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Dungeon Twister: Forces of Darkness
List Price: $29.99
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What's left of the Arch-Mage's heart glows with an icy joy. Watching weak adventurers fighting in his crazy labyrinths is still fun, but he needs something new. He has now decided to teleport into the maze poor and innocent creatures unable to comprehend what's happening to them. His well-paid and hard-working Gnomes and Dwarves have built for him some specially designed dungeons for the convenience of his new friends: the Undead, who will be thrown into the darkness until he is satisfied. Mummies, Ghouls, Vampires, Zombies, Undead Dragons, Specters... all of them are masters in the art of terrorizing and devouring humans. But now they have become the Arch-Mage's new toys...
Forces of Darkness is the third expansion for Dungeon Twister. Within, you'll discover 7 new objects and 8 new characters allowing you to create armies of zombies, drink blood from your opponents or hide in shadows. It also contains 8 new rooms. Some of these are covered with darkness squares that you will have to reveal while advancing. To do so, this expansion also provides 30 new corridor tiles to allow you to design your own mazes on the darkness rooms. This is a brand new and original mechanic for Dungeon Twister.
All characters, objects and rooms are fully compatible with Dungeon Twister and its other expansions. By combining boxes, you can design your own scenarios, your own original teams to surprise your opponent, and develop new strategies.
Asmodee North America
Time: 45 minutes
Ages: 11 and up
Weight: 670 grams
Language Requirements: This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English. Game components are printed in English.
- 8 square rooms
- 30 corridor tiles
- 2 sets of tokens (one per player) each including 8 characters and 7 objects
- 2 sets of tokens (one per player) each including 4 secondary characters
- 2 sets of 8 cardboard figurines and 16 plastic bases
- 2 starting lines
- 1 rulebook
- 5 neutral objects (white square tokens)
- 5 blood markers (square)
- Several open and broken portcullis markers
Average Rating: 4 in 1 review
I love expansions, yes I do! And any expansion for Dungeon Twister has me excited; although of all the upcoming expansions, the Forces of Darkness (Asmodee, 2007 – Cristophe Boelinger) was the one that interested me the least, because I wasn’t that keen on having a bunch of undead creatures invade my dungeon. Interestingly enough, this expansion is numbered “4”, while number three hasn’t been released in English yet (this was done because of complexity issues).
However, I have to say that I really enjoy this expansion and will find myself using many of the characters regularly. Some of the new characters are simply tremendous, although they often have a flaw. The new boards add some good features that I actually use (I usually play with the original boards), and the new items add some more variety. Let’s look at the characters first -- the main reason most people pick up the expansion.
- The Shadow: Movement 4, Combat 2. (undead) The Shadow can move on Darkness spaces on the board, as if they were not there, and attack in them. However, the Shadow cannot move into a space with a torch, or initiate combat against characters with torches. I’m not really a big fan of this guy, especially if the opponents manage to get rid of the darkness squares – at which point he becomes useless. He’s sneaky, but doesn’t have much more beyond that, and can easily be rendered harmless.
- The Angel of Light: Movement 5, Combat 1 (flying). The Angel of Light can light up darkness squares. For me, this makes her weaker; because if there are no darkness squares on the board, she simply becomes a fast flyer.
- Specter: Movement 4, Combat 0 (undead). The Specter is a unique creature in that she scores no victory points when moved over the end zone, even though she can move like a Ghost – through everything. What makes her powerful is that she can move into an opponent’s wounded character and become that character – healed. Not only is this thematic, but it’s also neat; as the other side loses one of their characters, and you get them with all special abilities. Of course, this sounds cooler than it is, because it takes some setting up to do; but it’s easier than killing the wounded character and can change the course of the battle.
- Ghoul: Movement 6, Combat 2 (undead). The Ghoul is a vicious beast, because it can carry wounded characters of either color and can run with them off the board for an extra victory point. Even nastier, the Ghoul can use the wounded character as a shield, killing them to avoid a successful hit by an opponent. The Ghouls is fast, not horrible at combat, and an all around devastating player.
