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Svarun2

Sea of blood - not playtested whatsoever

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svarun said:

 

O really carbon ? haha man ....

 

 

You'll note that we actually still 'won' the level 7-4, CT wise.
So except for the stupidity of swimming shadowcloaked bosses (and the unique fact that it doesn't have clear instructions for dealing with multiple bosses and opening the portal), it's a hard level, sure, but still extremely do-able. That's 1 hard (but only in terms of time) and 2 easy for us so far.

We also had the glyph on turn 1, and it was easily within cannon range (and the rubbish starting cannon too!) had the OL tried to defend it (he didn't, as his monsters wouldn't have been in trees and could have been picked off from a distance, though they were nearly all large enough to ignore knockback).

We also have both mages with Carried by Air feat in hand, neither playing it on this level because the situation wasn't serious enough.

If beasts had've been upgraded it would have been insanely hard and we wouldn't have gone near it!

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We played another island level last night in my OL campaign.

The beastmen in the fort one. Turned out to be pretty easy for the heroes taking 5 or 6 turns and not leaving me with any major gains going in to the next level - maybe 6 cards and 3 threat? I got one kill, so lost the level 3-5.

Mind you, just about everything is fairly easy for the heroes now. It is very late bronze (198 CT) and they have two upgrades each and so much fancy kit they struggle to fit things in their packs (my opponent averages better than one treasure per chest, while in the converse game we manage about 1 treasure per 3 chests).
Exploding skeletons are by far my best damage dealers. Even Silver Shades are easily taken out by the Ripper in one shot most of the time (and that hero has Keen Sight, so Shadowcloak is far less useful than usual). I very nearly CBed that weapon instead of Staff of the Grave!

OTOH I have one shard already in the lighthouse and the Siren has a second shard two trails away. The level is about to change and I have enough saved for Gold Eldritch if I want (or leave eldritch at silver and double upgrade humanoids since they are much easier to spawn close by in SoB), then straight to work on OL upgrades for the final battle (maybe a second Lt but I don't actually see much need since I have the Transport Gem in reserve for the Siren). I can't see the heroes beating their time pressure for now although they have already aimed everything they have at the final battle - the tank and runner just bought ship upgrades while any skill or upgrade that doesn't improve cannon shooting is ignored by the mage and main ranger (final battle is a ship battle). For example, Prodigy has been passed over, as has Koll's Mark and Saj's Mark - they don't help with shooting good cannons.

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my house rules to adress the problems w/Sea of Blood mentioned in this forum (and a few other changes in Descent in general):

1) If a lieutenent flees an encounter in SOB w/the heros, he is returned to his starting locationSimilar to RTL and makes it possible for heros to EFFECTIVELY chase down lieutenents to end sieges.

2) In encounters w/lieutenents in ports in SOB, if hero ship reaches opposite side of map and moves off the edge there, they have relieved the siege and the lieutenent must flee.  This rule makes for a fun battle, as the heros try to break thru the lieutenents lines, and avoids a sitzkrieg and/or having to chase the lieutenent all over the map, most often in vain (I know, I know, if you have such and such a skill w/such and such a weapon and character, you have a 23.4% chance of chasing down the siren but so what, its still broke IMO :).

3) Heros cannot steer ship off the edge of the map in an encounter in SOB, and a current can never do so either.  The heros can move their ship off the far side of the map via forward movement and/or current, but that takes time...  This forces heros to fight encounters, rather than flee w/o penalty, and makes for some fun running battles.

4) On island levels in SOB, the cavern entrance is always unlocked ie no need to kill bosses (except Shrouded Gulf and Bright Sea still have their special unlocking rule) but all heros must move through cave mouth in order to get to the next level.  Monsters may sit on the cave mouth, however, essentially bloccking it (a good potential tactic for bosses) and forcing the heros to kill them first.  This combination of rules eliminates the gamey tactic of the Overlord running his boss(es) all over the map away from the heros, all the while racking up threat.

5) Fatigue potions restore 4 fatigue and health potions restore 4 health, and the fatigue countermix is an absolute limit on total individual hero fatigue limits.  Fatigue is just too potent when used to blitz and prekill the small levels in RTL and/or SOB, and there needs to be some incentive to choose potions other than fatigue/vitality.

