Sunday, April 28, 2013

Descent: Journeys In The Dark (Quest) - The Shadow Vault (Part 2)

Quest IV - The Shadow Vault (Part 2)

Picking up from where we left off last week, our group settled in to continue with the grueling Interlude quest that began last week.  Consensus was that it's a sign of how well balanced the game is, that both sides have essentially been brought to a near stalemate.  The heroes had only made it to the Cave, but had largely cleared it out (only a wounded Baron Zachareth and one hybrid sentinel minion remained nearby).

The heroes finished off Baron Zachareth (forcing him to flee once more) and the hybrid sentinel (though not before it got one final hit in on Leoric).  This worked out well for the Overlord, as his next wave of reinforcements were finally making their way to the River's Edge and were preparing to engage the heroes.  The barghests, which had been instructed to remain at the River's Edge until the heroes moved past the Caravan to the north, were finally allowed to join the assault as the heroes moved forward.  [I decided that this was probably my last chance to pull out an Overlord victory.  Grisban the Thirsty was a tank and what little damage I was managing to do to him was all to easily removed by Avric's healing abilities.]

One group consisting of a shadow dragon and two barghests proceeded around the path, as a similar force remained near the "shortcut" leading to the River's Edge from the Caravan.  Unfortunately, the heroes wisely saw that they would be trapped between two forces and decided to take the longer route.  However, they heroes' false sense of security was lost when Baron Zachareth managed to knock the stuck door free, allowing the second group of the Overlord's minions to move into the Caravan and flank the surprised heroes!  [Kudos to the heroes for not blindly walking into the trap, and it would have worked well for them if I didn't have a Lieutenant (such as Baron Zachareth) in this mission.  Normal monsters do not have stats, and as such would not have been able to get the stuck door open (it requires a Might check to open).  As it was, I managed to pincer the heroes on the northeastern most tile, trapping them between two shadow dragons with barghests within range to use their Howl ability.]

The heroes fought valiantly, but were completely surrounded by two shadow dragons, four barghests, two hybrid sentinels, and Baron Zachareth himself.  The Baron saw that Grisban had the casket from the Shadow Vault, and focused his attacks on the dwarf.  Grisban fought bravely, and managed to slay one of the shadow dragons.  However, before the heroes could break free, the other shadow dragon moved in to keep them pinned in with its shadow and bulk, preventing them from escaping.  The hybrid sentinels kept Jain Fairwood and Leoric occupied, as the hybrid sentinel master, shadow dragon master, and the Baron finally managed to take down Grisban!  Baron Zachareth grabbed the casket; now he just had to fight free from the heroes and escape with the relic!  [The melee on this tile was epic!  The shadow dragon minion's positioning on the tile managed to pin the heroes in, both preventing them from escaping and keeping them all adjacent so they would be affected by the dragon's Shadow ability (which requires the hero to spend a Surge or miss with their attack).  Grisban was making some excellent rolls, avoiding the fatigue from the barghest's Howls and generally making great defense rolls when attacked.  However, he finally went down under the combined assault, and Zachareth managed to grab the casket before another hero could sweep in and do so.  Unfortunately, that was his last action, so he had to survive the upcoming turn and then escape!]

The heroes rallied, but it was too little, too late.  Grisban managed to recover, but Baron Zachareth got in one final blow and then escaped back down the path to the River's Edge.  The heroes were still pinned in by the Overlord's remaining forces, and more reinforcements were moving up (namely the shadow dragon minion).  [I played two Overlord cards on Baron Zachareth on my next turn:  Frenzy and Dash.  This gave him one free attack (which was really just adding insult to injury) directed at Grisban, and Dash gave him an extra Move action.  On top of this, I used Zachareth's two normal actions to Move, so he managed to get twelve spaces away from the heroes.  At this point, we called the game as the heroes would have no way to catch Zachareth, and even if they broke free of the current fight, the second shadow dragon would have delayed them long enough to allow the Baron to escape.  Victory for the Overlord!  The Shadow Rune was mine!  Muahahahaha!]


What an epic quest!  This was truly grueling, and I felt drained once it was finally over!  Aside from the very beginning, where the heroes were having some real trouble with the shadow dragons, it just seemed like the Overlord couldn't bring enough force to bear on the heroes to take them out and get the casket with Baron Zachareth.  I'm curious if the other Interlude quest (The Overlord Revealed) is easier for the Overlord.

