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aniedrig

Shadow of Nerekhall - Balance

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Hi,

 

I just finished the Shadow of Nerekhall campaign with 4 people in total. I played the OL as usual against 3 Hero players. And I got the impression that some quests were extremely biased. So I wanted to ask around, whether others had similar impressions, since 2 of the Heroes I played with played Descent for the first time and may not have played it very effectively.

 

- Let me begin with the finale "the city falls". I crushed the Heroes easily. I destroyed all 4 iron wards, and the Heroes only managed to collect 4 fatigue tokens. The Mirclace Lieutenant wasn't even involved in any fighting, (which was disappointing, since this was the only quest he appeared and I even bought the miniature.) When I think about it, the finale seems extremely difficult for the Heroes.

 

- "Arise my friends" seems very difficult for the Heroes as well. In our session they didn't even get close to the red objective token, i.e. the rift. Even if they had managed to get closer to Tristayne Oliven, I don't think the Heroes would have had a chance. I spread out my monsters and combined with a corrupt citizen card, my master changeling was very fast, too, so I collected the objective tokens in no time.

 

- Another quest, which I found biased towards the Heroes this time was "Respected Citizen".

I find it hard to kill Heroes anyways, but killing them 6 times, before they finish their objective almost seems impossible to me in this quest.

 

I mean, I know that balancing these quests is difficult and there will always be quests that are slightly biased toward one side by design, but the quests I mentioned above seem impossible. What impressions did you have?

 

Feel free to post any other balance issues you experienced in other quests or campaigns.

After all, balance is essential for competitive and exciting games and I think it should always be the main focus, when designing quests.

 

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Only played introduction and two act 1 quests so far and I have destroyed the heroes in all of the quests so far and I dont think they played very badly either.

 

I dont know...seems to favor the overlord maybe?

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- Another quest, which I found biased towards the Heroes this time was "Respected Citizen".

I find it hard to kill Heroes anyways, but killing them 6 times, before they finish their objective almost seems impossible to me in this quest.

 

 

I had no problem as the overlord with this one, encounter one seems hard for the overlord and I lost that one but I destroyed the heroes in encounter two.

Keept my monster back while taking some pot shots on the npc (betram? can rememeber his name), once they got into the middle I rushed in with all I had, killed bertram and knocked out all 4 heroes

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Well, ok. In my party one of the Heroes was a Mage with 2 black defense dice and summoning stones. she hardly took any damage and combined with her stones, she also just shredded my monsters. additionally they had a healer and health potions, so maybe it was just impossible in this specific instance.

 

But what was your experience with the other quests?

In our campaign, the Heroes won 2 quests in total.

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Well, ok. In my party one of the Heroes was a Mage with 2 black defense dice and summoning stones. she hardly took any damage and combined with her stones, she also just shredded my monsters. additionally they had a healer and health potions, so maybe it was just impossible in this specific instance.

 

But what was your experience with the other quests?

In our campaign, the Heroes won 2 quests in total.

 

The only other quest (aside from the introduction) that we have played yet is "Prey".

I just ran as fast as possible and they heroes couldnt catch up, stacked up all my monster in the middle to make it impossible for the heroes to pass through (ensuring that they couldnt use the middle to catch up to my runner).

I got the first 4 tokens without any hassle at all and then the heroes made a critical mistake which made it easy for me to catch the fifth (top-middle token) and since I still had loads of monster in the middle I could easily run and get the sixth and last token.

Will play the third act 1 quest tomorow but so far the overlord has won all quests.

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We did prey the other day, and for us the key was trying to obliterate the units near the start as quickly as possible, and then go for the runner before it got to that tile - since it has to go there twice, and can't go there twice in a row, it worked for us.  A dash card by the OL almost worked for him, but we had enough range, and a weapon with Stun, that helped us pull it off.  It was close, but for us it was definitely doable for the heroes.

 

It may just depend on what weapons your party has.  If you can do anything to slow down the runner (stun or immobilize), it will be a bit easier for the heroes.

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 and a weapon with Stun, that helped us pull it off

The Runner is a immune to conditions(I don't remember his name but we played that quest). That quest was a Brutal with the influence that causes 5 damage to all figures in the 3 main tiles.

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 and a weapon with Stun, that helped us pull it off

The Runner is a immune to conditions(I don't remember his name but we played that quest). That quest was a Brutal with the influence that causes 5 damage to all figures in the 3 main tiles.

 

 

D'oh!  You are absolutely right, I don't know how we overlooked that!

 

We haven't had a chance to play since then, so we may just go back and play that quest again fresh, as I think we made a couple other errors in it as well.

 

(For what it's worth, the monster in that one doesn't have a "name", really; it's just the Master Barghest!)

 

The outcome might still have been the same, as the heroes would have just done things a little different, but now it feels like a tainted win!

Edited by sigmazero13

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but now it feels like a tainted win!

