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Ajax Romano

Instead of 2.0, how would you feel about reimplementation?

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With a saturation of Star Wars games (Destiny, X-Wing, Armada, Rebellion, Legion and now Outer Rim), would it be wise for FFG to reimplement the Imperial Assault format for another franchise or universe? If so, would you follow the change or abandon the game altogether? 

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If they split skirmish and campaign I think skirmish will be able to follow a seasonal release path. This will bring cards adjustment, more frequent rearrangement of meta and new content. I believe imperial assault skirmish should then be rebranded because the skirmish you buy with the core box is a total shame

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4 hours ago, Trevize84 said:

If they split skirmish and campaign I think skirmish will be able to follow a seasonal release path. This will bring cards adjustment, more frequent rearrangement of meta and new content. I believe imperial assault skirmish should then be rebranded because the skirmish you buy with the core box is a total shame

So... Legion? 

I’m mostly kidding of course, but I do think the existence of Legion might prevent them from doing that.  I do like the idea though.

4 hours ago, Ajax Romano said:

With a saturation of Star Wars games (Destiny, X-Wing, Armada, Rebellion, Legion and now Outer Rim), would it be wise for FFG to reimplement the Imperial Assault format for another franchise or universe? If so, would you follow the change or abandon the game altogether? 

I would probably follow the change.  I played the original Doom board game, missed/skipped Descent 1&2, and now IA is one of my favorites.  If they want to further refine the system and add tack on another IP I’d definitely be up to try it.

That said I’m liking what I see with the new LotRs game they’ve got coming up.  It different enough that I wouldn’t call it a reimplementation, but it should scratch the same itch.

Edited by Uninvited Guest

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by "reimplementation" do you mean like Descent -> Imperial Assault?

If so I don't think I would follow the new game, I would take a look at how it's different and grab as much as possible from the new one, for example if I was already heavily into Descent I would see if I could use IA's LOS and threat system

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I picked up Descent in the hope of getting more of that awesome IA fix, but Descent v2 is a massive step backwards from IA (which is essentially Descent v3 and includes many fixes and improvements). Gave up on it very quickly, as it's just awful by comparison, the game engine is complete toss without the improvements made in IA; which is a shame because the fantasy concept and models are pretty awesome.

I'd like to see a Descent v4, that used IA's Threat system, mission design, skirmish mode, etc. But this would basically have to be a complete reboot, redoing literally everything they've already done for that game, and there's not much sign that FFG are inclined to do that; anyway I wouldn't want to rebuy everything I've already bought, I'd want a free-or-cheap upgrade pack (and that's probably a good reason why FFG won't do it, if people won't pay for it).

Otherwise, if they did a version of IA but for some other IP... nah. Not that bothered to be honest, not if it's just a different skin on the same game. Give me more IA instead.

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12 hours ago, Bitterman said:

I picked up Descent in the hope of getting more of that awesome IA fix, but Descent v2 is a massive step backwards from IA (which is essentially Descent v3 and includes many fixes and improvements). Gave up on it very quickly, as it's just awful by comparison, the game engine is complete toss without the improvements made in IA; which is a shame because the fantasy concept and models are pretty awesome.

I believe it is matter of opinion. I like some of the Descent rules more than their IA counterparts (e.g. resting only from fatigue, not moving through enemy figures). Some I like less ("killing" heroes, LoS rules - we home rule it from IA), but on the whole I am undecided which is better

 

I would gladly see mechanics of "Descent 4.0". I would hope that after fantasy and SF it would be set in Lovercraftian or horror genre.

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It is of course just a matter of opinion, that's true; and to those who enjoy Descent, I say good luck to you and I hope you have fun with your games.

For me though, Descent 2.0 is horrible having only played it after playing Imperial Assault (Descent 3.0):

