KronikAlkoholik

Try again or sell.

37 posts in this topic

I bought Descent 2e with much anticipation when it came out. We are a group of friends that used to play RPGs and are all fans of traditional fantasy. This seemed like a great game for us.

So like usually I'm the driving force behind everything, finding and researching the game, buying it, learning it and playing overlord. While two of the other five are boardgame lovers the other two are less so and more casual players but they absolutely loved this game. I would be hard pressed to get them to play most other boardgames but this was up their alley.

So this goes alright to start with and even in anticipation I have already bought some expansions. The rules are sometimes wonky but we can live with that. They seem to really get together to tactically analyze everything and the normally stomp me. Even though I try my hardest and abuse the rules as much as I can they win most of the time. Not optimal but I can handle it, feel like I really haven't even got the chance, like there is nothing that I could do to improve.

But that isn't the real problem, the problem is that the Overlord is nowhere nearly as much fun to play as a hero. The heroes get new skills with XP that they can use almost each turn. The overlord gets to add a card to his deck that he gets to use once or twice during a quest. In addition the heroes got all these cool items, OL gets nothing. The heroes also get to highly specialize with their powers making them incredibly good at something. OL has some class cards, but no one really notices and I bet you the heroes have no idea how the deck was set up differently in the two runs we did.

In addition to this OL problem I was losing all the time, and had to do all the heavy lifting, reading the quests, hauling the stuff around etc.

We toyed around with the idea that would rotate the OL player, but it never materialized and we weren't sure how we would do that and at the time I was fed up.

I expect some of you might want to recommend the RtL app, but note that there are 5 of us. Also I dislike that with the app half the stuff that came with the game will be useless, is it not so?

I've heard that SW:IA does improve the OL somewhat, letting him level up monsters or something. Do you feel that is the case. Too bad that only two of us like Star Wars, but the rest would definitely play I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your heroes are winning all the time, you might want to triple-check that you're playing all the rules right. It certainly can happen that heroes dominate the game, sometimes more often than not given the right party.

Are you playing with a plot deck? It sounds like that might address your balance issue a little and also provide another currency for the OL to gain/spend (it's pretty analogous to class cards for the heroes).

I would also (as someone who loves being the OL) to not get so discouraged by the fact that the OL doesn't get a lot of "upgrades" during the campaign. This is true, but remember that he also begins the game with a much larger toy box. You've got monster groups for crowding, for blocking, for area damage, for status effects, for ranged damage, for melee damage... half the fun of the OL is selecting and using open groups which play to your strengths and capitalize on hero weaknesses.

Silidus, ATM2100 and Chaoticus like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a rules lawyer kind of guy and normally I get the rules pretty well so I doubt that is the case. I just think they normally played optimally with optimal classes and specialized incredibly well.

So ok, in the second run I was doing better and sometimes they thought they had lost but their turn came about and situation just turned completely around. They go from brink of losing to brink of winning in a single turn.

Notice that there are 4 of them, in many cases there are perhaps only 2 hero players (even though they might be playing 4 heroes) and they have 4 times the brainpower too analyse the situation and find the optimal solution. I have no one to bounce my ideas or plans on to point out what is going on. They only have to focus on their own hero and his powers, while I have to understand each monster group. It is very easy for them to plan, somewhat harder for me. 

I remember a quest where I had to kill some guy. The Knight of the group just planted and took all the damage, I tried to remove him constantly using Sir Alric with Overpower but he always managed, with the support of the other players to get back. Later on I read the errata and they made the quests even easier for the heroes.

Yes I tried the plot deck, and I can't say I was impressed. Perhaps I was using them wrong. Didn't I have to pay threat to buy them, and again to use them. So they weren't consistent at all like the class cards, also they where like all groups have wilderness trait while a class ability is more like all your spells are AOE. Which sounds both cooler and better too my ears.

But as I mentioned that is more icing on the dislike cake. It just felt like they got to do all the fun stuff.

