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Thinking of buying, any expansions I should get?

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Title says it all. I'm thinking of buying some Descent, wondering if there are any specific expansions that I kind of need to truly enjoy the game. I do have Road to Legend, so those quests are available to me.

 

If not, what are the best expansions to start with? Reading through some of the descriptions, I guess big box ones are better.

 

 

 

 

Question:

 

How do monsters from a hero and monster pack enter normal campaigns like Heirs of Blood or The Shadow Rune?

 

 

Is it worth buying lieutenant packs?

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It depends on how you are going to play, using the app or against an overlord.

Lieutenant packs are barely worth their cost, in standard descent you will only use one for an entire campaign. If you bought all of these it would take years before you got to use them all. You would also want to play without a lieutenant deck during the first campaign, unless your group are all veterans.

In app based descent you are only buying these for the model, to replace the token you will already have. If you are happy to use the token then give these a miss.

The overlord, or app, decides which monsters to bring to a quest.

Buy the H&M packs for the specific hero's/monsters you want to play.

It's best to start with the big box expansions.

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No, you don't need any expansions to truly enjoy the game.

 

Well. Aside from all of them.

 

I'm not trying to be cheeky, really. The thing is, each "true" expansion, whether we're talking about the "small" ones (Lair of the Wyrm, The Trollfens, Manor of Ravens, Mists of Bilehall or The Chains that Rust) or the "big" ones (Labyrinth of Ruin, Shadow of Nerekhall) add something unique to the game. With the big ones, we're talking about a whole new campaign each, with the smaller ones offering either a mini-campaign or expansion content for a bigger campaign (except for Mists of Bilehall and The Chains that Rust, which both offer two small campaigns or one continuous big one if you have both).

But more importantly, nearly all come with a two to four new classes (Mists of Bilehall being an exception, and The Chains that Rust introducing hybrid classes, which is a new mechanic that doesn't constitute full classes) and two to four new heroes (Mists of Bilehall and The Chains that Rust both being exceptions for some reason, which is annoying considering the aforementioned introduction of hybrid classes), and for some of these expansions, also new mechanics entirely, like hidden rooms (Lair of the Wyrm and The Trollfens, if I remember correctly) or Rumor Cards (Lair of the Wyrm, The Trollfens, Manor of Ravens), or a Servant for the Overlord (basically a form of continuously useful familiar-like monster for the Overlord; Manor of Ravens & The Chains that Rust).

 

So they all offer something unique, and to me, for the "full experience", you'll want to get all of them. However, that's utterly unreasonable, considering the price-tag on that, starting out. So, my recommendation would be to get the core set and play that, and maybe one of the small expansions that looks the most interesting, and possibly a matching Heroes & Monster Collection, if it looks appealing. It depends on your budget and how interested you are. But either way, the core set will get you a feel for it all.

 

Personally, if we're talking general recommendations of first expansions, I'd say that Shadows of Nerekhall has one of the best (if not the best) campaign, and also contains some really solid content. For small-box expansions, I favour Manor of Ravens, followed by The Trollfens. When it comes to Heroes & Monsters Collections, it's literally just about what you feel yourself. They add two single-encounter quests each, which can only be played by means of rumor cards, which means you'll need one of the expansions that utilizes rumor cards to make proper use of it - which is something to keep in mind. It might be a bummer to get a Heroes & Monsters Collection only to realize that you can't (or don't know how to) run the associated quest(s).

 

However, the monsters and the heroes can add a lot to the game, with especially the expansion of available monsters being nice for variety. Personally, I could never go back to the core set anymore. I'd go insane. Some Overlords want to go for straight-up strategy and tactics, and the H&M Collections add a lot in that department. Others (like me) really like doing themed or narratively consistentl set-ups, and again, the H&M Collections really add to that. I find that it's a lot of fun to fill a crypt-centered quest with Shades and Skeleton Archers alongside the Core Set Zombies.

 

How do monsters from a hero and monster pack enter normal campaigns like Heirs of Blood or The Shadow Rune?

