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Elrad

Descent 2nd Edition - Today

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Actually thinking about the rotating turns, I don't think descent could do this very well. 

 

In Descent the OL doesn't' usually get as many Monster Groups as the Imperial Player in IA.

I've had 6-8 groups in some quests in IA.  Don't think I've had more then 3 or 4 in descent.  This would be a distinct advantage for the Heroes. 

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thanks for the precisions, Kage13.

 

I will now have to take my decision to make the jump into the dark or wait until I get further experience in IA to take a decision.

 

Thanks again to all of you who have answered my questions :-)

 

Elrad

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There exist some "mistery" for heroes in Descent, and is easy to implement it in any quest aswell. It is given in the form of facedown tokens, and OL decissions. If there is a hidden token in front of two doors, say one blue and one red, if heroes open the door and revealed token is red, Dragons spawn. If it is blue instead, Zombies will spawn. And in Nerekhall campaign, there are the influence effects, which OL decides at the beginning of every quest, and every time the quest is played, can be different.

 

Yes, is not the same not being aware of what could be there than knowing the possibilities and expecting the best, but still there will be something that heroes can't control until it is the moment.

 

Or, simply with Basic II, now heroes can't search confortably, because any treasure can be a Mimic.

 

Mixing random placing, luck, and OL, a permanent feeling of the unknown can remain for any number of plays of the same scenario. But, as far as I understand you, with IA, this is only valid for one play for a given party of hero players, because that "fake mistery" is fixed, so next time ther won't be any hidden stuff.

Edited by AndrewMM

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I get the feeling you are looking for some level of exploration in Descent. The base game is more about tactics. You can search for treasure, and find many different random things. But as for the base game, that's about it.

 

However there are Co-OP packs that you can buy that adds on to the game. They are played without an Overlord player and the heroes have to explore their way to the end. The element of surprise comes with which room you draw into next. 

 

I think FF covered the bases when it comes to playing this game. 

Edited by Omnislash024

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First of all there is no hidden information in Descent 2E. Everyone has unlimited access to the campaignbook. A few quests specifically feature events where the OL places a group of monsters on a tile after something specific happend. However everyone knows what effect triggers which event and I think the heroes can deduce nearly always which monstergroup spawns.

In the Nerekhall campaign there is a mechanic where the OL can choose 1 of 3 events at the start of an encounter secretly. Although the heroes still know what all the events are, they just don't know which one the OL chose.

 

Another big difference in the whole game is what the OL can do. He has a deck of cards that can seriously mess with the heroes and he can play this cards all at once or keep them all for the second encounter. When leveling up the OL buys new cards into his deck in between quests and can select from more than 4 classes of evel-doing. He draws one card at the beginning of his turn and whenever he manages to kill a hero.

 

Killing a hero works quite different in Descent than in IA. When the OL kills a hero the hero is knocked out and the OL can draw a card. Then a hero can use an action to revive this hero or the hero can sacrifice his whole turn to stand up all by himself. In any case (except for skills) the hero than rolls two dice to recover HP and Stamina (from2-6 HP to 0-2Stamina). This means a wounded hero is often quite an easy prey for an OL (so he probably will kill him again) and is seriously hindered as he can't use most of his skills without stamina. This is not like in IA where it's nearly useless to really kill a hero after he got knocked out once.

 

Then of course the biggest difference is the turn structure. It creates a totally unique dynamic that is considered within the balance of each quest significantly. So much that I am pretty sure that it's quite impossible to port over this mechanic from IA to Descent (without heavly altering all the quests).

However I think that the Descent turn-structure is tactically and strategically much more interesting than IA turn structure. As every party can act out it's whole activation at once you can forge some pretty engaging plans that involve heavy character interaction in a sense that you can build the skills ontop of each other and of course the OL can play his OL cards to mess this plan all up and can build his deck to get specific cards that work pretty well against the particular hero/class combination.

I would say that the IA turn structure is a much more streamlined design that reduces irregular downtimes for everyone, however I feel that it comes at the cost of some deeper strategy and tactical aspects of the game.

The best example for the unenjoyment the Descent turn structure unleashes upon Descent-novices is the first turn: Heroes begin the quest by bursting into the scenery with all their resources and most of the time blow everything up in sight. Then the OL finds that half of his monsters are dead before he could even do anything with them and has a bad time. However a few turns in, the heroes have spent all their fatigue and have to rest and the OL reinforced a few monsters, maybe even nearly all the monsters that the hereos have killed until this point and the heroes start to have a bad time, because it seems like all their killing was for nothing.

Although if the OL and heroes start to anticipate these things (could even be from the very beginning) these phases usually bring a lot of excitement instead of bad times: The OL can place his monsters in a way where they are hard to reach for the heroes or put up meaty giants he prays to roll good defense with to soak up some attacks before he can activate. He can even play cards to up the defense of his monsters and the like. Also if the heroes start to anticipate reinforcements and can manage them by killing these monsters only when it's strategically valid, they won't have a bad time with these reinforcements anymore.

