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

Subject: Capture the Flag/Rune/Artifact Variant rss

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demonhanz demonhanz
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I'm bouncing this idea off of this post: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/845825/skirmish-variant-for-...
I was inspired by Lanzetti's skirmish variant, but it leans towards a slightly different variation with no Overlord. Comments and criticisms are most welcome.

Set up a dungeon as complex as you wish, but keep it as symmetrical as possible. You can set it up for 2 teams, or 4. If you want something a bit more assymetrical, thats fine, too, as long as the spacing is equal between players. The center will contain a rune or artifact that each team must grab and bring back to their starting point.

Each team can have anywhere from 2-4 heroes. If playing 4 players, obviously you're limited to 2 per side. Now here's the cool part. Each side also gets to draft some monsters. At the beginning of the game, players can agree on certain traits to use, or can limit the drafting to only certain monsters. Monsters drafted should have a certain limit, say 2 for each side. Right now I'm thinking each side starts witha pool of"points" that are allocated towards monsters. For example, you can assign a point for a goblin archer, and upwards for the more powerful monsters. This could be interesting for mixed teams.

Each team is trying to race to the center, grab the rune, and head back to their starting area.

I already have some variations in mind. There can be several rooms with runes, and for each rune you successfully bring back, you score a point. First to 5 wins. Alternatively, you can make this a bit more like wizwar by putting the runes at the team's starting area. This would allow you to keep some monsters behind to defend, while sending heroes out to directly retrieve the runes.

Heroes get knocked out, but monsters die. You can play epic style so each side has more treasures and skills, or else play basic. Whatever suits your style.

Later I'll make some starting maps and post some examples (is there a good utility to put up the maps with, besides taking raw photos and uploading? thanks in advance)

Hopefully this will make some fun and competitive dungeon skirmishes! Please post your thoughts and any other ideas. I think this can evolve into a really fun variant with some testing and tweaking!

 
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Lanz RafDE
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That's cool, the possibilities with this game are virtually endless. Anything that avoids the balancing issues of the included campaign will be fun for me.
 
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Rom Brown
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demonhanz wrote:
Later I'll make some starting maps and post some examples (is there a good utility to put up the maps with, besides taking raw photos and uploading? thanks in advance)


Take a look at the VASSAL Engine, if you DL that and a Descent 2e module, you should be able to construct your maps in that.

Check out this thread...

DL VASSAL via the link at the top, then DL the v0.99 module shown further down the post.

Hopefully all you need will be there
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demonhanz demonhanz
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Thanks, man! Very helpful!
 
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Jacob Søgaard
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Sounds like fun. It would be even more fun imho if you could incorporate experience/item gain into your variant.

E.g. a creature drops a 1/4 exp and a search card when killed and when you knockout a hero you gain 1/2 exp and a treasure card.
 
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demonhanz demonhanz
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Chubby wrote:
Sounds like fun. It would be even more fun imho if you could incorporate experience/item gain into your variant.

E.g. a creature drops a 1/4 exp and a search card when killed and when you knockout a hero you gain 1/2 exp and a treasure card.


Absolutely. I'm working on this at the moment, deep in thought in my metaphorical armchair. Originally I was simply considering the Epic Play rules, but I like the direction you're going. However, I might do it two ways:
Either point based experience, similar to buying a monster - so that a smaller and weaker creature will give you less than, say, an Ettin or Shadow Dragon. This adds to the strategy and tactics because if you do recruit the larger and stronger monsters, then you also risk giving your opposing team(s) more XP, especially if you haphazardly throw them into the fray.
Or, you roll a die and get a random amount of XP, anywhere from 1/4 to 1 full point (or even zero - you can use the Gray Defense die for these rolls). This is a bit more random than the fixed rate XP. It might be unfair if you kill 3 monsters and don't receive anything, but on the other hand, you might score 3 XP, so this could definitely swing the game with just a few die rolls. Only problem with this is that it might favor ganging up on weak monsters.

I also really like the Search/Treasure mechanic you suggested. Perhaps some maps will also have Search tokens in key areas, too.

What about Lieutenants? Would it be better to just leave them out?


And lastly, one more idea. What about randomly giving each team 2 Overlord cards?
 