  • Without Wounded, Heroes can only stand up when they're defeated. So the Overlord will knock them down again. The weakest Hero will spend almost every action he ever takes, just standing up, only to get knocked down again. There is no incentive for the Overlord to move on and attack someone else, as they are encouraged to do in IA where in most missions the Imperial player wins by Wounding all the Heroes (and gets almost no benefit out of picking on them until they Withdraw). This is stupefyingly boring for that Hero player.
  • The "miss" result on the blue dice means every attack has a 1/6 chance of doing nothing at all. If you're ever forced to add a blue dice to your attack pool, that jumps to around 1/3 when you're supposed to be better at attacking with more dice. Compare to IA, where Dodge is on the white defensive dice and only used by nimble units - and "hurray, I Dodged!" is simply more fun than "oh FFS, I rolled a Miss".
  • Choosing monsters is a mess. Five Goblins, or two Shadow Dragons? Obviously the Shadow Dragons... every time they're available (it's not always a free choice, to be fair). Without Threat or some equivalent, there's simply no point taking weaker monsters. Ever.
  • Also, the Heroes get better as they earn XP; but then the Second Act upgrades all the monsters so it's even again, there's no sense of progression. Again, Threat and regular/elite units is vastly more elegant.
  • Being unable to move through enemy figures just means the Overlord player's best tactic, in almost every mission, is simply to block doorways. Nothing the Heroes can do about it except try to kill whatever's blocking. Every mission becomes a slugfest. Especially if there's a large figure around (those Shadow Dragons again) - large figure movement is complete rubbish in Descent. I can't remember how LOS works, but ISTR thinking that was rubbish too.
  • Quest information is open, so the Overlord player has no secrets and nothing to surprise the Heroes with, and there's no sense of story or discovery within a Quest. Quests are divided into two parts, so take up to twice as long to play for no readily apparent reason.
  • Most Descent Quests don't have turn limits and can't be won by knocking all the Heroes down. So it's entirely possible for a Quest to last basically forever, depending on how it's designed. The last Quest we played lasted three hours, was no closer to either side winning than when it started, and most of our players couldn't stay to finish it because they had to go home. None of the group have asked to play Descent again since. This is horrible game design (specific to that Quest, to be sure, but how many other Quests might be as bad? Not every IA mission is perfect but at least you know it's going to end).
  • Buy a Lieutenant pack for Descent, and if you've not chosen that Lieutenant's Threat deck for this campaign, you get nothing of value. Any and every expansion in IA has some of Command cards, Supply cards, Item cards, Skirmish Missions, and Side Missions; you can use the figures in it in both Skirmish and Campaign. There's not a single expansion pack for IA that offers nothing.
  • The "full" expansions don't offer much either. The Treasure Room is completely pointless for example.
  • Descent Heroes (of which there are many, which should be a good thing) are basically interchangeable as they all use the same archetypes and get a once-per-game power as the only thing to set them apart. IA Heroes are completely unique with their own feel in every single round of every single game.
  • No Skirmish. Say no more.

It's a real shame because many of the models are lovely, and we were all looking forward to playing "fantasy IA" while waiting for more IA campaigns. We played Descent for two sessions and gave up.

Edited by Bitterman

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I think it's an interesting idea, but it would have to be a pretty popular franchise.

 

Going off of FFG's current lines, we have-  

 

Game of Thrones/LOTR-  Both would be really cool, but seem unlikely to me.  The fantasy theme would be too similar to Descent, and LOTR already has a new miniatures game coming out anyway.

Arkham Files- Mansions of Madness already exists, plus a million other Cthulhu games.  I'd expect Arkham Horror 3.0 to have a campaign mode over this.

Keyforge- I don't feel like a dungeon crawler plays to this IP's strengths

5 Rings/Android- Seem most likely to me, but I'm not sure they have the draw that Star Wars does

Fallout- Maybe?  Might be cool as an expansion to the Doom game, just to have a video game expanded universe line (though that seems unlikely to actually happen)

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It would have been great for 40K, back when FFG and GW were still on speaking terms. A team of Inquisitors fighting off Orks, Chaos Space Marines and Tyranids? Perfect for the IA treatment. Sadly we'll never see that now.

At least GW have started making their own board games again, in the last couple of years, instead of being 40K and AoS (*spit*) only; but none of them are close to as good as IA.

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2 hours ago, Bitterman said:

It is of course just a matter of opinion, that's true; and to those who enjoy Descent, I say good luck to you and I hope you have fun with your games.

For me though, Descent 2.0 is horrible having only played it after playing Imperial Assault (Descent 3.0):

  • Without Wounded, Heroes can only stand up when they're defeated. So the Overlord will knock them down again. The weakest Hero will spend almost every action he ever takes, just standing up, only to get knocked down again. There is no incentive for the Overlord to move on and attack someone else, as they are encouraged to do in IA where in most missions the Imperial player wins by Wounding all the Heroes (and gets almost no benefit out of picking on them until they Withdraw). This is stupefyingly boring for that Hero player.
  • The "miss" result on the blue dice means every attack has a 1/6 chance of doing nothing at all. If you're ever forced to add a blue dice to your attack pool, that jumps to around 1/3 when you're supposed to be better at attacking with more dice. Compare to IA, where Dodge is on the white defensive dice and only used by nimble units - and "hurray, I Dodged!" is simply more fun than "oh FFS, I rolled a Miss".
  • Choosing monsters is a mess. Five Goblins, or two Shadow Dragons? Obviously the Shadow Dragons... every time they're available (it's not always a free choice, to be fair). Without Threat or some equivalent, there's simply no point taking weaker monsters. Ever.
  • Also, the Heroes get better as they earn XP; but then the Second Act upgrades all the monsters so it's even again, there's no sense of progression. Again, Threat and regular/elite units is vastly more elegant.
  • Being unable to move through enemy figures just means the Overlord player's best tactic, in almost every mission, is simply to block doorways. Nothing the Heroes can do about it except try to kill whatever's blocking. Every mission becomes a slugfest. Especially if there's a large figure around (those Shadow Dragons again) - large figure movement is complete rubbish in Descent. I can't remember how LOS works, but ISTR thinking that was rubbish too.
  • Quest information is open, so the Overlord player has no secrets and nothing to surprise the Heroes with, and there's no sense of story or discovery within a Quest. Quests are divided into two parts, so take up to twice as long to play for no readily apparent reason.
  • Most Descent Quests don't have turn limits and can't be won by knocking all the Heroes down. So it's entirely possible for a Quest to last basically forever, depending on how it's designed. The last Quest we played lasted three hours, was no closer to either side winning than when it started, and most of our players couldn't stay to finish it because they had to go home. None of the group have asked to play Descent again since. This is horrible game design (specific to that Quest, to be sure, but how many other Quests might be as bad? Not every IA mission is perfect but at least you know it's going to end).
  • Buy a Lieutenant pack for Descent, and if you've not chosen that Lieutenant's Threat deck for this campaign, you get nothing of value. Any and every expansion in IA has some of Command cards, Supply cards, Item cards, Skirmish Missions, and Side Missions; you can use the figures in it in both Skirmish and Campaign. There's not a single expansion pack for IA that offers nothing.
  • The "full" expansions don't offer much either. The Treasure Room is completely pointless for example.
  • Descent Heroes (of which there are many, which should be a good thing) are basically interchangeable as they all use the same archetypes and get a once-per-game power as the only thing to set them apart. IA Heroes are completely unique with their own feel in every single round of every single game.
  • No Skirmish. Say no more.

