How To Play The Descent Board Game


The Descent Board Game is an adventure fantasy game that was first released in 2005 by Fantasy Flight Games. It is designed for 2 to 5 players who play as adventurers exploring a dungeon laden with monsters, traps, and treasures. The goal of the game is to achieve an epic victory by fulfilling specifically outlined quests or defeating the dungeon boss.

What makes this game unique and fun to play is its dynamic nature; every time a new game is created the features and dynamics of the dungeon are completely different which ensures high levels of replayability. Players can utilize a wide range of skills and weapons, summoning powers, and unique character abilities in order to work together as they explore the depths of the dungeon in search of their destiny.

Components of the Game

The Descent board game features a collection of components that allow players to explore and battle their way through various quests. The game includes several game boards, a set of dice, a set of character cards, hero sheets, monster cards, and various tokens.

Game Boards: The base game includes two double-sided game boards that depict different locations. Search areas and event spaces are marked on the map for ease of game play. Up to 4 players can simultaneously explore the different locations across both boards; there’s also enough space for additional expansions.

Dice: The descent board game comes with 6 black and one red custom dice all featuring unique symbols they roll results with. These dice let you decide how to handle situations like fighting enemies, trying to pick locks or checking traps. Some quests will even require you to whisper enchantments as you roll specific combinations of runes!

Character Cards: Each player chooses a character card at the beginning of the quest; though multiple characters can be used in different scenarios these cards represent your heroes’ abilities during their missions. Character cards feature artwork representing each heroes’ background story with extra stats such as armor, speed or defense and other abilities outlined across them too including special skills or spells.

Hero Sheets: With every additional character there’ll come an additional hero sheet outlining your characters experience points (XP), items being carried each item provides bonus damage when wielding) alongside any conquests taken so far into your mission along with gold which in turn can be used as currency – handy!

Monster Cards: Monsters appear during certain events within the board game controlling them is simplified by referring to their corresponding monster cards which demonstrate attack capacities with dice symbols down one side and hitpoint values along the other – this allows players room to maneuver against opponents once they’ve weathered an initial flurry from surprise encounters too!

Tokens: Numerous tokens are sprawled across both sides of the board too taking on many forms such as health points (HP) rewards for completed tasks food for strength increases potion bottles allowing bonus rolls etc all required for navigating through this world successfully!

Setting up the Game

To set up the game of Descent, first you need to place all of the pieces on the board. Make sure to separate the different types of game pieces such as Heroes, Monsters, and Overlords. Additionally, take some time to study the game map before proceeding – it will help you better understand what is happening during gameplay.

Next, remove all curses and dead condition cards from the decks and shuffle them with the remaining encounter and treasure cards. Place each deck next to its corresponding card space on the board. The Overlord should then place any tokens required locate in their respective spots on the map. It’s helpful for players if they have a piece or token for each type of status effect or hurt that has been inflicted on their character during play.

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Afterwards, each player should select a hero (or multiple heroes if playing with more than 2 people) including their cards based on that character’s profession. Ensure that each player has enough health to start off with by counting out 9 life points from their pile of fortune coins that came with their set-up package (each hero starts with 25). Finally, using whatever method works best for your group, shuffle those dice belonging to both heroes and monsters and deal them out accordingly amongst yourselves. Once these steps are finished, you may finally begin your adventure in Descent!

Gameplay Basics

The Descent board game consists of a large board representing a dungeon, along with a deck of cards that represent dangers and encounters. The goal of the game is for players to navigate their way through the dungeon and reach an exit location.

At the start of the game each player chooses a character, which grants them specific abilities to help you during gameplay. Each character has three health points, as well as two additional pieces: a figure to represent them on the board and an Explore token used to determine how far they can move each turn.

On their turn, players will draw cards from an encounter deck to see what dangers and rewards are in store for them. Depending on what these cards reveal, players may need to battle monsters or solve puzzles. Players gain rewards for winning battles or coming across treasures throughout their quest.

Players also have access to a dice that has six different actions: attack, defend, search (for hidden treasures), rest (to regain health points), evade and explore (which allows players to move). After completing their action on the dice they will use their explore token to determine how many spaces they can move around the board each turn. The more rewarded tokens they accumulate, the further they can move at one time. Once they reach an exit location they win the game!