Edited by KronikAlkoholik

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@KronikAlkoholikI absolutely love playing the OL, and there are some absolutely brutal combos you can set up as the OL and really put the hurt on the heroes... however I have the feeling that you may be playing with a much smaller 'toybox' than I would recommend to really enjoy the OL.

First up, plot deck.  From your description it sounds like you are using the Splig deck.  Its ok, but not great.  Good cards in it would be Raided Armory, Goblin Ambush, Dive for Cover.  All of those cards can win an encounter for you.  Second, you do not need to buy the plot cards every use.. once you buy them, they are yours, and you pick up 1 threat per quest, 1 additional threat when you win, and 1 threat per hero kill per quest per hero (instead of drawing an OL card), plus most threat decks have some way to gain additional threat.  It can add up pretty fast and give you a ton of options.

Second, Remember their threat range.  Heroes have a threat range which is basically Move + Remaining Fatigue + (3 for ranged).  Never have a monster within this range that you arn't going to re-enforce at the start of your next turn.  I know a lot of OL tips suggest blocking with some larger monsters... don't.  There is basically no unit that can do anything more than soak up an action or two from a hero group by standing in their way.  Instead position units just outside the heroes threat range, so if they maximize their move, you can easily punish them for it, then move back out of threat range.  This will force the heroes to do smaller moves, costing themselves actions without costing you units.

Know your monsters.  For the base set, Goblin Archers are absolutely BRUTAL if you can keep them alive and pepper heroes from range, remember Raided Armory? Well that is going to give you 4 blue + yellow attacks with +2 damage each (surge and +1h), and 1 attack with +3 damage... throw in a Contaminated card (https://wiki.descent-community.org/Contaminated) to spend the additional surges rolled, or play Expert Blow (https://wiki.descent-community.org/Expert_Blow) before each attack (surge guarantees you can pick it up again), and you are going to be able to kill 1, 2, or even 3 heroes.  Then spend Goblin Ambush when their friends move to pick them back up (Raided Armory still applies and should still be exhausted), play the Expert Blow again.. and kill your 3rd (or 4th) hero on their own turn and force them all to stand themselves up normally with 2-6 life... then do it again next round.  (or if the surviving hero is high health, let them res one hero, then use the Goblin Ambush to kill the newly revived hero when they move to get their buddies).

Finally, I highly recommend picking up either the Heirs of Blood campaign book, Labyrinth of Ruin, Shadows of Nerekhall, or Mists of Bilehall.  All of which have much better balanced campaigns (less in the heroes favor) than the shadow rune campaign.

You really need to approach Descent like chess... if one side had 4 queens and you get nothing but knights, pawns, and rooks.

Edited by Silidus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Second, you do not need to buy the plot cards every use.. once you buy them, they are yours

You have to pay to use them, and at most you get 5 per quest and instead you have to forgo a card draw. So 4 Threat to pay for Raided Armory, only need to do this once fair enough, and then you have to pay two each time you use it.

Quote

so if they maximize their move, you can easily punish them for it, then move back out of threat range.

Attack and move out of range, no way. The heroes can spend fatigue to move, monsters can't.

Quote

Know your monsters.  For the base set, Goblin Archers are absolutely BRUTAL if you can keep them alive and pepper heroes from range, remember Raided Armory? Well that is going to give you 4 blue + yellow attacks with +2 damage each (surge and +1h), and 1 attack with +3 damage... throw in a Contaminated card (https://wiki.descent-community.org/Contaminated) to spend the additional surges rolled, or play Expert Blow (https://wiki.descent-community.org/Expert_Blow) before each attack (surge guarantees you can pick it up again), and you are going to be able to kill 1, 2, or even 3 heroes.  Then spend Goblin Ambush when their friends move to pick them back up (Raided Armory still applies and should still be exhausted), play the Expert Blow again.. and kill your 3rd (or 4th) hero on their own turn and force them all to stand themselves up normally with 2-6 life... then do it again next round.

