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Heroscape Expansion Set: Thora's Vengeance» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Thora's Vengeance - In Stores In Force rss

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Sean Leventhal
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For the first time ever, yesterday I found an entire wave of small heroscape expansions in a single store. Perhaps more amazingly I didn't have to feel bad about stopping some young kid from getting it. The store I was at had at least 6 full sets of wave 5. As there are currently no reviews for Wave 5 I figured I would write my first.

Wave 5 has 10 units, 3 are heros and 7 are squads. I have now played several games with them. I'm going to summarize each unit, and give a few thoughts.

What is in the wave?

Blastatron - This is a common squad of four ranged units. They have range 7 and very low attack and defense. However they are relatively cheap, and their attack goes up when you put them in a tight cluster, or put them next to gladiatrons. They didn't see much play, but in practice appear to have stats comperable to the 4th Massachussets line once you glob a bunch together. They also let the gladiatrons move, making it easier to take advantage of their special.

Nakita Agents - A relatively expensive unique ranged squad of 3. They have fairly average stats, but some killer specials. They allow gorillinators to move whenever they are activated. They have a 1/4 chance to inflict a wound on anyone who enters melee with them. They have a 35% chance of making it impossible to attack them, or anyone adjacent to them from range. I played these last night, and they were very effective. They were able to provide cover for my units from ranged fire effectively, and their chance of inflicting a wound against approaching enemies made them just a little more dangerous to take on in melee.

The Gladiators (Retiarius, Spartacus, Crixus) These are three unique heroes clearly intended to be played together. All three have excellent attacks, and with Spartacus in the group it just gets better, but Spartacus is expensive... Retiarius can potentially negate much of an opponents defense, Crixus is set up with a defense that makes him very hard to take down, and Spartacus enhances the others (provided you aren't using anything else). I played all three together last night. Retiarius was a littl fragile, but I thought he was worth the points. Crixus was excellent. His enhanced defense kept him around for a long time despite being pounded by squads in melee. I felt cheated by the points I spent on Spartacus. Maybe someone else will feel differently, but I doubt I will draft him very often.

Ninjas of the Northern Wind - A unique melee squad of 3. The ninjas are the first of two units in this wave who introduce a new type of special ability, they move when attacked. They have a good attack and move, and a below average defense. However the defense is corrected for by the fact that every time they are hit there is a 45% chance that they just get to move and are not hurt. They also can walk through and past enemy units without taking attacks. These didn't get taken out last night, but seem like an excellent unit.

Kozuke Samurai - A unique melee squad of 3. These three have a good attack, but an unusually low defense for a unit with counterattack. They also have a special that allows them to cover a lot of ground. I used these three last night with some success. They pack quite a punch, but fall quickly. As long as you are careful to keep them out of sight until you can hit the enemy they may be worth it. I suspect they are the kind of unit that is best at killing things that cost more than itself, but pretty bad at killing off cheaper squads. Either way I was pretty happy with them.

Deathstalkers - These are a little bit strange. They are a common squad of large figures. They are melee. They have a good move, and a good defense. However they have a very odd ability, which gives them major bonuses when they roll all skulls. The result is that in general you actually don't want them to have a height advantage when they attack if you want to use the "Maul." We played them once last night, and in fact maul did come up and did so to great effect.

Deathreavers - A common squad of four cybernetic rats. These remind me of something from Teanage Mutant Ninja Turtles... But anyway, these little guys are strange. They have next to no attack (1), but good defense and move. Worse, every time you attack one two get to move. We played these last night, and while they were overall really interesting, we encountered a problem. For the first time ever, one of our games ended at the time limit. I had one gorillinator left, and my opponent had about 12 deathreavers... but without a height advantage they couldn't hurt the gorillinator. And it was relatively easy for me to prevent that. I wish that had not come up.

Warriors of Ashra - A common squad of 3 melee units. We get elves. I will say that I think these are excellent sculpts, some of the better humanoids. Anyway, this is a fairly average squad in terms of abilities. But it is cheap, and has a special that makes it very hard to hurt in melee (1 shield blocks all damage). Unfortunately the person who drafted them got unlucky and rolled no shields against the first two melee attacks. I hold out hope, and in the meantime they don't cost a lot.

What do I think of this wave?

I really like this wave. I was much happier with it than previous ones. I felt we got several new interesting abilities. The mobility enhancing ones are excellent. The games we played with these were the most interesting we have had since we started adding in expansions. I also prefer mobility bonding (where you only get to move some other unit) to actual bonding. It feels a little less cheap, and overall doesn't seem to dominate play as much.

There were a few sticky points. In particular, I felt Spartacus was a waste of points, and I wish the situation with the Deathreavers had not come up.

If you were only going to get one wave of small expansions, this is the one I would suggest. Interesting units that feel a lot more like the original ones than the other expansions have, without just repeating the same abilities you have seen before.
 
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Jonathan Keith
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We interpreted the Blastatron Homing Ability differently. My understanding was that they got plus one attack for each Vydar Soulborg adjacent to the defending figure. So clumping them up together doesn't help (unless the target is already in melee with them), but getting a bunch of gladiatrons adjacent to the target does help.


I've also been very impressed with this expansion.
 
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Sean Leventhal
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You are correct. I misread that card.
 
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Marc Petrequin
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Coincidentally enough, "Nakita's" was the name of a gentleman's club near my hometown. Makes you wonder where Hasbro gets their inspiration .
 
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