Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
40 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Dungeon Saga: Dwarf King's Quest» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Eye of the Abyss rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
john doe
Scotland
flag msg tools
mb
Well after yesterdays cringe fest that was the video game attempt, let's look at something more positive. My FLGS had Eye of the Abyss, and what luck, I had friends coming round for a Halloween night. A perfect time for a new gaming session. We got through the first 2 adventures (the first proving to be a right pain for the heroes), and I've given it a good read through, so here we go!

Presentation

Let's start this review off with the presentation. It's kinda rocky to be honest. Firstly, it's in a small box, not a book box, slightly larger than the DVD style cases the mini sets are in. At first I liked this approach. It'd take up a lot less space in my bag, but after seeing the minis (i'll get to this later), I'm not too sure about the new packaging. All the parts come in a box inside the outer box, and with the bulk of the minis being resin, I think I'll need to look at additional padding to keep them safe.

Onto the rest of the presentation. Well the cover is pretty awful. it looks like they got the office temp to whip it up on their lunch break and the editor went "yeah, that'll do". It really stands out as being cheap next to the nice artwork of the previous expansions (even the digital expansions). I get that it's to save money, but still, it looks cheap, and after some of their recent blunders *cough* the video game *cough*, cheap isn't something they want to be branded with.

The new art for the characters isn't bad but a little too anime-ish, especially the temptress is 4 small limbs away from being chibi. On the plus side, the artwork for the new items is lovely! especially the succubus head, which is just an amazing idea, that's a warped mind to come up with that item, but so thematic

The book is a little flimsy, being more of a booklet, stapled at the middle (again, a little cheap), but we'll see how it holds up after gaming. It's not bad, and has it's usual high quality layout that the other DS expansions have, with lots of colour art and photography... Let's talk about photography!

There's one photo that stands out like a sore thumb. In the Dungeon Guide (more on this later), there's a photo, the one photo that isn't for decorative purposes and it's a disgrace! It's out of focus, lopsided and the mini's haven't even been hot water treated. It's like some chump took the photo on their phone. This is just so cheap. Come on Mantic, how long would it have take to do this one photo right? As it stands, it sticks out and screams of laziness. They have to do better than this!

Only one typo I saw and that was in a mission set in a sewer, on the key they put the icons for skeletons but on the map use zombies. A minor issue all things considered.

Components

So a bag of soft plastic abyssals. If you have IC you'll know the ones. Not much to say really. Not bad gaming pieces, but not award winning. I dunno why they gave these out with this set when you'll have all the abyssal minions you'll need in IC. Feels like padding to justify the price, where as what could have been included were a set of critters that are featured later in the book. Ah well.

The new minis are rather nice though. I can't say how they differ to their KoW counterparts as I don't have them, but there's lots of nice details on them and will paint up nicely. As they are resin, they are slightly brittle, especially wings, whips and spear tips (sounds like Stereophonics album!), and with them being loose in the box, I would advise keeping them in a carry case or reinforcing the box with a padded inlay of some kind. The only downside is the amount of trimming and flaky excess resin on them.

The item and profile cards are what you'd expect from DS, pretty decent, not exactly GW or FF standard, but more than usable, with clear writing and colorful images.

As mentioned, the book is a little flimsy, but nothing to worry about. The paper is decent quality, I jsut wish they'd used a harder stock for the front and back cover and maybe used glue rather than staples to bind it.

One slight pet peeve. The new resin bases for the heroes bug me. They're very thin and brittle and the detail paving stone cracks are pretty shallow compared to their plastic counterparts. Personally, I based them on some spare plastic DS bases (it also appeases my OCD to have them all based the same )

Rules and Fiction

Now we're talking! This is were the expansion really shines. There's loads of new content. Tons of new bosses, new minions and the 4 new heroes. They all have really interesting rules and abilities, the necromancer and placoderm's Feats really stood out, and in just the few games we did play, I saw them used in really interesting, tactical ways. While the new team of heroes may seem like your standard ranger, tank, hitter and spellcaster, the players felt they were very different to the core heroes, and from an OL point of view, the players seemed to utilize hit and run tactics more than tank and spank. The new item cards are also really interesting, and I'll look forward to seeing them in the field. Nice bit of rules writing right there!

The missions are tight too. There's a 6 part campaign with the new heroes, a 4 part campaign with the core heroes, then I think 3 more, 2 with the core heroes and one with the new ones. They range in complexity, with the Eye of the Abyss taking centre stage. I like that in the initial adventures you can spend time actually searching for items that carry on. Once you're in the abyss, there's no chests, so stock up! New heroes don't become legendary, but they do gain the new bespoke items, each one is really thematic too, some good concept design thinking.

