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chosen40k

Just got the game, which expansion first?

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So I just got this game and me and my mates are really enjoying it. So much that we've decided to get an expansion and I've narrowed it down to these three choices:

 

-Lair of the Wyrm

-Shadows of Nerekhall

-Manor of Ravens

 

So which one should we get? I know Nerekhall is a bigger expansion than the other two but are we ready for a huge expansion, or should we just get one of the smaller ones first? We've yet to fully finish the Shadow Rune campaign.

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Go for the bigger expansion.  The others have be played as 'Rumours' and add only a couple of quests to the main campaign.  You'll find they are better for the monsters and heroes anyway.  The Hybrid Sentinels are good in the Lair of the Wyrm, but I find Rats, Changelings and Yfarenel(?) Hulks are all good monsters.  Hero wise, you get 4 vs 2 - The Skirmisher and Bard are powerful.  

The other option is to get Lair of the Wyrm and a lieutenant (get Valyndra to play with Shadow of the Rune - awesome figure as well) to add another dimension to the game.

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The big boxes are better. Labyrinth of Ruin and Shadow of Nerekhall are better value for your money than the small box expansion are. Out of the three small box expansions, I would say Manor of Ravens, then Trollfens, then Lair of the Wyrm.

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Shadows of Nerekhall I think is the best bang for your buck if you are only starting with one expansion. Great monsters (changelings are amazing), a good amount of new items, a totally new setting for the campaign (Labyrinth of Ruin is still "outdoorsy and cave-y" like the base game) and has the "influence" mechanic which I think is a nice little twist and great for people who aren't 100 percent on board with the "heroes get to read the quest guide" aspect of Descent.

 

I also highly recommend buying at least one lieutenant for the overlord to use. I feel it's a critical addition to balance things for the overlord, as well as give him more options. They are pretty cheap (10 bux USD usually) and you get a cool mini. :)

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Looks like I'm getting Shadows of Nerekhall! Thanks for the input guys.

 

Also, which lieutenant is the most fun and challenging? I might pick one up. Thinking of Queen Ariad.

Edited by chosen40k

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Challenging for the heroes. We've played up to the Interlude and as the Overlord I've yet to win a single game, so I'm looking for one who can make it harder for the heroes to win.

 

Look wise, I'm also liking Skarn. How does he play and what does he bring?

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Skarn as a lieutenant in manor of ravens is a self regenerating very durable golem.

 

The deck is about making your monsters on the field more durable.

 

If you're looking for a plot deck that provides a lot of power, look no further than Baron Zachareth's deck.

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Skarn as a lieutenant in manor of ravens is a self regenerating very durable golem.

 

The deck is about making your monsters on the field more durable.

 

If you're looking for a plot deck that provides a lot of power, look no further than Baron Zachareth's deck.

I must say, though- the "Shifting Earth" card in the Mirklace deck is cheap to buy and only costs 1 threat to use. It is incredibly powerful, especially in any quest where hero placement matters (which is a lot of them.) 

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If I were making a list of "must-buy" expansions, I would rate Labyrinth of Ruin as my highest big-box and Trollfens my best small-box. I was overall VERY disappointed with Shadows - I felt it was extremely low quality and poorly thought out, although the campaign itself is good. I'm only a few adventures into the SoN campaign, but it MIGHT be the best of the three, although also much more complicated. So if you're buying it for the campaign, and don't care about the items or classes, SoN is fine.

 

The conversion kit is... meh. When the game came out I thought it was pretty spectacular, but a lot of the choice is illusory. Most of the heroes and monsters are utter crap, and you rarely actively choose to play an utter crap hero/monster. It gives heroes a few unbalanced choices, a very small number of good choices, and a ton of heroes you'd never, ever play. On the other hand, it gives the Overlord the ubermonster - the kobolds - who are pretty much strictly superior (IE better in every potential case) than any other monster in the game. Which isn't a good thing - it makes the game less fun, because choosing from the monsters is part of the enjoyment. But without them, there really aren't a ton of monsters in the conversion kit I would say I'm desperate to play with - the monsters in the 2nd edition expansions are more interesting. (Then again, I don't have a ton of experience with the other monsters, because until my group agreed to ban Kobolds recently they were always the right choice... so all the other monsters got mostly ignored!)

