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Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients» Forums » General

Subject: Opinions on the Enemy Trait Pack #1 rss

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Max Caine
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So, after waiting since the start of December for Customs to FINALLY release my little parcel from America (and charge me for that pleasure as well) I've had an opportunity to have a look through the Enemy Traits pack and I must say I'm mostly pleasantly surprised.

The Enemy Traits pack #1 is designed for the Harbinger, Goliath and the Void Spiders, so if you have City of the Ancients you're going to get most value out of it. Each enemy gets a deck of 5 trait cards, which add additional rules for the creature in question. The standard rules for applying traits is simple - draw a trait card from the deck before the fight starts and apply it and there is a recommended method for when to draw a trait card, but the rules permit the player to adjust how frequently trait cards are drawn.

Trait cards have two rules. The first is a common rule which is present on all trait cards of a particular enemy. The second is a rule which sets a particular theme for the enemy you are going to face. Let's take as an example the Harbinger. The common rule throughout the Harbinger Trait deck is base health is boosted. Sometimes it's doubled, sometimes it's tripled, depends on the card, but all Harbinger Trait cards will boost base health. Then the other rule is themed around the demonic aspects of the Harbinger. For example, the Bringer of Armageddon trait allows the Harbinger to cast infernal Shadow Magik (and a Shadow Magik spell is provided with the pack if you don't have any), whereas the Blistering Touch trait allows the Harbinger to dole out Burning tokens and requires the player to make a skill test (Gasp! An actual skill test outside an Encounter! Can you believe it!) to stay near the thing or get hurt.

Quite a bit of the pleasant surprise comes from the inclusion of a common rule to improve the chances of the Goliath and the Harbinger surviving to use their powers (for all those twin Void Hammer wielding Wandering Samurai out there, try facing a Goliath with the Unstoppable Mass Trait). There seems to have been a real effort to try and theme the second rule on the trait card. In several cases the trait boils down to +X Dice or +/-Y to Z stat, but the rule is conditional either on Hero stats or the current situation around the beast (spreading out usually is a good idea). All the rules necessary to use everything on the cards is supplied, but the pack introduces the Bleeding and the Burning rules and doesn't include any tokens so you'll have to make your own up if you don't have any from other packs. But, Void Spiders? Well, they don't get a common rule to improve their chances of survival - their common rule is designed to make better use of their numbers and to stop tactics like a two-man front blocking the doorway from working like it does. But if you have high init Heroes with multi-shot weapons, those spiders are still as vulnerable as they ever were.

I'm going to immediately start using these traits, they'll breathe life back into the Goliath and the Harbinger, but I'm iffy about the Void Spiders. I'll just have to try it and see if it makes any difference.
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Ben Turner
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With all the new, dangerous, immune to crit, endurance loaded enemies I now have (Mine cart backer) - I'm sort of accepting that void spiders are just a nice sorbet to cleanse the palette now. Shame the trait deck doesn't do much for them, but I guess the occasional super-easy fight isn't that bad!

Thank for the write up - keen to get these for my game sometime soon - just need to wait for some more bits to appear (curse that crazy FFG international shipping !) to justify the cost
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Max Caine
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Weeeell perhaps I was a little hard on the Void Spiders. I mean, they are intended as a squishy horde of adds, the problem being you need a LOT of them to survive the first round of shooting. Two of the Void Spider traits are directly related to melee and one adds a short-ranged ranged attack so you have to kind of hope (I can't believe I'm cheering on Void Spiders) that some survive the first hail of bullets. One adds some decent defence, but the pick of the bunch and one of the most imaginative traits I've seen in the whole pack affects the Posse AFTER the fight and will affect the Posse throughout the whole Adventure (although the narrative rationale for why it works does leave me scratching my head a little!)
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Bloody Cactus
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for the price vs what you get? I'd say its a huge waste of money.
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Ken H.
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Maximillian_Caine wrote:
I've had an opportunity to have a look through the Enemy Traits pack and I must say I'm mostly pleasantly surprised.