The 4 parter sees the core heroes in a haunted library, with the 3rd adventure really standing out as an "oh that's interesting, can't wait to see how that one pans out". I wont spoil anything, but for only a small adventure, it really had me scratching my head how i'd go about it...Which is what you want from a new expansion

The n are the one off adventures. The one based in a sewer looks top notch, in fact, might be my stand out adventure. They're all based around heroes doing more mundane tasks, killing vermin in a tavern cellar, unclogging a sewer and finding whats haunting a local swamp. I just like these kind things, and helps build the world rather than the epics of a full blown campaign.

The fictional writing is also very good. It's very cinematic and really sucks you into the narrative. Some of the dialog is at times hilarious, the varangur standing out as such a well written character that I'd love to see more of her down the line. Even the one off adventures are well written enough that you really feel emerged in the world. Good imaginative adventures with well written fiction, the perfect recipe for a night of fun dungeon crawling!

Sadly, the last part of the book is a let down. the Dungeon Guide is just some of the FAQ that was released months ago, although no long in the poor layout it was released in. But it's an FAQ and a poor layout doesn't matter really. What does matter is that this feels so unnecessary. It answers questions like "how much of the dungeon should i build". It's far too basic to be needed in an expansion, and the free stuff they released did its job.

Sure, stick an FAQ in a compendium of previously released materials if that was something that would happen, but not an "all new" expansion. This feels like padding, and 6 pages of FAQs and erratas that could have been used for more adventures or a short story. I'm sure this was to reduce playtest and graphics time, but again, this feels cheap and not really needed to be committed to print in an expansion like this.

Conclusion

For all it's faults, this is a top notch expansion. What I think it shows is that Mantic still have studio staff who can design a well crafted adventure, with good background writing within content limitations, its inclusion of Burning Skeletons, Living Statues and Drowned Dead minions just goes to show with what you can do with miniatures not being used in the current scenario, and shows a lot of well thought out thinking on Mantic's studio creativity.

With the amount of missions, the quality of them, the new rules, heroes and items, I'd say this is an ESSENTIAL purchase for any DS fan. Yes, you'll need IC to get the most out of it, but if you're still here, chances are you already have it. Even if you don't there's still plenty of good content for just the core set.

It's a shame that the presentation lets it down a little, I don't think the new box size and cover art will help it stand out on the shelf, but I've been massively impressed with it, especially how skeptical I've been with Mantic's handling of the range. The end of the day, I'd rather have something come out with a cheaper presentation that not come out at all.

I'd highly recommend this expansion, I think it offers a lot of game play that'll keep you Dungeon Sagaering for a good long while. Two thumbs up!
9 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thorsten Schröder
Germany
Bonn
flag msg tools
badge
Loser at the 'Pursuit of Happiness Contest'
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You really should have put this under review!
It's great thanks. All in all what I want from an Expansions is some great new scenarios and it sounds like this one delivers.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
john doe
Scotland
flag msg tools
mb
Cuthailion wrote:
You really should have put this under review!
It's great thanks. All in all what I want from an Expansions is some great new scenarios and it sounds like this one delivers.


Oops! To be honest, it started as more of my incoherent ramblings than a review, but I guess it ended that way.

No worries, hope it helps.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
mike patton
Czech Republic
flag msg tools
thank you for the details. im glad to see it sounds good with lots of missions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad P
msg tools
mbmbmb
Sorry you did not like my photo. It was pulled straight from the online faq. Not sure why Mantic did not take a new one. I will try to do better on getting minis in focus.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Wodzianski
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Painter - Player
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
"wings, whips and spear tips" is the name of my garage band.

While encouraging to know the quests are well received, it's disappointing to learn another Mantic box has questionable content. IC minis are included, but not the critters? That's frustrating, and makes me question if the right hand knows what the left hand is doing.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
john doe
Scotland
flag msg tools
mb
drewcula wrote:
"wings, whips and spear tips" is the name of my garage band.

While encouraging to know the quests are well received, it's disappointing to learn another Mantic box has questionable content. IC minis are included, but not the critters? That's frustrating, and makes me question if the right hand knows what the left hand is doing.


Ha. I'd go watching that band!

