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Kilazar

Giving this another go. Advice?

52 posts in this topic

I have started two campaigns, and they have fallen a part as the OL just keeps getting stomped. Each one stopped at the end of the first act. And the game has been shelved. My group is going to try this again with some modifications. 

 

 

First we are going to use "Roleplaying" rules to limit qaurterbacking. Players can help each other with their turn, but only by offering non specific advice. it is up to the player who's turn it is to decide how to act on that advice.

 

Ex - "We really need to kill those zombies, but beware their flank, there is support from the hound!". Instead of "Ok move 3 up, use 2 stamina to move 2 up. That puts you in the middle of the zombies and out of the hounds reach. Then hit that master zombie with your......"

 

 

Second we are going nekkid. No expansions, no LT packs. Just the core box.

 

 

Third character selection modification

 

Looking for Ideas on how to avoid the hero's auto picking Aldric (or whatever his name is. The badass healer).

 

Right now I'm thinking all the hero's are separated into class's. The player then picks the main class, and subclass. Then rolls a die to determine what hero in the class they get. Maybe with one reroll. -- Looking for thoughts or other ideas on this.

 

 

And finally. What OL deck should I have the OL studying prior to this weekends endeavor?

 

 

 

We are dedicating the whole day this Saturday. I am open to any and all suggestions that may improve our overall experience. And give both sides a chance at winning.

Edited by Kilazar
Eighth Air Force likes this

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How many heros? The game is really only balanced with 4. After that you need a badass gamer as the overlord to makeup for the fact that you have 4 brains working against you.

 

I love the challenge and often stomp the heros.

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I'm crushing my heroes as overlord and I usually win. Maybe have a different person be overlord if your overlord keeps getting crushed. Shelving the game after the first act isn't a good idea either since the second act is more fun and as overlord I win more second act quest than act 1 quests.

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We have tried different OL's. The game always comes down to 4 v 1 that is really 1v1 cause there is a quarterback mathing everything out for everyone. So it's 100% co operation with no arguing on the player end, but only one player is really making all the decisions.

 

And the monsters never seem potent enough to get through Alvric's healing wall. If the OL makes a single mistake the heroes just rock him/her.

 

But I'm not here to complain. I'm here to ask for assistance in making the experience more balanced. Because I LOVE this game. It's just no one wants to be the OL anymore.

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My heroes work together also. I once lost all three act one quests, we didn't do rumors, I won the interlude and every quest after. As the overlord, just remember that your monsters are so much stronger act 2 and that the only thing that really matters is the finale.

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As has been said, quitting after the first act is not helpful, since neither side has the real momentum...

 

Even after 2, 3 quests, the momentum can shift in an instant, with the right card turned at the right instant.

 

You mention there's a quarterback mathing everything out. Has this person taken a turn in the OL's chair? If they like math so much, they should be given the occasion to math everything to their heart's content. :P

 

When my group plays, when often take time to strategize, but it's the character's player who has the final say on how he moves and what actions he takes. It sometimes turns out that the "quarterbacks" aren't always right... and with dice involved, even planning to the exact drops of Stamina used every turn doesn't always helps (Ask our "mage" who always seems to roll an X on his Blue die when the pressure's on and we need a blast RIGHT NAOW! :o )

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As has been said, quitting after the first act is not helpful, since neither side has the real momentum...

 

Even after 2, 3 quests, the momentum can shift in an instant, with the right card turned at the right instant.

 

You mention there's a quarterback mathing everything out. Has this person taken a turn in the OL's chair? If they like math so much, they should be given the occasion to math everything to their heart's content. :P

 

When my group plays, when often take time to strategize, but it's the character's player who has the final say on how he moves and what actions he takes. It sometimes turns out that the "quarterbacks" aren't always right... and with dice involved, even planning to the exact drops of Stamina used every turn doesn't always helps (Ask our "mage" who always seems to roll an X on his Blue die when the pressure's on and we need a blast RIGHT NAOW! :o )

Yup every person has been OL at this point And the mather's still fall short against coherent player groups. When the players get to choose their char combos.

