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Subject: My brief review of the Mission Packs rss

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Adam Mitchell
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I've now played all of the Missions in the Mission packs, so I figured a brief review of each might be appreciated. Please feel free to contribute your own thoughts and opinions.

The Lost Army-I'll start with this one, which I would place at the bottom of the six. Not to say it's bad, just . . . less good than the others, if you know what I mean. It's a little tiresome rolling all of the necessary attack dice and defense dice for the Lost Army rifles. Furthermore and more importantly, none of the Missions in any way incorporate the Threat cards involving those wonderful Hell Cannons😎! You can feel the missed opportunity of never having a chance to fight the siege weapons in any of the Missions.

On the plus side, the Lost Army pack seems to include the most powerful and useful Gear and Artifacts of ANY of the Mission packs! Really, I was blown away by some of these items! Also, the Lost Army is definitely a challenge, with my two Level four Heroes falling in the final Mission to the Generalissimo, the sole Enemey left!

The Vampires-The other Mission Pack featuring Undead ranks slightly higher, if for no other reason than you actually have a chance to become a Vampire! There are perhaps not enough disadvantages to compensate for the advantages, but if it turns out Vampires can't be taken into the Church to be resurrected, that would be a substantial drawback.

The Vampires don't deal out a lot of damage at one time, but their Mist Armor 5+ ability makes them hard to hurt. The Sanity damage they do is also a factor, one enhanced by a couple of their trait cards. These Missions are solid and the third one, the Lost Tomb, is exceptional! It involves traveling to a hidden Tomb on another world to either recover a Holy Relic, smite an evil, or "liberate" a valuable Artifact. Unexpectedly, you actually draw an ordinary Epic Threat when you reach the Tomb, making this one of the very few Missions in the entire game in which you could have any Epic Threat (I was hoping for the three Hell Cannons, but I got the Void Magus; still a good time!).

Werewolves-Now we're getting into the good stuff! The lycanthropes are the opposite of the Undead, huge damage dealers with minimal defensive capability (most of the time). Not only do they boast the five Trait cards, some of which here are quite impressive and imaginative, but they ALSO have five Pack cards, further individualizing and characterizing the foes you will face.

The Missions are higher notch as well; the second one sees you hunted through the Canyons on the night of the full moon and worse, many Enemy types you could encounter in the course of the Mission could well be infected already; if so, when you kill such an enemy, he rises again as a werewolf!

The third Mission is also quite nice, since it involves going to another world to perform the ritual to cure a Townsperson, and then holding off the attacking Enemies until the Ritual is completed (should any of the Heroes suffer from lycanthropy, they can also be cured in this Mission).
To my eye it seemed that being a Werewolf was a less viable long-term Hero option than being a Vampire, but if anyone has found out differently, please, let me know by posting here!

The Black Fang Tribe-I'd say this one is tied with the Hellfire Succubi for second place. It is undoubtedly one of the most challenging Mission packs, not just because of the Toughness and damage-dealing ability of the Black Fangs, but because of the War Shaman😧!

We've seen a number of spell-caster enemies in the game: Serpentmen Grand Shamen, Void Sorcerers and Beli'al, for example. I would unreservedly put the War Shaman's War Chants above any of these other spell decks in terms of sheer power and effectiveness! These spells are frigging STRONG, to the point where my level 8 Dark Stone Shaman and Jargono Warrior were pretty much crippled in three different Missions after a single encounter with a War Shaman and his followers.

And if you're thinking that at least you don't encounter such an Enemy until the end of the Mission, then let me swiftly disabuse you of that notion! They are EVERYWHERE! Like the other Mission packs, this Mission Pack has you roll a die whenever you would draw a Threat card, and on a 1-3 you encounter Black Fang Indians instead. What it ALSO says is that on a 1, add a War Shaman to the group👹! Even some of the Low and Medium Black Fang cards you add have you roll for a War Shaman's presence!

I've only seen two Trait cards so far, but both were inventive and intimidating. One of the Missions has you going to two different other worlds to track down relics before the Black Fang can get to them, and the second Mission, the Void Dance, is one of my top ten favorite Missions of the entire game! Set in the Canyons, it has you searching for the two Black Fang altars being used to summon the growing unnatural storm overhead, which frequently peppers the area with corrupting Void lightning bolts, and each altar is dedicated to one of the Black Fang sacred Totems, further empowering whatever guardians it may have.

Hellfire Succubi-Another very excellent Mission pack, this one decisively deals with Cynder's underpopulation problem, adding Threat cards for Hellfire Succubi, Hell Hounds, and powerful Dark Lavamen composed of Dark Stone, whom I can only presume are Beli'al's High Guard.

The Succubi themselves are no push-overs, and have among them Hellfire Witches, who are able to use Shadow Magic. Five new cards are included to add to your Shadow Magic deck if you already have Beli'al, or to start it if you don't.