I guess because critters only appear in one adventure they figure they're not too important and do say you can represent them with spare minis from the core set. Personally i'm using the critters from the old WHQ game (yep, I'm that old ), but if I bought a pack of Mantic critters, I'd be happy there's more adventures to use them with to get more value from it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad P
msg tools
mbmbmb
They probably have a bunch of spare IC monsters laying around but the critters are resin cast so probably cost real money to put in the box.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
mike patton
Czech Republic
flag msg tools
with the book being smaller is the writing still easy to read? what size is the book?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
john doe
Scotland
flag msg tools
mb
vorfan wrote:
with the book being smaller is the writing still easy to read? what size is the book?


Ermmmm not sure on the size, kinda bigger than what I've seen pics of the KS Dungeon Journal (I only have the digital copy) but smaller than the standard expansion book. The text size is fine to read...And I have bad eyesight!

Speaking of the Dungeon Journal, rules team peeps, any chance of booting Mantic up the backside and getting them to update the digital copy with the model facing directions and some indication what models are used in the empty circles on the maps? I'm sure there many Kickstarters are keeping them busy, but this has been a known issues since it was released.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad P
msg tools
mbmbmb
necromorph wrote:
vorfan wrote:
with the book being smaller is the writing still easy to read? what size is the book?


Ermmmm not sure on the size, kinda bigger than what I've seen pics of the KS Dungeon Journal (I only have the digital copy) but smaller than the standard expansion book. The text size is fine to read...And I have bad eyesight!

Speaking of the Dungeon Journal, rules team peeps, any chance of booting Mantic up the backside and getting them to update the digital copy with the model facing directions and some indication what models are used in the empty circles on the maps? I'm sure there many Kickstarters are keeping them busy, but this has been a known issues since it was released.


I know I collected an errata for Dungeon Journal that at least fills in the unlabeled models (and address wording on a feat). I will check my physical copy but I think the player/overlord gets to pick the model directions as adding them all in is not something that is practical at this point. I think it got stripped out the published ones so far to go with some other stuff (Black Fortress, etc.)

The formating on the online FAQ is not full because we submitted them to mantic and waited months and months for layout which never happened so we just did some light layout ourselves such that something was available.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
john doe
Scotland
flag msg tools
mb
What's the turn over for working with Mantic on FAQs? Doesn't sound like they make it easy to get anything done.

A friend has been waiting for FAQs on other games to come to light and said they only really seem to care about the KoW rules team, leaving other rules team with no guidance, which kinda sucks if that's true when it's them who put it together.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad P
msg tools
mbmbmb
necromorph wrote:
What's the turn over for working with Mantic on FAQs? Doesn't sound like they make it easy to get anything done.

A friend has been waiting for FAQs on other games to come to light and said they only really seem to care about the KoW rules team, leaving other rules team with no guidance, which kinda sucks if that's true when it's them who put it together.


I do not think it is about them caring more about the KOW rule team it is just it is fully established as a working committee and probably get togethers at the events and such. DS committee is like 4 people, one who does contract mission writing (he did all the missions in the expansion) he is very good at that but much less concerned about "rules" so to speak. There are then 2 rules lawyer types who have trouble deciding on what direct to go and another inbetween person. Often it is just the two rule lawyers disagreeing which does not go anywhere.

Mantic will answer quick questions but anything that requires real resources (like paying the contract layout artist) is real slow.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
john doe
Scotland
flag msg tools
mb
Hmmm sounds like that can be frustrating. I'm kinda surprised they didn't assign a Mantic staff member to set you tasks like "This FAQ done by this time" so they could take it and put it out there. As it stands, it sounds like they've left you to it.I thought they'd have been begging you to get stuff done with the amount of negative comments most forums had when the team was formed.

Anyway, not to derail the thread though. Eye of the Abyss = Good!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad P
msg tools
mbmbmb
Most people at Mantic do not appear to have enough time to do their actual job let alone pick up extra stuff. They did try to reorganize the committees not that long ago but the person assigned to it got taken off as they were overloaded I guess.

Glad that the campaigns and heroes look good since that is the main part you are paying for, we will work on our layout and picture taking for the future.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alan Stewart
Canada
Burnaby
British Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
eriochrome wrote:
we will work on our layout and picture taking for the future.
Any chance of getting Mantic to at least spring for a nice photography light tent for you to use? If they are gonna be using your pictures they should at least be making sure that you are able to take nice ones.

https://www.wikihow.com/Create-an-Inexpensive-Photography-Li...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad P
msg tools
mbmbmb
EverywhereGames wrote:
eriochrome wrote:
we will work on our layout and picture taking for the future.
Any chance of getting Mantic to at least spring for a nice photography light tent for you to use? If they are gonna be using your pictures they should at least be making sure that you are able to take nice ones.

https://www.wikihow.com/Create-an-Inexpensive-Photography-Li...