Sounds good and all, but this requires at least 10 threat to pull off once, and then 3 for each time you want to do it again. So I could perhaps afford it on the 4th mission, at that time heroes would have a few items and class abilities they can use almost each and every turn. I get to pull off one spectacular move once each mission after the 3rd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, KronikAlkoholik said:

Yes I tried the plot deck, and I can't say I was impressed.

Well, which plot deck? Because this is a game where all options aren't necessarily equal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Bucho said:

Well, which plot deck? Because this is a game where all options aren't necessarily equal.

I have Splig and Valyndra.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, KronikAlkoholik said:

You have to pay to use them, and at most you get 5 per quest and instead you have to forgo a card draw. So 4 Threat to pay for Raided Armory, only need to do this once fair enough, and then you have to pay two each time you use it.

6 threat you can have pretty easy by the second encounter.  First encounter heroes have nothing, and so do you... you can build up some by killing 1-2 heroes during the first encounter, spend your XP on 3 threat (not great but you could).  If you won the first encounter you get 2 + 2 (kills) + 3 (spend your extra xp)... so for a win you can get 7 threat by encounter 2, 8 threat if you are playing with rumor cards (since you gain 1 threat for each rumor you play).  If encounter 1 is a loss, you can get 1 + 2 (kills) + 3 (only xp), so still nabbing the 6 to pull off a Raided Armory (no xp though) if that is your plan.

Playing threat is all about the long game, sometimes you may choose to lose an encounter, in order to gain threat for the next encounter.  Example would be 'Scavange'(https://wiki.descent-community.org/Scavenge), spending actions to move next to a downed hero to gain threat would probably mean you are not accomplishing your objectives.... but gaining 4-6 threat by downing a hero and moving a bunch of goblins in could win you the next one.

 

 

9 minutes ago, KronikAlkoholik said:

Attack and move out of range, no way. The heroes can spend fatigue to move, monsters can't.

Goblins have a move speed of 5, and an attack range of 3-6.  Taking a basic hero (lets say Grizbane, 3 move, 4 stamina, https://wiki.descent-community.org/Grisban_the_Thirsty).  So Grisban has a threat range of 7 if he has full stamina.  3 if he has no stamina.  So easiest case is if he stops anywhere more than 4 spaces away from your goblin archers.. simple attack + move is going to get them 7 spaces away.  If Grisban has spent any fatigue, then this is going to be severely limited.
If you can kill him, then he takes full fatigue and has a threat range of 3 (after revive).
Otherwise, try a card like Word of Misery (https://wiki.descent-community.org/Word_of_Misery).  Since he is going to be taking at least 4 attacks from the goblin archers, that is going to fully fatigue him for the next turn, reducing his threat range to 3, and easily allowing the goblins to move outside it.

 

 

There really are a ton of things the OL can do in descent, with the right cards, waiting for the right moment and with the right strategy for the encounter.  In some cases you may WANT to suicide a monster, because you know that at the beginning of the next round you will get it back in a good position.  In other cases you may want to simply get out of the heroes way, so you can put ranged units behind them... forcing them to either turn around to attack them (wasting actions moving in the wrong direction) or be forced to suffer the hail of arrows every round.

At this point I am really only talking about goblin archers because they are the most common unit in every quest.  Shadow Dragons can be brutal too (just don't use them to block, keep them out of threat range and dash them in for firebreath), or if you get into expansion monsters... Kolbolds, Hybrid Sentinals, and Medusae are amazing against the right heroes.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

6 threat you can have pretty easy by the second encounter.  First encounter heroes have nothing, and so do you... you can build up some by killing 1-2 heroes during the first encounter, spend your XP on 3 threat (not great but you could).  If you won the first encounter you get 2 + 2 (kills) + 3 (spend your extra xp)... so for a win you can get 7 threat by encounter 2, 8 threat if you are playing with rumor cards (since you gain 1 threat for each rumor you play).  If encounter 1 is a loss, you can get 1 + 2 (kills) + 3 (only xp), so still nabbing the 6 to pull off a Raided Armory (no xp though) if that is your plan.

