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mitchjmiller

Finished First Campaign

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So I just finished my first campaign yesterday in the base game.

It was myself and my girlfriend, her as OL and me controlling two heroes.

 

Jain as Wildlander

Avrik as Disciple

 

Here's a summary of our quests:

Quest                   Winner

First Blood             Overlord

 

Death on the Wing       Overlord

A Fat Goblin            Overlord

Castle Daerion          Heroes

 

The Overlord Revealed   Overlord

 

The Frozen Spire        Overlord

The Twin Idols          Overlord

The Ritual of Shadows   Overlord

 

Man Who Would Be King   Overlord

 

I don't want to create another "it's so unbalanced!" thread, but you can surely see my issue above. I've heard a few times that a two hero party is supposed to be the hardest configuration to win but is the above an accurate representation of that or is there more going on here?

 

I only felt I was starting to compete with the OL's power near the end of Act I (Avrik now has immolation), but come the start of Act II it was back into a beat down again. Same happened towards the finale, (Avrik now with a Dwarven Firebomb), but both heroes were still rolling only gray dice (maybe an additional brown thanks to Armor of Faith) and were quickly struck down with barghests rolling BRR dice...

 

I've been reading the forums here quite a bit lately, and am pretty sure I'm up to scratch on the rules, but I still found it very hard to compete with the overlord. I'm currently running another campaign with a larger group of friends (with me as OL against 4 heroes), and we're facing the same issues. I find myself almost always having the upper hand and having to go quite easy on them to have a fair game.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions to what might have gone wrong, outside of the rules as I'm pretty clear on them I'm sure?

I do enjoy the game (I'm happy to play and not need to win), but its getting harder to get other people enthused with the OL having such an easy time...

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What you experienced for 2 heroes mostly matches my experience.  As you noted, the following is generally true:

 

Playing 2 heroes - favors the OL

Playing 3 heroes - favors the Heroes

Playing 4 heroes - tends to be the best and most balanced approach.

 

If you want, and your girlfriend is amenable, play 3 heroes next time, and you will probably see the above completely reversed.

 

If, however, you really want the "fairest" most competitive balance, play 4 heroes.

 

I will say this ... if you are inexperienced as a gamer in general, and/or you both aren't completely comfortable with the rules and faq (i.e. know them well), having 1 physical player play 4 heroes can be daunting for that person.  There is much to remember about each hero, hero ability, heroic feats, class skills, etc.  It is easy for someone not use to controlling so many heroes to miss opportunities, synergies, forget skills, etc.

Edited by any2cards

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It is a tactical game.  And the OL is more forgiving on mistakes then for the Heroes.  But as an OL I find its almost impossible to win against heroes that work together really well. 

 

There are so many variables.  The game is different with 2 or 3 or 4.  The synergies between the characters you pick.  Even the synergies between the heroes and the OL decks. 

One time I picked decks (I have everything keep in mind) that were lots of traps and the heroes and classes they choose essentially rendered my OL cards useless.  It was a total fluke but it happens.  

 

I will not allow heroes to choose their characters any more.  They get 3 random and pick 1.  If they know exactly what they are looking for and how to benefit from each others synergies do not let them pick. 

 

I also find that First campaign not very good compared to other 2. 

 

Take it as a challenge.  

 

You'll read from one post to another that there are huge swings.  OL always wins, Heroes always win.  And people will wine that its "unbalanced".  There are way to many variables to even know if its actually unbalanced. 

 

And I know when my heroes are loosing all their quests, its usually from tactical mistakes. 

 

For me this is why I like Descent so much.  There are so many options.  I just recently calculated that there are 222 combinations of heroes.  Thats something over 2 Billion combinations of 4 heroes.  And then with all the combinations of OL decks.  How can you even begin to try and figure out if this game is balanced? 

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What you experienced for 2 heroes mostly matches my experience.  As you noted, the following is generally true:

 

Playing 2 heroes - favors the OL

Playing 3 heroes - favors the Heroes

Playing 4 heroes - tends to be the best and most balanced approach.

 

If you want, and your girlfriend is amenable, play 3 heroes next time, and you will probably see the above completely reversed.

 

If, however, you really want the "fairest" most competitive balance, play 4 heroes.

