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Awesome Dungeon Crawling Board Game!

Hey all,

Here is an awesome board game that I had to give some credit to.

Descent: Journeys In The Dark is a lengthy board game that involes dungeon crawling, massive creature slaying, treasure gathering, tactics, strategy, and some logical thinking. The basis of the game involves a party of heroes (2 - 4) that battle the forces of a dungeon (the Overlord player) in an attempt to complete a quest. The game comes with layout suggestions for five quests, but with imagination, the possibilities are endless.

Battles are interesting where the weapons are concerned. Many different kinds of dice exist for specific weapon types (magic, melee, ranged) and they change based on the weapon's information card. Depending on the class of character, certain weapons give special advantages (a full warrior type can roll the maximum three power dice to add to his attacks). There are a decent amount of treasures and items. It does take some time for the game to really pick up speed, which may turn off less patient players.

In addition to the basic hack and slash design, there are many status effects (burning, poison, etc) that you would expect to find in a fantasy game. There are pits, water, debris, and other obstacles for the dungeon. There is a decent amount of creatures made of plastic that are quite detailed. Many players paint or detail these models. This game contains a TON of punch out tokens, board pieces, etc.. It is simply massive (hence the price). Even though the price is a little steep, once you open the box you will understand why. The quality of the tokens is decent - they are thick cardboard, as are the dungeon tiles.

Is the game fun? It's very long. It still took us about 4-5 hours to finish our second run. However, once my heroes starting gaining some power, it was much more fun. So yes, the game is fun. There is a decent amount of freedom for the Overload player to design their own quests and dungeon layouts. Think of Descent as "D&D Lite". If you need visuals instead of just a pen and paper to role play, then Descent may be for you.

Here are some tidbits from our last session with this game:

There is a fair learning curve for this game and it requires a lot of patience to get used to the rules. Quite frankly, we've only played twice and the first time was rough since we had to consult the manual every 30 seconds. Players of similar games will likely have some difficulty accepting some of the rules (especially D&D players) because they are watered down a bit from more complex games. To clarify, I mean specific rules about line of sight, etc.. where the players are allowed a full 360 degree field of vision. Some of these rules are a little illogical, but it doesn't take any fun away from the game. The line of sight rules will create some confusion for sure. In the end, players may simply come to some agreements on line of sight rules on their own (we had to agree on some rules dealing with corners and obstacles diagonally touching corners.)

Anyhow, the early game starts off very slow, but once the heroes start gaining some items from chests, the game takes off. I felt many times (playing as the heroes - with two players the hero player just plays two characters) that the Overlord was way too powerful. He can summon hordes of monsters and keep you pinned into one room for an hour. This happened a few times, but once my characters were powerful enough, we were able to clear the rooms quickly. I finally won after two attempts to complete the first quest.

Keep it real....
I've played this game... it can be a little hefty for the price, but it actually is a ton of fun to play. I have a collection of these kind of large scale rpg-element board games.
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