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Grapthar91

What to buy for Campaign Play Only?

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Hello,

 

Literally just bought the game and had a few questions.  I am not interested in head to head play or one off adventures.  I am interested only in campaign play.  With this in mind, what products should I pick up for campaign play?  Is the campaign app any good?  What about the books?  Just wanted some seasoned opinions before I spent any more money on this game.  Thank you for your time.

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Hi there! Pretty new myself, but I'll give it a go.

I find the app to be really nice because you can play cooperatively. If that's what you're after there are also three non app cooperative Products. While the expansions do not add new campaigns to the app, they do give you some side missions and access to all the cool shop content.

For campaigns, the actual expansions (as opposed to the monster and hero collections) are the way to go, at least at first. They add all kinds of stuff like new shop items, tiles, new classes or heroes, etc... I don't own them all, but I have yet to see one I wasn't glad I purchased. Despite buying the game recently myself, I got what I later learned was the old version with a different campaign. All good actually, as I can purchase the new one separately anyway.

The only thing I'm not sure of are the lieutenant packs. As much as I hate using cardboard tokens for them, it's a tough sell just to use them once or twice. Sometimes I have found a suitable replacement mini I can use. Check out the Reaper Bones line of minis. Super cheap, roughly the same scale (sometimes can be a bit large), and they look great.

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Also, the app is co-op exclusively. The campaigns that come with the expansions offer the Overlord versus hero quest/campaigns. I would recommend Shadow of Nerekhall because all the components from heroes to campaigns are very good. Labyrinth of Ruin also offers very cool heroes/classes. Smaller but cheaper are Lair of the Wyrm, The Trollfens, and Manor of Ravens. They small expansions have shorter campaigns but they are also very good.

 

However, you should probably first play a campaign with the already richly filled core set to get a grasp of the many mechanics and components in the game. 

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There was a fairly recent thread on largely the same questions, where I commented on what to get. It's not super-helpful, honestly, but it does offer some thoughts.

All my comments were made with base campaign play in mind, not one-offs or app-driven gameplay, because I have no interest in either and the OP didn't specify; I consider base campaign play to be the core of the game, and assume that's what we're talking about unless some specific exception is made or a specific mode is mentioned.

 

In a nutshell, my recommendation is to start playing the core set, and get a small-box expansion if you're liking the gameplay, and then after a couple of sessions or maybe after finishing the full first campaign, look at what you want, maybe get a big expansion, maybe some H&M Collections if there's something specific you want or want to do. I tend to think that the small-box expansions are a little bit more for what you spend, but the big-box expansions offer a little bit more full content, with a new full campaign. H&M Collections can really add to things, especially since you get a lot of thematically appropriate monsters, but they're ultimately very much "grab what you think looks cool".

The only ones that are a tough sell are indeed the Lieutenant Packs. They're almost entirely cosmetic, giving you a proper figure for a single lieutenant instead of the cardboard token, but especially for The Shadow Rune and The Labyrinth of Ruin, if you want to get all the lieutenant packs for all the lieutenants in the campaign(s), the price is very high. The mechanic they introduce is also lack-luster; it honestly does not add that much to gameplay, and you can only use a single lieutenant deck per campaign, either way - just getting a few lieutenant packs, you've already got more decks than you'll ever realistically use, since a campaign can take weeks or months to finish, depending on how often you play.

 

...they really should've gone with some other expansion content for the lieutenants, like a few new lieutenant-inspired shop items, or some search cards, maybe a rumor or two. I dunno.

Edited by Luckmann

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.. and the OP didn't specify; I consider base campaign play to be the core of the game, and assume that's what we're talking about unless some specific exception is made or a specific mode is mentioned.

 

I guess the OP meant only the app because he stated: "I am not interested in head to head play"

So most likely he meant "app play" instead of "campaign play" 

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.. and the OP didn't specify; I consider base campaign play to be the core of the game, and assume that's what we're talking about unless some specific exception is made or a specific mode is mentioned.