 

All in all I wouldn't say Descents turn structure is badly designed compared to IA, it's just different. Where IA sacrifices some engaging aspects  of forging plans for a more streamlined mechanic, Descent sacrifced a more streamlined mechanic for some additional strategic and tactical richness.

Edited by DAMaz

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I have to agree.
 

I have to remember my own (little) experience in tactical rpg video games. The best ones I have liked where the ones where each side played all his characters before the other. Well, a video game and a Board game are not fully the same but the mechanic is similar. I take the example of "Vandal Hearts". The first one was a traditional turn-based t-rpg while his second iteration had made a curious choice : when you decide to move a character, the enemy moved one at the same time... Which was far more hard to play because imagine you try a rear attack but suddenly you realize that the targeted-enemy is moving at the same time... ... ...

 

Well now I understand more the richness of Descent system.

 

Hum... Oh, may I ask another question please :D ?

 

Well I looked at the price of the boxes, and I am asking myself, to begin with Descent 2, is the main box enough (all of you will say yes, I know it ;-) ) or is there tough one or two expansion pack that could be welcome to add at the beginning ?

Edited by Elrad

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I have to agree.

 

I have to remember my own (little) experience in tactical rpg video games. The best ones I have liked where the ones where each side played all his characters before the other. Well, a video game and a Board game are not fully the same but the mechanic is similar. I take the example of "Vandal Hearts". The first one was a traditional turn-based t-rpg while his second iteration had made a curious choice : when you decide to move a character, the enemy moved one at the same time... Which was far more hard to play because imagine you try a rear attack but suddenly you realize that the targeted-enemy is moving at the same time... ... ...

 

Well now I understand more the richness of Descent system.

 

Hum... Oh, may I ask another question please :D ?

 

Well I looked at the price of the boxes, and I am asking myself, to begin with Descent 2, is the main box enough (all of you will say yes, I know it ;-) ) or is there tough one or two expansion pack that could be welcome to add at the beginning ?

 

Also keep in mind one thing.

 

There are custom cooperative expansions made by users. Some of them follow the same rules as the offcial co-op expansions (Forgotten Souls, Nature's Ire and Dark Elements) which are more than a one night play (although it can be long). And some others are based on automating the Overlords.

 

Is good to have that in mind because for example, I only play with my wife and we like to play together, so we used one of those expansions. To be exact we use RAOV (RedJak's Automated Overlord Variant) which add a deck of cards to activate the monsters and to make decisions (basically automate the overlord). Good thing is that you can buy those cards professionally printed. This guy also created the DelvenDeep expansion which is a multi-level ever-changing dungeon!

 

Then some other guys (as me) have created custom classes to add more variety to the game.

 

But that's just more of the possibilities with descent. Buy just the base game. Then follow the order with the expansion that you believe is the best for your group. I myself prefer to follow the publication order.

 

And feel free to ask more!

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Thanks again and again to you two Omnishash024 and Wallack,

 

Well, One thing I like about Descent and I haven't mentioned before is the creativity aspect. And it is mainly the tiles that interest me as I like to build my own board and this is one of the things I liked when I opened my AI box. Well, to be honest, Star Wars tiles don't inspire me a lot. Descent however... I am very interested in Shadow of Nerekhall because the quest happens in town and that I like urban battlefield. Nevertheless, it seems to not have so many "street" tiles I saw one with a small market but not too much. Also, Manor of Ravens looks interesting too but as a smaller expansion pack, it contains less tiles also. Ok, I understand that the big idea behind is not to build the biggest battlefield possible with all the available tiles and that I can build a complete city stage by stage, reusing each time the tiles.

 

I am less attracted by the other expansion pack, based on this sole creative aspect, but maybe I am wrong on this and maybe you could share your opinion about the creative aspect in Descent.

 

Thanks in advance :-)

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Thanks again and again to you two Omnishash024 and Wallack,

 

Well, One thing I like about Descent and I haven't mentioned before is the creativity aspect. And it is mainly the tiles that interest me as I like to build my own board and this is one of the things I liked when I opened my AI box. Well, to be honest, Star Wars tiles don't inspire me a lot. Descent however... I am very interested in Shadow of Nerekhall because the quest happens in town and that I like urban battlefield. Nevertheless, it seems to not have so many "street" tiles I saw one with a small market but not too much. Also, Manor of Ravens looks interesting too but as a smaller expansion pack, it contains less tiles also. Ok, I understand that the big idea behind is not to build the biggest battlefield possible with all the available tiles and that I can build a complete city stage by stage, reusing each time the tiles.