I was very pleased with how my choice of monsters (shadow dragons, barghests, and hybrid sentinels) played out.  It took forever for the barghests to get activated (the heroes have to make it to the Caravan tile), but their Howl ability was nice and allowed them to contribute even when they weren't on the front lines.  They had decent damage and resilience, and a couple of barghests (minion and master) were giving a wounded Avric a tough time.  Since their Howl ability does not cause damage, it does not qualify as an attack, and it can be done either in addition to their Attack action, or have them perform two Howl actions.  I can see this as a potentially unintended effect, so I'll watch the Descent FAQ to see if it's addressed at a future date.

The shadow dragons were immensely useful, as their Shadow ability (mentioned above) played a huge role in the final battle.  In addition, after we checked the FAQ and learned that the Fire Breath ability can change directions, that made the shadow dragon and hybrid sentinel masters' that much more dangerous.  I would like to see more "area of effect" abilities for the Overlord, as the heroes seem to get much more dangerous (and resilient) when they stay bunched together.

The hybrid sentinel's Fly ability should not be overlooked either, as it enabled them to get into convenient locations past the "front line" heroes and pick on the back ranks.  Coupled with their Prey On The Weak ability (which adds one damage when attacking a target with a Might of two or less), this makes them excellent at targeting the support and ranged heroes (in this instance, Jain and Leoric).

One final note:  as the final quest of Act I, I suspect this is the point of greatest imbalance between the heroes and the Overlord.  The heroes have all gotten numerous skills and new gear, which has enabled them to tear through most of the Overlord's monsters (I suspect the shadow dragons were limited in Act I as a sort of counterbalance to this).  Going into Act II, the Overlord's monsters and Lieutenants all get significant upgrades.  I look forward to seeing how the balance of power changes (or if it changes) on our next quest!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Descent: Journeys In The Dark (Quest) - The Shadow Vault (Part 1)

Quest IV - The Shadow Vault (Part 1)

Barons Greigory and Zachareth were convinced that the Overlord sought the Shadow Rune, rumored to bind the great shadow dragon Gryvorn.  After exhaustive research, Baron Greigory's librarian was convinced that she had found the location of the Shadow Vault, where the rune had been locked away.  Wasting no time, the heroes - now reunited with Jain Fairwood - made haste to the relic's resting place.  [Since the heroes had won two of the three Act I quests, the Interlude quest would be the Shadow Vault.]

As they journeyed to the vault, the heroes encountered a wondering sage, which enabled Leoric of the Book to study up on the region and lore surrounding their objective.  Leoric was always eager for more knowledge, but also hoped that it may help give them clues to the vault's exact whereabouts.  The heroes later came upon a ring of standing stones, which they investigated at Leoric's insistence.  Fatigued by the search, they gave up and continued on with their quest.  The heroes became lost as they entered the northern forests, as the roads dwindled to trails, and then to underbrush.  Between Leoric's studies and Jain's pathfinding, they eventually found the entrance to the Shadow Vault.  [Leoric passed the Knowledge check for the Travel Event, and so discarded one of the Overlord's cards.  However, the heroes were fatigued from the standing stones, as well as from getting lost in the plains.  This was a good start for the Overlord!]

The heroes made their way into the depths of the Shadow Vault, and in a cavern at the end found a small casket which no doubt contained the relic they sought.  As they turned to leave, they saw none other than Baron Zachareth, accompanied by two massive shadow dragons!  His intentions were clear - to leave with the rune in his possession.  The heroes decided to have the fastest member of their party (Jain) carry the casket as they began searching the vault for anything useful, as Zachareth magically passed through a rune-sealed door and began to ascend the staircase leading to the heroes.  Meanwhile, the two shadow dragons advanced down the wide hall, pinning the heroes in.  [The heroes were cautious, and pretty much stayed put where they began.  I decided to split up Zachareth (who could move through the sealed door per the quest rules) and the two shadow dragons (who could not).]

