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Subject: Some thoughts on the first two expansions. rss

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Dean Jones
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I manged to buy the expansions of someone who didn't want them. I currently haven't played the Hood expansion yet, but here are my thoughts on the first two.

Tracy Island

The bulk of this does a great job of reinvigorating the game. You get three new characters (Brains, Tin-Tin and Parker) which have their own vehicles.

- Tin-Tin and the Ladybird Jet. It's another two-person vehicle, but slower than TB1. It's still handy for moving people around. Tin-Tin's main bonus is that she gets +2 for any Disaster while in her jet.

- Parker and FAB2. This is an immensely handy vehicle. It has a speed of 2 and can carry stuff like TB2. It has the disadvantage of only being able to carry one pod vehicle (but can still carry FAB1 and TB4). It also means that Lady Penelope can do more at the start of the game. Parker's bonus is similar: +2 while in FAB1 or FAB2.

- Brains and Tracy Island. Well, not exactly a vehicle, and doesn't do a lot. It does mean you have the option of keeping characters at Tracy island if no vehicles are there. Brain' bonus isn't as useful: he gets +2 if a pod vehicle is used in a roll.

On top of those is a new disaster deck so these characters are included (even if nobody is playing them) and new events and FAB cards. This refreshes the game quite a bit and gives it a new feel due to the extra characters.

There is also an optional part of the expansion: pod vehicle models. They don't have much use as they just replace the cardboard tokens (they do include tokens for the new ones so you can stick to them if you want), but they do look extremely nice on the board.

Above and Beyond

This is a modular expansion, so I'll cover the different parts.

1. Levelling Up Characters

Each character has nice, new character cards (in a bigger size). At the start of the game, everyone is weaker as they only have one special ability (usually adding +X to certain rolls). As you complete disaster cards, you collect them until you have enough to upgrade. Each character has three levels. Level 2 essentially restores them to the base game, the third is quite powerful (often drawing a token without costing an action).

This is definitely the star of this expansion. It feels rewarding to upgrade characters and it's implemented without making the game more complicated. I'll probably use these in all games.

2. Disaster Vehicles

This is the part that looks like the main part of the expansion and is quite impressive, but turns out to be immensely disappointing. You have a set of vehicle cards with powers on them, as well as 10 plastic models. Some disaster cards will have vehicle names, so you can get the vehicle as a reward instead of the tokens. This expansion has two main problems.

First, the plastic models have zero gameplay usage. The game says to put them on the disaster cards with the names on them. And that's it. The cards can be used for this purpose (and also means that you can see the reward right next to the disaster). It's a shame, as they're nice models.

Secondly, it's extremely unlikely that you'll ever choose them anyway. The tokens are vital to completing the game, and some of the rewards are't that great. I'm tempted to play on a higher difficulty and have both rewards (perhaps at the expense of experience for upgrading). If that doesn't work, I'll probably just not use them.

3. Crisis Mode

It's a sandtimer. You pretty much have to make your move before it runs out. That's it.

4. Other extras

There are some new FAB and event cards, and a bunch of blank cards. The main interest is the level V scheme cards cards if you want a more difficult game. There's also a plastic turn marker which is recommended for solo mode.

Overall, this expansion isn't really worth it, but Modiphius are selling a bundle on their site which does essentially make this free if you want the other two. The new character cards and scheme cards are definitely useful.

I haven't played The Hood yet, but I've practised the rules and it seems that that expansion will be worth it. And everything in that expansion is important and not pointless extras.
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Andrew Keddie
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On disaster vehicles:

I agree that it would be nice if the models themselves could serve any actual purpose beyond a visual reminder that a given disaster has the choice of token or disaster card.

Honestly though, in games we've played we've found having some of those disaster vehicles to be absolutely crucial to victory. You have to make the call based on the board state at the time, and how difficult it's likely to be to get the tokens on that card later if you don't take them now, against how useful you consider the ability on the card.

Put simply there are several games we would have lost if we'd taken the tokens instead of the disaster vehicle.

I've not played The Hood yet either, but I look forward to doing so
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Peter Ball
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I like the idea of taking the disaster vehicle instead of the experience bonus.
 
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Marius Friedrichs
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Thanks for giving an impression on what the expansions provide to the game. I missed the Kickstarter so at the moment the only chance to get these is to order them directly from Modiphius for about 65€ shipped, which isn't exactly a blind purchase price point for me.

When I heard about the level up module of Above and Beyond I was immediately intrigued (and it seems rightfully so) but I wasn't sure about the others. Please update your post if you played with The Hood.
 
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Jim Dunaway
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Zakoholic wrote:
Thanks for giving an impression on what the expansions provide to the game. I missed the Kickstarter so at the moment the only chance to get these is to order them directly from Modiphius for about 65€ shipped, which isn't exactly a blind purchase price point for me.

When I heard about the level up module of Above and Beyond I was immediately intrigued (and it seems rightfully so) but I wasn't sure about the others. Please update your post if you played with The Hood.


Check with your FLGS. The game, and the Tracy Island expansion are available now through distributors.

The Above and Beyond expansion is supposed to be available in October and The Hood expansion in November.

I don't have any information on the RPG supplement.

This information MAY have changed, so check with your FLGS.
 
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Gláucio Reis
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I played with Above and Below for the fist time today and totally agree on the disaster vehicles. Disappointing, indeed! It would be nice if they were placed on the board and had to be moved to disaster locations for the players to use their effects. Also, I felt the only vehicles worth taking were the ones giving bonuses to die rolls, unless you don't really need the tokens. For me, the best thing in this expansion is the much needed level-V schemes.

About the new characters in Tracy Island, my only gripe is that Tin-Tin's and Parker's special powers seem too strong from a thematic standpoint. The Tracy brothers get their bonus only when dealing with a disaster in their area of expertise, but those two secondary characters get the same bonus with any disaster, just by staying in their respective vehicles. Even mechanically, this bonus is very strong (in a four-player game, I guess Tin-Tin and Parker should never leave their vehicles), so it might have been better if it were +1 instead of +2.

 
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Marc Raps
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We hardly ever find ourselves taking the Disaser Vehicle card instead of the bonus tokens. The tokens are far too important to beating the gamr to dismiss!

I haven't tried this yet, btw you could house rule the Disaster Vehicles add-on. When a Disaster featuring a Disaster Vehicle is resolved, award the active player both the tokens and the DV card. This could work to offset the added difficulty if all players are still Level 1if you are playing with the Levelling Up add-on or if you're running a game with a Ightfield difficulty setting. There's also an added element of randomness if you're playing with the Disaster Deck from Tracy Island, because that expansion requires you to remove nine disasters randomly from the deck at the start of the game, meaning some DV's may never come into play.

As for the new characters being very powerful, I can see your point. But I don't mind if it makes slightly less sense thematically if they're just as powerful as the Tracy brothers. If they weren't, they might hardly see any play time.

Unfortunately, even with minor characters like Parker and Tin-Tin added, John still remains the most rubbish one.
 
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Gláucio Reis
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Rapseflaps wrote:
As for the new characters being very powerful, I can see your point. But I don't mind if it makes slightly less sense thematically if they're just as powerful as the Tracy brothers.

Not just as powerful, but more efficient at averting disasters (as their bonus applies to every kind of disaster). If they had only a +1 bonus, they might have some other skill for game balance.

Quote:
If they weren't, they might hardly see any play time.

You are supposed to select characters randomly, anyway (although I think most players don't).
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