 

Mostly it's the Aldriv/alvric/alwhatever as the disciple I think, that just makes everything the OL can do null and  void damage wise.

 

The hero's don't split off, and they focus fire. Or they block corridor. 

 

Oh one other game breaking combo that we found (to our group anyway) is the necromancer with the character that gets brightblaze. It was such a stupidly powerfull force modifier that we have banned the combo.

 

 

Now you say that in act 1 there is no snowball. But I disagree, each game of ours the chars have been able to get most if not all treasure items to get stipdly decked out, and win every encounter, banking up xp and skills. While the poor overlord barley gets any advancement or new OL cards.

 

At that point it doesn't matter if the OL still has a chance, it really doesn't look like the OL has a single chance. I WANT to do the act 2 stuff to see if the act 2 monsters are beefy enough to take out a fully decked out act 1 party. But by this time everyone is burned out on the OL's plight. 

 

 

Again, not complaining. I really want OL tactics / help for whomever ends up being OL this weekend. What deck should they take, what monsters should the OL almost never use? What should be the go too's for the OL.

Edited by Kilazar

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It sounds like you're focusing way too much on actually doing damage to the heroes. Very few of the encounters actually require the heroes to be knocked out, and you almost always have the tools to do that.

 

Proper use of overlord cards and pursuing your primary objective with delaying tactics against the heroes is basically the way to go. Focusing on killing them all repeatedly is usually not successful.

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I don't think you should cut out all expansions, especially if you don't like Avric as he is one of two healers in the base set. However perhaps a random draw of two or three hero sheets per player followed by free class selection would be appropriate for your group . Rather than starting a new campaign immediately, I recommend an epic play quest at the highest level. If you want to stretch your act 2 monster legs, that is how. An OL pulling no punches could try warlord or infectors decks. I like basic 2, but if you are getting beat go basic.

Regarding QB heroes, it is everyone's job to keep that in check. Heroes are a team and SHOULD work together, but no player should feel forced to stick to one person's plan. Moreover, heroes who stick together expose weaknesses beyond being knocked out. Play the objective, forget about knocking down heroes unless you must. Rather, go on the objective offensive and make them react to YOUR schemes! Edited by Zaltyre

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We don't focus on damage. We focus on getting the objective on both sides. But if part of getting the objective is blocking a corridor so nothing can get through, the Heroes have the advantage. OL blocks with something big, players just nuke it in one player turn. 

 

If they decide to block a corridor so the OL's mobs can't complete the objective without passing.. again, the heroes can just take their time getting treasure and or slaughter the mobs without progressing, while the OL is stuck trying to pass through the wall of death.

 

Thanks for the help though. I think I'll move on from this thread as I'm just retreading the same answers over and over. We'll see how the game goes this weekend if the OL still gets trashed through the whole game we'll just reshelve. But this time we have enough time dedicated so that we should get through a couple act 2 quests. And everyone has said they will press on through at least 2 act2's. If not the whole campaign.

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I've played Avric Albright several times (including one memorable time as a spirit seeker who killed Gryvorn using Tempest) and he is a good, strong hero, but he is not unkillable or unstoppable, unless someone's missing something.  I've found that creatures like Barghests whose howl saps stamina, or creatures with stun, or even just creatures with ranged attacks, forcing the players to split-up further than 3 squares are all good ways of getting your licks in.

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I should also point out that limiting expansions actually makes things easier for the heroes and harder on the overlord. The expansions do add options for heroes, but that's all chosen before the game actually starts (like new classes or heroes). The expansions add more options and power for the overlord than they do for the heroes: new monsters so you can have a monster that suits the mission better, new overlord cards so you can target weaknesses, etc.

 

Some lieutenant packs can help a lot as well. In particular, Baron Zachareth's plot deck is extremely powerful, and a variety of others provide useful and helpful options.