 

I guess the OP meant only the app because he stated: "I am not interested in head to head play"

So most likely he meant "app play" instead of "campaign play" 

 

 

Huh, possible, I guess. I didn't make the connection between head to head and competitive. I don't think I've heard the base campaign game called that before, so I must've skimmed over it without thinking. I just assumed that "one-off adventures" referred to the way you can play single quests instead of a campaign.

 

If OP intended this for the app, this entire thread is in the wrong section. It's starting to get seriously aggravating.

Edited by Luckmann

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Sorry for the confusion.  I'm brand spanking new to the game, and this (Descent 2) forum, and don't really know the lingo yet.  The core set I got came with a nine quest campaign that I plan on playing through with my group, but I like to plan ahead and I was wondering if there was a general consensus on any particular expansion.  From what I've heard so far, I really can't go wrong with any of the expansions, but should start off with a small box expansion first, avoid the lieutenant packs and pick up H&M packs as wanted.  Has anyone tried the campaign book yet?  If so, what tiles/expansions do I need to run it?  And thank you again, this was exactly the advice I was looking for, some honest opinions about the Descent 2 products.

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In terms of bang for your buck, you want to go for bog box expansions first, then small boxes, then H&M packs, then lieutenants. The big boxes have a full campaign, 4 heroes, 4 classes, 4 monster sets, and a bunch of new tiles. Small boxes have a min-campaign 2 hero/class/monster sets (except for chains that rust). H&M packs have 4 heroes and 3 monster groups, and Lieutenant packs have the lieutenant and some new mechanisms to play with.

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Sorry for the confusion.  I'm brand spanking new to the game, and this (Descent 2) forum, and don't really know the lingo yet.  The core set I got came with a nine quest campaign that I plan on playing through with my group, but I like to plan ahead and I was wondering if there was a general consensus on any particular expansion.  From what I've heard so far, I really can't go wrong with any of the expansions, but should start off with a small box expansion first, avoid the lieutenant packs and pick up H&M packs as wanted.  Has anyone tried the campaign book yet?  If so, what tiles/expansions do I need to run it?  And thank you again, this was exactly the advice I was looking for, some honest opinions about the Descent 2 products.

 

Awesome, then. I think the confusion was whether you were just another app-user in the wrong forum, but I'm glad I didn't misunderstood you, then. Welcome to the forum. :lol:

There's no hard general consensus, really, but regarding the two big boxes with new full campaigns, Shadow of Nerekhall is generally considered to have the better campaign.

I'm not sure what "campaign book" you mean. The Core Box used to come with a campaign called The Shadow Rune, with a separate adventure book being purchasable later, called Heirs of Blood. These days, newer Core Boxes always comes with Heirs of Blood by default, it replacing the original The Shadow Rune.

 

Other than that, each expansion comes with it's own Quest Guide. The two big boxes (Shadow of Nerekhall and Labyrinth of Ruin) each have their own full campaigns, that are entirely separate from eachother and whatever campaign you got in the core box, but the three first small-box expansions (Lair of the Wyrm, The Trollfens, Manor of Ravens) feature quests that are either partly integrated into a bigger campaign (by means of Rumor Cards, a mechanic introduced by the same expansions, and also used by H&M Collections), or can be played as a short, self-contained separate mini-campaign.

The latest two small-box expansions deviate from this (as I think I detailed in the thread I linked). Mists of Bilehall is an "Act 1" mini-campaign that cannot be integrated into a bigger campaign, and The Chains that Rust is an "Act 2" mini-campaign that cannot be integrated into a bigger campaign. If you have both, however, you can play it all as a single, full-length campaign, and also use quests (through rumor cards) from any of the other small-box expansions. Only those expansions break an otherwise established format and we all ask ourselves why they didn't just make it a big-box expansion with some heroes to go with the newly introduced hybrid class mechanics.

 

So I'm not sure what you mean by "the campaign book". However, it is impossible to access a campaign without also having the parts for it, so do not worry. If you mean Heirs of Blood, it only uses tiles from the Core Set. So you don't need to worry about that.

