WBG Score: 8
Player Count: 1-4
Published by: Rebel Studio
Designed by: Przemek Wojtkowiak
By Steve Godfrey
This is a free review copy. See our review policy here
Imagine it, you’ve just defeated The Beast (not the one from the Chase) and saved Avel. You sold all your gear, got home, had a nice long bath and are now putting your feet up ready to enjoy a nice evening in, when all of a sudden another big bad, this time one with three heads, turns up with aspirations of taking over Avel. Turns out a hero's work is never done and worst of all, you’ve just gone and sold your fancy sword so you can get a subscription to Avelflix!
How to adventure…….again.
The first thing you need to do is pick which of the elements from the expansion you’re going to be using then set them up as per the rules. Set up will generally be the same as the base game apart from a few tweaks depending on what your using.
The Moon Monster
The Moon monster is the new big bad in question and will take the place of the beast. The game is going to play out exactly the same as the base game, however, when the moon monster moves you’ll flip over two of its special tiles. One will give an immediate effect which is generally going to do some damage to you or even bring out another monster. The other will introduce a permanent effect which will last until it moves again. These will have the same attributes to some monsters from the base game like restricting which dice you can use when you attack it.
If you felt the Beast was beginning to become a bit of a push over (because a giant fire monster was never going to present much of a threat) then the Moon Monster is definitely going to give you more of a challenge even on easy mode. The randomised tokens are really going to change how you approach it and even how you choose to gear up before you face off. Each time you turn a tile over is going to add a fun amount of tension as you worry about what the Moon Monster has in store for you this time!
Titania and Oberon
These are the Elven King and Queen of Avel and you can either add these individually or together into any of your games. Simply place the cardboard minis in their respective starting locations which will be one of the two starting tiles that have lairs on them.
Oberon will hold a magical item or piece of equipment which you can buy for the cost shown on the item, when your on the same space as him. The items aren’t cheap though. To buy them you’ll need combinations of gold, weapons and even trophies in the form of monsters of certain colours. Each time you defeat a monster now you’ll collect its token so you can potentially spend it later. These items are powerful though so they’re well worth the effort. Some will give you extra dice, ways to manipulate dice and even ranged weapons that can be used as a free action. These new items are great and throw an extra layer of decision to make when it comes to preparing for the big battle at the end. Especially in terms of the monsters you decide to take on. It’s now even more tempting to take on a more difficult one just so you can use it for its rewards to snag a cool toy to use later on.
Once something has been brought from him, Oberon will move round the board and have another item you can buy.
Titania works much the same way but she’ll be dishing out magical spirits to help you in your adventure. You’ll only pay two coins for each spirit and buying from her is a free action (you still have to be in the same space though). Spirits go beside your board and not in your backpack and you can have as many as you want. Using them is also a free action. The spirits are also going to give you some cool one off abilities like, gaining money, recovering health, upgrading weapons, changing dice or extra movement and more. The spirits are a great way of getting some cool items for cheap, especially if you’ve been having trouble getting a decent pile of money together. One problem you can run into in the base game is not having enough money to gear yourself up and these spirits are a nice cheap way to give you a boost.
I really like both of these characters. They both add some cool new stuff to go for and increase the amount of ways to help you gear up to defeat the big bad at the end. They don’t really add much in terms of complexity rules wise, of course you’ll need to look up the abilities of each item while you get used to them, but I’m going to be adding at least one of them to every game I play and I’d even throw them in if I’m teaching new players.
I’m still not sure why a King And Queen are wandering round the land selling items like something out of an elven Only Fool and Horses but hey, I guess even the royalty of Avel need a hobby!.
Take the six cruel hunter monster tokens and shuffle them in with the rest of the small monsters. These will work the same as the usual monsters except that when you defeat them you’ll also take a spirit token from the top of the pile. These are another easy addition and I’ll be leaving these shuffled in with the rest of the monsters. These can also be used with other game modes.
This is the big addition to the game and will let you play out a three scenario campaign. I won’t go into how each scenario plays out, I’ll leave that for you all to dive into the story yourselves. What I will say is that each one changes up how the game plays. They won’t necessarily be straight, gear up and defeat the boss at the end type missions like you’re used to. All three are nice little twists on the format and are actually a nice change of pace.
All the scenarios are designed so they can be played individually so you don’t have to play out the campaign in order. But it’s definitely worth doing once so you can get a sense of the story and the context behind each one. Plus being that there’s only three you could easily finish this over a weekend with the kids.
The production here is great as always. The 3d cardboard components are really cool and add a ton of tactility to the game. You will have to put everything together but once assembled they easily fit into the box. I do think it’s a shame that everything from this and the base game won’t fit into the one box, not without removing the inserts anyway, as it can feel a bit fiddly delving through both boxes to find the specific components you need. My advice would be that if there’s anything you're planning on using regularly to try and fit into the base box if you can to maybe help speed up that set up.
So you finally got Avelflix
The question with any expansion is “is this worth getting?” For this I’d say it depends on where you’re at with the base game. If you’re still exploring and having fun with the base game and you feel that that’s enough then it’s maybe not worth picking this up just yet. However, If you feel you've gotten enough from the base game and want to change things up then I’d say it’s definitely worth it. The new big bad is a great way to add some variety to the game without changing the core gameplay, but it is going to give you more of a challenge. The Elf king and queen, I’ll happily add at least one to the game every time just to add that extra fun bonus to strive for, plus the bonuses you can get from them are a really cool addition. The cruel hunters are easy to keep shuffled into your main monsters and again it's great to pepper in the spirits for another fun reward.
The campaign is fun to play through and I love that the scenarios change the way you plan and focus your efforts during the main game and add a fun twist on the game and your goals. We’ll definitely be exploring these again on their own. If you’re looking for a bit more of a challenge and variety in your games of Chronicles of Avel then you’ll definitely be getting it with this expansion.