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subtrendy2

Hero/Monster Packs

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Starting to go down the Descent rabbit hole (ahhh, that's why they named the game that!) and I noticed something interesting.  While technically the claim that no new expansions have come out for Descent since the App was released is sort of correct, it ignores one thing- the Hero and Monster packs (of which there are a decent amount- as far as I can tell, seems like 9 of these bad boys came out pretty much simultaneously).

 

Basically, each of these add new heroes (a keyword that is pretty much synonymous between our two games) and monsters (equivalent to "Imperial" units), as well as a few new missions.  

 

Could this be a productive route for IA in the future?  First of all, it would be great to get a big influx of new heroes (Descent has so many more than we do) and I think we could pretty easily find some interesting "evil" units to fill these packs.  We could really go off the grid here- sure, we could get some Deathtroopers and such, but maybe some weirder stuff like bigger creatures.  

 

In Descent, these packs seem to come with 4 heroes and 3 enemy types.  As far as I can tell, Descent minis seem to be a bit smaller than IA- however, they also have two of each monster model for minion/master (elite and non-elite).  Since the really big stuff (like a rancor or most vehicles) don't have multiple deployment cards, I think that getting 3 enemy types could still be reasonable.  4 Heroes seems like a lot (since no expansion has ever had that many) especially when multiplied by 9 (in an ideal world, of course) but I wouldn't be one to complain about essentially almost tripling our hero count.   

 

Now, one big caveat- a lot (if not all) of the stuff in these packs was apparently stuff repurposed from the first edition of the game.  IA doesn't really have that advantage, of course, since we are the first edition.

 

Also, from what I can tell, it looks like Descent got some campaign books at some point, too- including ones for co-op, non-app campaigns.  So, really, at this point the main thing they're not getting is simply tiles. 

 

Personally, I wouldn't mind that model for IA at all.  What do you guys think?

(and any corrections to misconceptions I've gotten about Descent in the 24 hours I've been looking into it are welcome)

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This is what I was alluding to in this post: 

If new campaign content is going to now be primarily app focused, it would be great to be able to get new heroes and items for the fraction of the price of a boxed expansion. They could also include new Imperial class and Agenda cards as well. Would also be great if they sold just books that were campaign missions and maybe had more lore content and possibly were tied into existing expansions. Sort of like expansion add-ons. Imagine if they released a new campaign book for the core set that utilized HoTE's streamlined campaign structure and that included expanded backstories for the 6 Core set heroes as well as for General Weiss? Sort of like an RPG manual. But they could also include command cards and updated skirmish cards to attract the skirmish players, as they always do. They could do that for all of the expansions as well. I'm guessing the profit margins on a $20 book with some cards would be a lot higher than on a full box with minis tiles and chits. 

People would buy it. After seeing so many posts here and on social media of people saying they bought every single expansion for the game they could in anticipation of the app without even blinking or actually doing any research, I am a firm believer in the power of the hype that still surrounds the campaign side of this game. But I grow weary of getting more big box expansions and would like to start seeing more nuanced additions to the game that aren't just the same old formula.

Edited by Tvboy

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A Galaxy to Explore

As we mention above, Legends of the Alliance and its cooperative campaign experience are not intended to replace the traditional campaign for Imperial Assault. Instead, it provides a new option for players looking for a different experience. And in fact, Legends of the Alliance scales and includes more content based on the size of your physical Imperial Assault collection!

Edited by a1bert

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@a1bert You're talking about replacing existing campaign content, we get that, but they haven't stated yet whether they plan to continue releasing more traditional campaigns or if their going to focus their (rumored to be) extremely limited design assets on creating new app content. I think it's unlikely that we've seen the last traditional box expansion for IA, but there is precedent for the idea as Descent's Road to Legend app marked the end of new non-digital content for that game, so we're not crazy doomsayers for pointing that out. 

Without any announcements for the next wave (which I'm sure will come right after I make this post) Descent's path is the only concrete example we have of what happens to a game after a co-op app is released. Yes Descent doesn't have a skirmish mode, but you don't need big boxes to support the game's skirmish mode either. 

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I don't think the app would stand alone without new releases. I think skirmish would be quickly gone without new releases. The campaign would probably take the longest to "die" with all of the existing content, both from FFG and from fans. (I have not even played everything from the core box yet!)

