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Jason Novak

New to the game ... am I playing the Overlord correctly?

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I just recently picked up Descent and played a couple the first two quests with my cousin. We're planing to get together over Christmas but I have some questions.

Maybe I'm overlooking something in the rules, but it seems like it's pretty easy to crush the heroes, and it sounds like the expansions make the overlord even tougher. I basically just kept throwing all my monsters and traps at him and took away all his points when he was only halfway though the map ... though wel kept playing.  In the second game I played a NPC hero to help out, and was a little less vicious with the traps and monsters and he finished, though I could have killed him off.

My first though was the once you spawn a monster that maybe the card was removed from the game so the overload would have to balance it out ... but I double checked and it just goes into the discard pile and is kept in the game?

So then I thought maybe you're supposed to play the overlord more like the dungeon master in D&D ... rather then it being you vs them trying to win the game, the overlord is more of a story teller and tries to keep the game moving along and doesn't want to just crush the heroes, but puts out enough monsters to keep it challenging?

Jason

 

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1V1 Can be pretty tough, Remember to use your monsters cards with the 2 on them and you only get 2 threat per turn.

Most of my games, I have won the first round of the dungeon against the heroes, and usually helped them win the second.

But once or twice they have beaten me down for a victory.

I find it a great challenge to keep winning sometimes as they get more and more powerful, and as they learn the game better they come up with new and better stratagies that I have to devise ways around.

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you might be better served letting the hero party take 2-4  members, and letting your cousin play all of them. Otherwise you may want to give some bennies to the single character, (like letting them pick their character, or giving them bonus health or fatigue, or starting them with some better equipment) since they're working from a severe deficit.

The deficit in question being about 1/8 as effective as a whole party. 

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 Hi Jason,

Welcome to the forums. Most everybody, myself included, who plays the game for the first time, thinks the OL is way too powerful.  In my first game, I crushed the heroes and they never got out of the first room!

But be rest assured... the game is mostly pretty balanced, despite the endless debates raging here on the forums. Once the heroes figure out the tricks and right strategies, the OL will need all the help (s)he can get to win.

I'm by no means as seasoned a veteren as a lot of other people on this forum are, but here are some tips I can think of for the heroes. If they adapt even just these simple things, you'll find your games much more evenly matched.  Start with these, read around the forums, and you guys will do just fine with minimal (if any) need to add your own "house rules"

Tips for Heroes 101

- Keep moving!!!  Traditional RPG's reward you for lingering and "clearing a room" of monsters. With Descent, monsters don't give XP.  Keep moving, and don't give the Overlord a chance to build mounds of Threat.

- Spread out a bit and cover your lines of sight. Try to position your heroes so that they can see into as many nooks and crannies as possible so the Overlord can't spawn.

- Use fatigue like crazy. Drink fatigue potions like water. This may be the single best thing a hero can do to double (or more) his or her efficency every round.

-Focus on the end goal.  If your mission to kill the Giant, then focus on getting to a gold chest, powering up, and killing that guy. Don't linger and gather every single little pile of gold.  Again, time is on the Overlord's side!

Good luck! And be sure to stick around and let us know how your sessions go.

J

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The number of heroes is a significant factor in the game's difficulty; fewer heroes is harder for the heroes.

Also make sure that you are only playing one spawn card per turn, and that you're spawning the monsters outside the heroes line-of-sight (note that other monsters do not block LOS for purposes of spawning).

Heroes can also be a lot more effective if they look at the dice and figure out the actual range and damage of various weapons (damage is generally a lot more important than range).  For example, starting the game with the Bow is almost always a bad idea, and can lead to lots of wasted actions.

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Thanks for replies, it sounds like where's on track. The first game took about 6 hours, but that included going over the rules and learning the ropes. The second game actually took almost as long ... definately played smarter, but maybe I was trying too hard to be evil and end the game early.

In the second game I played an NPC so there were 3 heroes without making the monsters stronger. My cousin has a strong warrior and wizard character that lucked out with some pretty nice skill cards I suspect he'll keep for the rest of the sessions:

tough, mighty, and parry

mata and kata, prodigy, inner fire

Started to catch onto line of sight, harder to utilize in the 2nd quest though. We'll give it another try over Christmas.

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If your heroes keep losing, you can use some house rules until they learn. This is one I use when playing against begginer heroes:

The false friend rule: When a hero dies, the other heroes may decide to keep the conquest tokens but leave the hero dead. The monsters keep their stats and the OL keeps collecting threat tokens as if all the heroes where in play. The heroes can resurrect their fallen fellow at the beggining of any round. At the end of the quest, if there is any dead hero, the OL wins. So the heroes can only win if they are all alive at the end, but they can survive a temporal lack of conquest tokens when a gliph is near.

There are other house rules like this one that help inexperienced players. This one is quite interesting when there are many hero players as they can discuss who deserves to be resurrected.

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If you really want to shift the balance towards the heroes, you can let the OL draw 1 card instead of 2 (or 2, instead of 3 with evil genius out).

This has quite some impact, but we use this house rule ourselves to give the heroes a fair chance.

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I like to play this game with my 6 year old son, me playing both OL and hero while he is playing another hero (and decides what to do). Mostly the OL has the better chances, especially in the beginning, but after all the heroes won all the (three) times. My advise is: Concentrate on your mission, sometimes ignoring the other guys. Hurry up!

But maybe I do'n't want him to loose, such a noise.

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Hi Jason,

 

A few more things:

 

1)      Check out the tips from Kevin for Heroes: http://new.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=26&epn=0

 

2)      And for the Overlord: http://new.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=30&epn=0

 

3)      Looking through the forums regularly will give you a better handle on the rules – there are lots to remember (especially with the expansions in play) and some minor detours from the Rules As Written can have big effects.

4)      Check out the list of unanswered question at the top of the Forum page & the FAQs too: http://new.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite_sec.asp?eidm=5&esem=4

 

 

 

 

Hope this helps.

 

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First - I wouldn't hesitate in quickly winning a game where it would be easy to do so.  Give your player(s) advice that would have kept the game going longer, and if time allowed Replay the quest - you have all the stuff out already, and you probably have the time to kill anyway.  If you do so feel free to switch out a character or two, and/or switch out some skills that may better compliment the Heroes you keep in play. 

Secondly - I would NEVER put in a house rule that was designed to be temporary.  It would only act as a crutch and will not aid in the teaching of  the nuances of the game.  The removal of the rule may do more harm than good.

 

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