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You can't block goblin archers, or hybrids, or harpies, or plague worms. The OL is/are clearly not adapting to the hero strategy. There are plenty of annoying hero teams. I do not believe that any are unstoppable with the right strategy. It is true that the role of OL is unforgiving-mistakes cost you BIG. However, with the right mix of luck and cunning, the heroes will perish.

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Looking for Ideas on how to avoid the hero's auto picking Aldric (or whatever his name is. The badass healer).
 
Right now I'm thinking all the hero's are separated into class's. The player then picks the main class, and subclass. Then rolls a die to determine what hero in the class they get. Maybe with one reroll. -- Looking for thoughts or other ideas on this.


Sounds overly fiddly. Probably ineffective, too. If you're playing core game only, there are only two Healers available. Therefore even with a die roll, the would-be Healer has a 50/50 chance of getting Avric. Add in an optional re-roll and the odds go up.

Plus the other hero players have to go through this charade of a house rule that's really only there to stop the Healer from picking Avric by default.

I would suggest to simply ban Avric if you really feel that strongly about it. That or scratch the "core game only" rule and go with something like "pick your archetype. Draw 3 heroes, pick 1. Now pick your class." If you have the CK, there's enough heroes there to make the odds of getting Avric sufficiently low.

 

And finally. What OL deck should I have the OL studying prior to this weekends endeavor?


If you're playing core game only, there is only one OL deck =P Edited by Steve-O

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You can't block goblin archers, or hybrids, or harpies, or plague worms. The OL is/are clearly not adapting to the hero strategy. There are plenty of annoying hero teams. I do not believe that any are unstoppable with the right strategy. It is true that the role of OL is unforgiving-mistakes cost you BIG. However, with the right mix of luck and cunning, the heroes will perish.

 

 

We only own the core and the LT packs that match it. Goblin archers are a joke. The ranged picks them off like they are nothing. The only time they are remotely effective is if the OL can triple move them with an OL card. But it has not happened often. 

Can't say anything bout the others as we don't have access to them. Not really up to spending more money on the game if everyone is not happy with the core package. I really like the game and want to spend more money on it. But the rest of my group is very meh about it at this point. It took some major convincing to get them to give me an entire day noon to midnight this Saturday with it. 

 

 

 

In regards to the OL deck. The core comes with 3 different xp paths I thought. Like saboteur something and something. I'm more asking what xp path seems to be consistently more effective.

 

And I forgot there are not that many heroes in the core. Last time we played someone had bought the conversion kit, so we had a ton of heroes. That kit has since been sold by said person because he thought we were never playing again. So I guess the character answer is just ban alvric as disciple. 

Edited by Kilazar

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I have started two campaigns, and they have fallen a part as the OL just keeps getting stomped. Each one stopped at the end of the first act. And the game has been shelved. My group is going to try this again with some modifications. 

 

 

First we are going to use "Roleplaying" rules to limit qaurterbacking. Players can help each other with their turn, but only by offering non specific advice. it is up to the player who's turn it is to decide how to act on that advice.

 

Ex - "We really need to kill those zombies, but beware their flank, there is support from the hound!". Instead of "Ok move 3 up, use 2 stamina to move 2 up. That puts you in the middle of the zombies and out of the hounds reach. Then hit that master zombie with your......"

 

 

Second we are going nekkid. No expansions, no LT packs. Just the core box.

 

 

Third character selection modification

 

Looking for Ideas on how to avoid the hero's auto picking Aldric (or whatever his name is. The badass healer).

 

Right now I'm thinking all the hero's are separated into class's. The player then picks the main class, and subclass. Then rolls a die to determine what hero in the class they get. Maybe with one reroll. -- Looking for thoughts or other ideas on this.

 

 

And finally. What OL deck should I have the OL studying prior to this weekends endeavor?

 

 

 

We are dedicating the whole day this Saturday. I am open to any and all suggestions that may improve our overall experience. And give both sides a chance at winning.

 

I have started two campaigns, and they have fallen a part as the OL just keeps getting stomped. Each one stopped at the end of the first act. And the game has been shelved. My group is going to try this again with some modifications. 