I nearly had Jain defeated (which would have left the casket available for pickup from Zachareth), but the heroes were eventually able to dispatch the two shadow dragons (though they had no small difficulty with the dragons' Shadow ability, which requires an adjacent hero to spend a Surge to hit or miss completely).  Once the dragons were gone, Zachareth did not last long; however, the heroes were disappointed to see him return at the entrance!    Meanwhile, I had been advancing my hybrid sentinels (new monsters from the Lair of the Wyrm expansion) to provide some support.  Unfortunately they couldn't get there fast enough, so I held back a bit until the shadow dragon reinforcements could catch up.  Meanwhile, the heroes decided to have Jain hand the casket off to Grisban, who was much harder to kill (though slower, and with his low Awareness he had no chance of using the river shortcut).  [We were all surprised at how long it took the heroes to advance such a short distance.  Unfortunately, the distance the Overlord's reinforcements have to travel gave them a reprieve and allowed them to push forward.]

I made another push against the heroes, who had rallied and advanced down the first leg of the corridors.  Unfortunately, I had some bad rolls and the monsters were again dispatched with little damage done, aside from slowing the heroes' progress to a crawl.  It was getting late, so we decided to record everyone's status and location, and pick back up next session.  [Sadly, I couldn't bring enough firepower to bear on the heroes with my second wave of attacks, and coupled with some lackluster rolls it was a wash for the Overlord.]


Note that we had to stop midway through the quest, so this is only an overview of the first part.

My choice of monsters seems sound so far (shadow dragons, barghests, and hybrid sentinels).  The barghests have not yet activated, so the fights so far have only been with the shadow dragons and whatever hybrid sentinels have managed to reinforce (as well as Baron Zachareth himself).  As I mentioned above, the shadow dragons' Shadow ability has come in very handy.  There was some debate on how the Fire Breath was allowed to work, and after checking the official FAQ, I discovered that we were not using it correctly (the four spaces affected do not have to be along one vector).  As the Overlord, I hope this will help tip things in my favor during our next session, as both the shadow dragon and hybrid sentinel masters have Fire Breath!

The hybrid sentinels seem to be a little hardier than most of the base Descent monsters, with respectable health and a black defense die (even as a lowly Act I monster).  In addition, their Fly ability allows them to ignore the effect of terrain, and there are several water tiles that the reinforcements have to move through.  This helps the hybrid sentinels get back to the fight that much quicker.

The heroes' initial decision to have Jain Fairwood carry the casket may seem odd, especially when Grisban the Thirsty is built like a tank.  However, if the heroes wanted to try a running game, Jain would be their best choice.  If they could knock a hole in my line and let her get a head start, I would be hard pressed to catch her Move of 5.  In addition, her high Awareness means she has a good chance of using the shortcut between the river's edge and the stream tile, which is something that Grisban stands practically no chance at doing.

It will be interesting to see what impact (if any) the barghests have in the coming fight.  So far I've only managed to slow the heroes to a crawl, which is a sign of how closely balanced the fight is!  I hope I can rally enough reinforcements and Overlord cards to get my hands on the casket!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Descent: Journeys In The Dark (Quest) - Death On The Wing

Quest III - Death On The Wing

Following the Overlord's attack on Lord Theodir's Masquerade Ball and successful theft of Fortuna's Dice, the heroes directed to the silver mines in the Carthmounts by Baron Zachareth.  Greystone Watchtower, which looks over several of the main mining sites, had not been heard from in some time and Baron Greigory sorely needed a shipment of silver to pay his troops.  [The Overlord won the last quest, so I chose Death On The Wing as the next quest.  As the Overlord and the Heroes were 1:1, the winner of this quest would determine which Interlude quest would be played next!]

Jain Fairwood parted ways with the band of heroes to help some local villages fend off the Overlord's raiding parties, so Grisban the Thirsty, Avric Albright, and Leoric of the Book departed for Greystone Watchtower.  On their travels on the road south of Arhynn, they encountered a traveling merchant and haggled for some additional supplies.  As they crossed the river, they encountered a mysterious ferryman, but decided not to use his services.  [Two of the three heroes gained a free Search card from the merchant Travel Event, and they decided not to use the ferry since they did not need to recover any fatigue (and since Travel Events are always done at the start of a quest, where heroes are fully rested, I'm not sure what the purpose of that event is unless there is travel mid-quest later in the campaign).]

