WBG Score: 8
Player Count: 2-4 (but really 2)
Published by: The Op
Designed by: Sean Fletcher
Disney Sorcerer's Arena is a fantastic three-on-three skirmish game set in the wonderful world of Disney. The only difference in this version of the Disney universe, is they all want to kill each other! The only extra thing you want with this game is more characters. They already delivered three great new iconic Disney heroes/villains to play with in the first expansion, and now the second expansion is already out. Bringing three great new characters. You can read what I think of the main game here, or check my thoughts on the first expansion here, or head straight on to see what is new with this second expansion right now.
I wont go into the set-up or how to play with this expansion as you can get that all from my first review of the main game, but if you want a brief summery, here you go.
Two players (ideally, but it does play up to four) will choose three Disney characters. Each player will place them onto the board at either end and will be dealt a hand of cards based on their characters hand limits. Players will then take it in turns to play one movement action to get their characters closer to the central scoring areas, and the opposition. They will then play one action card to attack the other players. You can also use special skills as per each characters own unique abilities. If you can force an opposing character to zero health you will claim the points their character is worth. First player to 20 points wins. It sounds simple, and it is. But the card play can be very clever, and the characters are obviously adorable!
So, with that out of the way. Let's get to the good stuff. With this second expansion, which new characters do we have to play with?
Coming from 2010 release Tangled, younger Disney fans perhaps may be more familiar with this character than those of my own 80's generation! But my daughter was very excited to see her included in this game.
Mother Gothel likes to be stealthy with her attacks. Stealthy means she is harder to hit. She can also use her skills to make people banish one card from their deck, or let her remain lurking in the stealthy shadows. Because running out of your deck is one way to loose this game, this means Mother Gothel remains stealthy for most of the game.
She has some pretty impressive attacks, but be careful not to pair her with other Princess characters. Some of her attacks affect multiple characters on the board if they are a "Princess." Including those on her own side!
The Horned King
Anyone seen the 1985 Disney release, The Black Cauldron? No, me neither. But check it out, it looks pretty cool! Anyway, the Horned King is the bad guy in this film, and in this expansion, he has some pretty unique skills.
The Horned King comes armed with three tokens that he can place onto the board using certain cards and whenever he gains points. These can be moved each turn using his special skill, and when they are close to other characters, The Horned King can use them to attack from afar. As such, it makes sense to use the Horned King as a sniper of sorts. Staying away from the centre of the board where most characters usually charge, and attack from a distance.
If you can activate his special skill, meaning you flip his character card to gain an additional skill, the tokens can be used passively each time. If The Horned King starts his turn with these tokens next to any opponent, they will inflict one damage to each nearby character. This makes these tokens very useful weapons. And The Horned King, a very interesting character to play with. I had not heard of him before, but he is now my favourite character to use in the game.
Now, onto this expansions' superstar! Jack Skellington is the beloved protagonist of The Nightmare Before Christmas. One of Disney's most argued over films. Not because people don't love it. Much the opposite. Just people love to debate if this is a Christmas or Halloween film! But for me, its 100% a Halloween film that can be enjoyed anytime of year, so who cares. I think this, as this is what the many people involved in the making of this movie said! (Haha!) But also, it's true. Anyway...
Jack is awesome. I love everything about this character in the movie, and the same can be said about the character in this expansion. Jack introduces a new trait, "Afraid." He can force this onto opponent's almost at will, which encourages them on their turn to run away from any opponents or be forced to incur two damage. It's a great addition to the many traits in this game, and perfectly suited to Jacks' character.
The new characters work perfectly with the existing ones from the main box, and the three that were previously introduced with the first expansion. I enjoy playing this game with all the characters, but getting new ones is always a treat! It makes me want to try all the new possible combinations and new possible teams.
As with the last expansion, I am a little disappointed with the choices. I don't know if this is licencing reasons, but it does seem like they are choosing some 'B' list Disney characters each time. But Jack is 'A' list for sure, and he more than makes up for the other two. But as I mentioned above, The Horned King is amazing! And Mother Gothel was a big addition for my children, so maybe that is just a generational thing?
The new standees are gorgeous. And much like the ones in the original box, look stunning on the table. They come with a protective cover on, which is a nightmare to peel off though. And this time, I used a knife to help, and I did scratch the Horned King a little here as you can see. Which was most upsetting! If anyone has any tips on how to remove the covers from these standees (other than just patience!) I am all ears!
I would recommend this game to anyone with children that love these characters, or to anyone that is looking to get into skirmish games, and wants a nice, gentle introduction to this form of gaming. I would recommend checking this expansion out as I think they have done something a little different with The Horned King, which I particularly like, and think it adds a nice new dynamic to the game.
The designers of this game seem to do this with each expansion. Adding not just new characters, but new rules, traits and components. The previous expansion introduced the water tiles, which are nice. But these Horned King tokens are a game changer for me. I hope they bring more of these to the table with future expansions.