Objectives and Winning the Game

The Descent Board Game is played by two to five players. The objective is for one or more adventurers”playing as characters from a variety of fantasy races, such as dwarves and elves”to explore dangerous dungeons, battle monsters, collect treasures, and touch a mysterious relic at the end of the dungeons.

Each adventurer has a unique character with unique items, skills, and powers that can help them on their mission. The game is considered “won” when one or more adventurers have successfully collected three different types of relics (safely touching them in the same turn).

To win the game, you will need to work together as a collective against monsters lurking within each dungeon. Your team must battle monsters intelligently and strategically; select your gear wisely; build loyal friendships with other party members; outsmart obstacles blocking your path below; keep track of newly discovered items and resources; survive deadly traps; acquire key relics; and make it back to civilization (the entrance) alive. Victory conditions may vary depending on which edition of Descent you’re playing.

Strategies and Tips

Strategies and Tips:

Expert Strategies:
1) Understanding the game objectives and map are paramount. Knowing where key non-player characters, items and other locations will be, can give a player an advantage.
2) Make sure to plan out character turns in advance; this will enable players to have a more effective turn utilizing all available resources.
3) Embrace risk when needed ” often the hardest earned rewards come from those who gamble on their plays – don’t be afraid of calculated risks.
4) Teamwork is essential; assigning specific roles for each character can often save time and effort.
5) Use Power Tokens effectively ” use them as bait, defensive support or whatever fits the situation best.
6) Take inventory after every encounter ” make sure you pick up every loot item and follow up with one another on items found.

Strategies for Beginners:
1) Focus on grouping your party before entering an area full of monsters such that you’ll have maximum impact against them in battle.
2) Use special abilities wisely” many characters have various special abilities that can give you an edge in difficult combat encounters, learn to use them well3) Don’t overlook armor” armor can help prevent major damage, ensure your group is protected both strategically and tactically.
4) Have a plan of attack when entering any given location” check the area ahead of time so you know what to expect upon entering it.This could include prepping spells & skills or assigning herding roles for enemies so they don’t spread out across the board too easily during combat encounters.
5) Read quest cards thoroughly” understanding all conditions specified in any given quest card is important for completing it successfully without unnecessary delays or bumps along the way.

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Special Tactics and Tips To Consider:  1) Leverage starting locations” certain characters start at predetermined areas on the map which can be advantageous if approached correctly (i.e., sneak off & explore other parts of the dungeon without being noticed). 2 ) Utilizing The Map” know your terrain! Taking note of different paths/doorways/hallways can assist players with strategic movements/traps as well as avoiding getting stuck in physical dead-ends or even accidentally attacking friendly NPCs by mistake! 3 ) Searching & Learning About Items “Make sure to search every corner while exploring dungeons; It’s likely that many secret doors exist in Descent (some may not even have an obvious trigger points!) remember it pays off exploring further than normal; some may find traps/items/treasure chests lurking inside them – none Important aspect would be learning more about each item by diving into core rulebook text which usually contains extra insights & info on magical items which new adventurers may find handy/useful

Helpful Game Variations: 1 ) Character Coaching- once a hero has been dealt a hand, allow each player one opportunity to exchange their cards or upgrade their stats if possible – this helps encourage newer players who want to add extra elements during setup 2 ) Hero+ Villain Editions- play two villains simultaneously! This variation increases difficulty but when successful adds bonus rewards if all conditions are met 3 ) Custom Encounters- create your own customized encounters either through changes to enemy creatures types or environmental changes such as darkness zones used differently than intended 4 ) Increase Bonus XP- provide bonuses depending on how efficiently players navigate maps & complete objectives within designed times 5 ) Environmental Challenges – introduce nonplayer obstacles such as flooding chambers or poisonous gas zones into missions potentially creating unique opportunities for heroes venturing inside said zones


The Descent Board Game is a classic adventure game that can be enjoyed by players of all ages. It allows players to explore caves, fight monsters and complete objectives. A copy of the game consists of two rulebooks, character cards, miniatures and various tokens to help you progress through the game. Planning and cooperative discussion are essential throughout the gameplay in order for a team to succeed.

To summarize, The Descent Board Game is an exciting game of team cooperation and strategic planning. Players explore caves and take on monsters in order to complete objectives. To enjoy it fully ensure that everyone understands each rule as well as their own abilities before beginning. Working together to make decisions is important; involving all members of the team helps create a more enjoyable experience for all involved.

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