 

I am less attracted by the other expansion pack, based on this sole creative aspect, but maybe I am wrong on this and maybe you could share your opinion about the creative aspect in Descent.

 

Thanks in advance :-)

 

Sometimes I like to use descent as a simple ruleset for a PnP rpg. Using the tiles figures and rules to play some old style DnD. That is great!

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Thanks again and again to you two Omnishash024 and Wallack,

 

Well, One thing I like about Descent and I haven't mentioned before is the creativity aspect. And it is mainly the tiles that interest me as I like to build my own board and this is one of the things I liked when I opened my AI box. Well, to be honest, Star Wars tiles don't inspire me a lot. Descent however... I am very interested in Shadow of Nerekhall because the quest happens in town and that I like urban battlefield. Nevertheless, it seems to not have so many "street" tiles I saw one with a small market but not too much. Also, Manor of Ravens looks interesting too but as a smaller expansion pack, it contains less tiles also. Ok, I understand that the big idea behind is not to build the biggest battlefield possible with all the available tiles and that I can build a complete city stage by stage, reusing each time the tiles.

 

I am less attracted by the other expansion pack, based on this sole creative aspect, but maybe I am wrong on this and maybe you could share your opinion about the creative aspect in Descent.

 

Thanks in advance :-)

 

That's 'slash man... slash. :)

 

There is another reason as to why you should only get the base game for now. You want to learn the basic rules first before you are ready to buy any expansions. Once you feel comfortable with knowing what you are doing, then you will have a better time with the expansions.

 

My opinion on it's sole creativity? There's a Quest Builder on the website devoted to making you own quests. I'd say that pretty much sums that up.  

Edited by Omnislash024

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I get the feeling you are looking for some level of exploration in Descent. The base game is more about tactics. You can search for treasure, and find many different random things. But as for the base game, that's about it.

 

However there are Co-OP packs that you can buy that adds on to the game. They are played without an Overlord player and the heroes have to explore their way to the end. The element of surprise comes with which room you draw into next. 

 

I think FF covered the bases when it comes to playing this game. 

 

Ya forgot to mention those.  I'm loving the Coop packs right now. 

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sorry OmniSLASH014 ^^ At first, I didn't know what you meant by this :-)

 

It is not like I haven't played FF7 in my life so far (but never finished it on the other side, Always been to the final showdown with Sephiroth, but never been through this, when I have beaten FF9, FF10 and FF 13 and 13-2).

 

Ok then Let's go to the main box, I post when I get it. (maybe next week after my papers are done ;-) ).

 

Thanks to all

 

Elrad

 

Edit : the coop packs give also the opportunity to play Descent alone when nobody's at hand to have a play :-) )

Edited by Elrad

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sorry OmniSLASH014 ^^ At first, I didn't know what you meant by this :-)

 

It is not like I haven't played FF7 in my life so far (but never finished it on the other side, Always been to the final showdown with Sephiroth, but never been through this, when I have beaten FF9, FF10 and FF 13 and 13-2).

 

Ok then Let's go to the main box, I post when I get it. (maybe next week after my papers are done ;-) ).

 

Thanks to all

 

Elrad

 

Edit : the coop packs give also the opportunity to play Descent alone when nobody's at hand to have a play :-) )

 

And so some custom variants do!

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Well I looked at the price of the boxes, and I am asking myself, to begin with Descent 2, is the main box enough (all of you will say yes, I know it ;-) ) or is there tough one or two expansion pack that could be welcome to add at the beginning ?

 

I really feel like the base set misses enough monster choices for the OL to really forge an individualt strategy. That's why I thought Descent 2 would get stale pretty quickly for the OL and I picked up the conversion kit (25 monstergroups without miniatures) and had a blast ever since. The CK is imo cheap enough to warrent a buy even if you don't know the game very well, however when I bought the CK there were no H&M packs available, but they only give you 3 monstergroups each, but with miniatures after all. If you are interested in the H&M packs I would highly recommend Crusade of the Forgotten which should be the one with Golems and Sorcerers. Golems being tank monsters that are immune to pierce (most common damage amplifyer) and Sorcerers small ranged monsters that deal good damage and can beam themselves and other monsters around the battlefield.

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thanks to you DAMaz, I shall consider also the Conversion Kit. But there is still a question then for me :

 

The thing is, as you mentioned it, that the CK was first released with the purpose to have the players of the previous edition to recycle all their minis. Well H&M packs intend, following what I read about them, to implement those heroes and monsters from the D1E in an updated version. Is this version the same as the one included in the CK or not ? For example, are the character and monster cards on this page the same as in the CK (which would then mean that the only "+" of those h&m boxes are the minis and the two new quests per box.