I actually forgot that you can buy threat with XP. I think I would actually like the plot deck mechanics if it wasn't for the fact you have to pay each time you use it. Spending 1 xp to use Raided Armory once sounds really painful. What then if it didn't help you as you hoped, or you missed most of the attacks. You've permanently lost a xp for nothing gained. Heroes don't have to do a sacrifice like that again. They pay for their powers with Stamina which auto regenerates and they can regenerate in middle of encounters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, KronikAlkoholik said:

I actually forgot that you can buy threat with XP. I think I would actually like the plot deck mechanics if it wasn't for the fact you have to pay each time you use it. Spending 1 xp to use Raided Armory once sounds really painful. What then if it didn't help you as you hoped, or you missed most of the attacks. You've permanently lost a xp for nothing gained. Heroes don't have to do a sacrifice like that again. They pay for their powers with Stamina which auto regenerates and they can regenerate in middle of encounters.

Well spending XP to grab threat is kinda a gamble.. you may be better off getting a card, IF the card comes up in your hand when you need it.

Remember also you can grab threat through kills... and sure you may just wiff on the dice (Dark Fortune cards in hand for that), but for the most part you can pretty much guarantee  how the turn will go.  (Not always.. played a game last Saturday where I absolutely stomped the heroes the entire encounter, spawned the NPC exactly where I needed to, and had 5 monsters surrounding it, including 1 master Greater Demon..... 2 Dark fortune in hand in case of misses, heroes rolled 5 3 shield defense rolls in a row, and I dealt only 8 damage.  Heroes were able to revive themselves, kill 1 monster to reach the npc, pick him up and sprint to the exit over the next 2 rounds to win the encounter.)

In the case of the Raided Armory, it only costs 2, so successfully pulling off a descent turn, you should be able to get it right back and then do it again next turn to gain 2 more.  Hopefully that should put you in a position to win the encounter, gain 2 more, then do it again next encounter... etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Bucho said:

In that case I'd suggest looking as some plot deck reviews. Those are often not considered some of your stronger options: https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/205588/guide-descent-2ed-plot-decks

I feel like we are stepping into a very competitive way of playing this game. I'm more about playing for fun and a good narrative ( I'm still playing as a dungeon master instead of as an opponent ) and I don't mind losing along the way. But losing while not having fun makes the not having fun even worse. They where obviously having fun while I wasn't.

My grief with the game is how the overlord works, just isn't interesting enough and little way to personalize your experience.

Also having to pay the threat for using a plot ability is annoying. I'm ok with paying to gain it, even Xp, but inside an encounter threat should be a payable resource, like stamina or something. Get 4 threat at start of encounter, get one threat each time you down a hero. Pay for plot abilities or to draw cards. Outside of encounters use Xp to gain new plots/overlord cards.

I've been looking a little bit at how SW:IA does it and it seems more interesting. Your class cards are always available, agenda deck sounds interesting, side mission deck also sounds pretty cool with missions tied to heroes.

Has there ever been an effort to implement these mechanics into Descent?
 

Descent : Overlord Assault

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, KronikAlkoholik said:

Descent : Overlord Assault

I cant speak specifically to the mechanics of IA campaigns, since I only ever picked that game up for the skirmish mode, but side missions are implemented through the Rumor Deck system from the small box campaigns.

As for the issue with the OL play style, yes Descent (and IA) are very competitive games and not really about narrative.  There IS narrative of course, and there are truly epic moments in Descent, but if you try to play it like D&D you are going to have a bad time. I actually introduced Descent to a friend who does play a lot of D&D, and it took several encounters before it started to click with him.  Mostly the issue was that he was expecting a certain degree of plot armor to balance out his role playing, being 'brave' and distracting the goblin archers by running up and ending turn 3 spaces away, or "well my character is a berserker" and charging in after every other hero had already moved.  Lets just say after the 3rd encounter we forced him to rename his character "Thrag the Prudent" so he would stop suiciding himself.