 

I will say this ... if you are inexperienced as a gamer in general, and/or you both aren't completely comfortable with the rules and faq (i.e. know them well), having 1 physical player play 4 heroes can be daunting for that person.  There is much to remember about each hero, hero ability, heroic feats, class skills, etc.  It is easy for someone not use to controlling so many heroes to miss opportunities, synergies, forget skills, etc.

Sorry but I don't agree with you, to me it's more like that :

 

Playing 2 heroes - favors the OL

Playing 3 heroes - tends to be most balanced approach.

Playing 4 heroes - favors the Heroes

 

Why do you think the 3 heroes game favor the hero exactly ? And why the 4 heroes would be more balanced ?

 

As far as I could see on this forum, the only argument of the 3 heroes game favoring the heroes was that large monster group kept 1 monster only (minion to master), when heroes obtained +50% action with a third hero.

 

The problem is that there is not only large monster group, and this argument doesn't work with every medium or little monster's group. 

 

 

So, to my mind the 4 heroes group are favoring the heroes way more than the 3 : you can have all types of heroes, and moreover you can do the best combinations of class/heros in a same group.

 

As an OL I'm more scared of a 4 heroes group than a 3 one...

 

Is there something else I wouldn't have see ? What make you think it is the way you said ? I'm really wondering here... :P

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Mitchjmiller- It's possible that an OL is beating down 4 heroes- it does happen- but I've also seen 4 heroes wipe the floor with an experienced OL. There are a lot of variables, including which heroes, which classes, which OL decks, campaign, etc. 

 

However, from your description of your first campaign, something raises a bit of a flag for me- why were your heroes only rolling gray die in act 2? Neither of your heroes thought it might be smart to have a little bit of extra armor? In the base game there are less cool items than in the expansions- but even a chainmail or leather armor? What I'm getting at is that your gear makes a big difference, as well as how you go about acquiring it. In your two hero game I'm sure you didn't have that much time to search- but it's something your party of 4 should definitely consider- wait until they've gotten some gear before you decide that the game is lopsided.

Edited by Zaltyre

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Hi Zaltyre,

 

I feel shop items may have been an issue alright.

Jain did have some leather armour at one point, but the brown dice did very little for her while she had it.

It seemed the heroes damage output was quite low as it was very slow killing the monsters, and often times the OL would nearly have their objective complete by the time I'd get through the first blockade of monsters. For this reason I leant more in favour of better weapons early on. And to be honest there may have been more selling of previously purchased items than there should have been.

 

In the finale I quite literally had two items to my name; the Latari Longbow for Jain and the Dwarven Firebomb for Avrik.

 

But even with that, I got very little searching done. Most of the time I was too busy trying to keep up with OL completing their objectives to essentially spend a turn searching (very rarely did I just end up near a search token, I often would need to move to it also).

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It can be a little bit of a slippery slope as well. If you lose more quests for instance, the other side is going to get more powerful. If they win too many, then things will start getting bleak. 

 

I don't like your choices of weapons. Jain should have at least had the crossbow, or Alric the Light Hammer. (or Whatever staff was available.) If you're looking for damage output, you want something with a red die. 

If you feel like you are losing quests, then your goal should be to get search tokens so you can better gear yourself. That way you'll have a better chance. 

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Hi Zaltyre,

 

I feel shop items may have been an issue alright.

Jain did have some leather armour at one point, but the brown dice did very little for her while she had it.

It seemed the heroes damage output was quite low as it was very slow killing the monsters, and often times the OL would nearly have their objective complete by the time I'd get through the first blockade of monsters. For this reason I leant more in favour of better weapons early on. And to be honest there may have been more selling of previously purchased items than there should have been.

 

In the finale I quite literally had two items to my name; the Latari Longbow for Jain and the Dwarven Firebomb for Avrik.

 

But even with that, I got very little searching done. Most of the time I was too busy trying to keep up with OL completing their objectives to essentially spend a turn searching (very rarely did I just end up near a search token, I often would need to move to it also).

This is the issue with t hero games.

 

You lack the actions to search AND go for goals.

 

Armour , especially in later quests is as critical as your weapon.

IN a SoN campaign we recently finished, the OL had managed to shut us down pretty well on treasure until our scout's skill caught up, so we did the Finale with a few heroes unarmoured. It was not a good night to be a hero.