 

By the book, rules as written, the only way to use monsters from heroes and monsters collections is by using them as open groups. Basically, each quest in each campaign usually has a number of "open monster groups" and a number of available "monster traits". Let's say that a quest has 2 open groups, and the available monster traits of "Mountain", "Cave" and "Water" - you can then choose two different monster groups, as long as each group of monsters has at least one of these. And each monster group has two monster traits. For example, Carrion Drakes are "Dark" and "Water", so one of the two open monster groups could be Carrion Drakes, because they have the water monster trait.

 

Is it worth buying lieutenant packs?

Eh. Personally, I like having them, because I don't like the tokens. That being said, I've only bought 4 of them, 3 of which are for my upcoming/planned Mists of Bilehall + The Chains that Rust campaign (which features 3 unique lieutenants and no other lieutenants, so I thought that'd be a good start) and the 4th one is just so that I can introduce that lieutenant to that same campaign, as an Agent (Skarn).

Generally speaking, if there's one thing you can skimp out on, especially at first, it's Lieutenant Packs. They add a unique mechanic, but I personally do not find it that stellar or relevant, and depending on the campaign, it might even see limited usability. If you, like me, want "all or nothing", the threshold for getting all the lieutenants for the first major campaigns is fairly big.

I've started getting Lieutenants now, and one day I hope to have all of them, but aside from maybe one of the H&M Collections, Lieutenants are literally at the bottom of my list.

Edited by Luckmann

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How do monsters from a hero and monster pack enter normal campaigns like Heirs of Blood or The Shadow Rune?

Overlord player can select mosters from those packs if there is a free monster group in quest.

 

I think, that best deal is nerekhall and labyrinth of ruin 4 classes, 4 heroes, new monsters, and fullfledged campaigns.

i will buy them first when i'm decide to expand my descent collection.

 

small expansions is good, but... worth it only if you want something specific.

 

H&M packs are nice, and good if you will play with the app.

 

lieutenants worth it of you has OCD and want to use miniatures instead of tokens, or already know why you'll want them.

even in app they only can spawn adjutant version with perils, and so I myself won't buy them.

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Rumours (small box expansions) are optional, you could buy it and then it might not get used. Have a word with the players first to ensure that it will be used if you buy it.. it means the campaign will be a couple of quests longer.

Buy a small box (if the players agree).

At the end of the campaign buy a big box (New campaign) plus another small box.

If the overlord is losing badly then you could consider a lieutenant pack to help out.

Buying any faster than that will give you content you are unable to use.

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Thanks for all the wonderful responses!

 

 

So is it better to go out and grab the full campaign (Shadows, Labyrinth) boxes, or to start with the side quest boxes?

Depends. I'd really recommend just grabbing the core set, play that to see if this is for you, and then grab what looks interesting. Yes, sure, the big expansions add more, and you get new full campaigns, but they're also more pricy.

Personally, if you don't feel the need for a full new campaign (because depending on how much you play, it can take a long time to finish a campaign), I always felt you got more for your money with the small-box expansions (save perhaps the newest ones, Mists of Bilehall and The Chains that Rust, which I think you need to grab both of for the full experience, ending up very much like one big-box expansion, but with less in terms of classes and heroes, so it's a bit hit-and-miss).

 

Ignoring the last two small-box expansions, the small-box/big-box format has an almost perfect correlation to eachother; big-box expansions add four heroes, four classes, while small-box expansions add two heroes, two classes; small-box expansions add quests that can be integrated by means of rumor cards into a bigger campaign (or be used as a mini-campaign) while big-box expansions add a big full campaign; the small-box expansions add two monster groups each, but the big-box expansions add four.

 

But each comes with at least 1 new Overlord Class, a new Condition, and some Shop Cards, and then some assorted stuff, whether it's small-box or big-box. So the big-boxes are meatier and can contain things that are bigger, gameplay-wise, but I think that the small-box expansions are "worth more" for what you pay for them in general game expansion content. But that's just me. Go with what looks interesting to you and consider how much you want to sink into the game, and how confident you are in the stuff getting used.