- Necromancer: Movement 4, Combat 2. The Necromancer can turn an adjacent wounded character into a zombie (movement 3, combat 2) or create a zombie from a tomb. Zombies aren’t terribly powerful, and they can award the opponent a point when killed, but this still doesn’t negate the Necromancer’s power. Really, zombifying an opponent’s character not only gets rid of the threat, but also adds to your team. Tombs aren’t quite as useful, but it’s still often nice to have one more character (or three – the maximum!) than the opponent.
- Undead Dragon: Movement 2, Combat 6 (undead). The Undead Dragon is not only tremendously powerful, but also can regenerate when wounded for one AP – although it cannot take any other actions. I like the Dragon, although it is slow and gives the opponent two points when killed. Still, it’s fearsome on the back row and makes almost any other character stop and think.
- The Mummy: Movement 3, Combat 4 (undead). The Mummy is simply a powerful figure – with perhaps the best stats in the game – and it can break doors! However, when fighting opponents with a Torch, the Mummy must play their “+0” card. This means that they can be neutralized (unless the Mummy gets a Fire Shield – a fearsome thing that I have seen in a game).
- Vampire: Movement 4, Combat 2 (undead). Definitely my favorite character from the expansion; the Vampire gets a permanent “+1” every time they kill an opponent’s character (draining the blood)! Not only that, but the Vampire can also transform into a Bat (Movement 6, Combat 2 –flying, undead). The Bat can’t carry anything, but it does give the Vampire some mobility, making it the most versatile character in the game.
If you look at these characters, they seem a bit strong; and they are the slightest bit stronger than normal characters – at least the undead ones. And that is because undead characters have two major weaknesses. One is the Sacred Tomb room, and the other is the Holy Cross item. Any undead character that enters one of the ten spaces of the Sacred Tomb instantly dies and cannot attack characters on those spaces. Non-flying undead characters are also instantly killed, if they are in the same space as a Holy Cross, making it the very best item to use against a team with a lot of undead characters.
Other items include:
- Ring of Weakness: This “cursed” item causes a character who picks it up to suffer “-1” in combat. A player MUST pick this item up if they cross it, discarding other items. It makes a good “blocking” piece, especially since the player who chose it gets to place it, regardless of who turns over the tile.
- Ball & Chain: The same as above but causes the character to lose one movement point.
- Inversion Scroll: (only for magic users) It exchanges any two adjacent rooms (the user must be in one of them). This is an okay item, but I prefer the illusion scroll instead.
- Key: Same as the regular set.
- Torch: Good against the Mummy or Shadow; it also can be used to “light up” darkness spaces. Players can also take a neutral torch token if they are in a space on the board with a picture of a wall sconce.
- Ring of Light: Same as a torch, but lights up much more area, and can only be used once.
- Two Handed Sword: A neutral item that can be snagged from the statue found on one of the new terrain pieces. It adds “+2” to the attack but costs an additional action to attack with. It’s a wonderful weapon, and even a weak character can run around with one and feel quite good.
New terrain items include tombs (for the Necromancer), the statue (for the sword), a fountain of youth (heals wounded characters), wall sconces (give up torches), the sacred tomb (bad for undead guys), and darkness. Darkness is different, because characters cannot move into it or attack into it (except that Shadow bloke). The only way to ever move into it is to use the Angel of Light, a torch, or a ring of light. There are strips of tiles that are randomly drawn to be placed onto darkness tiles to reveal random assortments of walls, doors, and traps. While I am not tremendously fond of darkness, it does add some interesting features to the game and makes the Shadow somewhat useful.
Of course I’m a Dungeon Twister junkie and love every expansion. But this one adds some really neat characters that I want to use in many of my games. The Mummy and Vampire will often appear on my team, and the Ghoul and Undead Dragon also make frequent appearances. Of course, the Holy Cross is a detriment, so I attempt to keep the undead portion of my team only a small percentage; but that’s good, as it keeps the characters in this set balanced with the others. I ended up liking this set a lot more than I thought I would, and I now find that I’m using all of the elements at one point or another.
“Real men play board games”