 

A good weapon is great, but it won't do much good if you don't survive to use it.

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I did have some good fun in the first encounter of the finale though, despite the constant knockdowns.

Jain was getting KD'd each OL turn, but I was using Avrik's Prayer of Healing (with Divine Fury and Holy Power) to not only revive Jain, but also give her (and Avrik) an extra yellow dice for their next attack. 

 

Avrik would be attacking with BYYR and Jain would be attacking with BYYY.

And because POH didn't require an action, I still got to have two full actions on both heroes. 

 

I thought it was a clever enough combination but still not enough to get me the win.  :rolleyes:

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Why do you think the 3 heroes game favor the hero exactly ? And why the 4 heroes would be more balanced ?

 

 

3 definitely favors the heroes.  I've not had a hope against 3 heroes.

 

With 4 heroes the OL is getting at minimum 1 extra figure per hero group. 

 

Dragons is a perfect example.  At 2 heroes you get 1 minion dragon, at 3 heroes you get, 1 master dragon.  Still just 1 dragon, albeit an upgraded one.  But still only 1 attack.

But now at 4 heroes the OL gets 2 dragons.  That is a big jump.  I'm doubling my attacks with just dragons.

 

How can that possibly go from being balanced at 3 to being favored towards the heroes at 4?

 

Lets just say for simplicity I as the OL can take 3 open groups and I pick Dragons, Giants, and Golems. 

 

Adding 1 hero adds;

1 dragon

1 giant

1 golem

 

You are telling me that your heroes would find it pretty evenly matched with 3, but then dominate with 4?  That math doesn't even add up.

especially with the bigger monsters the OL is doubling his actions.  Even if 3 players were balanced, then they would get destroyed with 4.  At least if I were the OL  :P

 

I know this is a bit simplistic and baring any special rules with these same groups

 

2 heroes = 4 attacks

Monsters = 3 attacks

 

3 Heroes = 6 attacks

Monsters = 3 attacks

 

4 heroes = 8 attacks

Monsters = 6 attacks

 

Basically this is why 2 heroes is very difficult.  You are taking on about the same amount of monsters as 3 heroes and they usually roll the same attack and defense dice.

Edited by KAGE13

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Why do you think the 3 heroes game favor the hero exactly ? And why the 4 heroes would be more balanced ?

 

 

3 definitely favors the heroes.  I've not had a hope against 3 heroes.

 

With 4 heroes the OL is getting at minimum 1 extra figure per hero group. 

 

Dragons is a perfect example.  At 2 heroes you get 1 minion dragon, at 3 heroes you get, 1 master dragon.  Still just 1 dragon, albeit an upgraded one.  But still only 1 attack.

But now at 4 heroes the OL gets 2 dragons.  That is a big jump.  I'm doubling my attacks with just dragons.

 

How can that possibly go from being balanced at 3 to being favored towards the heroes at 4?

 

Lets just say for simplicity I as the OL can take 3 open groups and I pick Dragons, Giants, and Golems. 

 

Adding 1 hero adds;

1 dragon

1 giant

1 golem

 

You are telling me that your heroes would find it pretty evenly matched with 3, but then dominate with 4?  That math doesn't even add up.

especially with the bigger monsters the OL is doubling his actions.  Even if 3 players were balanced, then they would get destroyed with 4.  At least if I were the OL  :P

 

I know this is a bit simplistic and baring any special rules with these same groups

 

2 heroes = 4 attacks

Monsters = 3 attacks

 

3 Heroes = 6 attacks

Monsters = 3 attacks

 

4 heroes = 8 attacks

Monsters = 6 attacks

 

Basically this is why 2 heroes is very difficult.  You are taking on about the same amount of monsters as 3 heroes and they usually roll the same attack and defense dice.

 

 

Man, your logic is mostly ****** up...I have to say it...

 

1) You take only large monster group as an example  : like I said, this argument doesn't work with medium and small monster group. They only obtain one minor monster. So With one more hero, the OL would get one goblin, rat, spider, etc.... Unless you only use large monster group it's irrelevant. And assuming there is always some small/medium monster in (nearly ?) all encounters..