6) Every second diagnol space moved/traced across increases distance/range/MP cost by 1 (I have always disliked the time/space warps of unlimited diagnol movement lol :)

These rules seem to be working well for us - comments/questions/thoughts anyone?

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Corbon said:

svarun said:

 

O really carbon ? haha man ....

We also had the glyph on turn 1, and it was easily within cannon range (and the rubbish starting cannon too!) had the OL tried to defend it (he didn't, as his monsters wouldn't have been in trees and could have been picked off from a distance, though they were nearly all large enough to ignore knockback).

Carbon do you know that large monsters only need to occupy 1 tree space in order to get shadowcloak?

Ok i give up... you Carbon and your crew... are sooo good, that you ignore the fact that Sob islands are broken... (even though you described some really bad  OL gameplay action)

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svarun said:

Corbon said:

 

svarun said:

 

O really carbon ? haha man ....

We also had the glyph on turn 1, and it was easily within cannon range (and the rubbish starting cannon too!) had the OL tried to defend it (he didn't, as his monsters wouldn't have been in trees and could have been picked off from a distance, though they were nearly all large enough to ignore knockback).

 

 

Carbon do you know that large monsters only need to occupy 1 tree space in order to get shadowcloak?

Ok i give up... you Carbon and your crew... are sooo good, that you ignore the fact that Sob islands are broken... (even though you described some really bad  OL gameplay action)

Of course.

a) There are no trees adjacent to the glyph on this level
b) The only large monster is a (copper) master bane spider, whereas an alternate choice has a (silver) master Shade - much more useful
c) My opponent's ranged hero has the Keen Sight skill and ignores shadowcloak

yep, SOB islands are sooo broken we've had 3/4 considered as easy levels and 'won' the hard level - playing with two different OLs.

Defending the glyph directly would have been stupid - just giving away free kills to the heroes. Besides which, with the other heroes 'working' the Revenge on turn 1, turn two they would use the Revenge's glyph to glyph back to town and wouldn't need the shore glyph activated until after the runner hero had had his turn 3.

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I purchased Sea of Blood but havent played it yet.  Bit leery now.  It's late when Im reading this forum and it took me a second to realize that you were using the acronymn SOB for Sea of Blood and not something else with the same letters.  That what I get for reading while sleep deprived. 

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I am currently playing in a SoB game where we have 5 characters vs the Overlord. We are using a few house rules to help balance out the extra adventurer, but overall the game is played as is. We are just about to reach silver level, and so far the game is really close. The Overlord has about a 10 CT lead.

 

We arent really super competetive Descent players, but we all know the rules well and play tactically. The two main problems we have with the rules so far, and that we all feel should be addressed/changed officially revolve around encounters and Lts.

 

Encounters - SoB is all about the encounters. We purchased the game because of the new naval combat and we were pretty disappointed by some of the aspects. Mainly fleeing, which can quickly end a cool naval fight and brings no real consequences. Also, the fact that heroes have very little to gain from an encounter. At the most, they can gain 2 CTs. All it takes is for the OL to kill one or two guys, and the heroes are already behind. For the main selling point of the game, and the amount of effort they put into working on ship mechanics, it seems like such a waste to not encourage BOTH sides to participate in sea battles.

 

Lts - Fleeing Lts and Razing cities are out of control and very anti-climatic. First of all, we had the Siren added pretty early in our game. We end up spending too much effort chasing her around, trying to break her sieges, and when we do catch her she just runs away. The OL benefits from these delaying tactics, because every turn he gains a free CT. I cant even imagine how it will be when there are more then one LT. Traveling in SoB is sooo slow. If he decides to seperate the Lts by any distance, there is no way we will be able to stop him from razing the cities. And even when we do manage to catch a LT, he will just have it flee. I know its supposed to be possible to charge and kill the LT before they can even move, but to me thats really against the whole fantasy genre. So basically, the two possible outcomes to the super cool LT showdowns is 1) It dies before it can move or 2) It runs away. Thats really poor game design there. I personally would have went a completely different route with Lts and razing cities. I think it would be better if Lts could NOT flee at all. If they die, they respawn at their starting location. Make them worth like 5ish CT. I would also change razing. The OL does not win when he razes 5 cities. Each cities he razes would give him some sort of upgrade card, to show his growing power and spoils of war. That, combined with the fact that the heroes lose access to the city would be motivation enough to get the heroes involved in protecting the cities.

