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ExcelsiorH

Overlord Winning Before Heroes Can React?

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Sounds like they blew the first encounter pretty bad then.  When we played, the OL got zero zombies off the board. so in the second encounter, he only had the master zombie left to beat on him.  That gave us a lot of breathing room in the second encounter.

Clearly your players are struggling, but so far it seems to either be bad luck, poor planing, or bad decision making.  Not a game design flaw.

The heroes should know the adventure book inside and out.  Nothing in it is for the Overlords eyes only.

The masquerade is a difficult quest that is heavily slanted in the OL's favor.  If the heroes win First Blood, (which they should) Then they should examine all 5 quests available to them and pick one they can win.  Like Fat Goblin for instance, which in my opinion is slanted in the heroes favor.

I imagine that the masquerade is a quest designed for the OL to pick as a next quest if he wins, and for the Heroes to avoid picking if they are not sure they can handle it.

 

Lastly I would suggest that you, the current OL, pass on some of your talent to your players by being one of them in your next campaign.

I have to imagine that seeing it from both sides will give your group a little of there lost hope back.  And they can see first hand how you would do things in their shoes.

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Mrbob0069 said:

 When we played, the OL got zero zombies off the board.

Wow, what did he have Merick doing for the first two turns then?

I'll admit there is a lot of room for player and Overlord interference when discerning balance. It sounds like my players and your Overlord should hook up and we should play (haha).

I need to play more and see different setups for the hero team but so far the strategy of blocking the halls with a big monster works every time.

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Slinthas said:

Also, I don't know how your 'cleric' is adding i grey dice, since cleric is not a class. - Cleric is the Archtype, Spiritspeaker is the class….I work on a game called Rift, where Cleric is the Class, and Spiritspeaker would be the soul, its just a terminology difference, means the same crap. Nitpicking that seems a bit rediculous. As for the ability its called: Stoneskin - it reads When you or a hero within 3 spaces is attacked, before dice are rolled, exhaust this card to add 1 additional grey dice to that hero's defense pool. So yeah thats how the Cleric (and it IS STILL A CLERIC just because it subspecialized in Spiritspeaker) adds an extra grey dice.

I promise I'm not nitpicking further, but this confused the hell out of me  :)  The archetype is Healer, which is then divided into two classes, Spiritspeaker and Disciple.  I keep mistakenly calling Disciple 'Cleric', which I think was why I found this so confusing.  But, for anyone that's reading, this is the correct  (as far as I understand it) terminology

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MasterBeastman said:

Mrbob0069 said:

 

 When we played, the OL got zero zombies off the board.

 

 

Wow, what did he have Merick doing for the first two turns then?

I'll admit there is a lot of room for player and Overlord interference when discerning balance. It sounds like my players and your Overlord should hook up and we should play (haha).

I need to play more and see different setups for the hero team but so far the strategy of blocking the halls with a big monster works every time.

 

He blocked the way with something big (I forget what at the time), and the rogue used his learned power to run thruo enemy spaces,

Coupled with female archers heroic feat to give them both a free move, he was in the search room first round.

 

The rest of first round archer , necro, and animate beat on monster blocking way.  Second round, rogue double searched and found key droping the door.

Archer finished off monster, necro moved forword, dismissed animate, (non action) resummoned animate, and lastly activated animate to kill zombie.

After that we jus made sure to kill every zombie he summoned.

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So I got my copy of D2 last night and got a chance to read through all the quests - something our party of heroes didn't have a chance to do before starting the campaign.  Seems like we just picked bad and got 3 quests that were pretty similar in structure, making the playstyle stale, frustrating, and boring.

But looking forward at our interlude (knowing which it will be) and the Act 2 quests available to us - I'm very excited.  I like that there's a lot more variety coming up, so I think we'll see a change of tactics too.

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 So I tried a fat goblin, 1st encounter the way the OP described including monster groups and didn't have a problem as the heroes. Punched a hole, ran up with my scout and next turn the heroes who cleared a hole caught up while my scout got some kills on the objective runners.  I believe the clogging hallway strat, while good, isn't the overpowered strat it was made to be.

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 Played as overlord for Castle Daerion.

won the first mission, 2nd mission won on round 2. killed the guy with 1 hero in the room. Jain Fairwood  used her Heroic Feat to get alot of move.

 

OL is easy. way too easy, everyone hates me now

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 Castle Daerion does seem a bit ridiculous. The Ettin can start pretty much right in range of the target and just pound the heck out of him. I won on I think round 3 or 4 as the OL, and while the players got awfully close to killing the one Ettin, Alric was still around and he was close enough to finish off the target

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 Referring to encounter 1 of the Fat Goblin quest:

Although I know this is probably really "mean" of me as an OL… in one of our game sessions I completely blocked the beginning pathway with Barghests for a really long time (bad luck/bad strategy on the heroes part… take your pick). Essentially, I was able to take all 4 of the red tokens to the exit. After allowing 3 to exit, I kept the last one on the map right at the exit, forcing the hero players to fight their way all the way across the map to kill the goblin that was holding the objective token, all the while fighting through the endless hordes of monsters that spawn at the BEGINNING of the OL's turn at the entrance and exit that can be activated on the same turn… Since the victory conditions are: "Once all the red tokens are stolen or stored", keeping one on the map kept the map going indefinitely…

Long story short: The heroes were eventually able to place the red token on the farm tile but by this point, I had all 15 of my OL cards drawn and had severely damaged each hero. Needless to say, encounter 2 was a breeze… Has anyone done this before? >:) To be fair… the heroes had quite an epic battle to get to the exit tile, kill the goblin, and come all the way back lol! So in that way… it was pretty fun!