And I don't even speak about OL who prefer using medium/large monster group...

 

2) You don't even count the master ability : taking your example, you simply ignore the fire breath of the master dragon. Which is FAR more powerful than one more attack. I've seen many fire breath go rampage and kill 3-4 heroes. Same idea : you don't count the boost of hp/defense/damage which can be obtain.

 

3) You don't even speak about the synergy between heroes, class, skills....The more heroes you get, the more powerful combo you have.

 

I could say many many more things about all the problems your argument doesn't speak about, but my english is a little poor, and just theses are enough (at least to me...) to prove that this argument isn't "the" answer.

 

 

So where everyone can say that 2 heroes is the hardest way to play. I can't agree with you on the 3 and 4 heroes game with only one argument, and a poor one : only counting the difference of action about a game like descent which has soooooooo many strategic sides....really ?

 

Don't take it bad, but clearly even assuming you may be right, you didn't prove anything right with this comment.

 

 

So, I'm asking again  : why do you guys think that the 3 heroes game is favoring the heroes and the 4 heroes game the most balanced ? (everyone who would think that way can answer)

 

(And please this time, don't answer with the only argument I just pointed being irrelevant in my original post...)

Edited by Kyarn

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Why do you think the 3 heroes game favor the hero exactly ? And why the 4 heroes would be more balanced ?

 

 

3 definitely favors the heroes.  I've not had a hope against 3 heroes.

 

With 4 heroes the OL is getting at minimum 1 extra figure per hero group. 

 

Dragons is a perfect example.  At 2 heroes you get 1 minion dragon, at 3 heroes you get, 1 master dragon.  Still just 1 dragon, albeit an upgraded one.  But still only 1 attack.

But now at 4 heroes the OL gets 2 dragons.  That is a big jump.  I'm doubling my attacks with just dragons.

 

How can that possibly go from being balanced at 3 to being favored towards the heroes at 4?

 

Lets just say for simplicity I as the OL can take 3 open groups and I pick Dragons, Giants, and Golems. 

 

Adding 1 hero adds;

1 dragon

1 giant

1 golem

 

You are telling me that your heroes would find it pretty evenly matched with 3, but then dominate with 4?  That math doesn't even add up.

especially with the bigger monsters the OL is doubling his actions.  Even if 3 players were balanced, then they would get destroyed with 4.  At least if I were the OL  :P

 

I know this is a bit simplistic and baring any special rules with these same groups

 

2 heroes = 4 attacks

Monsters = 3 attacks

 

3 Heroes = 6 attacks

Monsters = 3 attacks

 

4 heroes = 8 attacks

Monsters = 6 attacks

 

Basically this is why 2 heroes is very difficult.  You are taking on about the same amount of monsters as 3 heroes and they usually roll the same attack and defense dice.

 

 

Man, your logic is mostly ****** up...I have to say it...

 

1) You take only large monster group as an example  : like I said, this argument doesn't work with medium and small monster group. They only obtain one minor monster. So With one more hero, the OL would get one goblin, rat, spider, etc.... Unless you only use large monster group it's irrelevant. And assuming there is always some small/medium monster in (nearly ?) all encounters..

And I don't even speak about OL who prefer using medium/large monster group...

 

2) You don't even count the master ability : taking your example, you simply ignore the fire breath of the master dragon. Which is FAR more powerful than one more attack. I've seen many fire breath go rampage and kill 3-4 heroes. Same idea : you don't count the boost of hp/defense/damage which can be obtain.

 

3) You don't even speak about the synergy between heroes, class, skills....The more heroes you get, the more powerful combo you have.

 

I could say many many more things about all the problems your argument doesn't speak about, but my english is a little poor, and just theses are enough (at least to me...) to prove that this argument isn't "the" answer.

 

 

So where everyone can say that 2 heroes is the hardest way to play. I can't agree with you on the 3 and 4 heroes game with only one argument, and a poor one : only counting the difference of action about a game like descent which has soooooooo many strategic sides....really ?

 

Don't take it bad, but clearly even assuming you may be right, you didn't prove anything right with this comment.

 

 

So, I'm asking again  : why do you guys think that the 3 heroes game is favoring the heroes and the 4 heroes game the most balanced ? (everyone who would think that way can answer)

 

(And please this time, don't answer with the only argument I just pointed being irrelevant in my original post...)

