Our first rules preview covered the basics of character cards, specifically Heroes. This preview will look at Monsters and how they are spawned by the Consul.
You'll see that monster cards share the same layout as the Hero cards. In this case the monster card shown does not have any unique actions. Because of this the main action he will make is the Melee Attack basic action as indicated by the Melee icon on his Strength.
That said, lets look at the two items that are different from Hero cards: Skull Value and Platform. Both of these values are indicators of how challenging a monster is to fight, but each is used in a different way. First we will cover what these represent and then how they are applied through spawning and activation.
Platform: There are five different platforms of monster: Start, 8-Bit, 16-Bit, Super, and Special.
- Start is reserved for spawning points and the occasional unique monster. It is a simple indicator that the model always begins on the dungeon map and is placed during the set-up. Start models can never be spawned.
- 8-Bit monsters are weaker monsters that are part of the initial free spawn the consul gains at the beginning of the game.
- 16-Bit are powerful monsters that can only be spawned during the Consul's turn.
- Super monsters, such as Bosses and mini-bosses are spawned for free after a spawning point has been destroyed.
- Special monsters can only enter the game through some special condition such as Shapeshifts or Boo Booty Traps.
Skull Value: During the Hero turn only a single Hero may activate. Monsters are much weaker so multiple monsters activate. During the Consul's turn up to 4 skull value of monsters, plus any one Super monster may be activated.
All monsters are tied to a spawning point. The Consul may choose one spawning point for every Hero being used in the game. A typical game is 3-5 Heroes and 3-5 spawning points.
Each spawning point card lists the monsters that are added to the spawning pool whenever you field the spawn point in the game.
In Classic mode, the Consul places one spawning point per tile on the dungeon map. In Arcade mode spawning points are placed on specially marked squares on the tiles.
Here we have the Bramble Knight spawning point. Whenever you field a Bramble Knight you add 1 Grobbit Executioner, 2 Frog Knights, and 4 Billmen to your spawning pool.
By comparison, the Old-Growth Hollow spawning point is what is known as a paired spawn. This simply means that it comes with two spawning points instead on one. The monsters listed is the total number added to the spawning pool for both spawning points.
So if you took both the Bramble Knight and the Old-Growth Hollow you would have three spawning points and your spawning pool would be: 1 Grobbit Executioner, 2 Frog Knights, 4 Billmen, 1 Sprout/King Sprout, 2 Wisps, 2 Turnipheads, and 6 Mooks. Perfect for a three Hero game!
There are advantages and disadvantages to a paired spawn. Generally they are less flexible than a single spawn point. However, when the Consul spawns they spawn a larger quantity of monsters. In addition, the Heroes must destroy both spawns points before they can prevent the Consul from spawning the listed monsters.
At the beginning of the game, the Consul places every 8-Bit monster listed on a spawning point’s game card within two squares of the spawning point. Large-based models must have at least one square within two squares of their spawning point. This is called spawning.
Monsters may only be spawned from their own spawning points.
After this initial spawn the game begins with the Heroes and the Consul alternating turns activating models.
In Classic Mode, instead of activating monsters the Consul may choose to spawn monsters from one spawning point or paired spawns. The spawning point must spawn all 8-Bit and 16-Bit monsters listed on their card that are in the spawning pool.
If the spawning point is a paired spawn you may place the monsters within two squares of either spawning point.
Any monster models listed on the card that are already on the dungeon map may remove all wound and status effect counters, regardless of the specific spawning point from which they were spawned.
Spawning points are not endless resources, and spawning drains valuable energy from them. After a spawning point spawns, the spawning point suffers one wound. Paired spawns suffer one wound each. Ouch!
A paired spawn may continue to spawn monsters even if one of the spawning points has been destroyed.
In Arcade mode, spawning points spawn when a Spawn card is drawn from the Arcade Deck. Unlike a spawning in Classic mode, not just a single spawning point spawns. Instead, every spawning point in a tile with a Hero in it spawns. Better keep that party together!
While only a single Hero is activated during the Hero Turn, during the Consul Turn multiple monsters are activated. This is controlled by the skull value. As mentioned above, the Consul may activate up to 4 skull value worth of monsters, plus one Super monster. Lets see how this works using the Bramble Knight monsters.
As you can see the Grobbit has a skull value of 3, the Frog Knight a skull value of 2, and the Billmen a skull value of 1. This means that they can activate in any of the following combinations:
- The Grobbit and one Billmen
- Two Frog Knights
- One Frog Knight and two Billmen
- Four Billmen
Monsters are not required to activate only with monsters from their spawn points. For example, if a Wisp was on the map (skull value 2) the Consul could activate her in addition to one Frog Knight or two Billmen.
If there was a Super monster on the map such as Trent, Boris, or even The Forgotten King, the Consul could activate them in addition to the 4 skull value of monsters. Scary!
The most important thing to remember is that a monster must complete its entire activation before activating the next monster.
Activation of monsters in Arcade Mode is determined by the drawing from the Arcade Deck. We will detail this further in a future preview.
Today's Model Walkthrough is the mighty Thundervale Huntress.
The first thing to note about the Thundervale Huntress is a characteristic that is not on her card: she is a large-based model and takes up four squares (2x2) This can create some restrictions on where she can move in a dungeon.
Fortunately, she benefits from a very fast Speed 8 and the ability Surefoot. The high speed allows her to keep up with the party even if she needs to take a longer, alternate route. While Surefoot lets her not only ignore difficult terrain but ignore its dangerous effects such as Bramble's Poison or Lava's Fire.
Adding to her mobility is her Melee 2 that allows her to make a Melee Attack from two squares away; plus her Distilled Stampede potion that allows all Heroes to move 3 squares.
All of these traits help her get around a dungeon with surprising efficiency despite her size.
Offensively she is a juggernaut. Her base STR of 2 blue dice and 1 red dice put her at the top of the class for starting melee fighters. Both of her unique actions are offensive actions so inflict a single wound when successful.
Lightning Charge is a powerful strike against a single target that enhances her already formidable STR by an additional red dice. Its Stun ability causes a model to discard their highest dice when making a WILL roll, making it an ideal attack against Magic using monsters. While the Push 3 allows her to knock models out of the way (or into danger) further increasing her ability to move around.
Trample is an excellent crowd control ability. The Wave 1 effect hits every model adjacent to her. As a large-based model this mean 12 squares are affected. Should a monster survive the hit they will suffer Knockdown meaning they will need to sacrifice either their movement or one action point in their next turn to stand up. Trampled indeed!
Given all this offensive capability it is not surprising that her crystal affinity is Citrine (Yellow), as it is most commonly associated with Strength.
The Thundervale Huntress is a deceptively fast and brutal combatant. Her ability to inflict hard strikes against single foes as well as deal with large groups make her a versatile combatant. Her large base and average ARM can be a hinderance when facing a cunning Consul, but her offensive capability more than makes up for any deficiencies, especially when paired with a good support Hero to keep her fighting at full efficiency.