 

 

Sadly this happens alot (especially when starting out), its best to just suck it up as a mistake of both the heroes and the OL and keep moving on in my experience. Each to their own though.

Edited by BentoSan

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Well, we aren't newbies to the game, just to that quest.  And we haven't done any quests since then, so I don't have a problem redoing it the right way :)

 

It's just a campaign with my 11-year-old daughter, she wanted to be the OL so if I'm gonna win, I want to win "fair" :D

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 and a weapon with Stun, that helped us pull it off

The Runner is a immune to conditions(I don't remember his name but we played that quest). That quest was a Brutal with the influence that causes 5 damage to all figures in the 3 main tiles.

 

 

I knew my players were never gonna let me hit them with that influence effect and I knew that they would think that I picked that one.

So ofcourse I choose the influence effect that damaged heroes when standing near pits/hazards instead, I do live the mind games that influence effects provides in some quests :D

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Alright, so yesterday we played price of power and traitors among us (interlude 2).

 

Price of power encounter 1 was quite an easy win for the overlord, encounter two ended first round with an overlord victory...

 

Traitors among us was another win for the overlord so that 5-0 for the overlord at the moment.

 

I really hope that the balance is better in act 2 cause the heroes are getting quite discouraged at the moment :(

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I've found with the Shadow Rune campaign that the balance largely depends on the heroes used and which classes they are, and how well they synergize together.  Some heroes and classes are good, but on certain quests they may not have the oomph they need for the specific goals on the quest.

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My group finished Act 1 last night.  The Heroes have won only the Introduction - every other quest (including a Trollfens sidequest) has gone to the Overlord.  

 

Admittedly, our group doesn't synergize very well.  We have Tobin Farslayer as a Wildlander, Laughing Buldar as a Skirmisher, and whoever the Prophet guy from Nerekhall is as a Prophet.

 

The OL has seemingly had an advantage in a majority of the scenarios we've played, though the Heroes have admittedly made some tactical errors as well.  Regardless, I've played a ton of this game, from Shadow Rune up to the current content, and just looking at the Nerekhall Quest Guide, new monsters, and new OL cards makes me believe the expansion is geared towards the OL.  

 

Also, plague rats are broken.  An Act 1 monster that can do 6 damage and can't miss an attack?  Screw those guys!  :angry:

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I just opened my Shadows box today, and am excited to play!

I haven't played a quest yet, but am glad to hear its harder for the heroes to win. Too much of the game seems easy for the heroes. My group doesn't play in linear form anyway, so it will be nice to throw in some more challenging quests.

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I feel like balance in this game is actually extremely good in general. I've found that a lot of overlords don't play extremely well and the heroes roll them over, or some overlords play extremely well and the players don't and the heroes get rolled. I've seen games where both overlord and heroes play well and every map is very close and down the wire. That indicates good balance to me.

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That quest was a Brutal with the influence that causes 5 damage to all figures in the 3 main tiles.

Just to clarify, the influence reads: "each hero on the Twisting Stairs, the Magma River, or the Deep Pit suffers 5 damage and suffers stamina up to his stamina." If it read "...and the Deep Pit..." I would say all 3 tiles are affected, however it reads "...or..." so I would conclude you must pick 1 of the 3 tiles to deal 5dmg/full-stamina to the heroes on that 1 tile.

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That quest was a Brutal with the influence that causes 5 damage to all figures in the 3 main tiles.

Just to clarify, the influence reads: "each hero on the Twisting Stairs, the Magma River, or the Deep Pit suffers 5 damage and suffers stamina up to his stamina." If it read "...and the Deep Pit..." I would say all 3 tiles are affected, however it reads "...or..." so I would conclude you must pick 1 of the 3 tiles to deal 5dmg/full-stamina to the heroes on that 1 tile.

I very much disagree.

 

"Red Rover, red rover, if you are wearing blue, green, or red come over."

Everyone wearing blue, everyone wearing red, and everyone wearing green should be running. 

 

"Red Rover, red rover, if you are wearing blue, green, and red come over."

Only the people wearing all 3 colors should be running.

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The Or logical connective, or logical disjunction, is true if A, B,  or A and B are true, and is only false if A and B are both false.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_disjunction

Zaltyre is correct.

Right, but it could just as easily be an exclusive "or." If that were the case, however, they really should have said to choose a tile. I default to the inclusive "or," for exactly the reason you listed.

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The Or logical connective, or logical disjunction, is true if A, B,  or A and B are true, and is only false if A and B are both false.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_disjunction

Zaltyre is correct.

Right, but it could just as easily be an exclusive "or." If that were the case, however, they really should have said to choose a tile. I default to the inclusive "or," for exactly the reason you listed.

 

 

Typically when reading anything technical (rulesets are), you should default to the logical and technical meanings of words. 