 

 

All I suggest is you play the game a lot more before making some of the above comments.  I have more than 500+ hours of play in with Descent 2, with many, many campaigns played.  Experience has proven that 2 heroes favors the OL, 3 favors the heroes, and 4 is most balanced.

 

Further, if you ask this question of ANYONE who has played this game for any amount of time, you will get the same answer.

 

This includes the same comments from the developers of the game.

 

I really don't want to get into any bashing here ... if your experience is somehow different, than more power to you.

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Any2card : Yeah my previous comment was a little hard, I apologies.

 

But if you look closely, I asked on purpose in my original post what argument, EXCEPT the only one Kage13 pointed me, make you think that. And he only pointed me this one. 

 

You can understand that I was a little pissed (even if this don't excuse the way I spoke, again my apologies).

 

 

That being said, the only argument you point is that you've got many, many hours of game and it worked like that for you.....so what ?

 

I may not have as much hours of game as you, but honestly I can say I have nearly 400-450+ hours of game, with 5 differents group of people (around 16-20person).

And all theses people think like me that the 4 heroes game is favoring more the heroes than the 3 heroes game. Despite some of them often playing without me and with other people too.

 

That's why I'm always surprised when I see those who say like you : again I'm not saying I'm right. But the only argument I've seen is irrelevant to me, that's why I asked if there is more than that (like somethng I wouldn't have think about).

 

So far, the only argument I saw are theses :

 

- In 3 heroes game the OL only obtains a master minion instead of a minor for large monster group when he obtains one more monster in 4 heroes game, for one more hero each time.

-->Like I said before, this argument is really really restrictive and don't count many many strategic sides of the game.

 

- Guys who have play a lot know it works that way. 

--> This tend to make me smile : usually it's an argument for thoses who don't have one. I'm pretty sure that's not the way you wanted to sound and that I've got this answer because of my "bad-mouthing" before. But again, this is not a real argument.

 

- NEW : The developpers think that way too.

--> First time I see that argument. Seems a little bit more relevant. I say a little bit because I don't think they are absolute in terms of testing when we know/can see they don't always test a lot the stuff they sell (some things are pretty imbalanced in this game, despite a general "balance" which make the game still pretty good and fun to play). So....where did they say that ? I never saw them saying thaht the 3 players game was favoring the heroes and the 4 heroes game the most balanced. Have you got any link maybe ? Would be great.

 

Don't misunderstand me : I REALLY want to know what I missed to explain it to my players, this in order to understand why it worked otherwise for us.

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@Kyarn, I wasn't trying to piss you off, and I Know I only picked large monsters I was just trying to keep it simple, and mostly because those were the only cards I remembered the limits. ;)  There are so many variables its really hard to have "balance" conversations about descent.

 

Most quests have 1 or more Open groups, so maybe you are taking it easy on your heroes picking weaker monsters?  If I have an open group I will almost always take giants. 

And that's part of the variable as well, all groups play differently, and maybe your group does find it more balanced.  But over many many campaigns what any2cards is saying is you are in the minority on this topic.  On average 3 heroes is balanced towards the players.  Maybe even during your campaign the heroes picked poor heroes.  Who knows.  

 

I just opened to a random page in a quest book.  The groups are Barghests, Flesh molders, and 4 open groups with out restrictions.

 

So assume all things equal (which in descent they never are) 

3 players will face;

3 Barghest

3 flesh molders

1 dragon

1 giant

2 medusa

10 Kobolds

 

You add 1 hero and I will add;

1 barghest

1 fleshmolder

1 dragon

1 giant

1 medusa

2 kobolds

 

So for this to favor the heroes at 4, your 1 extra character would have to take care of all those extra monsters plus a little extra of the original group by himself.

 

I'm not even saying it doesn't favor the heroes at 4.  In fact I tend to agree with you if my Heroes are really good at working together.  But look at it the other way. 

If it favors the heroes at 4, and you take away all those monsters and only 1 hero how does that make the game more balanced at 3?  The OL is taking a lot off the table. 

 

In my experience I won't even play with 3 heroes any more.  It is totally pointless.  If I only have 2 players I will have them each play 2 heroes, because 2 heroes is equally pointless.  It actually helps with downtime if players are playing 2 each.  