 

I would save the money towards a hero and monster kit or a small-box expansion rather than the Conversion Kit.

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I liked the conversion kit a lot. Although most of the heroes are kind of imbalanced or forgetable, you get a handful of nice ones.

 

The monsters however are a very meaty addition. Of course there are a few bad monsters (I think ~5 out of 25), but overall they are very nice. I don't think Kobolds are unfair although very powerfull (like a few other monsters given the right consequences) and amoshias is somehow on a crusade against kobolds without giving a proper reason for why they are unfair. However even if you respect him that still makes 19 monsters valid choices and there is no other product that adds this many monsters, while this is the one thing the game needs the most imo.

 

Then again his opinion that "Most of the heroes and monsters are utter crap" completely disqualifies his opinion imo, especially, because there is no real argument to support his opinions. His logic is: there is a better monster -> all other monsters are crap. Considering the fact that you can't even choose Kobolds in every quest as your open monster group, I think you can see how stupid this argument is or how worng amoshias plays this game.

However if you plan to get a lot of Descent 2E expansions very soon, I wouldn't recommend the conversion kit that highly, because and that's where amoshias is right, the D2E monsters are more interesting and have more unique twists.

 

Of course there are the hero&monster packs, but they only contain the same monsters as the conversion kit (3 at a time for more $ than the whole conversion kit). Yes they updated a few things with these packs, but they only fixed heroes so far and of all the monsters only one strong monster even got buffed (while many of the very strong monsters are released and untouched), so I consider non of the conversionkit-monsters imbalanced or unfair.

Edited by DAMaz

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I would avoid using them, they make the game boring with how silly they are. http://descent2e.wikia.com/wiki/Kobold

 

With 4 heroes, you get 9 of them: 6 minions, 3 masters. The masters turn into minions when they die, meaning you get 12 monsters on the map.

 

They have 2 hp like goblin archers, but only roll a blue die to attack, have a speed of 3, and have a brown defense die. They die easily, but you have so freaking many of them that with good positioning you can clog the map for days.

 

Also, they have the harpy swarm ability.

Edited by Whitewing

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I will also admit that kobolds are kind of OP! I love using them, but they definitely get my heroes cheesed at me sometimes :P I'd avoid using them if you want to go easier on the heroes. If you're getting stomped though, I say bring them in! They'll give you a big shot in the arm on certain quests.

 

They basically force the heroes to have some kind of highly effective multi-target damage in their composition, or pick quests which avoid the kobolds' most effective applicatiion.

 

There are hard counters to Kobolds though. Shared Pain is an obvious one, as is Truthseer Kel + Necromancer + Army of Death.

 

There are other means of dealing with them, but those are some of the most effective as they work in spite of things like Verminous' Ignoble Sacrifice and good OL positioning in a way Blast cannot.

Edited by Charmy

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Kobolds sound like a lot of fun. Only downside is the time it would take me to paint 12 identical figures. Cause I suppose they would release as many figures as necessary bearing in mind the split ability?

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If they rerelease them, Indalecio, I cannot imagine they'd keep the Split ability. It's just too overpowering. (Plus, they weakened the Sorcerers by changing the Master ability, and I can only imagine it was so they DIDN'T have to include another minion figure - based on that I'd guess IF they rerelease Kobolds they'll change them as well.)

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If they rerelease them, Indalecio, I cannot imagine they'd keep the Split ability. It's just too overpowering. (Plus, they weakened the Sorcerers by changing the Master ability, and I can only imagine it was so they DIDN'T have to include another minion figure - based on that I'd guess IF they rerelease Kobolds they'll change them as well.)

