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Board Game Expansion Review – Thunderstone: Wrath of the Elements

2011 June 9
by Michael Schroeder

Review copy kindly provided by Alderac Entertainment Group.

“Boy, the weather sucks around here. Why would anyone want to live here? Get used to it, because your journey’s to the dungeon hall just got harder with Thunderstone: Wrath of the Elements!” (Thunderstone base game is required)

Designer: Mike Elliot

Number of players: 2-5

Age: 12+

Time: 45 minutes

Thunderstone: Wrath of the Elements

Thunderstone: Wrath of the Elements

What’s this expansion about?

A description from the publisher…

Thunderstone returns with all new monsters, heroes, equipment, and now… traps! Thunderstone brought dungeon crawling to the deck-building game genre, and Wrath of the Elements takes Thunderstone to a new level. With four new heroes, six new monsters, and many new village cards, Wrath of the Elements adds to classic Thunderstone for a larger experience. Wrath of the Elements also introduces Traps. This new card type creates perlious dangers for your adventuring party when revealed from the Dungeon Deck. Can you overcome the new monstrosities and claim the Thunderstone?

Basic idea in my own words:

Thyunderstone: Wrath of the Elements is the first expansion to Thunderstone. And I must say, this expansion does some great things. Firstly, it takes care of my complaint with the first game, being the box insert. The insert in WoE fixes the problems of the base game. The new box is a lot smaller than the base game, and it is able to fit all the cards from the base game and Wrath of the Elements (WoE). In addition, you shall no longer use the extra wide card dividers, and instead all cards and types, have a large card that has a label for the cards on it. Plus they all come alphabetized – thanks Alderac! This makes the game very easy to setup and break down!

Thunderstone card organization

Thunderstone card organization (German version)

WoE also includes a whole slew of new village cards, heroes, monsters and traps! Yes, traps is a new feature of WoE that generally effects all players. The traps that come with WoR are dire traps – which hurts players,  Death traps, which can kill players and a Guardian Card – which is a very strong monster that can break into level 0, and if he’s out and the Thunderstone comes out…nobody can take the Thunderstone. I did forget to mention that WoE also features a few new variants to play the game with!

How is play affected?

Generally the game is played the same as the base game, but if you draw a dungeon feature card, you must draw a random type of trap or guardian. If you pull trap cards, all trap cards of a certain class are shuffled into the dungeon deck, and as in all traps, once revealed, the trap effects all players, unless a player can hold up a Foresight Elixer card.

Cage Trap Card

Cage Trap Card

If you pull the guardian card, he plays through the dungeon hall, but he can reach and go into a new rank 0, and will stay until defeated and boy, is he tough (but light does not play into rank 0)!

If you draw a Horde Randomizer, you must use the Horde deck. This is a type of monster deck and sits separate, next to the dungeon deck. these cards are interesting in where a certain number of these cards are shuffled into the monster deck, and if you pull one, you put that card into the box, and pull the top Horde card from the Horde deck…and they get stronger as they get revealed! But if you have some in your deck from defeating them, you can receive some mad points.

Horde in Thunderstone: Wrath of the Elements

Horde in Thunderstone: Wrath of the Elements

In addition to having the normal Thunderstone card out too, there’s a new Thunderstone card. It’d your choice if you wish to use 1 or 2 in your game.

Everything else is relatively the same, except all the new village cards.

New weapons, new spells and items and new heroes.

Thunderstone, WoE village cards

Thunderstone, WoE village cards

For instance, if you look in the image above, you’ll see the Sage. The Sage allows you to destroy one card, if it’s not a hero card, you get a XP! More examples of new cards is the Claymore, its a high attack card, but you’ll need a hero with at least a strength of 7! An example of a new hero is, the Divine Prophet/Healer…

Divine Prophet

Divine Prophet

As you can see, he allows you to destroy disease cards to draw cards.

In addition, new spells, such as this Magic Missile

Magic Missile

Magic Missile

The final new element of the game is the new monsters. These guys are tough, especially these Elemental monsters, take a look…

WoE elemental monsters

WoE elemental monsters

The fire wrath is immune to spells and unequipped heroes. The Thunder Wrath is really hard – he’s so tough, look at all that text on his card!

Bottom line, Thunderstone: Wrath of the Elements is an awesome addition to Thunderstone! It really mixes things up with new cards of all types and I was very surprised at all the variants in the rulebook. This time, it also includes the rules for solo play – which this time, is even harder. If your a fan of Thunderstone, this first expansion is a no-brainer. I recommend picking it up. I am enjoying Thunderstone more than Dominion at this point…

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