 

Even take it as a compliment if you thought it was balanced at 3 heroes.  That means you played a very very good OL game.

Edited by KAGE13

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First thing first : I'm not going easy on my heroes, and neither did the OL I faced (I play as much hero as OL).

 

They are many many ways to make medium/littlle monsters far more dangerous (or at least as much) as large monsters with lieutnant packs and OL cards.

 

 

That being said, I know I'm in minority with my point of view, but that's exactly why I posted : I never ever found any answer that was satisfying to me about this topic.

 

 

Now let's speak about the difference in number and others thing : as you pointed, at 4 heroes, there will be many monsters added.

 

But to me, the one more hero is the one who make any good hero team into an unbelievable one.

 

Example : 

 

Let's say you play a 3 heroes game with a classical group :

 

Trenloe - Champion 

 

Leoric - Necromancer (or any other mage class)

 

Mok - Prophet

 

They have good interaction, defense boost(champion, prophet, Leoric, Trenloe), attack boost (champion), not so bad heal (prophet, Mok).

 

Now add a new hero....

 

 

--> Let's say another healer for example : Augur - Bard

 

And here you have an insane group combo :

 

Trenloe - Champion : Glory for battle, Motivating Charge, Stoic Resolve, For the Cause  (A Living Legend can work too)

 

Leoric - Necromancer : whatever spell, but Army of death with one valor token is still cool. Like I said, any other mage class work here.

 

Mok - Prophet : Battle Vision, Forewarning, All-Seing, Focused Insight

 

Augur - Bard : Understudy, Aria of War, Cacophony,  and Rehearsal or Concentration as you prefer.

 

 

Now what do you have ? From a classic group you have an unbeatable one :

 

The bard Can have Understudy and Aria of War always active because of Cacophony active each turn. Boosting every defense, attack, heal and stamina regen.

 

Mok can heal a ridiculous amount of hp each turn with his base skill, All seing and Focused insight, all boosted by the bard Undestudy. And each time he can heal or regen himself with mok skill.

 

Trenloe the champion boost defense a lot and stamina regen, also boosted by bard unbderstudy. And leoric nerf the damage of monsters.

 

All of that, with Augur skill healing each time an attack do no damage (boosted by understudy).

 

 

This kind of combo is nearly impossible to break with an OL, even a good one (not impossible, but uber hard). But you can't afford to do the same in a 3 player game because 2 healer who nerf too much your team damage. Where here even the healer do a good amount of damage with Aria of Ward and valor token. 

You could easily change some class/heroes and keep the same combo btw.

 

And that's not even the most powerfull combo ! So here is my point : yeah the OL have many more monsters, but in the other hand, heroes can do combo they couldn't do with only 3 heroes most of the time (or they are weaker version...). 

 

That's why every group I play with or against find the 4 heroes game far more favoring the heroes than the 3 heroes game. 

 

What's the problem according to me is that the OL "only" obtain more monsters, but none of his other spells or lieutnant pack cards are up. Where every hero and class can be up a lot only by adding one more hero becuase every hero and every class interact with all the others (assuming you use a little bit of brain :D). That's why I'm looking for any other explanation than "more monsters" to explain the general point of view shared here.

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Yeah but that's a houserule. 

 

If you let them choose like the original rule say, the more heroes they have, the stronger they are. As far as I saw since my beginning in this game.

 

(Obviously with a random pick, you're more than right)

 

And I didn't even speak about multi target spells which can annihile many monsters in one or two attack, transforming the boost of monter's number in nothing... :P

 

 

A good OL can deal with playing with less monsters. But to me he can't deal with overpowered combo that are available for the heroes, at least not easily.

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Well you could also make it not random, but the rule would be they couldn't pick a her used in the previous campaign.

 

 

Anyway, and this is just speculation here, but I have a thought on some other reasons why it may be so difficult for 2 heroes and it doesn't even have to do with the quests themselves. So, the parameters for the OL doesn't really change much when it comes to quest rewards. Usually the OL either gets extra EXP or a Relic. By the same token, Heroes themselves get those Relics if they win. Not only do heroes lose out on obtaining a very good weapon, it will be used against them. That can be detrimental in itself. However, the less heroes you have, the less people can equip those Relics. So even if they win, there is a chance they will be useless. 