I don't know, Rat Swarms feel this way too when the Overlord has the capability to reinforce them, e.g. the heroes would rather not kill them off completely but try instead to incapacitate them (low life means low damage). So yeah, I have never played with Kobolds for obvious reasons, but if the heroes go after the masters to slay them, then I don't find the ability underpowered. It's just the consequence of the choice of going on a crusade to kill off all monsters. I just prefer to diversify the strategies, some monsters might be better handled if left alone or at least under control, instead of bluntly killed. They might block LoS for another more dangerous monster, they might respawn and put the hero party in danger etc.

I know I´m dreaming here, but Blood Rage on a Master Kobold, possibly combined by Tristayne's Onslaught ability to round things up... I don't know how many dices they roll (probably not much) but the fact you can attack a million times in one turn must be hilarious to experience especially if the heroes are not completely geared up.

Edited by Indalecio

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I think you're missing the point. Kobolds don't need Blood Rage or Onslaught. They are already potentially the most damaging monsters in the game - in addition to having the most group hit points, the most models, the most blocking power... basically the most of anything the overlord wants to do. The heroes try to mow them down? Okay, I've got 15 kobolds... that will eat up two or three full turns. The heroes try to ignore them? Well, that's when kobolds gang up and turn Swarm into an insanely deadly ability. The heroes are targetting the masters? Good! That's what they're there for! You're giving me a bigger group to mob you with now.

 

The reason that kobolds are so overpowered is that there ARE no good strategies for dealing with them, except maybe "choose adventures where Kobolds are not a valid open group choice."

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The reason that kobolds are so overpowered is that there ARE no good strategies for dealing with them, except maybe "choose adventures where Kobolds are not a valid open group choice."

 

I am someone who normally plays OL, and agree that Kobolds can be fun to play in many situations.  They are no where near OP however.  And there are multiple excellent strategies for dealing with them.

 

I will offer one.  Find a good weapon (or skill or familiar) with an area of effect (such as blast), and sweep them away rather easily.  After all, ACT I Minion Kobolds have only 2 health and roll a brown defense die.  Even the Masters only have 4 health and roll the same brown defense die.

 

It is always good to have someone in your party that has AOE weapons and/or skills.

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There isn't enough blast in the game to efficiently kill 15 kobolds. Yes, they're incredibly easy to kill - that's not the point. Blast three kobolds, including a master? Good job, you just reduced the number of kobolds on the board by 1. And a smart player will make it difficult for you to blast even as many as three - probably forcing you to put your runemaster in a position to get swarmed in order to get that shot off. 

 

Army of Darkness, IIRC, like the Spiritspeaker ability, hits everyone in LOS, which does make it a pretty effective counter. However, just because two (otherwise weak) classes have potential counters doesn't make Kobolds any less OP.

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There isn't enough blast in the game to efficiently kill 15 kobolds. Yes, they're incredibly easy to kill - that's not the point. Blast three kobolds, including a master? Good job, you just reduced the number of kobolds on the board by 1. And a smart player will make it difficult for you to blast even as many as three - probably forcing you to put your runemaster in a position to get swarmed in order to get that shot off. 

 

Army of Darkness, IIRC, like the Spiritspeaker ability, hits everyone in LOS, which does make it a pretty effective counter. However, just because two (otherwise weak) classes have potential counters doesn't make Kobolds any less OP.

 

I will be more than happy to play 4 heroes against you and Kobolds on every map.  Assuming a reasonable distribution of dice rolls, I will win.

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You absolutely will, if you're taking a group just to beat kobolds. Any strategy is easily defeated when one player is locked into it. Of course, when you take a group to beat kobolds, you're weakening yourself against other things.

 

If you're saying "No, I'll just take a normal group and you can choose whatever monsters you want, remembering your stated preference for Kobolds..." Sure, I'll take that bet. I haven't actually used the Vassal implementation of Descent, but I've heard that it's good. Have you ever used it?

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