Descent: Journeys in the Dark – Afterthoughts

Good Morning, Taco Brigade! (still pending)
Hope you all had a great weekend. It was a bit wet down here in Dallas, TX, but still enjoyable temps and cool breezes on Saturday gave us a chance to catch up over some beers and a new board game, Descent: Journeys in the Dark. I’ve had a chance to play the game solo a few times with the Steam app, Road to Legend, which turns the game into a single player or more co-op game instead of the usual 1 vs 4 format it comes in. This helped me learn the mechanics and the flow of the game that helped me better explain to users. Saturday was the first play for needing an Overlord which I got to fill while introducing the staff to the game as adventurers. Now, as a hardcore Pathfinder fan, I feel this game takes away tons of the RP element and focuses on combat alone.  This could be pretty mehs to folks fond of the pen and paper, but that feeling quickly turned to excitement as the staff, who do not play P&P games, loved the game because it was easy to get into and was not as robust as a P&P campaign.  Descent sets up the maps, the story, the objectives, the enemies, and any advantages and disadvantages that allow folks who are short on time or not interested in every P&P setup and roleplaying to quickly jump into a game, complete the presented mission in time that fits them, and not have to worry about rolling and figuring out every dice roll for every encounter or action.

I mentioned that I was pretty mehs about it at first because I love all the P&P mechanics. The staff is not experienced in P&P games but because of the ease of the game to get into, this game made me excited to play and teach the team how to play.  This is really a lite version of a pen and paper. Fantasy Flight did a great job on simplifying those elements into this board game that didn’t scare people off and jump right in without hesitation and the best part, they loved it and are opened to the idea of playing this monthly to complete the campaign.  Fantasy Flight offers a good deal of expansions as well with new classes and heroes and enemies that add to the campaign and replayability.  The expansions are fairly priced but can get cheaper usually from any FLGS (featured local game store).  The game does come with miniatures that are pretty durable but I did have a damaged piece and Fantasy Flight took care of it right away and gave me a few promo cards for the trouble.

Great game overall, easy learning curve, simple setup, 1 and half hour gameplay and it was a hit.  I’ll have to write up a better review for sure on the game as it’s totally worth a detailed look at the mechanics and gameplay. I also hope this is a ‘gateway’ game to get folks to try out P&P games down the road so we can try a full-fledged Pathfinder or Starfinder game.

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