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thanks to you DAMaz, I shall consider also the Conversion Kit. But there is still a question then for me :

 

The thing is, as you mentioned it, that the CK was first released with the purpose to have the players of the previous edition to recycle all their minis. Well H&M packs intend, following what I read about them, to implement those heroes and monsters from the D1E in an updated version. Is this version the same as the one included in the CK or not ? For example, are the character and monster cards on this page the same as in the CK (which would then mean that the only "+" of those h&m boxes are the minis and the two new quests per box.

 

Some of them are, some of them aren't. Some are buffed, some nerfed, some stay the same:

 

Trenloe the strong CK:

 

trenloe_the_strong.jpg

 

From H&M

 

trenloe-the-strong.jpg

 

 

Some of them are exactly the same, just with a wording change:

 

Corbin CK:

 

corbin.jpg

 

H&M:

 

corbin.jpg

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I would have to disagree with getting the conversion kit for now. For one thing, I still think you would benefit from sticking to the base set until your ready to get more. Secondly- and this is more my opinion- as you may get alot with the kit, you only get the cards and Hero Sheets. Not getting the figures kinda sucks. I'd want a physical representation of any hero or monster on the board ( which is why I'm getting all the lieutenants.) 

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thanks Wallack !

 

For some reason though, I like the artworks of the CK edition than the one of the H&M... :D

 

I agree, Omnislash024, that having a physical presence on the board is far more appealing than a mere token. though, this is still a long-term investment. But who am I to say that, I who take the train on march three years after the first release of the game... :)

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Be thankful for H&M kits if you like physical fugues. I spent a small fortune rounding up all the 1st edition figures for use with the CK. 

Then the H&M kits came out and my wallet wept tears of money.

 

 

I think this is more or less a question of how much money you want to spend. As I didn't know how much I'd like the game when I purchased the CK I wanted an expansion that added the most gameplay content for the smallest price. The CK offers a lot (25 monsters and 50 heroes I think) so I didn't really mind that ~10% of the content isn't prefectly balanced (and got updated in the H&M packs although not to perfection either), I just don't play with those (mostly heroes. I think only 1 monster is boardering imbalance in the CK).

 

While it's true that you don't get specific minis for these monsters I had 90% of the time no problem just using the miniatures of the base game to proxy the CK monsters. In the other cases I just used 3d tokens that can be found on BGG, which are pretty much cardboard standins featuring the monster art.

Edited by DAMaz

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It's true that you can find solutions to make CK stuff visible on the map. 

 

While, on the other side, the H&M (I'm always thinking about M&M's while type "H&M", don't know why since I don't like chocolate at all  :P ) provide everything, it's worth a look.

 

Well before buying my main box I have printed the rules of the main game so I can read it at ease than before a screen (which I cannot do for more than a few minutes)

 

When sure about my purchase intention, I go next week to my retailer to acquire it. Since I live in a non englishspeaking country, I ask myself about buying it in English or in French (my motherlanguage). Edge, the french editor of FFG games does it pretty well but lacks precision and re-reading in its translations. My group will hte me probably but I will buy the game in english. Since the rules still provoke questions, I think reading them in their original language is still a + than relying on bad translated material. 

 

thanks for all your advices ans recomandations,

 

Elrad

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Honestly, the French translation is good and don't have any real huge mistake (except one with the lava).

 

And for the rule's question, even the english rulebook isn't enough to provide you all the answer anyway so you will have to look at the differents FAQ, and Q&A from the editor.

 

I've got some game in english, but to me for a game as complicated as Descent, I would recommend you to buy it in the language most of your players will understand the most.

 

They will appreciate it more, especially the story parts. Otherwise you will have to read it in english for them, or translate them when you're reading it. 

 

Which is really less enjoyable for the players.

 

As for me, I only have Forgotten souls and Nature's Ire in english because they don't exist yet in French :P

Edited by Kyarn

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Honestly, the French translation is good and don't have any real huge mistake (except one with the lava).

 

And for the rule's question, even the english rulebook isn't enough to provide you all the answer anyway so you will have to look at the differents FAQ, and Q&A from the editor.

 

I've got some game in english, but to me for a game as complicated as Descent, I would recommend you to buy it in the language most of your players will understand the most.

 

They will appreciate it more, especially the story parts. Otherwise you will have to read it in english for them, or translate them when you're reading it. 

 

Which is really less enjoyable for the players.

 

As for me, I only have Forgotten souls and Nature's Ire in english because they don't exist yet in French :P

 

Yes this is so true.

 

I am French Canadian and English is my second language. My English is good enough to follow and explain Descent rules easily.

 

For this reason I have bought the game in English (mainly because it is cheaper and I wanted access to all the content in the same language) but I realize that some people in my playing group had some difficulties with all the text and interpretation.

 

Because of this, it is harder to bring the game to the table. I need to have very specific friends available else there is one of them that will complain about the game being too complicated.

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