As with the foul Black Fangs, a roll of 1 when you should draw a Threat card brings you a special torment: a Hellfire Witch in addition to the other Succubi present. Even the normal Succubi will significantly bloody your posse and they don't go down easily.

The first Mission, Deadly Dreams, is yet another masterpiece which has found its way onto my top ten list. It has you seeking out the source of the unending nightmares you and the rest of the town are suffering from, but your lack of sleep significantly impairs you, forcing each of you to take on a Temporary Madness! Worse, further Madness may well lie ahead for you!

And as a delicious twist, though the Succubi are the originators of the plot, the source of the nightmares whom they are sheltering and protecting may well be a different magick-using being altogether! For me, for example, it was a Bloodbane Grand Shaman and his six Serpentmen Bodyguards!

The second Mission involves the Succubi preying on mankind's greed, requiring a trip to Cynder to get at the "root" of the problem, so to speak😉.

Should you manage to handle this menace as well, the Succubi understandably say, "To Cynder with it!" and simply open two Gates directly into some of Cynder's lava lakes, allowing molten rock and ash to continually pour out, threatening to burn all of the towns in the area! This one was a great deal of fun, especially venturing through the caverns as they were in the process of being "Cynderformed" (though why the freaking Kharkaus Confederacy of Trederra would aid the Succubi is something I will never understand!).

The Crimson Hand-Here we go, the top of the heap, the cream of the crop! This is the one I would rate the best of the Mission packs. The groups of Hand you will encounter are tough, dangerous threats, fueled by their devotion to whatever Sacred Artifact they happen to carry (a burden you could relieve them of . . . ). The Missions are absolutely top-notch, the first one involving you seeking out Masters of a Ritual which may well be completed during the climactic fight, leaving you to deal with anything from a Swamp Raptor to the Ancient One himself! Racing against when those summoning doors would open is truly thrilling.

The next Mission is one of the most imaginative out there, since it involves you being captured by the Hand, stripped of everything, and dumped, tied up no less, in the room next to their summoning doors, watched over by two Crimson Hand members! You're supposed to escape your bonds, beat the guards bare-handed, and then seek out the first Clue token, the Armory where your possession are being kept, all the while knowing that each Bloodstain and Growing Dread space on the card will release a Low Threat from a special summoned deck to ambush you! I was really looking forward to this Mission. Unfortunately, my first HBTD roll was a double three, and the Darkness card one which advanced the Darkness track by another three.

It was one of the quickest Missions I've ever played . . . 😰.

The third Mission outdoes even the Black Fang, by having you search THREE different Other Worlds for relics the Hand is seeking, with three mini-Darkness tracks to determine how close they're getting to seizing each Artifact!

The last Mission is the standard "Go get the Big Bad" of the Mission packs, but like the first Mission, it holds out the possibility of evil aid being summoned for the final fight.

I've seen three Trait cards, one extremely formidable, one dangerous, and one which could be bad, or could actually be helpful! The last is Ritual Mutation, in which you roll on the Mutation chart and then apply that result to all Crimson Hand Enemies, ignoring anything about the Mutation having to do with Sanity or Corruption. I lucked out ENORMOUSLY in my final battle, as I rolled "Fused Fingers", meaning the Crimson Hand Inquisitor and his eight guards couldn't use their rifles in battle🤗!
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Kirk Bloom
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It's great to hear that the Hand and the Succubi are good. Cynder was in desperate need of enhancement. Sadly this mission pack was sold out on the webstore before I could pick it up. Luckily the Crimson Hand set was still available. I love the lovecraft side of this game and having cultist to fight is just what I want!
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Daniel Davis
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Nice write up! The Lost Army is the only one I didn't purchase - didn't care at all for the theme.

Right now we're working our way through the Crimson King pack, and it's great.
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Mark Chaplin
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Thanks for your insight and time - come on, ladies, please thumb the post!


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Adam Mitchell
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D_Davis wrote:
Nice write up! The Lost Army is the only one I didn't purchase - didn't care at all for the theme.

Right now we're working our way through the Crimson King pack, and it's great.


Let us know how you do on the 2nd Crimson Hand Mission, please!
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Jason Daniels
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Dude, Dude, DUDE! You just got my blood pumping! Fantastic write-up! Sooo looking forward to adding these to my collection.

I think I'm drooling...
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Frank Franco
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What a fantastic post. Kudos!
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n rode
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Out of curiosity, Adam, what 10 missions are your favorites?

Thanks
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Adam Mitchell
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lnazgul wrote:
Out of curiosity, Adam, what 10 missions are your favorites?

Thanks


There are some I have yet to play, like the Flesh Stalker Missions and the Doomsday Mission. Of those I have played, my current ten favorites are as follows:

1. Hold the Bridge, 2nd Cynder Mission-This one tops the list. I love the sheer variety of monsters which can show up here, especially after I incorporated the Minecart stuff, and it's terrific fun trying to prevent them from escaping.

