rolls gray/gray.

 

They don't have a scout, but through travel cards (lone knight challenge, and another one forcing me to play Gold Digger, which they won.) They've collected good items anyway, and have 425 gold to spend (before surveying the Act 1 shop for the last time, which means they'll have rune plate and mana weave.) My attacks are nerfed by armor, Leoric's ability, and adjacency to the wolf granting an additional brown defense.

 

I think I'm utilizing my cards well- I save "uncontrolled power" for the runemaster (hence the confusion in my other topic,) and "blinding speed" routinely works well on Durik. "Dirty Fighting" gets me a pierce 1 on Avric, and reflective ward is a great way to "effectively" stun the Necromancer by killing the Reanimate.

 

I've tried using smaller monsters so that they waste actions (since the big ones die just as fast,) but that hasn't cut it yet. How can I turn the tables in Act II? Any tips? 

 

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Resign the campaign immediately, you have no hope against jaes as runemaster.  haha.

 

Durik is the only fast hero, so try to choose race quests. This will be especially good with no rest for the wicked because leroy and jaes (if used properly) will be moving with fatigue mostly.

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The first Act 2 quest is a good peak of power for the overlord, since you get your act 2 monsters before they get act 2 items (although someone is rocking the manaweave/runeplate combo so ouch...). That first Act 2 quest is the one you want to win so pull no punches. I like elementals in situations where I'm feeling out-gunned because once they are positioned correctly you can just attack and go air, and they basically have to just get out of it's line of sight so it has to move once and drop the air shield. Also If they slip up on positioning... Fire and air on the same turn is awesome. Don't forget elementals have a basic ranged attack! They don't always have to use Fire!

 

If you can pull it off and you are playing LoR campaign (you mentioned you were using Basic II?) I would select the quest that has Merrick/Alric Farrow doing a ritual and need to get to 13 tokens, but I cant remember the name of it atm. You get an absolute swarm of monsters to drop on them (including elementals) and I haven't lost it yet. It might be enough to get the swing back in your favor. If they happen to pick that one as their first quest thinking they can out-race you then that's even better... because they can't. :)

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I was just informed about the errata to elementals. Disregard most of that post... I still think they are cool though...

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I was just informed about the errata to elementals. Disregard most of that post... I still think they are cool though...

The Elementals are cool, but were getting 1-turn killed in Act 1 (that's how I lost Death on the Wing.) I'm playing the Shadow Rune, since it's the first full campaign for all the heroes. It's also my first full run as OL, but I've played as a few different heroes in other campaigns.

 

I had seen Basic/Warlord played too many times, and chose the Basic II/ Punisher combo as a way to mentally challenge the heroes- I have powerful responses to specific actions of theirs, causing them to be unsure of themselves, and therefore manipulating their strategy. Its less effective when they disregard the consequences ("Oh, I have to suffer the damage I deal? No biggie, I roll gray/black.")

Edited by Zaltyre

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Elementars can only attack once per turn. Not possible to do air and fire with one elementar. 

Air isn't an attack though, so it can be done. It only counts as an attack if the ability says so. This is why bargests can attack and howl if they don't move.

 

Monster Action: Some monsters have unique actions listed on their 
Monster card with a (Arrow Icon). If any special action allows the monster to 
perform an attack, it counts as the monster’s one attack action for 
that activation.
 
It doesn't really matter now though, since if you have heroes around you for Fire to work, then the new Air ability won't do anything for you...
Edited by Carbini

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Elementars can only attack once per turn. Not possible to do air and fire with one elementar. 

 

Sure you can, you just can't move. Air doesn't involve an attack, so it doesn't take the attack action to use it. Fire does take the attack action, so you can use air and fire in the same turn as long as you don't do anything else (or you can throw a dash in there or whatever).

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 This is why bargests can attack and howl if they don't move.

 

 

I actually prefer to howl twice. It's one of the few benefits of the heroes throwing familiars at me- if I have multiple barghests to howl, I can kill a familiar (or two) in no time.

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Yup, howling twice is good. I like to put a pair of them behind an ettin/merriod or some such, then they can howl at whoever is in melee with the huge creature. Bargests are one of my favorite monster groups. 4 of them with blue/red attack in act I! They are great in the very first few quests if you can get the rush in quick on the heroes.

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Causing the heroes to take fatigue is useful since they need it to summon familiars, and to heal conditions. Otherwise, unless I can inflict conditions on multiple heroes per turn, they just get dispelled with the disciple's "cleansing touch." Like I said- I've tried employing small monsters, since they take more actions to kill, but in those cases I prefer ranged monsters (like goblin archers) because two of the heroes (and both familiars) are melee. Now that the Necromancer has Army of Death, however, that might not be so important.

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That's a somewhat terrifying group. I could see this group put together if the group was able to choose from the deck rather than being given a random dealing of heroes at the start to pick from. Rough.

 

Curse is great against all these heroes if not for the healer's status cleansing.

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That's a somewhat terrifying group. I could see this group put together if the group was able to choose from the deck rather than being given a random dealing of heroes at the start to pick from. Rough.

 

Curse is great against all these heroes if not for the healer's status cleansing.

These heroes were indeed picked, not dealt- that would just be awful luck. "Prayer of healing" not being an action undermines the concept of cursing the healer. He often uses it on himself anyway just to get a yellow attack dice (he's using the iron battleaxe and wearing chainmail, so he acts like a tank.) Also, only Durik has a low knowledge- and he only ever uses special actions to summon the wolf.

 

Their lowest attribute is in fact, might (3,3,1,2), but I've got Basic 2, so no poison darts.

