Spoiler Alert: I will be talking in general terms about the Encounter deck for this AP in this article. If you don’t want to know, don’t read below!
Life has settled down sufficiently that sleeving an encounter deck is something that I can find the time to do, and as I’m looking at the cards anyway I thought I’d share my first impressions on the The Thing in the Depths encounter cards.
It’s been a theme of this cycle that setup isn’t as straightforward as ‘normal’. There’s usually some kind of alternative deck or group of cards that needs to be created, for example the Fleet cards or the separate encounter area in Flight of the Stormcaller.
The setup for this quest is similar in that different decks need to be created from the encounter deck to accommodate for the different phases of the encounter. We’re gonna start out smashing each others’ heads in on the decks of ships, and move to smashing each others’ tentacles in as the titular creatures arises.
Those tentacles aren’t just going to smash, they’re also going to grab! They mostly have the Grapple keyword which means that they attach themselves to a location (the card indicates which) facedown and increase the location’s threat by 2. Travelling to the location or otherwise clearing it causes the enemy(ies) to flip faceup and hit the staging area as usual enemies.
This is important as the final encounter has a lose condition on locations being too grappled and the heroes being dragged below the surface of the Belargir.
I’m ambivalent about the artwork if I’m honest. Ship locations aren’t that interesting to me, and whilst I am a fan of tentacles these are kinda alright at best.
In particular the Thing in the Depths card look like it just lacks, well tentacles. Huuuuge body, not huuuuge tentacles…
The Cards Themselves
Location cards have bad, bad travel effects. Anything that gets rid of them without travelling would be worthwhile, or not triggering travel effects at least.
Treachery cards need to be cancelled. There feel like more than normal in there, and they feel damaging to most decks. The power of treacheries is something that is felt throughout this cycle and this AP doesn’t disappoint.
Shadow effects are universally hard. Buffs to attack, buffs to defense for the creature and debuffs to allies are found throughout. It looks to me like the player decks need to be able to have a large number of chumps around to either take the effects as well as defend against the attacks. Again a good theme; you suffer if you didn’t bring a crew with you!
I’d recommend planning on packing some shadow cancel for this one!
And there we have the whirlwind, sleeving the cards and reading the text view of this adventure pack. If you’ve played through let us know about your experience in the usual places.