It's a real shame because many of the models are lovely, and we were all looking forward to playing "fantasy IA" while waiting for more IA campaigns. We played Descent for two sessions and gave up.

I agree with some of your points, but not all of them.

As someone who played all Descent and IA campaigns released up to date, I can attest that in Descent campaigns are much more diversificated. Some of them have "slugfest" feeling, some have not. In some campaigns, almost every mission has time limit, in others the most prominent victory condition for overlord player is to defeat each hero at least once.

As for quest information - THAT is my favourite part. I think that the worst thing in IA is that evn after good play Rebels can lost because of some event they had no chance to predict. IMHO Descent is much more tactical, and IA is much more random.

Miss - I do not like misses on blue die. Fortunately, game offers many ways to manipulate rolls. Once again, IMO it is less random than IA.

I have sometimes hard time picking up units. And, being experienced overlord (I play as "evil guy" in more than half of our games) I almost never pick up Shadow Dragons. I prefer quantity over quality (maybe not goblins, but Bandits - sure!)

Full expansions offer new tiles, new campaigns, new heroes, new monsters, etc.  What to want more?  BTW, Treasure Room is one of my favourite mechanics.

I prefer having many archetypes and many not-so-unique heroes over having limited number of very unique ones. I like combining classes with individual abilities.

Lack of skirmish: of course, that is a big point. I am only comparing campaigns. I love skirmish.

 

To sum it up: I think that I prefer descent campaign slightly over IA campaign. But as a whole game, I surely prefer to have IA than Descent (I have both). 

 

EDIT: And of course, as you can see, these are just preferences. For example, I can fully understand if someone prefers limited (in comparison) number of more unique-feeling heroes. But mine preferences are where they are ;)

 As for next reimplementation, I would love Arkham. I would also like WH40K. And I would love (but I dont know if it is possible) game in X-Com-ish setting (defend the earth against alien invasion from space) - I think that setting would be very fitting for small-squad infiltration game, which IMO Descent and IA are at their heart.

 

 

Edited by Jarema

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About Descent - adapting it to IA rules is very easy, there are a couple of variants made for that on bgg (including mine), this makes the game so much better. Doesn't solve some issues like the miss on the blue die - but there are characters and classes that deal with that and the issue is purely psychological anyway as the effect is the same as the white dice's dodge. Oh and - not all quests are divided into 2 parts, and those that are - well, the reason is obvious, you can play them on 2 sessions. And some IA missions are also in two parts.

As to IA - I thought skirmish was included due to licensing reason (FFG at the time could not publish "board games" in Star Wars universe, so IA officially was a miniature game). Not sure if the licensing issue with Hasbro is resolved or not.

Edited by Borsook

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5 hours ago, Borsook said:

As to IA - I thought skirmish was included due to licensing reason (FFG at the time could not publish "board games" in Star Wars universe, so IA officially was a miniature game). Not sure if the licensing issue with Hasbro is resolved or not.

The fact is, no body knows what’s really in the licensing agreement or issue (outside of those involved).  Technically there is no official word that it even exists; it’s just the logical conclusion to make as a result of the existing evidence.

What FFG has officially said was that skirmish came about late in development because play testers and devs had so much fun putting armies together and duking it out.

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7 hours ago, Borsook said:

As to IA - I thought skirmish was included due to licensing reason (FFG at the time could not publish "board games" in Star Wars universe, so IA officially was a miniature game). Not sure if the licensing issue with Hasbro is resolved or not.

The designers have stated in their interviews that skirmish was a way to try to figure out the deployment costs, and it was a late addition to the product.

FFG is designing and producing more Star Wars boardgames, so whatever the situation is between them, Hasbro, and Disney/LFL, it does seem to be long-term solution.

 

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