Thanks for the review. Sounds like a nice add-on.


BloodyCactus wrote:
for the price vs what you get? I'd say its a huge waste of money.


15 cards for $10 is typical of their other card packs. I have almost all of the packs for almost all of their games. They are worth it. Yes, it's a little high, but seems okay to me. If it's too high, you can also watch for their occasional "buy 2 get 1 free" sales.
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Bloody Cactus
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Rubric wrote:
BloodyCactus wrote:
for the price vs what you get? I'd say its a huge waste of money.


15 cards for $10 is typical of their other card packs. I have almost all of the packs for almost all of their games. They are worth it. Yes, it's a little high, but seems okay to me. If it's too high, you can also watch for their occasional "buy 2 get 1 free" sales.


I think for _this_ pack alone as a buy, its not worth it. cards for 3 enemies... its not enough. needs more monsters represented, or they need to be much deeper, more AI controlled steps type stuff (I'm thinking Gears of War style).

if you add it in as the free pack in a BOGOF, probably fine.
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Troy Gustavel
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Maximillian_Caine wrote:
...but the pick of the bunch and one of the most imaginative traits I've seen in the whole pack affects the Posse AFTER the fight and will affect the Posse throughout the whole Adventure (although the narrative rationale for why it works does leave me scratching my head a little!)


When I was thinking about how to do Alien Xenomorphs as a custom monster for the Derelict Ship I came up with a very similar mechanic to apply to spiders to represent Facehuggers to go with Acid Blood Slashers.

That is your narrative rationale.
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Jamie Vantries
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BloodyCactus wrote:
for the price vs what you get? I'd say its a huge waste of money.

I LOVE this card set! It turns 3 enemies that used to be total pushovers into actual threats (and gives them some cool abilities too).

re: the Void Spiders:
-Often Void Spiders are accompanied by other enemies. It’s very likely the other enemies are a bigger threat (or at least would have been if the spiders didn’t have a trait). So their traits still definitely have an effect.
-One of their traits actually gives them 4 armor, so it would take a lot more shots to clear them all out.
-Void Spiders naturally have a base Initiative of 6, so they are going to be activating before most heroes, so I’m not sure why anyone would expect they’d be mostly cleared out before they get a chance to act?

Also, (although this is technically super obvious cuz it’s the entire point of the cards) but who doesn’t love the randomness that all the different traits/gangs/clans/factions/whatnot give to (whichever given enemy)? It’s fun when enemies aren’t the exact same each time you face them.
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Adam Mitchell
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Burnham wrote:
BloodyCactus wrote:
for the price vs what you get? I'd say its a huge waste of money.

I LOVE this card set! It turns 3 enemies that used to be total pushovers into actual threats (and gives them some cool abilities too).

re: the Void Spiders:
-Often Void Spiders are accompanied by other enemies. It’s very likely the other enemies are a bigger threat (or at least would have been if the spiders didn’t have a trait). So their traits still definitely have an effect.
-One of their traits actually gives them 4 armor, so it would take a lot more shots to clear them all out.
-Void Spiders naturally have a base Initiative of 6, so they are going to be activating before most heroes, so I’m not sure why anyone would expect they’d be mostly cleared out before they get a chance to act?

Also, (although this is technically super obvious cuz it’s the entire point of the cards) but who doesn’t love the randomness that all the different traits/gangs/clans/factions/whatnot give to (whichever given enemy)? It’s fun when enemies aren’t the exact same each time you face them.


Hallejuah, brother! Hallejuah!
 
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Jamie Vantries
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Solan wrote:
Hallejuah, brother sister! Hallejuah!

(FYI Girls can like Shadows of Brimstone too. )

I’m obviously excited to see trait cards come out for all six of the other core set enemies but I’m especially excited to see the ones for the Hungry Dead! Zombies are a classic enemy, and while I do think they already fulfill their role as iconic zombies with their 4 Defense/ 1 Health, I just can’t stop imagining all the different upgrades they’ll be getting! (which is saying a lot because I am not a creative person)
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