As the heroes neared Greystone Watchtower, they approached a twisting ravine.  The winged form of a dragon hybrid landed on the slopes ahead of them and introduced himself as Belthir, Scion of Gryvorn.  He announced his intentions to slay everyone in the Watchtower and promptly departed, leaving his minions to deal with the heroes.  The heroes wasted no time moving forward to attack, encountering a merriod and a host of cave spiders as goblin archers on the slopes began rolling boulders into the canyon to block the heroes' path.  Grisban rushed forward (at least, as much as a dwarf can rush) to clear boulders out of the way, while Avric and Leoric held back to deal with the merriod.  A few of the spiders attacked Grisban, but others rushed forward to attack the heroes who were under the merriod's flailing assault.  [This was the heroes' first encounter with a merriod, and the monster's Flail ability (which allows it to attack two separate heroes with its attack) came in very useful).  The master cave spider's Web ability (which costs adjacent heroes one fatigue to move) helped slow down the heroes' progress, which was my plan from the beginning!]

Avric and Leoric managed to take out the merriod, but the Overlord's reinforcements had another coming back the next turn.  The heroes hurriedly searched the Fire Pit while Grisban continued to advance down the Canyon and clear the accumulating boulders.  Eventually the heroes made a break for it, rushing down the Canyon as Grisban cleared the path.  The heroes had successfully escaped Belthir's canyon ambush!  [The heroes won Encounter 1, so the Overlord would not gain a free first turn in Encounter 2.]

As the heroes reached the stone bridge leading the Greystone Watchtower, Belthir and an elemental stood before them, as an ettin was preparing to hunt down any guards.  The heroes rushed forward, quickly felling the elemental.  As the creation scattered into its component elements, Belthir fled back and followed the ettin into the Gatehouse and joined the assault against the surprised guards.  The elemental quickly reformed and assaulted the heroes from behind, surprising them with a conflagration that caused a significant amount of damage.  [The first elemental didn't survive the heroes' first turn, but was brought back by the Overlord as reinforcements and used its Fire ability (along with some Overlord cards) to cause  seven points of damage on all three heroes.]

Unfortunately for the Overlord, the guards put up a good fight, and managed to hold off the ettin and Belthir.  The heroes defeated the second elemental and rushed forward to save the guards in the Gatehouse.  The ettin was already wounded from fighting the guards, and was easily finished off by the heroes.  Belthir finished off the second hero, but Leoric's runic blasts wounded him and forced him to flee.  [The heroes were cunning and decided to rush forward to pin Belthir in the Gatehouse.  However, they didn't consider his Fly ability, which let him move over opposing models.  In the end, it didn't matter, as the heroes' vastly superior firepower was more than a match for the Overlord's forces, especially as the latter were already weakened by the Watchtower guards.]

As the Overlord's minions fled, the guards came forward and thanked the heroes.  They handed over a massive iron shield - the Shield of the Dark God - and asked the heroes to take it, as it was undoubtedly what had brought Belthir to Greystone.  The heroes had triumphed, not only depriving the Overlord of a relic, but also restoring the flow of silver to Arhynn and Baron Greigory's coffers!  [As the victors, the heroes received the Shield of the Dark God relic.  As an aside, I'm curious if the Hero/Overlord versions of this relic got their names mixed up, as the Overlord version (the Shield of Zorek's Favor) sounds much more benign than the Shield of the Dark God.]


As the Overlord, I found this to be an incredibly difficult mission, due to the sheer power levels the heroes have reached at this stage.  Monsters rarely survive a round of combat with the heroes, and they're equally adept at taking out single tough foes or a horde of lesser creatures.

Encounter 1
The mandatory cave spiders are useful for two reasons:  the master's Web ability (which slows heroes' movement, as listed above) and the spiders' ability to move over boulders without penalty.  The Overlord only gets one open group, and I decided to go with the merriod as I had not yet used it and the Immobilize ability seemed useful in a quest where I was trying to delay the heroes.  Overall, this quest went fairly well, as I moved to engage the heroes as soon as possible with both monster groups.  I started by blocking off the two Canyon spaces leading to the exit, and then dropping boulders to interfere with movement along the Canyon.  However, Grisban's high Might value allowed him to easily dispose of the boulders, and I had no hope of getting all ten boulder tokens on the map at once.  The heroes played a smart game, and avoided getting crowded together at any point.

