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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Delayed Reinforcement for Large Monsters rss

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Anthony Siebert
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Shawnee
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This is mainly directed at groups using the conversion kit. As many have pointed out, when an open group receives reinforcements, there's a big discrepancy between getting one large creature with a 1/1 limit or one small creature with a 4/1 limit. In two or three player games that means that large monsters get their entire group replenished on the next turn anytime they die.

This has lead to people only ever choosing large monsters, except in some rare situations. Less blocking potential, no compression and expansion abuse, slower reinforcement, barely better mobility... small monsters just aren't good. With the conversion kit, the powerful large monsters seem to give a pretty big sway in balance towards the OL.

My proposal is to provide a time delay for reinforcement of these large monsters. When a 1/1 (group limit) creature is removed from the board, you would place two stamina counters on its base. At the start of the OL's turn, remove a stamina counter from it. If there are no stamina counters on the monster at the start of the OL's turn, it may be used as a reinforcement. 2/1 creatures would only have a single turn delay, and anything with larger group limits would have no delay.

I haven't tested the delay timing or whether this affects the balance too much, but I just wanted some opinions.
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Brian Modreski
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I was also pondering something like this, though I'm not sure how it would affect balance. I was thinking a 1 turn delay on the 1/1 creatures, no modifier on 2/1 and 3/1, and reinforcing 2 per turn for larger groups. That might swing things too much for the larger groups though.
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Mike Betzel
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I think that is trying to solve the problem in the wrong direction. The overlord needs monsters each turn, including those big guys. I think the problem is that while monster group sizes are based on the number of heroes, reinforcements are defined by the scenario (and are almost always one). On the monster card there should be a third number per hero count that is the group's reinforcement size. This way you something like kobolds could get three figures per reinforcement, while giants only get one. Of course, this could be overridden by a scenario if it required some specific restriction on reinforcements.
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Aidyn Newman
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I actually think the best way to balance this isn't to make large monsters reinforce slower, but rather, make smaller monsters reinforce quicker.

As it stands, weaker monsters like Cave Spiders and Goblin Archers are only useful in large numbers. After the first turn or two, getting one every turn is fairly useless. If the Reinforcements gave two every turn instead of one, however, they would be much more useful in later turns.
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Anthony Siebert
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I have a problem with the entire reinforcement system really. It's no fun to me that large monsters get their entire group back the turn after they die in 2-3 hero games. The maps are so small that most of them time they barely even lose a turn when they're killed. They're essentially indestructible, and combat is far less interesting because of it. The delayed spawn at least gives some benefit to attacking.
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R N
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If I can reinforce small monsters at the same rate I can reinforce large monsters (relative to group size) I don't think the heroes would ever win Castle Daerion encounter 2.
 
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Tatzelbelm
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I think a point-buy system for monster reinforcements might be nice, although it would add some fiddliness. In return the overlord would get some more choice in his reinforcements.

I've made a thread about it here:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/846902/reinforcement-point-s...
 
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alexandre Boureau
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Tatzelbelm wrote:
I think a point-buy system for monster reinforcements might be nice, although it would add some fiddliness. In return the overlord would get some more choice in his reinforcements.

I've made a thread about it here:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/846902/reinforcement-point-s...


As I proposed in this same thread, we could fine tune the delay :

Some monsters, depending on group size, would prevent spawning for the next turn (that is what I call summoning backlash) when they die : the heroes get to keep their figure, and give one figure over at the OL at the beginning of their turn if they have at leastone. The OL cannot spawn 1/1 and 2/1 creatures while the heroes have one of his figures causing summoning backlash :

Quote:
Monster-------------- Summoning backlash on death
1 normal/1 master - normal 1 turn, master 1 turn
2 normal/1 master - normal causes no backlash, master 1 turn,
3 normal/1 master - normal and master : no backlash, and unaffected by it
4 normal/1 master - unaffected by backlash, 2 normal or 1 master /turn
6 normal/3 masters- unaffected by backlash. 3 normals or 1 N+1M/turn


The overlord can chose to kill one of his own unnamed monsters himself at the beginning of his turn, before getting any reinforcement. If this monster is causing summoning backlash, he hands the figure to the heroes (preventing him to summon this turn).

To compensate, on top of weaker monsters being a bit quicker to reinforce, the OL can chose twice the number of allowed open groups (but only gets to place one at the beginning).

This way, all groups take about the same time to get to full size after having been wiped out(3 to 4 turns), but it still favors the heroes though (as no one ever reinforced goblins when given any choice).

This could be overruled by some scenarios whose victory conditions rely on specific monsters taking specific actions (like goblins in first blood).

Or a slight variation : Large monsters take more time to summon, and only one can be summoned at the same time. smaller ones can still be reinforced during that time (so it is basically the same, except that this time, the OL choses who to get back first) :

Quote:
Monster-------------- Summoning time :
1 normal/1 master - normal 1 turn and master 1 turn
2 normal/1 master - normal instant but restricted *, master 1 turn,
3 normal/1 master - not summoned, reinforced normally
4 normal/1 master - not summoned, reinforce 2 normal or 1 master /turn
6 normal/3 masters- not summoned. reinforce 3 normals or 1 N+1M/turn


* restricted means cannot be reinforced while some other large monster is summoned.
During the reinforcement phase, the overlord can cancel any summoning he previously started, then, a reinforcement "slot" (ie the ability to reinforce one creature) allows the overlord to :
-Reinforce a creature he started summoning last turn.
OR
-Reinforce a smaller creature and start summoning a larger one if no other creature is being summoned.
OR
- Summon and reinforce a creature with an instant summoning time.
- Hold a summoning previously started and reinforce a lesser creature

To mark that summoning is in progress, the summoned creature is placed near the reinforcement spot.
 
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Robert Fairmont
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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) » Forums » Variants
Re: Delayed Reinforcement for Large Monsters
We are play testing the following.

When the overlord is instructed to reinforce a group of monsters,
he may choose to reinforce one master monster, or two minions.

Since Large monster groups only have one minion, the rule is self regulating.

Working OK so far, but concerned it may unbalance some encounters.
 
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Unspecified
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What about this:

Every normal reinforceable monster killed is out of play for the next overlord turn and then comes back at the start of following Overlord turn. So if heroes kill 5 small spiders in one turn, then two turns later, here comes 5 more small spiders. And if heroes kill a big brute, their reward is one hero turn without dealing with that big brute.

The intention is to have a streamlined rule that addresses both the issue where you finally kill a brute and he's right back in your face on your next turn, and the issue where Overlords are generally discouraged from picking small monsters because they only get one of them back per turn, and they need bigger numbers.

With this one-turn-out variant, the overlord would be more encouraged to balance monster movement speed into his choice making (and not just girth and stopping power), since they might have to catch up with the heroes when respawning two turns later. On the other hand, a further variant might be to have those normal reinforceable monsters just respawn right where they were downed (similar to heroes) so as to avoid making them lose more actions marching back into the fray. (That might be a more scenario-specific variation.)
 
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