 

 

First we are going to use "Roleplaying" rules to limit qaurterbacking. Players can help each other with their turn, but only by offering non specific advice. it is up to the player who's turn it is to decide how to act on that advice.

 

Ex - "We really need to kill those zombies, but beware their flank, there is support from the hound!". Instead of "Ok move 3 up, use 2 stamina to move 2 up. That puts you in the middle of the zombies and out of the hounds reach. Then hit that master zombie with your......"

 

 

Second we are going nekkid. No expansions, no LT packs. Just the core box.

 

 

Third character selection modification

 

Looking for Ideas on how to avoid the hero's auto picking Aldric (or whatever his name is. The badass healer).

 

Right now I'm thinking all the hero's are separated into class's. The player then picks the main class, and subclass. Then rolls a die to determine what hero in the class they get. Maybe with one reroll. -- Looking for thoughts or other ideas on this.

 

 

And finally. What OL deck should I have the OL studying prior to this weekends endeavor?

 

 

 

We are dedicating the whole day this Saturday. I am open to any and all suggestions that may improve our overall experience. And give both sides a chance at winning.

 

 

I have started two campaigns, and they have fallen a part as the OL just keeps getting stomped. Each one stopped at the end of the first act. And the game has been shelved. My group is going to try this again with some modifications. 

 

 

First we are going to use "Roleplaying" rules to limit qaurterbacking. Players can help each other with their turn, but only by offering non specific advice. it is up to the player who's turn it is to decide how to act on that advice.

 

Ex - "We really need to kill those zombies, but beware their flank, there is support from the hound!". Instead of "Ok move 3 up, use 2 stamina to move 2 up. That puts you in the middle of the zombies and out of the hounds reach. Then hit that master zombie with your......"

 

 

Second we are going nekkid. No expansions, no LT packs. Just the core box.

 

 

Third character selection modification

 

Looking for Ideas on how to avoid the hero's auto picking Aldric (or whatever his name is. The badass healer).

 

Right now I'm thinking all the hero's are separated into class's. The player then picks the main class, and subclass. Then rolls a die to determine what hero in the class they get. Maybe with one reroll. -- Looking for thoughts or other ideas on this.

 

 

And finally. What OL deck should I have the OL studying prior to this weekends endeavor?

 

 

 

We are dedicating the whole day this Saturday. I am open to any and all suggestions that may improve our overall experience. And give both sides a chance at winning.

All I can say is good luck to you. I have said that this game is an enigma; Descent 2 does not lend itself well to home-brewed adaptations regardless of what you try. I have tried the "narrative"  DM role-play approach; it did not work. I have tried to make better use of the skill checks and incorperated a rule where we imagined that the green round search tokens were trasure chests. The hero that searched the chest was required to make a search action to open the chest and then rolled the black/grey defense dice modified by plus or minus one depending on the type of hero that made the attempt. an unsuccessful skill check resulted in the "treasure box" being empty.

 

This seemed to work at first until act 2 when the heroes were getting mauled because of the large amount of treasure/gold not found in act 1. So far, I have been randomly drawing two hero cards per player of the archetype the player has chosen and allowed each player to pick the best character of the two they received. They were then allowed to pick their class as normal. This has been an improvement but it still is not perfect. I do have a theory as to what the problem with this game is. I am currently play-testing an idea of mine; look for a new thread soon as I am going to explain it in detail.

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Saying there is major things wrong with this game reminds me of when I was watching the world cup at a bar by my house and there was this drunk American watching perhaps his first soccer game and the whole time he was shouting out these dumb ideas on how to make soccer better. Descent is balanced in my opinion but if you have a not so talented overlord and a great player as a hero, the heroes will probably win. A talented overlord who understands the game, the overlord will win.
I'm sure I would win or at least make it challenging for the players is I was your overlord, with no restrictions. Where do you live? I have saturday off.
Carbini and drummondii like this

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Saying there is major things wrong with this game reminds me of when I was watching the world cup at a bar by my house and there was this drunk American watching perhaps his first soccer game and the whole time he was shouting out these dumb ideas on how to make soccer better. Descent is balanced in my opinion but if you have a not so talented overlord and a great player as a hero, the heroes will probably win. A talented overlord who understands the game, the overlord will win.
I'm sure I would win or at least make it challenging for the players is I was your overlord, with no restrictions. Where do you live? I have saturday off.