 

By the same token, the parameters for the OL receiving Exp doesn't change, so he will forever be getting better cards. 

 

I think what might be the real difference maker though is the Shopping Step. In a campaign with a lesser amount of heroes, the shopping step only allows you to draw one less card. Considering the amount of actual cards exist in a Shop deck, it doesn't really matter how much Gold that you may receive, if you don't draw an item in this step that isn't particularly useful, then the heroes are already placed at a disadvantage. Even worse is is you are compelled to buy something and next time don't have the gold to get something you really need. Perhaps then, the parameters of the shopping step need to be static, regardless of how many heroes are in the group. As I said, this is just hypothetical. 

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As usual there are some stipulations, even powerhouse teams can be brought low in terms of winning quests by managing them rather then killing them.

In your example trenlore is slowwwwwwwww and stamina intensive and really really should be a knight for me, leoric is playing a sub par class until he gets his death bomb. Augur is presumably rushing for cacophony , admittedly Mok is great, even with the slightly nerfed H&M version. Focus fire on Leoic first even with rune plate he isnt THAT tanky and then squish in order of choice until Trenlore is last man standing.

My larger point is that if the heroes have gone full tank then for the most part ignore damage and concentrate on stalling and slowing them. Web trap should be effective and pinning leoric and mok unless they have substantial boosts.

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion especially when you have a wealth of 1st hand experience as you say. If your group finds 4 players to still heavily favor the heores then we can only bow to personal experience and an excellent hero approach.

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This game is so crazy complex that it's pretty difficult to pinpoint where balance lies. It changes drastically based on hero composition and overlord responses to that composition.

 

Draw luck on overlord cards can be a heavy factor, so you have to adjust for that variable. Then you've got quality of decisions, dice luck, and a whole host of other issues.

 

In my experience, this game is very close to perfectly balanced in a 4 player game, with near optimal hero compositions. If hero choices are sub-optimal, balance swings into the overlords favor a little bit, unless the heroes can win the initial quest and know the quests well enough to always chooses quests that suit their playstyle.

 

All in all, this game is about as closed to balanced as you can make a 1 vs group game, apart from Imperial Assault.

 

But in all seriousness, if you want a balanced experience, do not play with fewer than 4 hero characters.

Edited by Whitewing

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This game is so crazy complex that it's pretty difficult to pinpoint where balance lies. It changes drastically based on hero composition and overlord responses to that composition.

 

Draw luck on overlord cards can be a heavy factor, so you have to adjust for that variable. Then you've got quality of decisions, dice luck, and a whole host of other issues.

 

Based on the arguments in this topic, I've done the math to consider monster group sizes small and large as they appear in the campaign.

 

Including all of the 2E expansions through guardians of deephall, there are 20 small monster groups and 15 large monster groups. Of these, each group has varying sizes according to the number of hero players. For example, there are 10 small monster groups that have 2,3, and 4 monsters respectively, but 5 which have 3, 4, and 5 monsters.

 

By summing over all small monster groups, an "average" small monster group has 2 monsters in a 2 hero game, 2.95 monsters in a 3 hero game, and 3.95 monsters in a 4 hero game. Likewise, your "average" large monster group has 1.13, 1.53, and 2.53 monsters. 

 

I decided to consider this firstly from an action standpoint, as most of us can agree that's the backbone of this game.

 

Looking through the Shadow Rune campaign, I've tallied up all of the monsters used in each quest- large monster groups, small monster groups, lieutenants, and open groups. Lieutenants get tougher with more heroes, but don't provide any extra actions, so I drummed up a formula for each quest:

 

# total monster actions = 2 x (# small monster groups * avg size of small monster group + # large monster groups * avg size large monster group + # lieutenants + # open groups * avg size of small monster group)

 

Notice that I assumed that all open groups were chosen to be small monster groups. 

 

On average in The Shadow Rune campaign, in a two hero game, the OL has:

 

2.61 actions per hero action in a 2 hero game

2.44 actions per hero action in a 3 hero game

2.42 actions per hero action in a 4 hero game

 

It's worth keeping in mind that going from a 2 to a 3 hero game, some of those actions are "better" because they're master monster actions as opposed to minion monster actions. However, going from a 3 hero game to a 4 hero game, the action ratio remains basically constant, but in all cases the OL is just getting another minion.