Encounter 2
With only Belthir and two open groups, I knew this was going to go south quickly.  Even if the guards didn't fight back, I don't think I could've won this.  The elemental did some impressive damage, but relied on first strike, as the heroes quickly destroyed it in their turn.  I chose an ettin for my open group, which I thought would be tough enough to survive the guards' attack and put them down quickly.  Unfortunately, neither was the case and the ettin was half dead by the time the heroes reached it (and that was only from two of the guards!).  I think this Encounter was poorly balanced, as the Overlord needs at least one more monster group to have any chance of success.  The guards in the Cabin never even got activated!  Next time I may try sending Belthir after one group of guards and the open group monsters after the other guards, though that's risky for Belthir (his defeat end the quest in victory for the heroes).  An alternative would be to move the elemental up to engage guards as well, and just ignore the heroes.  I think replacing the ettin with goblins archers or cave spiders might work better and provide higher potential damage output on the guards.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Descent: Journeys In The Dark (Quest) - The Masquerade Ball

Quest II - The Masquerade Ball

As a reward for flushing out the goblins from their den and rescuing one of the former Shadow Binders, Baron Greigory invited the heroes to the social event of the season - Lord Theodir's masquerade ball.  As Lord Theodir was himself once a member of the Shadow Binders, Greigory was concerned that his old friend might be targeted by the Overlord.  [The heroes won the previous quest, and had chosen The Masquerade Ball for the second quest of the campaign.]

Joining the heroes was Jain Fairwood, an experienced Wildlander who had been stalking goblin raiders menacing the local countryside.  Together, the four heroes departed for Lord Theodir's estate to the north of Arhynn.  Along the way, Jain's experience in the wild allowed the heroes to take a shortcut and make good time.  However, in the distance they saw smoke rising from a small hamlet - no doubt the work of the Overlord's minions.  The heroes hurried on to the masquerade ball, lest they arrive too late!  [For the Travel Events, the first card allowed the heroes to skip the second Travel Event, and the third granted an extra Overlord card.]

No sooner had the heroes arrived at the ball than a beautiful, golden-haired woman - Lady Eliza Farrow - arrived with the Overlord's minions at her side.  She grabbed a nearby guest and sank her fangs into his neck, drawing blood and revealing herself to be a vampire!  The guests began panicking as goblin archers and cave spiders poured into the Library and Chapel, while the heroes rushed forward to save the guests.  As the cave spiders moved forward to attack the heroes, the goblins began unmasking guests.  To the heroes' surprise and dismay, four of the guests were cultists in the disguise!  These flesh moulders bolstered the ranks of the cave spiders assaulting the heroes, as Lady Eliza Farrow casually moved forward.  [Things looked pretty rough for the heroes starting out, as the cave spiders held the line in the first room (the Chapel) while the goblins proceeded to unmask guests.  Within the first two turns, all four flesh moulders (cultists) were unmasked and on the board, and there was a wall of enemies between the heroes and the two remaining guests!]

Heedless of the odds, Grisban charged forward with his new steel broadsword and iron shield, cleaving a path into the spiders.  The dwarf had developed quite a hatred of the creatures after being overwhelmed by them during the heroes' attempts to secure the farm in their previous quest.  Avric, wielding a new crossbow, opened fire as he advanced, followed by Leoric.  Jain, her fire blocked by the ensuing melee, moved forward and unmasked a guest.  Her guest turned out to be one of the nobles, so she began covering his retreat to the entrance.  [Grisban's new Whirlwind attack was devastating to the massed numbers of monsters crowded into the Chapel, and his new steel broadsword allowed him to reroll the red power die when attacking - ouch!  The tables quickly turned in the heroes' favor as the number of monsters dwindled rapidly.  The Overlord's plan of drowning the heroes in sheer numbers was only partially successful.]

As the Overlord's minions fell to the combined onslaught, they managed to take down Avric and hold the heroes in the Chapel.  Two goblins escaped with captive nobles, as Jain successfully secured one of the nobles.  Lady Eliza Farrow attacked the heroes, but Grisban was in a sour mood and quickly put her on the defensive.  Her attempts at vampiric seduction were lost on Grisban, as the drunken dwarf continued his assault.  As Leoric added his runic blasts in support, Lady Eliza shrieked her fury and faded into a fine red mist, streaking down the stairs to the basement.  As the last flesh moulder was attempting to escape with the remaining noble, Grisban quickly recovered and rushed forward, slaying the cultist and rescuing the guest.  [Grisban put a serious hurt on Lady Eliza Farrow with three attacks (two Actions plus his Heroic Feat), taking her down to one health in one turn!  She managed to hang around a little while longer, but was largely underwhelming.  Perhaps with more support she might have been more useful, but the heroes were keen to take out the Overlord's Lieutenant.]