I am not going to debate with you on who the better gamer is. I have no reason to doubt you and am sure that you do really well. I agree with you that this game is well balanced; my friends and I have had a blast with the Shadow Rune Campaign (although I own everything, thus far we have only played the starting campaign) and have played the Overlord in turn.

 

I believe that the problem lies in the lack of mortality for both hero and OL. There never seems to be mortal repercussions as a direct result of a poor decision that I or another have made. If anyone dies in this edition of Descent, they are simply "revived" in the next turn. That's it, no permanent setbacks or fear of committing their forces of good or ill to battle so and so as everyone is rewarded for failure by earning an experience point regardless.

 

This to me cheapens the overall experience for me on a personal level. And lets be clear, you and I know that the heroes can play the "loose to win" strategy whereby each player focuses on treasure hunting until the end of the game, collects the best treasure before the final battle and then commits to operation "Ground and Pound".

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Saying there is major things wrong with this game reminds me of when I was watching the world cup at a bar by my house and there was this drunk American watching perhaps his first soccer game and the whole time he was shouting out these dumb ideas on how to make soccer better. Descent is balanced in my opinion but if you have a not so talented overlord and a great player as a hero, the heroes will probably win. A talented overlord who understands the game, the overlord will win.
I'm sure I would win or at least make it challenging for the players is I was your overlord, with no restrictions. Where do you live? I have saturday off.

I am not going to debate with you on who the better gamer is. I have no reason to doubt you and am sure that you do really well. I agree with you that this game is well balanced; my friends and I have had a blast with the Shadow Rune Campaign (although I own everything, thus far we have only played the starting campaign) and have played the Overlord in turn.

 

I believe that the problem lies in the lack of mortality for both hero and OL. There never seems to be mortal repercussions as a direct result of a poor decision that I or another have made. If anyone dies in this edition of Descent, they are simply "revived" in the next turn. That's it, no permanent setbacks or fear of committing their forces of good or ill to battle so and so as everyone is rewarded for failure by earning an experience point regardless.

 

This to me cheapens the overall experience for me on a personal level. And lets be clear, you and I know that the heroes can play the "loose to win" strategy whereby each player focuses on treasure hunting until the end of the game, collects the best treasure before the final battle and then commits to operation "Ground and Pound".

 

 

If the heros gave me every choice of quest, every relic I wanted, and all the XP bonuses... I could hand them the act 1 and 2 shopping decks and tell them to take everything they wanted I would still paste them.

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This time it went better. We got all the way to the Shadow Rune, and had to stop before playing it.

 

We did end up going with a plot deck. I decided on Belthir, though I'm not sure it's working out as well as I had hoped.

 

First quest was first blood hero win. I decided instead of fighting for this one (I have won it but it's a pain) I'd just run mauler around crazy like and let my gobo's build up threat. I came out of this with 2 extra threat.

 

Second quest was Death On the wing Hero win- I managed to extend the first encounter for a long time and build up 2 threat. I didn't NEED to use any of my OL cards, and in hind site, I should have just saved every single one of them for the next encounter hero win. Encounter two heroes win, but I know where my mistakes were. I took menders to compliment Belthir and the elemental. I made the mistake of making belthir try to do all the work on the guards. I should have taken a different open group and let that group work on them while kiting belthir around crazy like. Also my elemental never got a single action. Per usualy one hero stayed close enough to destroy them on each spawn. And the opening turn the heroes pasted both ele's and did 7 damage to Belthir. Thankfully the menders healed 5 of it. But that did me no good. Had I saved ALL my OL cards from first encounter I think I could have pulled this.

