Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

Cutthroat Caverns: Tombs & Tomes» Forums » Reviews

Subject: More Teamwork. More Betrayal. More to Lose. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Stephen Schaefer
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Smirk and Dagger Games released both their second and third expansions for Cutthroat Caverns at around the same time. This review will cover the third expansion, Tombs and Tomes, but it will be published in tandem with a review for Relics and Ruin, since they were shipped together and contain a lot of the same types of materials.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/3483980

Tombs and Tomes is a significant addition to the existing gameplay of Cutthroat Caverns. While there is nothing new to separate the characters from each other (their one-use special power in Deeper and Darker is still the only difference), there is still a lot of new content that makes Cutthroat Caverns more and more as it is described on the box: a diceless RPG.

The one brand new aspect of Tombs and Tomes is the book of Adventure Modules. The front and back halves of the book each have an adventure, and to use one or the other, you flip the book around and read it "right-side up" or "upside down". They read like the old Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books, or the old text MUDs from ancient computer days. The Encounters and other elements are pre-determined, but by going in different directions, you flip from one page to another, playing through the events of the book and encountering different creatures along the way. And since it is simply read, and the players choose from a list of options, a DM is not required to guide the experience.

Tombs and Tomes builds upon the elements of Relics and Ruin by adding even more Relic cards to the deck. Relics are a sort of super-item, some of which only give Prestige, others also carrying a special power that can aid the player. The Ring of Storing, for example, lets a player reclaim an Action card he just played, "store" it, and then use it a second time! Cards that affect Relics only target these cards, but cards that affect Items can also target a Relic. The usefulness of the Stab and Grab card is greatly increased.

The most common way to obtain a Relic is through Event cards, and once again Tombs and Tomes piles on a lot more new cards in the deck. At the beginning of each (creature) Encounter, after the creature has been turned up, a card from the Event deck is turned up. Circles for each of the nine Encounters, and one more for 10+, runs along the top of the card. If the circle contains the current Encounter number, that Event activates, if the circle for the current Encounter is blank, nothing happens. Some of the Event cards impact the Encounter some way, by tweaking the creature's attack value, or affecting the players' hand limits, or in some other fashion, usually bad. Other Event cards are actually Treasures, and this usually results in Relics being handed out for that Encounter. Either way, the event cards give a new twist to each Encounter that adds another layer of excitement even to creatures you have fought a dozen times before.

Speaking of creatures, I have saved the best for last. The only bad part about the 15 new Encounters is picking only a few to use as examples. Betrayal, for example, does no damage to players. Instead, the player who did the least damage actually attacks the highest-damage player for that amount, then loses 1 Prestige to that player. Greed allows attack cards to be played as Critical Misses, causing players to struggle to defeat even this low-health creature. Ragnarok does major damage to all players, but the winning player can bring back any players killed by Ragnarok by (I'm not making this up) shouting "RAGNAROK!" Thantigist makes the players physically exchange seats (and ALL the cards, items, character cards, EVERYthing at that seat), and there is a chance the players could be stuck in their new seat for the remainder of the game. Lich is always the last Encounter if he is in the stack, but he makes you first fight skeletons, then against any dead players (now brought back as zombies) before you can finally attack him. Each Encounter seems more intriguing (and more fearsome) than the last!

I have always been excited anticipating new releases for Cutthroat, and this expansion did not disappoint. The new creatures in this expansion are absolutely brutal. Sometimes it feels like Relics and Events don't happen as often as you would like; you somehow feel like the cards should be flooding the table by game's end, but sometimes there are only a couple Relics brought out the whole game. I admit to not having used the book yet, but I have enough fans of the game that I am confident I can put together a "party" sooner than later. I am very pleased to have this as part of my Cutthroat Caverns experience.

limecamellimecamellimecamellimecamellimecamellimecamellimecamellimecamelorangecamelorangecamel (8/10)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bernard
Netherlands
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Nice review, but I did got the feeling I read this information before... :P

Maybe next time you could focus on the different and unique aspects of the expansions?

Anyway, thanks for the review! Keep up the good work!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Schaefer
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I did. For example, I referred to the inclusion of the book in this expansion. I also discussed some of the specific creatures in each. The simple truth of the matter is that the contents of the two expansions are very similar otherwise. I did warn you that "it will be published in tandem with a review for Relics and Ruin, since they were shipped together and contain a lot of the same [types of] materials."
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bernard
Netherlands
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Schaef wrote:
I did. For example, I referred to the inclusion of the book in this expansion. I also discussed some of the specific creatures in each. The simple truth of the matter is that the contents of the two expansions are very similar otherwise. I did warn you that "it will be published in tandem with a review for Relics and Ruin, since they were shipped together and contain a lot of the same [types of] materials."


True, you did warned me and I agree the expansions are quiet similar. I only wanted to share my opinion how it would be more clear for me. :)

Something else: I wonder why they didn't sell everything in one big expansion instead of two expansion? To make more money out of it?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Schaefer
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I am getting this information secondhand, I believe I heard Curt mention it in a podcast interview or something, so don't take my word as gospel until he speaks to the truth of the matter. But it's my understanding that:
- Relics and Ruin was scheduled to ship last fall
- The game itself is printed in China and shipped over here
- China basically shut down for a month when the Olympic Games were in town
- The printing and delivery of Relics was thus delayed
- By the time it finally got here, Tombs and Tomes was literally right on its heels, so they decided to release them together.

Again, this is a rough idea of why the two shipped together, so if I have some minor details wrong, don't drag me onto The View and call me a big fat liar.

Oh, and another reason some parts of this are generalized, is that I mixed in all the components into one box. I was able to use info from S&D to figure out which creatures were which and comment on them, but the Relics and Events are hopelessly jumbled. As far as I can tell, there's no huge difference in the general idea of what the cards do anyway (by contrast, I actually think the creatures in Tombs are considerably tougher than Relics), so I just shrugged and made do.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.