2. Call of the Void-This is #2, for the Mission itself and for the fact that I house-ruled that the Epic Threat is the Void Magus, making it the only Mission where you are guaranteed to encounter that fell Void Sorcerer.

3. Void Dance-The second Blackfang Mission, taking place in the Canyons, has you seeking out the two altars creating the unnatural storm growing overhead. The storm will do a lot of damage to you in a variety of ways over the course of the Mission, the Black Fangs are worthy foes, and I ended up barely winning this one, my heroes absolutely on their last legs. But then the closest victories are the sweetest.

4.Town Overrun-As with "Hold the Bridge", the sheer variety of Enemies on display is intoxicating, and trying to save the townsfolk is a challenge which will require thinking.

5. Stop the Ritual-Again, I houserule this with my two person posses so that the High Threat is three Void Sorcerers. That, plus the diversity of the creatures being summoned, puts this on my list.

6. Deadly Dreams-The first and best of the Hellfire Succubi Missions, with the Heroes suffering from temporary Madness from the beginning, and likely more madness further on, and with the ultimate author of the nightmares unknown until at last you confront him! Very challenging, and we failed this one.

7. Warmaster's Fury-The last Blasted Wastes Mission involves you hunting down one of the Warmasters, who is either kidnapping new recruits, rampaging through the land, or stealing supplies, depending on what you roll at the start of the Mission. This result will affect the Mission itself and the reward you get should you be successful.

I will say that if you thought taking down Colonel Scafford was difficult, you haven't seen anything yet! The five individualized Warmasters are more than his equal, while the Scavenger Heavies and Warriors who accompany them are markedly superior to the Scafford Gang members. So far I've faced Warmasters in the Blasted Wastes seven times, and only once triumphed, against the Death Claw Raider leader, the weakest of the five Warmasters.

8. Most Wanted-Still, I do enjoy hunting down Colonel Scafford and his merry mutants, hence it's place in my top ten list.

9. The Black Ritual-The first Crimson Hand mission involves a fight to the finish with the Ritual leaders, all the while the Big Bad they're seeking to summon draws closer. A very tense and exciting mission.

10. Race for the Relics-The last of my favorite Missions requires visiting three different Other Worlds in order to beat the Crimson Hand to the relics they seek. It's as exciting a race as you would imagine and a great deal of fun!
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Jason Daniels
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Drooling again...
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Ken H.
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Solan wrote:
6. Deadly Dreams-The first and best of the Hellfire Succubi Missions, with the Heroes suffering from temporary Madness from the beginning, and likely more madness further on, and with the ultimate author of the nightmares unknown until at last you confront him! Very challenging, and we failed this one.


This is a really good one.

The Succubi pack is the only one I have played all the way through, and I agree it is very good. The Deadly Dreams mission is fun, and there is also one that has waves of lava and/or walls of fire (or I might be inadvertently combining two of the missions).

Sad to hear that the Lost Army one is not so good. I haven't even assembled them yet, or read anything. Can't you just add the Cannons to the threat deck? Or roll for automatically adding them, the way you add bosses in the other packs.
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Frank Franco
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Out of curiosity how do people play the missions? Do you just start at the first one and play your way through in order, roll for them or what?
 
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Adam Mitchell
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
Out of curiosity how do people play the missions? Do you just start at the first one and play your way through in order, roll for them or what?


Rubric, you could houserule including the Hell Cannons, sure; maybe I should have done that.

I usually play the Missions straight through, but sometimes I put other Missions in between. Most of the Mission packs are structured so it makes narrative sense for you to play them in quick succession.

The Werewolves, for example, have you first rescuing the members of a caravan attacked by the beasts. Incensed by your interference, the next Mission sees you fleeing down the Canyons on the night of the full moon as the lycanthropes hunt you. The third Mission then involves curing a previous victim of the werewolves, while the last mission has you and a number of townsfolk descending on the lair of a Werewolf Pack Master to make him face justice.

The Succubi are especially terrific in terms of this! I think the Succubi pack makes the most thematic sense if played sometime after the last three Missions in the Cynder book. Beli'al, naturally enraged by your reinforcement of the seals, has directed his Hellfire Witches to make sure your entire world suffers for your interference!

First they use a magic-wielder to send nightmares into the minds of all far and wide, driving them to insanity! When that plot is foiled, they switch to playing on mankind's greed to corrupt and destroy whole towns! Should you end that scheme as well, they open gates to Cynder's lava, bathing the entire area in molten rock and ash! If you stop this plan as well, you at last go after the head Hellfire Witch before she can cook up any more ideas!

Then after that Belia'l could come personally for revenge, in the first Beli'al Mission.