 

Thrid quest The Cardinals Plight - OL Win - I learned from my mistake on the last quest and did not burn a single OL card (Oh I'm going sabtour btw.) Took Shadow Dragons and Mendors. I did a really good job of blocking the access to the search tokens with the master dragon and the menders. But the dice hated me and I failed 4 raise zombies in a row.. Only managed to get 2 zombies off the board before the heroes secured a win. BUT thanks to the glut of threat and OL cards I was able to win the second half. Goblin archers actually saved the day by pinning off Jain who had used her feat to get to the stairway for the rune of dawn. This one was a nail biter though. Koth was one move away from the exit when I pasted him.

 

Fourth and last for the day was my choice, and I went with castle derian. Hero's win.. Took ettins for the entrance group (should have taken dragons...) And Barghasts for the exit group. I only killed on fricken thing thanks to Jain and her stupid feet again. The barghast could not close the deal on the up most one, he kept defending. Encounter 2 was kind of a joke. I got 15 damage on Palamon before the hero's managed to just clear my stuff. I did not have hardly any OL cards carried over from encounter 1 because it ended so fast.

 

So right now counting main quests it's heroes 2, OL 1. 

 

 

OL cards I bought I think, explosive rune x2.. saved 2 xp.. Then threat cards, cut a deal.. fight with honor(?), And the one that lets you pull a card from your graveyard to the top of the OL deck. I thought this was going to be a badass combo with the Staff I got from the cardinal, but I couldn't get it to work fast enough. Figured it was going to be discard trap card to use the recursion card, then discard a different OL card to use the staff to draw the card I just put on my deck.... sounds cool, but has not worked out yet, and I'm not sure it will. But I'm going to keep goind down the Sabatour path anyhow.

Edited by Kilazar

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BUUUT

 

Everyone had fun, and no one got grumpy. So we'll probably try to finish up in smaller chunks over the next couple of weeks.

 

A couple questions came up, and may actually change how well the heroes did/do.

 

WHEN do you spend surges? Before defense is rolled? Or can you wait to spend them after the defense roll? Unless it's a special surge thing like "need one surge to hit shadow dragon". Right now we played spend when you want.. so if a hero surged he could wait to see what the defense is, and then if a h eart would get through, choose stun.. etc.

 

 

Can Jane interrupt her feat for anything other than her built in attack. Can she interrupt it for the built in attack and two other attacks, then complete the move? Can she open doors during her feat if she's thief and has the open door for no action ability? Can you stop her with a trap card that saps or ends the move action?

 

When a group is given a tile with no specific spot to start in, can the OL place say a large monster so that some of it's mass is not on the tile as long as 1 or 2 of it's bits are on the required space? Or does it have to be placed entirely within the tile? Or rather can a shadow dragon straddle a tile connection as long as one or more of it's bits occupy squares in the required tile?

Edited by Kilazar

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WHEN do you spend surges? Before defense is rolled? Or can you wait to spend them after the defense roll? Unless it's a special surge thing like "need one surge to hit shadow dragon". Right now we played spend when you want.. so if a hero surged he could wait to see what the defense is, and then if a h eart would get through, choose stun.. etc.

 

When a group is given a tile with no specific spot to start in, can the OL place say a large monster so that some of it's mass is not on the tile as long as 1 or 2 of it's bits are on the required space? Or does it have to be placed entirely within the tile? Or rather can a shadow dragon straddle a tile connection as long as one or more of it's bits occupy squares in the required tile?

 

First thing to remember is that both attacker and defender roll dice at the same exact time (base rules, pg 9, under Attack, point 2).  After checking range, then you spend surges.  Since the defense will roll dice at the same time as the attacker, the attacker will know the results (i.e. if any damage got through), so after checking range, and assuming the attack hits, the attacker can then spend surges as they desire.

 

When the quest tells you to place an open group on a specific tile, all of that open group has to be within the borders of that tile ... in other words completely on that tile.

Edited by any2cards

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