Replaying Campaign Adventures

A few people have commented that they’re not fond of the idea of refighting an adventure if they fail the first time out (as the Heroes). As I replied in the comments on the DS Beta thread, I think refights fit the backstory perfectly, aren’t an issue in other games, and are a nice, simple, easy to explain process.

Personally, I think that each adventure is a new puzzle, and one I want to unravel and solve. Losing means that I’ve not solved it yet, so I want to have another go. My gamer instinct doesn’t want to leave it unfinished. This is how I’ve always approached scenarios in games, and it feels entirely natural.

As I said though, not everyone feels the same way. After some discussion, we’ve got a couple of options to add to the rules. These are all for campaign play and don’t make any difference to one-off games.

Firstly, if the Heroes lose a scenario, instead of playing again they can simply take an extra 1 hour loss from their campaign total and move on to the next adventure. This effectively assumes that they played it again and won, but without actually doing so.

Secondly, there is an entirely different way to play the campaign. Instead of using a campaign clock, simply play each of the adventures once, in order, and tot up who won the most games. That side wins the campaign as a whole. You can’t get a draw as there are an odd number of adventures, so this will always result in a winner. Actually, both methods do.

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18 Responses to Replaying Campaign Adventures

  1. Matt says:

    But what about the overlord? She’s already solved the puzzle by defeating the heroes. I can think of no example of wanting to play again a scenario I’ve just won, particularly if I’m now at a disadvantage in the rematch now that the heroes know the lay out of the hazards and tricks they’ll face. I’m also one of the dissenters who would not be keen to play over a scenario I just lost, with no significant changes.

  2. Nakano says:

    I thought a similar approach as you suggested. It works for me. I doubt I would play the same campaign multiple times with the same game group. There is a limited amount of time you can spent playing one game.

    For expansions, I would consider some other variations, though. For example, Descent’s multiple part maps where the outcome of first map effects on the next (same scenario). Or the winner can choose which location to travel next (choosing a scenario).

  3. Quazai says:

    Thanks Jake. I really appreciate you guys listening to our feedback and giving us some ‘official’ alternatives. And I know I’m pushing it here, but do you think you could consider adding a variant where if you DO elect to repeat a scenario the Necromancer at least has the option of making a few minor defined tweaks, or maybe has some choice about the cards going into his deck (e.g. Pick one or two cards instead of random draw when building the deck st the start). At least the the Necromancer player can feel like they’re thematically preparing for the second wave……

    Also, you mentioned you were working on a way to adapt the Advanced Rules for use with the included campaigns. How is that coming along? And will it perhaps offer additional more complex campaign progression options?

  4. eriochrome says:

    Due to the story structure of this campaign, I can see the idea of retrying scenarios. The villain is already ahead of you in the dungeon and you only know this one path to get to him. You could try a different way but get risk getting lost, etc. Other campaigns can have a different story arc where retrying does not make sense(like competition for an item or resources). You get to write like 30+ missions for the series already so we should see some good variety in objectives and stories or else their will be some unhappy backers.

    Looking at the winner scoring, I think the issue to both methods you have describe is that the final scenario is not the ultimate decider. In the 15 tries one, I could have used all my tries by the mission before the last one and time out that way. While that certainly makes sense in the story, it lacks a certain cinematic quality one expects from an adventure game. If you are counting who wins each scenario, you could certainly have a case where one side has such a lead that the last mission or two does not matter (in terms of winning) which sort of seems strange to call the Heroes the winners if the Necromancer escapes with his prize. The Heroes would certainly be the better game players but the disconnect between the story outcome and the score seems somewhat unsatisfying.

  5. Smud says:

    Thanks for listening to our feedback, we love to see it ;). Personaly I prefer the first way in this campaign, because it fits the backround better.

    • Quazai says:

      Agreed. Though if I use the scoring method I’ll probably just take the difference in scores before the final scenario and add or remove the corresponding amount of skeletons/zombies from the board (reflecting how prepared the Necromancer is). Winner of the scenario wins the campaign. May not be terribly balanced in the final fight but is thematic and reflects relative performance throughout the game.

      • mastertugunegb says:

        That does seem good. Though if the Heroes have been consistently winning every adventure up til the very final one, it’d be a shame to be reduced to such a level that the Necromancer has one Skeleton Archer and a loaf of bread versus four legendary Heroes with all manner of potions and gear. Not the most interesting of climaxes.

