March 11, 2008

Descent: Road to Legend Previews Galore

Descent Road to Legend.jpgPublisher Fantasy Flight Games is getting ready to ship its latest addition to the popular Descent: Journeys into the Dark [Amazon, Funagain] fantasy adventure board game. In all other earlier installments, the adventures have dug deep, down into the earth to explore dangerous dungeons filled with all sorts of baddies, pitting themselves against the evil player-controlled overlord. In Descent: Road to Legend [Funagain], things will go above ground for the first time, interconnecting many dungeons in an epic battle of heroes versus evil.

Games will take weeks. Yes, we're talking epic weeks. Thankfully the game will ship with mechanics and tools that you can use to set aside the state of the game to play later, including boxes for each player to store their cards, character sheets, etc, and a worksheet that should allow groups to easily record and reproduce the state of the game.

In true stellar pre-release news fashion, Fantasy Flight Games has released 7 lengthy preview articles, and recently just published the expansion's instruction booklet (pdf). Here they are with a topical description of each:

  1. The Quest for Adventure: Kicks things off with a descriptoin of the new random dungeon elements, and how players can pursue various kinds of quests across the world.
  2. Talon Man: The Overseer - a player who pulls the strings of the bad guy - now has some new hands in the world: his lieutenants. These guys can chase down the heroes on the overland map, and even lay siege to towns - something the players have to fight against to ensure the Overseer doesn't become too powerful to handle.
  3. Home Sweet Home: Information on what the adventurers can do when they head back to town for refueling, training, and beers.
  4. Lord it Over the Heroes: Introduces the expansion's plot cards, showcased specifically around the Beastman Lord Overlord. It seems his father didn't hug him enough when he was younger. Or maybe too much - it's hard to say.
  5. Mordrog Lord-Smasher, Champion of Terrinoth: Gets into the meat and bones of hero advancement, using an axe-happy Orc as an example. As a special note the designers have decided to keep the starting out heroes weaker than in prior Descent installments, but open the door for more growth than before.
  6. Packing for the Road to Legend: Details packing up the game to play for later sessions. This title can lasts weeks, so getting this right is very important and FFG seems to have put a considerable amount of thought into the process. The game ships with boxes to store player sheets and cards, as well as a sheet that does a quick inventory of the state of the board (which you can then dump back into the main box). Very nice stuff, considering many people don't have a table they can just set aside and leave alone for weeks at a time.
  7. From the Bat-Cave - introduce new monster elements such as monster types and four new level grades. And the monsters have been overvhauled to boot. The article uses the bat-tastic Razorwing as an example for these mechanics that will affect 20 monsters in total. A hint is also made that this expansion will be required for all future expansions, as the new monster mechanics will be used in so far un-announced expansions.
To say the Descent: The Road to Legend is huge doesn't quite put it into perspective. This expansion should not only shake the foundation of the agame, but create an epic adventure that could last weeks at a time, and then beyond that it's replayable! Oh my.

Unfortunatley looking over the rules we fear this game may have hit the 11 on the complexity scale just like the World of Warcraft board game, but if Fantasy Flight Games can pull it off with high fun factor then they could have the first monumental release of 2008.

The Descent: The Road to Legend [Funagain] expansion will require the Descent: Journeys into the Dark base set [Amazon, Funagain] . The Road to Legend is currently slated to ship in March, 2008. We'll let you know as soon as it hits the shelves!

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at March 11, 2008 3:13 PM

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