With guests secured and the Overlord's minions chased into the basement, the heroes were relieved to learn that Lord Theodir was among those rescued.  Oddly, he did not seem overly concerned with the Overlord's attack, and told the heroes to hurry along to his family vault to secure Fortuna's Dice, one of the relics used by the Shadow Binders years ago.  [The heroes rescue two of the four nobles, and rolled a 2 to determine if Lord Theodir was one of them.  This meant that the heroes won Encounter 1 and Lady Eliza Farrow would have to test to answer the riddles in the second Encounter.]

As the heroes entered the basement, they were forced to clear out a cave spider den as Lady Eliza proceeded on her way to the vault.  The doors were all magically sealed, requiring a riddle to be answered in order to pass beyond.  Grisban, having none of that, smashed the first door off its hinges and revealed a cave full of goblins.  In an astonishingly bad display of marksmanship, the five goblins all fired at Leoric and failed to take him down.  Clearly, they had been surprised by the door being knocked down!  [The heroes quickly dispatched all but one of the cave spiders in the Spider Den, and Grisban smashed down the door to the Goblin Cave.  Leoric was out front, and all five goblin archers fired at him.  Three of the archers missed completely, and the others did minimal damage.  This was not going terribly well for the Overlord, but at least Lady Eliza had gotten a respectable head start on the heroes.]

The heroes whittled down the goblin archers as Grisban smashed through the next door.  By this time Lady Eliza Farrow was in the Tomb, and had gotten stuck on the riddle to the door leading out.  The few remaining goblins took shots as the heroes, and moved to slow down their progress through the corridor (not that they had much hope in accomplishing that, but it was worth a shot).  The one remaining cave spider managed to take down Leoric, and then began harassing Avric.  [Leoric finally went down between the remaining goblin archers and the cave spider, and the spider subsequently went after Avric who was doing some significant damage with his crossbow.  Despite being Poisoned twice, Avric managed to roll a challenging Might check to shake off the Poison both times.]

Jain Fairwood, more fleet of foot than the other heroes, hurried forward and successfully picked the lock on the next door.  Opening the door to the Tomb, she found herself facing two ettins!  One goblin and one cave spider remained, and Lady Eliza was almost to the last door!  The ettins moved forward and held the heroes back at the entrance of the Tomb, eventually taking Grisban out of the fight.  As the dwarf recovered, Avric and Jain continued to attack the ettins, killing one of their number.  However, despite their heroic efforts, they were too late:  Lady Eliza Farrow had entered the vault of Lord Theodir and secured Fortuna's Dice for the Overlord!  [The Overlord's minions had done their job of delaying the heroes, and the ettins in particular did a good job of holding the line against the heroes.  Lady Eliza Farrow entered the vault first, so the Overlord won the Quest and gained the Bones of Woe relic.]

Despite the Overlord's victory, Lord Theodir was safe and Baron Greigory was thankful for the heroes' aid.  There were rumors that the Overlord's minions were making a move in the south, so there would be further quests ahead...


I'm going to start adding this new section to my Descent quest posts as a sort of "Overlord's Review" of the quest.  I hope to outline my thoughts, successes, and failures as we proceed with the campaign.  For example, this was the quest where I learned just how damaging the Berserker's Whirlwind attack can be!

Encounter 1
I thought this encounter would be a breeze, with the sheer number of monsters I had arrayed against the heroes (full groups of cave spiders, goblin archers, and flesh moulders, plus a Lieutenant!).  Unfortunately, Grisban's Whirlwind attack and the increasing power of the heroes quickly whittled down the ranks of the Overlord's minions.  With four heroes, they only have to rescue two nobles to have a very good chance of winning the encounter (though I was close to getting the third off the board!).

Encounter 2
I was fortunate, as even without Lord Theodir's answers (from an Encounter 1 victory), Lady Eliza still managed to slip past door after door and maintain a healthy lead on the heroes.  In fact, she only got stuck twice, while the heroes were getting caught up by the Overlord's minions.  I chose goblin archers as my first open group (for the Goblin Cave, naturally).  The Goblin Cave allowed me to spread out the monsters so Whirlwind or Blast attacks wouldn't slaughter them all at once.  This forced the heroes to chase down the goblin archers (or at least exchange fire with them) and slowed them down a little.  The second open group was ettins, which I placed in the Tomb and used to block the doorway.  Overall, I felt my strategy for this quest was very sound and contributed by my solid win as Overlord.