        • Quazai says:

          Hey. If the Necromancer has lost every mission then he deserves to have a rough time of it. Going straight by points he would’ve lost anywhere. Here there’s still a remote chance of victory. Though you could temper the penalty somewhat. Have a cap to the number of creatures gained/lost or make it cost 2 points to remove a skeleton (one converts it to a bone pile).

        • mastertugunegb says:

          Could just award the Heroes with extra paraphernalia in between. Even a single wound health potion can be enough of an edge for the Heroes over the Overlord and his forces. Doesn’t have to be a weakening of his minions, even if that would be thematically appropriate.

        • eriochrome says:

          Converting to piles of bones would probably work for necromancers doing bad. Ofcourse due to the very puzzle like nature of the maps just adding a few Skeletons or piles of Bones might be very good for clever necromancers.

  6. mastertugunegb says:

    Having some skeleton models as pile of bones instead would probably be enough. Anything else might be far too much of an advantage, even if the Heroes had earned it.

    As a (player of a) Hero I would want an epic showdown, rather than a complete walkover just cos my arch nemesis was not up to the task of defending himself against my legendary level of awesome.

  7. Shane says:

    I think this is a fair alternative for the core game. I agree having some ability to move some units around a little bit wouldn’t hurt but definitely changes the puzzle dynamic and could certainly result in unbalancing a mission that the heroes already failed to win the first time around.

    I see myself applying the following house rules (after completing the core campaign once as written) –
    overlord win conditions split into a couple categories
    turn limit expires = the heroes continue trying to beat that mission but suffer a time penalty in the campaign setting. AND/OR reinforcement troops arrive*. (I personally like the idea of the banshee coming out of the depths and acting accordingly. until a hero is crippled).
    hero is crippled = mission needs to be replayed with necro being able to make some minor tweaks

    *the thing I like about the banshee arriving is this will stop being the banshee if the heroes win the banshee mission but otherwise they will continue to be haunted by the banshee as the time limit expires in future levels. This also makes some missions be 1 offs regardless of the outcome as there is a benefit to either side for winning that carries over to the rest of the game rather than a simple points tally or time limit deduction.

    For this reason though I’m not overly concerned with how the campaign resets as I think this is a really easy thing to house rule around (especially with the listed official campaign alternatives)

  8. Danny says:

    I’ve got no problem with replaying a scenario, as either a Hero or the Overlord. I wouldn’t like to be forced to play the same scenario several times (5, 6 or more times) in a row, but I really don’t see the problem with being forced to play the same scenario a few times. Even if the Heroes lose, the challenge still remains for the Overlord, in that he is now going to be fighting a more knowledgeable and experienced groups of players…they are forewarned of the layout, traps, monsters and likely tactics of the Overlord and will present a greater threat and greater challenge to the Overlord and the current forces at his disposal…does the Overlord have the skill to defeat the Heroes this time?

    Having said that though, if there was to be a change to the way it is run, then my preference would be to provide the Overlord with some small additional bonus. Perhaps he gets to place the monsters where he likes on any replay instead of following the map placement that he did for the first attempt…or perhaps he gets some trap tokens to lay which represent the monsters preparing for the Heroes return…or perhaps he gets a single boss or tougher model to add which could represent Mortibris sending a lieutenant to run the defence of that area for the likely further attempts by the intruders to breach the area.

  9. Mike Miller says:

    Sounds like a good simple set of options. I agree that simple is better for the core game. Let the necromancer player tweak the way things work in the advanced campaign all they want, and keep the core as simple as possible.

  10. Tyr says:

    I think option one works best, it gives the players a meaningful choice, allows those who want to replay to do so, and those who dont can avoid it. It also works well from a narrative perspective, since its much easier to think of reasons why youre not replaying than why the necromancer won even though he was killed in the final scenario. 😛
    (of course, I may be somewhat biased. 😉 )

  11. Mordjinn says:

    I like option one (losing campaign time) the most. Maybe there could be some side missions which heroes could take to get stronger before the final showdown, but these take time which is running out. So the heroes have to manage the time in order to reach the final showdow happens.

    “Do we visit the swamp to find that magic sword or rush straight to the necromancer’s castle before he gets that big spell off?”

    (Maybe there could be a random side mission generator (Betrayal in the house on the hill style) and some of them might not give any bonuses (“That rumor about the magic sword was false”).

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