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(Kind of an old topic but didn't want to start a new one)

 

I'm usually the last person to say that a quest is unbalanced or whatever, I usually say it's relative to the hero selection and their and the overlord actions and all that, but seriously: Encounter 1 of 'Price of Power'.

Even if the Overlord is plain stupid he can't lose this one.

 

Turn 0: Overlord turns the 2 scholars closest to the heroes into rifts.

Turn 1: Tristayne gets to starts next to a scholar, so thats a third rift added, splits up the changelings and moves them to 2 of the tokens (1 of them the one the heroes are going for)

Turn 2: Tristayne gets to freaking teleport to another scholar (the one closest to the heroes), thats a 4th rift

Turn 3: Tristayne teleports to the other scholar, thats a 5th rift and the overlord wins.

 

Or, even better, as we experienced yesterday:

 

Turn 0: Overlord turns the 2 scholars closest to the heroes into rifts.

Turn 1: Tristayne gets to starts next to a scholar, so thats a third rift added, splits up the changelings and moves to 2 tokens (1 of them the one the heroes are going for)

Turn 2: Tristayne gets to freaking teleport to another scholar (the one closest to the heroes), thats a 4th rift, uses dash on Tristayne to run to another scholar, so 5th rift

 

So that's 2 turns, 10 min played.. Encounter over, 1 measly scholar saved by the heroes, 1 search card found: a secret passage resulting in 0 gold and a secret room we didn't even manage to get into.

 

I mean, why are there even search tokens on the map in this quest :P

Edited by Atom4geVampire

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The heroes can make a mad dash for the search tokens marked with a '2', using the ironbound to ignore the effect of whatever rift is there.

 

A really fast hero can conceivably get to the villager on 61, but for this encounter, might be better off going for the search token on 57.

 

Also, I think it is supposed to be incredibly difficult for the heroes to win this encounter- look at the reward they get at the start of encounter 2. The heroes would get to search the act 1 shop deck for any item they please, acquire it for free, and equip it. If they win encounter 2 (the only one that really matters) they get the opportunity to buy that card.

 

As a side note, while answering your question I found a giant loophole in this quest (which will probably never come up as it involves the heroes winning encounter 1.) The heroes choose to acquire and equip the lamp, and during the encounter use it to draw shop items. As long as they keep one, the lamp gets thrown away anyway, and they don't have to shuffle anything back in.

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Well, ok. In my party one of the Heroes was a Mage with 2 black defense dice and summoning stones. she hardly took any damage and combined with her stones, she also just shredded my monsters. additionally they had a healer and health potions, so maybe it was just impossible in this specific instance.

 

But what was your experience with the other quests?

In our campaign, the Heroes won 2 quests in total.

 

 

I have one of these in my campaign.  Lightfoot with the Runic Plate right?  My group paired her up with Tomble Burrowell who never leaves her side (he adds her defense pool to his, making his 2 black and a grey), making 2 nearly un-killable heroes.

Fortunately, I have discovered Hellhounds.  Not only to they have a great pierce value, but they can move heroes around, separating Tomble from Lightfoot.

 

I actually did win the Interlude (the one were you have to kill each hero once) thanks to a Curse of the Monkey god trap.

 

 

I find the 'balance' of the quest is usually based on which plot/basic/class deck the overlord is using, more than being inherent to the quest.

 

Race quests can be hard for a warlord type deck, while 'kill the heroes' are harder for sabotage for example.  Plot decks usually buff one OL playstyle or another (either a specific monster trait, or using large monsters, or small monsters etc) which can lead to some quests being easier or harder depending on their set up and goals.

 

As far as 'The City Falls' goes, you only play this finale if the OL has won 2 Act II quests.  I see this one as a victory lap for the OL and a last desperate chance to pull out a win for the heroes.  I don't expect them to win, and I feel the OL bias is justified in this case. (If it was balanced towards the heroes, you would have the heroes intentionally throwing Act II quests in order to get an easy win at the end... you want them fighting to avoid this senario)

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The heroes can make a mad dash for the search tokens marked with a '2', using the ironbound to ignore the effect of whatever rift is there.

 

A really fast hero can conceivably get to the villager on 61, but for this encounter, might be better off going for the search token on 57.

 

Also, I think it is supposed to be incredibly difficult for the heroes to win this encounter- look at the reward they get at the start of encounter 2. The heroes would get to search the act 1 shop deck for any item they please, acquire it for free, and equip it. If they win encounter 2 (the only one that really matters) they get the opportunity to buy that card.

 

As a side note, while answering your question I found a giant loophole in this quest (which will probably never come up as it involves the heroes winning encounter 1.) The heroes choose to acquire and equip the lamp, and during the encounter use it to draw shop items. As long as they keep one, the lamp gets thrown away anyway, and they don't have to shuffle anything back in.

 

Ok, but it's not like the overlord doesn't get a good reward for winning. Those Ironbound spawning in front of the stone cost us the victory in encounter 2.

Edited by Atom4geVampire

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