One thing you can NOT do in descent is over hype your monsters.  Sure Shadow Dragons look impressive, but you can not play them as a 'Red Dragon' in D&D, snarling and blocking the doorway, grinning and taunting the heroes, daring them to attack.... because they will attack, and Grisban will fatigue in, and slaughter it with his Biting Axe, and still have extra fatigue and actions to open the door.

The OL has a TON of personality, based on plot deck choice, monster choice (I like to choose mostly consistent thematic open groups), and Card choice.  Going full out mage plays a lot different from playing saboteur or Warlord.  Depending on your win/loss ratio it can take awhile to get to the build you want (unlike heroes that get their xp each round regardless of outcome), but if you stick to your build, you can expect to have a mostly unique thematic setup by the time you reach the Interlude.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

The OL has a TON of personality, based on plot deck choice, monster choice (I like to choose mostly consistent thematic open groups), and Card choice.  Going full out mage plays a lot different from playing saboteur or Warlord.  Depending on your win/loss ratio it can take awhile to get to the build you want (unlike heroes that get their xp each round regardless of outcome), but if you stick to your build, you can expect to have a mostly unique thematic setup by the time you reach the Interlude.

Sorry, but I think we will just have to disagree there. I've played encounters where I haven't seen the specific Overlord class cards. Even later after having bought 5 class cards that probably costs 8xp or so it is still just 1/3 of your whole deck. Compare that to the heroes who have no generic abilities to begin with. Everything is unique to them and they get to use it constantly.

So lets add the plot deck, but to use the plot deck you have to slow down even more the recycling of your class deck so they are even less relevant now.

Regarding the monster groups, sure you can pick what groups to use but your saboteur goblins aren't any different from my infector goblins.

In my mind this game has so much potential, and the hero mechanics are mostly cool, they just totally missed the opportunity to make the overlord fun.

I also feel like the overlord is always on the defense and the heroes just wade in killing everything in their path with ease. Yeah I would rather have a big epic dragon battle instead of a dragon that is a bit more inconvenient to kill than the goblin archer. Getting knocked down as the heroes is most often a similar nuisance as it is to get stunned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, KronikAlkoholik said:

I feel like we are stepping into a very competitive way of playing this game. I'm more about playing for fun and a good narrative ( I'm still playing as a dungeon master instead of as an opponent ) and I don't mind losing along the way. But losing while not having fun makes the not having fun even worse. They where obviously having fun while I wasn't.

My grief with the game is how the overlord works, just isn't interesting enough and little way to personalize your experience.

Well, competitive is the way the game works. You find synergy in monster, OL and Plot combinations; to exploit their weaknesses and crush their dreams.

If you're not playing to exploit their weaknesses and crush their dreams you will get left behind and your options and actions are going to end up feeling progressively pointless and impotent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, KronikAlkoholik said:

I also feel like the overlord is always on the defense and the heroes just wade in killing everything in their path with ease. Yeah I would rather have a big epic dragon battle instead of a dragon that is a bit more inconvenient to kill than the goblin archer. Getting knocked down as the heroes is most often a similar nuisance as it is to get stunned.

Yes, the heroes are very much the classic satirical D&D murder-hobos level of power... mostly.  My typical rule of thumb is 1 monster group kills 1.5 heroes, and 1 hero kills 2 monsters.  So in a roughly average monster group of 3 monsters, it mostly balances out to 2v2 (in a 4 hero game), which means you need 2 monster groups (or 2 rounds without taking losses) to wipe the heroes.  However this is all about who gets to attack first, since heroes usually go first, its up to the OL to position and control the map defensively to get into position to attack.  This is made slightly easier due to the number or monster groups the OL has in play.  Add in that in most cases the OLs win condition is time based (8 rounds, move token to X, gain X fatigue tokens in play area, etc), yes, the OL is usually playing defensively.