If you want an overview of the content of each expansion, check out the Descent Wiki. It's got an article for each expansion, with basic information on what each contains. They're not consistent, though, with some articles writing out exactly what you get (such as mentioning what the new Overlord class is) while another article just lists very general infor (such as "8 Overlord cards"), so it's not perfect for comparisons, but they'll get you a good idea of what's in each box.

 

It's my personal opinion that the best option is to grab one of the earlier small expansions first, to get rumor cards and maybe secret rooms "into the game" mechanically, and then grab one of the big boxes (Shadow of Nerekhall is better campaign-wise, but I love a lot of the general expansion content from Labyrinth of Ruin more). But ultimately, it's about what you want to do. Personally, I like running themed games, so I want a lot of other content before I run something, so if you're really into undead and want to run an undead campaign, feel free to grab Mists of Bilehall and The Chains that Rust right away, and then just supplement that with some appropriate H&M Collections.

 

I can't think of a single expansion that was actually a let-down to me, they all add something, and how much you'll appreciate what each adds is very personal. For example, the only small-box expansion I'm missing right now is Lair of the Wyrm, and I'm going to grab that just so I can have Imps in Shadow of Nerekhall, and I'd hate to run Shadow of Nerekhall without Sorcerers, which are from the H&M Collection Crusade of the Forgotten. But again, that's just me. I've grabbed a ton of stuff just so I can run MoB + TCtR as an undead-themed campaign. Go with your gut and what you want in your game.

Rumours (small box expansions) are optional, you could buy it and then it might not get used. Have a word with the players first to ensure that it will be used if you buy it.. it means the campaign will be a couple of quests longer.

Buy a small box (if the players agree).

At the end of the campaign buy a big box (New campaign) plus another small box.

If the overlord is losing badly then you could consider a lieutenant pack to help out.

Buying any faster than that will give you content you are unable to use.

Pshaw. As if you'll possibly end up using all of the content anyway. If you're going to use all content before getting new content, the game will be out of print before you've even gotten half-way, truth be told. :P

But I do agree with the general sentiment. Small box is a good start, and then big box after finishing the first campaign, unless you specifically want some stuff from one of the big boxes (I personally grabbed Labyrinth of Ruin before we finished The Shadow Rune, or before we even started the campaign that we eventually finished, truth be told, just to get Ulma Grimstone and Goblin Witchers).

Edited by Luckmann

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If you want to buy a small box expansion first, I can recommend both Lair of the Wyrm and The Trollfens. LotW is maybe better (I love the Geomancer). Both boxes have cool classes and monsters and add the secret room.

 

But the best small box expansion is in my view Manor of Ravens. 2 Heroes, 2 Classes (both cool), 2 Monster groups, 2 OL classes, cool status effect. Servant for the OL and most importantly: new mechanic regarding the relics. In this box, you get relics you can attach to a monster group or use directly as an OL. If you want to integrate the quests into the Campaign using rumor cards, this is really cool because you can use these relics independently from a Lieutenant if you are the OL. In my last campaign I won some relics as the OL but couldn't use them in most Quests :(. Later expansions (Bilehall, Chains) have this mechanic as well. But Lair of the Wyrm, Trollfens, Shadow of Nerekhall and Labyrinth of Ruins don't.

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I think its pretty much been said already but the core set is fantastic - i have a load of expansions but still like to use the core set heroes and monsters and you really wont feel like you are lacking when playing the opening campaign or even road to legend. So in this respect you don't need anything else just yet.

 

As you start to play you will start to learn what parts of the game you like playing the best and its important i feel to learn this before expanding.

 

Do you like playing mostly overlord v heroes - get a big box with a new campaign - maybe add in a lieutenant pack for the overlord player to use

Do you prefer co-op v the RTL app controlling things - a small box or a heroes and monsters box set will add in new variety - you can pick the set theme you like best of the monsters or heroes

Want a bit of both but not spend too much - a small box set usually gives you new heroes, classes, a couple of monsters and some extra quests (all may be used in RTL too)

Do you like to create you own dungeons from scratch with a theme - boxes are better as they have new tiles and monsters in them and help you get a theme going

 

I was trying to think if i could only buy one expansion pack and that's it - tough call but if you like playing both overlord and co-op and want all round benefits i would get a big box, Nerekhall or Ruins. Which one, well then decide do you most want a Spider boss campaign or a City campaign and pick that one.

