I got a nice surprise in the mail the other day, an advanced copy of the next Catacombs expansion, Wyverns of Wylemuir. I helped Elzra Games proofread the manual and components and as a fantastic thank you gesture, they sent me my copy early. This is a full expansion similar to Cavern of Soloth so you need the base game to play it. I believe there are a couple of other copies floating around as it was available to purchase at Dice Tower Con.
This cover is my favorite box cover of the whole line. I like how Kwanchai is continuing with the circle motif of the series and the inner picture is dramatic and compelling.
Because there is a brand new board in the box, it came out in the same large footprint size as the base game.
Elzra Games is learning from some of the challenges of their previous offerings and have included a box insert to keep the wood pieces from crashing around too much. I know a lot of people hate box inserts but these games can really use it for care during shipping if nothing else. A little side note for those that pick this game up later, the new board is under the box insert.
Now that we have everything open, lets look at the contents:
- 1 double-sided game board
- 2 Heroes
- 2 Catacomb Heroes (used in the Catacombs & Castles set)
- 8 Wyverns
- 2 Catacomb Lords
- 5 Monster Groups
- 11 Room Cards
- 5 Items
- 2 Catacombs & Castles Catacomb Warriors
- 4 Attack Templates
In terms of raw extra content, it’s not quite as heavy as the Caverns of Soloth expansion but it makes up for it in the brand new content like the Wyverns and Attack Templates as well as adding a new game double-sided game board to the mix.
Here we have the stars of the expansion, the new Wyverns. Elzra Games did a clever thing here where there are eight unique Wyverns and two copies of each so that both the Hero and the Catacomb sides can each run the same Wyvern if they want. Each disc has another Wyvern on the other side.
A sample of some of the new monsters. Most of the monsters employ the new Attack Templates, which I’ll get into later in the post.
Two new Catacomb Lords and two new Heroes. One thing that both the Heroes and Catacomb Lords have in common is they all get to start the game with their own Wyvern.
Two new board layouts (double-sided), each detailing a great new outdoor scene.
Another nice addition is some of the promo cards that have been released at conventions. Elzra Games has moved away from a strictly exclusive model for promos and Kickstarter items and here we see some of the results of these releases like the Shadowlithe Fist ability for the Thief and the Teleport Chicken ability for the Chicken Hero. Adding to the group are two new template-centric options, one ability for the Skeleton Hero and the other is an item that the Dwarf Miner can start with. Both are really interesting options for these lower tier heroes, especially the Dwarf Miner’s Rune Axe as it is a permanent item that allows him to use the ability all the time. Quite a boon for a hero I put at the back of the pack in my strategy guides.
Here we have an example of Hyba, one of the new heroes, riding one of the Wyverns, the Wylamander. The card abilities for the Wyverns are divided into three sections starting with the upper left ability section. This section is the same for all the Wyverns in that it allows the hero to perform a melee shot with the Wyvern followed by the new “Wyvern Strike” shot. The Wyvern Strike acts like a Rush shot but if you strike an opponent disc, you gain a Wyvern Claw token. These tokens can later be spent to activate one of the other Wyvern abilities. In the example above, Hyba spent one claw to use the Wylamander’s second ability, placing the ring template and hitting two Succubus monsters.
Later in the game, Hyba has earned more Wyvern Claws and spends them on the Wylamander’s third ability, using the spread template to hit more Succubus monsters.
In this last example, we look at one of the coolest items, the Wyvern Familiar. This little guy looks like a ton of fun as he’s permanent, like all familiars, but if you look at his life, he has “-” like Antients and the new Wyverns which means he is invulnerable to damage. An unkillable familiar seems very interesting but his only way to deal damage is through the short template. This will make for a very challenging attack as you will want to get close to a monster to use the short template but with a bit of finesse since if you hit too hard, you risk knocking your target out of range.
As is likely no surprise, I’m really excited about this expansion and all the new options it brings. The template powers bring a bit more finesse to the game as power flicking discs will generally be less effective than subtle shots that put you in perfect template range.
I’m not sure when this expansion hits the full release or Kickstarter but Elzra Games is currently running a quick Kickstarter Campaign for another game in the Catacombs series, Catacombs Conquest. Conquest is a light, quick, card-driven version of the game meant for new players and quick, open-table play.