 

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I have made some calculations on the Castle Daerion second encounter:

Lets assume a 4 hero party and then we have 2 ettins. A master ettin do on average 4.3 damage per attack, and a minion ettin do 4.0 per attack. Sir Palamon have a grey and brown defense die, which blocks on average 2 shields per attack. This means the ettins do (4.3 - 2) + (4.0 - 2) = 4.3 damage per round. Sir Palamon have 25 health so he would last 25 / 4.3 = 5.8 rounds. This is double the number of rounds reported here. Are you letting your monsters do 2 attacks per round?

Sir Palamon have around 72% chance per round to marshal a militia, which means it takes around 7 rounds to marshal all of them and win the quest. This seems doable if players kills at least one ettin per round.

Bad die rolls, overlord cards and Alric Farrow's elbows is not accounted for.

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dadiXtrema said:

 Referring to encounter 1 of the Fat Goblin quest:

Although I know this is probably really "mean" of me as an OL… in one of our game sessions I completely blocked the beginning pathway with Barghests for a really long time (bad luck/bad strategy on the heroes part… take your pick). Essentially, I was able to take all 4 of the red tokens to the exit. After allowing 3 to exit, I kept the last one on the map right at the exit, forcing the hero players to fight their way all the way across the map to kill the goblin that was holding the objective token, all the while fighting through the endless hordes of monsters that spawn at the BEGINNING of the OL's turn at the entrance and exit that can be activated on the same turn… Since the victory conditions are: "Once all the red tokens are stolen or stored", keeping one on the map kept the map going indefinitely…

Long story short: The heroes were eventually able to place the red token on the farm tile but by this point, I had all 15 of my OL cards drawn and had severely damaged each hero. Needless to say, encounter 2 was a breeze… Has anyone done this before? >:) To be fair… the heroes had quite an epic battle to get to the exit tile, kill the goblin, and come all the way back lol! So in that way… it was pretty fun!

 

This is what we like to call a d*ck move. But, it also goes against the "essence" of the game. Your job, as OL, is not to decimate the players, but to complete your objective. Your objective is to grab the red tokens and run, not sit on the map and try to destroy the players. I, personally, would never have played with you again. Mind you, those that know me know that I can be a d*ck when I play too, but I always keep to the essence of the game.

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rustedghost said:

 ettins, zombies, open group all attack him

Grisban: Lets have a beer first !
Leoric: Where's my book? Did I forget my book?
Ashrian: My feet hurts…
Tomble: ..ooo…shinies…mine…

 

The open group should be dead after the first round, the zombies and one ettin after second hero round.

Use your heroic feats and all your fatigue as early as possible.

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matpe said:

Bad die rolls, overlord cards and Alric Farrow's elbows is not accounted for.

And therein lies the problem.  I've played Castle Daerion twice, once as OL, and once as a Hero, both times the OL won, despite good tactics by the heroes.

Quoting dice averages is all well and good, but we do not live in an average world.  You also mention that there are other variables, (OL cards, Feats, misses, etc.).  Now, as OL, I find myself almost never using my cards during Encounter 1.  The fact is that Encounter 2 is really the only one that matters.  So you can bet on me having at least 1 Dash and 1 Frenzy in my hands during Encounter 2 to give you a bad day.

When I played as Heroes (a two heroes games), two rounds of absolutely terrible defense rolls from Ser Palamon meant that he was dead on OL turn 3.  Frenzy is a ***** in this Quest, as are Hero misses.

When I played as OL, it was almost the same situation, but with 4 heroes.  They ignored the open group on the stairs as much as they could, and just tried to get as far in as possible.  Sadly, the two Ettins can both move to attack him on the first OL turn, rolled well, and he rolled poorly.  And that almost ends the game.

Yes, all things being equal (though they rarely are), Castle Daerion should be a close game.  But all it takes is a couple bad/good rolls to tip the tables.  Especially if it chosen as second quest (which I've seen a few times) and the Heroes don't have many tricks.

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 Castle Daerion was our second quest. The party won the first encounter handily, but the second encounter I, as the OL, didn't have too much trouble.

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Ozymandias said:

Can any other OL's attest to this strategy in a real game sense?  Is it really as bad as the OP says or was it just bad dice/char selection?  I play the OL in my group and while I agree with the OL a bit in that, this is a game I am trying to win… I can definitely see where it would stop being fun regardless of what anyone thought of the tactic.

Again, looking to see if any other OL's have used this to the same effect.