 

As far as the Island encounters go, we havent had too much of a problem with their balance. BUT, we do have 5 heroes and one of them is the teleporting mage. We don't decimate the islands, but they don't take any longer then the dungeon levels.

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I have to make this comment, if your group is almost at the same CT level as your OL, then maybe the Lt encounters are working as designed?

-shnar

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shnar said:

I have to make this comment, if your group is almost at the same CT level as your OL, then maybe the Lt encounters are working as designed?

-shnar

Or more likely Divine Favor is working as designed.

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Concerning Lieutenants fleeing, I came up with this idea which could help to balance things out:

A Lieutenant that flees an encounter is removed from the board. Every week at the start of the Overlord's turn, roll one power dice. On a surge, the Lieutenant reappears at his starting location.

Any thoughts ?

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Patmox said:

Concerning Lieutenants fleeing, I came up with this idea which could help to balance things out:

A Lieutenant that flees an encounter is removed from the board. Every week at the start of the Overlord's turn, roll one power dice. On a surge, the Lieutenant reappears at his starting location.

Any thoughts ?

That's interesting, put a delay to give the heroes some time to do anything besides chase LTs.  Maybe instead of a random chance, the LT is removed and can be replaced on it's starting location with the overlord's action (replacing his/her card play or upgrade), but with no conquest cost.  My experience as OL says to me that there are often more things I want to buy than I have turns to buy them, so if the OL keeps wanting to repeatedly send LTs after cities, keeping the party chasing around, they won't get anything else done either.  The one concern I have here is it could set up a loop where neither team does anything ever, but there are several of those in Descent - our personal table rule is "try to win, but don't be a jerk."

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Patmox said:

Concerning Lieutenants fleeing, I came up with this idea which could help to balance things out:

A Lieutenant that flees an encounter is removed from the board. Every week at the start of the Overlord's turn, roll one power dice. On a surge, the Lieutenant reappears at his starting location.

Any thoughts ?

That's overkill IMO. Just sending them back to their starting location will cost them many weeks worth of movement once the city(s) closest to that have already fallen.

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James McMurray said:

That's overkill IMO. Just sending them back to their starting location will cost them many weeks worth of movement once the city(s) closest to that have already fallen.

 

Except every LT starts in a different location, easily within reach of about 3 cities in 2 turns.  I admit I've only played through one sea of blood campaign, but I was easily able to keep 3 cities at a time under siege once the campaign hit silver.  I wasn't even playing very optimally, but I was able t raze 4 binding tokens as well as 5 cities, and the players were feeling frustrated because they couldn't do anything but full time try to stall my LTs.  

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Let's take The Siren for instance. If she decides to siege Garnott, she will need 4 weeks (actually 3 with siege engines) to attempt to raze the city. Let's say the heroes manage to make her flee; With the current rules she will just lose one week to move back to Garnott to start sieging again. In this case the heroes have earned themselves 4 weeks "peace".

I the Siren was to start off from her starting location, the heroes would just earn themselves 1 extra week (5 weeks) before having to deal with The Siren again.

Things are worse with Darkwind who starts at Wheeping Reach and is just one move away from 4 different cities ! In this case making him flee is practically useless as he will just start off from his starting location no matter what rule you decide to use. And this is not taking into account the fact that the heroes are going to spend their time at one point chasing mulitple lieutenants across the map and not being able to do anything else.

With the Power Dice rule, the heroes might earn themselves at least a fair amount of time doing other things than chasing Lieutenants around the board. It might also make the Overlord at least strongly consider before wanting to flee. This was actually the case in RtL where you would loose many weeks depending on the Overlord's keep location (I know what I'm talking about, I was the Beastman Lord whose keep was far down in Applewood Forest *sigh*).

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