No, they should just retake the photos (for print) with the studio models. Mine will never be painted or straightened.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ciaran M
United Kingdom
Co. Down
UK
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

I take great umbridge at being referred to as a rules lawyer! I am so much more.....

I have a strong direction in where to go, just Erio doesn't want to follow me!


Glad you like the expansion @necromorph... and only found one typo - can you tell me where it is though? I hate missing them


Also, it's a shame you don't like the front cover art - I thought it was an inspired design and tells you exactly whats in the box (in the absence of anything else appropriate). It was supposed to evoke the style/format of a Star Wars poster, but granted with more time and proper assets and it may have been better.


In all seriousness, thanks for taking the time to go through a review like that and glad you have enjoyed it thus far.

We'll take a look at those Dungeon Journal issues pronto and get them out in a FAQ in our own indelible style.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
john doe
Scotland
flag msg tools
mb
@Brad, As you say, they shouldn't be using your photos. You shouldn't feel bad about that, you're not a pro photographer (I'm assuming), they on the other hand do have pro photographers or equipment. End of the day, they put a price tag on which I paid, so I do expect it to be professionally done in all aspects. I get that the rules committee would submit a photo to say "this is what I mean", they should then take that photo and stage it with their equipment, pro painted minis, etc etc...As it stands, it stinks of laziness on Mantics part.

@Ciaran It's in the sewer adventure. They have the icons in the key as skeletons, but use zombies on the map. Also they have an icon of a zombie troll, but in the special rules refer to it as a Bloated Zombie Troll and have it with a different profile.

Also, regarding the cover, it certainly didn't evoke Star Wars, it just looked like they didn't want to pay out for new cover art. As someone who went into a shop to buy it, it doesn't stand out on the shelf. This was next to a Conan expansion, and while it was £10 more expensive, the cover of some big rampaging scorpion and the heroes in a bitter fight was far more eye catching than the DS one.

Bar the critters, this has been the only DS release this year, I personally think they should have gone out to make it something special, as it stands, I can't help but feel that the range is the black sheep of Mantic's catalogue.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad P
msg tools
mbmbmb
On the sewer mission, I think our page proof versions do not have a key. Someone probably mentioned that and it got put in incorrectly. When we get a copy we will double check the stuff and add it to the forthcoming FAQ for some of the other campaigns.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thorsten Schröder
Germany
Bonn
flag msg tools
badge
Loser at the 'Pursuit of Happiness Contest'
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
On saturday my copy arrived!
I am very pleased with this expansion! The number of Scenarios is great and at a first glance (I don't want to spoiler myself as I do not know if I am to be the OL for every campagne) I have high hopes they are going to be a lot of fun.
As a miniature game I have a big collection of miniatues and there are enough spiders and rats (sadly no bat-swarms) so I don't realy mind that one single scenario coming without miniatures.
I would not have needed more abbyssals but I think the price of this expansion (35€) is reasonable so I count them as a bouns (maybe I try ou a different color sceme).
If the booklet had abinding like the KS-Dungeon Journal that would have been great but I think it's OK the way it is.
And the one foto that is a bit blurry is in the FAQ section... I was never that fuzzy about the rules so I don't really mind.

Overall I think if you like DS and are in need of more you should get this!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Fernandez
Spain
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Where are you guys getting this Eye of The Abyss expansion from is it direct from the Mantic website ? because this is the only place I see it in stock. Gameslore for example still only have it on pre-order and I don't think BGG even has an "expansion" entry for it under the Dungeon Saga main base set.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ciaran M
United Kingdom
Co. Down
UK
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


http://www.firestormgames.co.uk/eye-of-the-abyss-dungeon-sag...
https://www.goblingaming.co.uk/dungeon-saga-eye-of-the-abyss...
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DUNGEON-SAGA-EYE-ABYSS-MANTIC-HERO...

Those (albeit all UK based) appear to have it in stock and ready to go
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thorsten Schröder
Germany
Bonn
flag msg tools
badge
Loser at the 'Pursuit of Happiness Contest'
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I got mine here:
https://www.fantasywelt.de/Dungeon-Saga-Eye-of-the-Abyss-EN

That's germany-based.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Norris
United States
Sacramento
California
flag msg tools
...and J-Pop too!!!!
badge
Raina rocks!!!!!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I just got my copy, and it looks like there are three bosses in the quests that have not been in any DS stuff before.

Any idea how to pick them up?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.