 

I have been playing the overlord in our first run through and have used the blocking tactics to maximum effect. It has won me a scenario… it has also gotten a major monster killed off early allowing the heroes to win. It can go either way and its clearly part of the game and meant to be used. Also the heros can block the monsters but I dont hear anyone complaining about that.

 

My hero player is a skilled gamer in his own right and quickly adapted to the blocking tactics by moving more aggressively on the first turn or two and by using fatigue to stack double attacks on the offending monster. Its possible to block larg monsters simply by spacing out your heores so the monster has no place to expand making the move illegal. We discovered that by accident the first time but he now has it in his play book.

I know its very cliche but people need to learn to play before screaming BROKE!!!!! No insult intended I mean this game has been out what? 2 weeks?

Besides thats good game theory anyway learn to adapt first talk of changing things after its determined there is no solution.

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wootersl said:

 

 

This is what we like to call a d*ck move. But, it also goes against the "essence" of the game. Your job, as OL, is not to decimate the players, but to complete your objective. Your objective is to grab the red tokens and run, not sit on the map and try to destroy the players. I, personally, would never have played with you again. Mind you, those that know me know that I can be a d*ck when I play too, but I always keep to the essence of the game.

Since the post is talking about all the (possibly broken) ways that the OL could win and make the lives of the heroes a living hell (evil overlord hehe :) ), I think that this is one valid way to win that overall quest since there is little incentive for the OL to bring that last red objective token off the board in that encounter (2-4 more health for Splig during the next encounter vs. weakening the heroes while strengthening your position by drawing a lot of cards before the next encounter). Sure I agree it is a d*ck move but my point is that unless there is some sort of time limit placed on that encounter where there is pressure for both sides to finish it earlier, things like that can be abused. I think that the time pressure is primarily on the heroes to move/finish objectives faster than the OL(at least for Act I quests, not sure about Act II quests).

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But that is where my "essence" comment comes in. This is supposed to be a story. A grand epic tale (whether it's a single adventure or the entire campaign). The OL and the Heroes should be playing it that way without needing a time restraint. The idea of the story is that one side needs to quickly steal the stuff while the other side needs to quickly store it away. Plus, it's also about everyone having a good time. Instead of a time constraint I'd rather put in a rule that resets the number of cards in an OL's hand each adventure to prevent this kind of abuse. The heroes get no such award if they do it to the OL, it's not like they get XP per kill. Why should the OL get awarded for prolonging an encounter?

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wootersl said:

But that is where my "essence" comment comes in. This is supposed to be a story. A grand epic tale (whether it's a single adventure or the entire campaign). The OL and the Heroes should be playing it that way without needing a time restraint. The idea of the story is that one side needs to quickly steal the stuff while the other side needs to quickly store it away. Plus, it's also about everyone having a good time. Instead of a time constraint I'd rather put in a rule that resets the number of cards in an OL's hand each adventure to prevent this kind of abuse. The heroes get no such award if they do it to the OL, it's not like they get XP per kill. Why should the OL get awarded for prolonging an encounter?

I think the only limiter required to prevent this kind of abuse is the unofficial one of "I'm just not gonna play with you anymore," as was mentioned previously.

Having some bad luck or a mistake screw you over is bad enough.  Having the other side rub it in your face is something completely different.

That's called "Bad sportsmanship," and during GoT tournaments, as an organizer, I can actually disqualify people for behavior like that.

If you don't think people should play like that, don't play with people that play like that.

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wootersl said:

But that is where my "essence" comment comes in. This is supposed to be a story. A grand epic tale (whether it's a single adventure or the entire campaign). The OL and the Heroes should be playing it that way without needing a time restraint. The idea of the story is that one side needs to quickly steal the stuff while the other side needs to quickly store it away. Plus, it's also about everyone having a good time. Instead of a time constraint I'd rather put in a rule that resets the number of cards in an OL's hand each adventure to prevent this kind of abuse. The heroes get no such award if they do it to the OL, it's not like they get XP per kill. Why should the OL get awarded for prolonging an encounter?

 

Actualy, this is a strategic miniature battle board game that pits the heroes against the overlord.  There is a clearly defined winner and loser. 

The story is purely cosmetic.

 

What you describing is a table top RPG.  Where all the players come together to enjoy an epic story and walk away hand in hand with there DM regailing there glorious hours of joint story telling.  And everybody goes and enjoys a big victory lunch coddeling their Participation tropheys.

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The story is not cosmetic. We'll agree to disagree. If you enjoy playing with someone who acts like that, you are welcome to it. I'd rather play with a good sport.

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wootersl said:

The story is not cosmetic. We'll agree to disagree. If you enjoy playing with someone who acts like that, you are welcome to it. I'd rather play with a good sport.

 

The story , which is intentionally segregated in it's own little box.  It IS purely cosmetic and has zero bearing on the game at all.

It's a wonderful read, and a pleasant distraction, but completly unessential.

 

The only thing we can agree to disagree on is how much we care about its presence.  It, just like all the art in the rule book, is for show only … ie cosmetic.

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