Sunday, 20 December 2015

Temple of Elemental Evil (Board Game)

Better than the PC Game.

Off the bat I just want to say I love how Wizards of the Coast put out new releases simultaneously across their branded products. This board game, which came out around the same time as Module 6 in Neverwinter Online, is actually the fourth iteration of its type as it comes after Strahd, Asharladon and Drizzt. It also is the largest game box now in my collection as it comes with a lot of cool miniatures that would probably be worth painting.

The basic gist of the game follows your band of heroes through missions in a set campaign against the elemental cultists, either in the little town or in the sprawling, randomly generated dungeon(s) (done via the tile stack method) nearby. There is no dungeon master which is also a big plus - instead enemies are controlled by the player that finds them, and each has a set behavior pattern that you simply follow (and honestly, manipulate to your advantage).

Town missions are a good break from the dungeon!

It's pretty cool that as you advance through the campaign you add and remove cards from the standard deck, based on the performance from your previous adventures. Don't make the silly mistake of thinking you'll use them all right off the bat!

Also, do not expect old school D&D. For starters the cleric can barely heal herself, much less the rest of the team. If you take the slow and tactical approach the game will destroy you with random encounters - which aren't really encounters but more like BS events such as being shot at by an unseen sniper or a cave in. Instead you'll need to take the rapid exploration approach to complete the mission as fast as possible which can be quite harrowing as almost every single monster will get the drop on you and always win initiative.

The first few missions in particular will be pretty bad but this is because the game is actually balanced on the level 2 versions of the characters, so once people start advancing the adventure becomes more manageable. All up I've found this to be a decently paced and balanced, very fun game that my group thoroughly enjoys (at least after we got used to the speedy pace). I give it five D20s out of five and highly recommend it! :)

4 comments:

  1. Heh, just bought this last week for a gift, it just arrived about 3 hours ago. I'll probably get to try it too eventually, we'll see how it goes. Good to know what to expect at the beginning anyway, kinda like Arkham horror when you first play it, I guess.

    So, what does the cleric do?

    The box is bigger than I expected, but not as huge as Fortune and glory.

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    1. Hehe, some parts get pretty dire but at least win or lose you'll finish a mission faster than one run of Arkham. :P

      Cleric is the second best tank. If you are selecting your own gear be sure to each bring one ranged ability.

      Hmm haven't heard of Fortune and Glory. Is it any good? :)

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  2. Fortune and Glory is good, it's a coop or competitive game (you choose at the beginning), you need to find artifacts for fortune and glory (surprising I know) around the world. There's also an organization (nazis or the mob), that is also trying to get to them, so you need to get to them before they steal them (you can also fight them)

    Fighting also get you glory, which you can use to buy equipments, or allies.

    When you get to the artifacts's location, you need to pass a few tasks in a row, skills checks basically (similar to Arkham horror). You can also team up with another player so you can decide who gets to do the task and both players will continue on if it's a success. At the end, you get the artifact, which you can then sell at any cities on the map.

    The goal of the game is to get around 40 golds (depends on the number of players). The nazis or the mob is also trying to get gold, so if they get to their goal before you, they win.

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    1. Well, that sounds interesting! I might have to read up more on it. Thanks Max! :)

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