In terms of bang for your buck, you want to go for bog box expansions first, then small boxes, then H&M packs, then lieutenants. The big boxes have a full campaign, 4 heroes, 4 classes, 4 monster sets, and a bunch of new tiles. Small boxes have a min-campaign 2 hero/class/monster sets (except for chains that rust). H&M packs have 4 heroes and 3 monster groups, and Lieutenant packs have the lieutenant and some new mechanisms to play with.

Huh. I always thought myself that you got (ever so slightly) more "bang for your buck" with the small-box expansions, rather than the big ones. The big-box expansions have more stuff, sure, but they're also more expensive.

Maybe it's just me.

Either way, I wouldn't recommend getting a big-box expansion until you're really, really sure you like the game. The Core Box is already expensive, and the big-box expansions are most decidingly not cheap. When you get a big-box expansion, you've committed, I feel. :P

Edited by Luckmann

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Oh, OK.  It all makes sense now.  I guess I got an older version of the Core game because I got The Shadow Rune as my campaign.  The campaign book I was referring to was Heirs of Blood.  Glad to know its another campaign for the Core game.  I will definitely pick it up.  Well, awesome.  I think I've got a good plan now for purchases.  I think I'll pick up a small box expansion and play through the Shadow Rune first.  If I like the game, which I think I will, I'll pick up the Heirs of Blood book, since everyone who gets a newer Core gets to play it as starter campaign and another small expansion box.  After that I'll get the Shadow of Nerekhall and a small box expansion.  Of course there will be some H&M boxes scattered throughout.  I think that will keep my group submersed in the Descent world for a while.  Thank you everyone for your advice.  It was greatly appreciated.  I'm totally pumped to run this game now!  

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Oh, OK.  It all makes sense now.  I guess I got an older version of the Core game because I got The Shadow Rune as my campaign.  The campaign book I was referring to was Heirs of Blood.  Glad to know its another campaign for the Core game.  I will definitely pick it up.  Well, awesome.  I think I've got a good plan now for purchases.  I think I'll pick up a small box expansion and play through the Shadow Rune first.  If I like the game, which I think I will, I'll pick up the Heirs of Blood book, since everyone who gets a newer Core gets to play it as starter campaign and another small expansion box.  After that I'll get the Shadow of Nerekhall and a small box expansion.  Of course there will be some H&M boxes scattered throughout.  I think that will keep my group submersed in the Descent world for a while.  Thank you everyone for your advice.  It was greatly appreciated.  I'm totally pumped to run this game now!  

 

Come back when you inevitably have questions, and good luck! :P

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I'm just getting ready to play myself.  I bought the core set a while ago, but never got a chance to actually play it, but will soon.  Mine has Shadow Rune.  I was wanting to buy the Lieutenant packs for the guys in Shadow Rune, mainly for the figures, but I'm hesitant to bother if they are never likely to get used again.  

 

I read about the mechanic that lets the Overlord select one Plot deck to pull in that Lieutenant later; so, I guess one figure is likely to get reused.  What about the rest.  Other than summoning through the Plot deck, if I buy Splig for example, do any quests in any other campaigns or expansions use him?  Or would that mini be a one shot use unless the Overlord wants to summon him instead of Belthir, or one of the Farrow's, etc.?

 

Last, which is the better campaign for new players?  Shadow Rune, or Heirs of Blood?

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I guess my same question above also applies to all the expansions, as well as the heroes and monster boxes. Do the monsters that come in a box ever get used beyond the quests that are included with the box they come in?

 

Edit: Further reading on the forum answered this for me.  I hadn't noticed yet that for any quest that says 'Open Group', the Overlord can pick any monster from any expansion that matches the icons.  So I guess that's how they get used beyond the quests included in the boxes they come in  :)

Edited by Kaaihn

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Splig appears in five campaigns currently. Shadow Rune, Heirs of Blood, Lair of the Wyrm, Labyrinth of Ruin, and Rise of all Goblins.

Belthir appears in Shadow Rune and Heirs of Blood.

Alric Farrow and Merick Farrow both appear in Shadow Rune, Heirs of Blood, Labyrinth of Ruin, and Kindred Fire.

Eliza Farrow appears in Shadow Rune and Heirs of Blood.

Baron Zachareth appears in Shadow Rune and Heirs of Blood.

(Please feel free to correct me)

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