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Triu Greykith
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For the Skirmish variant, I had suggested placing a Search token where the last master (or minion) in a group was defeated. Loot the body, more our less. I also suggested buying training (XP) with gold. This would likely require upping the number of tokens. Maybe roll for each figure defeated, with a limit per group.
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tiduz 99
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How is this project coming along? Any play testing yet?

I have been experimenting with a similar variant but so far it felt a little flat. It was particularly hard to create a symmetrical map for 3 players so in the end I created separate maps which represented rooms/dungeons. Clear the room to be awarded a rune/key.

Did you create any mock up maps?
 
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demonhanz demonhanz
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Unfortunately, no, as I have been much too busy with things to get a chance to work on this. As soon as I get a free minute, I definitely will. The problem I ran into was creating a decent somewhat symmetrical map for this type of skirmish. I'll probably give it another go or two, and if it still doesn't work I'll work on creating some custom maps, and maybe uploading the files so people can print and play.
 
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Morthai Saichor
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symmetrical map you want? - I don't see the problem!


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demonhanz demonhanz
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Damn! These are great, man!!

BTW, your custom campaign is fire, too!
 
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tiduz 99
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demonhanz wrote:
Damn! These are great, man!!

BTW, your custom campaign is fire, too!


+1

I will put together one of these maps and have a play. I had some thoughts after getting inspiration from this and other variant threads which I wanted to test out.

The only thing that worries me is getting the flow of the turns down and also the balancing of the hero choice. If the turn mechanics are complex then it will just be a chore to play and remember everything.
There also needs to be a fair way of choosing heroes as a warrior and healer maybe too overpowering.
 
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Jacob Søgaard
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tiduz99 wrote:
There also needs to be a fair way of choosing heroes as a warrior and healer maybe too overpowering.


Some kind of draft maybe? Might be a little hard with the limited choice of classes available at the moment though...
 
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demonhanz demonhanz
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Might be best to go with random heroes per side.

This in itself is a prime reason why I'll soon be buying the conversion kit, even though I do not have the corresponding miniatures.
 
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tiduz 99
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Maybe these are some fair options for the players then.

1. In a predetermined order each player chooses a single Hero they wish to use. The remaining heroes are then shuffled and a further hero randomly drawn by each player.

2. The 8 heroes that come with the game are split into groups of two which are fixed for playing the variant. When pairing the heroes you pay close attention to their speed, stamina and HP.

3. Hero selection is totally random. The hero sheets are shuffled and then dealt out to each player in a clockwise order continuing as desired.


Option 1 seems good to me. Option 2 maybe to complicated to setup fairly and option 3 could lead to an overpowered combo.
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demonhanz demonhanz
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I'm thinking of making some custom tiles, which wouldn't be hard at all to quickly print out. Lava, water, pits....just to give some additional flavor to the maps.
 
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Triu Greykith
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If you have the CK, classes are more limited than hero sheets.

Some random, untested ideas:

Have each player / team write down their choices from 1st, to 8th if needed. If you are playing an epic variant, let players bid gold to break ties (or give each side an extra pool of gold for this).
 
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Jacob Søgaard
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Different amount of XP could also be used to balance it.
 
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Triu Greykith
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I've been trying to come up with a 4 player / Wiz-War board. Because of the tile limitations -- 5 T's, 8 L's -- there are only a few possible layouts. I've considered the following designs, and come up with an attempt at the first.

╔═╦═════╗ ╔═╗ ═╗ ╔═
║ ║ ╔═══╣ ║ ╠═══╗ ║ ╠═══╝
║ ╚═╬═╗ ║ ╔═╩═╬═╦═╝ ╚═╩═╬═╦═╗
╠═══╝ ║ ║ ╚═══╣ ║ ╔═══╣ ║
╚═════╩═╝ ╚═╝ ═╝ ╚═

I'm not completely happy with it, but it does put everyone the same number of movement points from the center. You can place two monster groups between each player & the center tokens, which is manageable with the base game, and you have a wealth of choices with the Conversion Kit. Maybe add some doors.


Monsters could be controlled by the player across the table. You can play first to their token for a short game, or require the token to be carried back (or across) for a longer PvP battle.
 
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