But isn't defensive playing exactly what the OL 'should' be doing?  Thematically, the OL is a schemer, a pretender to the throne, a plotting villain with pieces in play for some big payoff.  The OL is not trying to wipe out the heroes, the heroes are trying to foil his plans, mess up his schemes, and disrupt his machinations.  The OL hasn't stocked each dungeon with is best monsters or his greatest threats, he has utilized the bare minimum of his power necessary to accomplish his goals.  The heroes are an overwhelming force, a small army of highly skilled warriors deep behind his lines, or too close to his schemes to simply eradicate without calling too much attention to himself, and only through careful tactics and the judicious application of power can he delay them long enough to see his plans to fruition.

One thing to remember is that when you kill (or damage) heroes, what you are costing them is ACTIONS.  Either full turns, or (far more commonly) single actions. Actions are the most precious resource in Descent, and you want to use up as many of the heroes actions doing anything OTHER than forwarding their goals as you can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to your original topic though, I would highly recommend going through the campaign with the Road to Legend app.  Makes for a much less competitive gaming session and it will help you as the OL by learning and playing from the heroes point of view.

Hasnatir likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Silidus said:

Back to your original topic though, I would highly recommend going through the campaign with the Road to Legend app.  Makes for a much less competitive gaming session and it will help you as the OL by learning and playing from the heroes point of view.

This. And if you prefer playing as a dungeon master, Road to Legend is exactly for you.

We regularly play it as a 5 player group. I usually don't play a hero, but instead manage the app, read the flavor texts, move the monsters (as instructed by the app), roll their dice etc.

It works great and there is no competetive pressure, because the "Dungeon Master" can still advise the heroes. I'd definitely recommend to give this a try.

lucaster likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/13/2017 at 8:59 PM, Zaltyre said:

 

Are ..

Edited by Ceahorse
Can't delete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its all just about the Threats You Build up as an OL...if you do it correctly and Play according to the rules , it will be **** of a Fun to watch the Heroes again and again Discussing their round ...Not knowing which trap Awaits them this time Leading to their next loss

 

in my a opinion rather the OL needs a nerve than the Heroes 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Andi1066 said:

Its all just about the Threats You Build up as an OL...if you do it correctly and Play according to the rules , it will be **** of a Fun to watch the Heroes again and again Discussing their round ...Not knowing which trap Awaits them this time Leading to their next loss

 

in my a opinion rather the OL needs a nerve than the Heroes 

It's kinda odd but I am feeling that way too.  Even in Trollfens or  Heirs of Blood I find that I (as the OL) either absolutely stomp the heroes into the dust, or BARELY lose by a single turn or single roll.  I think part of that is the 4 hero team vs 2 hero team, as I have said before, 2 heroes with the extra attack rule are more mobile and more dangerous than an entire group of 4 heroes, and as the OL you are mostly dealing with groups of minions without masters, which means your toolbox is far diminished. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Silidus said:

It's kinda odd but I am feeling that way too.  Even in Trollfens or  Heirs of Blood I find that I (as the OL) either absolutely stomp the heroes into the dust, or BARELY lose by a single turn or single roll.  I think part of that is the 4 hero team vs 2 hero team, as I have said before, 2 heroes with the extra attack rule are more mobile and more dangerous than an entire group of 4 heroes, and as the OL you are mostly dealing with groups of minions without masters, which means your toolbox is far diminished. 

Yeah the new rule giving two heroes three heroes worth of attacks is brutal. I'm 15 rounds into trial of the bear at this point and the main monster has almost never even gotten a chance to act. It's pretty much just spawn>die, the only thing wearing me down are crystal effects when no crystals are present.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 13.10.2017 at 5:54 PM, KronikAlkoholik said:

I feel like we are stepping into a very competitive way of playing this game. I'm more about playing for fun and a good narrative ( I'm still playing as a dungeon master instead of as an opponent ) and I don't mind losing along the way. But losing while not having fun makes the not having fun even worse. They where obviously having fun while I wasn't.