 

My website has a page on the expansions which are just my own preferences which tend to lean towards themed dungeons, like spiders or undead - but it may be worth a read through > http://crusadersgolf.co.uk/fantasy-board-games/descent-2nd-edition/

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If you want to buy a small box expansion first, I can recommend both Lair of the Wyrm and The Trollfens. LotW is maybe better (I love the Geomancer). Both boxes have cool classes and monsters and add the secret room.

 

But the best small box expansion is in my view Manor of Ravens. 2 Heroes, 2 Classes (both cool), 2 Monster groups, 2 OL classes, cool status effect. Servant for the OL and most importantly: new mechanic regarding the relics. In this box, you get relics you can attach to a monster group or use directly as an OL. If you want to integrate the quests into the Campaign using rumor cards, this is really cool because you can use these relics independently from a Lieutenant if you are the OL. In my last campaign I won some relics as the OL but couldn't use them in most Quests :(. Later expansions (Bilehall, Chains) have this mechanic as well. But Lair of the Wyrm, Trollfens, Shadow of Nerekhall and Labyrinth of Ruins don't.

It was always weird to me how The Trollfens have Secret Rooms, but Manor of Ravens didn't have any. Should've been other way around, really.

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Lieutenants are a must buy in my opinion. The plot deck is a thing that you can easily live without, but with the monstes represented by minis and the 'bosses' represented by tokens isn't cool. Besides, most ot the lt minis are really cool and can be used as creatures in custom board games like the one I have.

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Lieutenants are a must buy in my opinion. The plot deck is a thing that you can easily live without, but with the monstes represented by minis and the 'bosses' represented by tokens isn't cool. Besides, most ot the lt minis are really cool and can be used as creatures in custom board games like the one I have.

It's a pretty big investment just for looks, though, especially for The Shadow Rune and/or Labyrinth of Ruin. Shadow of Nerekhall, Mists of Bilehall/The Chains that Rust and all the small expansions get off a lot cheaper.

It does make a big difference, though - I'd recommend it to anyone, but.. I'd still rank it lower than most other stuff, simply because I don't think it adds anything meaningful beyond looks and feels.

Edited by Luckmann

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Yeah, you're absolutely right about "add content" . I would buy an expansion first, too. The problem is that I left 2nd edtion totally behind and only start to buy stuff in 2014. Then I picked up almost everything in few orders. I didn't bought any of teh H&M collections yet, and dunno if I´ll buy them at all. (still own almost everything from 1st edition)

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Since I've got it all expansions, heroes and monsters and lieutenants, I cannot imagine now how I could play without them.

 

This game is made to have thoses all, and this game lacks so much of campaigns ...

 

So, there's no reason to not buy it all !

Edited by rugal

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Since I've got it all expansions, heroes and monsters and lieutenants, I cannot imagine now how I could play without them.

 

This game is made to have thoses all, and this game lacks so much of campaigns ...

 

So, there's no reason to not buy it all !

No reason other than money...

 

;)

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Right. Personally, I don't mind LT tokens- and at a rate of one plot deck per full campaign, I really don't see any need to pick them up (until I want to use the deck). I've only got Zach, Alric, Bolgoreth, Skarn, Ariad, and Mirklace so far (and only Alric, Ariad, and Mirklace have been used in campaigns). My wallet has higher priorities than cosmetic additions to this game.

On topic, as has been said- big boxes are generally the most new content per box- but really try the core game first and see what you think. If you decide to play exclusively RtL, the big boxes lose a fair amount of value (OL classes, travel cards, allies, corrupt citizens, all the main quests) but then so do the small boxes (quests and rumors aren't used in the app at all).

Edited by Zaltyre

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Since I've got it all expansions, heroes and monsters and lieutenants, I cannot imagine now how I could play without them.

 

This game is made to have thoses all, and this game lacks so much of campaigns ...

 

So, there's no reason to not buy it all !

No reason other than money...

 

;)

a detail ! :P

Edited by rugal

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