The app seems to be more of a marketing tool, and trying to live on promoting the existing content will be a short road. To support the app FFG needs revenue from the physical expansions. Adding the current expansion content to the app goes only so far.

Time will tell. Hopefully your post prompts a new announcement.

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Right, I think that's why we need new releases.  That's what these packs would be.

 

And honestly, I'd be happy with whatever we get, as long as we get something (involving more minis).  I just thought this was an interesting release on Descent's part, and I wouldn't mind the shot in the arm it'd give campaign players.

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You don't need traditional box exansions to keep Skirmish alive. The standalone figure packs can do that, adding new figures cards and scenarios. Wave 9 had a huge impact on the skirmish metagame and didn't have a box expansion associated with it. The standalone packs could even utilize map tiles from previous expansions the way that the Bantha Rider pack utilized map tiles from Twin Shadows.   

 

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The book costs way more than the minis and cardboard.

I think they will continue to release things unless they want the game to die. No releases = no money. They've already paid for the IP, they'll milk it as far as they can. Right now i think there is only ome guy working on skirmish and maybe one on campaign, so there s not that much invest ment to keep it going

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Hero and monster packs were made as a way to re-print heroes and monsters from the 1st edition of descent. New players could not be expected to track down the old stuff and buy the conversion kit. They came out pretty rapidly given their content was mostly designed along with the initial launch of second edition.

The only thing I would want to see in terms of different content are paper maps for special missions and larger terrain spaces. Like imagine fighting in the interior of a YT freighter. Also paper maps would make skirmish very easy.

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There are some other things I'm finding in Descent that I would've loved to see in IA, too.

 

I think the idea of travelling to your mission is pretty cool.  Obviously it couldn't work the same way in this game given:

a) We have side missions that probably couldn't all be accounted for in IA

b) Even if we could account for them, there'd be an insane and unmanageable amount of planets that'd need to be listed on the map

c) Even if we could list all planets, not all missions even list what planet they're on anyway.

 

I think it would be cool to have something like this before every mission, though- something not unlike LotA's "encounter" thing.  I often find that the start of a mission kind of alienates the Rebels a little bit.  Too often the text reads something like this:

"You trudge through the swamp, hot air stinging your lungs as you hear your companions groan in despair."  

Overly flowery descriptions that theoretically would lend atmosphere to the game, but are often taken for granted for because the Rebels are more interested in what they're doing- especially since they'll soon be doing it.

Adding in a little bit of roleplaying like that could be great.

 

Also, from what I can tell from Descent, it appears that earlier missions played in a campaign have some effect and correspond to the later ones.

 

Additionally, I really like the "encounter" thing, in that every quest (mission) is divided up into two parts.  

Spoiler to some similar things that happen in IA- you know what I'm talking about if you've played it:

[In the Return to Hoth finale, a similar thing happens in that the mission is divided into two parts- a Star Destroyer, and the Star Destroyer crashed on a snowy planet.  My players loved that, they thought it was so cool!

In other expansions, parts of the map are modified- added, moved, etc.  We haven't played much of this yet, but I think my players would like that, too.)

Basically, I feel like between encounters and the Act structure, a campaign just seems like it could be a more cohesive experience in Descent.  

 

I love side missions in IA, but it seems like Descent's campaign structure is way more interesting.  I'm not sure how we'd be able to incorporate some of this stuff, but I think it'd be cool.

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My preference would be:

1. A few (2-3 ally/villain packs worth of) new figures and a new Campaign book and
2. An additional, different campaign in the app

In my opinion we have more than enough tiles - and to be honest: enough heroes and side missions - for a few dozen new adventures.

What this game lacks the most (PvE wise) is enthralling campaigns. With really brancing story lines, alternate endings and such. More replayability.
For all the stuff that's been released you could make 10 extra campaign books.

Edited by Findariel

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Agreed- though there's one tile type I wouldn't mind having: stone/cave/volcanic.

 

It would be cool to have Sullust/Shu-Torun/etc.

I think we got way too many desert tiles (core, Twin Shadows, Jabba's Realm) when I would've liked more variety.

 

Plus, I like the rules for Descent for pits and lava.  Volcanic and cave tiles could bring some interesting variety to the maps, especially since tiles generally don't have a whole lot of interesting things on them by default.

Edited by subtrendy2

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