Oh, and upon facing him for the fourth time, I've finally slain Hy'Ra'Jin, the Bone King . . . second weakest of the Warmasterssurprise.
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
Out of curiosity how do people play the missions? Do you just start at the first one and play your way through in order, roll for them or what?


For us it's whatever seems good. I only have OotCH as that's the only preview I could afford and everyone else would rather wait for retail (whenever that will be), but straight away we went and played Captured first because that mission put us in the position of not having all our cool stuff when starting the game. We've shied away from doing Race for the Relics because while it could be done, it feels like it's gonna be a mega-long game and no-one has the time to spend half a day on a multi-world spectacular.
 
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Adam Mitchell
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Maximillian_Caine wrote:
Mr Skeletor wrote:
Out of curiosity how do people play the missions? Do you just start at the first one and play your way through in order, roll for them or what?


For us it's whatever seems good. I only have OotCH as that's the only preview I could afford and everyone else would rather wait for retail (whenever that will be), but straight away we went and played Captured first because that mission put us in the position of not having all our cool stuff when starting the game. We've shied away from doing Race for the Relics because while it could be done, it feels like it's gonna be a mega-long game and no-one has the time to spend half a day on a multi-world spectacular.


How did you do on "Captured"? Better than me, I hope!
 
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John Belcher
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I picked up the Werewolf and Vampire packs, but we haven't gotten to play them yet. Succubi was the other set I wanted, but it wasn't available.

I am really looking forward to "accidently" getting the Werewolf curse on my orphan/preacher hero.
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Solan wrote:
Maximillian_Caine wrote:
Mr Skeletor wrote:
Out of curiosity how do people play the missions? Do you just start at the first one and play your way through in order, roll for them or what?


For us it's whatever seems good. I only have OotCH as that's the only preview I could afford and everyone else would rather wait for retail (whenever that will be), but straight away we went and played Captured first because that mission put us in the position of not having all our cool stuff when starting the game. We've shied away from doing Race for the Relics because while it could be done, it feels like it's gonna be a mega-long game and no-one has the time to spend half a day on a multi-world spectacular.


How did you do on "Captured"? Better than me, I hope!


Never got as far as the Armory on the first run. Got unlucky with the exploration tokens. But! The difference in firepower between having cool stuff and not having cool stuff is starkly highlighted in Captured.
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Joel Carr
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How is the blasted wastes overall?
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B Wumpus wrote:
How is the blasted wastes overall?


Pretty good! I'd rate it as my second favorite Other World.
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Joel Carr
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Just finished building Trederra.. the canyon sides of blasted wastes sounds really 'thematic'
 
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Thanks for the very detailed reviews of each of these mission packs. I like that all the missions are designed to play in order and tell a story. I'm hoping the last 3 boss figures show up in the web store so I can have the complete set for all 6 packs. And would like to paint them at the same time I do the regular figures.

As I remember, the books suggest you don't take level 1 figures into any of these mission packs. Do you concur? Too brutal?
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Adam Mitchell
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ScottE wrote:
Thanks for the very detailed reviews of each of these mission packs. I like that all the missions are designed to play in order and tell a story. I'm hoping the last 3 boss figures show up in the web store so I can have the complete set for all 6 packs. And would like to paint them at the same time I do the regular figures.

As I remember, the books suggest you don't take level 1 figures into any of these mission packs. Do you concur? Too brutal?


I completely concur; Level 1 characters would get shredded trying to do the Mission Packs.
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Ken H.
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Solan wrote:
ScottE wrote:
Thanks for the very detailed reviews of each of these mission packs. I like that all the missions are designed to play in order and tell a story. I'm hoping the last 3 boss figures show up in the web store so I can have the complete set for all 6 packs. And would like to paint them at the same time I do the regular figures.

As I remember, the books suggest you don't take level 1 figures into any of these mission packs. Do you concur? Too brutal?


I completely concur; Level 1 characters would get shredded trying to do the Mission Packs.


It's not just the mission packs. First level characters have it rough nowadays no matter what.
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Rubric wrote:
Solan wrote:
ScottE wrote:
Thanks for the very detailed reviews of each of these mission packs. I like that all the missions are designed to play in order and tell a story. I'm hoping the last 3 boss figures show up in the web store so I can have the complete set for all 6 packs. And would like to paint them at the same time I do the regular figures.

As I remember, the books suggest you don't take level 1 figures into any of these mission packs. Do you concur? Too brutal?


I completely concur; Level 1 characters would get shredded trying to do the Mission Packs.


It's not just the mission packs. First level characters have it rough nowadays no matter what.

Yeah, that's what I feared too. When we get around to playing again, I think everyone wanted to start with new characters. But I worry with all the much tougher monsters we have now that it will be too challenging. I'm wondering if playing a notch down on the threat decks would be a good idea for the first 2 levels.
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