 

All that being said, I agree with Whitewing that this game is more complicated than simple math like this- there are plenty of factors- some of them random, and some of them just difficult to model- that affect gameplay. For example, the average value of a search token is a bit over 30 gold, depending on the act.

 

Going from a 2-3-4 hero game, you have more search tokens and more opportunities to search, but you also have more heroes you need to equip with gear. Does the availability of gold keep up with the demand, or in a 4 hero game do players need to ration their gold more carefully than a 3 hero game? 

 

There are hero, monster, and overlord card abilities that affect all heroes, or all monsters in a fixed radius- are those cards more effective when the board is more crowded? For example, the spiritspeaker's tempest inflicts (and recovers) more damage the more monsters are around- but I'd be willing to bet "Web Trap" is also more useful when there are 4 heroes, rather than 3.

 

There are two many variables to pin down how a game of Descent will go- but I think that's a good thing. I have shared the experience of some of those in this topic- 3 heroes tend to win, with 4 heroes it tends to be a closer game. 

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As usual there are some stipulations, even powerhouse teams can be brought low in terms of winning quests by managing them rather then killing them.

In your example trenlore is slowwwwwwwww and stamina intensive and really really should be a knight for me, leoric is playing a sub par class until he gets his death bomb. Augur is presumably rushing for cacophony , admittedly Mok is great, even with the slightly nerfed H&M version. Focus fire on Leoic first even with rune plate he isnt THAT tanky and then squish in order of choice until Trenlore is last man standing.

My larger point is that if the heroes have gone full tank then for the most part ignore damage and concentrate on stalling and slowing them. Web trap should be effective and pinning leoric and mok unless they have substantial boosts.

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion especially when you have a wealth of 1st hand experience as you say. If your group finds 4 players to still heavily favor the heores then we can only bow to personal experience and an excellent hero approach.

 

You didn't look very well for the skill I pointed.

 

In my example, this group can recover stamina in a blink of an eye ! Trenloe and Augur nearly always move with stamina (not to mention trenloe as a charge). Trenloe as a knight is the best solo combination (we already did it), but that's not the point of this group, and it wouldn't be as good as it is with valor token on everyone. For Augur, once he has understudy, he's already op with this team (sure Cacophony + aria of war tend to make him even greater :D).

 

Now, let's say you focus on leoric : -1 damage with leoric base skill, + 1 defense with valor token + 1 defense with aria of war. Without any dice rolled, he already has like 3 defense. And could have even more with some late skills of the champion, or with forewarning of the prophet. And I don't even speak about the fact that Leoric could buy Dark Pact.

Now let's say he dies anyway : the bard can resurrect him without action with his base bard's skill. Or he could use Augur heroic ability to ressurect him even from a long distance. So you didn't achieve really anything against the heroes.

 

 

The point of this team is that they're not "only" tanky, they can do a lot of damage because every attack they make have nearly always  base +2 damage (Valor + aria of ward). And with the stamina regen, they can almost all always run with only stamina and keep their action to attack only.

The only thing which can work well agaisnt them is, as you said, trap and spell like web trap. But this spell work on any group anyway, so I don't see why it would be more powerfull against them. Especially when bard could buy rehearsal or the team could buy the anti condition's belt.

 

 

I just wanna clear a thing : my group and I nearly always prefer to play a 4 heroes game because we prefer doing the best heroes team combinations and fight with the more monsters. As an OL I feel the same.

That being said, it nearly always end the same way : victory of the heroes cause in the campaign's end the OL can't stop the heroes anymore unless they do huge mistakes or unless there is a huge luck gap. And honestly our OL is really, really good (and I think I'm not bad as well :P). Where in 3 heroes game, we always had more close campaign's end.

Aow, and I forgot : we never, ever, ever play the treasure hunter who tend to completly destroy the game by favoring way too much the heroes. So it's not the problem.

 

Anyway, I'm thankful for all of thoses who answered and gave their point of view. It cleared some interrogation I had at least, even if I'm not totally convinced :P

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