Edited by Zaltyre

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These heroes were indeed picked, not dealt- that would just be awful luck. "Prayer of healing" not being an action undermines the concept of cursing the healer. He often uses it on himself anyway just to get a yellow attack dice (he's using the iron battleaxe and wearing chainmail, so he acts like a tank.) Also, only Durik has a low knowledge- and he only ever uses special actions to summon the wolf.

 

Their lowest attribute is in fact, might (3,3,1,2), but I've got Basic 2, so no poison darts.

 

Oh man, I know the rules allow the players to do this if agreed on but shuffling can really hope avoid a power disparity this large. If I'm being nice I'll deal each player two heroes to choose from at random to avoid a power disparity the other way.

 

There isn't much advice I can give you with those chars. You've got to out strategize them and if these players were smart enough to understand the sheer destruction of this party then that's not going to be easy.

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These heroes were indeed picked, not dealt- that would just be awful luck. "Prayer of healing" not being an action undermines the concept of cursing the healer. He often uses it on himself anyway just to get a yellow attack dice (he's using the iron battleaxe and wearing chainmail, so he acts like a tank.) Also, only Durik has a low knowledge- and he only ever uses special actions to summon the wolf.

 

Their lowest attribute is in fact, might (3,3,1,2), but I've got Basic 2, so no poison darts.

 

Oh man, I know the rules allow the players to do this if agreed on but shuffling can really hope avoid a power disparity this large. If I'm being nice I'll deal each player two heroes to choose from at random to avoid a power disparity the other way.

 

There isn't much advice I can give you with those chars. You've got to out strategize them and if these players were smart enough to understand the sheer destruction of this party then that's not going to be easy.

 

None of these players had played Descent prior to this campaign, and most decided on their characters solo, and on the first night just made sure they weren't overlapping anyone. I don't think they had a clue the synergy their party allowed, but it's really apparent to me. I'm confident that I can outplay them, (what are evil Overlords for, anyway?) I'm just looking for suggestions for angles of attack. They agonize over every single turn, and also there has been more than one occasion where they've argued about how to proceed- I'm sure I can use that against them, especially if I can convince them to be afraid of the cards in my hand. Speaking of, can they pick through my discard pile? I know the top card is face up. 

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You're up against a strong party, but a reasonably slow one overall. Your monsters are gonna get a nice buff, so the armor isn't actually that relevant anymore.

 

Focus on delaying tactics rather than trying to do damage. Anything you can do to slow them down will help out. I'd recommend bigger monsters that can hit multiple targets like Merriods rather than going with large groups of small monsters, because the runemaster and army of the dead will wreck weaker monsters.

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My advice, same as always... play Kobolds. Stop up his Necromancer's line of sight... who cares if he kills 3 kobolds, you've got way more kobolds than he's got stamina. Listen to what other people have said - his group is slow. Don't try to kill his guys - they're pretty tough. Focus on winning the mission. If attacking a guy helps you do that, great, but always stay focused on the goals.

 

If you manage to win the 1st quest, your choice of quests is your most powerful weapon. Choose things like Ritual of Shadows that are explicit races, where his weaknesses really work against him. Attack his stamina, not his health, first. Save anything you've got that inflicts conditions for when Avric is full up on stamina.

 

With three low-might heroes, you might want to invest in a Web Trap from the Saboteur deck. If you can hit 2 or 3 guys with it, you'll be forcing him to make some tough choices. But most importantly, always remember that first rule - stay focused on winning the mission, not fighting the heroes.

 

Oh wait, that wasn't the first rule. The first rule: PLAY KOBOLDS. They are insanely good.

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My advice, same as always... play Kobolds. 

It's good advice. Up till now, Jaes has been the only CK element present in the game. With the exception of him, the expansions we're playing with are Labyrinth of Ruin, Lair of the Wyrm, and Trollfens. Web trap is a great idea. I hadn't considered branching out into different classes. 

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Not having any experience with the expansions so far I still decided on stating my approach to my group of heroes.

 

After a bad start for me I thought that I was on the loosing side but then I won the Campaign with only 3 quests lost. What I did was:

 

1. Analyse the heroes play style (rush in and loot most of the times) and choose monsters that were able to help me counter the heroes actions while still giving me the edge in terms of reaching the objective.

2. Multiclass OL cards so to be able to exactly pick cards that exploit the heroes weakness (like abilities or their tendency to search EVERY marker)

3. Try to win a quest early on to be able to choose the next one. Again I chose quests that played strongly into my hand. If possible I picked quests with extra XP if won by OL and those with lots of ability checks (sinister laughter card translated from German) or doors and searches (Uthuk Demontrap card again translated from my German edition)

 

Generally it worked well to drain exhaustion (Barghests) because because they were relying heavily on it.

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2. Multiclass OL cards so to be able to exactly pick cards that exploit the heroes weakness 

You're the second person to suggest spreading out in OL class. I'll give that a try for sure. Luckily, in the Basic II deck I've got two cards called "Befuddle" that do basically the same thing as "Wicked Laughter." The heroes hate those cards with good reason.

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Speaking of, can they pick through my discard pile? I know the top card is face up. 

 

I don't see why not. There's nothing to prevent them from writing down what cards you've played, so not allowing them to do so just encourages weird behavior that accomplishes the same thing.

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Speaking of, can they pick through my discard pile? I know the top card is face up. 

 

I don't see why not. There's nothing to prevent them from writing down what cards you've played, so not allowing them to do so just encourages weird behavior that accomplishes the same thing.

 

It happened during the last session that one of the heroes asked to look through it before their turn. I allowed it because, like you, I've never heard of a rule against it- it would be different if the cards were discarded face down- that would, to me, imply that it was off limits.

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