 

My experience is that heroes will usually play extremely competitively. And that is the point of the game. It is not a Pen and Paper RPG and honestly I think that is exactly what makes it fun. Do not get me wrong, I play a lot of Pen and Paper RPGs, but combat tends to just be rather boring in comparison. It is usually much more focused on your build than your execution and I do feel that Descent manages better to make it interesting how you choose to execute your abilities, both as heroes and overlord.
You can decide your turn order and carefully set up a great chain of attacks, you have a lot of tactical resources as opposed to the more strategic resources of most Pen and Paper gaming (where it is more about saving uses of your limited abilities and not like descent where there is the ebb and flow of fatigue, exhaustions and card draws in a single encounter) and that is fun.

...but you do not roleplay in combat here. The story and flair is for the narration that is mostly before and after.

So you should do everything to defeat the heroes when they do everything to defeat you.
The Overlord can do extremely brutal combos, you end up getting to choose tons of interesting monsters and if you want a persistent upgrade:
Buy one Plotdeck with abilities that do not cost you threat to activate!

Belthir allows you to power plotcards by discarding a trap instead, this makes you much more versatile.
Valyndra allows you to power up all big monsters permanently, even though it is costly (but +1 damage on all attacks is very nice!).
Trystaine Olliven gets three cards which do not cost threat, all of them focused on master monsters, one to get extra surges but risk the monster being defeated if you do not do damage, one to suffer damage to increase the power of an attack and one to activate a master monster during another groups activation.
And all the Mists of Bilehall decks have a nice zero cost aility as well.
The Infector and Enchanter decks as well as the Servants provide overlord cards that stay in play (though most of them still need to be drawn).

There are a number of things that make the Overlord a lot more fun.
And while the base set alone may be a bit less rewarding, you still get to choose a good number of solid monsters which can be used to good effect to make it harder for the heroes. Merriods can immobilize at range and completely shut down melee heroes, Shadow Dragons are actually very nicely defensive early on (if you do not have a strong ranged attacker, you will not have an easy time damaging them), Fleshmoulders can make big monsters last longer, Barghests can shut down fatigue based abilities at critical moments, etc.
 

If you are willing to play as a competitive Overlord, you will easily completely shut down your heroes.

Hasnatir, DerDelphi and Silidus like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

If you are willing to play as a competitive Overlord, you will easily completely shut down your heroes.

This is not my experience, but maybe I'm just bad. I feel also that the overlord has to do a lot more work to be competitive. Heroes just have to play tactically in combat while the overlord seems to have to plan everything before hand. Also the overlord needs to go out and buy the "right" lieutenant packs while heroes get theirs out of the box. There also always seems to be some sort of a drawback to all better overlord actions. I started to compare Star Wars imperial cards to Descent overlord cards and it just pissed me off.

For plot cards you have to spend limited resource, for something like the aforementioned Raider Armory, just to get +1 surges for 1 round, while in SW:IA you might get a power that gives 2 health, for the duration of the combat. One is a top tier plot card, the other is a mid tier class card. One is a permanent power, the other you have to spend threat tokens to get.

It just feels unfair that the heroes go into a combat with a clean slate. There are no 1 use items, non reusable resources or other hard limits on them. The overlord on the other hand loses some monsters permanently, has to draw cards that can be used only once per deck cycle (or even once per encounter, can't remember if discard is shuffled back in when empty), has to make hard decision on whether to use off his threat to activate some ability, or save it to buy another.

Add to that a overlord is barely unique, he gets his class stuff later instead of immediately like the heroes, if he buys every card of a class it would cost him 11xp, not sure that a campaign even has that much, and still his deck would be less than half class specific. Sure there are plot cards, but they aren't even in the base box or any expansion. You can only get them from Lieutenants.

Descent overlord just obviously is not for me.

lucaster likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now