Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Curse of Undeath Review

"Death Awaits You!" - Seymour, Final Fantasy X

Today, Dungeon Command: Curse of Undeath came out.  While the Dungeon Command set I was most looking forward to was Tyranny of Goblins (that came out in September), as the miniatures got previewed, I knew that I really wanted the Undeath set just for all the undead goodies.

So let's take a look at the miniatures.

Two skeletons.  Solid stuff.

Vampire.  I'm a big fan of this mini, as he looks like everything a vampire should be.  Glad to finally have one.

Two zombies.  Glad I picked up a second set so that I have 4 of these bad boys.  You can never have enough zombies.  These guys will also be good as standing in for ghouls and other crazed undead.

Skeletal Lancer.  Cool, but not my favorite in the box.

The Gravehound is superb.  A nice non-humanoid zombie.

This is where I start having issues figuring out my favorite miniature.  The Skeletal Tomb Guardian is the ultimate skeleton.  The miniature is intimidating, and I really want to throw my players into a tomb in the next adventure just so that they can face a couple of these nasties.

I really like the Disciple of Kyuss as well.  The mini is solid (meaning we have a nice, solid figure on a base), and the sculpt and paint job is done really well.  As a DM, I think it's important to have solid pieces (or tokens) to represent villains, otherwise, most other DMs won't use them.  Getting this guy really makes the gears in my head turn with ideas.

I'll be honest, the picture of the WotC website of the Lich Necromancer didn't make it look that appealing.  I hope that this one does.  I initially didn't think that this Lich would stand up to the Pathfinder Lich, but now I'm really torn.  Heck, I feel like this Lich looks more magical, while the other one looks like it would command an undead army.  Either way, there are a lot of cool liches.

I've never used dracoliches in my campaigns.  I tend to stick to the living dragons.  Once again, this was a mini that I was not super impressed with online, but in person, it looks so much cooler.  The miniature is huge (even though it is only large), and definitely has an awesome presence on the battlefield.

Here is the dungeon map.

Here is the outdoor map.

The tiles are cool in that we get another Magic Circle tile to use.  We also get a lot of undead motifs (especially in the dungeon).  I'm always happy to see more hazardous terrain (I really want to get Fire Trap to work in my Order deck).

The Order cards really feel like they're expanding the game.  We get a lot of Con, Int and Cha cards.  We got a solid chunk of spells (Int base), and the Affinity mechanic has finally returned.  Initially, Affinity was only found in the Sting of Lolth set (with the spells Web and Faerie Fire).  Now, we have cards that are Vampire Affinity and Dragon Affinity.  I look forward to seeing more and more Affinity cards.  I wouldn't be surprised if we get Beast Affinity in the Blood of Gruumsh set, since orcs seem pretty primal/beasty.  You heard it here first!

When the Constitution cards first came out in Tyranny of Goblins, I really didn't see it much better than Strength.  It played slightly more defensive, but I wasn't sure how I felt about it.  However, the last few weeks of reviewing the Con cards, I became more and more sold, and with the Undeath release, I really see the strong side of Con.  They have a lot of ways to prevent damage, increase damage and move across the battlefield.  Con monsters tend to have higher hit points, so they can really take a beating before dying.  Plenty of their cards help prevent/heal/regenerate damage, so they are hard to kill.  The Undead pack has quite a few Minor Con cards, which helps position the army before going to town with Standard actions.

Charisma finally gets ways to prevent damage, and has a cool card that allows deployment and can increase Morale.  My favorites are Call to Battle (which can net you extra Morale with Magic Circles) and Terrifying Revelation (where an opponent loses 3 Morale immediately).

All in all, I really like this set.  I don't know if I would've liked it less if it had come out earlier, but at this point, with 3 other expansions released, the Order Cards seem to fill out a lot of niches and help flesh out other warbands.  I look forward to taking it apart and throwing other monsters (like the Horned Devil) into the warband, or even trying the Vampire out with goblins.  We shall see!

I also think these miniatures would work great with the Haunted Temples map pack.  It really makes me want to run an undead themed one-shot.

As always, leave comments below, and follow me on Twitter @artificeralf

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