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Kaidreas

choosing monsters

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Question:

is there any restriction for the overlord, when he has to make a choice which monster group he will use during a quest.

the overlord allways looks at the symbols in the questguide, if the symbol match the symbol on the monster card, he can choose that monster group.

what i've noticed is that allmost with every quest the overlord can play with the overpowered shadow dragons, ettins and those flying bloodsuckers (can't remember the name) why would an overlord choose a lesser monster group, when he can play with those 3….

our overlord rarely plays with lesser groups like: goblins, fleshmoulders,zombies (unless the questguide dictates he HAS to use them)

is this normal and i don't understand why people on this forum say the heroes mostly win games, when we allways struggle to survive :D

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There are some monsters that are just better than some others. As an Overlord, I like to change it up… I have my favorite monsters, of course, but I also try to keep it thematic. Shadow Dragons should be rare, obviously. But They're also extremely dangerous (and good), so Overlords opt for them over, say, Goblin Archers or Zombies.

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As the OL, you should always keep in mind which of the monster abilities will benefit you most in the quest, before rushing to get Ettins and SD's on the map. Maybe a group of Goblins will benefit you more if you need to run around and grab stuff and maybe kite the heroes a bit if you're playing in a map with a lot of open space, or maybe some Spiders would be more beneficial if you find yourself trying to hold back the heroes in tight spaces and overcrowd them. So i'd say that an OL who always goes for SD's and Ettins or other large monsters without knowing if they will benefit him over the course of the entire quest is a bad OL. 

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I would like to add that if I had a overlord who only played Shadow Dragons and Ettins in game after game after game… I would find a different overlord. Going up against the exact same monsters every single time is a little like playing the exact same Quest every single time.

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Depends what's the OL objective for that quest.  If he need mobility he shouldn't choose the Dragons.  If he need to stop the Heroes (blocking their path or kill them) the Dragons are nice.

 

Check the objective and choose accordingly.  In some quests you actually don't need to touch the Heroes...

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One other point that hasn't been mentioned.  A good OL will also consider the Heroes (and their skills) along with his specific encounter goals when deciding what monsters to bring into play.

 

Often, it is NOT wise to pick some of the larger based monsters.  For example, there are heroes with skills and/or Heroic Feats that are capable of defeating a single monster with a single hit no matter what damage they do.  So, if you pick Ettins or Shadow Dragons, you often only get 1 or 2 of them.  If a hero can eliminate one of them or all of them in a single blow (and often getting to go first this happens), then the OL has nothing left.

 

Instead, if the OL chooses a "lesser" monster group, often they get up to 4 monsters, which distributes them, and makes it far harder for a single or multiple heroes to eliminate all of them.

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My goal as OL is always to make sure my hero players have the best time possible, since I really don't care about winning as much as I do making a challenging quest which they can hopefully rise up to. With that in mind is how I usually pick my monsters.

 

My favorite monsters are diverse, but I do tend to lean towards larger monsters for sake of simplicity: fewer monsters on the board, the shorter my turn is, and the quicker the heroes get back into it (a common complaint at my table is how bogged down the game gets when it's the OL turn). However, that doesn't mean I try to grab Shadow Dragons ever time I can, because that just wouldn't be very fun for anyone. I try to get the Merriods out whenever possible because I find they're easy to kill but still fun to play, and usually get reinforced anyways, so the heroes can feel accomplished tearing through one after another. If I feel like being a bully I'll bust out Barghests (oh, how they loathe them so!) or the hybrid sentinels. I also just got some 1E minis, so golems are going to make a speedy introduction when we next play!

 

Anyways, I think I made my point clear. I try to go for fun over brute overkill. Shadow dragons and ettin are fun, but it's even better when everyone's laughing about the zombie's lowly brown die roll  ;)

 

Cheers!

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I always let the enviroment decide! Like, putting a SD instead of a Merriod next to a riverside? Nah!

 

There are some cool combinations available for the OL as well. One of my favorites is to have spiders and goblins on the same map (yeah I know, sounds very traditional).

 What I do is: I rush in with the master spider to get his web-effect on the heroes, then I let the goblins arrows hail all over them, this always ends in a fair amount of wounds :)

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Well, big monsters can't reach some targets if the players know how to position. If you can force the shadow dragon for example to hit a guy that can cancel a surge, he won't be able to do much (or force him to attack a reanimate). A good OL should always use a combination of big creatures to tank and small ones to kill or slow down heroes. Dragons or ettins almost have no surge which limits the damage they can do greatly compared to say monsters that have yellow dices.

Edited by monadir

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In smaller games with only two Hero's, small monsters work ok. But up against a full compliment of 4 hero's, you basically chose Ettins, Dragons and Sentinels or lose. Bad balance I think.

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